As the Council of Elrond winds to a close and Frodo Baggins submits himself to a heart-wrenching task, the Heads reflect on the relationship between Evil and Power, taking Saruman and Gandalf as points of study.
How does a good person become swayed to wicked actions? Is it the Ring itself that corrupts, or is it the Ring’s power that corrupts?
Our first episode of Book Two looks at wrath. The Heads wonder whether anger can be directed towards a good end, or if it is inevitably a tool of the Shadow.
We also look into Bilbo’s notion of life as a story and history as a confluence of many personal stories. The story of Frodo as the Ringbearer began where Bilbo’s ended. Will Frodo’s quest find its end at Rivendell?
As the Hobbits race towards Rivendell, pursued closely by the Ringwraiths (and encountering some would-be trolls on the way), the Heads reflect on how panicked decision-making can lead to hasty or untrue conclusions.
We also take a shot at decoding how exactly the shadow world of the wraiths works. How is Frodo’s wound transforming him and his experiences? What is “the Shadow,” exactly?
This week we continue our discussion about hedges, boundaries, and xenophobia in Middle-earth. Some racial issues crop up, as well; we mull over ideas about how people of color are—and aren’t—represented in Tolkien’s world.
The chapter is packed with judgments about newcomers and strangers. Are they justified? See whether you agree with us.
As the Hobbits conclude their “short cut”—after some new and dangerous situations—and get back onto the Road, we discuss the feeling of getting back on track after a long hiatus, and not losing sight of the big picture.
We also reflect on the nature of evil in Middle-earth.
What’s in a name? This week the Heads puzzle through what it means to know somebody else—or even ourselves. Are we defined by how we think about ourselves? … by how others think about us? … or maybe by the things we do and say?
We join the Hobbits for story time with Tom and Goldberry as we ask some important questions, not the least of which is: who or what is Tom Bombadil?