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Book Reviews

All Audio
Updated On: Nov 04, 2023
Total Stations: 5
Total Audio Titles: 1,519

Popular “Book Reviews” Stations

Running Book Reviews with Alan and Liz All types of running related books are reviewed by 2 non-elite track, marathon and trail runners. Observation and description of running books intended to inform, help and inspire anyone involved or related to running at any level. Practical, hands on insights, opinions and recommendations are given related to each book .
Pb Living – A daily book review PB living is a book review podcast. Everyday a new book is read for you. A review is made and you listen to it and gain the information from it, like you read the book yourself. A little bit off talk is in the mix to provide context but the reviews are solid. Regards
Currently Reading Currently Reading is a podcast dedicated to the love of books and reading. Two bookish friends discuss what’s on their nightstands, in their earbuds, and on their Kindles right now, in addition to books they’ve loved forever, and a variety of other readerly topics. Looking for your next great book? You'll find tons of book recommendations every week.
What Should I Read Next? What Should I Read Next? is the show for every reader who has ever finished a book and faced the problem of not knowing what to read next. Each week, Anne Bogel, of the blog Modern Mrs Darcy, interviews a reader about the books they love, the books they hate, and the books they're reading now. Then, she makes recommendations about what to read next. The real purpose of the show is to help YOU find your next read. To learn more or apply to be on the show visit
GoBookMart Book Reviews Gobookmart is Book / Novel Review website. Started operating from June 2020 and since then working to provide you with the best possible Books / Novels to read though reviewing and letting you know things like. Which book will most suit your interest? What you need to expect from a book you are going to read? Gobookmart also provide you with the latest trends, news about authors, and Tips for writing best-selling books.

Gobookmart was founded by Shashi Shekhar and Mayank Shekhar. Shashi Shekhar is an MBA pass out from IMS Ghaziabad with more then 4 years of experience in the field of Digital Marketing. Mayank Shekhar in pass out from BIT Mesra with more the 7 years of experience.

For more information, any questions or any Ideas you can reach out to us though email at [email protected]. We can’t wait to hear from you.
The Book Review The world's top authors and critics join host Gilbert Cruz and editors at The New York Times Book Review to talk about the week's top books, what we're reading and what's going on in the literary world.

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Netflix Original Short Films In these episodes, we review Netflix Original short films. Watching Netflix Without You
Netflix Original Documentaries Reviews of Netflix Original documentaries and docuseries. Watching Netflix Without You
WNWY Favorites Reviews of our personal favorite Netflix Original films. Enjoy! Watching Netflix Without You
Netflix Original Comedies Join us for our reviews of Netflix Original comedy films. Watching Netflix Without You
Netflix Original Drama Join us for our reviews of Netflix Original drama films. Watching Netflix Without You
Netflix Original Holiday Join us for our reviews of Netflix Original holiday films. Watching Netflix Without You
Netflix Original Horror Join us for our reviews of Netflix Original horror films. Watching Netflix Without You
Netflix Original Sci Fi Join us for our reviews of Netflix Original sci fi films. Watching Netflix Without You
Netflix Original Foreign Language Films Join us for our reviews of Netflix Original foreign language films. Watching Netflix Without You
Netflix Original Thrillers Join us for our reviews of Netflix Original thriller/action films. Watching Netflix Without You

All “Book Reviews” Audio

265 – Hello, I Loathe You Alan and Corey tread carefully as they walk with Pippin and Gandalf into the Hall of Kings to meet the Steward. We watch as Denethor plays a rhetorical game with Gandalf, weep as we remember Boromir, and smile as Pippin shocks both old men by offering his sword to the grumpier of the two. More time is spent on the palantíri, and we say farewell to The Tolkien Professor. Finally, we discuss how “or the world end” is either an unnecessary redundancy, or a great addition to wedding vows!
264 – Riders on the Storm Alan and Corey continue their journey towards Minas Tirith, riding with Gandalf and Pippin on the wings of the storm. We study the architecture of the White City, do maths, and begin the inevitable comparisons between Denethor and Théoden – even before we meet the Steward of Gondor. The Lord of the Mark makes the first of his guest appearances – and there was much rejoicing, and questionable jokes. Finally, what does the Tower of Ecthelion have in common with the Swamp Castle?
263 – Come on Gondor, Light That Fire Alan and Corey introduce Book Five, and with no time to wallow in the mire, journey with Gandalf and Pippin towards Minas Tirith, as the beacons try to set the night on fire. Pippin is scared of the moon, the beacon fires, and the dragons – especially the dragons. It turns out Strong Bad might just be a hobbit. Oh, and Alan manages to leave Corey speechless, so there’s a reason to come back.
262 – Questions After Nightfall 20 Alan welcomes The Tolkien Professor himself, Corey Olsen, to the Prancing Pony – just in time for us both to join our listeners in the common-room for our latest Q&A episode! We discuss the choices made by Elrond and Elros, whether the Three Hunters would have made good ultramarathoners, how artwork and film impacts our reading imagination, and much more. Oh, and Túrin and Nienor because we can't always be happy.
261 – Drinking the Cup of Farewell The time has come for Shawn to drink the cup of parting, but not before we take a moment to celebrate his time in the Common Room! We look back on how this thing got started in the first place, talk about some of the amazing guests that have joined us, honor our community of listeners, and commemorate six years of friendship, hard work, learning, and laughter. Alan shares his exciting plans for this season of the PPP (think “all-star co-hosts”), and Shawn gives an unexpected answer to one last mailbag question. Farewell now, Lord of the Mark! Ride to good fortune, and ride back soon to our welcome!
260 – Hanging Out with Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan Real hobbits arrive at the Prancing Pony, as Alan and Shawn welcome Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan (better known as Pippin and Merry) for our season finale! We talk about their time working on Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies, their new podcast The Friendship Onion, and everything in between. They digress along with us on friendship, favorite podcasts, tinned oysters, cowboy hats, and a lot more. All this plus hilarious stories from their many years as friends, and experienced advice for the cast of Amazon’s The Rings of Power series. Warning: some mature language.
259 – Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) Sam desperately tries to get through the blocked passage while the Orc captains — oblivious that their eaves are being dropped — continue complaining about their bosses (side note: we’re seriously creeped out by the fact that the Nazgûl actually give Orc officers the creeps). But when one of the captains reveals some new information, Sam suddenly realizes that getting to Frodo is more urgent than he thought. All this, plus Orc dialogue delivered with increasingly sore throats, a long sidebar on the moral code of Orcs, and an excerpt from our recent interview on the Rings of Power Wrap-up podcast with dialect coach Leith McPherson.
258 – We Can Be Heroes, Just for One Day Letting logic guide him rather than emotion, Sam has made up his mind to leave Frodo’s body where it is and take the Ring to Mount Doom all by himself… except that he hasn’t, and soon the arrival of Orcs in the passage spurs him to go back and protect his fallen master from the defilements of Sauron’s servants or die valiantly in the attempt. We see the Ring find a new bearer, offer word-nerdery on a slightly less vulgar Orc insult, and discuss parallels in this chapter to Húrin’s last stand (and Beorhtnoth’s). Plus, who really put the words in Sam’s mouth to invoke Elbereth?
257 – There’s a Star, Man Samwise returns to where he left Frodo in the pass of Cirith Ungol, only to discover his master already defeated and being dragged away by Shelob. Acting on instinct, Sam leaps into action, armed with his guts, the elven-blade, and the Phial of Galadriel — which proves to be a valuable weapon for bringing actual starlight into the darkness of Shelob’s Lair. We see Sam go through his darkest moment yet, discuss how spiders are not like dragons, and power through lots of talk of spider-stench (and spider droppings, because of course we did). [Trigger Warning: this episode includes discussion of suicide.]
256 – Questions After Nightfall 19 Alan and Shawn welcome listeners once again to join us in the common-room for our latest Q&A episode! Dwarf-fans rejoice as we answer questions about the Book of Mazarbul, and the other kindreds of the Dwarves besides the Longbeards of Durin. We tackle a few what-if questions such as how Faramir would have fared in the Fellowship instead of his brother, and revisit the Witch-king, the giants of The Hobbit, and more. Also, what positions would each of the Fellowship play on, uh, a different kind of fantasy baseball team?
255 – She Never Begs, She Knows How to Choose Them The appearance of the biggest cobwebs he’s ever seen gives Sam some hope that he’s at least dealing with something he understands, and fortunately cutting through them is easy enough with the right tools (such as an ancient Elvish sword from Gondolin). But soon Frodo is wild with (false) hope of his own, and rushes headlong into what Sam knows can only be more danger. We dig deeper into Shelob’s history and her mutual understanding with Sauron, learn how much of an arachnophile Gollum really is, and discuss how the One Ring is — and is not — like a palantír.
254 – She’s Got (Eight) Legs, She Knows How to Use Them Frodo and Sam follow Gollum into the tunnel, but they’re greeted by a stench and a palpable darkness that are far from welcoming. Soon they are lost in a maze in the dark, unsure how long they’ve been there or how to get out… and something seems to be watching them with more than the usual number of eyes (and following with more than the usual number of legs). All this, plus medieval ideas on the nature of good and evil revisited, and Alan and Shawn each weigh in on the question of which Middle-earth character their co-host most resembles.
249 – Down to the Crossroads Frodo, Sam, and Gollum leave Henneth Annûn and continue on their quest with Faramir’s blessing and two (not three) shiny new hobbit-sized walking sticks. Gollum is totally over that betrayal business at the pool and surely isn’t planning any kind of revenge, which is nice; and there’s nothing at all creepy about the fact that they have to stay off the road because, y’know, invisible things may be watching. Also in this episode: blindfolds, wood-nerdery (not a typo), plus, what special object would we want for our Tolkien collections if money was no object?
251 – Don’t Stop and Don’t Smell the Flowers When the lights go down near the city of the Ringwraiths, Gollum is anxious to continue east as quickly as possible. Frodo and Sam follow, heedless of the danger — which is all around in this place where even the flowers are twisted and foul, the watchtower inexplicably revolves, and an evil army is about to issue from the gates any minute now. All this, plus weather-nerdery about lightning, nightmare-inducing word-nerdery about charnel houses, and your hosts’ presumptuous ideas for changes to Tolkien’s books and the movies based on them.
253 – …That Leads to Mordor The hobbits take a quick rest stop before the last leg of the journey down into Mordor, and in a moment of contemplation, Sam imparts some newfound wisdom about the nature of adventures and the stories that inspire us. But while he recaps the first season of the Prancing Pony Podcast, Gollum slips away unnoticed for some reason that can’t be good. All this, plus we consider Frodo’s pity towards Gollum as a parallel to Bilbo’s, offer word-nerdery on “man” and “human”, and break down Samwise Gamgee’s biggest mistake.
250 – In the Sunshine of Your Love A new day begins, but doesn’t quite “dawn”, and Gollum leads the hobbits down to the cross-roads. They clearly aren’t in decent places anymore, with loud noises and orc graffiti keeping them all on edge (not to mention no decent tea house for miles). But a ray of sunshine at the right time and place reminds them that not all hope is lost. We discuss Sam’s actual pipe dream and the Gaffer’s old belief that where there’s hunger, there’s hope… but first, a new installment of our collecting segment Kingly Gifts, with guest Chad High.
252 – The Long and Winding Stair… Overcome by despair at the sight of the Witch-king’s army, Frodo fears that his quest has already failed. But ever-practical Samwise snaps him out of it, and Frodo continues on with determination despite his lack of hope. Gollum leads them up two sets of stairs that are definitely not up to code, and finally to a passage that… uh, might not be watched. After cooling off from this cardio session with Middle-earth’s least motivating personal trainer, we investigate Elvish pronunciation — and a Biblical allusion found in the Phial of Galadriel — in Barliman’s Bag.
248 – Much More Than Skin Deep: An Interview with Clifford Broadway Be hasty to tune in as Alan and Shawn welcome Clifford Broadway to The Prancing Pony Podcast! Clifford (also known as Quickbeam) has been on staff at since 1999, nearly from the beginning. We catch up with him for a conversation about the history of TORn, his work co-writing and co-producing the documentary film Ringers: Lord of the Fans, and the enduring legacy of Peter Jackson’s adaptations. Plus, a look ahead to Amazon Prime’s The Rings of Power series and the changing face of Tolkien fandom.
247 – Everybody Out of the Pool Frodo convinces Gollum to leave the Forbidden Pool, not without some feelings of regret at his betrayal of the wretched creature. After a brief interrogation, Faramir is satisfied that Gollum knows nothing and won’t come back to this secret place, and hands him into Frodo’s keeping along with a decree that Frodo himself may walk free in Gondor for a year and a day. But the news of where the party is going next is not good, for the name “Cirith Ungol” is one of dread among Gondor’s loremasters. For the life of us, we can’t figure out why Faramir doesn’t explain this more clearly.
246 – Return of the Giant Squirrel Frodo is awakened by Faramir in the middle of the night to be treated to a sight he did not expect: a familiar-looking creature fishing in the pool below the waterfall. After Faramir pokes more gentle fun at Anborn’s inability to distinguish an emaciated hobbit from a squirrel or kingfisher, Frodo asks for mercy for the creature, whom he reveals to be his guide on the way to Mordor. We also speculate on the question “What if Faramir never met Frodo” and share highlights from TexMoot 2022, Alan and Shawn’s first in-person moot appearance in over two years.
245 – Questions After Nightfall 18 Alan and Shawn once again welcome listeners to the common room for our latest Q&A episode! This time we answer questions about themes in Tolkien’s legendarium, talk about favorite niches in Tolkien fandom, and even discuss what keeps characters going when hope fails. Also, why did it take so long for the king to return to Gondor? Why do some characters get better results out of the palantíri than others? And why are the Elves of the First Age always getting lost? All this, plus an exciting what-if about Faramir going to Rivendell instead of his brother.
244 – Tolkien Reading Day 2022 Bring a friend and come along with us for our seventh annual celebration of Tolkien Reading Day, observed every March 25 in honor of the fall of Barad-dûr. This year’s theme chosen by the Tolkien Society is Love and Friendship. We’ve selected some of our favorite passages from the legendarium to showcase the theme, including friendship that spans generations, romantic love that blooms in wartime, the loyalty of lifelong companionship, and the unlikely love between would-be enemies. Plus, a reading from outside the legendarium reminds us that it’s never too late to reach out to another in friendship.
243 – Just a Little Bit of Peril Faramir continues wowing the hobbits with his knowledge of Gondorian history, prompting Sam to one-up him with a recitation of his new spoken word piece “Fifty Things I Love About Galadriel”. But the talk of Lórien opens the door to a conversation about the lesser qualities of Faramir’s brother, and Sam (disarmed by the freely flowing wine) lets slip what really happened between Boromir and Frodo at Parth Galen. All this, plus Faramir reveals he’s already got a thing for the Rohirrim… and we speculate on whether Gollum robbed graves as well as cradles.
242 – And the People Did Feast It’s supper time at Henneth Annûn, and Faramir‘s men set out the evening meal. Soon the plates and the goblets are full (then empty, then full again) and Frodo and Faramir are chatting away about ancient history and current events, minus one or two topics that are best avoided at the dinner table. We observe the only real religious ceremony in The Lord of the Rings — and sidebar on why Tolkien left it that way — and Anborn’s poor eyesight (or judgment) raises serious questions about whether he should be allowed to carry a ranged weapon.
241 – There Are Some Who Call Me… Tharkûn Frodo learns the identity of the wandering wizard Faramir calls the Grey Pilgrim, and it’s exactly who he thinks (which is to say it’s not John Cleese in horned headgear). But that just means there’s more bad news to share, this time the news of Gandalf’s fall in Moria. As Faramir learns more, he gets closer to the dark secret carried by the halfling… but will Frodo be able to trust him with the full truth, or is the memory of Boromir’s betrayal still too near? All this, plus more blindfolds for Frodo and Sam, and an interview with composer and guitarist Dave Brons.
240 – Bereft of Life, He Rests in Peace Too soon? Probably so, because Frodo’s just learned that Boromir is dead — oh, and the guy interrogating him is the brother of the deceased. He questions Faramir’s vision of the funeral boat, but Faramir has no doubt of what he’s seen… fortunately, over the course of their conversation, he manages to dispel all doubts about Frodo’s honesty as well. We revisit the Perilous Realm, learn which of Denethor’s sons actually paid attention in school, and cover the history of the Stewards of Gondor. Also, some killer word-nerdery on the word bane.
The Rings of Power Reminder Our NEW episode on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is out today, and we talk at length about the Vanity Fair article and the trailer that released during the Super Bowl last night! But, folks, it's time for The Rings of Power Wrap-up to stand on its own two feet, so the show will only be on that feed. Search for The Rings of Power Wrap-up on your podcast app, or go to our social media spaces for instructions on how to subscribe. Thanks!
239 – Nobody Expects the Mannish Inquisition Sam awakens from his nap (honestly, the guy can sleep anywhere) to find Frodo standing before the Rangers of Ithilien, as if on trial. Faramir presses the witness for information about his quest, but the conversation keeps coming back to Boromir as Sam listens in steadily rising anger at the implications being made towards his master. We see what happens when a hobbit gardener gets his fill of “sauce”, discuss Faramir’s quality (not for the last time), and learn just how special the wild Kine of Araw really are… but are their horns actually that loud?
The Rings of Power Wrap-up – 001 – Reviewing the Hype Join us for a discussion of what we know so far about 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power', as we discuss the maps, that image with Two famous Trees, the title drop, and the 23 character images that Amazon released just last week! PPP Subscribers: you'll only get one more of our Rings of Power Wrap-up episodes here in the PPP feed, so be SURE to subscribe to the new show wherever you listen!
The PPP Presents: The Rings of Power Wrap-up Teaser Trailer In a startling parallel to a moment that took place six years ago, we launch an entirely new Tolkien-related podcast! Enjoy this teaser trailer for The Prancing Pony Podcast Presents: 'The Rings of Power' Wrap-up, and stay tuned for more!
238 – Gondor Calling With Gollum missing in action, Frodo and Sam get ready to flee from whoever is making the mysterious bird-calls. Soon they’re trapped by tall men with tall spears and tall bows, and explaining themselves is going to be a tall order. But before the hobbits can give the Rangers of Ithilien a full account of who they are, what they’re doing, and whether they know anything about the skinny, toothless guy in the area fishing without a license, a skirmish begins with a passing regiment of Haradrim. All this, plus Sam reflects poignantly over the body of a fallen foe.
237 – Should I Stew or Should I Go Now While Frodo rests, Gollum is away hunting for something to eat besides lembas. He returns with two rabbits, which Sam is happy to make a meal out of — but two cooks in this kitchen is too many, and Gollum objects to Sam’s plan to stew the rabbits instead of eating them raw… not to mention build a fire to do so, and make Gollum do all the grocery shopping. We discuss Sam’s love for Frodo (not for the last time), learn the fascinating history of the word coney, and recount the unfortunate tale of Lalia Took. But first, author Simonetta Carr joins us to talk about her new book, J.R.R. Tolkien for Kids.
236 – Go Straight to Smells, Boys After the sun sets on the Black Gate, Frodo, Sam, and Gollum set out and take the road south towards Minas Morgul. They soon find themselves in the “garden of Gondor”: Ithilien, a land of fragrant herbs and other exotic flora that even Sam does not have names for in the horticultural word-hoard of his mind. We let the sensory imagery wash over us as Tolkien mentions one new plant after another, many of which never appear anywhere else in the legendarium. But Gollum thinks something stinks, and it’s not just the pits of Orc filth to be found along the road.
235 – All Along the Watchtower There must be some kind of way out of here… and in fact, it’s right down the road to the south, to the side door into Mordor near Minas Ithil (which Gollum doesn’t seem to realize has been renamed under the new management). But it is guarded, of course — and not just by Orcs. We investigate an apparent discrepancy in Gollum’s recollection of where the Silent Watchers actually are, get a description of Sauron’s very physical hand, and feel Gandalf’s mind as it seeks for Frodo. Also, Sam’s pachyderm poem makes Frodo cheer and Gollum fear.
234 – Knockin’ on Sauron’s Door Move over, Saruman! There’s a new contender in the running for Worst Curb Appeal in Middle-earth, and he’s got noise coming out of the place at all hours to boot. But after taking in the awesome unpleasantness of Sauron’s front porch and the utter certainty of capture and death, Frodo realizes with grim determination that he has to continue with his quest, and that this is the only way in… unless Gollum has something he’d like to tell him? Explore more word-nerdery on Mordor place names than you thought possible, and does Frodo finally go too far with a threat?
233 – Questions After Nightfall 17 Just in time for the holidays, it’s the gift that keeps on giving: a new Q&A episode! We answer timely questions about Frodo, Sam, and Gollum as they make their way to Mordor, and offer up our brutally honest opinions about whether every member of the Fellowship actually did something important (we’re looking at you, Legolas). Plus many more, including questions about the history and future of the PPP, and a question we can’t believe it’s taken so long for someone to ask: why does Shawn like Eärendil so much?
232 – Don't Stand So Close to Me The wraith on wings is gone, and our heroes appear not to have been noticed. But as the marshes come to an end and the walls of Mordor loom closer, Sméagol is at odds with himself — literally — on what to do next. Sam watches quietly as the two personalities within Sméagol-Gollum’s mind argue with each other, and intervenes just in time to ensure Frodo’s safety… but it’s likely he won’t be fully closing his eyes around Gollum anytime soon. All this, plus Alan and Shawn weigh in on their favorite background noises of Middle-earth in Barliman’s Bag.
231 – Spirits in the Material World Frodo and Sam follow their travel guide Gollum through the Dead Marshes — it’s not the tour package we would have chosen, but who are we to judge? — and are far more shaken up than Gollum is by the fact that the marshes actually have, y’know, dead in them. But never mind the terrifying things below, because there’s a new terrifying thing above making its appearance, and that one is going to get Gollum pretty shaken up indeed. Also, just in time for the holidays, a new installment of Kingly Gifts, with Tolkien Collector’s Guide moderator Andrew Ferguson.
230 – Choking on a Crust of Bread Sméagol proves to be willing and able to show Frodo and Sam the way to Mordor, now that his promise on the Precious keeps him from running away (though Sting is still at hand to police him if necessary). But Gollum proves he’ll always be king of pain when he totally overreacts to the elf-smell coming off the lembas his companions are eating. Once his diva moment passes, though, they’re back on the road… but there’s a much worse smell than Elvish cooking ahead. Plus, a look into the Gaffer’s paternal word-hoard has us wondering if Sam is really okay, deep down.
229 – Always Reaching: An Interview with John Howe Alan and Shawn welcome John Howe to the Prancing Pony Podcast! Over the past several decades John has established himself as one of the most enduringly popular Middle-earth artists, and his work has appeared in numerous books and calendars (including the Tolkien Calendar 2021), and earned him a role as a conceptual artist for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies. We talk to him about artistic inspiration, capturing reality through fantasy, and his new not-a-how-to book, John Howe’s Ultimate Fantasy Art Academy.
228 – Where Sméagols Swear Gollum is disinclined to acquiesce to Frodo’s request to lead them to Mordor, and he tries to escape when he thinks the hobbits aren’t looking. Sam has thirty ells’ worth of good reasons for Gollum to stay put, but the Elvish rope burns his skin (as of publication, Lothlórien Ropeworks has not issued a recall, and neither Haldir nor “One of Those Folk” could be reached for comment). Finally, Sméagol comes up with a promise that Frodo can trust… for now. All this, plus a closer look at swearing (not that kind) and a Middle-earth/Marvel mashup in the mailbag.
227 – Where Sméagols Dare Three episodes into the chapter, we finally meet Sméagol… and the other fellow sharing his brain. Sam jumps the creeping, crawling creature at the bottom of the cliff, which goes about as well for Master Gamgee as one might expect. Fortunately, Frodo’s got his back, and the sight of Sting convinces Gollum that if he loves some precious, he should set Sam free. We take a closer look at pity and mercy for the most wretched creature in Middle-earth, wonder about the truth of the worst stories about him, and dive into word-nerdery on his original name.
226 – Places High The shrieking cry of what might sound like a Ringwraith if they weren’t destroyed forever at the Ford of Bruinen (They were, right? Right!?) makes Frodo lose his grip and his sight while climbing down a cliff. He manages to land on his feet on a ledge not far below, but he can’t get back up or down without a rope, which Sam just so happens to have, and knows how to use. We ponder (and worry slightly about) Alan’s fondness for ropes, Shawn’s fondness for booze, and Sam’s therapy bills thanks to the Gaffer’s old-fashioned parenting methods.
225 – Strangers in a Strange Land We finally begin our readthrough of Book IV of The Lord of the Rings with “The Taming of Sméagol”! All alone after fleeing Parth Galen, Frodo and Sam are lost among the barren slopes of the Emyn Muil, seeking a way down to the stinking bog below (zero stars for this hiking tour). But how alone are they, really? Are the two eyes following them attached to the head they think, and will Sam be able to get a tight enough grip on the neck below it to, uh, “handle the situation”? All this, plus a new segment welcoming our youngest listeners: Questions Before Bedtime.
224 – Whose Story Line Is It Anyway? One does not simply walk into Mordor without a recap, so before we start our readthrough of Book IV of The Lord of the Rings, we’re reviewing previous chapters to reacquaint ourselves with a couple of characters we haven’t seen for a while (no one special; just Frodo and Sam, the guys whose mission really matters here). After a look back at the story so far, we look ahead to the themes we’ll explore in the coming season. But first, dragons rejoice! We welcome Jeremy Edmonds of the website Tolkien Collector’s Guide to the common room for a little Tolkien Collecting 101.
223 – Questions After Nightfall 16 It’s our first live Q&A episode of the season, which means Alan and Shawn have got our speculating caps on for another round of questions from our guests! We field questions on the married life of the Valar (but not in the way you’re thinking), the size of Hobbit feet, and an almost forgotten fight between Galadriel and Dol Guldur. Plus, opinions on The Nature of Middle-earth, a booth review of the cutting of the Ring from Sauron’s finger… and wings, schmings! We want to know: do Balrogs have the power of speech?
222 – Double Nelson: The 222nd Episode Extravaganza For the second time in history, Alan and Shawn throw a party of special magnificence to celebrate a milestone: 222 episodes of the PPP! Once again, we look back at some of our best moments from the past eleventy-one episodes, as chosen by our listeners. From foolish digressions to inappropriate pop culture references, smart observations to great readings, relive them all on this trip down memory lane with a few surprises along the way (and some bits you’ll see coming a mile away). Plus, what did Tolkien really think of cricket?
221 – Dancing Bears: An Interview with Carl F. Hostetter We start our sixth season in style by welcoming Carl F. Hostetter to the podcast! In addition to his role as chief editor of Vinyar Tengwar, Carl has authored articles on Tolkien’s languages for decades. We catch up with him about his lifetime of scholarship and his highly anticipated new edition of unpublished manuscripts by Tolkien himself: The Nature of Middle-earth. Learn how the new volume came to publication as well as a sneak peek of what’s inside from Elvish biology, to the metaphysical nature of Arda, to — yes, you read correctly — dancing bears.
Announcement – Missing Episodes A brief update from Alan & Shawn about the ongoing issue of episodes missing from Apple Podcasts, and where to find them in the meantime.
220 – The Worst of Times While Gandalf and Aragorn ponder the evening’s events and finally identify the object of Pippin’s affections as the palantír of Orthanc, a Nazgûl flies overhead — which means it’s time for Gandalf and the sticky-fingered Took to exit, stage east. And as Shadowfax carries them over the plains at breakneck speed (not that any necks will be broken, we hope) we bring Book III of The Lord of the Rings to a close. But before we wrap the fifth season, a mailbag question about the podcast and listener expectations gets Alan and Shawn into introspective mode.
219 – Crystal Ball With the Saruman situation handled, Gandalf settles in for a leisurely journey back to Helm’s Deep with Merry dangling behind him. Pippin, however, is obsessing over the shiny, round and apparently indestructible object Wormtongue threw out the window… and when nightfall comes, his Fool-of-a-Tookishness gets the better of him. We begin to investigate the palantír, word-nerd out on its (not yet used) name, and discuss its powers and limitations. Plus, what is the airspeed velocity of a winged Nazgûl… and why would a Dark Lord use the word ‘dainty’?
218 – Renegade Unable to persuade Théoden, Saruman now tries to sway Gandalf, not realizing his former underling has gotten a promotion and executive sponsorship for his project since the last time they touched base. As before, Saruman totters between slick sweet-talking and explosive rage until finally Gandalf — amused/not amused — strips him of his staff and place on the White Council. We read Treebeard dialogue for almost the last time; unpack, hang, and whack the Fëanor piñata; and ponder what good Saruman might still have done for the war effort… if only.
217 – Fooling Yourself (The Angry Old Man) Fully fed, fully caught up, and fully reeking of pipe-weed, our heroes enter Isengard, where Gandalf demands to speak with Saruman at the foot of Orthanc. The Until-recently-white Wizard refuses to come down or let visitors in, but the White-now-and-check-out-my-new-skills Wizard manages to get his attention, and the parley begins. But although Saruman has lost his armies and devices, he still has some weapons left: his voice, bitter anger, and possibly some kind of Vorlon powers (because it’s been too long since we got in a Babylon 5 reference).
216 – Questions After Nightfall 15 It’s time for another live Q&A episode, this time with more questions than ever before heard on a single episode of the Prancing Pony Podcast! Join Alan and Shawn as we field questions on Entish names, thralldom in Valinor, the unbearable vagueness of Gandalf, and the powers of the Elven Rings. A conversation about the importance of refuge in Middle-earth stirs our hearts, and a thought-provoking question about Rivendell in the Fourth Age gets us into speculation mode. Plus, another chance to look back on PPP Moot 2021… and much, much more!
215 – (Flash)Back in Black The epic flashback continues as Pippin and Merry continue their story with a play-by-play account of the destruction of Isengard, expertly managed by their new partners at Fangorn, Bregalad and Associates. We catch up on Wormtongue’s whereabouts since being forcibly relocated, and see why Treebeard’s not giving up his day job to be a swim instructor for exiled traitors anytime soon. All this, plus a famous lecture, a celebrated biography of the Professor, and the Battle of the Somme in This Week in Tolkien History.
214 – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap The reunited members of the Fellowship of the Ring (minus Gandalf, who’s off hobnobbing with kings and trees) get some valuable bro time amid the flotsam and jetsam of Isengard. Merry and Pippin have a lot to account for — and an angry Dwarf to appease — so they ply their friends with salted pork and pipe-weed while catching them up on the story since Parth Galen… glossing over the dirty deeds done to them by the Uruk-hai. Before this episode goes up in smoke, though, we get into the etymology of Huorn: a word as mysterious as the creatures themselves.
213 – Let There Be (Lots of Broken) Rock The company reaches Isengard and discovers that property values have tanked in recent months, and it’s no wonder why when they see how poorly Saruman’s been maintaining his yard. Holes in the ground fume and glow with unnatural light, the place is flooded, and piles of stone and broken masonry hint at some recent battle. But strangest of all to the Rohirrim is what looks like two small people smoking on a rubble-heap. Are they some new monsters? A reason to call child protective services? Maybe we can ask who they are, if Gimli doesn’t strangle them first.
212 – Highway to Dell As the company exits the mysterious forest, Legolas looks back and is enchanted by the trees and their eyes — a perfectly ordinary thing for trees to have, obviously. Before Gimli makes a run for it out of pure self-preservation, Legolas is snapped out of it by Gandalf, who offers no real explanation (again) and urges them to press on along the road to Isengard. We speculate on what Middle-earth would be like if there were no Dwarves, dust off our Gollum voices, and prove once again that we’ll grasp at any flimsy excuse to make a Rush reference.
211 – For Those About to (Rave About a) Rock, We Salute You After a long night, the heroes of Helm’s Deep reunite on the grass by a stream near a forest that, uh, wasn’t there yesterday… but we’ll get to that later. Legolas and Gimli check the final score of Uruk Slayfest 3019, showing the Dwarf ahead by a head, but less interested in bragging rights than in the Glittering Caves he found in the Deep. Gandalf has returned, and — oh, right! — that forest that appeared overnight is not his doing, but he won’t say whose it was. Plus, a Tolkien Fun Fact about recovery, escape, and consolation among POWs in the 1970s.
210 – Live from PPP Moot 2021 If you missed out on the PPP’s first-ever digital moot, here’s a chance to hear what you missed — or relive it, if you were there — in this episode recorded live during the second day of the moot! Alan and Shawn invited all attendees to join and ask any question, and they did… from fate and free will in Tolkien’s works (again), to underwater SPBMI, to the future of the podcast, and much, much more! There’s even a surprise question from a familiar guest who now holds the new record for most appearances on The Prancing Pony Podcast.
209 – Pyromania An explosion rocks the Deeping Wall, and soon there are more as Saruman’s blasting fires make what little hope the heroes had go up in smoke. But as dawn approaches, Aragorn still believes that victory may come with the new day, and Théoden realizes it’s better to burn out than fade away. We see Gimli’s martial prowess on display, investigate what makes a parley a parley, and hear the horn of Helm Hammerhand sound in the Deep (and keep sounding and sounding…). Plus, Legolas defies the laws of physics in a new mailbag question.
208 – White Lightning The Rohirrim, led by Théoden and Éomer (with lots of help from Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli), man the Deeping Wall and the Hornburg as Saruman’s assault on Helm’s Deep begins. A quick flash of lightning in the darkness reveals overwhelming odds, but Aragorn and Éomer draw swords together and keep morale high, even while rammers nearly break through the Hornburg gates. Also, Gimli and Legolas begin a contest to see who can take down the most Orcs. Legolas starts out strong, but our money’s on Gimli, who is deadly when he’s bored.
207 – Rock of Ages Théoden and Gandalf lead the host of the Rohirrim towards the fords of the Isen to strengthen the forces holding back Saruman’s army. But when they meet a rider coming back from the front line with news of defeat, Théoden takes Gandalf’s counsel and changes course for Helm’s Deep and the mighty fortress of the Hornburg. We look at Unfinished Tales for an account of the recent battle, learn way too much about military supply chains, and discuss Tolkien’s visits to Cheddar Gorge… which leads to far fewer cheesy jokes than might be expected.
206 – I Saw Her Standing There Théoden offers Wormtongue one last chance to redeem himself, but the counsellor is disinclined to acquiesce to his lord’s request. As Gríma’s stain is (literally) washed away, Gandalf and the king catch up on the history of Saruman’s treachery and the damage already done in Rohan before riding out to do something about it, leaving the fearless and high-hearted Éowyn in charge. All this, plus we discuss Rohirric lines of succession, close the book on the color of Shadowfax, and investigate the meaning of pity in a new Philology Faire.
205 – Here Comes the Sun Upon entering the Golden Hall, Gandalf is challenged once again; this time by Wormtongue, the king’s counsellor who may not exactly have Rohan’s best interests in mind. Gandalf puts the worm in its place (before Gimli can dissect it for smack-talking Galadriel) and then leads Théoden out into the light, to healing and hope for victory against Isengard, without a single exorcism. We watch and learn as Tolkien takes down criticisms of his archaic style, revisit an Old English greeting, and discuss an alternate draft in which Tolkien shipped Éowyn and Aragorn.
204 – The Long and Winding Road Our heroes ride up the long and winding road that leads to Théoden’s door, but first they have to get through two sets of guards. Fortunately, Gandalf’s polyglottal talents get them through the first gate into Edoras, and they’ll be allowed into Meduseld itself just as long as they check their weapons at the door… their ancient, irreplaceable, priceless weapons. Inspired by Tolkien’s skill with Latin and Greek, Shawn takes a stab at speaking Old English; and a sidebar on Helm Hammerhand sends a chill down our spines.
203 – Questions After Nightfall 14 Before we return to The Lord of the Rings for the further adventures of The White Rider and Friends in Rohan, we spend some time in the common-room with listeners for another quarterly live Q&A episode! Current events with Saruman at Isengard are clearly on the minds of many, as we field questions about Ol’ Many Colors himself and the Ents who’ve unexpectedly shown up on his doorstep. We take another look at the Secret Fire and Tolkien’s theological inspirations for it, opine on some mysterious words to Aragorn from his new in-laws, and more!
202 – Tolkien Reading Day 2021 Happy Tolkien Reading Day! On March 25 every year — the date of the fall of Barad-dûr — Tolkien lovers worldwide celebrate by reading the Professor’s works. A theme is chosen by The Tolkien Society every year, and for 2021 the theme is Hope and Courage. Join us for our sixth annual celebration of this international event, as Alan and Shawn courageously battle their way through readings on the topic from The Children of Húrin, The Lay of Leithian, and The Lord of the Rings… and find hope in a non-legendarium reading like nothing we’ve done before, brought to life with a little help from our producer, Jordan Rannells.
201 – A Nice Day for a White Wizard The newly-minted Gandalf the White advises the Three Hunters to leave the Hobbits in the strong, twiggy hands of Treebeard and go to Edoras. They agree, but Legolas still wants to know how Gandalf is — y’know, not dead — launching the wizard into a brief account of his fight with Durin’s Bane, and your hosts into an epic series of sidebars about Gandalf’s resurrection, mythology, and religion. All this, plus a Tolkien Quote of the Day about sacrifice, and a couple of mailbag stumpers that make Alan question the wisdom of letting Shawn pick the questions.
200 – A Whiter Shade of Grey The old man is revealed to be an old friend: Gandalf the (Formerly) Grey, returned beyond hope from death in battle with the Balrog of Moria. Enhanced in power and in insight, Gandalf gets caught up on the news he missed while he was out; and then offers some wisdom to his companions about Sauron, Saruman, and the power hidden in the forest. Danger is all around, not least in Barliman’s Bag where we pull a hardball question about the inevitably of marring in Tolkien’s world… and also in a surprising connection back to C.S. Lewis.
199 – Pretty Spry (For a Grey Guy) Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli follow the trail of the missing hobbits, gradually drawing closer to the forbidding fringes of Fangorn Forest. They find new signs that give them hope, but the Dwarf can’t forget about the mysterious old man, and the trees don’t seem to be taking too kindly to his axe. Soon the old man appears again, leading to a surprisingly nimble confrontation. We revisit The Silmarillion for a look at Sauron’s phantom-conjuring skills, wonder if the Eagles are Gandalf’s personal charter bus, and ask the improbable question: do Hobbits have wings?
198 – Never Enough Tolkien: An Interview with Ted Nasmith We welcome the acclaimed illustrator Ted Nasmith back to The Prancing Pony Podcast for his first full-length interview! We catch up with Ted about life, art, and everything else since we last spoke to him at Tolkien 2019, including the recent publication of the illustrated edition of Unfinished Tales and teasers about the new illustrated edition of The Silmarillion. Ted also shares the encouraging (and entertaining) story of his first big break… and the unfinished Middle-earth tale he’d love to know more about. Plus, an unexpected bit of word-nerdery that connects Tolkien with classic cars.
197 – Birnam Wood is It Should Have Been Waiting for the Ents to make a decision turns out to be an exercise in patience for Merry and Pippin, until Treebeard mercifully excuses them from the proceedings. He leaves them in the company of Quickbeam: a younger, hastier Ent who’s about as hobbitish as they come (admittedly, a low bar). We get to the rocky bottom of the relationship between Ents and Trolls, revisit the marital strife of Aulë and Yavanna, and see the Ents get barking mad about Saruman’s destruction of the forest. Plus, Ent-versions of classic rock songs you never knew you wanted.
196 – Branch Managers' Meeting At Wellinghall, Merry and Pippin learn more about the Ents’ hope for the future (in song form!) and get some sleep — horizontally — before leaving in the morning for Entmoot under the protective bough of Treebeard. Ents soon arrive in a startling variety of shapes, sizes, and likenesses, and begin a meeting to get to the root of the Saruman problem. We call The Council together as we dig deeper into the irreconcilable differences between the Ents and the Entwives, ponder mysterious evergreens, and engage in idle speculation (again) about Mrs. G. Bombadil.
195 – The Birches and the Beeches After hearing Merry and Pippin’s account of their recent adventures, Treebeard starts talking (and doesn’t stop) about wizards, ecopolitics, and “the one that got away”. Unfortunately, spokesplants for Fimbrethil and the Entwives have not responded to requests for comment, and we won’t hold our breath waiting for them to. But at least now Treebeard seems motivated to do something about Saruman, if only he can find enough Ents to form a posse. Plus, a letter to Barliman offers possible alternatives to the *cough* old-fashioned way of making baby Ents.
194 – Tree’s Company Merry and Pippin travel deeper into Fangorn Forest with a guided tour (really more of a picked-up-and-carried tour) provided by Treebeard. Their host may be more wooden than Alan and Shawn, but he’s both informative and entertaining, singing songs and telling stories about the forest and the Ents themselves. Soon they arrive at Wellinghall, where he sets them down and offers them jars of some potent drink that we can only hope he has a license to make and distribute. Hopefully, the ent-draught won’t have any long-term effects on the young hobbits.
193 – Out on a Limb Escaping from mortal danger into deadly peril, Merry and Pippin wander into Fangorn Forest. The place seems more strange than scary, but it’s far from welcoming; and an offhand comment by Pippin about almost liking the forest attracts the attention of the local plant life. Is the mysterious Ent all bark and no bite? Or will it tear the hobbits limb from limb, mistaking them for little Orcs? We discuss the importance of real names, offer a sidebar on the late appearance of the Ents into Tolkien’s legendarium, and Pippin branches out into writing his own lyrics.
192 – Race, Tolkien, and Middle-earth, Revisited Following up on our previous examination of race in Tolkien’s work in Episode 114, today we welcome listeners of different racial and ethnic backgrounds to join us and share their experiences of Tolkien’s works and fandom. By looking beyond the author's own views and intentions, we hope to gain a better understanding of the actual impact of Tolkien’s treatment of race from people who have experienced racism directly. We urge all listeners to tune in for this special, which challenges our assumptions while keeping at heart the love of Middle-earth that unites us all.Alan and Shawn wish to sincerely thank our listeners who came forward to let their voices be heard for this episode. Your stories have inspired us and opened our eyes. 'Eglerio! A laita te!'
191 – A Trick of the Took Now ringed in by the Rohirrim, the Orcs wait for reinforcements, all the while continuing their civilized parliamentary deliberations. On the committee agenda: 1. You’re a maggot. 2. That guy’s an ape. 3. Consideration of a motion for a vote of no confidence in Uglúk. Grishnákh seizes an opportunity — and the prisoners — but Pippin thinks quickly and devises a Tookish (and very, very dangerous) ruse to take advantage of the Mordor Orc’s secret plot. Who’s a fool now, Gandalf? All this, plus a Tolkien Christmas surprise, in our last episode of 2020!
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