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The Prancing Pony Podcast

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As they explore the work of J. R. R. Tolkien, hosts Alan Sisto and Shawn E. Marchese welcome readers of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and the other works in the Middle-earth legendarium to tune in as they discuss favorite passages from the books and films that started the worldwide fantasy phenomenon.Alan and Shawn engage in plenty of in-depth study of Tolkien's books, but with a healthy dose of self-effacing humor, pop-culture references, and bad puns. These are the two … Continue Reading >>
As they explore the work of J. R. R. Tolkien, hosts Alan Sisto and Shawn E. Marchese welcome readers of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and the other works in the Middle-earth legendarium to tune in as they discuss favorite passages from the books and films that started the worldwide fantasy phenomenon.Alan and Shawn engage in plenty of in-depth study of Tolkien's books, but with a healthy dose of self-effacing humor, pop-culture references, and bad puns. These are the two guys you'd want to hang out with at a pub and talk Tolkien with. << Show Less
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
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