Recent content by Croaker

  1. Croaker

    A heart full of dead darkness in sunlit valleys

    Thank you. When listening to the episode discussion, I kept thinking of a time when my wife and I were called to something that we knew was going to cost us. But, you know, the feeling wasn't quite right. Then I started thinking about Tolkien and his 2 friends who didn't survive the trenches...
  2. Croaker

    A heart full of dead darkness in sunlit valleys

    You're in France. It's July 16, 1916. You're in a sunlit valley near the River Somme, thinking about the poem you just read from another member of the TCBS, a poem in your breast pocket. After two weeks in battle, half your unit is dead, and now is being pulled off the front line trench. You...
  3. Croaker

    The Valar & The biblical Divine Council. Thoughts inspired by "Tolkien and the Great War"

    I've been thinking about why the Valar are as disengaged as they seem to be in the travails of Middle Earth, going back to the First Age, as discussed in the episode about why they won't take the Ring and how they are corruptible. I just finished Tolkien and the Great War, which had me...
  4. Croaker

    Funny story about last summer's Signum Path Announcement

    I've suddenly found myself several months behind in the Exploring The Lord of the Rings (2020 being a year time flowed oddly) and just came across Corey's announcement for Signum path. How he initially introduced the concept (and I mean, in the opening SECONDS), my mind instantly leapt to using...
  5. Croaker

    Gandalf's quoting Denethor

    I'm way behind in the series, having been derailed last year. I'm just to the episode discussing why Gandalf quotes Denethor as he does in the Council of Elrond. Why that quote? Why include it at all? The topic came up a few times over a couple episodes. Most of the discussion revolved around...
  6. Croaker

    Boulders - Tom Bombadil; Horses - Frodo's Dream

    I'm a few episodes behind, so sorry for the delay. In reference to why horses and boulders, let's think about the times horses and boulders are referenced in the text with respect to being saved from a spiritual attack. In the house of Tom Bombadil, Frodo dreams of the Black Riders, and then...
  7. Croaker

    Medieval ideas about the spiritual realm

    Years ago, when I first came across your lectures, you said something like you introduced your Medieval literature students to LotR because Tolkien wrote from a medieval mindset and it was helpful for your students to read Tolkien before jumping into medieval texts. Do you still think this? When...
  8. Croaker

    Impact of the Ring on the Wraith world

    "Not all his servants and chattels are wraiths!" It's finally dawned on me that Sauron has other spirits under his sway than the Ringwraiths. I haven't realized just how terrifying the power of Sauron in general and the Ringwraiths in particular truly were until this class. While listening to...
  9. Croaker

    Why didn’t Gandalf better prepare Frodo?

    Not sure how how anyone would prepare a hobbit for this kind of trip. It's sort of an apprenticeship learn-by-doing kind of thing. Frodo was actually the most prepared of any of the hobbits already. What more would you teach him? His worldview shift was amazing enough (satisfied hobbit going...
  10. Croaker

    Horses on the Waves

    Why did Gandalf lace the Bruinen's waves with horses? Perhaps he knew of Frodo's dreams, and thought to fulfill them.
  11. Croaker

    Spiritual Warfare

    I found the discussion of the battle on Weathertop and the attack at Crickhollow very fascinating - and also in the Adventures of Tom Bombadil. I had never considered the first two as spiritual assaults before, and was always rather puzzled by them. Over the years in my personal life, I've...
  12. Croaker

    Aragorn and Sleep

    I suspect he's a very light sleeper, and can go long periods with sleeping very lightly. Anyone with a sick newborn knows what it's like to sleep very lightly, with the slightest change in breathing causing mom or dad to spring awake. That can continue only so long, and even Aragorn's fatigue...
  13. Croaker

    Counterpoint to LotR?

    I'm a big fan of The Black Company series -well, most of it- which is about a storied company of mercenaries who aren't very nice chronicled by the company physician. The principle characters suffer a crisis of conscience after taking the commission of someone they come to think of as truly...
  14. Croaker

    The Nazgul and Crossing Water

    That's pretty amazing you were thinking of the same article and you know Jason Combs. I've studied (in an online setting) under Dr. Michael Heiser, who included it in one of his online classes years ago.
  15. Croaker

    The Nazgul and Crossing Water

    I'm a couple weeks behind so I don't know if this has come up yet, but it was mentioned in passing a few episodes ago: Why can't the Nazgul cross water? The concept that spirits - or at least ghosts - can't cross water isn't just a medieval one, but goes back to ancient Greece. I read a paper...