Recent content by Tony Meade

  1. Tony Meade

    Future study of Tolkien's books

    But there's also all the non-Middle-earth stuff, like the children's literature, short stories, and academic works, like Beowulf and The Fall of Arthur. So, there's plenty of Tolkien material that doesn't retread the same ground.
  2. Tony Meade

    Future study of Tolkien's books

    In light of the announcement of a new Tolkien book, the first of the post-CJRT era, I was wondering if there were plans to continue our pattern of studying a Tolkien book every other series beyond finishing the HOME series. For instance, we could do the later Middle-earth books, such as The...
  3. Tony Meade

    Episode 164 Summary

    (continued) Now filled with pits and forges: Why are there pits? Do they serve a practical purpose like the forges? For housing or storage? It’s possible that mining is going on in Isengard, but it would be more likely in the mountains. The orcs may have delved into the ground for their homes...
  4. Tony Meade

    Episode 164 Summary

    SESSION 164 Alone on the pinnacle of Orthanc: How was Gandalf unaware of the change in the valley when he first arrived? Partly because it was dark when he arrived, but also because Saruman is likely employing deception. Note: In the film version, the timeline is compressed so that the change...
  5. Tony Meade

    Episode 163 Summary

    (continued) Not one of the lighter matters: That Saruman is wearing his own ring shows that he is prepared to face Gandalf as Ring-lord. Note: The wizards’ combat in the film version is precisely what Saruman is prepared for in this moment but does not happen in the book. Gandalf actually...
  6. Tony Meade

    Episode 163 Summary

    SESSION 163 Comment on the purpose of Saruman’s ring: There are multiple possibilities for the function of the ring that Saruman wears. These include enhancement of his native power of persuasion and defense against others’ domination of him. Part of Saruman’s purpose in wearing the ring...
  7. Tony Meade

    Episode 162 Summary

    SESSION 162 The mouths of emissaries sent from Mordor: Does Saruman expect that there was a chance that Gandalf would be convinced by his speech? If not, what is his intention by telling Gandalf this? To justify what he will do next? When has Gandalf heard these kinds of speeches before...
  8. Tony Meade

    Episode 161 Summary

    SESSION 161 Making a speech long rehearsed: There are flaws in Saruman’s performance of this speech that give his true intentions away. The use of the word “declaim” implies an impersonality and is usually done in front of a crowd. Saruman’s use of this mode of speech creates a cognitive...
  9. Tony Meade

    Episode 160 Summary

    SESSION 160 Saruman of Many Colours: Saruman seems to be saying that all the titles he gives for Radagast are synonyms, and therefore equivalent to the final one, which is a direct insult, and the slights move from implicit to explicit. The use of “the Simple” is an insulting pun, as Radagast...
  10. Tony Meade

    Episode 159 Summary

    SESSION 159 The gate closed silently behind: Gandalf has the insight that Orthanc would be good at holding one inside as keeping others out. Gandalf has no rational cause to fear Saruman, and he may have chided himself for feeling it. This is the second time involving Saruman that he has felt...
  11. Tony Meade

    Episode 158 Summary

    SESSION 158 A question of academic specialties: It’s reasonable for Gandalf to assume that the most certain way to oppose the Nine getting to Frodo is to work with Saruman, and so he should go to Isengard instead of the Shire. The description of Radagast is very close to things associated with...
  12. Tony Meade

    Episode 157 Summary

    (continued) Radagast’s urgent errand: What other guises might the Nazgûl take, other than riders in black? They may also walk unclad, but this seems to emphasize that they have chosen to allow themselves to be seen openly. The form of dark captains of the forces of Mordor may be considered a...
  13. Tony Meade

    Episode 157 Summary

    SESSION 157 On the evolution of the Istari: While the idea of an order of wizards was mentioned in The Hobbit, it was only tangentially related to the main story, and was not part of Tolkien’s original conception. Gandalf was always meant to leave the Bilbo and the Dwarves behind, but it was...
  14. Tony Meade

    Episode 156 Summary

    SESSION 156 Gandalf addresses the Saruman question: Gandalf has already hinted at the story before and even Elrond hasn’t heard it all, so he is warning everyone in advance that he will tell the full story and it will take a long time. He also affirms Galdor’s earlier questions about Saruman’s...
  15. Tony Meade

    Episode 155 Summary

    SESSION 155 The Gollum conspiracy unmasked: Note: It’s possible that Tolkien did not work out the details of the plot to rescue Gollum, but he was also likely to have done this in an earlier draft and left out the details in his final version. It’s unlikely that Tolkien didn’t retcon this...