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  1. Aaron The Magnificent

    Thread: Ideas for an academic product from Exploring The Lord of the Rings

    I think the idea of a Study Guide would be great. Step through chapter by chapter of event summaries, themes, and then things to ponder. Since many of the discussions we have aren’t often “resolved” (that is, where we come to a definitive conclusion), any of these topics could just be to get you...
  2. Aaron The Magnificent

    Frodo’s Amazement

    Hi Professor, Sorry if you have already dealt with this topic (I’m a couple episodes behind). I’ve been thinking about the passage that “Frodo jumped up in amazement” at the idea that he thinks the ring may belong to Aragorn, especially at the confusion of whether Frodo would mean this in...
  3. Aaron The Magnificent

    Yes! I’ve just discovered them! Is there a thread on Boethius? I can’t seem to find!

    Yes! I’ve just discovered them! Is there a thread on Boethius? I can’t seem to find!
  4. Aaron The Magnificent

    Can’t we get AI to do this?

    Nah, they’re awesome! But it’s got to be a heck of a lot of work!
  5. Aaron The Magnificent

    Elf Procreation

    Now that I have your attention (haha), I’m curious about whether the Elves still continue procreating at the time of the LOTR? I don’t recall ever hearing about elven children running around. Am I wrong about this or does sailing to the West have anything to do with this?
  6. Aaron The Magnificent

    Ancestral Praise?

    You guys are awesome.
  7. Aaron The Magnificent

    Can’t we get AI to do this?

    [see subject]
  8. Aaron The Magnificent

    Comment on Earendil Poem

    Whoa. That’s bold.
  9. Aaron The Magnificent

    Ancestral Praise?

    Not sure what to make of this question, but I notice that elves tend to celebrate specific ancestors like Earendil, Elbereth, Gilgalad, etc. I can’t help but think that there is more than simply an “honour your ancestors” thing since they don’t seem to do this for “all” their ancestors. Dwarves...
  10. Aaron The Magnificent

    Comment on Earendil Poem

    Thank you! Very good post! What I’m stuck on is whether Bilbo would have chosen it to honour Frodo, or if it was simply the poem he had available and ready to share. If the latter, there is a “provenance” element involved. Anyway, very interesting to think about either way! Thanks again!
  11. Aaron The Magnificent

    Comment on Earendil Poem

    As I make my way through the poem discussion, Prof Olsen keeps raising the point to “not fill in the gaps with what you all know”. Unlike many of you, I have not read the Silmarillion, so all these “gaps” you guys seem to fill are totally unknown to me. Based on that, I agree with Prof Olsen; I...
  12. Aaron The Magnificent

    Earendil Poem - Bilbo “stuck”

    Hi folks, Before we heard the poem, we hear Bilbo say to Strider that he’s “stuck” and needs his help with something urgent. Can anyone tell (a) where he may have been stuck, and (b) if there was anything that we could tell was Aragorn’s contribution?
  13. Aaron The Magnificent

    Bilbo and Frodo: Book Titles

    Perhaps this has been covered (sorry if it has), but I’m curious about contrasting Bilbo’s book title “There and Back Again” with Frodo’s “The Lord of the Rings...”. Bilbo’s seems more inward-facing, that is, talking about what HE did on HIS journey, where Frodo’s seems more outward-facing, that...
  14. Aaron The Magnificent

    What Gandalf Knew: Book vs Films

    Hi Dr. Olsen, I'm new here and am not sure if this is the right spot, so if not: sorry! Over a few instances of the Exploring LOTR sessions, I recall hearing how the films blundered a bit in Gandalf leaving Frodo and Sam to fend for themselves between the Shire and Bree. I think it comes down...
  15. Aaron The Magnificent

    Dracula and Kids' Culture

    After power-binging through the Dracula class recently, I continued to be blown away by the analysis. The concept of Vampires being a "perversion" of Holy/Sacred things is just fascinating to me. Being interested in Christian Theology, this idea catapulted Dracula into a totally new space for...
  16. Aaron The Magnificent

    Bible Course?

    Hi all! I'm new here and am not sure if this is the place for this, but I recall hearing that Prof. Olsen used to give an "Introduction to the Bible" class in the past. Does anyone know if the audio of this happens to be available (or a similar series)? Thanks!
  17. Aaron The Magnificent

    "I am one reason"

    I recall after the "resurrection" of Gandalf the White, he is described as "less grumpy" or "more joyful" (or something to that effect) than Gandalf the Grey. When I think of the lack of humility you're referring to above, this is the kind of "grumpy" thing I think about (along with "fool of a...