New Member
Dr. Olsen, thanks for all your Tolkien work. I've been listening to your podcasts for years, always asynchronously, usually somewhat in arrears. At the moment I am caught up on Exploring LOTR and am on Episode 1 of Sauron Defeated. I pretty quickly gave up on the Silm Film project due to (slow) pacing. So as you would expect, I am one of those often frustrated with measuring progress in words (not sentences, paragraphs or, heaven forbid, pages) in Exploring LOTR. In my defense, I turn 66 next month and have small hope (perhaps no hope?) of seeing this through to the end!

Thank you for the recent exposition of how the Ring came to be on a chain around Frodo's neck at Rivendell. It's one of those questions that struck me at first reading (in 1971), and I have often visualized the care that must have been taken in the transition from pocket to pendant. The discussion about Frodo's new clothes was also fascinating, I had never thought of that particular transformation. So for every interminable discussion on boulders, the pace of horses along the path to the ford, and many others where I chafe at the pace, there are equally moments where the price in time is worth the reward.

The title of my post is on the splinter of the Morgul blade that was removed from Frodo's wound at Rivendell. Some years ago I connected the vanishing of the Morgul blade at dawn under Weathertop to the melting of the splinter at Rivendell. In my theory, the blade is designed in and intended for darkness, and is destroyed ('melted') by light. When the splinter is found and removed from the wound at Rivendell, it is exposed to light, and 'melts'. My comparison is to dry ice - something hard that turns to vapor when exposed to conditions which it was not designed to endure. The problem with my theory is Gandalf's statement 'It has been melted.'. That seems to imply more action by the physicians than simply exposing it to light. But it's been my solution for so long, I am sticking to it!

Again my thanks for this project and your many other endeavors. I'll continue to tag along, doggedly, grumpily, for the joy set before me. I just hope I am there at the end of all things.

Lincoln Alpern

Active Member
I'm another member of the minority (myself and a few others) who find ourselves exasperated with the pace of the podcast, and yearn fondly for the halcyon days of the first couple chapters when we were burning through the book at a lightning pace. However, I realize Corey is the organizer of this project, the one who puts in the bulk of the work and shoulders the bulk of the responsibility, and has invited the rest of us to participate (at no charge, even); and Corey explained in a recent podcast his reasoning for taking as long as he does to work through the text. I also realize that most of my fellow participants, at least those on Discord, genuinely enjoy the "No detail too minute for a 1/2 hr+ dissection" approach, and if most people are happy with things as they are, I don't see it's my place to jostle the boat.

I stick around out of habit, and because there are still some interesting points which come up, and live chats with fellow participants on Discord can be fun. I'm also excited by this recent talk of distilling the major points from our discussions over the course of Book 1 into some sort of collection, which preserves the really big take-aways for easy reference without all the (to me, at least) annoying chaff.

Anyway, glad to have you joining us, and I look forward to standing together and making our farewells at the havens when we reach the end of all things.

(To be clear, I reference the havens metaphorically here. I know after finishing the trilogy proper, the podcast will continue into the appendices, and take another look at the first two chapters at least.)
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