The Seventh Roving Ranger


a warm welcome to this, the sixth Roving Ranger newsletter!


Please always refer to the International Tolkien Fellowship Facebook group for Tolkien-inspired events the world over.

Essays & Scholarship

Tom Hillman has made a very nice connection in a recent blog post concerning Saruman.

John D. Rateliff finally has proof that the difficulties for Gary Gygax and Dungeons & Dragons, or rather, the boardgame Battle of Five Armies, back in the day were the result of Tolkien Enterprises (property of Saul Zaentz, the film-maker behind One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Lord of the Rings by Ralph Bakshi, Amadeus and The English Patient), today Middle-earth Enterprises, NOT the Tolkien family. It explains why D&D went for Halflings as a species, not Hobbits.

Other Stuff

Tolkien fandom has been, all in all, very welcoming in my personal experience and I know of many fans the world over who have had similarly positive experiences. However, there have also been occasions when people and ideas I consider detrimental to the fellowship so well described in many tales by J.R.R. Tolkien have reared their ugly head.
One such example is the very complex and difficult history of Tolkien fandom in Italy and with a recent new translation things became difficult, again. If you take an interest in such discussions Giuseppe Scattolini has published a piece with the Brazilian site Tolkienista called: Ottavio Fatica’s Translation in Italy: how did it come to this?

Tolkien Guide has the scoop on a cute chess set  done by Barbara Remington, one of the earliest illustrators of Tolkien in the USA.

Attention, clickbait article that claims an author to have gone beyond Tolkien – but cannot stop referring to him. And yes, I actually have all the Jordan books with me and wanted to start reading him soon but not thanks to the series!

Start Reading “The Wheel of Time” Now, Before It’s the Next “Lord of the Rings.”

Please note the Aubron-Bülles Law:

If you’re making sweeping literary statements you probably haven’t read enough.”

Film franchise, merchandise and Amazon series

The Middle-earth 4K Collection is in the making but due to COVID-19 and other issues it may not come this year.

In other news

In the last newsletter I linked to a list of all the winners of 2020’s Hugo Awards. Some of you may be aware of the issues with the presentation as it happened – by G.R.R. Martin – but if you are not directly involved and would still love to get an idea what it is all about this is a very decent article and over at File770 Martin himself spoke up.

Canadian performer Brent Carver died recently; he was the first Gandalf to the Lord of the Rings musical which premiered in Toronto and which I had the pleasure to see (in its second version.)

The Blog Roll

These are blogs you really should be following if you’re interested in Tolkien …

Some of these, you may find, are not as active as one would hope; but even if they have not posted anything new for a long time they are repositories of great essays and research on all things Tolkienian and always worth your time. The blog roll – and this very newsletter! – has been inspired by Troels Forchammer’s Parma-kenta and his excellent Tolkien Transactions he did for seven years – they are still sorely missed!

Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, ‘Too Many Books and Never Enough
Dimitra Fimi, ‘Dr. Dimitra Fimi
Jason Fisher, ‘Lingwë — Musings of a Fish
Douglas A. Anderson, ‘Tolkien and Fantasy’
John D. Rateliff — ‘Sacnoth’s Scriptorium
John Garth, ‘John Garth
David Bratman, ‘Kalimac’s Journal
Jenny Dolfen, ‘Jenny’s Sketchbook
Andrew Higgens, ‘Wotan’s Musings
Anna Smol, ‘A Single Leaf
Edmund Weiner, ‘Philoloblog
Robin Anne Reid, her blog
Annalisa Palmer, her blog
Various, The Mythopoeic Society
Various (Bradford Eden, ed.) Journal of Tolkien Research (JTR)
Various, The Tolkien Society (TS)
Southfarthing Mathom
Various, The Mythopoeic Society, ‘The Horn of Rohan Redux
Sue Bridgwater, ‘Skorn
Tom Hilman, ‘Alas, not me
Michael Martinez, ‘Middle-earth
Bruce Charlton, ‘Tolkien’s The Notion Club Papers
Various, ‘Middle-earth News
Jeffrey R. Hawboldt, ‘Expressions of Substance
Ryszard Viajante Derdzinski, ‘Tolknięty
Stephen C. Winter, ‘Wisdom from The Lord of the Rings
Troels Forchhammer, ‘Parma-kenta
Marcel Aubron-Bülles, ‘The Tolkienist
Jeremy Edmonds, ‘Tolkien Collector’s Guide
Aubrey, ‘Diverse Tolkien
Elyanna, ‘itariilles

Pictures credit: “Éowyn and the Nazgûl” by Cory Godbey.
Please visit the artist’s Instagram.

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Marcel R. Bülles

Marcel R. Bülles is the author of, a specialist blog centering on worldwide Tolkien fandom, geekdom and research. He works as a freelance translator, journalist and writer and is the founder of the German Tolkien Society as well as a co-founder to RingCon, Europe's formerly biggest fantasy film convention. You can find him in cafés all over the world sipping an espresso blogging, writing, reading. At one point he was married to an extremely lovely French lady by the nickname of Sauron. Yes, that Sauron. He is also active with the International Tolkien Fellowship on Facebook and the Tolkien Folk on Instagram.