The Eleventh Roving Ranger


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


The TolkienTribe on Instagram is starting festivities for #HobbitWeek2020 on today’s Tolkien Tuesday. Do visit their IG. // [Full Disclosure] Please note I am also a member of the #TolkienTribe.

Jim Wert has been so kind as to send me the links to the recent DragonCon Tolkien specials. If you did not have the chance to watch them at the time they’ll be up for a couple of weeks: “An Unexpected Virtual Party: the Latest News from Middle-earth from the”:

Due to COVID-19 related restrictions the Lure, planned for February 2021, had to be cancelled. Celebrating 25 years of MECCG (Middle-earth: The Wizards. The Collectible Card Game) at Barcelona in 2020 also had to be cancelled, so no Middle-earth CCG Worlds, either. The community will try and organise replacement events in 2021; if you are interested please subscribe to their newsletter(s).

The Tolkien Tapestries Project with the Cité internationale de la tapisserie in Aubusson has finished another amazing piece of art; this time we have “Bilbo Woke Up With The Early Sun In His Eyes” available on YouTube. It was the first live streaming the museum had done on the project.

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

Essays & Scholarship

I had almost forgotten Tolkien’s supposedly only ever allusion to Dante but a recent little Twitter chat with Jeremy Edmonds of the Tolkien Guide mentioned one of the letters published in Carpenter’s edition of Letters about the interview Tolkien gave to the Plimmers, published with the Telegraph in 1968. Unfortunately, thanks to this little Twitter chat it is now hidden behind a [Paywall] as it was still free last week as seen in Shaun Gunner’s mention.
Well, anyway, Dante is mentioned briefly in Letter #294 and a scholar with the Dante Society of America wrote this article on it. If you care for more general allusions have a look at Andrew Dagher’s piece and this answer to it.

The German Inklings Society has published a Call for Papers [FB] on their upcoming conference, “Music and the Fantastic.” Contributions have to be sent to the registered charity by Oct 31st, 2020.

Reviews and Book News

Edinburgh-based publisher Luna Press does monthly discounts on its already excellent program. Best thing about it: They have a dedicated Tolkien section and this September there are three Tolkien-related titles available at 20% discount. [Unpaid Advertisement].

The new Hobbit audiobook narrated by Andy Serkis is now available on platforms worldwide. The official HarperCollins UK account posted a chapter on Facebook; publisher Recorded Books gave the first 45 seconds in this press release.

Other Stuff

CN: Semi-nude dwarves. Please do not click link if you have issues with those [Unpaid advertisement.]

The Dwarven (Dwarrow) Scholar has sent me a link to exciting crowdfunding efforts.

The Semi-Nude Dwarvish Calendar 2020/2021, starting in October 2020 with the Dwarvish New Year and Durin’s Day and ending October 2021. I quite appreciate taking a serious interest in the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien but I am also happy to share some levity with a year like 2020. The crowdfunder is doing nicely but could use some support still!

Also more on the side of levity are a number of Tolkien Bingo Cards people came up with. If you happen to like both Tolkien and Bingo, this is your chance. Please do start out with the ‘original’ by tea with tolkien.

  • Tea’s Tolkien Bingo.
  • The Tolkien Collectors’s Bingo.
  • The Tolkien Scholar’s Bingo.
Probably one of the stupidest things involving J.R.R. Tolkien I have seen in many a day is You vs. the Celebs. Abusing the annual Forbes’ Dead Celebrities’ List this provider has taken an average of the last ten years to allow you to figure out how quickly Tolkien is earning YOUR salary from the grave. Holy Mewlips!

Film franchise, merchandise and Amazon series

In a Variety interview Hugo Weaving, best known as Agent Elrond, has made clear he has no intention on returning to Jackson’s/ Amazon’s Middle-earth.

For those of you who were appalled at the news that the roleplaying game The One Ring’s Second edition had ‘gone’ from publisher Cubicle Games you may also know the Swedish publisher Fria Ligan/ Free League Publishing has taken up the baton starting on June 1st, 2020. You can subcribe to news from designer Francesco Nepitello and others with their newsletter.

In other news

Did you know? Leo Tolstoy and J.R.R. Tolkien were pen pals. [Silliest thing I read this week.] I am not linking this; if you want to see for yourself you are quite free to do so.

If you feel sympathy for the Klingons in the Star Trek Universe you will soon have the opportunity of celebrating in proper Great Hall style even if almost everyone’s favourite Chancellor Gowron may be no longer: Klingon Bloodwine has just been announced.

And George R.R. Martin mentioned in passing:

Boromir is my favorite member of the Fellowship. The tragic hero.
Not quite a fantasy topic but certainly one that has a massive impact on the film industry in general:, an AI-software predecting gross box office, offering script analysis, and casting suggestions, has determined that Henry Cavill would be the best next James Bond, ahead of Richard Armitage and Idris Elba. Funnily enough, that company goes on to explain that their AI is not going to kill creativity or replace industry professionals. If you really are so naïve to believe that AI and/or other technologies are not going to replace the one most expensive item on any film industry’s accountant, payroll costs, then you are in for a surprise in less than a generation.

The Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Lego Idea could actually come to life: It has been nominated as one of 35 projects to be reviewed by LEGO.

And yes, today is Star Trek Day.

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

Picture credits: Bill the Pony and Baby Smaug by (c) Jack Van Thomme. Please visit him on Twitter.

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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.