The Fifteenth Roving Ranger


a warm welcome to this, the fifteenth Roving Ranger newsletter.


#Tolkientober/ #Tolktober/ #Inktober is happening, a global get together of artists drawing and illustrating throughout the month of October, usually inspired by a list of ideas provided by their fellows. In the case of Tolkien we have the wonderful Molly Knox Ostertag who has offered her list of suggestions on Twitter as well as on Instagram.

Over 600 participants have inscribed with the Spanish Tolkien Society’s event on this weekend, Meren Palantirion. I will find out whether the talks and panels witll be available online afterwards!

The well over 500 participants of Oxonmoot Online by the Tolkien Society saw a great weekend – if you want access to all of that material you can now get an Post Event Video Membership.

I would highly suggest to you to look up the International Tolkien Fellowship Facebook group for Tolkien-inspired events the world over.

Essays & Scholarship

For the 40th publication anniversary of Unfinished Tales the Tolkien Society has put Dimitra Fimi’s talk online with their Youtube channel.

I am trying not to blow my own trumpet too often but this wee article I wrote many years ago has become a Google relevant entry: How tall was J.R.R. Tolkien?

And I am only partially reasonable for this article: Sex & Sensibility: Amazon’s Nude Take On Tolkien.

On a different note, the Wade Center recently made available previously unheard tapes of C.S. Lewis.

Reviews and Book News

In this day and age “challenged books” should be a thing of the past, one might presume, but the ALA still has to do the list: Top 10 Most Challenged Books Lists.

Other Stuff

Interestingly enough, the World Economic Forum has Tolkien in their list: These 6 masterpieces were created by people aged 60 or older. I am not complaining too much about this but it means cheating a little, of course.

I hope you have had the money to buy some of these: Hindman auction October 8 – four Tolkien lots.

Sometimes the internet makes you stumble over Hobbit clippings.

And you find people who really take their inspiration from the stories. I always support little lending libraries!

In case you ever wanted to read an example of conservative (read: right-wing) US publications using Tolkien and/or Lewis for their own ends, this one is pretty good: J. R. R. Tolkien vs. The Euphemistic State.

Film franchise, merchandise and Amazon series

Just in case you take an interest in New Zealand wines you might check up on one of the official film trilogies’ licensees: Middle-earth Wine.

If you feel like buying the umpteenth version of the film trilogies – the long expected 4K UHD release is now officially for sale. Please note that there are different versions coming up in 2020/ 2021 so do have a look at the post linked, it is the best out there.

Youtube seems to be the place to go to for a lot of people, particularly when it comes to food. And there is a channel that celebrated its (then) seven million subscribers with a Lord of the Rings special. After all, we are all hobbits at the table, right?

On a more serious note people in New Zealand are calling for the Hobbit law to be scrapped.

In other news

Another LEGO idea with 10,000 supporterts recently is this cute Bag End.

If you like Star Wars the official website has a wide range of posts on the 40th anniversary of Empire Strikes Back.

Trekkies were rather confused last week on voting issues or very much looking forward to seeing Captain Janeway return – all animated! – in Prodigy. Additionally, Jonathan Frakes did a huge amount on interviews re: Star Trek.

And the DUNE fandom will have to wait another year for Villeneuve’s rendition.

The virtual World Fantasy Con will be happening soon and does, like all other conventions these days, attract criticism.

On a personal note

Right now I am working on a novel translation and other projects at the European Translators’ Residence in Straelen, Lower Rhine, Germany. You may have noted that I was not able to send out the Roving Ranger on #TolkienTuesday as planned but I am committed to getting back to schedule soon!

I have included a number of impressions of the place in this newsletter so you can see what we translators have to work with! 🙂

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: All by Marcel Aubron-Bülles. Books at the specialist translators’ library, water tower in Straelen, breakfast in my room full of thousands of French literature books.

According to German law I have to infom you all links to enterprises/ artists are [unpaid advertisements.]

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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.