The Twenty-First Roving Ranger


a warm welcome to this, the twenty-first Roving Ranger newsletter.


Doug A. Anderson looks back on the A Voyage to Arcturus event.

The TolkienTribe on Instagram is hosting another #TolkienYule if you feel like joining.

French film and tv website hosted its first ever podcast recently with Vincent Ferré, one of the curators of the largest ever Tolkien exhibition at the French National Library and one of the leading Tolkien scholars out there.

If any of you people feel like organising the Club of Lúthien (Lonely Tolkien Hearts) as a Discord server over Christmas to all the Tolkien fans who cannot go home visiting friends and family due to Covid-19 precautions do drop me an email! *g*

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

Essays & Scholarship

Christopher Tolkien would have celebrated his 96th birthday on November 22nd. John Garth published a lovely note on how Neil Gaiman made it into Christopher’s acknowledgements in The  History of Middle-earth.

Preserving the legacy of C.S. Lewis, an article on Walter Hooper. [Paywall.]

The Bodleian Libraries recently retweeted a great blog post on Tolkien taking out books for a certain lecture.

Reviews and Book News

Last week has shown a flurry of news on a most interesting upcoming book edited by Tolkien scholar Carl F. Hostetter. Please let me make clear that if Hostetter’s name is on this book it is going to be excellent. Do not go for irrelevant news’ outlets’ OMG NEW TOLKIEN MATERIAL angle but rely on sites that actually give you reliable information. The Grauniad, just to give you an example, manages to boil it down to (…) which races could grow beards.

The Nature of Middle-earth will certainly be worth getting. (Press release text.)

John D. Rateliff is one of the many fellow Tolkien scholars excited about the news.

Franchise, merchandise and Amazon series

It is wonderful to see that well-known activist and LotROnPrime actress Nazanin Boniadi is working together with Amnesty International on their Write for Rights 2020 project. Stuff NZ has more on the campaign launch.

TV NZ notes: Weta Digital’s head of HR quits amid ongoing review into ‘toxic’ culture at Wellington company.

Chez La Baggins will make you happy if you are in for the shepherd’s hut chic on the Isle of Anglesey, UK.

The Lord of the Rings MMO in development has provided fans the world over with legal documents on how the future of the franchise is being planned thanks to a recent company takeover. This is huge and TORn has already started a few rumours

The Steam page of Lord of the Rings: Gollum is now up and running.

Other stuff

Video gamers the world over are working through the latest Assassin’s Creed – Valhalla – and in this case there seems to be a Lord of the Rings easter egg.

Unfortunately, the nonsensical Lydney One Ring connection rears its ugly head in that game as well. I have tried to register with the site to correct them on it but it did not work – if any of you cared to register and give them John Garth’s Tolkien’s Worlds as the place to go to I would be delighted.

C.S. Lewis: The Most Reluctant Convert is now in post-production.

The Battle for Middle-earth has begun says Bavarian artist Alois Riederer who – in my uneducated view – simply scrounged together all sorts of stuff to build a ‘hobbit hole.’ You do not need to speak German just to have a look at it – it is weird af. Basic problem for him is that he built something without a license and the authorities want it torn down. Yay! And yes, he is wearing a t-shirt with “back to nature!’ on it.

In other news

We will certainly have a Middle-earth-themed amusement park one day (rumours have existed since the late 90s) so if you wanted to get an idea what 2020+ parks need to do to get people to visit… Disney just shared an update on what they are planning.

When I wrote the first paragraph to this category I did not realise other people are seriously speculating about this right now: Should Disney Buy ‘Lord of the Rings’ (And Add It to the Parks)?

And as we are talking Disney right now: Walt’s company seems to believe that if they sell off companies to sister companies they no longer have to abide by the obligations – like paying authors. The SFWA begs to differ.

I am so looking forward to seeing Alan Rickman’s diaries published – obviously, the man never really held back on his opinions.

One of the people responsible for making Star Trek happen has passed away: Herb Solow.

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: Image taken from the official Steam page of Daedalic Entertainment’s The Lord of the Rings: Gollum.

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.