The Twenty-Sixth Roving Ranger


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


Another Tolkien Society Tolkien Seminar is coming up and the speakers have been announced.

This month’s Character Design Challenge topic, no. 73, is Middle-earth – an astounding wealth of great art is being produced right now. You can follow them on Facebook, among other options.

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

Essays & Scholarship

Birmingham is a very important place for Tolkien scholars and a very beautiful city to boot with an incredibly amazing public library. The better the digital access to their resources become, the better for Tolkien scholarship and their Iron Room blog is an excellent resource.

Reviews and Book News

It is always good to hear when new decent books appear on Tolkien; Holly Ordway’s Tolkien Modern Reading is on my TRL, for sure. However, this reviewer’s eulogy makes me believe he as not read much besides Carpenter on the Professor. It has been well-known and noted that Tolkien had a very wide range of interests, particularly so in literature, but that should not keep you from checking out Ordway’s latest.

Franchise, merchandise and Amazon series has reached a new height in clickbait headlines and their Twitter account has officially lost it in comparing Jeff Bezos to Christopher Tolkien. The synopsis they shared offers nothing new, potentially including an error talking about the “majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon” when a) majestic forests in Lindon feel like a stretch and b) Lindon is the region in which the Grey Havens were founded in the Second Age, not a capital. But please see for yourself. The ploy pulled off with major news outlets sharing the non-news.

P.S. If #LotRonPrime are actually thinking of having TORn be their fan liaison we are all in for a rough ride. P.P.S. Yes, you can understand the line differently, having an unnamed ‘capital’ but that feels very odd, to say the least.
Other stuff

The BBC America rendition of The Watch may be crap but this 10 point list on Pratchett is pretty decent.

Dire wolves lived and breathed – but were not that compatible. Read the Nature piece, not the headliney stuff out there.

I am chuffed about one of my heroines being honoured by the United States Postal Service (USPS) this year – Ursula K. Le Guin will be on the 33rd stamp in the Literary Arts series! And the image is by none other but outstanding and very much Tolkien-inspired Donato Giancola.

In other news

Star Wars, the franchise, has been hogging the headlines in recent months and the latest news of a return of Lucasfilm Games and new games in preparation sounds like a plan. A perspective not from SW itself.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor starting to shut off services.

On another note

It has been a year since Christopher Tolkien passed away. I do not think that we have fully understood the impact of that loss yet. I put together another thread on Twitter in memoriam.

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:

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.