The Thirtieth Roving Ranger


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


David Bratman has a look back at the last Tolkien Society Seminar.

John D. Rateliff notes a few words on his recent talk on Tolkien, D&D et al. and has published the full text with the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic.

The TS has published its CfP for the next seminar; the German Tolkien Society, too.

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

Essays & Scholarship

Please note that this blog post titled with “Seven Surprises” actually holds no surprise at all; in fact, it includes misleading statements you could only make if you had never read a single piece on Tolkien research of the last 20+ years. however, that should not keep you from having a look at Tolkien’s Modern Reading.

Tom Hillman has another interesting piece: Sufficient Tragedy — An excerpt from “To Rule the Fate of Many: Truth, Lies, Pity, and the Ring of Power”.

Franchise, merchandise and Amazon series

The interest in the series seems to show itself in some places already. In the list of most sold books on Amazon this January via AmazonAdviser The Hobbit reentered at #6.

Empire gets Harry Potter & Frodo together.

And Elijah Wood thinks the Amazon series has a bizarre name.

The roleplaying game ‘The One Ring’ Kickstarter that asked for about 10K+€ has reached ~800K at the time of writing.

More ‘Lord of the Rings’ rubber duckies have been announced. The Gollum duck looks positively creepy.

Other stuff

The Lamb & Flag‘s future is still uncertain; other options are being discussed.

Captain Kirk could return if …

The Mythopoeic Awards winners for 2020 have been published.

In other news

Game of Thrones may have had an … unfortunate ending but spin-offs are in the making.

Buffy, the Vampire Slayer may have had female empowerment as a core topic but its maker has to deal with accusations of mysoginy – accusations that have been levelled at him for years.

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 Hillman, ‘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

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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.