The Thirty-First Roving Ranger


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


Andrew Higgins has the Tolkien Sessions line-up for Leeds IMC 2021.

The winners of the January 2021 Character Design Challenge have been announced – the topic was Middle-earth.

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

Essays & Scholarship

Another great write-up by Luke Shelton, this time reference books for Tolkien.

Bruce Charlton visited the grave of JRR Tolkien’s Aunt Grace Bindley Mountain.

Tolkien loved libraries – I like that.

Reviews and Book News

The single most exciting piece of book news is a re-release. For many years, A REMEMBRANCER, the book by publisher Rayner Unwin of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, had been out of print – well, since 1999 – when it was published thanks to a limited run. Prices for a copy of a first edition could range to several hundred euros. Thanks to continous requests by fans Merlin Unwin Books will now publish an enlarged second edition on March 5th. Get your copies while they are hot!

My fellow Tolkienist James has just released a lovely Tolkien Book Collection video after hitting 1K+ subscribers on Youtube.

Franchise, merchandise and Amazon series

In case you ever asked yourself whether any of the actors and actresses of the PJ film trilogies might be interested in ‘returning’ to the Second Age as well – Viggo Mortensen might. Oh, and Elijah Wood, too; he said that last year already.

Another LEGO idea has reached the 10,000 supporter mark – this time a Map of Middle-earth.

Nota bene:

To give you an idea how crappy online media can be – particularly on all things fantasy – take this:

Are Lord of the Rings and Disney’s Snow White Part of the Same Universe?

Dumb as it may sound it might have been interesting if the person writing about it were a folklore/ myth/ fairy tale specialist. This way I simply had this odd feeling of having it seen before and, indeed, it is a really bad ripoff of a four year old post. Again, badly done.

I get it; huge sites need to regurgitate content to get the attention of readers/ viewers but it might be nice, for a change, not to have to read third-rate stuff. I am afraid of going to that Polygon series right now because … Ah, well. Always hope for the best!

Other stuff

If you haven’t seen it yet, the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction is online.

The Weasley Twins did not really know what part they had to play – five minutes before shooting started.

I cannot note every single episode on all of the Tolkien-inspired podcasts out there but when Ted Nasmith is being interviewed then I do have to mention it.

In other news

The Most Reluctant Convert, a film based on the Max McLean theatre play based on C.S Lewis’ life, is planning for a release this year. And yes, Tolkien will play a part.

The British Fantasy Awards 2020 have been announced.

The 2020 Mythopoeic Awards Winners have been announced.

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

Picture credit: Lúthien by Zipavika, prepared as part of the 2021 January Character Design Challenge; the theme was Middle-earth. Please visit her Twitter, Instagram or InPrintShop as there are many more Tolkien-inspired pieces of art to see!

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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.