The Thirty-Second Roving Ranger


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


#MiddleearthMarch and other similar events are happening right now, often on Instagram and Twitter, in preparation for the upcoming Tolkien Reading Day, March 25th. Do join in!

I am not quite sure how it ended up on my timeline(s) but this interview with Morgan Library & Museum curator John McQuillen may be of nostalgic relevance – on the Tolkien Exhibition in New York City.

The San Diego ComicCon has to be postponed – again – but they are offering the online version – again.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas are planning a Lord of the Rings film trilogy cast reunion, starting March 25th, hosted by Stephen Colbert. The cinema business his one of the hardest hit and ADC had to file for bankruptcy shortly before this announcement – but the events are going on as planned, headlined as ‘support your local cinemas.’ As 2021 is the 20th anniversary of the first of the films to premiere we will be seeing many more of these kinds of events.

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

Essays & Scholarship

John D. Rateliff gives a short note on the Boorman ‘experiment’ as I love to call it – one of the first attempts to turn The Lord of the Rings into a film.

Finally, a link I would probably never have thought of: Wile E. Coyote and the One Ring.

Reviews and Book News

John D. Rateliff notes the virtual book launch of Holly Ordway’s Tolkien’s Modern Reading.

A Tolkien letter is up for auction (rather often) – and there are one or two details not quite right, as explained by Tolkien collectors.Yes, Tolkien was a HARRIED man *g*

Douglas A. Anderson has a follow-up on his Tolkien Scholars Write Fantasy post.

Franchise, merchandise and Amazon series

Although it is a strongly shortened summary of New Line Cinema history this is a good entry point if you care for more background to what made things like the LotR film trilogy and the Golden Compass happen.

The franchise is slowly but surely growing. One of the biggest gaming companies out there, Wizards of the Coast (a daughter company of Hasbro) that is responsible for Magic: The Gathering, has recently mentioned they are adding Warhammer 40K by Games Workshop and Lord of the Rings via Middle-earth Enterprises to their Universes Beyond. The event transcript can be downloaded here. This can be seen as part of strategic changes thanks to rising revenues made possible by the success of Dungeons & Dragons, an IP also owned by WotC.

The One Ring Second Edition Kickstarter brought in over a million – and yes, I supported them, too. An extensive interview with designer Francesco Nepitello is available with Vice.

The Battle for Middle-earth: Reforged team keep on giving out new details and have hinted at a more interesting reveal this March. If you are interested in a true RTS classic being done by fans check out their FB and YT sites.

The LEGO LotR & Hobbit film trilogies‘ games issue will probably never resolve itself.

Other stuff

Another game I should probably have a look at is Valheim – obviously, you can get truly creative about building your base and in this case a fan built the LotR film trilogy Barad-dûr.

The ‘legal’ guy involved in the Jan 6, 2021, Capitol attack is the gift that keeps on giving: Gondor II has now been filed.

Reddit has been the source of many Tolkien-related ventures recently; this photo restoration of Tolkien in uniform is a sight to see.

I have to say that Star Wars has been a source of hilarious pieces of merchandise for decades now – but the floating Child pram is truly one of a kind.

Hogwarts Legacy promises to be an interesting game but one thing is clear: Hogwarts Legacy Can’t Escape J.K. Rowling.

In other news

Zelazny is slowly but surely getting the ‘Hollywood’ treatment – with George R.R. Martin working on a new HBO series based on Roadmarks.

Walter Koenig who you may know from a certain science fiction series has written a new book – and this lovely podcast gives you an interview with Pavel Chekov. Many of the original cast and crew have already gone and it is always a pleasure to see those who are still with us – and yes, I saw him at FedCon in Bonn many years ago, hilarious!

Another Star Trek-related piece: The Voyager documentary has started its Indiegogo campaign and things are looking good.

And last but not least – via the people behind Star Trek: Fleet Command – you can now finally play the Kobayashi Maru Test on your smartphone.

Germany now has another award for fantasy & science fiction literature, the Krefelder Preis für Fantastische Literatur, awarding its winner 10,000€. The first to win is Thilo Corzilius, published with Klett-Cotta/ Hobbitpresse (the German Tolkien publishers) and one of the jury members is Dr. Helmut Pesch, the first to write a dissertation on fantasy literature in Germany and one of our leading experts (also a good friend, for full disclosure.) So, yes, Tolkien connection! And yes, all the Blind Guardian fans out there will clap their hands, too, as this band – with a certain Tolkien link – do come from Krefeld.

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: You are not prepared is a fascinating cross-over by Andy Aslamov, showing how adaptations shape artistic inspirations – The Witcher part is taken from the successful video game and The Lord of the Rings part from the equally successful film trilogy. If you are interested in a print please visit Andy’s Gumroad page or his Artstation.

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

If you are interested in my other Tolkien-related work please have a look:
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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.