The Thirty-Seventh Roving Ranger


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


Last Saturday a lovely event came together via Twitter and organiser Laura Mabingi (Laura McNamee) using the hashtag #DrawSwordsTogether. A fun pun in the vein of Gandalf and Aragorn went in the van artists gathered to provide short sketches of swords from the Legendarium, with other topics welcome.

Lord of the Rings: Online (LotRO) has celebrated its 14th anniversary last friday; more info with the LotRO Beacon.

Essays & Scholarship

Brenton Dickieson has an interesting three part series on Why is Tolkien Scholarship Stronger than Lewis Scholarship?

John D. Rateliff commenting on Verlyn Flieger’s talk on Earendel.

Franchise, merchandise and Amazon series

There are voices in New Zealand that are not quite as happy about government deals with streaming giants: Does our Amazon deal set a dangerous precedent?

An interesting comment: Amazon Canceled Its Lord of the Rings MMO – and That’s a Good Thing.

Weta Digital have published their latest VFX Showreel.

More ducks are finding their way into Middle-earth merchandise. With these four new ones my favourite has to be Boroduck.

Other stuff

A fan wrote to Tolkien at the age of 14, received answer and has kept the letter all of these years. He recently asked with the BBC Antiques Roadshow how much it would be worth – and is going to keep it as a family heirloom. [Direct link to the BBC; UK tv viewers only.]

Star Wars and LEGO have been known to work together quite closely over the years and in different media – but when it comes to building things LEGO really is at its best: Meet R2-D2, revisited.

A list of Game of Thrones spin-offs. So far.

If you have a look at effects company Pixomondo job offers as of now things seem to get pretty busy – return to the “Land of Ice and Fire.”

In other news

Yes, franchises need flagship stores and Harry Potter is getting one in New York City.

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: Illustrations by Laura McNamee. Please visit her Instagram for more Tolkien-inspired art.

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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.