Alan Sisto from The Prancing Pony Podcast, and his new co-hosts Sara Brown and James Tauber discuss, analyze, and speculate all about Amazon's new television adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth! Join the team as they dive into the lore behind the show - or the lore that *should* be behind the show - talk about their favorite themes and characters, and explore The Rings of Power, all with plenty of nerd humor!
026 – Eat Your Broccoli
1:17:36Like a toddler at the dinner table, we've saved the most unpleasant bit for last. Listen in as Sara, James, and Alan return to finish their report cards for Amazon: will the show get passing marks? With discussion of the visuals, music, and acting behind us, tonight's conversation turns to the writing. The sea may always be right, but if the sea could write, that might help. We grade specific plot lines, from Durin and Elrond (outstanding) to mithranium (needs improvement), look into specific dialog examples, and debate where The Rings of Power got it right, and where they might improve. Join us as we wrap up S1 and look forward to S2! There is a tempest around here somewhere... now where did I put it?
025 – Lofty Ambitions
1:06:25You decide if the episode title applies to S1 of The Rings of Power, or our attempt at a season-ending report card! Sara, Alan, and James return to discuss the high (and low) points of the first season of Amazon’s efforts to bring Tolkien’s Middle-earth to life. Somehow, we get so buried in conversation, we only finish part of the report card: if they’re giving grades for giving grades, we’re in trouble! In this half, we discuss set design and other visuals, and walk through the strong points of each of the actors from S1. So binge the show again, and join us for this half of our first season report card!
024 - Astrophysics to Elvish Apartments: An Interview with Ramsey Avery
37:09We get eight answers to one question, learn how Rivendell inspired Eregion's inspiration of Rivendell, and talk about some of the differences between Morgoth and Sauron. Alan, Sara, and James welcome Ramsey Avery — Production Designer for The Rings of Power — to The Rings of Power Wrap-up. From spikes to art nouveau, we talk with a man who read The Silmarillion nearly every night for two years to do his job right. Plus: is working with John Howe all it's cracked up to be? (Of course it is, silly.)
023 - Dragons, Balrogs, and Trolls, Oh My: An Interview with John Howe
36:09We learn how a boar's skull inspired the snow troll, talk about the rich visual beauty of Tolkien's descriptions, and learn why reading The Two Towers first can still work out alright! Alan, James, and Sara welcome John Howe — acclaimed Tolkien illustrator, and Concept Artist for The Rings of Power — to The Rings of Power Wrap-up. And you may have signed an autograph before, but... have you ever signed a shoe?
022 - Sand By Me: An Interview with Plains of Yonder
51:28The sea monster makes an appearance, we discuss the imperfection of perfection, and get a scoop on one of the symbols in those glorious opening credits! Alan, James, and Sara are joined by the incredibly-talented and wonderfully kind folks from Plains of Yonder, the creative studio behind the title sequence for The Rings of Power. The beauty of creating things through music and sound... now where have we heard that before?
021 - There's Something About Halbrand
1:47:08Celebrimbor learns how to do more with less (thanks to the help of a friendly low man), the cultists put all their eggs in the wrong Stranger-basket, and Galadriel finally does a background check. Alan, Sara, and James discuss the final episode of the first season of The Rings of Power, but disagree on gemstones. Celebrimbor is easily flattered, Sauron gaslights Galadriel, and Nori has a tear-filled farewell. Also, Sir Lenny Henry's contract expires.
020 – Missing Persons
1:39:26Our old friend, Celeborn, makes an appearance, even if it's on a Second Age milk carton; Durin IV finds himself un-princed, and we hear some lovely Quenya from a tall Stranger in the Grove. James, Sara, and Alan discuss the seventh episode of The Rings of Power, but disagree on the nature of romantic meet-cutes. Isildur casts himself into the fire, Theo gets an actual sword (not just a hilt this time!), and Elrond makes an offer that Durin III can't refuse - except that he does. Also, Balrogs are light sleepers.
019 – The Return of the King?
1:30:25Adar leads his children on a righteous quest for a well-deserved homeland, Arondir plays Jenga in the watchtower, and the writers quote Tolkien directly! Sara, Alan, and James discuss the latest episode of Rings of Power, observing that it doesn't take much to become king these days, apparently. Elendil plays horse-whisperer, Galadriel plays good-cop/bad-cop with Halbrand, while Adar plays a trick on them all. Also, Pompeii called - they would like to have a word about pyroclastic flows.
018 – Silmarils Don't Grow on Trees
1:36:00Elendil shows tough love, Poppy sings a pretty song, Theo makes nice with Arondir, and Pharazôn schools Kemen. James, Sara, and Alan offer their mid-term grades for their most promising student, wonder why Waldreg would call Adar "the Abhorred" to his face, and seriously question the origin story of mithranium mithril. Oh, and none of us are willing to play poker with Durin IV.
017 – Fathers and Sons
1:28:56We let the story of Númenor wash over us, as we dive deep into the lore, and try not drown in all the sea-related puns about the Great Wave. We engage in admiration of Galadriel's headstrong attitude, observation of Pharazôn's manipulations, and speculation of just who this Waldreg guy is anyway. And of course we're not crying at Elrond's story about his father, Eärendil - not at all, at all.