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The Rings of Power Wrap-up

The Rings of Power Wrap-up

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!


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026 ? Eat Your Broccoli

Like 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?
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025 ? Lofty Ambitions

You 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!
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024 - Astrophysics to Elvish Apartments: An Interview with Ramsey Avery

We 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.)
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023 - Dragons, Balrogs, and Trolls, Oh My: An Interview with John Howe

We 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?
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022 - Sand By Me: An Interview with Plains of Yonder

The 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?
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021 - There's Something About Halbrand

Celebrimbor 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.
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020 ? Missing Persons

Our 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.
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019 ? The Return of the King?

Adar 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.
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018 ? Silmarils Don't Grow on Trees

Elendil 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.
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017 ? Fathers and Sons

We 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.
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016 ? Revenge of the Chihuawarg

James, Sara, and Alan just can?t stop talking about the beauty and majesty of Númenor - or the mediocre CG of that angry puppy warg. Speculation abounds on Halbrand, and we are all a bit troubled by the Harfoots? casual Darwinism. All this, plus corrections and clarifications from last week!
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015 ? Manwë Wants a Word

Sara and James join Alan as the new co-hosts of The Rings of Power
Wrap-up, just in time to spend hours discussing the two-episode premiere
of the Amazon adaptation! From the destruction of little Galadriel?s
paper boat (we see you, sons of Fëanor!) to her waking up next to a
strange man on a raft, we cover it all. Loremasters, not gatekeepers, we
talk about what?s great, what?s not, and what?s next!
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014 ? Foundations: Harfoots & Orcs

We conclude our series of foundational episodes with a couple of, uh, shorter entries. First up, a deep dive into what we know of the history of the Harfoots (and other Hobbit folk) in Middle-earth, a people of much greater diversity than you might think. After that, a rundown of Tolkien?s changing views on the origins and nature of the Orcs, plus their history through the First and Second Ages before the big ? in more ways than one ? finale on Trolls and Balrogs! Hold the wings, please.
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013 ? Foundations: Dwarves

Our third foundational episode on the lore of Middle-earth is all about the Dwarves! Join us as we explore the mysterious and secretive history of the Khazâd from their creation by the Vala Aulë all the way down to their early friendships and unfriendships with Elves and Men in the First and Second Ages. We scour Tolkien?s unfinished writings for accounts of the awakening of the original seven dwarves ? and learn which one was actually named Sleepy. Plus, word-nerdery on Khuzdul, the language so secret Dwarves don?t even write it on their tombstones.
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012 - Foundations: Men

In our second foundational episode covering the lore of Tolkien's legendarium, we review the history of Men ? humans, not males ? in Númenor and Middle-earth! Catch up with us on the origins of Men, their story through the First Age, and the vast difference in nature between Men and Elves (hint: it's not pointy ears). We'll also introduce you to some of the characters we know will be major players in the series, and remind you of the real reason you don't want Elves writing your histories (unless you want to be called "Sickly").
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011 - Foundations: The Elves

With the series premiere less than a month away, we begin our series of foundational episodes to catch you up on the lore of Middle-earth up to the beginning of The Rings of Power! In this week?s episode, we cover the milllennia-long history of the Elves at faster-than-starlight speed: the Two Trees, the Silmarils, Finrod, Galadriel, Celebrimbor and more. Plus, Alan reminds us all of what life was like before GPS systems.
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010 - The Elves Take San Diego

Alan gives a recap of his experience at San Diego Comic-Con, from catching up with old friends, to lunch with the cast, to the awesome reveals of Hall H! And of course, we break down the trailer released at SDCC complete with creepy bad guys, creepy old men, creepy sword materialization? really, just loads of creepy stuff. Plus, Galadriel gets her hands on one of her uncle?s seeing stones, Arondir defies physics ? again ? and much more!
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009 - How About a Heads Up Next Time, Amazon?

Alan and Shawn finally break down the teaser that dropped on July 14, while they were both on summer vacations (oops!). Galadriel puts Elrond in his place with Middle-earth?s greatest ?you idiot? look, and we may be seeing the discovery of mithril in Moria! Plus, terrifying unidentifiable red stuff? and lots of physics-defying Elvish fighting techniques.
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008 ? A Shooting Star Is Not a Star

We unpack the new trailer dropped on Amazon Prime Video on July 6, with a first look at some new characters ? and a better look at some previously seen ones ? as Middle-earth observes the falling meteor. Alan falls on his sword at the appearance of a figure who?s clearly made of wood (but not a witch), and Shawn has reservations about writing systems. And what?s the difference between a mandarin and a satsuma anyway?
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007 ? Goodliness of Speechcraft: An Interview with Leith McPherson

Word-nerds rejoice as Alan and Shawn welcome our first guest to The Rings of Power Wrap-up: show dialect coach Leith McPherson! We speak to Leith about her time on Peter Jackson?s The Hobbit films and her experiences on the new series, the underappreciated joys of The Lord of the Rings Appendix E, and the importance of language in Tolkien?s Middle-earth. Plus, a little pronunciation coaching from Leith for one of the world?s most well-known Tolkien fans.
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006 ? Empire Strikes First

Alan and Shawn catch up on the last few weeks of Rings of Power news from Empire magazine and elsewhere online, including the mysterious tower, our first look at Orcs, and the much-maligned sneak peek at Celebrimbor. The promise of practical effects has us excited, but some of the marketing stokes our nerd cynicism? all this, plus more talk of character hair than we?re used to.
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005 ? Reasons For Hope

Alan and Shawn reveal details about their conversations with J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay at the Amazon event in London last month. From citing Tolkien's letters and understanding 'the core of the original' to the importance of avoiding allegory and "peak bleak", the showrunners -- and John Howe! -- were able to give us lots of reasons for our continued optimism!
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004 ? An Unexpected Party!

We talk about our unexpected invitation from Amazon Prime Video to attend a sneak peak of footage from The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, and to meet the showrunners in London, England!
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003 ? Who Is the Meteor Man?

Alan and Shawn work their way through a new Q&A from the showrunners, including speculations on the mysterious meteor man - who is sadly not Major Tom (Bombadil) Coming Home.
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002 ? Who Are You?

The guys dive into a shot-by-shot analysis of the new trailer that Amazon released during yesterday's Super Bowl, and provide an in-depth discussion of the Vanity Fair exclusive that released late last week, here in the second episode of The Rings of Power Wrap-up!
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001 ? Reviewing the Hype

Join us for a discussion of what we know so far about 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power', as we discuss the maps, that image with Two famous Trees, the title drop, and the 23 character images that Amazon released just last week!
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The Rings of Power Wrap-up - Teaser Trailer

In a startling parallel to a moment that took place six years ago, we launch an entirely new Tolkien-related podcast! Enjoy this teaser trailer for The Prancing Pony Podcast Presents: 'The Rings of Power' Wrap-up, and stay tuned for more!
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