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The Prancing Pony Podcast

Literature

The Prancing Pony Podcast is a weekly show about the Middle-earth legendarium of J.R.R. Tolkien, hosted - for six seasons - by Alan Sisto and Shawn E. Marchese. As the show returns for its seventh season, Alan welcomes an all-star cast of co-hosts to join him as he explores the first part of The Return of the King! Alan and all his co-hosts are passionate Tolkien enthusiasts, and they invite listeners to enjoy their detailed exploration of Tolkien’s work, with smart but straightforward discussion and a healthy dose of self-effacing humor, pop-culture references, and bad puns. These are the folks you'd want to hang out with at a pub and talk Tolkien with.

Location:

United States

Description:

The Prancing Pony Podcast is a weekly show about the Middle-earth legendarium of J.R.R. Tolkien, hosted - for six seasons - by Alan Sisto and Shawn E. Marchese. As the show returns for its seventh season, Alan welcomes an all-star cast of co-hosts to join him as he explores the first part of The Return of the King! Alan and all his co-hosts are passionate Tolkien enthusiasts, and they invite listeners to enjoy their detailed exploration of Tolkien’s work, with smart but straightforward discussion and a healthy dose of self-effacing humor, pop-culture references, and bad puns. These are the folks you'd want to hang out with at a pub and talk Tolkien with.

Language:

English


Episodes

319 – Big Damn Heroes, Sir

2/25/2024
The minstrel’s voice rises like silver and gold, and all men were hushed; except for The Man of the West who just won’t stop talking. Join Alan and Sara as we find a golden ring that can’t be melted in our second episode on The Field of Cormallen. Frodo and Sam have done the impossible, and that makes them mighty; Aragorn is humble; and Pippin is… well, Pippin. We talk about this being the eucatastrophe, peer into Legolas’ future, and listen to the best song you’ll never hear. Also, Alan butchers some Old English.

Duration:01:38:52

318 – Burn the Land and Boil the Sea

2/18/2024
The Realm of Sauron is ended, and the realm of Sara has begun. Join The Man of the West as he welcomes back Dr. Sara Brown as we visit the vulcanology lab once more in our first episode on The Field of Cormallen. Sam won’t let Frodo quit just yet, The Host of the West prepares for their imminent demise, and the Eagles play one more show at the Morannon. We talk about virtuous pagans, look for our invites to Gandalf’s retirement party, and compare Thorondor to an Airbus. Also, Sara sets herself up for singing disappointment. (CW: discussion of Denethor’s suicide.)

Duration:01:53:22

317 – Curse Your Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal

2/11/2024
Mount Doom threatens to burn the land and boil the sea; Matt threatens more “where there’s a whip” references. Join us as we’re joined by Tom Hillman to talk about his book Pity, Power, and Tolkien’s Ring just in time for said ring to be destroyed in our final episode on the chapter Mount Doom. Sam finally feels pity for Gollum, the Phial of Galadriel’s batteries die, and Frodo thinks he has a better idea for the Ring after all. We discuss the many alternate endings that Tolkien envisioned here, speculate about how quickly the Nazgûl could arrive, and confirm that Santa Claus is Eärendil. Also, Matt coins a new word which is really just an old word.

Duration:02:21:23

316 – I Swear By My Pretty Wheel of Fire, I Will End You

2/4/2024
Frodo understands that when you can’t crawl, you find someone to carry you; Matt understands that when you can’t get a reference, you find someone to explain it to you. Join us as we offer a brief lesson on vulcanology in our third episode on the chapter Mount Doom. Frodo crawls towards a road, Sam wonders how it got there, and an old friend drops by to say “Wicked masster”. We talk about talking objects, put skill points in Domination, and debate at length about the height of Barad-dûr. Also, where there’s a whip, knock it off!

Duration:01:48:05

315 – Sometimes A Thing Gets Broke, Can’t Be Fixed

1/28/2024
Sam naively offers to ‘share the load’ with Frodo, while Matt naively offers to do a few more episodes of the podcast. Join us as Sam goes full Marie Kondo for the last steps of their journey in the chapter Mount Doom. We remember the Host of the West, Sam remembers the oliphaunt, while Frodo is naked in the dark, unable to remember much of anything. We observe that when you can’t run, you crawl; and we speculate about Gollum’s possible post-Ring life. Also, our new favorite hobbit name is Nick Bowman.

Duration:01:39:39

314 – Everybody Dies Alone

1/21/2024
Sam decides to trust to luck again, while Alan and Matt decide to back the Gríshnakh-Uglúk 2024 ticket. Join us in examining the virtue of cloaks as we begin the chapter Mount Doom. Sam considers the difficulty of the route, evaluates the remaining supplies, and carries on an inner dialogue about Bywater and Rosie Cotton. We learn what Tolkien thought about scientification, look for an excuse to read Éowyn dialogue, and admit we’re going to receive emails from football fans. Also, Matt denies making an old joke, and probably misses another Firefly reference.

Duration:01:27:57

313 – Breakfast in Mordor

1/14/2024
Sam suggests that Frodo and he should trust to luck, while Alan and Matt suggest they might want to reconsider. Join us as we spot that stinking villain — no, not Fëanor — sniffing around Frodo, as we wrap up the chapter on The Land of Shadow. Sam gives until it hurts, Frodo falls asleep, and they somehow find themselves participating in the 10k Run to Mordor despite their not having paid an entry fee. We observe that even the big orcs like to file reports almost as much as they like to whip small orcs. Also, Matt completely abandons Alan when singing Where There’s a Whip, There’s a Way.

Duration:01:21:40

312 – Take the Long Way ‘Round

1/7/2024
Two orcs engage in a spirited debate about Gollum, while two other orcs engage in a spirited debate about… oh, who am I kidding? Alan and Matt never debate. Join us as we discover that orcs prefer tattling on their peers rather than just killing them, as we keep moving deeper into The Land of Shadow. A tracker orc fails to track two very nearby hobbits, a soldier orc fails to shoot Gollum, and Sam fails to remember all those dead orcs in the Tower. We speculate about how Sam might tell his own story, and talk about the Eye of Sauron. Also, Matt is too young to recognize a reference to The Who.

Duration:01:32:02

311 – When All the World’s Asleep

12/17/2023
Sam insists on drinking first to protect Frodo, while Alan and Matt ruin any chance they have at a couple of bottled water sponsors. Join us for our discovery that Mordor is only mostly dead, as we continue our long and unpleasant way north in The Land of Shadow. We take a closer look at the geography of Mount Doom, while Frodo and Sam take a closer look at the extent of Sauron’s branding efforts. We linger on the highlight of Sam being given hope by the appearance of Eärendil, while no appearance of the famous mariner is complete without a brief visit from The Lord of the Mark himself. Also, don’t tell Oromë that Matt thinks he’s a diet Ulmo.

Duration:01:32:27

310 – Give a Little Bit (of Your Cloak to Me)

12/10/2023
Frodo and Sam get out of the predicament in the Tower only to have to head further into Mordor, as Alan and Matt get out of their QAN predicament only to have to… well, do this. Join us as Sam exaggerates the lengths of thorns while we begin our four-part walk through The Land of Shadow. Nazgûl cries just don’t hold the same terror anymore, Shagrat is not delivering water despite Sam’s professed interest, and we spend way too much time talking about the wind. Also, we laugh at the Rankin-Bass RotK Witch-king. Again.

Duration:01:23:08

309b – The Accidental Episode

12/3/2023
You know when someone makes a big mistake at work, but they bring in a dozen donuts the next day and everyone forgives them? Weeeell... this is kinda like that. The mistake was releasing today's episode a week early, which would normally leave you all without an episode to listen to today. The donuts are Season 6 bloopers, which are just as tasty but don't get crumbs all over. Enjoy! This show is part of the Spreaker Prime Network, if you are interested in advertising on this podcast, contact us at https://www.spreaker.com/show/4468251/advertisement

Duration:00:18:41

309 – Questions After Nightfall 25

11/26/2023
We’re known for our short and concise answers, says The Nerd of the Rings, as he joins The Man of the West just in time to answer listener questions on our 25th Questions After Nightfall! From Ainur bowling leagues to light bulb moments, from Farmer Maggot to our favorite head canon, our listeners keep us on our toes. Matt whiffs on a Firefly reference, and we agree that the Valar are less murdery than most pantheons.

Duration:01:35:38

308 – Boy, You’re Gonna Carry That Weight

11/19/2023
Frodo declines to acquiesce to Sam’s request to share the burden of the Ring… means ‘no’. Join Alan and Don as Sam becomes Frodo’s personal shopper in the worst clearance sale ever in our final episode on The Tower of Cirith Ungol. Sam forgives Frodo for his Ring-induced thievery allegation; we discuss the origin of orcs (again!); and the Watchers can’t stop Frodo and Sam. Also, The Lord of the Mark returns to speculate on Tolkien’s favorite Indiana Jones film.

Duration:01:48:19

307 – I Want to Hold Your Hand

11/12/2023
In the middle of his darkest moment, Sam sings; in the middle of this episode, Don and Alan sing. One of these two was a good decision. Join Alan and Don as Sam longs for Frodo, and refuses to say goodbye to the Stars in our third episode on The Tower of Cirith Ungol. Snaga loses a hand and rolls a natural 1; Sam finally finds his beloved Frodo; and Frodo is convinced the Quest is over. Also, Don offers questionable bear advice.

Duration:01:45:33

306 – We Can’t Work it Out

11/5/2023
Sam finds a way past the Watchers to rescue Frodo, as Don finds a way past Alan’s bad jokes to rescue the episode. Join Alan and Don as Sam continues his search for Frodo in a place absolutely filled with Orcs in our second episode on The Tower of Cirith Ungol. Sam is relieved to find nearly all of the Orcs are dead; we discuss the nature and origin of those creepy Watchers; and Shagrat ends Gorbag’s singing career. Also, Snaga will be presenting a TED Talk on cooperation in the C-suite.

Duration:01:27:17

305 – All You Need is Love

10/29/2023
Sam hesitantly takes what he sees as an irrevocable step down into Mordor; Don Marshall hesitantly agrees to do one more chapter with The Man of the West. Jon Alan and Don as Sam forgets his peril and bravely ventures into Mordor to rescue Frodo as we begin Book Six with The Tower of Cirith Ungol. Sam gets his first glimpse at Mount Doom; resists the temptation to become Samwise the Strong, Hero of the Age; and finally descends into Mordor. Finally, get out your shocked face as Don makes Alan feel old.

Duration:01:46:44

304 – Not Your Father's Hobbit

10/15/2023
Frodo has been a prisoner of the Orcs for more than a year in podcast time, but what’s another episode between friends? Before Alan and Don Marshall start our read through of Book VI of The Lord of the Rings, we take a look back at the previous books as we discuss the themes and events of the story so far - maybe with a special eye towards Frodo and Sam, who we’ll spend a great deal of time with during the first half of this season. We discuss the composition of Book VI, thankful that Bingo is no longer Frodo’s name-oh. Also, what would Tolkien do with a Google Drive?

Duration:01:56:19

303 – Questions After Nightfall 24

10/1/2023
The Fëanor piñata takes some more hits as The Man of the West welcomes Don Marshall, the Obscure Lord of the Rings Facts Guy, to the Prancing Pony Podcast just in time to answer some really obscure questions! From Narya’s chain-of-custody to Goldberry growing tired of trochaic tetrameter, our listeners do their best to trip us up. Alan gets choked up over a Húrin passage - surprise - and we agree that this Tolkien fellow is pretty good at writing.

Duration:01:34:42

302 – Live at Oxonmoot 50!

9/17/2023
Join both The Man of the West and the Lord of the Mark as they celebrate the release of their new book by recording a LIVE episode at The Tolkien Society’s 50th Oxonmoot in Oxford! Guests include Kristine Larsen, John Rateliff, Brian Sibley… and 135 of our closest friends! Recommended Reading: include Letters from FC, Fall of Númenor, and The History of the Hobbit, along with our own book.

Duration:01:42:02

301 – A Little Bit Me, A Little… Nah, it’s All You

7/30/2023
Sauron smells a trap, and sends his lieutenant to open the door and see who’s there; Matt smells a sidebar, and sends Alan to find out more. Join us as the Mouth of Sauron says too much, but doesn’t lose his head, as we conclude The Black Gate Opens — and Season 7 of the PPP! We meet perhaps the scariest steed ever to walk the earth, discuss the absurdity of killing ambassadors, and decide we know how about how old the Mouth of Sauron is. Matt wants to read the edited Letters of Alan and Shawn; Alan just wants to see a bear on a hell-steed; both of us want to see White Horse and Silver Swan in concert. Finally, we realize just what a terrible cliffhanger Tolkien can write.

Duration:01:49:09