a Tolkien Podcast

Episode 14: Quenya Catholic Prayers

  • Tolkien, J.R.R. ""Words of Joy": Five Catholic Prayers in Quenya. (Part One)" Ed. Patrick Wynne, Arden R. Smith, and Carl F. Hostetter. Vinyar Tengwar 43 (2002): 5­38. Print.
  • Tolkien, J.R.R. ""Words of Joy": Five Catholic Prayers in Quenya. (Part Two)" Ed. Patrick Wynne, Arden R. Smith, and Carl F. Hostetter. Vinyar Tengwar 44 (2002): 5­20. Print.
  • Tolkien, J.R.R. "The Qenya Phonology and Lexicon." Ed. Christopher Gilson, Carl F. Hostetter, Patrick Wynne, and Arden R. Smith. Parma Eldalamberon 12 (1998)
  • Garth, John. Tolkien and the Great War : the threshold of Middle-earth. London: HarperCollins, 2003.
  • Letter 142. In H. Carpenter and C. Tolkien (Eds.), The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien.New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin

Episode Mentions

Vinyar Tengwar Homepage
Elven Linguistic Fellowship
Vinyar Tengwar Issue 43

Episode 13: Tolkien Fanfiction Culture

    This episode Jude and Stef talk to Dawn Walls-Thumma, founder of the Silmarillion Writers Guild and author of a fascinating survey on the culture and practices of the Tolkien Fanfiction community.

Dawn’s Socials
Twitter: @DawnFelagund
Silmarillion Writers Guild
Dawn’s Personal Page

Show Notes
Join Athrabeth’s Discord!

Works Referenced This Episode
Walls-Thumma, Dawn (2019) Data on Tolkien Fanfiction Culture and Practices (1st Edition)

Episode 12: A Tale of Two Tolkien Biographies

Jude and Stef review the new Tolkien biopic, as well John Garth’s “Tolkien and the Great War”. Some beefs are had.

Episode 11: The A-Neigh-zing Horses of Middle Earth part 2

From the noble Mearas of the Rohirrim to the dark mounts of the Black Riders, we close out our Horsey series with some of the most notable steeds of Middle-earth

Episode 10: The A-Neigh-zing Horses of Middle Earth part 1

What started as a joke about ranking of all the horses of Middle-earth as a palate cleanser for Stef after so many episodes about souls and eschatology, has turned into two of our best episodes, courtesy of Stef’s unbridled enthusiasm for hoses and Tolkien! Enjoy this first in our two part series on the Horses of Middle-earth!

Episode 9: Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth part 2: grief and partings

In the conclusion of first episodes on the Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth, we cover the second half of the conversation, discuss the Tale of Adanel, and give our final thoughts on this amazing piece. We also talk about our recent trip to New York to attend the Tolkien and Inspiration symposium at the Morgan Library!

Episode 8: Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth part 1: death, faith and hope

Part 1 of our first foray into the work that gave our podcast its name, Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth! We meet the our interlocutors and dive into this fascinating exploration of death, faith, and hope in Middle-earth.

Episode 7: Thought Transmission and Elven Resurrection

Part 2 of our discussion of souls, eschatology, and the elven afterlife examines the properties inherent to fëa, including thought transmission, and then we discuss elven resurrection!

Episode 6: Hröa and Fëa

Part 1 of what is currently planned to be a 3 part discussion of souls, eschatology, and the elven afterlife, culminating in a discussion of our podcast’s namesake essay, the Athrabeth! This episode we’re laying the groundwork with a lot of terminology which Stef definitely enjoyed, and an overview of the various kinds of incarnates in middle-Earth.

Episode 6 Extras: Quotes

Below are the full versions of the quotes read or referenced in Episode 6, and their sources.


Then Ilúvatar spoke, and he said: ‘Mighty are the Ainur, and mightiest among them is Melkor; but that he may know, and all the Ainur, that I am Ilúvatar, those things that ye have sung, I will show them forth, that ye may see what ye have done. And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined.’

The Silmarillion, Ainulindale



The wedding of his father was not pleasing to Fëanor; and he had no great love for Indis, nor for Fingolfin and Finarfin, her sons. He lived apart from them, exploring the land of Aman, or busying himself with the knowledge and the crafts in which he delighted. In those unhappy things which later came to pass, and in which Fëanor was the leader, many saw the effect of this breach within the house of Finwë, judging that if Finwë had endured his loss and been content with the fathering of his mighty son, the courses of Fëanor would have been otherwise, and great evil might have been prevented; for the sorrow and the strife in the house of Finwë is graven in the memory of the Noldorin Elves. But the children of Indis were great and glorious, and their children also; and if they had not lived the history of the Eldar would have been diminished.

The Silmarillion, Chapter 6, Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor


But Ilúvatar spoke again and said: ‘Even as I gave being to the thoughts of the Ainur at the beginning of the World, so now I have taken up thy desire and given to it a place therein; but in no other way will I amend thy handiwork, and as thou hast made it, so shall it be. But I will not suffer this: that these should come before the Firstborn of my design, nor that thy impatience should be rewarded. They shall sleep now in the darkness under stone, and shall not come forth until the Firstborn have awakened upon Earth; and until that time thou and they shall wait, though long it seem. But when the time comes I will awaken them, and they shall be to thee as children; and often strife shall arise between thine and mine, the children of my adoption and the children of my choice.’

The Silmarillion, Chapter 2, of Aüle and Yavanna



In summary: I think it must be assumed that ‘talking’ is not necessarily the sign of the possession of a ‘rational soul’ or fea7
The Orcs were beasts of humanized shape (to mock Men and Elves) deliberately perverted / converted into a more close resemblance to Men. Their ‘talking’ was really reeling off ‘records’ set in them by Melkor. Even their rebellious critical words — he knew about them. Melkor taught them speech and as they bred they inherited this; and they had just as much independence as have, say, dogs or horses of their human masters. This talking was largely echoic (cf. parrots). In The Lord of the Rings Sauron is said to have devised a language for Them. The same sort of thing may be said of Huan and the Eagles: they were taught language by the Valar, and raised to a higher level — but they still had no fear.

The History of Middle Earth vol 10: Morgoth’s Ring, p410

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