This week Michael and I talked with Professor Nick Groom, author of Tolkien in the 21st Century: The Meaning of Middle-earth Today, releasing Sept. 5, 2023 (apologies for some some of the echo in the audio!). Professor Groom’s book is a detailed, in-depth, but very readable look into MIddle-earth, and how he perceives Tolkien as more relevant than ever before–particularly in a post-COVID culture. This was a refreshing discussion that dove deep into things including:

  • Professor Groom’s thoughts on the ambiguity of evil in Middle-earth
  • How Tolkien’s themes are vital in a post-lockdown era
  • Why he believes The Rings of Power is a great story in the tradition of Middle-earth adaptations–but definitely isn’t Tolkien’s story.

Then, join us in our extended episode ( where we:

  • Does The Rings of Power deserve the amount of criticism we give it?
  • Who is his favorite character in all of Middle-earth?
  • What should be done to encourage young artists to write great new stories again?

🎉 To get the extended episode, become a member at ($4/mo and free for the 1st month)! Nick Groom is the Professor of Literature in English at the University of Macau, held positions at universities of Chicago, Stanford and Exeter where he holds an Honorary Professorship, and for many years taught the only UK undergraduate course in Tolkien. BECOME A MEMBER! Get access to the extended edition of this podcast, our private Discord chat, and  live chats. Click here! 🔗 Episode Links Tolkien in the 21st Century (US version) Twenty-First-Century Tolkien (UK version) The Last Ringbearer 🎧 Subscribe to our Podcast Get the Extended Podcast Subscribe on Apple Subscribe on Google 🔍 If You Like Tolkien The Silmarillion The Fall of Númenor The Fall of Gondolin The Children of Hurin The Atlas of Middle-earth The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien 🗣 Special Thanks to Austin Robertson for the use of his voice! 🖼 Special Thanks to Anna Grumbine for the artwork!