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June 7, 2024 62 mins

Stick around to the end for no less than five special Bonus Features. See descriptions of each below, after the episode summary. In Episode 2 of The Bitlings podcast, hosts Kenny Sargent (founder of Sargent Family Productions and author of the Generations saga) and William Chad Newsom (staff writer at Sargent Family Productions and author of Talking of Dragons: The Children’s Books of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis) present the second of our five episode series on The Lord of the Rings.

Today, we’ll talk about the oft-overlooked early chapters of Volume 1 (The Fellowship of the Ring) of The Lord of the Rings.

You know, those parts that tend to get left out of movies and radio drama adaptations.

That’s right: the Old Forest, Old Man Willow, Tom Bombadil and Goldberry, and the Barrow Downs.

Why are these chapters important? Is there more there than most folks seem to think? Why are they some of Chad’s favorites now, when he struggled to get through them when he first read the book at age 12?

Find out in today’s episode, “Bombadil in the Backyard.”

AND: we have FIVE Bonus Features for you in this episode: extra discussion between Kenny and Chad that happens before or after the episodes are recorded.

A brief description of each is below:

Bonus 1: “Desire to be Sam…Be Willing to be Frodo.” Kenny and Chad talk about “The Scouring of the Shire” (a great chapter near the end of The Lord of the Rings that Peter Jackson left out of his Return of the King film for some reason), the movie Gladiator, and the aftereffects of Frodo’s uncured wounds.

Bonus 2: Vacation Worldbuilding. Kenny gives a quick tip for how your family can get more out of long road trips, by telling what one of his sons did on such trips.

Bonus 3: “The Final Act.” This one goes all over the place. Kenny and Chad talk about the deep need to see a story through to its ending, and how it affects us when that ending is bad, or simply missing. This leads into a discussion of Kenny’s Generations 2: The D.C. Gambit, the multiple endings of The Lords of the Rings (should The Lord of the Rings have ended with Mt. Doom?), and types of endings in long stories vs. short stories. Find out what all this has to do with detective stories, Charles Dickens, the Netflix show Troll Hunters, character development in the Harry Potter stories, the Avengers Movies, and even a Hallmark Channel mystery series.

Bonus 4: “It Was our Star Wars.” Kenny asks Chad about the way the 1981 BBC radio drama version of The Lord of the Rings affected him in childhood and beyond, and how it gave him a better knowledge of the text, stories, and poems of Tolkien’s great work.

Bonus 5: “Maybe You Will!” Kenny and Chad share their initial reactions at the conclusion of the first Bitlings recording session.

SPOILER ALERT: You can’t talk about books without talking about them. Expect spoilers on The Bitlings! This is a family-friendly show, but you should shield the ears of children if you don’t want key plot points spoiled for them.

CORRECTION: In this episode, I (Chad) quote Tolkien as saying that Tom Bombadil is “the spirit of the English countryside.” More specifically, Tolkien said he is a “spirit of the (vanishing) Oxford and Berkshire countryside.”

Find Stories You Can Trust by visiting us online:

Shop Sargent Family Productions and get started on Kenny’s Generations Saga, or read Chad’s Talking of Dragons: The Children’s Books of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis:

Learn more about The Bitlings podcast:

Theme Song: "From Sky to Sky," written and performed by William Chad Newsom

"Constancy Part Two" Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

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