From The Blog

Riddles in the Dark: Episode 11

We take a detour through interracial romance on the way to Gollum on Riddles in the Dark!

In Episode 11 of the Mythgard Institute’s Riddles in the Dark podcast, Prof. Corey Olsen and Dave Kale  talk Gollum in the second of their three-part series on Bilbo, Gollum, and their Riddles contest.  This week, Prof. Olsen goes very Tolkien Professor on us and talks in detail about Gollum’s evolution from dangerous but rule-abiding adversary to integral tragic anti-hero through multiple editions of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.  He educates Dave about pre-LOTR Gollum (from the earliest editions of the Hobbit) and explains how Peter Jackson’s task – adapting the character of Gollum to be consistent with both The Hobbit novel as well as his own pre-existing LOTR films – is not so very different from that faced by Tolkien himself after the publication of The Lord of the Rings.

But before they even get to that, they first take a detour into the hottest news of the week: the purported interracial romance between “hot dwarf” Kili (played by Aiden Turner) and elven femme fatale Tauriel (played by Evangeline Lilly).  Prof. Olsen and Dave agree that most likely a stray comment has been blown out of proportion but speculate nonetheless about how romantic elements might fit into the film’s narrative and share their hope that Peter Jackson will handle it with taste (for more insightful commentary, see the most recent episode of SQPN’s Secrets of the Hobbit from Fr. Roderick and Dave).

The team also tries a new experiment this week: in addition to broadcasting live on Middle-earth Network Radio, they also use Mythgard’s “Netmoot” format to enable listeners to interact with them and ask questions during the broadcast.  Eventually, listeners may be able to contribute their voices to future RITD episodes!

Prediction: How will Gollum in The Hobbit compare to his portrayal in The Lord of the Rings?

A. He will be portrayed as more sympathetic, perhaps by showing flashbacks or emphasizing his kinder “Smeagol” side.
B. He will be pretty much the same.
C. He will be seem less sympathetic and more wicked and threatening, consistent with his long possession of the Ring.

D. None of the above. Corey and Dave just lack sufficient imagination when it comes to brainstorming answers.

Download: .mp3 (right click and choose “Save As…” to download)