Podcast/Audiobook The hobbit and Lors of the rings

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Post by Amarië Sat Jun 05, 2021 5:03 pm

Perhaps this is old news, but it is news to me. I found a podcast with The Hobbit and Lord of the rings on Spotify, and it is very charming.

I did some spot checks in lotr and it has correct pronunciation of elven names. Now I started on the first chapter of the Hobbit, and the reader is engaged and playful. It is movie influenced, but that means Gandalf sounds like Gandalf, and you have "concerning hobbits" playing while the narrator tells about Hobbits so that's all good I suppose.

Others places to find it: https://anchor.fm/unexpected-journey

Spotify: an unexpected journey Samwise Gamgee

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Post by halfwise Sat Jun 05, 2021 5:43 pm

Hmm...I'm not really into podcasts of books, but if they did research to get pronunciations right that's an advantage right there.  And I see the website link is accompanied by an interview with Tolkien, which grabs my attention (wonder if it's one I haven't heard?).   My only complaint is the site doesn't list the actor doing the narration.  That's stupid.

Addendum: I don't see a chapter called "concerning hobbits" - where is it? Part of chapter 1?

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Post by Amarië Sat Jun 05, 2021 7:51 pm

Concerning Hobbits was a chapter in lotr, explaining about them before the story began. It's also the name of the cosy hobbit music theme.

They sang their own version of 'Blunt the knives' (I liked it!), but use the misty mountains song from the movies. I'm looking forward to lalalalally down in the valley.

There's a lot of sound and music from the movies. It does fit well, but I wonder if they are a bit incognito for a reason....

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Post by halfwise Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:15 pm

Listening to the interview:

- I think I've heard it before but not directly:
 interviewer: "The story seems to be our earth but in a different era of time."
 Tolkien: (sounding a bit befuddled by the question) "No...a different stage of imagination."
He later mentions tobacco to make it clear it's NOT a different era of earth, because it would be an anachronism.  Middle earth is NOT our earth.  Putting potatoes etc in his world was NOT an oversight, it's just his way of tying parts of our experience to his world.

- He's very clear when talking about the Trees of Valinor that they are NOT tied to the Norse trees, but more like indo-european mythic trees.  He was very adamant that he did not work with symbols: his characters may, but as an author he only worked in history.  We all know this of course, but it's fun to hear him constantly got annoyed when the interviewer tried to pry into symbolism.

- Tolkien claimed he did not "choose" hobbits to carry the ring, it was sort of foisted on him by his previous publication.  Anything meaningful that flows out of that just came naturally but wasn't forced by the author.  He invented the "One Ring to Rule them All" rhyme while in his bath, and filled out the story from there.  It grew "without control"; every attempt to predetermine or outline the story failed.

- Elves are not immortal in some mystical sense, they just have such a longevity that they would happen to last as long as the earth.  He never meant for people to read them as being angelic (indeed their actions in the first age would bear this out).

- when the interviewer said that all characters are black and white except for Gollum and Boromir, Tolkien threw in Denethor.  With reference to Gollum he says it's the good people who often do the most damage to 'bad' people by not letting them escape their past.  The point of repentance is 'very sticky' because people like Sam distrust them.

- In reference to the Valar he refers to "this particular little group of them" who took an interest in Earth.  He very clearly does not see the Earth as particularly special.


Last edited by halfwise on Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by halfwise Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:22 pm

I know what Concerning Hobbits is ( Mad ), but I would have hoped for an audible chapter of it.

Much as I loved the music for Over Misty Mountains Cold it didn't feel right to me as a sort of family history song. Not complaining, just wondering if it's the best choice for a narration. In the film the cinemanographic techniques made it work, as it's a fairly cinematic composition.

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Post by halfwise Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:28 pm

The Hobbit chapters don't work for me. Banghead   The LotR chapters do, fortunately.  But I was looking forward to the first chapter of the Hobbit.  I don't do spotify, maybe other venues may work.  Same experience on Google podcasts, and others.  What's going on?

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Post by Amarië Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:00 pm

Oh! I found it!

"Chapter 1, nov 13" is the start of the Hobbit.

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Post by halfwise Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:03 pm

You mean november 12. I can't play them. Maybe it works on spotify but not the other links?

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Post by Amarië Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:15 pm

No, follow the anchor link, scroll to the bottom. Nov 13.

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Post by halfwise Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:30 pm

I gave up and (re)joined spotify.  Not hard to find the Hobbit chapters: just scroll to the bottom of each list in every link I looked at.

I'm rather lukewarm on the narrator.  He's not bad and not annoying me, but not quite as cosy-voiced as I'd like.  Not hearing the tobacco smoke in his delivery.

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Post by Amarië Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:33 pm

Very odd, it plays just fine here. Shrugging But spotify will be better to keep track of where you are, and carry on from where you left it.

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Post by Amarië Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:10 pm

Yeah it's definitely not a tobacco voice. Laughing But not bad.
The Scottish-y Thorin is a bit odd.

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Post by halfwise Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:34 pm

Come to think of it, though the other dwarves in PJ's version were definitely Scottish, did Thorin actually have a Scottish accent?  He sounded rather neutral to my ears - an averaged British voice that had no particular character to it. Sort of the Elrond accent.

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Post by Amarië Sun Jun 06, 2021 12:35 pm

I lied. Too many distractions and pausing, wasn't paying enough attention, so I went back to listen again. Bombur is sounding Sean Connery-y Shcottishh, Balin has some solid r's rrrolling. Thorin isn't particularly Scottish-like from what I can hear. I suppose it is the movie references playing in again.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Jun 07, 2021 1:26 pm

{{ Funny the regional accent assocation that goes on with dwarves in particular. I always thought Pratchett was closest, his dwarves are clearly Welsh nased, which fits as the Welsh were long famous as miners and like to sing a lot and discworld is a 'mirror of worlds'.
Making dwarves Scottish as PJ did I found a bit odder. Scots are not particualrly known for mining, not as much as say ship building or inventions, but what really annoyed me about PJ's version is he didnt stop at using Scottish accents, he added in completely unrelated Scottish cultural elements into Tolkien's dwarf culture that simply don't belong there.}}

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Post by halfwise Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:18 pm

The had to avoid Welsh because that's Elvish. I think the other Scottish characteristics came along for the ride, as it may feel odd to have distinctly Scottish accents without the equally distinctive culture that accompanies it. It may have worked well if they had deliberately avoided "acting" Scottish, but for many people putting on an accent is equivalent to putting on a culture.

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Post by Amarië Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:46 pm

*mumbles* They were supposed to put on dwarven culture....

Anyway... Scottish arrrring aside, just heard Down in the valley and I approve. It's not an easy one to do. You can't have a choir of Enya-like folks singing that.

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