Monthly Archives: March 2019

Ep008: The Fall of Gondolin

The Fall of Gondolin by JRR Tolkien

Christopher Tolkien releases The Fall of Gondolin, a collection of various versions of the memorable first age tale. A human travels to a hidden city with the prophecy of its demise, and through this myth the forces of good and evil battle at the walls of this city. An exemplar of mythic fantasy, JRR Tolkien’s first story of Middle Earth is published as likely its last. Join us as we discuss the influence of Tolkien on fantasy, and what it means to be a Tolkien fanatic.


  • The Fall of Gondolin by JRR Tolkien
  • The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien
  • Red Rising series by Pierce Brown

The Influence of Tolkien

Without a doubt JRR Tolkien defined the genre of high fantasy. His Hobbit book and the followup in The Lord of the Rings created the tales of Middle Earth that have captivated generations. Brought to life on film The Lord of the Rings movies captured numerous awards, including the final installment, The Return of the King, tying for the most Emmys of any movie in history.

Tolkien’s works appear to be modeled after myths, and The Fall of Gondolin is a myth where good and evil meet at a hidden city. A story of betrayal and hope, this story is just one part of the grander stories of Middle Earth.

A question we ask ourselves is around the evolution of the fantasy genre. The Fall of Gondolin is planned to be the final book published by Christopher Tolkien. Without Tolkien books in the mix we have to ask: what comes next? Is there a next? Tolkien exemplifies plot-driven narratives that in recent years have fallen under great criticism. A challenge for future fantasy authors is to understand the appropriate mix of atmosphere – like that provided in The Fall of Gondolin – and character that has become popular in recent times.

Ep007: Authors Expanding Canon

The Story Continues In….

How do you feel when a story continues after the end? Famous examples include the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling and the Xanth series by Piers Anthony. We discuss what these stories feel like. Does the original story get changed? Does the original meaning become something distant?


  • Harry Potter series and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • Red Rising series by Pierce Brown
  • Xanth Series by Piers Anthony
  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  • Game of Thrones Seasons 1-7 series
  • City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments series) by Cassandra Clare

Other Media Mentioned

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis