The Tolkien Road

A podcast about Middle-earth and all things Tolkien.

0326 » Leaf By Niggle 2023 » Featuring Dr. Chris Hackett » Tolkien’s Purgatorial Myth

Leaf By Niggle, 2023!  

Dr. Chris Hackett ( joins us for what has become an annual tradition on The Tolkien Road. While we’ve covered Leaf By Niggle several times in the past, and frequently refer to it, it’s an incredible gem, hidden behind the mountainous wonder that is the Middle-earth legendarium. For me, it’s a story that never ceases to fill me with wonder and joy, and if I’m being honest, it always manages to get me a little choked up. I suppose this effect has something to do with what Tolkien called “Christian joy”, that “which produces tears because it is qualitatively so like sorrow, because it comes from those places where Joy and Sorrow are at one, reconciled, as selfishness and altruism are lost in Love.”  

I wish people knew about this story like they knew about The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I believe it is truly a life-changing story, bearing the aura of supernatural inspiration, like so much of Middle-earth. And it’s a joy to discuss this story with others, and to learn what they see in it.

Learn more about Dr. Chris Hackett and his books » 


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All Tales May Come True

Due to extreme technical difficulties, Episode 179 is delayed by a week. However, I wanted to share with you a sample of my audio-essay “All

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