The Tolkien Road

A podcast about Middle-earth and all things Tolkien.

0260 » The Fool’s Hope » Gandalf and Pippin in Minas Tirith

In episode 260, we discuss Gandalf’s famous characterization of Frodo’s quest: “a fool’s hope”. Why did he say that? Why is it significant he was saying that to Pippin? What is the broader significance of that line for the work and for Middle-earth (and our reality) in general?


Join us!


  • Andrew T
  • John R
  • Ms. Anonymous
  • Redhawk


  • The Passage » 4:22
  • “The starless blackness” and the Shadow » 9:35
  • “Fool of a Took!” » 10:30
  • Cirith Ungol: Why would he go THAT way? » St. Paul and the Fool’s Hope » 16:05
  • The role of hobbits in Gandalf’s life and mission » 21:12
  • Is Nature of Middle-earth good for someone who hasn’t read The History of Middle-earth? » 24:40
  • Understanding Catholicism Through Tolkien & Conversion » 26:30
  • Shakespeare & Tolkien » 27:28
  • The Ride of the Rohirrim and Speeding » 30:00
  • Eru’s Will? » 33:20
  • Gandalf’s Appearance and Tolkien’s Care Factor » 42:50



Special thanks to the following patrons: 

  • Andrew T
  • John R
  • Ms. Anonymous
  • Redhawk
  • Kaitlyn of Tea with Tolkien
  • Shannon S
  • Brian O
  • Emilio P
  • Zeke F
  • James A
  • James L
  • Chris L
  • Chuck F
  • Asya V
  • Ish of the Hammer
  • Teresa C
  • David of Pints with Jack
  • Jonathan D
  • Eric S
  • Joey S
  • Eric B
  • Johanna T
  • Mike M
  • Robert H
  • Paul D
  • Julia
  • Werty


The Mythic Mind with Andrew Snyder » The Tolkien Road Episode 322

0322 » The Mythic Mind with Andrew Snyder

In episode 322, I’m joined by Andrew Snyder of The Mythic Mind podcast. We talk Middle-earth, Tolkien, Christianity, Kierkegaard, The Shadow, and the consolation that Tolkien provided in Andrew’s life during a very dark period. Join us!

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How Tolkien Saved My Life

0300 » How Tolkien Saved My Life

Join us for an in-depth discussion of “Of Beleriand and Its Realms”, the 14th chapter of The Silmarillion. Get the most out of your Silmarillion reading from this exploration of the map of Middle-earth’s First Age.

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It will help you…

  • Grasp the book’s complex structure.
  • Become familiar with key plot points.
  • Visualize the changing world with simple maps.
  • Deepen your appreciation of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.