Season 3 is here, and we begin by welcoming Tom Shippey to The Prancing Pony Podcast! We discuss his classic works The Road to Middle-earth and J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, and the remarkable story of his personal meeting with Professor Tolkien in 1972. We also talk about his new book Laughing Shall I Die, an exploration of the Viking heroic mindset and their grim (often inappropriate) sense of humour. Plus, the shocking link between Beowulf and a young woman searching for the perfect bowl of porridge.

In this episode, Tom Shippey briefly mentions a response he wrote to a New York Times Review of Books article by an author he said got Tolkien “R-O-N-G wrong”. The original article requires a paid subscription, but fortunately, you can read Professor Shippey’s delightful response “The Wrong Sow” here: ... terview-with-tom-shippey/