TEP #39 – Willie ‘Knewbettadobetta’ Jenkins

Our guest this week is a viral sensation on TikTok and has recently made the move to YouTube: Willie Jenkins!

Willie Jenkins is a super fan of Tolkien! He also has a magnetic personality and a desire to teach. These things have combined to make him a hit as he puts together short videos that summarize different characters or events from Tolkien’s work. With over 23,000 subscribers on TikTok and 3,000 subscribers on YouTube, he is known as Knewbettadobetta on both platforms, Willie is doing an excellent job making Tolkien’s work more approachable and accessible! I was really pleased to have the opportunity to interview him for this episode!

Willie did have a request from us: to help him get a better camera for his channel. If you can contribute, you can donate using Cashapp. His user name is $WillieJenkins.

Links to audio of this interview are below!

Video of this interview is available exclusively to our patrons on Patreon! Subscribing at $5/month gets you access to video interviews, behind-the-scenes information, early releases, and other bonus content!

Subscribe to the podcast via:

Please consider supporting the Podcast on Patreon!

Comments or questions:

  • Visit us at Facebook or Twitter
  • Comment on this blog post
  • Send us an e-mail from the contact page
  • Email TolkienExperience (at) gmail (dot) com

TEP #28 — Chris Vaccaro

Our guest this week is a consummate Tolkien scholar and academic: Chris Vaccaro!

Chris is the editor of two collections of scholarship about J.R.R. Tolkien: The Body in Tolkien’s Legendarium (2013) and Tolkien and Alterity (2017). He is also the organizer of the annual Tolkien in Vermont conference and a co-organizer of the Tolkien at Kalamazoo group, which organizes conference panels and an annual symposium. His current project is co-editing another edited collection of essays: Queer Tolkien.

Links to audio of this interview are below!

Video of this interview is available exclusively to our patrons on Patreon! Subscribing at $5/month gets you access to video interviews, behind-the-scenes information, early releases, and other bonus content!

Subscribe to the podcast via:

Please consider supporting the Podcast on Patreon!

Comments or questions:

  • Visit us at Facebook or Twitter
  • Comment on this blog post
  • Send us an e-mail from the contact page
  • Email TolkienExperience (at) gmail (dot) com

TEP #27 – Molly Ostertag

Our guest this week is a fantastic animator and author: Molly Ostertag!

Molly is known for her work on several animated series, including Star vs. The Forces of Evil, The Owl House, and ThunderCats Roar. She is also a New York Times Bestselling author who enjoys writing Lord of the Rings fanfiction and fan comics. Her most exciting recent work is her award winning The Witch Boy series. I am so delighted to share our interview with you, where we talk about being her experience as a fantasy writer and a Tolkien fan!

Please consider supporting the Podcast on Patreon!

Subscribe to the podcast via:

Comments or questions:

  • Visit us at Facebook or Twitter
  • Comment on this blog post
  • Send us an e-mail from the contact page
  • Email TolkienExperience (at) gmail (dot) com

TEP #26 — Bruce Hopkins

Our guest this week is the first one we have had who worked on the Peter Jackson adaptations of The Lord of the Rings!

Bruce Hopkins played the character Gamling in both The Two Towers and The Return of the King at the beginning of the millennium. He shares with us his own journey as a Tolkien reader, as well as some stories from the set and his personal trek across New Zealand! His trip across New Zealand is available as a mini-series on YouTube!

Please consider supporting the Podcast on Patreon!

Subscribe to the podcast via:

Comments or questions:

  • Visit us at Facebook or Twitter
  • Comment on this blog post
  • Send us an e-mail from the contact page
  • Email TolkienExperience (at) gmail (dot) com

TEP #25 — Diverse Tolkien

For this week’s episode of the Tolkien Experience Podcast, I am very excited to share our interview with the creator of Diverse Tolkien!

While she does not want me to use her name, the creator of Diverse Tolkien can be found on Twitter and Tumblr where she focuses on discussing anti-blackness in Tolkien’s work and in the fan community. She wanted me to let you know about her exciting event: Diverse Tolkien Week! This event will be on Twitter and Tumblr during the last week of February. Please listen to the episode to find out more and join in the event later this month!

Please consider supporting the Podcast on Patreon!

Subscribe to the podcast via:

Comments or questions:

  • Visit us at Facebook or Twitter
  • Comment on this blog post
  • Send us an e-mail from the contact page
  • Email TolkienExperience (at) gmail (dot) com

TEP #24 — Marcel Aubron-Bülles

We have a fantastic guest to start off our second season of the Tolkien Experience Podcast: Marcel Aubron-Bülles!

Marcel, also known as The Tolkienist, is very involved in Tolkien fandom. Marcel is best know for his work as the founder of the German Tolkien Society. He is also an independent Tolkien scholar, and a very active member of the Tolkien Society and Tolkien Tribe. He has recently started a Patreon where you can keep up with his travels and Tolkien news.

Please consider supporting the Podcast on Patreon!

Subscribe to the podcast via:

Comments or questions:

  • Visit us at Facebook or Twitter
  • Comment on this blog post
  • Send us an e-mail from the contact page
  • Email TolkienExperience (at) gmail (dot) com

TEP #23 – Season 1 Finale

In this special episode of the Tolkien Experience Podcast, Luke and Sara wrap up the first season!

They reflect on some of their favorite interviews, share some of their own Tolkien Experiences, and give a special thank you to our faithful listeners!

We hope you enjoy it. Remember, there will be more TEP coming your way after the holidays!

Please consider supporting the Podcast on Patreon!

Subscribe to the podcast via:

Comments or questions:

  • Visit us at Facebook or Twitter
  • Comment on this blog post
  • Send us an e-mail from the contact page
  • Email TolkienExperience (at) gmail (dot) com

TEP #22 – Megan Fontenot

For this episode, I had the opportunity to talk with a wonderful writer who has produced excellent scholarship as well as engaging popular posts about Tolkien: Megan Fontenot!

Megan is a Ph.D. student at the University of Georgia.

I first met Megan in 2018 when she gave her award-winning paper “‘No Pagan ever loved his god’: Tolkien, Thompson, and the Beautification of the Gods.” at Mythcon. Since then, Megan has pursued her interest in Tolkien in several venues, including a series of articles for tor.com. You can find out more about Megan from her University of Georgia profile, or from her website!

Please consider supporting the Podcast on Patreon!

Subscribe to the podcast via:

Comments or questions:

  • Visit us at Facebook or Twitter
  • Comment on this blog post
  • Send us an e-mail from the contact page
  • Email TolkienExperience (at) gmail (dot) com

TEP #21 – Anke Eissmann

For this episode, Sara was able to talk with an artist whose work is well known to many Tolkien fans: Anke Eissmann!

You may have seen Anke’s artwork as the cover of some of your favorite Walking Tree Publisher works! She also is a prolific contributor to Tolkien conferences and fan communities in Germany and the UK. In addition to all of her Tolkien credentials, she has also published an illustrated edition of Beowulf! To see more about Anke and to see examples of her work, visit her website!

Please consider supporting the Podcast on Patreon!

Subscribe to the podcast via:

Comments or questions:

  • Visit us at Facebook or Twitter
  • Comment on this blog post
  • Send us an e-mail from the contact page
  • Email TolkienExperience (at) gmail (dot) com

TEP #20 – Amy Sturgis

For this episode, I had the opportunity to talk with a scholar whose work spans the gap between science fiction and fantasy, between history and literary analysis: Dr. Amy H. Sturgis.

Amy holds a Ph.D. in Intellectual History and specializes in the fields of Science Fiction/Fantasy and Indigenous American Studies.

She recently gave the keynote address “Speculative Fiction as ‘Reflecting Shield’: Defying and Defining the Darkness” at Mythmoot VII. She is a monthly contributor on the StarShipSofa Podcast and is the Editor in Chief of Hocus Pocus Comics. Her Tolkien-related scholarship includes a long list, only some of which we get to address in the episode. Please see the bottom of the show notes for a more complete list! Also visit her website to keep up to date on her always updating contributions!

Please consider supporting the Podcast on Patreon!

Subscribe to the podcast via:

Comments or questions:

  • Visit us at Facebook or Twitter
  • Comment on this blog post
  • Send us an e-mail from the contact page
  • Email TolkienExperience (at) gmail (dot) com

Articles by Amy H. Sturgis:

Reimagining Rose: Portrayals of Tolkien’s Rosie Cotton in Twenty-First Century Fan Fiction” in Mythlore 24.3.

Harry Potter Is A Hobbit: Rowling, Tolkien, and The Question of Readership,” in CSL: The Bulletin of the New York Tolkien Society 35.3