S4 E14 Rewatching “Lord of the Rings”: To die just a little


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In light of the recent re-screening of Lord of the Rings, we chatted with physicist Cheng Yangyang and LOTR superfan Wenjin about this classic work that we had the privilege to grow up with. We talked about the exiled human king, re-examined the orcs, and mused on the revenge of the ents. We also talked about how the work inspired us, and how we, as diasporas, see ourselves in the wandering steps of Aragorn’s self-inflicted exile -- the act of “dying just a little”.

  • 2:44 Our first experience with LOTR
  • 10:29 Resetting myself after the apocalyptic 2020 by re-watching LOTR
  • 20:15 Is it still worth it to talk about race in LOTR in 2021?
  • 35:38 The Isengard flood and the revenge of nature
  • 41:10 Aragorn - the orphan raised on a foreign land
  • 50:00 The 2021 rescreening and the icy 1-star reviews

Our Guests

  • Cheng Yangyang (@yangyang_cheng): Particle physicist, writer, and postdoctoral fellow at Yale Law School.
  • Wenjin (@norloth): Host of the podcast "托尔金的树叶", illustrator, and LOTR superfan.

Links & Resources

Some of Us Did Not Die by Yangyang Cheng

Audio editor

Ziyi: a documentarian, podcaster & football lover

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