And given unto Derek and Laurel was a podcast of power, forged in the concrete of South Philadelphia, and in it, they poured their nerdiness, love of mythology and story telling! Listen this week as we scratch the surface of JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, as we examine the structure, history, and lore behind the modern world’s most famous fantasy series. We take time to look at where Wizards are from, and why Dwarfs are the conservatives of Middle Earth. We talk about how the Elves came to being, and the cyclical nature of good vs evil. We also take a look at the villains of Middle Earth and the corruptive influence of Sauron’s lidless burning eye. If you like journeying to a magical realm where anything is possible, then listen, enjoy, and tell a friend!
It’s the Midnight Myth Time Machine! This is Episode 6: Rebel Rebel, which originally aired in March of 2017. Derek and Laurel discuss rebellion, resistance, and revolution in stories. From the Hunger Games to Star Wars in the realms of sci-fi and fantasy and dramatizations of historical events like Les Miserables and Hamilton. So hop in the time machine with us and enjoy Episode 6: Rebel Rebel.
We’re in the Endgame now. Hot on the heels of the release of Avengers: Endgame, a defining moment for the MCU, and the culmination of 22 films spanning over a decade, we’re here with a deep dive into some of the most potent themes at play. A heavily spoiler-filled discussion kicks off with our first impressions, then turns to the history of the American Civil War, 20th century psychology, and Greek mythology. There were over 14 million ways this movie could have unfolded, 14 million possible conclusions to this fight. So why is this the ONE? Assemble as we grapple with the sorrow and the triumphs of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the communal experience of storytelling.
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The epic conclusion of our two-part podcast series on the legendary outlaw Robin Hood has arrived, and we’re picking up where we left off—with 1991’s Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. Kevin Costner’s very American take on the beloved hero is only one of the many compelling aspects of the film, which embodies the progressive spirit that’s infused the legend for nearly a millennia. Derek and Laurel discuss the movie’s historical context within the Crusades, its charms and missteps as pertains to its view of non-Western characters, and the dramatic techniques folded into the age-old story. Plenty of swashbuckling and praise for the immortal Alan Rickman’s dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham is to be expected as well.
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We have all heard the stories, seen the movies, read the children’s books, about Medieval England’s daring outlaw, who steals from the rich to give to the poor. Join us for part one of a two episode series, as we discuss the folk origins of Robin Hood. From the beer guzzling Friar Tuck to the notorious Sheriff of Nottingham, Derek and Laurel explore the long history of this enigmatic folk hero. How did a few ballads and festivals of Medieval England become one of the most prolific heroes of all time? Head to Sherwood Forest, put on your green hoods, and notch an arrow as you don’t want to miss this stunning deep dive into this bonafide legend.
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Winter has finally come in the Northern United States, so what better time to revisit HBO’s Game of Thrones with a study of one of the most complex characters hailing from the North. This week, we’re talking about Ser Jorah Mormont, disgraced son of the Old Bear, advisor to the Dragon Queen, and a fascinating model for knightly codes of honor. We’ll go back to the history of chivalry, its imprint on literature through Arthurian Romance, and where this medieval system intersects with Jorah. We’ll also discuss the role of romantic love in the world of Westeros, and unpack the complicated questions of Jorah’s past romances, his desire for Daenerys, and the ultimate impact of his love.
Read the companion blog post, Jon Snow, the Fair Unknown to unpack further Arthurian connections to Game of Thrones, here.
The door may have closed on Sterling Cooper and the glamorous look into 1960s America that came with AMC’s Mad Men, but the world we inhabit today remains heavily influenced by the images and events of that turbulent time. Advertising and media continue to shape our cultural viewpoints. Presidential politics and every day life still exist in the shadow of civil rights, the assassinations of John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr… Join Derek & Laurel this week as we unpack a landmark television series that cast its major characters in the role of witness to the monumental events of American history. We’ll explore various theories of history, from Carlyle to Nietzsche, and determine where our histories and myths of the 60s collide.
This week Derek and Laurel are back at it discussing the 1981 classic action adventure move, Indian Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. While the movie retains its iconic classic feel, listen as your hosts discuss the real world implications of archaeology and ethics. As Indy always says, “It belongs in a museum” we ask, does it? What is the nature of an artifact and who really owns them? Tune in and let us know what you think as there are no easy answers.