John Garth interviewed
Film, television, radio, podcast, print and online. You can watch (or listen to) some of my interviews here.


On screen

Interview with Tolkien Talk (Brazilian YouTube channel) on 3 January 2021 about what lit the spark of Middle-earth; the First World War and the T.C.B.S.; why we must rethink when Tolkien wrote his first prose mythology … and much more. English with Portuguese subtitles.

In a Q&A with French Tolkien association Tolkiendil on 20 November 2020 to mark the publication of Les Mondes de Tolkien, I talk about the many kinds of research behind my books; and the many ways that places inspired Tolkien. In English with French translation.

Interview for the Christian Study Center of Chattanooga on 29 September 2020, talking with David Beckmann about how Tolkien proves epic could outlive the First World War; why his works are not escapist; and why it’s essential not to skip the poems.

Spoke with the Mythopoeic Society’s Rivendell discussion group on 26 September 2020 (via Zoom) about The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Spoke about how and why Tolkien invented his own version of the Atlantis myth, in a panel discussion on ‘the Rise of Númenor’ with David Russell Mosley, Sarah Zama and Shawn E. Marchese for TolkienMoot 16, hosted by the Eä Tolkien Society of Spokane, 19 September 2020 (on YouTube).

Interview for the DragonCon High Fantasy track, 6 September 2020 (on YouTube). Why Tolkien’s early experiences proved so formative in his creativity, why I don’t have eureka moments so much as eu…re…ka moments; what Tolkien might have thought of my work – and more.

Interviewed by Kris Swank and Gabriel Schenk in a great author chat and Q&A for Signum University on 24 July 2020 – on YouTube. How did I first get the idea for The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien? What places did I visit to research it? Where would I go in Tolkien’s life if I had a Tardis? And much more…

I took part in’s ‘Dispatches from Middle-earth’ panel discussion at San Diego ComicCon on 23 July 2020, with coverage at The Beat blog of comic culture. Among other questions tackled: What places did – or didn’t – inspire Tolkien, and why? Where did his opposition to industrialisation come from? What events inspired the Númenor story at the heart of the upcoming Amazon Prime series?

Fascinating talk with Stuart Lee of the Oxford University Faculty of English in a launch event for The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien on Zoom, hosted by Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford, 18 June 2020.

Interview about The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien for the Marion E. Wade Center, with archivist Laura Schmidt, 18 May 2020. Among other matters, I talk about my pathway to becoming a Tolkien researcher and writer; I give a walk-through of The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien; and I reveal how Christopher Tolkien helped with it.

Live discussion in tribute to Christopher Tolkien with Corey Olsen, Dr Sara Brown, Brad Eden and Carl F. Hostetter, 13 February 2020 – now on Signum University's YouTube channel.

I team up with Kurt Indovina for a short film, How WW1 Inspired The Lord of the Rings – part of his True Fiction series for CBS’s Gamespot Universe YouTube channel, 13 October 2019.

John Garth, ITV News at Ten, June 2017On ITV’s News at Ten talking about Tolkien’s Beren and Lúthien, 1 June 2017

John Garth in Tolkien, Le Seigneur des Ecrivains (France 5, 2014)In Tolkien, Le Seigneur des Ecrivains, France 5, 2014

John Garth in War of Words: Soldier-Poets of the Somme (BBC 2014)On location in BBC2’s War of Words: Soldier-Poets of the Somme, 2014

John Garth in The Real Middle-earth ‘The Legacy of Middle-earth’, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King extended edition, 2004

Australia’s ABC News Weekend Breakfast, on Tolkien’s Beren and Lúthien, on 4 June 2017.

ITV’s News at Ten, on Beren and Lúthien, 1 June 2017.

Documentary, Robert Gilson: Memoirs of an Infantry Officer – I help tell the story of Tolkien’s TCBS friend up to his death in the Battle of the Somme. Made for King Edward’s School in Birmingham, it is closely based on my work with Gilson’s letters.

TV special JRR Tolkien: Le Seigneur des Ecrivains, also featuring George R.R. Martin and French Tolkien scholars Vincent Ferré, Leo Carruthers, Isabelle Pantin and others. François Busnel’s La Grande Librairie, France 5, 4 December 2014.

Half-hour film, Tolkien’s Great War, made for the First World War centenary exhibition at King Edward’s School, Birmingham – the best video accompaniment to Tolkien and the Great War you’ll find right now. Elliander Pictures, November 2014.

Video interview for French website Tolkiendil (in English), Compiègne, 15 November 2014.

I talk on location about Tolkien’s experiences on the front line in the BBC2 documentary War of Words: Soldier-Poets of the Somme, directed by Sebastian Barfield, 15 November 2014.

Video interview on the centenary of Middle-earth and other topics, with Jay Johnstone at Oxonmoot, the Tolkien Society’s annual gathering, September 2014.

The Hobbit’s connections with the South’, ITV Meridian News, 12 December 2012.

‘The Legacy of Middle-earth’, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King extended DVD (New Line Cinema, 2004).

The Real Middle-earth DVD (Multi Media Arts, 2004). Now distributed by Janson Media and available on YouTube. The DVD contains additional extended interviews with me and others.

Steve Richards, The Sunday Programme (GMTV, 15 February 2004).

Dan Arden, Beyond the Movie: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring DVD and video (National Geographic, 2002).

Beyond the Movie: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring The Real Middle-earth


Interviewed by John J. Miller for his National Review Bookmonger podcast on 13 July 2020 about places that inspired Tolkien (in particular, a tower near Oxford); why it helps to understand such inspirations; and what it’s like to help create a book as beautiful as The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien.

I spoke about Oxfordshire landmarks in The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien with Lilley Mitchell of BBC Radio Oxford on 11 July 2020.

Interviewed on the AbeBooks Behind the Bookshelves podcast on 6 June 2020 about the places that inspired Tolkien – from trench dugouts to Europe’s real Mirkwood – as well as what it takes to research and write books like mine.

For Luke Shelton’s Tolkien Experience Podcast I talked to Sara Brown on 5 June 2020 about my journey from my first, childhood encounter with Middle-earth to the writing of The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Spoke on BBC Radio Berkshire on 29 May 2020 about the surprising and profound impact that Faringdon Folly had on Tolkien.

Interview with the German Tolkien Society on 17 May 2020 (in English apart from the brief introduction) about The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien and other matters, including Tolkien-related movies; how I write; and my work-still-in-progress Tolkien’s Mirror.

Interview for the Prancing Pony Podcast on 10 May 2020 about The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, with Shawn Marchese and Alan Sisto. I talk about why The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien differs from other books about Tolkien’s place-inspirations; how Tolkien took influences from across the globe; why the late Christopher Tolkien can never be replaced – and more.

I discuss the life and work of Christopher Tolkien with Thomas Mirus for the Catholic Culture Podcast. 12 February 2020.

Based on a True Story mastheadWant to know how accurate the Fox Searchlight Tolkien biopic is? I give the low-down to Dan LeFebvre – as well as a wealth of biographical insight into Tolkien – for the excellent movie podcast Based on a True Story. 4 October 2019.

Prancing Pony Podcast Live from Tolkien 2019 – special edition of the free biweekly podcast by Tolkien enthusiasts Alan Sisto and Shawn E Marchese, from the Tolkien Society’s Birmingham conference. (I speak from 9min 45 to 20min.)

Talking about Tolkien’s Beren and Lúthien, BBC Radio Oxford (segment begins at 1 hour 47 minutes) on 31 May 2017; Newstalk National Radio Ireland (last item on the show) on 1 June; BBC Radio 5 Live on 2 June, and Canadian CBC’s As It Happens (at the 21:20 mark) on 5 June.

15 November 2017: Interview with the Prancing Pony Podcast about Tolkien and the Great War.

Prancing Pony Podcast logo‘The Threshold of Middle-earth: An Interview with John Garth’ – 60 minutes at the Prancing Pony Podcast, 11 June 2017. Programme details here.

Son Rise Morning Show, EWTN Radio. 27 August 2014.

Oxfordshire’s stories and Oxfordshire people, with Malcolm Boyden, BBC Radio Oxford, 29 July 2013.

James Cannon Show, BBC Radio Oxford, 3 January 2013.

Tolkien in Love, Radio 4, 3 August 2012.

Talking History with Patrick Geoghegan, Newstalk, Ireland, 28 August 2011.

Roy Noble Show, BBC Radio Wales, August 2010.

Open Book, BBC Radio 4, 14 August 2005.

BBC local radio (Tim Wedgewood, BBC Radio Stoke; Jerry Scott, BBC Yorkshire; Anna Quarendon, BBC Wiltshire; John Florence, BBC Radio Leicester; Julie Maddocks, BBC Kent; Georgy Spanswick, Good Afternoon with Georgy Spanswick, BBC Radio Leeds; Lisa Bradley, BBC Radio Jersey), 7 November 2003.

The Verb, BBC Radio 3, 9 November 2002.


Text (online and print)

Interviewed in issue 24 of Aiglos, the journal of the Tolkien Section of the Silesian Fantasy Club, published October 2020. Polish interview by Agnieszka Sylwanowicz, translator of Tolkien and the Great War.

’The English towers and landmarks that inspired Tolkien’s hobbit sagas’ – interview for the Observer about The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, with arts and media correspondent Vanessa Thorpe, online and in print, 23 May 2020.

BBC News article about Tolkien’s Beren and Lúthien (reused by dozens of worldwide media outlets online), 1 June 2017.

Longform interview in the St Austin Review, July/August 2016, by Michael Hägebock, Originally published in the German-language journal of fantastic literature Quarber Merkur, issue 116, December 2015.

I speak to BBC News about Tolkien’s Story of Kullervo, and his fascination with Finnish language and lore. 27 August 2015.

I answer questions on my online course, ‘Tolkien’s Wars and Middle-earth’, for the Mythgard Institute blog. 14 August 2015.

I talk to the Sunday Times about the imminent book publication of Tolkien’s Story of Kullervo, predecessor to the Middle-earth tales. Also in India’s Daily News and Analysis, and later widely quoted in international media. 7 June 2015.

Interviewed for centre-spread feature on ‘How First World War inspired Middle-earth epics’, Daily Mirror, 8 December 2014. Read online here...

Comments at the opening of the Ashmolean Museum exhibition William Blake: Apprentice and Master. Oxford Mail, 8 December 2014.

Interviewed for the lead Sunday Times News Review feature, ‘The hobbit's guide to our warring world’ (subscription needed). Also at The Australian. 7 December 2014.

How the First World War turned Tolkien into a writer, in the major Brazilian newspaper Estadão. 26 July 2014.

On Tolkien und der Erste Weltkrieg, with the German Tolkien Society, 8 April 2014. In German and English.

Discussion of Tolkien’s enduring appeal, The New Daily, 31 March 2014.

Q&A on Tolkien und der Erste Weltkrieg, Spiegel Online, 7 April 2014. In German.

Comments on Tolkien’s Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, along with Sellic Spell, Guardian and Telegraph, 19 March 2014.

Comments on echoes of the First World War in Tolkien’s writings, as his revolver goes on display at the Imperial War Museum, MailOnline, 3 December 2013; Guardian and Times, 12 December 2013.

Reflections on the anniversary of the deaths of President Kennedy, C.S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley, Al Jazeera English, 22 November 2013.

Comments on Tolkien’s local inspirations, BBC Oxford News, 3 January 2013.

Comments on Tolkien’s The Fall of Arthur, Guardian, 9 October 2012.

Q&A with Michael Martinez of the Middle-earth and JRR Tolkien News website, 15 June 2012.

Q&A with Pieter Collier of the Tolkien Library website, 28 March 2009.

Rodrigo Gonzalez, ‘Tolkien: entre las trincheras y la Tierra Media’, La Tercera, Santiago, Chile, 7 December 2003.

Iain Emsley, Oxford Times, November 2003.

The Worlds of
J.R.R. Tolkien

UK hardback
John Garth – The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien

US hardback
John Garth – The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien

To buy in French, Russian, Czech, Spanish, Italian, Finnish, Hungarian, German, or another language
see links here

Tolkien and
the Great War

UK paperback/ebook
John Garth Writer Tolkien And The Great War

US paperback/ebook
Tolkien and the Great War HMH

Audiobook read by
John Garth

Amazon UK, Audible UK,
Audible US

To buy in Italian, German, French, Spanish or Polish,
see links here

Tolkien at
Exeter College

Garth, Tolkien at Exeter College

© John Garth 2006