Unfinished Tales

A discussion of Tolkien's Unfinshed Tales
Iolanthe
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Unfinished Tales

Post by Iolanthe » Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:24 pm

Unfinished Tales



Image
Tuor reaches the Hidden City of Gondolin

© Ted Nasmith

The Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-earth (to give it it’s full title) is a treasure trove for all Tolkien lovers. It’s here we learn about the Numenoreans - the ancestors of Aragorn – and their great island civilization, the story of Tuor and how he came to Gondolin, who Gandalf really was and why he came to Middle-earth, what the Palantiri are, how Isildur lost the Ring… and so much more. All wonderful tales with excellent notes by Christopher Tolkien. Many tales are, of course, ‘unfinished’ but all add hugely to our knowledge of Middle-earth and its peoples.

My own favourite is Gandalf’s convoluted account of how he came to choose Bilbo to go on his adventure:

‘..you must begin at some point, with some one person. I dare say he was “chosen” and I was only chosen to chose him; but I picked out Bilbo.’


There is a lot to discuss and enough tantalising clues embedded in this book to keep us going for eons. As always, please remember our House Rules.
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Riv Res
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Post by Riv Res » Sat Nov 10, 2007 4:26 pm

WONDERFUL!!

Aside from The Lord of the Rings itself, I believe this to be my favorite other Tolkien book dealing with Middle-earth! It adds SO much depth and background.

Case in point: Cirion and Eorl

The history of the Rohirrim is fascinating. Plagues, wanderings, battles, and an evolving overriding loyalty to Gondor is the stuff of great legends. In particular, The Ride of Eorl alone stands as one of the greatest feats in all of Middle-earth...IMHO. :wink: It seems to be the fate of the Rohirrim to be always riding to the rescue of the men of Gondor.

You get so much understanding of why when the Beacons were lit and the Red Arrow delivered, the Rohirrim once again ride to the aid of Gondor, even knowing the strength of their mutual enemy.

I think I like it because this is a story of honor, loyalty and friendship. One of my favorite parts of The Lord of the Rings is all of the interaction between Eomer and Aragorn, especially after the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. From Unfnished Tales, you understand why that was such a natural alliance and friendship.

Oh my! Gotta LOVE that Tolkien!

Merry
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Post by Merry » Sat Nov 10, 2007 5:50 pm

Yes, indeed, Riv Res, and I think the Oath of Eorl is some of Tolkien's best prose!
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Sat Nov 10, 2007 6:04 pm

I found Cirion and Eorl very stirring when I read it. Especially the oath. It's a pity all that background of trust and friendship got bypassed by Peter Jackson. It's good to have an example of faithful men standing together in a world where words increasingly mean nothing.

It's great to read about Eorl - one of the people mentioned in LotR who you really want to know more about.
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Riv Res
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Post by Riv Res » Sat Nov 10, 2007 6:04 pm

Agreed Merry. There is something very noble and honorable about it...

"Hear now all peoples who bow not to the Shadow in the East, by the gift of the Lord of the Mundburg we will come to dwell in the land that he names Calenardhon, and therefore I vow in my own name and on behalf of the Éothéod of the North that between us and the Great People of the West there shall be friendship for ever: their enemies shall be our enemies, their need shall be our need, and whatsoever evil, or threat, or assault may come upon them we will aid them to the utmost end of our strength. This vow shall descend to my heirs, all such as may come after me in our new land, and let them keep it in faith unbroken, lest the Shadow fall upon them and they become accursed."


Especially...

" between us and the Great People of the West there shall be friendship for ever: their enemies shall be our enemies, their need shall be our need"

Philipa
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Post by Philipa » Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:09 am

Is anyone up for revisiting this book with me? It's been quite some time since I read it last and I'd like to read it again. Thought it would be fun to take the conversations chronologically with others.
Aiya Earendil Elenion Ancalima!

Thoughts from Eryn Lasgalen An online guide to all things Tolkien

Riv Res
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Post by Riv Res » Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:12 am

I am up for it Philipa. It is positively my favorite LOTR companion. :D

Merry
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Post by Merry » Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:44 am

I have a hard time reading these kinds of things, so maybe doing it with a group will provide me with some discipline. I'm in!
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:50 pm

I've got my head deeply in the first volumes of HoM-e at the moment but I'll dip in as we go along. It's a gold mine of wonderful stuff so it should give us a lot to talk about!
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Philipa
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Post by Philipa » Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:55 pm

Terrific! Oh and Merry, it was difficult for me to (more so than the Sil) with all that bouncing around to end-notes and such. :? But there are some real gems in there and if we can make it less difficult for you there's your bonus for sticking it out.

OK, should we have a schedual or just jump in when you have the itch. I would think a schedual would be easier to follow...what do you think.
Aiya Earendil Elenion Ancalima!

Thoughts from Eryn Lasgalen An online guide to all things Tolkien

Riv Res
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Post by Riv Res » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:16 pm

Schedule please. Let us know which chapter...let's say a week in advance. I know I will have to do some brushing up. :wink:

Philipa
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Post by Philipa » Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:07 am

Why don't we start at the first book: Of Tuor and His Coming To Gondolin. I would advice folks to read the portion in the Introduction pertaining to the chapter we're reading though....just to get a small back ground check.

Let us meet back here on Sunday, March 1st. This way we can have those few extra days to get busy and read. What do you all think?
Aiya Earendil Elenion Ancalima!

Thoughts from Eryn Lasgalen An online guide to all things Tolkien

Riv Res
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Post by Riv Res » Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:25 am

Good plan. Meet you here on 3-1. :D

marbretherese
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Post by marbretherese » Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:41 pm

I can't even remember whether I have Unfinished Tales on my bookshelf - I read it some time ago but I think I borrowed Iolanthe's copy! time to get my own copy, I think, so I can at least follow your discussions!! Looking forward to it. :)
"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back.
But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy."


http://www.marbretherese.com
http://marbretherese.blogspot.com/

Philipa
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Post by Philipa » Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:00 pm

Excellent! I think the more folks who join the merrier it will be. :D
Aiya Earendil Elenion Ancalima!

Thoughts from Eryn Lasgalen An online guide to all things Tolkien

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