Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Unfinished Tales - Part I

I've recently begun reading Tolkien's Unfinished Tales. Since this is a loose collection of semi-related stories, I am going to give my thoughts on them individually rather than comment on the book as a whole.

With that in mind, I finished the first story, "Of Tuor and His Coming to Gondolin" over the weekend. This story is closely related to the one that follows in this volume and has since been told in its own publication, The Children of Hurin. Tuor is the son of Hurin's brother, Huor. Unlike Turin, the tragic figure of The Children of Hurin, Tuor is a true heroic character with which readers will want to identify. He lacks the rash and brash nature of his kinsman Turin, and this is proved out in his journey that takes him to the hidden city of Gondolin - the secret fortress of Turgon the Elf, one of the lords of the Noldor of the Eldar. While at times the story reads like the King James Bible, I did not find it a major distraction. The only bad thing that I can say about this story is that it is, well, unfinished. The original title was, "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin" which is accounted briefly in The Silmarillion. However as Christopher Tolkien indicates in his editorial notes, his father never returned to this story to complete it beyond Tuor's arrival at Gondolin.

The next story as previously mentioned is "Narn i Chîn Húrin (The Tale of the Children of Húrin)". My next post on Unfinished Tales will include a comparison of this to The Children of Hurin.

Until next time...

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