Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Started reading "Beren & Luthien" today
First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 Next page Last page  View All

Kilidoescartwheels
Tol Eressea


Jun 19 2017, 8:30pm

Post #1 of 78 (4702 views)
Shortcut
Started reading "Beren & Luthien" today Can't Post

I know I asked below if anyone was planning to do a read-through. I didn't really get an answer, and there are certainly good questions as to the format, since this isn't a normal chapter book. Here's how I'm planning to read this - first I read the Preface, where Christopher Tolkien lays out his goals and methods, then I read the brief notes on the Eldar days. As I've mentioned, I've never read the Silmarillion or Lost Tales or history, so I assume the notes on the Eldar are there for reference.

Next is the main part of the book, simply titled "Beren and Luthien." But within this you have "The Tale of Tinuviel," which runs from pg. 40 - 89. The last 2 pages are again explanations from Christopher Tolkien, followed by a sketch of the mythology, which is then followed by the first passage from "The Lay of Leithian." It looks like poetry, and I confess I don't really like poetry much, so I'm wondering if I could skip this and look for other parts of the text to read. There appears to be a second extract from "The Lay of Leithian," which runs from pgs 111 - 132, and a couple of passages from the "Quenta" in between. I thinking about reading the two "Quenta" parts one after the other. After that is a third, very long version of "The Lay," which goes from pg 142 - 217. Then it looks like more notes from Christopher on the final "Quenta Silmarillion," followed by "The Return of Beren and Luthien," and a couple of other short tales. So I'm leaning towards reading "The Tale of Tinuviel," followed by the shorter "Quenta" stories and finally "The Return." After that, reading the three versions of "The Lay" one after the other, and therefore would be able to compare the three versions. Or is this too complicated? What does anyone else think?

I'd say I've entered my second childhood, but I never left the first!


squire
Half-elven


Jun 19 2017, 10:50pm

Post #2 of 78 (4526 views)
Shortcut
The 'Lay' is poetry, sure, but it's pretty easy poetry [In reply to] Can't Post

Unlike modern verse, the Lay of Leithian is narrative poetry. It tells a story, and the meter that Tolkien picked rips right along, making it rather thrilling. It's been noted that the endless doublets risk being somewhat tedious, but one is allowed to take breaks. As to reading the Lay later, or not at all, after enjoying the prose versions....

What one finds is that the poem is a real, complete (almost), lively, and different version of the story from the prose versions that were written before (Tale of Tinuviel) and after (the Quenta). If comparison between the different versions of 'Beren and Luthien' is what you want to do - and comparison is all that Christopher Tolkien wants you to do, obviously - then I should think it was worth the trouble to surf the Lay in the same order it appears in the collection.

Not that there are rules! If you don't care for it, no one can say you're wrong.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


noWizardme
Valinor


Jun 20 2017, 9:50am

Post #3 of 78 (4493 views)
Shortcut
Sounds splendid [In reply to] Can't Post

What I gathered from the earlier thread was that nothing was currently planned, but that there was a reasonable level of enthusiasm for reading this together, and that people would be generally amenable to any reasonable proposal for doing so.

There certainly isn't any official Council or Committee that organises read-throughs (or, not as far as I have ever discovered Wink ). Nor is there any standard or compulsory way of organising such things. Two recent LOTR exercises provide a good example. We recently finished a chapter-a-week read through of LOTR, some of which I organised. I worked in a reasonably formal way, which had been successful before. This meant I came up with a schedule, and asked for volunteers. Each volunteer chapter leader then wrote an OP in whatever style they wanted. Some of them quite elaborate, but all kinds of OPs seemed to work to start discussions.. In contrast, check out Eruonen's current LOTR read-through, which is proceeding entirely well in a much less formal way: he 'simply' posts a short question or two (or more) as he reads, and other people react.

I think there's no point in worrying about doing the definitive or exhaustive or 'correct' read-through: there will never be a final word!

Do I infer that you're willing to start threads on successive chapters of the book as you read them? If so that would get things going in a Eruonen-style way, and would be splendid.

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


Kilidoescartwheels
Tol Eressea


Jun 20 2017, 2:19pm

Post #4 of 78 (4474 views)
Shortcut
Not planning to skip the poetry [In reply to] Can't Post

Just probably reading the other stuff first. I could be wrong, but I think reading the three versions successively would show the development to the final story, and I think that is what Christopher Tolkien was after.

I'd say I've entered my second childhood, but I never left the first!


Kilidoescartwheels
Tol Eressea


Jun 20 2017, 2:23pm

Post #5 of 78 (4474 views)
Shortcut
Um, I guess so... [In reply to] Can't Post

I've never done anything like this before, so if someone else that's more knowledgeable in Tolkienology wants to step in, that's fine by me! I will start reading the section on "The Tale of Tinuviel" either today or tomorrow. There's a short section before it, where CT offers some explanations, which I think should be read first. Anyway, I should have my first post on "Tinuviel" early next week, if anyone else is interested in joining me!Cool

I'd say I've entered my second childhood, but I never left the first!


enanito
Lorien

Jun 20 2017, 8:27pm

Post #6 of 78 (4446 views)
Shortcut
Sounds like now is the time... [In reply to] Can't Post

... to get into the bookstore and buy my copy!

I'm willing to chip in and help a bit with discussions. Another "amateur" voice amongst the learned forum denizens Wink

One way to get this going might be for "somebody" to propose a first discussion thread, and if there's general agreement (or at least the sound of crickets, meaning nobody is complaining out loud!), then we just start there. Alternatively, "somebody" just starts the First Thread and we all join in.

I'm thinking the Preface might be a good kick-off point, although since I don't have a copy yet, I don't know what he includes, nor if there's enough "there" for forum discussion. I'm always intrigued by insight into Christopher Tolkien's objectives and methods, how they've changed over time -- and specifically to this book, why he might have chosen to include these particular "goals and methods" as the Preface (i.e. do we feel like he might be justifying himself? Does he contradict any earlier statements about the purpose of his collecting of his father's writings? Or anything else...).

Then maybe a discussion of what's included about the Eldar Days as a subsequent discussion thread, before getting into the meat of the story.

Again, I think just getting something going is all that's needed :)


Kilidoescartwheels
Tol Eressea


Jun 22 2017, 7:03pm

Post #7 of 78 (4403 views)
Shortcut
The Tale of Tinuviel [In reply to] Can't Post

So I finished the section on "The Tale of Tinuviel" as mentioned in my first post. My thoughts:


1. I don't know if this is the version that appears in "Lost Tales" or "History of M.E." In this version, Tunuviel's father is Tinwelint, and he's kind of a jerk. He immediately doesn't like Beren, and sends him off on a ridiculous Quest that he doesn't believe Beren will do. Tinuviel criticizes her father for making such a jest, and his reply was something like "better he dies there than lies bound here in grievous spells for his trespass." It does remind me a bit of Elrond's coercing both Aragorn and Arwen into breaking up, in the movie at least. Also reminds me of some Greek mythology; maybe "Jason and the Golden Fleece?" Can't really remember.


2. In this version, Beren wasn't a man, he is called a Gnome, which I think is a type of Elf. Interestingly, he does mention one other Gnome, named Gimli, hmmm. So I don't know if Tolkien spun the Gnomes off into the Dark Elves or not, although it seems to me he could as easily have made them Dwarves. Perhaps one of the Tolkienologists on TORn could enlighten me, but it's not very clear from Christopher's notes.


3. Tinuviel is a smart girl who knows magic, so she devises a way to escape from her father (yeah, he kind of locks her up in a treehouse) and help Beren by growing her hair out extra long, cutting it and weaving it into a rope (what, now Rapunzel?) and a magic cloak of concealment that can also make creatures fall asleep. Pretty clever, that - no sword though, no Eowyn or Tauriel, but he did write this in roughly 1925?


4. Not only do we have Orcs and wolves, prototype Wargs I suppose, but we also have evil cats. One especially is a giant evil cat named Tevildo. Beren is enslaved to work in the cat's kitchen. Alrighty then! Meanwhile, Tinuviel befriends Huan, a free dog who particularly hates Tevildo, and conspires with her to lure him out so Huan can kill him. She goes rather bravely into Tevildo's um, castle(?), announcing who she is very loudly in hopes that Beren will hear her.


5. The plan partially works. Tevildo and some of his evil cat henchmen go out while Tinuviel gets Beren out of the kitchen. One of the cat henchmen is killed, but Tevildo gets away. However, Beren won't leave without a Silmaril, so he disguises himself as the dead cat and goes to the hall of Melko (the REALLY big bad) and sits under his chair while Tinuviel sings and dances and puts everyone to sleep.


6. Beren manages to pry out a Silmaril, breaking his knife in the process. They escape, but Karkaras, a giant wolf that guards Melko's fortress, bites off the hand that holds the Silmaril. Big problem, its apparently radioactive, burning so hot that the wolf goes crazy and runs off. Tinuviel heals Beren's arm, and the three of them (Huan included) return to her father's land.


7. It's almost like the forest of Mirkwood. Things have taken a turn for the worse, and Tinwelint is so despondent over his daughter's escape that he doesn't do anything. And Karkaras is running around in the woods causing all kinds of problems. He has an insatiable thirst and is always looking for a stream to drink from. Tinwelint is happy to see his daughter again, but he still asks Beren for the Silmaril. "I have it in my hand," Beren replies, "only I don't have my hand anymore." So Tinwelint now warms up to Beren (really, dude?), and they go hunting for Karkaras.


8. Well they hunt him down, but Beren is badly injured. Tinwelint gets the Silmaril, but Beren dies and goes to the hall of Mandros. Tinuviel follows him there - not sure if she also died, or if she just used magic to appear before him, but he agrees to let them both return to Middle-earth as mortals. This of course also reminds me of some Greek mythology - guess the Professor couldn't help that.


Overall, I'm seeing a rather green writing style, at least compared to LoTR (or even The Hobbit). Obviously this was his earliest work, so that's to be expected. But he throws a lot of names and places at you without giving you the proper history he's known for. Perhaps this story made him realize that he did need to do that; and perhaps that's also why so much of his earlier work was abandoned. As a wannabe writer myself, I know I've abandoned loads of stories because the ideas just don't feel like they will work. I don't know if that's what he felt, but I think probably. Anyway, I'd be very interested in finding out what anyone else thinks of this early "Tale of Tinuviel."

I'd say I've entered my second childhood, but I never left the first!


Kilidoescartwheels
Tol Eressea


Jun 26 2017, 5:57pm

Post #8 of 78 (4321 views)
Shortcut
Changed my mind, reading straight through [In reply to] Can't Post

It took me a while to realize what Christopher Tolkien is attempting to do with this particular format. He is tracing the evolution of the story, so even though he bounces between the Quenta and the Lay, it's still chronological. I read the first excerpt from The Lay, and this version is focused on Beren and his back story. In this version Beren is a Man, not a Gnome, and I guess he stays that way. But the first excerpt of the Quenta we are presented with is once again referring to some Elves as Gnomes. Gotta say, I'm really glad JRR dropped that phrase. It really bugs me, but I guess that's because I think of Gnomes as being small Elves in the flower bed, haha. So, here's a question - does the phrase "Gnome" as applied to Tolkien's Elves bother anyone else? Why or why not?

I'd say I've entered my second childhood, but I never left the first!


noWizardme
Valinor


Jun 27 2017, 5:15pm

Post #9 of 78 (4292 views)
Shortcut
Yep- "gnomes" reminds me irresistibly of twee garden sculptures [In reply to] Can't Post

Good to know that the book would probably be best tackled all at once after a complete read-through.

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 28 2017, 8:47pm

Post #10 of 78 (4240 views)
Shortcut
Ditto. "Gnomes" makes me cringe. So glad he dropped that term. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 28 2017, 11:58pm

Post #11 of 78 (4237 views)
Shortcut
Thanks for that wonderful summary. [In reply to] Can't Post

This is one of those times we're glad the author kept revising rather than stick with his first draft. Yet it's interesting how many key elements remain. Some major ones:
1. Thingol is a jerk.
2. Luthien is confident, resourceful, bold.
3. Their plans mostly work, but not 100%.

It is in fact more logical to pit Huan the dog against an evil cat, and here in the Reading Room, we're always chasing after logical answers and extrapolations as desirable things, but it makes for a far inferior story, in my opinion. So, logical connections may serve as a beginning in a story, but they needn't be adhered to. I love Huan fighting Sauron in the Silmarillion tale--one of my favorite parts. Who cares about a dog/cat fight? What's more important is that Huan is bound by loyalty and friendship to Luthien, so he does the right thing and fights the bad guy.

I like your point about Luthien being powerful and using her magic as a weapon but not being physical like a Tauriel or Eowyn. It never mattered to me how she fought; she was clearly in charge of the dynamic duo. But then Galadriel was a powerful figure in the books & movies and never shot an arrow to prove she was powerful. Power can be conveyed in different ways.

The one thing that actually works in the original vs finished tale for me is Beren's more straightforward explanation about his hand: "only I don't have my hand anymore." That seems more natural to me than the Sil version where he thrusts forth his arm-stump to show Thingol his hand is gone (and the Silmaril with it) but doesn't say so directly. The Sil version may have more dramatic effect and plays out more cinematically, but I like the realism of the original. It's still shocking to say your hand is gone!


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 29 2017, 1:30am

Post #12 of 78 (4220 views)
Shortcut
Tevildo [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It is in fact more logical to pit Huan the dog against an evil cat, and here in the Reading Room, we're always chasing after logical answers and extrapolations as desirable things, but it makes for a far inferior story, in my opinion. So, logical connections may serve as a beginning in a story, but they needn't be adhered to. I love Huan fighting Sauron in the Silmarillion tale--one of my favorite parts. Who cares about a dog/cat fight? What's more important is that Huan is bound by loyalty and friendship to Luthien, so he does the right thing and fights the bad guy.


What makes Tevildo, the Prince of Cats, particularly interesting in terms of the legendarium is that he is essentially the earliest iteration of Thû--that is to say, Sauron.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes


Kilidoescartwheels
Tol Eressea


Jun 29 2017, 2:33am

Post #13 of 78 (4210 views)
Shortcut
You're welcome! [In reply to] Can't Post

Wink

I'd say I've entered my second childhood, but I never left the first!


Kilidoescartwheels
Tol Eressea


Jun 29 2017, 3:01am

Post #14 of 78 (4205 views)
Shortcut
The longest "Lay of Leithian" [In reply to] Can't Post

This runs from pg 142 - 217, and it reminds me why I'm not a fan of poetry. I just kept thinking "quit trying to be clever and get to the point!" But there are some interesting, if confusing bits - hopefully a Tolkienologist (Otaku-Sempei?) can explain some of this. In this really long version we are introduced to two other characters, Celegorm and Curufin, who IMO don't seem to be any better than Thu. They plot to kidnap Luthien, and wait for Felagund (who?) to die so they can steal his lands, or whatever. In this version Beren is human, and Felagund agrees to honor an oath and help Beren get a Silmaril. The two leave with 10 men, but they are captured by Thu (later Sauron), who seems to be the only person in Middle-earth to NOT fall for Luthien. Even Morgoth seems to want her for himself! We also have Huan, who is more than just a huge dog. He was specially made by Orome (who?), and no wizardry, spell, dart, fang, or venom could stop Huan. But it was prophesied that Huan would fall to "the mightiest wolf," so it's pretty clear where this is headed.

What's interesting about this really long version is that, although the basic story stays the same, we don't spend any time going over how Luthien escaped by weaving her hair, etc, or the cloak she made to hide herself. We also have a passage describing some history with Fingolfin (who?) battling Morgoth, that I'm not sure adds much to the story. But there's a cool picture from Alan Lee of a giant eagle, Thorondor, flying a badly wounded Fingolfin away. Weeeel, what does THAT remind anyone of? This passage ends with Beren getting his hand bitten off, as per the original story. Christopher ends this with a little discussion about how JRR didn't really extend the verse, except for a few small lines included at the end. So, we have Elves that are every bit as treacherous as Thu - who'd have thought? - and Thu growing into the future Sauron. There's not much left to read, a few more extracts from the Quenta Silmarilion and a final short version of "The Lay." Maybe I'll get this finished tomorrow. Anyway, if I were to ask questions they would be:

1. What is the deal with Celegorm and Curufin? Why do they feel entitled to Felagund's land?; and
2. Did the inclusion of Fingolfin add anything to the story?

I'd say I've entered my second childhood, but I never left the first!


Kilidoescartwheels
Tol Eressea


Jun 29 2017, 6:07pm

Post #15 of 78 (4164 views)
Shortcut
A summary of QS-1 & QS-2 [In reply to] Can't Post

Today I knocked out 3 short chapters - The Quenta Silmarillion on p.218; The Return of Beren & Luthien according to the Quenta Noldorinwa; and an Extract from the Lost Tale of the Nauglafring. This mostly covers the legend of the necklace that PJ borrowed for Thror and Thranduil, and the fate of the one Silmaril recovered by Beren. Seems like everyone would have been better off if it had never been taken.

Probably the most interesting part of the QS on 218 is the fact that the whole thing was abandoned because "The Hobbit" was such a success. Seems his publishers wanted more of a sequel, and more about Hobbits. Early on, JRR was more interested in expanding the early world pre-Hobbit, and wondered what else the Hobbits could possibly have to offer. Kind of funny to read that. But then JRR wrote "A Long-Expected Party," and found he could do both with "The Lord of the Rings." It is interesting to me that the One Ring took the place of the Silmaril that everyone coveted. There is also a very beautiful passage at the end of the Lost Tale of the Nauglafring, which talks of Earendel and Elwing:

And on a time of night Earendel at the helm saw her come towards him, as a white cloud under moon exceeding swift, as a star over the sea moving in strange course, a pale flame on wings of the storm.
Now THAT is some powerful prose! But having read about JRR's publishers apparently NOT being thrilled with what he'd written towards The Silmarillion, it brings a question to my mind. Having written Luthien as such a powerful being, and really a leading character, is it possible that the female roles in LoTR were diminished by editorial decision? Yeah, Galadriel is also powerful but her part is small. And yes, Eowyn did finally make a noteworthy appearance in Return of the King, but I'm re-reading Two Towers and she was left behind completely in the entire Helm's Deep saga. When you think about the time when these books were written and published, I can't help but think Luthien was rejected in favor of Arwen, who (in the book at least) is just a beautiful Elf-maid that doesn't really do anything. I know she's not popular, but this thought makes me appreciate Tauriel all the more. She seems to reflect the spirit of Elwing, who took flight and searched for her love Earendel. But maybe that's just me. Anyway, I gotta go sit with a sick grandkid, so I probably won't be doing any more reading today.

I'd say I've entered my second childhood, but I never left the first!


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Jun 29 2017, 6:28pm

Post #16 of 78 (4152 views)
Shortcut
He didn't completely drop the term [In reply to] Can't Post

In the chapter "Of the Coming of Men Into the West" in the Silmarillion, you see the term still being used, though with a slightly different spelling, and this was taken from the latest iteration of the Silmarillion. After Finrod Felegund discovers Beor and his people, the first Men to come to Beleriand:


Quote
Long Felagund watched them, and love for them stirred in his heart; but he remained hidden in the trees until they had all fallen asleep. Then he went among the sleeping people, and sat beside their dying fire where none kept watch; and he took up a rude harp which Bëor had laid aside, and he played music upon it such as the ears of Men had not heard; for they had as yet no teachers in the art, save only the Dark Elves in the wild lands.

Now men awoke and listened to Felagund as he harped and sang, and each thought that he was in some fair dream, until he saw that his fellows were awake also beside him; but they did not speak or stir while Felagund still played, because of the beauty of the music and the wonder of the song. Wisdom was in the words of the Elven-king, and the hearts grew wiser that hearkened to him; for the things of which he sang, of the making of Arda, and the bliss of Aman beyond the shadows of the Sea, came as clear visions before their eyes, and his Elvish speech was interpreted in each mind according to its measure.

Thus it was that Men called King Felagund, whom they first met of all the Eldar, Nóm, that is Wisdom, in the language of that people, and after him they named his folk Nómin, the Wise.


'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire

(This post was edited by Voronwë_the_Faithful on Jun 29 2017, 6:29pm)


FarFromHome
Valinor


Jun 29 2017, 7:27pm

Post #17 of 78 (4152 views)
Shortcut
"Nóm, that is Wisdom, in the language of that people" [In reply to] Can't Post

That's interesting, since words similar to 'gnome' come from a Greek word related to knowing (for example 'gnomon', the needle of a sundial, translates as 'one that knows'). However the word 'gnome' itself was apparently coined by the Renaissance alchemist Paracelsus to refer in his theories to a nature spirit that lived in the earth (other nature spirits corresponded to air, fire and water). Nobody seems to know why he chose this word, although the Wikipedia article on gnomes suggests it may have been a "blunder" involving the Greek word for earth ('geo-' as in geography etc.).

I wonder if Tolkien wanted to rescue this word from Paracelsus and reconnect it with its original Greek meaning of knowing, and thus, Wisdom. So 'gnome' could combine both the idea of a mythical creature and knowledge/wisdom. It is, as others have said, difficult now to imagine this word being attached to Tolkien's beautiful and ethereal Elves. But then, if he hadn't rehabilitated the word 'Elf' instead, we'd still think they looked like this!

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 29 2017, 8:23pm

Post #18 of 78 (4138 views)
Shortcut
And he's only 1 letter away from "Evildo," a corny but fun name for a bad guy. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 29 2017, 8:25pm

Post #19 of 78 (4136 views)
Shortcut
Wait, isn't that Feanor? It's how I always pictured him. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 29 2017, 8:34pm

Post #20 of 78 (4137 views)
Shortcut
Sons of Feanor [In reply to] Can't Post

Any SOF is just naturally a bad guy wanting bad things, so Celegorm and Curufin can be counted on to want all the wrong things. That was the shocker for me as someone who read 1st The Hobbit (Elves are good) and then LOTR (Elves are nearly angelic), and then in The Sil, Elves are highway bandits and thugs to the nth degree.

Specifically about their land-greed: they had been dispossessed of their lands by Morgoth's last battle and were living as refugees in Felagund's land, and just listen to contemporary political discourse to find out how many people do *not* want refugees in their midst.

But more importantly, it's the only dynastic land grab mentioned in the hundreds of years of history in Beleriand, which is pretty surprising given that European history was full of ambitious dynasties plotting loveless marriages to grab some land and increase their own domains: the rule, not the exception in real history, but the exception in the First Age. I guess Tolkien preferred to focus on the more heroic aspects of history (noble battles with with noble sacrifices) rather than on the grubby reality.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 29 2017, 8:41pm

Post #21 of 78 (4140 views)
Shortcut
Fingolfin [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe it's the phenomenon of "first read, first love," but I like how Fingolfin's epic duel with Morgoth comes as a separate story, the end of the Dagor Bragollach when he thinks all is lost and it's better to go out fighting. You can only cheer for so many heroes at a time, and to mix him in with B&L might diffuse the glory for me.

Then again, Felagund's death is wound up with B&L, and I think the fact that he ultimately died "for their true love" (when in reality he died to fulfill a vow to Beren's forefather, but it's easy to forget that), makes him a sympathetic and tragic figure. It's like someone dying trying to help out Romeo & Juliet--you just have to like anyone who's on the side of true love up against a cruel world. So maybe Fingolfin's death would work well in this story if it was the first I'd ever read of it--hard to say.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 29 2017, 8:46pm

Post #22 of 78 (4141 views)
Shortcut
Not sure that editors were against strong women [In reply to] Can't Post

There have been strong women in literature since there's been writing. Just go back a few thousand years to Athena among the Greek gods, who was a better god of war than Aries, and smarter than most male gods, and I could go on and on.

I think the reality is that most people prefer Hobbit stories to high fantasy, so that's what got published. But I dunno--not very good at reading what was on editors' minds 100 years ago. :)


squire
Half-elven


Jun 29 2017, 10:27pm

Post #23 of 78 (4144 views)
Shortcut
'The Lord of the Rings' didn't have an editor, so no editorial control figured in the author's choices. [In reply to] Can't Post

From the accounts we have, Tolkien's "Silmarillion" drafts were rejected by Allen & Unwin after The Hobbit took off, not because Luthien figured as a strong heroine but because the style and subject were judged to be unsalable - especially to the audience that had enjoyed The Hobbit.

Once Tolkien began writing The Lord of the Rings, the only suggestions he received were from his family and his friends the Inklings. Allen & Unwin did not see the book until it was completed, and they did not suggest any edits, partly because they recognized it for the work of genius that it is, and partly because they knew Tolkien would not entertain changes at that point!

I think the interesting thing about Tolkien's treatment of women is that The Hobbit is the exception, being entirely populated by males. LotR and the Sil both have strong female characters in narrative contexts that are clearly male-directed. For all his flaws in this area by more contemporary standards, Tolkien wrote female leading characters because he wanted to, in a genre where typically, at that time, no strong women need apply.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Michelle Johnston
Rohan


Jul 1 2017, 9:35am

Post #24 of 78 (4092 views)
Shortcut
Tale of Tinuviel [In reply to] Can't Post

I read the Tale when its was first released as the second part of the BOLT and found my reaction this time to the mid 1980's quite different.

What strikes me forcibly is there is a real sense of narrative momentum and completeness about the Tale which I really enjoyed. When I read it the first time the archaic fanciful style of writing and the naming was a distraction but I was much more open and of course knew what to expect.

What also struck me is that with the Lay and the connection with the Nargothrond story is that the narrative becomes much more complicated and not necessarily in a way that enhances that early singular vision.

I have a strong suspicion that if Mr Tolkien had been revising this story in the way he dealt with the Gondolin Story in 1952/3, he literally had the Tale in front of him as he breathed all his acquired story telling skills and his ability to give his work emotional immediacy into the Tuor story, then the story of Beren and Luthien would have acquired much more intimacy and we would have really come in close to the characters in the way we do in the Hurin Saga and LOTR.

The essentials of the story never changed and that becomes apparent by focusing on the material in one volume but instead of that depth and immediacy emerging, think of the "Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth" the narrative becomes more convoluted.

We see the far horizons filled out but not the immediate landscape do I know Beren and Luthien more than is revealed in 1917.

I think also because much of the later work is in poetic form some of that intimate emotional thrust is there but in a more rhapsodic and less immediately communicative way.

I have to own up and say I have to work a good deal harder to really connect with the poetry but when one does it does offer fresh insights that evoke the intangible magic of middle earth.

My Dear Bilbo something is the matter with you! you are not the same hobbit that you were.

(This post was edited by Michelle Johnston on Jul 1 2017, 9:41am)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jul 1 2017, 1:56pm

Post #25 of 78 (4064 views)
Shortcut
Re: The Tale of Tinúviel [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
1. I don't know if this is the version that appears in "Lost Tales" or "History of M.E." In this version, Tunuviel's father is Tinwelint, and he's kind of a jerk.


I think that the first publication of this version of "The Tale of Tinúviel" was in The Book of Lost Tales. This was probably the first re-working of the original 1917 version which no longer exists. As you say, Thingol is still called Tinwelint, and Beren is a Gnome (Noldo?), not yet a Man.

BoLT also includes the earliest version of "The Sack of Doriath", originally titled "The Nauglafring: The Necklace of the Dwarves". Again, Thingol is Tinwelint; Melian is Gwenniel; Ufedhin is a Gnome allied with the Dwarves of Nogrod.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jul 1 2017, 2:11pm)

First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 Next page Last page  View All
 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.