Re-reading the legendarium

Seeking knowledge in, of, and about Middle-earth.
Post Reply
User avatar
kzer_za
Posts: 710
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:00 pm

Re-reading the legendarium

Post by kzer_za »

Hi everyone, I know I've been away for a long time. So I've finally been doing something I've wanted to for years - a chronological re-read of the whole legendarium (chronological in-universe, not real-world) ending with Lord of the Rings. Or more specifically, perhaps I'll do Appendices/UT -> Hobbit -> LotR for Third Age. I'm using the published Silmarillion as my base supplemented by some HoME source texts, with Arda Reconstructed as a reference to simplify the process. While I've said before that I don't agree with all of Voronwë's critiques, I do think it's fair to say the Aman stretch of the story was somewhat over-abridged and some things should have been kept in.

I've read a couple things in HoME I'd never read before (finding the gems in those volumes isn't always easy), such as Quendi and Eldar - mostly dry but does have some interesting bits and even a bit of a joke about elf groups! (The Teleri said the Noldor were Avari at heart, "and returned to Middle-earth when they discovered their mistake; they needed room to quarrel in.")

I just completed Ruin of Beleriand and figured it was a good time to read the Athrabeth. I'll probably slot Shibboleth of Fëanor in before I get to the Great Tales too, which I should have read earlier. Will switch to the CoH novel when I get there.

Anyway I don't know how much I can say that hasn't been said a bunch of times before, but I forgot just how good the Silmarillion actually is (both in the narrow sense of the 1977 book and the broader sense of the body of work). Sometimes I get sad that it's somewhat unfinished (Fall of Gondolin especially) but it's still such a beautiful and moving work. Some of the nuances of Tolkien's characterization despite the work's more distant style are pretty impressive too.
User avatar
Voronwë the Faithful
At the intersection of here and now
Posts: 45802
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:41 am
Contact:

Re: Re-reading the legendarium

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

It really pleases me to see Arda Reconstructed used in this manner. That is really what it was intended to be; a reference. Even I don't fully agree with all of the critiques that I make in the book!
"Spirits in the shape of hawks and eagles flew ever to and from his halls; and their eyes could see to the depths of the seas, and pierce the hidden caverns beneath the world."
User avatar
kzer_za
Posts: 710
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:00 pm

Re: Re-reading the legendarium

Post by kzer_za »

I'd read a lot of the extended Míriel (the elf one) stuff before, but this might have been the first time I've read about Finwë taking on Míriel's sentence after death so she can re-embody. Quite a moving little vignette. Glad she gets a somewhat happy ending in one version, and makes an interesting foil to the sacrifices made in the human-elf couples.
User avatar
kzer_za
Posts: 710
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:00 pm

Re: Re-reading the legendarium

Post by kzer_za »

Been taking a bit of a break from reading the First Age as I listen through Christopher Lee on Children of Húrin. I will say Túrin is a more sympathetic character than I remembered, and his clueless idiocy in the Finduilas love triangle is actually funny. It's also interesting how prominently disability figures in the story - Sador, Gwindor, and Brandir are all permanently injured from the war.
User avatar
Jude
Lán de Grás
Posts: 8137
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:54 pm

Re: Re-reading the legendarium

Post by Jude »

Hang on - are you saying there’s an audiobook with Christopher Lee reading Tolkien?
Image
User avatar
Voronwë the Faithful
At the intersection of here and now
Posts: 45802
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:41 am
Contact:

Re: Re-reading the legendarium

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Yes, Christopher Lee did the audiobook for The Children of Húrin

You can here a five minute sample here
"Spirits in the shape of hawks and eagles flew ever to and from his halls; and their eyes could see to the depths of the seas, and pierce the hidden caverns beneath the world."
User avatar
Frelga
Meanwhile...
Posts: 22385
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:31 pm
Location: Home, where else

Re: Re-reading the legendarium

Post by Frelga »

Oh wow. Christopher Lee is certainly on the short list of people I'd listen to read a quantum physics text. That voice!
If there was anything that depressed him more than his own cynicism, it was that quite often it still wasn't as cynical as real life.

Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!
User avatar
narya
chocolate bearer
Posts: 4879
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 7:27 am
Location: Wishing I could be beachcombing, or hiking, or dragon boating
Contact:

Re: Re-reading the legendarium

Post by narya »

Frelga, it's available on Libby, in the AC library system. I just put a hold on a copy using the LA library system.

I see Lee also narrates Dracula and several Agatha Christie short stories. Alas, no physics.

ooooo... just found Leaf by Niggle narrated by Derek Jacobi at the LA library!
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. ~ Albert Camus
User avatar
kzer_za
Posts: 710
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:00 pm

Re: Re-reading the legendarium

Post by kzer_za »

Well I read the Unfinished Tales aborted Fall of Gondolin rewrite and now I'm doing the Lost Tales version.

Everyone dedicated to the legendarium already knows this, but that Tuor and His Coming to Gondolin ends so early is so sad. If it had been completed it would have been one of the very finest things he ever wrote. One thing that struck me is the feeling of history even within the First Age - Turgon's castle in Nevrast feels like Tuor is unearthing ancient ruins, which from the perspective of a human lifetime he sort of is.
Post Reply