Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by Jacen-Vader, Jan 3, 2006.
Yeah, and Sauron learns well from his master, but he can't match him in pure evilness.
Yep, that's for sure. Sauron doesn't have anything on Morgoth, but still is able to create a lot of chaos.
McClain, I'm pretty sure you'd like Lost Tales. Its a lot of the same stories as the Silmarillion, but in their earlier versions as Tolkien worked on them, so you get to see how the stories developed over time. A lot of it is quite recognizable, but there are also portions that had significant changes. The names can be a little confusing, because those sometimes changed too, but most of the time its not too difficult to follow. Christopher Tolkien's notes are included, discussing the changes and things of that nature - very illuminating.
As an example, Feanor existed in the earlier tales but was originally part of a different family, separate from Finwe (though Finwe had a different name at the time). Some of the name changes are pretty straightforward (Noldoli would later become Noldor; Melko would become Melkor, etc), but others are kinda odd (both versions include a group of elves called the Teleri... but the term shifted so those who were originally called the Teleri and those who were known as the Teleri in the Silmarillion are two different groups. Also, the name of Feanor's grandfather in the earlier versions would become the name of one of Feanor's sons instead).
Cool...if I could figure out what story it's from, sounds like I'd be able to understand the name changes.
That Teleri thing sounds very familiar...I think that it might have been mentioned in the Silmarillion's notes. Have you read any of the others in that History of Middle Earth series?
Several years ago, yes. Possibly before RotK came out in theaters, or at least not much later than that. I'll be rereading them all again this time. Should finish Lost Tales 1 this evening and possibly start Lost Tales 2, then Lays of Beleriand (really looking forward to that one this time around), then Shaping of Middle Earth... and so on.
Cool. I've seen a box set of the first six at Barnes and Noble before, and I've been tempted to get it, once I had some more money for books, and time to read them.
For casual fans I'd say not to bother, but for the fan who likes the history of the First Age and wants to see how it developed, its worth it.
That's what I thought. Cool.
Oh man I tried to read Sil before and got about halfway through before I was totally lost and put it down. Definetly for the hardcore fans that one is to me. Of course Ive read The Hobbit and LOTR but those everyone must read a few times before they die...Christopher Lee said he trys to read LOTR once a year I remember hearing when the movies where comming out from an interview.
The Sil is awesome. You should give it another chance, or at least The Children of Hurin.
The Sil is an absolute masterpiece, but its not for everyone. And if you can't get interested in the Silmarillion, the Lost Tales/other History of Middle Earth books would definitely be a complete waste of your time.
EDIT: oh, something I find hilarious about the earlier version of the Tale of Tinuviel... we have Beren the Elf, and (in a very minor role) Gimli the Elf! That's a very interesting tale to compare changes - apparently Beren was originally a Man in the first version, then was later changed to an Elf (in the earliest extant version of the tale, which is what is printed), then obviously changed back to a man by the final version. Given how huge of a point that was in the final story, its kinda surprising.
Also, Noldoli instead of Noldor is easy enough to get used to... but Gnome (used for Noldoli/Noldor as well) just sounds weird
I can see the attraction in Sil for hardcore fans of the work. I will pick it up again one day if I didnt throw it away from the divorce.
Good. I you can't find your copy, you could always do what I did - hit up the a bookstore. There's bound to be at least one copy of it there.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the second Lost Tales book has stories that are only briefly mentioned in the Sil (The fall of gondolin springs to mind)?
There are some stories like that, yes, though the second Lost Tales book is dominated by the stories of Beren & Luthien (though she has yet to acquire that name) and Turin Turambar.
Speaking of those tales, if you're at all interested in how they developed, then you should read not only Lost Tales, but also Lays of Beleriand and the Shaping of Middle Earth. Actually, the same goes for the history of any of the stories from the Silmarillion, though Lays of Beleriand focuses pretty heavily on those two. Such a shame that neither was ever completed, though.
Yeah, that is true...it would be nice if they were completed.
When I read through the Book of Lost Tales, I thought it added a lot of neat stuff about the Fall of Gondolin. The battle itself was pretty interesting, and I also liked how Tolkien wove foreshadowing for it into a lot of other stuff, for example Mandos' pronouncement to the Noldor on their way out of Valinor. "Great is the fall of Gondolin."
The added stuff is nice, but the real value of the History of Middle Earth books is watching how the stories developed.
...i.e., Beren the Elf?!?
They even go through the development of the maps as well as the stories.