The General Tolkien News Thread

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Post by Mrs Figg Tue Aug 24, 2021 12:29 am

Train prices in the UK are ridiculous. I once had to get from Newcastle to Cardiff, it would have cost £170 and taken 6 hours on the train, taking a flight with Flybe took one hour and cost £50. No contest.
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Post by halfwise Tue Aug 24, 2021 2:42 am

Yeah, that's crazy, unless it's the orient express.

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Post by Mrs Figg Tue Aug 24, 2021 2:54 pm

I seriously want to go on that. I looked at the routes and prices and was actually going to book from Venice to London, then 2020 happened. No its not actually the original Orient Express any more, its Venice Simplon Orient Express, but same type of Art Deco Agatha Christie vibe. Its run by a chain of 5 star Belmond hotels.
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Post by halfwise Tue Aug 24, 2021 3:05 pm

Yeah, I think it may be more opulent than the original.  But I want it to go to Istanbul, dammit. "Orient Express" my ass.

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Post by malickfan Thu Aug 26, 2021 12:47 am

https://www.tolkiensociety.org/2021/08/the-great-tales-never-end-to-be-published-next-year/

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I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Aug 26, 2021 9:53 am

{{ Mmm what does it mean by-

"What was Tolkien’s intended ending for The Lord of the Rings? Did it leave echoes in the stripped-down version that was actually published?"

I didint know the ending was 'stripped down'.
Any Lore Masters about to shed light on this? }}

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Post by malickfan Thu Aug 26, 2021 7:02 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{ Mmm what does it mean by-

"What was Tolkien’s intended ending for The Lord of the Rings? Did it leave echoes in the stripped-down version that was actually published?"

I didint know the ending was 'stripped down'.
Any Lore Masters about to shed light on this? }}

I assume it's refering to the abandoned epilogue with Sam, published in HOME volume 9: Sauron Deafeated

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Sauron_Defeated

http://faculty.smu.edu/bwheeler/tolkien/online_reader/TolkienEpilogue.pdf

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Well, that was worth the wait wasn't it  Suspect


I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Post by malickfan Thu Aug 26, 2021 7:04 pm

another new book to look out for:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/J-R-R-Tolkien-Kids-Writings-Activities/dp/1641603461

Saw this linked on a different forum, a online Tolkien exhibition looks interesting but not had a chance to look at it yet:

https://app.thetreeoftales.it/en/intro

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Well, that was worth the wait wasn't it  Suspect


I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Post by halfwise Thu Aug 26, 2021 11:00 pm

Thanks for that epilogue, Malick! I never knew it even existed.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Sep 01, 2021 12:27 am



{{ Just ordered it from Amazon, £18.99 for the hardback }}

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Post by halfwise Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:04 am

Ordered mine a month ago, very much looking forward to it.

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Post by Elthir Thu Sep 02, 2021 2:15 pm

Started reading a copy in a bookstore yesterday (including "Legolas" in Descriptions of Characters, and most of Galadriel and Celeborn).

Going back for more today . . . until my pre-ordered copy arrives.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Sep 02, 2021 2:20 pm

{{ I hope theres a section on the proper length and colour of grass Nod }}

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Post by halfwise Thu Sep 02, 2021 2:37 pm

They're already on bookshelves?!   I may have to sneak over myself.

Edit: Cancel that! Just checked and I'm supposed to get it today! :carrot:

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Sep 02, 2021 2:42 pm

{{ Amazon tells me my copy won't arrive till tuesday Mad }}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:18 pm

{{{ Ooh just got an update from Amazon saying it will now arrive tomorrow cheers We shall see! Suspect }}

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Post by halfwise Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:22 pm

Alas, my book is now delayed until tomorrow, at which point I'll be on the road and gone until monday night.

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Post by Eldy Thu Sep 02, 2021 9:53 pm

My copy of The Nature of Middle-earth was delivered this afternoon. I've been eagerly awaiting it since it was announced, but the recent online preview really whetted my appetite for this. It's been more than 14 years since the last substantial new Middle-earth releases*—The Children of Húrin and The History of The Hobbit in 2007 (Christopher focused on editing non-Middle-earth material afterwards, and the recent editions of Beren and Lúthien and The Fall of Gondolin were compilations of material that previously appeared in UT and HoMe). I remember being really excited for CoH when I was 12 and I didn't expect to get to experience this again. And honestly, I think this book will be more interesting, since most of CoH had already been published in UT. I don't expect NOME will mean much to the vast majority of Tolkien readers—which is by no means a criticism of them—but I am all about the esoteric, incredibly geeky philosophy, history, and anthropology of such a well-developed fictional world. Very Happy

*Hammond & Scull's The Art of The Hobbit (2011) and The Art of The Lord of the Rings (2015) notwithstanding, since my interest is overwhelmingly in Tolkien's writing.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Sep 03, 2021 1:32 pm

{{ Well dunk me in a bath and make me sober for shock, but my copy just arrived!!  Shocked And there I was six barrels in  drunken getting ready to be very crabbit indeed about Amazon and their unfulfilled delivery promises  Twisted Evil . And now look what they've done! Ruined my day by making my day! Bastards! Mad Complete and utter bastards! Mad Mad }}

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Post by Mrs Figg Fri Sep 03, 2021 2:36 pm

oooh it looks good. Thumbs Up
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Post by Eldy Fri Sep 03, 2021 7:45 pm

Initial impressions are very good; I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoyed the last three volumes of The History of Middle-earth, which NOME is very much of a piece with. It's really nice to have a lot of obscure material from Vinyar Tengwar and Parma Eldalamberon in a more accessible form; if more people read the fascinating philosophical bits of "Words, Phrases and Passages" (which make up several chapters in NOME) and want to talk about them afterwards, I'll be a happy girl. I've been skipping around a lot, mostly focusing on stuff related to Númenor so far since that's my area of greatest interest. I find the idealized moral picture of Númenórean society uninteresting in the same way and for the same reasons I don't connect with LACE's descriptions of Eldarin society, but I knew what I was getting into here. I'm just glad the chapter on Gender and Sex turned out to be about grammar; I'd been sorta dreading that one since I saw it in the table of contents in the Google Books preview. :pac:

Matters of personal taste aside, my only real criticism of any of the material I've read has to do with Tolkien's discussions of descent from Elros. There were a number of places where he implied that only Númenórean royals and nobles were descended from Elros, which is not how human reproduction works. Mathematics and population genetics both tell us that with the passage of time—and the dozens of generations that elapsed in Númenor before its destruction, based on "The Line of Elros" in UT and the figures in NOME chapter 3.XII for dates of marriage and childbearing, are more than enough—anyone who is an ancestor to living descendants in a given population will be an ancestor to all living members of that population. Hence why all people of European descent are descended from Charlemagne, but also from countless people of his and other eras, most of whom are completely unknown to history (see various sources here). I generally try to give Tolkien the benefit of the doubt when it comes to worldbuilding and not assume he's made a mistake if there might be an explanation, but this concept is counterintuitive to many people, and I suspect that given Tolkien's fetish for hereditary power, he may have been especially susceptible to it.

Anyway, then I got to the chapter on beards, where we learn that even a tiny percentage of Elven ancestry was enough to make human males beardless, which removed any ambiguity. Tolkien stated that because "the royal house was half-elven" (emphasis in the original), "none of the Númenórean chieftains of descent from Elros (whether kings or not) would be bearded"—but also claimed "[t]he tribes of Men from whom the Númenóreans were descended were normal, and hence the majority of them would have beards" (p. 188). And that's simply not consistent with Tolkien's goal, well-documented in NOME and elsewhere, of making his Secondary World work according to scientific principles except in clear and limited points of divergence. The really frustrating thing is that he got this right when talking about the Men of Dol Amroth in LOTR! When Legolas sees Imrahil, he comments that Imrahil's appearance makes it obvious he has comparatively recent Elvish ancestry (ROTK, V 9), but after a thousand years this isn't limited to the ruling family: even the footsoldiers of Dol Amroth are "tall as lords, grey-eyed, dark-haired" (ROTK, V 1), which are traits associated with the Eldar (Appendix F) and with Númenóreans/Dúnedain of especially "pure" descent (many instances). So it's disappointing that he flubbed it here.

TL;DR I have a new headcanon that by the late Second Age, all Númenórean men, regardless of social class, were beardless because they were all distantly descended from Elros! Very Happy

Ahem. I hope that dedicating two paragraphs to a personal hobbyhorse doesn't give the wrong impression; there's a lot of stuff worth checking out here. There are a ton of long-running fan debates that are either going to be ended or upended by this book, and it's been fun seeing which of my own headcanons are confirmed or contradicted. For example, I'm fond of the idea that Sauron, not Melkor, was responsible for the Fall of Man as described in "The Tale of Adanel," so I was tickled to see Tolkien say he was (p. 35)! There's a lot of interesting stuff said about the Fall in this book, actually, which I may or may not try to turn into a proper Lore essay sometime in the near future. Good shit.
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Post by Elthir Fri Sep 03, 2021 10:34 pm

Been reading. Decided to buy copy at bookstore . . . canceled my delivery before it shipped, so no charge.

Began with . . . you guessed it . . . Galadriel stuff. Should we have a GNOME thread?

Anyway, I think I see something unexpected about Amroth (Elvish Ages and Numenorean section, note 6),
but I'm not sure if my eyes are reading what they're reading . . . even with respect to a description that was
struck out!

Very Happy

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Post by Elthir Sat Sep 04, 2021 11:59 pm

Just read The Founding of Nargothrond!

Loved it!

Spoiler Alert!

King Finrod Felagund:
King Finrod Badger!

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sun Sep 05, 2021 4:02 am

{{ Andy Serkis' LotR's audiobook is available for pre-order. }}

https://www.audible.co.uk/series/The-Lord-of-the-Rings-Audiobooks/B098TWJZMS?ref=a_pd_000848_c1_series_1&pf_rd_p=aebffbf1-33ac-4be8-82f9-b498e9e5fcfa&pf_rd_r=4H1KN8TGDD39JNKCBKET

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Post by halfwise Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:49 pm

I've made the (probably mistaken) decision to read Nature of Middle Earth from cover to cover. Slogging through Valarian units of time. Tolkien doesn't make it easy: since the Valerian time units are not the same as our own he insists on using the elvish names, and on top of that keeps switching conversions. Not sure why I'm bothering with this, perhaps to make the interesting stuff that much more rewarding when I finally get there.

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