My second attempt to read the renowned J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘legendarium’ masterpieces; previously, I have managed to read the first installment of “The Lord Of The Rings” which is “Fellowship of The Ring” (REFER to https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2015/09/03/the-home-of-ainulindale-maiar-children-of-iluvatar-the-mythical-world-of-middle-earth-the-fellowship-of-the-ring-by-j-r-r-tolkien/). I have always been the fan of Tolkien’s imagination realm of Middle-Earth (that is why my virtual nickname and blog are coined as Undomiel84, a name derived from Arwen Undomiel) and a visit to New Zealand in 2012 also ignited my interest on the mythical realm!
It took me more than 2 months to complete this book. First, it is due to the overwhelming intertwining plots with abundant of mythical names and terms to keep on track; and then there are the footnotes catered to help readers to understand the mythical terminologies and you can’t help but feeling distracted that you have to flip back and forth the pages just to clear your ambiguities of the plots! So usually, I will get the soporific attack after 3-4 pages and I reluctantly had to skip some pages which I deemed mundane and dull.
The Elves : Galadriel, Elrond, Celeborn, Thranduil.
“The Unfinished Tales” is a collection of manuscripts that were still raw and unattended-to-the-final-touch by Tolkien. He had no chance to finish the stories. So, his son Christopher Tolkien took the initiative to assemble the stories and provided the footnotes for the ambiguous plots. This novel is segregated into 4 parts :-
- Part 1 (The First Age) : Of Tuor and His Coming to Gondolin & Narn i Hîn Húrin ;
- Part 2 (The Second Age) : A Description Of The Island Of Numenor, Aldarion and Erendis, The Line of Elros : Kings of Numenor & The History of Galadriel and Celeborn and of Amaroth King of Lorien ;
- Part 3 (The Third Age) : The Disaster of The Gladden Fields, Cirion and Eorl and The Friendship of Gondor and Rohan, The Quest of Erebor, The Hunt For The Ring & The Battles of The Fords of Isen ;
- Part 4 : The Druedain, The Istari & The Palantiri.
Fan art of characters in “Children of Hurin” (Narn i Hîn Húrin).
All whole, I could say the novel is nice but it could very mind-boggling, sometimes – with all the mystical names and terminologies. Nevertheless, it is enjoyable to fathom deeper into the realm of Middle-Earth and learning the origins of mystical dwellers such as Galadriel as well the Istari (Wizards) like Gandalf, Saruman and Radagast.
The Istari – Gandalf & Radagast.
Nevertheless, I would like to share a new revelation I just found. Well, perhaps some of Tolkien’s ardent fans have already known it but it fascinated me (because I just found it and so happened that I have been nearby the area). I just knew that Tolkien used to work in University of Leeds as a reader and then made as Professor there. He lived at Darnley Road which I checked in the Google Maps; is merely 10-20 minutes away from Kelso Garden, the place where my sister resided for a year when she did her Master’s Degree! Since I have been to Kelso Garden on December 2014 (REFER to https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/winter-united-kingdom-part-3-the-malaysian-little-match-girl-kelso-gardens-leeds/), I have to say I am quite bewildered with this news. Perhaps I will go there if the plan to go to Leeds for my sister’s graduation materialize! LOL!
The former house of Tolkien at Darnley Road, Leeds. Only 10-20 minutes away from Kelso Garden!
On whole, it is an alright novel for me although at times it can be very soporific. The narration was not conveyed directly as the usage of wordings are intertwining and at times, it is hard to decipher the sequences of which Tolkien was trying to describe. The most outrageous part I guess for me is in “The Children of Hurin” (Narn i Hîn Húrin) where Nienor Niniel who experienced an amnesia was married to her long-lost brother and pregnant from the consummated marriage! Incest! It was quite sickening! I wonder why Tolkien opted to write that scene? Eeekks!