Middle Earth Challenge: The Fall of Gondolin

Middle Earth Challenge

39798828._SY475_In the Tale of The Fall of Gondolin are two of the greatest powers in the world. There is Morgoth of the uttermost evil, unseen in this story but ruling over a vast military power from his fortress of Angband. Deeply opposed to Morgoth is Ulmo, second in might only to Manwë, chief of the Valar: he is called the Lord of Waters, of all seas, lakes, and rivers under the sky. But he works in secret in Middle-earth to support the Noldor, the kindred of the Elves among whom were numbered Húrin and Túrin Turambar.

Central to this enmity of the gods is the city of Gondolin, beautiful but undiscoverable. It was built and peopled by Noldorin Elves who, when they dwelt in Valinor, the land of the gods, rebelled against their rule and fled to Middle-earth. Turgon King of Gondolin is hated and feared above all his enemies by Morgoth, who seeks in vain to discover the marvellously hidden city, while the gods in Valinor in heated debate largely refuse to intervene in support of Ulmo’s desires and designs.

Into this world comes Tuor, cousin of Túrin, the instrument of Ulmo’s designs. Guided unseen by him Tuor sets out from the land of his birth on the fearful journey to Gondolin, and in one of the most arresting moments in the history of Middle-earth the sea-god himself appears to him, rising out of the ocean in the midst of a storm. In Gondolin he becomes great; he is wedded to Idril, Turgon’s daughter, and their son is Eärendel, whose birth and profound importance in days to come is foreseen by Ulmo.

At last comes the terrible ending. Morgoth learns through an act of supreme treachery all that he needs to mount a devastating attack on the city, with Balrogs and dragons and numberless Orcs. After a minutely observed account of the fall of Gondolin, the tale ends with the escape of Túrin and Idril, with the child Eärendel, looking back from a cleft in the mountains as they flee southward, at the blazing wreckage of their city. They were journeying into a new story, the Tale of Eärendel, which Tolkien never wrote, but which is sketched out in this book from other sources.

Following his presentation of Beren and Lúthien Christopher Tolkien has used the same ‘history in sequence’ mode in the writing of this edition of The Fall of Gondolin. In the words of J.R.R. Tolkien, it was ‘the first real story of this imaginary world’ and, together with Beren and Lúthien and The Children of Húrin, he regarded it as one of the three ‘Great Tales’ of the Elder Days.

Here it is! Third novel in the first age of Middle Earth.. Now I have written on a number of events that take place during this time and the links are as follows:

Middle Earth Challenge: Tom Bombadil

Middle Earth Challenge: The Children of Húrin

What Are The Origins Of The TROLLS? | History of Middle-Earth | Lore

The Fall of Gondolin was set into motion a few decades after the Nírnaeth Arnoediad (which is the fifth battle against morgoth in the first age of Middle Earth). Now keep in mind that the War of the Great Jewels (The Silmaril) went on for decades and decades. There were six great battles that took place:

First Battle – Fought mainly by Sindar(also known as the Grey Elves/Elves of telerin descent) against the Dark Lord Morgoth.

Dagor-nuin-Giliath – This wold the second battle, also known as the Battle Under the Stars. It was set in Beleriand(a region in the North West of Middle Earth) and first to be fought by exiled Ñoldor(the second clan of Elves, greatest of the Elves in lore and smithcraft.)

Dagor Aglareb – The third battle and the second battle in Beleriand. After the battle of Dagor-nuin-Giliath, there was a the beings of a civil war. But Morgoth began his attack and united the Elves and Men. This is also the first COMPLETE victory over Morgoth. This also made a period of the peace call Siege of Angband.

Dagor Bragollach – Also known as Battle of the Sudden Flame became the fourth greatest battle of the War of the Jewels. This is also the end of the Siege of Angband and the Dark Lord Morgoth took control over the war. This is also where Morgoth created the first Dragon. Morgoth’s army was in full swing with Orcs, Trolls, Balrogs and Glaurung(first dragon).

Nírnaeth Arnoediad – Or Battle of the Unnumbered Tears  is the fifth battle I was talking about in the beginning of this. Like I said before, the actions in the battle set forth the Fall of Gondolin and also the tragic history of Húrin. This battle saw a number of casualties on both sides. In the end Morgoth got the upper hand in the battle field of Anfauglith. The Failure of the Elves and Men of the Battle of Nírnaeth Arnoediad. Morgoth had destoryed all the people of Hithlum and his Orcs sacked Beleriand and forced the Sons of Fëanor away from Himring. This is also when Morgoth laid the curse upon Húrin and his kin, as well bound Húrin to a chair to watch the curse unfold before him. This is where the novel The Children of Húrin comes into play.

War of Wrath – Also called the Great Battle. Elves, Men, Dwarves and Valar all fought against Morgoth. This is now the end of the first age of Middle Earth and it is considered to be the largest battle of Middle Earth. The clashes between the forces of Valar & Morgoth was so violent, it broke apart the northwestern of Middle Earth and caused Beleriand to sink into the ocean.

But I feel that War of Wrath is set for another time. This is about the  Fall of Gondolin. While the novel itself does cover the War of Wrath, it was a rather short or at least it fell short. The Tale of Earendil is the highlight of the book. Sadly there are times within the novel it where is kinda lags. Where Christopher Tolkien goes into how his father wrote and the process he went through. While interesting to read, it kinda takes away from the book a little bit. But I am happy over all that these novels are finished and out there for everyone. It just make the Middle Earth bigger and more room for other stories to be told. But before reading these three novels, I say you have to read The Silmarillion first as it give you more insight into the history.

Middle Earth Challenge: Beren and Lúthien

Middle Earth Challenge

32708664._SY475_Restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a fully continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Humans, Dwarves and Orcs and the rich landscape and creatures unique to Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The tale of Beren and Lúthien was, or became, an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion, the myths and legends of the First Age of the World conceived by J.R.R. Tolkien. Returning from France and the battle of the Somme at the end of 1916, he wrote the tale in the following year. Essential to the story, and never changed, is the fate that shadowed the love of Beren and Lúthien: for Beren was a mortal man, but Lúthien was an immortal Elf. Her father, a great Elvish lord, in deep opposition to Beren, imposed on him an impossible task that he must perform before he might wed Lúthien. This is the kernel of the legend; and it leads to the supremely heroic attempt of Beren and Lúthien together to rob the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor, called Morgoth, the Black Enemy, of a Silmaril. In this book Christopher Tolkien has attempted to extract the story of Beren and Lúthien from the comprehensive work in which it was embedded; but that story was itself changing as it developed new associations within the larger history. To show something of the process whereby this legend of Middle-earth evolved over the years, he has told the story in his father’s own words by giving, first, its original form, and then passages in prose and verse from later texts that illustrate the narrative as it changed. Presented together for the first time, they reveal aspects of the story, both in event and in narrative immediacy, that were afterwards lost.

by

Alan Lee (Illustrator)
If you have read the The Silmarillion or the Book of Lost Tales Vol 1 & 2, you would know this tale. I know in the Lord of the Rings, Aragorn had mention. Do to the parallels in theme with him and Arwen.
Now this is a tricky one to write about… Where I do like the book and think it does have a home in the Tolkien line up. It really isn’t a stand alone story like the The Children of Húrin. Beren and Lúthien novel is not set up in a stand alone format, in fact it’s reads more like a history/poem/how Tolkien worked book. There is about 40 or so pages of just intro/preface by Christopher Tolkien. Then the story of the Tale of Tinuviel (Beren and Lúthien). . So basically the first one hundred pages are worth the read. The part I had trouble getting through was the long poems afterwards. Hundred plus pages of this.. With notes from Christopher in between explain how his father wrote these stories and what the meaning behind a lot of it was.
When the story of Beren and Lúthien came about in the The Silmarillion and it was vary straight and to the point. Much like the recalling from Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings. it is said that Tolkien wanted these stories that were brought up in the The Silmarillion to have their own long narratives. The stories are Beren and Lúthien, The Children of Húrin, and The Fall of Gondolin. It was within these stories that covered the events in the first age of Middle Earth.
While the novel of Beren and Lúthien is the beginning of the 3. It does not read like the other two. If you want more information about  Beren and Lúthien, I would recommend reading the The Silmarillion and Book of Lost Tales 1 & 2. I would also check out these website about  Beren and Lúthien:

 

Beren and Lúthien (LOTR Wiki)

Beren and Lúthien (Wiki)

It is here you can get a more full history and understanding of this love story and the rise of Morgoth. Now please keep in mind, I am not bashing this book. I just made the mistake of reading The Children of Húrin first. So I had a mind set of a stand alone story, only to find it was more of a history/poem novel. So that kinda lead to my… I don’t want to say my disappointment… But it left me with a “meh” feeling haha. I guess if you really want to look at it. It’s almost like The Fellowship of the Ring and how it reads. Except the Fellowship severed more as a stand alone novel kinda..

At any rate, I would say check it out if you have the time and are a big Tolkien fan.

Middle Earth Challenge: The Children of Húrin

Middle Earth Challenge

7445179Long before the One Ring was forged in the fires of Mount Doom, one man—Húrin—dared to defy Morgoth, the first and greatest of the dark lords to plague Middle-earth. Thus did he and his children, Túrin and Niënor, earn the enmity of a merciless foe that would shape the destiny of all the ages to come.

Only J.R.R. Tolkien, the undisputed master of the fantastic, could have conceived this magical tale of Elves and Men united against a brutal foe. And only Christopher Tolkien, the master’s son and literary heir, could have fit the pieces of his father’s unfinished work together with such deep understanding and consummate artistry. With an introduction and appendices by Christopher Tolkien, who has also contributed maps and genealogy tables, and eight stunning paintings and twenty-five pencil drawings by Oscar-winning artist Alan Lee, The Children of Húrin at last takes its proper place as the very cornerstone of J.R.R. Tolkien’s immortal achievement.

source

The Children of Húrin….. Sad, Dark and not for the faint of heart. This definitely would give George R.R. Martin a run for his money. This is a tragic story of  Túrin Turambar, son of Húrin, and his sister Niënor, their struggle against fate and the curse cast upon Húrin’s kin. In this novel it takes place in a land beyond the Grey Heavens where Treebread once lived. But in the end was drowned in the great cataclysm that ended the First Age of the World. For those who aren’t in depth on Middle Earth history, this would be the first time you would see Morgoth and his armies. Morgoth is the First Dark Lord inthe first age of Middle Earth. Morgoth would put the son and daughter of Húrin under a cure, stating:

Behold! The Shadow of my thought shall lie upon them wherever they go, and my hate shall pursue them to the ends of the world.

But all whom you love my thought shall weigh as a cloud of Doom, and it shall bring them down into darkness and despair. Wherever they go, evil shall arise. Wherever they speak, their words shall bring ill counsel. Whatsoever they do shall turn against them. They shall die without hope, cursing both life and death.
The Children of Húrin

Morgoth dwelt in the vast fortress of Angband in the North. Tragedy of Turin and his sister Niënor unfolded in the shadows of the fear of Angband and the war waged by Morgoth.

Lord_of_the_rings_glaurung_by_vaejoun-d71q48fTheir brief and passionate lives were dominated by the elemental hatred that Morgoth bore them as the children of Hurin. The man who had dared to defy and to scorn him to his face. Against them he sent his formidable servant, Glaurung, a powerful spirit in the form of a huge wingless dragon of fire. I would read the The Silmarillion first or right after this book. There are events and characters that in there as well and explains some of the events that took place. While I enjoyed this novel vary much, it is dark. It reminded me of Beowulf in some aspects and has a vary Nordic Saga theme. While there are a few off transitions within this novel, it still lays the foundation for the events in Fellowships.

This book is definitely for the hardcore fans out there. After reading this book, it was the main reason as to why I started doing this challenge. I wanted to know more of the history and lore in the Middle Earth. I highly recommend The Children of Húrin, just beware that it is dark and do not or try not to get attached to the characters.

Star Wars And A Tolkien With A Side Of Forgotten Realms

Star Wars And A Tolkien With A Side Of Forgotten Realms

Star Wars: Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber….

6310782This novel is great on so many levels. I love Zombies and I love Star Wars. mix the two together and you get this! Plus mix in some of my favorite characters into the story line and SQUEEEEE!

Great book from begin to end. Rather quick too… I think the best way to describe the book was this quote from a review I found from  fellow reader on Goodreads…

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Star Wars And A Tolkien With A Side Of Forgotten Realms

Star Wars And A Tolkien With A Side Of Forgotten Realms

Star Wars: Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber….

6310782This novel is great on so many levels. I love Zombies and I love Star Wars. mix the two together and you get this! Plus mix in some of my favorite characters into the story line and SQUEEEEE!

Great book from begin to end. Rather quick too… I think the best way to describe the book was this quote from a review I found from  fellow reader on Goodreads…

View On WordPress

Star Wars And A Tolkien With A Side Of Forgotten Realms

Star Wars: Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber….

6310782This novel is great on so many levels. I love Zombies and I love Star Wars. mix the two together and you get this! Plus mix in some of my favorite characters into the story line and SQUEEEEE!

Great book from begin to end. Rather quick too… I think the best way to describe the book was this quote from a review I found from  fellow reader on Goodreads about the this book:

Like an unconcerned lover, meeting you for a “nooner”, Death Troopers is quick and dirty. it doesn’t ask you how you are doing or if you are getting close. When it is finished, it rolls out of bed and leaves you staring, asking “what exactly just happened”. You feel a little dirty, then you shower and get back to work. in the end, it is still a nooner, so who can scoff at that? Not I.

I thought this was a perfect way to sum up the book HAHAHA! the writing is on spot and action flows smoothly (for zombies that is). Keep the classic Star Wars universe intact as well, without having to change anything. Plus you don’t need to know anything before reading this book. Just pick it up and run with it. I highly recommend it to everyone who is a Star Wars fanboy or a lover of the zombie world! The story plot of Death Troopers is:

When the Imperial prison barge Purge—temporary home to five hundred of the galaxy’s most ruthless killers, rebels, scoundrels, and thieves—breaks down in a distant part of space, its only hope appears to lie with a Star Destroyer found drifting and seemingly abandoned. But when a boarding party from the Purge is sent to scavenge for parts, only half of them come back—bringing with them a horrific disease so lethal that within hours nearly all aboard the Purge die in ways too hideous to imagine.

And death is only the beginning.

The Purge’s half-dozen survivors will do whatever it takes to stay alive. But nothing can prepare them for what lies waiting aboard the Star Destroyer. For the dead are rising: soulless, unstoppable, and unspeakably hungry.

————

20151017_121439Early today I got my copy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Children of Hurin!!! Can’t wait till I can get into this book! I’ve been looking forward for awhile now. So a little birthday gift to myself by the way. from what I’m told, I’m able to buy myself anymore gifts. Because other people are getting me stuff. 😉

It is a legendary time long before The Lord of the Rings, and Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwells in the vast fortress of Angband in the North; and within the shadow of the fear of Angband, and the war waged by Morgoth against the Elves, the fates of Túrin and his sister Niënor will be tragically entwined.

Their brief and passionate lives are dominated by the elemental hatred that Morgoth bears them as the children of Húrin, the man who dared to defy him to his face. Against them Morgoth sends his most formidable servant, Glaurung, a powerful spirit in the form of a huge wingless dragon of fire, in an attempt to fulfil the curse of Morgoth, and destroy the children of Húrin.

Begun by J.R.R. Tolkien at the end of the First World War, The Children of Húrin became the dominant story in his later work on Middle-earth. But he could not bring it to a final and finished form. In this book Christopher Tolkien has constructed, after long study of the manuscripts, a coherent narrative without any editorial invention.

But this book looks great and I’m really wondering what Morgoth is going to be like :). I’ve read the history of middle earth and some of the short /lost tales. So I have an idea on whats going to go down in this book.

20151002_203239I also picked up a trilogy, thanks to my soon to be wife Carly. Called The Hunter’s Blades trilogy By R.A. Salvatore. I love his books and read a lot of them. But I don’t think I can read all of them lol.. the man has written so much! But I love the Forgotten Realms series and the work that Salvatore brings to the table.

Continues the adventures of the Dark Elf hero, Drizzt Do’Urden, as an invasion of orcs sweeps across the Spine of the World, separating him from the friends on whom he has long relied and forcing him to draw on his own inner resources.