Dustin's Reviews > The Children of Húrin

The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien
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's review
Apr 28, 2008

really liked it
Read in April, 2008

Having read most of Christopher Tolkien's other editions of his father's work, I was eager to read this prose rendering of the Narn i Chin Hurin, which may be familiar to anyone who has read the Silmarillion, or any of the Lost Tales/Unfinished Tales/History of Middle Earth volumes.

What always strikes me about the early writings of Tolkein's (JRR, not Christopher) is the love and tenderness with which he writes his characters. No matter how awful their acts, whether voluntary or fated, it is clear that these were the characters he really identified with. A similar tendency can be seen in the Lord of the Rings. As much as such a story required hidden kings and beings capable of true evil, those were just the backdrops for a story about a couple of hobbits. He loved the hobbits, and they were dear to him. He merely needed Aragorn (for example) to fill a necessary role in the story, as compared to the much more fleshed out hobbits.

Considering the vaunted mish-mosh of snippets, drafts, amendments, false starts, and everything else that Christopher Tolkien has to work through in order to put these volumes together, all I can do is applaud his work in trying to expand awareness of his father's true love: The creation of the over-arching backdrop against which the story in the Lord of the Rings is just a tiny part.
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