J.R.R. Tolkien discussion

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Middle-earth Generally > What other novel do you wish Tolkien had written?

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message 1: by Terence (new)

Terence (spocksbro) | 19 comments Last night I finished listening to the audio CD of The Lord of the Rings and hearing the narrator read Appendix A, it got me to thinking about the stories of Middle Earth I wish Tolkien had written about.

In this case, it's the story of Elrond and Elros. I've always wanted to know about Elros and his relationship to Elrond. As it is, he's nearly a cipher. All we know is that he chose the life of a Man and is accounted the first king of Numenor.

Why did he chose as he did? Was it his experiences at the hands of the sons of Feanor (as I recall, he and Elrond were captives at one point)? What was his relationship with his brother like and did they have much interaction after they had made their choices?

I'd also like to know more about Tuor and Idril. Tuor bucks tradition by choosing the life of the Eldar for love of Idril but Tolkien is careful to note that he does so reluctantly. Again, why? What is it about his relationship with Idril that prompts his decision? What is it about Beren's with Luthien that determined her choice?

And, finally, I really, really wish Tolkien had completed a full prose version of Beren and Luthien's tale. I think Luthien has the potential to be one of the more memorable heroines in epic fantasy (after all it's she who saves Beren and Finrod from Sauron and it's her power that charms Morgoth so that Beren can sneak up and cut a Silmaril from his crown).


message 2: by Aldean (new)

Aldean | 17 comments Those are great, Terence. I admit I don't know that I have ever stopped to wonder about Elros before, but clearly there could have—should have—been a story there.

I have a very difficult time reading the few chapters of "The Lost Road" (in volume V of The History of Middle-earth) because I cannot let go of my frustration at Tolkien's early abandonment of it. It would have been a very different point of entry for him, but might well have led to a very different means of presenting the Númenor story, one I would have loved to read.


message 3: by Connor (new)

Connor (connork) | 38 comments I really need to get deeper into the history of this stuff. I've read the Silmarillion and really liked Beren and Luthien. I've read the book The Children of Hurin and I hope that Christopher Tolkien edits a story like that for Beren and Luthien. Then we could get more in depth with that story.

I heard Unfinished Tales has a lot of the Numenorian history in it but I'm not so sure.


message 4: by Terence (new)

Terence (spocksbro) | 19 comments @Connor: In Unfinished Tales there's only one story set in Numenor that focuses on a small cast of characters - "Aldarion and Erendis." There are two general histories of the realm: A kings' list and a description of the island and the story of Celeborn and Galadriel, which is set (mostly) in the Second Age.

In the Histories of Middle Earth, there are any number of drafts of Numenorean history but no stories like The Hobbit, LotR or even The Children of Hurin.

I'm on the fence about someone else tackling the subject.

Pro:
Tolkien envisioned ME as where Anglo-Saxon myth and literature should have gone if not for the Norman Conquest, so he may have welcomed contributions from other authors (as long as they retained the "flavor" of ME).

Con:
Who - really - can assume Tolkien's mantle? I adore Steven Erikson but a Malazanized Middle Earth is not something I would look forward to.

And, who - really - would want to? As an author, why would I want to simply parrot the voice and world of another, no matter how much I might admire him?

In the end, I'm not sure I'd want my wishes to be fulfilled.


message 5: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks This might be a bit different, but I really wish that Tolkien had written an English translation of "The Kalevala."


message 6: by Terence (new)

Terence (spocksbro) | 19 comments Apropos of nothing: I remember once owning this book: The Tolkien Scrapbook.

One of the neatest entries in the book was a (very) short story about the hobbit archers who went to fight the Witch King with the North Kingdom's army and never returned.

Sadly, the binding was not of high quality and it fell apart from too much handling.


message 7: by Jim (new)

Jim (jakadeus) Details of the Witch King and the men of Carn Dum, the ones referenced by the hobbits when they were in the Barrows.


message 8: by Connor (new)

Connor (connork) | 38 comments Terence wrote: "@Connor: In Unfinished Tales there's only one story set in Numenor that focuses on a small cast of characters - "Aldarion and Erendis." There are two general histories of the realm: A kings' list a..."

Thanks for the info. I think I might read next:)


message 9: by Lianne (new)

Lianne (eclecticreading) | 16 comments Gundula wrote: "This might be a bit different, but I really wish that Tolkien had written an English translation of "The Kalevala.""

That would've been amazing! I am currently reading The Kalevala and it's just so rich visually and in lore, it would've been interesting to see how he would have translated it.


message 10: by Kevis (last edited Jul 06, 2012 11:07AM) (new)

Kevis Hendrickson (kevishendrickson) | 20 comments Personally I would have loved the professor to have written The New Shadow, the proposed sequel to The Lord of the Rings. To read about the return of darkness during the days of Aragorn's son Eldarion would have been thrilling. Sadly, as with all these wonderful suggestions in this thread, that wish died with Tolkien.


message 11: by David (new)

David Fuller (davidjfuller) Kevis wrote: "Personally I would have loved the professor to have written The New Shadow, the proposed sequel to The Lord of the Rings. To read about the return of darkness during the days of Aragorn's son Eldar..."

I didn't even know about that one. I wonder who the driving force behind the darkness would be?


message 12: by David (new)

David Fuller (davidjfuller) Lianne wrote: "Gundula wrote: "This might be a bit different, but I really wish that Tolkien had written an English translation of "The Kalevala.""

That would've been amazing! I am currently reading The Kalevala..."


I've never read it, but have been curious about it since first hearing about it. It's on my long list of epics to read :)


message 13: by David (new)

David Fuller (davidjfuller) Lora wrote: "Terence wrote: "Last night I finished listening to the audio CD of The Lord of the Rings and hearing the narrator read Appendix A, it got me to thinking about the stories of Middle Earth I wish Tol..."

That's quite a comprehensive reading list! I wanted to comment but couldn't figure out how. I have only read the Books of Lost Tales -- not the rest of the History of Middle-earth series -- and have wondered whether they are worth it.


message 14: by Anne (new)

Anne Gazzolo | 390 comments Mod
I would love to know about Frodo's life in the West and how he healed and his reunion with Sam.

Namarie, God bless, Anne Marie :)


message 15: by Lianne (new)

Lianne (eclecticreading) | 16 comments David wrote: "I've never read it, but have been curious about it since first hearing about it. It's on my long list of epics to read :)"

I hope you get a chance to! It's a lot more adventurous and entertaining than I first thought (and yeah, you could see some of the themes and elements that inspired Tolkien) =)

Thinking on the subject a little further, I would have loved it if Tolkien had written a short story or something on Eomer's experiences after the War of the Ring. I was always impressed that he was able to rebuild Rohan on his own/through his guidance.


message 16: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 7 comments It would be so cool to hear about the "second song" and the elves coming back. As well what had been happening in Valinor while the Lord of the Rings was happening.


message 17: by Richard (new)

Richard Sutton (richardsutton) | 68 comments Tom Bombadil's story. The Fellowship's time in his home on the Withywyndyle (sp?) was too short and the character of Tom and his wife, writ too large to be just a passing reference or two.


message 18: by L (new)

L | 132 comments There are so many indaviduals whom i would have loved to know more about, and a lot within the apendix's that i would have liked to have known more about. Tom Bombadil is indeed an interesting character, as too are many from the first and second ages of Middle-Earth.


message 19: by Brandon (new)

Brandon | 10 comments I think C.S.Lewis and J.R.R.Tolkien should have written stuff together. That would have been Great.


message 20: by L (new)

L | 132 comments Brandon505 wrote: "I think C.S.Lewis and J.R.R.Tolkien should have written stuff together. That would have been Great."

Agree!! Totally.


message 21: by Temitope (last edited Aug 31, 2012 02:54PM) (new)

Temitope Ajileye (lettersastray) | 3 comments Nobody wanting to know more about the history of the dwarves?


message 22: by Kevis (last edited Aug 31, 2012 03:25AM) (new)

Kevis Hendrickson (kevishendrickson) | 20 comments Letters wrote: "Nobody wanting to know more about the history of the dwarf?"

I sure would have. The Dwarves are one of the most interesting, but sadly, underused races in Middle-Earth. That's one of the reasons I loved reading The Children of Hurin. It was a lot of fun to see the Dwarves cause trouble in that book.


message 23: by Temitope (new)

Temitope Ajileye (lettersastray) | 3 comments Yeah, I wish him or somebody else could tell me the ancient glory of Moria.


message 24: by Hyarrowen (new)

Hyarrowen | 65 comments The full story of the Fall of Gondolin! We get enough sections of it to make me really wish for more. And by golly, he could write battles.


message 25: by Lianne (new)

Lianne (eclecticreading) | 16 comments Temitope wrote: "Nobody wanting to know more about the history of the dwarves?"

Definitely! You get bits of the story here and there in The Hobbit, Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings but there's definitely a whole lot more about the dwarves that I wish we got to learn more about.


message 26: by Briana (new)

Briana | 2 comments I want to know what happened to the Entwives!!!!!! This will plague me til I die.

The full story of the Fall of Gondolin would also be amazing.


message 27: by Emily (new)

Emily I wish Tolkien had written a novel-length version of "Beren and Luthien." So sad but beautiful...


message 28: by Steve (new)

Steve Bivans (stevebivans) | 21 comments Wow, you guys have come up with some great ideas! I would have loved to read more on Beren and Luthien, the Fall of Gondolin would have been kick ass, but I'd really like to have the story of the fall of Numenor in more detail. How Sauron managed to weasel his way into the court and poison the mind of the king. The destruction of the island kingdom, and all the lands in the West. But alas. Tolkien is no longer with us, and I trust no one else to do it. If the notes were sufficient, Christopher would probably do a decent job putting them together.


message 29: by Philip (new)

Philip Dodd (philipdodd) | 84 comments The novel that I wish J.R.R. Tolkien had written is The Silmarillion. That is, I wish he had completed that book to his satisfaction and published it within his lifetime. The book we have now by that name, published in 1977, edited by Christopher Tolkien, is not the book J.R.R. Tolkien would have published if he had remained alive to complete it. It is sad that we will never read The Silmarillion J.R.R. Tolkien had in his mind.


message 30: by Hyarrowen (new)

Hyarrowen | 65 comments Steve wrote: "I'd really like to have the story of the fall of Numenor..."

So would I. In fact I'd read anything about Numenor in detail; I've got a framed map of it on my dining room wall and it's so sparse! But it must've been a lovely place."


message 31: by Neil (new)

Neil R. Coulter (ethnosax) Philip wrote: "The novel that I wish J.R.R. Tolkien had written is The Silmarillion. That is, I wish he had completed that book to his satisfaction and published it within his lifetime. The book we have now by th..."

It's optimistic to assume that he would ever have "completed" The Silmarillion, in any amount of years. :) I understand the desire to see what his ultimate final form for the story would have been, but I think for me the beauty of it is in its meandering, never-finished nature. It's not a tidy, five-act story, which gives it a living quality appropriate to the antiquity of its setting. The History series gives plenty of alternative ways it might've gone. I think I prefer the frame-story structure of the Book of Lost Tales (and I sense from some of Christopher's comments that he almost wishes he had used that structure in his published version). And I love the Lays of Beleriand--the History volume I've reread the most. I do wish there were a book-length Beren and Luthien, to go with The Children of Hurin.


message 32: by Philip (new)

Philip Dodd (philipdodd) | 84 comments Yes, as the story of Beren and Luthien was so important to J.R.R. Tolkien, as it was rooted in his relationship with his wife, Edith, it is a pity he did not complete a prose version of the tale to his satisfaction after the publication of The Lord of the Rings. The Book of Beren and Luthien would have been a fine tale.


message 33: by Rafael (new)

Rafael da Silva (morfindel) | 38 comments I would love read about the southern and eastern races and men. This unknown world could be an interesting place.


message 34: by Elentarri (new)

Elentarri | 29 comments Agree about The Lost Road. It was going places and then....... nothing. :(


message 35: by Anne (new)

Anne Gazzolo | 390 comments Mod
Elentarri wrote: "Agree about The Lost Road. It was going places and then....... nothing. :("

Agree completely. What a shame. I hope someone can complete it one day like other other authors do with series that continue that the original author has accepted the Gift.

Namarie, God bless, Anne Marie :)


message 36: by Elentarri (new)

Elentarri | 29 comments Any additional material about the rise and fall of Numenor, as well as what happened before, during and after the siege of Barad-dur, and some of the stuff during the early parts of the third-age, would have been nice. The appendices are a bit sparse, but have some potentially exciting bits in them.


message 37: by Isa (new)

Isa Adams | 4 comments I would love a complete history of the founding of the shire


message 38: by Anne (new)

Anne Gazzolo | 390 comments Mod
Isa wrote: "I would love a complete history of the founding of the shire"

Anything more with hobbits would be fine with me. :)

Welcome to the group!

Namarie, God bless, Anne Marie :)


message 39: by Isa (new)

Isa Adams | 4 comments I think hobbits are the greatest characters created in fiction


message 40: by Anne (new)

Anne Gazzolo | 390 comments Mod
Isa wrote: "I think hobbits are the greatest characters created in fiction"

Hear, hear!


message 41: by Elentarri (new)

Elentarri | 29 comments Dennis L McKiernan has novels with halflings (might as well be hobbits). Some of his earlier work reads like Tolkien fanfiction, but it has hobbits, elves, dwarves, adventures etc. The Eye of the Hunter is the first book of his I read.


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