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The Return of the Shadow: The History of Middle-Earth 6: Book 6

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Some information concerning the appendices and a soon-abandoned sequel to the novel can also be found in volume 12, The Peoples of Middle-earth. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Return of the Shadow, "The First Phase: I. A Long-expected Party, (v) 'The Tale that is Brewing'" The Return of the Shadow, the first volume of Christopher Tolkien's History of the Lord of the Rings series, tells the story of the early development of The Lord of the Rings, taking the narrative from the beginning up to the Mines of Moria. I love how the little penciled note above shows just how uncertain the beginning of The Lord of the Rings was. The story might have gone anywhere, no matter how inevitable it now seems. This is what makes The Fellowship of the Ring my favorite of the three books: the time available for whimsical wanderings, little adventures and events and details that don't really seem connected directly to the big story that emerges. Now I see that this meandering opening is partly a reflection of J.R.R. Tolkien's own gradual realization of where the story was going. It's wonderful.

Throughout the book you can see two processes working. One is evolution of characters, something that can be expected in any book. It shows how Hobbits changed names and character, what they said when and to whom etc. Other, IMO far more important, is how LOTR evolved from "The Hobbit" sequel to work we know today. We see how The Ring evolved from simple magic ring Bilbo found in "The Hobbit" to all-powerfull ring of LOTR. We also see how initial characters were slowly molded into characters that fit into broader Tolkien's world and how LOTR slowly began to take place in Tolkien's world, something Tolkien didn't plan in the beginning. This is shown mostly in evolution of elf characters, though Aragorn still doesn't exist (Strider was first called Trotter and was a hobbit).

The return of the shadow

In prior Academy seminars, we have explored the first five volumes in the HoME series, The Book of Lost Tales, Part 1, The Book of Lost Tales, Part 2, The Lays of Beleriand, The Shaping of Middle-earth, and The Lost Road. At the end of this next session, we will be halfway through the entire series that describes the history of the writing of J. R. R. Tolkien’s stories about Middle-earth. In hindsight it's also fascinating to see Tolkien struggling with The Lord of the Rings as a sequel to The Hobbit. We're now used to thinking of The Lord of the Rings as the main story, for which The Hobbit is a pleasant introduction but a much different kind of story. Tolkien wrote: The Annotated Hobbit · The History of The Hobbit · The Nature of Middle-earth · The Fall of Númenor A Long-expected Party is the title of the opening chapter of The Return of the Shadow, the sixth book of The History of Middle-earth series by Christopher Tolkien. It is also the title of the first chapter in The Lord of the Rings, but in this volume Christopher provides the history of how that first chapter was written.

iv. The Shaping of Middle-earth · v. The Lost Road and Other Writings · vi. The Return of the Shadow · Things certainly improved (in my opinion at least) at an accelerated rate. Even the introduction of Trotter proved to be less twee than I thought it would be. A wooden-shoe-wearing hobbit-ranger certainly seems odd on the face of it, but while definitely an inferior character when compared to Aragorn, the story that Tolkien started to develop for Trotter, with the hints of both a connection to Gandalf and Bilbo and a dark and dangerous past, were actually somewhat intriguing. It is also surprising to note, as Christopher does, how close to the finished text (at least in terms of general story elements and overall plot) many sections of even the earliest drafts are once things apparently started gelling for Tolkien and the idea that this was ‘merely’ a children’s book sequel were more or less quashed. There were still many changes (especially in regards to the number of hobbits involved in the story, their names and relationships, and the ultimate make-up of the fellowship of the ring itself, not to mention the introduction of the character and storyline of Aragorn) and much of the text would still be further refined, but one can definitely see something very much recognizable as ‘the Lord of the Rings’ even in these early drafts. The History of The Lord of the Rings reveals much of the slow, aggregative nature of Tolkien's creativity. As Christopher Tolkien noted of the first two volumes, Tolkien had eventually brought the story up to Rivendell, but still "without any clear conception of what lay before him". [T 2] He also noted how, on the way, his father could get caught up in a "spider's web of argumentation" [T 3] – what Tom Shippey described as getting "bogged down in sometimes strikingly unnecessary webs of minor causation". [1] Thus (for example) the character eventually known as Pippin Took was, in a series of rewriting and of deleted adventures, variously known as Odo, Frodo, Folco, Faramond, Peregrin, Hamilcar, Fredegar, and Olo – the figures also being Boffins and Bolgers, as well as Tooks. [T 4] i. The Book of Lost Tales: Part One · ii. The Book of Lost Tales: Part Two · iii. The Lays of Beleriand · iv. The Shaping of Middle-earth · v. The Lost Road and Other Writings · vi. The Return of the Shadow · vii. The Treason of Isengard · viii. The War of the Ring · ix. Sauron Defeated · x. Morgoth's Ring · xi. The War of the Jewels · xii. The Peoples of Middle-earth · Index) · Ezzel együtt nem könnyű, amikor egy harmadik vázlatot olvasunk már ugyanarról a történetszálról, kiemelve az újabb és újabb változtatásokat - de ezzel együtt is szórakoztató tudott maradni számomra végig a könyv.Another example: "Treebeard" has been translated as "Bárbol". I think "Barbárbol" would have been much better, for it keeps the structure of the English name, which "Bárbol" does not. The effect is unlike anything I've ever read -- like watching over a shoulder as the author crosses out a paragraph, muttering to himself. Moment by moment, though, it can be amazingly dull to read.

J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Return of the Shadow, "The Second Phase: XIV. Return to Hobbiton" The last volume finishes the story and features the rejected Epilogue, in which Sam answers his children's questions. It also includes The Notion Club Papers (a time-travel story related to Númenor), a draft of the Drowning of Anadûnê, and the only extant account of Tolkien's fictional language Adûnaic. i. The Book of Lost Tales: Part One · ii. The Book of Lost Tales: Part Two · iii. The Lays of Beleriand · Version II: Bilbo gives the party and he is 71 years old. Elves, Dwarves, and even Men from Dale arrive at Bag End with goods for the party. Gandalf appears with his fireworks. Bilbo uses his Ring to disappear but only after stepping down so that no one noticed his going. [7]csillag között hezitáltam, de az öt talán túlzás lett volna, mert néha tényleg szinte rá kellett vennem magam, hogy olvassam. Masszívan fanoknak szól, de bevallom, amikor letettem, azonnal elkezdett hiányozni. Szuper visszaröppenni a Gyűrű Szövetsége világába, és rendkívül érdekes és izgalmas belelátni Tolkien fejébe, a regény keletkezéstörténetébe, a különböző vázlatokban kibontakozó ötletekbe (akár végül elvetett, akár végül kibontott-megvalósított ötletről van szó). Tolkien’s most popular works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are set in Middle-earth, an imagined world with strangely familiar settings inhabited by ancient and extraordinary peoples. Through this secondary world Tolkien writes perceptively of universal human concerns – love and loss, courage and betrayal, humility and pride – giving his books a wide and enduring appeal. After all that Tolkien had imagined in his mythology, it's hilarious to see him claiming to have used up all his good ideas in The Hobbit. Thank you, Christopher Tolkien. This book consists of an edited collection of the first manuscripts for The Lord of the Rings, and it is probably the kind of book that is more useful than all the new interpretations of Tolkien out there. Tolkien was truly blessed in a son who cared about his father's work and had a first-rate historian's mind such that he could so ably curate and organize it for the public.

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