Another "new" Tolkien book

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Voronwë the Faithful
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Another "new" Tolkien book

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

New Tolkien book: The Fall of Númenor to be published
HarperCollins have announced that a new Tolkien publication, The Fall of Númenor, will be published on 10th November 2022. Edited by well-known Tolkien expert Brian Sibley, the book collects together J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings of the Second Age.

The book brings many of Tolkien’s writings together, and uses The Tale of Years in the Appendices of The Lord of the Rings in order to present the content in an order and a style that works well for readers. This convenient volume will tell the story from the foundations of Númenor, the forging of the Rings, and the Last Alliance against Sauron that ended the Second Age. Sibley has gone through the entire published works by Tolkien, and provides new introductions and commentaries to bring all the pieces of Tolkien’s original content together.

The book also comes with 11 colour images (10 and the cover), and dozens of pencil sketches by renowned Tolkien artist Alan Lee. Entirely new artwork that has been described as Lee’s “best work yet”. The book, due out in hardback and deluxe on 10th November 2022, is conveniently timed to coincide with Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power which is being released this September, and which is also set in the Second Age.
There are things that could be said, but I think I will leave them unsaid.
A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Another "new" Tolkien book

Post by Eldy »

I too will follow my mother's advice about when to say (or stop saying) things. :P

As a Second Age fan, I'll be happy if this brings greater attention to those texts, but I'm not sure the anthology editions of Beren and Lúthien and The Fall of Gondolin—which this volume appears to be based on, right down to the Alan Lee illustrations—accomplished that with regard to those stories. The Second Age is an order of magnitude more obscure, though, so who knows.

As someone who already owns all the relevant texts, I can't see myself buying a copy, but I'll take a look at the illustrations when the opportunity presents itself.
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Re: Another "new" Tolkien book

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

I was pretty complimentary of both of those volumes. Even though I know this isn't much different (though Brian Sibley obviously is not Christopher Tolkien), it just doesn't feel the same.
A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Another "new" Tolkien book

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

I'm guessing that with Sibley doing the 'editing it won't include the Lost Road and Notion Club material associated with the fall of Númenor.
A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Another "new" Tolkien book

Post by Eldy »

Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 1:50 amI was pretty complimentary of both of those volumes. Even though I know this isn't much different (though Brian Sibley obviously is not Christopher Tolkien), it just doesn't feel the same.
Out of curiosity, is it the fact that Christopher Tolkien isn't involved that makes you say that, or the arguably cynical timing of this publication vis-à-vis ROP, or something else?
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Re: Another "new" Tolkien book

Post by Eldy »

Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:01 amI'm guessing that with Sibley doing the 'editing it won't include the Lost Road and Notion Club material associated with the fall of Númenor.
That would be a great loss if so. The Lost Road gives us one of our vanishingly few glimpses of Númenor through a specific character's eyes, with the Elendil POV sections, and The Notion Club Papers does a great deal to flesh out our understanding of the country and especially its language. Granted, these are relatively early conceptions, and I'd expect the new volume to focus mostly on the later Númenor of the 1950s and '60s that readers are more likely to be familiar with, from the Akallabêth and Unfinished Tales (though I can't resist pulling out my hobbyhorse and noting there are some very important differences between those two). But I really hope they don't skim over the creative origins of the Second Age.
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Re: Another "new" Tolkien book

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Eldy wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:31 am
Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 1:50 amI was pretty complimentary of both of those volumes. Even though I know this isn't much different (though Brian Sibley obviously is not Christopher Tolkien), it just doesn't feel the same.
Out of curiosity, is it the fact that Christopher Tolkien isn't involved that makes you say that, or the arguably cynical timing of this publication vis-à-vis ROP, or something else?
This is perhaps unfair, but if it were someone other than Brian Sibley doing it, someone who was actually a Tolkien scholar, I would be more optimistic. Someone like Shippey or Flieger or Doug Anderson or John Rateliff. Or, yes, Carl Hostetter.

I hope that Sibley will prove me wrong, but since he is best known for doing movie tie-in books (not just for Tolkien but for Harry Potter and others) so this strikes me all all the more as more a tie-in to the new series than anything else.

That having been said, as I stated in response to Squire at TORN, done right this could be a helpful resource. I remain ready to be proven wrong.
A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Another "new" Tolkien book

Post by Eldy »

Fair or not, that makes sense to me. I wonder if Sibley was their first choice. Not that it really matters, just idle curiosity.
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Re: Another "new" Tolkien book

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Oh, I'm sure Sibley was their first choice. With the 'their' referring to HarperCollins.

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A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Another "new" Tolkien book

Post by Alatar »

Sibley was also responsible for the best Tolkien adaptation of all time (IMHO), the BBC Radio Play of "Lord of the Rings". Also, I would argue that the more recent books would have been more accessible, and more enjoyable to the majority of the public, if they had been edited by someone less scholarly. I would much prefer to see a cohesive narrative than an extended essay on writing choices. For all that Guy Gavriel Kay gets criticised, I'm not sure if CRRT could have managed the Silmarillion without him.
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Re: Another "new" Tolkien book

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

I don't get the sense that the book will be one continuous narrative like The Silmarillion but I could be wrong.

Does Guy Kay get criticized? I can’t say that I was aware of that. I do agree that it is likely that his role was larger than has been acknowledged.
A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Another "new" Tolkien book

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

With regard to Sibley as a scholar, he does have a piece in the just-released book The Great Tales Never End: Essays in Memory of Christopher Tolkien (which I will be reviewing for The Journal of Tolkien Research).
A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Another "new" Tolkien book

Post by Eldy »

Based on the description, I can't imagine this volume will contain many cohesive narratives of the sort that are likely to be satisfying to readers who want something more in the model of the 1977 Silmarillion. But hopefully it means Aldarion and Erendis will get more exposure!
Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 12:52 pmDoes Guy Kay get criticized? I can’t say that I was aware of that. I do agree that it is likely that his role was larger than has been acknowledged.
In my experience, Guy Kay critics are people who want to criticize Christopher Tolkien for the 1977 Silmarillion but are put off from doing so by either a sense of mystique surrounding the Tolkien surname, or a fear of CJRT defenders descending upon them. :P
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Re: Another "new" Tolkien book

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https://www.tolkiensociety.org/2022/06/ ... published/

Speaking to The Tolkien Society exclusively, Brian Sibley said:
As my many friends in the Tolkien Society will understand, it has been a great honour to have been entrusted with the task of bringing together J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings (under the editorship of Christopher Tolkien) relating to the dramatic history spanning the Second Age of Middle-earth. I hope that this opportunity to read, as a single narrative, an account of those years, will provide a new appreciation of how the monumental events of the Second Age were to impact on those told in The Lord of the Rings.

Also for Tolkien aficionados, there is the glorious gift of ten new colour plates by Alan Lee, featuring scenes – such as the building of Barad-dûr and Galadriel leading the Elves through Khazâd-dûm – that this master illustrator hasn’t previously had the opportunity to depict.
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Re: Another "new" Tolkien book

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Yeah, I saw that, but it remains to be seen what he means by 'single narrative'.

Eldy, I'll be surprised if The Mariner's Wife is included at all.
A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Another "new" Tolkien book

Post by Eldy »

I'll be very disappointed if it's left out, not only because it's the closest thing we have to a Second Age novel, but because it contains so much valuable information about Númenor, making the island's later destruction hit much harder. Plus, it "tells of the first rumour of the Shadow," as Tolkien put it in the subtitle of one of the relevant texts, so it's not wholly disconnected from the broader Sauron/Rings narrative.
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Re: Another "new" Tolkien book

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

We'll see; I hope to be pleasantly surprised.
A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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Re: Another "new" Tolkien book

Post by Eldy »

True—and it wouldn't be the first time I turned out to have been unreasonably optimistic, if indeed it gets left out. :P
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Re: Another "new" Tolkien book

Post by Eldy »

Entertainment Weekly has three of Alan Lee's pencil sketches from The Fall of Númenor. Unfortunately, the forum's word filter breaks the URL for the article by correcting the spelling and capitalization of Númenor, but this tweet links to it.

Armenelos:

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Narvi:

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Sauron surrenders to the Númenoreans:

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Re: Another "new" Tolkien book

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Narvi, eh? That certainly implies that the book covers a lot more than just the fall of Númenor.

I'm leaning towards believing that Sibley is going to create some kind of continuous narrative, despite the implications that suggest otherwise
A great tree may outlive many a Man, and may remember the seed from which it came ere all the Men that now walk the earth were yet unborn, but the rind upon which you lay your hand, and the leaves which overshadow you, are not as that seed was, nor as the dry wood shall be that decays into the mould or passes in flame. And other trees there are that stand about each different in growth and in shape, according to the chances of their lives, though all be akin, offspring of one yet older tree and sprung therefore from a single seed of long ago.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Dangweth Pengolod

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