Login | Register
 
Message Board | Latest Posts | Your Recent Posts | Rules

Thread: The Books

Is this discussion interesting? Share it on Twitter!

Bottom of Page    Message Board > The Lord of the Rings > The Books   
Hi Guys,

First of all I am new to this forum, and fairly new to the world of Tolkien. I've read The Hobbit 2 times, and The Lord of the rings once.
Enjoyed it alot, I've seen the movies for about 5 times and I've read a lot on the internet about the new hobbit movie.
The world is great and it made me wonder if it is worthwile to read the "Silmarillion" and "the Children of Hurin" and in what order is it most fun for me to read them, timeline wise...

I Believe it's this way right?

- Children of Hurin

- Silmarillion

- The Hobbit

- Lord of the Rings

There are more books which I can't recall the name of at the moment. So if anyone has the time to clarify this for me, that would be great!

By the way since I'm knew to the forum I'll introduce myself:

I'm Roy aka Huan (I just use that name in a lot of online games and forums, I just loved the story of Beren and Lúthien with Huan (the dog))
I live in Holland and I'm 19 years old. Currently working full-time but planning to start a study again coming August, also made it through the tests to become a Dutch marine officer (still in doubt about my decission(study <-> marine) So now that's told I look forward to see some reactions!

greetz Huan
Welcome Huan, Beren is our resident "expert" who I believe has every Tolkien book ever published. Hopefully he will jump in soon and give you a rundown. If you haven't already, check out the new members thread. I think I left an introduction there myself. If not, then mea culpa :lol: .

As to your query about your decision to be a Dutch Marine Officer, perhaps you could clarify if that is a military or other agency and if by Study you mean college. It seems to me, without knowing, that either way your duties may interfere with your plans to study. You should think carefully about which is your highest priority in your life at this moment--fulfilling a duty to your country or furthering your education (which could also lead to great contributions to your society).

In the meantime, there have been a number of interesting discussions here, and I hope to read your comments on some of them. <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />

[b:qufcjrxx]Gandalfs Beard[/b:qufcjrxx]
Welcome Huan! I like that story as well <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> it is beautiful and sad but amazing! Any hew welcome to the forum <img src='/images/smileys/smile.gif' border='0' alt='Smile Smilie' />
Hey Huan! Well, this Forum isn't as active as some, but I have a feeling it will be. For example, the Hobbit Movie is coming out in 2012 I have heard, and that is about 3 years away. As the tension mounts, I hope that this Forum will be rustling with activity and you will be here for it! As for those books you listed, I believe those are all correct. However, there are many more footnotes Tolkien has written that you can probably find at your local Bookstore. Great to have another Tolkien lover around!

Best Wishes,

Durin
Thx guys

As for Gandalfs questions: It's definitely a military function, comparisable to the US marine corps. And yes my study means collegeWink Smilie Sport management & organisation, which is located in Amsterdam.. so it's for me to decide which one it's going to be. The main point of my doubts is 'social life'
If I decide to choose the marines I got 5 years of education and training, after that a 7 year contract. So that means 12 year of solitude (in a way) hardly home in the weekends, always away during the week. But 12 years of a good salary plus the certainty of a job.

I've read most of the discussions on the forum, and I promise you I will be joining them soonWink Smilie

greetz Huan
I would start with the Silmarillion. Hurin and his children are told in the Silmarillion briefly. The silmarillion will give you a sense of the entire Middle-Earth time line from creation to the War of the Rings (Lord of the Rings). Children of Hurin is a fuller, fleshed out version of one part of the Silmarillion.

Though, if you prefer, Children of Hurin will be easier to read and more enjoyable the first time through. Due to the scope of the Silmarillion, I found it a very hard and boring read the first time through. I have since them come to love it.
oh great....don't build up your hopes about my expertise.
Anyways, I would actually suggest (if you have time) that you read LOTR again. There are a lot of Silmarillion references that, if you catch them, will make the Silmarillion more enjoyable. After that, I'd just plunge into the Silmarillion. It's thick, but it's good. I got the tape recording from my library and read along with the narrator. This helped me not stumble over names. After the Silmarillion, I'd say read the Children of Hurin. It'll be a nice break from the thickness of the Silmarillion.
Another interesting book that I found is "Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth." It has some really interesting stuff in it. The last part of the book is devoted to filling in gaps in LOTR. Like telling where certain characters were and what they were doing while the actual story of LOTR was on someone else. It's a great reference book.
I am currently reading "The History of Middle-Earth" a 12-volume series detailing Tolkien's life work on Middle-Earth. If you don't want to get that involved, then I suggest you just read a couple. The Book of Lost Tales (vols. 1 and 2) give an awesome version of the Silmarillion. All it really is is the Silmarillion in fire-side form. These elves just get together every night and tell tales of the old world. It's great. Another is "The Lost Road." It is an unfinished story about time-travel (written at the same time and as a compliment to C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy.) Even though the actual story is quite short, it is very interesting. If you want more than all these that I've mentioned, try "The Lays of Beleriand." It gives the stories of Beren and Luthien and the Children of Hurin in poetry form. Very beautiful.
If you want some small stuff (not necessarily from Middle-Earth), try "Farmer Giles of Ham", "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil", "Leaf by Niggle", and "Smith of Wootton Major."

Now that you have enough reading to last you quite a few years, I suppose I'll shut up :oops: .
Well I'd say all that reading puts you at expert level Beren :lol: . I've just read the basics, and I only got part way into the Silmarrillion and Book of Lost Tales Pt1 recently before having to take them back to the library. I really have to pull my copies out of storage so I can re-read them at my leisure :oops: . I think my Mum has acopy of Unfinished Tales and Farmer Giles of Ham somewhere in storage.

[b:1yor0fnt]Gandalf's beard[/b:1yor0fnt]
so let me get this straight..

Your idea of first reading the "lord of the rings" again sounds smart, cause I often confuse the story in the book with the story in the movies, and I know that's quite different.

So I'd probably read that all over again, that should keep me buisy for a while, although I'm a fast reader.

after that it would probably be smart (as Beren, show and Gandalf stated) to read the silmarillion. I love the whole world of middle earth so I guess I won't get borred that fast. Next is probably "unfinished tales of numenor and middle-earth" and after that I'll have a look what interests me most. Anyway thanks for the clarification.

And then one more thing, ofcourse I'm Dutch and I'm able to get all the books in the Dutch language, but wouldn't it be more fun for me to read them all in English? Can you guys shine a light on this matter? hmm my english isn't bad, not bad at all, but I'm wondering if the silmarillion is hard to understand if you read it in a different language as your own..

greetz Huan
If you are insane like me you will try to read at least some of the books in a side by side comparison (I tried to do that with the German version of LOTR in High School). But I wasn't as good at German as you are at English :lol: . I won't be trying that again because I don't remember enough German. :oops:
If you have already read LOTR in Dutch try it in English now. If it's not too bad then you should have no problem reading the Silmarillion in English.

[b:14ucqskq]Gandalf's Beard[/b:14ucqskq]
haha I guess I'm that insane than, I've read the hobbit in dutch and in english at the same time.. yeah I guess I just read LOTR in english, can't be that hardWink Smilie

greetz Huan
Nice One Huan <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> Have fun. Feel free to ask us any questions if you come across a colloquial passage that doesn't "translate" as well as it might.

[b:1qpa1ab1]Gandalf's Beard[/b:1qpa1ab1]

P.S. By the way, Idon't want to be accused of leading you away from Military service--but if both opportunities lay before me--I would choose Scholarship. But that's just me :mrgreen: . :lol:
Thx gandalf!

I'll let you guys know if I come across passages which I don't fully understand, but don't keep your hopes up.. I know I will understand it for the bigger part.

haha no one will accuse you, but why exactly would you choose for scholarship?

Greetz Huan
I almost chose a Military life myself. But then I realized I would have to give up too much of my life and take orders (I'm not very good at that). But I have a lot of respect for people that do choose that life. <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />

And I'm kind of a Wuss :oops:

[b:2sljk9ua]Gandalf's Beard[/b:2sljk9ua]
I passed all the tests (5 of them) and since I applied for the "officer" rank, I get to order people around (after being told what to do for five yearsWink Smilie)
what bothers me the most is the loss of my social life (e.g girlfriend/ sports/ friends/ partying/ marriage?/ children) I need to complete 5 years of training and after that a 7 year contract, that means 12 years of service. So 12 years of life without a great social life.

I guess I'll choose scholarshipWink Smilie

By the way, anyone got some great site's? where I can order the books in English? I was looking at www.tolkien.co.uk but maybe some of you know something better?

Greetz Huan
I would say read the Silmarillion first in your native language. Because the main story, "The War of the Jewels" take so much time and space, not to mention characters, your first read should be as comfortable for you as possible.

Just in a reread the other day I realised that I had completly forgotten that Feonor wasn't his name. His given name was Curufinwe, but he mother called him Feonor. Tolkien has a certain love with giving people names, and then giving them a few extra names just to make things interesting. A good thing to due would be to xerox or print off the web a copy of geneology for the Noldor Elves. One king who had three children, then each of them had a bunch, you get a little overwhelmed. And a print out is nice so you can doodle little notes to remind you of who is who or did what when you meet a character again 100 pages after they were last mentioned.
I bought almost all of my Tolkien books used off of www.half.ebay.com. Great site if you're trying to save money.
mm that's an interesting point you make show, I'll just have a look how I feel when reading the lord of the rings in english.

I need some opinions guys!

I got two options:

http://www.bol.com/nl/p/boeken-engels/t ... index.html (and then ofcourse all three books of this edition)

http://www.bol.com/nl/p/boeken-engels/t ... t_overview (and once again all three of this edition)

the first one is less expensive, and yes I want them new <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />

greetz Huan
Apparently PJ borrowed some ideas from Tolkien's LotR - but not enough to be accused of pagiarism! :ugeek:
No one has ever accused PJ of [i:2i0kpso0]plagiarism[/i:2i0kpso0], Uncle Odo, and you know it!!! (Also, please check your spelling next time!) Stop all your scuttlebut - you'll get GB and Petty all roused the way you're going ---- and you know full well how much it ruffles Tin's feathers when they bicker! :x
*outspams Mirabella*
Dear oh dear!
You can talk, Mr Tyrant! :lol:
[quote="Odo Banks":32hiqo6c]You can talk, Mr Tyrant! :lol:[/quote:32hiqo6c] You can spam, Mr Banks! :lol:
Yes, there are quite a few spammers in our family, and Uncle Odo is definitely one of them... :oops: Oooh sorry if I giggle Ally :oops: ...I was thinking of a similar word, but not "spammers" exactly...!
I turn my nose up to such nonsense! Why someone as respectable as a Banks would spam is beyound me... I guess things change when you've been living in Valinor for a thousand years...
Yes - there is definitely a gulf in [i:d0duuzo0]Standards[/i:d0duuzo0] between Valinor and Needlehole, I'm afraid. :ugeek:
Right this doesn't have much to do with the topic here :oops: but somewhere a while back we had a discussion about the origins of the Ringwraiths, and now I can't find it. The issue was who were they before they got given the nine rings? Kings of men? If so Kings of where? And which men? well turns out there's an answer to this in UT- unfortunately I was listening to an audio book version when I heard it, so I'll have to go look it up for exact quotes- but the gist of it was that they had been lords in Ithilien. And that the Witch King was in fact the Lord of Minas Ithil. This is why the Nazgul are associated with that city. But this raises some questions. It implies that at the time Southern Gondor was not united but more like a series of fiefdoms with local Lords in charge of different cities and areas- yet I can find no reference to such a time in the Tale of Years. Are the Nazgul referred to in the book as having once been 'Kings of men'? Or is that a PJ line? It sounds familiar but I am not 100% certain. But if they were recognized Kings that does not fit at all with the history of the Kings and Stewards of Gondor. And who were the men they ruled? Gondorians? Just Ithiliens? Ithilien is certainly big enough to require a local Lord to administer, after the War of the Ring Aragorn gives it to Faramir for that reason. But did it once have its own Kings? Any opinions?
Bloody double posting!! <img src='/images/smileys/vevil.gif' border='0' alt='Very Evil Smilie' /> How do I delete a post? (I should ask Noom!) I tried checking the box that says 'delete post' but I get a message saying 'You cannot delete posts in this forum'!!
[quote="pettytyrant101":3kc8x3n7]well turns out there's an answer to this in UT- unfortunately I was listening to an audio book version when I heard it, so I'll have to go look it up for exact quotes- but the gist of it was that they had been lords in Ithilien. And that the Witch King was in fact the Lord of Minas Ithil. This is why the Nazgul are associated with that city.[/quote:3kc8x3n7] I'll admit that it's been a while since I've read UT, but I don't recall anything stating that. Besides, Minas Ithil didn't even exist until centuries after the Witch-king became a wraith, so he couldn't have possibly been Lord of it until they captured the citadel from an ailing Gondor 2000 years into the Third Age. All that I recall about the Ringwraiths is that three of them were stated to have been Numenorean (the Witch-king is presumably among this number, particularly in light of his height) and one was stated to be Khamul - "the shadow of the East" - though Tolkien only mentioned that idea once. [quote:3kc8x3n7]But this raises some questions. It implies that at the time Southern Gondor was not united but more like a series of fiefdoms with local Lords in charge of different cities and areas- yet I can find no reference to such a time in the Tale of Years.[/quote:3kc8x3n7] Gondor didn't exist when the Ringwraiths were still fully human, period. That alone proves that at least three of the Ringwraiths (the Numenorean ones) weren't Ithilien nobility. We don't know much if anything about the pre-Gondorian peoples of that land, so they may have had kings, but I would suspect they tribal chiefs instead. [quote:3kc8x3n7]Are the Nazgul referred to in the book as having once been 'Kings of men'? Or is that a PJ line? [/quote:3kc8x3n7] It's a PJ line. None of the Numenorean Ringwraiths, at least, could have been kings, since all the rulers of Numenor are accounted for.
[quote="pettytyrant101":3gt26lav]Bloody double posting!! <img src='/images/smileys/vevil.gif' border='0' alt='Very Evil Smilie' /> How do I delete a post? (I should ask Noom!) I tried checking the box that says 'delete post' but I get a message saying 'You cannot delete posts in this forum'!![/quote:3gt26lav] No idea; I was just able to delete a post with no problem. You clicked the little red X button, right? :?
I had a look in the Tale of Years but can find no dates for the construction of Minas Ithil, Minas Arnor or Osgiliath. There are entries for when the Ringwraiths first appeared however and the building of Pelargir and Umbar. SE 2251- Nazgul first appear. The entry for the establishment of Gondor however is not until 3320SE. However the cities of Minas Arnor, Minas Ithil and Osgiliath must have been built earlier. The entry for 3429 states that Sauron seizes Minas Ithil and beseiges Osgiliath and Minas Arnor. Even the Numenoreans would be pushed to build three major cities and move large enough populations there to fill them in a mere 109 years. So by implication the cities must have been built at an earlier time. But when? The only time I can see that would fit the notion the Witch-King was a Numenorean who ruled Minas Ithil before he got given a ring is between 1800-2251SE. This is the time Sauron is taken captive to Numenor. The entry for 1701 reads - Sauron driven from Eriador. The westlands have peace for a long time. And from 1800SE- the Numenoreans begin to establish dominions on the coasts. Minas Ithil is a bit far from the coast. But it would make sense to have a watch on Mordor whilst Sauron is in captivity and there is a period of peace. And with Numenor being the capital and centre Ithilien would require some sort of administrator. There would be the indigenous ancestors of the Dunlendings and the Woses to deal with as well as the building projects. Its the best fit I can find. In this scenario the Witch-King and the other 8 Numenoreans would be High Lords of some kind. Given the effective governance of the new havens and cities being built on the mainland. Pelargir, Umbar, Minas Arnor, Minis Ithil and Osgiliath and possibly Lebenninn and Belfalas and Dol Amroth as well.
[quote="pettytyrant101":1ky2nd85]The entry for the establishment of Gondor however is not until 3320SE. However the cities of Minas Arnor, Minas Ithil and Osgiliath must have been built earlier.[/quote:1ky2nd85] Appendix A (Part I.i) states that Osgiliath wasn't built until after the Downfall of Numenor, and [i:1ky2nd85]Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age[/i:1ky2nd85] states that Minas Ithil and Minas Anor (as well as several other notable landmarks) were also built during this time. [quote:1ky2nd85]Even the Numenoreans would be pushed to build three major cities and move large enough populations there to fill them in a mere 109 years.[/quote:1ky2nd85] It's implausible (though not impossible), but it's hardly the most absurd thing in the legendarium even when you discount the supernatural. Also, there was a significant population of the Faithful living in that area, even if they weren't in the cities themselves. [quote:1ky2nd85]The only time I can see that would fit the notion the Witch-King was a Numenorean who ruled Minas Ithil before he got given a ring is between 1800-2251SE. This is the time Sauron is taken captive to Numenor. The entry for 1701 reads - Sauron driven from Eriador. The westlands have peace for a long time. And from 1800SE- the Numenoreans begin to establish dominions on the coasts.[/quote:1ky2nd85] What? Sauron was taken captive between 3262 and 3319 (cf. Appendix B). With that in mind, I'm not sure what your point about the mid-Second Age is. Also, do you remember in what part of [i:1ky2nd85]Unfinished Tales[/i:1ky2nd85] you heard this passage about the Ringwraiths? It was my understanding that Tolkien left them deliberately vague (with the partial exception of Khamul).
"Osgiliath wasn't built until after the Downfall of Numenor" "there was a significant population of the Faithful living in that area"- Eldo The people must have been establishing colonies in these areas, even if they were not yet the fully fledged cities of after the Downfall. They would still have needed overseers of some sort from Numenor. "Sauron was taken captive between 3262 and 3319" - indeed, a silly mistake on my part! :oops: However my point about the time period from 1701 to after 1800 is that Numenor was colonizing during that time and there was a long enough period of stability for the establishment of what would later become Gondors cities. And it gives a period from roughly 1701 to 2251 for Sauron to give out the nine rings and corrupt the Numenoreans leading the colonization effort. "It was my understanding that Tolkien left them deliberately vague"- Eldo Vague yes but not without clues, they were important men, Numenoreans (with the possible exception of Khamul). We know when the rings were made and when the the Nazgul first appeared. So there is a definite window into which they must fit. And we know there is an association between Minas Ithil and it being the City of the Ringwraiths. And its always fun to delve and speculate. <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />
[quote="pettytyrant101":3q2k9v4t]The people must have been establishing colonies in these areas, even if they were not yet the fully fledged cities of after the Downfall. They would still have needed overseers of some sort from Numenor.[/quote:3q2k9v4t] I won't argue with that. [quote:3q2k9v4t]However my point about the time period from 1701 to after 1800 is that Numenor was colonizing during that time and there was a long enough period of stability for the establishment of what would later become Gondors cities. And it gives a period from roughly 1701 to 2251 for Sauron to give out the nine rings and corrupt the Numenoreans leading the colonization effort.[/quote:3q2k9v4t] I think that it's plausible to suggest that Sauron recruited the Numenoreans who would become Ringwraiths from the colonists, I'm just unsure about the whole "Lord of Minas Ithil" bit. [quote:3q2k9v4t]Vague yes but not without clues, they were important men, Numenoreans (with the possible exception of Khamul).... And we know there is an association between Minas Ithil and it being the City of the Ringwraiths.[/quote:3q2k9v4t] Three of them were Numenorean. And the association between Minas Ithil and the Ringwraiths is because they conquered it in the Third Age. :P [quote:3q2k9v4t]And its always fun to delve and speculate. <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />[/quote:3q2k9v4t] Definitely. :mrgreen:
"I'm just unsure about the whole "Lord of Minas Ithil""- Eldo Well the Witch-King seems set apart from the others, its seems reasonable to assume that one reason for this was he was a notable man before he was corrupted. Given that there doesn't seem an obvious contender in the tales from that period he cannot have been royal but most likely from the nobility. He was likely someone important in his day and powerful in his own right. In the build up to the corruption by Sauron Numenor had long since ceased being kindly bringers of knowledge to middle earth and were very much into their conquest stage. I see the men who become the ringwraiths and something akin to powerful warlords, serving Numenor but in effect having the power of a local King. He also seems to have been learned in the sort of hinted mystical secrets that Numenor also possessed at its height, perhaps if he was overseer of what would become Ithilien his proximity to Mordor was what led to his eventual corruption, and like Saruman he could be lured in with the promise of knowledge and power. Pure speculation I know, but what the hey! "Three of them were Numenorean."- Eldo That rings a bell but I can't place it. Where's that from?
[quote="pettytyrant101":2ibhrnwu]Pure speculation I know, but what the hey![/quote:2ibhrnwu] It sounds pretty plausible to me, though I'm still curious if you can remember where the original part that you heard was. Nonetheless, it has spawned an interesting discussion! :mrgreen: [quote:2ibhrnwu]That rings a bell but I can't place it. Where's that from?[/quote:2ibhrnwu] [i:2ibhrnwu]The Silmarillion[/i:2ibhrnwu], Akallabeth: "Yet Sauron was ever guileful, and it is said that among those whom he ensnared with the Nine Rings three were great lords of Numenorean race." That would certainly put them among the nobility, which leaves room for them possibly having been colonial administrators/local rulers.
"I'm still curious if you can remember where the original part that you heard was"-Eldo Working on it! I don't have the book to hand and I'm trying to find it in the audio version but finding it is proving annoying. I am sure it was something short and from an authors note. Which leaves me searching for 30 seconds out of a couple of hours!