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Thread: The Children of Hurin

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Next year .in the autumn this book (by Christoper Tolkien )is coming to the stores .so it says on the news.?I believe that some short stories has already been published.Has anyone read them ? If it's true I'm looking forward to read it Happy Elf Smilie
Sorry if it's a thread about this topic somewhere else..
Isn't this story just Narn i Hin H’rin from Unfinished Tales?
It is Vir ..I have to read them all over again to get the story straight but still I think the story will be better completed in a book .don't you think ?
Sorry again for starting a new thread about this ..I've read the threads about it in The Unfinished Tales .so it should've been there .
I thought about moving this thread under 'Unfinished Tales' book, but as this will be a stand alone book. I decided against it. So it will remain here, unless we later find it is a hoax. For more on the story in Unfinished Tales, see Narn I H’n H’rin. Read Smilie

NOTE: This thread should be used to discuss about the up-coming book and its actual contents, and then later for comparisons with the story in Unfinished Tales. Please post discussion only about the story in Unfinished Tales under the above link. Thanks Happy Elf Smilie
Yea, i read that recently,how Christopher is writing a book or somethin, and i wanted to ask what exactly would be in the book...
Wait, so this book is a work of Christopher's, not his father's? I dunno... I mean, Christopher has given us all quite a good Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales, and all that other stuff, but those were based largely on his father's notes, I really don't know if his own works would add a sudden twist of style to the Narn?
I think Christopher is completing his fathers'work from Unfinished Tales and put it all together in a new book.Happy Elf Smilie
Like Virumor says:

Isn't this story just Narn i Hin H’rin from Unfinished Tales?

when i read that BBC news report, and the other news report, on the home page of this site the 1st thing i thought was the same thing. It is the longest lay that tolkien wrote about the First Age, correct me in i'm wrong there....

Anyways Narn i Hin Hurin is quite detailed compared to most other material that's been published about the 1st age, and i'd think that if Christopher Tolkien published it as a stand alone book it wouldn't been a very long one. Unless Ol' Christopher has dug up many more unpublished notes of his fathers, concerning that lay... Or he decides to do a little (more like a huge amount) improve of his own (which i'm not too fond of the idea)

Anyways that's just my 2 cents i had to throw in there!
Adam Tolkien was interviewed on the matter, which was presented at The English translation reads (this is part of the interview)...

Alejandro Serrano: 'First of all, we want to know if there will be new material in Children of H’rin, or the text that will be published is essentially the same that appears in other books. This is something that many of we ask ourselves.'

Adam Tolkien: 'This is a more difficult question than it seems: As you know, versions and pieces of the story of Hurin and his descendants have been published in various works (Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, Lost Tales, Lays of Beleriand, etc). The text of "The Children of Hurin" is in part compiled from these extant texts, and particularly that which appears in Unfinished Tales.

But it is a new reworking of the complete story. Many parts of the text will be - if not identical - recognizable to the knowledgeable reader, but there are also pieces that have never appeared before.

Also the format of the text, as a standalone and complete text with no editorial commentary to interrupt the tale should in itself and in my opinion considerably tranform the reading experience.

Christopher Tolkien believes there may be many readers who have found the Silmarillion too difficult and distanced in style to be attracted to the story, and who have not wished to make their way through the painstaking editorial content that makes for the main interest of the History of Middle Earth.

We hope that these readers will be sufficiently attracted to "The Children of Hurin", and will discover in this way the "great tale" that was so important to JRR Tolkien and then the whole fascinating mythology that lies behind "The Lord of The Rings".

So in conclusion : Many parts of the text are essentially the same as those that appear in other works (and particularly "Unfinished Tales"), other parts will be new except for those readers who have read in detail the History of Middle Earth.

The text as a whole can be said to be "new" as it is a recomposition of published texts and other "pieces" that weren't published previously. A completed puzzle, in a sense.'

That's just a bit dated now, but might help.
I wonder a couple things ’ will there be annotations or footnotes as in HoME and UT? "With no editorial commentary" seems to indicate otherwise ’ but it would be nice to have an index in the back with all the commentaries. Will CJRT "update" certain elements, like Sador Labadal becoming a Dr’g?
I would think there would be an Index since most of his other books do at the end. An index is much different from editorial notes.
Why should Labadal become a Wose? Is he a special kind of domesticated Wose?
what's a wose?
One of the people of Gh’n-buri-gh’n, living in Druadan forest.
See note 8 to The Dr’edain in Unfinished Tales...

'A few lived in the household of H’rin of the house of Hador, for he had dwelt among the Folk of Haleth in his youth and had kinship with their lord [Author's note.] -- On the relationship of H’rin to the folk of Haleth see The Silmarillion p. 158 -- It was my father's intention ultimately to transform Sador, the old serving-man in H’rin's house in Dor-L’min, into a Dr’g.'
It was my father's intention ultimately to transform Sador, the old serving-man in H’rin's house in Dor-L’min, into a Dr’g.

That would be quite the transformation considering how drastic the change from being a normal looking man into one of those bow legged, uncouth creatures, only in a few thousand years of evolution too, must of been a hard knock life for them to take a step back in evolution. If they still existed in the 5th Age they must have been basically apes.

I'll end up buying the book when it comes out, although i have a hunch i won't be surprised or shocked at the ending.
The evolution theory is not applicable to Tolkien's works. I don't think 'transform' should be taken literally. Il’vatar created his Children and lay them down on Arda, and that's that.

I am not sure, but I highly doubt whether JRRT even supported the evolution theory.

The Woses are all of the Atani. They are not apes, but should be considered as bushmen or some kind of pygmies instead.

And while we are at it, the evolution theory does not state that humans, homo sapiens, evolved from apes. It just states that apes and humans have a common ancestor. That's something else entirely.
It's (sorta) the same thing as Beren being a Man in Middle-earth; though he had earlier, looking at the external history of Tolkien writing (and revising) his tales, been an Elf (and also a Man early on too).
Galin has the handle of it. Happy Elf Smilie The word evolution here applies to the different stages of Tolkiens writing: the characters evolved in Tolkien's mind as time passed. He did not mean for us to think that Beren was born as an Elf and by some power changed into a Man; he meant him to always have been a Man, even though his first concept of Beren had been as an Elf.

Similarly, Aragorn had initally been given the name of Trotter; as the story grew however, the name evolved into Stridder (aka: Aragorn and Elessar and Estel) and Trotter completely disappeared from the later drafts of the story.

I don't know if I have made this more clear here or just muddied the water.
From what I remember, Trotter was also a Hobbit with wooden feet - he had lost his original feet by means of torture in Mordor.

But who gives a hoot, anyway.
well i'm glad you guys cleared that up, although i was clowning around and my post was suppose to be more of a joke than anything else. Wink Smilie
It would be a dream come true for me if this new version of the Narn i’Ch’n H’rin contains previously unpublished prose (one line of which can be inferred to be an English translation of the infamous Arphent R’an Tuorna, "Man agorech?")! But I doubt that will happen.
It would be a dream come true for me as well.
But whatever it is , to have what might be the last of Christopher's efforts on behalf of his father is a treasure no matter what.
Just think, he is now about the age of his father when he passed from Middle-Earth to go where the elves do not know. sigh. And it doesn't seem to be the doom of any of the younger Tolkiens that I know of anyway to follow their great ancestor's steps and carry on. how very very sad.
But the story goes on regardless and as Bilbo said(I hope it was he) that the story goes on , just the players taking part change.So we will see what we will see.
From what I remember, Trotter was also a Hobbit with wooden feet - he had lost his original feet by means of torture in Mordor. But who gives a hoot, anyway.

His podiatrist? Happy Elf Smilie
yay Thalin,
that is the best. Smile Smilie
I could not bear that he once called him Trotter. It just irked me so much. Sad Smilie
Look what I've got.
Clickety Click
Congradulations. That's a very impressive gargoyle.
I like the gargoyle too :-)
What I don't like is that MY COPY IS DELAYED!! Oh, WOE! Sorry for shouting. I ordered with Amazon because I have a gift certificate but the they said it won't be shipped intil May.
The earliest versions of this story by J.R.R. Tolkien go back to the end of the First World War and the years that followed; but long afterwards, when The Lord of the Rings was finished, he wrote it anew and greatly enlarged it in complexities of motive and character: it became the dominant story in his later work on Middle-earth. But he could not bring it to final and finished form. In this book I have endeavoured to construct, after long study of the manuscripts, a coherent narrative without any editorial invention.

Christopher Tolkien

Look what i found on the original LOTR site. That should answer many question.

Copyright ’ HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

And there're some interesting downloads there check it at
If you read the Letters , you will come to see how almost one became JRR and Christopher. The father practically did nothing without the contributions both of actual input or counsel of the son. No one on earth beside Christopher was as privy or had as much influence on the works of his father as he did. Therefore, knowing his father's mind so intimately and both being inseparable friends, it is hardly noticeable where the father leaves off and the son, having pieced together actual words and such from the father carries on.
I finished reading the new children of hurin a couple of days ago. And while at first you might think as you are reading along that it is exactly the same, that is only because Christopher absolutely flawlessly and seamlessly put the puzzle together and it is a wonderful smooth and exciting read.
I am thrilled to have read it.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a small one column, one page review of the children of hurin hidden away in a corner of Time magazine the other week.

However, I wonder about the wisdom of me reading this, since Turin's story in the Silmarillion is not one of the things I prized in Tolkien's mythology.
I'm holding out for the same reason Elanorraine. Reading The Children of Hurin just doesn't seem a necessity; I had enough of that sad tale with the stories written in The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales; I see no need to subject myself to any more of it. There is too much horrible stuff in the the real world; and I read to escape from it.
When I read Galin's post I was shocked and felt a bit ripped of because it just an book that they copy and paste from the others. I'mstill going to buy it but I thought they ae going to bother to put something newin t and they haven't. In Australia the boks quite expensive at the shops now fetchig pices up to $150.95 for that book( a bit expensive of you ask me) Sorry for anyone if I discouraged anyone from this book. Smile Smilie
I have my copy and read it and it did indeed rip me apart. But I paid close attention to how Christopher wove certain things, however small into the story after going through years and years of searching and putting together what his father scribbled, mostly in quite illegible scrawl. It was richer, sounder and a more perfect tapestry. And having read it before and being quite shattered, I was surprised that this time around I thought harder on each bit and put myself into the situations and decided that in many instances I should have done precisely what the character did. I learned a great deal about myself, my strengths and weakenesses . It was an eye opener and as well it cemented some things deep into me, gave me the strength to carry on no matter how broken and jagged the road to yet travel. Loved it.
Wow, that sounds great! I really want to get it now.Jumping Flame Smilie
I've just finished reading that book! I love it, second bst book made by Tolkien. Christopher did blend all these soursces for the book and it seems like that they were written as one book and one story when it's actually one story. I think that they should make Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin into the movie blending Tuor and his coming To Gondolin in Unfinished Tales, Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin from The Silmarillion and The Book of Lost Tales Part Two and many others. Big Smile Smilie

I'm not too far along because I don't have a lot of time to read (wish I did) but I love it so far even though its so sad and tragic. I wish more of the stories from the Silmarillion could be expanded and written in detail like this and become their own volumes. I can't get over how breathtakingly beautiful and delicate the pencil drawings are -- !>Sigh<
I love the pencil drawings too.

With respect to the other great tales (long versions): when The Lord of the Rings proper was 'finished' but not published Tolkien began a prose saga of Beren and L’thien. Christopher describes it as a 'substantial' text, though the story goes no further than the betrayal by Dairon to Thingol of Beren's presence in Doriath.

The 'Later Tuor' (revised Fall of Gondolin, likely dating about 1951) was abandoned at Tuor's arrival in Gondolin.

Fuller accounts exist in The Book of Lost Tales but these are quite early tales as we know, and were different in style and etc. In the following Christopher is generally describing the early Fall of Gondolin for example...

'It is written in the extreme archaistic style that my father employed at that time, and it inevitably embodies conceptions out of keeping with the world of The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion in its published form.' Introduction, Of Tuor And His Coming To Gondolin

So Christopher felt he had enough to work with with respect to the 'later long version' of the T’rin tale. I guess it's possible something could be done with the very old versions (and anything else that might help) but it seems unlikely to me. At least I doubt Christopher Tolkien would be interested anyway.
With respect to the other great tales (long versions): when The Lord of the Rings proper was 'finished' but not published Tolkien began a prose saga of Beren and L’thien. Christopher describes it as a 'substantial' text, though the story goes no further than the betrayal by Dairon to Thingol of Beren's presence in Doriath.

That would be interesting to read.
Agreed. And I'm sure Alan Lee could produce some more pencil vignettes. I'd buy it!

Christopher noted that it is closely based on the rewritten form of the Lay '... as to read in places almost as a prose paraphrase of the verse.' (also that it was not known to him when he prepared the Silmarillion for publication).

OK, in places almost a prose paraphrase of the verse. Again, I'll buy it Smile Smilie
I'd buy it, too. Alan Lee's pencil drawings in the CoH wewre fantastic. I especially like the drawing of Nellas the Elf-maiden watching Turin from the trees. And since there are rather few depictions from scenes from the Tale of the Fall of Gondolin (other than some versions of Eagles flying over Gondolin) I would gladly take anything Alan Lee can draw for it.
Agreed! And as we are on the art still, can anyone describe (briefly) the 'extra' illustration in the deluxe version? I don't have it... yet!

I was wondering if it was the same as the illustration used for the jacket to the Dutch Edition (or 'seemingly' used, if the interweb is to be believed anyway).
Just received my copy of the latest calendar... more great illustrations from Mr. Lee (though not all are new if one has the book), and some of the pencil pieces work well in the larger format too.
I especially like the drawing of Nellas the Elf-maiden watching Turin from the trees.

Was there a mouse skulking around T’rin?

I especially like the drawing of Nellas the Elf-maiden watching Turin from the trees.

Yes, what a beautiful drawing indeed! The Glaurung's eye with a reflection of Turin's shape looks amazing too. Actually all of them are great - the B&W drawings really suit the dark story.

True Indis. Alan Lee has a certain sypathy and wisdom infused in his many works. His fresco type historical paintings, present on the sets of Rivendel, in the films are wonderful as well as his many drawings in various books. I would love one day to see some of the originals first hand. He seems like a very gentle Soul.

I've all of Tolkien's books, but somehow, when I was about to buy this jewel back in the day (2007?), I chose to get both finnish and english translated versions of The Children of Húrin. I love the book very much, maybe even more than I love The Silmarillion.

Just to mention it, I don't remember much about the original Narn I Chin Húrin. I'll definitely have to do a lot of re-reading in near times to come.

But back to The Children of Húrin..

And I've thought about doing this particular post for a long while now. And I was more than confused, when I suddenly couldn't find specific section for it from the 'Books' forums.

And now, anyone who wants to avoid spoilers, do not read this post further. You'll lose some of the magic that the book definitely shall grant to you upon reading.

Right, I think that what makes The Children of Húrin so exceptional is the story as a whole. First, it begins as a magical adventure with Húrin and his brother discovering the hidden kingdom of Gondolin, ruled by Turgon. Then they return to Hithlum, get ready for the war, the battle of Nirnaeth Arnoedidad is lost and Húrin captured. Then Morgoth takes him atop Thangorodrim and places a curse upon him and his family. And then the story starts to become darker and darker by each chapter.

Túrin flees to Doriath, to King Thingol's court. There he grows up, spends some time, then led by an accident, he leaves Doriath in bitter exile, is forgiven and sought in vain. He doesn't even know about his sister's birth at that point. Then he encounters the wolf people, Nargothrond and so forth (I don't recall all of the events so clearly.)

But the ending is the most interesting part of the book. Unknowing of each other, both Nienor and Túrin end up in the same forest village and start an relationship. Then Glaurung attacks, as he did in Nargothrond and Nienor finds out the truth, then she throws herself into the embrace of the waves. Túrin realizes the truth too, slays Glaurung and then he kills himself with his own sword. Then Húrin is released, he seeks out his children's grave, where his wife, Morwen lies - dying - and then they speak for the last time and Húrin is left alone by his children's grave and Morwen lying dead in his arms.

A book filled with death and darkness. I wonder why Tolkien started such a sad book, but I honor him for doing so. Never easy subjects to begin with, this is an masterful tale. Of course, his son Christopher did his part well too in completing the book as a whole.

Nevertheless, The Children of Húrin later inspired me to start writing my own dark stories and with the current direction, who knows where I'm headed. But whatever happens, if I ever manage to gain success, I'll hold this book as my weapon in combat, use it as my shield and as my source of inspiration. Dark fantasy, you're my kind of genre. I owe a lot to you and to this book.

So thank you. And even much greater thanks goes out to The Professor for starting such a story and to Christopher for finishing it.

PS. I wish I could remember all of the events and conclude them more accurately, but my memory isn't that good. Not that it was the point of this post anyway, but it proves that I need to give this book yet another read.

- Oerath.

I think when I first read The Children  I felt that JRR had temporarily had  a  break down from stress and lack of sleep, poor nutrition. The subject and the way he w ent bout it gave NO HOPE  ,none. In the LOTR  their is always a feeling hope and the fruitage is around the corner. I did not think there was reason to introduce incest to make a strong story. I actually struggled with darkness and hopelessness for a while after reading the book. I prayed constantly  until I felt peace and hope once more.

I never read the book again.

I love The Children of Hurin. In general I think tragic tales are interesting and can be very poignant; and can still contain messages of hope or resilience and courage, despite what happens to a given character.

As for the incest in Tolkien's tale specifically, that was there early on due to Kullervo's incest from the Finnish Kalevala. A young Tolkien was taken by this story. He may have commented about why in his essay about the Kalevala, but I can't recall without checking.

JRRT even started a prose version of Kullervo, with some poetry, but dropped this and eventually used elements of the Finnish story for his account of Turin: not only do we have unwitting incest, for example, but Kullervo's sword also speaks just before it slays him. 

Leelee, perhaps it would be better for you to think of the Narn as part of the greater tale, after all, Narn i·Chîn Hurin or 'Tale of the Children of Hurin' is also called Narn e·'Rach Morgoth 'Tale of the Curse of Morgoth'...

... but that's not the end of the longer tale of course, considering Narn en·Êl 'Tale of the Star; or Narn e·Dant Gondolin ar Orthad en·Êl: *Tale of the Fall of Gondolin and the Rising of the Star.

... keeping in mind that the star was named Gil-Estel which means 'Star of High Hope'.

Tolkien even gave Morgoth (at least at one point) his payback from Turin in the Second Prophecy of Mandos, except that that was, in any case, later characterized by JRRT as a mannish legend (and left out of the constructed Silmarillion by Christopher Tolkien).

Although I don't know if you find that palatable, even if given in a legendary context.

In this tale Tolkien was possibly commenting on the idea of ofermod, at least according to his understanding of the word. The following is more about Feanor, but...

Galin, your words always are intelligent and meaningful, thankyou. No I meant that I just felt that strongly as I read it. Coming from the work background I do and couselling and caring for people, I sensed a deep fatigue and mental unbalance that comes from being overworked and having little sleep and depression. I still feel that way about that particular book and it makes me feel ill and very upset. I believe that if he had sleep and good nutrition and was not so worried about things, no matter what he wrote it would not be so hopeless and dark, there would have been moments of light.  "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth or pen in this case, speaks."

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