Unfinished Tales appreciation thread

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Unfinished Tales appreciation thread

Post by Eldorion on Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:37 pm

"Cirion and Eorl" has always been my favorite chapter from this book (though man, it's hard to pick) and I just re-read it last night.  That part with the oath-taking on Amon Anwar ... I don't want to spoil the context since it actually involves a pretty neat (though minor) reveal, but the oaths themselves are amazing.

Eorl then stood forth, and taking his spear from his esquire he set it upright in the ground. Then he drew his sword and cast it up shining in the sun, and catching it again he stepped forward and laid the blade upon the mound, but with his hand still about the hilts. He spoke then in a great voice the Oath of Eorl.

This he said in the tongue of the Éothéod, which in the Common Speech is interpreted:

Hear now all peoples who bow not to the Shadow in the East, by the gift of the Lord of the Mundburg we will come to dwell in the land that he names Calenardhon, and therefore I vow in my own name and on behalf of the Éothéod of the North that between us and the Great People of the West there shall be friendship for ever: their enemies shall be our enemies, their need shall be our need, and whatsoever evil, or threat, or assault may come upon them we will aid them to the utmost end of our strength. This vow shall descend to my heirs, all such as may come after me in our new land, and let them keep it in faith unbroken, lest the Shadow fall upon them and they become accursed.

Then Eorl sheathed his sword and bowed and went back to his captains.

Cirion then made answer. Standing to his full height he laid his hand upon the tomb and in his right hand held up the white wand of the Stewards, and spoke words that filled those who heard them with awe. For as he stood up the sun went down in flame in the West and his white robe seemed to be on fire; and after he had vowed that Gondor should be bound by a like bond of friendship and aid in all need, he lifted up his voice and said in Quenya:

Vanda sina termaruva Elenna-nóreo alcar enyalien ar Elendil Vorondo voronwë. Nai tiruvantes i hárar mahalmassen mi Númen ar i Eru i or ilyë mahalmar eä tennoio.

And again he said the Common Speech:

This oath shall stand in memory of the glory of the LLand of the Star, and of the faith of Elendil the Faithful, in the keeping of those who sit upon the thrones of the West and of the One who is above all thrones forever.

Such an oath had not been heard in Middle-earth since Elendil himself had sworn alliance with Gil-galad King of the Eldar.

Fuckin' chills, man.
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Re: Unfinished Tales appreciation thread

Post by Eldorion on Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:42 pm

If I wasn't in the proper mood I doubt it would have been so affecting, but I have always loved that chapter. Would have been great to see more of Cirion and Eorl as characters. Like most of the historical stuff I'm okay with it just being annals and histories where the historical characters are held at a remove, but the glimpses of their personalities in this chapter are so damn tantalizing.

Anyway, the whole book is full of amazing stuff. "Of Tuor and His Coming to Gondolin" makes me sad every time that Tolkien didn't finish it. UT also includes almost all of the version of The Children of Hurin that was published as a stand-alone in 2007. The information about Numenor is so melancholic it hurts. "Aldarion and Erendis" is another story with meaningful character work and I can't believe how underrated it is even by people who have read UT. "Galadriel and Celeborn" is an essay rather than a tale but it's riveting stuff (as is Elthir's thread riffing on it), and stuff like "The Quest of Erebor", "The Hunt for the Ring", and "The Battles of the Fords of Isen" fills in all these little details and background characters surrounding TH and LOTR. It's great stuff.

So anyway, what are your guys' favorite parts?
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Re: Unfinished Tales appreciation thread

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:44 pm

"Anyway, the whole book is full of amazing stuff. "Of Tuor and His Coming to Gondolin" makes me sad every time that Tolkien didn't finish it."

I was just about to type out this. Razz It's an amazing chapter, and I always want to read on when it finishes.

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Re: Unfinished Tales appreciation thread

Post by Eldorion on Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:47 pm

I don't know what's worse: having only part of a fully-fledged, later era of the legendarium retelling of one of the great tales (Tuor), or not having anything but the early stuff and the version in the 1977 Silmarillion (Beren and Luthien).

{{{Okay, I lied.  The situation with Beren and Luthien is definitely worse.  But still Sad}}}

Not trying to hate on the BoLT or the Lays btw but they're a different experience...
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Re: Unfinished Tales appreciation thread

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:12 am

I love the description of the events at the Ford in Rohan. I love how Tolkien presents it almost like a history documentary, tracking down and piecing together the story from the evidence of first hand accounts, the shape of the land, and even speculation. It gives it a fantastic sense of authenticity.

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Re: Unfinished Tales appreciation thread

Post by Eldorion on Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:14 am

Great choice, Petty. Thumbs Up I've always had a soft spot for Rohan so that's another of my favorites.  It really goes to show the level of thought he put into his military storylines, rather than just saying "ooh I want a cool big battle here, and another one here, and..."
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Re: Unfinished Tales appreciation thread

Post by Bluebottle on Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:20 am

Mm, that's interesting. I would say one of the new things George RR Martin brought to fantasy was coupling the genre with historical fiction, but here we have Tolkien doing the sam thing, and at least hints that these kind of ideas played a role in his further writing. Hm.

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Re: Unfinished Tales appreciation thread

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:25 am

It really goes to show the level of thought he put into his military storylines- Eldo

Even when the events themselves are not even in LotR's save as reports.
One of the things I really like about it is in LotR's we get the effect of what happened- the mixed reports about what happened at the Fords, how many were lost, or how many scattered and what may or may not have happened to Erkenbrand.We get the fog of war.
And then you get the actual account of the Fords and you begin to see the whole picture and how it all feeds into what was happening in Two Towers.

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Re: Unfinished Tales appreciation thread

Post by halfwise on Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:46 am

Cirion and Eorl is probably my favorite as well. But I think the chapter on the Pukel men is often ignored. The neat thing is that Tolkien seemed to be curious about the same things we are, so we get treatises on the Palantiri, the wizards, etc.

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Re: Unfinished Tales appreciation thread

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:50 am

I'd forgotten the pukel-men stories- yes those are excellent. ME folklore.

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Re: Unfinished Tales appreciation thread

Post by halfwise on Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:38 pm

Not enough appreciation yet. In the notes there's even a short sketch on Queen Beruthiel's Cats. It's very important to read the notes in that book. Nod

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Re: Unfinished Tales appreciation thread

Post by Bluebottle on Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:04 am

What? I thought Tolkien said the point about the cats was that they were never expunged upon. Razz

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Re: Unfinished Tales appreciation thread

Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:10 am

wat! who expunged my pussies? Suspect

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Re: Unfinished Tales appreciation thread

Post by Bluebottle on Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:00 am

Shocked Sofa

Errr.. expounded. Yes, expounded. Nod

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Re: Unfinished Tales appreciation thread

Post by halfwise on Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:49 am

Yes, he said that. But he was wrong. Not sure if he said that and then went back and wrote something, or if he considered his notes on the subject to be such a poor state that it wasn't worth mentioning.

Anyway, it's short but very atmospheric.

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Re: Unfinished Tales appreciation thread

Post by halfwise on Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:42 am

Though I think what he meant was anytime something was referred to outside the story, it was based on something he had already written at that time. The note on Queen Beruthiel's cats was written afterwards, so he could still make that comment even if he had already written that note.

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