Cover image for The fall of Gondolin
Title:
The fall of Gondolin
Title:
The fall of Gondolin
Edition:
First U.S. edition.
Publisher Info:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018.
Physical Description:
302 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 22 cm
Contents:
Prologue -- The original tale -- The earliest text -- Turlin and the exiles of Gondolin -- The story told in the Sketch of the mythology -- The story told in the Quenta Noldorinwa -- The last version -- The evolution of the story -- Conclusion.
Abstract:
Evil Morgoth rules over a vast military power from his fortress of Angband. Ulmo, the Lord of Waters, opposes him. Central to this enmity of the gods is the city of Gondolin, built and peopled by Noldorin Elves who rebelled against their rule and fled to Middle-earth. Into this world comes Tuor, cousin of Túrin. Guided unseen by Ulmo, Tuor sets out from the land of his birth on the fearful journey to Gondolin. The story -- only ninety-five pages long-- is accompanied by variant forms as well as essays and commentaries on Tolkien's work and on the source material.

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Summary

Summary

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In the Tale of The Fall of Gondolin are two of the greatest powers in the world. There is Morgoth of the uttermost evil, unseen in this story but ruling over a vast military power from his fortress of Angband. Deeply opposed to Morgoth is Ulmo, second in might only to Manwë, chief of the Valar: he is called the Lord of Waters, of all seas, lakes, and rivers under the sky. But he works in secret in Middle-earth to support the Noldor, the kindred of the Elves among whom were numbered Húrin and Túrin Turambar.

Central to this enmity of the gods is the city of Gondolin, beautiful but undiscoverable. It was built and peopled by Noldorin Elves who, when they dwelt in Valinor, the land of the gods, rebelled against their rule and fled to Middle-earth. Turgon King of Gondolin is hated and feared above all his enemies by Morgoth, who seeks in vain to discover the marvellously hidden city, while the gods in Valinor in heated debate largely refuse to intervene in support of Ulmo's desires and designs.

Into this world comes Tuor, cousin of Túrin, the instrument of Ulmo's designs. Guided unseen by him Tuor sets out from the land of his birth on the fearful journey to Gondolin, and in one of the most arresting moments in the history of Middle-earth the sea-god himself appears to him, rising out of the ocean in the midst of a storm. In Gondolin he becomes great; he is wedded to Idril, Turgon's daughter, and their son is Eärendel, whose birth and profound importance in days to come is foreseen by Ulmo.

At last comes the terrible ending. Morgoth learns through an act of supreme treachery all that he needs to mount a devastating attack on the city, with Balrogs and dragons and numberless Orcs. After a minutely observed account of the fall of Gondolin, the tale ends with the escape of Túrin and Idril, with the child Eärendel, looking back from a cleft in the mountains as they flee southward, at the blazing wreckage of their city. They were journeying into a new story, the Tale of Eärendel, which Tolkien never wrote, but which is sketched out in this book from other sources.

Following his presentation of Beren and Lúthien Christopher Tolkien has used the same 'history in sequence' mode in the writing of this edition of The Fall of Gondolin. In the words of J.R.R. Tolkien, it was 'the first real story of this imaginary world' and, together with Beren and Lúthien and The Children of Húrin , he regarded it as one of the three 'Great Tales' of the Elder Days.


Author Notes

A writer of fantasies, Tolkien, a professor of language and literature at Oxford University, was always intrigued by early English and the imaginative use of language. In his greatest story, the trilogy The Lord of the Rings (1954--56), Tolkien invented a language with vocabulary, grammar, syntax, even poetry of its own. Though readers have created various possible allegorical interpretations, Tolkien has said: "It is not about anything but itself. (Certainly it has no allegorical intentions, general, particular or topical, moral, religious or political.)" In The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (1962), Tolkien tells the story of the "master of wood, water, and hill," a jolly teller of tales and singer of songs, one of the multitude of characters in his romance, saga, epic, or fairy tales about his country of the Hobbits.

Tolkien was also a formidable medieval scholar, as evidenced by his work, Beowulf: The Monster and the Critics (1936) and his edition of Anciene Wisse: English Text of the Anciene Riwle.

Among his works published posthumously, are The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún and The Fall of Arthur, which was edited by his son, Christopher.

In 2013, his title, The\Hobbit (Movie Tie-In) made The New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography) J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of "The Hobbit", "The Lord of the Rings", & "The Silmarillion", was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University.

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The third and last of the elder Tolkien's Great Tales, following The Children of HAºrin and Beren and LAºthien, as presented by his son, gives readers a final glimpse at the author's brilliance and method through the epic tale of the man Tuor and his coming to the hidden elven city of Gondolin, last of the great elven strongholds of Middle-earth's First Age. The younger Tolkien includes several of his father's versions of Tuor's tale, with different lengths and in voices ranging from archaic to modern. Tolkien devotees will relish the chance to see the story evolve as Tolkien pÑ_re alters names and rewrites events while preserving Tuor's quest. All readers will appreciate the richly descriptive prose and the grand battle of the Fall. The book also includes material from elsewhere in J.R.R. Tolkien's writings so that readers have a sense of the events that came before Tuor's journey, as well as the War of Wrath in which Morgoth, the great enemy, was finally cast down. This work is a fitting end to Christopher Tolkien's labors as the steward of his father's beloved works, and is likely to be cherished by Tolkien's many fans. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.