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The Peoples of Middle-earth

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When J.R.R. Tolkien laid aside The Silmarillion in 1937 the extension of the originall 'mythology' into later Ages of the world had scarcely begun. It was in the Appendices to The Lord of the Rings that there emerged a comprehensive historical structure and chronology of the Second and Third Ages, embracing all the diverse strands that came together in the War of the Ring. When J.R.R. Tolkien laid aside The Silmarillion in 1937 the extension of the originall 'mythology' into later Ages of the world had scarcely begun. It was in the Appendices to The Lord of the Rings that there emerged a comprehensive historical structure and chronology of the Second and Third Ages, embracing all the diverse strands that came together in the War of the Ring. The difficulty that he found in providing these Appendices, leading to the delay in the publication of The Return of the King, is well known, but in The Peoples of Middle-earth Christopher Tolkien shows that early forms of these works already existed years before, in essays and records differing greatly from the published forms. He traces the evolution of the Calendars, the Hobbit genealogies, the Westron language or Common Speach (from which many words and names are recorded that were afterwards lost), and the chronological structure of the later Ages. Other writings by J.R.R. Tolkien are included in this final volume of The History of MIddle-earth, chiefly deriving from his last years, when new insights and new constructions still freely arose as he pondered the history that he had created. This book concludes with two soon-abandoned stories, both unique in the setting of time and place: The New Shadow in Gondor of the Fourth Age, and the tale of Tal-elmar, in which the coming of the dreaded Númenórean ships is seen through the eyes of men of Middle-earth in the Dark Years.


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When J.R.R. Tolkien laid aside The Silmarillion in 1937 the extension of the originall 'mythology' into later Ages of the world had scarcely begun. It was in the Appendices to The Lord of the Rings that there emerged a comprehensive historical structure and chronology of the Second and Third Ages, embracing all the diverse strands that came together in the War of the Ring. When J.R.R. Tolkien laid aside The Silmarillion in 1937 the extension of the originall 'mythology' into later Ages of the world had scarcely begun. It was in the Appendices to The Lord of the Rings that there emerged a comprehensive historical structure and chronology of the Second and Third Ages, embracing all the diverse strands that came together in the War of the Ring. The difficulty that he found in providing these Appendices, leading to the delay in the publication of The Return of the King, is well known, but in The Peoples of Middle-earth Christopher Tolkien shows that early forms of these works already existed years before, in essays and records differing greatly from the published forms. He traces the evolution of the Calendars, the Hobbit genealogies, the Westron language or Common Speach (from which many words and names are recorded that were afterwards lost), and the chronological structure of the later Ages. Other writings by J.R.R. Tolkien are included in this final volume of The History of MIddle-earth, chiefly deriving from his last years, when new insights and new constructions still freely arose as he pondered the history that he had created. This book concludes with two soon-abandoned stories, both unique in the setting of time and place: The New Shadow in Gondor of the Fourth Age, and the tale of Tal-elmar, in which the coming of the dreaded Númenórean ships is seen through the eyes of men of Middle-earth in the Dark Years.

30 review for The Peoples of Middle-earth

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Peoples of Middle-earth (The History of Middle-Earth #12), J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (Editor) The Peoples of Middle-earth (1996) is the 12th and final volume of The History of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien from the unpublished manuscripts of his father J. R. R. Tolkien. Some characters (including Anairë, the wife of Fingolfin) only appear here, as do a few other works that did not fit anywhere else. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هجدهم ماه ژوئن سال 2011 میلادی عنوان: مردمان سر The Peoples of Middle-earth (The History of Middle-Earth #12), J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (Editor) The Peoples of Middle-earth (1996) is the 12th and final volume of The History of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien from the unpublished manuscripts of his father J. R. R. Tolkien. Some characters (including Anairë, the wife of Fingolfin) only appear here, as do a few other works that did not fit anywhere else. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هجدهم ماه ژوئن سال 2011 میلادی عنوان: مردمان سرزمین میانه: کتاب دوازدهم از تاریخ سرزمین میانه؛ نویسنده: جان روئل رونالد تالکین؛ ویراستار کریستوفر تالکین؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی - سده 20م مردمان سرزمین میانه: «کریستوفر تالکین» در صفحات آغازین هر یک از مجلدهای مجموعه تاریخ «سرزمین میانه» متناسب با محوریت کتاب نوشته ای مختصر با الفبای تنگوار به ثبت رسانده است؛ در ابتدای دوازدهمین و آخرین جلد این مجموعه، این را میخوانیم: «این آخرین مجلد از کار کریستوفر تالکین است که طی آن بخش عظیمی از تمام آنچه را که پدرش جان رونالد روئل تالکین پیرامون سرزمین میانه و والینور یادداشت کرده است را گرد هم آورده است؛ در این کتاب تدوین و تشکیل تاریحچه بخش شمال غربی سرزمین میانه پس از جنگ بزرگ و سقوط مورگوت در دوران های بعدی به ثبت رسیده است.»؛ این مجلد که با نام «مردمان سرزمین میانه» در ماه سپتامبر سال 1996میلادی در انگلستان، و در ماه دسامبر همانسال در آمریکا به چاپ رسید، بخش اعظم آن حاوی اولین ویرایشهای ضمایم و مقدمه های داستان های تالکین است؛ نظیر: ضمیمه آکالابت در سیلماریلیون، ضمایم زبان شناسی، شجره نامه ها و ضمیمه الف ارباب حلقه ها.؛ همچنین در این کتاب آخرین یادداشت های جی.آر.آر تالکین از تکامل زبان کوئنیا و مقالاتی همچون «حدیث دورفها و انسانها» و «مشکلات روس» که به بیان نقش گرامری پسوند «روس» در اسامی چون «الروس» و «مایدروس» آمده است میپردازد؛ در این کتاب همچنین درباره «ایستاری» و «گلورفیندل گوندولینی» و «گلورفیندل ریوندلی» بحث شده است؛ و سرانجام دو داستان ناتمام و در واقع آخرین داستان های «تالکین» از «سرزمین میانه» که بسیار ناتمام باقی ماندند، در آخرین بخشِ آخرین جلد مجموعه ی «تاریخ سرزمین میانه» به چاپ رسیده که عبارتست از داستان «تار-المار» و داستان «سایه جدید» که داستانی در دوران چهارم «سرزمین میانه» و هنگام فرمانروایی «الداریون» فرزند «آراگورن» و «آرون» بوده، که تنها اشارات بسیار کوچکی از آن موجود است تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 04/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  2. 4 out of 5

    Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~

    Here we are at the end of all things. Christopher finishes the HoME with a return to LOTR, of sorts. In specific, the Appendices and the various writings that shaped them, as well as giving us glimpses of two of Tolkien's attempts to writing more in Middle-earth in his later years. There are some brief parts that I skipped, in particular "The Shibboleth of Fëanor" and the "Problem of Ros", which was a dissection of the various names of some of the elves and men in their various languages, and an e Here we are at the end of all things. Christopher finishes the HoME with a return to LOTR, of sorts. In specific, the Appendices and the various writings that shaped them, as well as giving us glimpses of two of Tolkien's attempts to writing more in Middle-earth in his later years. There are some brief parts that I skipped, in particular "The Shibboleth of Fëanor" and the "Problem of Ros", which was a dissection of the various names of some of the elves and men in their various languages, and an examination of sorts of how those changed over time. Which could definitely be of interest, especially if you need to know this information, but it wasn't holding my interest at this time. In writing the Appendices, and bemoaning his page limits for them, whatever those limits were, you can see how Tolkien went back to some of his earlier conceptions and tweaked them or expanded them, or discarded them, as he figured out what information was pertinent to understanding the events of LOTR. (All of it. All of the info was pertinent! But page limits, curse them, we hates them!) 😂 It's also apparent that if you've only read the Unfinished Tales and none of the HoME, you wouldn't see the various times that he realized he'd made mistaken assumptions with UT that didn't pan out once he had all of his father's writings and notes in front of him. Of most interest to most, I would think, would be the two stories that Tolkien made very abrupt attempts at but never got further than a few pages. The one most know about: "The New Shadow", which would have taken place at some point after Aragorn's reign (and possibly after Eldarion's reign) as a new dark power rises. Tolkien eventually abandoned this, stating it was too depressing and would be only a thriller and not worth writing. (And while I agree with him, I don't doubt it would have been a thrilling thriller. What little there is hints at a lot.) The other story I haven't heard about before, and that is "Tel-Elmar", which would have taken place when Sauron was still around and actually given us the perspective, at least in part, of the Easterlings or the Harad. It's a true shame this didn't get very far. Maybe Tolkien would have finally figured out whatever happened with the Blue Wizards. And it would have been a chance to show how the "enemy" of our "heroes" from LOTR would have put up their own resistance to Sauron, or even why some would have sided with Sauron because the Westrons weren't always the good guys. (One fault of the movies is that the only time you see humans among the enemy is when you see the Haradrim attacking Minas Tirith, so people who only watch the movies incorrectly label it racist. For whatever reason, they didn't have the Dunlanders working with Saruman at Helm's Deep.) Along with various hobbit family trees (so much more fun than your own family trees, am I right?) and different versions of the stories and tales of years, there's also a rather detailed essay on how the various calendars worked (I still think we should adopt the Hobbit calendar in the real world; it just makes things so much simpler), how Tolkien "translated" the various names from Westron, his latest conception of Elven reincarnation (and was there only one Glorfindel or two), and other geektastic tidbits. I'm glad I finally read these beyond the History of LOTR, but wow, it was a journey and I did wonder if I'd be able to make it at times. Other than War of the Jewels, these were mostly insightful and always intriguing to get a rare glimpse into the inner workings and evolution of one of the greatest storytellers of our time. And bravo to his son for his decades of dedication to this project. May they both rest is peace.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Max

    I loved this final installment of the History of Middle Earth series. This part mainly focuses on the appendices of the Lord of the Rings, so many of the favourite characters are in this volume. There was some problem with finishing the appendices in time when the Return of the King was published and when you read this book, it's apparent why. They're so detailed and there is a lot of it. Great book, one of the better ones of the series. As always, only for hardcore Tolkien fanatics, it might be I loved this final installment of the History of Middle Earth series. This part mainly focuses on the appendices of the Lord of the Rings, so many of the favourite characters are in this volume. There was some problem with finishing the appendices in time when the Return of the King was published and when you read this book, it's apparent why. They're so detailed and there is a lot of it. Great book, one of the better ones of the series. As always, only for hardcore Tolkien fanatics, it might be a bit boring for the casual reader.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mitch Milam

    If any fantasy author claims to have created a better world than Tolkien, just slam all 12 copies of HoME down on the table and tell them to take a damn seat.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mary Catelli

    This is more about the writing of The Lord of the Rings -- to be more precise, of its Appendices. It fares wide and far over the whole of Middle-Earth. From scraps about making Celerimbor a descendant of Feanor, which made it necessary to work out which of his sons married, to Tolkien working out the "original" hobbit names that were "translated" to the forms in LOTR, down to the solemn observation that "Lobelia" is merely his best guess as to the flower she was named after. Ideas he played with This is more about the writing of The Lord of the Rings -- to be more precise, of its Appendices. It fares wide and far over the whole of Middle-Earth. From scraps about making Celerimbor a descendant of Feanor, which made it necessary to work out which of his sons married, to Tolkien working out the "original" hobbit names that were "translated" to the forms in LOTR, down to the solemn observation that "Lobelia" is merely his best guess as to the flower she was named after. Ideas he played with, such as the question of whether Tar-Miriel was unwilling to marry Ar-Pharazon, and the story where one of Feanor's twin sons died at the Burning of the Ships.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Neil R. Coulter

    And here we are: the final volume of the History of Middle-Earth. For this last entry, Christopher Tolkien goes back to the Lord of the Rings, showing his father's development of what became the Appendices. I remember after finishing the four volumes of the History of the Lord of the Rings (volumes 6-9 of the History of Middle-Earth) feeling that it didn't seem quite finished. The History of the Lord of the Rings felt weighted heavily to the side of Tolkien's beginning of the story, with a rushe And here we are: the final volume of the History of Middle-Earth. For this last entry, Christopher Tolkien goes back to the Lord of the Rings, showing his father's development of what became the Appendices. I remember after finishing the four volumes of the History of the Lord of the Rings (volumes 6-9 of the History of Middle-Earth) feeling that it didn't seem quite finished. The History of the Lord of the Rings felt weighted heavily to the side of Tolkien's beginning of the story, with a rushed, incomplete account of the finishing. So I was happy to go back, in Volume 12, to the finishing touches of the Lord of the Rings. Also, it happens that there are a lot of fascinating details in the writing and revising of the Appendices (though others in my family did not always share my excitement about the ways that Tolkien translated Hobbit names into the published form).The middle of the book, with a long section on phonological changes in Quenya and Sindarin, was a bit of a slog for me. Interesting as a reference for Tolkien's linguistic creation, but not as engrossing (for me at this time, at least) for simply reading start to finish.I'd hoped that the end of the book would include some kind of reflections from Christopher, looking back over his own journey through the decades he's worked on his father's unpublished material. I would've enjoyed even a brief Afterword, something of a "Here's what it feels like to be at the end of this project." But no, there's nothing like that; the book just ends. In some ways Christopher has shown himself to be rather unsentimental (though one might suggest that the entire History project is thoroughly sentimental). But the last section of the book brings me back to what attracted me to Middle-Earth to begin with: not phonology, geography, or calendars, but story. My interest in digging deeper into Tolkien's creative process got me through many pages of detail about minute changes to maps, the logic behind linguistic choices, changes in the numbers of days in each month for different peoples of Middle-Earth, and so forth. But I first loved Middle-Earth because of the stories. And so I think it's beautiful that the History series concludes with two unfinished stories--one from after the death of Aragorn, and one from earlier, when the Numenoreans were landing on the western shores of Middle-Earth. I liked seeing that even at the end of his life, Tolkien himself was pushing out the borders of the storytelling, finding new places to learn about and new narrative perspectives on the history of his subcreation.This has been a wonderful journey through the development of Middle-Earth. Parts of the books I'll go back to occasionally, and I do think I will someday read through the entire series again.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michael Joosten

    The Peoples of Middle-earth was the first volume of the HoME I bought with my own money--indeed, the first Tolkien book I bought with my own money, having previously subsisted off the books my Dad owned or what the local library offered. Of the HoME volumes I had not yet encountered, it was the most interesting--at least in its final pages, where it was like an addendum to Unfinished Tales, which might just be the best posthumous book by Tolkien (depends on my mood, but it'd be a real difficult The Peoples of Middle-earth was the first volume of the HoME I bought with my own money--indeed, the first Tolkien book I bought with my own money, having previously subsisted off the books my Dad owned or what the local library offered. Of the HoME volumes I had not yet encountered, it was the most interesting--at least in its final pages, where it was like an addendum to Unfinished Tales, which might just be the best posthumous book by Tolkien (depends on my mood, but it'd be a real difficult choice deciding if it was that or the 77 Silm going to a desert island "if I could only take one"). In event, the third or so of the book that follows the history of the Appendices doesn't disappoint, and the History of the Appendices, which sounds like something only a Tolkien fan who drinks ALL the Kool-Aid would love, is something this Tolkien fan-who-does-indeed-drink-all-the-Kool-Aid does, indeed, love. This volume is arguably the first, and only, one of the HoME to add things about the Third Age that can be taken as canon--things cut from the Appendices: the Boffin and Bolger genealogies, more "true Westron" names, the genealogy of the House of Dol Amroth. The essays, "Of Dwarves and Men" and "The Shibboleth of Fëanor" are, despite their incomplete states, too good to have been left out of Unfinished Tales, and "The New Shadow" and "Tal-Elmar" would be worth the price of admission alone. There is a potential for great sadness reaching the end of The Peoples of Middle-earth, for though the proverbial wastebasket is not quite emptied when you get there, this is the last of the major bits of new material on Middle-earth (SPOILER: I am REALLY excited to see what's in "The Nature of Middle-earth"). It doesn't just wrap up the project started in 1982, but the project started in 1977: The Silmarillion was the true "first volume" of the HoME, the sine qua non of the series. After Tal-Elmar's shores, Christopher Tolkien brings no more new Middle-earth to us: there are some repackagings and some non-Middle-earthen pieces, but the works of Arda, the works generated and inhabited by "Elvish and Gnomish" are here wrapped up. But--and maybe this is how conditioned I am by Tolkien, that I think this way--this doesn't feel like a heartbreak to me. Instead, there is a dwindling, a fading, and it seems fitting to me that the last "new Middle-earth" I had is a tale in which the Eldar are only a rumour and in which the fictional languages are not Quenya or Sindarin or Adûnaic but some unlovely names belonging to a forgotten tribe of the Dark Years. It is fitting, after twelve volumes, that it doesn't end in narrative, but in a narrative that dwindles to speculation and outline, and that it is endcapped finally by Christopher Tolkien's numbered footnotes.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    This collection of tales and notes adds to the background of each of the main races and peoples of Middle Earth from Hobbits to Orcs as well as tales of individual stories and fireside tales. As ever there is plenty of commentary and notes to accompany each section which I did find disruptive and again would have preferred to the back of the book so I could refer to them when I was ready but again many may not have an issue with this. Despite this though Tolkien's huge imagination comes through This collection of tales and notes adds to the background of each of the main races and peoples of Middle Earth from Hobbits to Orcs as well as tales of individual stories and fireside tales. As ever there is plenty of commentary and notes to accompany each section which I did find disruptive and again would have preferred to the back of the book so I could refer to them when I was ready but again many may not have an issue with this. Despite this though Tolkien's huge imagination comes through in leaps and bounds as you find out more about the family trees, origins and history of the People of Middle Earth.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I’m not going to lie, I struggled with the beginning of this one, the language and family tree developments have never been my favorites, or the calendars and dating discrepancies, BUT by the second half of Part I, when more stories started mingling in with that info then it really picked up for me. So if you are also lagging with this one, it does pick up! And with this one, I can officially say I have finished all of The Histories Of Middle Earth! Whew!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Raper

    For serious Tolkienites only. This is more like a history book on Middle Earth, and is not similar to The Hobbit or The LOTR.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michael Pryor

    Unparalleled, unmistakable, unsurpassed.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tommy Grooms

    Much of the final volume of the History of Middle-earth series shows Tolkien at his niggling zenith, as he works out timelines and linguistic history in an attempt to make his work a cohesive whole. Most of the history consists of minor developments that aren't inherently interesting (other than showing the kind of strain he was under in finalizing the appendices of The Lord of the Rings), but his linguistic work in this volume demonstrates better than any other how much Tolkien's philology drov Much of the final volume of the History of Middle-earth series shows Tolkien at his niggling zenith, as he works out timelines and linguistic history in an attempt to make his work a cohesive whole. Most of the history consists of minor developments that aren't inherently interesting (other than showing the kind of strain he was under in finalizing the appendices of The Lord of the Rings), but his linguistic work in this volume demonstrates better than any other how much Tolkien's philology drove his storytelling. His final writings include an abortive sequel showing the rise of a new orkish cult and a tale showing the arrival of the Numenorians from the eyes of the men of Middle-earth: both woefully short. It's bittersweet to finish the last of Tolkien's Middle-earth material on Tolkien Reading Day, and I can only express awe at the size and scope of his legendarium.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Josh Shearer

    Tolkien is classic. Compiled by his son Christopher, J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Peoples of Middle Earth" gives an interesting look at the cities and races present in Middle-Earth. A wonderful collection of facts, short stories, and interesting data to help any fan glean a little bit more about their beloved elves, dwarves, humans, trolls, or whomever else in whom they express interest. Tolkien is classic. Compiled by his son Christopher, J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Peoples of Middle Earth" gives an interesting look at the cities and races present in Middle-Earth. A wonderful collection of facts, short stories, and interesting data to help any fan glean a little bit more about their beloved elves, dwarves, humans, trolls, or whomever else in whom they express interest.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Zachames

    With every new Tolkien volume I read, it becomes more and more apparent that he was not simply a fantasy author but one of those rare artists whose art seems to have a soul all its own.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nonethousand Oberrhein

    Shibboleths and family trees The last of the twelve volumes of the JRR Tolkien’s writing collection curated by his son Christopher takes us in the labyrinthic pages of the Lord of the Rings appendices. Through annals, linguistic essays and family trees the reader will have to keep his bearing, following the stylistic choices and understanding the creative process that boiled down to the published material. A final glimpse into the Fourth Age and a new impending doom for the human race reveals a n Shibboleths and family trees The last of the twelve volumes of the JRR Tolkien’s writing collection curated by his son Christopher takes us in the labyrinthic pages of the Lord of the Rings appendices. Through annals, linguistic essays and family trees the reader will have to keep his bearing, following the stylistic choices and understanding the creative process that boiled down to the published material. A final glimpse into the Fourth Age and a new impending doom for the human race reveals a new, unexplored direction to follow for our Middle-earth fantasies. Here below my reviews to the previous volumes of the History of Middle-earth: Vol.1: Sit down and listen Vol.2: Heroics of a young author Vol.3: The poet of Middle-earth Vol.4: Sketches and Annals of the First Age Vol.5: A glimpse of Númenor Vol.6: When Trotter led the way Vol.7: From Rivendell to Rohan Vol.8: How the King returns Vol.9: The eagles will always come at the end Vol.10: Life, Death and Arda in-between Vol.11: Understanding Silmarillion

  16. 5 out of 5

    Book-girl

    I've been putting off writing reviews for the 12 history of middle earth parts. But now that I reached the end I can't muster upp any energy. So this will be a short little review for all the books. I love LOTR and felt it was a must to read these. I probably shouldn't have, especially since I don't really enjoy reading books like this. But since I read children of hurin and ended up loving it, I decided to confront this huge mass of history. Well it wasn't horrific, I think. To be honest I felt l I've been putting off writing reviews for the 12 history of middle earth parts. But now that I reached the end I can't muster upp any energy. So this will be a short little review for all the books. I love LOTR and felt it was a must to read these. I probably shouldn't have, especially since I don't really enjoy reading books like this. But since I read children of hurin and ended up loving it, I decided to confront this huge mass of history. Well it wasn't horrific, I think. To be honest I felt like read everything ten times and alot my eyes just gazed right by. There were some interesting tidbids and fun stuff in here. So wouldn't say a complete waste of time. But overall lesson learned, just beacause I love this incredible world doesn't necesserialy mean I would love reading about it like this. I sorta feel like I dont have the strenght to read anything more of Tolkiens creations for atleast a long while.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Thijs

    The last part, and one of the best ones in the series! It has a lot of new material, such as the infamous 'New Shadow'. Which though it reads very well, and would have made an amazing book, I am still glad it was not finished, for it would not have felt Lord of the Rings enough. The mythical has disappeared. This part is especially rich in the history on the Second Era. And since we see least of those, I was very excited about these! Also the parts about the Dwarves, though they offer less insigh The last part, and one of the best ones in the series! It has a lot of new material, such as the infamous 'New Shadow'. Which though it reads very well, and would have made an amazing book, I am still glad it was not finished, for it would not have felt Lord of the Rings enough. The mythical has disappeared. This part is especially rich in the history on the Second Era. And since we see least of those, I was very excited about these! Also the parts about the Dwarves, though they offer less insight then I'd hoped, they still offered a deeper view of this always enigmatic race. Indeed, Tal-elmar was a very good finisher. Very different from the rest of Tolkien's works in tone, though familiar. Had I been able to give my life so he could have finished even twice the number of tales he did in his lifetime, I would have.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Poltz

    This is the final book in the History of Middle Earth (HoME) series. It was also one of the more interesting. It covers the appendices from The Lord of the Rings, etymological and phonological changes to names throughout the legendarium, contemplation of logical problems with names and people, and lastly includes two unfinished stories. I have to admit, the language section was a bit of a slog, giving the development of names and the two elvish language (Quenya and Sindar) versions of the names. This is the final book in the History of Middle Earth (HoME) series. It was also one of the more interesting. It covers the appendices from The Lord of the Rings, etymological and phonological changes to names throughout the legendarium, contemplation of logical problems with names and people, and lastly includes two unfinished stories. I have to admit, the language section was a bit of a slog, giving the development of names and the two elvish language (Quenya and Sindar) versions of the names. One might argue that most of the HoME series dealt in the development of names, which wouldn’t be a lie, as Tolkien continually changed names and dates as his legendarium developed from 1917 until his death in 1973. But the rest was more interesting than usual. Come visit my blog for the full review… https://itstartedwiththehugos.blogspo...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Warren Dunn

    After reading this, I have finally decided that I am not even remotely interested in linguistics or phonology. I have also concluded that I do certainly enjoy the history of Arnor and Gondor, in a completely different way from the Lord of the Rings. But to the point that I was dismissing the hobbit sections in favour of the Numenorean sections. http://ossuslibrary.tripod.com/Bk_Fan... After reading this, I have finally decided that I am not even remotely interested in linguistics or phonology. I have also concluded that I do certainly enjoy the history of Arnor and Gondor, in a completely different way from the Lord of the Rings. But to the point that I was dismissing the hobbit sections in favour of the Numenorean sections. http://ossuslibrary.tripod.com/Bk_Fan...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Noelle

    I DID IT. I FINISHED HISTORY OF MIDDLE-EARTH. I appreciate the hard-core fans who were still at 100% comprehension by this point, but honestly I skimmed a lot of this book, especially the linguistic excursuses (I know, Tolkien blasphemy). That being said, the new content in this book is just the perfect ending to Tolkien's legacy. Tal-Elmar was one of my favorites. I DID IT. I FINISHED HISTORY OF MIDDLE-EARTH. I appreciate the hard-core fans who were still at 100% comprehension by this point, but honestly I skimmed a lot of this book, especially the linguistic excursuses (I know, Tolkien blasphemy). That being said, the new content in this book is just the perfect ending to Tolkien's legacy. Tal-Elmar was one of my favorites.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Creech

    how tf do you read this

  22. 4 out of 5

    ♣Edso ♣Y♣

    The climax is hands downs amaizing.

  23. 5 out of 5

    di9girl

    An excellent end to an excellent series! If you come to love Tolkien and Middle-earth then this series of books is a must for your collection!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Atarinkë

    Awesome book, especially love shibboleth of Fëanor chapter

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ancillar

    The leftover omelet volume of the series. PART ONE: THE PROLOGUE AND APPENDICES TO THE LORD OF THE RINGS I The Prologue meh. II The Appendix on Languages Some vaguely interesting precursor texts on the conceit of translation of LoTR into English from the native tongue, with a major focus on Westron. meh. III Family Trees If I ever actually read this, something has gone wrong. Quadruple meh. IV The Calendars Might be interesting to read this prior to reabsorbing the appendix on calendars, but I didn't read The leftover omelet volume of the series. PART ONE: THE PROLOGUE AND APPENDICES TO THE LORD OF THE RINGS I The Prologue meh. II The Appendix on Languages Some vaguely interesting precursor texts on the conceit of translation of LoTR into English from the native tongue, with a major focus on Westron. meh. III Family Trees If I ever actually read this, something has gone wrong. Quadruple meh. IV The Calendars Might be interesting to read this prior to reabsorbing the appendix on calendars, but I didn't read it today and I regret nothing. meh. V The History of the Akallabêth Good story; boring changelog. meh. VI The Tale of Years of the Second Age A few marginally interesting extra details on the section on the Downfall in Appendix A and the Second Age Tale of Years in Appendix B. The rest of this Part is increasingly uninteresting to me and will be skimmed. VII The Heirs of Elendil Skimmed: only relevant to encyclopedists and textual scholars VIII The Tale of Years of the Third Age Skimmed: only relevant to encyclopedists and textual scholars IX The Making of Appendix A Skimmed: only relevant to encyclopedists and textual scholars PART TWO: LATE WRITINGS X Of Dwarves and Men Rambles in scope, voice and topic discussing languages, races and their histories and literary presentations. Worthwhile. XI The Shibboleth of Fëanor A hilariously tortured and utterly fascinating in-world explanation for an apparent phonological discrepancy in customary Quenya pronunciation among the Noldor over time, followed by a series of notes on Elf names. XII The Problem of Ros Scattered and nifty additions to lore, packed inside a 4-page speculative attempt to etymologically harmonize the ros in Elros with the roth in Rothinzil, the latter being Adûnaic for Wingelot. XIII Last Writings Glorfindel: get your canon here, this bit is a 10/10 The Five Wizards: a few more paragraphs of previously illegible material to add to the article on the Istari in Unfinished Tales Círdan: four pages of really frickin' good backstory for Middle-Earth's loneliest Elf PART THREE: THE TEACHINGS OF PENGOLOÐ XIV Dangweth Pengoloð "...the Answer of Pengolod to Aelfwine who asked him how came it that the tongues of the Elves changed and were sundered" This is a beautifully finished piece on Elves, Men, memory, thought, language and time. 10/10 XV Of Lembas A backstory for bread, with some Valar lore woven in for kicks. 10/10 PART FOUR: UNFINISHED TALES XVI The New Shadow A dark, perfect scene from the Fourth Age. 10/10 XVII Tal-Elmar A fragment starting the story of some native Middle-earth humans on encountering a Numenorian vanguard on the western coast during the Second Age.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Whyte

    http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2115697.html The first two-thirds are about the composition of the appendices of LotR; the rest brings together some short essays, mostly unfinished. Two of these are rather interesting. "The Shibboleth of Fëanor" looks at how the original 'þ' became 's' in Quenya but remained 'þ' in Sindarin, as in the name Sindacollo, the Quenya version of Thingol; Sindarin itself is a Quenya word, the Sindarin calling themselves the Egladhrim. There is also an intriguing late set http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2115697.html The first two-thirds are about the composition of the appendices of LotR; the rest brings together some short essays, mostly unfinished. Two of these are rather interesting. "The Shibboleth of Fëanor" looks at how the original 'þ' became 's' in Quenya but remained 'þ' in Sindarin, as in the name Sindacollo, the Quenya version of Thingol; Sindarin itself is a Quenya word, the Sindarin calling themselves the Egladhrim. There is also an intriguing late set of thoughts on the true identity of Glorfindel, who appears in quite different contexts in both LotR and the fall of Gondolin; one fascinating possibility is that he actually was killed in the First Age but allowed to return from the Halls of Mandos to accompany Gandalf on his mission, which would explain why the Nazgûl are particularly perturbed by him. There is also the fragment of The New Shadow, a sequel to LotR which clearly wasn't going anywhere; it is a story of boyhood orchard-robbing near Minas Tirith which didn't quite come together. It's been rather instructive to see the number of false starts Tolkien made on what might have been substantial works - The Lost Road, The Notion Club Papers, and his various attempts, all pretty unsuccessful, to tell the story of Ëarendil. These are not journeyman pieces; they were mostly written when Tolkien was already a published author. Fortunately, of course, he had the luxury of abandoning lines of writing that were just not working out (though he went back to Ëarendil several times over). But it's worth remembering that many good pieces of writing have quite a lot of less good writing from the same pen behind and below them, most of which we readers will never see.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rossrn Nunamaker

    Volume 12 of 12 in the History of Middle Earth, The Peoples of Middle-Earth, compiled by Christopher Tolkien, is in many ways my favorite of the ones I've read (I've read the first two volumes and last six). This volume primarily covers the Prologue and Appendices of LOTR, but it sneaks in a few selections touched upon in Unfinished Tales and provides to two gems in the final section "The New Shadow" and "Tal-Elmar". The New Shadow, published for the first time in this volume, is the start to a se Volume 12 of 12 in the History of Middle Earth, The Peoples of Middle-Earth, compiled by Christopher Tolkien, is in many ways my favorite of the ones I've read (I've read the first two volumes and last six). This volume primarily covers the Prologue and Appendices of LOTR, but it sneaks in a few selections touched upon in Unfinished Tales and provides to two gems in the final section "The New Shadow" and "Tal-Elmar". The New Shadow, published for the first time in this volume, is the start to a sequel of LOTR. Admittedly, it doesn't go far enough to guess or speculate where JRR was going with this and the notes mention that he wasn't fond of the idea in the first place, but it remains intriguing as to what happened in the 4th Age and here we get a glimpse of what might have happened. Tal-Elmar is intriguing because it is told from the perspective of the "Wild Men" about the Numenoreans. The change of perspective was wonderful and I wish there had been more of it to read. The first part of the volume is also the longest and covers the prologue and appendices, what I liked about this was the background provided. For fans of Tolkien, this is a great read and well worth the effort to read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dru

    This will be my 12-volume write-up of the entire series "The History of Middle Earth". -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This series is ONLY for the hardcore Tolkien fanatic. Predominantly written by JRR's son, based on JRR's notes on the creation of The Silmarilion and The Lord of the Rings (much less on The Hobbit). It is somewhat interesting to see the evolution of the story (for example, "Strider" was originally conceived as a Hobbit (one of tho This will be my 12-volume write-up of the entire series "The History of Middle Earth". -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This series is ONLY for the hardcore Tolkien fanatic. Predominantly written by JRR's son, based on JRR's notes on the creation of The Silmarilion and The Lord of the Rings (much less on The Hobbit). It is somewhat interesting to see the evolution of the story (for example, "Strider" was originally conceived as a Hobbit (one of those who "went off into the blue with Gandalf" as alluded to in The Hobbit). But the downside to this is that it isn't very fun to read. You can only read yet another version of Beren and Luthien so many times before you're tired of seeing the miniscule changes from one version to the next. So, overall, I slogged through this over about a year. I'd say it was worth it in the end for someone like me who loves Tolkien and his entire created world of Arda (and Ea in general). But I'll never re-read them. They come off too much as seeming like Christopher Tolkien just bundled every scrap of paper he could find, rather than thinning them down into a logical consistency.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christa

    This is mainly a much expanded and annotated volume comprised of the appendices to "Lord of the Rings." For the hardcore Tolkien fan, the additional information added to the story will be appreciated. The notes by Christopher Tolkien add some additional information, but often serve to inform the avid Tolkienite about the development of the unpinning myths that surround the core story of "The Lord of the Rings." Some of the notes recount revisions, bridge gaps in the available information, or try This is mainly a much expanded and annotated volume comprised of the appendices to "Lord of the Rings." For the hardcore Tolkien fan, the additional information added to the story will be appreciated. The notes by Christopher Tolkien add some additional information, but often serve to inform the avid Tolkienite about the development of the unpinning myths that surround the core story of "The Lord of the Rings." Some of the notes recount revisions, bridge gaps in the available information, or try to reconcile different accounts. Much of the information found here can also be found in more concise, polished form in books like "The Silmarillion," but the appendices, in general, serve as a good summary of those stories for someone who isn't interested enough to read "The Silmarillion." That same person, though, would find this book to be over the top, I'm sure. I use this book as more of a reference book, looking up questionable points and looking for explanations as needed. Right now, I only own this volume, covering only the appendices of the series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This volume of the History of Middle-Earth series is largely concerned with the development of the appendices for Lord of the Rings, which can be a little dry in places. The volume also contains some of Tolkien's last writings, including discussions on Glorfindel, drawing the conclusion that he was Glorfindel of Gondolin reborn (!), Círdan and many other things. Interestingly, the last part of the book includes to unfinished pieces of writing linked closely to Lord of the Rings. The first is 'The This volume of the History of Middle-Earth series is largely concerned with the development of the appendices for Lord of the Rings, which can be a little dry in places. The volume also contains some of Tolkien's last writings, including discussions on Glorfindel, drawing the conclusion that he was Glorfindel of Gondolin reborn (!), Círdan and many other things. Interestingly, the last part of the book includes to unfinished pieces of writing linked closely to Lord of the Rings. The first is 'The New Shadow', the sequel to Rings set in the rule of Eldarion, Aragorn's son. Reading through it, it was understandable why Tolkien abandoned it. The second is 'The Tale of Tal-elmar', in which we see the arrival of the Númenórean ships through the eyes of the Wild Men. Out of the two, the latter is more interesting.

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