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"New" J R R Tolkien Novel, "The Fall of Gondolin", Is Coming Later This Year

Terry Pratchett may have avoided ghouls robbing his literary estate after his death, but other authors were nearly as lucky. Some authors (for example, Harper Lee) were still alive when the ghouls started feasting, while others were at least gracefully dead.

Now J R R Tolkien has been selected as the next course.

The Guardian reports that Tolkien’s "new" book will be published this summer:

JRR Tolkien’s The Fall of Gondolin, his tale of a beautiful, mysterious city destroyed by dark forces which The Lord of the Rings author called “the first real story” of Middle-earth, will be published in August.

The Fall of Gondolin will be the second “new” Tolkien work to be released in two years, following the release of Beren and Lúthien in May 2017. Edited by Tolkien’s son Christopher Tolkien, and illustrated by The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings artist Alan Lee, its announcement came as a surprise even to Tolkien scholars: Christopher Tolkien, who is now 93, had described Beren and Lúthien in a preface as “(presumptively) my last book in the long series of editions of my father’s writings”.

The book, said publisher HarperCollins, sets the “uttermost evil” of Morgoth against the sea-god Ulmo. Morgoth is trying to discover and destroy the hidden city of Gondolin, while Ulmo is supporting the Noldor, the kindred of the elves who live in the city.

The story follows one of the Noldor, Tuor, who sets out to find Gondolin; during his journey, he experiences what the publisher described as “one of the most arresting moments in the history of Middle-earth”: when Ulmo, the sea-god, rises out of the ocean during a storm.

This story was not published during the author’s life, and with good reason. The author had judged the story not good enough to be released, but now a ghoul has decided to publish it.


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Chris Meadows April 10, 2018 um 8:19 pm

It’s not as if this is anything new. Christopher Tolkien has been milking his father’s legacy for literally decades.

Nate Hoffelder April 10, 2018 um 8:36 pm

this is true

Frank April 11, 2018 um 10:08 am

It is too bad that Christopher Tolkien keeps publishing abandoned stories. He has done it since the 90s.

fawe April 11, 2018 um 12:34 pm

On the contrary, this has nothing to do with milking… It’s a welcome addition to legendarium. And it’s certainly not the case of abandoned work that wasn’t up to his standart. Tolkien was actively working on Silmarillion material till his death, time and other distractions simply overtook him. He knew that so he left the work to Christopher that knew it best. After all it was his wish that it gets published. It’s total opposite to Prachett, that forbade same. Without this there would be no Silmarillon in the first place.

Angela Korra’ti April 12, 2018 um 1:09 pm

Cosigned on this. Speaking as a devoted Tolkien fan, and exactly the kind of fan who loves to dig into the Middle-Earth legendarium, I deeply appreciate Christopher Tolkien’s work. In particular, I’ve read The Silmarillion multiple times, as well as Unfinished Tales. Which gave me enough background to _seriously_ appreciate the editing work he did to put out the stellar Children of Hurin release.

And Christopher Tolkien _has_ made this his life’s work. If somebody’s going to continue to release stuff out of his father’s unfinished material, I’d much rather it be someone in the family with in-depth knowledge of the material, coming at it from a place of love and respect, vs. somebody who has no actual interest in the work and whose motives are purely mercenary.

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