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Unfinished Tales Of Numenor And Middle-Earth (1980)

by J. R. R. Tolkien

Other authors: Alan Lee (Illustrator), Ted Nasmith (Illustrator), Christopher Tolkien (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Lord of the Rings

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,74851678 (3.81)74
Collected by Tolkien's son, these tales further exlore the legendary Middle-earth, including its languages, legends, politics, and kings, and ranging temporally from the Elder Days through the War of the Rings.

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» See also 74 mentions

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Este livro contém a única história que sobreviveu das longas eras de Númenor antes de sua queda, e tudo o que se conhece sobre temas como os Cinco Magos, os Palantíri ou a lenda de Amroth. Escrevendo acerca dos Apêndices de O Senhor dos Anéis, J.R.R.Tolkien disse em 1955: "Aqueles que apreciam o livro apenas como 'romance heróico' e consideram os 'panoramas inexplicados' parte do efeito literário, desprezarão os Apêndices, e farão muito bem." Contos Inacabados destina-se àqueles que, ao contrário, ainda não exploraram suficientemente a Terra-média, suas línguas, suas lendas, sua política e seus reis. Christopher Tolkien editou e apresenta a coleção. Também redesenhou o mapa de O Senhor dos Anéis em escala maior e reproduziu o único mapa de Númenor.
  AraujoGabriel | Jul 17, 2024 |
Com histórias da Primeira, Segunda e Terceira Era da Terra-média – anteriores e concomitantes aos eventos em O Senhor dos Anéis –, Contos Inacabados de Númenor e da Terra-média é uma coletânea de narrativas que vão desde os Dias Antigos até o final da Guerra do Anel. Aproveite e garanta o seu exemplar com um pôster exclusivo!

Nos contos aqui presentes, há um relato de Gandalf sobre como ele enviou os Anãos para Bolsão, ao encontro de Bilbo Bolseiro, uma descrição detalhada sobre a organização militar dos Cavaleiros de Rohan, além de um relato alternativo da lenda dos Filhos de Húrin. A obra também contém a única história que restou sobre as longas eras de Númenor antes de sua queda e tudo o que se conhece sobre temas como os Cinco Magos, as Palantíri ou a lenda de Amroth. Os contos foram reunidos e editados pelo filho e herdeiro literário do autor, Christopher Tolkien, que fornece um breve comentário sobre cada história, ajudando o leitor a preencher as lacunas e a colocar cada uma no contexto dos demais escritos de seu pai.
  AraujoGabriel | Jul 17, 2024 |
It's an inconsistent book. As is to be expected by the nature of what's in it.
By far the most interesting parts of it to me were the chapters that were cut from the Lord of the Rings before publication, where Gandalf talks about the events of The Hobbit from his point of view. Poor Bilbo had no idea just how infuriated Thorin was with him. There's also a bit of background on what Gollum was up to when he was 'off-camera', and an essay on the origins and nature of the Wizards.

I found the parts fleshing out the battle of Isen Ford, the Gladden Fields disaster, and the founding of Rohan to be pretty dull. Your mileage may vary.

Unfinished Tales contains something unique if you're interested in Tolkien's second age, a story set in Numenor about a mariner-king and his falling out with his wife. It's a difficult read and it ends in a summary of outline and fragments. Also contains some trivia about Numenor including blurbs on its kings.

The First Age stories, an incomplete start of a novel treatment of the Fall of Gondolin and a much fleshed out version of the story of Turin Turambar (a shorter version was included in the Silmarillion), are available as standalone books compiling Turin's story into a full and complete book (Children of Hurin 2007) and a collection of all versions of the Gondolin story (Fall of Gondolin 2018), so reading it nowadays those are less exciting.

If anything I said above sounded confusing, this book is not for you. Read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings instead, and if you really love Tolkien's world Unfinished Tales will be worth your time. ( )
  rkosarko | Jul 1, 2024 |
Summary: A collection of stories, many in unfinished state, by J.R.R. Tolkien providing background information on the three ages of Numenor and Middle Earth, edited by his son.

The creation of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) is perhaps one of the most astounding instances of worldbuilding in fantasy fiction. Tolkien not only creates Middle-Earth but a whole history surrounding the events in his stories. He invented the languages spoken by the different races. He wrote backstories of many key figures appearing in these works or mentioned. Tolkien intended to publish at least some of this material but it was left unfinished at the time of his death in 1973.

Tolkien’s son, Christopher, has made a life’s work of marshalling this literary inheritance into print, beginning with The Silmarillion, in 1977. Here, Christopher Tolkien wove the extant fragments his father had written into a cohesive narrative of the three ages of Middle Earth. In Lost Tales, we see some of the raw materials with which he worked. Sometimes Tolkien changed names, or events. What Christopher Tolkien does is give us these stories, with some editing on his part, along with an extensive set of notes, annotations as it were on the text, changes made, and so forth.

The stories offer helpful background for any dedicated reader of Tolkien. The book follows the three ages of Middle Earth.

Part One: The First Age

This includes the story of Tuor, son of Huor, his captivity in and escape from Morgoth. Tolkien renders Tuor’s journey with the elf, Voronwe, and his coming to Gondolin, carrying the message of Ulmo, and being revealed in all his greatness. Also included is the tragic story of Hurin, son of Turin, involving his marriage to Nienor, not knowing she was his sister.

Part Two: The Second Age

This part opens with a description of the geography, people, and some history of Numenor, often referred to in LOTR. “Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner’s Wife” tells the story of a prince who loves the sea, and voyaging to Middle Earth more than his wife. Perhaps most moving is the step his father the king takes in resigning his throne to this son. Tolkien follows with an account of the lineage of the kings of Numenor. The part ends with the marriage of Celeborn and Galadriel and we learn of the sadness that marked her life as well as her distinctive greatness.

Part Three: The Third Age

This section begins with the death of Isildur and the loss of the Great Ring in the battle of Gladden Fields. “Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan” traces the beginnings and long alliance between Rohan and Gondor, so crucial in the final war of the Ring. One of the delights of this collection is the story Gandalf tells Frodo of why he chose Bilbo as the thief to help the dwarves retake the Lonely Mountain. In “The Hunt for the Ring” we learn of the Nine Riders search for The Ring from when Gollum was questioned until Frodo leaves the Shire–as if we didn’t think the Nine sinister enough! In LOTR, we know Theoden lost his son in the battle of Isen. The final story is the account of this battle.

Part Four

The final part of the book includes three background essays. The first gives the background of the Druedain, wild men who inhabited the forests. The second and third were of greater interest. In “The Ishtari,” we learn the history of the wizards, sent by the Valar. We learn there were five, two who passed into the east and out of history. Tolkien traces the long and hidden resentment of Saruman toward Gandalf and of his treachery. Tolkien gives us all the names by which each were known. The last essay describes the nature and number of the Palantiri, including how they were used for seeing and communicating.

Christopher Tolkien appends an Index giving all the names used in the stories and a brief description of each–incredibly useful.


The success of this work encouraged Christopher Tolkien to embark on his twelve volume History of Middle Earth. This revealed to me the power of Tolkien’s worldmaking. We re-read his major works and want to read more of this world. That’s why an edited collection of unfinished works holds such a fascination. We will wade through pages of notes and even revel in indexes. We want to fix in our minds the contours of this world.

This is not for Tolkien newbies. Rather, it is for dedicated readers who aren’t contented with mere references to Numenor. This is for the afficionado, the one who wants to read everything connected with Tolkien. I would read it after The Silmarillion, which it followed, and after reading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The stories vary in quality. The account of Turin and that of Aldarion and Erendis are great tragedies. The story of the choosing of Bilbo is just great fun. The lineage of Numenor’s kings and the essay on the Druedain fell into the category of “for your information.” ( )
  BobonBooks | Jun 23, 2024 |
Of the additional material organized by Christopher tolkien, this one is the most coherent. The editor has a good idea of what he wants to say, and there is a mass of material to support his opinions and choices of narrative. Quite an enjoyable read. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jun 17, 2024 |
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» Add other authors (122 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tolkien, J. R. R.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, AlanIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nasmith, TedIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tolkien, ChristopherEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adlerberth, RolandTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cvetković Sever, VladimirTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ebert, DietrichCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howe, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juva, KerstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekkanen, PanuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saba Sardi, FrancescoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schütz, Hans J.Übersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Rían, wife of Huor, dwelt with the people of the House of Hador; but when rumour came to Dor-lómin of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, and yet she could hear no news of her lord, she became distraught and wandered forth into the wild alone.
The problems that confront one given responsibility for the writings of a dead author are hard to resolve. (Introduction)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Collected by Tolkien's son, these tales further exlore the legendary Middle-earth, including its languages, legends, politics, and kings, and ranging temporally from the Elder Days through the War of the Rings.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Unfinished Tales is a collection of narratives ranging in time from the Elder Days of Middle-earth to the end of the War of the Ring, and provides those who have read The Lord of the Rings with a whole collection of background and new stories from the twentieth century's most acclaimed popular author. The book concentrates on the realm of Middle-earth and comprises such elements as Gandalf's lively account of how it was that he came to send the Dwarves to the celebrated party at Bag-End, the emergence of the sea-god Ulmo before the eyes of Tuor on the coast of Beleriand, and an exact description of the military organization of the Riders of Rohan.

Unfinished Tales also contains the only story about the long ages of NÚmenor before its downfall, and all that is known about such matters as the Five Wizards, the PalantÍri and the legend of Amroth.

The tales were collated and edited by J.R.R. Tolkien's son and literary heir, Christopher Tolkien, who provides a short commentary on each story, helping the reader to fill in the gaps and put each story into the context of the rest of his father's writings.


Part One: The First Age:
"Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin"
"Narn i Hîn Húrin (The Tale of the Children of Húrin)"

Part Two: The Second Age:
"A Description of the Island of Númenor"
"Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife"
"The Line of Elros: Kings of Númenor"
"The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"

Part Three: The Third Age:
"The Disaster of the Gladden Fields"
"Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan"
"The Quest of Erebor"
"The Hunt for the Ring"
"The Battles of the Fords of Isen"

Part Four
"The Drúedain"
"The Istari"
"The Palantíri"
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