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For Tolkien followers, each books add wealthy new layers to the sequence

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“The Lord of Rings: Rings of the Energy” has now completed its first season, so what ought to Tolkien followers do whereas we anticipate the following installment? By no means worry: the Tolkien literary legacy appears to have an enchanted carpetbag of wonders that floor lengthy after it is seemingly emptied.

This month, he launched “The Fall of Númenor,” supply materials on considered one of Center-earth’s most intriguing backstories. The ebook is superbly illustrated by Alan Lee and edited by Brian Sibley, who has labored on a dozen earlier Tolkien tasks. Compiled from beforehand revealed materials, the ebook is a helpful addition to any Tolkien completist and likewise a pleasant introduction for these with solely information of the doomed island of the “Rings of Energy”.

The brand new Lord of the Rings sequence has been revealed

“Númenor” was Tolkien’s try to take care of what he referred to as his “Atlantis complicated” or “Atlantis-creature”. In a 1964 letter he wrote: “This legend or fantasy or darkish reminiscence of some historic historical past has at all times troubled me. In my sleep I had a horrible dream of the inconceivable wave, rising from a peaceful sea, or towering over the inexperienced isles. It nonetheless occurs often, though now it’s exorcised by writing about it”. Certainly, hints of Númenor’s cataclysmic historical past seem in The Lord of the Rings, longer accounts contained elsewhere within the huge Tolkien Legendarium. Briefly:

On the finish of the First Age of Center-earth, the evil Morgoth/Melkor is defeated by an alliance of elves and males. The Valar, “Guardians of the World,” direct the Almighty Iluvatar to reward these Males with their island refuge, “a spot far faraway from the perils of Center Earth.” The one hyperlink is the “ban of the Valar”. This forbids the Númenóreans to sail additional west, out of sight of their island residence, or to set foot on the Foreboding Lands, the place the Valar and the chosen among the many Elves dwell.

Get misplaced within the locations that impressed JRR Tolkien

Males are mortal; Elves and Valar are usually not. To sweeten the deal, the Númenóreans are gifted with a lifespan of a whole lot of years, together with the promise of a peaceable life on their island paradise. Completely happy years comply with, protected by the Valar and having fun with their continued friendship with the Eldar Elves, the folks of Númenor prospered within the Second Age.

The account of this era of Númenórean historical past is lengthy and slightly unhappy, though it does embody a story of ill-fated love. As Tolkien says in “The Hobbit,” “It’s a uncommon factor now, to have issues which are good to have, and days which are good to be spent. [are] not a lot to hearken to; whereas issues which are uncomfortably throbbing and horrible could make for a great story…” Thankfully for readers, bother is brewing elsewhere in Center-earth, the place Sauron, Morgoth’s strongest servant, has re-emerged. He’s defeated once more, however not earlier than creating the Rings of Energy below his tutelage and sowing discord between the Elves and Númenoreans.

By now the Númenoreans, wonderful seafarers, had developed a style for colonization and exploitation. They’ve grown impatient with the Banning of the Valar: why should not they be immortal too? “Ever deceitful” Sauron (you did not assume he died, did you?) makes his option to Númenor. He makes use of three of his 9 Rings to seize highly effective males (who will finally turn into the Nazgûl), and encourages the ruler of Númenor to sail west and conquer the Immortal Lands.

Right here Tolkien’s wretched and horribly uncomfortable issues come to nice impact, because the folks of Númenórea, obsessive about the necromantic arts, worship Melkor and fill it with “silent graves the place the considered dying was shrouded in darkness.” They enslave different males and particularly elves, whom they’ve hated for his or her immortality, and sacrifice them to Melkor (Alan Lee illustrates this in a grotesque and putting portray). Solely a small group of Númenóreans stay loyal to the Valar, they usually plan to sail east to guard them with the Elves of Center Earth.

For those who’ve learn The Lord of the Rings or seen The Rings of Energy, a lot of which takes place in Númenor, you recognize it will not finish nicely for many who reject the Valar. “The Fall of Númenor” serves as a follow-up to the Amazon sequence; some amongst students might imagine that it’s organized on this means. And ardent Tolkien readers will discover a lot to shock and delight. My favourite is the mysterious destiny of the gnomes, from Tolkien’s 1954 letter: “Some, after all, escaped from the East, and even turned slaves… If any survived that means, they’d be very removed from people, and any strategy could be tough – industrialized agriculture.” and if the expertise of militarization didn’t make them slightly extra anarchic. I hope.”

Anarchist eco-warriors unite! The producers of “The Rings of Energy” hope to take discover.

“The Fall of Númenor” would make a really good vacation reward. However for particularly deserving Tolkien followers, you may take into account the lavish re-creation of “The Silmarillion,” lavishly furnished with Tolkien’s work, drawings, ornaments, and maps, in addition to an excerpt from “The Story of Túrin” written within the Rumilian alphabet used solely. The Elves of Valinor. Tolkien was a proficient artist and his work clearly exhibits the affect of Britain’s Arts and Crafts motion, with spectacular landscapes and ornamental arts alike, as proven by the 2 jewel-toned Númenórean carpet drawings. Taking a look at these vacation footage will encourage you to write down a letter to Father Christmas — in Rúmilia, after all.

Elizabeth Hand’s newest novel is “Hokuloa Highway.”

The Fall of Númenor and Different Tales of the Second Age of Center-earth

Edited by Brian Sibley with illustrations by Alan Lee

HarperCollins, 296 pp., $40

by JRR Tolkien; Directed by Christopher Tolkien. Illustrated by the writer

William Morrow, 358 pp., $65

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