(The Inklings Series is a monthly series featuring the works of my two favorites, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, or books about them. But I don’t want it to be just me chatting about these books, so that’s where y’all come in! I’ll announce the book at least four weeks in advance of when the discussion post will go live, so you have plenty of time to get the book and read it. Then, the following month, I’ll post a discussion post and let the fun begin!!)
We made it friends! Thanks for your patience – I knew moving and a major life change would definitely mix things up, but da-ang….I need a vacation from adulting for a good long while. Haha! Not really, I just sometimes stress out when I get behind on things and I don’t have all the energy I want to have for other things. My poor checklist just stares at me wondering why I’m ignoring him. 🙂 Anyway….let’s dive in!
I thought I would do this discussion like I did with The Silmarillion. There’s so many stories and tales, I picked a handful to discuss so this doesn’t turn into a dissertation that shuts the internet down. I mean, Inklings Week did attract some shenanigans, so you.never.know.
I’d love for you to add any thoughts in the comments on sections I didn’t cover!
“Of Tuor And His Coming to Gondolin”
Sometimes Tolkien’s heroes have it rough! Anyone else feel bad for Tuor? First by himself for ages and then it was a rough go to reach Gondolin. But getting to have a face to face conversation with Ulmo, wasn’t too shabby.
One of my favorite quotes from this section was Gelmir to Tuor: “Through darkness one may come to the light.” (pg 23)
Another favorite was from Ulmo to Tuor on sending him to deliver the message. “If I choose the send thee, Tuor son of Huor, then believe not that thy one sword is not worth sending…but it is not for thy valour only that I send thee, but to bring into the world a hope beyond thy sight, and a light that shall pierce the darkness.” (pg 32)
Tolkien likes to have some nasty creatures too. The Great Worm of Angband? I’m going to pass.
Also, I get these are called Unfinished Tales for a reason, but when this one ended I wanted more than the notes Christopher included! I wanted the finished tale – haha! But I still enjoyed it.
“The History of Galadriel and Celeborn”
I loved a deeper look into the life of Galadriel! I think having this background helps me to appreciate her character even more and how much she grew through the ages. And though while she left without permission, it does seem as though her intentions were always with good intent.
I loved Tolkien’s descriptions:
“She was proud, strong, and selfwilled, as were all the descendants of Finwë, save Finarfin; and like her brother Finrod, of all her kin the nearest to her heart, she had dreams of far lands and dominions that might be her own to order that she would without to tutelage. Yet deeper still there dwelt in her the noble and generous spirit of the Vanyar, and a reverence for the Valar that she could not forget.” (pg 23)
“From her earliest years she had marvellous gift of insight into the minds of others, but judged them with mercy and understanding, and she withheld her goodwill from none save only Fëanor. In him she perceived a darkness that she hated and feared, though she did not perceive that the shadow of the same evil had fallen upon the minds of all the Noldor, and upon her own.”
It’s pretty crazy to think that Tolkien never stopped working on his tales. Christopher mentioned in one of the notes that the section notes he found were from the last month of this life. A true genius. I enjoyed the notes almost as much as the stories! So many interesting and entertaining information.
“The Hunt For the Ring”
I thought I’d close with this bit because it took place during LOTR and felt like a behind-the-scenes extra.
Facts learned: Saruman waylaid or mislead servants of Sauron. So he again deserves “most trustworthy” with “his double dealings.” I didn’t realize how sneaky Saruman was with Sauron! Did I totally miss that in LOTR? (Highly possible with my brain these days).
“Saruman, already filled with wrath and fear by the escape of Gandalf, perceived the peril of standing between enemies, a known traitor to both. His dread was great, for his hope of deceiving Sauron, or at the least of receiving his favour in victory, was utterly lost.”
And this quote on Wormtongue had me chuckling because it speaks of his character so well:
“Thus it was that on the evening of the next day the Black Riders came upon Gríma Wormtongue as he hastened to bring word to Saruman that Gandalf was come to Edoras, and had warned King Théoden of the treacherous designs of Isengard. In that hour the Wormtongue came near to death by terror; but being inured to treachery he would have told all that he knew under less threat.”
And turned out Wormy spilled thoughts and went on. Not shocked.
There’s so much more to these tales (and I didn’t discuss Túrin, since we’ve spent a whole book on him here already), and I really love hearing all these extra details. I’ll read everything about Middle Earth there is. 🙂 After going through these notes and stories, I could have majored in Tolkien and would have been as happy as a clam!
Alright! Since there’s so many ways to go with this discussion, I’m going to leave it open ended! What did y’all think compared to his other tales? Did you have a favorite? Did you like it?
Excited to hear your thoughts!
Also I’m trying this out link up – we’ll see how it goes the next few discussions! Feel free to add a link to anything you have may have written on this book.