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Thread: The New Shadow by J.R.R. Tolkien

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    Senior Member Vanir's Avatar
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    The New Shadow by J.R.R. Tolkien

    Not sure if this has been posted, my apologies if it already has!

    (More at this link, excerpt below)
    http://www.fountain.btinternet.co.uk/tolkien/

    The New Shadow by J.R.R. Tolkien
    His sequel to The Lord of the Rings

    Tolkien started his sequel to The Lord of the Rings a number of times but never got very far. The links below are scanned images of the pages of the book.

    The story begins one hundred and five years after the fall of the Dark Tower and is set in Gondor. Tolkien wrote about the story:

    "I did begin a story placed about 100 years after the downfall of Sauron, but it proved both sinister and depressing. Since we are dealing with Men it is inevitable that we should be concerned with the most regrettable feature of their nature: their quick satiety with good. So that the people of Gondor in times of peace and justice and prosperity would become discontented and restless - while the dynasts descended from Aragorn would become just kings and governors - like Denethor or worse. I found that even so there was an outcrop of revolutionary plots, about a centre of secret Satanistic religion; while Gondorian boys were playing at being Orcs and going around doing damage. I could have written a 'thriller' about the plot and its discovery and overthrow - but it would be just that. Not worth doing."
    Page 1
    Page 2-3
    Page 4-5
    Page 6-7
    Page 8-9
    Page 10-11
    Page 12-13

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    So, poor J.R.R. became disillusioned in his later years and realized that human beings, being the flawed entities that they are, neither elves nor demigods, will inevitably chose what they know is not good for themselves just out of restlessness of spirit. The neo-orcs whom Dr. Tolkien envisioned are the skinheads of today. Surely, there would have been Neo-Sauronian organizations convinced of the wise intentions of the defeated and destroyed leader, hampered though they would have been by the fact that Sauron wrote no books. The future which J.R.R. Tolkien foresaw for Middle Earth is described well in an old Protestant hymn. (pace, Dr. Tolkien, good Roman Catholic that you were)
    "Earth could be fair and all men glad and wise.
    Age after age, their tragic empires rise.
    Built while they dream, and in that dreaming weep.
    Could man but wake from out his haunted sleep,
    Earth could be fair and all men glad and wise.

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    Senior Member Vanir's Avatar
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    I'm kind of glad in a way that he didn't add to LOTR later in life with a new official & completed book

    How many authors/artists ruin their creations by retrospectively altering/adding to them later in life after they've had a change of philosophy/direction (if you know what I mean)

    Still interesting though. How JRR managed to pull the LOTR together so well from so many sources is amazing...

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    Yes, SURT, I know exactly what you mean and I agree with you. As you know, Christopher Tolkien edited and finally published the "Silmarillion" after his father's death. I don't think that it really helps to explain any of LOTR. In fact, I'm inclined to the view that it rather muddies the water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Egil Skallagrimsson
    Yes, SURT, I know exactly what you mean and I agree with you. As you know, Christopher Tolkien edited and finally published the "Silmarillion" after his father's death. I don't think that it really helps to explain any of LOTR. In fact, I'm inclined to the view that it rather muddies the water.
    Yeah, I can kind of agree with you, The Silmarillion is choppy, but I really enjoy the tales of the 1st Age, and the history of the Elves, and the tale of Feanor and the Silmarils, along with many other stories of the old ages. I'm sure the whole fabric of it would have flowed much better and seemed more accessible, and thus richer and more lively, had JRR lived to see it through to proper completion.

    Good call on Christopher Tolkien, that series of books he released extrapolating long tales out of the merest of notes always struck me as being awkward, and perhaps, somewhere there, I detect the faintest whiff of "contrived" but at least he cobbled it all together, and otherwise it would all have been lost I suppose...

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    Had Tolkien composed a proper sequel to LOTR, then that would have spoiled the whole "magic" of the book. It would have ruined a lot, and some things are better left unsaid.

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