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 Post subject: Children of Hurin - JRR Tolkien
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2021 3:25 pm 
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First off - the illustrations by Alan Lee are very good. The one of Hurin bound to Morgoth's chair suffering his torment is one of the more disturbing pictures I have seen. I just wish there were more illustrations.

The book is good but as grim as anything I have read yet. I'm about 3/4ths done and man... it's one unexpected terrible thing after another. It makes the Hobbit seem like Paw Patrol (or Hobbit-Hoof Patrol). The prose is fun to read but it moves very quickly. While in the Hobbit or LOTRs there's a slow build up to a certain consequence which is directly related to some character's flaw (for one example)... in Children of Hurin those consequences happen a couple of paragraphs later.

So much betrayal and treachery - now, that might be by design given that this is occurring in the 1st Age of Middle Earth while the Hobbit and LOTR happen in the 3rd Age. There's a coarseness to many of the characters. To almost all of the main characters... at least thus far (thus = 3\4ths in).

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 Post subject: Re: Children of Hurin - JRR Tolkien
PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2021 3:50 pm 
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Some of the constant renaming gets a bit cumbersome for me.
And though it happened occasionally in LOTR it happens rapid fire in this book.
Turin doesn't want to go by Turin so he goes by Neithan... then he's back to Turin but then he changes it to Agarwaen when he comes to the kingdom of Nargothrond, but the Elves there don't call him Agarwaen they call him Mormegil instead.
Mormegil meaning "Black Sword" because that's the sword he 'inherited' from Beleg. A sword which is called Anglachel but which Turin (or Neithan, or Agarwaen, or Mormegi) calls "Gurthang".

And most of this happens in a span of 8 sentences.

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 Post subject: Re: Children of Hurin - JRR Tolkien
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2021 3:55 pm 
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There will be spoilers in this comment:


But wow... is Turin a bumbling fool. Or, not that... bumbling seems to denote innocence of heart or intention. He just keeps messing things up (and terribly so) by his actions. His rashness and pride leads to the complete destruction of Nargothrond. Being advised to do otherwise by two respected Elves who came with the tidings of a Power (Ulmo) of the good side. Turin superciliously tosses off that advice and follows in own lights. And those 'lights' lead to the enslavement of women and the death of all else associated with Nargothrond.

Then he makes his way back to his homeland as a wandering vagabond, and not for purposes of deception... but just because he put himself in such dire straits because of his own flaws.
He finds his homeland overran by the treacherous Easterlings (as the reader had already been informed many chapters earlier). His anger and sense of injustice gets the best of him and he kills a bunch of Easterlings in the house of his mother's close friend... a close friend who was forced to marry one of these Easterlings. That marriage allotted her some protection, but pain as well. She was also able to tend to those even more downtrodden from the rule of the Easterlings. Well, Turin butchers the bad guys only to be told by this friend of his mothers (paraphrased) "Uhhh, thanks. But now we'll all be butchered and killed. Sure my life was hard, but your actions have no lead to my death. And the death of everyone else here."

And this is the protagonist the narrative follows the entire time. He's not a "bad guy", but he makes such bad mistakes that you're sitting there, mouth agape and thinking "you dumb son of a ....".

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 Post subject: Re: Children of Hurin - JRR Tolkien
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2021 5:17 pm 
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I read the trimmed up prose style incorrectly...

This has to be in the style of a Greek tragedy. A bit more wordy... but nowhere near as any Tolkien I've ever read before.
The ending of the book sealed it - it's simply not the type of story from the others that have taken place in Middle-Earth.

It's very good, but you'll leave with little to no warm feelings.

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 Post subject: Re: Children of Hurin - JRR Tolkien
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2021 6:07 pm 
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To steal a Norm MacDonald joke: “you know, this Morgoth is a real jerk”

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 Post subject: Re: Children of Hurin - JRR Tolkien
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2022 4:25 pm 
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I haven't read this yet. I'm not surprised at some of what you're saying, though. I mean, think about what a moron Hercules is.

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 Post subject: Re: Children of Hurin - JRR Tolkien
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:57 pm 
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gherkin wrote:
I haven't read this yet. I'm not surprised at some of what you're saying, though. I mean, think about what a moron Hercules is.


That's a good point. A man left to his own lights and not Providence.

You could say Children of Hurin is a eucatastrophe... without the "eu". :)

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