The Fall of Númenor – New Tolkien Book First Look & Review

hey guys welcome to nerd of the Rings today we are talking about a brand new Tolkien book it is the fall of numenor it compiles all of tolkien’s second age writings and for those who might not be sure why I’m so pumped about this book let me ask you a question that I get here on the Channel all the time if I want to read about tolkien’s second age what book should I buy and if you’re not that well versed with tolkien’s writings it might be a surprisingly complex answer naturally you’ll want the Lord of

the Rings if you don’t already have it because it has the appendices which they do reference the second age quite a bit but don’t forget we also have moments like the Council of elrond throughout the book that reference the second age as well so you’ll definitely want to pick up and read the Lord of the Rings next up we have unfinished Tails you’ll definitely want this one it has quite a bit about numenor it has some on the estari which we know from tolkien’s later writings he had the blue Wizards showing up in the second

age so you’ll want to be well versed in the Wizards and of course the tale of galadril and kelleborn so unfinished Tales is a must and then

naturally you’ll also want the silmarillion it has the chapter the akalabeth which is the downfall of numenor very very important for the second age so that’s a good start but actually there’s there’s a bit more um we should probably go ahead and get the entire uh history of Middle Earth because there’s uh more about the second age Within These Pages as well oh and don’t forget we also have

the nature Middle Earth which was the most recent book prior to the fall of numenor this also has quite a bit including dancing bears of numenor and you can’t go without that so we’ve got to throw this in the pile too so obviously it’s been quite an undertaking if you wanted to read about tolkien’s second age up until now and that is where this book comes in handy so I’m going to give you guys a sneak peek and show you some of the contents within while I talk about why I’m so pumped about this book

all right so we’ll take a look at the fall of numenor obviously right off the bat we see the cover has some amazing Alan Lee artwork and if you fold it out see if I can do this carefully here see the title being depicted this is the fall of numenor and you can kind of see here there’s just barely visible on the cover there’s a little bitty sour on here so he’s kind of standing on what is presumably the ruins of the Temple of morgoth standing in defiance as the island is being Swept Away buried

under the sea if you want to see it without the slip cover and then we have the same artwork very nicely presented right off the bat when we open the cover and I love that this book is uh dedicated to Priscilla Tolkien who just passed away earlier this year I love that they dedicated it to her so here we see the chronology everything is laid out according to the tale of years which Tolkien lays out in the appendices and so what Brian has done here is taken all of tolkien’s writings about the second age and

laid them out according to those dates and it’s really handy we have the actual years which I’m a big fan of um as you’ll know from watching my videos I’m very big on the years and locations and everything of of how these events play out and here we have an about this book section and as we’re at this section I wanted to pause for a second and tell you what this book is and this section lays it out but just so you know I’ve seen a lot of folks who are very very confused at this

they think that this is somehow original writings taking place in Middle Earth or this is some kind of new Canon or rewriting or tweaking of tolkien’s old writings or something um but I don’t know where that idea came from but that’s not what this is this is an assembling of tolkien’s second age writing so this is all still tolkien’s text as Tolkien wrote them um but they’re just assembled in in this chronological order uh and in a single volume for the first time and here we have the tale of years this is where the actual

meat of the book kicks off and right away you’ll see one of my favorite features of this book throughout the book you will see all kinds of um illustrations sketches by Alan Lee and uh Brian Sibley when I was interviewing him actually said that pretty much up until the deadline Alan was continuing to send more and more illustrations like he just kept going and so there are a lot of sketches especially in this book and as we’ll see some full color illustrations as well and right here we have our first full color image and it

is the host of the Valar descending into engband so this would be at the end of the war of Wrath so this is the very tale end of the first age where the host of the valard descends into angband and they chain and uh bind morgoth and cast him into the void after this so we can see a dead Dragon I believe uh yeah there we go a dead dragon head there um as the good guys descend into the lair of the bad guys so to speak to put it simply and here I’ll point out

something that if you’re not familiar with Christopher tolkien’s work uh specifically in things like unfinished Tales or the history of Middle Earth there’s some some Telltale ways to to know what is actually tolkien’s words and what is the editor’s commentary and you’ll see here um the sections that are normally spaced as you would expect are tolkien’s own words and then what’s indented here and uh the font is slightly different is the commentary by the editor so Christopher did this a lot uh in his works and we see Brian using the same methods I will also

point out that there’s a a good number of footnotes so Brian definitely shows his homework here um on any commentary that he’s making to point point you even further so if you want to dive even further into the background of some of this stuff you can do that you can look up the appropriate notes in whatever he’s citing whether it’s history of Middle Earth or unfinished Tales whatever the source may be here we see a couple more sketches this looks to be the rising of numenor out of the sea we see the the water coming

down we featured this in the live stream as well but this is another sketch of Alan Lee’s and you’ll see these throughout obviously there’s there’s quite a lot quite a lot of artwork here we have a section on the geography of numenor and I it was confirmed the dancing bears that we all found out about in nature of Middle Earth are talked about indeed in this book here we have another color piece by Alan Lee this is looking West from andunier which is one of the ports in numenor here’s another full color one that is

entitled The forging of the ring so obviously a very very important moment in the second age and I’ll pause here to to kind of tell you why I’m so excited about this book obviously as I pointed out with the huge collection of uh books that one would have to have to read everything about the second age it’s obviously hugely beneficial uh not only for people experiencing these works for the first time or looking into them for the first time but for someone like me to not have to try to remember or bounce back and forth

between books um like oh I want to read that bit about numenor I want to go back and read that was that in unfinished Tales or was that in silmarillion maybe that was in history of Middle Earth and it can get kind of cumbersome to try to research about tolkien’s second age so I’m really excited because this is a great starting point whether it’s for someone looking for the first time or if it’s you know someone like me who who dives into this stuff more regularly this is a great place to start and if you

want to go deeper Brian’s done a good job of putting footnotes in here so that you can go as deep as you’d like 1693 a very important year as the war of the elves and Sauron begins and the three rings are hidden two years later Sauron invades ariador I can tell this is going to be a fun book to go through I love the the years and the major event that is being highlighted are the chapter titles I think that’s a great call and I love that organization method oh spoiler alert I guess for anyone

who’s a maybe a caliber and boar fan and I think this is a great example right here that we just happened to open to where Brian pulls in something that you wouldn’t necessarily expect or immediately associate with the second age but in the greater story of the second age it does give you some insight so what this is is the song of Doran that Gimli sings while the fellowship walks through Moria and so it kind of talks about Kaza Doom when it’s in its Heyday and then what it’s turned into now and what they hope

for for the future so this ties in really well uh with this section of the second age that we’re referencing here because this comes in the moment Sauron overruns ariador so this comes during a time period when Kaza Doom closes its doors and they are not opened again from the outside until the fellowship comes three thousand plus years later and of course I feel like I have to mention this in every book review that I do um but I love when they have the bookmark string I’m sure that has a technical name um other than

bookmark string but I love bookmark strings I guess it’s more of a ribbon actually bookmark ribbon I’m sure like people in the comments will let me know what that’s actually called and now we’re getting a bit more into the new manure section of the book uh talks about umbar and Pilar gear and how numenor gradually descends and we’ve got tar palantir the repentance period and then our father is on the golden seizes the scepter in 3255 so we’ve got a nice sketch there by Alan Lee again and this is another great illustration that we talked

about on the live stream with Brian is this is the Temple of melkor in numenor and I absolutely love this image and we talked about it a bit how you don’t see the whole temple in the illustration you just see enough of it to know that it is massive and you see the humans for scale here I didn’t notice it at first but this is actually blood here from the human sacrifices so these are are people of the faithful you can see their captives and they’re being led up appeared to be sacrificed to melkor oh

and this is a wonderful image here I really like this one so this is Galadriel leading elves through Kaza Doom as we know kelleborn does not because he’s not a big fan of the dwarves but Galadriel and her daughter and some other elves make their way to Lorien through Kaza Doom so that’s what we’re seeing here and gosh I mean how can you complain about original Alan Lee artwork this is just phenomenal and of course uh one of the final full color plates we have here is the war of the last Alliance so we have

gondorians as well as elves fighting against the Orcs of Sauron in what is the uh climactic Battle of the second age and naturally we have the appendices even though some of the some of the writings are from The Lord of the Rings appendices now this book has its own appendices that’s how you know it’s good and then here I just happen to flip open to this but it goes on to talk about the new minorian chapters from the Lost road which I’ve talked about in videos here on the channel before very very interesting stuff from

a from a time period where Tolkien was trying to write a time travel tale and it involved numenor and there’s a lot of things from that that kind of give you insight into the direction he might have gone with some of the characters in the actual newman-orient tale if he were to flesh it out farther and then here at the end we have a whole section of notes so these are presumably all of the footnotes that Brian had throughout the book so it’s it’s a great piece um this book as I’ve as I’ve gone through

it and read some of it before my review here I think it’s a great book for whether you’re just interested in the story and you just want to you know find out more about the second age and um you know kind of kind of get the most complete picture you can of Tolkien second age with what he wrote or if you want to go deeper and get into tolkien’s notes um there’s there’s footnotes and things to allow you to do that and Brian has some commentary about um you know what what sections and how how

he broke up things like uh the story of aldarion and orendus how it’s broken up to fit with the chronology of the tale of years within this book so there we go it’s the fall of numenor a brand new Tolkien book um yeah obviously I’m a big fan of this book as I said uh it’s really really handy to have all of tolkien’s second age writings or at least the most complete version of them uh all within a single volume it’s gonna make a very very easy recommendation for me when people want to read more

about tolkien’s second age um yeah there’s there’s not quite any day like new Tolkien book day and uh we’ve been fortunate in recent years to have a fair number of those another one we have coming up that I’ll talk about here on the channel is the silmarillion uh the new edition that is illustrated by Tolkien himself so I’ll have that upcoming on the channel but for now uh the book of the day is the fall of numenor you can get it wherever you get your books so check it out if you want to dive into

tolkien’s second age thanks so much for watching and we’ll see you next time on nerd of the ranks

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