Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Children of Hurin

As I am re-reading The Hobbit, a number of other bloggers are posting their commentary on The Children of Hurin, which is an altogether different book. The Hobbit is quite a bit lighter compared to the tragic tale of Hurin. The Hobbit is more of a standard work of fiction that flows with voice of the narrator, and makes it a very easy read to enjoy. The Children of Hurin reads like a legend of old, which is appropriate as the subject matter is from the first age, when gods walked with men, and the elves where at the height of their power. The Hobbit has an upbeat tone to it, and can be seen as having a positive ending with the defeat of Smaug, the return of the dwarves to the Lonely Mountain, and the Men of Lake-Town seem to be destined for better days ahead. I suspect that because of this, Tolkien is thought of as a lightweight story teller. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hurin is a tale of tragedy, with its dark foreshadowing of things to come. It is here that Tolkien's vision of the first age comes full circle when added to his earlier Silmarillion. Its heroes are beings of legend, and its villians are the darkest of foes, which are committed to the destruction of elves and men. There are very few books that can boast piting their heroes against gods, balrogs and dragons, and even fewer authors willing to let their heroes suffer the fate that befalls Hurin and his sons. Beowulf would be humbled in such great company.

Enclosed are links to 3 essays by Brian Murphy and Deuce Richardson

Brian’s review
Brian’s Top Fantasy Battles #7
Deuce’s review
Enjoy, as they are very good reads.


Anonymous said...

I will always like Tolkien regardless of what anyone says, and there are a lot of detractors out there. I agree that this story has an epic, sweeping feeling of a bygone time. This is a grim world, raw and new, not the polished gem that is the world of The Hobbit, this world is a diamond in the rough, but the story is, as can be expected from Tolkien, superb.

Brian Murphy said...

Thanks for the plug, Bret. I'm enjoying your series on The Hobbit, by the way.

Mr Baron said...

Many thanks guys. I appreciate the comments.