The New Shadow

Life in Middle-earth after the War of the Ring
Riv Res
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The New Shadow

Postby Riv Res » Sun Sep 18, 2005 4:00 pm

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Becky Carter-Hitchin



The New Shadow


Sometime during the 1950s, it is documented that J.R.R.Tolkien began work on a sequel to his classic The Lord of the Rings. It appears the Tolkien thought this new endeavor was "not worth doing" and indeed set the project aside after only a short beginning, never to pick it up again, leaving us to wonder what might have been.


This thread is for discussion and speculation related to Tolkien's aborted attempt at writing this sequel to The Lord of the Rings based on notes found in Christopher Tolkien's The Peoples of Middle-earth. As always please be mindful of the House Rules.
Last edited by Riv Res on Wed Oct 05, 2005 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Philipa » Wed Sep 28, 2005 1:26 am

Interesting enough, when I was thinking of Tolkien writing more it was for the completing of stories he had written but not completed prior to the fourth age. So many loose ends...
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Postby Varda » Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:02 am

"so many loose ends" indeed... :?
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Postby Lindariel » Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:06 pm

Varda, I recall reading somewhere (I forget where now), that Tolkien did make a brief start on a sequel to LotR, about evil arising once again in the Fourth Age after the end of Elessar's reign, but he abandoned it rather quickly. He realized that whatever themes he might explore in such a work had already been covered in LotR and didn't want to diminish the power of what he had already written.
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Postby bruce rerek » Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:02 pm

When Frodo hands Sam the Red Book, he informs him that there are pages for him to fill. So all of us come and go in telling of our own unique tales.
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Postby Philipa » Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:56 pm

Lindariel wrote:Varda, I recall reading somewhere (I forget where now), that Tolkien did make a brief start on a sequel to LotR, about evil arising once again in the Fourth Age after the end of Elessar's reign, but he abandoned it rather quickly. He realized that whatever themes he might explore in such a work had already been covered in LotR and didn't want to diminish the power of what he had already written.


Wow that is news to me. I agree with not working on the fourth age in such a way. Good for Tolkien for realizing sequels usually are not as good as the first attempt. :D

When Frodo hands Sam the Red Book, he informs him that there are pages for him to fill. So all of us come and go in telling of our own unique tales.


Wise words Bruce my friend. :D
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Riv Res
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Postby Riv Res » Mon Oct 03, 2005 5:02 pm

Not to take us far afield of our topic of The Hobbit, but the info on Tolkien's sequel to LOTR is here...

Tolkien gave us some hints about the Fourth Age that Christopher Tolkien brought to light in his volume The Peoples of Middle-earth in the chapter The New Shadow.


This tale begins in the days of Eldarion, son of Elessar of whom the histories have much to tell. One hundred and five years had passed since the fall of the Dark Tower, and the story of that time was little heeded now by most of the people of Gondor, though a few were still living who could remember the War of the Ring as a shadow upon their early childhood…



Tolkien goes on for about a half dozen pages telling us of old Borlas, son of Beregond (remember him? ) and the growing of a secret dark society. These few pages, as I am sure you all know, were all that Tolkien wrote of his sequel before his death. He finishes with…

The door under the porch was open; but the house behind was darkling. There seemed none of the accustomed sounds of the evening, only a soft silence, a dead silence. He entered, wondering a little. He called, but there was no answer. He halted in the narrow passage that ran through the house, and it seemed that he was wrapped in blackness: not a glimmer of twilight of the world outside remained there. Suddenly he smelt it, or so it seemed, though it came as if it were from within outwards to the sense: he smelt the old Evil and knew it for what it was.



The capital letter ‘E’ on Evil tells us, I believe where Tolkien was going to go with his sequel. Oh what kind of tale would it have been had he finished it!!??
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Postby bruce rerek » Tue Oct 04, 2005 3:39 pm

Let's suppose that our new evil is the man of the people of Gondor, who claims that the line of Kings is a throw back from the past. He creates strawmen from long held values of pity and mercy and makes them seem weak and dangerous. Gondor has it first election and during the campain, those who oppose the man of the people are drawn as effette elitists who use too many words that go above the heads of ordinary folks.
Minas Tirith is now famous for its luxuries and ease. People come to its spas for age reduction and elective surgeries for vanities are common. Rohan is mostly a a suburb of Gondor and recreations of the battle of Helm's Deep are very popular among people on vacation.
Our man of the people has been named the Gaffer, one of many nicknames (strangely no one can really recall his name) He is elected by a landslide. Months later he warns that the Easterlings have been secrectly raising an army against Gondor.
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Postby Riv Res » Wed Oct 05, 2005 1:07 am

Hmmm...you tempt me Bruce. I wonder if these Easterlings have weapons of mass destruction. :-k

In this same chapter, there is a quote from Tolkien about the writing of this sequel...

Tolkien wrote:I have written nothing beyond the first few years of the Fourth Age. (Except the beginning of a tale supposed to refer to the end of the reign of Eldarion about 100 years after the death of Aragorn. Then I of course discovered that the King's Peace would contain no tales worth recounting; and his wars would have little interest after the overthrow of Sauron; but that almost certainly a restlessness would appear about then, owing to the (it seems) inevitable boredom of Men with the good: there would be secret societies and practising dark cults, and 'orc-cults' among adolescents.)


It appears Bruce that you and Tolkien may be walking the same path in the Middle-earth of the future. :wink: :D
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Postby bruce rerek » Wed Oct 05, 2005 2:20 pm

Riv,
It was scary to read your last post with Tolkien's quote. The banality of evil is so common as is the degradation of the envoirnment and true history. The brief thumbnail sketch I proposed is Gondor in such times. Cheap populism often brings mediocrities to the forefront of attention.
Would it be so fantastic to suggest that after the destruction of Mordor and Mount Doom, that the molten rock tainted with the essence of Sauron's spirit now resides in the gold of the East? Although Sauron has been utterly destroyed, his memory is still in the hearts of those who lust after the precious ore. Fuse this to the dark cults and to those who have secrectly practiced the dark arts, and the forging of rings of domination isn't so far fetched.
Perhaps another thread is necessary. I would still like to discuss the various aspects of the Hobbit. What do you think?
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Bruce

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Postby Riv Res » Wed Oct 05, 2005 2:23 pm

bruce rerek wrote:Riv,
It was scary to read your last post with Tolkien's quote. The banality of evil is so common as is the degradation of the envoirnment and true history. The brief thumbnail sketch I proposed is Gondor in such times. Cheap populism often brings mediocrities to the forefront of attention.
Would it be so fantastic to suggest that after the destruction of Mordor and Mount Doom, that the molten rock tainted with the essence of Sauron's spirit now resides in the gold of the East? Although Sauron has been utterly destroyed, his memory is still in the hearts of those who lust after the precious ore. Fuse this to the dark cults and to those who have secrectly practiced the dark arts, and the forging of rings of domination isn't so far fetched.
Perhaps another thread is necessary. I would still like to discuss the various aspects of the Hobbit. What do you think?


Bruce, I will work on splitting this conversation out to a thread all its own today, and leave this one for The Hobbit. Both topics have a unique fascination. :D
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Postby Varda » Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:12 am

AH, but Tolkien had very long periods of peace in his stories. Since Sauron was destroyed & the One Ring unmade, what would be the conflict ? Even supposing some remenents of evil creatures existed, none would be as powerful as Sauron. BUT I suppose one could wonder IF Sauron was completely destroyed, considering how powerful he was and his immortality.
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Postby Iolanthe » Thu Oct 06, 2005 3:47 pm

I agree evil would undoubtably creep into the fourth age as men grew restless with peace but would the telling make a story fit to follow the Lord of the Rings? There certainly would be tales to tell but I think Tolkien was very astute when he realised that they could only be an anticlimax...'no tales worth recounting'. And the ending of The Lord of the Rings is so very complete, so satisfying. For some reason that I can't even explain, I don't want to hear of more woe and the possible undoing of everything King Elessar has built. I want my 'happy ever after'.

But I would love a First or Second Age book to match it, concentrating on one of his many wonderful stories and written in the same style!!!!
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Postby bruce rerek » Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:44 pm

Still the memory of Sauron would be as potent as a certain failed painter who made things a bit nasty in the last century. His minions are still among us and is as loved. (as much as a slave can truly love a master) The will to dominate and inslave is always with us. Desire is the worm turning inside of one's heart, slip just a little and there is no telling when it will be satisfied.
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Postby Riv Res » Thu Oct 06, 2005 5:40 pm

Bruce, I would agree with your premise and it follows Tolkien's line of reasoning as well. One of my favorites passages spoken by Gandalf from the chapter The Last Debate, in The lord of the Rings...

'Other evils there are that may come; for Sauron is himself but a servant or emissary.'


I find your notion of the evil of Sauron...from the molton rock of Mount Doom (wherein resides the essence of the destroyed Ring) is now embodied in the beautiful and tempting gold deposits in the East...fascinating. Always there to tempt and to lure and to ensnare.
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