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Christopher Tolkien recently edited and released Fall of Gondolin.

What does this new book actually provide? Is there any new content that was not previously published, or is this just a repackaged anthology?


(inspired by this question)

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There is nothing new

The book includes six different versions of the story:

  • c1917 - The Tale of The Fall of Gondolin [complete]
    (published in HoME#2 - The Book of Lost Tales part 2)
  • c1917 - Isfin and Eöl [the complete paragraph]
    (published in HoME#2 - The Book of Lost Tales part 2
  • c1920 - Turlin and the Exiles of Gondolin [complete]
    (published in HoME#4 - The Shaping of Middle-earth)
  • 1926 - Sketch of the Mythology [short excerpt]
    (published in HoME#4 - The Shaping of Middle-earth)
  • 1930 - Quenta Noldorinwa [long excerpt]
    (published in HoME#4 - The Shaping of Middle-earth)
  • 1951 - Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin. [complete]
    (published in Unfinished Tales)

These are followed by excerpts from the Sketch of the Mythology and Quenta Noldorinwa showing the Tale of Eärendil.

Various excerpts from other works, such as the Valaquenta, The Annals of Valinor, Quenta Silmarillion, Grey Annals, and The Lay of The Flight of the Noldoli from Valinor giving further background of the characters or passages relevant to the story are also included.

Significant versions of the story which aren't included:

  • The Lay of the Fall of Gondolin (still unpublished, but see HoME#3)
  • The Annals of Beleriand (HoME#4 - The Shaping of Middle-earth)
  • The Annals of Beleriand (HoME#5 - The Lost Road and Other Writings)
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    What then is the need, now, for such a book? Does the preface go on to offer an answer to this very good question? – Blackwood Sep 1 '18 at 3:53
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    @Blackwood - No more need than there was for last year's Beren and Luthien. I suppose it's nice have the texts in an way easier to access for the people not willing to trek through HoME,and the book definitely looks really nice with all the Alan Lee illustrations, but there doesn't seem to be any actual need. – ibid Sep 2 '18 at 1:16
  • I agree, but I would be interested in knowing what answer the preface provided to the question you quoted. – Blackwood Sep 2 '18 at 3:50
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    @Blackwood - (1/2) Sorry, that quote was leftover from my answer to the B&L question, of which I was copying the format. The closest the FoG preface gets is the following quote: "Thus it comes about that from the nature of the work the History is often difficult to follow. When the time had come, as I supposed, to end at last this long series of editions it occurred to me to try out, as best as I could, a different mode: to follow, using previously published texts, one single particular narrative from its earliest existing form and throughout ... – ibid Sep 2 '18 at 8:32
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    @Blackwood (2/2) ...its later development: hence Beren and Lúthien. In my edition of The Children of Húrin (2007) I did indeed describe in an appendix the chief alterations to the narrative in successive versions; but in Beren and Lúthien I actually cited earlier texts in full, beginning with the earliest form in the Lost Tales. Now that it is certain that the present book is the last, I have adopted the same curious form in The Fall of Gondolin." – ibid Sep 2 '18 at 8:32

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