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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Children of Hurin, Chapter 1

Okay, folks, I've officially opened chatter on Tolkien's Children of Hurin, Chapter 1!

10 comments:

Sarmjornn said...

I still don't have the book yet but when I do get one I'll write my thoughts about it as I read through it.

Amy Browning said...

I read Chapter One and part of Two.

The idea of the "Evil Breath" was so cool and sad at the same time. He has yet to mention any more of Hurin's children, so I'm assuming that we'll mostly be looking at Turin's life.

Hurin's daughter's life was tragiclly short and something we can relate to in our own society. We have children's laughter and lives cut short by the "breath" of sin and sickness that Adam and Eve's legacy has left us.

Turin's reaction to his sister's death was startlingly detached for an eight-year-old. I'm sure we're looking at some foreshadowning of his future as a leader.

His generosity without thought of himself is a wonderful quality, though I fear it may cause him undo pain later in life. Self-sacrifice is very powerful and will help him to stay focused on his people as he takes his father's place.

Morwen is difficult to read at this point. Her coldness and lack of emotion would seem to be traits of the "dark side" - yet she is extremely devoted as a wife and mother. Her loyalty though - seems less like love and more like a sense of duty.

Hurin's conversely emotional personality tends to affect his decision-making, I'll be curious as to how that will play out.

Anyone agree or disagree? What were your personal thoughts?

WayneThomasBatson said...

Sarm, don't worry. Just get in when you can. I'm posting each chapter separate for that very reason.

WayneThomasBatson said...

And, Amy I've also begun reading. Read chapters 1-3 last night. All I can say is WOW.

Funny thing is, the book's opening had me worried. I was like, is this like the long geneaology 1 Chronicles, or what? Ahaz begat Elihu who begat Bimmerhuzz, etc. Lol

I've heard some say that Tolkien if he tried to get published today, would have a hard time. This opening is indicative. Publishers might not read past the list as we have. Good thing too b/c there is some cool stuff there.

I was so taken by Lalaith's youth and innocence. I kept picturing my five year old daughter. But I knew from the Prof's foreshadows that she would not last. It was horrible how it happened. I didn't take Turin's response to her death to mean he was detached. I think the event has begun to fuel a bubbling rage within him. And I have a feeling it will lead him to no good.

I tell you though, I want to reach out and smite Morgoth already. Using a weapon that affects only the old and the young like that. Mannnn, nothing gets my blood boiling faster than harm to children.

And it was such an odd and interesting thing that Turin gave that knife to the old Hopperdude.

And can we just all agree not to worry about spellings of Tolkien's character names? LOL

Amy Browning said...

Definitely agreed about the names. It took me a few checks of the pronunciation guide before I was sure I was saying them correctly in my head.

The injustice of Lalaith's death was terrible and definitely will add to any anger Turin may carry already. It'll be interesting to see how he uses it.

Morgoth is a great villain so far. He's nigh unreachable, yet his evil poisons each person in the land. It seeps into cracks and breaks into the hearts of men.

I was so relieved that we're no longer looking at the long geneology of the intro. I was pretty concerned as well. It's hard to stay interested in a list of names for long.

I'm planning on getting a couple of hours in this evening. How far can I go? Chapter 4?

nick said...

Yeah, I think that this opening is like the Fellowship's. I almost stopped reading the Fellowship In the beggining. Glad I didn't. I think Tolkien could learn a few things from Mr. Batson here. Lalaith was a great little girl and it's really sad that she had to die. I think that Turin wants revenge for it. I think he's going to fight Morgoth. (Forgive me for stating the obvious) I also agree that he is going to be a great leader. The whole secret city thing i'm sure is going to prove to be important somehow, like coming to Turin's aid when he needs it the most or someting like that. Anyway, If this book is like any of Tolkein's old books, it's sure to be a great read.

Sarmjornn said...

I'm sorry to say that I did not last the entire introduction. {sighs} Even in the Fellowship I didn't have so much trouble reading the beginning of it. Not even in any of Tolkien's other books.

Man how can anyone NOT fall in love with Lalaith? The first thing I thought of was in the LOTR movies where Sam walks up to his house and his daughter runs out to meet him. (Only the girl I pictured was Lalaith daughter of Hurin not Elanor Gamgee.)

The 'Evil Breath' I was thinking is kind of like what Gandalf says to Frodo about how the Dark Power would rather enslave the hobbits then allow them to be free. "...I have been deeply concerned about you, and about all these charming, absurd, helpless, hobbits (children). It would be a grievious blow to the world if the Dark Power overcame...."

(Maybe not the 'absurd' part but I thought it was kinda fitting.)

That's my .02 about chapter one.

I wonder how Hurin, Morwen and Turin will change later on as well.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Sarmjornn, you are right about Lalaith. So sweet--even though we don't really meet her.

Makes you want to reach into the book and slap Morgoth. My only fear is that he won't get what's coming to him in this book.

Mark Goodyear said...

My wife and I are reading it out loud. We finished chapter 1 tonight. I read the intro and everything, studied maps, geneologies, you name it, before we started. That way I can pause and say, "Oh that's the war where everyone melted in a sudden lava attack." Or "She made some magical barrier called the 'girdle.'"

For me, that is all part of the fun of Tolkein.

And while the first few pages of chapter one were a little heavy on the wacky names (especially reading aloud), I thought the book became a traditional narrative pretty quick--by the time Hurin and Huor are staying in Gondolin, for sure. (That's only 2 1/2 pages in!)

My favorite part of chapter one has to be the moment when Hurin and Morwen talk about the future. Then Turin half-dreams of them standing over his bed holding candles. "But he could not see their faces." Awesome.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Yeah, Mark, that dream sequence was massive foreshadowing. Alarming scene. Makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. Who writes like that today?