Je n'aime pas dans les vieux films américains quand les conducteurs ne regardent pas la route. Et de ratage en ratage, on s'habitue à ne jamais dépasser le stade du brouillon. La vie n'est que l'interminable répétition d'une représentation qui n'aura jamais lieu.

Middle Earth Chronology: The Childhood of Turin - Of Mim the Dwarf!


Buy Unfinished Tales

FA 473 – 496

*Okay, so we covered the pertinent details of the life and death of Turin in my post about The Children of Hurin, but we jump back now to a previously published version of the story.  The author of this timeline mostly eschews rough drafts and revisions, which is a good thing or we’d be plowing through The History of Middle Earth until doomsday.

*However, my understanding is that he counts the original versions of the Children of Hurin as official because they were officially published in The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales.  Thus they are not just rough drafts, but also, in a way at least, alternate versions of the story. 

*Regardless, we’re going to look at the first section of the story as it appears in Unfinished Tales.  It appears there under the title Narn I Hin Hurin

*So, the point of the Unfinished Tales, which we haven’t talked about yet in this project, was to publish, in their unfinished form, tales that had really not been told elsewhere.  Ergo, this version of the story doesn’t contain Hurin and Huor’s visit to Gondolin or the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, since those had both been told in their most complete version in the Silmarillion, published a few years before. 

*There’s a bit here when Hurin is getting ready to ride off to Unnumbered Tears, however, where he lifts Turin up on his shoulders.  I don’t recall that from The Children of Hurin.

*This version even skips Hurin’s capture; we go from Hurin riding off to battle to a single paragraph noting that the story of Unnumbered Tears has been sung elsewhere and then to Morgoth’s questioning of Hurin about the location of Gondolin. 

*Okay, there’s an extra scene here, just a paragraph or two, that explains how the dragon-helm Thingol gives to Turin to use got to Thingol in the first place. 

*After Turin arrives in Doriath, Thingol waits until Morwen has had time to have Nienor and then he sends spies back to find her and accompany her to Doriath, but when they get there, she’s still unwilling to go since Nienor is still so young.  But she sends the dragon helm back with them to give to Thingol to give to Turin when he’s old enough.

*There’s a nice bit where Turin has been waiting for the spies to return with his mother and so he’s waiting and watching for them.  When he sees them at last returning alone, he is stricken to the heart. 

*And then there’s a few paragraphs about the history of the dragon helm that I don’t think was in The Children of Hurin either.  So, there’s an extra couple of pages here. 

*There are a few things that are a bit different in this version that are mostly editorial decisions. 

*For instance, whereas in The Children of Hurin, the Of Mim the Dwarf chapter started with a description of the history of the Petty-Dwarves were, here the Of Mim the Dwarf chapter starts with Turin and his outlaws capturing Mim and then, later in the chapter, Mim tells Turin about the history of the Petty-Dwarves.

*So, that kind of reordering of things.  Nothing of real substance. 

*Mim gets off a great line that I don’t recall from The Children of Hurin.  “You are one of the fools that spring would not mourn if you perished in winter.” 

*So, this section of the Narn ends with Turin and his outlaws established in Mim’s dwelling. 

*Essentially, the bulk of the text of the Children of Hurin came from this version of the story.  However, the story does rather, I think, need the inclusion of things like the Unnumbered Tears and such to really make it freestanding as The Children of Hurin was intended to be. 

*So, interesting to read this work in progress. 

J.R.R. Tolkien

*Next time, we’ll look at the first half of the chapter in the Silmarillion dedicated to Turin.  Be here for that.