A previously unpublished novel by Lord of the Rings creator JRR Tolkien is to be released for the first time later this year. The Fall of Gondolin was written by the legendary British author in 1917 and is a work than many Tolkien fans never thought would be published.
The Fall of Gondolin is edited by Christopher Tolkien, the 93-year-old son of the author, and is illustrated by veteran Tolkien artist Alan Lee. It is the first story that the writer wrote set in Middle-earth and was started while he was in hospital recovering from injuries sustained during World War I. The novels chronicles some of the history of Middle-earth in the years before the events of Lord of the Rings and is described as “a template for everything Tolkien wrote afterwards” by John Garth, author of the book Tolkien and the Great War.
“It’s a quest story with a reluctant hero who turns into a genuine hero,” Garth said, via The Guardian. “It has a dark lord, our first encounter with orcs and balrogs–it’s really Tolkien limbering up for what he would be doing later.”
The Fall of Gondolin will be published on August 30. Its impending arrival on shelves is surprising, given that Christopher Tolkien strongly suggested last year that no more of his father’s work would be published. Beren and Luthien, a restored, reedited edition of collected Tolkien stories was published in 2017, and was described by Christopher as “(presumptively) my last book in the long series of editions of my father’s writings”.
In related news, more details emerged last week about Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV show. It was revealed that the show will potentially cost $1 billion to produce, due to the fact that the studio is required to make five seasons. It is very unusual for a series of this scale and cost to have an upfront commitment of this size, but these were the terms of the deal with the Tolkien Estate and publishers HarperColllins. In addition, Amazon must have the first season in production within two years.