The History of Middle-Earth is a 12 book series I really need to collect. Sadly, I have the physical copy of this book only even though I've read the others or at least checked them out. However, this is probably my favourite out of all. "Just as Sauron concentrated his power in the One Ring, Morgoth dispersed his power into the very matter of Arda, thus the whole of Middle-earth was Morgoth's Ring" (One of my favourite quotations from the book)
The book is split into six parts:
1) 1951 revisions of Tolkien about The Silmarillion. You can compare and contrast with the earlier versions.
2)Annals of Aman: The detailed explanation of the creation of the world. There are also a great deal of information about the First Age and the concept of time in Valian Years.
3)Laws and Customs among the Eldar: As it can be understood from the title it talks about the customs of the elves especially about the names and how they breed. Tolkien also talks about the idea of soul and body here.
4)Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth: One of my favourite chapters in the book. Finrod Felagund and a mortal woman Andreth talk about the issue of immortality by comparing the lives of Elves and Men.
5)Tale of Adanel: This is Tolkien's version of the original sin. (Adam and Eve) Andreth is the one who tells the story to Felagund.
6)Myths Transformed: My favourite chapter of the book because it deals with Morgoth (Melkor), Sauron, and the origin of the Orcs. There are lots of useful and important information in this chapter.
Overall, it is a brilliant book and as I said before, it is my favourite in The History of Middle-Earth.
alifanr's review against another edition
jeremie_p's review against another edition
- Plot- or character-driven? N/A
pennwing's review against another edition
- Plot- or character-driven? N/A
- Strong character development? N/A
- Loveable characters? N/A
- Diverse cast of characters? N/A
- Flaws of characters a main focus? N/A
vulturetime's review against another edition
saepsi's review against another edition
Having moved through the process of revisiting the compilation of The Lord of the Rings, the History of Middle-Earth now starts into Tolkien's later working through of his mythology. I found a lot of this material very interesting and it is a shame that more of it did not find its way into the published Silmarillion, particularly the "Annals of Aman" which brings much more detail to the early days of relations between the Valar and the Elves. Tolkien also gave a lot of thought to the question of Elvish death and immortality; there's a series of reworkings of what happened to Finwë's first wife Míriel, and also a long dialogue between Finrod and an early wise-woman, Andreth (Beren's great-aunt), about these issues. There's also the series of hints about Elvish sexuality which are nicely summarised in this classic essay, and some interesting speculation about the origin of Orcs. Binding the whole thing together is the question of Morgoth/Melkor's means and motivation; the title Morgoth's Ring is supplied by Christopher Tolkien, basically to suggest that the impact Morgoth's creative power had on Middle-Earth was similar to that of Sauron on the Rings of Power - Middle-Earth itself is therefore Morgoth's Ring in a way.
It is unusual that one could say this of the tenth book in a series of twelve, but I think I would actually recommend Morgoth's Ring rather strongly to Tolkien fans who have not tried any of the History of Middle-Earth series and are interested in giving one of the volumes a try.