Another J.R.R. Tolkien novel has been published, and it will be the last edited by his son, Christopher Tolkien. The Fall of Gondolin is the last of the Great Tales of the Elder Days books. Beren and Lúthien was published in 2017, and The Children of Húrin before that. Despite these two preceding books, The Fall of Gondolin is considered standalone.
Tolkien originally began writing this story in 1917. But it went through many periods of editing and re-writing. Tolkien’s critically acclaimed The Hobbit was published in 1937, and then the Fellowship of the Ring was published in 1954. Despite other works coming out for Tolkien’s detailed world of Middle-Earth, Tolkien stopped working on The Fall of Gondolin in 1951. The chair of the Tolkien Society, Shaun Gunner, has stated this book is the holy grail of the author’s texts because it brings all of the exiting worlds together.
The Fall of Gondolin is set a millennia before the events of The Lord of the Rings, during the First Age. It recounts the rise and fall of a great Elven kingdom. It is a story of the city of Gondolin, beautiful and elegant but hidden so well it is considered undiscoverable. The people who populate this city are Noldorin Elves – High Elves of the Second Clan. These Elves used to live in Valinor, the city of the gods. But they rebelled against the gods’ rule and fled to Middle-Earth, taking up residence in Gondolin. The King of this city is Turgon, who commands immense power.
The conflict arises due when Morgoth, a being of ultimate evil whom Sauron is a servant to, sets his eyes in search of Gondolin. Ulmo, one of the Valar, wishes to protect Gondolin and Elves within. But the other gods of Valinor ignore these wishes and refuse to intervene. So Ulmo works in secret by guiding a man named Tuor. Tuor sets out on a journey to find the city of Gondolin and rise to power within. But an act of treachery reveals the city’s location to Morgoth, and his army approaches to destroy it.
The Fall of Gondolin is 304 pages long and is available in hardback, deluxe hardback, large print, and e-book by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It will also be available in other languages by various Tolkien publishers around the world.
Ashley is the author of the Thread of Souls book series, an avid traveler, and a Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast!