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New Lord Of The Rings Book Being Published, Based On Unreleased Stories

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New Lord Of The Rings Book Being Published, Based On Unreleased Stories

The Nature of Middle-earth is a brand-new The Lord Of The Rings book based on an unpublished collection of essays from JRR Tolkien, and it will answer that million-dollar question: who is able to grow a beard?

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To be published in June 2021, it will "transport readers back to the world of The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and The Lord of the Rings" and explore a number of unprobed topics, all penned by the author himself. "For him, Middle-earth was part of an entire world to be explored," said HarperCollins' deputy publishing director Chris Smith. "The writings in The Nature of Middle-earth reveal the journeys that he took as he sought to better understand his unique creation." This is the latest of the unseen material that has come to light after Tolkien's passing in 1973, and other books like The Children of Húrin, Beren and Lúthien and The Fall of Gondolin have touched upon the complexity and depth of the world that he created.

As "a veritable treasure trove offering readers a chance to peer over Professor Tolkien's shoulder at the very moment of discovery," The Nature of Middle-earth will delve into Elvish immortality and reincarnation, the gods of Middle-earth, the wildlife of Númenor, and the all-powerful Valar, who Radagast, Sauron, Saruman and Gandalf served in their goal of shaping life and other forces in their world. Most importantly, however, it will reveal who is able to grow a beard, which is one of the most hotly contested debates for The Lord of the Rings fans.

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It is mainly agreed that elves are unable to grow facial hair until they reach a certain age, specifically their "third cycle of life." There are only two known elves with beards (Cirdan and Beleg), and they are exceptionally ancient, so that checks out. But, in Unfinished Tales: The History of Galadriel And Celeborn, Tolkien states that all elves are beardless.

Furthermore, the people of Dol Amroth were also said to be beardless, owing to their Elven ancestry, but Men (the humans of Middle-earth) are able to grow facial hair. I feel like these inconsistencies may be symptomatic of one person writing a ginormous volume of words on an equally ginormous fictional world and history, and occasionally getting their wires crossed.

"On every page, Middle-earth is once again brought to extraordinary life," enthused Smith. The book will be edited by Carl F Hostetter, who is a Tolkien expert and the head of the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship, which is a non-profit dedicated to the academic study of Middle-earth languages. Don't forget that there's a new The Lord Of The Rings game on its way, which is a stealth-adventure titled The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. It offers its own vision of Middle-earth through the eyes of the tricksy creature, and it'll be released next year.

Featured Image Credit: New Line Cinema

Topics: News, The Lord Of The Rings

Imogen Donovan
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