0238 - The History of Middle-earth - Vol. 5: The Lost Road and Other Writings


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On episode 238, we are continuing our tour of The History of Middle-earth series as we survey Volume 5, The Lost Road and Other Writings!

The Lost Road and Other Writings contains Tolkien's earliest writings on the legend of Númenor, as well as updated timelines for the Silmarillion and the last version of The Silmarillion he wrote before writing The Lord of the Rings. Lots of interesting stuff here!

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This episode is executive produced by Kaitlyn of Tea With Tolkien, Liis U, Andrew T, John R, and Ms. Anonymous.


"It was the skalds, or bards, in the community who would memorize entire poems and recite them in the halls of Anglo-Saxon lords. The alliteration and repeated phrases (usually a sign that the poem in question started off as an oral rather than a written work) helped the bard remember the text. They'd chant the verses rather than singing them, but there have been several versions of bits of Beowulf set to classical music. Here's a link to Howard Hanson's Lament for Beowulf, with the text translated into contemporary English (and some pretty neat artwork and images!):


The Finnish tale of Kullervo (inspiration for Túrin) from The Kalevala was also intended to be chanted. Here's a part of the Kullervo Symphony by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius which has a male chorus chanting some of the text:


The chanting starts at around 1:40. The image showing is from the story of Lemminkäinen; it's the part in which his mother is fishing his body out of the river of the dead; not sure why they used that one, but there you are!"

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