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The Book of Lost Tales

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Cover of one of the notebooks contaning The Book of Lost Tales

The Book of Lost Tales is the first narrative work of J.R.R. Tolkien's mythology, written and left unfinished between 1916 and 1920. It was published posthumoustly by Christopher Tolkien as The Book of Lost Tales Part One (1983) and The Book of Lost Tales Part Two (1984).

Although Tolkien wrote the tales in different order and left some in a stub stage, his son Christopher published The Book of Lost Tales in narrative order, so it has a similar structure to The Silmarillion, which is the main basis used to compare the differences between versions.

[edit] Synopsis

Eriol, a mariner, was led to Tol Eressëa, which he walked through for many days till he reached the Cottage of Lost Play, where he was welcomed by its owners Vairë and Lindo. During dinner, they explained how the isle was the home of Elves, but in ancient times it was visited in dreams by the children of Men until the path from the Great Lands was blocked. Then, Meril-i-Turinqi the queen of Tol Eressëa, allowed Vairë and Lindo to build the Cottage of Lost Play, where the old stories were gathered and sung for the children of the Fairies.

The following day, Eriol talked with the guard of the door, Rúmil, which told him about the Elvish languages. After Eriol asked him about the Gods or Valar, Rúmil told the tale of "The Music of the Ainur": how Ilúvatar, the Lord beyond the world, created the Ainur, and they sung a Great Music before him, but one of them, Melko, rose in dissonance, so the same Ilúvatar had to intervene. Then, when the world was created from the Music, some Ainur wished to go there to guard it for the Eldar and the Men. Ilúvatar allowed it, so the greatest from the Ainur became the Gods in the world, and the greatest among them were Manwë, Aulë and Ulmo.