Tolkien as a “Dark Fantasy” Author
Way back in time, when this blog was but a few days old, I wrote a two-part post (Part I & Part II) on why I considered Tolkien might be categorised under the sub-literary branch of “dark fantasy”.
‘Of Túrin Turambar’ is the second of the Great Tales in The Silmarllion. Undoubtedly, it is also the greatest (both in terms of length and detailed narrative composition).
It’s a dark tale full of ups and downs (with certainly more downs than ups); where a glimmer of hope in the story turns out to be nothing more than an illusion.
It can also be a tough read at first. Thankfully, it’s a standalone story within The Silmarillion narrative and only a few past events and characters bear upon this chapter in any real way.
If you’ve read the previous chapter (‘Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad’) then you’re on the right track; the consequences of that battle are a direct influence on the successive events.
I’m sure you’re aware of the recent publication The Children of Húrin: a significantly expanded version of the chapter found in The Silmarillion. If you’re new to this story, I suggest you go through the chapter first and then proceed to reading the full tale once you’ve grasped the concept of the story.
In the meantime, here’s my own pitiful summary (spoilers ahead). Continue reading