The Children of Hurin

The Children of Hurin

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The Children of Hurin by J. R. R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien, Christopher Lee

Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a fully continuous and stand alone story, the epic tale of The Children of Húrin will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Men, dragons and Dwarves, eagles and Orcs, and the rich landscape and characters unique to Tolkien.There are tales of Middle-earth from times long before The Lord of the Rings, and the story told in this book is set in the great country that lay beyond the Grey Havens in the West: lands where Treebeard once walked, but which were drowned in the great cataclysm that ended the First Age of the World.In that remote time Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in the vast fortress of Angband, the Hells of Iron, in the North; and the tragedy of Túrin and his sister Nienor unfolded within the shadow of the fear of Angband and the war waged by Morgoth against the lands and secret cities of the Elves.Their brief and passionate lives were dominated by the elemental hatred that Morgoth bore them as the children of Húrin, the man who had dared to defy and to scorn him to his face. Against them he sent his most formidable servant, Glaurung, a powerful spirit in the form of a huge wingless dragon of fire. Into this story of brutal conquest and flight, of forest hiding-places and pursuit, of resistance with lessening hope, the Dark Lord and the Dragon enter in direly articulate form. Sardonic and mocking, Glaurung manipulated the fates of Túrin and Nienor by lies of diabolic cunning and guile, and the curse of Morgoth was fulfilled.The earliest versions of this story by J.R.R. Tolkien go back to the end of the First World War and the years that followed; but long afterwards, when The Lord of the Rings was finished, he wrote it anew and greatly enlarged it in complexities of motive and character: it became the dominant story in his later work on Middle-earth. But he could not bring it to a final and finished form. In this book Christopher Tolkien has constructed, after long study of the manuscripts, a coherent narrative without any editorial invention.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780007263455
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
Publication date: 11/19/2007
Series: History of Middle-Earth Series , #13
Edition description: Unabridged edition
Pages: 1
Product dimensions: 5.59(w) x 4.92(h) x 0.08(d)

About the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien was born on 3rd January 1892. After serving in the First World War, he became best known for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, selling 150 million copies in more than 40 languages worldwide. Awarded the CBE and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Oxford University, he died in 1973 at the age of 81.Christopher Tolkien, born on 21st November 1924, is the third son of J.R.R. Tolkien. A pilot during the Second World War, he later lectured on early English and northern literature at New College, Oxford, becoming a Fellow and Tutor in 1964. Appointed by J.R.R. Tolkien to be his literary executor, he has devoted himself to the publication of his father’s unpublished writings, notably The Silmarillion and The History of Middle-earth. He lives in France with his wife Baillie.

Date of Birth:

January 3, 1892

Date of Death:

September 2, 1973

Place of Birth:

Bloemfontein, Orange Free State (South Africa)

Place of Death:

Oxford, England


B.A., Exeter College, Oxford University, 1915; M.A., 1919

Read an Excerpt

Hador Goldenhead was a lord of the Edain and wellbeloved by the Eldar. He dwelt while his days lasted under the lordship of Fingolfin, who gave to him wide lands in that region of Hithlum which was called Dor-lómin. His daughter Glóredhel wedded Haldir son of Halmir, lord of the Men of Brethil; and at the same feast his son Galdor the Tall wedded Hareth, the daughter of Halmir.

Galdor and Hareth had two sons, Húrin and Huor. Húrin was by three years the elder, but he was shorter in stature than other men of his kin; in this he took after his mother’s people, but in all else he was like Hador, his grandfather, strong in body and fiery of mood. But the fire in him burned steadily, and he had great endurance of will. Of all Men of the North he knew most of the counsels of the Noldor. Huor his brother was tall, the tallest of all the Edain save his own son Tuor only, and a swift runner; but if the race were long and hard Húrin would be the first home, for he ran as strongly at the end of the course as at the beginning. There was great love between the brothers, and they were seldom apart in their youth.

Húrin wedded Morwen, the daughter of Baragund son of Bregolas of the House of Bëor; and she was thus of close kin to Beren One-hand. Morwen was dark-haired and tall, and for the light of her glance and the beauty of her face men called her Eledhwen, the elven-fair; but she was somewhat stern of mood and proud. The sorrows of the House of Bëor saddened her heart; for she came as an exile to Dorlómin from Dorthonion after the ruin of the Bragollach.

Túrin was the name of the eldest child of Húrin and Morwen, and he was born in that year in which Beren came to Doriath and found Lúthien Tinúviel, Thingol’s daughter. Morwen bore a daughter also to Húrin, and she was named Urwen; but she was called Lalaith, which is Laughter, by all that knew her in her short life.

Huor wedded Rían, the cousin of Morwen; she was the daughter of Belegund son of Bregolas. By hard fate was she born into such days, for she was gentle of heart and loved neither hunting nor war. Her love was given to trees and to the flowers of the wild, and she was a singer and a maker of songs. Two months only had she been wedded to Huor when he went with his brother to the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, and she never saw him again.

But now the tale returns to Húrin and Huor in the days of their youth. It is said that for a while the sons of Galdor dwelt in Brethil as foster-sons of Haldir their uncle, after the custom of Northern men in those days. They often went to battle with the Men of Brethil against the Orcs, who now harried the northern borders of their land; for Húrin, though only seventeen years of age, was strong, and Huor the younger was already as tall as most full-grown men of that people.

On a time Húrin and Huor went with a company of scouts, but they were ambushed by the Orcs and scattered, and the brothers were pursued to the ford of Brithiach. There they would have been taken or slain but for the power of Ulmo that was still strong in the waters of Sirion; and it is said that a mist arose from the river and hid them from their enemies, and they escaped over the Brithiach into Dimbar. There they wandered in great hardship among the hills beneath the sheer walls of the Crissaegrim, until they were bewildered in the deceits of that land and knew not the way to go on or to return. There Thorondor espied them, and he sent two of his Eagles to their aid; and the Eagles bore them up and brought them beyond the Encircling Mountains to the secret vale of Tumladen and the hidden city of Gondolin, which no Man had yet seen.

There Turgon the King received them well, when he learned of their kin; for Hador was an Elf-friend, and Ulmo, moreover, had counselled Turgon to deal kindly with the sons of that House, from whom help should come to him at need. Húrin and Huor dwelt as guests in the King’s house for well nigh a year; and it is said that in this time Húrin, whose mind was swift and eager, gained much lore of the Elves, and learned also something of the counsels and purposes of the King. For Turgon took great liking for the sons of Galdor, and spoke much with them; and he wished indeed to keep them in Gondolin out of love, and not only for his law that no stranger, be he Elf or Man, who found the way to the secret kingdom or looked upon the city should ever depart again, until the King should open the leaguer, and the hidden people should come forth.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"It has seemed to me for a long time that there was a good case for presenting my father's long version of the legend of the Children of Húrin as an independent work" Christopher Tolkien“The Children of Hurin is about to thrill and intrigue millions. It is safe to say that the 'great tale' of Turin is about to become a global myth…in its own dotty but also awe-inspiring way, it works.” Sunday Times Culture“…worthy of a readership beyond Tolkien devotees…this book deserves to eclipse all his other posthumous writings, and stand as a worthy memorial to the imagination of Tolkien.' The Times“I hope that its universality and power will grant it a place in English mythology'… It isn't jolly, but then neither is Anthony and Cleopatra.” The Independent on Sunday

Customer Reviews

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The Children of Hurin 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 217 reviews.
Garren More than 1 year ago
I will begin by saying this is far from a feel-good riece of literature as the heroes of this story undergo a number of grueling trials that result in unhappy endings, often brought upon them by their own flaws and errors in judgment. But it is still a grand adventure involving a great warrior fighting in a darkness wrought by Morgoth, an enemy to whom Sauron was only a lieutenant.

The writing is closer to The Silmarillion in style than The Lord of the Rings, but still bears Tolkien¿s unparalleled gift for description, dialogue, and philosophy. It is easily one of my favorite books but I would only recommend it to fans of Tolkien as it would be difficult, even impossible, for newcomers to Middle Earth to appreciate or understand.
Ic3cr3amman33 More than 1 year ago
I thought that this was a very entertaining book. I found myself wanting to reach the next page. However, the book is very grim and is full of surprises that leave you distraught. The book is written so well that you can feel the sadness that is happening and it adds greatly to the effect it has on you. Also, there is a lot of action in the book. Time and time again Turin is faced with a new enemy. When this happened I became eager to find out how the battle turns out because in the book you never know when it can take a turn for the worse. At times I found the book hard to read because of the numerous names and places that were so unfamiliar. If you get confused to the extent that you can no longer understand the story anymore, there are pages in the back of the book where you can find answers. I think this is a great read and extremely interesting. I would recommend this to people without hesitation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Set in the first age of Middle Earth, The Children Of Hurin recounts the life of Turin, Hurin¿s son. Nearly 7,000 years before the Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit, men and elves struggle against Morgoth, the enemy who has placed a curse on Hurin¿s family. Raised as a fosterling by a king of elves, Turin tries to escape the doom set upon him and in doing so ensnares friends and family in the evil plots and designs of Morgoth. For the avid Tolkien reader, The Children Of Hurin adds yet more detail and substance to J. R. R. Tolkien¿s creation. The same stunning and descriptive language used in both the Lord Of The Rings and The Silmarillion invests the reader in the tale. The Children Of Hurin is not an easy book to read, but like Beowulf or Le Morte d¿ Arthur it is well worth the effort. It is rare to find such mythic and compelling work among the flotsam and jetsam of current fantasy writings. For those who love the ¿old¿ tales, or for those who love mythology, The Children Of Hurin is a must read. Quill says: Christopher Tolkien (J. R. R. Tolkien¿s son) has brilliantly edited, compiled and presented his late father¿s unfinished works. One can only hope that there are more gems yet to be mined from that source!
RM_Luthcke More than 1 year ago
After reading the hobbit and lord of the rings a lot of people seem not to read anymore Tolkien. This was quite an amazing book really, In the first few pages they hit you with a lot of information, but don't stop reading try to understand as best you can, It will get easier. I loved the entire storyline, I enjoyed the characters of this book quite a lot, that should be noted. Lastly, the deluxe edition has been quite a nice addition to my little library, looks simple yet just looks so awesome. It has Awesome illistrations and sketches. The fold out map in the back really helps you to know whats going on and where, and the little dictionary in the back definitely helps you to understand the book. I would highly recommend this book, especially if you already enjoy Tolkien books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It reminded me much of a Greek tragedy. Some people dislike the archaic style, but I for one loved it. It is now one of my favorite books. The characters, especially Turin, were deep and complex. It is hard at first to distinguish his actions, but you must remember his curse.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding book. However, it also has to be about the most depressing story I have ever read. Nonetheless, it kept me so engrossed that I couldn't put the book down. If you liked the Simarillian, you will LOVE this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love this book! i think that everyone should read it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ok I absolutely loved this book. It was constantly entertaining. It did have its slow points but over all I loved this book. It rose above my expectations with flying colors. Read it!
SearchingforGoodBooks More than 1 year ago
I got a little skeptical when I saw this title. Another book by Tolkien? I assumed it was another loose collection of tales. But I love Lord of The Rings so I decided to read it. I was blown away, instead of a loose collection of tales, this is a tightly-focused, haunting, tale. Tolkien really elevated his style for this novel. It is a moving tale, a tale that you wished turned out differently because you are so invested in the characters. It has a surprise/Shakespearean ending. I put this in my list of top five novels. In the short time I have owned I have reread at least twice. Buy this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recently finishedLOTR, and they were just as good as this! Some parts got confusing, but other than that I loved it!
Daniel McCormick More than 1 year ago
This is a very grim and gruelling tragedy, fleshing out some of the oft-referenced legends from the ancient past of middle-earth. It has a more novelistic structure and flow than the Silmarillion and various errata, and is comperable to LOTR in terms of readability. However it is unique in Tolkien's work for its darkness and relentless fatalism. This book is definitely a downer. It is almost shockingly bleak.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was an innocent shopper probing the fantasy shelves of my local Barnes & Noble when I saw J.R.R. Tolkien's name in glossy ink and "The Children Of Hurin" inscribed on the spine. His name was on it.. After that, nothing else mattered. I had to buy it. Little did I know that something tremendously dark and terrible lied between the epic, frenzied cover and stygian back. Oh, innocent shopper, beware! Reasons to be wary: 1. Professor Tolkien so beautifully.. I dare not attempt to describe it. Even books revered for their "excellent" writing will seem thin and wanting after reading most ANYTHING by Tolkien.. Especially "The Children of Hurin". 2. It is impossible to read this without crying. Utterly impossible. "The Children of Hurin" was beautifully written with darkness overwhelming each page. Trust me, friend -- you tell yourself you wont cry now, but oh, just you wait. It is, in essence, the perfect tragedy. (Yikes! I know someone else already said that, but it's so true.) Side note: people have mentioned that this is more of a sixteen + older sort of book, but I wouldn't discourage younger readers from it. I'm fourteen and it is easily one of my favorites.
AmordeDios More than 1 year ago
If you like fantasy or tragedy this book is for you. The tale is beautiful, timeless. As always, Tolkien created another masterpiece.
AVL More than 1 year ago
I will keep this short. For fans of the Tolkien Universe this further exploration and expansion makes an enjoyable read.
falstaff1962 More than 1 year ago
This is no cheery Hobbit tale. The story of Hurin (and really of his son Turin) is dark and complex. It reads a lot like old Greek tragedy and mythology. As a background filler for Lord of the Rings, this book is superb. The only reason I think it avoids a 5 star rating is that like Greek tragedy, it can be unrelentingly grim and moody. One can feel tired after reading it.
Hill_Ravens More than 1 year ago
A disappointing addition to the Tolkien collections. The writing style and rhythm of the story stands up to the rest of the works concerning Middle Earth. However, the detail and intimacy found in other works is missing. I would have liked to learn more of Glaurung in this tale as well as some of the other characters. I found it hard to fall in love with or care about the fates for any of the characters in this book. The ending was no great surprise and had I cared for the characters I might have been moved, but alas I was only happy for the book to end. I am not sure if a revisit to the other books would help me appreciate this one more, or still leave me feeling cheated.
DarthAzard13 More than 1 year ago
If you have already read The Silmarillian, then the story of Hurin and his children will hold little surprises for you, but will still delight. This tale is taken from that larger work and expanded based on additional notes from J.R.R. Tolkien. The story itself is moving, adventurous, and completely enthralling. No reader of fantasy literature would be disappointed with this book (except perhaps that it ends too soon). I have read every middle-earth writing of Tolkien and find his older tales (such as this one) richer in detail, more epic in scope, and utterly more tragic then his more widely read LOTR and Hobbit stories. Read this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Prior to reading the Children of Hurin, I had emersed myself in the Third Age of Middle-Earth. Yes, I had read the Silmarillion. But to me, Middle-Earth was the Lord of the Rings. The Children of Hurin changed my perspective. This wonderful edition, with beautiful illustrations by Alan Lee, belongs in the collection of any Tolkien aficionado. Well worth the price.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great background of Middle Earth
SELindberg More than 1 year ago
In short, The Children of Húrin is very Tolkien... but much more dark/grim than most people have read. I own the Alan Lee illustrated version and the audiobook narrated by none other than Saruman-actor Christopher Lee. Extremely dark! A dense read made easier by the narration and tenor of Lee. Listening to C.Lee while looking at A.Lee's illustrations is a great experience. If anyone thinks JRR only wrote happy fairytales, then they will be surprised by this ultradark tale. On the other hand, Tolkien-tropes/style are still very much present: 1) A dragon, Glaurong, terrorizes Middle Earth (reminiscent of Smaug in the Hobbit) 2) Evil villain-god Glaurong is a servant of Morgoth, once named Melkor whose lieutenant Sauron appears in LOTR; Morgoth has a large role in this book. 3) Forbidden man and elf-woman relationships, in this case Turin has a few relationships with women, and elves, but one relationship echoes that of Aragorn & Arwen from LOTR ... which echoes that of Bereth and Luthien in and Tale of Tunuviel 4) Abandoned Dwarf place: in the Hobbit and LOTR we were treated to ruined Dwarf holds (Erebor and the Mines of Moria); here we have the petty-dwarf Mim and his abandoned hold Amon Rûdh. 5) Secretive Elf places: in the Hobbit and LTOR, we had Rivendell and Lothlórien... here we are graced with Doriath and Nargothrond) These Tolkien-tropes reinforced my take on the Hobbit and LOTR's themes; if you've read those and are entertaining reading the Silmarillion, I suggest reading Hurin first. It is easier to read than The Silmarillion and expands the milieu well. The Children of Húrin really extends the World of the Hobbit and Return of the King. Easier to read than the Similarion, but still pretty thick. From this I learned lots of nuances (like Elrond is half-human). Would make an awesome movie (which will not happen :( ). Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OriginalMATTHEW More than 1 year ago
A very pleasant read. Closer to LotR in substance but closer to the Silmarillion in style I thought. Worth the money and the time for sure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
By peter jackson or guillermo del toro or possibley make them both produce the film but come on please make one before i die the simallion untold stories and he children of hurin
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A sad read, but a very good one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I am a huge lotr fan but i had a hard time reading the silmarillion. The story of hurin, morwen, turin neinor, and everybody else told in story format was a lot easier to read than the turin chapter in the silmarillion. The story is so sad because all those that hurin loved are basically doomed to misery by morgoth. But you cant help hoping that they will somehow escape their fate and live a happy life like they deserve. Even though turin is a stubborn jerk at times i couldnt help but feel sorry for him. He more than pays for his bad choices. The ending is heartbreaking but powerful. all in all a must have for lotr fanatics and a wonderful tale from middle earths history!! - a teenage girl who eagerly awaits the third hobbit movie. Less than three months to go...