It’s been a couple of days. Isn’t it always the way? Get some momentum built up on the blog (not just the Tolkien quest, but the whole site), and then life gets in the way. But that’s ok. This is a creative outlet, after all, not life and death, and most of what got in the way was positive. In the interim, I seem to have attracted some new followers. Welcome to randomness that is my site! Hopefully you’ll find more of what attracted you here in the first place.
For those of you following and/or playing along with the Tolkien quest, things are about to change yet again. I know, I know… this has seemingly gotten stupid the last couple of months as I figure out where I’m going and what I’m doing. Whatever. This is what happens when one journeys into the unknown. I’m stumbling in the dark, and Galadriel didn’t gift me anything to light my way. That’s fine too. Half the fun is figuring it out.
As those on the quest know, there’s one final section left in The Silmarillion. The last chapter post will drop here on Sunday, March 4, with the final book review a day or two after that. The original plan was to take a hiatus while I re-read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with all of this newfound perspective. A couple of you commented here on the site and/or through email that it would be a better plan to go ahead and work through Unfinished Tales before doing the re-read. I was initially hesitant about this idea, but the more I thought about it, the more I’ve decided that makes better sense all around. So that’s the plan as of now.
For most of this quest from the beginning, we’ve been moving along at one chapter per week. The Silmarillion has forced a handful of notable issues where we need two weeks just due to the sheer amount of information crammed into a handful of pages, such as these last couple of chapters. The deeper we climb through Tolkien’s Legendarium, the more complex this becomes. I’m not in any hurry. As many times as I’ve read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, I’ve spent a couple of decades building to the point where I could understand and appreciate The Silmarillion. Time well spent, it seems. Now that this has proven to be the case, I’m more than ready to move into the more esoteric lore in Tolkien’s catalog, but this is virgin territory for me. I’ve nibbled at a couple of stories here and there, and I’m armed with just enough knowledge to make me dangerous, but that’s about it. With this in mind, the two-week schedule that The Silmarillion imposed is going to continue through the entirety of Unfinished Tales.
I don’t want to jump immediately into it, however. Well, actually I really do, but I need a little time to digest what I’ve read so far, and I want to redirect a bit to some other projects that have been neglected (for example, I’ve had Richard III in the hopper for the Shakespeare project for far too long). If I were smart, I’d try to figure out some kind of schedule I can keep on some of these other projects. It’s worked pretty well for Tolkien’s works and for the Sherlock Holmes buddy read.
At any rate, Unfinished Tales will only have a brief wait, and then we’ll pick right up where we left off. The first chapter post will be scheduled to drop on Sunday, April 1, and we’ll keep a two-week pace from there. It just seems more realistic and kinder all around. I hope you’ll join in.
I’ll re-read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings after Unfinished Tales. And then after that, I’ve got some decisions to make about what comes next for the quest. I’m going through all of it, rest assured; it’s merely a question of which order to tread the paths. The road goes ever on and on.