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Tolkien's "The New Shadow", The Incomplete Sequel to The Lord of the Rings

The New Shadow of the Fourth Age - The Tolkien Archives

Video from The Red Book

"A video exploring The New Shadow, a manuscript for a story set in the Fourth Age after the death of King Elessar. I summarize the story and share my thoughts on Tolkien's attitude to the abandoned tale and my own views." from video introduction

'The New Shadow is an incomplete sequel (approximately 13 pages) to The Lord of the Rings that Tolkien quickly abandoned. The manuscript was published as chapter sixteen of The Peoples of Middle-earth. It is set in the time of Eldarion, Elessar's son. While various versions of the tale place the story from 100 years to 120 years after the Fall of the Dark Tower, Tolkien decided late in the process that the events would be set 100 years into the reign of Eldarion, in the year 220 of the Fourth Age. In it is mentioned the Dark Tree, and two characters: Saelon and Borlas.

Tolkien commented this on it:

I did begin a story placed about 100 years after the Downfall, but it proved both sinister and depressing. Since we are dealing with Men it is inevitable that we should be concerned with the most regrettable feature of their nature: their quick satiety with good. So that the people of Gondor in times of peace, justice and prosperity, would become discontented and restless — while the dynasts descended from Aragorn would become just kings and governors — like Denethor or worse. I found that even so early there was an outcrop of revolutionary plots, about a centre of secret Satanistic religion; while Gondorian boys were playing at being Orcs and going around doing damage. I could have written a 'thriller' about the plot and its discovery and overthrow — but it would have been just that. Not worth doing. —J.R.R. Tolkien .." from the article: The New Shadow

Our Satiety With Good

This excellent video from the you tube channel The Red Book gives us an excellent analysis of the unfinished manuscript and why Tolkien chose to leave it that way. We must contemplate his reasons and look at our world around us today. Evil is ever present in US and we are taking it into the world and people around us.

How quickly we become bored with good and doing good, which opens up our pride and ambition to sinful thinking and living. Our idols are many today and we are not very concerned with repentance.

As God did with ancient Israel we will also be dealt with harshly in our rebellion and sin. Tolkien knew this and we should as well!!

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