HarperCollins UK announced Tuesday that J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fall of Gondolin will be published as a standalone novel for the first time ever. The book will be edited by the late author's son, Christopher Tolkien, with illustrations by Alan Lee.
The edition will follow precedent set by the inaugural standalone edition of Beren and Lúthien, which Harper Collins published in May 2017.
Like Beren and Lúthien, The Fall of Gondolin will present various versions of the text in one volume in the order in which they were written, to show how Tolkien's work and imaginary world evolved over time.
Previously, a complete text of The Fall of Gondolin was available in The Book of Lost Tales. Condensed variations of the story also appear in Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth and The Silmarillion.
According to HarperCollins, Tolkien himself called Gondolin “the first real story" of his legendarium. Set millennia before the events of Lord of the Rings, it chronicles the end of the First Age (also called the Elder Days) of Middle-earth.
The central conflict centers around two gods: the evil, militaristic Morgoth—the original Dark Lord—and Ulmo the Lord of the Waters. Morgoth longs for control of the beautiful but hidden Noldor city of Gondolin. Ulmo is sympathetic to the Noldor, and rises out of the sea to guide a Noldor named Tuor to the mysterious city, where Tuor marries the king's daughter—but Morgoth looms on the horizon, ready to unleash chaos on Gondolin.
The Fall of Gondolin is one of three Elder Days stories Tolkien considered the 'Great Tales', alongside The Children of Húrin—which was published posthumously in 2007—and Beren and Lúthien. Its standalone edition will be 304 pages long and available August 30th in the U.S. and the U.K.
Want more middle-Earth? Pre-order The Fall of Gondolin below, then check out these other great Tolkien titles.