The War of the Jewels
is the 11th volume of Christopher Tolkien's
series The History of Middle-earth
, analyzing the unpublished manuscripts of his father J. R. R. Tolkien
It is the second of two volumes — Morgoth's Ring being the first — to explore the later 1951 Silmarillion drafts (those written after the completion of The Lord of the Rings).
This volume includes:
- The second part of the 1951 Silmarillion drafts
- An expanded account of the "Grey Annals" — the history of Beleriand after the coming of the Elves.
- Additional narratives involving Húrin and the tragedy of his children (see Narn i Chîn Húrin). "The Wanderings of Húrin" is the conclusion to the "Narn". It was not included in the final Silmarillion because Christopher Tolkien feared that the heavy compression which would have been necessary to make it a stylistic match with the rest of the book would have been too difficult and would have made the story overly complex and difficult to read.
- Christopher Tolkien's explanation of how he, with the collaboration of future fantasy author Guy Gavriel Kay, constructed Chapter 22 of the Quenta Silmarillion, since none of the texts left by Tolkien for this purpose were up-to-date enough to serve the purpose. In particular, the old texts all have Thingol portrayed as a miserly swindler who cheats the Dwarves out of their payment, and the portrayal of the Girdle of Melian in the older stories is much weaker than the impenetrable barrier of the post-Lord of the Rings writings.
- "Quendi and Eldar" which discusses in greater detail the origin of the Elves and their sunderings.
- Tolkien's exploration of the origins of the Ents and the great Eagles