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simply put its the greatest work tolkien ever created... in my opinion of course! Tongue SmilieP


whats it about... well, its mostly the history of middle earth.. something sort of like reading the bible of middle earth i guess.... It has the greatest victories, the greatest tragadies, the best love stories... coughberen&luthiencough!


It is definatly my favorite book, above LotR, and The Hobbit. I will admit though, its not an easy read by any streach... its a bit slow at the beginning, and drags sometimes.... but plow through it, because i guarantee you will love it once you finish it!
Hi, Luinthule. Welcome to the site.
Gimli has about summed it up really. It covers the whole history of Middle Earth and the Undying Lands, from the moment they were created to the end of the period Lord of the Rings was set in. The first part, with insights into the Creation and the Valar and Maiar, is very biblical. From then on it proceeds to tell tales of the first great elven lords, their creations and their wars with Morgoth, the dark enemy. It tells the history of the first men and their interactions with the elves, and delves also into realms of romantic sagas.
Mid-book, it concerns itself with the history of Numenor and the great achievements and failings of that proud race, and from there, the settling of Gondor and Arnor by the Faithful. Right at the end, it covers the events of the war of the ring in its final chapter. Also included are details of the forging of the rings of power, and the wars between the dwarves and the orcs.
Like Gimli says, it is a bit of a slog to get through, with lots of confusing names and places, but if you persevere, you will find it a very rewarding read. One of the main things you will find, is it will enhance your enjoyment of Lord of the Rings itself by explaining many behind the scenes parts of that book (eg. who Gandalf and Saruman really are, What the Balrog is, Aragorn's broken sword, the House of Elrond, the importance of the One Ring etc etc.)
Hope you enjoy it.
In short: it's a book with a long story, loads of names and I don't really think it's thát interesting, but that's only my humble opinion of course. There's not much action in it, I think, it's just story-telling at it's height. Cool Smilie
There`s a lot of good reading in the book! Very sad storys too..I cried a bit when I read about Luthien and Beren, but the most sad part was when Turin and Nienor fell in love with eachother, not knowing that they were family Sad Smilie

How awful to find out that you`re married to your brother! That just broke my heart...oh and for those of you that haven`t read the Silm...don`t read this! Wink Smilie

[Edited on 1/10/2002 by Celebrian]
I read about Turin and Nienor in the encyclopedia of Arda before I read the Silmarillion, and when I came to that chapter in the book I actually waited several days befor I read on 'cause I knew it would be sad, and it was even sader in the book than I had expected.. And that poor limp guy too (Barahir?). Hearthbreaking! Luthien and Beren lived "happily ever after", but the Nienor and Turin story was just tragic.. Sad Smilie
On the 23/2/03 Delidria opened a new thread asking this question
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is this book good? should i read it? What is it about? does it have anything to do with The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings ?
As this section already holds answers to this question, I have moved it here.
Yes Delidria, The Silmarilion is a good book; however, do not expect to read a fun or nail-biter of a story like LotR or The Hobbit. It is a compilation of some of the incidents from the history that took place over the thousands of years preceding Bilbo's finding of the One Ring and as such have a bearing on the later stories.

Some people found it a hard read; while others were enthralled by it. Why not visit our Reading Discussion Groups further down the forum index where Valedhelgwath has been leading a group through the reading of The Silmarilion. This should help you get through any hard spots.

If you should try reading The Silmarilion and decide to stop. Please return to it after a year or so and give it another try. You may find it has grown easier with the passage of time. Many of us have found that to be the case. Happy Elf Smilie
I think the Silmarillion is a masterpiece. These are the different topics covered in it:

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Foreword
Preface
Ainulindalë (Music of the Ainur
Valaquenta (History of the Valar)
Quenta Silmarillion (History of the Silmarils)
I. Of The Beginning of Days
II. Of Aulë and Yavanna
III. Of The Coming Of The Elves and the Captivity of Melkor (Morgoth Bauglir)
IV. Of Thingol and Melian
V. Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië
VI. Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor
VII. Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor
VIII. Of the Darkening of Valinor
IX. Of the Flight of the Noldor
X. Of the Sindar
XI. Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor
XII. Of Men
XIII. Of the Return of the Noldor
XIV. Of Beleriand and its Realms
XV. Of the Noldor in Beleriand
XVI. Of Maeglin
XVII. Of the Coming of Men into the West
XVIII. Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin
XIX. Of Beren and Lúthien
XX. Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad
XXI. Of Túrin Turambar
XXII. Of the Ruin of Doriath
XXIII. Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin
XXIV. Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath
Akallabêth (The Downfall of Númenor)
Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
Tables:
Genealogies:
I. The House of Finwë
II. The Descendants of Olwë and Elwë
III. The House of Bëor
IV. and V. The House of Hador and The People of Haleth
The Sundering of the Elves
Note on Pronunciation
Index on Names
Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin names
Map of Beleriand and the Lands to the North


I hope I haven't broken any copyright laws...

The Silmarillion is one of the best books that I have ever read.
Tolkien brings the begining of Middle Earth to life....You can see the birth of the Elves...Valanor...the coming of Men.
I agree that LotR fans should read the Silmarillion; it shows all the depth of Middle-Earth that was only hinted in LotR. Smile Smilie
The Sil is Tolkien's best work, and a must for any fan.
THE GREATEST OF BOOKS!!! Much better than our Bible (hope I don't offend anyone), but then ... it is the Elves' Holy Book (in a way) and as we all know, Elves are better than Men! I would recommend to all those who have a thing for history, geography, philosophy, mythology ... no! It's a book you should ALL read!

Namarie!
The only thing I didn't like about the Simarilion was how hard it was to get into. They give you a million characters all at once, and I had to kept going back to rediscover who they were.
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THE GREATEST OF BOOKS!!! Much better than our Bible (hope I don't offend anyone),


If you disagree with this comment for strong religious reasons, please bear in mind that this is Bugfeanor's personal opinion, and that he does not wish to cause offense by mentioning it. Please refrain from making replies which could turn the theme of this thread religious in nature. Thank You. Moderator Smilie
I hope I didn't offend anybody; it was not my intention! It was a mistake to compare Silm with any religious book! For me, it's much more clear: Silmarillion is my favourite Book!

Namarie!
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The only thing I didn't like about the Simarilion was how hard it was to get into. They give you a million characters all at once, and I had to kept going back to rediscover who they were.

In the Silmarillion Reading Discussion Group, I tried to list many of the names and places at the beginning of each section to make this easier for new readers. I think a few of the posts became jumbled a bit in the move to the new site, but it is still a useful guide if you are having difficulties with the book.
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I think a few of the posts became jumbled a bit in the move to the new site, but it is still a useful guide if you are having difficulties with the book.
It seems about a months worth of the Assignment 1's posts didn't get transfered; I have copied Val's text from his first two posts into the first post here. I'll PM Val with the link to the old site because the first post in all the assignments are very important as are most of the following discussion posts.
I have just retrieved the text from the missing first post to Val's Reading Discussion Groups: Silmarillion Reading Group - Introduction.
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I'm new and I was just wondering what Assignments you where talking about. And I love the Silmarillion although I haven't gotten all the way thru it because i keep going beack to the beging to read my favorite parts


Last year we ran a Silmarillion Reading Discussion Group. To make things easier, I broke the chapters down in to 13 assignments covering 1 - 3 chapters. We then worked our way through the Silmarillion, discussing the various chapters as we went. Those posts are still around in the second to bottom section of the index page (Reading Discussion Groups in the Misc section). The posts within them have now all been sorted into the correct order following the jumbling of posts that occured during the transfer of files from the old site.

well I am just starting to read the book. It is confusing but I am on some reading groups on the internet that will help me. I am only 13 but I am looking foward to reading it!
Hi everyone! I just joined this site today when I was searching online for a reading guide for the Silmarillion. I've read the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings numerous times since middle school, and my dad suggested I read Tolkien's other works. So I started the Silmarillion last week, and I have to admit that I get confused of where I am oriented on middle earth and Aman and also who's who as far as the Valar and Ainur, etc. For instance, Feanor travels north from Valinor to the harbor of the white ships and then sails to middle earth. I thought that in order to get to Valinor to middle earth, you needed to go in a norterly-type direction. Maybe I'm just reading things wrong b/c I am thoroughly confused. Can anyone tell me where things are oriented? Also, I know that there are 7 Valar, but how many Ainur were there (again, I think I accidently misread something)? And, as far as where Morgoth's realm is on middle earth, where is that in the overall map of middle earth, b/c on the map in my book the location is not so clear and I must have been confused when I read it. Anyway, I know that's a lot, but if anyone could help me out I would really appreciate it Smile Smilie
Thanks a lot and I'm really excited about joining this site!
Hi LGG. Welcome to the site. I hope we can be of service to you.

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Hi everyone! I just joined this site today when I was searching online for a reading guide for the Silmarillion.


Then you have come to the right place. Last year we ran a Silmarillion Reading Group. We have finished the book now, but the threads still remain as a great guide for new readers of the book. Find it in the second to bottom section on the menu page, labelled Reading Discussion Groups. Feel free to ask further questions or add your opinions in the relevent sections as I still regularly monitor those threads.

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So I started the Silmarillion last week, and I have to admit that I get confused of where I am oriented on middle earth and Aman and also who's who as far as the Valar and Ainur, etc.


The first post in each assignment of the Reading Discussion Group gave a brief overview the relevent chapters and also a name/place guide.

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For instance, Feanor travels north from Valinor to the harbor of the white ships and then sails to middle earth. I thought that in order to get to Valinor to middle earth, you needed to go in a norterly-type direction.


Aman lies to the West of Middle Earth. Both are large places however, so like going from America to Africa, it depends really on where you are leaving from and going to, as to whether you go NE, E or SE.

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Also, I know that there are 7 Valar, but how many Ainur were there (again, I think I accidently misread something)?
Including Melkor, there were 15 Valar... 8 males and 7 females. Tolkien does not tell us how many Ainur there are, but I'd imagine thousands.

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And, as far as where Morgoth's realm is on middle earth, where is that in the overall map of middle earth, b/c on the map in my book the location is not so clear and I must have been confused when I read it.
His first abode, Utumno was in the far north of Middle Earth, somewhere in the north of what you will know as the Northern Wastes. His second place, Angband was in northern Beleriand, so by LotR is beneth the ocean. It was 150 leagues (450 miles) north of Menegroth.

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Anyway, I know that's a lot, but if anyone could help me out I would really appreciate it. Thanks a lot and I'm really excited about joining this site!


No Problem. Look forward to seeing you around. Check out the Reading Discussion Group. Many of your answers will be there.
That's the longest post I've ever seen, Val
No, the longest post was made by Plastic Squirrel concerning Balrog Wings Question Smilie It was copied from the Encyclopedia of Arda.

Click here to read it, it is just a few posts down the page.
Thanks so much for your help! I'll consult the Reading Discussion for general stuff! Ha Ha Ha Smilie
Shocked Smilie Oh my giddy aunt Grondy, I just saw it, and I daren't read it today, because I have piano lesson in a while and I have to practise my guitar. That post is HUGE!!!!!!!!!!! Shocked Smilie

One of the best Tolkien's works. It was put together after J.R.R. Tolkiens death by Christopher Tolkien. The best chapters Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Turin Turambar, Ainulindale etc.

For those younger Tolkien fans who haven't read The Silmarillon I have some advice. Pick it up and read a chapter. Absorb it and read it again. Then move onto the next chapter and repeat. You will find familiar names, names you've heard tale of in TLOTR and The Hobbit, and there are lots of names. Don't let info overload put you off. Every time you read it you will find something new. An answer to a question you may have had reading the other books and of course many other questions.

Once you have read and grasped it, the beauty of The Silmarillion is that you can simply open at any page and read a section and you will find that amazingly something new makes sense.

I truly hope that after Christopher Tolkien retires, one of Professor Tolkien's Grandchildren picks up the stories again and takes this grand universe even further.

That's a really great idea Brego!

Sounds way more efficient than my first time method of putting sticky notes at strategic places in the index and flipping back to it every time I wasn't sure who/what/where something was. In fact doing this almost made things more confusing! Then one day it all just clicked. And here I am now...

Oh, good idea Brego. I was really confused with so many names in this book but itself is unique. I think I should read it again! when I come back home -to Portugal/Spain- I will pick up the book from the shelf in my parents' house.

Bible of middle earth. Exactly what I said! But wow, it really is awesome! I like the first chapter. Poor Melkor, being the only fpdark one. And poor yavanna...all her plants destroyed

If you have read the Silmarillion, make sure to check out The Book of Lost Tales (the first two volumes of the History of Middle-Earth). The Silmarillion often pales in comparison to the richness, vibrancy, and emotional impact of those tales. Besides, in the Silmarillion you often come across phrases like "as is told in the Lay of Leithian", or "much is told in The Fall of Gondolin". If you're anything like me, you thought "what are those tales, and where can I find them?" The Fall of Gondolin, which was in fact the first tale Tolkien had written, is included in the first two volumes of HoME, collectively titled The Book of Lost Tales. The Lay of Leithian is included in the third volume, The Lays of Beleriand.

Those books can be bought online for fairly cheap, or borrowed in the library.