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not sure if this has been discussed before but i was just wondering what everyone's favorite tale from the silmarillion was and why. my personal favorite would probably be beren and luthien mostly because of its background with Tolkien and Edith bratt
Hi Alvin I too love the whole Luthien, Beren saga. It is a powerful example of Tolkiens ability to portray true love in all of its manifestations. Another tale which I love is that of Hurin, one of only three Men who saw, ever with their own eyes, the glorious city of Gondolin. Apart from the tales of his daughter and son, the tales of his early life and his horrible end are incredible. Ive said before in previous threads that the penultimate scene where Hurin confronts King Thingol and his wife Queen Melion the Maia is simply heart breaking and a great example of the true evil of the first Dark Lord, he whos name is not spoken, Morgoth Bauglir the Black Enemy.

I too like the tale of Beren and Luthien although not for the same reasons.  My favorite character is Finrod Felagund not only from ME but in all I've read, rivaled only by Aravan the Elf of McKiernan's Mithgarian books.  I think Finrod's fulfillment of his oath, made to Barahir, is heart-breaking and warming at the same time.  It shows how much love he had for Men that he, being the first Elf to behold them, would knowingly die for one.  The sounds of his battle with wolf-Sauron must have echoed through the countryside.  And that was only the first oath of the story.  The first time I read Beren's words (paraphrased I'm sure), "Yea, and even now it burns in my hand,"  I jumped up and shouted!   Those are why I like the story.  For me, even though it was about the love of the two of them, the two oaths being fulfilled and the lengths that were taken for their fulfillment, gives me the example and the hope that I can be as honorable as Finrod and Beren.

Too true Alvin.  Can you imagine the look on King Thingols face when Beren revealed his now missing hand....  I liked Beren's haughtiness with Thingol, also the fact that Melion seemed to have laid favor on him.

Beren and Luthien, by a long shot. Here is a real fairytale, with talking animals, shapeshifting, romance, magic. Too bad that the published Silmarillion is little more than an expanded resume Tolkien worked on after abandoning his early stories and poems.

JRRT did begin an updated long prose version of Beren and Luthien in the early 1950s, as he did for The Fall of Gondolin and The Children of Hurin too, but obviously he never finished these in any case...

 

... in part (I think) because Tolkien's publisher wasn't going to publish The Silmarillion in tandem with The Lord of the Rings, and the hoped for publication of both works, in connection with Milton Waldman, didn't materialize at this time.

It's really hard to tell - since Silmarillion is a diversified story which contains only few detailed tales - and those will probably get preference over less complex stories.

Beren and Luthien, by a long shot. Here is a real fairytale, with talking animals, shapeshifting, romance, magic. Too bad that the published Silmarillion is little more than an expanded resume Tolkien worked on after abandoning his early stories and poems.

Wildespace explained my opinion very well Wink Smilie Beautifully written fairytale - has it all - great love, dangers, evil, fantastic creatures, amazing and mysterious ending.

I would also choose Ainulindalë - for different reasons than Beren and Luthien's story. I fell in love with the idea of creating the world trough music - I am amazed by this concept till this day. So beautiful and creative.

When re-reading the Silmarillion there were three stories I looked forward to the most.  The story of the Children of Hurin, Eol, and Finrod meeting men for the first time. 

 

The Children of Hurin was heart-breaking.  The anguish that they suffered due to their father's valor.  You find very little happiness in this story.  Yet Hurin refused to beg pity from Morgoth for himself or his family.  Who could do this?  For better or worse, he was a man who stood by his convictions.

 

The story of Eol, because I find him interesting and misunderstood.  I kinda like the guy.  He had a unique  perception of the Noldor.  And that perception was not totally unjustified. 

 

The story of Finrod meeting men, because I love Finrod.  He was the Elven King who cared most about men and their fates.  One of my favorite pieces of Tolkien literature is  Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth in Morgoth's Ring.  He loved men and I love him for that.

 

I loved "Of Maeglin" that story really stuck out for me personally. I have read the book just once, I feel like to get a complete understanding of this particular book, I will definitely need to go through a second read.

Undoubtedly the tale of Turin Turambar. When I read it first in the Sil it was already amazing and one of my favorites. But when I read Children of Hurin....I've never had a book literally shatter my heart! My jaw was open the vast majority of the time. Amazing how he was able to turn the already intricate, detailed story in the Sil to a full blown novel, BURSTING with so much more than you could imagine.

No story ever has made me feel the way I did after reading the last words in Children of Hurin. I was in a world of sorrowful bliss. I wanted to sink into the darkness but grow into the light and praise Tolkien's name. I try to recommend it to EVERYBODY but everyone's always like (no joke) "oh that sounds good, but first I want to read Game of Thrones." They never do. Shame, because I think if everybody read Children of Hurin once they would have a completely new outlook on life. A more sympathetic one. Learning to not judge others, not jump to conclusions, to listen instead of think, to take your time, to know more about who you're sleeping with *ahem*.

Amazing story though. A close second is the Music of the Ainur, and if I had to choose a third I'd probably also go with Beren and Luthien. In the way Children of Hurin made me weep at the end, Beren and Luthien's tale made my heart jump. Basically, I love JRR Tolkien...

 

To me it is Baren and luthien

Because it was a personal story for Tolkien and he was such a private person

As we are about a Fire Drake from the North, Glaurung, Father of Dragons should get a mention here.  If Smaug is Magnificent, then Glaurung was the Ultimate manipulator and by far the cruelest creature of M.E except for Melkor and Sauron.

I would say beren and luthein but I feel like beren is always made out to be a super baddas and never really did any super baddas stuff. luthein was the one who really did all the heavy lifting, and beren is the one getting all the praise for being such a great warrior. I understand that he was a baddass and managed to do a lot of cool things, not the least of which being that he beat up two of the sons of feanor at once, but in most of the tales tolkien sort of glosses over the things he does. however, the children of Hurin is a book that anyone can read withought needing to have any special knowledge of Ea. and I feel like Turin is a much more respectable character. He does a whole slew of super duper badass things and he doesn't always have things going for him. beren doesn't have as many deap sorrows or  misfortunes, but Turin has to do a hell of a lot of work to get like nothing. also in the tale of turambar in the lost tales he goes into Fos' Almir the bath of flame. and dwelt as shining valar among the blessed ones.

While I do agree that some of Beren's deeds were glossed over in the Silmarillion, I do believe that Tolkien made it pretty clear that Beren was a badass. 

"At length Morgoth set a price upon his head no less than the price upon the head of Fingon, High King of the Noldor.; but the Orcs fled rather at the rumour of his approach rather than sought him out.  Therefore an army was sent against him under the command of Sauron....

So we are talking here about Morgoth sending a whole army after one man.  Under the command of Sauron no less.

Lets also not forget about the description of Beren going through Dungortheb.  Tolkien states that Beren came to Doriath through paths which no man or elf dared to walk.  The wilderness where the power of Melian and Sauron come together, "where horror and madness walked.  There spiders of the fell race of Ungoliant abode, spinning their unseen webs in which all living things were snared; and monsters wandered there that were born in the long dark before the Sun, hunting silently with many eyes.  No food for Elves or Men was there in that haunted land, but death only.

It is here that Beren enters Doriath against the enchantments of Melian, which is no small deed in itself.  When I first read the Silmarillion, I was completely captivated by Tolkien's account of Beren coming into Doriath.  Perhaps Tolkien left some things to the imagination where Beren was concerned?  I thinks his words captured perfectly what Beren suffered, while leaving some things to our own imagination.

That being said, I think that Turin is pretty awesome too.

I like the Ainunidale in which the story is told of Illuvatar the Creator, and of the music of the Ainur in the timeless halls, because to me the Maiar and the Valar are awe- inspiring, spirits, especially Orome.

I am not saying that beren is not a tottaly awsome dude who does a lot of very cool and powerfull things. however, he never overcomes a monster or very evil boss type person. For example, Turin kills glourung. Finnaly, his was more a tale of hapiness whereas Turin had a tale of utmost tradegy. I feel like Turin is very relatable and he is at least my personal favorite.

Hi ya Curufinwe,

I did not mean to sound so fussy in my post regarding Beren.  Sorry about that.  I do agree with you, I do not think any tale in the Silmarillion is more tragic than that of Turin.  And he was indeed, one tough son of a buck!

i am a big fingolfin fan,so my best story is fingolfin fighting Morgoth,.Ater that Nirnaeth Arnoediadwink