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Darous began this thread with the following post

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I have started reading The Silmarillion and I am about half way through it and I just want to say that Tolkien proves once again how much of a genius he is. My God the details , how it is written its amazing. For example when he is explaining how why the sun and the moon move west to east and back again and how Tilion was attracted to Arien and how sometimes he would stay in the sky and his shadow cuts off her brightness. Here he is explaining how an Eclipse of the moon and the sun. But it is the way he writes it that leaves you just in wonder and awe. And he does this countless times and I think myself that it shows how great this man was.


Elfstone replied

Darous, I completely agree with you. I’m currently reading the Silmarillion for the first time also, and I’m at about the same place as you, and I have been completely blown away since the opening pages of the Ainulindale. I’ve had moments reading this book where my heart will just start pounding, and I just can’t seem to get to the next word fast enough! Amazing is almost an understatement! The Silmarillion is just an absolute joy, and a pleasure to read. I haven’t even finished it yet for the first time, and I already can’t wait to read it again! Tolkien is the master, and I feel that the Silmarillion is the ultimate testament to his genius. We are so lucky to be able to enjoy his incredible gifts!r Happy Elf Smilie

Elfstone I agree. I can't wait till read it again. Second time round it will be fantastic.
i recommend the audio books, its great because you can listen to it in the car at work or at night, great to really hear all the details without having to read it over and over

(Plastic merely turned off Earendill's signature, as it is more than three lines, and thus not in accordance with our guidelines, sorry)

[Edited on 20/1/2003 by PlasticSquirrel]
hey guys ,i think you should visit the reading group...., i just started reading the sill three weeks ago,but i have catch them...it is really interesting...,adn attendance is good.... Thumbs Up Smilie
I don't think there are so many details in Sil... if u really want details (like with the Battle of Gondolin) u have to read Book of Lost Tales or Unfinished Tales.
I think this book is the absolute masterpiece of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. And it was very good indeed that Christopher Tolkien edited it so that it wouldn´t be altered to much for someone elses need.... Well I just wanted to say this: Beren and Lúthien. May they rest in peace! (Beren being J.R.R. Tolkien and Lúthien being Edith Tolkien)

//Aulë
I agree with everyone. The Slmarillion is the coolest book I have ever read, and I read quite a bit. I love all the history and the little bits of info you would never think about. Everything ties in with everyting else, and it is just like an epic geneaology. I absolutly love it.
And that chapter will be the next one to be discussed in the Simarillion Reading Discussion Group, Komosot.

I agree with you about the bit where Turgon comes out with his 10,000 elves. Spectacular.
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The Silmarillion is the coolest book I have ever read, and I read quite a bit. I love all the history and the little bits of info you would never think about. Everything ties in with everyting else, and it is just like an epic geneaology. I absolutly love it.


Amen Cano, amen!
Elf Smilie
Yeah! The Silmarrilion Rocks! I am glad that so many people loved it. My favourite story was Feanor and his Silmarils!
I have to say that the Simarillion is my favorite book by far. Every little story in there is a treasure on it's own. At points i have to admit it becomes a real tear-jerker. It's basically your guide along the path of the "Long Defeat". Which is how the Eldar and Edain fight the enemy, though victory over it is not there part to play. I'd have to say my favorite part in the book is::

1. "The Union of Maedhros". Allow me to paint a picture of it for you if i can. Im just jubilant in the thought that some of you are experiencing the book for the first time, as i envy and miss that feeling i had when i first experienced the book myself.

By far the most touching story for me. Maedhros, along with the sons of Feanor and High King Fingon, the Edain, and even with the help of some of the Dwarves, decide to band together and overthrow Morgoth once and for all. ( Just to note, following here is the preface to the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, and the mustering of all the willing participants that went to that battle.) But because of the deeds of the sons of Feanor, fewer came then were available, including King Thingol. (Who im my opinion just hides behind his wife's magic girdle all day.) As Fingon looked out from the walls of Eithel Sirion, all the hosts of the Eldar and Edain were assembled, there standards and spears like a thick forest gleaming in the rising sun. A shadow came over King Fingon as he glanced over to Angband, seeing a dark cloud, almost like a dreadful premonition of what was to befall. The Dark Lord had accepted his challenge, and Morgoth was certain that the day would be his. (Thanks to Ulfang, it was Mad Smilie ) Then in that moment trumpets sounded, and cries went up from all the hosts upon the valley, as the leaguer of Gondolin was opened, and coming unlooked for came Turgon and 10,000 Gondolindhrim from the hidden city to swell there ranks. Fingon's heart at this sight was raised, and the shadow passed in his mind, and crying aloud from up high to the hosts below he shouted:: "Utilie'n aure! (The day has come!) And all of the hosts of the Eldar and Edain together in the valley below that heard his voice echo in the hills answered crying....Auta i lome! (The night is passing!.)

Truly friggin epic, isn't it? tears me up everytime i read it. Very Sad Smilie



[Edited on 14/2/2003 by Komosot]
Well I have finished The Simarillion and I just have to say WOW. From the start to the beginning its just fantastic. the amount of work Tolkien put into this is unbeliveable.
I said it before and at some point I will say it again the man was a genius. His ways with words how he changes the aspect in which we look at a simlpe thing in our world, and then in middle earth it has a whole story behind it.
It reminds of the folklore as such of the incas and aztecs and how the described such things as the rising of the sun to getting a good crop. The man knew what he was doing. Respect is due.
I just finished the Silmarillion (my first time) too. I spent over a month reading it because I wanted to get as much out of it as I could. I am already looking forward to reading it again. I know that I could read it a thousand times and never get bored with it. It is my favorite Tolkien book so far.
Darous, I agree with you. The Silmarillion is an amazing book. Though Virumor is right that it does not give many details (The Unfinished Tales and LotR are good for that), I think it has an epic sweep to it that is astounding, all the more so because it is told in a detached fashion. It is interesting that you say it reminds you of Aztecs, that never occured to me, though I do not know very much about Aztecs.
Yes, I agree with Thingol, if you like this book you should go to the Discussion Group, it is great! I know I've gotten a lot of insight from everyone's posts there.
And Komosot, I agree with you about the Union of Maedhros. The way you described it in your post was beautiful, it was like reading it in the book! Big Laugh Smilie
Darous you know much about Aztecs???
Please take any Aztec dicussion to a tavern.
All I say is, Mr Tolkien wrote a fantasy legend that appears to draw roots from many contempory religions and myths. He was attemting to create a British myth, so it is little wonder his works resemble many contempory legends. As many of the world's religions have certain common grounds and similarities, it is not strange that his own inveted works follow certain religious traits.
When I first finished the Sil. I was like:"OMG!!!!!!!" It was just, man, amazing! Some people say it's historical and unfocused and difficult to understand (blahblahblah), and well, yeah, they're right. But I didn't mind that at all! In fact, it might've been one of the reasons I liked it. I like the Sil. best of all Tolkien's books. It's got so much more heroic action than LOTR, and it's the historical feeling about it. Almost makes you see Arien flying over your house.
Just chiming in my agreement: epic is the word. I personally feel one can't fully appreciate TLorR without the Silmarillion (and yet everyone reads it first; a sad fact of history.) There's a bittersweet quality to the Trilogy as we see the last flowering of the Eldar even as it passes from Middle-Earth forever, and those few who remember a greater time lament the absence of the legendary heroes when it seems they are needed most, to fight a monumental evil that would nonetheless be within their means (Feanor would've kicked Saurons tail up one side of Middle-Earth and down the other, with a firm warning against returning he could easily have proven.) You're aware of that on some level in the Trilogy, but you don't really GET it until the Silmarillion. There's just nothing in the Trilogy on the same scale as the Silmarillion (though I sometimes wonder just how much Aragorn was a return to the likes of Beren, Turin, and Tuor, to say nothing of their fathers; there's no basis for comparison so one can only speculate.) I love the Trilogy to death, but long for the level of detail present in it to be applied to the Silmarillion (my main motivation for starting HoME, in fact; if there's a heaven somewhere Tolkien is sitting and watching it all, just as he envisioned it but could never fully record.) The Trilogy is an epic tale, but only a footnote to the Silmarillion, and in all honesty I think that's the proper proportion. Needless to say, yes, the Silmarillion is my favorite book, too.
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(Feanor would've kicked Saurons tail up one side of Middle-Earth and down the other, with a firm warning against returning he could easily have proven.)

Nah, i think it would be a draw, as both sucked bigtime in battle, although Sauron could weave a song of wizardry to ensnare his talented opponent.

Anyway, i believe Sauron could easily defeat Fëanor by means of trickery : "Look over there : a Silmaril!!" after which Fëanor would turn his head and look in the appointed direction, giving Sauron his chance to backstab Fëa...

Naw, The Hobbit and TLotR were like George Allen & Unwin's free samples to hook us, that we might become addicted to the Silmarillion and all the works of Tolkien.
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Naw, The Hobbit and TLotR were like George Allen & Unwin's free samples to hook us, that we might become addicted to the Silmarillion and all the works of Tolkien.

Lucky it didn't work with me, then.
Now, I dispute they both sucked in battle. Feanor left a pile of dead Balrogs around him, while Sauron required both Gil-Galad and Elendil to take him down, and both perished in so doing (in fact, Isildur claims to have dealt the death blow, implying that had it been merely those two against that one they wuold have died in vain. However, given that it took Gothmog and numbers to take down Feanor (and they still didn't take him down, just give him his deathwound) and that Gil-Galad and Elendil took down Sauron, I think Feanor could take him. At the risk of a flame I guess I'm saying Feanor>=Elendil+Gil-Galad (ooooo, I'm gonna hear it for that one.)
Well, there wasn't exactly that much of Feanor in battle action. Although doubtless he could fight well. But I get the impression he's definately more than Elendil and Gil-galad (wish we could've read a bit more about them too).

The thing is just, I don't really see Feanor that clearly. He died a bit too soon. I would've liked to see more action from him. But of course his death was essential to the story...*sigh* And I'll really have to agree that Sauron could certainly snare Feanor with deceit. Feanor's temper rises too quickly.
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Feanor left a pile of dead Balrogs around him, while Sauron required both Gil-Galad and Elendil to take him down, and both perished in so doing (in fact, Isildur claims to have dealt the death blow, implying that had it been merely those two against that one they wuold have died in vain. However, given that it took Gothmog and numbers to take down Feanor (and they still didn't take him down, just give him his deathwound) and that Gil-Galad and Elendil took down Sauron, I think Feanor could take him. At the risk of a flame I guess I'm saying Feanor>=Elendil+Gil-Galad (ooooo, I'm gonna hear it for that one.)

It's not written that Fëanor left a pile of Balrogs around him. The way I interpreted it, is that Fëanor was desperately trying to fend off any blazing whips/swords, and got many wounds in the process, which would made him eventually succumb, if Gothmog hadn't finished him off immediately - probably because he expected Fëanor's sons to turn up to save their old man. I had the impression from that passage that either the Balrogs were playing around a bit with Fëanor, or just waiting for their captain to turn up to finish off Fëanor or take him captive.

I doubt that anyone safe Tulkas or maybe Eönwë would be able to leave a pile of Balrogs around him... one at a time is already a huge chore, it seems - look at Gandalf vs Dúrin's Bane, Glorfindel vs the Balrog, Ecthelion vs Gothmog... they all didn't survive.
Though I have to agree that Balrogs are hard to fight, I must also mention that Feanor is no common Elf. Isn't his very spirit supposed to be comprised of fire? :snangry: And you all know what he's like when he's angry... I don't know of a single peson's rage who can rival Feanor's. Although rage alone cannot really win a fight, I am inclined to believe in Feanor as a skilled warrior with a strong motive and a nearly unbreakable will. These would certainly help him kill off a Balrog. Though I absolutely agree that there was no way he could've done a job of a dozen Balrogs unless Eru was lending him strength (which is improbable). So I wouldn't say that Feanor's a weak fighter, just that Balrogs are too hard to fight.
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I must also mention that Feanor is no common Elf.

How would you define a 'common Elf'?

The deeds of the Eldar returning to Beleriand appear so 'glorious' because they had just come from the Undying Lands, and the blessings of those lands were still upon them... all Elves who had walked in the Light of the Two Trees were greater in body and spirit than the ones remaining in Middle-earth, who were slightly weared down by the evil that had spread from the ancient fortress of Utumno.. spoiling Arda beyond repair. In the Undying Lands, however, there was protection from Melkor's harm.

For example, remember the radiating figure Frodo saw at the Fords of Bruinen before passing out - that was Glorfindel how he appeared in the Blessed Realm, according to Gandalf.

Indeed, it's hard to imagine Legolas or Haldir challenging Morgoth. They would not even consider it.

But the same is of course true for the Edain. The deeds of Túrin, Beren, Húrin and Tuor were all unequalled after the First Age. It's hard to imagine Boromir slaying 70 trolls or 5 Balrogs; he would, without a doubt, try it, but wouldn't even last 5 seconds.
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How would you define a 'common Elf'?


I would define a "common Elf" as any Elf who is as most Elves are in the specified time period. Feanor is not a common Elf because he does not possess certain traits of most Elves. How many Elves were born with a fire in their spirit that consumed the life of their mothers? How many Elves possessed the talent of Feanor in shaping devices and crafting gems?

Likewise, Galadriel would be considered merely another Elven princess in the First Age or when she was in Valinor, but by the Third Age, she is obviously not just another Elven princess but a great Queen to be admired and feared, even.
very interesting point of view on that Cloveress, definitly makes sense in some degrees! Wink Smilie
Precisely put there, Cloveress.

Its just as Aragorn, Theoden, Denethor etc cannot be called common Men. They were above the general multitude of the population of Men. The same analogy follows for all races including the Elves.
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it's hard to imagine Legolas or Haldir challenging Morgoth


That's because the Elves who challenged Morgoth were fresh from Valinor.
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it's hard to imagine Legolas or Haldir challenging Morgoth

Is it? Legolas is so quick and agile, he could surf Morgoth's snout and shoot out his eyes.
Yes, but can Legolas surf six Balrogs' snouts and shoot out all twelve eyes at once? You can only fit so many arrows into a bow in one shot, y'know.
Fingolfin vs Morgoth was a duel, 0! Tinkerbell... hence no need for Legolas to wet his tights even more.
Whoops! I thought you guys were comparing Legolas to Feanor and the Balrogs...

But Legolas wouldn't stand a chance against either Balrog or Morgoth. Remember that part from LOTR where the Fellowship is in Moria? Legolas was the first to show fear and wail "Ai! A Balrog of Morgoth!" or something like that. I don't blame him, anyone faced with a hot-tempered Balrog from the First Age would be scared out of their wits. Gandalf is sort of an exception (because he was actually from the First Age and beyond).

And for Morgoth...well, if you're afraid of a mere servant of Morgy, chances are you'll be wetting your Elvish tights when you're faced with the master (and Morgoth is no Wizard of Oz, unfortunately).

But you never know, maybe if Legolas had a girl with him, singing enchantments, he would've beaten Morgoth...
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Legolas was the first to show fear and wail "Ai! A Balrog of Morgoth!" or something like that.

I don't think he was afraid, just shocked to see a nightmare of the Past in real life.

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But you never know, maybe if Legolas had a girl with him, singing enchantments, he would've beaten Morgoth...

Maybe Legolas should just sing. Our mighty Dark Lord™ might mistake him for a girl.
i do think he was frightened because he said to celeborn or someone else " of all the elves bane the deadliest save the one who sits..." or something like that.

You have the essence of it Thorin, the actual quote was:

'It was a Balrog of Morgoth,' said Legolas; 'of all elf-banes the most deadly, save the One who sits in the Dark Tower.'
yeah i just remembered i had a pdf version of LOTR Smile Smilie next time i'll use it.
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Likewise, Galadriel would be considered merely another Elven princess in the First Age or when she was in Valinor, but by the Third Age, she is obviously not just another Elven princess but a great Queen to be admired and feared, even.

Her wisdom would undoubtedly have increased, especially since she had been taught by Melian in Doriath during the First Age, but one must not forget that the longer Elves linger in Middle-earth, the more their power fades and the more weary life becomes for them. This is especially true for Galadriel for she had once lived under the Light of the Two Trees, and also partly a reason why she often desired for the One Ring to be in her possession.

Near the end of the Third Age, Galadriel was merely a shadow of her former self. Yes, she was still powerful and regarded as a High Queen by the Galadhrim -she did, after all, break the walls of Dol Guldur after the War of the Ring, in a similar fashion as Lúthien had once broken the walls of Sauron's Tower on Tol-in-Gaurhoth- but nothing like her former self.

Take, for instance, how Frodo percieved Galadriel during the 'pic-nic' they had prior to leaving Lóthlorien :
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There in the last end of Egladil upon the green grass the parting feast was held; but Frodo ate and drank little, heeding only the beauty of the Lady and her voice. She seemed no longer perilous or terrible, nor filled with hidden power. Already she seemed to him, as by men of later days Elves still at times are seen: present and yet remote, a living vision of that which has already been left far behind by the flowing streams of Time.
I am reading the LOTR for only the third time Very Sad Smilie and about five days ago I read that exact passage and in my mind I could see her beauty and splendor but you could see t hru it like sunlight through a glass pane, sort of ethereal like Salamuth Wolfing paintings. And it did seem as if she was very diminished now and retained only a fraction of her former glory.
It was the saddest feeling reading that.
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And it did seem as if she was very diminished now and retained only a fraction of her former glory.

Yes, but at least her glory would be restored in earnest when she made it back to Eldamar.

Considering her acquired wisdom, she would even become greater than she had ever been, contrary to Fëanor who would forever remain brooding in the Halls of Mandos, at least until the end of the world.
Oh right, and now I feel ever so much better about her. I wonder what in fact it must be like to brood about in the halls of MANDOS and do you ever wonder what those halls would look like(is any light there?) and what He actually looked like, or did it describe that somewhere?
i think most of the prisoners of mandos Ha Ha Ha Smilie sit silently in their own thoughts while waiting for there leaving application to be processed. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
I would think that they also sit around swapping lies and playing games of chance with future earnings as stakes. The Hall might not be such a bad place. Very Big Grin Smilie Hmm, I wonder if Mandos allows pipeweed?
very funny. I think it must be some really majestic place that is full of thought and assesment of one's whole being and past and all that. No dear Halbard, no pipeweed. I cannot think that would ever be acceptable.
But when I picture it not much comes to my mind except some rather coolish(in temperature) place of grey stone with torches on the walls all over the place and a lot of silence. And someone like a god walking about doing who knows what. And everyone wears a mantle like you Halbard, only in different colors and many have their hoods on for some reason I cannot fathom. Beyond that I never see or hear a thing.
my opinion is different, i always imagined it to be more like (and his is kinda hard to explain)

everyone has there OWN experiance, they see other people but it isnt them,

for instance

A, B and C

A is there and can see B and C but it is her own perception of B and C (IE the way she last saw them or the way she rembers them best)
B is there and can see A and C but it is her own perception of A and C (IE the way she last saw them or the way she rembers them best)
C is there and can see A and B but it is her own perception of A and B (IE the way she last saw them or the way she rembers them best)


like an alternate reality kinda situation

(if youve studied the ideas of time travel and problems therein, thenthis may make sense to you)

Big Smile Smilie xxx
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And everyone wears a mantle like you Halbard, only in different colors and many have their hoods on for some reason I cannot fathom. Beyond that I never see or hear a thing.


Prisoners of Mandos Sect? Elf With a Big Grin Smilie