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Thread: Silmarillion Reading Group - Introduction

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Grondmaster says Valedhelgwath posted
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Okay, all you wannabe and have been readers of the Silmarillion. Taz has kindly opened this slot for us, so let's proceed.

The aim of this topic is to be a reading/discussion group for the Silmarillion and as such will follow a fairly rigid structure based around the book and weekly reading assignments. The weekly assignments will cover about 25 - 30 pages at a time and will be covered by their own threads.

In order to keep this stucture in place, and to keep everything tidy and focused, I believe only Council Members can open new threads in here. Please help to keep everything focused by keeping to topic. If you feel the need to say, "hi," to a new member, please do it in another thread. Anything I feel to be off topic, I shall moderate out. Seems a little draconian of me, but the purpose of this thread is to run a reading group rather than a general chat. Saying that, I hope all participants will enjoy themselves in here.

As has been mentioned elsewhere, I will give a brief outline of each assignment at the beginning of each new thread, and I will attempt to provide a list of the names of the new characters and places contained within, as many people complain the number of names is something they find confusing at times.

The thread will then be thrown open to discussion and questions. I will leave this down to other readers as much as possible, but will attempt to answer any questions that may be raised. Once a particular thread has gone the distance, I think it would be nice if one of the other readers could attempt to summarise the chapters covered, as a way of closing the thread.

If there is anything I have missed, or you feel should be added, use this introduction thread to raise your points. This thread may also be used to cover more general issues that arise outside of the following threads.

Okay, I hope you all enjoy yourself here, and find this Reading Group useful. It will be aimed for the first time user, but help from past readers will be more than welcome.

Please remember to keep your posts on topic.


Most of us on this site have known each other for a while now, but for the purposes of this Group maybe another introduction to the Group would be apropriate. Tolkien's works are magnificant pieces of fantasy literature, and delve deeper than any other works that I know. From the Hobbit to the History of Middle Earth, there is something for everyone, whatever their age or reading ability.

Once someone has read any of Tolkien's works, they are almost always changed in some way. For myself, a whole new world opened up for me that I was unaware of before. Even people who have never read the books have often heared of them, particularly now that the film has been released.

For the purpose of this Group, therefore, I would like to know...

1) How often have you read the various works of Tolkien?
2) Briefly what you thought of each one?
3) Did you have any preconception before reading the books of what they would be like, and if so, how accurate was that preconception?

I am particularly interested in this third question with respect to people who have never read the Silmarillion before, because it is these people I am aiming this Group towards. Many people seem to have the preconception that the Silmarillion will be heavy going or boring, and often give up before they even buy it. If I can help just one such person enjoy the book by running this Group, I will feel my time has been justified.

Okay, to answer the above question myself.

My first introduction to Tolkien was twenty years ago when friends at University began talking about people I had never heard of, and calling their plants Boromir and Faramir. Feeling left out, one night I picked up a copy of UT that was lying around and read the opening piece about Tuor travelling through a tunnel alongside a stream. I was hooked. A few months earlier I had begun playing AD&D... The very next dungeon I wrote had to have a similar tunnel and stream, so impressed was I with Tolkien's descriptions.

On advice from friends, I gave them back UT and borrowed their copy of the Hobbit. To be honest, the opening paragraph almost put me off. I thought it was too child-like. Mid-way through the first chapter, however, I was engrossed. My next dungeon just had to have a Dwarven mine under a mountain containing a red dragon.

Within a few months I had read LOTR and the Silmarillion in quick succession, and in the space of a few months had become an "postAuthorIDity" on Tolkien among my circle of friends. To say I was hooked was an understatement. Between Middle Earth and Dungeans and Dragons, I had virtually ceased to exist in the real world. I had crossed realms and was living my life elsewhere (and the thought still scares me now).

Anyway, in total, I have read the Hobbit twice, LotR five times (the Fellowship eight times), The Silmarillion four times and UT just the once. In addition to this, however, I have used the books to research my AD&D and Rolemaster worlds. Doing so, they became well thumbed text books, and certain sections of each book I must have read dozens of times. rrIn addition to Tolkien's own works I have David Day's Tolkien Bestiary (which for a long time was my most valuable possession), David Day's Tolkien Ring, the essential Complete Guide to Middle Earth by Robert Foster, and (on Grondy's recommendation) The Atlas of Middle Earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad. Also, which I have found very useful, are Iron Crown Enterprises' Middle Earth modules for their Middle Earth Roleplaying game. These modules, which cover most of the land have some beautiful colour maps, and are a wealth of information.

What I'd like to do now is read the HoME books. I was told by another Tolkien fan several years ago that they were as boring as Hell, and so never bothered with them. Now I wish I had because I am having a job finding them, and have very little time in which I can read them.rMy preconception of them? They will be a slog in places... I might skip chunks of them to find the areas I want to read, but I will be able to delve into a new level of Tolkien's writings and make exciting discoveries I was until then unaware of.

Okay... Over to the rest of you. Smile Smilie
OK, well My first introduction to Tolkien came when I was very young (6-7?) and I saw the cartoon movie at my uncles house. I remember the Balrog most distinctly (that and gollums eyes and Gandalf riding in for the final battle) after this it was a few more years before I did anything else "Tolkien"
Next was buying the Hobbit when I was about 12. At school we could buy books for , like about, 10p or something in the book club. I was never into reading much at the time and chose a book because I had to, and based my choice on the cover (picture of Smaug!) I didn't even read it for another few years and when I finally did I read it a good 2-3 times. I've now read the hobbit about 6 times (I'm now 26)
Inevitably LOTR's followed. I've read this maybe 5 times now, and am finding that each time I do so I find something else I enjoy (which previously I may not have) i.e I hated the poems and most of ROTK and loved the Elves and the battles first time round. Now I've read more (Silmarillion, UT, "Letters", and the lost road) I'm more interested in the history of Numenor, and the poetry has new meaning for me (i.e I can relate it to something)
I tried reading the Sil when I was about 16. I'd heard from my cousin that it was tough (a bit like reading Mallorys "le morte d'arthur....all focus on geneaology, battles and the suchlike and written in very archaic form) and true enough I failed to get past the song of the ainur. I tried again early this year and found it a lot easier than I had remembered. Plus! after the first few chapters the narrative style changed slightly to something less archaic and more managable. The stories, taken as myth are absolutely fantastic and bring to light many of the references made in LOTR's . Soooo glad i finally read it, and kinda glad I found it so late in life as it gave me a new "epiphany" (for wont of a better word...actually more like a childish excitement and revalation of something new)
UT, i'm still reading this for the first time. I like the added detail to existing stories and some new stuff to boot. a little dissapointed though at no new info on the blue wizards (one of my prime reasons for buying the book)
My most current read however is the "Letters of JRRT" which I bought on curiosity and have found to be one of the most insightful, interesting and revealing books i've read. HIs view on women and americans are particularly interesting! as are his relationships with C.S.Lewis, Auden, and others (including a real life chap called Sam Gamgee!!!!)
hmmm, well thats it I guess. Most of my preconceptions had prooved innacurate as it turned out.
Hobbit, just thought it was another runofthemill kids fantasy book = Wrong
LOTR, knew I was gonna get something good = Bingo!
Silmarillion, thought it would be hard and boring = wrong, just to immature first time round i guess.
UT , lost road and letters, really by this time I knew I loved Tolkiens works and style (however changable) and just jumped in without much thought.
ok thats it, hope this is the kinfd of reply you were looking for? Big Smile Smilie
That's excellant, Cirdan. I hope you'll be joining us in our discussions Big Smile Smilie

Could anyone else interested in joining this group let me know as soon as possible so we can begin. The first assignment has already been posted, but I plan to stretch the first "week" slightly just to make sure everyone who wishes to join has found their way here.
If you are put off by a long introduction, don't worry. Either make it brief or just send a post saying you are on board.

I've had a browse through the contents page and have decided to work to the following plan, breaking the chapters down in the following manner.

Week 1) Ainulindale, Valaquenta, Of the Beginning of Days (36 pages)
Week 2) Chapters 2-6 (29 pages)
Week 3) Chapters 7-9 (29 pages)
Week 4) Chapters 10-13 (33 pages)
Week 5) Chapters 14-16 (28 pages)
Week 6) Chapters 17-18 (26 pages)
Week 7) Chapter 19 (32 pages)
Week 8) Chapter 20 (12 pages)
Week 9) Chapter 21 (36 pages)
Week 10) Chapters 22-24 (35 pages)
Week 11) The Akallabeth (32 pages)
Week 12) The Rings of Power & The Third Age (26 pages)

The sessions could perhaps be broken down into page lengths better than I have done, but I have attempted to keep the chapters covered by each session as best as I could on theme with each other.

Please, if you are interested in joining in with this group, let us know as soon as possible so that we can proceed.
I'm in!

I read Hobbit when I was 6 or 7. Then couple of times in folowing years. I just enjoyed reading it - all those adventures and excitement...
Then after I saw the movie I spent my savings (a huge jar of change) on LotR books. And loved them. I like rereading my favorite chapters every now and then. And just recently I read Sillmarillion. I was told that it is hard to read and it might seem boring. I was surprised how untrue these statements turned out to be.
As for LotR I knew that it would be a great book. But before that my impression of fantasy genre as such was formed by stupid b-class movies shown on tv (horrible , isn't it ?).
I'm fascinated how Tolkien pictures battle between good and evil - even if the good side wins scars of this battle are inevitable. Also he is the best writer whose works I have encountered so far.
The Hobbit is of course a book meant for children, but adults also will enjoy it.
Silmarillion is more focused on history and less on heroes than LotR, because it is very concentrated. It gave me a background on LotR.
Welcome on board Orange Smile Smilie

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I'm fascinated how Tolkien pictures battle between good and evil - even if the good side wins, scars of this battle are inevitable.
From his own experiences in the war he knew how terrible battles are. No one really wins in war, one side just sustains less damage than the other, or can absorb more of it. And of course, he did not shy away from the good guys losing battles either. In the Silmarillion you really feel the losses and the heartache.
Hello to all,

I am a 31 year old "computer guy" in Alabama [USA]. I read The Hobbit during high school in the late 80s and thought that it was a good book. I then read LOTR completely in '95 and LOVED IT!! I have read it 4 times since then, and am currently also reading TTT for movie preparation. I have never read any other Tolkien written work (Sil, UT, HoME), but I own most of them.

I have read Carpenter's bio 3 times...it is a wonderful book that all fans should read. I also own 15 other Tolkien related books, of which I have read all but 2. Tolkein is my favorite postAuthorID, and I am trying to read more of his works to geta better feel for Middle-earth. I am also working on a Masters Degree is History, so I am hoping that the historical aspects of the Sil. and HoME will appeal to me. I have concentrated my studies on the Middle Ages and the Crusades, so that falls in line with my love of Tolkien quite nicely.

I have always thought the Sil. was going to be boring, but after the first lesson, I am finding myself re-reading it 2 and 3 times to make sure that I am getting it all. I have always thought that UT and HoME were very tedious reading, but hopefully, having read the Sil. maybe it will all fall into place. (Does it, Val?)

My hope is to take this reading group idea and move it to UT and HoME so that we can share in the experiences of others and their life's experiences in how they see Tolkiens works "talk" to them.

I agree with Cirdan about the Letter of JRRT as being an indepensible guide to the thoughts of Tolkien and I recommend everyone to get a copy. (I got a 1st Edition HC on ebay for less than $15 US). But this was before is was re-released as a PB.

I am looking forward to getting to know everyone through this group.
Hi Bain. Welcome on board. It's interesting that you have read so many other books centered around the Tolkien theme, but not the Silmarillion itself. If you are capable of doing a Masters in History, both the Silmarillion and UT should be a breeze to you.
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I have always thought that UT and HoME were very tedious reading, but hopefully, having read the Sil. maybe it will all fall into place. (Does it, Val?)
I cannot speak for HoME because I haven't read them yet. UT can be difficult, but I find it fills in the gaps that Silmarillion misses out. For someone who is interested in delving into the depths of Middle Earth it is really insightful in places. I find the worse thing about it is, you just get into one of the stories, turn the page and suddenly realise it really is an unfinished tale.
Can I still join? Disturbed Smilie Bit late though it is, I read about this thingie last week but I didn't have time to post... Can I? Pretty please?

Hrmmm let's see. We'll I'm Greet (generally known here as Tommie) and I'm 18, 19 in February. I'm from Belgium, you know that tricky ridicolous little country in Western Europe Americans tend to confuse with the capital of Brussels, while it's actually the other way around if you know what I'm talking about Tongue Smilie ? Oh yeah, I tend to do this quite a lot, talk about things nobody else seems to understand. Tongue Smilie And if my English is a bit confusing, it's because of translation problems. Big Laugh Smilie

About the works of Tolkien, I have read both the Hobbit and LOTR. I think I read the Hobbit two or three times, and LOTR about 5 or 6 times from one cover to the other. I read a few stories in UT but not many and by joining this group I hope I'll finally be able to drag myself through the Sil. Big Smile Smilie

The Hobbit is in my opinion a very good book, perhaps a bit childish but nevertheless a very good introduction to LOTR and overall a nice read. It's a good story with lots of great characters (like Smaug and Beorn and Thorin Oakenshield and the dwarves).
LOTR is imho one of the best books ever written. What intrigues me the most is the fact that although the book is so thick and the story is so long, it keeps fascinating you and you seem unable to put the book back down again... And another thing is that the story doesn't counter itself (dunno if this is the word in English, but I don't have a dictionary here now).

I didn't have much of a preconception of the books in advance, all I knew was that it was about a Ring, Elves, Dwarves, Men and Hobbits (and I had no idea what those were), but the story turned out to be quite different from what I had in mind. Well, if you only know the things I knew about it, it's not that difficult to start imagining, right?

Anyway, I hope I can finally be able to read the Sil now that I joined this group. It's a great comfort to know you can post all your questions here and know that eventually they will be answered by someone who knows a lot more about Tolkien than you do yourself. Thanks guys/girls! Thumbs Up Smilie
Hey, Tommie. We've finally attracted you. Come in and make yourself at home. We're only just starting the second assignment so you shouldn't have too much catching up to do. Hopefully, working through it with us, you'll come to appreciated what a wonderful book the Silmarillion is.
Yep you got me hooked! Big Laugh Smilie

I just hope that this time I'll finally be able to read it, because now I got help! See last times I tried to read it I always got confused after a few pages, with names and locations and stuff, and now you're here to help me out! Thumbs Up Smilie I think I'll make it this time. I'll start reading the second assignment soon.
I'm sorry I'm late but can I still join? Pleeease? I Really Need To Finish The Simarillion. Ha! I got up to page 104 and never finished it! Typical Me.

Anyway, Can I Still Join? Or Is The Time Up?
Feel free to join whenever you like, Orimono.

You can add to the earlier posts if you wish, or continue on from the latest assignment. We are currently only a little ahead of where you have read up to. I'll look forward to hearing your views.
Another latecomer I guess Disturbed Smilie; but better late than never as they say.

*catching up with your reading assignments and cramming my courses will be pretty hard stuff but that will be okay*

Mmm, let's think. What to tell about myself and the most erudite piece of epic fantasy ever written?
I started reading The Hobbit when I was about 14 years old on advise of my dad. I considered it a quiet funny children's tale and didn't read any books by Tolkien thereafter for 2 years or so. When I came upon D&D a few years ago I started reading the books again to find some inspiration for the game. Not much impressed (I found especially TTT rather boring) I laid them aside for another 2 years. By then I was listening to Wagner's ring like a madman (weird period in my short life - I have to admit I even knelt down on his grave in Bayreuth :madSmile Smilie and we were playing a concertpiece called 'Avalon' with the symphonic brassband (I'm playing French horn). Completely hooked by the original germanic and celtic myths at the base of these pieces I went on reading tons of epic fantasy. I got - I know: again - bored and almost made up my mind about this kind of literature: boring, dull and not worthy to give some attention in this short life, till upon a bright day I 'stumbled' on my Tolkiens.
'Lord of the Rings' it said. Parallel with Wagner? Yes! There it was! I started reading them again and didn't stop reading them till now. Numbers? I estimate I read LotR 7 times by now, the Hobbit about 3 times.
Last year I bought a copy of the Sil and started reading it immediately. By a, till now undefined coincidence, it lost my attention and disappeared somewhere in the dark corners of my bookcase at home. I really want to read it from cover to cover this time (using this postBody board as an incentive) and like to consider it as a preparation to HoME. I'm sure it won't bother me. These tales seem to be an (fantasy) equivalent of the Iceland Eddas and the Germanic Volsung-saga, which could be most interesting.

Time to go to sleep - my head will tap the keyboard within a few minutes ... Dead Smilie
Welcome to the group, Heorogar. We are working through the assignments at a fairly sedate pace (mainly because I am too busy to go any faster) so you should be able to catch up with us without too much effort. I hope the chapters we have already covered are of an help to you, and feel free to add opinions of your own to ours if you wish.
Glad to have you with us Remi. A lot of good points have been covered by the earlier assignments and if you read them in conjunction with the book, you might find they help you understand it better.

The earlier assignments are still open to be posted in, so if you want to add your own opinions to any of the questions raised, or want to ask questions about anything you did not understand, feel free to do so in the relevant assignment.

Look forward to seeing you around here.
Like Cirdan i was fisrt introduced to Tolkien with the original movie as it was shown on channel four every year. The bit that stuck in my mind was the Nazgul at woody end and for years I though that the Nazgul was hidding in the hobby hole under the stairs. I then read the Hobbit when I was about eleven and i thought it was quite good. when I was twelve I was rushed into hospital and to cheer me up my mum bought me the Lord of the rings. Being unable to sleep I started to read it and I was hooked so much so I read it in a day and had it confiscated for the next day by the nurses as I started to read it again. I was fascinated by all the refrences to the likes of Morgorth, Luthien and Beren so as soon as I got out of hospital I went to the local book store and seached amongst the shelves of tolkien and found the Silmarillion. I read that and was filled by the utter beauty of the book. About two years ago I finally managed to get my hands on a copy of the Unfinished Tales and read that instantly.
I have lost count how many time I have read each book as I am constantly read a Tolkien work along with what ever else I am reading at the time. But for Lord of the Rings and the silmarillion it is at least 20, perhaps 10 to 15 for the others.
I do have some of the history of middle earth books but I havent got round to reading any of them yet. I also have the David Day's Tolkien Bestiary which never leaves my living room (even though there are some mistakes, like all the sons of Feanor dying, Maglor didn't). I have a map of the entirety of Arda on my wall, you could say I'm a complete geek.
my preconseptions of Tolkiens works are those of wonder cunjoured through the language that will be instilled in the immagery of your minds eye!
Good to see you in here, Ross. Some of the questions which I raise in here I do so because I'm unsure of the answers too. It'll be good to have your experience in here to help me through a few of them.

I'm pleased you decided to join us. Smile Smilie
Yep I thought for once I'd stop being a misserable got and help out.
hi lads and lasses, i hope it is not to late, but i just found about this place, and since the silmarillion is one of my favirtes books, i had to try to join you...

actually, my first meet with tolkien was about three years ago when my wife(in that time just fiancÚ)ask me if i have read those books....., and I told her that if she had one, i would give them a try.woukd you believe that nowadays i am the one that corrects her most of the times...

I read the hobbit just like three times, and every time i found it very interestin, though it did not became one of my favorites.

I read TLoTR like 6 times,and every time I enjoy it like if it were the first time. I loved when frodo gets to the council for the first time, and the way he is introduced.

the two towers acomplished all my expectations,evetn though the part of frodo and sam, I think is just to descriptive....,but i loved it.

and the return of the king always make me feel great,but I always feel like i need more of it every time .


I read the silmarillion like 6 times..and I am reading it again......,and i know i will love it.

about the UT i think they are a little bit confusing if i do not follow the silmarillion as for consulting it.they are great,like if they are to explain some dark parts of the silmarillion.

tales from the middle earth,i do not know if i have read them,because I have read the apendix (4 slim books.)but in my language most of the times the titles suffer transformations, and so,it is dificult to know if they are the same or not.?are they?...

I have read some other books like homage to tolkien(do not know if it is grammatically correct,because the title is in spanish)and some others...

And as for if they have acomplish my expectations....trusth me...., they overwhelmed them....

I hope I will know you all as soon as i got there where you are righ know, so lets read... Read Smilie



[Edited on 12/1/2003 by Valedhelgwath]
Welcome to the reading group, Thingol77.

As you can probably see, I'm not managing to keep up the one assignment a week schedule I first aimed for, but this more sedate pace does allow the topics to get discussed in detail.

I'll look forward to hearing your own opinions.
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tales from the middle earth,i do not know if i have read them,because I have read the apendix (4 slim books.)but in my language most of the times the titles suffer transformations, and so,it is dificult to know if they are the same or not.?are they?...
There is a series of books called the History of Middle Earth of which the Books of Lost Tales parts one and two are the first two in the series. It is probably these that you have.
I don't understand how I could have missed this particular thread... Late as I am, hope I can join in your reading group and exchange thoughts and opinions as well as understand Tolkien's works better Smile Smilie

I first encountered LOTR when I was 13, through a friend who found out that I enjoyed reading fantasy. At that point in time I was enjoying David Eddings' Belgariad series. When I finished LOTR, I dumped Eddings completely Tongue Smilie Since then I have read LOTR 5 times.

Strangely enough, I picked up The Silmarillion before I read The Hobbit. I believe it was because someone told me that it was a children's book, so I didn't bother with it. Took me a while to get through the initial few chapters, captivating as it was because of the number of names that were being revealed each page. Once I arrived at Quenta Silmarilli, I couldn't put it down. Since then I have read it 3 times. And I only managed to get hold of it 2 years ago because it was difficult to get hold of ANY Tolkien works in Singapore prior to the release of the movie.

During this period of time, I read a little of C S Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia and found it enchanting, despite the fact that it was for children. Hence I decided to pick up the Hobbit. It was definitely a good decision, and I have since read it twice and purchased a slipcase hardcover collector's edition as part of my collection piece (I collect good books).

I got hold of Unfinished Tales middle of last year. Found it a little disjointed as compared to the Silmarillion. But I guess it was to be expected as hinted by the title of the book.

Managed to read a little of the first volume of History of Middle Earth, but never got to finish it. Didn't have time and it was borrowed from a library. The history series is the next in line that I am waiting to purchase and start on, once I have enough money though...

But before that, I am likely to complete reading Tolkien's letters, which I had the opportunity of browsing. In a certain sense I found it gave me more insight into Middle Earth to know what the writer envisioned it to be and his philosophies and ideas.

During the past 2 years, I have done a fair amount of readings from various sources online and offline on critiques and commentaries on Tolkien's works, some of which I agree and others whom I frown upon.

And that's my resume Tongue Smilie
Welcome, Erkenbrand. It'll be good having your experience in here. I'm currently reading the HOME series myself for the first time. If nothing else, they'll make the Unfinished Tales seem like easy reading.

Join in with us where ever suits you best. If you feel you can add anything to the earlier assignments, feel free to do so.
Well, I too just found out about this group through chat. I 'm also new to Plant-Tolkien.

To answer your questions

1) How often have you read the various works of Tolkien?

Well I first read the Hobbit and Rings in college. I learned about the Hobbit in grade school, when a friend was using it as a base for his D&D game. Wasn't very interested in it then. It all seemed very confusing.

I have read Hobbit and Rings twice and Silmarillion once (just started reading it for 2nd time and am half way through).

2) Briefly what you thought of each one?

The Hobbit - love it. It is a good intro to Tolkien's other works because it's not too heavy but still has a lot to it.

The Lord of the Rings - absolutely my fave book of all time!

Silmarillion - Found hard at first to get into. Geography is not one of my strong suits, but I love history and I just had to know the history behind Middle Earth.

3) Did you have any preconception before reading the books of what they would be like, and if so, how accurate was that preconception?

No real preconceptions. I just love books. My genre likes vary as much as my musical tastes do. If it's well written and well told, I'd probably like it.

Once again, I hope it is not too late to join.
Welcome to the group McDLT, and to Planet Tolkien in general. It's not too late to join. The earlier assignments have been pretty much covered, so hopefully they will be of some assistance to you if you wish to go through them, and if you think you have anything to add to them, or any queries, feel free to raise them.

Like you, many people struggle with the Geography when reading the Silmarillion, mainly because there are so many names mentioned. I cannot help too much with this one, except to suggest you keep refering to the maps of Beleriand, and over time you will become familiar with many of the places.

I hope you enjoy yourself here, and look forward to reading your views/comments.
Hi....this is like so embarrasing but can I join too?
I gotta admit that I didn't cared about Tolkien's books in the past 16 yrs of my life.I only started reading LOTR (my first book) last year, and subsequently The Silmarillion, Unfinished tales, The hobbit. I also read a few other books like morgoth's ring and other assorted stuff. Now, seriously, I didn't really bother about maps because well, to be honest I can hardly understand it. However, I do not really have any of the books I read with me except LOTR as they are all borrowed from the library. So I wil just use what I remembered and try to borrow the books again if you don't mind.l
Silmarillion In my opinion is far superior than all the other works of Tolkien I ever read. Which is not much by the way... Tongue Smilie I figured that LOTR even pales in comparison to it...maybe it is just because I am so into the past and the glory, splendour and power of characters. I finished unfinished tales, but I gotta admit that it was not thoroughly read as I only read it twice...
So did I pass? Big Smile Smilie
Welcome, cousin MadWannabe! (yes he really is my cousin Big Smile Smilie )

This is a great place to get more views on the book and makes for interesting discussion topics when I meet you... Ha Ha Ha Smilie
Well...I just hope that my minscule knowledge will not be laughed at and mocked at...and thanks for the welcome...opps...this is getting out of topic...
You are more than welcome to join us MadWannabe, and I assure you, nobody in here will be mocking you for what you know or don't know. This discussion group was originally intended for first time readers, with the aim of helping them understand better what for most people can be a difficult book to read the first time.

Although, right from the beginning, this group attracted a wider audience than first time readers (which has helped me out a great deal), the purpse is still the same. I want it to help people to overcome the difficulties they often experience with this book, and in addition, help them see the deeper meanings and implications that Tolkien wove into this wonderful piece of work.

I know from my own experience, this latter objective is working. By working through these assignments with the rest of you, I am learning so much more myself.
Can I please join, I'm REALLY late, but i just joined yesterday.
My intro to Tolkien was with the movies. I had started to read LOTR before, but the movie really inspired meto read them.
I have read the Hobbit, part of UT, LOTR, and want to read the Silmarillion.
I had no expectations except for with the Hobbit, I thought it was just a little kids book. I was so wrong.

So, can I please join, late as it is?
Hi Linnende. Welcome to both Planet Tolkien and to our Silmarillion Reading Discussion Group. You are more than welcome to join in.

As you seem to be a first time reader of the Silmarillion, it will be nice to get some feedback from you to let us know how helpful this group is for first time readers of this book. I am hoping what we are doing here will be something that will help other readers long after we have finished ourselves.

If run through the assignments as you read the relevant chapters, you'll have to let us know if you have found this any help to you. If you have any problems, or have any questions we have not already covered, feel free to raise them in the relevant assignment (none of them have been closed).

Depending how fast you read, you should catch up with us soon as I cannot find the time to write new assignments very often. There's just not enough hours in the day for me anymore.

Best of luck with the book. I hope you enjoy it, and that we can help give you a better insight into its complexities.
On 9/6/03 parzifal wrote.
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Hey. I wonder, may I join in? I'm Russian and I'm doing my research paper on paganism and christianity in Tolkien's works. I read Silmarillion only in Russian but now I'm trying to get it somehow in the original. In the beginning it was all interesting but then came all this geographical stuff which I couldn't get through without a map for quite a long time. Nevertheless when I read the pessimistic story about decline of the Elven kingdoms I really felt that Tolkien mood. What can I say? I'm also melancholic, I'm also Christian, and I'm 21.
Parzifal

On 9/6/03 Allyssa replied.
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parzifal, welcome to PT!

Yes, everyone is welcome to join in the reading group. Make yourself at home.

I will leave Valedhelgwath to explain any guidelines you need to be aware of.

On 9/6/03 MadWannabe added.
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Welcome parzifal! Though I would like to comment that you could have posted in the introduction of the Silmarillion reading group. Glad to have a new mind poring over the mysteries of the Silmarillion.


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What can I say? I'm also melancholic
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Guess what? I am too!
Hi Parzifal.

First, may I wish you a very big welcome to Planet Tolkien, and second, welcome you to the Reading Discussion Group too. As you will see, if you have browsed though the Assignments, we have reached the end of the book, but we are hoping to keep the Group going for newcomers like yourself who may still wish to join in.

Hopefully, many of your questions may already have been answered in the relevant sections, but if you have any comments to add, or questions to ask, please feel free to make them in the relevent assignments.
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In the beginning it was all interesting but then came all this geographical stuff which I couldn't get through without a map for quite a long time.
Many editions of the Silmarillion do have maps covering the mentioned areas of Beleriand. If you are unable to find a copy with the maps, you might find the ones we have on site useful. Check out Maps on the menu bar on the left under Art Gallery.

I look forward to seeing you around Smile Smilie
just a quick question, is there going to be another reading group or something, cuz its really late for this one...
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"it is in sickness when they are reminded they are only human" "what if darkness was made up of more than just "the absence of light""
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just a quick question, is there going to be another reading group or something, cuz its really late for this one...
I doubt if there will be on The Silmarillion Anatea(seajewel); however you can follow the course outline that Val has posted here and ask any questions you don't find answers to under the appropiate assignments and I am sure they will be answered. Just try to stay on topic within that assignment. You can also ask your questions or discuss things in The Silmarillion thread under Books.

That said, in September/October I feel sure we will again start our weekly sessions in our #bilbos-study chatroom which we postponed for final exams (and probably the rest of the summer). We were studying The Two Towers, where the three hunters had just discovered Gandalf is still alive and Shadowfax having gathered in their missing horses, had returned pursuient to Gandalf's whistle. The transcripts of those sessions have been posted by our great teacher/facilitator Rednell under Tolkien Weekly Courses under Misc.

We had been holding those chats on Sundays at 9 PM UK Time, which is 4 PM ET and 1 PM PT, and most of us in the northern hemisphere are are operating under daylight savings time and will stay with those hours when we revert to standard time.
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That's excellant, Cirdan. I hope you'll be joining us in our discussions Big Smile Smilie

Could anyone else interested in joining this group let me know as soon as possible so we can begin. The first assignment has already been posted, but I plan to stretch the first "week" slightly just to make sure everyone who wishes to join has found their way here.
If you are put off by a long introduction, don't worry. Either make it brief or just send a post saying you are on board.

I've had a browse through the contents page and have decided to work to the following plan, breaking the chapters down in the following manner.

Week 1) Ainulindale, Valaquenta, Of the Beginning of Days (36 pages)
Week 2) Chapters 2-6 (29 pages)
Week 3) Chapters 7-9 (29 pages)
Week 4) Chapters 10-13 (33 pages)
Week 5) Chapters 14-16 (28 pages)
Week 6) Chapters 17-18 (26 pages)
Week 7) Chapter 19 (32 pages)
Week 8) Chapter 20 (12 pages)
Week 9) Chapter 21 (36 pages)
Week 10) Chapters 22-24 (35 pages)
Week 11) The Akallabeth (32 pages)
Week 12) The Rings of Power & The Third Age (26 pages)

The sessions could perhaps be broken down into page lengths better than I have done, but I have attempted to keep the chapters covered by each session as best as I could on theme with each other.

Please, if you are interested in joining in with this group, let us know as soon as possible so that we can proceed.
Did you have a question about Val's assignment schedule that was made last Halloween, Irima-Arwen?
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So? What's happening?
They finished the book, but you can redo it by reading an assignment (they are listed out of order) so start with the Introduction and then Assignment 1. After you have read the chapter, try to answer the questions and compare your answers to those given in the posts following the assignment. If you still have any pertainent questions or comments, post them and someone will undoubtably respond.

Also, you could post your questions or comments under The Silmarillion under Books instead of here.

[Edited on 15/12/2003 by Grondmaster]
I have just retrieved the text from the missing first post to this thread (topic).
Thanks, Grondy. You're a star Thumbs Up Smilie