The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

General information

The book is a collection of mythopoeic works which was edited and published after Tolkien’s death by his son, Christopher Tolkien, with assistance from Guy Gavriel Kay in 1977. The book comprises five parts which were initially separate works. They are as follows:

1. Ainulindalë (tells of the creation of Eä, the “world that is”)

2. Valaquenta (gives a description of the Valar and Maiar, the supernatural powers in Eä)

3. Quenta Silmarillion (divided into twenty-four sub-chapters; which forms the bulk of the collection, chronicles the history of the events before and during the First Age)

4. Akallabêth (relates the history of the Downfall of Númenor and its people, which takes place in the Second Age)

5. Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age (is a brief account of the circumstances which led to and were presented in The Lord of the Rings)


 

 

 

 

 

 

Plot overview

The plot of ‘The Silmarillion’ is very complex and incorporates numerous details of vast importance. That’s why I’ve decided not to write it by myself. Just click on the part of your interest and read a thorough description of the chapter.

1. Ainulindalë

2. Valaquenta

3. Quenta Silmarillion

– Of the Beginning of Days

– Of Aulë and Yavanna

– Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor

 Of Thingol and Melian

– Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Edalië

– Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor

 Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor

– Of the Darkening of Valinor

 Of the Flight of the Noldor

– Of the Sindar

 Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor

– Of Men

– Of the Return of the Noldor

– Of Beleriand and Its Realms

 Of the Noldor in Beleriand

– Of Maeglin

– Of the Coming of Men into the West

– Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin

– Of Beren and Lúthien

– Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad

– Of Túrin Turambar

 Of the Ruin of Doriath

 Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin

– Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath

4. Akallabêth

5. Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age

Review

If I were to think of one word describing the book, it would be definitely the word “challenging”. Personally, I regard Tolkien as the master of confusing the reader with names of places and protagonists, diverse events incorporated in his stories and, of course, the language used in his works. ‘The Silmarilion’ is one of the most difficult books I’ve ever read. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like it. Not at all. The story which came into being thanks to Tolkien is very interesting and engrossing. However, the style of writing and presenting ideas doesn’t let the reader just sit, relax and read. It requires a lot of focus, cause if one doesn’t pay attention, they may get lost very easily. During my first attempt to read the book I had to re-read some pages, or even chapters, to be able to follow the story. But one thing for sure, Tolkien’s imagination was limitless. All the worlds he created, characters he brought to life… that’s really amazing and impressive. That’s why I like his works, even if they’re hard to read. Cause thanks to him I can move to a completely different world, co-exist with characters in a totally diverse reality. So, if you like the world of fantasy and if you have enough patience and are able to really focus on reading, ‘The Silmarillion’ should be a good choice.

Advertisements