Calling all Tolkienophiles: are you fan enough to read the silmarillion?
Today I was reading the Akalabeth, not part of the silmarillion proper, but included in the book at the end. I reread it because I was thinking it reminded me of the English reformation. Would anyone else agree with me? I’m not saying Tolkien had this in mind, but that some of the same themes are there.
Ok, I feel guilty because I have read about half of it, but other books have come up and I just don’t care for all the history talk. It gets to a point where it just talks about “this people traveling across this river” and stories without emotion based storylines are definitely not my cup of tea. Tolkien is great at this form of writing but it’s just not my thing.
However, I LOVE the beginning. The creation of Tolkien’s world is the most beautiful thing that I can remember reading in fiction. It is such a beautiful take on God, the Angels, and the creation of the world. I would recommend that everyone at the very least read that part. I could really go on all day about the beginning of this book. So, no unfortunately I haven’t gotten anywhere near the end, but I have to say that I love the beginning.
i read The Silmarillion (including Akallabeth), and was bowled over by it. The beautiful english, which i can only call “High English” (copied from Tolkiens term "High Elven"), made it even better. Actually, in spite of the doom and disaster described in The Silmarillion proper, i think its even better than The Lord of The Rings. Apart from the even more beautiful language, it provides solid background which explains so many events in LOTR, including the reason for the very existence of LOTR.
The trouble with the content of The Silmarillion is that a lot of the stories were written on scraps of paper…on the backs of envelopes (!) etc, and werent even finished. There was lack of coherence; and as Christopher Tolkien said, they would best be regarded as handed-down Elven tales from the Elder Days. Reading the consequences of Morgoths malice inflicted on Hurin and his kin was downright depressing. i won`t be reading the “Children of Hurin” :eek:.
Regarding the Akallabeth: no, i wasn`t reminded of the English “reformation”. But notice near the end of that work:, he refers to the Numerorian refugees (Elendil et al) shipwrecked on the shores of MIddle Earth:
…but the exiles on the shores of the sea, if they turned towards the West in the desire of their hearts, spoke of Mar-nu-Falmar that was whelmed in the waves, Akallabeth the Downfallen, Atalante in the Eldarin tongue.
Atlantis always came to mind, and swamped anything else.
Basically the idea is that an island nation of men who once worshipped the true God, respected the Valar, and maintained a freindship with the elves, stopped doing so and pursicuted the minority of people who still did. That´s how the english reformation came to my mind at least.
The other thing that really resonated with me is how Sauron convinced Ar Pharazon to start offering human sacrifices to Melkor. He convinced him that Eru Illuvatar was simply a lie created by the strong valar to oppress the weak Men.
The English Church never stopped worshipping the true God for all the mistakes the reformation made, so the parallel would be forced at best. Also Tolkien (with his well known distaste for allegory) would not have loved such a comparision.
I read the Silmarillion for the first time at about age 14, I remember reading the first few pages in a cafe in a nearby shopping mall while out shopping with my late mother and then finishing the book over a period of a few days. I found it a beautiful work even then, as I have become older I have read it again numerous times.
Numeror is better compared to Atlantis in some respects. It plays a minor part of sorts in one of C.S. Lewis’ works, ‘That Hideous Strength’ where Ransome (who is the Pendragon of this era) and Merlin (who has been revived from a sleep of many centuries) talk of it. Merlin who thinks that Ransome is a churl due to his dress is surprised Ransome has knowledge of such a dangerous concept but this and later knowledge confirm to Merlin who Ransome really is. Of course Tolkien is not repsonsible for Lewis’s use of his concept but Numenor resonates far more with classic myths of Atlantis than it would with historical parallels like the Reformation.
I read it many moons ago. I remember LOVING the creation story and thinking that “that’s how God could have done it”. Been it’s been so long that I don’t remember the details or much of the other histories.
Yes I have read the Silmarilion several times. My daughter is named Lorien- after the shortened form of Lothlorien but also after Lorien (Irmo) the Valar Lord of Visions and Dreams. I know that Lorien is a male but I still think it fits for a girl.
I’ve read these but much of it is simply earlier versions of Tolkien’s works. Some of it contradicts stuff in TLOTR and the Silmarilion. A few interesting tid bits can be found here and there but since it isn’t part of the official corpus it’s hard to know how to take it.
I don’t see it as part of the developed Tolien mythology myself.
The works can be useful for giving some history on the writting process that led to the final completed works and does show the interesting process of linguistic development which was so dear to Tolkien, being a linguist by education and at heart.
I am almost through “The Two Towers” and I may try the Sil. again after I finish "The Return of the King. It’s been at least 20 and probably 30 years since I gave it any attention. Who knows, perhaps my astounding growth in wisdom and experience since then will have made it, as another poster put it, “child’s play.”