The Silmarillion

Has anyone here read the Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien? :slight_smile: what did you think of it?

OMG… its been nearly 30 years, but as I recall, it was extremely dense and un-memorizable. Sort of like reading a dictionary, but harder and less useful. :o

I found it at a thrift store and am reading through it now, slowly. I’m only finished with the first chapter so far. Guess what, I have never read the Lord of the Rings trilogy and only some of The Hobbit. But I have immensely enjoyed the films, both versions.

So far I think the book is poetic and somewhat evokes the language of early English Bibles. I was advised that the first parts were somewhat hard to read, but worth it.

I love this book! I’m thinking of rereading it soon, along with The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

The Silmarillion is a tough read at first. It reads like a history book with lots of names that are so similar, it’s hard to remember who’s who. I’ve read it a few times now, and I can still get a little mixed up. But I keep reading it because I love the “it’s the history of Middle earth” aspect. It gives the whole backstory of Middle Earth, and some things in LOTR are made much clearer.

I’d recommend reading it if you’re a Tolkien fan, especially of Lord of the Rings. Just give it time, take it slow. It’s a great story. :smiley:

This was my experience too.

Later I found out that this book was not originally intended for publication but rather was intended for Tolkien’s use in writing the Lord of the Rings series. He found that he needed to create a background, a mythology etc so that he coudl more easily remain consistant in his references and writings about middle-earth.

so the book was not really assembled in a “readable” form but rather as a “reference book”.

That’s what I’ave heard anyway. :shrug:


It’s been years since I read most of the Silmarillion. I’ve never thought of it as a book meant to be read straight through. More like the Bible, actually.

The one story I do pick out and read from time to time is the “creation story”. I absolutely love the concept of good and evil clashing in the form of a symphony. The evil one keeps trying to destroy the beauty of “the work” by interjecting discordant notes but those dissonances end up being incorporated into the overall work so that it becomes all the more magnificent.

While it is very dense, it is the key to understanding Tolkein’s world (particularly the Ainulindale and Valaquenta (Genesis)).

~Erucolindo “Randu” Venye:thumbsup:

I love it. I have enjoyed reading it multiple times and actually remember one quote: “Those who defend authority must not themselves defy it.”

I read it many years ago, along with “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”. I don’t remember much of it, but do remember that I enjoyed the whole concept of a fantasy world, where magical beings existed, things were not solely utilitarian, some beings were immortal, etc. One aspect of the whole Middle Earth idea does have a common theme though: that certain enlightened beings introduce beauty and knowledge into a place and, once they leave, things deteriorate rather than build and improve upon what is already there.

Absolutely loved it! I read it at one of the best times in my life and the memories are fond and powerful. Tolkien was a genius :smiley:

I would like to add one more thing. As one goes through the different tales that make up this book, one will find a lot of morality taught throughout. Tolkien was a master story teller and his Catholic sense of morality comes through with every turn of the page.

It’s an excellent read.

I love the Silmarillion! It gives so much meaning to the events of TLOTR!

My daughter is even named Lorien- after either the dreamweaver Valar or the shortened version of Lothlorien.

A work of complete genius.

Don’t miss “Of Beren and Luthien”. A wonderful story.

I tried reading it, and I had to stop reading after one page. I had no idea what was happening.

I love “The Hobbit” though.

First 2 times I read it I didn’t know either :slight_smile:

It is a “different” kind of work.

I actually find TLotR a bit tedious as well. I also realize though that there are some parts in those books worth waiting for; Tokien is a master after all.

Read it many moons ago. LOVED the Creation story - thought then that that was a plausible creation.

The rest does read like a reference book - but still worth the read!

I have! It’s a wonderful book, and really fleshes out The Hobbit and the LOTR. The Silmarillion is one of my favorite books. :slight_smile:

Tolkien is such a master writer, but some of his stuff does get very deep. I know one thing I did when I read the Silmarillion and Book of Lost Tales was mostly skim over names, ancestries and place names. If I noticed that something was popping up more often, then I’d try to take note of it (the main characters and places), but a lot of the time a name will pop up once and never again so I just didn’t remember it (actually, I guessed that help me when I read through Kings and Chronicles in the OT, which was quite similar in the sheer number of names that were thrown around). It helped me get more of what was going on in the story without getting bogged down in the extra level of detail. Sometimes that meant I’d have to flip back a bit to remember who this person was or what this city was or something, but I think it helped me get through.

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