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The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Silmarillion (1977)

by J. R. R. Tolkien

Other authors: Christopher Tolkien (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Lord of the Rings (Pre-prequel)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
22,96818351 (3.83)1 / 361
Recently added byLiekeKamphuis, Thalaba, Torvik2, private library, jlsd77, agentgumby, Davidtruman
Legacy LibrariesIris Murdoch, Sterling E. Lanier
  1. 191
    The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (guurtjesboekenkast, Percevan)
  2. 150
    The Children of Húrin by J. R. R. Tolkien (Jitsusama)
    Jitsusama: The Silmarillion is an essential book to better understand the occurrences surrounding the Children of Hurin. It also contains a slightly shorter version of the tale.
  3. 140
    Kalevala by Elias Lönnrot (Torikton)
    Torikton: Tolkien (as a philologist) was familiar with the Finnish epic and if you liked "The Silmarillion", you'll certainly like "The Kalevala".
  4. 70
    The Poetic Edda by Anonymous (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Most likely an inspiration to Tolkien. Many parallels.
  5. 60
    The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J. R. R. Tolkien (guurtjesboekenkast)
  6. 60
    The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (Kordo)
  7. 40
    The Book of Lost Tales, Part 2 by J. R. R. Tolkien (OscarWilde87)
  8. 40
    The Book of Lost Tales, Part 1 by J. R. R. Tolkien (OscarWilde87)
  9. 20
    The Worm Ouroboros by E. R. Eddison (Sylak)
  10. 31
    Shadow & Claw: The First Half of The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Equally (arguably supremely) high-brow fantasy.
  11. 15
    The Rivan Codex: Ancient Texts of the Belgariad and the Malloreon by David Eddings (Ludi_Ling)
    Ludi_Ling: For those less interested in the narrative of epic fantasy fiction, and more in the mythology, history and construction of imaginary worlds, both books serve as interesting and instructive reads.

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English (161)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (4)  German (4)  French (3)  Italian (3)  Swedish (1)  All (1)  All (183)
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
A very interesting and beautifully written history of Middle-Earth; required reading for those who want to understand Lord of the Rings' many references to its own mythology and cultures. Although, yes, some parts dragged a bit, overall it was an entertaining read. It is very much the official history book of Tolkien's fictional world. I can only imagine what it would read like had Tolkien actually finished it in his lifetime. ( )
  SarahHayes | Feb 20, 2017 |
Vast in scope, this is the most "Epic" of the Lord of the Ring's books. The first section, the Ainulindale, especially, can be difficult to get through. It is the creation myth, and thus is a little obscure. After the first section, it reads more like the Lord of the Rings. The most enjoyable part of reading this book was learning the significance of things mentioned in the Lord of the Rings series--The Ring of Barahir, the white tree of Gondor, while Galadriel is so revered, etc. I love that we get insight into the larger mythology that is hinted at in the Lord of the Rings. Also, the story of Feanor, and of Beren and Luthien are great stories in their own right. This book, however, is not for people who want characterization and insights into what characters are thinking and feeling every step of the way. As an epic, we are removed from the characters, and watching the world move and events happen that are beyond their control. Very good book. ( )
  renardkitsune | Feb 11, 2017 |
Amazing book. Lost my memory of this book after my stroke, I re-read the book and took my memories back ( )
  reverebeach | Aug 5, 2016 |
This book would basically be the bible of Middle Earth. It's not an easy read if you aren't obsessed with the source material. But if you are, it's well worth your time. ( )
  PriPri77 | Jun 23, 2016 |
Re-read it for about the fourth time, and I still think that the best way to read it is quickly and all at once. The names can be confusing and the actions and locations can lose all relevance to one another if one picks it up and puts it back down.

That said, it is a tragedy. There are moments of glory and great beauty, but at the end, it is sadness and death and endings. Which is part of its genius: it sets the stage for mythology and a backstory for what became The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. ( )
  threadnsong | Jun 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
At its best Tolkien's posthumous revelation of his private mythology is majestic, a work held so long and so power fully in the writer's imagination that it overwhelms the reader. Like Tolkien's other books, The Silmarillion presents a doomed but heroic view of creation that may be one of the reasons why a generation growing up on the thin gruel of television drama, and the beardless cynicism of Mad magazine, first found J.R.R. Tolkien so rich and wonderful.
added by Shortride | editTime, Timothy Foote (Oct 24, 1977)
If "The Hobbit" is a lesser work that the Ring trilogy because it lacks the trilogy's high seriousness, the collection that makes up "The Silmarillion" stands below the trilogy because much of it contains only high seriousness; that is, here Tolkien cares much more about the meaning and coherence of his myth than he does about these glories of the trilogy: rich characterization, imagistic brilliance, powerfully imagined and detailed sense of place, and thrilling adventure. Not that these qualities are entirely lacking here.

» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tolkien, J. R. R.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tolkien, ChristopherEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adlerberth, RolandTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Agøy, Nils IvarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Domènech, LuisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dringenberg, MikeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howe, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juva, KerstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Masera, RubénTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nasmith, TedIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekkanen, PanuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saba Sardi, FrancescoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuchart, MaxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
The Silmarillion, now published four years after the death of its author, is an account of the Elder Days, or the First Age of the World.
There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made.
"And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its utternmost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined."
Among the tales of sorrow and of ruin that come down to us from the darkness of those days there are yet some in which amid weeping there is joy and under the shadow of death life that endures.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This LT Work is for The Silmarillion, a posthumous publication of J.R.R. Tolkien's over-arching work on Middle-Earth, which includes episodes from its creation, through the First Age, and to the end of the Third Age. The Silmarillion is neither part of nor prequel to Tolkien's monumental The Lord of the Rings, which (together with The Hobbit; or, There and Back Again) tells in detail of events leading to the end of the Third Age. Please do not combine The Silmarillion with The Lord of the Rings, with any part(s) thereof, or with any other Tolkien work. Thank you.
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Book description
A number-one New York Times bestseller when it was originally published, "The Silmarillion" is the core of J.R.R. Tolkien's imaginative writing [...] Tolkien considered "The Silmarillion" his most important work, and, though it was published last and posthumously, this great collection of tales and legends clearly sets the stage for all his other writing. The story of the creation of the world and of the First Age, this is the ancient drama to which the characters in "The Lord of the Rings" look back and in whose events some of them, such as Elrond and Galadriel, took part. The three Silmarils were jewels created by Feanor, most gifted of the Elves. Within them was imprisoned the Light of the Two Trees of Valinor before the Trees themselves were destroyed by Morgoth, the first Dark Lord. Thereafter, the unsullied Light of Valinor lived on only in the Silmarils, but they were seized by Morgoth and set in his crown, which was guarded in the impenetrable fortress of Angband in the north of Middle-earth. "The Silmarillion" is the history of the rebellion of Feanor and his kindred against their gods, their exile from Valinor and return to Middle-earth, and their war, hopeless despite all their heroism, against the great Enemy.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0618391118, Hardcover)

The Silmarillion is J.R.R. Tolkien's tragic, operatic history of the First Age of Middle-Earth, essential background material for serious readers of the classic Lord of the Rings saga. Tolkien's work sets the standard for fantasy, and this audio version of the "Bible of Middle-Earth" does The Silmarillion justice. Martin Shaw's reading is grave and resonant, conveying all the powerful events and emotions that shaped elven and human history long before Bilbo, Frodo, Gandalf and all the rest embarked on their quests. Beginning with the Music of the Ainur, The Silmarillion tells a tale of the Elder Days, when Elves and Men became estranged by the Dark Lord Morgoth's lust for the Silmarils, pure and powerful magic jewels. Even the love between a human warrior and the daughter of the Elven king cannot defeat Morgoth, but the War of Wrath finally brings down the Dark Lord. Peace reigns until the evil Sauron recovers the Rings of Power and sets the stage for the events told in the Lord of the Rings. This is epic fantasy at its finest, thrillingly read and gloriously unabridged. (Running time: 14 hours, 6 CDs)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:47 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

A new edition of Tolkien's collection of tales and legends chronicling the world's beginnings and the happenings of the First Age focuses on the theft of the Simarils--the three jewels crafted by F?eanor--by Morgoth, first Dark Lord of Middle-earth, and has been revised and expanded to encompass forty-eight color paintings.… (more)

» see all 9 descriptions

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