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The Silmarillion (1977)

by J. R. R. Tolkien

Other authors: Guy Kay (Editorial assistant), Christopher Tolkien (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Lord of the Rings (Prequel)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
28,91722776 (3.85)2 / 454
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 the gods, their exile from Valinor and return to Middle-earth, and their war, hopeless despite all their heroism, against the great Enemy.… (more)
  1. 231
    The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (guurtjesboekenkast, Percevan)
  2. 170
    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. 100
    The Hobbit / The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (PaulBerauer)
  4. 90
    The Poetic Edda by Anonymous (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Most likely an inspiration to Tolkien. Many parallels.
  5. 91
    The Fall of Gondolin by J. R. R. Tolkien (Michael.Rimmer)
  6. 91
    Beren and Lúthien by J. R. R. Tolkien (Michael.Rimmer)
  7. 70
    The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J. R. R. Tolkien (guurtjesboekenkast)
  8. 60
    The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two by J. R. R. Tolkien (OscarWilde87)
  9. 60
    The Book of Lost Tales, Part One by J. R. R. Tolkien (OscarWilde87)
  10. 42
    Shadow & Claw: The First Half of The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: More high-brow fantasy.
  11. 20
    The Worm Ouroboros by E. R. Eddison (Sylak)
  12. 20
    Unfinished Tales by J. R. R. Tolkien (MissBrangwen)
  13. 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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» See also 454 mentions

English (205)  Spanish (6)  Italian (4)  Dutch (3)  French (3)  German (3)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (227)
Showing 1-5 of 205 (next | show all)
Probably should read again. Tolkien considered his most important work and his son completed some of the writing. Here's what I wrote when originally read in 1983": "A narrative of the creation of the world and of the middle earth that sets the staeg for the fantasies of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Very good and interesting." ( )
  MGADMJK | Aug 31, 2021 |
I loved this book. Endstop. It's insane and amazing how much I loved this book. I went into it with ten years of friends voices and the conglomerate internet voice tell me this book would be hard, dry and like crossing a desert more than reading a book. But I was in love before I finished chapter one. I do not know how I listened for ten years, or how not one person ever informed me it was a mythic text. But it was gorgeous and golden and I loved it.

I listened to it driving to and from my job, to and from a camping weekend. It was everything filling up my head for a week and a half, and I felt both more victorious with every chapter crossed off and more full of deep regret that the end was coming for me. I loved learning about the background of so many things I've always loved. Gods, Goddess, Music, Holy Cities, The terrible falls and great aspirations. I did skip the nearly verbatim chapters of Hurin nd Turin from Children Of, but everything else had my undivided attention and love. ( )
  wanderlustlover | Aug 21, 2021 |
As a standalone book, I don't know why anyone would want to read this. Now, I love Tolkien's world -- I've read LOR multiple times, same with the hobbit. Seen the movies more times than I can count, including midnight releases for each of them. But even armed with this background, and other information gleaned from videos, Tolkien encyclopedias and other sources I couldn't get into this. It's amazing in what it is -- a reference about the world -- but it is not a compelling story. I think of this more as a glossary that goes at the end of LOR to help give background to the world. ( )
  adamfortuna | May 28, 2021 |
Heavy reading, lots of difficult names but filled in history long prior and up to the Hobbit & Lord of the Rings etc. ( )
  SteveMcI | May 23, 2021 |
While this was quite a hard read, it was totally worth it! As a Tolkien fan, this book is just awesome. It is like a bible for Middle-earth, with heroic tales, mythology and it introduces the reader to the first age, long before a known Halfling came to life. If you are a fantasy enthusiast or interested in discovering more of the realms and beings JRRT created, you should definitely check it out! ( )
  plitzdom | May 12, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 205 (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 (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
J. R. R. Tolkienprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kay, GuyEditorial assistantsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tolkien, ChristopherEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adlerberth, RolandTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Agøy, Nils IvarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Domènech, LuisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dringenberg, MikeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garland, Rogersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howe, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juva, KerstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krege, WolfgangTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Masera, RubénTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nasmith, TedIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekkanen, PanuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Respinti, MarcoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saba Sardi, FrancescoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuchart, MaxTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shaw, MartinNarratorsecondary 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.
Eru var, den Ene, i Arda kaldet Ilúvatar.
Quotations
"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.)
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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, with any other Tolkien work, or with any separate part of a multi-volume edition of the complete Work. Thank you.
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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 the gods, their exile from Valinor and return to Middle-earth, and their war, hopeless despite all their heroism, against the great Enemy.

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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
The bad Elves all die
Which is why all Elves are good
In the later books.
(hillaryrose7)

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