The Silmarillion

The Silmarillion

Book - 2004 | 2nd ed.
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The tales of The Silmarillion were the underlying inspiration and source of J.R.R. Tolkien's imaginative writing; he worked on the book throughout his life but never brought it to a final form. Long preceding in its origins The Lord of the Rings, it is the story of the First Age of Tolkien's world, the ancient drama to which characters in The Lord of the RIngs look back and in which some of them, such as Elrond and Galadriel, took part.

The title Silmarillion is shortened from Quenta Silmarillion, "The History of the Silmarils," the three great jewels created by Feanor, most gifted of the Elves, in which he imprisoned the light of the Two Trees that illumined Valinor, the land of the gods. When Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, destroyed the Trees, that light lived on only in the Silmarils; Morgoth seized them and set them in his crown, 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 people against the gods, their exile in Middle-earth, and their war, hopeless despite all the heroisim of Elves and Men, against the great Enemy.

The book includes several other, shorter works beside The Silmarillion proper. Preceding it are "Ainulindale," the myth of Creation, and "Valaquenta," in which the nature and powers of each of the gods is set forth. After The Silmarillion is "Akallabeth," the story of the downfall of the great island kingdom of Numenor at the end of the Second Age; completing the volume is "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age," in which the events of The Lord of the Rings are treated in the manner of The Silmarillion.

This new edition of The Silmarillion contains the revised and corrected "second edition" text and, by way of introduction, a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1951, which provides a brilliant exposition of his conception of the earlier Ages. It also contains almost fifty full-color illustrations by the artist Ted Nasmith, many of which appear for the first time.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2004.
Edition: 2nd ed.
ISBN: 9780618391110
Branch Call Number: FIC TOLKIEN
Characteristics: xxviii, 386 p. : ill. (chiefly col.), col. maps (1 folded), geneal. tables ; 26 cm.
Additional Contributors: Tolkien, Christopher
Nasmith, Ted

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From Library Staff

Tolkien's massive epic that tells the story of Middle Earth from it's creation to the first War of the Rings. A collection of stories spanning thousands of years, regaling the first interactions of Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, and Humans. Suggested by Isaac H.

From the critics

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Jun 09, 2019

Want to play the SILMARILLION drinking game? Take a shot every time Tolkien uses a superlative adjective to describe someone. Just once, I wish he would've introduced an elven king who was just an OK fighter and *sort of* knew his way around a forge.

This book is awesome. Amazing. Stupendous. Fantastic. Okay, I'm running out of adjectives now... But seriously, this book is amazing. I already liked The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, but The Silmarillion is what turned me into a complete fanatic about Middle-earth and pretty much everything Tolkien wrote.
The Silmarillion is written differently than most of Tolkien's other works, but tough it out-you will not be disappointed. This is what Tolkien spent his entire life working on-and with good reason. This book has everything. Tragedy, romance, epic quests, battles, heroes and heroines, hidden cities, villains, and probably more that I'm forgetting. Moments when all hope is lost, and moments where it shines as bight as the Silmarils. And when all hope seems gone, just remember Hurin's battle cry: Day shall come again!

Apr 11, 2019

None of the chapters are too long and its very rich and satisfying. Definitely took me longer to read this than the other books, but I'm not in a rush to leave this world either.

Mar 15, 2019

If you enjoyed reading the appendices in the LOTR trilogy, you will enjoy The Silmarillion even more so. It is packed with lore, on lore, on lore.

Feb 20, 2019

I have read JRR Tolkien's LOTR trilogy and the Hobbit several times, and I am a HUGE fan. That being said, I could not finish this book, and I have tried a couple of times. The Silmarillion is not so much a story as an impenetrably dense and shockingly boring (IMHO) history of Middle Earth, filled with dozens and dozens of legendary characters and place names, with no plot to speak of. The Silmarillion reads like a cross between the bible and an Ikea catalogue. "And then VILTO and HEMNES crossed the RÖNNSKÄR, and spake unto BILLY, whose family came from the hills of FRÄJEN, along the rocky shores of the rivers MALM and TISSENDAL..."

Jan 08, 2019

Copied from "People of Middle Earth": Honestly, I learned so much about writing and understanding the world around me by reading these books from Tolkien. Getting this break down of how the world of Middle Earth ran made things so interesting. As I started to get more and more into history, so much of his world building, and the wars going on between Sauron and the free people of Middle Earth, or the wars between the Elves and Morgoth, or (I could continue) were such clear parallels to what was happening in Tolkien's world.... and they are still such clear parallels to what is happening in today's world. We always talk about how Dystopian novels are a way of warning us about the path we're following, and how our future might turn out, but we forget that a lot of Fantasy novels are also reflections of people today, and how we need to get our acts together.

SCL_Justin Sep 04, 2018

I have tried to read this so many times and I have finally completed it. And it was worth it. While it is more of a myth cycle that doesn't get into the details of adventures in the way the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings do, I found that to be a soothing experience.

Immortal beings rise and fall and their cities are raised up and crumble. Sauron is barely mentioned because in the first age we're dealing with the more powerful Melkor who ends up being judged and cast out after a war that devastates and reshapes the world.

What I loved about the book this time was the distance of it all, that we're learning of the origins of things so many generations before what I think of as Middle Earth. It changes your perspective and sort of minimizes the epicness of the War of the Rings. These things have happened before and will again.

Jul 25, 2018

Many readers are lead to The Silmarillion after reading The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy and wanting to know more about that world. While it suffices for that, I have also noticed a number of LOTR and Hobbit fans find the style of the Silmarillion to be too inconsistent with either of the two more popular books. For that reason, I wouldn't recommend The Silmarillion to anyone without offering the caveat that it is not a single story book. It is an epic, spanning tens of thousands of years and leading up to event's hundreds of years before The Hobbit. The book doesn't convey an adventure or series of adventures, it'as more a history of Middle Earth and most of it's creatures. For that reason, I actually enjoy it more than LOTR or Hobbit. After I initially read it, I went out and found copies of Unfinished Tales, the Lays of Beleriand and Morgoth's Ring (which I would recommend to those wanting to know more about Middle Earth but without the medieval epic prose) to delve further into the histories of the various peoples of Middle Earth. The Silmarillion is similar to books like 'The World of Ice and Fire' by George RR Martin, or 'The Hyborian Age' by Robert Howard, which convey the history of their respective fictional worlds and give context to the primary stories within them. If you enjoy that sort of background it will add to your reading of said main adventures, if you don't, you won't miss out anything by skipping them entirely.

Aug 30, 2017

If your seriously interested in the Lord of the Rings saga this is a must read. I studied the first several chapters and looked up so many terms in order to understand it, but it was worth it.

Aug 01, 2017

I recommend this book to die hard Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit fans. It gives a detailed backstory to the history of the different settings, has beautiful illustrations and maps.

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Feb 02, 2015

"Sit now there, and look out upon the lands where evil and despair shall come upon those thou lovest. Thou hast dared to mock me , and to question the power of Melkor, master of the fates of arda. Therefore, with my eyes thou shalt see,and with my ears, thou shalt hear, and never shalt thou move from this place until all is fulfilled to it's bitter end."-Morgoth

Jul 23, 2014

“Therefore Morgoth came, climbing slowly from his subterranean throne, and the rumour of his feet was like thunder underground. And he issued forth clad in black armour; and he stood before the King like a tower, iron-crowned, and his vast shield, sable on-blazoned, cast a shadow over him like a storm cloud." - Chapter 18: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin


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