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Gabacho Mk.II
16-04-2009, 17:44
Right. In a nutshell, what bits of information can you tell me concerning the book and stories contained therein?

Much appreciated. :)




note: I havent read the book as I have been told by numbers of people that the book is too long, too hard to read, too boring, etc.

Phoenix Blaze
16-04-2009, 19:07
Said numbers of people are all foolish and probably couldn't man up to reading the Silmarillion. Also, too long, the main story itself is only 200 pages or so! vs the 1000 pages of the LotR!

IMO (and many others I'm sure), the Silmarillion is Tolkien's best work.

It's in several sections.

First, the myth of creation, the Music of the Ainur, the Ainulindale. Illuvatar, head honcho and god of all things greats the Ainur, god like beings, and through music create life and the world that is Arda. One of their number, Melkor rebels and the world is marred by his evil, but it turns out that his evil (relentless frost and destroying flame) simply add to the splendour of Arda overall (rain, snow, ice etc.)

The book then details the wars bewteen Melkor with his forces and the rest of the Ainur (the Valar and the Maiar). The Valar eventually defeat Melkor, and for a time, there is peace. With Melkor imprisoned, the Valar can set to rebuilding Arda after the ruin that was caused my Melkor during his war with the Valar.

Eventually, the Children of Illuvatar awake in Middle Earth but only the Firstborn, the Elves.

From here the story really begins as it takes you through the events that unfolded. The majority of the elves remove themselves from Middle Earth to Aman, where the Valar do dwell. After countless years, Melkor is released to live in Aman also, and eventually, his evil returns as he again brings ruin to the valar's settlement, and causes a rift between the Noldor (a race of Eldar).

The story then shifts back to Middle Earth, concentrating on the Wars between Melkor (now name Morgoth) and the Noldor who followed him back to Middle Earth. During these wars, great kingdoms rise and fall, and the Sindar (more elves, ones who never went to Aman) also fall into the troubles of the Noldor. At the end of it all, morgoth has destroyed each of the Elven Kingdoms and only at the very last does hope come from the West as the hosts of the Valar march on morgoth's domain.

really, that's a mightily abridged version, which doesn't even mention the deeds of the Edain (men who were allies to the Elves), the mighty Feanor, the Silmarils, the two Trees etc. It'd take far too long to post and I suggest just reading the book. It's amazing.

There will be other people here who can post a better "quick" version, I always seem to miss out pivotal moments or key aspects to attract new readers (which is silly of me seeing as I've read it like 7 times!).

Llew
16-04-2009, 19:59
Well, I love to read histories, religious books and all manner of dry works for fun. I found "The Silmarillion" to be exceedingly dry and unpleasant to read. If you can "man up" to reading LotR, then really "The Silmarillion" should be easy. It does not feel that way. Although it was much shorter, I found it to be intensely laborious.

It doesn't have the same comfort of readability as I've found in other of Tolkein's works. To me, it felt like I was getting lots of data and events, but too little of the expansion that made other stories much more pleasureable to read.

I'm due to go back to it again as it has been many years, and hopefully I'll be able to shift into a reading mode where it will be more of an enjoyment. It's worth the effort for the back story of Middle Earth and for the context.

Phoenix Blaze did a precis for you, but honestly if you really think you might want to know about the deeper history to Tolkein's world, it's probably worth plowing through on your own.

Damien 1427
16-04-2009, 20:03
note: I havent read the book as I have been told by numbers of people that the book is too long, too hard to read, too boring, etc.

Because it is. And I'd argue never being finished certainly doesn't help it in that regard. Tolkien died before he could properly finish it, and his son Christopher edited and published it much later on.

I'll be honest, it's a very, very hard book to read. I never finished it myself. However, if you want background on Middle Earth straight from the source (Or, near enough as you'll get this side of the grave) as opposed to in a clinical, lifeless style you'll get on Wikipedia, it's the only game in town.

Jo Bennett
16-04-2009, 20:46
I tried to read it, got distracted. I tried to listen to it on CD, fell asleep. Will try again some time but I will attest to it be very hard going. I won't necessarily say it was dull, the mythology it sets out is quite interesting, especially the intermingling of Christian and Norse ideas, but it is hard to follow and is written in what might be called a "biblical" style. It's not dissimilar to trying to plough through the history of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

Sarah S
16-04-2009, 20:58
I loved the Silmarillion.

It's a great source of information, and I thought the stories were very epic, if not filled with personal details.

If you want a hard (and totally unrelated) book to read, I recommend the Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Shea and RAW.

Leonathion
16-04-2009, 21:54
I love the silmarillion too! Great work, especially if you like epic settings, it truly is tolkiens bibel.

If you want a more lighweight version, the children of Hurin has been released. Although not as comprehensive and encompassing as the silmarillion it is a book set in a long time of middle earths history. The characters are better developed and the story is less biblical. It fokuses on the house of Hurin and their endeveours. I haven't read it but hopefully I'll pick it up during summer.

It is made from the texts in silmarillion, and edited and republished bu C. Tolkien.

static grass
16-04-2009, 22:56
The Children of Hurin is just one of the stories from the Silmarillion. It might be best to read this first (and then again) as it is abit more accessible than the Silmarillion as a whole.

It is quite different in tone from the war of the rings. It is brilliantly depressing so don't read it on the edge of a cliff.

Phoenix Blaze
16-04-2009, 23:34
I'd say it's more tragic than depressing, but as always good can be found in all evils.

I wouldn't say Children of Hurin presents a better representation as compared to what's in the Silmarillion, Lost Tales and Unfinished Tales, but it is nice to have everything lumped together.

It is a lot more epic, with battles being many times larger than those seen in the Lord of the Rings (ridiculously big!).

The book also contains the Akkalabeth (sp?), which details the founding and then downfall of Numenor. It then finishes with a short recap of the 3rd Age and the events in the Lord of the Rings, effectively having the very start and very end of Tolkien's mythos.

Verm1s
17-04-2009, 00:29
If you want something hard to read, try all five of Frank Herbert's Dune novels, in rapid succession. My brain broke halfway through God-Emperor of Dune. I never did finish it, or the series.

The Sil can be hard to crack, but try it a second or even third time and you've got a grand mythology and history. Bersides the epic tales, it also gives a bit more insight into certain things mentioned in The Hobbit and LotR, like 'Gondolin and the goblin wars', the 'evil of which Sauron is but a servant', dragons, and the origin of ents.

Though if you fancy something to bridge the gap between LotR and the Sil, I'd personally recommend Unfinished Tales. It contains a few more stories and essays about the second and third ages too, and has a more 'palatable', personal version of The Children of Hurin. (I haven't read the recently-released book on that specific tale. Can't say how different it is.)

static grass
17-04-2009, 06:46
I'd say it's more tragic than depressing, but as always good can be found in all evils.

I wouldn't say Children of Hurin presents a better representation as compared to what's in the Silmarillion, Lost Tales and Unfinished Tales, but it is nice to have everything lumped together.



Hahaha could you explain why it is tragic rather than depressing. Most tragic events are depressing unless you happen to be of particularly hardened soul :D Perhaps you mean if Waterstones was to open a new section to house CoH it would be more likely to be called Tragic rather than Depressing this is true. The book deals alot with loneliness and most of the journey's are conducted solo and have a strong air of despair about them rather than just dealing with a continuous series of disasters - which there is.

I am not saying CoH is better than Silmarillion. It is just that it is more easier to get into. The Silmarillion contains alot of dusty stuff whilst the CoH gets straight into the classic theme of boy meets girl.... :D

Chaplain of Chaos
17-04-2009, 07:04
The Silmarillion is a masterpiece, both compelling and epic in scope.

I don't see why anyone would say it's dry or boring. Why would you need to "man up" to read a book as powerfully told and engaging as the work of art that is Tolkien's Silmarillion. I won't tell you anything about it because you should read it, the delicacy and power is in the details so to speak.

static grass
17-04-2009, 07:52
The Silmarillion is a masterpiece, both compelling and epic in scope.

I don't see why anyone would say it's dry or boring. Why would you need to "man up" to read a book as powerfully told and engaging as the work of art that is Tolkien's Silmarillion. I won't tell you anything about it because you should read it, the delicacy and power is in the details so to speak.

Is any of this aimed at me?

Steam_Giant
17-04-2009, 09:56
Epic books, like epic journeys require some preperation. Do some research, make some notes, perhaps start reading the latter parts of the book which are less like a history book and more action orientated. (I see no reason to read the book parts in order ?) The Sil is essential reading, and i imagine that WoTR will unofficially be converted for the great battles it contains, Cant wait.

Fredmans
17-04-2009, 10:01
It reads a bit different from the average fantasy book. It is not a novel, but more of a chronicle, an elvish record of events pre-dating the setting of Lord of the Rings, a lore-book. As pointed out, it was never finished. Parts of it were originally written in verse, others more in line with the prose of Lord of the Rings. Some parts are more like a synopsis, just outlining what happens, others are enthralling. Also, it was continually written and improved or changed in bursts of creativity throughout Tolkien's entire life. Therefore, inconsistencies and changes are quite visible.

That being said, I love Silmarillion, and it is the book I have re-read the most times ever. If you find it a slow read, I really recommend browsing through the first chapters. When the Elves and Men appear, you will find it a much easier read. If everything goes well (in my opinion), you will want to re-read the first part anyway. The high count of elven princes and domains could perhaps be daunting at first, but you will get used to it and in most editions, there are family lines and maps for quick reference.

I hope you will enjoy it,
/Fredmans

Bloodknight
17-04-2009, 10:23
I tried to read it several times, but found it to be tedium incarnate, the German translation even more than the already horrible and opaque original version.

I didn't enjoy the LotR very much (boring travel, boring travel, singing, singing, uninteresting battle scene - I was astonished by the Battle for Helm's Deep, how unfun and short can a decisive mass battle be in a book? -, again singing, verses...smug Elves and whiny Hobbits...IMO the only real hero in that book is Sam for not abandoning the oh so tragic Frodo); but the Silmarillion is like reading the Bible (which I did, completely).

Simon Sez
17-04-2009, 10:54
For anyone on the fence about whether they want to read the Silmarillion I have the golden carrot to dangle before you: A flying ship fighting a Dragon the size of a mountain range! Oh yeah...

Phoenix Blaze
17-04-2009, 12:25
Hahaha, actually, that's a great way to tie people in!
Not to mention that in the larger battles, there are multiple Balrgos, as well as Dragons fighting on the side of Morgoth!


I think the Silmarillion has a bit of a love hate thing. Some people read it or try to read it and just don't like it, other people read it and fall in love with the book (like myself).

Nilhouse
17-04-2009, 12:46
The Sil is essential reading, and i imagine that WoTR will unofficially be converted for the great battles it contains, Cant wait.

I have wondered if this would be possible myself. What would Melkor look like on the battlefield? Some sort of a combination of Sauron and a Balrog stat wise, but more powerful somehow is all I can imagine. Then again, Melkor/Morgoth is almost killed by an Elf, and is easily defeated by a giant (really giant) spider.

Fredmans
17-04-2009, 13:46
I have wondered if this would be possible myself. What would Melkor look like on the battlefield? Some sort of a combination of Sauron and a Balrog stat wise, but more powerful somehow is all I can imagine. Then again, Melkor/Morgoth is almost killed by an Elf, and is easily defeated by a giant (really giant) spider.

It is true that Morgoth was wounded in the battle against Fingolfin, but Fingolfin was no ordinary elf, but one of the mightiest elves of all time. However valiant Fingolfin's battle was, it was a doomed attempt since Melkor was a Vala and no living thing could ever hope to kill a Vala. It is not within their capabilities.

On account of the giant spider, Ungoliant was not a spider, but an unknown spirit in the guise of a spider. The giant spiders like Shelob are smaller and less powerful descendants of Ungoliant. Remember that Ungoliant drank the sap of the Trees of Valinor and the power of Feanor's greatest treasure, so it was no ordinary being that Melkor was afraid of. As opposed to the other Vala, Melkor often displays fear (as does Sauron in later ages). Melkor acted more and more cowardly and the fight with Fingolfin was the last time he ever left his throne. During the sixth and last battle, he did not participate but threw himself upon the mercy of the Valar.

/Fredmans

Rirekon
17-04-2009, 15:12
The problem I had with the Similarion was keeping all the names straight in my head, it reads more like a history book than a story - which is probably the point as far as I can tell.

It is worth it though, it gives you a much greater insight into the Lord of the Rings setting

Thranduil
17-04-2009, 18:02
The problem I had with the Similarion was keeping all the names straight in my head, it reads more like a history book than a story - which is probably the point as far as I can tell.

It is worth it though, it gives you a much greater insight into the Lord of the Rings setting

That's why there's family tree diagrams and an index in the back. :D

If you're going to read Tolkien's posthumous publications, I recommend starting with the Sil. Unfinished tales is good for further developments and curiosities of the second and third age, but skip the Narn (pretty much the first half of the book) and pick up a copy of CoH, as it's a much more complete rendition of the tragedy of Turin.

If you're into fantasy with an epic edge to it, Tolkien's posthumous publications - especially Sil - are the way to go, and you'll get more out of them after multiple read-throughs because they're so detailed complex.

Phoenix Blaze
17-04-2009, 19:14
It's not long before all those names become simple to remember. Although, I do have problems remembering all the sons of the elven princes and what they did at which time.

Avatar of the Eldar
18-04-2009, 08:41
The problem I had with the Similarion was keeping all the names straight in my head, it reads more like a history book than a story - which is probably the point as far as I can tell.

It is worth it though, it gives you a much greater insight into the Lord of the Rings setting

Agreed. As another poster wrote it's more of a chronicle than a novel.

The first time I tried to read it I found it impenetrable. But that was right after reading LotR and I was in the ninth/tenth grade.

Years later I read it and loved it. So, try it and if you cannot get into it but love Tolkein's works, come back to it again some day.

McMullet
18-04-2009, 13:29
I would say the Silmarillion is an excellent read. It is harder going if you're expecting a storybook like LotR, but it is really, as others have said, an historical chronicle. If you like history books or mythologies it will appeal, if you don't it won't.

Arguments to the effect of "It's boring!" "No it's not!" are pretty pointless...


It is true that Morgoth was wounded in the battle against Fingolfin, but Fingolfin was no ordinary elf, but one of the mightiest elves of all time. However valiant Fingolfin's battle was, it was a doomed attempt since Melkor was a Vala and no living thing could ever hope to kill a Vala. It is not within their capabilities.

On account of the giant spider, Ungoliant was not a spider, but an unknown spirit in the guise of a spider. The giant spiders like Shelob are smaller and less powerful descendants of Ungoliant. Remember that Ungoliant drank the sap of the Trees of Valinor and the power of Feanor's greatest treasure, so it was no ordinary being that Melkor was afraid of. As opposed to the other Vala, Melkor often displays fear (as does Sauron in later ages). Melkor acted more and more cowardly and the fight with Fingolfin was the last time he ever left his throne. During the sixth and last battle, he did not participate but threw himself upon the mercy of the Valar.

/Fredmans

One thing I really like in Tolkien's writing, something that seems rarely picked-up on, is his notion of the "binding up" of power. The Ainur are shown to be able to gain great power, such as the rise of Sauron from Morgoth's lieutenant to the great power he is in the 3rd age, but in many cases they have to invest much of their power in more tangible things.

Melkor, as he entered the World, would have been incredibly individually powerful. However, in order to control and dominate so much territory and so many people, his power had to be invested in his fortresses and armies. His own power was used to knit together the stones of Angband and to control his hordes of Orcs and Dragons and what-have-you, such that he himself was far less capable when it came to fighting Fingolfin. Against any other Vala, even Fingolfin wouldn't have stood a chance, because their power would not be locked away in the same fashion.

The same thing happens with Sauron; much of his power is "bound up" in the One Ring, power that continued to sustain him and his works as long as the ring existed. In a sense his power was amplified when stored in this way, but of course, it was also vulnerable. That's why he was effectively destroyed and Barad-Dur collapsed when the ring was destroyed.

Iracundus
18-04-2009, 14:07
Morgoth and Sauron's weakening over time was also a deliberate part of Tolkien's theme of the exhaustive and sterile nature of Evil. Morgoth was originally the most powerful and mulit-talented of the Ainur. However in trying to dominate Arda he passed a great portion of his power into the physical being of the world. Tolkien's various behind the scenes writings dwells on this. Sauron bound his power into a particular configuration of gold. Morgoth bound a portion of his power into the idea and material of Gold itself (among various other things), which Tolkien suggests is the reason why gold excites evil feelings of greed in mortals. This infusion of Arda with his power and evil intent is also given as the reason why evil doesn't die out, or why Morgoth isn't permanently disabled like Sauron was. The whole of Arda is Morgoth's Ring (to borrow one of Tolkien's phrases).

Once life comes along, Morgoth began to spend ever more of his resources controlling and dominating his lesser servants, in effect spreading himself thin. Tolkien discusses how Morgoth had "fallen" from his earlier demiurgic heights to liking being a petty tyrant king. Previously when he first took material form to battle the Valar, he was a mobile volcanic mountain towering above the clouds. That was before he had spread his power out and was reduced to being "merely" the dark armored giant that fought Fingolfin. His dissipation of his power is also why he was no longer able to daunt the other Valar anymore with the force of his will, or shed his physical form, or heal his injuries. Morgoth the core entity became an ever shrinking fragment of the original vastness of power that was Melkor before he turned his thoughts to Evil.

Thranduil
18-04-2009, 16:10
I just gotta say, it's refreshing to know that there's other people out there who read and grasp Tolkien's masterworks... if I try and discuss this stuff with anyone I know in my day to day life, I get humoured glances and quick changes of subject (even among my 40k group!).

Anyway, excellent posts on the subject of evil magical power in Tolkien's Arda, but I think something is being overlooked:

Yes Morgoth and Sauron are dissipating in power and garner little attention from the Vala (aside from the War of Wrath and their sending of the Istari in the Third Age) but the point is that it is no longer their war. It is the Elves and Men who are up against Morgoth and his minions, and despite his being "spread thin", he is still a seemingly indomitable force. What a nightmare realm Beleriand must have been, having orcs partolling it, ceaselessly searching for kingdoms such as Nargothrond, Doriath, Gondolin, and the smaller settlements of Elves and Men, or the spawn of Ungoliant haunting Ered Gorgoroth and Taur-Nu-Fuin... Let's not forget that the Elves fought several great battles against Morgoth, and lay siege to Angband for many years, but could not defeat him. Morgoth's power was diminishing, yes, but it did not make him any less mighty to the Children of Illuvatar, otherwise they would have been able to win back the Silmarils and cast him out of Middle Earth without Earendil and Elwing appealing to the Valar.

Although, an argument could be made for the fact that certain members of the race of Men are capable of withstanding and battling Morgoth: Luthien was able to entrance the dark Vala while Beren cut a Silmaril from his crown, and Turin managed to slay Glaurung, effectively crippling a major military asset in Morgoth's arsenal. Problem is, both of these acts came at great cost, as Beren and Luthien ended up dieing (Beren also lost his hand to Carcharoth), and the resulting feud over the captured Silmaril brings about the fall of Doriath, whereas Turin commits suicide after learning from the dieing Dragon that he had commited incest with his sister Nienor. So yes, Morgoth can be contested in his dimished state, and yes, he can be hurt by mortal actions, but he cannot be defeated by them, and the result is always death and tragedy. Although, this does have a sort of honour in itself, as Turin states with a plee to the Elves of Nargothrond:

"There is but one Vala with whom we have to do, and that is Morgoth; and if in the end we cannot overcome him, at least we can hurt him and hinder him. For victory is victory, however small, nor is its worth only from what follows from it."

Phoenix Blaze
18-04-2009, 17:01
I've always seen the victories of Turin and Beren coming from the Gifts of Men and their ability to change fate. The Elves woudl never *ever* be able to defeatr Morgoth as it is doomed that they won't as he is/was one of the Valar, and Elves are always ensnared by doom, unless some outside influence from Men is involved.

I think it's mentioned in Morgoth's Ring, that, evil within Middle Earth curse and damn people which can effectively be drawn back to Morgoth. When looking at Morgoth's Curse on the House of Hurin, there was no magic or no ability needed there, just the will of a dark tyrant was enough to make the curse come true.

The evil of Morgoth and his diminishing over the years is an excellent part of the Silmarillion, as is his ability not to make, but only to pervert. And finally, I especially like that his greatest crime of all was not the marring of Arda (twice), but the corrupted of the Elves into Orcs. This also gives a slight insight into the psychology of the Orcs and why they are so cruel and full of hatred.

Thranduil
18-04-2009, 17:39
Change fate? Toward the end of the Narn I Hin Hurin (or CoH in its more complete form) Morgoth actively decides the fate of Turin by sending Glaurung to Nargothrond. The fact that Glaurung transfixes Turin with the Dragon Spell and sends him to Dor-Lomin instead of rescuing Finduilas shows that Morgoth actively plays a part in deciding the fate certain individuals. This is especially pertinant, as Gwindor's dieing words to Turin are "Haste you to Nargothrond, and save Finduilas. And this last I say to you: she alone stands between you and your doom. If you fail her, it shall not fail to find you." Though Turin's pride, wrath, and innability to listen to counsel play a big part in fulfilling the curse, it ends up coming true because Morgoth makes it come true - it is his curse on Hurin and his kin, afterall.

That Turin manages to slay Glaurung in the end is owed to the idea that it is the one redeeming action he undertakes for all the harm he causes, and says a lot about the the race of Man's ability to excel despite overwhelming odds. Men cannot change fate, and indeed, being trapped between fate and free will is a running theme with most of Tolkien's human characters. Nevertheless, Men are capable of incredible acts of heroism that have enormous impact on Middle Earth, and yes, usually end up helping out the interests of the Elves in most cases. (or Hobbits, or Dwarves, etc.)

Not to troll, just my opinion... or rather procrastination amid doing work on CoH for a thesis. :D

Phoenix Blaze
18-04-2009, 22:22
But it is the Gift of Men that they are not bound to Arda and therefore not wholly bound to it's fate. I'm not saying they can just go and choose to defy their Doom, but their actions can go against that which was foretold. I interpretet is as the actions of Man are not as easily governed or reacted to as those of the Elves. The actions of individual men have far surpassed many great Elves (the stealing of a Silmaril, the slaying of Glaurung, single handedly!).

Elves are fairer in both mind and body than Men, but Men are capable of so much more in the long run.

I see your points, but I think a lot of that is to do with the overwhelming power of Morgoth, even in his weakened state.

I'd love to use a 1st Age Tolkien book for any sort of study! I wish I used the Silmarillion for my main English hand in back in High School.

Thranduil
18-04-2009, 22:47
I'd love to use a 1st Age Tolkien book for any sort of study! I wish I used the Silmarillion for my main English hand in back in High School.

Go to University, study English. :D

We've gotten a bit off topic...

Phoenix Blaze
18-04-2009, 22:55
I study design engineer :cries:

I say study, I mean currently failing (no joke there, sadly).

badgeraddict
19-04-2009, 16:06
The Silmarillion is boring? WTF No! Its a great read!

Dogui
20-04-2009, 16:46
The Silmarillion is a wargamers wet dream. I have notes for about 30 or so scenarios to create with the SBG and now with WotR just from that text. If you add some stuff from the Unfinished Tales, you probably got more than you can handle in a very long time.

SirSnipes
21-04-2009, 19:40
guess i should tell you that the film compny that did lotr, now owns the hobbit,and the silmarillion and have planned the hobbit for release next year and the necromancer story the year after

Lord Anathir
21-04-2009, 20:34
great story. It has the answers for everything... any question you have in lotr about why things happen the way they do can be answered in the silarmillion.

Silmarillion = High Elves = Epic.

Phoenix Blaze
21-04-2009, 22:34
Silmarillion = Deep Elves = Epic.

The High Elves do feth all in the movie!

Fredmans
21-04-2009, 23:54
guess i should tell you that the film compny that did lotr, now owns the hobbit,and the silmarillion and have planned the hobbit for release next year and the necromancer story the year after

Are you sure about the Silmarillion, since it is usually confirmed that Christopher Tolkien is strongly opposed to selling the rights to Silmarillion as he is the compiler/editor and has some say in this.

/Fredmans

Brandir
23-04-2009, 18:47
The only film rights available are for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. There will be no film version of The Silmarillion; this book and all other subsequent publications remains firmly under the control of the Tolkien Estate.

The Estate, which is essentially run by Christopher Tolkien, is of the opinion that the works of JRR Tolkien are particularly unsuited for films:


"My own position is that The Lord Of The Rings is peculiarly unsuitable to transformation into visual dramatic form. ... The suggestions that have been made that I 'disapprove' of the films, vent to the extent of thinking ill of those with whom I may differ, are wholly without foundation."

Condottiere
23-04-2009, 21:01
You'd have to transform Tolkien's works as into scripts, and since a great deal of dialogue would be missing, the filmmakers would have to become creative, which is why these literary pieces won't be filmed.

Sarah S
23-04-2009, 22:15
Copyright doesn't last forever.

Brandir
23-04-2009, 22:20
75 years after the author's death.

Condottiere
23-04-2009, 22:29
Unless they monkey around again with IP laws in the EU and/or States.

Brandir
23-04-2009, 22:30
Unless they monkey around again with IP laws in the EU and/or States.

Which they seem to do every time Disney IP is in danger of expiring!

101st Vostroyan
23-04-2009, 22:31
Also try Children of Huron...It's a completely different story of middle earth by JRR and published by his son...

Steam_Giant
24-04-2009, 09:10
No more films for me. If people are desperate to visualise Tolkiens work beyond LoTR and the hobbit, give us a character driven TV series. I believe Saurons imprisonment and further corruption of Ar-Pharazn would translate quite well to the goggle-box similar to the intrigue and substance of the many Roman epics, get the director of the West wing or Deadwood to bathe an audience into the legendarium of Tolkien.

In fact thats a great idea, perhaps i should be writing my own script :)

Gabacho Mk.II
24-04-2009, 16:12
To all who posted above, especially Phoenix Blaze:
Thanks for the feedback gents. Your posts have made an impression on me. I will be visiting the bookstore this weekend.

:)





No more films for me. If people are desperate to visualise Tolkiens work beyond LoTR and the hobbit, give us a character driven TV series. I believe Saurons imprisonment and further corruption of Ar-Pharazn would translate quite well to the goggle-box similar to the intrigue and substance of the many Roman epics, get the director of the West wing or Deadwood to bathe an audience into the legendarium of Tolkien.

In fact thats a great idea, perhaps i should be writing my own script :)



Quite right! Please write your script and then submit it!!!

I would cut off an appendage if a TV series was made that gave us a few year's worth of LoTR and beyond.
[what I meant was a few years of TV series, maybe 4-8 seasons worth. I would wet my pants and actually consider going to the next LoTR convention dressed as a Nargul!] :D

Phoenix Blaze
24-04-2009, 18:05
I wait for the day when *someone* *somewhere* will make a Silmarillion based set of movies or a TV series, or a comic, or something!

Your very welcome for the help. I do have a problem with this book, partially addicting.

Condottiere
24-04-2009, 18:28
Docu-drama might be as close as you can get to the source, with most of the dialogue spoken by the narrator.

Phoenix Blaze
24-04-2009, 20:58
Actually, a docudrama would be perfect! Especially with the way that the Silmarillion is more a series of events than a narrative plot which follows a core set of characters.

I'd love that. Christopher Lee must narrate!

Steam_Giant
25-04-2009, 09:42
Christopher Lee must narrate!

We have a winner :)

Ubermensch Commander
29-04-2009, 17:32
The Silmarillion is an amazing book. I recommend it. At the very least your should try it for yourself. If you do not like it, stop reading. But at least read through the creation bit and get to the really good parts with Feanor and the Noldor.

side note: I found Dune INFINTELY more painful than the Silmarillion. Bored me to tears. The part that I ended on was when the Atredeis getting backstabbed.
Some Fremen show up after killing some sardakuur, those supposedly awesome fighters, and make some backhanded comment of "they fought well". What? Thats it? If that was supposed to somehow convey how awesome they are at fighting IT FAILED. No evidence for the Sadukuur capabilities nor a description of how the Fremen are hardcore either. So yeah. I just did not like Frank Herbets righting style. *rant over*

Condottiere
29-04-2009, 19:14
Dune is a master work of Herbert, but I would not place it in the same context in regard to Science Fiction as I would with LotR in regard to Fantasy.

O/T I found the movie interesting until Paul and Jessica crashed in the desert.

Gazak Blacktoof
29-04-2009, 21:39
side note: I found Dune INFINTELY more painful than the Silmarillion. Bored me to tears.

Funny, my experinece was the exact opposite. What I found makes Dune difficult to read is the terminology, the copy I had came with a glossary though which made things easier. Its no where near as difficult to read as a clockwork orange, I've still not been able to finish that book.

The Silmarillion was just dull, perhaps there are interesting parts later on but it doesn't ease the reader in at all. As other people have commented it reads like the bible. My last attempt at reading the Silmarillion was 10 years ago, so maybe I'd find it more accessible now.


Tolkien may have invested more time and effort into his other works but the Hobbit is the best written.

Condottiere
29-04-2009, 22:23
You realize that the Hobbit was targetted towards a specific age group.

Gazak Blacktoof
29-04-2009, 23:48
Yep, that doesn't mean it isn't a well written book. The target demographic is irrelevant in the same way that architectural period or musical genre is unimportant.

Ubermensch Commander
30-04-2009, 04:48
Funny, my experinece was the exact opposite. What I found makes Dune difficult to read is the terminology, the copy I had came with a glossary though which made things easier. Its no where near as difficult to read as a clockwork orange, I've still not been able to finish that book.

The Silmarillion was just dull, perhaps there are interesting parts later on but it doesn't ease the reader in at all. As other people have commented it reads like the bible. My last attempt at reading the Silmarillion was 10 years ago, so maybe I'd find it more accessible now.


Tolkien may have invested more time and effort into his other works but the Hobbit is the best written.

Interesting. My problem wasn't with terminology, it was just...I found his writing style boring. It seemed like an old Greek play, with everything done offstage...but not even in a way as entertaining as that. Each to their own I suppose. The Mentats were cool though! I loved the concept of humans able to rewire their brains like that. Oh and Duncan Idaho did rock. No denying that.

I enjoyed the Silmarillion because I enjoy epic mythology. IMO it had alot in common with the old Norse/Greek tales.
As for Dull, I find the creation of a world and gods battling it out (raising up mountains, flattening them, overspilling oceans) pretty neat myself.
And I did like the description of many of the gods, such as Melkior, "He who arises in Might."
Quite a fancy name!

Again, to the OPS question, I recommend trying it out. As we can see here, same books read, two very different opinions.

Eumerin
07-05-2009, 02:23
Also try Children of Huron...It's a completely different story of middle earth by JRR and published by his son...

I wouldn't call it completely different - it's the story of Turin, which is also found in the Silmarillion. But 'Children' expands on it more than the Silmarillion segment does, and it makes for a better "story" read.

Though I think I'd rather have read the story of Tuor than Turin. Turin's story is all about how badly pride can destroy an individual and everyone around them, and it's rather depressing...

Eldanar
07-05-2009, 04:12
It would be very difficult to translate the Sil into a movie or even a mini-series. It is at a minimum 5-6 (possibly more) interlinked stories all going back and forth. (It would be worse than trying to follow the first ten years of the Dr. Who series, which I watched as a child and still do not understand.)

Herbert /= Tolkien. If anything, the only Sci Fi writer who can climb the same heights would probably be Aasimov and his Foundation series. It was kind of written in the same period and laid the same type of framework for Sci Fi that Tolkien did with High Fantasy. An argument might could also be made for some of H. Beam Piper's works. Or with Robert Howard's Dark Fantasy setting with his Conan books (which were written earlier than LOTR IIRC).

Speaking of Conan and Howard...just look at what has happened to his stories and the bastardization that has occurred since the running of his copyright. But there must be 30-40 Conan books out there now.

I love the Silmarilion. It is one of the few books that I go back and read every year at least once, and have done so for almost 30 years.

It can be a tedious read. However, if you truly love the subject matter and the material, then there should be no tedium.

brightblade
07-05-2009, 10:34
I personally adore the Silmarillion but totally understand why people have trouble reading it. When you understand Tolkien's academic background you can see why the book is writen as it is. Fortunately for me I have a similar academic background so didn't find it difficult at all when I reread it in my late teens. However when I first read it aged eleven, I struggled, I loved it but struggled.

Whoever said earlier that it was a chronicle was on the right path.

Now, years later I am constantly in and out of The Silmarillion, it is wonderful.

But like all things worth doing, the more you put in, the more you get out. Some will decide it isn't worth it, but it is. It is. :)

Dvil
10-05-2009, 22:16
Well, I've read the Silmarillion thrice now, and in my experience the first time is the hardest, during which you struggle through the 'biblical' writing style and the slow pace. However, I found the subsequent times to be little but a pleasure.

Bubbatron
13-05-2009, 21:11
does it also have a section where glorfindel kills a balrog ? i seem to remember someone telling me about his, was wondering as hes one of my favourite characters and i wasnt impressed he was cut from the film !

Eumerin
14-05-2009, 06:41
does it also have a section where glorfindel kills a balrog ? i seem to remember someone telling me about his, was wondering as hes one of my favourite characters and i wasnt impressed he was cut from the film !

Yes, but it's a brief mention in someone else's story (Tuor's) and we don't have any real details on it. My recollection is that Glorfindel knocks it over a very high drop and goes down with it.

brightblade
14-05-2009, 21:38
Yup, there is an ongoing debate over whether Glorfindel from the Silmarillion is the same Elf as the LOTR one. Either way I love Glorfindel. Both of them, unless they are one. Then, just him. :)

Condottiere
15-05-2009, 05:29
It probably was, in retrospect - but Tolkien never seems to have designated a role for him in LotR, which made the purpose of his resurrection puzzling.

brightblade
20-05-2009, 11:10
So true, it is a little odd. Big 'T' must have gotten distracted. Maybe the situation is deliberate?

Who knows? Think I lean towards the 'different Elf but related' position just because #1 fell off a cliff fighting a Balrog (no shame there) and for him to be resurrected and returned would suggest he has a greater importance whereas #2 does seem to be somewhat of a background player (albeit a really cool, totally badass one). :D

The Black Knight
31-05-2009, 19:00
I'm 16 and currently reading the Silmarillion. I am finding it difficult to read (although not as bad as LoTR and definately not as bad as Le Morte D'arthur) and I can easily understand how people can find it dull and uninteresting.

I'm loving the book though. It is an amazing read, and I've found reading it meant some things in Lord Of The Rings made more sense (the wizards being maiar for example as opposed to powerful men as I interpreted them in the film.)

As to the Glorfindel debate, I got the impression that he was the same Glorfindel from the Silmarillion, as either Gandalf or Elrond states he could "storm Barad-Dur by himself" IIRC. Because of this, I thought his task for being sent back from the Halls of Mandos was to give the Istari help and provide a safe haven for the elves, along with Elrond helping him.

Just my two pence really,
The Black Knight

Warsurge
01-06-2009, 07:48
It is a bit hard to read it the first time because there are so many people to know but it the end it is fun and enjoyable. It is more serious and more stern than the Hobbit and LOTR.

I am looking forward to if at all the next and final book of the Middle Earth series. It is supposedly to have the final battle to destroy all evil (Morgoth, Sauron). Morgoth was cast out into the void and he is currently staying there supposedly. I can't wait. Hopefully they are piecing it together or at least his son or his grandson is trying to write it.

OldMan
02-06-2009, 11:29
I love Silmarillion. It's better than LotR.
Hobbit is kids, LotR for teenagers, Silmarillion is for adults.

This is why Silmarillion is more difficult to read, but stories it features are much greater. They are very archetypical ( especially the curse of Hause of Hurin), and not without reason often compared with Bible.

As for Morgoth's diminishing power. It should be reminded, that it was he , who created balrogs. A HUGE investment, that didn't really pay off, as balrogs have been pretty much exterminated by the gods. Later on, Morgoth created dragons. A BIG investment, with similar results.

Condottiere
02-06-2009, 12:26
Balrogs are Maiar.

brightblade
02-06-2009, 18:14
Balrogs are Maiar.

Yup. Corrupted Maia just as Sauron was.

Morgoth's power diminishes as he invests it in creations that are outside of Eru's plan, such as orcs, trolls, dragons, vampires but also the creation of Angband and Thangorodrim. These massive and vain works are his strength and his greatest weakness, just as the One Ring is Sauron's.

Iracundus
03-06-2009, 08:34
Unlike Sauron however, Morgoth has invested portions of himself into the fundamental idea of certain things and in Arda itself. Sauron invested power into a particular configuration and amount of gold. Morgoth invested a portion of himself into Gold. Short of breaking up Arda and starting from scratch, the Valar cannot remove the Morgoth element from creation. However the Valar love Arda and can still do so even with Morgoth''s influence in it.

By contrast, Morgoth cannot accept anything less than 100% of his own imagining, which he cannot have, and so he hates and wants to destroy all of creation. He cannot accept that at best he only has a share in creation and was meant to share with others. All his works like the dragons and trolls and orcs are corruptions or mockeries of existing things and are not truly original works.

Gazak Blacktoof
03-06-2009, 08:38
All his works like the dragons and trolls and orcs are corruptions or mockeries of existing things and are not truly original works.

What is a dragon a corrupted version of?

Condottiere
03-06-2009, 10:01
Considering it's physical and mystical power, it might even be that of a Maiar. I don't recall any other creature that could be used as a base. Trolls should be ent derived.

OldMan
03-06-2009, 13:41
Balrogs are Maiar.

I disagree, but since i have no copy of silmarillion, I can't prove you are wrong here. ( or right for that matter ).

For Morgoth lack of power to create, i think it's mostly lack of creativity and lack of power to step beyond limits established by Iluvatar himself (its symbolical he couldn't find fire of creation at the beginning) . It is clearly stated, that smelly bogs, and clouds of flies are his creations. Both are beings in itself, even if not pleasant ones.

Iracundus
03-06-2009, 14:33
Balrogs are Maiar, specifically spirits of Fire drawn to his initial might and splendor as Melkor.

Melkor was drawn to extremes, and it is suggested his elaboration of the original theme (albeit creating discord in the process) was in intemperate heat and cold. That is why for example he creates strongholds in the freezing North and also why his first material form was a walking volcanic mountain towering above the clouds, topped with ice and with blazing fiery eyes. However, it is also one of Tolkien's themes that new forms of Good and beauty arise in spite of Evil, hence why Melkor's extremes of heat and cold also inadvertantly lead to things like weather, rain, snow, snowflakes, etc... that had not been explicitly planned or dreamt of by the Ainur.

Spider
06-06-2009, 13:27
I disagree, but since i have no copy of silmarillion, I can't prove you are wrong here. ( or right for that matter ).




Balrogs are Maia.

Silmarilion makes it very clear.

But if you want to disagree with Tolkien thats ok:)

Hellfury
27-06-2009, 12:50
Yes, but it's a brief mention in someone else's story (Tuor's) and we don't have any real details on it. My recollection is that Glorfindel knocks it over a very high drop and goes down with it.

This is my understanding of Glorfindel's demise as well. I also understood it to be the same Glorfindel in the LotR books as when Glorfindel went to Shadow, he was rewarded and sent back to Arda, a much more powerful being and the only Eldar to have ever crossed that threshold. Perhaps it is the reason why Glorfindel so easily swept aside the Nazgul at the ford, and why they feared him ever so much.

Its quite odd how certain themes are recurring throughout Tolkien's stories. I remark on this because Gandalf met his demise in nearly an identical fashion.

Tales that never saw the light of publication such as The Nauglafring (Necklace of the Dwarves) bear close resemblance to premise of cursed Gold of Melkor. Always cursed, never to be clean.

The one corruption of Arda, while beautiful, has no redeeming qualities. Strife goes wherever it is born.

Its almost as if the Nauglafring is an expurgated version of the Lord of the Rings, but without a persona to stick the invested malice towards, but merely a device of greed. Which may be the very reason why Tolkien didnt publish it. It had no anthropomorphic guise for the reader to despise. Far too abstract for many to grasp, perhaps?

Iverald
28-06-2009, 12:26
This is my understanding of Glorfindel's demise as well. I also understood it to be the same Glorfindel in the LotR books as when Glorfindel went to Shadow, he was rewarded and sent back to Arda, a much more powerful being and the only Eldar to have ever crossed that threshold. Perhaps it is the reason why Glorfindel so easily swept aside the Nazgul at the ford, and why they feared him ever so much.

I agree, but Glorfindel is the only one mentioned case. There were perhaps others. Luthien's spirit after Beren was killed by Karcharoth came back to Valinor and form there she returned, but as a mortal.
I believe that Glorfindel was powerful in his own right in Gondolin (there is no mention of him being granted more power). When he came back, he almost defeated the Witch King of Angmar, later appearing as the King of Nazgul, in the Second Age in 1975. The Witch King ran away, Glorfindel was told (or he himself made?) the prophecy that no man can defeat the WKoA.
Last, the Nazgul are spirits of Men and Elves are not quite fearful of them (cf. Legolas as the Grey Company rode out of the Paths of the Dead), though the Nazgul are far enhanced by the power of their rings.
(source: Karen wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth, good and quick reference :) and of course, LotR)


Its quite odd how certain themes are recurring throughout Tolkien's stories. I remark on this because Gandalf met his demise in nearly an identical fashion.

One might joke that Tolkien IS the recurring themes. :p But so is mythology.


Tales that never saw the light of publication such as The Nauglafring (Necklace of the Dwarves) bear close resemblance to premise of cursed Gold of Melkor. Always cursed, never to be clean.

One word Nibleungenlied. Another word: Beowulf (and the cursed gold in dragon's hoard. See above. ;) :D
Nauglafring, interesting, where can I find it?


The one corruption of Arda, while beautiful, has no redeeming qualities. Strife goes wherever it is born.

This I don't quite understand, would you elaborate some more?


Its almost as if the Nauglafring is an expurgated version of the Lord of the Rings, but without a persona to stick the invested malice towards, but merely a device of greed. Which may be the very reason why Tolkien didnt publish it. It had no anthropomorphic guise for the reader to despise. Far too abstract for many to grasp, perhaps?

I don't think that Tolkien would approve of "investing malice" towards anyone. Frodo is told that Bilbo's pity over Gollum lessened the Ring's evil influence over him. (Fellowship) Furthermore, Sauron is described as not being evil form the beginning. (somewhere in LotR) So was Melko in the Silmarillion.

As Tom Shippey (The Road to Middle-earth) states, one of the most important themes of Tolkien's works is the obsession with artefact, with the work of one's hands. This obsession is the cause of the downfall of many a character. Melko is obsessed with his own sub-creative powers superior to those of other Vala and yearns to create par excellence, to forcibly introduce what he wants into the homogeneous theme laid be Eru.

@ Gazak Blacktoof: orcs are corruptions of Elves, twisted and tortured and possibly Men (Men are my theory), trolls are mockeries (though not corruptions) of ents. Dragons are the evil counterparts of Eagles of Valinor (Eagles are not mere enlarged birds, they are in my theory similar to ents, as Yavanna requested that spirits should inhabit kelvar and olvar, that is the animals and the plants to prevent their wanton destruction by the Children of Eru.)

The said obsession, although not damning is Aule's case. He creates Dwarves in the anticipation of Elves, he irs rebuked by Eru, but unlike Melko he is repentant and wants to destrou them. He is forgiven and the Dwarves are given real life, ceasing to be puppets bereft of free will.
Feanor, his sons, Elu Thingol, Isildur, Smeagol, Thorin, they all fall because of the desire to possess an artefact, be it the Silmarils, the One Ring, or the Arkenstone. From the lot mentioned in the last sentence, ony Thorin is one who comes close to be forgiven, in the vein of Norsemen who appreciate courage above all.

Wow, that was show of utter Tolkienian nerddom on my part. Sorry... :p
It wont happpen again, for the next hour or so, I promise. :angel:

brightblade
28-06-2009, 18:43
I agree, but Glorfindel is the only one mentioned case.

Is he? Been looking for this. Where does it say that he came back? I always wanted him to be one and the same but just can't find it.

Cheers.:)

Condottiere
28-06-2009, 19:26
Mostly it's implied.

Tolkien may have wanted Orcs to be corruptions of men after reflection, but if so, he never made required alterations except by re-introducing Men at an earlier date.

Iverald
29-06-2009, 09:57
Is he? Been looking for this. Where does it say that he came back? I always wanted him to be one and the same but just can't find it.

Cheers.:)


Mostly it's implied.

Seconded.
I don't know to what extent they are to be trusted, but you may want to peruse this:
http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/g/glorfindel.html

Tolkien may have wanted Orcs to be corruptions of men after reflection, but if so, he never made required alterations except by re-introducing Men at an earlier date.[/QUOTE]
You're right. :)

Lord Malorne
29-06-2009, 10:06
Besides the parts involving the 'evil people' the book was tedious to no end.

Hellfury
29-06-2009, 17:12
1)Nauglafring, interesting, where can I find it?

2)This I don't quite understand, would you elaborate some more?

3)I don't think that Tolkien would approve of "investing malice" towards anyone. Frodo is told that Bilbo's pity over Gollum lessened the Ring's evil influence over him. (Fellowship) Furthermore, Sauron is described as not being evil form the beginning. (somewhere in LotR) So was Melko in the Silmarillion.

1)The Nauglafring can be found in the book of lost tales part II Chapter IV page 221.

2)I was merely continuing on the thought of how worthless gold is for anything other than the point of greed.

3) You have to have somewhere for the reader to direct their emotion towards rather than an abstract object. It makes a dull adventure where all you do is destroy a ring. The destruction of the ring is purely incidental to removing saurons influence from middle earth.

brightblade
29-06-2009, 19:44
Hey, thanks Iverald. Nice link.

Certainly is a loose end! Condotierre, it certainly is implied but I am yet to see canon that it is definite. Notes to that effect are great, it is just a shame that Tolkien never wrote 'A tale of Glorfindel.' :(

Maybe a lost notebook will turn up! :D

Just gotta love Glorfindel.

burtnernie
30-06-2009, 09:26
Reading this book made me try to scratch my eyes out.... it's seriously hard going...

Condottiere
30-06-2009, 12:59
That's nothing - I have half dozen other continuations sitting on my shelf from Christopher. Everytime I start one I lay it down after a dozen pages.

Sorros
30-06-2009, 13:48
I read Lost Tales, Hurin, Silmarillion, LOTR, Hobbit. I don't believe there are any other Tolkien-middle earth books, are there?


Tolkien may have wanted Orcs to be corruptions of men after reflection, but if so, he never made required alterations except by re-introducing Men at an earlier date.

in case it hasn't been addressed, I believe that they were created to mock the Elves, not the humans. The humans were already evil, and chased the good humans west, where the Elves were hanging out.

Condottiere
30-06-2009, 14:16
Tolkien had lots of concepts he wanted to get off his chest, and one interesting paradox is that Orcs are likely to be shortlived, which would imply an incredible amount of tweaking of the Elven genome. As it stands, his template were the Elves.

Sorros
30-06-2009, 14:55
Thought so...been a while since I read those books. Great books, all of them.

Urath
28-07-2009, 21:10
I lost my copy of the Silmarillion AND Lord of the Rings while moving house, I really need to travel to Waterstones. I'll probably be compelled to pick up the "Book of Lost Tales", "Unfinished Tales" and "Chronicles of Hurin" as well, My wallet would implode. Luckily, I still have my ancient and venerable copy of the Hobbit.

I can barely remember anything from the Silmarillion it's been so long so this thread has really helped jog my memory, as well as helping the OP. It's great to see the kind of intellectual debates that can arise from Tolkien's works, 40K just can't match it. At all. In any way. I can only see Gormenghast matching up to it.

WolfenAvandir
26-08-2009, 10:08
I loved the Silmarillion.

It's a great source of information, and I thought the stories were very epic, if not filled with personal details.

If you want a hard (and totally unrelated) book to read, I recommend the Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Shea and RAW.

QFT

The silmarillion is THE book of Middle Earth --- LoTR is like a light version of the stories in awesomenes...

Morgoth/Melkor, elves vs Balorgs and other stuff... man... thats the best

but also I agree is not EASY to read

Aladin_sane
24-09-2009, 19:07
I read it and loved it. Reading it you discover that there was so much more then LOTR. In the scope of things, what happens in LOTR is a bad weekend compared to goings on in the Silmarillion. It's because of this I find it hard to get into the LOTR wargame. I'm asking myself "where is Morgoth and his dragons and balrogs? Where are the demi-gods smashing it up, where are the vampires?"

N810
24-09-2009, 19:23
The Silmarillion is an amazing book. I recommend it. At the very least your should try it for yourself. If you do not like it, stop reading. But at least read through the creation bit and get to the really good parts with Feanor and the Noldor.

side note: I found Dune INFINTELY more painful than the Silmarillion. Bored me to tears. The part that I ended on was when the Atredeis getting backstabbed.
Some Fremen show up after killing some sardakuur, those supposedly awesome fighters, and make some backhanded comment of "they fought well". What? Thats it? If that was supposed to somehow convey how awesome they are at fighting IT FAILED. No evidence for the Sadukuur capabilities nor a description of how the Fremen are hardcore either. So yeah. I just did not like Frank Herbets righting style. *rant over*


Thats a shame you quit just where the book starts getting good... :eyebrows:

Yep I read all of the origional Dune books and a few of his sons,
I also read all of Tolkens works...

and yea the Simirilian was by far the dryest of his works...
I rember skiming over some of the long genoligy bits to get to some of the more interesting bits.

TheSmilingGoat
16-10-2009, 14:02
it is a hard read (i like to compare it to the bible in the way it's written) but if you'v got the patience it is a fantastic book and full of interesting info on the history of middle earth

Hero adamite
16-10-2009, 19:25
I started to read the Silmarillion, it is a very interesting book, it's a little confusing with all the names of characters and places, but definately worth the read.

Arnizipal
17-10-2009, 21:15
I've read the Dutch translation of the Silmarillion a couple of years ago and I'm currently re-reading it in English. I find the English version a lot easier to read, but that may be because a lot of the atmosphere was lost in translation or because reading things in another language than your mother tongue makes you forgiving because it's more exotic :p

The things that keeps bothering me though is the general berness of Elves and the suckiness of Orcs. In fact, evil in general is always conveniently weak for no apparent reason.

Lars Porsenna
18-10-2009, 01:25
I've read both The Silmarillion as well as the Dune books. Both are IMHO seminal works of their genres, and well worth the investment. IMHO sometimes a person is nor "ready" for a book, and they might dislike it. Give it a few years, when conditions and mentalities are different and the book may read better. YMMV.

Damon.

Captain Stern
24-04-2010, 03:06
The only boring bit is the beginning, the creation story. Once you get past that it's wonderful. The style is a lot like the background in the Warhammer Armies books and 2nd edition 40k codices only its the lengh of a novel.

Whitwort Stormbringer
24-04-2010, 22:08
Tolkien had lots of concepts he wanted to get off his chest, and one interesting paradox is that Orcs are likely to be shortlived, which would imply an incredible amount of tweaking of the Elven genome. As it stands, his template were the Elves.

On this note - Orcs weren't actually that short-lived (at least, not naturally - I suspect most were short-lived due to being killed off either by big nasty men and elves or, in the absence of a good reason to fight, one another).

I'm pretty sure the only orc whose lifespan we have a good grasp on is Bolg, who lived to be a good 142 years old at least (born pre-2799 of the third age, and died 2941 of the third age). So we can at least deduce that they lived longer than your typical man or hobbit, maybe somewhere on the order of dwarfs and/or the dunedain of the third age, give or take.

All that can be said for sure is that this particular orc was alive over a period of 142 years. However, since he could have been born much earlier than 2799 III, and if he hadn't met a violent end he may have survived long after 2941, there's really no saying how long orcs live.

canucklhead
25-04-2010, 14:07
Smiling goat has it right, The Silmarillion is essentially the Old Testament of middle Earth. And it has some of the heavy handed writing style inherent in such a tome.

The bible is, however, a wonderful story if you are willing to slog through the way it is written. The Silmarillion is no less a grand scale book of the early tales of middle Earth. If you are a fan of LOTR and the hobbit, then reading through the Silmarillion will give you an insight into just who and what these characters are.

Khamul
27-04-2010, 05:59
Hi there, I own a copy of the Silmarillion, and yes at first glance it is a bit boring, but it's full of excellent mini stories- I really enjoyed the tale of Turin (one of Hurin's kids.) Most of the stories are pretty tragic (Turin's sister finds him unconcious, thinks he's dead and throws herself off a cliff :skull:. Turin wakes up, hears about what happened and kills himself :skull:!) The history of the Silmarils is quite interesting. One poor chap gets his hand (holding a silmaril) bitten off, I'm not sure whether by a giant werewolf :skull: or a foul breathed Dragon :skull: :chrome:!

Steam_Giant
27-04-2010, 08:41
One poor chap gets his hand (holding a silmaril) bitten off, I'm not sure whether by a giant werewolf :skull: or a foul breathed Dragon :skull: :chrome:!

That would be Beren, his hand is bitten off by Carcharoth (http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Carcharoth) called a werewolf by Tolkien, they are nothing like the modern day werewolf.

If you enjoyed reading about Turin, check out the book Children of Hurin, it has all that and MORE !! :)

Cheers

ForgottenLore
27-04-2010, 08:45
That would be Beren, his hand is bitten off by Carcharoth (http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Carcharoth) called a werewolf by Tolkien, they are nothing like the modern day werewolf.

Which is worth remembering with the werewolf formation in the Angmar list.

Pacorko
28-04-2010, 00:39
That would be Beren, his hand is bitten off by Carcharoth (http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Carcharoth) called a werewolf by Tolkien, they are nothing like the modern day werewolf.

I read somewhere that Carcharoth was his take on/equivalent for the Grendel, but as with most interpretations of this posthumous work, I can only say that yes, Carcharoth was nothing like the modern take on werewolf or that similar to the russian medieval version of it.

Still, a fantastic character that did not get more detailed and, therefore, remains intriguing.

Khamul
28-04-2010, 07:51
Carcharoth would make a really sweet model if they brought out a WOTR or SBG Silmarillion. Not likely, but if they did there would be some amazing models. Everyone seems to forget that Morgoth is the primary "bad guy" of Tolkien's collective Middle Earth/Valinor story. Probably because he gets no mention in the The Lord of the Rings movies.

Arnizipal
28-04-2010, 11:00
There is that "Balrog of Morgoth" line of Legolas...

Suicide Messiah
28-04-2010, 11:11
I never understood why people say the silmarillion is boring. Its much more engaging than LotRs and doesnt have 13 dwarves, who you cant tell apart like the hobbit.

Its a cracking read. I'd encourage any LotR fan to read it.

ForgottenLore
28-04-2010, 17:04
No, it has 60-70 elves you can't tell apart and who have much more difficult to pronounce names than the dwarves.

I'd encourage any LotR fan to at least give it a serious try.

Chaplain of Chaos
28-04-2010, 18:12
Orcs merely live violent lives, which can mean short as well. When it comes down to it though, considering that the orcs are intended to be a perverse inversion of the elves it would make sense that they would be short lived. There is a certain amount of leeway though i'm sure.

enyoss
28-04-2010, 18:28
I waded through the first 50 pages, and was worried I'd have to do the same for the rest.

Once you're through the first part though, the rest is a complete joy to read. Also, if you've read it over once and are familar with the characters, that first bit (and the rest as well) just gets easier and more enjoyable with each read. It is easily my favourite Tolkien work, and probably my favourite book of all time. The romantic imagery and language literally brings a tear to my eye.

Suicide Messiah
28-04-2010, 19:18
No, it has 60-70 elves you can't tell apart and who have much more difficult to pronounce names than the dwarves.

But theyre all from different stories so theres no need to read it all at once.

JLBeady
28-04-2010, 20:52
Is the Silmilarion difficult to read. Yes, it can be, especially when reading the genaolgies and keeping track of all the dramatic personae.

That said, anytime anyone asks if they should read it I ask the following;

Do you want to know the origins of everything you read about in the Hobbit and LotR? If yes, then read it.

Do you enjoy epic stories whose scope is larger and grander than the LotR? If yes, then read it.

Do you want to read something that makes the War of the Ring look like a bush war? If yes, then you MUST read Silmilarion

Just don't expect a style and readability similar to LotR.

By the way I think it was a great book. It was having read that book that made the fight vs the Balrog in Fellowship of the Ring that more epic.

Chaplain of Chaos
28-04-2010, 22:56
I for one loved the beginning, it was such a perfect example of Tolkien's knowledge of ancient literary convention. I mean it so perfectly builds the cosmogony of Arda, essentially establishing the overarching themes that will govern every other aspect of the world he sought to build.

Khamul
29-04-2010, 08:39
It's very different from the Lord of the Rings story line- intrestingly J.R.R. considered The Silmarillion to be his greatest and favorite achievement.

Hellfury
05-05-2010, 14:33
Its understandable that the silmarillion can be a difficult read.

It can help to listen to the audio version which is very aptly read by Martin Shaw. Completely unabridged for good measure as well.

Its great to listen too while painting some LotR figs.

enyoss
05-05-2010, 19:50
I gave the audio book a try on youtube, but didn't seem to get on with it :(. I think the problem is that I've read the book so many times now so it sounds weird when he stresses sentences differently to how I do in my head :D.

Hellfury
06-05-2010, 00:51
Understandable.

But I read in a magazine sometime in the early-mid nineties about his pronunciation and he had language coaches and input by C Tolkien himself to ensure that the languages were pronounced 'correctly'.

It was also said that he had to redo certain areas after being recorded as they had to go through C Tolkien's approval before being published.

So in some ways, I have to give some major credit to the recording studio for the book to remain as faithful to not only the unabridged work, but to ensure proper pronunciation as well. (in as much as can be 'correct' without direct input by J.R.R. Tolkien)

Steam_Giant
06-05-2010, 08:58
Il second Martin Shaws reading of Sil, and also add the latest version of CoH is read by Christopher Lee and he makes a cracking job of it !

Hellfury
06-05-2010, 12:06
Oooh I didnt know that about CoH! I must go buy it now. Thanks for the tip!

Steam_Giant
06-05-2010, 13:31
Oooh I didnt know that about CoH! I must go buy it now. Thanks for the tip!

No problem, its a mesmerising way to spend the best part of eight hours. ;)

Avatar of the Eldar
28-05-2010, 14:06
Il second Martin Shaws reading of Sil, and also add the latest version of CoH is read by Christopher Lee and he makes a cracking job of it !

Uh, what's "CoH"?? I'd listen to Christopher Lee read recipes out of a cookbook.:p

ForgottenLore
28-05-2010, 15:49
Children of Hurin.

kardar233
29-05-2010, 03:53
Isn't the Children of Hurin book mainly just Narn i Hin Hurin from Unfinished Tales, or has someone found/added more?

Hellfury
29-05-2010, 06:07
Isn't the Children of Hurin book mainly just Narn i Hin Hurin from Unfinished Tales, or has someone found/added more?

Its been expanded on, but otherwise you're correct. It really is worth the read. Depressing doesn't even begin to describe it, but for what it is (tolkien) it is great.

Avatar of the Eldar
02-06-2010, 01:55
Children of Hurin.

Oh yes, that non-stop laugh riot.

Steam_Giant
02-06-2010, 11:45
Oh yes, that non-stop laugh riot.

Plenty of action though !!

If you want a laugh go read the hobbit ! :p

Avatar of the Eldar
02-06-2010, 14:03
I just meant that it's relentlessly tragic.

TheMaster
08-06-2010, 07:44
Similarion boring?, dull? I read it when I was 11 and loved every bit of it. I have to say it's the best Toilken book i've read .

Khamul
10-06-2010, 06:42
Very interseting...
I liked it enough to buy it :)

Dr Death
12-06-2010, 10:45
I have read, enjoyed and remembered great swathes of the Silmarillion but make no bones about it- it is not a particularly easy read, nor is it one that is 'age dependent'. I very much object to the trite categorisation of Tolkien's various works as being 'for' certain age groups- however portentous the Silmarillion may be, it is no way any more worthy of adult readership than the Lord of the Rings (my favourite) or the Hobbit for that matter (which ironically i enjoy more as an adult than i did as a child). The comparisons with the Bible are entirely appropriate and in many ways directly analogous (Tolkien's Ainulindale is basically Genesis with different names, while the Flight of the Noldor is quite literally Exodus). As a result it is not a 'narrative' as such and does away with any particular concessions to dramatic tension, only allowing it for three notable stories- the 'Great Tales' as Tolkien termed them- Beren and Luthien, Of Turin Turambar (otherwise known as the Children of Hurin or if you want to be really anal the Narn I Chin Hurin) and of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin. Each of these however only occupies a single chapter in the Silmarillion.

Essentially what the Silmarillion offers is an 'overview' of the whole mythology, from the very creation of the universe to the point Tolkien decided to end his own exploration of Middle-earth's history- the Fall of Sauron (to give you an impression of the compression, all the events of the Lord of the Rings are covered in a couple of paragraphs- a page at most). It is essentially the 'framework' that is essential to establish if you wish to fully understand the implications and predicates of Tolkien's writings.

Another thing you hear bandied around concerning the Silmarillion is how 'epic' it is and how the conflict of the War of the Ring is like a 'scuffle in a sandpit compared to the War of the Jewels' or similar rhetoric. Personally i find this to be a very immature and shallow way to appreciate the Silmarillion and entirely insulting to Tolkien's actual intentions and ideals. Tolkien's writings were never intended as some kind of 'Warnography', some hack'n'slash wet-dream- Tolkien had been at the Somme- he didn't have any grand fantasies about the nobility of war- just look at the brevity and seeming 'tameness' of his battles in LotR, and in the Silmarillion, for all their dramatic imagery (rivers of fire, armies of balrogs (questionable in the context of canon i should add), innumerable legions of orcs and elves), the kind of epic viscera that we all enjoy in our media once in a while is entirely missing- if anything Tolkien is even more detached and dismissive of the importance of 'mortal combat' than in LotR. If you're after that kind of thing, then go watch/read 300 (which is great fun).

That attitude also cheapens the heroism of the characters in Tolkien's other stories which i think is about as far from his intentions as you can get. Do you think Tolkien considered Feanor for all his glory and flamboyant 'bad-boy-ness' to be a greater hero than Frodo? Their fates couldn't be more different- Feanor snuffs it almost hilariously early in the story and is left to fume imprisoned in the Halls of Mandos (ironically very similar to the imprisonment his great enemy Melkor experienced), whereas Frodo did more than anyone thought possible and with a bit of a helping hand from fate managed to destroy the ring, ridding the world of the threat of overpowering evil, and as a result was rewarded with a time without pain in Valinor and ultimately freedom from the bounds of Arda via death. The War of the Jewels ends (if you think of the War of Wrath as a separate entity) with a supplicant bearing a token of the folly of the war (won by the power of love) to Valinor, doing so out of pure hope, with no expectation of reward or even survival. All of this points to the 'truth' that epic duels and world-spanning battles ultimately don't amount to a hill of beans when it comes to the actual defeat of evil.

Dr Death

LarryLimerick
18-06-2010, 02:23
Yah The Similarion is definately a bit of a tougher read, but it is an amazing book!

Gondor fan!!!
23-06-2010, 08:06
I have read the Children of Hurin, Lord of the Rings 1,2 and 3, the silmarilian, the Hobbit and I am reading Unfinished Tales and believe it or not but I am not stoping there. I love Tolkiens books, his writing makes you feel attached to the characters and it all seems real! Its not like some books where one bad guy stands up and kills everyone with his 'Dark Magic'. It is more like even Gandalf struggles or better yet the smallest of creatures (Hobbits) destroy the greatest evil. The Christian background also comes into it as it has been stated before. I feel that when Jesus died on the cross it was introduced by Gandalf. He sacrificed himself to save the felloship and he rised to complete his work in Middle Earth. If he had not made his sacrifice then the world would have fallen.

Tolkien, if only I could have met you. One day maybe...in heaven.

Gorbert
23-06-2010, 13:41
Love the Similarion

enyoss
29-06-2010, 01:29
Considering the thread is dedicated to it, there is some very suspect spelling of Silmarillion all over the place here :D.

juicytomatoes
01-07-2010, 04:59
I'm thinking perhaps the best way to get through the Silmarillion is not to expect a narrative. For me, when I realized it was more like Tolkien's roadmap of Middle Earth than a 'finished' piece of work in itself, I began to see it as a privileged guidebook into his world and appreciated it a lot more.

And in the spirit of handing out enticing tidbits to encourage people to read the book:

Follow both Aragorn's and Arwen's family tree at the back of the book and then recall the fact that they were married to each other :eek:

Col. Tartleton
01-07-2010, 19:21
My only issue with it is that its far too Biblical and not Pagan enough. The Pagan religious stories are much more human. The bible has a sterility to it. Tolkien's writings are likewise sterile. While the stories are interesting it's not pull you in interesting, and while I appreciate his intricate mythology, histories, and philosophy, its certainly not a page turner.

I mean you read the Lokasenna from the Poetic Edda and it's practically hilarious. The Pagan writers are more humanizing. Their Gods in fact made people in their own image, not just physically but their spirit. Likewise with the Greeks, Romans, and Celts.

So all Tolkien really did was rewrite the bible in his own style. Illuvatar is God, Melkor is Satan, the Valar are the Archangels, the Maiar are normal Angels, the Elves and Men are his chosen people, and everything he thought was important he wrote into it and left out what he didn't find important. All of which is well and good, and it's a masterpiece certainly, but it's not fleshed out enough to be intriguing. Parts of it are, but most of it isn't. Tolkien only created a few true characters in his writings. The majority are two dimensional good or bad. His writing totally dehumanizes his subjects. Aragorn didn't feel human at all, even Frodo lacks personality. Even the hobbit only has two real characters in it. Gandalf and Bilbo. Realistically only Bilbo, seeing as Gandalf is depicted as shadowy and impersonal.

That's what I don't like about the stuff, it's a great plot with no characters...

Gondor fan!!!
04-07-2010, 06:47
Tolkien was Christian so that is why his books are so biblical. They are great. I see where you are going with the lack of personality but if you read everything and peice it back together then it all has character.

Khamul
04-07-2010, 06:53
Tolkien was a Christian (More specifically, Catholic) and some people believe his books are directly based on the Bible, or the Second world War- Sauron has been identified with Hitler by some.

Steam_Giant
04-07-2010, 09:51
Sauron has been identified with Hitler by some.

That's "Godwin's law" in full effect right there ! :)

Tolkien himself says his writings are not allegorical.


As for any inner meaning or 'message', it has in the intention of the author none.

Col. Tartleton
05-07-2010, 13:55
Tolkien was Christian so that is why his books are so biblical. They are great. I see where you are going with the lack of personality but if you read everything and peice it back together then it all has character.

Yes, but lots of Christians write less two dimensional characters. The only people who had any internal conflict in the LOTR was Boromir, Saruman, and Denethor. (Frodo almost had a break down, but that's not really the same.) None of whom ever took real focus. Had he written it following the story of Boromir (and not killed him off...) I think I'd look more favorably on it.

Boromir could have been an awesome character, had he been used to facilitate the good vs evil element. I mean he had resentment towards the entire fellowship to some extent, sought to do thing his own way, and follow in the footsteps of Isildur, and do what he felt he needed to. Aragorn was going to take away his Kingdom, I don't know if he trusted Gandalf's motives, Legolas and Gimli were foreigners meddling in things he felt was his duty to deal with, and the hobbits were peasants being entrusted with something he didn't even truly trust himself with. He could have made a great fictional character as well as a part of a great mythos.

Arnizipal
05-07-2010, 15:57
Tolkien was a Christian (More specifically, Catholic) and some people believe his books are directly based on the Bible, or the Second world War- Sauron has been identified with Hitler by some.
Wasn't LotR published somewhere in the ninteen thirties? Hitler was barely in power yet in those days.

ForgottenLore
05-07-2010, 17:46
Yes, but lots of Christians write less two dimensional characters. The only people who had any internal conflict in the LOTR was Boromir, Saruman, and Denethor. (Frodo almost had a break down, but that's not really the same.) None of whom ever took real focus.

I think I agree with you here to some extent. I also think that this is one of the reasons why I like the movies so much, this level of depth gets added to several characters. Aragorn, Frodo, Faramir all seem much more believable in the movies, IMO. Not saying those conflicts aren't there in the book (except for Faramir) just that they are more visible in the movies.

Khamul
06-07-2010, 04:55
Wasn't LotR published somewhere in the ninteen thirties? Hitler was barely in power yet in those days. Yes, that make it really stupid- I wasn't saying that was my theory!!! :) Plus Tolkien said to his dying day neither his religion or war experiences had anything to do with it.

ForgottenLore
06-07-2010, 05:17
No, the Hobbit was published in the '30s. LotRs was published in the '50s. Tolkien spent much of the '30s and 40's writing it while serving during the war.

Parallels can be drawn, but as a couple of people have said Tolkien himself denied any such direct correlations.

Steam_Giant
06-07-2010, 13:13
YThe only people who had any internal conflict in the LOTR was Boromir, Saruman, and Denethor.

I agree with you that characterisation is important, but I dont believe it takes anything away from a damn good story.

Dr Death and Pacorko(?) had a great debate on this forum addressing the issues of character conflict in LOTR, I cant find a link at the moment perhaps someone else can.

However that is LOTR and this thread is talking about the Sil ;)

THE_ANGRY_GAMER
24-11-2011, 20:08
Sorry for Necro-ing.

The note from C. Tolkien at the end of CoH (not read the book yet yet, just the note) Suggested to me that the Silmarillion was just the 'broad strokes' of the First Age, and that he was going to go back and flesh out the stories later in his life - or at least do the Great Tales as novels, similar to LotR. He even made a start with the Narn.

However, that's just my enterpretation of the note. Feel free to comment.

Verm1s
24-11-2011, 23:31
That's what's suggested in the very intro to the Silmarillion, too. :)

Also, would it be possible for some kindly mod to change the thread title? It made me cringe back then and it hasn't improved with age.

Arnizipal
25-11-2011, 11:55
Also, would it be possible for some kindly mod to change the thread title? It made me cringe back then and it hasn't improved with age.
Done, but I'm not updating all 148 posts to correct their titles as well ;)

Karak Norn Clansman
25-11-2011, 15:44
Tolkien may have invested more time and effort into his other works but the Hobbit is the best written.

Yes, I have to agree with you here. I read almost all of Tolkien's works as a young teenager, and though the Hobbit is a bit childish (which isn't a bad thing, as I see it) it is undoubtedly the best written piece of Tolkien's work. The Silmarillion is great in some respects, mainly for creating some epic mythological stories, but a lot of it is a bit difficult to chew. Having read history books and fact books on dinosaurs from the age of six, I could stomach it and even found some of the probably dull parts interesting and thrilling.

There are quite some things I dislike with Tolkien's work, and primarily it is the sense of bleakness and geographical emptiness in Lotr. As an avid dwarf fanatic, I also dislike most of the role his stunties have to play in the sagas. Mm, Km and Ibun wasn't bad, however. But the Silmarillion lacks emptiness for the most part in the First Age, and I will readily tell you that the Fall of Gondolin was epic and engaging, in the same way that Tolkien managed to capture certain parts of the battle for Minas Tirith in a very succesful way.

If you can man it up to read through the Silmarillion, I recommend it. You won't sweep through it in one fascinated must-read-one-page-more addiction run, as you will many other good books (eg. The Last Hero). There are some great stuff in it, but at the end of the day there is a reason why the Silmarillion can't catch the same large audience as Tolkien's Third Age books: For all it's epic, the Silmarillion lacks jokes and fun and good humour. This is a bit strange, since the Silmarillion to some degree is based on Norse mythology: Norse mythology don't lack fun.

It also lack hobbits, but could have made do with cheerful, beer-bashing dwarves. At the end of the day I'm more happy with Warhammer because its Dwarfs might be cornered and declining, but still they live and breed and fight and hate and swear and mine and forge and trade and travel and brew and drink. Warhammer Dwarfs have heads full of steaming blood even when they are trapped by enemies from below and above ground. They have the right spirit even in the face of doom and will struggle to restore their lost empire 'til the last beard is gone. Warhammer Dwarfs also have got Bugman. Sadly, Lotr dwarves are pretty miserable in comparison.

Speaking of the dull sides of Lotr (all Ages), a lot of these are fixed in the Hobbit. There you have dwarves full of jests and elves that happen to drink too much wine. Tolkien could easily have made the Silmarillion more fun and interesting by the inclusion of some minor characters and events of little importance but good humour. He could have added some elven tricksters (akin to Loec or Loki) that gave the reader a laugh amongst all the seriousness and dire situations. He could have added some bizarre and comical custom, and he could have added someone who died an odd death. But he didn't. I guess Tolkien's imagination didn't work that way - either that, or he felt that such an adult book should be left without jovialities that detract from the epic.

Personally, I wish that Tolkien had went for a more Viking than Bible Silmarillion.

Peregrin
26-11-2011, 17:36
I'm not convinced that Tolkien would have published the Simarillion in it's current form if he'd had more time. Most of it was gathered from his scattered notes and essays on the histories of Arda, and it wasn't published until after his death.

As for the Dwarves, I don't get the same impression as you do about Middle Earth Dwarves. I do feel the author(s) have concentrated mainly on the history of the Elves though, so you don't get the details of the dwarves in the main stories (with Hobbit as an exception), but I always got the impression that all of those things you describe were going on somewhere just outside of the 'featured' stories.

There's a lot of Tolkien that is 'left to the imagination', such as man's pre-history, the other Istari that came to middle earth, what happens in the Eastern continents, etc.

For that matter, there are 7 tribes of Dwarves, but only 3 are really dealt with at all in Tolkien's written material, the main being Durin's people, the Longbeards.

amijp
27-11-2011, 16:07
I gave this a go when I was 12, and got about 2 pages into it before my brain melted and started to drip out of my ears.

Yeah, that was 8 years ago, I haven't touched it since.

Fle
27-11-2011, 17:06
I think the Silmarillion is a lot more 'epic' in it's scale than LOTR or The Hobbit. I felt the characters were much more 'legendary', for example the elves in the book were much more terrifying and powerful than any they appear in the other books. The book also better describes a lot of the events and stories that are only touched upon in the LOTR, for example the light of elendil, what it is and how it got there. Why the Elves leave ME and where they go to. Why Aragorn can live for so long (and is distantly related to Arwen). Where and when was numenor and what happened to it to name just a few.

The book also covers a very long time period (I think it's 3 whole ages?) so there are a lot of individual tales told within. Some of them link into one another (the main tale of the silmarils for example) but there are also quite a few seperate tales (Hurin and Turin).

If you enjoyed LOTR and The Hobbit, and enjoy 'epic' style stories I would suggest you definetly give the Silmarillion a go. It is one of my favourite books and I have read it more times than I have LOTR :)

Peregrin
27-11-2011, 18:19
I liked it but I use it mostly as reference now.

For the record, amijp, I wouldn't touch your brains if they dripped out of your ears either.... ;)

Tupinamba
28-11-2011, 21:51
I love Tolkien and the Silmarillion precisely because of some reasons many people our days complain.

Ive always loved history and one of the things that attract me a lot on Tolkiens writing is that I really feel transported to another world and another time, with a different mentallity, not simply the transposition of modern characters to a middle age setting.

Its a world with a living nature and epic characters, subtle magic and beautiful language and a slower pace, proper for that different universe. I dont think the characters all need to have modern complexities to be realistic and interesting. And the Silmarillion myth of creation is simply beautiful.

The same sense of uniqueness I feel towards Tolkiens elves and dwarves, which never feel just like taller perfect humans or smaller mining Vikings, but really like other beings, with other feelings, concerns and ways of looking at the world. I know that his elves and dwarves were inspired by historical human mythology, but I quite like that they are different to their inspirations.

amijp
29-11-2011, 13:56
I liked it but I use it mostly as reference now.

For the record, amijp, I wouldn't touch your brains if they dripped out of your ears either.... ;)

Haha, yeah, pretty gross right? :D

Greycoat
05-12-2011, 19:19
Can I just say that although I am new to the SBG and the forum, I am amazed by the level of intelligence and support I find here. Whereas a lot of forums seem to be full of mindless drivel and bickering, here I find lots of genuinely nice people, sharing their passions and interests. It's all quite uplifting really. Thank you everyone!

I may try reading the Silmarillion again as well...

Kirth
09-12-2011, 21:40
Turin Turambar should pop your cherry figuratively into the Silmarillion. I would read his saga and maybe that will help develop an appetite for the book.

Arnizipal
09-12-2011, 22:21
When I first read the Silmarillion I read it in Dutch (my native language).
I have to admit had to struggle to finish it. The sheer amount of (confusingly named) Elves made it a difficult read for me.

A few years after I finished the book I picked up the CD Nightfall in Middle-Earth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nightfall_in_Middle-Earth) by Blind Guardian. I really liked the songs, but since I remembered only bits and pieces of the underlying stories I decided to read the book again in English.
It's much easier to read the second time and the Dutch version really can't hold a candle to the original (no surprise there though).

To anybody struggling with finishing the book: give the Blind Guardian CD a try. If you don't mind epic power metal you'l be pleasantly surprised :)

MarcusAurelius
13-12-2011, 14:59
Book of lost tales volume 2
The fall of gondolin...seriously read it
it expands on the few paragraphs in The Silmarillion and is totally epic

Liber
15-12-2011, 08:26
And the Silmarillion myth of creation is simply beautiful.



This is the only thing in the book that i felt was really deserving of high praise.

But i read it years ago in high school, so i probably should give it another shot.

Karak Norn Clansman
19-12-2011, 06:32
As for the Dwarves, I don't get the same impression as you do about Middle Earth Dwarves. I do feel the author(s) have concentrated mainly on the history of the Elves though, so you don't get the details of the dwarves in the main stories (with Hobbit as an exception), but I always got the impression that all of those things you describe were going on somewhere just outside of the 'featured' stories.

There's a lot of Tolkien that is 'left to the imagination', such as man's pre-history, the other Istari that came to middle earth, what happens in the Eastern continents, etc.

For that matter, there are 7 tribes of Dwarves, but only 3 are really dealt with at all in Tolkien's written material, the main being Durin's people, the Longbeards.

True. Personally I always believe that there are a lot more going on outside of the main tales (and not only Dwarves, but also such things as Elves in Lindon and Human / Goblin settlements in the vast wilderness of Rhovanion) and I also read in more warmth and life and background detail into Lotr, especially in the bits about Dwarves. Heck, Tolkien even wrote about his surprise upon receiving a lot of mail from people that wanted such un-fey things as geological maps with metal ores. (Speaking of which, the description of the Dwarf strongholds in the 7th edition Dwarf army book is simply wonderful - to some part it was just the thing I wanted to see in Lotr, and not only for Dwarves.) Lotr opened up a lot of imagination for further Fantasy, but its author had more mythological intentions than historical with the setting, if this meaning makes sense.

But having discussed the "bleakness" of Lotr at lenght with friends over quite some time, the straight impression from the texts is that of a quite bleak Middle Earth, not least with the somewhat dwindling Dwarves and Valar-sailing Elves. Personally, I think this impression is turned on its head during the big battles (Four Armies, Minas Tirith). Not that the bleakness bothers me too much - me, my friends and my brother have had our share of fun fleshing out a more detailed and densely inhabited Middle Earth on home-brewed maps and stories. But still I'd have liked a bit more down-to-earth stuff, especially about Dwarves. Each to their own. :D

Tef
19-12-2011, 07:16
A lot of pages in this thread already and a lot good things have been said. I would contradict the comments about Christian writing/influences but I have learned to agree to disagree on such matters :)

What I would like to say to all who are even considering to read Silmarillion is this - read it and read it in English if you in any way can. Most translations I have found are woefully lacking in myriad ways. And yes, the beginning is quite unlike most fantasy literature these days and the main reason people say it's hard but persist over that and it is a rewarding read indeed, all the different influences Tolkien drew from coming together as a single story, well, a collection of unified stories.

And I say this as well - since you people are on these forums, means you are miniature players - ours is not an easy hobby, it takes patience, time and effort - this book is the same. Approach it with the same way, not expecting instant entertainment and it will be a delight.

Peregrin
19-12-2011, 13:54
I enjoyed the newest book, 'Children of Hurin'. The material is covered in the Silmarillion in about a chapter and a half, so obviously the novel is more detailed.

I liked it, but it's not a happy book. Two things were really clear. It was heavily influenced by classic Greek tragedies, and our culture isn't used to those kind of stories. Not everyone will 'get it'.

BrainFireBob
04-01-2012, 20:49
Quick note- Tolkien served in the Great War, not WW2. Makes The Fall of Gondolin make more sense, as well as the Balrogs and dragons, with their whips of flame and talons of steel- may not be allegorical, but certainly informed by the horror of night in the tre nches.

Tupinamba
06-02-2012, 21:17
Man, Ive started to listen to the Silmarillion in its audiobook version and its simply beautiful! People should really give it an open minded try.

Karak Norn Clansman
08-07-2012, 16:53
For anyone interested in modern music inspired by the Silmarillion, the band Blind Guardian have made some soundtracks about Lotr and Silmarillion. Unlike Curse my name, for example, they are not all too good, but the Curse of Fanor at least come close to capture the spirit of the man, the myth, the legend of the Noldor elves: http://www.rocktube.us/08RAkexaiNr/Blind_Guardian_The_Curse_of_Feanor__with_lyrics_.h tml


Quick note- Tolkien served in the Great War, not WW2. Makes The Fall of Gondolin make more sense, as well as the Balrogs and dragons, with their whips of flame and talons of steel- may not be allegorical, but certainly informed by the horror of night in the trenches.

You've hit the core of Tolkien's story universe. It is driven deeply be a sense of destruction, constant fall from grace and also, irritatingly enough, decline. His war experiences must have served as a major source for his fictionary creation, however subconsciosly, and the cultural break in the European world caused by the Great War probably played a part as well. This sense of bleakness couples well with Greek tragedies and Norse doom.


Man, Ive started to listen to the Silmarillion in its audiobook version and its simply beautiful! People should really give it an open minded try.

People certainly should!

Arnizipal
09-07-2012, 08:34
For anyone interested in modern music inspired by the Silmarillion, the band Blind Guardian have made some soundtracks about Lotr and Silmarillion. Unlike Curse my name, for example, they are not all too good, but the Curse of Fanor at least come close to capture the spirit of the man, the myth, the legend of the Noldor elves: http://www.rocktube.us/08RAkexaiNr/Blind_Guardian_The_Curse_of_Feanor__with_lyrics_.h tml
While a good song, Curse of Fanor contains a part where Fanor seems to show remorse for his deeds (which he doesn't it the novel).
I prefer Time Stands Still, Noldor or A Dark Passage.

bravey
10-07-2012, 02:36
Similarion boring?, dull? I read it when I was 11 and loved every bit of it. I have to say it's the best Toilken book i've read .

You read the Silmarillion when you were eleven? You must have been quite a precocious child.

~Bravey