Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Silmarillion” as Want to Read:
The Silmarillion
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Silmarillion (Middle-Earth Universe)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  130,290 ratings  ·  4,634 reviews
The Silmarillion is Tolkien's first book and his last. Long preceding in its origins The Lord of the Rings, it is the story of the First Age of Tolkien's world, the andcient drama to which characters in the Lord of the Rings look back, and in which some of them, such as Elrond and Galadriel, took part. The Silmarillion was begun in 1917, and Tolkien worked on it, changed i ...more
Mass Market Paperback, Second Edition, 478 pages
Published 1999 by Ballantine Publishing Group (first published September 15th 1977)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Silmarillion, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Kim Do NOT read the Silmarillion first. Whether you start with The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings is pretty inconsequential, as they both stand on their own.…moreDo NOT read the Silmarillion first. Whether you start with The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings is pretty inconsequential, as they both stand on their own. While chronologically the events in the Silmarillion are first, it is a history book, not a novel, and you will not make it through.(less)
Sarah Jones Any online retailer (Amazon,Ebay, etc.)

It is also available on so if your not into online shopping they may have it at your local…more
Any online retailer (Amazon,Ebay, etc.)

It is also available on so if your not into online shopping they may have it at your local Barnes and Noble.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Feb 01, 2015 Gundula rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: serious fans of Middle Earth
I had tried to read The Silmarillion multiple times in the past and had basically given up, but I finally realised that I was attempting to read this book the wrong way; I was trying to read The Silmarillion like I read and reread LOTR, as a story, an epic story of course, but still a story. Now, while The Silmarillion is partially a story, it is (at least for me) first and foremost a religious type document, a biblical, mythological account of the Elder Days of Middle Earth. So this time, I rea ...more
The Crimson Fucker
Ever since I joined GR I’ve been putting off the writing of this book’s review… but since I’m high as fuck on cold medicine I feel like I can do it so here suffer thru it!:

Along long time ago a little 3rd world kid with an afro became fascinated of what he read on the internet about some British writer named Tolkien… he wanted his books… it became his obsession… so he embarked on a quest to find his books and read the shit out of them… but alas! The book was no where to be found on his dumb litt
How To Build A Truly Convincing Fantasy World

1. It's all about the language. Make sure your world's language is convincing, and you're pretty much there. Conversely, if your language sucks then everything else will.

2. Your book can't include more than a few sentences in your invented language without losing your audience. But it can include plenty of names. So what people will really judge you on is the quality of the names.

The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location cannot be g
Buddy re-read with Shii!

I’ve been contemplating whether or not to tackle the challenge of actually reviewing this masterpiece for quite some time now. In the end, after having finished reading it for the second time, I realised that I should at least throw out my thoughts on it. So here we go…

This is in my eyes the most impressive book ever written.

Notice how I did not say “best”. That was completely intentional. I do not believe it is the best book ever written, even though I know others think
Sauron was become now a sorceror of dreadful power, master of shadows and of phantoms, foul in wisdom, cruel in strength, misshaping what he touched, twisting what he ruled, lord of werewolves; his dominion was torment.
Ah, Sauron, Maia of Aulë—beyond doubt the singularly most enthralling antagonist whom I encountered as a young reader, possessing all of the malevolence and dark charisma and naked power of Satan, but unhobbled by the multi-aspectual morphology of Christian theology and popular
Though I had many near-misses with The Silmarillion throughout the years (having been introduced to Tolkien's universe by discovering The Hobbit in my school's library in 5th grade), I finally slogged my way through it during the summer after my sophomore year of college. The first two years of my undergraduate degree were rather gruelling, and I wanted, more than anything else at that time, to just read a bunch of books I wasn't required to read. After making my way through The Complete Sherloc ...more
The first fantasy book I ever read and still my all-time favorite. That said, it's not for everybody. It's been compared to the Old Testament, and that's still the best analogy; if you think that Moses leading his people out of Egypt is the stuff of grand drama, then this is the book for you, Tolkien fan or not. If you don't, then you probably ought to give The Silmarillion a pass, no matter how much you liked Tolkien's other work. This is not Lord of the Rings Plus; it's quite literally the Old ...more

In my humble opinion, The Silmarillion is the greatest work Tolkien almost finished. It is by far more difficult to read than The Lord of the Rings (which I already expressed my love for earlier in the year after completing my re-read) or The Hobbit but its greatness is found in the way it mixes together epic fantasy, mythology and linguistics to create a grand tale of creation and destruction.

Part of what I love so much about Tolkien's entire Middle Earth story is that there is a cycle as to ho
Buddy-read with Markus!

Is this book really that hard to read?
No, if you take it the right way. This books was not written to make readers like an specific plot twist or character. No! This book is solely the recompilation of various tales that happened in the world where The Lord of the Rings was settled in, from the beautifully written Ainülindale and the creation of Eä, to the end of the Third Age and the Fading Years.
That being said, you'll understand that it's not odd at all to find chapters
Buddy read with TL and Mason.

DNF 19%

I may pick this up at a later time, but for now, I'm giving up on it. I've given Tolkien more than a fair try - I've read the entire trilogy as well as The Hobbit. And while I love Middle Earth (the bigass spiders not so much), I think it's safe to say his story-telling is not for me.
Peter Meredith
Warning, this book is for Tolkien junkies only. It is not for casual readers of Tolkien... not--the Hobbit was kinda fun, wasn't Bilbo cute--sort of readers. In fact I believe it might be prerequisite that in order to enjoy The Silmarillion, one must have read The Lord of the Rings a minimum of three times. I am one such dedicated dweeb so I love it.
This book was probably not the way to be introduced to the LotR world. I'd never seen any of the animated movies. The new movies hadn't come out yet. I'd never even picked up any of the books. Then this book was assigned as part of the course I was taking.

The prolgue about the creation of the world was beautiful and amazing. And it fooled me into think the rest of the book would be just as good.

Parts of it read like the Bible. "And so-and-so begot so-and-so. And so-and-so..."

The rest of it was
Chad Warner
Aug 15, 2015 Chad Warner rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tolkien fans
Recommended to Chad by: Adam Boch
I love this book more each time I read it. Full of tales of the history and cultures of Middle-Earth, it tells its own engaging legends, and also adds depth to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The Silmarillion contains greater good, darker evil, fiercer rivalries, and vaster armies than those books. Tolkien, a Christian, included many parallels to Christian theology, including themes such as God’s sovereign plan, the consequences of pride, the Fall, divine judgement, and good and evil.

It's not really a review, more of an extra long recap (way spoiler heavy) links to each post are here.
Heavy Spoilers below.

Look. Here's the deal with The Silmarillion.

If you're not a huge Tolkien nerd, you're probably going to throw your hands up in disgust, swearing and tearing your hair out after the first two pages.
Even if you are a huge Tolkien nerd, if you generally skip past the songs in LotR and the Hobbit or can't handle creation myths - you will probably end up like the people in the
Final rating: 6/5 stars

So, i finally finished Silmarillion. I thought it would take me longer than 5 days, but i have never been so wrong. What had driven me to read this was the movie adaptation of Hobbit, and since i have never read anything of Tolkien before, i decided to do it now :D. I am glad i did, because this book is epic - really epic and amazing.

The history of Middle Earth was full of tragic stories and tragic families, and especially tragic love stories. Most of them ended tragicall
A lot of people complain about the complexity of this book, but I think they just need to grow up and/or learn how to read more effectively.

I found it to be one of the best books I have ever read. The back story it provided to the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit books was highly entertaining, and the style of writing was so beautiful it could have been poetry.

I highly recommend it to anyone that can take something a little more complex, but if you are a less advanced reader you might want to st
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel Ionson
Sil remains my all-time favorite story. Many find it dry and antiquated. I understand what they are saying, but I see it in the light of being Tolkien's true treasure-trove without any of the "bridge-building anachronisms" of LotR.

This is the core mythology of his creation, and it generates the truest feeling of the Faerie Realm above all others.

[Note- for those who are set to read it for the first time, I encourage you to get Children of Hurin and hold onto it. Sil covers the tales of Hurin/T
Bir adam dusunun yaratilistan sonrasini oya gibi ilmek ilmek islesin duslerinize...

iste o adamTolkien!

Baslangicta karakter coklugundan kurgunun icine girmekte zorlanabilirsiniz. Ama bir kere dalinca sayfalarin nasil aktigini anlamiyor insan.

Luthiel ve Beren'li kisimlarda yasadigim huzun, Melian'in durusuna duydugum saygi, bazen beni kizdirsa da Thingol'un karakterindeki guce saygi duydum okurken. En cok da Tolkien'in zekasina...

ilerleyen zamanlarda bir daha okurum dedigim cok az kitap var. Ama
The Silmarillion is one of those books that I’ve meant to read for years, literally. It is, according to some, the book that separates casual Lord of the Rings fans from truly hard-core Tolkien lovers. My first girlfriend confessed to preferring the Silmarillion over the Lord of the Rings, which she was unable to finish.
[info:]murpheyslaw likewise holds that the Silmarillion is the preferable work, being more true to Tolkien’s desire to create an epic that the Lord of the Rings is. Or something
3.5 stars

Reading this volume had the same feel for me as reading the Old Testament—it is the background material for a whole system of thought. I guess that reveals my religious leanings—Middle Earth is where I hope my spirit goes when I die. But seriously, reading this historical background document to Middle Earth reminded me very much of a summer when I was a teenager when I decided to read through the whole Bible, with the thought that if I could understand the whole thing I might find somet
Jul 01, 2014 Werner rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tolkien fans; fans of mythology and ancient/medieval epics
Recommended to Werner by: My wife, as a Christmas present
Shelves: fantasy, books-i-own
Note, July 1, 2014: I edited this review just now to correct a typo; I'd written "Gondor" when I meant "Gondolin" in one place. (Pretty big geographical and chronological difference, despite the similar spellings!)

For once, the Goodreads description of this book, and the breakdown of its constituent parts, is quite accurate. It may not sufficiently convey the fact, though, that what Tolkien wrote in an array of handwritten notebooks, going back as far as 1917, while it lays out the basic back-st
Stefan Yates
Let me start off by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed my overall experience with The Silmarillion. So, you might ask, why not give it a perfect rating? Hopefully, I can explain that in the rest of this review.

The Silmarillion is a beautifully written book. It is actually a collection of several works of J.R.R. Tolkien edited and combined into one book by his son, Christopher, and published posthumously. The five works combined in this book are Ainulindale, Valaquenta, Quenta Silmarillion, Akallab
Paul Callister
Sep 12, 2007 Paul Callister rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Tolkien thought this was his greatest work, and I agree. In it he develops not characters but millennia of history and an entire cosmology as well as some very touch individual stories (love stories really). The Simmarillion is really an acquired taste, but so worth the effort and so deep.
Brandon Pearce
May 18, 2008 Brandon Pearce rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone over the age of 14
Shelves: inkling
A must read for any Tolkien fan. This one lays out the foundations of Tolkien's amazing world. Here are a few thougths on Tolkien's theory and purposes.
When Owen Barfield read poetry, he would at times come across a passage which would impress him very strongly. It would cause what he called a “felt change of consciousness”. As he began to make an in depth inquiry into this phenomenon, it grew into an epistomology: a theory of knowledge, and meaning. Barfield was a member of the inklings and a
I first read The Silmarillion when I was young and foolish -- well, perhaps not, but definitely young and unprepared for it. I come back armed with a better knowledge of how to approach it. It isn't a story in the same way as The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are. It's closer to the myths that so fascinated Tolkien, closer to Norse sagas and the Old English Beowulf. It helped to see it in that way, to approach it in the same way as I would a Norse saga -- and I can't help but think that Tolkien w ...more
Questo NON è un libro da leggere per una gara a tempo perché NON è un libro che si possa leggere in fretta.
Ha bisogno del suo tempo, e si merita la totale attenzione di chi lo sta leggendo.
Per averlo scritto, Tolkien non si meriterebbe 5 stelle, ma 10, 100, 1000!
Che sia piaciuto o meno (e a me è piaciuto), non gli si può negare il merito di aver scritto quella che è, come ho letto in una recensione (ciao Frahorus!) la Bibbia della Terra di Mezzo. E lo è in tutti i sensi, a partire dal linguaggio
Jason Koivu
The Silmarillion reads like a foreign language history book. In the modern sense, it is plotless. There is no single narrative with a main character to fall in love with or a satisfying conclusion. This is the history of Middle Earth. You've been warned.

Therefore this is easily argued as being for hardcore Tolkien fans only. If you are absolutely in love with the world the author created and wish to immerse yourself entirely in it, put everything down and read The Silmarillion! All others shoul
A fantastical fantasy book. No. THE FANTASTICAL FANTASY BOOK.
You can't describe a work of a lifetime. You just can't. Because that's what MIDDLE EARTH is. A LIFETIME WORK. No one can compete with that.
Any Tolkien fan needs to read this. Is just beyond words.

"...en medio del llanto resplandece la alegría, y a la sombra de la muerte hay una luz que resiste..."


WOW! después de leer tantos libros, uno cree que ya nada te puede sorprender, El Silmarillion es OTRA COSA! es punto y aparte. Ad
I’m somewhat dubious of my ability to review this work, but I’m going to do my best. _The Silmarillion_ is the work of Tolkien’s most often viewed with apprehension by readers and, I think, the one most unjustly maligned. It has the reputation of being the most difficult of his published works and I guess this is not without reason, though I think it is often a position based more on preconceptions than due to the inherent value of the work itself.

I’ve read _The Silmarillion_ many times prior t
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Kastil Fantasi: The Silmarillion 28 148 Nov 22, 2015 08:41PM  
Who's your favorite character? 21 151 Nov 07, 2015 12:47AM  
Could this ever be a movie? 167 894 Nov 05, 2015 06:45PM  
Fairy Tales Eclectic: The Silmarillion by J.R. Tolkien 13 8 Oct 06, 2015 07:41AM  
Nerdist Book Club: The Silmarillion 1 2 Aug 16, 2015 07:46PM  
Best Thing About It 4 34 Apr 27, 2015 03:06PM  
  • A Tolkien Bestiary
  • The Atlas of Middle-Earth
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century
  • The Languages of Tolkien's Middle-Earth
  • The Worm Ouroboros
  • The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth
  • The Tolkien Companion
  • Wieża Jaskółki (Saga o Wiedźminie, #6)
  • Phantastes
  • The Gospel According to Tolkien: Visions of the Kingdom in Middle-Earth
  • The History of the Hobbit, Part Two: Return to Bag-End
  • The Book of Ti'ana (Myst, #2)
  • Perelandra (Space Trilogy, #2)
  • Tales Before Tolkien: The Roots of Modern Fantasy
  • Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World
  • Stormbringer (Elric, #6)
  • The Earthsea Quartet (Earthsea Cycle, #1-4)
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE, was an English writer, poet, WWI veteran (a First Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army), philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the high fantasy classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings .

Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and Merton Professor of English lan
More about J.R.R. Tolkien...

Other Books in the Series

Middle-Earth Universe (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • The Hobbit (Middle-Earth Universe)
  • The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)
  • The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2)
  • The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3)
  • Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth
  • The Children of Húrin
  • The Book of Lost Tales, Part One (The History of Middle-Earth, #1)
  • The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two (The History of Middle-Earth, #2)
  • The Lays of Beleriand (The History of Middle-earth, #3)
  • The Shaping of Middle-Earth (The History of Middle-earth, #4)

Share This Book

“It is said by the Eldar that in water there lives yet the echo of the Music of the Ainur more than in any substance that is in this Earth; and many of the Children of Ilúvatar hearken still unsated to the voices of the Sea, and yet know not for what they listen.” 181 likes
“Many are the strange chances of the world,' said Mithrandir, 'and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.” 111 likes
More quotes…