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The Silmarillion

(Middle-earth Universe)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  218,985 ratings  ·  8,030 reviews

The popular paperback edition with a cover design by Tolkien himself, to complement the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings paperbacks. Includes a special preface by J.R.R. Tolkien.

The Silmarillion is an account of the Elder Days, of the First Age of Tolkien’s world. It is the ancient drama to which the characters in The Lord of the Rings look back, and in whose events some of th

Kindle Edition, 357 pages
Published January 3rd 2011 by HarperCollins (first published September 15th 1977)
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Preda I think you should read them like Hobbit -> LOTR -> Silm -> Children of Hurin -> UT and HOME. It isn't the "chronological order" but it eases you into…moreI think you should read them like Hobbit -> LOTR -> Silm -> Children of Hurin -> UT and HOME. It isn't the "chronological order" but it eases you into the world in the best way. Reading Silmarillion or Chilren first and then Hobbit sort of feels weird since those are some very grim books while Hobbit is more relaxed(less)
Alysande I second reading the Hobbit before LOTR and then Silmarillion. The order of the rest doesn't matter. The 12 volumes of Histories of Middle Earth are o…moreI second reading the Hobbit before LOTR and then Silmarillion. The order of the rest doesn't matter. The 12 volumes of Histories of Middle Earth are only for diehard fans or scholars. They are notes and fragments, not fiction from cover to cover. Only if you want to know about details like what happens to the souls of dead elves and elven laws on marriage are these for you.(less)

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Average rating 3.93  · 
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Mar 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: serious fans of Middle Earth
I had tried to read J.R.R. Tolkien' The Silamarillion multiple times in the past (and always unsuccessfully) and had basically given up, but I finally did manage to realise that I was attempting to read it the wrong way; I was trying to read The Silmarillion like I have read and with pleasure reread LOTR, as a story, an epic story, of course, but still first and foremost as a story. Now while The Silmarillion is of course also partially a story, it is (at least for me) first and foremost a relig ...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
Sean Barrs
Writing a review of the Silmarillion is like trying to review the Bible. Where do you even start? There’s just so much story in here. Any attempt to convey it in a review would be to do the book a massive disservice. There would only ever be enough space to talk about one or a few elements of the work.

So instead I thought I’d give my reasoning as to why every Tolkien enthusiast needs to read this in order to fully understand Tolkien: the sheer depth of the work.

“It is said by the Eldar that in
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien

The Silmarillion is a collection of mythopoeic works by English writer J. R. R. Tolkien, edited and published posthumously by his son, Christopher Tolkien, in 1977, with assistance from Guy Gavriel Kay.

The Silmarillion, along with J. R. R. Tolkien's other works, forms an extensive, though incomplete, narrative that describes the universe of Eä in which are found the lands of Valinor, Beleriand, Númenor, and Middle-earth, within which The Hobbit and The Lord of t
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
Charlotte May
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: epic-fantasy
"Oh woe-begotten spirit, fall now into dark oblivion, and forget for a while the dreadful doom of life."

I must admit. I struggled.

Though I love the Lord of the Rings and the Middle Earth Universe with all of my heart, tackling a large part of its history in this manner was tough going.
The world Tolkien created is absolutely extraordinary, without a doubt. Unfortunately The Silmarillion is written as a long history or mythology of biblical proportions. Name after name, battle after battle, son
Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 popula
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5/5 stars

With a new interest and determination, I have finally finished reading The Silmarillion.

I have failed this book twice and I was so sure that I won’t attempt reading it again. However, I have just finished re-watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy extended editions and reading the Three Great Tales of Middle-Earth that’s edited by Christopher Tolkien. I know this is not the recommended reading order but it's only because of doing these two activities that I found a new interest, knowle
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Hannah Greendale
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, tolkien
In terms of reading interest, this oscillated between three and five stars, but with respect to what Tolkien accomplished here, The Silmarillion deserves nothing less than five stars.
The whole day, I have been trying to find the best words to use in this review, but how can you find the right words to describe perfection? This book was just a delight to read, from start to finish. The fact that a single man was able to create a fictional world with so much detail absolutely blows my mind. You can feel the love Tolkien had for Middle-earth in every word he writes. The way everything comes together makes it hard to believe that all of this is truly just fictional. There is so ...more
This is the epic backstory and mythology of Middle Earth. The grandeur and beauty of the language, and indeed the content, is reminiscent of the King James edition of the Bible, beloved by Tolkien.

Its beauty is sometimes counterbalanced by its opacity. My child was keen to read it, but aged only 7 or 8, struggled, so I read it aloud, which was quite a challenge: convoluted sentences half a page long, and complex genealogy, exacerbated by characters and places referred to by two or more names fr
James Trevino
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-time-goodies
Time for James’s unpopular opinion: I liked this better than The Lord of the Rings!

Before saying I am crazy, hear me out (actually, if you have nothing better to do, then read this review; if you have, then I gave this 5 stars, so you know my opinion anyway! See, you can’t say I don’t care for your time!).

Silmarillion tells the tale of the making of the world by Eru, the God of Middle-Earth and all that followed through the first two ages of creation, up until the events described in The Hobbit
I think of all the worlds I've visited in books, that created by Tolkien will always be my favourite.

The detail is so rich and its history so compelling that it so easily comes alive for me. If you want to know more about Middle Earth, the info is there. You just have to find the book that tells it. If you're looking for more beyond The Lord of the Rings, this is that book.

Now, I'm not going to lie - the first 150-or-so pages are a bit of a slog. This could be retitled "A Condensed History of Mi
This is actually my third time reading and I feel kinda bad because I keep picking up big new details I missed the first couple of times I read it.

Well, maybe I don't feel *THAT* bad. I mean, it is DAMN full of names and genealogies and it's probably a bit worse than having to slog through the Iliad for all that.

BUT. And here comes the huge, fire-belching butt of Melkor...

The Silmarillion is likely the best book of mythology I've ever read.
Better than any rendition of the Greeks or the Nordic.
Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー
Buddy read with the lovely Karishma

Karishma, you are the Tolkien queen!

Image result for silmarillion deviantart
Paul E. Morph
For the uninitiated, The Silmarillion is a history book of Tolkien's Middle-Earth, the land in which The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings take place (as well as many other works by Tolkien, most of them unfinished).

It's written in a very different style from his more famous works and I think a lot of people are put off by that. I have to say that, as big a Tolkien fan as I am, even I find The Silmarillion a bit dry and repetitive at times. For anybody who loves The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rin
The Silmarillion is difficult to read and I don't think it is even meant to be read straight through like a novel. Another reviewer put it best when he said "The Silmarillion is like the Bible, it's the Bible of Middle Earth". It's the magical setting of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and it tells the history of the place, the inhabitants, the languages, and the legends that came before Bilbo and Frodo. For you Ring fanatics, you haven't finished the story until you've read the history.
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was quite apprehensive going into this. I needn't have been.

This isn't exactly a story like LOTR itself but an account of the beginning of the Tolkien universe until the events at the end of LOTR, all written in an almost novel-like fashion.

Want to know Galadriel's family tree? Or where the White Tree of Gondor comes from (the Tree of the King)? Or how the Orks were made? If Sauron was the worst and most powerful bad guy ever? What the difference between Elves, dwarves and men are? Why the elv
Brett C
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-fantasy
This is an epic masterpiece. This is the cosmology and history of Middle-earth. It starts with the creation of the world by the god-like being, Iluvatar. From there He creates angelic beings called Valar and Maiar. These beings interact with each other, create things, and the story perpetually unfolds. We learn of the creation of Elves, of Men, of Dwarves, and lots of other entities. There is Fëanor and the creation of the Silmarils, wars fought, and much more. Then there's Melkor: the angelic b ...more
Juho Pohjalainen
"The Shadow that bred them can only mock; it cannot make: not real, new things of its own."

Imagine if instead of throwing a tantrum and trying to destroy everything, Melkor had discovered his hidden talent for satire?
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*** 2020 reread

I first read this back in HS, more than 30 years ago. I recall being amazed at the magnificent world building and likened this to “Old Testament” Tolkien.

I must admit that one reason why it’s taken me so long to revisit was my memory of the etymology and I was hesitant to jump back into stilted language and a litany of begats and whose father was who in the time of this or that.

Tolkien is too good for that and modern readers should not at all be intimidated by a stuffy origin stor
May 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
The Silmarillion gives a clear and comprehensive history of the mythological world Tolkien created to set his Lord of Rings trilogy. In five parts, he describes the world of which Middle Earth is a part, the spirits who rule the world (who the Men called gods), the making of Elves, Men and Dwarfs and the events that took place in the world, especially on Middle Earth from the First Age to the Third Age. In short, The Silmarillion can be safely described as a forerunner to Lord of the Rings trilo ...more
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Re-read number 3, anyone? 😂

Enjoyed this re-read just as much as the last one. I love re-reading books like this one because there are always gonna be little tidbits you pick up on more after a second (or third lmao) read.

Something I only just noticed about this secondhand edition I picked up a few months ago: there's a gorgeous, giant map hidden away at the back. Definitely need to get this framed.

Jonathan Terrington

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
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favourites
I love messy elf drama.

I think I actually enjoyed this more the second time around! It can be a little bit dry at times and I definitely enjoy certain chapters more than others, but I adore the world so it's always an enjoyable read tbh.

Next stop: The Hobbit and then I'm finally re-reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time in years.
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To me, “The Silmarillion” is the crown jewel of Tolkien’s work – the silmaril, if you will.

I knew the basic themes long before I started the book, and after “The Lord of the Rings” I also knew that “The Silmarillion” would be what I had been waiting for. The concept was not only radically new in its time, but is still unique in any given time-frame: a made-up cosmogony and mythology (well, it always is) of a made-up world, inhabited of made-up peoples, made-up history, made-up languages etc. Ev
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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

Other books in the series

Middle-earth Universe (1 - 10 of 26 books)
  • The Hobbit, or There and Back Again
  • 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
  • Beren and Lúthien
  • The Fall of Gondolin (Middle-Earth Universe)
  • 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)

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“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.” 288 likes
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