Never too Late to Read Classics discussion

35 views
Archive Sci-fi/Fantasy Reads > 2018 December -- The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien

Comments Showing 1-43 of 43 (43 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Patrick, From USA Sci-fi/Fantasy & Horror (new)

Patrick | 698 comments Mod
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 the Rings take place.

The Silmarillion comprises five parts. The first part, Ainulindalë, tells of the creation of Eä, the "world that is". Valaquenta, the second part, gives a description of the Valar and Maiar, the supernatural powers in Eä. The next section, Quenta Silmarillion, which forms the bulk of the collection, chronicles the history of the events before and during the First Age, including the wars over the Silmarils that gave the book its title. The fourth part, Akallabêth, relates the history of the Downfall of Númenor and its people, which takes place in the Second Age. The final part, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age, is a brief account of the circumstances which led to and were presented in The Lord of the Rings.

I hope you all enjoy!! :D


message 2: by Samantha, Cajun Literary Belle (new)

Samantha (cajunliterarybelle) | 3544 comments Mod
Omg I completely forgot that this is scheduled for this month. I have so much reading to do.


message 3: by Patrick, From USA Sci-fi/Fantasy & Horror (new)

Patrick | 698 comments Mod
Haha I often feel like that too. Just remember reading is supposed to be fun. Don't overload yourself lol.


message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael | 28 comments I read The Silmarillion when it was first published not long after I read the Lord of the Rings for the first time. Then, I was disappointed in the fact that the book isn't really a single, coherent narrative, or even an anthology of complete stories. I've since come to appreciate the deeper look into middle earth and its history the book provides, though, and now it's one of my favorites.


message 5: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 9711 comments Mod
I read it about the same time, Michael. It is different from Lord of the Rings because it doesn't have a single narrative.
I am awed by Tolkien's ability to create these mythical realms.


message 6: by Patrick, From USA Sci-fi/Fantasy & Horror (new)

Patrick | 698 comments Mod
I read it earlier this year and loved it! Very complex. I loved every story.


message 7: by Samantha, Cajun Literary Belle (new)

Samantha (cajunliterarybelle) | 3544 comments Mod
Patrick, I’ve been slacking off badly on my reading this year with stuff weighing on my mind. Reading is definitely always fun for me, but I feel bad having neglected my books. (I’ve read 33 books and call it slacking off. Hah!) I do intent to wrap up what I’m on very soon and get into this as well as some Christmas stories.


message 8: by Piyangie, Classical Princess (new)

Piyangie | 851 comments Mod
Hope to join in with this read.


message 9: by Rafael, Brazilian Master of the Bookshelf! (new)

Rafael da Silva (morfindel) | 564 comments Mod
I read it a couple of times. It is superb. I hope you enjoy it.


message 10: by Claire (new)

Claire  | 249 comments I thought it was a great book. Amazing worlds.


message 11: by Piyangie, Classical Princess (new)

Piyangie | 851 comments Mod
I read the first two parts - Ainulindalë and Valaquenta. Liking it so far.


message 12: by Patrick, From USA Sci-fi/Fantasy & Horror (new)

Patrick | 698 comments Mod
I really liked the mythological feel to the first part.


message 13: by Piyangie, Classical Princess (new)

Piyangie | 851 comments Mod
I'm plodding along Quenta Silmarillion. It is a difficult read with so many characters and places. I'm having a hard time of remembering them all!


message 14: by Inkspill (new)

Inkspill (runinkspill) Piyangie wrote: "I'm plodding along Quenta Silmarillion. It is a difficult read with so many characters and places. I'm having a hard time of remembering them all!"

Oh - yeah. the number of characters and remembering who is who and their story was tough. I finally had to make a lot of notes, which helped me to just let me enjoy what I was reading.

I thought it has a different feel to LOTR & Hobbit.


message 15: by Piyangie, Classical Princess (new)

Piyangie | 851 comments Mod
Inkspill wrote: "I thought it has a different feel to LOTR & Hobbit...."

There is a lot of history here more than the story of the recovering of silmarils. And from my remembrance of Hobbit and LOTR, I feel that Simarillion is very different to Hobbit but there is some closeness in character to LOTR with its dark brooding tone.


message 16: by Inkspill (new)

Inkspill (runinkspill) Piyangie wrote: "Inkspill wrote: "I thought it has a different feel to LOTR & Hobbit...."

There is a lot of history here more than the story of the recovering of silmarils. And from my remembrance of Hobbit and LO..."


I'm trying to remember through a vague haze of all the reading I've done this year :)


Yeah, there is a lot of History. I read somewhere (Can't remember now) that Tolkein wanted to write fill in the gap for his homeland not having it's own myth. I'm reading through Iliad again and it does have that same feel - where there are many characters and they all come with their own stories.

What I recall of The Silmarillion is it was like reading a very detailed backstory to some parts of LOTR, like, Melkor ----> Sauron. And I thought all those dark forces is like the set-up to what eventually becmes Mordor.

I also thought the presence of the silmarils is subtle, it is an on/off story through the book, but an important part of the whole. I got the sense that the success / failure of this quest holds the fate of what is to come.


I read somewhere that Jackson is planning to turn this into movie. If this happens it will interesting to see how he tells this one. With the many stories here, I'm seeing 10 movies all three hours plus :)


message 17: by Rafael, Brazilian Master of the Bookshelf! (new)

Rafael da Silva (morfindel) | 564 comments Mod
Considering what he did with The Hobbit I hope that he cannot film these stories. There are other directors who are able to do a better job. I guess that a movie is not the perfect media to this book. A series would be better.


message 18: by Patrick, From USA Sci-fi/Fantasy & Horror (new)

Patrick | 698 comments Mod
I hope they make this into a series. That would be great! I thought Jackson did a great job with the Hobbit and LotR movies. Granted he could have just made one movie but I liked how he went into more depth of what was happening elsewhere.


message 19: by Rafael, Brazilian Master of the Bookshelf! (last edited Dec 18, 2018 03:42PM) (new)

Rafael da Silva (morfindel) | 564 comments Mod
He stretched the book to cover three movies only to make money, changed the core of the story as viewed by Tolkien (the author), added romantic plot where there's none just to fulfill Hollywood expectations, and all because he was eager to make money. The first trilogy was a good one, the second one was not even close to this.


message 20: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 9711 comments Mod
I only watched the first Hobbit movie and then reread the book. The film did not capture the spirit of the book at all, which is why I did not watch the other two parts of the Hobbit trilolgy.
I think he did an excellent job with The Lord of the Rings.


message 21: by Angie (last edited Dec 18, 2018 03:54PM) (new)

Angie | 45 comments I'm about 40% in, and I'm loving it. I am fascinated how Tolkien's mind worked. This is the kind of mythic-historical stuff I just love. In my mind, I'm seeing all of these events connect with everything I read in LOTR, and it's blowing my mind.

Honestly, though, I wish I had written down some notes to keep track of the different names for Elves/individual characters. I think I've got it now, but I had to stop a look a couple of things up. It's like trying to keep track of the names in War and Peace, lol.

As for film potential... yeah, this definitely has it. If Peter Jackson decided to do a trilogy of films, I would be down with that. There are so many film-worthy dramatic beats throughout the narrative.


message 22: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 476 comments While I do not think that the Silmarillion can ever be as dear to my heart as Lord of the Rings, I do love love love it (and for some of the same reasons as LOTR but also for some very different reasons from LOTR).

I had tried to read this book multiple times in the past and had basically given up, but I finally realised that I was attempting to read it the wrong way; I was trying to read The Silmarillion like I have read and reread LOTR, as a story, an epic story of course, but still a story. Now, while The Silmarillion is of course 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 read The Silmarillion the way I used to read my Bible and how I approached Hesiod's Theogony and other books on Greek and Roman mythology (reading small bits and pieces, following along via audiobook at the same time if possible). And I know this might sound a bit strange, I actually tried singing some of the parts to myself. And I will likely have to reread sometime soon, because there is no way I am going to be able to keep all of the different names etc. clear in my head. But for a first full and complete read, I can only say, wow. As good as LOTR, but also very different, and I honestly believe that in order to truly appreciate, savour and enjoy The Silmarillion a different approach and a different method of reading are required (it just does not work as a typical novel, because it is not a typical novel, it is not even a typical epic).


message 23: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 476 comments Rosemarie wrote: "I only watched the first Hobbit movie and then reread the book. The film did not capture the spirit of the book at all, which is why I did not watch the other two parts of the Hobbit trilolgy.
I th..."


I have the Hobbit films on DVD but have just not really wanted to watch them as most of my friends have said how they simply do not capture Tolkien at all (and I already had some issues with the LOTR movies, especially with regard to how Peter Jackson chose to portray Faramir).


message 24: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 476 comments By the way, if any of you love maps and want a superb Middle Earth Atlas, I can and do highly recommend The Atlas of Middle-Earth.


message 25: by Book Nerd (new)

Book Nerd (book_nerd_1) | 384 comments Manybooks wrote: "Now, while The Silmarillion is of course 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."
Yeah, that's it exactly. You have to have the right expectations. You kind of just learn more about Tolkien's other books.
I couldn't tell you a lot about the Silmarillion except some of the major evens but I enjoyed reading it.


message 26: by Manybooks (last edited Dec 22, 2018 06:24AM) (new)

Manybooks | 476 comments Book Nerd wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "Now, while The Silmarillion is of course partially a story, it is (at least for me) first and foremost a religious type document, a biblical, mythological account of the Elder Day..."

The next time I reread it, I will try to remember to make notes on especially names and such, as there are so many it is easy to forget most of them.


message 27: by Samantha, Cajun Literary Belle (last edited Dec 23, 2018 02:16PM) (new)

Samantha (cajunliterarybelle) | 3544 comments Mod
Rafael wrote: "He stretched the book to cover three movies only to make money, changed the core of the story as viewed by Tolkien (the author), added romantic plot where there's none just to fulfill Hollywood exp..."

Rafael, I have to agree with you and Rosemarie on The Hobbit movies. I watched all 3 in May after reading the book with the group in February. I feel like they are great as movies in their own right, but to say they are based on Tolkien's book is just a very off claim to me. Way too much extra action and subplots were added (Legolas was not in the book, for instance) to draw a larger audience, I suppose, with the romance thrown in there to pull the female viewership, maybe(?). Movies that are based on books should closely reflect the book or not be made, in my opinion.

Edit: I also really missed all the little songs and magical elements that Peter Jackson left out. It's a fantasy world originally created for children. Don't take those little things out!


message 28: by Samantha, Cajun Literary Belle (new)

Samantha (cajunliterarybelle) | 3544 comments Mod
I have not gotten to this read as of yet and am not sure when I will, but WHEN I do, I believe I will take the comments here to action by taking notes in a journal as I read The Silmarillion. I have been considering starting a book journal for some of my favorite or more well-liked books, anyway.


message 29: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 476 comments Samantha wrote: "Rafael wrote: "He stretched the book to cover three movies only to make money, changed the core of the story as viewed by Tolkien (the author), added romantic plot where there's none just to fulfil..."

Well to be honest Peter Jackson also left out most of the wonderful songs and poems in his LOTR trilogy, which I enjoyed but did not love. But after hearing how expanded the Hobbit is and how differernt from the book, I have not had the desire to watch the movies.


message 30: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 476 comments Samantha wrote: "I have not gotten to this read as of yet and am not sure when I will, but WHEN I do, I believe I will take the comments here to action by taking notes in a journal as I read The Silmarillion. I hav..."

I highly recommend taking notes and taking your time with the book.


message 31: by Samantha, Cajun Literary Belle (new)

Samantha (cajunliterarybelle) | 3544 comments Mod
I definitely will. I love getting fully immersed in a whole fantasy world such as Middle-Earth (thanks for the atlas recommendation, by the way), so I will be sure to try taking notes to keep things straight. I think I've heard of people doing that for LOTR itself and know I have for the more modern Game of Thrones books. Books with such intricate world building by the authors, typically in the fantasy realm, seem to stack up the characters, important places, events, and everything very quickly.


message 32: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 476 comments Samantha wrote: "I definitely will. I love getting fully immersed in a whole fantasy world such as Middle-Earth (thanks for the atlas recommendation, by the way), so I will be sure to try taking notes to keep thing..."

That atlas is totally wonderful.


message 33: by Piyangie, Classical Princess (new)

Piyangie | 851 comments Mod
I finished the Quenta Silmairlliron . The maps and charts helped in my navigating through the story. I wish I had taken notes as many of you have recommended. It is a note to myself the next time I read it (I do plan to reread it at some point).

Reading this made me want to return to LOTR which I have read years ago. But this reading experience taught me the importance of taking notes. So when I do get to LOTR, I'll keep a note of that.


message 34: by Patrick, From USA Sci-fi/Fantasy & Horror (new)

Patrick | 698 comments Mod
This book always makes me want to reread the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. It doesn't help that a friend and I know a bit of Sindarin and would write notes back and forth getting each other excited for a reread! #nerdalert


message 35: by Patrick, From USA Sci-fi/Fantasy & Horror (new)

Patrick | 698 comments Mod
Notes would be a good idea. I always think I should but forget until AFTER I read a book then I think..."oh yeah, I should have done that. It would have been easier." lol


message 36: by Angie (new)

Angie | 45 comments I'm at 85% right now and am loving it. I might have more developed thoughts later on.


message 37: by Angie (new)

Angie | 45 comments Finished! I wound up giving it 5 stars, because it's just brilliant, amazing, expansive world-building. I particularly loved getting more information on the dynamics between Men, Elves, and Dwarves, as well as the family history of Elrond. I had to look up his family tree so I would know who to watch for (and yes, I realize how nerdy that makes me sound).

Now I really want to reread LOTR. Maybe I'll settle for a rewatch of one of the films for right now.


message 38: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 476 comments Angie wrote: "Finished! I wound up giving it 5 stars, because it's just brilliant, amazing, expansive world-building. I particularly loved getting more information on the dynamics between Men, Elves, and Dwarves..."

Most of us who love LOTR and The Silmarillion are nerdy and very proud of that fact :-)


message 39: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 9711 comments Mod
Nerds Rule! 🙂🙃


message 40: by Samantha, Cajun Literary Belle (new)

Samantha (cajunliterarybelle) | 3544 comments Mod
Rosemarie wrote: "Nerds Rule! 🙂🙃"

Especially book nerds. 🤓


message 41: by Book Nerd (last edited Dec 28, 2018 08:12PM) (new)

Book Nerd (book_nerd_1) | 384 comments Patrick wrote: "It doesn't help that a friend and I know a bit of Sindarin and would write notes back and forth getting each other exc..."
Is there a good book to learn Sindarin? Grammar and vocabulary.
Or any/all Tolkien languages?


message 42: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 476 comments Book Nerd wrote: "Patrick wrote: "It doesn't help that a friend and I know a bit of Sindarin and would write notes back and forth getting each other exc..."
Is there a good book to learn Sindarin? Grammar and vocabu..."


I seem to recall that The Languages of Tolkien's Middle-Earth was interesting, but I do not really remember how intensely the author actually tried to teach those languages, as the book is more like an introduction.


message 43: by Piyangie, Classical Princess (new)

Piyangie | 851 comments Mod
Finally managed to finish this. It took longer for me to read than I anticipated with other books taking precedence. The thing was I needed to be in a certain mood to read it. I hope that makes sense. Anyway I did enjoy all the parts of it.


back to top