The Silmarillion by J.R.R Tolkien
“The Silmarillion” is a work by the world famous J.R.R Tolkien, maybe more known for his work on “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”.
“There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar” So the story begins. It goes on about the creation of the world. How it came into being by the song of the Ainur – The Children’s of Ilúvatar. However, one Ainur alone is gifted more than any of the others both in power and in knowledge. He is named Melkor. When the world was made all of the Ainur praised Ilúvatar for what he has given them, but Melkor looked over the world and desired dominion over it. Quote: “But he desired rather to subdue to his will both Elves and Men, envying the gifts with which Ilúvatar promised to endow them; and he wished himself to have subjects and servants, and to be called Lord, and to be master over other wills”
Then the Ainur takes visible form and starts walking the world beholding its beauty. Melkor however looked upon them walking the earth and envied them. He then also took visible shape, but the feelings within him made him dark and terrible to behold. He ascended upon Arda in great majesty and might. The Ainur now started to shape the earth, but Melkor destroyed and corrupted their works, and there was little progress. Melkor became the first and greatest evil in the history of the world.
The book now goes on. It tells of the creation of the Dwarves, and the coming of the firstborns, the Elves, into Valinor – The Home of the Ainur. How the Silmarils were made by Fëanor, most powerful of all Elves. However, evil still lingers in the world and Melkor returns causing further destruction and havoc. Men come to the earth, and their mortality, but greater joy of life. Thus the book goes on. It tells different stories, both in the form as a history book and a story book.
I will now tell the beginning of the story of “The Silmarils”
Curufinwë son of Finwë was born in Valinor. The name Fëanor meaning Spirit of Fire was given to him by his mother and mostly used on him from that time forward. It was early known that he possessed great knowledge and skill in craftsmanship. He grew up and became tall, and fare off face, and masterful, his eyes piercingly bright and his hair raven dark; in pursuit of all his purpose eager and steadfast. Few ever changed his course by counsel, none by force. He amongst all the Eldar (first elves) was first to discover that it was possible to make gems greater and brighter with skill. In the early time of his life he married and got 7 children. He seldom rested, using all his time to make things. In this time Melkor who had been chained by the Ainur in earlier struggles was released. However, the Ainur did not fully trust Melkor so they kept him within Valinor. There Melkor helped them with many labours, and they had great usage for his skills and knowledge. Fëanor however did not trust Melkor, and he was the first to call him Morgoth. Fëanor grew and he started to ponder over how maybe the light of the two trees of Valinor (different story) might be preserved within a gem. He then putted all his effort and skill into work. A long time passed when Fëanor worked in secret. At last he was done and he made what would be known as the Silmarils. Three gem stones. Within them could be spotted the light of the two trees. The material of which they where wrought went with Fëanor into his grave. Never before or again should there be made any jewels quite like these. Morgoth now heard of these jewels and sought out Fëanor and the Silmarils. Fëanor hated Morgoth more than any of the Eldar and shut the door in his face. Morgoth grew in anger and he wanted to possess the Silmarils as his own, but as long as the Ainur kept their gaze upon him he could not escape. Morgoth waited and helped in many labours of good. After time many of the Ainur trusted Morgoth and thought he had changed to good again, but nobody could see that he was empty of love and all that is good forever. Morgoth now saw his chance to escape and stole the Silmarils from Fëanor. When Fëanor discovered this he became full of anger, for the love he had developed for the Silmarils surpassed everything he had ever loved before.
Now follows many battles, and great deeds. Fëanor gathers a great elvish host and marches to Angband. The stronghold of Morgoth. He there meets his doom when fighting an overwhelming host off Balrogs, fire daemons corrupted to Morgoth’s service. The Silmarils are lost to Morgoth for ages, but in the end a mortal man and an Elvish maiden recovers them. Their story goes on. They bring mainly destruction to whoever has them. In the end they return to the earth which they where created from and their light returns to the earth.
He was born the 3rd January 1892. After serving in the First World War, he embarked upon a distinguished academic career and was recognized as one of the finest philologists in the world. He is, however, best known as the creator of Middle-earth and author of such classic works as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. He died on 2nd September 1973 at an age of 81.
What did I think of the book?
This is the best book I have ever read. It takes you into the story of a land never known to any person alive. It exists in your mind only. I do not like books talking about things that I can find in the world that surrounds me now. The content is a mix of religion, warfare, tales on individuals and race describing. Everything mixed up in an entertaining stew of good reading. What might make some people pull off their hair is the way it is written. Tolkien has used an old and more sophisticated form of English which suits perfectly with the content of the book. Some may also ponder over why the book was released after its author’s death and why his son has edited it. Well The Silmarillion was not finished when Tolkien passed away. His son Christopher took over his fathers work and finished it, adding an index of names, and characteristics.
I would say this book is more like a history/religious book than a literature work. As may be understood from the text up above I loved this book and give it all thumbs up. However I do not recommend it for people who have not a certain love for Tolkien’s earlier books. Nor people who are not used to hard language.