The Silmarillion

The Silmarillion Book Cover The Silmarillion
J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien
Fantasy, Speculative fiction
George Allen & Unwin
1977
Print
365
2014 Alvin H.


THE STORY:
Ilúvatar, the creator of Middle Earth, created a group of spirits called the Ainur.  One of them, Melkor, turned evil and waged war against the rest.  Eventually, the Ainur came to Middle Earth and became known as the Valar and the Maiar.  The Valar created elves, men, and the world as they saw fit, but Melkor continuously disrupted them.  He destroyed the two lamps the lit up Eru, and the Valar moved to an island called Aman.  When the elves woke up, the Valar retaliated against Melkor and captured him.  An elf called Fёanor, the king of the Noldor,  made Silmarils, jewels of power.  Melkor slew Finwё, Fёanor’s father, stole the Silmarils, and attacked Middle Earth.  However, he was quickly defeated and retreated to the north.  After the Silmarils were stolen, the Valar created the Sun and the Moon.  The men finally woke, and one of them, Beren, created the first ever tie between a man and an elf.  He fell for an elf called Lúthien, the king’s daughter, and the king said they could marry if he stole a Silmaril from Melkor.  He completed the task with Lúthien.  Because two people were able to defeat Melkor, the Noldor, elves, and dwarves attacked, but were routed by Melkor’s army.  The elves were defeated periodically, and eventually they had to flee.  An elf called Eärendil brought the Silmaril to the Valar to persuade them to attack Melkor.  They obliged, and the resulting battle shaped Middle Earth into what it is today.

MY OPINION:
The Silmarillion is a fantastic book that I will definitely read again.  The plot and use of literary devices was amazing, though the book was a little bit confusing at times.  I especially liked the poems and folk songs throughout the book, as they were very carefully crafted.  Despite this, at times the book became a little bit boring and tedious to read.  Another downside to this book is that too many characters were introduced in the beginning, and their names all sounded like each other.  J.R.R. Tolkien was also an old-fashioned writer, so some of the word choice was not what is considered correct today.  I believe that this book is suitable to people who have read and like the Lord of the Rings series, but may be extremely confusing to others.  If I could go back in time, I would definitely choose this book again, as it kept me engaged the whole time.  I would rate this book eight out of ten stars.

STUDY QUESTIONS AND VOCABULARY:

 FIRST SECTION

1.Who was the creator of Middle Earth?
1a.Iluvatar was the creator of Middle Earth. (12)
2.What was the common name given to Melkor?
2a.Morgoth was the common name given to Melkor. (26)
3.Who made the dwarves?
3a.Aule made the dwarves. (74)
4.Why did Iluvatar create the Valar?
4a.He needed a council to guide Middle Earth. (75)
5.Why did Iluvatar disagree with Aule’s decision to make dwarves?
5a.He saw this as Aule declaring lordship over a race and disapproved. (86)

hearkened (15)
stature (38)
enmity (44)
semblance (72)
sunder (102)

MIDDLE SECTION

6.Why is Eol called Dark Elf?
6a. He only travels by night and shuns the sunlight. (153)
7.What is the name given to men and why?
7a. Atani (second people), because they were the second non-Valar folk in Middle Earth. (177)
8.What led Morgoth’s second assault of Middle Earth?
8a. Glaurung the Golden (a dragon) and many Balrogs. (198)
9.Who slew Glaurung?
9a. Turambar slew the dragon Glaurung. (200)
10.Who are the Naugrim?
10a. They are smithies that worked for Maedhros. (212)

afflict (142)
recompense (146)
foundering (171)
wayworn (199)
unsated (227)

LAST SECTION

11.Why is Middle Earth obsessed with the Silmaril?
11a. They believe that the Silmaril is the source of Morgoth’s power. (252)
12. What is Elrond’s nickname?
12a. Half Elf is Elrond’s nickname. (273)
13.What branch of elves are established after Elrond was born?
13a. Numenorean elves are the branch of elves that are established after Elrond was born. (280)
14.What does Morquendi mean?
14a. Morquendi means Elves of Darkness. (345)
15.What is a Nazgul?
15a. A Nazgul is a king that was corrupted by the ring of power, servants to Sauron. (356)

swoon (247)
forsook (259)
wholly (273)
begrudged (300)
headwaters (340)

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