The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien

An account of the history of the origins of Middle Earth during the First Age.

I have tried and failed to read The Silmarillion on several occasions, and I can only credit my success this go-round to the podcast lecture series given by The Tolkien Professor. The early chapters are so dense with information that his interpretation and analysis helped lay the groundwork for me to be able to enjoy later chapters such as “Beren and Luthien” and “Turin Turambar,” to name two of my favorites.

Much to my delight, the bulk of The Silmarillion is action-packed, dark with evil treachery against all the things of the light. Tolkien’s universe is not a Christian one, yet his conception of how evil pervades, taints, corrupts, and persists is thoroughly orthodox. I love how these stories resist any allegorical interpretation, standing on their own and feeling as real as the deepest mythology.

Perhaps now I’ll finally pick up that copy of The Children of Hurin I bought 18 months ago!

6 thoughts on “The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien”

  1. I never made it through the Silmarillion, and I’ve tried twice. It was difficult to focus, the writing style felt kind of like reading biblical text and was difficult to understand, and just plan got lost and bored. I often thought I’d get through it better with some coaching, like in a class.

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