The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
|Age||12+ (advanced readers)|
|Time to read aloud||20-40 hours|
Our love for Tolkien’s fantastic worlds started by reading The Hobbit together as a family and we have built many happy memories by walking together with the small hobbits.
The amazing adventures of Bilbo have shown us that each person is important. Even someone considered by the world insignificant or fragile, can have a dramatic impact on the course of the history.
Afterwards, we have journeyed with Frodo and his friends in their mission to save the world in The Lord of The Rings. In this trilogy, we’ve been able to see the conflict between good and evil at its full complexity. Frodo and his companions are fighting on the good side along with the Elves, Gandalf the wizard, dwarfs and a part of the race of man. The evil is represented by its chief Sauron and his army of ugly orcs, also helped by corrupted men.
In The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien is giving some short stories about the origin of this conflict, leaving out the full details of his majestic and intricate world.
Tolkien’s son, Christopher, published The Silmarillion in 1977, four years after his father died.
Reading The Silmarillion we have learned about the beginning of Tolkien’s World and many unknown areas were uncovered by the stories of Elves and Man.
In the beginning, there was the creation. There are several hierarchies of beings created in this marvellous world. The first is the Ainur, the Holy Ones, followed by the Elves and Man. The fall of Melkor (or Morgoth) the most gifted Ainur, started the dark thread of rebellion against the Creator.
Elves have an important part in this story. The most skilled of the Elves, Feanor, created three jewels named Silmarils. These jewels contained the Light of the Two Trees of Valinor, most admired and revered by the Ainur and Elves. Though, Evil was not at rest, Morgoth destroys the Trees of Light and steals the Silmarils.
The elves disobey the wise advice of the Ainur and take upon themselves the curse of fighting for the Silmarils. For their own pride, long and bloody wars were fought between the elves and the forces of Morgoth. In the end Morgoth is pushed out of this world, but his faithful servant Sauron continues the evil plans.
The book is not that easy to read, there are many intricate details and descriptions, but for Tolkien’s fans, the stories bring light on many unanswered questions from LOTR and The Hobbit.
For the movie fans, a few scenes from the movie The Hobbit are taken from Silmarillion, the most significant is Gandalf’s excursion into Dol Guldur and the fight with Sauron’s hidden forces that have secretly gathered in this deserted stronghold.
We have enjoyed reading this book aloud as a family, it took us about a month to complete it, and we are still chatting and laughing together about many plots from the book.