The Silmarillion... and that's a wrap.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Before I go into some final thoughts on the last part of The Silmarillion, I want to exult in the fact that we made it through this monstrosity of a read-along! There were times when I got tired of reading my chapters each weekend and definitely some times when I was ready to throw in the towel (think all of the chapters describing the landscape of all the different kingdoms in The Silmarillion). However, revisiting The Lord of the Rings was really rewarding, especially since it has been almost ten years, and rereading The Silmarillion gave me some new perspective into the series that I really enjoyed.

The last few chapters of The Silmarillion were some of the most interesting, particularly those dealing with the children of Hurin. This makes me really excited for Tolkien's work The Children of Hurin, which is a more thorough, novelized version of the story presented in The Silmarillion. One of my main struggles with The Silmarillion was the lack of structure and the long, drawn-out explanations of the different types of elves and the lands where they lived. The stories about the children of Hurin were connected and more narrative oriented -- I felt like I was reading a story instead of a textbook. This is not to say that the interwoven and complex mythology and history that Tolkien has devised for Middle Earth and the lands surrounding it isn't impressive, because it is. And much of the mythology and history is interesting. However, at times it gets a little dry, and is often difficult to follow, mainly because so many of the names are similar (Finarfin, Fingolfin, Feanor... which one is Galadriel's father again?).

I don't know that I will read The Silmarillion a third time, although I might revisit parts of it, like the Lay of Beren and Luthien or the beginning when the Valar create the world. However, it was fascinating to revisit pieces of the story of Middle Earth beyond that of The Lord of the Rings, and I recommend it for any Tolkien lover.

If you have written a post for December, link up below.


  1. Great post! I agree with what you're saying. Though interesting, The Silmarillion is a demanding read, especially all those names can be very confusing. (BTW, the Tolkien nerd in me whispers the answer - Galadriel's father is Finarfin:)). I couldn't make myself get to it this year, but I'm certainly planning to reread it again sometime in the future.

    Instead, I read The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, I linked-up my review, in case you're interested in it.

    Thanks for hosting this readalong! I had so much fun with it and you did a wonderful job.

  2. I am secretly very proud of anyone who makes it through the Silmarillion. The simple truth is that you just have to accept that it is not a novel, and sometimes not even a story. It's dozens of stories, it's a mythology, it's a history, it's a record. But making it through is incredibly rewarding. There are some really wonderful stories, including the Children of Hurin, Beren & Luthien, and Elwing & Earendil. And I do love the bits about Numenor.

    But the best part about making it through The Silmarillion is then going back and reading the trilogy. In all three of them, but especially the Fellowship, there are so many references to deeds and people and places of the First and Second Ages -- people and places and events that you now know from the Silmarillion! You feel like you're really part of Tolkien's world, his mind after you know those stories.

  3. @Pepca -- I secretly hoped that you would know who Galadriel's father was and would tell me, lol! I have a copy of Sigurd and Gudrun and definitely plan on reading it this year; I really want to learn more about the Nordic myths, and when it is Tolkien leading me through I know it will be great!

    @Laura -- I totally thought whiel I was reading The Silmarillion that I should have read it before Lord of the Rings. I probably won't return to the trilogy for a little while but I think I will read in that order the next time I do!

  4. As far as I can tell, this post would probably be the best spot to link up my wrap-up for the challenge. So, here it is:

  5. @Alysha DeShae -- Thanks for linking up!


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