Friday, February 26, 2016

The Silmarillion

The Silmarillion. J.R.R. Tolkien. Published posthumously by Tolkien's son, Christopher, in 1977. George Allen & Unwin Publishers Ltd. Pages: 365. [Source: Borrowed from the Library].

"There was Eru, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made. And he spoke to them, propounding to them themes of music; and they sang before him, and he was glad."

"Then those of the Ainur who desired it arose and entered into the World at the beginning of Time; and it was their task to achieve it, and by their labours to fulfill the vision which they had seen. Long they laboured in the regions of Eä, which are vast beyond the thought of Elves and Men, until in the time appointed was made Arda, the Kingdom of Earth. Then they put on the raiment of Earth and descended into it, and dwelt therein."


When I borrowed The Silmarillion from the library, I knew that I would probably struggle through it since Tolkien wrote it like a history textbook more than a story.

And rightfully so - The Silmarillion is basically the history textbook for Middle-Earth, so it doesn't flow like normal fiction at all. There are three more tomes out there that delve even more into the world that's Middle-Earth - but this is a book review for The Silmarillion, so I'm not going to talk about them.

Now, there's a lot about this book that I liked. The only parts I found that I didn't like was the fact that there was bad guys and evil and that it seemed like, whenever something beautiful was made it was destroyed by the evil. But there's always evil where there's good, unfortunately.

Eru Ilúvatar (air-u ill-oo-va-tar) is basically Middle-Earth's/Arda's Aslan/Emperor across the sea (if you compared Arda to Narnia). He's the one who was behind the creation of Middle Earth, though he didn't create it directly. Instead, he bid a group of angelic beings, the Ainur, to sing it into existence. I compare the Ainur to angels because Melkor, an Ainur, eventually turned against Eru, thus becoming Arda's Satan. I compared the events of the story while I was reading it to those of the Bible because Tolkien took a lot of inspiration from and made sure that there was a Christian message woven into his stories.

Reading The Silmarillion was very informative, and I found that it helped me to piece together a lot of events that occurred in The Lord of the Rings. In my opinion, it's a book I would like to own so I could go back and read over the stories when I want to - and I would get a newer edition where the letters were bigger so I didn't end up reading the same sentence more than once. And I'm definitely not reading it all in one go, ever again, lol.

I would give this book a rating of 4/5, since I felt like I was in Middle-Earth, watching from the sidelines, but it's not something I would want to read again for a very long time.

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