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  • Writer's picturePaul Jameson

The Silmarillion : A Review of Sorts

I finished The Silmarillion.

Not the whole book mind, just the Silmarillion part - which is about three quarters of the whole. I'm just reading about the Numenorians, and then have the Ring of Power bit to finish at the end (just a short piece), and, I'm sure, I'll write about those two too.

But I have finished the Silmarillion. And after first picking it up 40 odd years ago, I was thirteen or fourteen and had been swept away by the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, I wasn't ready for the Silmarillion; perhaps expecting a similar sort of adventure. This tale isn't that. It's that and so very much more. Now, in my 50s, none the wiser, more patient perhaps, better looking (of course), a reclusive author, aged like Radagast, and so much more appreciative of the complexity that goes into world building with words, I have been quite simply blown away.

It's huge.


A universe, and more;

Something awaits man, beyond life that we only know of, never see or touch.

It is,

Quite simply,


The Silmarillion - Book Cover

From the creation of a universe and bringing together of Gods and Demi-Gods, a cacophony of noise and individual notes that becomes more - a universe, planets, stars, sea, sky, lands, this world - to a world peopled by Elves and Dwarf, Man and more. As with a symphony, there is darkness and light. Greed and, lust, beauty, power, art, and nature. Indeed, the creation is complex, so too the history and migrations of the Elves and the Silmarils - the latter being jewels about which the story centres, including their creation, theft and eventual resting places - that it is at times a difficult read due to the many names each God and demi-god, or indeed characters of Elf, Man and more, might be referred to. I will be reading it all again, soon, so as to improve further my understanding and paint the whole picture better in my mind, but none of that takes away from the genius and pleasure of my initial read.

You just have to take it slow.

Let it settle.

And within the tale of the Elves and Silmarils, there is such a span of time, such magnificence of character and individual, Man and Elf, that Tolkien could have penned eight novels and more akin to Lord of the Rings. There is the rise and fall of kingdoms, fortresses and cities. The kin-slaying at the 'Haven of the Swans, the Elven Realms in Beleriand, Nargothrond, Menegroth, Gondolin, and the eternal battle with the primordial source of evil that is Melkor. It is a tale that threads over and under and through many lifetimes: those of Fëanor and his sons, of Beren and Luthien, Túrin Turambar, Elu Thingol, Eärendil and Húrin Thalion. There is love and tragedy, treachery and brotherhood, with each tale worthy of a novel or three in its own right; each one with wars and battles, be they with Elf and Man, Orc, Balrog, Dwarf, Dragon, Demi-God or spider.

The Silmarillion is huge.


I loved it.

Tolkien was a genius.

And I now just need to read it again.

Easiest 5 Stars I'll ever give.


If there's a topic you'd like me to consider in a blog, a book you think I really need to read and review, or a TV Series you think I'd enjoy (and you'd like me to include it in my blog) drop me a line and let me know.

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