Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Silmarillion

If any of you have the time and desire to sift through seemingly hundreds of characters and take notes on a book like you would for a grueling history test, then I highly recommend the Silmarillion. As much as I hate to say it, I can see why they never made it into a movie. What do you think? Did anyone else find it seemingly impossible to follow?

10 comments:

Mike Pilato said...

I just recently bought the Silmarillion and yes it can be very difficult to follow for some. It reminds me of many history accounts I have read. The book is very systematic and detailed.

Doty said...

I've never read it, but I've heard from people who have that it's an incredibly difficult and dull book. I've heard it compared to Old Testament records of descendancy.

Jeremy Zschau said...

Most of it was pretty hard to get through. The story of Beren and Luthien was a good read, though, and I liked Feanor.

Tim said...
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Tim said...

One word. Audiobook. You're welcome. Although it was hell when I read through it the first time, I came across the audiobook version and listening to it while working out and what not, makes this book a lot easier to process. And once you understand this book, it is much easier to follow some of the less noticable things in the Lord of the Rings series. Also I would agree that the Beren and Luthien tale is by far the best part of the Silmarillion. Huan is amazing.

Soune said...

I bought it a while ago, and I still haven't gotten around to reading it. But I have heard that it is extremely difficult to read. I love elves, though, so it would still be worth it to me!

Doug Simms said...

The tone of Tolkien's writing varies from work to work. "The Hobbit" has a fairy-tale/children's lit. feel to it; LotR begins with the style of the Hobbit, but then moves onto a style more similar to the works Tennyson and Lord Dunsany.

To me the Silmarillion seems, as Doty mentions above, similar to the Old Testament; but it's only like the "begats" of the OT at the beginning. I think it has a more somber mythological tone. It's not meant to be as readily perceptible, since it's set "further" in the past. I highly recommend it, but remember to approach it on its own terms, rather than another story along the lines of the LotR...The story of Huon is adapted from another very famous Germanic epic tale concerning a dragon-slayer (known variously as Sigurd, Sifrit, Sigemund, among others)

Rocky said...

Jeremy mentioned Beren and Lutheien. I think that Beren and Aragorn are very similar characters. Both marry an elf whose family originally did not like the idea and both had to embark on a seemingly impossible quest to win this courtship. Plus both have many similar character traits. Are these character's related? Aragorn says that the kings of Numenor where descended from Bener as well as Elrond from Rivendell. I find it ironic that it is Aragorn that recalls the tale. Any thoughts?

Jamie Cox said...

The first time I read the Silmarillion, it was pretty difficult to get through, but I've read it a couple of times since then, and each time it gets significantly easier so that you notice more of all the inner-connections between all of the characters. I actually found the stories of Turin and Tuor quite interesting because Turin seemed to be reminiscent of the Greek tragic hero.

Jamie Cox said...

Also, Aragorn actually likens himself to Beren, I think in the story found in the appendices concerning him and Arwen. In LotR, it says that the likeness of Luthien/Tinuviel was found in Arwen. The first time Aragorn ever saw her, he called her Tinuviel, thinking that he was like Beren and had stumbled upon Luthien.