The Potted Silmarillion

One of my greatest passions is the writing of JRR Tolkien.

He’s most well known for “Lord of the Rings” and ”The Hobbit”. However neither book makes sense without “The Sillmarillion”. This is because the whole mythology is set up in this book and its final chapter **is** the last chapter of “Lord of the Rings”, “The Grey Havens”.

In essence, before The Age of Men, the were three other ages, plus ” the time before time began”. The Silmarillion concentrates on the First Age and is, in summation, the story of three jewels called The Silmarils. Without giving too much away the rings of “Lord of the Rings” follow on logically from the jewels of “The Silmarillion” and there are many references in the former which can only really be understood in the context of the latter.

The Silmarillion has, however, one huge minus point to it … the language.

The form of English “The Silmarillion” is written in is impenetrable at the best of times. This is mainly because Tolkien was writing it for his own enjoyment, rather than “Lord of the Rings” which was comissioned as a sequel to “The Hobbit” and so had some kind of editorial oversight.

This is why I’ve decided to embark upon this “potted Silmarillion” , to bring the full story of “Lord of the Rings” to life. However, I do need to be a little bit careful because, whilst “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” are out of copyright, ” The Silmarillion” is not. So I hope this potted version encourages people to go out and buy the book and discover the even greater depth there is to this epic tale of love, tragedy and hope.

The parts I’m going to split “The Silmarillion” into are as below. Once I’ve finished writing all the bits I’II come back here and change these to hyperlinks.

The creation myth
The children of Illuvitar
The Silmarils’ creation
The first kin slaying
The fall of Gondolin
Turin Tarambor
The Silmarils’ destruction
The kings of Numenor
The ring cycle

(Author’s note: these sections have been largely written from memory and occasionally I’ve fiddled Tolkien’s original narrative just to help this narrative flow without having to acknowledge that I’ve cut out a huge chunk of the story.)