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Old 03-13-2002, 01:09 PM   #1
Amanaduial the archer
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Eye the silmarillion-??????

ok has ne1 else tried to read the silmarillion?????its soooooooooooo much duller than the hobbit or lotr!i mean ive read like 20 pages and im utterly confused and cant make head or tail of it!is the silmarillion a jewel?*sigh*
lol amanaduial
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Old 03-13-2002, 01:37 PM   #2
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Sting

Just hang in there! I too had a tough time with the first part of the book, but it will soon get into incredible stories of the elves. You will love them!
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Old 03-13-2002, 02:05 PM   #3
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Sting

You have to understand that the Silmarilion isn't anything like the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings in style.

The Hobbit/LotR is a novel, a story told from the point of view of a character.

The Silmarilion is more like a story told orally by someone latter down the road. In fact, the earliest form of it were written like that. A man named Eriol telling the story of the Fall of Gondolin to a house of Elves. Imagine yourself in the Hall of Fire in Rivendell. An elf stands up and begins the tale of the creation of the world and the coming of the elves and so on. That's the style the Silmarilion is written in.

If you aren't enjoying yourself, set it down and come back to it some time in the future, eventually you will be ready for it and will enjoy it just as much, and maybe more than the Hobbit/LotR.
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Old 03-15-2002, 03:48 AM   #4
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Hm...I must be weird or something..
When I read the Silmarillion I didn´t think it was boring/hard or anything like that at all! I simply loved it from the start! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 03-15-2002, 04:02 AM   #5
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Silmaril

I, too, loved it [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 03-15-2002, 01:17 PM   #6
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Sting

Yes, the Silmarilion is hard to read. It is very dull, I am only about half way through. Keep at it though, a lot of the information is importent and will help you understand the LOTR better. Don't read it like a novel,to start with anyway, read it more like a text book that you have to read for school or something. THough it may not be very fun to start out with, you will eventually get into it and like it. It has also been compared to the Old testement of the bible, if that means any thing to you. For me, I just had to put my mine to reading it.

Sorry, I've been rambling again.

Bottom line: yes it is hard but keep at it!
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Old 03-15-2002, 11:21 PM   #7
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Sting

after you've read 'the hobbit' and the LOTR a number of times, you just get naturally curious about the historical background to those particular pieces of ME history. Reading the Silmarillion is like that for me, a back story, an in depth history that fills in gaps and deepens the story of the Third Age. once you get through it, you can re-read the other books with greater insight to the rich history they come from.
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Old 03-16-2002, 03:04 AM   #8
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Sting

Remember Bilbo's poem the night before the Council of Elrond? Ever wonder what he was talking about? That's one example of things you learn about in the silmarilion. And I agree with what piosenniel said.
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Old 03-16-2002, 04:23 AM   #9
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Eye

ok im further into it.....its getting better...then they introduced sum completely new bloke....bugger! no, i do actually understand it now, but its such a change and a different way of writing from lotr.
lol Amanaduial
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Old 03-16-2002, 10:22 AM   #10
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Sting

I liked the Silmarillion for the most part(though the idea of elves being jealous or petty, was something I originally found disturbing; before I always thought of them as these really moral, sort of out-of-it people [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] ). A warning though; once you read the Sil, you'll never look at LOTR/The Hobbit the same way again.
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Old 03-16-2002, 10:25 AM   #11
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Sting

If anyone is reading it and finds something confusing, feel free to ask and someone will clear it up and get you back on track.
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Old 03-18-2002, 05:25 PM   #12
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Boots

The hardest part about the Sil is, for me, the genealogies, and the different locations. Yes, there are family trees and maps, but within the text itself...Oh man! Fingolfin son of who?... [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
It's the beautiful writing that keeps me afloat throughout; even though the style is detached, emotion still seeps through. I can just picture Beleriand...Ahhh. *bliss*
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Old 03-20-2002, 11:18 PM   #13
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Sting

i'm just now reading the sil myself....and loving it!
it was too difficult for me at 10, so i ditched it then...now i only regret not having that much time to take it all in in a day...
i find it extremely interesting to get a lot of the background and can't wait to get to UT and HoME..... [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

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Old 03-20-2002, 11:36 PM   #14
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Sting

Tried reading it at the age of ten and torpedoed at about page 3; I just started reading it again a few days ago (at work, actually [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]) and really like it - I've just been reading it piecemeal, not start to finish, but rather like it that way, and to be honest it doesn't seem too hard to follow once you get into the rhythm of the language, so to speak - it's rather like reading the King James Bible; it's lovely but takes getting used to.
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Old 03-21-2002, 12:22 AM   #15
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Tolkien

I have read the Hobbit and LOTR many times as well as a fair amount of Tolkien biography and literary criticism. But shame on me, I'm just reading the Silmarillion for the first time. I've done a fair amount of reading in medieval literature over the years and it seems to work out best if I approach it like that, as if I'm reading a chronicle or original source material from the middle ages. I am enjoying it, but there are a couple of problems. First, I know Tolkien wrote most of the Silmarillion early on and only later wrote the Hobbit and LOTR. So many of his ideas and allusions originate in the Silm. and then radiate out into the other books.

I think in the exact opposite direction. As I'm reading along in the Silm., I'll see something that shoots up bells of recognition because I'm familiar with it from the story of the Rings. For example, there's a big grin on my face when I read about Olorin and how he took pity on the sorrows of the Children of Iluvatar since I know that I'm really seeing the young Gandalf here. Or I learn how Ulwe who comanded the waters never abandoned Elves or Men. Since his spirit, like water, runs in all the veins of the earth, he often heard about the griefs of Arda even before Manwe. Then the wheels in my little brain start turning because I have an image of Frodo and Sam on the plains of Mordor. For one instant, the wind shifts and the darkness is driven back a bit and they come upon a little trickle of water. It looks "ill fated" in appearance, but still a seeming miracle, like a message sent from beyond. Knowing what we know about Ulmo and how he could see the griefs of Arda, this looks less like chance and more like a sending from beyond the Shadow.

All these connections are great, but how do we put the later history out of our heads and read the Silmarillion on its own terms? Does anyone ever start with the Silm. and then read the other books only later? I can't imagine doing that but, in some ways, it would seem to bring a truer reading. And I have a feeling that, if I do manage to get through the Silm, I will have a different feeling about the Lord of the Rings the next time I read that through, since I will understand more of the background and structure.

Finally, I have one other gut feeling. I think most people who love the Lord of the Rings tend to fall into one of two camps: they are an elf, or they are a hobbit. (My apologies to the occasional Valar, dwarf, Ent, or human out there.) There are those who love the grace and beauty of high art and poetry who want to be with the Elves, and those who love the simple earth and homely pleasures of hobbit life. I truly think those who lean towards the Elves in temperament and values have an easier time with the Silmarillion.

Fortunately or unfortunately for me, I am a hobbit. I might be like Sam and yearn for elf songs once in a while. And I'd most definitely be like Bilbo and Frodo, nonconformist hobbits whose neighbors thought them a bit strange at times! But a hobbit I would certainly be with nice, big feet firmly planted on the ground. The only problem is that the Silm. is really a book for Elves, the whole look and feel of it. So here I am, lacking the grace of an Arwen or the high tragedy of a Galadriel, yet still trying to plod along through the Silmarillion. Has anyone else out there had this same feeling, or is it just me?

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Old 03-21-2002, 04:34 AM   #16
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Sting

The Silmarillion was actually the first Tolkien book I read... it was the only book by JRRT available at the bookstore *sigh*. That was back in 1998 - before the movie came out!
(okay, I got hooked w/ JRRT's writings because I watched a cartoon version of "The Hobbit" when I was in the 4th grade, w/c ws eons ago - weird, huh?)

I never found Sil boring (even when I reread it - w/c I've done, again & again).

And I BLAME THT DARN BOOK for getting me hooked on buying JRRT's books everytime I see a new one I haven't read at the bookstore! Unfortunately, Tolkien's book sales didn't pick-up until the movie came out. And the ones I'm waiting for haven't arrived yet!
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Old 03-21-2002, 08:14 AM   #17
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*laughs deeply* I'm very pleased to hear so many people are reading and enjoying a book I hold so dear. Can't wait to talk to you all about it. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 03-21-2002, 11:44 AM   #18
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Boots

And I am very pleased to see Mhoram with a [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] in his post.

Child of the 7th Age-interesting idea about most Tolkien fans falling into two camps. I am most definitely an Elf then, though with a deep appreciation for beer.
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Old 03-21-2002, 12:04 PM   #19
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I love that, Child of the 7th Age! I think your observations are correct! Make me an Elf then. I never had trouble with the Silmarillion and completely adore it. Hobbit-lore simply does not hold my attention. When I tackle the Silmarillion, I find myself reading only small bits at a time, not because it is difficult, but because it is so emotional. All those heroes... Damn you, Morgoth! [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]

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Old 03-21-2002, 01:22 PM   #20
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Spot on child of the 7th Age! I think you are most correct. Even though I am a Dwarf. (apology not accepted, none was needed) [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] . I agree also with red, the Silmarillion is an extremely emotional book. It is totally epic, even more than the trilogy. I must admit I love sad stories and movies so the Silmarillion was right up my alley. Yet in the midst of al the darkness you have spots of bright hope, like Beren and Luthien. *sigh* The feeling of inevitable fate as the tale of Turin Turambur is told is so awfull. You know waht's going to happen. Melkor and Sauron are so evil, and the heroes like Beren are so completely pure. Tolkien can paint a picture with emotion like no other. His colors are so vivid! He makes uou want to jump in and plead with Feanor not to rebel, You want to hold the gates of gondolin with Hurin! You want to battle the balrog with Glorfindel! I could go on and on.

I remember the first time I read LOTR it was absolutely magical. The world was so rich and so new. I could feel the grass between my toes in the shire. I could hear the merry chants and funny songs of Tom Bombadil. I could smell the old forest I could taste the lembas. I gazed on the Pillars of argonath in awe. Moria was incredibly beautifull and tragic. The barrowdowns were creepy. Shelob was incredibly frightening. Sam's courage and devotion was truly inspiring.

I remember desperately wanting to hear the old tales about the world long ago. I remember a few such incidents in particular. The Barrowdowns made me dream of kings of old battling the forces of evil. The pillars of argonath made me want to discover who built them and why they were built. The white tree was so simply trajic that I needed to discover where it came from. That set me in a desperate search for the Silmarillion.

The first time I read the Silmarillion I didn't understand much of it, but by golly I was going to read the whole thing [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] So I ploughed through it without gaining much, but I had read it and I was proud of myself. When I came back to it a little while ago it was much richer and a thourghouly enjoyable experience. Whatever you do folks, don't miss the Silmarillion!

And I agree with red about the Morgoth thing [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

P.s. thanks for listing to my rambling [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 03-21-2002, 04:22 PM   #21
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Silmaril

I just want to thank everyone! I started the Silm. a while ago, but I was having some difficulty with the language. Now that I have heard you all, I can't wait to pick it up again. Thanks again!!

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Old 03-21-2002, 04:49 PM   #22
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Sting

there is an unabridged reading of the silmarillion on cd's - you might try that.
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