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Náredhil
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: June 08, 2004 08:19
just finished the silm. last week, and have to say it is THE best tolkien book i have read yet, i love it so much escpecially the end, also reading the back stories such as "Of the rings of power and the third age" helped even clear up alot of LOTR stuff i hadn't known before until reading the silm. In all, i think the silm was great and am now starting HoME, good luck to all the Silm readers!
Magoleth
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: June 12, 2004 06:24
I am reading the Sil now and after all the put-offs by poeple on the site I am finding it fascinating. The story of Berin and Luthien and also Elandiil is absorbing and I will read the book again when I have finished. I like the idea of drawing your own family tree to go with it but I could use a bigger map becasue I keep getting lost. Not a good idea when Morgoth is around. Shame about Turin and now the Silmarills are gone for ever. Ah me!!

Magoileth ( formerly Brenda)
Lady_Eowyn_Of_Rohan_03
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: June 13, 2004 10:01
I have read the Silmarillion. It was a little hard at first, even though I am a very good reader. My advice is to just keep pusshing on, and don't stop. You should read one thought, story, or chapter at a time to make it flow better. If you stop for a break in the middle it can be confusing.

DOn't get frustrated, and don't stop reading, because once you stop you will forget and then have to read it all over again! lol! I loved it, it was more interesting later on. The creation stuff isn't as exciting as some of the other things. It's kind of like the book Genesis, the creation story is interesting but it's not something you won't be able to put down.
ChildofLuthien
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: June 27, 2004 08:01
Please try and read The Silmarillion even if you get bored, just to get to the story of Turin Turambar. When I read Of Beren and Luthien I was like, It can't EVER GET BETTER THAN THIS. Lo and behold, two chapters later, it did. From beginning to end, this chapter is so tragically beautiful that it should spawn a movie franchise of its own. I would so so so love to see this made into a short film. When I finished reading of Turin, I put the book down, and said aloud, 'My God, that is a good book.' This is what convinced me 100% that Tolkien is made of 70% genius, and 30% awesome.
stolenorder
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: August 23, 2004 08:18
The book was great to me, though I had to go through the index so many times I can't even count it. Im 12, and I got through it... What helps for me is determination when i wanted to put the book down since I was soooo confused I just didnt and I just kept on reading. It actually gets pretty good once you get into it, and now Im thinking about reading it for the 2nd time

[Edited on 24/8/2004 by stolenorder]
Meldanya
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: August 27, 2004 05:29
Both Celeviel and Novalis got it right - the Silmarillion is amazingly deep, beautiful and massive in its scope. Think of it as the Bible of Middle-earth in a way, an exhaustive history from thousands of years back. I've read it four times, and reread and reread certain sections many times, both for clarification and enjoyment. It will NOT read easily like the LOTR books, but it has a style and rhythm all its own. Good luck and enjoy!

"Persistence: It is wise to adopt the pace of nature, her secret is consistency and patience."
toujin
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: August 29, 2004 01:59
well, i have just read the first two ch of the silm and i found it just...amazing..
tolkien is a master of words isnt he..? to be able to portray characters in such a way that they are so easily pictured in the mind..
i didnt find it so hard..though iv only finished 2 ch
though i did write down notes so that i wouldnt have to keep reading back to find out which valar is which hehe
Abraon
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: August 29, 2004 05:01
It's good to have family trees in front of you as well. Valar aren't as 'important' once you get into the history of the Middle Earth. It counts more to distinguish between different people with similar names. Example: Turin, Hurin, Tuor, Huor And try keeping it all in place when you're trying to read a recap of a battle Yes, a family tree HELPS.
HoneyHobbit
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: August 30, 2004 12:27
Hello everyone. I read the Sil once all the way through and I didn't understand most of it.
I read the second time up to the rebellion of the and gave up.

It's my third reading and I really understand it now. I highly recomend reading the book. Family tress really help. Even if it means a couple of tries to get all the way through it.
Sirithnaurwen
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: September 14, 2004 02:52
Ok, so I have been wanting to read the Silmarillion for a while now, but have heard that it's really difficult so I've been putting it off. Now that the book club is getting ready to read it it's the perfect time. I also have to read a book for an English class but it has to be one from a list she has. She said that if I could find a test on the Silmarillion then she will let me read it. Can anyone help me find a web site that has a reasonable test and the answers that I could give my teacher?

Thanks guys!
LadyEowyn_Of_Rohan
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: September 14, 2004 04:01
There are some quizzes in the games section already (will edit with links tomorrow - must get off in minutes till bedtime or I'll be beheaded ), but you can't see the answers until you take the quiz. Look for an easy one.

I've found out a trick for remembering who people are and what places are. Think of a quality of a character or place or the translation of the name (check the index). Every time you see the name, think of the quality or translation you thought of, like "of Gondolin" or "the mighty singer". If you think "Tuor of Gondolin" everytime "Tuor" is written, you won't get him mixed up with Túrin: you'll automatically think "of Gondolin" after "Tuor" after a while, and if you know that Tuor went to Gondolin and Túrin didn't, you won't get mixed up.

On page: "Tuor likes long, moonlit walks on the beach."
You think: "Tuor of Gondolin likes long, moonlit walks on the beach."
elvishmusician
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: September 14, 2004 08:30
I loved the Sil! Just for anyone our there about to read it, my advice (which is the same as Lady_Eowyn_Of_Rohan_03 advice in this thread) is take a break at the end of each chapter or as she said thought-try not to stop in the middle. When I first read, I learnt this the hard way as I didn't have that much time and I thought that not stopping would be the way to go. However I ended up starting it again after getting about a third of the way through and found that stopping after every idea or thought really helped, it made it so much easier to read and (from experience I know) its a good idea if you are trying to get through it quickly.

By that I'm not suggesting you rush it, its a good book and I think its better to enjoy a book rather than read through it as if its a reader you had to read for school in Primary, I'm just saying that if you are busy and have school/uni/job and loads of extra-curricular activities and want or need to read it quickly -don't think that by not breaking when you need to through the chapters you'll get through it faster, you'll probably be able to say, 'hey I've read the Sil.' but as for understanding it...no, probably not (then again maybe you'll be different and willl).

I'm currently reading it for my second time (though my sister is reading it and I can only read it when she's not cause she argues that its her first time and I've already read it -which I say is fair enough) anyway I've found it easier reading a second time or it might just be that I'm about a year older now (who knows).

Anyway for all you out there that are reading it HAVE FUN its a great work of Tolkiens

[Edited on 15/9/2004 by elvishmusician]
Figwit
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: September 15, 2004 11:54
Yes, it will definitely be too slow for a school project.

We will be dealing with one chapter every two weeks, so LadyEowyn's right, but - like Morwinyoniel suggested - we're not going to do every little teeny weeny chapter at the time. I'm planning on taking some chapters together if they're easily understood combined, or if they're part of the same storyarch. But the two weeks will give us some more space to discuss things in detail and re-read parts, which I think might come in handy with the Sil
elvishmusician
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: September 16, 2004 01:39
I agree the book club would be too slow for the assignment.

But Hey Kewl Assignment. I'd love to be able to read Tolkien for school. Right now though my English teachers, well first of all I live in Australia so almost all our work for senior English anyway has to come from Australian sources...thus ruling out Tolkien :sob: . That aside I think one of my teachers would be happy for me to do Tolkien, (if it ever fit the criteria)...but the other one...lets just say I don't think she's an LOTR fan.

Anyway Sirithnaurwen, good luck with your assignment and I hope you find a suitable quiz.
Kwanli
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: September 24, 2004 06:51
I have to admit I was totally confused the first time I read the Silmarillion. I kept checking the maps , names,& family trees. If I came new to the book, I think I would just read it through doing some referencing, but not too much.
When I had finished reading it, I read TT's, having read FotR first of all.
After reading RotK I went back to the Silmarillion and everything started to make sense...well most things.
I found the Cd's of the Sil. in my local library and borrowed them. I played them at home, in the garden & best of all in the car..several times. I now have my own cd's. Martin Shaw has a beautiful voice and I think did a very good job. I highly recommend them. Preferably listen these tapes before you read the book I'm sure it would help.:heart:
atalante_star
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: December 01, 2004 08:02
We have a series of ever-expanding chapter summaries (I'm putting them up as I write them!) that might be useful for you A link is here.
Morwinyoniel
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: December 19, 2004 03:53
It is definitely worth reading. It tells about the background and gives a deeper understanding of several characters, like Sauron, Gandalf and Galadriel, as well as some peoples and places. It is more difficult to read than LOTR; it's been written in a very different style (the Old Testament is what I think the style mostly resembles), and it's not one continuous story, but a collection of shorter stories. The plethora of characters with rather similar names can be confusing on the first read; I think someone here suggested to keep the genealogies at the end of the book and a map of Beleriand at hand, they're a lot of help. But, it definitely does make sense.

I would recommend it to any LOTR fan who is to any extent interested in the background of the events of the story.
LadyEowyn_Of_Rohan
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: December 19, 2004 04:31
It's also great in itself, not only as a backdrop to LotR. It's tough to say if you'd like it - some people hate it, some people love it, some give up partway through - but it can't hurt to give it a try.

To anyone starting to read The Silmarillion: Try to get past the Ainulindalë before you judge it, because it's pretty different from the rest of the book. I have a few friends who didn't like the Ainulindalë, had trouble getting past it, but went on and liked the rest.
Barahir1
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: December 31, 2004 09:36
I now on my second reading of the Sil and I'm enjoying it. On my first read through the Ainulindalë was a challenge for me and at a couple of points I almost gave up and now I'm glad I didn't. I am getting a lot more out of it now and I have a much better understanding if it. Morwinyoniel suggestion of having the genealogies from the end of the book and a map of Beleriand is an excellent one. I have a atlas of middle earth which I find serves me better than the maps in the back of the book basically because they are larger. Good luck.
daffadowndilly
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: January 07, 2005 03:26
i'm one of those people who will, given a choice, read for about 10 hours straight, so i read the silmarillion all in one sitting at first. it was mind-boggling. the main thing i thought was the hardest was all the names, but once you can remember who's who, its a great book. its my favorite out of all the tolkien books, including LoTR. after you read the sil, definitely read the trilogy again. you see all this stuff you never noticed or thought had any significance.
my suggestion for getting through the book is to take it one "story" at a time. get familiar with what the silmarils had to do with it. check the names in the index whenever you have to. and most important, don't give up! i almost gave up on the trilogy, and see what i would've missed.
Heri_Almare
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: February 05, 2005 02:06
When my family and I first tried to read this book we got stuck on the Valaquenta. I think it was all the names. If you're just starting to read the Silmarillion I'd suggest making a list of names as you go. Looking back to the index every few minutes helps but it's slow going. Also, writing it down helps you keep everyone fresh in your mind.
Morna_Child_of_Eru
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: March 10, 2005 10:24
One of the things I've found essential to reading any Tolkien book is a map! He mentions so many place names, especially in the Silmarillion, that it's almost impossible to keep stuff straight in your head if you don't have a visual referance (sp?)

I use "The Atlas of Middle-earth" by Karen Wynn Fonstand. I'd be totally lost without it.
galadhrim2
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: March 29, 2005 10:30
I suggest the Complete Tolkien Guide, it has brief answers to anyones name or place. It's a great guide, everytime I got stuck, it was there to dig me out again, i keep them side by side now. I just began to re-read it.
KaimelarFalmarin
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: June 06, 2005 04:15
I read the Silmarillion last year... and didn't find it THAT unbearable. There were parts that I loved, parts that I got confused on, and parts that I was exceedingly glad I had an index for.

I then went and re-read the LOTR trilogy, and I was absolutely amazed at the new depth that was layered on. Because of Silm., there were so many new things that I noticed, understood, and ultimately, cared about. Having such background really helped me to relate to Middle Earth even more than I already did. If you can't tell already, I definitely suggest the Silmarillion for any Tolkien fan.

To those of you who are having a horrible time discerning the Fingons from the Finrods, I HIGHLY suggest you keep a Silmarillion notebook. Write down new characters as you discover them... make your own family trees to show lineage - as that is very important in Tolkien's writing (making your own trees helps you remember more than just glancing at the back of the book)... and, of course, write down your favorite quotes. Keep a map in your notebook (you can print them offline easily enough), as knowing your geography is vital to knowing the story. It may sound like a lot of work, but making quick notes really doesn't take that much effort. I am currently re-reading Silmarillion using the "notebook" technique, and it is SO much more enjoyable this time. I'm getting through it ten times quicker, and getting ten times as much out of it.

So, cha... with that said, three cheers for the Sil!
LadyAereth
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: July 14, 2005 10:08
I actually thought the Silmarillion was quite easy to read. What I did was read it through one time, then immediately reread it and then tried to understand the finer details and memorize the charachters and their stories. It worked for me, may not for everyone, though.
Cloveress
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: September 09, 2005 03:27
The Silmarillion is and always will be my all time favourite Tolkien book. It is amazingly deep and it's just like a great big tapestry of history, rich with characters and stories. There's all the action and everything in here. I have finished it last year. It is really really good. My favourite chracter, btw, is Finrod Felagund. Some people think he's a sort of "in-your-face" kind of nice guy, but he's not a phony, if that's what people think. I won't say anymore about him since I don't wanna spoil it for some of you who haven't read it yet. But he's deep, really deep. That's all I'll say.

And after you read the Sil you'll find that Feanor is actually very likeable. You really feel sorry for him. He's just such a fallen angel...well, many people in the Sil are. The names weren't confusing at all to me. I got it all rather nicely. There's always the family tree at the back of the book. It's really interesting after you read it. There's so much scope for imagination left. You would wonder a lot about certain people who are "never heard of again" but still live.

Anyways, definately worth your maney and time, just read it!
ThunderPichu
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: September 24, 2005 02:01
The Silmarillion is far and away my all-time favourite book. I know this isn't consensus, but I found it easier to read than the LotR trilogy. The characters were so much more entriguing to me - I was 12 when I read it the first time. I absorbed it like a sponge - still haven't finished the entire thing, but I've read my favorite parts dozens of times over.
You really understand LotR if you read it. Everything just sort of clicks, in my mind, but there is a lot that is a mystery.

I know that isn't a lot of help, but I recommend just staying at it.
~ TP
freya
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: October 19, 2005 07:30
i found in The Silmarillion some of the best of Tolkien's writings. Yes, it is difficult -- but the lyrical and elegant unfolding of this great epic is well worth the effort.

Martin Shaw does a great job on the CD version [you could pick it up at your local library (U.S.)]. i found his reading to be helpful with pronunciation.

A map is definitely useful as well as a sketch of family trees -- i found it easier to make my own sketches as i went along.

This book is essential for any true understanding of LO TR. Start reading and enjoy!
Nienna1977
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: April 15, 2006 11:16
I just recently finished The Sil, loved it more than The Hobbit or the LOTR. It was my first time reading it. I'm sorry that it's finished now. :cry:

There are so many names that are alike that it gets confusing at times though.

The thing that has helped me a lot is A Tolkien Bestiary, a sort of encyclopedia on the world Tolkien created, there are places, events, all kinds of creatures, Elves, Men, Hobbits, Dwarves, etc. in it. It tells of their deeds, their histories in short, there are many easily explained summaries in the Bestiary. I had read that last year, to my surprise our local library actually had a Dutch copy! I now have my own (English) copy. It helps me still, sometimes I forget a name and then I look it up in the Bestiary.

The Bestiary also mentions in short the creation of Arda, there is a time line in it, and it mentions not only many LOTR characters and places etc. but also from the Silmarillion. There are beautiful drawings in it from the former dwellings and creations of the Elves and also from the Valar.

If you could find a copy of the Bestiary I recommend you buy it. It's a great help to remember and it makes reading the Sil so much more easier.
Morwinyoniel
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: April 16, 2006 07:18
The thing that has helped me a lot is A Tolkien Bestiary, a sort of encyclopedia on the world Tolkien created

Actually, if you want a good encyclopedia-style book about Tolkien's world, get rather either Robert Foster's "Complete Guide to Middle-Earth" or J.E.A. Tyler's "The Complete Tolkien Companion". No fancy illustrations there, but less mistakes and assumptions than in the Bestiary.

(And hey, we have quite an inclusive encyclopedia on this site as well. )
Rulea
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: May 28, 2006 10:23
Once you have read the Sil to where you can understand it, read the chapters in unchronological order, starting with your favorites, that what I do, plus it's pretty fun!
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starofdunedain
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: June 07, 2006 03:12
Everyone here has posted really good recommendations, so I guess this would be for someone who really, really REALLY gets lost, but...

there is a "Middle-Earth for Dummies" book out there. yes, the same yellow paperback books with the funny cartoons in them that do more common things like "windows for dummies" and "fly fishing for dummies." I couldnt believe it, but I'd sure like to give it to some people out there... grrr... Anyways, a good portion of it goes into the history and things covered in the Silmarillion (including a funny cartoon of Celebrimbor). Its like cliffs notes for the Tolkien challenged... with funny cartoons.
Earendil_the_Mariner
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: August 02, 2006 01:36
I think the silmarillion book would be a lot easier to understand if there was a map of Aman (undying lands) at the back of the book, as well as Beleriand.

Nevertheless, i think The Silmarillion is the best book i have ever read. I have just read it twice and still love it. :heart:

The thing that really bothers me most though is the exact location of Hildorien (origin of Men) and the Inland sea of Helcar and Cuivenen (origin of Elves).
Melianmaia
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: August 07, 2006 07:37
Try the Atlas of Tolkein's middle earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad it has all the maps some based on descriptions. Very usefull as a guide when reading all these books.
Naurmaethor
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: October 03, 2006 05:01
i know it is a silly think to ask but what exactly is the beleriand

Even more specific it was Middle Earth before the Vala(like gods) re-shaped Middle Earth. Some of the lands fell into the sea when the island of Numenore was swallowed up. This happened after the majority of the Numenorians sailed to Aman under the rule of Ar-Pharazaon(who was taking council from Sauron) and were seeking to accuse the Vala of wrong-doings that Sauron told them of. So the Vala destroyed them and the island that was given to them. The only that escaped were The Faithful Elendili. Among of whom was Elendil, Isildur, and Anarion.

Their descendants are the Dunedain, or Rangers.

[Edited on 4/10/2006 by Naurmaethor]
Still round the corner there may wait a new road or a secret gate: and though I oft have passed them by, a day will come at last when I shall take the hidden paths that run west of the moon, east of the sun.
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