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atalante_star
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: October 04, 2006 12:16
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]

Just to make it clear - everything about the Elendili and Rangers refers to Numenor, not Beleriand
Morwinyoniel
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: October 04, 2006 02:05
i know it is a silly think to ask but what exactly is the beleriand


Beleriand was part of the northwestern Middle-earth, located west of the Blue Mountains. Most of it sunk under the sea in the end of the First Age, some 6500 years before the events of the LOTR; at that time, the only remaining part of it is Lindon (plus some islands).

This picture might elucidate the situation a bit.
RangerNorlin
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: February 21, 2007 03:27
Agreed, by far the best. And for even more, Lost Tales I & II really go deep. Then of course Unfinished Tales (second age), wow! LOTR is just the diving board into which you can submerge yourself in an alternitive universe. It has been said that the story Leaf by Niggle is an allegory (even though he hated allegory) that the Professor, while he tried to paint the whole tree, could only paint leaves well. But I don't belive it.
cirdaneth
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: February 22, 2007 06:33
Agreed, by far the best. And for even more, Lost Tales I & II really go deep. Then of course Unfinished Tales (second age), wow! LOTR is just the diving board into which you can submerge yourself in an alternitive universe.

Oh yes,yes,yes! I have just finished reading all twelve volumes of HoME. Awesome. Now I can read everything else again with greater understanding.
It has been said that the story Leaf by Niggle is an allegory (even though he hated allegory) that the Professor, while he tried to paint the whole tree, could only paint leaves well. But I don't belive it.

I agree he underestimated himself about the tree. I think it irked him that he hadn't time in one life, to paint the tree in full leaf. He has painted us a beautiful framework, trunk and branches, and a few leaves in detail. We have to paint the others.
RangerNorlin
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: February 23, 2007 03:35
Getting to paint part of it is a large part of the allure. Congrats on finishing the HoME, I really felt I had accomplished something when I finished! To see the growth of the whole storie as well as the charactures adds so much more when you re-read LOTR.

Rose - As to getting through the Sil, it takes time, and I mean years. Due in large part to your love of LOTR you will seek out the histories as you crave deeper understanding. I too own the audio and have it read me to sleep a few nights every week. It is like when a young Ranger my Grandfather would read me to sleep. Keep reading LOTR, the Sil will be there when you crave it.

And thanks for the greetings, it has been a while.

Dolwen
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: February 24, 2007 04:12
The Sil does seem tough on the first read, hard to keep all the characters and places in order. I really didn't think I would make it through, but I did and really enjoyed the stories by the time I got to the end. The second read was much easier. I have read it several times now and am just finishing up the last book of the HoME. Maybe reading it in a small group would help. We just started a book discussion of The Sil in my realm, which is good for those who have a tough time or have never read it before. In this way it is read slowly in a small group and many questions can get answered.
gondolinian
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: February 25, 2007 05:14
Believe me, I tried. I got the thing from the library and read it over a couple of weeks at the beginning of January, and my head is still spinning.


Well I just finished the Sil again, for the first time in English, since it's not my native language. And I think I read it about thrice now (I know, not a lot :blush: still ashamed for that). But the more you read the better it gets, and I know that the first few chapters (at least to me) were the hardest to understand and follow. But after that it got better and I really like it, you discover something new every time, and if you read it without taking months for it, it feels better, since you are more into it So don't give up, it's such a nice book, like all Tolkien's ones. And you'll learn to distinguish Turin from Beren and Noldor from Teleri soon enough the more you deepen yourself into it, the easier it gets. And as far as I'm concerned, I really like to put such things into my head, LOTR is such a great world...
It's a dangerous business, going out your door...
wolfgang_fener
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: March 12, 2007 07:29
Hi everybody, here's for my first post:

I'm now reading the Silmarillion for the second time.

To those who find it hard to read, I must agree with you. It is hard to read simply because it's been published even if it was not ready and finalised.

One of the most important rule to write a good story is "show, don't tell". In the SIlmarillion, Tolkien is telling a lot but not showing much. Reading the Silmarillion is like sitting in a large auditorium, listening to some scholar reciting history notes. Those are just the autor's notes, not a fully functional novel. It is easy to simply feel like an external observer. There's not many dialogs, the autor is always "there, telling you the story" instead of really letting us in through its characters.


What is interesting for the readers of those notes is to feel like we're making historical research about this immaginary world. Somehow it feels true. It is not like reading a great novel and not at all like reading LOTR or The Hobbit.

Tolkien created a mythologie, that was his strenght, this is why many concider him a genius.

Ps.: Now I wonder how The Children of Hurin will be presented. I hope it won't be just like the Silmarillion.

[Edited on 12/3/2007 by wolfgang_fener]
Grifo
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: June 21, 2007 04:18
To me, the Silmarillion is the very best book of Tolkien and maybe the best ever written (at least the best book I've read so far).

It enriches the world and mythology of LOTR and makes you understand it better if you read The Silmarillion. Not to mention some of the epic stories (worth a movie on their own) in it; Beren and Luthien, Túrin's life, Earendil's life, the downfall of Númenor. But as said above, it's hard to get through the beginning (very abstract and many new names). And once you have been through it and start to love it as much as I (and many others) did, you will find yourself backflipping pages to look for something, backreading many sentences for the right interpretation of those, checking the familytrees and maps a lot, and reading the appendix a couple of times. In all: far more time consuming than reading just the book like a normal book, and not the amount of time you expect such a short book to take. But worth every single minute you're reading it!

The way I did it:

as the above and not reading much more than one chapter at a time. Leave it to rest a while, let my brain absorb all the new info.

If I'd read it for the first time with the knowledge I have now, I'd prolly take notes too and have a couple of maps/familytrees in front of me. I might do that even the next time I read it. I forgot most of the first couple of chapters, so I think I should read it again soon...
Bridellwyn
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: June 29, 2007 08:51
My suggestion is to keep in mind that it gets better. Even though chapter one is one of the shortest in the entire book, it was the hardest for me to get through. After that, however, I really began to enjoy it. To me, the Silm is like the bible of Middle-earth, written in a very complex manner. I don't think Tolkien wrote it for people to read, if you know what I mean.

Best of luck; it really is worth it! I need to force myself to tackle HoMe (the History of Middle-earth) novels now.
Rulea
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: August 18, 2007 11:01
What do you think is the best chapter? I think the Tale of Beren and Luthien is because its pretty action packed!
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Ilandir
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: August 18, 2007 10:07
I mostly like the 'Nirnaeth Arnoediad' Chapter - a description of the Battle of Unnumbered Tears. It involves alot of characters in a variety of actions.
Newra
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: August 31, 2007 02:39
Hmm...the Sil. :heart:

It's been so long since I properly read it, I know I can't remember any chapters specifically, just "bits." But I think my favourite bits are: (obviously) Beren and Luthien, battle between Morgoth and Fingolfin (*TEAR*), the Fall of Gondolin, and....oh, dear goodness....the first third of the book basically. I love all the stuff about the Valar, and Eru, and the creation of Arda.

Heck. I love the whole thing. I need a re-read!
Mirandilwen
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: September 19, 2007 04:07
I love the Ainulindale! It's so poetic, I just love the way that everything was created by song.
I like everything having to do with Finrod Felagund too, he's such a noble yet tragic character, he sacrifices everything to keep his oath to Barahir when Beren comes to him for help.
Maedhros was pretty cool too =)
Melianmaia
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: September 20, 2007 11:06
Let's not forget Maglor, he was the only one who wanted to break that tragic oath, and he was a fine musician.
arienelle666
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: October 06, 2007 11:15
I really felt for Maglor too. A true 'tragic hero' with deep sensitivity. I think all the brothers are fine characters who in their own way bring something unique to the story. I felt very sorry for Maehdros at times, he obviously struggled with himself over the vow that he made to his father, especially when it challenged his friendship with his other family members.
frodofan14
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: October 13, 2007 03:26
i am like halfway through the silmarrillion and i have no idea whats happening in it, so i cant help you. i do recommend taking notes though, like lists of names and places.
Gumawerian
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: October 16, 2007 04:41
My favourite story in The Silmarillion is the chapter on Turin Turambar and his sister. It was sad but I thought it was wonderful. *sigh*...

I'll echo what everyone else has said - if you want to understand everything that's going on, a map and family tree is your best friend. However, don't stop to look things up too often - it kind of ruins the fun of reading!
galadrielthedark
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: October 30, 2007 09:23
When I first tried to read The Silmirillion, it also seemed very complex to me. However, when I again picked it up, about 2 years ago, and read it, I discovered what a wonderful story it is. From my perception, a lot of people enter this book with the idea that it is hard to read or enter into. But the reality is, it is not. If you read it like a story, that will draw you into it, and you will discover that it is like many epic fairy tales that all make sense together. It could be that I love it so much because it is written in such a way that the very grammar helps you enter this world of imagination and story. I love the way that Tolkien wrote. However, if these ideas don't help you, I would recommend the J.R.R. Tolkien Audio that features the Mr. Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien reading the songs, poetry and some of the stories from all of the famous works. Good luck. It is a wonderful story.
mayrhi
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: November 05, 2007 03:48
I am currently doing a re-read...should be studying instead! and like nessa76 couldn't get into it properly years ago, but am thoroughly this time around.
I'm up to the part where the kingdom of Westernesse has the 2 factions - those who are still friendly with the elves and those who hunger after wealth.
my favourite part of the book is the story of Beren and Luthien, without having to read the whole poem, it makes a better story.
Maree
rcorporon
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: November 07, 2007 10:55
I'm just about to start reading the Silmarillion, and I noticed that my copy is a first American edition.

Are there many differences between the editions? If I got a newer edition, would there be many differences?

Thanks!
Aran_Quendi
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: November 21, 2007 06:20
The reason the Silmarillion is percieved as such a difficult read is because it is a history, and not everyone has a mind for history, especially not the way the Professor did. I definately recommend having a map(the Atlas of Middle Earth is amazing!) and maybe even a Tolkien companion if yoou have access to one, and take it slow, the history and names gets kinda confusing.
Good Luck and Happy Reading
pookielou
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: February 01, 2008 02:48
I am reading right now actually for the first time too. I am about 3/4 of the way through. It is so much fun though because now I under stand a lot of the poetry in the LotR with references to the first age. I love it! Well my advice is to read it slow. If you read it fast you will have a mental overload. Also, read it in a quiet place where you can focus. Hope that helps a bit. Enjoy!
IAJ92
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: May 09, 2008 03:20
Has anyone here heard of the Kalevala? Probably not if you aren't on the ninth grade in a Finnish school and are being forced to read the Finnish national epic, like me. It's been said that Tolkien has taken influence of Finnish culture and language, but when I had to read some pieces of Kalevala at school, I realised that it sounds exactly like Silmarillion! There was the whole singing thing in the beginning of the world and something about a stolen treasure and all. I think it's possible to read some of it on the internet, as probably those who are obsessed about Silmarillion would be interested to see where Tolkien got his inspiration... And those who don't understand Finnish but know some Quenya, would probably be astounded by the similiarity between them. Now I'm really beginning to be proud of my nationality... I'm boasting here about having read something that Tolkien used as his inspiration, and then I'll go boasting to my Finnish teacher having read something that was influenced by Kalevala This is so cool
Elbereth_Gilthoniel27
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: June 15, 2008 05:32
I first read The Silmarillion for a school project, and the time limit made it hard for me to enjoy and comprehend it. I ended up doing the project on the Valar, because they were the part I understood the most, mainly because they were at the beginning of the book. I got Robert Foster's Complete Guide to Middle-earth for Christmas, though, and am now rereading The Silmarillion quite well thanks to it. The Atlas of Middle-earth also proves helpful to some people, but since I'm not a visual person, they don't help me much. So, if you want to read The Silmarillion, you should also have copies of The Atlas of Middle-earth and The Complete Guide to Middle-earth on hand. And don't read it for school projects, especially if you're only in seventh grade.
addy
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: August 23, 2008 04:25
greetings , all !
....i'm new to this site.....and yes, i'm reading the Simarillion
for the first time....( i was starting to think i was really stunted, until i read that some here had a hard time with it also !)

It, and this group, were suggested to me by
an ancient one of your number...she who recently told me of my kindred....
she also told me that Tolkien had experienced and traveled in these spheres, and wrote of what he learned.....
what say you ??
blessed be, adds
cirdaneth
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: August 24, 2008 12:14
Welcome Addy! I hope you enjoy Silmarillion. You'll get more and more out of it ech time you read it, and it will open new understanding of LotR if you read that in between Sil readings.

I hope you enjoy being with us. If you are seeking others on your own spiritual path look at the Prancing Pony forum where all sorts of interest groups hang out.
Wilwarin_Star
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: November 20, 2008 02:50
read it and get the basic idea of the book, and then read it again. i'm finding it much easier tho understand the second time.
pitya
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: July 20, 2009 04:32
And definitely utilize the family/kindred trees in the back, and the index if your edition has them. Very helpful if you run across a name you don't recognize. If ever you feel like you don't know what's going on, go back and figure it out, because you'll only get more lost. Trust me
LOTR_obsessed_loony
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: August 16, 2009 01:15
Don't try and understand it the first time, then reread it over and over, gradually increasing your understanding each time. That's what I did, and after four readings (give or take a reading) I can understand it really well.
Also, a piece of advice - when people say it's really hard to read, don't be put off. All that means is that whoever said it found it hard, which doesn't mean that you will. I suppose it depends what reading level you're at.
Oh, and if it's your first time reading Tolkien, do not pick the Sil as your first book. In my opinion, without some prior knowledge of the LOTR books, you'll probably get lost. It's a complicated book.
"...Though thereafter we may walk in the shadows, I will not go forth as a thief in the night." – Boromir, FotR, The Ring Goes South Image Image Image Image Image
glamdring22
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: October 20, 2009 02:29
I think that the very beginning is probably the hardest part of the book, so don't worry. I read the first part about twice and then when I was comfortable with the style reading the rest was easier.
Secretlyyours
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: November 02, 2009 06:22
I don't know if anyone's suggested this, but it's a lot easier if you read out loud. And try not to read monotonous, instead, read like you're Tolkien and you're reading it to your fans. It will take more time, but this way you make sure you know what you're reading.
cirdaneth
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: November 02, 2009 10:09
Abslutely, Secretlyyours. I read aloud to myself a lot. The Silmarillion is especially demanding, so reading it alour forces you to make sense, and things become clearer.


BTW ... Next time I read LotR it will be the 20th time aloud, mostly to another person, and starting with when it was first published. The other 30 times I just read it silently to myself.
Secretlyyours
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: November 02, 2009 12:12
By the Eru! You must've spent half of your life reading Tolkien! *speachless* I wish I would be such a pro. ^^

[Edited on 3/11/2009 by Secretlyyours]
cirdaneth
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Post RE: The Silmarillion: Help!
on: November 02, 2009 09:51
At 30 pages a day, it takes just over a month, including the appencices. My late husband was disabled and I read to him three times a day for years. LotR was his favourite.
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