J. R. R. Tolkien – The Silmarillion Audiobook

J. R. R. Tolkien – The Silmarillion Audiobook

The Silmarillion Audiobook – By J. R. R. Tolkien
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Summary:

The work is made up of five parts:

1) Ainulindalë

This is a kind of genesis, where Ilúvatar, the first God, creates the Valar by thought. This first part describes the birth of the Earth, born from the music of the Valar. Here are introduced the characters of Melkor, the most powerful and gifted god of the Valar, who tries to rebel by changing the music, as well as other Gods, them benevolent. At the end of this music, the Valar who wish it have the possibility of descending on Earth in order to make it habitable for the future coming of the Elves (Eldar) and the humans. many Valar make this choice, including Melkor, but with the desire to dominate her, thus entering into opposition to her fellows.

2) Valaquenta: History of the Valar and the Maiar according to the stories of the Eldar

This second part explores the personalities and relationships of the main Valar who came down to Earth, they are described there as deities of nature, like the Roman gods. It also introduces the Maiar, lower deities who serve the Valar.

3) Quenta Silmarillion: The story of the Silmarils

The third part of this work is also the longest. It tells the story of the creation of the kingdom of the Valar, Valinor, and the Trees of Light, as well as the struggle between them and Melkor, the outcome of which is the latter’s imprisonment for some time. We see the Eldar (Elves) appear there, whom the Valar invite to Valinor to live with them. We then witness a division into different branches of the Eldar, the three great houses are those that join Valinor: the Vanyar, the Noldor and the Teleri, the latter itself divided into two after King Thingol decided not to go in Valinor in order to remain living with a Maiar, Melian, his people then becoming that of the Sindar and he creates the kingdom of Doriath, while those still eager to go to the kingdom of Valar are led by the brother of the previous king, Olwë.

One of the Noldor, Fëanor, the son of King Finwë, creates the Silmarils, jewels of light from the Trees of Valinor. But Melkor, then freed, plots to mount Fëanor against the Valar and his brothers and to destroy the Trees. Once these misdeeds are accomplished, the Silmarils are stolen by Melkor, who will then be nicknamed Morgoth, and the Noldor led by Fëanor are banished from Valinor and join Middle-earth. At the same time, the Valar create the sun and the moon to compensate for the absence of the Trees. The Noldor and the Sindar unite in an endless war against Morgoth in which Fëanor is slain. These sons and his brothers build different kingdoms across Middle-earth: the former in Beleriand, the latter and their children in Hithlum and in the hidden city of Gondolfin.

This is where humans gain importance. The story introduces Three great houses among humans, Bëor, Haleth and Hador. the descendant of the house of Bëor, Beren manages to take back one of the Silmarils in Morgoth with the help of Luthien, daughter of Thingol and Melian, Eldar whom he eventually marries. This gem will eventually cause the fall of Doriath, by arousing the lust and then the betrayal of a dwarf king. The two descendants of the houses of Haleth and Hador, Turin and Tuor, then play a very important role in the future of the different Elvish kingdoms of Middle-earth. Indeed in the particularly dramatic story “Turin Turambar”, this human whose family Morgoth has cursed involuntarily causes the fall of Nargothrond, cited hidden in caves, as well as the death of most of his friends as well as of his sister with which he will have married without either of them being aware of their family relationship. Tuor, cousin of Turin, on the other hand manages to save many Eldar during the fall of Gondolfin caused by the king’s nephew, Maeglin, jealous of the love that his cousin Idril has for the young human.

It is when it seems that nothing more can stop Morgoth, that Eärendil, son of Tuor and Idril, with the help of his wife Elwing, granddaughter of Beren and Luthien, manages to regain Valinor, with the Silmarils that Beren had recovered. He thus manages to incite the Valar to come to the aid of the peoples of Middle-earth and to wage war against Morgoth once again. At the end of this battle Morgoth is defeated and exiled to the outer void from which it is impossible for him to return. The Noldor are then allowed to return to Valinor, but the last two surviving sons of Faënor who have taken an oath to take back the Silmarils at any cost, manage to steal two. However, they find themselves burned at their contact because their past actions have made them unworthy of these gems. Therefore One throws himself into a crevasse with the first Silmarils and the second throws him into the ocean and goes off to lead a life of wandering.

The sons of Eärendil and Elwing, Elrond and Elros, being half human and half Eldar, are made to choose which species they prefer to belong to. Elrond chooses the path of the Elves and founds the kingdom of Rivendell, while Elros chooses humanity and creates the kingdom of Númenor.

4) Akallabeth: The Fall of Númenor

Although Morgoth has been defeated, his disciple Maiar, Sauron, in his turn decides to reign in Middle-earth and finds himself confronted with the kingdom of Númenor. If this nation is prosperous and wise at first, it becomes, over the generations, more and more envious of the immortality and the riches of the Valar. Thus under the leadership of Sauron, the king of Númenor decides to land in Valinor although this is prohibited for humans and to wrest immortality from Valar. As punishment for stepping there, Ilúvatar engulfs Númenor in the ocean and changes the shape of the hitherto flat world into circles, thus rendering Valinor completely inaccessible except to the Elves. Despite this some opponents of the king manage to escape led by Elendil and his Sons Isildur and Anárion aboard nine ships. We learn that Isildur, once back on dry land, defeated the kingdom of Gondor.

5) The Rings of Power and the Third Age: Where the Stories Come to an End

This last particularly short part recounts the events relating to the Lord of the Rings. It describes how the rings of power were forged by the Elves under the influence of Sauron. Then it is explained the origin of the Magi, such as Gandalf and Sarouman, who actually turn out to be Maiar sent by the Valar, in the form of elders, in order to push and help the people of Middle-earth. to fight against Sauron. Then this part very quickly sums up the Lord of the Rings, thus how the One Ring was recovered by Bilbo and then destroyed by Fredon.

Personal opinion:

The Silmarillion is an atypical work of “Tolkienian” mythology. Indeed if this fantasy novel traces the history of the earth from the middle of its creation to the events preceding those of The Hobbit and TheLord of the Rings, it is above all a posthumous work published four years later. the death of the author.project Tolkien’s was larger and remained unfinished, what is presented to us here is a collection of legends forming a coherent whole, akin to a chronological fresco, unlike the lost tales and the 12 volumes of the History of the middle ground, which content themselves with grouping together the texts left by JRRTolkien. It is not, however, simply a matter of naming and summarizing the various events which took place in this imaginary world like a history book. These events are related through the destinies of the different protagonists, each of the characters influence the history of this world as much as they are subjected to it, it is also often necessary during the reading to refer to the various annexes, in particular to the family trees and map of Middle-earth located at the end of the book. The Silmarillion sheds light on the mystery of the origins of certain characters in the Lord of the Rings, such as Gandalf and Sauron, and to know the genealogy of most of the main elven and human protagonists. This work is therefore a continuation of The Lord of the Rings by bringing a new perspective.

But if this work is indeed very interesting for anyone interested in the history of Middle-earth, it also has its own qualities and alone justify reading this work. First of all, the great coherence between the stories which intersect to form a whole and which make that none of them seem superfluous compared to the others make the reader want to do a full reading and not just look for them. events referring to theLord of the Rings. Its great scriptwriting complexity and the links between the characters require great attention when reading, it would also be recommended to have at least a high school level to be able to apprehend it. The narration is presented in the form of tales relating the exploits and misfortunes of the various protagonists, which reinforces the heroic medieval atmosphere of the work. The characters all have complex personalities and their own unique roles. This is the case, for example, with Faënor, who is both a creative genius and a hero in the war against Morgoth but also an envious and arrogant man who precipitates the downfall of his people and his family. many themes are addressed in this work, many characters are victims of their own arrogance or their too great thirst for wealth or power, Turin causes the fall of Nargothrond by inciting his people to come out in the open to fight the enemy , which reveals their position and allows Morgoth to send troops to exterminate them. in the same way Thingol, a king however until then very wise, allows himself to be seduced by the beauty and the power of the Silmarils and is killed by the dwarves they had hired in order to make a necklace of them. The stories encourage you to stay humble and not be blinded by your desires. We can also find there many cultural references, whether biblical or mythological, indeed the attitude of Melkor, the most gifted of all the Valar who tries to stir up a rebellion against his Father out of jealousy towards the Elves and humans and attempts to ascend made a lot of thought to Lucifer, likewise the sunken kingdom of Númenor is reminiscent of Atlantis.

The really disturbing fact in this work is the preponderant place of heredity in the fate of the characters, indeed the characters having a “bad” filiation seem to be perpetually condemned to betray their friends or their people. This is the case of Maeglin, son of a dark elf, whose people have never seen the light of Valinor, who first betrays his father and then his uncle and causes the downfall of Gondolfin. It is also explained that apart from the three great human families, the elves do not trust other peoples since their ancestors betrayed them. While it’s hard to know what the author’s intention was on this, it still seems a good idea to ensure that a young audience doesn’t do this kind of interpretation and apply it to real life. .

As far as the edit, it’s quite surprising to see a scene on the cover from The Lord of the Rings goes, as the action takes place for the most part long before, and the character in it, Gandalf doesn’t appears only briefly at the end. While this editorial choice does make the connection to The Lord of the Rings, it seems to take away from the Silmarillion its status as a novel worth reading on its own, and implies that only its connection totrilogy Tolkien’s justifies its reading. Although this is a pocket edition, it is regrettable that it is devoid of illustrations as the descriptions of places and objects would justify them.

So the Silmarillion is a complex work which, although linked to theLord of the Rings, manages to stand out from it and to seduce the reader thanks to its own qualities. This book can therefore be read as much for pleasure as to learn more about the universe of Middle-earth.

 

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