The more I study Lord of the Rings, the more I want to study the Silmarillion. That’s not to say that I want to put down LotR all together, just that I’d also like to pick up the Silmarillion along the way.
So let’s do that! On Wednesday, January 28, we’ll dig into this mysterious and weighty compilation. My goal is to take the Silmarillion slowly – a page each post. Those four or five paragraphs will be dissected, examined, wildly speculated upon, and digested. In addition to that, we’ll take a look at the writing history to discover just how Christopher Tolkien stitched together his father’s work, which spanned nearly all of his adult life.
Because we’ll be focusing on such short chunks of writing at a time, it would be great if you’d all read along with me. Tearing through a page takes all of five minutes. Toast takes longer (well, good toast).
Since 1977, when the Silmarillion was first published, there have been several different typesettings, making, for example, page 165 in one version might be completely different from page 165 in another. Through the help of readers, I’ve figured out that even through these changes and varying editions, there has actually been one of the typesettings that has remained true to the original.
The versions pictured below are all identical:
Buying any of these, either new or used, will match up with the version I’ll be using. There are definitely other editions that will match, both US and international, so if you’re wondering if yours will fit, here’s a handy checklist:
p108 – Now in Mithrim there dwelt Grey-elves, folk of Beleriand that had
p174 – Orcs did at time upon great wolves. Thus they made great speed,
p233 – about his neck; but the Dwarves in that moment withheld it from
p303 – to the land of the Periannath, the Little People, the Halflings, who
If these match up, then you’re in business!
The reason I’m using this version is because this is the same typesetting/pagination referenced in the History of Middle-earth series, as well as other various works.
Many of you, no doubt, have the small mass market paperbacks and ebooks. Due to this, I’ll also reference the first line and the last line of text we’ll be covering (as well as the number of paragraphs conquered) at the bottom of the post. That way, everyone can follow along without too many hassles and hang ups.
So come January 28, we’ll set aside Lord of the Rings, having just finished up Fellowship, and go through the first section of the Silmarillion, called the Ainulindalë. After that, I’ll reevaluate when and how to start Two Towers. After that’s started, I’ll probably do four or five posts a week, splitting my time between the Silmarillion and Lord of the Rings.
But first, back to the exciting conclusion of Fellowship of the Ring!