John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was an English writer, poet, philologist, and academic. He was born on January 3, 1892 in Orange Free State (now Part of South Africa). He moved to England at the age of three.

Tolkien was a voracious reader since his childhood days. He studied in King Edward’s school and was introduced to the constructed language in his teens.

Tolkien fought in the First World War, in the battle of the Somme. He worked at the University of Leeds for a while and then at the University of Oxford until his retirement. In the run-up to the Second World War, Tolkien was appointed as a codebreaker.

He wrote and published numerous essays, poems and short stories during his lifetime, enjoying immense popularity after his retirement. His most notable works include The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. Tolkien is also credited with the construction of two new languages, Sindarin and Quenya.

Widely regarded as the father of high fantasy, Tolkien breathed his last in 1973.


The Silmarillion is the prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It was published posthumously by Tolkien’s son, Christopher.

The book consists of five parts. In the first part, the Ainulindalë describes the creation of the Holy ones. The second part sees the Valaquenta describe the creation of the Valar and the Maiar. Likewise, in the third part, the Quenta Silmarillion chronicles the history before and during the First Age. It includes the awakening of the elves, dwarves, and men. This portion also covers the war for the Silmarils. The Akallabȇth is the fourth part and is based on the Second Age. It describes the events leading to the fall of Númenor. The Ring of Power and the Third Age is the final part, summarizing the events leading up to The Lord of the Rings trilogy.


The Silmarillion helps connects a lot of dots. It relates the background stories of several characters in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. In this aspect, The Silmarillion is a history or reference book for many events that transpired as a result of the creation of Arda.

Excerpt from The Silmarillion

The book is somewhat complex to read, giving the impression of being written many eons ago. The narration serves the purpose that Tolkien always envisioned – creating his own mythology. Like most of his works, The Silmarillion is detailed in its narrative. Tolkien’s use of constructed languages adds to the depth of the plot. One cannot help but marvel at the intricate story lines that have created a whole new alternate universe.


The Silmarillion is by no means an easy book to read. It requires a lot of patience and concentration on the readers’ part. At times, it can be monotonous, thanks to the amount of information contained in a single sentence. That said, the book is a must-read to be able to make sense of the sequence of events that unfold over The Hobbits and The Lord of the Rings.


In this Music the World was begun; for Ilúvatar made visible the song of the Ainur, and they beheld it as a light in the darkness.

Among the tales of sorrow and of ruin that come down to us from the darkness of those days there are yet some in which amid weeping there is joy and under the shadow of death light that endures. And of these histories most fair still in the ears of the Elves is the tale of Beren and Lúthien.


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Ameya would wholeheartedly recommend The Silmarillion to all The Lord of the Rings fans out there. For those who are yet to discover the magic of the trilogy, there can be no better place to start than with this peach of a book.

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