Il tono epico si rispecchia anche nei valori, nelle gesta, nei sentimenti e nelle descrizioni: un contesto di luci intensissime che si contrappongono a tenebre inenarrabili, facendo da sfondo alle gesta epiche, ma senza speranza, di eroi che vivono intensamente il proprio destino, allo stesso tempo distanti e tormentati interiormente. Inoltre tutti gli Ainur percorsero il mondo e lo abbellirono con fiori, alberi, frutti. Gli Ainur utilizzarono tutte le loro energie per salvare il mondo, rendendosi deboli agli attacchi di Melkor. Valaquenta[ modifica modifica wikitesto ] Nel secondo capitolo vengono annoverati i Valar , i Maiar e i nemici che durante il libro verranno strenuamente combattuti dalle forze del bene. Di rilievo tra i Maiar sono gli Istari , di cui vengono raccontate le vicende soprattutto nel Signore degli Anelli e nei Racconti Incompiuti.
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Many Ainur accept, taking physical form and becoming bound to that world. The greater Ainur become known as the Valar , while the lesser Ainur are called the Maiar.
The Valar attempt to prepare the world for the coming inhabitants Elves and Men , while Melkor, who wants Arda for himself, repeatedly destroys their work; this goes on for thousands of years and, through waves of destruction and creation, the world takes shape. Valaquenta "Account of the Valar" [T 4] describes Melkor and each of the 14 Valar in detail, as well as a few of the Maiar. It also reveals how Melkor seduces many Maiar — including those who would eventually become Sauron and the Balrogs — into his service.
Quenta Silmarillion[ edit ] Quenta Silmarillion "The History of the Silmarils " [T 4] , which makes up the bulk of the book, is a series of interconnected tales set in the First Age that make up the tragic saga of the three jewels, the Silmarils. The Valar attempt to fashion the world for Elves and Men, but Melkor continually destroys their handiwork.
After he destroys the two lamps that illuminated the world, the Valar move to Aman , a continent to the west of Middle-earth, where they establish their home, Valinor. Yavanna creates the Two Trees , which illuminate Valinor, leaving Middle-earth to darkness and Melkor. Soon after, stars created by Varda begin to shine, causing the awakening of the Elves.
The elves originally form three groups: the Vanyar , the Noldor , and the Teleri , though some are captured and enslaved by Melkor, eventually to be bred into orcs.
Knowing the danger the Elves are in, the Valar decide to fight Melkor to keep the Elves safe. After defeating and capturing Melkor, they invite the Elves to live in Aman. Many Elves accept, while others refuse, and still others start for Aman but stop along the way, including the Elves who later become the Sindar , ruled by the Elf King Thingol and Melian, a Maia.
All of the Vanyar and Noldor, and many of the Teleri reach Aman. Melkor, who had been held in captivity by the Valar, is eventually released after feigning repentance.
He creates the fortress Formenos to the north of Tirion. Melkor is defeated in the first of five battles of Beleriand, however, and barricades himself in his northern fortress of Angband.
After a period of peace, Melkor attacks the Noldor, but is placed in a tight siege. Nearly years later, he breaks the siege and drives the Noldor back. One by one, the Noldor build up kingdoms for themselves throughout the land of Beleriand. Fingolfin and his eldest son Fingon live in the northwest. Finrod hews cave dwellings which later become the realm of Nargothrond, while Turgon discovers a hidden vale surrounded by mountains, and chooses that place to build the city of Gondolin.
Gondolin is especially secure, as Turgon takes great care to preserve the secrecy of its location, becoming one of the last Elven strongholds to fall. After the destruction of the Trees and the theft of the Silmarils, the Valar create the moon and the sun. At the same time, Men awake, some of whom later arrive in Beleriand and ally themselves to the Elves.
Thingol believes no mere Man is worthy of his daughter and sets a seemingly impossible price for her hand: one of the Silmarils. Undaunted, Beren sets out to obtain a jewel. Though the fates of Man and Elf after death would sunder the couple forever, she persuades the Vala Mandos to make an exception for them. Thus, after they die, they will share the same fate. But Melkor had secretly corrupted some of the Men. Thus it is that the Elvish host are utterly defeated, due in part to this treachery.
However, many Men remain loyal to the Elves. Before their child is born, the dragon lifts the enchantment before it dies. Nienor takes her own life. All of the Elvish kingdoms in Beleriand eventually fall, and the refugees flee to a haven by the sea created by Tuor. The Valar oblige; they attack and defeat Melkor, completely destroying Angband, though most of Beleriand sinks. They expel Melkor from Arda. This ends the First Age of Middle-earth. However, because of all the evil deeds the brothers have committed in their quest to gain the Silmarils, they are no longer counted worthy to receive them, so the Silmarils burn their hands.
In anguish, Maedhros kills himself by leaping into a fiery chasm with his Silmaril while Maglor throws his jewel into the sea and spends the rest of his days wandering along the shores of the world, singing his grief.
As descendants of immortal elves and mortal men, they are given the choice of which lineage to belong to: Elrond chooses to be an Elf, his brother a Man. After the defeat of Melkor, the Valar give the island to the three loyal houses of Men who had aided the Elves in the war against him.
They are so powerful that Sauron perceives that he cannot defeat them by force. Sauron urges them to wage war against the Valar themselves to seize the immortality denied them. The world is remade, and Aman is removed beyond the Uttermost West so that Men cannot sail there to threaten it. They found two kingdoms: Arnor in the north and Gondor in the south. Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age[ edit ] The concluding section of the book, comprising about 20 pages, describes the events that take place in Middle-earth during the Second and Third Ages.
In the Second Age, Sauron re-emerges in Middle-earth. The Rings of Power are forged by Elves led by Celebrimbor , but Sauron secretly forges his own ring to control the others.
Isildur is ambushed and killed at the Gladden Fields shortly afterwards, and the One Ring is lost in the River Anduin. Concept and creation[ edit ] Development of the text[ edit ] Tolkien first began working on the stories that would become The Silmarillion in , [T 6] intending them to become an English mythology that would explain the origins of English history and culture.
Reynolds, a friend to whom Tolkien had sent several of the stories. By this time, he had doubts about fundamental aspects of the work that went back to the earliest versions of the stories, and it seems that he felt the need to resolve these problems before he could produce the "final" version of The Silmarillion.
In one later chapter of Quenta Silmarillion, "Of the Ruin of Doriath", which had not been touched since the early s, he had to construct a narrative practically from scratch. Christopher reveals in later volumes of The History of Middle-earth many divergent ideas which do not agree with the published version.
Christopher Tolkien has suggested that, had he taken more time and had access to all the texts, he might have produced a substantially different work. It was published in , and followed in by a second edition featuring corrections and additional artwork by Nasmith.
In addition to the source material and earlier drafts of several portions of The Lord of the Rings, these books greatly expand on the original material published in The Silmarillion, and in many cases diverge from it.
There is much that Tolkien intended to revise but only sketched out in notes, and some new texts surfaced after the publication of The Silmarillion. These books also make it clear just how unfinished the later parts of The Silmarillion really were: some parts were never rewritten after the early versions in Lost Tales. Main article: J. A major influence was the Finnish epic Kalevala , especially the tale of Kullervo.
Influence from Greek mythology is also apparent. Greek mythology also colours the Valar , who borrow many attributes from the Olympian gods. Adams of The New York Review of Books called The Silmarillion "an empty and pompous bore", "not a literary event of any magnitude", and even claimed that the main reason for its "enormous sales" was the "Tolkien cult" created by the popularity of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, predicting that more people would buy The Silmarillion than would ever read it.
Tolkien that rules them all". The works were premiered by orchestras in Southern France between and