The Plot of The Silmarillion in Less Than 500 Words


You asked for a brief sketch of my stuff that is connected with my imaginary world. It is difficult to say anything without saying too much… (xi)


One of the main goals of this site is to help others develop an appreciation for The Silmarillion, an exceedingly tough read. As I’ve said before, I tried several times to start it and, on my best attempt, made it only a little bit into Quenta Silmarillion. I really had to muscle through the first time I did finish it, but on subsequent readings, it has unfolded with ever greater beauty.

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As frequent visitors to this site will note, I am slowly creating a beginner’s guide for The Silmarillion. Said guide goes through the chapters in The Silmarillion and breaks them down into easily palatable chunks. The idea is that a new reader could attempt a chapter and, if they find themselves confused, refer to my handy-dandy guide (rather than throwing up their hands in exasperation, wishing for some hobbits to ground everything a bit). Continue reading “The Plot of The Silmarillion in Less Than 500 Words”

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Talking Tolkien Podcast – Ep. 12 – The Silmarillion – Ch. 5 – Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië


Finwë grieved when the Teleri came not, and yet more when he learned that Elwë was forsaken, and knew that he should not see him again, unless it were in the halls of Mandos. (59)


©2013-2015 rfcunha

In episode 12, we discuss Chapter 5 of The Silmarillion, “Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië”.

Continue reading “Talking Tolkien Podcast – Ep. 12 – The Silmarillion – Ch. 5 – Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië”

The Secret Connection Between The Lord of the Rings and the Annunciation


“I know exactly what you mean by the order of Grace; and of course by your references to Our Lady, upon which all my own small perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded.” (172)


In a 1953 letter to Father Robert Murray, Tolkien admitted that “The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision” (172). Tolkien meant that “the religious element was absorbed in the story and the symbolism” (172). While the story contains no explicit reference to Catholicism or Christianity, it is nevertheless heavily infused with them. It is true that Tolkien abhorred allegory and preferred to write stories without heavy and direct symbolism. Nevertheless, on this Feast of the Annunciation, it is worth noting one very clear and quite intentional reference to Tolkien’s faith at the heart of The Lord of the Rings.

The Annunciation – Henry Osawa Tanner – Public Domain

Continue reading “The Secret Connection Between The Lord of the Rings and the Annunciation”

Talking Tolkien Podcast – Ep. 11 – Leaf By Niggle – Pt 2 – The Story


He could not get rid of his kind heart. ‘I wish I was more strong- minded’ he sometimes said to himself, meaning that he wished other people’s troubles did not make him feel uncomfortable. But for a long time he was not seriously perturbed. ‘At any rate, I shall get this one picture done, my real picture, before I have to go on that wretched journey,’ he used to say. Yet he was beginning to see that he could not put off his start indefinitely. The picture would have to stop just growing and get finished. (257)


©2013-2015 rfcunha

“Leaf By Niggle” is my favorite non-Middle-earth work of Tolkien’s. It’s a beautiful short story, readable in one sitting, and contains no trace of elves, hobbits, or dragons. However, it is completely Tolkienian, and is perhaps one of the clearest views into Tolkien’s philosophical outlook available to us. I will just say this: “Leaf By Niggle” changed my perspective on life and drove me to invest more in my creative desires. Continue reading “Talking Tolkien Podcast – Ep. 11 – Leaf By Niggle – Pt 2 – The Story”

The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 28 (Of the Fifth Battle 2/2)


From that day the hearts of the Elves were estranged from Men, save only those of the Three Houses of the Edain. (Ch 20)


This post continues my chapter-by-chapter walkthrough of The Silmarillion. This time, I will examine the 2nd part of the 20th chapter of The Silmarillion proper, “Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad.” You can see a list of all of the posts in this series by clicking here.

©2008-2015 Falassion

The first half of this chapter concluded with the death of the High King Fingon at the hands of the demon Gothmog (pictured above). With the Union of Maedhros suffering huge losses, the battle concludes and the rest of the chapter deals with ithe fallout. Continue reading “The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 28 (Of the Fifth Battle 2/2)”

Talking Tolkien Podcast – Ep. 10 – Leaf By Niggle – Pt 1 – Introduction


[“Leaf By Niggle”] arose from my own pre-occupation with The Lord of the Rings, the knowledge that it would be finished in great detail or not at all, and the fear (near certainty) that it would be ‘not at all.’ (257)


©2013-2015 rfcunha

“Leaf By Niggle” is my favorite non-Middle-earth work of Tolkien’s. It’s a beautiful short story, readable in one sitting, and contains no traces of elves, hobbits, or dragons. However, it is completely Tolkienian, and is perhaps one of the clearest views into Tolkien’s philosophical outlook available to us. I will just say this: “Leaf By Niggle” changed my perspective on life and drove me to invest more in my creative desires. Continue reading “Talking Tolkien Podcast – Ep. 10 – Leaf By Niggle – Pt 1 – Introduction”

The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 27 (Of the Fifth Battle 1/2)


Then in the plain of Anfauglith, on the fourth day of the war, there began Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Unnumbered Tears, for no song or tale can contain all its grief. (192)


This post continues my chapter-by-chapter walkthrough of The Silmarillion. This time, I will examine the 1st part of the 20th chapter of The Silmarillion proper, “Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad.” You can see a list of all of the posts in this series by clicking here.

©2014-2015 breathing2004

After Beren and Lúthien’s excellent adventure, what could possibly come next? Only a great battle brimming with bloodshed and “Unnumbered Tears” of course! First though, Tolkien provides a brief epilogue for Beren and Lúthien, giving them a happy ending, though, in true Tolkienian fashion, leaving Melian with a “grief of loss” heavier than anyone has ever known. Continue reading “The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 27 (Of the Fifth Battle 1/2)”

Confessions of a Tolkien Devotee pt 1: Why I Love Tolkien

My Fellow Tolkien Devotees,

Sometimes it’s necessary to come back to the most basic of all questions: Why? For the last few weeks, I have been wrestling with the question of why I started this website and, like Lúthien before “the inexorable Mandos”, wondering to what end it is doomed. I know I’m not simply creating a Tolkien fansite, but what then am I creating?

©2010-2015 AlasseaEarello

Continue reading “Confessions of a Tolkien Devotee pt 1: Why I Love Tolkien”

The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 26 (Of Beren and Lúthien 3/3)


Then for the second time Huan spoke with words; and he counselled Beren, saying: ‘From the shadow of death you can no longer save Lúthien, for by her love she is now subject to it. You can turn from your fate and lead her into exile, seeking peace in vain while your life lasts. But if you will not deny your doom, then…Lúthien, being forsaken, must assuredly die alone… (179)


This post continues my chapter-by-chapter walkthrough of The Silmarillion. This time, I will examine the 3rd part of the 19th chapter of The Silmarillion proper, “Of Beren and Lúthien.” You can see a list of all of the posts in this series by clicking here.

Following the defeat of Sauron, Beren and Lúthien are briefly reunited and enjoy some peace while journeying back to Doriath. However, it is not long before they are waylaid by Celegorm and Curufin, and only after escaping them does Beren give thought again to his quest, and set out once again to raid Angband and obtain a Silmaril.

Continue reading “The Silmarillion – A Beginner’s Guide – Pt 26 (Of Beren and Lúthien 3/3)”