The Silmarillion

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Which of Tolkien's works is best?

Lord of the Rings
8
62%
The Silmarillion
4
31%
The Unfinished Tales
0
No votes
The Hobbit
1
8%
The Lost Tales
0
No votes
The Lays of Beleriand
0
No votes
Roverandom
0
No votes
Famer Giles of Ham/The Smith of Woodton Major
0
No votes
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
0
No votes
Other
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 13

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Sam Gamgee
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The Silmarillion

Post by Sam Gamgee » Fri Dec 06, 2002 10:11 pm

Wow, if we have a discussion about Tolkien, it is only right we should talk about his greatest work first. Wow.... The Silmarillion awes me. It is an incredible book. So many people fall into despair, and yet keep fighting against Morgoth anyway... Like Fingolfin! He is the best character, in my own opinion. So much evil and sadness, and yet beauty at the same time... I'm one of the only people I know who has read it at all, and I've never had any good discussion on it with anyone who really appreciates it. Any other Silmarillion lovers out there?
Last edited by Sam Gamgee on Mon Jan 06, 2003 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[color=#ff6600][i]Workings of man crying out from the fires set aflame
By his blindness to see that the warmth of his being
Is promised for his seeing, his reaching so clearly[/i][/color]

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Post by Guest » Sat Dec 07, 2002 6:19 pm

Well Sam, I'm unable to vote... :cry: I haven't read them yet. Just Lord of the Rings...

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Silma-what?

Post by MayorOfLongview » Sun Dec 08, 2002 12:01 pm

Hey,
I was actually on the waiting list for the Silmarillion way back in the 70's when it first came out.
I am old :(
However, I just re-read it and loved it all over again. I am partial to Beren and Luthien, and the tale about the dark elf, and that whole sordid affair about the slaying of a certain dragon. The battles are huge, the stories are epic.
Here's some trivia - did any of you know that Tolkien was writing a sequal to LOTR's? But he dropped the idea.
Love to all!
The Mayor
I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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Post by Guest » Sun Dec 08, 2002 1:00 pm

I can't wait to read it too!!! I'll ask some people in France to buy it there for me as a Christmas present.

I like your face Mayor! You look like a great magician! :)

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Post by FredProgGH » Tue Dec 10, 2002 3:43 am

I'm about 1/3 through it again- I'll let you know... :)

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Post by FredProgGH » Mon Dec 23, 2002 11:15 pm

OK, Sam, I'm putting on my flame retardant suit *g* I've been through the Silmarillion again now and while I agree it's his greatest work in scope I still find it a less rewarding read than LOTR. It's written as mythology and it comes across as such. It feels dry, like a history lesson. Reading it enriches one's appreciation of LOTR ten-fold because it gives you such a rich background for those events, but I don't want a sholarly tome- I want a story with fleshed out characters and that brilliant prose that only Tolkien can do. So, it's still LOTR for me- but Silmarillion is still indespensable for those brave enough to attempt it!

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INFIDEL! WE HATES IT! WE HATES IT FOREVER!

Post by Sam Gamgee » Wed Dec 25, 2002 11:34 am

**sam takes out the blowtorch** I AM A SERVANT OF THE SECRET FIRE, WEILDER OF THE FLAME OF ANOR! THE DARK FIRE WILL NOT AVAIL YOU, FLAME OF UDUN!
[color=#ff6600][i]Workings of man crying out from the fires set aflame
By his blindness to see that the warmth of his being
Is promised for his seeing, his reaching so clearly[/i][/color]

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my thoughts...

Post by Fingolfin » Wed Dec 25, 2002 1:50 pm

As the Elven Side of Sam, my whole (more intelligent) response to Fred that is Tolkien wasn't going for a story that was interesting to read. He was going for that mythology. The thing I like about the Silmarillion is not just reading it - I agree, it is a fairly boring book to read compared to LotR. It's just that when you look at the whole thing, all the stories, all the characters, all the events, it just mixes together to tell a tale not unlike our own: the sorrow and evil of the fall of creation, from Feänor to Turgon to Elwë, the elves loosing almost all of their glory and power and beauty... and yet in the midst of all this, there comes a wisdom, beauty, and joy not to be found except where there is sorrow - something Arda would have never learned had it remained in the first age, full of the innocence of elves and song and laughter. There would have never been the famous challenge of Fingolgin (my favorite) or brave quest of Earendil, or the sad fate of Beren and Luthien... Yes, each of these tales is mingled with sorrow, but doesn't that make the good that comes from it seem more rich? It is definately a bittersweet story, and Tolkien only hints at what could be the ending, but we know this much: in the end, Illuvatar's theme will triumph; no matter what Morgoth and his servants do, their efforts are vain and hold no real power.

I used to think the Silmarillion was a tragedy, but it's really not, if you think about it. Morgoth does his best to mar God's good creation, and everything he does ends up contributing to his greater glory. Can you get anymore encouraging than that? Tolkien's world is more black and white, but it's really not that different than our own. When you compare the two stories, it kind of gives you something to hope for, doesn't it?
Last edited by Fingolfin on Tue Jan 07, 2003 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Fingolfin beheld the ruin of the Noldor. Filled with wrath and despair he rode forth alone. A madness of rage was upon him; his eyes shone like the eyes of the Valar.
He came alone to Angband and challenged Morgoth to single combat.

And Morgoth came.

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Hear, hear!

Post by Sam Gamgee » Wed Dec 25, 2002 8:08 pm

Wonderfully put, Fingy, dear. Would you pass me another cup of miruvor?
[color=#ff6600][i]Workings of man crying out from the fires set aflame
By his blindness to see that the warmth of his being
Is promised for his seeing, his reaching so clearly[/i][/color]

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Oh, and Fingy...

Post by Sam Gamgee » Wed Dec 25, 2002 8:09 pm

While you're at it, pass some to Fred too. Oh, and he also looks like he could use a new flame retardant suit...
Last edited by Sam Gamgee on Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[color=#ff6600][i]Workings of man crying out from the fires set aflame
By his blindness to see that the warmth of his being
Is promised for his seeing, his reaching so clearly[/i][/color]

[url]http://www.ghfan.net[/url]

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Post by Fingolfin » Mon Jan 13, 2003 8:22 pm

Nice going, Sam. You scared him away!
Fingolfin beheld the ruin of the Noldor. Filled with wrath and despair he rode forth alone. A madness of rage was upon him; his eyes shone like the eyes of the Valar.
He came alone to Angband and challenged Morgoth to single combat.

And Morgoth came.

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Post by Guest » Tue Jan 14, 2003 12:13 am

Hey, I'm still here *g*

I agree entirely about Tolkien's intentions in the realization of Sillmarillian. And I think he acheived exactly what he set out to do, and it's an outstanding acheivement. But, the style of LOTR is still a more engaging experience for me, subjectlvely speaking. Myth serves important cultural functions. It can act as history, and a reflection of a cultural identity. I think this is why Tolkien felt that the English not only deserved one, they needed it. On that level the Silmarillion succeeds brilliantly, and I can enjoy itellectually in that way. But LOTR serves as escapist entertainment, which myth, though if translated and extrapolated from, can as well- but that's not it's design necesarily, and the form follows the function. And I like escapist entertainment *g* So, ultimately my choice of LOTR is entirely one of asthetics, not content!

Fred

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Figured as much...

Post by Fingolfin » Tue Jan 14, 2003 5:30 pm

Ahem. The discussion is called *The Silmarillion* not lotR. You wanna talk about LotR? Go make your own board, for crying out loud. Only elven kings allowed here. Ai, Elbereth! Humans these days... **mutter mutter** ;) (that was a joke, in case you're like Phil and take me way too seriously, even though as the High King of the Noldor I tend to be more serious than Sam, but never mind. Now I'm just sounding insane. [NOTHING wrong with LotR, for clarification.])

That much "clarified" (although I think i just made it more confusing) what are your favorite moments from the Sil?

(I think i'm just having way too much fun with this HTML stuff)
Fingolfin beheld the ruin of the Noldor. Filled with wrath and despair he rode forth alone. A madness of rage was upon him; his eyes shone like the eyes of the Valar.
He came alone to Angband and challenged Morgoth to single combat.

And Morgoth came.

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Post by Fingolfin » Tue Jan 14, 2003 5:30 pm

Cookie broken again?
Fingolfin beheld the ruin of the Noldor. Filled with wrath and despair he rode forth alone. A madness of rage was upon him; his eyes shone like the eyes of the Valar.
He came alone to Angband and challenged Morgoth to single combat.

And Morgoth came.

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Post by Sam Gamgee » Fri Jan 31, 2003 10:51 pm

A GREAT spoof of the Sil from theOneRing.net...

Monty Python’s Fifteen-Minute Silmarillion
------------------------------------------------------------------------
by Kyriel

Act I

Ornate Terry Gilliam title card, decorated with half-naked Valar cavorting with fruit and feathers:

"AINULINDALE"



 

Scene opens with black-and-white stock footage of knights fighting — lots of grunts and yells. Abrupt shift to close-up color footage of Michael Palin, in "Knights of Nih" garb, being attacked by the other five Pythons. Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam, both in drag, are biting his ankles. John Cleese and Eric Idle, in flowing fake beard and robes, arm hanging onto his arms. Graham Chapman, in King Arthur gear, has him in a headlock. Zoom in on Chapman. Caption reads, "Manwe: the good one." Zoom in on Palin. Caption reads, "Melkor, the bad one." Melkor breaks free, and the scene shifts to the same B&W footage as before. Finally we see Melkor tied to a spit and being slowly turned over a fire.

Melkor: It’s a fair cop.

Fade to black

 

Act II

Fade in on a cartoon stage. The curtains open, revealing a cartoon chorus line of high-kicking gods, goddesses, elves, orcs, humans and balrogs, pulling behind them a banner that reads:

QUENTA SILMARILLION"



 

Once the chorus line is gone, the curtain draws back out of sight, leading into…

Scene 1:

A group of gods and elves are sitting around underneath two trees, one decorated with white Christmas lights, the other with gold lights.

Manwe: Well, my friends, how do you like Valinor so far?

As the elves are about to answer, Melkor sneaks up behind the group and throws a convenient switch. The trees — and the screen — go dark.

Feanor: Er, just lovely, Lord. So….when can we leave?

Fade to black, then fade in again on…

Scene 2:

Zoom in on Feanor(Eric Idle in a black wig), standing proudly at the head of an elven ship, wig streaming out behind him and threatening to blow away. He crams it down with one hand.

Narrator: And so bold Feanor set out from Valinor in search of freedom — and those most precious of Christmas tree ornaments, the Silmarils, which had been stolen by Melkor in the confusion of the Great Party Crashing. With Feanor came his seven sons: Maedros (close-up of Idle again, but this time he’s wearing a false mustache), Maglor (Idle again, with a false beard), Celegorm (Idle with glasses), Caranthir (Idle, quickly slipping on a set of false teeth), Curufin (Idle, slightly desperate now, adjusting a Groucho Marx nose & glasses), Amrod (Idle, even more desperate, cramming on a cowboy hat), and Amras (Idle, franticly shaving his head), the lady Galadriel (Terry Jones in drag, simpering prettily) — and a bunch of other people whose names you won’t remember anyway. Feanor died shortly after his arrival in Middle-earth —

Amras, interrupting: Can I have his wig?

Narrator (continuing, somewhat testily): —leaving his sons to continue the quest for the Silmarils.

Fade out

Scene 2:

Fade in once again on the B&W stock footage of knights fighting

Narrator: And so it went, for years untold (in this fifteen-minute version, at least): battle and death, death and doom, doomed romance and death, and the occasional romantic doomed battle to the death…. Thus we come to the tragic tale of Beren and Luthien.

Beren (Chapman) stands arm-in-arm with Luthien (Jones) before the throne of King Thingol (Idle)

Beren: Even now, a silmaril is in my hand! (He pulls him arm out of his cloak, showing that his hand is missing.)

Thingol: Oh, right, very impressive. And you lost that stealing a silmaril from the Dark Lord, did you? Well, I call that convenient!

Beren (less confidently): Truly, lord: even now a silmaril is in my hand!

Thingol: Yes, yes, you said that a moment ago. I suppose you were just standing there holding the stone when some big bad wolf just came along and bit your hand off!

Beren: Er, actually….

Thingol: Honestly, just how stupid do you think I am? You expect to just waltz into my throne room one-handed and carry off my daughter like you’ve done me some kind of favor? You’re a loony! I mean, really: what good’s a silmaril in the hand, if the hand isn’t in this room?! You’d better go and find it, that’s all I’ve got to say!

Thingol continues to rant as Beren slinks offscreen.

Scene 3:

Narrator: Then there was the even more tragic story of Turin and Nienor.

Fade in on Turin (Cleese) climbing a low hill. Suddenly he catches sight of a nude Carole Cleveland lying above him.

Turin (falling to his knees in ecstasy): Thank you, Eru! (He rushes to the top of the hill and kneels beside her.) Here, my lady, take this cloak to warm you!

Nienor grabs the cloak – a little too quickly for Turin’s liking.

Turin: Ah, but not so fast, my dear! You mustn’t — mustn’t — mustn’t overexert yourself! Yes, that’s it! You mustn’t overexert yourself, not when you’ve been lying naked on a hilltop all night! (Aside, as she finishes wrapping up): water-holder-backer, that cloak looked so much smaller on me.

The two look each other up and down, obviously liking what they see.

Nienor: Strange, but you look just like my long-lost brother.

Turin: And you’re be a dead ringer for my long-lost sister….(The cloak conveniently slips off her shoulders, and his eyes bug out.) But you can’t be her, so let’s forget we ever said that, shall we?

Nienor: It’s already forgotten.

Scene 4:

Narrator: Finally, we come to the slightly less tragic but definitely much shorter story of Tuor and the fall of Gondolin.

Tuor (Chapman), standing before the gates of Gondolin: And so I tell you, King Turgon, that almost any day now, Gondolin will perish in a doomed battle to the death of romance.

Turgon (Palin): Yeah, yeah, right, of course. So…come inside, have a drink, stick for a decade or two.

Tuor: Thank you, sir, don’t mind if I do.

Scene 5:

More B&W stock footage, with narrator’s voice overlaying it

Narrator: And so it continued until at last the silmarils were recovered, and found their final resting places in earth and air and sea.

Earendil (Palin) holds up a silmaril, admiring it. Suddenly a cartoon hand reaches out of the clouds and yanks both the stone and him up into the stratosphere.

Earendil: Aieeeeeee!

Shift to Maedros (Idle with mustache) holds up a silmaril, admiring it. Suddenly a cartoon chasm opens before him, and he topples in.

Maedros: Aieeeeeee!

Shift to Maglor (Idle with beard) holds up a silmaril, admiring it, as he walks along a seashore. Suddenly he trips over a rock, and the silmaril goes flying — far out into the water.

Maglor: Aieeeeeee!

Narrator: Here ends the SILMARILLION.

Fade out

 

Act III

Ornate Terry Gilliam title card, decorated with half-naked gods, goddesses, and elves lounging in a hot tub littered with the debris of broken buildings:

"AKALLABETH"



 

Scene 1:

Fade in on Sauron (Jones, at his most unctuous) and Ar-Pharazon (Palin) walking along the shoreline of Numenor. The outlines of Valinor are just visible on the horizon.

Sauron: I dare you.

Ar-Pharazon: No, no, really, I shouldn’t.

Sauron: I double-dare you!

Ar-Pharazon: You know I shouldn’t. It’d be calling down the wrath of the Valar on Numenor.

Sauron (craftily): All right, if you insist: I (ominous blare of horns) triple-dare you!

Ar-Pharazon (gasping): You wouldn’t!

Sauron: Oho, but I would!

Ar-Pharazon: Well, then, Sauron, you leave me no choice. (He turns around and yells to a throng of Numenorians assembled behind him) Everybody into the boats!

Scene 2:

A cartoon ship strikes ground in a cartoon Valinor. Instantly a giant Manwe springs up from behind the horizon, holding a giant pail of water. He dashes the water against Ar-Pharazon’s ship, which tumbles backwards through the ocean until it strikes Numenor once more. The island flips upside-down and sinks to the bottom of the ocean. A tiny Ar-Pharazon is just visible, sitting on the bottom.

Ar-Pharazon (his words coming out in bubbles): I knew I shouldn’t have done that.

 

 

Act IV

Fade in on Gilliam-drawn map of Middle-earth. Dramatic fanfare introduces the title card, superimposed over the map:

"OF THE RINGS OF POWER AND THE THIRD AGE"



 

The title card fades, leaving the map onscreen. After a moment, cartoon smoke begins to billow from a cartoon Orodruin, and a dark figure rises up from the volcano’s mouth. It and all other characters in this story look and move jerkily, like paper dolls.

Sauron, holding aloft the One Ring: Hah!

An army springs up out of a trap door at the mountain’s feet. One anonymous fighter reaches out and snatches the Ring from Sauron’s grasp.

Isildur: Hah!

Isildur runs northwest across the map until he reaches Anduin, where a band of orcs springs out of another trap door and shoots him full of arrows. Isildur tumbles into the river and disappears.

Orcs: Hah!

Gollum pops up out of a trap door in the river, holding the Ring aloft.

Gollum: Hah!

Gollum runs up into the Misty Mountains, where Bilbo pops up and snatches the Ring.

Bilbo: Hah!

Bilbo runs back to the Shire, where he hands the Ring off to Frodo.

Frodo: Hah!

Gandalf pops up next to Frodo, loads him into a catapult, and sends him pinwheeling back across the map until he lands Ring-first in Orodruin.

Gandalf: HaHA!

Fade to black

 

Epilogue


The credits begin roll, underlined with mock-elvish subtitles: "Whai not trai a hólídë in Lorien thisse yír? Sí the lovelí trís, the wonderfúl teileiphón sístím, and maní ínterestíng furrí anímals..." Suddenly the music grinds to a halt and a new title card appears: "We apologise for the fault in the subtitles. Those responsible have been sacked, and the credits have been completed in an entirely different style at great expense at the last minute." The credits continue, this time with the epilogue running in the background:

More stock B&W footage of fighting, broken in succession by…

<OL>

<LI>Melkor tied to a spit, spinning faster and faster until he spins off into the air. As he falls, he knocks over the Two Trees, and the combined crash sends the Noldor flying into the air

<LI>The Noldor land in Middle-earth and immediately begin fighting with one another

<LI>Beren holds up his bloody stump for Luthien to see. "It’s only a flesh wound," he says, and promptly falls down dead. She falls dead on top of him.

<LI>Nienor: "You mean, he really is my brother? Ewww!" She jumps in the river.

<LI>Turin: "You mean, she really is my sister? Ewww!" He falls on his sword.

<LI>Turgon: "You mean, you were telling the truth? Aieeeeee!" A giant dragon foot stomps him flat.

<LI>A ring of seven Elves (all of whom look suspiciously like Eric Idle) play "Hot Potato" with the silmarils

<LI>Sauron whistles cheerfully as he paddles toward Middle-earth

<LI>Gandalf waltzes gracefully with his staff. As he disappears into the sunset, the screen fades to black for the last time.

</OL>
[color=#ff6600][i]Workings of man crying out from the fires set aflame
By his blindness to see that the warmth of his being
Is promised for his seeing, his reaching so clearly[/i][/color]

[url]http://www.ghfan.net[/url]

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