This week, we witness some pretty exciting changes to Middle-earth including the creation of the Sun and Moon and the awakening of Men! We also see the Valar drawing back from the Children of Iluvatar and leaving them mostly to take care of themselves. Lúthien is also born, and we hear a few familiar names (Eärendiland Elrond!) at the very end of the last chapter.
This week is a huge week for the Noldor. We begin in chapter seven with the making of the Silmarils and Melkor being released from his prison. Almost immediately, Melkor is scheming to get revenge and obtain the Silmarils. He stirs up dissention between the Noldor, pitting them against he Valar, eventually leading Fëanor to rebel against his own family. Melkor gets a little too eager and Fëanor realizes he's scheming to get the Silmarils, so he runs off and hides for a while…
This week, we began The Quenta Silmarillion, or The Silmarillion proper. This is where we finally get into the actual story, you might say. This week, we experience the beginning of the war between the Valar and Melkor, the creation of the Dwarves and Ents, and the awakening of the Elves! It's a very busy couple of chapters so you might want to take notes.
Valaquenta begins with a short summary of Ainulindalë. It then goes on to introduce the Lords and the Queens of the Valar, giving a bit of background information on each of them and explaining how they relate to one another. Next, we are introduced to the Maiair, spirits similar to the Valar but of a less degree. The last section is titled 'Of the Enemies' and explains a bit more about the cruelty of Melkor as well as introducing his servant Sauron.
This week, as we begin our book club, we've been discussing the first part of The Silmarillion, "Ainulindalë: The Music of the Ainur". It is in this chapter that we experience the creation of the world through the music of Eru Ilúvatar and the Ainur, the beginning of the unrest of Melkor, the descent of the Valar into the world, and the first battle of the Valar against Melkor.
This summer will be our first ever Tea with Tolkien read-along and book club for Tolkien's The Silmarillion! I'm so thrilled to be joined by over 100 of you in our Facebook group where we'll journey through this beloved text together. Below is the schedule we'll be sticking to as we read this summer. We'll be taking 12 weeks to do our read-along, allowing us to work through it at a good pace and discuss it in depth as we go!
If you've been searching for a simple way to understand Tolkien's Silmarillion, hoping to dig deeper into its themes and mythology, or wanting to learn more about Beren and Luthien before the June release of the restored edition of their tale... John Carswell's short but insightful book, Tolkien's Requiem, is the place to start.