Silmarillion Blues: The Tolkien Quest

On August 30, 2015, I embarked on a great and ongoing quest to discuss all of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth… book by book, chapter by chapter.

The original end goal: to fully understand The Silmarillion.

The new end goal: The complete History of Middle-Earth

Toasting the Professor on his birthday

The Beginning of a Hobbit’s Journey

The Hobbit

Ch. 1 – “An Unexpected Party
Ch. 2 – “Roast Mutton
Ch. 3 – “A Short Rest
Ch. 4 – “Over Hill and Under Hill
Ch. 5 – “Riddles in the Dark
Ch. 6 – “Out of the Frying-Pan Into the Fire
Ch. 7 – “Queer Lodgings
Ch. 8 – “Flies and Spiders
Ch. 9 – “Barrels Out of Bond
Ch. 10 – “A Warm Welcome
Ch. 11 – “On the Doorstep
Ch. 12 – “Inside Information
Ch. 13 – “Not at Home
Ch. 14 – “Fire and Water
Ch. 15 – “The Gathering of the Clouds
Ch. 16 – “A Thief in the Night
Ch. 17 – “The Clouds Burst
Ch. 18 – “The Return Journey
Ch. 19 – “The Last Stage

The Hobbit (end review)

Corey Olsen – Exploring J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit

 

The Lord of the Rings

Prologue: Concerning Hobbits, and other matters

The Fellowship of the Ring

Book One: The Ring Sets Out

Ch. 1 – “A Long-Expected Party
Ch. 2 – “The Shadow of the Past
Ch. 3 – “Three is Company
Ch. 4 – “A Short Cut to Mushrooms
Ch. 5 – “A Conspiracy Unmasked
Ch. 6 – “The Old Forest
Ch. 7 – “In the House of Tom Bombadil
Ch. 8 – “Fog on the Barrow-downs
Ch. 9 – “At the Sign of The Prancing Pony
Ch. 10 – “Strider
Ch. 11 – “A Knife in the Dark
Ch. 12 – “Flight to the Ford

Book Two: The Ring Goes South

Ch. 1 – “Many Meetings
Ch. 2 – “The Council of Elrond
Ch. 3 – “The Ring Goes South
Ch. 4 – “A Journey in the Dark
Ch. 5 – “The Bridge of Khazad-dum
Ch. 6 – “Lothlórien
Ch. 7 – “The Mirror of Galadriel”
Ch. 8 – “Farewell to Lórien
Ch. 9 – “The Great River
Ch. 10 – “The Breaking of the Fellowship

The Two Towers

Book Three: The Treason of Isengard

Ch. 1 – “The Departure of Boromir
Ch. 2 – ” The Riders of Rohan
Ch. 3 – “The Uruk-hai
Ch. 4 – “Treebeard
Ch. 5 – “The White Rider
Ch. 6 – “The King of the Golden Hall
Ch. 7 – “Helm’s Deep
Ch. 8 – “The Road to Isengard
Ch. 9 – “Flotsam and Jetsam
Ch. 10 – “The Voice of Saruman
Ch. 11 – “The Palantir

Book Four: The Ring Goes East

Ch. 1 – “The Taming of Smeagol
Ch. 2 – “The Passage of the Marshes
Ch. 3 – “The Black Gate is Closed
Ch. 4 – “Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Ch. 5 – “The Window on the West
Ch. 6 – “The Forbidden Pool
Ch. 7 – “Journey to the Cross-roads
Ch. 8 – “The Stairs of Cirith Ungol
Ch. 9 – “Shelob’s Lair
Ch. 10 – “The Choices of Master Samwise

The Return of the King

Book Five: The War of the Ring

Ch. 1 – “Minas Tirith
Ch. 2 – “The Passing of the Grey Company
Ch. 3 – “The Muster of Rohan
Ch. 4 – “The Siege of Gondor
Ch. 5 – “The Ride of the Rohirrim
Ch. 6 – “The Battle of the Pelennor Fields
Ch. 7 – “The Pyre of Denethor
Ch. 8 – “The Houses of Healing
Ch. 9 – “The Last Debate
Ch. 10 – “The Black Gate Opens

Book Six: The End of the Third Age

Ch. 1 – “The Tower of Cirith Ungol
Ch. 2 – “The Land of Shadow
Ch. 3 – “Mount Doom
Ch. 4 – “The Field of Cormallen
Ch. 5 – “The Steward and the King
Ch. 6 – “Many Partings
Ch. 7 – “Homeward Bound
Ch. 8 – “The Scouring of the Shire
Ch. 9 – “The Grey Havens

Appendices

A. Annals of the Kings and Rulers
I. The Númenorean Kings
(i) Númenor
(ii) The Realms in Exile
(iii) Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur
(iv) Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion
(v) Here Follows a Part of the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen
II. The House of Eorl
III. Durin’s Folk
B. The Tale of Years (Chronology of the Westlands)
C. Family Trees (Hobbits)
D. Calendars
E. Writing and Spelling
I. Pronunciation of Words and Names
II. Writing
F. I. The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age
II. On Translation

The Lord of the Rings (end review)

 

Bilbo’s Last Song

 

The Silmarillion

Ainulindalë

Valaquenta

Quenta Silmarillion
I. Of the Beginning of Days
II. Of Aulë and Yavanna
III. Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor
IV. Of Thingol and Melian
V. Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië
VI. Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor
VII. Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor
VIII. Of the Darkening of Valinor
IX. Of the Flight of the Noldor
X. Of the Sindar
XI. Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor
XII. Of Men
XIII. Of the Return of the Noldor
XIV. Of Beleriand and its Realms
XV. Of the Noldor in Beleriand
XVI. Of Maeglin
XVII. Of the Coming of Men into the West
XVIII. Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin
XIX. Of Beren and Lúthien
XX. Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad
XXI. Of Túrin Turambar
XXII. Of the Ruin of Doriath
XXIII. Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin
XIV. Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath

Akallabêth

Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age

The Silmarillion (end review)

 

Unfinished Tales

Part One: The First Age

Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin
Narn i Hîn Húrin – The Tale of the Children of Húrin
-The Childhood of Túrin
-The Words of Húrin and Morgoth
-The Departure of Túrin
-Túrin in Doriath
-Túrin Among the Outlaws
-Of Mim the Dwarf
-The Return of Túrin to Dorlómin
-The Coming of Túrin into Brethil
-The Journey of Morwen and Nienor to Nargothrond
-Nienor in Brethil
-The Coming of of Glaurung
-The Death of Glaurung
-The Death of Túrin
Appendix

Part Two: The Second Age

I. A Description of the Island of Númenor
II. Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner’s Wife
III. The Line of Elros: Kings of Númenor
IV. The History of Galadriel and Celeborn and of Amroth King of Lórien
Appendix A – The Silvan Elves and their Speech
Appendix B – The Sindarin Princes of the Silvan Elves
Appendix C – The Boundaries of Lórien
Appendix D – The Port of Lond Daer
Appendix E – The Names of Celeborn and Galadriel

Part Three: The Third Age

I. The Disaster of the Gladden Fields
Appendix (Numenorean Linear Measures)
II. Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan
(i) The Northmen and the Wainriders
(ii) The Ride of Eorl
(iii) Cirion and Eorl
(iv) The Tradition of Isildur
III. The Quest of Erebor
Appendix
IV. The Hunt for the Ring
(i) Of the Journey of the Black Riders According to the Account that Gandalf Gave Frodo
(ii) Other Versions of the Story
(iii) Concerning Gandalf, Saruman and the Shire
V. The Battles of the Fords of Isen
Appendix

Part Four

I. The Drúedain
II. The Istari
III. The Palantíri

Unfinished Tales (end review)

 

Tales from the Perilous Realm

Roverandom (non Middle-Earth)
Farmer Giles of Ham (non Middle-Earth)
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil
Smith of Wootton Major (non Middle-Earth)
Leaf by Niggle (non Middle-Earth)
On Fairy-stories (essay)

Tales from the Perilous Realm (end review)

 

The Children of Húrin

I. The Childhood of Túrin
II. The Battle of Unnumbered Tears
III. The Words of Húrin and Morgoth
IV. The Departure of Túrin
V. Túrin in Doriath
VI. Túrin Among the Outlaws
VII. Of Mîm the Dwarf
VIII. The Land of Bow and Helm
IX. The Death of Beleg
X. Túrin in Nargothrond
XI. The Fall of Nargothrond
XII. The Return of Túrin to Dor-lómin
XIII. The Coming of Túrin into Brethil
XIV. The Journey of Morwen and Niënor to Nargothrond
XV. Niënor in Brethil
XVI. The Coming of Glaurung
XVII. The Death of Glaurung
XVIII. The Death of Túrin
Appendix
(1) The Evolution of the Great Tales
(2) The Composition of the Text

The Children of Húrin (end review)

 

The Story of Kullervo

The Story of Kullervo
List of Names
Draft Plot Synopses
Introduction to the Essays
On “The Kalevala” or Land of Heroes
The Kalevala
Tolkien, Kalevala, and “The Story of Kullervo” by Verlyn Fliger

The Story of Kullervo (end review)

 

Beren and Lúthien

[chapter list breakdown here]

Beren and Lúthien (end review)

 

The History of Middle-Earth

The Book of Lost Tales Part One

The Cottage of Lost Play
The Music of the Ainur
The Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor
The Chaining of Melko
The Coming of the Elves and the Making of Kôr
The Theft of Melko and the Darkening of Valinor
The Flight of the Noldoli
The Tale of the Sun and Moon
The Hiding of Valinor
Gilfanon’s Tale: The Travail of the Noldoli and the Coming of Mankind

The Book of Lost Tales Part One (end review)

 

The Book of Lost Tales Part Two

The Tale of Tinúviel
Turambar and the Foalókë
The Fall of Gondolin
The Nauglafring
The Tale of Eärendel
The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales

The Book of Lost Tales Part Two (end review)

 

The Lays of Beleriand

I. The Lay of the Children of Húrin
Prologue (Húrin and Morgoth)
I. Túrin’s Fostering
II. Beleg
III. Failivrin
Second Version of the Lay
I. (Húrin and Morgoth)
II. Túrin’s Fostering

II. Poems Early Abandoned
The Flight of the Noldoli
Fragment of an Alternative Lay of Éarendel
The Lay of the Fall of Gondolin

III. The Lay of Leithian
Canto
I. (Of Thingol)
II. (Gorlim’s betrayal and Beren’s revenge)
III. (Beren’s meeting with Lúthien)
IV. (Beren before Thingol)
V. (Lúthien’s captivity in Doriath)
VI. (Beren in Nargothrond)
VII. (Beren and Felagund before Thû)
VIII. Lúthien in Nargothrond)
IX. (The defeat of Thû)
X. (The attack by Celegorm and Curufin)
XI. (The disguising of Beren and Lúthien and the journey to Angband)
XII. (Fingolfin and Morgoth; the meeting with Carcharoth)
XIII. (Beren and Lúthien in Angband)
XIV. (Escape from Angband)
Unwritten Cantos
Appendix: Commentary by C. S. Lewis

IV. The Lay of Leithian Recommenced

The Lays of Beleriand (end review)

 

The Shaping of Middle-Earth

Prose Fragments Following the Lost Tales
The Earliest ‘Silmarillion’
The Quenta
Appendix 1: Ælfwine’s translation of the Quenta into Old English; Old English equivalents of Elvish names
Appendix 2: The Horns of Ylmir
The First ‘Silmarillion’ Map
The Ambarkanta
The Earliest Annals of Valinor
Appendix: Ælfwine’s translations of the Annals of Valinor into Old English
The Earliest Annals of Beleriand
Second Version of the Annals
Appendix: Ælfwine’s translation of the Annals of Beleriand into Old English

The Shaping of Middle-Earth (end review)

 

The Lost Road and Other Writings

Part One: The Fall of Númenor and the Lost Road

The Early History of the Legend
The Fall of Númenor
(i) The original outline
(ii) The first version of The Fall of Númenor
(iii) The second version of The Fall of Númenor
(iv) The further development of The Fall of Númenor
The Lost Road
(i) The opening chapters
(ii) The Númenórean chapters
(iii) The Unwritten chapters

Part Two: Valinor and Middle-Earth before The Lord of the Rings

The Texts and Their Relations
The Later Annals of Valinor
The Later Annals of Beleriand
Ainulindalë
The Lhammas
Quenta Silmarillion

Part Three

The Etymologies

The Lost Road and Other Writings (end review)

 

The Return of the Shadow: The History of The Lord of the Rings Part One

The First Phase
I. A Long-expected Party
II. From Hobbiton to the Woody End
III. Of Gollum and the Ring
IV. To Maggot’s Farm and Buckland
V. The Old Forest and the Withywindle
VI. Tom Bombadil
VII. The Barrow-wight
VII. Arrival at Bree
IX. Trotter and the Journey to Weathertop
X. The Attack on Weathertop
XI. From Weathertop to the Ford
XII. At Rivendell
XIII. ‘Queries and Alterations’

The Second Phase
XIV. Return to Hobbiton
XV. Ancient History
XVI. Delays Are Dangerous
XVII. A Short Cut to Mushrooms
XVIII. Again from Buckland to the Withywindle

The Third Phase
XIX. The Third Phase (1): The Journey to Bree
XX. The Third Phase (2): At the Sign of the Prancing Pony
XXI. The Third Phase (3): To Weathertop and Rivendell
XXII. New Uncertainties and New Projections

The Story Continued
XXIII. In the House of Elrond
XXIV. The Ring Goes South
XXV. The Mines of Moria

The Return of the Shadow: The History of The Lord of the Rings Part One (end review)

 

The Treason of Isengard: The History of The Lord of the Rings Part Two

I. Gandalf’s Delay”
II. The Fourth Phase (1): From Hobbiton to Bree
III. The Fourth Phase (2): From Bree to the Ford of Rivendell
IV. Of Hamilcar, Gandalf, and Saruman
V. Bilbo’s Song at Rivendell: Errantry and Eärendillinwë
VI. The Council of Elrond (1)
VII. The Council of Elrond (2)
VIII. The Ring Goes South
IX. The Mines of Moria (1): The Lord of Moria
X. The Mines of Moria (2): The Bridge
XI. The Story Foreseen from Moria
XII. Lothlórien
XIII. Galadriel
XIV. Farewell to Lórien
XV. The First Map of The Lord of the Rings
XVI. The Story Foreseen from Lórien
XVII. The Great River
XVIII. The Breaking of the Fellowship
XIX. The Departure of Boromir
XX. The Riders of Rohan
XXI. The Uruk-hai
XXII. Treebeard
XXIII. Notes on Various Topics
XXIV. The White Rider
XXV. The Story Foreseen from Fangorn
XXVI. The King of the Golden Hall
Appendix on Runes

The Treason of Isengard: The History of The Lord of the Rings Part Two (end review)

 

The War of the Ring: The History of The Lord of the Rings Part Three

Part One: The Fall of Saruman
I. The Destruction of Isengard
II. Helm’s Deep
III. The Road to Isengard
IV. Flotsam and Jetsam
V. The Voice of Saruman
VI. The Palantír

Part Two: The Ring Goes East
I. The Taming of Sméagol
II. The Passage of the Marshes
III. The Black Gate is Closed
IV. Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
V. Faramir
VI. The Forbidden Pool
VII. Journey to the Cross-Roads
VIII. Kirith Ungol

Part Three: Minas Tirith
I. Addendum to ‘The Treason of Isengard’
II. Book Five Begun and Abandoned
III. Minas Tirith
IV. Many Roads Lead Eastward (1)
V. Many Roads lead Eastward (2)
VI. The Siege of Gondor
VII. The Ride of the Rohirrim
VIII. The Story Foreseen from Forannest
IX. The Battle of the Pelennor Fields
X. The Pyre of Denethor
XI. The Houses of Healing
XII. The Last Debate
XIII. The Black Gate Opens
XIV. The Second Map

The War of the Ring: The History of The Lord of the Rings Part Three (end review)

 

Sauron Defeated: The History of The Lord of the Rings Part Four

Part One: The End of the Third Age
I The Story of Frodo and Sam in Mordor
II The Tower of Kirith Ungol
III The Land of Shadow
IV Mount Doom
V The Field of Kormallen
VI The Steward and the King
VII Many Partings
VIII Homeward Bound
IX The Scouring of the Shire
X The Grey Havens
XI The Epilogue
Appendix: Drawings of Orthanc and Dunharrow

Part Two: The Notion Club Papers
The Notion Club Papers Part One
The Notion Club Papers Part Two
Major Divergences in Earlier Versions of Part Two
(i) The earlier versions of Night 66
(ii) The original version of Lowdham’s ‘Fragments’
(iii) The earlier versions of Lowdham’s ‘Fragments’ in Adunaic
(iv) Earlier versions of Edwin Lowdham’s Old English text
(v) The page preserved from Edwin Lowdham’s manuscript written in Numenorean script

Part Three: The Drowning of Anadûnê
(i) The third version of The Fall of Númenor
(ii) The original text of The Drowning of Anadûnê
(iii) The second text of The Drowning of Anadûnê
(iv) The final form of The Drowning of Anadûnê
(v) The theory of the work
(vi) Lowdham’s Report on the Adunaic Language

Sauron Defeated: The History of The Lord of the Rings Part Four (end review)

 

Morgoth’s Ring: The Later Silmarillion Part One: The Legends of Aman

Part One: Ainulindalë

Part Two: The Annals of Aman

Part Three: The Later Quenta Silmarillion
I. The First Phase
1. Of the Valar
2. Of Valinor and the Two Trees
3. Of the Coming of the Elves
4. Of Thingol and Melian
5. Of Eldanor and the Princes of the Eldalië
6. Of the Silmarils and the Darkening of Valinor
7. Of the Flight of the Noldor
8. Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor
II. The Second Phase
The Valaquenta
The Earliest Version of the Story of Finwë and Míriel
Laws and Customs Among the Eldar
Later Versions of the Story of Finwë and Míriel
Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor
Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor
Of the Darkening of Valinor
Of the Rape of the Silmarils
Of the Thieves’ Quarrel
Part Four: Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth
Part Five: Myths Transformed

Morgoth’s Ring: The Later Silmarillion Part One: The Legends of Aman (end review)

 

The War of the Jewels: The Later Silmarillion Part Two: The Legends of Beleriand

Part One: The Grey Annals

Part Two: The Later Quenta Silmarillion
9. Of Men
10. Of the Siege of Angband
11. Of Beleriand its Realms
12. Of Turgon and the Building of Gondolin
13. Concerning the Dwarves
14. Of the Coming of Men into the West
15. Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin
The Last Chapters of the Quenta Silmarillion

Part Three: The Wanderings of Húrin and Other Writings not forming part of the Quenta Silmarillion
I. The Wanderings of Húrin
II. Ælfwine and Dírhaval
III. Maeglin
IV. Of the Ents and the Eagles
V. The Tale of Years

Part Four: Quendi and Eldar
A. The principal linguistic elements concerned
B. Meanings and use of the various terms applied to the Elves and their varieties in Quenya, Telerin, and Sindarin
C. The Clan-names, with notes on other names for divisions of the Eldar
Appendix A. Elvish names for Men
Appendix B. Elvish names for the Dwarves
Appendix C. Elvish names for the Orcs
Appendix D. *Kwen, Quenya, and the Elvish (especially Ñoldorin) words for ‘Language’
Note on the ‘Language of the Valar’
Author’s Notes to Quendi and Eldar
Editorial Notes [to Quendi and Eldar]
Appendix: The legend of the Awaking of the Quendi (Cuivienyarna)

The War of the Jewels: The Later Silmarillion Part Two: The Legends of Beleriand (end review)

 

The Peoples of Middle-Earth

Part One: The Prologue and Appendices to The Lord of the Rings
I. The Prologue
II. The Appendix on Languages
III. The Family Trees
IV. The Calendars
V. The History of the Akallabeth
VI. The Tale of Years of the Second Age
VII. The Heirs of Elendil
VIII. The Tale of Years of the Third Age
IX. The Making of Appendix A
(i) The REalms in Exile
(ii) The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen)
(iii) The House of Eorl
(iv) Durin’s Folk

Part Two: Late Writings
X. Of Dwarves and Men
XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor
XII. The Problem of Ros
XIII. Last Writings

Part Three: Teachings of Pengolod
XIV. Dangweth Pengoloð
XV. Of Lembas

Part Four: Unfinished Tales
XVI. The New Shadow
XVII. Tal-Elmar

The Peoples of Middle-Earth (end review)

The History of Middle-Earth (end review)

 

Other Writings

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Pearl

Sir Orfeo

Letters from Father Christmas

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún

The Fall of Arthur

Beowulf

The Lay of Aotrou & Itroun

The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien