Questions tagged [the-silmarillion]

For questions about The Silmarillion, a collection of works by J.R.R. Tolkien posthumously published by his son, Christopher in 1977. Also refers to the unpublished body of work of the same title that the former was based on. Always use in conjunction with the [tolkiens-legendarium] tag.

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Why didn't Morgoth corrupt the other races of Middle Earth?

I am aware that it is a hotly debated topic on what the true origins of Orcs are. However, assuming that Morgoth did create Orcs by corrupting Elves; why didn't he do the same thing for the other ...
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10 votes
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Would Gandalf know Sauron personally?

The thought just occurred to me that the two had co-existed for eons. Even not taking the music of the Ainur into account, wouldn't they have had ample opportunity to interact with each other on Arda ...
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4 votes
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Why did Tar-Calion listen to Sauron and become so evil?

Around the beginning of his rule, Tar-Calion the Golden was a dear friend to Amandil the Lord of Andúnië, despite Amandil being leader of the Faithful, and he let him be a member of the Council of ...
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Why could Melkor's forces not detect Gondolin by flying around?

If I understand correctly, Gondolin was not protected by any magical or godly means hiding it from Melkor and his forces. Now, the Echoriad mountains were pretty far up North, and also not that far (...
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What do the family relations between the Valar mean?

TL;DR: Some of the Valar are described in the Silmarillion as husband and wife, and others are described as siblings. But it seems that the Ainur don't procreate, and it's unclear what marriage means ...
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Why didn't the Valar make a Ring of Power?

Sauron made the One Ring to rule them all by transferring some of his essence into it as a power amplifier. Morgoth also did this in a different way, using the whole of Arda as a Ring. Why didn't the ...
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Is there any solid evidence that Sauron was originally called Mairon?

It's common knowledge now that Mairon was a smith of Aule and one of the greatest smiths to be known before he became corrupted and commonly known as Sauron. I want to know if anyone knows any ...
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Are elves born in Valinor after the year of the trees Calaquendi?

Calaquendi are the group of elves in Tolkien’s Legendarium that beheld the light of the two trees in Valinor. It consists of the Vanyar, Noldor, Falmari, and Thingol out of all Umanyar. Can the status ...
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Which did Tolkien create first, Utumno or Angband?

In the First Age, Melkor had two fortresses, first Utumno and then Angband. Utumno was the older and greater fortress, but it was destroyed by the Valar in the War for Sake of the Elves. Later, ...
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Is the Timeless Void the same Void outside Eru's Timeless Hall?

Is the Timeless Void the same as the Void outside Eru's Timeless Hall before the creation of Eä? Or are they connected as a continuous empty Space? In the Silmarillion, it is said that Valar thrust ...
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What (if anything) do we know about the orcs who fought against Sauron?

So, in this question, I saw that it was mentioned that all the races of Middle-earth, save the Elves, fought both for and against Sauron during the War of the Last Alliance. The Silmarillion states: ...
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Do we know anything at all about Hobbits in the First or Second Age?

From "Prologue: Concerning Hobbits": It is plain indeed that in spite of later estrangement Hobbits are relatives of ours: far nearer to us than Elves, or even than Dwarves. Of old they ...
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How old is Círdan at the end of the Third Age?

It seems likely that Círdan is the oldest living Elf at the end of the Third Age, see here. Can we estimate how old he is? I don't think we can get an exact figure, since we don't know when exactly he ...
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Did Tolkien intend to expand the Ents' role in The Silmarillion?

It seems that Tolkien came up with the Ents as he was writing The Lord of the Rings, and then inserted them into his work on the Silmarillion. In the published form of The Silmarillion, the Ents' role ...
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Did Tolkien come up with the Ents as he was writing Lord of the Rings, or before?

Ents play a pretty important role in The Lord of the Rings. However, they existed as far back as the First Age. I expected them to have a pretty big role in The Silmarillion when I started reading it. ...
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Did Anglachel intentionaly prick Túrin's foot?

In the story of the children of Húrin, Beleg is granted a gift by King Thingol, and he asks for the sword Anglachel. Melian warns him of the evil of the sword, and says that it will not love the hand ...
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Did Elrond have a right to the throne of Númenor?

In case the line of the Kings of Númenor would have gone extinct, would Elrond Half-elven, being the brother of Númenor's first king Elros Tar-Minyatur, have had a right to the throne of Númenor, or ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What oath does Finrod refer to when speaking with Beren?

In Chapter 19 of The Silmarillion, there is the following passage: Thus Beren came before King Finrod Felagund; and Felagund knew him, needing no ring to remind him of the kin of Bëor and of Barahir. ...
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What words of Caranthir is Angrod thinking of?

In chapter 15 of The Silmarillion, the story of the kinslaying of the Noldor is discovered by Thingol, but it seems it is tempered with lies/inaccuracies. He accuses Finrod and Angrod and all the rest,...
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Why didn't the Valar care that Middle-earth was in darkness during the Years of the Trees?

It is said that the Valar made the Sun and the Moon: for they remembered the Avari that remained by the waters of their awakening, and they did not utterly forsake the Noldor in exile. But even ...
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Is there any meaning to the ages of the Years of the Tree?

It is said in The Silmarillion that Melkor was a prisoner for "three ages" before he had another trial and was released. It is estimated that this was about 2,900 years; see, e.g., this ...
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Did the Light of the Trees diminish after the creation of the Silmarils?

There is something that is not made explicit in The Silmarillion, and I wondered if J. R. R. had ever discussed it in one his letters or other writings. Did the Light of the Trees diminish after ...
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Why didn't Ar-Gimilzôr make his second son Gimilkhâd throne heir?

Ar-Gimilzôr's oldest son who eventually became King Tar-Palantir was faithful to the Valar and a friend of the elves, unlike his younger brother Gimilkhâd who was like his father. Since Ar-Gimilzôr ...
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13 votes
3 answers
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Do you really need to read “The Silmarillion” before reading “The Children of Húrin”, “Beren and Lúthien” or “The Fall of Gondolin”?

The answer to the question In what order should Tolkien's writings on Middle-earth be read? suggests that you should read The Silmarillion and only then go on to read the three "great tales&...
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1 answer
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Who was Idril when she was the sleeper in the tower of pearl?

In The Book of Lost Tales (BoLT) Tolkien name drops the "Sleeper in the tower of pearl", but apparently only ever had very rough ideas about this part of the story. At one point, and then ...
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9 votes
2 answers
803 views

Huan, the Hound of Valinor, was permitted to speak only three times - why?

The great hound of Valinor, Huan, had many talents outside what is typical of hounds, one of which is speech. However, Huan was not allowed to just speak freely but instead was only able to speak ...
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What were Fëanor's crimes?

In The Silmarillion and this post, Buzz mentioned that "Fëanor will finally repent his crimes and be released from the Halls of Mandos" so that the two trees can be resurrected once more. What were ...
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23 votes
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Why, in The Silmarillion, does Melkor disappear forever and leave Sauron to reign as some kind of "Melkor copy"?

Melkor is many times driven back and trapped and whatnot after being defeated. At some point, the Valar/gods banish him to some kind of existence from which he cannot come back. Or can he? Why not? I ...
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Is Túrin’s dwarf-mask the same as the masks of the Naugrim?

What it says on the tin — is the dwarf-mask Túrin got from the treasuries of Nargothrond the same as the masks the Naugrim wore in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad? NB: this isn’t a dupe of this question since ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Why didn’t Húrin answer Morwen as she was dying?

In The Children of Húrin by Tolkien (and edited by his son), Húrin was bound by the power of Morgoth to a stone chair on a high place on Thangorodrim. He is later released after both Niënor and Túrin ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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What exactly was the Everlasting Darkness?

In The Silmarillion, the Oath of Fëanor called the Everlasting Darkness on any who broke the Oath. This was clearly something greatly to be feared. What exactly was it?
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Decay and destruction in Tolkien's Silmarillion, vs. reality [closed]

Tolkien's Silmarillion is a wonderful story permeated by a sense of decay and downfall. The ancient world of the elves passes away and many wonders of the world are no longer in existence. Time is ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Yavanna's alarm clock

After the fall of the Lamps, Yavanna decreed that most of the living things in Arda should sleep until light returned. She then gathered up the available light and made the Two Trees to illuminate ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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How could Beren hold a Silmaril without being hurt?

In chapter 7 of The Silmarillion, "Of the Silmarils", it is stated that the jewels could harm men or those with evil intent: And Varda hallowed the Silmarils, so that thereafter no mortal flesh, ...
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11 votes
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What happened to Thorondor after the First Age?

During the First Age of Middle-earth Manwë sent Thorondor and the Eagles to watch over the inhabitants including the Noldor. Throughout the First Age, Thorondor intervened on behalf of Men and Elves ...
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Did Sauron ever betray Morgoth?

Sauron was given the title "Sauron the Deceiver" because he used charm and deception to gain control over others. He taught ring-craft to the elves and gave Rings of Power to men and dwarves ...
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32 votes
2 answers
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In what language did Túrin converse with Mîm?

Túrin spoke the Mannish tongue of the House of Hador and also Sindarin (in a noticeably archaic Doriathrim way). On the other hand the petty-dwarves being largely isolationist and hating the Eldar, ...
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23 votes
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Distinguish the explanations of Galadriel's test in LotR

So, I just finished The Silmarillion, and of course The Hobbit and LotR before that. One of the reason I wanted to read The Silmarillion is because I didn't quite understand the part of Galadriel's ...
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Would Gurthang have had any effect on Sauron's Ring?

Could the legendary sword of Beleg Strongbow and Túrin Turambar, forged by Eöl of star iron, have done any damage to the One Ring? I know the answer is most likely no but I just finished my re-reading ...
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1 answer
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How big is Ancalagon exactly? [duplicate]

I've had this question for a while now and it's: How big is Ancalagon exactly? I mean, I've looked over thousands of explanations but it keeps on changing. So I'm asking now, how big exactly is this ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Height of Mountain Ranges in Middle Earth

What are the relative heights of mountain ranges in Middle Earth? And how would they compare to our modern world? I tend to imagine that after the First Age, the highest ranges were the White ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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A LoTR/Sillmarillion fanfic where female elf warrior/wanderer goes through the ages

Looking for a fanfic I read a long time ago but can't find. The basic premise is having an elf live and and experience (and affect) the history of Arda. Begins in Aman, follows the exile of the ...
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Why did the Silmarils hurt Morgoth’s hand?

Could they have been like the Ring and had a “life” of their own?
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5 votes
3 answers
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Were the Cracks of Doom unique because that's where Maedhros cast the Silmaril?

Everyone knows that the only place in Arda that the One Ring could be unmade was in the fiery pits of the Cracks of Doom but, as has been asked elsewhere, what was so special about the CoD? I've seen ...
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9 votes
1 answer
914 views

What happened to the Dark Land in Arda?

I'm not talking about Mordor. I'm talking about the continent between Middle-earth and the Lands of the Sun. This continent existed throughout the Ages of Arda, until it seems to have vanished after ...
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Has Christopher Tolkien said how he would have done "On the Ruin of Doriath" differently?

The chapter On the Ruin of Doriath in The Silmarillion is known to have been a rather extensive synthesis by CJRT of JRRT's existing texts (plus a bit of his own creativity), which were less cohesive/...
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34 votes
2 answers
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What magical powers do balrogs have?

J. R. R. Tolkien wrote: For of the Maiar many were drawn to his splendour in the days of his greatness, and remained in that allegiance down into his darkness; and others he corrupted afterwards to ...
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26 votes
3 answers
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Why was Ondolindë always referred to as Gondolin?

Did Tolkien ever say why Gondolin was so-called by its Sindarin name, instead of the Quenya: Ondolindë? Thingol forbade his people from using Quenya or responding to people who used it, as a response ...
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11 votes
3 answers
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Why is Eärendil born a Man and Dior born an Elf?

The first two unions of Eldar and Edain produced Dior, son of Beren and Lúthien, and Eärendil, son of Tuor and Idril. Dior is treated an elf in the narrative, as are his children. However, Eärendil ...
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Why would the Valar release Melkor?

Once the Valar discovered Melkor had returned from beyond and started causing havoc in Middle-earth, destroying the Two Lamps and capturing, torturing, and mutilating Elves into what would later be ...
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