Quenta Silmarillion

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Quenta Silmarillion is a collection of fictional legends written by the high fantasy writer J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published after the author's death in The Silmarillion together with four shorter stories. As Tolkien did not finish it was completed by his son Christopher with assistance of the young Guy Gavriel Kay, who would later go on to a successful career as a fantasy author. The title Quenta Silmarillion is translated as "the Tale of the Silmarils".

Contents

Summary

Tolkien envisaged the Silmarillion as deriving from a manuscript written by an Eriol or Aelfwine of England, an imaginary dark age source for the material, which itself contains little or no reference to the people or events of the Second or Third Ages of his legendarium. Originated from Elvish legends, in some parts it presents Elves as long gone, which hints that its final form was edited during the Fourth Age by Hobbits and/or Men.

It tells about the history of Arda (the Earth), after its creation by Eru Ilúvatar. The Valar, angelic beings, enter into the world and try to shape it after a vision given to them by Eru. The initial shape of Arda, chosen by the Valar, was of a symmetrical continent lit by the Two Lamps. However, the lamps were destroyed by the vicious Melkor; Arda was darkened, and the lamps' fall spoiled the symmetry of Arda's surface. Two main continents were created that are of concern to the story: Aman in the west, and Middle-earth in the east.

Following this, Melkor hid himself from the Valar in his fortress Utumno in the north of Middle-earth. He also surrounded himself with horrible beasts, many of them Maiar in the form of fell animals, known as Balrogs.

The Valar moved to the western continent Aman where they established the realm Valinor of which Manwë was made king. The Vala Yavanna created the Two Trees which illuminated Valinor. Middle-earth, by contrast, was in perpetual darkness, and was seldom visited by the Valar. Only some of them, most notably Oromë, visited it periodically, especially to prepare for the coming of the Elves, which the Valar had foreseen in their vision and to keep an eye on Melkor's activities.

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