This announcement is a full month early, but I’m too excited not to post it at the end of my Tolkien birthday month celebration, so here we are!
A couple years ago, I finally read The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien, and it was an experience. Honestly, though my reviews have continued to be chaotic and weird for Middle-earth, that first one was where it really started, and I’ll forever hold it warmly in my thoughts. And though it might seem like a really wacky way to review something as esteemed as Tolkien, the language in there is how I talk about a lot of things. It’s how I write my outlines–I will forever find this line in a third book outline hilarious: does anyone die? we’ll circle back–it’s how I describe movies to friends, it’s how I talk in general. And so, it doesn’t really surprise me that, when it came time to review one of the most convoluted stories by my favorite author, that my insane side came out.
But then, something started to happen. Friends that had always been nervous of The Silmarillion laughed over the post and started to think about maybe reading it on their own since I’d made it seem so fun. My dad finally had a moment of oh, maybe I shouldn’t have completely disregarded it. Comments came in of how much more accessible the book felt. And I continued on my merry way, reviewing every Tolkien book that I could find, until, at long last, I came to the end of the trilogy.
I read the trilogy over a decade ago for the first time, and then, weirdly, never again since. But reading it again now, as an adult, and particularly after the wonder that was The Silmarillion, has made me love it even more. There is so much lore packed into LOTR that’s easily missed without the backbone of the rest of Tolkien’s work, and every time a new piece of lore would pop up, I’d sigh wistfully about that summer two years ago when I finally cracked open what may be my favorite Tolkien book ever.
As always, while reading, I was inundating my friends with random Tolkien facts and Middle-earth lore, and the more I told them, the more they wanted to know until, finally, one of my friends said, “You should write a full Silmarillion readalong. Like the first one, but expand it even more, almost like a guide.”
And look, I know they exist out there, but I also know they don’t quite exist in my style, which is full of “BUT IT WAS GAY” comments, overflowing with fanart, and just general screaming before full length paragraphs of lore breakdown. Thus, The Silmarillion month-long readalong was born.
Why am I only using gifs of hobbits? Well, because, of course, that there are no hobbits in The Silmarillion, and it’s really sad! I understand why not, and I’m fully ready to scream into the abyss about elves again, but yeah, I’m going to miss these little rascals.
So, here’s the plan. I’m going to reread The Silmarillion in February, but I’m going to break it into four parts that are going to be posted weekly in March. The Society celebrates Tolkien month in March, so it’ll be a fun addendum to whatever plans you’ve already got going on! I’m going to post them whether or not anyone is reading along with me because I’m going to have too much fun rereading it, and I’ll need an outlet, so really, these would happen with or without a readalong. But, if you’ve always been itching to read The Silmarillion, or if you want to reread it because you didn’t quite get it all the first time, or if you’re just excited about the stories and want to shout with me, this is for you!
Each Friday, a new post will go up with everything for the week following. Thus, on 2/26, you’ll get a breakdown for whatever we’ll be reading for the first week of March. They’ll probably be broken up into about 100 pages or so for each week, given that it’s around 400 pages long. Each section (and subsection) will have breakdowns dedicated, including who the characters are, what the heck is going on, and um, you know, probably several lengthy dissertations about any of the following: Morgoth, Fingolfin, Maedhros, Beleg, Lúthien.
So, what say you?
Will you journey into the first ages of Middle-earth with me?
Obviously, as most of the art is going to be for the month of March, the featured image is by Phobs, and WOW it’s fitting.