Silmarillion Seminar

The Silmarillion

Thousands of Tolkien fans have had the same frustrating experience. You have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and you have loved them. Then, you learned of the existence of The Silmarillion, another great work by one of your favorite authors, and you picked it up, hoping for more of what you loved in Tolkien’s more well-known works.

You quickly found, however, that The Silmarillion is something quite different, and rather challenging. The tone is very different and more archaic, and there are simply pages and pages full of long and difficult-to-pronounce names, which are a bit overwhelming. You put the book down and you didn’t pick it up again in a hurry.

It’s okay: you are not alone.

“This same thing happened to me, and I didn’t even try to read The Silmarillion again for about five years. I can very well sympathize with people who have tried and failed to enjoy this book.”

– The Tolkien Professor

Despite its challenging learning curve, The Silmarillion is an amazing set of stories. Some of these stories may be even more profound and more moving than The Lord of the Rings. What’s more, once you know The Silmarillion, you will begin to understand The Lord of the Rings in a whole new way.

In the Silmarillion Seminar, listeners will be reading through the book slowly and carefully, at the pace of about a chapter a week, and gathering together to have an online audio discussion with the Tolkien Professor about each chapter. Each session will be recorded and posted here on this page. Hopefully, you will pick up your copy of the book and give this truly incredible book another chance.


  1. Ainulindale
  2. Valaquenta 
  3. Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter 1, “Of the Beginning of Days”
  4. Quenta Chapter 2, “Of Aule and Yavanna”
  5. Quenta Chapters 3-4, “Of the Coming of the Elves,” and “Of Thingol and Melian”
  6. Quenta Chapter 5, “Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalie”
  7. Quenta Chapter 6, “Of Feanor and the Unchaining of Melkor”
  8. Quenta Chapter 7, “Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor”
  9. Quenta Chapter 8, “Of the Darkening of Valinor”
  10. Quenta Chapter 9, “Of the Flight of the Noldor”
  11. Quenta Chapter 10, “Of the Sindar”
  12. Quenta Chapter 11, “Of the Sun and the Moon and the Hiding of Valinor”
  13. Quenta Chapter 12, “Of Men”
  14. Quenta Chapter 13, “Of the Return of the Noldor”
  15. Quenta Chapter 14, “Of Beleriand and Its Relams”
  16. Quenta Chapter 15, “Of the Noldor in Beleriand”
  17. Quenta Chapter 16, “Of Maeglin”
  18. Quenta Chapter 17, “Of the Coming of Men into the West”
  19. Quenta Chapter 18, “Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin”
  20. Quenta Chapter 19, “Of Beren and Luthien,” Part 1
  21. Quenta Chapter 19, “Of Beren and Luthien,” Part 2
  22. Quenta Chapter 19, “Of Beren and Luthien,” Part 3
  23. Quenta Chapter 20, “Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad”
  24. Quenta Chapter 21, “Of Turin Turambar,” Part 1
  25. Quenta Chapter 21, “Of Turin Turambar,” Part 2
  26. Quenta Chapter 21, “Of Turin Turambar,” Part 3
  27. Quenta Chapter 22, “Of the Ruin of Doriath”
  28. Quenta Chapter 23, “Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin”
  29. Quenta Chapter 24, “Of the Voyage of Earendil and the War of Wrath, Part 1”
  30. Quenta Chapter 24, “Of the Voyage of Earendil and the War of Wrath, Part 2”
  31. Akallabeth, Part 1
  32. Akallabeth, Part 2
  33. Akallabeth, Part 3
  34. Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age, Part 1
  35. Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age, Part 2