‘The Silmarillion’ by J.R.R. Tolkien is one of the greatest works of fantasy fiction ever published. It features many memorable quotes that teach important lessons. The book engages the reader in vital topics that discuss people’s nature, character, and how they interact with the world and people around them. Emotions like arrogance, greed, pride, love, malice, and hope, are all intertwined with the fate of the world and often have far-reaching consequences. Here are a few quotes from the book.
But being alone he had begun to conceive thoughts of his own unlike those of his brethren. Some of these thoughts he now wove into his music, and straightway discord rose about him, and many that sang nigh him grew despondent, and their thought was disturbed and their music faltered; but some began to attune their music to his rather than to the thought which they had at first.
Melkor is an individualistic spirit among the rest of the Ainur who existed to please Iluvatar. Since he alone, among his brothers and sisters, is most like their Maker, the desire to create his own things burns within him. He often travels alone through the empty spaces of the universe, looking for The Flame Imperishable, which would give him the power to create beings of his own. His thoughts, coupled with the futility of his search, begin to corrupt him. He soon begins to entertain thoughts of his glory separate from the purpose set for him by Iluvatar. As he laces these thoughts of prestige into the music and themes of Iluvatar, he starts to create discord and confusion among the Ainur, corrupting many of his brothers and sisters in the process.
And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined.
Iluvatar says this to Melkor in the presence of the Ainur after Melkor causes great chaos and discord among the Ainur with his discordant music that leads many others astray and fills the halls of Iluvatar with an ugly and braying noise. Iluvatar tells him that though he may seek to do as he pleases while believing his thoughts and plans are superior, he is only an instrument of his maker. All he does would eventually add to the glory of Iluvatar’s intentions.
Therefore Morgoth came, climbing slowly from his subterranean throne, and the rumour of his feet was like thunder underground. And he issued forth clad in black armour; and he stood before the King like a tower, iron-crowned, and his vast shield, sable unblazoned, cast a shadow over him like a stormcloud.
After Morgoth’s sudden and devastating attack against the Union of Maedhros, and the total defeat of the elven forces, Fingolfin, High King of the Noldor, is filled with so much despair and anger that he rides out to confront Morgoth himself and challenge him in combat. At first, Morgoth is afraid, even though he is the most powerful being in the world. To not lose face with the commanders of his armies, he goes to answer Fingolfin’s challenge.
Last of all Hurin stood alone. Then he cast aside his shield, and wielded an axe two-handed; and it is sung that the axe smoked in the black blood of the troll-guard of Gothmog until it withered, and each time that he slew Hurin cried: ‘Aure entuluva! Day shall come again!’ Seventy times he uttered that cry, but they took him at last alive.
When King Fingon is killed, and the Elvish forces are routed during the battle of Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Hurin begs King Turgon of Gondolin to retreat, then he and his men form the rear guard to give the elves time to conduct an orderly retreat. His men sacrifice their lives till only Hurin is left alive but he does not give up. He kills 70 trolls of Gothmog’s honor guard before finally being captured alive.
Joy And Sadness
Among the tales of sorrow and of ruin that came down to us from the darkness of those days there are yet some in which amid weeping there is joy and under the shadow of death light that endures. And of these histories most fair still in the ears of the Elves is the tale of Beren and Lúthien.
This quote is the prologue to the Lay of Leithian, which tells the love story between the mortal man Beren and the immortal elf maiden Luthien Tinuviel. Their story is entwined with the fate of the Silmarils and of the world, and their adventures lay the foundation for the end of Morgoth’s tyranny in Middle Earth and the salvation of the elves.
But of bliss and glad life there is little to be said before it ends; as works fair and wonderful, while they still endure for eyes to see, are ever their own record, and only when they are in peril or broken forever do they pass into song.
This quote talks about how everything, even the most cherished moments and beautiful works and structures, soon crumble and pass away. When they do, they only live in our memories and come alive when we tell stories about them.
Beyond his hope she returned to him where he sat in darkness, and long ago in the Hidden Kingdom she laid her hand in his. Thereafter often she came to him, and they went in secret through the woods together from spring to summer; and no others of the Children of Ilúvatar have had joy so great, though the time was brief.
This quote refers to the meeting of the Elven princess Luthien Tinuviel and the mortal Man Beren in the Forests of Neldoreth. By this time, Luthien is in love with Beren, and the doom of mortals has curled around her, tying her fate with Beren’s. They would meet in secret and share their happiness.
And when Bëor lay dead, of no wound or grief, but stricken by age, the Eldar saw for the first time the swift waning of the life of Men and the death of weariness which they knew not in themselves; and they grieved greatly for the loss of their friends. But Bëor at the last had relinquished his life willingly and passed in peace; and the Eldar wondered much at the strange fate of Men, for in all their lore there was no account of it, and its end was hidden from them.
After Finrod Felagund discovers mortal men, the elves fall in love with them and bring them to live on their lands, including the people of Beor the Old. At this time, the elves are strangers to old age and its effect on mortal men, so when Beor, who is a great friend to Finrod, dies, the elves are marveled and dismayed.
Ye have spilled the blood of your kindred unrighteously and have stained the land of Aman. For blood ye shall render blood, and beyond Aman ye shall dwell in Death’s shadow. For though Eru appointed to you to die not in Eä, and no sickness may assail you, yet slain ye may be, and slain ye shall be: by weapon and by torment and by grief; and your houseless spirits shall come then to Mandos. There long shall ye abide and yearn for your bodies, and find little pity though all whom ye have slain should entreat for you. And those that endure in Middle-earth and come not to Mandos shall grow weary of the world as with a great burden, and shall wane, and become as shadows of regret before the younger race that cometh after. The Valar have spoken.
When the hosts of Feanor arrive at the seaside city of Alqualonde, he initially hopes to convince the Teleri to join his quest, but they refuse. They also refuse to give him their ships. Angered by their decision, Feanor calls his hosts to take the ships by force. When the Teleri tries defending their ships, they are struck down. When the Valar sees what the Noldor has done, they send Manwe’s herald to proclaim a curse on them.
This doom she chose, forsaking the Blessed Realm, and putting aside all claim to kinship with those that dwell there; that thus whatever grief might lie in wait, the fates of Beren and Lúthien might be joined, and their paths lead together beyond the confines of the world.
After Beren dies from wounds gotten while retrieving the Silmaril from Carcharoth, Luthien gives up her spirit and goes to the Halls of Mandos to plead for the return of Beren’s spirit. Her song moves Namo, lord of Mandos, and he allows Beren’s spirit to return. In exchange, Luthien has to give up her immortality which was the gift of her elven kindred, and she is severed from the fate of the elves.
Does ‘The Silmarillion’ feature profanity?
J.R.R. Tolkien was a deeply religious Catholic whose guardian through his teen years was a Catholic priest who would go on to have a great influence on him. He avoided the use of profane language in his works and never described sexual scenes between his characters.
Why does King Fingolfin ride to Angband alone?
The Dagor Bragollach was a sudden attack on Elvish lands by the forces of Morgoth. He first released rivers of molten magma from the mountains, then sent his forces and overran the elvish strongholds. The devastation is so great, and when King Fingolfin hears of the deaths of his nephews Angrod and Aegnor, he is filled with anger and despair that he rides out to battle Morgoth in a duel.
Why does King Thingol demand for a Silmaril from Beren?
King Thingol demands a Silmaril from Beren in exchange for Luthien’s hand in marriage. He believes Luthien is too precious to be allowed to marry a mortal man and intertwine her fate with his. He chooses to set for Beren an insurmountable task which he is sure Beren would fail. He never foresees the array of help Beren would get on his quest from Finrod, Huan, and Luthien herself.
Why does Thingol not send his forces to the Nirnaeth Arnoediad?
When the sons of Feanor learn that one of the Silmarils is in King Thingol’s possession, they send a haughty message to him to return the precious jewel to them. By then, however, Thingol is beginning to desire the jewel. He feels insulted by the message, so he refuses. When they hear this, they vow to destroy Doriath when they return from the battle.