The Silmarillion is a book written by J. R. R. Tolkien. It was first published posthumously (after Tolkien was dead) in 1977, edited by his son Christopher Tolkien. The Silmarillion is set in Tolkien's world Middle-earth, and is about its early history before The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
The name "Silmarillion" can mean the published book (as in The Silmarillion), but it can also mean all the stories from the First Age of Middle-earth (the Quenta Silmarillion).
The published The Silmarillion has five parts:
- The Ainulindalë tells how Eru Ilúvatar (God) created the Ainur and the universe (called Eä). It talks about a character named Melkor who is jealous of Eru Ilúvatar’s power and wants to sing differently from the rest of the Ainur.
- The Valaquenta tells of the Ainur who came into the world, where they were known as Valar and Maiar. Melkor starts destroying everything the other Valar make. If they make a valley, he raises it up again.
- The Quenta Silmarillion tells the stories of the First Age of Middle-earth. It is about the wars of the Elves and Men against the Dark Lord Morgoth, and the fight for the Silmaril jewels. The Quenta Silmarillion is the biggest part of the book.
- The Akallabêth tells of the Downfall of Númenor.
- The Of The Rings of Power and the Third Age tells the story leading up to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.