Silmarillion is a collection of tales by JRR Tolkien, edited and published after the author’s death by his son, Christopher Tolkien.
The Silmarillion chronicles the history of Tolkien’s created world, from the “Creation” to the events leading up the “The War of the Ring”, the events chronicled in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
The Silmarillion is comprised of five parts:
The Ainulindale – “The Music of the Ainur " – This part is a description of the “Creation” of Ea (the World) from the mind of Illuvatar (the One), resembling in many ways the Biblical Creation story.
Valaquenta - “Account of the Valar and Maiar according to the lore of the Eldar” – The “Valaquenta” is a brief description of the Valar and the Maiar, two sets of “godlike” figures that rule over and assist Illuvatar in the creation of Ea. These figures are rather like a pantheon of “undergods”. They rule at and by the will of Illuvatar.
Quenta Silmarillion - “The History of the Silmarils” – The “Quenta Silmarillion” comprises the vast majority of the book, and is broken into twenty-four separate chapters. This section concerns the bulk of the history of Ea, from the coming of the elves to the War of Wrath and the end of the First Age.
The tales told in this section on in various stages of development. Some are told in exquisite and beautiful detail, others are little more than generalized outlines of stories. This section includes the most important and recognizable tales in the book:
“Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor”
“Of the Flight of the Noldor”
“Of Beren and Luthien”
“Of Turin Turambar ”
“Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin
Akallabeth - “The Downfall of Numenor” – Concerning the human island-kingdom of Numenor, its beauties, ambitions, and eventual downfall.
Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age - Comprises a description of the events prior to and leading up to the events chronicled in The Lord of the Rings, including the conception of the Rings of Power; the coming of the Dunedain to Middle-earth; and the last alliance of Men and Elves.