Silmarillion Chapter Summaries

By Dawn Felagund

The Silmarillion summaries were a project that I undertook beginning in January 2006 as part of a guided reading of The Silmarillion. My goal was to describe the major events and key players of each book or chapter, cutting the extraneous names and material that often proves problematic for new readers. Christopher Tolkien himself admits that The Silmarillion is a challenging work, in the Foreword to The Book of Lost Tales I, yet The Silmarillion is--at least in my opinion--a rich work that is well worth the effort for fans of Tolkien's work.

Following the culmination of the reading, many wrote me to say that they found the summaries helpful in illuminating the key ideas of The Silmarillion. While the summaries were written for and are probably best suited for first-time readers or readers who have found the book challenging, I hope that they will also be a handy reference to veteran Silmarillion fans as an easy means to recall the major events of any particular section of the book.

As time permits, I will continue to add references to this project to further assist first-time readers in making sense of the complexity that is this phenomenal work.

Chapter Listing



Quenta Silmarillion

Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor

Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age

Terms of Use

I am making my summaries publicly available in hopes that they will be used by Tolkien fans reading The Silmarillion for the first time or groups leading readings of the book. Therefore, summaries are freely available for posting online, reprinting, or distributing as needed for non-profit purposes. When credit is given, it should be given to Dawn Felagund with listed as my contact.

Inquiries may be directed to me at

About the Author

Dawn Felagund is the founder and owner of the Silmarillion Writers' Guild and has written about one hundred stories, poems, and essays about J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, some of which have been translated and published in fan magazines around the world. Dawn is a graduate student in the humanities, and her academic work on Tolkien's cosmogony and the Tolkien fan community has appeared in Mythprint and Silver Leaves (in press) and has been presented at Mythmoot II, Mythmoot III, and the New York Tolkien Conference. Dawn can be emailed at

All References by Author

History of Middle-earth Summaries. The History of Middle-earth project is an ongoing attempt to summarize the entire book series and put together the many ideas, commentaries, and footnotes of the series into easy-to-follow summaries.

Silmarillion Chapter Summaries. Designed as a resource for leading readings of The Silmarillion, the chapter summaries are also a nice review for those returning to unfamiliar sections of the book or who would like guidance while reading it for the first time.

A Woman in Few Words: The Character of Nerdanel and Her Treatment in Canon and Fandom. A review of the canon facts available on Nerdanel and discussion of why she remains so popular with fans despite her scarce appearances in the texts.

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