|Date(s):||1917-1977 (written), 1977 (published)|
|Country of Origin:||England, UK|
|External Links:||Tolkien Estate|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
The term Silmarillion is used for JRR Tolkien's stories of the creation and early "history" of his invented universe, the myths that underlie the events of The Lord of the Rings.
Tolkien began creating this universe and writing these stories during World War I, and never really stopped until his death. These tales are in more formal and mythical styles than the Lord of the Rings. The work was collated, edited and published as The Silmarillion by JRR's son, Christopher Tolkien, with help from Guy Gavriel Kay in 1977.
Later collections and variants of the stories include Lost Tales, Unfinished Tales and HoME (History of Middle Earth) in multiple volumes. Many fans use The Silmarillion to encompass all the history of Arda before the Third Age, or even up to the The Hobbit; some restrict it to just the First and Second Ages.
- See also Timeline of Tolkien Fandom
Pre-internet Silmarillion discussion and art probably appeared in Mallorn, the journal of The Tolkien Society, but the society is not fanfiction friendly. Fanfiction zines started to appear from the 1960s, but early ones understandably largely focused on The Lord of the Rings. Nevertheless, the first known work of Tolkien fanfiction covers the First and Second Ages; 'Departure in Peace' by George Heap, published in I Palantir in August 1960, is a personal account of events by Sauron.
[when did Silmarillion fic get going?; when did it pick up momentum? was it linked to the PJ films? what effect did LJ have?]
The main forum for Silmarillion fanfiction and related discussion from 2002 to mid-2005 was the Silmfics Yahoo list, founded by Joan Milligan. Fiction was predominantly archived at the Silmarillion section of fanfiction.net [when did it split from LotR?], and Finch indexed selected stories from fanfiction.net and elsewhere at Romancing the Jewels until December 2005. A fiction livejournal, SilmFics, was founded in February 2004, but never gained momentum.
There is an apparent shift in Silmarillion fandom activity after mid-2005, from Silmfics and Romancing the Jewels to the Silmarillion Writers' Guild, which had been founded in March 2005 by Dawn Felagund. By 2005, the activity on the Silmfics list had declined, and Romancing the Jewels also stopped updating that year. According to Dawn Felagund, the establishment of the SWG was unrelated to the diminished activity on the Silmfics list. The SWG was initially intended to serve primarily as a writers' workshop; however, it did not evolve into this purpose, as group members chose to focus their energy on building a Silmarillion-specific archive. The SWG automated archive was founded in April 2007.
Many of the authors who participated in the Silmarillion fanfiction community prior to 2005 on Silmfics ceased participating around this time. [who?] Few joined the Silmarillion Writers' Guild, which largely drew its members from among authors archiving Silmarillion-based fiction at general Tolkien archives. [need more on why--if there is a reason--so many Silmarillion fandom members stopped participating around 2005] [doesn't appear to reflect a move to livejournal -- could it be related to general Tolkien fandom fading away after the PJ LotR films?]
Although The Silmarillion never had the popularity of The Lord of the Rings, even before the Peter Jackson films, fanfiction is fairly abundant, with several thousand Silmarillion stories on the web. In September 2012, The Silmarillion was ranked the 25th book fandom on fanfiction.net, ahead of popular lit fandoms such as Pride and Prejudice and Discworld.
The brothers Maedhros and Maglor vie for the title of most popular character. Maedhros is particularly popular amongst slash writers; his pairing with Fingon is probably the most common slash pairing in the fandom. Maglor's popularity might stem in part from the influential Maglor in History challenge; he sometimes gets paired with OFCs, often modern-day Mary-Sues. Other frequently written characters from the enormous cast include Feanor, Finrod Felagund, Maeglin, and any character that appears in Lord of the Rings -- Elrond, Galadriel, Glorfindel, Sauron and others.
- Under the Curse by Finch -- influential early Maedhros/Fingon story (2002)
- As Little Might be Thought by Deborah Judge -- Maglor, Elrond & Elros (2002)
- A Boy, A Girl, & A Dog: The Lay of Leithian Dramatic Script Project by Philosopher At Large -- Luthien/Beren (2002-2004)
- One Ring to Bind Them by Tyellas -- Sauron/Celebrimbor (2003 or earlier)
- Across Dark Waters by Zimraphel -- Maeglin (2003)
- Captain Tinkerbell by Lipstick -- from the Maglor in History challenge (2003)
- Oak and Willow by Marnie -- Galadriel/Celeborn (2003)
- A New Day by Oshun -- Maedhros/Fingon (2007)
- The Apprentice by pandemonium_213 -- OMC, Sauron, and Celebrimbor (2007)
- A Little More Conversation by Keiliss -- Erestor and Glorfindel (2009)
- Bright Are The Stars Upon the Margin of the World by Kenaz -- Beleg (2009)
- Anadûnai by Darth Fingon -- Elrond and Elros for the Silmarillion Writers' Guild Akallabêth in August event (2009)
- The Tempered Steel by Lyra -- Maedhros (2010-?; WiP)
There are a couple of Silmarillion-specific archives:
- Romancing the Jewels -- medium-sized archive hosted by Finch
- Silmarillion Writers' Guild -- ~1400 stories
Several general Tolkien and multifandom archives have substantial Silmarillion content, including:
- Henneth Annûn Story Archive
- Library of Moria (slash only)
- Many Paths to Tread (mainly gen, to R rating) -- ~400 stories
- Open Scrolls: Silmarillion (gen & het only) -- ~300 stories
- Stories of Arda
- Tolkien Fan Fiction Archive
- Silmarillion tag at Archive of Our Own -- ~500 stories
- Silmarillion@fanfiction.net -- over 3000 stories
- 100 Must Read Tolkien Fanfics by Dark Prince (all Tolkien's books but there's a large Silm selection)
- Espresso Recommendations: The Silmarillion by Espresso Addict
- The Silmarillion tag on Crack Van
- Tolkien Darkfic Recommendations Page by Tyellas (all Tolkien's books but substantial Silm selection)
Zines believed to include some Silmarillion-related content include:
- Ansereg - The Grey Book (2004)
- Endóre (1999-2005)
- Miruvor (1990-present?)
- Nigglings (1991-1997)
- Orcrist (1966-1973)
- The Tales of Aragorn and Arwen
- The Tale of Gondolin (1994)
- Terra di Mezzo (1992-2000s)
- Tolkien Journal (1966-1971)
- Le Tolkieniste (1998-2001)
- Wargs! (1978)
- Once Upon a Time in Gondolin (2015)
Discussion is a major part of the Silmarillion fandom. Some essays with Fanlore articles:
- What Tolkien Officially Said About Elf Sex by Tyellas (2002)
- The Tolkienian War on Science by Joan Bushwell (2007)
- Twenty-Two Words You Never Thought Tolkien Would Provide by Darth Fingon (2009)
- On Female Characters and Femslash in the Silmarillion Fandom by vefanyar (2015)
- Silmfics -- the oldest YahooGroup, founded April 2002
- Silmarillion Writers' Guild -- founded March 2005
- The Silmarillion: An Overview -- Crack Van overview, by Espresso Addict
- Official Tolkien Harper/Collins bookstore in paperback or deluxe edition.
- wikipedia:The Silmarillion
- Tolkien Online accessed 2010-7-3
- Tolkien Library review of the Silmarillion accessed 2010-7-3.
- Sumner Gary Hunnewell. Tolkien Fandom Review: From its Beginnings to 1964 (accessed 7 September 2012)
- Silmfics: Profile (accessed 2 September 2012)