Overview of J.R.R. Tolkien's creation of Middle-earth: includes the Silmarillion, the Hobbit, and the Lord of the Rings.

Essay by greenfoxxHigh School, 10th gradeA+, November 2003

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Not often can a reader pick up a novel and be transported into a world where they can feel, smell, taste, see, and live the story unfolding around them. Stories so rich in history and culture could only be created by the world-renowned author, J.R.R. Tolkien. His works, including "The Silmarillion", "The Hobbit", and the famous trilogy "The Lord of the Rings", have been read by millions of people across the globe. Tolkien's stories take place against a background of measureless depth that is ever-present in the creator's mind, and gives his characters a three-dimensional reality that is seldom found in imaginative fiction. In writing these stories he created a fantasy world brimming with elements of high adventure, suspense, mystery, and poetry that has yet to be surpassed by any author of this age. His tales entwine the history of Middle-earth with the cultures of its inhabitants, cultures so realistic they lead the reader to believe they may have really existed in our own history.

Tolkien first touched upon the creation of his world, Arda, in "The Silmarillion". Ilúvatar, the Father of All, created the world and the beings that inhabited it through the Music of the Ainur. The Ainur were the primordial spirits who existed with Him, and after seeing his vision, sang three verses to create Eä, the universe. Out of the Ainur, fifteen spirits took physical form and descended into the world to nurture it, and they were named the Valar. They strived to create the world seen in Ilúvatar's vision for his children, Elves and Men. However, not all was well. The most powerful of the Valar, Melkor, discovered the Children of Ilúvatar sleeping and wished that he to could have beings that would bend to his will. His jealousy corrupted him and from then on...