The Silmarillion in Bullet Points

Finding the time to read books is difficult these days.

Books have to compete with the ceaseless drone of social media, the distraction of the TV, the obligations of life, the allure of doing fun activities and hanging out with friends, and the demands of work or school.

How are the poor books supposed to cope?

sad puppy faceSome friends of mine and I were discussing reading the other week, bemoaning the skyscraper-high number of books to read, and the glaring lack of time to do it. Someone mentioned skimming books in order to fit more in, which led to the subject of bullet points in non-fiction books.

Bullet points summarize what the author said over the course of the chapter and make the main points easy to remember. In our busy lives, that’s a timesaving blessing akin to the invention of gas-powered farm machinery.

That led me to the thought, “What if fiction books had bullet points? How cool—and hilarious—would that be? Hey! I should turn that into a blog post.”

And here we are.

The one problem with sci-fi and fantasy, especially fantasy, is the length of the books. Go to the sci-fi/fantasy section of the bookstore or library and you’ll find dozens of tomes the thickness of four or five flat screen TVs.

They’re epic and all, but the time commitment can be intimidating.

Perhaps they’re full of confusing names, dozens of characters, and complex storylines that makes you break out in hives. Summaries are so much easier.

The solution?

Bullet points for fiction.

surprised monkeyToday, the guinea pig:

The Silmarillion

The Silmarillion

The Silmarillion


  • Eru Iluvatar creates mighty beings named the Ainur
  • The Ainur sing and the world forms, proving the power of music
  • Melkor plays rogue Ainur and weaves chords of dissonance
  • Children of Iluvatar born
  • Darkness enters
  • The Valar head into the world


  • History of the Valar, including many names
  • More history of the Valar, including powers and occupations
  • History of the Maiar, including names and loyalties
  • Melkor’s legacy of being an evil jerk


  • The world begins to flourish and more names appear
  • Elves and men distinguished from each other—men have freedom, but are mortal
  • Aule creates Dwarves
  • Discussion among Valar about various things
  • Melkor builds Angband and continues his mischief
  • Valar hold council and Varda creates some stars with long names
  • Elves hit the stage of Middle-earth
  • Melkor forms orcs
  • Big battle that changes shape of Middle-earth
  • Elves disagree on where they should live
  • Some paragraphs singing the praises of Melian
  • Sindar elves appear in the form of Thingol
  • Tales of more races
  • Details about the Noldor, whose names mostly begin with F
  • Facts about Feanor
  • Melkor plays the good guy and tricks folk
  • Feanor crafts the Silmarils
  • The Noldor have internal issues, mainly because Melkor spreads strife
  • Melkor does some more bad things
  • Darkness falls on Valinor
  • Various events surrounding the flight of the Noldor
  • Important facts about the Sindar (Gray Elves)
  • Valinor becomes hidden
  • Some tidbits about Men
  • Various events surrounding the return of the Noldor
  • Descriptions of Beleriand
  • Various events surrounding the Noldor in Beleriand
  • Mentions of Maeglin
  • Men enter the west and people involved in the Doom of the Noldor are listed
  • Morgoth (previously known as Melkor) mounts huge attack against Noldor
  • Fingolfin, High King of the Noldor, dies
  • Beleriand laid waste
  • Love story between Beren and Luthien, which includes stealing Silmarils from the crown of Morgoth
  • Account of an important battle with a complicated name
  • History of Turin Turambar
  • Hurin, father of Turin, suffers internal troubles
  • Elves kill each other and Doriath falls
  • A relative of Hurin and Turin does some awesome things and unites men and elves
  • Morgoth attacks Gondolin and important people die
  • Earendel goes sailing, giving Bilbo a reason to sing when he’s in Rivendell millennia later
  • Huge war against Morgoth
  • Ships built and Eldar sail into the West
  • Morgoth cast into the Timeless Void


  • Some history of sundry races and people
  • The rise of the Numenoreans, who are tall, free of sickness, and long-lived
  • Men of Numenor come to the mainland and have positive influence
  • Men of Numenor complain they can’t sail to the West
  • Sauron enters the picture as the main villain
  • He hates Numenoreans and snares some with a couple of the Nine Rings
  • Some confusing names and family trees
  • Sauron deceives Ar-Pharazon, king of Numenor
  • Sauron corrupts Numenor and the White Tree is cut down
  • Dark days for Numenor
  • Numenoreans sail to Valinor and are drowned
  • Middle-earth undergoes physical alteration
  • Elendil and sons found kingdoms in Middle-earth
  • Sauron’s spirit flees to Mordor
  • History of the Third Age
  • Tale of the War of the Ring
  • Important people including last of the Noldor, Ring-bearers, and Elrond sail into the West

See? Easier to read and remember than if you went through the entire book.

What did you think? I would love to hear your thoughts.


The Silmarillion in Bullet Points — 2 Comments

  1. Very helpful! Raises a lot of unanswered questions for me. Lots of “how are these connected?” But perhaps that’s what reading the book is for. 😉

    • Awesome. Yes, it’s only a brief overview. I found the content rather dense and slow, but who knows, you may enjoy reading the book. 🙂

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