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At last, we are given insight into The Silmarillion itself,
This review is from: Morgoth's Ring: The Later Silmarillion, Part 1, Vol. 1 (Hardcover)
The most important part of this book is the section titled "Laws and Customs of the Eldar". For the only time in his long career of writing essays and opinions essentially intended only for himself the author of The Lord of the Rings set aside story and drama to explore the social and cultural heritage of the Noldor and the Eldar in general.
All the other works in this book fall into place only if the reader understands the peculiar outlook that Tolkien envisioned for the Elves. They were not truly deathless, but recognized many forms of death. And for the Elves the union of spirit and body was as intrinsic as breathing and life. All their griefs therefore proceeded from the disruption of these fundamental precepts in Aman, where such disruption should never have occurred.
Though people speak highly of "Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth" it really has no meaning without the context provided by "Laws and Customs". A great many questions are answered in very matter-of-fact fashion by the author, often as asides.
The last section, "Myths Transformed", actually leaps ahead to a period late in Tolkien's life when he began to unravel all the tales and mysteries and design a completely different cosmology. Had he finished this later work, Tolkien would have rewritten his Silmarillion completely and in doing so would have destroyed some of the most beautiful myths of our time.