Before There Were Hobbits: 'The Silmarillion' Quiz
by Staff
"The Silmarillion" details the rich background of the more well-known tales "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" for dedicated Tolkien fans. How much do you know about the earlier ages of Middle-earth? Take this quiz to find out.

"The Silmarillion" is named after what?

  • the Silmarils, Elven gems of great power
  • Silmarellor, the First Lord of Beleriand
  • "The Silmarillion," a book written in the First Age and handed down through the kings of Numenor

The first part of "The Silmarillion," "Ainulindale," is Tolkien's version of what type of mythological story?

  • creation myth
  • story of the Great Flood
  • a mortal ascending to godhood

What is the name of the divine being who existed before the creation of the universe?

  • Ea
  • Eru Iluvatar
  • Melkor

The Ainur are divine beings born from what?

  • the mixing of the void and the light
  • Iluvatar's thoughts and ideas
  • the death throes of the previous incarnation of the universe

How do the Ainur create the universe?

  • They mold it from the primeval clay.
  • They sing a song together.
  • The various elements of the universe (stars, planets, etc.) are the offspring of the Ainur.

How does Melkor, the most powerful Ainur, work to disrupt the creation of the universe?

  • He lies to the other Ainur about Iluvatar's plan for the song.
  • He sings loud, discordant music.
  • He murders his brother, Manwe, the primary singer of the song.

Who are the Children of Iluvatar?

  • the Valar and the Maia
  • Melkor and Manwe
  • Men and Elves

The Ainur then create Arda, the world where all of Tolkien's other tales take place (Middle-earth is just part of that world). Melkor wants to rule Arda. What happens to him after the Ainur go to Arda?

  • He disguises himself as a mortal on Arda.
  • The other Ainur invade his fortress and imprison him in the Halls of Mandos.
  • He reveals himself to Men and begins to corrupt them.

The "Valaquenta" section of "The Silmarillion" describes the Valar, powerful Ainur who come to live on Arda (sort of like Greek gods and goddesses). How many Valar are there?

  • 14
  • 77
  • four

The Valar are the more powerful Ainur of Arda. What are the lesser Ainur called?

  • Vesta
  • Olorin
  • Maiar

Each Maia is "attached" to a more powerful Valar. Which one is Sauron attached to?

  • Aule
  • Feanturi
  • Tulkas

Who awakened at Cuivienen?

  • Melkor
  • the Elves
  • Sauron

What is the continent where the Valar live, which the Elves are invited to?

  • Svagos
  • Beleriand
  • Aman

How does Melkor create the Balrogs?

  • He tricks Iluvatar into creating them for him.
  • He grows them from ground watered with the blood of Elves.
  • They are fallen Maiar that he tempts into joining him.

Who creates the Silmarils?

  • Feanor
  • Fingolfin
  • Ungoliant

Why are the Silmarils so powerful?

  • Feanor infuses them with light from the two divine trees that light Valinor.
  • Feanor crafts them in a magical cave.
  • Feanor is aided in their construction by the finest Dwarven smiths.

What does Melkor do after destroying the trees?

  • uses their power to create a race of servants and soldiers, the Orcs
  • creates his own realm, shrouded in shadow, which would later be known as Mordor
  • kills Feanor's father and steals the Silmarils

The true cost of Melkor's theft is that it stirs pride, greed and jealousy and leads someone to commit a terrible betrayal. Who is it?

  • Feanor
  • the lesser Maiar
  • Ungoliant

What is the Oath of Feanor?

  • Feanor's declaration that he will hunt and even kill anyone who keeps the Silmarils from him, whether its Melkor, the Valar or other Elves.
  • Melkor's declaration that he will hunt and kill Feanor and all his children.
  • The Valar's declaration that Feanor will never set foot in Valinor ever again.

After he returns to Middle-earth, what is Melkor's name changed to?

  • Gogmoth
  • Morgoth
  • Morrigh

Melian is a Maia who marries an Elf and rules the Elven kingdom of Doriath. What is "the Girdle of Melian"?

  • a magic ring of mists that prevents anyone from entering Doriath uninvited
  • a magic garment that allows Melian to maintain a physical form
  • a rope that Melian uses to bind prisoners and force them to speak truthfully

Who leaves permanent scars on Morgoth's face?

  • Thorondor, king of the Eagles
  • Glaurung the dragon
  • Ecthelion, the Elven hero

The Nirnaeth Arnoediad is a major battle in which Morgoth finally gains control over much of northern Beleriand. What does "Nirnaeth Arnoediad" translate to?

  • the Mountains of Death
  • the Battle of Unnumbered Tears
  • the Battle of the Shattered Heavens

When the mortal Man Beren enters Doriath, whom does he fall in love with?

  • Galadriel
  • Luthien, daughter of Melian and Thingol
  • a nameless Maia he sees dancing in the forest

What is Thingol's condition for allowing the marriage?

  • Beren must steal one of the Silmarils from Morgoth.
  • Beren must slay the dragon Glaurung.
  • Beren must forge new Silmarils.

How does Beren accomplish the task?

  • Beren challenges Morgoth to one-on-one combat on the Battle Plain and defeats Morgoth by chopping off his foot.
  • Luthien casts a spell that put Morgoth to sleep, allowing Beren to pry a Silmaril from the crown.
  • Beren bribes one of Morgoth's subjects into switching one of the Silmarils with a fake.

What happens to Beren's Silmaril?

  • It's shattered by a blow from Morgoth's mace.
  • It's lost in Glaurung's hoard.
  • It's ingested, along with Beren's hand, by the greatest werewolf in the universe.

What is the name of the hidden Elven city that finally falls to Morgoth, but only after yet another betrayal from within?

  • Ard-galen
  • Dellenor
  • Gondolin

What do Earendil and Elwing do with Beren's Silmaril years later?

  • They set it in a crown that becomes a symbol of Elven power until the Third Age.
  • They take it back to Valinor to convince the Valar to help them defeat Morgoth.
  • They hide it away jealously and are driven mad.

The resulting war, known as the War of Wrath, leads to Morgoth's defeat but has what other consequence?

  • the removal of Aman from Arda
  • the gradual fading of the Elves
  • the utter destruction of a huge portion of Middle-earth, which is lost beneath the ocean