* AuthorExistenceFailure: Tolkien died before he could finish it. (But he spent years and years fiddling with the stories, so the published version is an editorial creation, assembling together various texts into a readable version that doesn't contradict itself.[[note]]Usually.[[/note]])
* DevelopmentHell: Tolkien began writing ''The Silmarillion'' during the FirstWorldWar and it was published only in 1977, over sixty years after its first conception.
** SavedFromDevelopmentHell: J.R.R.Tolkien worked on it from WWI to his death - over fifty years! - and it was published posthumously by his son Christopher in 1977. Most Tolkien fans agree it was definitely worth it.
* ExtremelyLengthyCreation: Tolkien started work on what would become this in 1914. After his death in 1973 it still wasn't finished. It was finally published in 1977 by his son Christopher.
* NamesTheSame: In RealLife, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ainu_people there is a culture of Edain called the Ainu]]..
* NoAdaptationsAllowed: The Tolkien estate has forbidden any film adaptations of the book, due to dissatisfaction with [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings the LOTR movies]].
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** In some stories printed in ''The History of Middle-earth'', Tolkien noted that Ungoliant was killed by Eärendil on his voyages. He later dropped this idea and had her [[ShrugOfGod possibly]] devour herself.
** Ungoliant was [[Literature/TheHistoryOfMiddleEarth originally]] a primeval spirit of Darkness, whose origins were completely unknown, though presumably a creature from the Void. This is changed in later versions of ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', where it is more evident that she was one of the Maiar that served Melkor [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere until she deserted him]].
** The first versions of Lúthien and her tale are very different from how the story finally shaped out to be. Originally, she was a blue-eyed blonde dressed up [[WomanInWhite in white]], Daeron was her brother, and Beren was an elf, Sauron was [[CatsAreMean a huge cat]], she didn't die but walked into Valinor over Helcaraxë to meet Mandos, and so forth.
** In some drafts for the ''Akallabêth'', Míriel fell in love with Ar-Pharazôn, married him voluntarily, and gave up most of her power to him.
** In the earliest drafts, elves had a very different form of {{Immortality}} - they shrank as they got older, becoming MiniatureSeniorCitizens. This was an attempt to explain how the old Norse concept of human-sized elves gave rise to tiny Disney-esque fairies.
* WordOfSaintPaul: Christopher Tolkien's commentaries and edits on posthumous works. Also his version of the war between Doriath and the Dwarves, which his father never got around to writing.

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!!Tropes inspired by this work:

* HeavyMithril
** Music/BlindGuardian's ''Nightfall in Middle-earth'' is [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic a concept album]] based on the Silm.
** Epidemia's "Fëanor."

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