Can we please adapt the Silmarillion?! These stories need to be visualized. (SPOILERS ABOUND)

And I am gonna spoil plot elements of the stories in question because it needs to be understood how awesome the Silmarillion is.

You wanna know how even more awesome the stories of the First Age of Middle Earth is compared to the Lord of the Rings? The ultimate climax of the story, the War of Wrath, had a badass Half-Elf Hero leading the army of the Gods in a final battle against the ultimate villain, Morgoth.

Morgoth unleashes his last desperate Assault against the host of the gods by setting loose Flying Dragons which almost devestated the army of the gods, then the aforementioned Half Elf Hero came in flying on a litiral flying ship called Vingilot which was hallowed and blessed by the Gods and with him also came the Great Eagles and thus there was Battle in the Skies between the Half Elf Hero on his flying ship with the Eagles next to him against the Flying Dragons one of them being the biggest and dangerous dragon of the time.

I want to see that part visualized, and given sound, motion, and set to epic choir bombing music.

image

And that is not all, there is also the tale of Beren and Luthien, the Tale of Children of Hurin, the Fall of Gondolin, a Feanor's Oath of the Silmarils. And of course just Morgoth in general. I especially want to see his duel with Fingolfin visualized, because Tolkien's writing made the fight sound more hype than anything we have seen in Lord of the Rings, I mean look at this illustrsation, Morgoth is the truest example of why you should dread the title of "The Dark Lord" and all these pretenders like Darth Vader and Voldemort barely come close to this guy's level of evil.

image

I fell in love with the stories of the Silmarillion more than The Lord of the Rings. That's what I get for reading the book more often.

OP's great throbbing manliness aside, I agree. LotR proved that epic fantasy films have huge potential, and GoT proved serialized fantasy tv has a market, so The Silmarillion should be a priority to get made. It's full of tragic characters and awesome stories. The entire journey of Feanor and his family spanning over 500 years and featuring the death of nearly everyone and everything the elves valued makes a hell of a story, and I'd love to see it performed.

TheVampwizimp:
OP's great throbbing manliness aside, I agree. LotR proved that epic fantasy films have huge potential, and GoT proved serialized fantasy tv has a market, so The Silmarillion should be a priority to get made. It's full of tragic characters and awesome stories. The entire journey of Feanor and his family spanning over 500 years and featuring the death of nearly everyone and everything the elves valued makes a hell of a story, and I'd love to see it performed.

What I want to know is casting. Because I already have ideas on which actors will be which charcaters. And I am mostly thinking in Voice Actors because I think the best way to adapt the Silmarillion is through Animation.

Samtemdo8:

TheVampwizimp:
OP's great throbbing manliness aside, I agree. LotR proved that epic fantasy films have huge potential, and GoT proved serialized fantasy tv has a market, so The Silmarillion should be a priority to get made. It's full of tragic characters and awesome stories. The entire journey of Feanor and his family spanning over 500 years and featuring the death of nearly everyone and everything the elves valued makes a hell of a story, and I'd love to see it performed.

What I want to know is casting. Because I already have ideas on which actors will be which charcaters. And I am mostly thinking in Voice Actors because I think the best way to adapt the Silmarillion is through Animation.

That's an interesting idea, and I can certainly see the appeal. I think we might see a Silmarillion, but if we do if may yet be a while. Remember the first Hobbit came 9 years after Return of the King. And the Hobbit movies were not as well received, critically or financially, as the original Lord of the Rings Trilogy (they have about the same overall earning, but the LoTR trilogy cost about a third of The Hobbit)

It'd be dope though.

Samtemdo8:

TheVampwizimp:
OP's great throbbing manliness aside, I agree. LotR proved that epic fantasy films have huge potential, and GoT proved serialized fantasy tv has a market, so The Silmarillion should be a priority to get made. It's full of tragic characters and awesome stories. The entire journey of Feanor and his family spanning over 500 years and featuring the death of nearly everyone and everything the elves valued makes a hell of a story, and I'd love to see it performed.

What I want to know is casting. Because I already have ideas on which actors will be which charcaters. And I am mostly thinking in Voice Actors because I think the best way to adapt the Silmarillion is through Animation.

You know, I was about to make a Hobbit trilogy joke here, but then I got really sad that they wasted one of my favorite childhood books for a cgi cash grab.

I wouldn't mind seeing Ungoliant being utterly badass.

Can I put my foot in the door and say that I don't want a Silmarillion adaptation?

Thing is, The Silmarillion is really a case of in-universe mythology, dealing with literal gods and whatnot. It's not something that I can see working as a form of conventional narrative. Not to mention that for a good portion of it, there's no humans for quite awhile. So for a big chunk you have to focus on the Valar, then the elves, who have to deal with Morgoth running around, and...yeah. I think this is a case of where we should leave well enough alone.

Besides, there's already a Lord of the Rings TV series in production, so fat chance of anyone doing The Silmarillion in the meantime.

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Hawki:
Can I put my foot in the door and say that I don't want a Silmarillion adaptation?

Thing is, The Silmarillion is really a case of in-universe mythology, dealing with literal gods and whatnot. It's not something that I can see working as a form of conventional narrative. Not to mention that for a good portion of it, there's no humans for quite awhile. So for a big chunk you have to focus on the Valar, then the elves, who have to deal with Morgoth running around, and...yeah. I think this is a case of where we should leave well enough alone.

Besides, there's already a Lord of the Rings TV series in production, so fat chance of anyone doing The Silmarillion in the meantime.

I have to agree here. The Silmarillion isn't really a story itself exactly. To really make a movie out of it they would need to cut it up into many sections, create their own further detail about interactions etc, and I kind of hate it when they have free reign over new content.

The Silmarillion as it stands would be tons of exposition with a bunch of small stories here and there.

As far as TV shows go, the devil is in the details. You mentioned GOT as an example and I think its quite fitting here, because that show took a hardcore nose dive into mediocrity as soon as they ran out of books to strictly follow. Despite GRRM providing a rough framework for the show to continue along while he (never) finishes the series they couldn't begin to match the standard set by the first 4 seasons, with dodgy dialogue and logical inconsistensies plaguing almost every single scene in the latest season.

The problem with adapting the Silmarillion is that this hypothetical show would be like that from the start. Theres about enough dialogue in that book to fill maybe one hour of television and its divided between many different stories that take place over vastly different time periods. Show writers would have to fill in these massive gaps with their own inventions and quite frankly you'd be a fool to trust them with that task. LOTR was different because it gave enough material for 3 full movies and the writers just had to slightly adjust small parts to make it better for the big screen.

On top of that, most of the scenes just wouldn't translate that well anyway. Fingolfin vs Morgoth probably looks a lot better in your head - or in that still painting - than it would in a moving, heavily CGI animated TV scene. Thousands of Balrogs sounds awesome but would probably look pretty underwhelming. The silmarillions look a lot more beautiful in your head than on TV, where they'd just be one really lame fake large diamond with some kind of glowing effect edited on.

So I have to disagree. I'm actually hard pressed to think of a book which would be less suited to a TV adaptation.

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:
As far as TV shows go, the devil is in the details. You mentioned GOT as an example and I think its quite fitting here, because that show took a hardcore nose dive into mediocrity as soon as they ran out of books to strictly follow. Despite GRRM providing a rough framework for the show to continue along while he (never) finishes the series they couldn't begin to match the standard set by the first 4 seasons, with dodgy dialogue and logical inconsistensies plaguing almost every single scene in the latest season.

The problem with adapting the Silmarillion is that this hypothetical show would be like that from the start. Theres about enough dialogue in that book to fill maybe one hour of television and its divided between many different stories that take place over vastly different time periods. Show writers would have to fill in these massive gaps with their own inventions and quite frankly you'd be a fool to trust them with that task. LOTR was different because it gave enough material for 3 full movies and the writers just had to slightly adjust small parts to make it better for the big screen.

On top of that, most of the scenes just wouldn't translate that well anyway. Fingolfin vs Morgoth probably looks a lot better in your head - or in that still painting - than it would in a moving, heavily CGI animated TV scene. Thousands of Balrogs sounds awesome but would probably look pretty underwhelming. The silmarillions look a lot more beautiful in your head than on TV, where they'd just be one really lame fake large diamond with some kind of glowing effect edited on.

So I have to disagree. I'm actually hard pressed to think of a book which would be less suited to a TV adaptation.

Yep, said perfectly. When new writers add stuff in it often just makes me cringe. Sometimes it'll work and sometimes it's needed for more convenience, but generally I find it doesn't really fit the proper feeling of the original work. And the sheer amount that would have to be added in to make it a thing is ridiculous

cjspyres:

Samtemdo8:

TheVampwizimp:
OP's great throbbing manliness aside, I agree. LotR proved that epic fantasy films have huge potential, and GoT proved serialized fantasy tv has a market, so The Silmarillion should be a priority to get made. It's full of tragic characters and awesome stories. The entire journey of Feanor and his family spanning over 500 years and featuring the death of nearly everyone and everything the elves valued makes a hell of a story, and I'd love to see it performed.

What I want to know is casting. Because I already have ideas on which actors will be which charcaters. And I am mostly thinking in Voice Actors because I think the best way to adapt the Silmarillion is through Animation.

You know, I was about to make a Hobbit trilogy joke here, but then I got really sad that they wasted one of my favorite childhood books for a cgi cash grab.

Bah the Hobbit movie was alright. I mean how can you film Erebor with Practical Effects? Who do you film Smaug with Practical Effects?

I do prefer Smaug to look like a proper Dragon like the picture above instead of the Wyvern he's portrayed in the movie.

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:
As far as TV shows go, the devil is in the details. You mentioned GOT as an example and I think its quite fitting here, because that show took a hardcore nose dive into mediocrity as soon as they ran out of books to strictly follow. Despite GRRM providing a rough framework for the show to continue along while he (never) finishes the series they couldn't begin to match the standard set by the first 4 seasons, with dodgy dialogue and logical inconsistensies plaguing almost every single scene in the latest season.

The problem with adapting the Silmarillion is that this hypothetical show would be like that from the start. Theres about enough dialogue in that book to fill maybe one hour of television and its divided between many different stories that take place over vastly different time periods. Show writers would have to fill in these massive gaps with their own inventions and quite frankly you'd be a fool to trust them with that task. LOTR was different because it gave enough material for 3 full movies and the writers just had to slightly adjust small parts to make it better for the big screen.

On top of that, most of the scenes just wouldn't translate that well anyway. Fingolfin vs Morgoth probably looks a lot better in your head - or in that still painting - than it would in a moving, heavily CGI animated TV scene. Thousands of Balrogs sounds awesome but would probably look pretty underwhelming. The silmarillions look a lot more beautiful in your head than on TV, where they'd just be one really lame fake large diamond with some kind of glowing effect edited on.

So I have to disagree. I'm actually hard pressed to think of a book which would be less suited to a TV adaptation.

A lot of the stories are expanded upon via poems so we technically have dialoge, how challenging would it be to convert from Poetry to Prose?

Samtemdo8:
A lot of the stories are expanded upon via poems so we technically have dialoge, how challenging would it be to convert from Poetry to Prose?

Very because you somehow need to turn a one and a half page poem into an entire hour of television.

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:

Samtemdo8:
A lot of the stories are expanded upon via poems so we technically have dialoge, how challenging would it be to convert from Poetry to Prose?

Very because you somehow need to turn a one and a half page poem into an entire hour of television.

Very much this. The Silmarillion is the length of the typical novel that is turned into a movie or single tv season. However, it is a collection of a large number of largely unconnected stories instead of a single one. Any type of adaptation would either be a complete mess of unfollowable threads or require an exceedingly large amount of directorial improvisation that would end poorly.

Avnger:

RiseOfTheWhiteWolf:

Samtemdo8:
A lot of the stories are expanded upon via poems so we technically have dialoge, how challenging would it be to convert from Poetry to Prose?

Very because you somehow need to turn a one and a half page poem into an entire hour of television.

Very much this. The Silmarillion is the length of the typical novel that is turned into a movie or single tv season. However, it is a collection of a large number of largely unconnected stories instead of a single one. Any type of adaptation would either be a complete mess of unfollowable threads or require an exceedingly large amount of directorial improvisation that would end poorly.

I am nceroing because I have so much more to say about this:

How I would do a Simarllion adaption is make it into an Anthology series, I would title it "The Silmarillion: Tales of the First Age"

And there is one thing that conncets all these stories together, The Struggle against Morgoth.

And unlike White Wolf's post of the movie being live action with CGI special effects on TV, I would just have be all animation really, because Live Action is inherently limiting, especially to a fantasy and sci fi setting. I would either have it be 2D traditional animation, or all CGI witha realistic look like Blizzard Cinematics, or better yet, the cinematic trailer for Shadow of War, I mean Sauron in the game looks way better than how his movie's armor looked like (and looks better on Morgoth)

I'd love to see some of the stories from the Silmarillion, I'm not sure how it would work. The book skips very quickly over a number of years between significant events. I don't think that this would work well on TV.

How would you start it? The music and the early actions of Morgoth in Arda is important, but I don't know how you could represent it properly on screen. You could start later, but wouldn't that seem like starting in the middle of the story?

There are individual stories within the Silmarillion that have more details that were published by Christopher Tolkien, such as The Tale of Beren and Luthien. That is something that I'd like to see, but even that has issues. How do you show the significance of the Silmarils without losing the audience with apparently non-related stuff?

There is potential here, but I'd start with something that could work as a stand alone story and then progress to other connected stories if popularity and money allows.

I just realised that this thread was necro'd, but as I missed it the first time, I'll post anyway.

I'd watch it. I see a lot of the naysayers talking about how its a bunch of short stories, unconnected, separated by many years... that sort of thing. There is actually already that type of television show out there... anthology. Millennials might not be familiar with them, but they used to be fairly common. You get different guest writers working on scripts, different directors, new casts... every episode. Heck, if you animate it you could get different artists doing different animation styles for each episode. It could be used to punctuate the difference between eras. Or even have an episode or 2 go live action mix that with an animated series. There really is a lot someone could do to make it fresh.

Yes, writers would have to flesh a lot out... so that's why you get good writers. That's the important part that a lot of series miss regardless of genre.

Basically; shows don't have to go down long, interconnected, drawn out, cliffhangared, storylines to be good. TV did just fine before bingewatching was a thing. Something like the Silmarillion could be pretty good... if it was done well and with care.

Well, considering that the Silmarilion was boring as shit and I never even made it to the halfway point, I'd so no. And really, all the Gods stuff isn't really all that interesting.

I dont think the story would work as an apdaptation. Hell, having read it, it barely qualifies as a narrative and has a large number of problems with audience accessibility (I blame the fact that Tolken died halfway through writing it)

The only mention of Gandalf is to say he won't be appearing in any form. It jumps around hundreds even thousands of years at a time and has the world being created by a song.

jademunky:
and has the world being created by a song.

As opposed to what?

Johnny Novgorod:

jademunky:
and has the world being created by a song.

As opposed to what?

I dunno, just wondering how you visualize something like that. Like a whole choir of angels is competing with their voice for what they think the world should be.

Hell, maybe it would be awesome, like the the Sopranos in the choir could be singing and that would be the show's cue to depict things like oceans while the deeper, more rumbling voice of Melkor would make mountains and valleys...... y'know I might actually watch that.

Anyhoo, I still maintain that the unfinished, hodge-podge-epic nature of the book would make it a huge problem to adapt.

Also, I think I speak for everyone when I say that the thing we really want to see is for them to give the first War of the Ring it's own Star Wars prequel treatment. Y'know how Sauron is all menacing and mysterious and stuff in LOTR? Well let's throw all that in the trash and Anakin him all up! We can have him and Elrond be kinda buddies or frenemies, have Sauron get all wangsty and moody, we can make millions selling this shit to Peter Jackson. (Yes I know that war was not in the Simarillion, just go with it)

These are the assholes that made the Hobbit 10 hours long. They will probably buy that Sauron prequel script that half of us here must have buried in their HD.

jademunky:

Johnny Novgorod:

jademunky:
and has the world being created by a song.

As opposed to what?

I dunno, just wondering how you visualize something like that. Like a whole choir of angels is competing with their voice for what they think the world should be.

Hell, maybe it would be awesome, like the the Sopranos in the choir could be singing and that would be the show's cue to depict things like oceans while the deeper, more rumbling voice of Melkor would make mountains and valleys...... y'know I might actually watch that.

Anyhoo, I still maintain that the unfinished, hodge-podge-epic nature of the book would make it a huge problem to adapt.

This was the music I was thinking when I was reading the Ainulindale:

Samtemdo8:

This was the music I was thinking when I was reading the Ainulindale:

At this point, you would be effectively making Fantasia. Now where'd I put muh monocle and tweed jacket? I suddenly fancy myself a night at the orchestra.

 

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