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Silmarillion as a series?


Jan 6 2008, 5:14am

Post #1 of 14 (437 views)
Silmarillion as a series? Can't Post

Cool Hi there its Rigan pronounced (Higan), I'm new to TORN, I love Tolkien, and all of his main works. Any information on the Silmarillion as a series?
Thanks: Rigan.

N.E. Brigand

Jan 6 2008, 5:28am

Post #2 of 14 (340 views)
The Tolkien Estate holds the rights to the Silmarillion material. [In reply to] Can't Post

And as far as anyone knows, the Tolkien Estate has no intentions of selling those rights.
So it's unlikely.

But if they did: how many installments do you think a Silmarillion mini-series should have? What other serials would you want the filmmakers to emulate? Would the story end at the end of the "Quenta Silmarillion", or would it include the downfall of Númenor and the "Rings of Power" summary? How would audiences react to the lack of a protagonist for the series as a whole? What actors do you imagine in the various parts?

And welcome to TORN.

We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

We're on hiatus Dec. 24-Jan. 6 for the holidays.
Join us Jan. 7-13 for "Strider".


Jan 6 2008, 6:35am

Post #3 of 14 (348 views)
Silmarillion. [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, I didn't know the Silmarillion was still owned by the Tolkien estate, it makes sense.
I guess, it would make sense to include the downfall of Númenor and "rings of power" for the non Tolkien fans.
Yeah I agree, a Protagonist...good point, it would be difficult to retain consistancy with this immense story!
Actors, Eric Bana is a powerful Australian male actor and could suit a few roles, Anthony Hopkins as Dwarf king maybe, Mathew McConaughey as the high King Fingolfin perhaps, and Jared Leto as a youmg Dior, Kate Beckinsale as Melian or the young Nimloth. But to name a few.

They are my dream cast I guess.
What are your thoughts?


Forum Admin / Moderator

Jan 6 2008, 2:00pm

Post #4 of 14 (318 views)
I think the series [In reply to] Can't Post

might not cover every part, and it would be best shown as a group of stories, since the Sil is somewhat disconnected. The creation of the world, though beautiful, isn't much of a story, except for Melkor's dissonance, and the introduction of the Valar is kind of boring. So someone would have to look at the Sil as a whole and then decide which parts make a story, and create episodes of those stories out of that.

And welcome to TORN!

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.

NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


Jan 6 2008, 3:06pm

Post #5 of 14 (286 views)
yes good point [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah I agree, your right it could work as a section of stories! I also agree that the creation of Arda is beautiful, and would not suit for a story per say.
you must admit for us Tolkien fans it would be great to see, or maybe it should be just left alone as an awe inspiring book of history and wonder.

either way I'm satisfied, I have just purchased the unabridged Audio CD narrated by Martin Shaw, its great if you haven't already heard it.!

Talk soon: RiganWink


Jan 6 2008, 7:17pm

Post #6 of 14 (287 views)
movies [In reply to] Can't Post

I would rather see it in maybe 2 or 3 movies. I don't think a v show could really give it justice.

Theres some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and its worth fighting for.

Tol Eressea

Jan 6 2008, 7:20pm

Post #7 of 14 (448 views)
The Silmarillion on HBO [In reply to] Can't Post

Some time, when we were in this discussion, I said that productions such as Rome, Band of Brothers, and the upcoming Star Wars live action series demonstrate how TV has actually become a great way to produce what would be impossible for a feature film, with a comparable quality. That said, of course I'd love a Silmarillion series, and I do believe that will be possible in the long term, after everything is settled in the state once Christopher is no longer with us. But that's another entire topic for discussion.

What would a Silmarillion series allow? Different writers, different directors. That would be nice.

What would be necessary in Silmarillion series? Cohersion. As the Star Wars novels are planned, the series should have an overall visual and acoustic feel, with general guidelines creative teams for each chapter would have to follow, let's say, "guided creativity".

What would I love of a Silmarillion series? Well, it would be ideal if this was treated like a movie, and furthermore, an extension of LotR/The Hobbit that would mean Lee, Howe and Nasmith (very importantly so for any Silmarillion imagery) as conceptual artists, and why not, WETA in postproduction. It would be very nice to see this series, and know that it takes place in the same world than the theatrical LotR. That of course doesn't mean PJ or Howard Shore (necessarily), just keep treating Middle Earth as a historical place, whose appearance people already know.

The Silmarillion series could encompass the whole book. In fact, I just found the table of contents over at Barnes & Noble ( I borrowed my Silmarillion copy) and I will try to fit it into chapters, as I would think it could be distributed. Excuse me if I don't remember what exactly happens in each chapter, I just read the book once.

Chapter 1: The Prologue. It gives the background to the story in an hour. The creation, the Ainur, the first apperance of the Elves. It encompasses:



Of the Beginning of Days

Of Aule and Yavanna

Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor

Chapters 2 and 3: The Elves. Characters are introduced, the whole tree/lamps/sun and moon problematic is presented, the creation of the Silmarills. I think all these chapters are quite interesting to read, but could not be followed closely in many chapters.

Of Thingol and Melian

Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalie

Of Feanor and the Unchaining of Melkor

Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor

Of the Darkening of Valinor

Of the Flight of the Noldor

Of the Sindar

Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor

Chapter 4 and 5: Men. Characters, and the Houses of Men are introduced, the continuing drama of the Noldor is developped.

Of Men

Of the Return of the Noldor

Of Beleriand and its Realms

Of the Noldor in Beleriand

Of Maeglin

Of the Coming of Men into the West

From then on, the stories are more concrete and movie friendly, as well as character driven.

Chapter 6: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin
Chapters 7 and 8: Of Beren and Luthien
Chapter 9: Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad
Chapters 10 and 11: Of Turin Turambar
Chapter 12: Of the Ruin of Doriath (This one is a tricky one, but I believe it justifies its own chapter, because Thingol and Melian are an important part opf many of the prior stories)
Chapters 13 and 14: Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin
Chapters 15 and 16: Of the Voyage of Earendil and the War of Wrath
Chapters 17, 18 and 19: Akallabeth (3 chapters to allow full devellopment of Númenor, using chapter 19 to show the creation of the Gondor and Arnor, the planting of the White Tree, etc.)
Chapter 20:Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age (This should be consistent with the movies within the possibilities of the time, it is an effective closure to a 20 chapter series.)

This is assuming each chapter is 1 hour long. So there, that's my proposal, what do you think?

Let it be heard! We want Jackson for The Hobbit!

Essay winner of the Show us your Hobbit Pride Giveway!


Jan 6 2008, 11:13pm

Post #8 of 14 (270 views)
*Applause* [In reply to] Can't Post

Great Job Compa! ANYONE who can sort out the Sil is a hero in my book. You don't know how long it even took me to sort out even the Noldor and the Teleri, ships and all. Smile Let alone the Elf Kingdoms. I think the first thing to decide is what characters you would want to be portrayed onscreen, and build the stories around the characters, rather than decide which chapter/stories to show. People like Melkor, Sauron, Feanor, Nimloth, Ungoliant, Manwe, Ulmo, Aule, Yavanna (or a council of the Valar like the Greek Gods on Mount Olympus-you could show them standing around a table), Thingol, Melian, Beren, Luthien, Galdriel, Tuor, Huor and Morwen, Turin, Nienna, Glaurung, Mim...well, I could go on and on. I know that's covering only a third of the most-well known so far:)

If you could do something similar to what the BBC did with ":I, Claudius"...but in a "film" mode, not a TV.play one-- it would be great.

And mae govannen--welcome to TORN, Rigan/Gracie! ! It's great to have you here!

(This post was edited by Sunflower on Jan 6 2008, 11:15pm)


Jan 7 2008, 12:47am

Post #9 of 14 (262 views)
I love Martin Shaws reading of the Sil ! [In reply to] Can't Post

The book really came alive for me with his narration. I can't exactly define the tone, except to call it heroic. Shaw does the short dramatic speeches of the Valar, Feanor, Hurin,etc...so well, so stirring, that I became convinced the Sil could be made into good films.

Wow. Do you take the whole thing on, or condense it ?

My initial thought is condensed, but still made into 3 major theatrical films. Yes, it is very different and risky, but the movie world I think is poverty stricken when it comes to good original material. Huge success's are usually those that take people in a new direction. Tolkien's messages in these stories might find an equally hope-impoverished audience.

The entire story approach, in a form like Compa mighty describes is not something I have really considered at length before. I would guess it would have a lot of screenplay dialog scenes and less special effects/dramatic vistas. That might not be a bad thing, but I its audience might be smaller.

Tol Eressea

Jan 7 2008, 7:51am

Post #10 of 14 (244 views)
Hehe, thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

You're too kind. You're right too, I'm probablly going too literal by the book, however, it does seem extra difficult to do The Silmarillion as a character story, rather than a story in which a given character happens to appear.

As you say, there are far too many characters, and several of them are "gods". Those are always tricky to portray. I do believe the ones that most "glue" the whole story together would be Thingol and Melian, but they are not in the wars up north.

The Silmarillion is indeed a tricky thing to do, and every fan certainly has in his/her mind a way to do it. Meanwhile, we can always speculate. After all, in this kind of forums we live out of speculation, don't we? Wink

Let it be heard! We want Jackson to direct The Hobbit!

Essay winner of the Show us your Hobbit Pride Giveway!


Jan 7 2008, 10:26am

Post #11 of 14 (252 views)
Martin Shaw & Silmarillion [In reply to] Can't Post

I totally feel the same when I listen to the audio book, your description is spot on!
As for the Silmarillion on screen, it all sounds good! TV series and or 3 theatrical releases!

I hope they do make it in my life time!

regards: riganSmile


Jan 7 2008, 10:42am

Post #12 of 14 (251 views)
I like this idea! [In reply to] Can't Post

I've really had a hard time thinking that the Sil could survive a translation to a screen storytelling, but this kind of approach really might work! Short chunks of story, rather than trying to chop a bunch of stuff out to make a coherent movie.

Now, all we need is to convince HBO.



"an seileachan"

"And we must all bring Provisions."
"Bring what ?"
"Things to eat."
"Oh!" said Pooh happily. "I thought you said Provisions.
I'll go and tell them." And he stumped off.


Jan 7 2008, 4:53pm

Post #13 of 14 (245 views)
Bad Noldor...No Silmaril! [In reply to] Can't Post

If we could get a full treatment of the book, as you suggest, it would be a gift beyond price. It would complete the cycle & then I would be ready for another adventure.

But if as major films, I see three, with drastically altered screenplays, and my roughest cut would be:

The Silmarillian

The Children of Hurin

The Akallabeth

A possible last scene of the Akallabeth, would be Elendil climbing up that prow shaped cliff, where Minas Tirith would one day stand and singing that song that Aragorn did at his coronation.


Jan 7 2008, 10:53pm

Post #14 of 14 (239 views)
Convince HBO *and * CT [In reply to] Can't Post

(the latter being more of a challenge).

That said, I completely agree that an HBO miniseries would be the best approach. They would be most likely to deliver a quality product.

The continuity issue would not be a problem. Most miniseries have multiple writers and directors. They're accustomed to working with strict guidelines as to visual consistency as well as character profiles. Deadwood and Six Feet Under, not to mention Sopranos, are good examples of multi-year, many-episode series with many writers and directors over the years that maintained a high degree of continuity.

"Are you frightened?"

Discussing "Strider" Jan. 6-11 in the Reading Room

Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'


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