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Aldekim
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re: Tolkien TV?

An interesting thought

The Silmarillion TV Series: Take Tolkien The Way Of Game Of Thrones

http://www.idigitaltimes.com/silmarillion-tv-series-take-tolkien-way-game-thrones-454371


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Andeon
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re: Tolkien TV?

I get the sentiment behind the article, but I don't think the author really understands what he's asking for. Game of Thrones seems to work fairly well on TV. But the content of the Silmarillion isn't really a story in the traditional sense. It's a lot more like a history - very biblical in style. I really feel that adapting the Silmarillion would basically have to follow a format similar to dramatizing the bible.

Now, granted, the Silmarillion can probably do a little better, as dramatizing the bible would be likely to draw out some rather...exuberant criticisms, whereas at least the Silmarillion is comfortably fictional for most people, and could probably be dramatized without excessively offending folks for the pure sake of having been dramatized...

however, I still think, to properly convert the Silmarillion into any action-media format (film, television or even stage) would require an enormous amount of new writing. The few moment of actual character action and dialogue in the Silmarillion are quite rare and brief - you'd have to spend an impressive amount of time effectively re-writing various scenes to capture the overall meaning and impact of the text while creating almost entirely new, moment-to-moment activity for the characters to play out on the screen.

I don't think it's impossible - I'm just saying, I'm pretty sure it's not as easy as "Game of Thrones is a big fantasy story that got converted into TV so we can do it with the Silmarillion too".

I mean...just read Ender's Game and then try to watch the movie...


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Kiralynn
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re: Tolkien TV?

I really wanted to read that page and watch the video. Unfortunately, two advertisements embedded in the page played at the same time. They wouldn't close or mute. They lagged the whole page so badly, I couldn't see anything. I can comment on the topic, however.

I think Tolkien's works would make a far better series than Game of Thrones. For me, GoT has too much twisted sex and violence, going way beyond the normal sex and violence we see on American TV. Sure, they cut quite a bit of that out of the TV show when making the adaptation, but not enough for my personal taste. There's no Campbellian style hero to root for or narrative to follow. I prefer stories that have deeper meaning, have characters I can relate to, and address issues that apply to real life. In that way, Tolkien's stories far surpass Game of Thrones. I think his stories are far more deserving of a big budget, major network production. No offense to GoT fans -- that show has amazing settings, costumes, and acting. It's the story that keeps me at arm's reach.


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Andeon
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re: Tolkien TV?

Kiralynn - While I'm generally with you as far as the "content" of GoT goes (I *want* to like the show - dragons, swords, magic ice zombies...if it was JUST that stuff, I'd be utterly in love with the show - it's ALL THE AWFUL AWFUL PEOPLE that I can't stand watching night after night doing awful things to other awful people for being awful...ugh...), I think the overall structure of GoT isn't like the Silmarillion.

Granted, I haven't read GoT, so I may have completely misinterpreted the actual writing style, but based on how it's played out in the TV series and how people who HAVE read it compare it to the TV series, it doesn't sound like there has been a drastic conversion between the content of the writing and the activity on-screen - whereas, with the Silmarillion, I anticipate that to fill the necessary screen time with moment-to-moment activity of characters, you'd have to CREATE a fairly large amount of character-to-character dialogue and transitional activity between key scenes to create a decently coherent TV series, and that's a dicey subject.

Writing new material for Tolkien is...a very serious undertaking, if you're going to be serious about it (of course, I don't mean *you* specifically - I'm talking to anyone now that is thinking of dramatizing the Silmarillion). I don't think just anyone can suddenly step in and "write" new tolkien for tolkien - that doesn't mean that NO ONE can do it - it just means that I don't think it's something you can just say "cuz one guy converted a book to a tv series we can do it with any fantasy book", which is what I got from the general gist of the article.


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Tearna Quickfoot
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I've not seen the TV version, but did read the first 3 books of GoT. You are not off, Andeon. It is a very dark story which focuses on the ugly, dog eat dog for ultimate domination, side of mankind. There are good people in the books, but the story isn't about good vs evil and good winning for often the good die at the hand of evil, and not just the 'red shirt' type characters.

The author creates great characterizations ... makes you be emotional about them. I think that is his strong suit and what kept me reading for 3 books. But, the storyline is a mess... or storylineS are a mess.. and it is very depressing unless you like the ugly side of humanity.

I'm not sure what the story is about really. I'm not entirely sure the author knows where it is going, and hence why it is taking such a very long time to write the next book. :)

I read some of the Simillarion years ago now and don't recall much of what I read, but I think you are right there as far as dramatizing it. It reads too much like a genealogy and history to make a show of its own. It is more backstory for Middle Earth than a tale in it's own right. I think it would have to be done like a documentary if done at all.


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Byrcha
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re: Tolkien TV?

I too would like to see a treatment of the Silmarillion -- tv, movie, web, animated, puppet theater, whatever. If someone can do it properly/respectfully, maybe the estate will dole out the rights to make it happen. Which means it probably won't resemble Game of Thrones -- at all -- and that's probably a good thing. GoT has its place, but tis a different place than Middle Earth. And because there would be so much creative license for The Silmarillion (plot/characters are there, but most dialog would have to be created) I can see the estate being more than leery about assigning the rights. Still, someone somewhere ought to be able to do a decent job of it, I would hope.

Perhaps we could have a go at The Silmarillion for an upcoming LMB Book Club selection? The challenge though I think is to perhaps skip the creation/mythology/genealogy sections up front and get to the part about the Silmarils themselves. Yeah, yeah, I know; blasphemy. I've read The Silmarillion a handful of times, but still recall the struggle of dealing with it that very first time; you think that if the entire book is going to be like the first 50 pages you won't have any trouble sleeping at night. It is interesting and useful in more of an academic sense, much like the appendices of LOTR, and important for understanding the later chapters, but if folks fall asleep they won't even read the later chapters. The story of Beren and Luthien is I think unique in all of Tolkien's tales, yet many don't get there because they start at the beginning of the book. I don't know, something to ponder anyway.


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Andeon
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re: Tolkien TV?

you know byrcha - now that you mention it - I think that'd be a great way to *start* dipping our toes, so to speak, into dramatizing the Silmarillion

just take one scene - like perhaps, when (and I only barely remember the sequence) but when whatsisname brother comes to whatsisothername brother in the throne room and yields the whateverhedidwrong thing (i'm sorry - I'm massacreing the story - but hopefully someone will recognize what I'm talking about) and dramatizing JUST THAT SEQUENCE - just take one important scene, and dramatize just that moment.

Activity can be scripted out according to the text - and then get a small group of people to write down the moment-to-moment dialogue that seems appropriate to the characters (remembering to keep dialogue in keeping with not only the character's current state, but their actions prior to the scene and at least relatively in keeping with momentous things they will do in the near future)

we can turn that into a little 5-10 minute "play" and give people a taste of what dramatizing the Silmarillion might actually be like - and get a taste for ourselves as to what turns out to be hard, and what turns out to be easy, and so on, about the same process.

just an idea...


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Molly Bayberry
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re: Tolkien TV?

Just for fun... The Tale of Aredhel and Eöl, 4-scene play for performing in LotRO:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ghQ38zdpnDtElTkMCsfVXOJaAdryoSfIEZBQ7Kan0R4/edit?usp=sharing

I wrote this years ago but could never find nine other elves to act in it. It was to be part of a trilogy about The Fall of Gondolin. I used quotes from The Silmarillion where they existed and supplied the rest. The hardest scene to write was Scene 2, where Eöl seduces Aredhel in the woods... ;)

I think you all are right, Kira and Byrcha and Andeon. A Silmarillion series would be NOTHING like GoT-- the world should look different and the stories would have more beauty and poetry in them, as well as sadness. Nothing about GoT is poetic.

It would take a really good writer to mimic Tolkien's style to supply dialogue and missing scenes. I don't know if it could be done.

And yes, Byrcha, if the Book Club takes on The Silmarillion, we could skip the Bible-ish Ainulindalë and the Valaquenta and not miss much.


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