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Should the Simarillion be made into a movie or not?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/21/2015 Category: Movies
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 367 times Debate No: 79956
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There should be a simarillion movie because this could open more Lord of the Rings movies. I was always a huge fan of The Lord Of The Rings movies and still am and I love what Peter Jackson did with the Hobbit. When I found out that there wasn't going to be a simarillion movie I was mad. Personally I loved Peter Jackson's movies more than the books. But if there was another movie then tons could be made about Morgoroth. Like how he escaped.


I will begin my counter-argument by saying that I absolutely love the books for The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and the Silmarillion. J.R.R. Tolkien is one of my personal favorite authors. While the Lord of the Rings movies were great, though not quite matching the quality of the books in my opinion, I was not that big a fan of the Hobbit films. They seemed to only be riding on the glory of the LotR movies, trying to re-create that epic tone and stretching it out into three movies, rather than keeping to the more lighthearted and adventurous tone of the book. The Silmarillion is far removed from either of these stories, and for a number of reasons that I will go into detail about, a film of The Silmarillion is both impractical and impossible.

It is important to note that movie rights to Silmarillion are in the hands of Tolkien's son Christopher [1], and he has a strong dislike for Peter Jackson's cinematic interpretations of Middle-earth. He has explicitly stated that he will never give Jackson the rights, so for the moment, a Silmarillion film is impossible. However, since this debate asks the question of whether a Silmarillion film
should be made as opposed to whether it can, I will continue.

Listed are some reasons why The Silmarillion should not be made into a movie:
1. Religious overtones
2. Incredibly epic story
3. Anthological structure

1. Religious overtones
Tolkien's view on religion was an interesting one, combining pagan Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian myths with Catholic tradition. Blending these, he created the Valar, Maiar, elves, and other such aspects of his world. The Silmarillion itself is like the Bible of Middle-earth, a detailed account of all of creation. Will the average moviegoing audience really be open to this? Religion is a controversial subject due to it being held close to the heart by so many people, and an entire film depicting what some might see as a mockery of Christian beliefs may not go over well. This is why the Silmarillion is only read by those truly interested in learning about Middle-earth's secrets; it delves deep into the mythology and lore and connects it intimately with what Tolkien saw as truth. While many are interested in Tolkien's books for the history and creativity, a vast amount more only enjoy the LotR and Hobbit movies for the cool action scenes and special effects. The Silmarillion is too focused on the beauty and rich history of Arda for that demographic to appreciate it.

2. Incredibly epic story
Some may argue that I am exaggerating with this title, but when the bare story of the Silmarillion is considered, it is twenty times more epic than Lord of the Rings. "Epic" in this case means on a grander scale and altering history more. Eru's creation of the Valar and Morgoth's wars against them take place on a huge and cosmic scale, while Frodo's quest to destroy the ring only influenced a small part of the planet of Arda. Each of the book's tales are of Biblical proportions, with epic visuals that dwarf anything present in Lord of the Rings. To put them on screen would be an ambitious project that would require a far greater budget than any of Jackson's earlier films, or else not do justice to them. Also, the characters of the Silmarillion include high-born elven kings, angelic spirits, and even God Himself at many points. Tolkien considered Lord of the Rings only a very small part of the vast history of Middle-earth, and this is for the better: viewers can relate to the struggles of a simple hobbit like Frodo, but certainly less to Manwë, a mighty spirit with power over wind and air, and his conflicts with Morgoth, who is unambiguously the Devil.

3. Anthological structure
The final and perhaps most important reason that the Silmarillion couldn't work as a film is that the book is not one continuous story. It is an anthology of over twenty stories, some connecting, some not. Even leaving out the creation story, the tale of Beren and Luthien alone could make for a full-length motion picture, as could that of the fall of Númenor. For non-fans, the plethora of outlandish names for elves, Men, kingdoms, and bloodlines will seem very daunting, as they all require memorization to fully appreciate the Silmarillion's stories. Moreover, there isn't a singular protagonist followed all throughout the book. The closest thing the book has to a continuous protagonist is Eru, who is quite explicitly God, and the Supreme Being is not known for being a relatable main character. The book has several protagonists for its respective sections, such as Tuor, Beren, and Túrin, but these stories are spaced out over thousands of years. In the end, a film's job is to entertain, and while a select number of people such as myself are intrigued by Tolkien's mythos, the general crowd would be quite bored and confused if a faithful adaptation of the Silmarillion were made.

I agree with you on the front of wanting to see more detail added to the Silmarillion's tales, especially on how Morgoth would be portrayed. But in the end, it works far better as a book than as a motion picture. It could possibly as a false documentary with some visuals from the book acted out, but I have no confidence that even the great Peter Jackson can make it work as anything resembling a movie. Jackson succeeded in conveying the fantasy and heroism present in the LotR book, but if he intends to go down the Hobbit route and make a Silmarillion movie that yet again rides on LotR's glory, he cannot possibly do the book justice. Tolkien intended for the Silmarillion to be entirely different in style from Lord of the Rings, and since Peter Jackson would be under immense pressure from the public to make another LotR, it would be best if the book was simply left alone.

Debate Round No. 1
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Vote Placed by Balacafa 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con provided a counter-argument and many arguments that Pro could not refute due to the fact that there was no extra round.