Peter Jackson’s first Hobbit movie has come and gone. And while some Tolkien fans—and non-fans—were upset by how he interpreted the book, watching The Hobbit and the fall of the Necromancer on the screen is still an exciting prospect. Likewise, even though Jackson made some distasteful changes to The Lord of the Rings, those films are still excellent depictions of one of the greatest pieces of writing in English literature.
So of course, some of us are wondering: will Jackson ever make The Silmarillion? And many others, in turn, are wondering: what is The Silmarillion?
The Silmarillion is a collection of Tolkien’s histories of Middle Earth, set thousands of years before The Lord of the Rings; they were unfinished when he died, and his son completed and published them.
The titular tale, and the centerpiece of the book, tells of the rebellion of the elves against the gods and the fall of Morgoth, an evil Vala whom Sauron at the time served. The Valar—the “gods” in Tolkien’s universe—brought many elves to Valinor, the Undying Lands. There, a powerful elf, Feanor, created the Silmarils, wondrous jewels that captivated all who held them. Around this time, Morgoth attacked the Valar and stole the Silmarils. Feanor led his people—the Noldor—to Middle Earth to recover the jewels, rebelling against the Valar in the process. The Silmarillion tells of the Noldor’s rebellion, the establishment of elf realms in Beleriand (then the western region of Middle Earth) the fight against Morgoth and the ultimate fall of the Noldor.
It’s a massive, tragic tale full of epic battles, exotic locales, heartwarming romance, and treacherous betrayals. The problem is, it’s told as a kind of history. There’s not much narrative, and even if there were it would take about 14 full-length books to tell the entire tale.
But I am of the opinion that Peter Jackson could—nay, must—bring it to the screen. I’m envisioning a seven-film series, like those used for Harry Potter and Twilight. This would keep fans in the theaters for years, and make the studios very happy. And, if done right, would be the ultimate tribute to J.R.R. Tolkien and the wondrous contributions he’s made to the fantasy genre, and literature in general.
So here are my ten reasons why Jackson should make The Silmarillion. For those of you who haven’t read the book, be warned there are several spoilers in here.
A Silmarillion movie series would give us a lot more of Galadriel.
Galadriel, a powerful elf ruler, figured prominently in The Lord of the Rings, giving shelter and advice to the fellowship after they escaped Moria. And thanks to Peter Jackson’s changes to The Hobbit, she will feature prominently on those movies. In the first installment, she showed up at Rivendell to back Gandalf in an argument with Saruman, and I’m sure we’ll see more of her as the White Council moves against the Necromancer in later movies. Throughout all this, Galadriel is a powerful, compelling female character that brings a lot to Tolkien’s tales.
Galadriel also plays major part in The Silmarillion. Galadriel appears early in the tale as one of the Noldor. She has numerous adventures—including leading her people across the dangerous crushing ice strait that then separated Middle Earth from the Undying Lands. And she settles down with Celeborn, with whom she supports the elves’ and humans’ fight against Morgoth.
So a Silmarillion film series would be good news for Galadriel fans, which, really, is anyone who enjoyed The Lord of the Rings.
This article was first posted on January 28, 2013