Artwork by John Howe
Sorry to disappoint all of you The Lord of the Rings movie nerds, but I didn't particularly like them very much. They failed to be faithful to the source material when it counted, but the money rained from the sky every time one was released, so now New Line is hard at work on two prequels based on The Hobbit. The first is called The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and it is due for release in late 2012. Now I know returning writers Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson did a kick-butt job the last time, but can someone please explain the casting to me???!!! What the $#!& is the Necromancer doing in this movie, played by Benedict... Cumberbatch? Are you kidding me?! That's not even a name! Where is this, Eriador? $@&&*#@$ it all! And who is this Elijah Wood guy, playing the as-yet-unborn Frodo Baggins?
The book that should be turned into a movie is Tolkien's posthumous masterpiece, The Silmarillion (1977). This is the most epic of his works, and it deals primarily with the First Age of the world. It involves the creation of Arda, the births of the Elves and Men, and their battles against the first Dark Lord, Morgoth. Sure it is entirely unfilmable, but that is what they said about The Lord of the Rings, remember?
There are battles in this story that literally reshaped the earth with their sound and fury. They make the Battle of the Pellenor Fields look like a pillow fight.
Thus he came alone to Angband's gates, and he sounded his horn, and smote once more upon the brazen doors, and challenged Morgoth to come forth to single combat. And Morgoth came.