It’s been branded ‘unfilmable’ — even by the author himself. Indeed, Tolkien described Lord of the Rings as “a book very unsuitable for dramatic or semi-dramatic representation” (Letter #194). Even, his biographer, Humphrey Carpenter felt that, although Tolkien sold the film rights to LoTR, he had no real expectation that it could be successfully filmed.

Yet it exists in film form, filmed to completion.

Was JRR Tolkien then, wrong, in his estimation?

What, indeed, do we mean by unfilmable, unadaptable and untranslatable? Even, today, and in spite of the efforts of Peter Jackson and his film crew, does Lord of the Rings remain unsuitable for dramatic representation?

If so, why, do you believe so?

Or has technology — combined with extended screentime — put paid to the concerns that made Tolkien automatically write of the chances of a successful film?

Join us on the TORn IRC server this Saturday May 21 in #thehalloffire as we discuss whether or not Lord of the Rings is really unfilmable.

Time and date:
Saturday May 21

5.30pm EDT
4.30pm CDT
3.30pm MDT
2.30pm PDT

10.30pm UK
11.30pm Central Europe

7.30am (Sunday) Brisbane
7.30am (Sunday) Sydney
9.30am (Sunday) Wellington

Chats usually last 45 mins to an hour, and are very newbie friendly. Simply drop in and join the conversation!


Chat happens on #thehalloffire on – the TORn IRC server. You can connect instantly via our java chat client that works inside your web browser (find it here! ) or choose to install a dedicated chat program such as mIRC on your computer.

To find out more about using mIRC to connect to TORn IRC server, check out these instructions.

Suggested reading:
Unfilmable thread

Upcoming topics:

“Is LoTR unfilmable? Was Tolkien right?”
– Saturday May 21
– Sunday May 29

Got a topic? Let us know your idea!

If you have a burning desire to discuss something in Hall of Fire, drop us a line with your topic at If we like it, we’ll probably give it a run in the coming weeks – you might even get to guest moderate the session!

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