I’m continuing/moving the discussion here, which started on the Season 4 Frame thread. I think Celeborn’s father Galadhon, his mother, and his brother Galathil should all still be alive in Season 4.I propose that both Celeborn’s parents should die in the Fall of Doriath at the hands of Dwarves, and that his (little?) brother Galathil should die in either Doriath or the Second Age. To be clear, I’m totally fine with him also having a sister who’s still alive in the Third Age. I don’t see how it would help the story to retroactively kill off his family in Season 2. It would only cut off story and character options. Just because Celeborn’s family don’t have any obvious Season 4 roles besides his wedding doesn’t mean that they’ll never be useful later. This post is long -- that’s because there are several very good reasons to keep Celeborn’s parents and brother alive longer: 1. The Hosts may not let us kill them in a flashback. 2. It’s a very good idea to plan ahead for future seasons when most of our current cast will be dead. 3. In particular, it would be very good for more than just Thingol to die in the Fall of Doriath. 4. It would help explain why Celeborn’s racist against Dwarves for 6476 years. 5. We don’t know if Nimloth is from Doriath or Ossiriand. We can give her a potential parent in each place. 6. The Elves who died at Cuivienen don’t need to be Celeborn’s parents and sibling. 1. The Hosts may not let us kill them in a flashback. If I understand correctly, it has been proposed that: 1. Celeborn should only have 1 sibling, a sister. 2. Nobody related to Celeborn should die in Doriath. 3. We should pick a scene in Season 2 Episode 1, in which Celeborn’s canonical parents were not mentioned, and retroactively declare they were the extras in that scene, using a flashback. I doubt that the Execs, who so strongly dislike flashbacks, would allow Celeborn’s previously-unmentioned family to be inserted retroactively into Season 2 using a flashback. I think if we try that, the Hosts will likely veto it, and then we may end up with Celeborn having no parents in existence, with no explanation. The alternative, simpler option is that they’re still alive. We can easily kill them later in the series without a flashback. And in the meantime they will exist as usable characters when we start to run out of people. 2. It’s a very good idea to plan ahead for future seasons when most of our current cast will be dead. We will start running out of named characters in the later seasons, and we should plan ahead for it. I don’t think we should avoid using canon characters, or avoid making new ones, just because several characters are alive for now. We’ve already had to make up new characters, and that’ll happen more often as most of our current characters die. It’s relatively easy to make up new Men and Dwarves on the fly with no backstory because they’re short-lived. But as soon as you invent a new Elf you need a reason why they were never mentioned before. That’s easy if they have no significant connection to any main character, or are introduced as a child with living parents. But it’s harder to introduce a new character with connections to main characters, without making them look like an afterthought we sort of tacked on at the last minute. Especially if we’ve already written a scene in which that new character should logically have been seen or mentioned, but we didn’t mention them. For example, I think we have an awkward situation with a decision apparently made in Season 2 that Indis (then a main character) is an only child and Ingwë’s canon son Ingwion just doesn’t exist. AFAIK, he wasn’t at Indis’ wedding, or any other scene with his sister or parents in Season 2. I know he wasn’t cast. It’s going to be weird when we get to the War of Wrath, if we can’t introduce Ingwion as the Vanya general. That’s why I don’t agree with Amysrevenge that any canon character is “optional” just because they don’t have an immediate major role in the current season. I don’t think getting rid of canon characters is good planning with Elves. To extend a metaphor of the “Seeds” thread, I think we should plant seeds where they fit, even seeds that won’t be harvested for a while, instead of pre-emptively salting the earth. We aren’t short of characters yet, but we will be short in the late 1st Age and especially in the 2nd Age. I’m more concerned about running low on named Elves too early, than I am about finding ways for Galadhon and Galathil to die in The Silmarillion’s perpetual warfare and multiple sackings. When we get to the Fall of Doriath, Galathil could even survive but go east with his brother and sister, and then he’d be available during the 2nd Age when we’re stuck inventing lots of new Elves. We don’t have to decide now how they die... but if we kill them off in a Season 4 flashback, we can’t change our minds and use them later when we need more characters. 3. In particular, it would be very good for more than just Thingol to die in the Fall of Doriath. I think there is a lot of value in having some non-extras die during the Fall of Doriath, instead of Thingol being the only death that matters. Of the characters we have currently, only 5 will still be around when Doriath falls (Thingol, Melian, Mablung, Galadriel, Celeborn). Even if we add Oropher later, there is value in Doriath being inhabited by more than just 6 non-extras at the time it falls. Six characters are not much to tell a war story. Celeborn and Galadriel’s parts will have no tension because everyone already knows they both survive. Dwarves can’t hurt Melian. That will leave us with only 2-3 characters for whom we can create a tension about their survival or potential deaths: Thingol and Mablung, maybe Oropher. Just three characters. Try to imagine telling a story about warfare in which only 3 characters are actually killable and everyone else has plot invincibility. And if we use the story in the Silmarillion, Thingol gets assassinated before the battle even begins. I also don’t want Thingol’s death to be the only one that matters in Doriath, and every other death to be a faceless extra. Saying ten or thirty thousand Sindar died is just a statistic. Killing Thingol will be very sad and significant, but one death won’t feel like a lost battle. It will feel like an assassination, followed by a video game fight. MithLuin has suggested we could introduce a non-extra just shortly before the Fall of Doriath, like the little girl in Schindler’s List. We could, but I don’t think that’ll be enough. Which has more impact -- killing a character who has only been on screen for one episode, or killing a character who was on screen recently and several times in past episodes and seasons, who has relationships with other characters, a story, and a personality? And of course we can kill both kinds of characters in Doriath. 4. It would help explain why Celeborn’s racist against Dwarves for 6476 years. Celeborn isn’t hateful, but he still hasn’t gotten over his grudge against Dwarves even in the Third Age. By the time Celeborn meets Gimli, he has relentlessly disliked Dwarves for 6546 years. Six thousand, five hundred, and forty-six years. That’s a mind-bogglingly long time to hold a grudge. It’s longer than all of recorded human history! Even after living for several years in Eregion where the Elves and Longbeards were close allies, he continues to dislike Dwarves. And not just the Firebeards who destroyed Doriath, not even just the Firebeard descendants in the Third Age. No, he dislikes all Dwarves, everywhere, including entire clans who never set foot in Doriath. He welcomes Gimli at first, but then lashes out with a racist insult. Sure, we can explain his extremely long-lasting racism with only Thingol’s death. But I wish to try to do more than merely explain. We’ve worked to make Celeborn more than Galadriel’s sidekick, and I want to work on making him more sympathetic, too. His racism in the LotR is quite unsympathetic to me. So I want to give him an extremely compelling cause for his inability to get over his all-encompassing grudge. Killing his beloved King and sacking his home is big, but it isn’t big enough to still dislike all Dwarves everywhere 6546 years later. I want to show that he lost his father and mother as well, and maybe his brother too. 5. We don’t know if Nimloth is from Doriath or Ossiriand. We can give her a potential parent in each place. We don’t know where Dior will meet Nimloth. Given how vague and un-detailed that part of the books are, we can’t yet be 100% certain that she’ll be from Ossiriand. When we get to that point in the story, we might find it’s easier for her to be from Doriath. If Nimloth is from Ossiriand, then Celeborn’s sister is her mother. But if we end up wanting Nimloth to be from Doriath, that won’t work so well. Putting Galathil in Doriath would make him available to be Nimloth’s father. 6. The Elves who died at Cuivienen don’t need to be Celeborn’s parents and brother. If the Hosts let us to retroactively name some lost Elves at Cuiviénen, they don’t have to be Celeborn’s parents. They can be his close friends, or a little sibling. I’m not convinced that Celeborn needs to have lost anyone in particular at Cuiviénen, just to make him sympathetic to Galadriel. He show sympathy just by being a kind person, without needing to be an orphan.