Comedy...Do we have it and if so, how?

Ray Burns

Active Member
so we can't have Fingolfin yell, "Leeeeeroyyyyyy Jenkins!" as he rides to Thangorodrim?

In all seriousness, I think we have to err more on the side of seriousness than to try and force some comedy into the tales. The Silmarillion doesn't have the whimsical tone of the Hobbit, nor does it have as readily accessible humorous characters like Samwise in LOTR. So we need to tread carefully...
 

Marielle

Well-Known Member
I think we've settled on giving Aredhel a terrible sense of direction, a funny little quirk that will be oh, oh so not funny at the end of her story; which is exactly the sort of thing I advocated for here!

And yes, I still agree with Ray that we shouldn't "try and force some comedy" into SilmFilm. Which is why I think the Aredhel thing works so well...
 

Ray Burns

Active Member
I could see Eonwe being more than a little snarky when he comes back. Not disrespectful, but not above giving a tweak to Manwe over his decisions. Sort of like Alfred does to Bruce Wayne...
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I remember this line in a fanfic which retells Beren and Luthien in modern prose, and during Finrod's duel with Sauron, Finrod asks, "Tell me, Sauron, if Morgoth calls himself 'King of the World', does that make you his Queen?"
 

Marielle

Well-Known Member
How about snark?
We have so many carte blanche characters, it's easy to imagine a few of them being snarky. We would just have to make sure their tone & vocabulary were in keeping with their upbringing/situation. And that it fit into the events depicted... not jarring, even if noticeable different.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I remember this line in a fanfic which retells Beren and Luthien in modern prose, and during Finrod's duel with Sauron, Finrod asks, "Tell me, Sauron, if Morgoth calls himself 'King of the World', does that make you his Queen?"
I am not okay with incorporating even the barest hint or mockery or insinuation of AngBang into this project.

It is true that the duel of songs between Finrod and Sauron is essentially a rap battle, and one says such things about one's opponent in that context. But. NO. Not that.

Finrod can insult Sauron, and tell him that he is no king, and can't even build his own tower, and just has a bunch of enthralled orcs and werewolves to command, no true subjects. I'm fine with insults. Just...insults that would make sense coming out of the mouth of Finrod Felagund, please.
 

Marielle

Well-Known Member
While I certainly think Finrod Felagund, having brothers, is more than likely completely capable of the low blow... let's avoid things that focus on gender or orientation, shall we? Crassness aside, I can't imagine it doing anything but ripping the audience right out of Tolkien's world and back into our 21st century.

*edited to change "a brother" to "brothers"
 

Ray Burns

Active Member
We have to remember that we are, for all intents and purposes, telling the Tolkien equivalent of the Bible story and just as you should not expect anachronistic changes of tone/speech to reflect the 'modern' age in the telling of a Biblical tale, we should not expect such jarring tone shifts in the Silmarillion. I think of the movie Noah as a prime example. Even though, for the most part, the story being presented is word for word from the Bible, the sudden shifts in tone to try and make the movie 'relatable' to a 21st century audience totally ruin the move (at least for me). We mustn't fall into the same trap.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
UGH, let us NOT make the Noah film. Please just no. I mean, I will give them points for filming in Iceland (dramatic scenery!) and for casting Anthony Hopkins as Methusaleh (he's hilarious!)....but that is the end of the positive things I will say about that film.

(There is something wrong when you are encouraging your audience to think 'darn those vegetarian baby killers!' about your protagonist.)
 
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Marielle

Well-Known Member
Never saw "Noah" -- but I hear the comparison loud and clear. Our story will be 'relatable' the same way all the great stories are: because of the universalities of grief, friendship, anger, loss, and triumph: not because the characters are "hip" or "relevant" to a modern person.

The humor ought to reflect this: so I'd recommend more focus on consistent human foibles (getting lost/being clumsy, sarcasm, family drama/misunderstandings, being a little person in a big, big world) than on humor that depends on particular social contexts (class, race, gender norms). It will allow the show to be more inclusive, yes, but that's almost besides the point.... at least to me.

Take our dear Samwise, for example. He's often funny, and always charming, but rarely bumbling. He's not the modern "buffoon/clown" type; rather, his humorous touches come in his concern for the little things (wishing he had rope, fretting over his master getting enough sleep) that seem so small when compared to the big picture. But the secret is he's right: the little things do matter, and it's his focus on them that helps Frodo succeed. That's why characters like Alfrid fail: they don't add anything to the story or plot, but rather serve to break the flow; the narrative stops and points at him, laughing maniacally. There's no acknowledgement of and pity for human weakness, just scorn. No reflection of little things making such a difference in the large scheme of things, just "fish out of water" jokes. He's a modern stock character, which means he's funny for all the wrong reasons in a Tolkien-based world, and invites our irritation rather than our laughter.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
More Samwise is always a good thing for a story. :)

And yes, we should just say no to bumbling characters, comic relief characters, or characters whose *only* purpose is to be the butt of jokes.
 

Marielle

Well-Known Member
And yes, we should just say no to bumbling characters, comic relief characters, or characters whose *only* purpose is to be the butt of jokes.
Exactly. Our comic moments should come from characters as three-dimensional as those around them
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
...so no Bobwë, then. :p


I don't mind clever barbs, insults and snark. I just want such things to be in-character and to fit within the world we're creating. If the exact same insult could be used in Game of Thrones or in a modern sit-com...it's probably not appropriate. Unless it's so universal that it could fit into *any* show. But preferably nothing that would make the show look...dated.

When you read the Harvard Lampoon's 'Bored of the Rings,' there are some jokes that are quite clever and apply to the story. And then there are some jokes that apply to American college students in the 70's (there are more references to Nixon than you might expect). An example of the former type of joke is, "It was pity that stayed his hand. 'Pity I've run out of bullets,' thought [whatever stupid name they came up with for Bilbo]." That joke still works, and is of the 'unexpected ending' to a sentence variety of humor. So even though it's anachronistic (there shouldn't be any guns in Middle Earth!), it isn't dated the way the Nixon jokes are. National Lampoon-style humor in general will not be appropriate in this project, of course.

Season 2 is going to require some snark with Gothmog being very dismissive of Sauron and his uselessness. Sauron is likely coming up with clever comebacks in private, and might share those barbs with Thuringwethil or Drauglin or Tevildo if appropriate. The insults are meant (in this case) to show the lack of unity among the bad guys - they will tear themselves apart, left alone long enough.

And the verbal war that escalates to Fëanor drawing a sword on Fingolfin will no doubt include some barbs and insults hurled at one another (perhaps thinly veiled or through 3rd parties).
 
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Ray Burns

Active Member
Wouldn't it be funny, and ironic, if Mairon is coming up with these great comebacks and putdowns of Gothmog in private that when he finally snaps and actually says something really acerbic to Gothmog, Gothmog doesn't get it? There's nothing more frustrating for a character, and more amusing for an audience, then watching someone come up with a perfect burn and then realize that it's all been wasted.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Wouldn't it be funny, and ironic, if Mairon is coming up with these great comebacks and putdowns of Gothmog in private that when he finally snaps and actually says something really acerbic to Gothmog, Gothmog doesn't get it? There's nothing more frustrating for a character, and more amusing for an audience, then watching someone come up with a perfect burn and then realize that it's all been wasted.
I don't know - It's an amusing idea but I honestly think it would be the wrong kind of funny. It does something to Mairon and in particular to Gothmog, who becomes less fearsome, in my mind.
 

Ray Burns

Active Member
Thinking it through, I agree. I think that Mairon's snark remains amongst his clique. The fact that Mairon won't even say these things anywhere near where Gothmog might hear them would accentuate the fear/respect that Mairon holds toward Gothmog, even though Mairon hates him. And because of this fierceness, Gothmog isn't above denigrating Mairon whenever he can, so he calls him by various demeaning names... and one of those names, Abhorred, sticks.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
there#s quite a lot og humor in the Hobbit and the Lost tales and even Lord of the rings... it#s simple and unobtrusive humour though...
not like PJs annoying [URL='https://dict.leo.org/ende/index_de.html#/search=goofiness&searchLoc=0&resultOrder=basic&multiwordShowSingle=on&pos=0']goofiness.
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[URL='https://dict.leo.org/ende/index_de.html#/search=goofiness&searchLoc=0&resultOrder=basic&multiwordShowSingle=on&pos=0'][/URL]
If done right there can be a lot of humor, and even Elves have humor if we look into some sections of the Hobbit or the Eriol Episodes of Tol Eressea... the Silmarillion if more Dark in general of course, but that doesn't mean there could not be humor in the right parts.https://dict.leo.org/ende/index_de.html#/search=unobtrusive&searchLoc=0&resultOrder=basic&multiwordShowSingle=on&pos=0
 

Emerwen

New Member
The House of Feanor should provide some comic relief. I mean, Feanor said things like "Let them sa-si if they can speak no better" (although I'm not sure if this line will be in the show); Curufin whispered "Orodreth is a dullard slow" in Celegorm's ear and had his tongue hanging out of his mouth when Beren nearly strangled him.
Maybe its just me, but I have always found (some of the) Feanorians to be a comparatively funny lot since they are quite good at insulting people.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
They tend to be quite over the top which people might find funny, yet i doubt it was funny when Feanor looked you in the eyes.They are adangerous lot.

They certainly have an arrogant and vain edgyness, they like good punchlines and disrespect pretty much everyone.
 
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