Don't hold off on the Eldar Awakening until Season 2

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
It occurs to me that, by showing the dwarf origin story, we get the opportunity to make all of the key/important points needed for the (unshown) orc origin story.

1) We will see Aulë create the dwarves, so we will know what a skilled Vala can do 'from scratch'.
2) We will also see that these creations are puppets/golums with no wills of their own. They don't have to be robotic or 'yes, master' about it, but they should very clearly be....on strings.
3) Only Iluvatar can add the spark of life (from the Flame Imperishable) that creates true Children (elves, men, dwarves) who are as free as the Valar/Maiar to shape their own lives.

Knowing this, 'What are the orcs?' remains a mystery, and it depends on our depiction of the orcs as to how people might answer that ;). I think that it is important that orcs have speech *and* be totally depraved. Which suggests that Melkor bred some Maiar into his beasts and made them humanoid...or tortured elves as part of the breeding stock for orcs. Or something along those lines. But if we don't say that and don't show that, and make it very clear that those telling the story *don't know* what happened...it remains a mystery for the viewers to discuss amongst themselves :p The most that should be said is that Melkor searched for the Flame Imperishable and coveted it, but never found it for himself.
 

Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
I enjoyed the conversation on the podcast for episode 1-09, but I think the plan for season 1 is misguided.
The plan has a lot of politics and motivation but little in the way of actual dramatic plot. The Valinor are eternal (not merely immortal) so there is really nothing at stake. There are no physical, menacing, or romantic confrontations. In short, a narrative without the Eldar, without events in Middle Earth ...that is, without stakes the audience can actually care about... is a snoozer. The chronology needs to be tinkered to allow for the political positioning of the Valar to be meshed with the plight of the Eldar in Middle Earth and the creation of the Orcs. The politics of the Valinor means nothing absent the direct stakes of Tulkas and Melkor in Middle Earth. The visual telling of the Silmarillion must bend Tolkien's narrative.
Hi James.
We had the same issue early on in the sessions and we put it to the hosts, "What is really at stake if the Valar and Maiar are immortal and cannot really be harmed physically" We had a very interesting discussion on the idea of the Powers "Investing in matter"
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
It has occurred to me that *very* few fanfic writers tackle the Valar as characters, and even fewer set stories in the pre-elf time period of Middle Earth. One could posit that there hasn't been much interest in these stories within the fandom....or that there is something inherently 'other' or obscure about these stories that makes both readers and writers shy away from taking on this material.

I can think of one exception - Fiondil, who died a year ago, used the Valar as important characters in most of his stories, and he did have at least some that were Valar-centric.

I have not read his 'The Wars of the Valar' myself, but I highly recommend him as an author, and perhaps that story will have some ideas that are applicable to Season 1 here in the Silm Film project.

For a more light-hearted example of a debate among the Valar concerning the Children, there is the short story 'Sun-in-Eclipse' ;) For a more serious example, 'Breath of Arda' (focusing on the climax of Lord of the Rings, actually). And for a story set in the Timeless Halls (!), try 'Birthday'*.




*Disclaimer - a line from one of my stories that he was beta-ing may have been inspiration for this one....so I have ulterior motives in linking it.
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I am going to start reading that, MithLuin, as I agree that it is applicable to what we are doing. I have often wondered if the desire to shy away from the Valar comes from the way that we perceive spirituality in Middle-Earth. There is very little worship depicted. In fact, I have had a few (rather uninformed) acquaintances insist that Tolkien must have been an atheist, since he basically depicted medieval Europe without the Church. In some aspects, Tolkien's writings about pre-Eldar cosmology can seem too pagan for Christians, and too Christian for non-Christians. Not sure where I'm going with this, but just some observations I've made over the years.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
No, I think you are absolutely right. I remember having a (several hour) conversation with a friend in high school about Lord of the Rings, and his conclusion was that Tolkien had created complete cultures but 'forgotten' about religion. I can see where that view point comes from.

Fiondil is writing from a Christian viewpoint. He is interested in the redemption and healing of his characters, and his Valar tend to be working towards that goal, though they do certainly view elves and men as....children. Several of his stories are set in the Halls of Mandos, so the characters are dead (or in the case of the elves, preparing to be reborn). He does not let them 'get away with' anything, but the overall tone is positive, healing, working on becoming better, apologizing for wrongdoing, etc.
 
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