Feanorean Storylines

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Right, he's the only grandchild known to exist.

It does seem fitting to me that every one of the House of Feanor who went to Middle-earth, Oath-bound or not, should die or disappear.
 

Ziggy

New Member
The Quenta and Annals are also explicit that the twins led the attack on the Havens, and the older brothers “gave reluctant aid”. That’s not Maedhros being the leader. After the Fifth Battle he has lost his leadership. He struggles to regain control and is unsuccessful during those Kinslayings.

I don’t interpet that to mean Amros tells him what to do, but Amros has his own followers who do obey him. And I see a psychological thing where Maedhros and Maglor are wavering but still barely resisting, but Amros or his decision to start persuades them, essentially. They are not willing but they give in while they still could have resisted longer. But they still choose not to take the leadership in that attack, do not order Elwing’s twins kidnapped, maybe even don’t quite give their full effort.
I realize I'm getting into the conversation about a year late, but your conversation on the Feanorians and the Kinslayings I've found fascinating. I'm running a campaign in The One Ring where the group finds Maglor on the isle of Himring, and through the power of his tortured song they are brought back to Alqualonde and relive all three Kinslayings with him (See 'The Tale of Arwen and Aragorn' as a reference for the power of elven song.) The idea is that the group provides him an opportunity for redemption in reliving these events. As a result I've been thinking about all the brothers and have some thoughts on their motives.

Maedhros: this is the honorable son of the father who will dutifully carry the banner of his fathers house come hell or high water (and as happens with Maedhros, after the War of Wrath he gets both.) After being rescued from Thangorodrim he could not see himself ruling over one to whom he owed a life-debt, so he honored Fingon by yielding the crown to Fingon's father. He honors others and it is from his love for them that he draws his strength, and Feanor twisted Maedhros' expression love and loyalty through the Oath so that Maedhros really has no choice in the matter. I have only watched a few old Japanese samurai films, but it is a similar form of love and code of honor that I see at work in the heart of Maedhros.

Maglor: he is represented so many different ways in the texts that I think the writers can have a field day with him. He is the one brother who voices the possibility of breaking the oath, so I think he is the one Feanorian the audience can grow the closest to and really start to rally behind. While he has the 'gentle heart' of Nerdanel, his prowess in battle is shown in his tactical brilliance in defending Maglor's Gap and killing the traitor (Ulfang?) in the Nirnaeth. His lackluster administration as the Highking I see as a person who is a little too honest floundering in the nuances of politics.

Celegorm: concur with those who see him as a bit self-absorbed, but gifted in oratory so as to make you think he is pulling for you. My anwer to the Huan problem is that the hound protects Celegorm so well at Alqualonde that he comes between Celegorm and the Teleri and slowly backs both of them off of the ship Celegorm is trying to commandeer. Huan then paddles him to a nearby ship already in the hands of the Feanorians. Of course, younger brothers cannot let him live this down, and it is to reclaim his honor before his kin that he speaks so vehmetly about reclaiming the Silmaril from Dior and then dies in the attempt.

Curufin: haven't completely figured him out yet, other than 'he is a piece of work.' Celebrimbor obviously disowns his father when Curufin makes a grab for the crown of Nargothrond, but admittedly I havd not given him much more thought.

Caranthir: Corey made a good point in the it seems most of the brothers have skills of some sort, other than Caranthir. The way I see this playing out is he be comes grossly narcissistic in a desperate fight to hold his own among his brothers. In my imaginings of Alqualonde, the Ambrussa accompany him in trying to sieze a ship, and following the drawing of swords Caranthir's ruthlessness in battle traumatizes the twins. Starting here the two become colder and harder with each passing year, but more on them later. Caranthir's story in Middle Earth can be one of a person attempting to be a benevolent ruler, but his obsession with himself blinds him to his foolish decisions which eventually blow up in the Nirnaeth.

The Ambrussa: as mentioned before, Amrod and Amras are relatively impressionable youths whose minds are bent following the First Kinslaying. The only people they trust are each other and their tragic fall from humanity (elvinity?) is as slow and painful as it is inevitable. In the Second Kinslaying they are basically emotionless, and by the third they are more bloodthirsty and ruthless than Caranthir was. As for the Third Kinslaying, per the 'Annals' I think we need to have both of the Ambrussa present to press the matter against the likes of both Maedhros and Maglor to have that course of action succeed. As a bitter culmination to the Oath, I see the two twins not only dying in this battle, but slaying each other as they believe each has betrayed the other.

Just some thoughts.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Hello, Ziggy, and welcome to the conversation! I like how you've differentiated each of the brothers and given them a unique personality, so they each have their own reasons for doing things, not simply a matter of being 'the Sons of Fëanor'.

I think that Maedhros and Maglor are easily the most likable and most personable, so it's true we'll want the audience rooting for them. Maedhros as a samurai-like warrior bound by honor to uphold his promise while still having serious qualms about it sounds good to me. We've made him a practical person, so he finds an expedient way of both honoring the Oath and doing what he thinks is right....for a time. Until those things come in direct conflict with each other!

There are a few decisions that have been made in the Silmarillion Film Project that aren't compatible with everything you've laid out. Luckily, more than one fan project in existence means you're free to explore those ideas fully in your own conception! (I've done the same, writing my own Fëanorean-centric fanfic). But just to make sure we're all on the same page, a quick review of some of the items from Silm Film:
  • Huan is present at the Kinslaying at Alqualondë and does indeed protect Celegorm, mostly by running Teleri sailors overboard. Huan doesn't kill anyone, but Celegorm is not equally guiltless.
  • Amrod dies in the Shipburning at Losgar. He has hidden in the hold of one of the ships with the intention of sailing back to Valinor, and is trapped when Fëanor burns the ships. No one knew he was there, so his death is an accident, but Amras sure does blame everyone for killing him, and Fëanor treats it as a 'that's what you get for trying to break the Oath' moment.
Caranthir in our conception is not particularly narcissistic. He's very proud and very brash. He's the kind of guy who is likely to start bar fights. He's a bit of a loner and doesn't have great social skills. So, overall...he's mostly an embarrassment who needs to be 'handled' by his family. He's susceptible to flattery and not a great judge of character. He's probably the least likable of the Fëanoreans, but he also has very little character arc. He starts out unpleasant and ends unpleasant :p.

We took the idea of Curufin being 'Little Father' and ran with it - he's very much his father's heir, and clever and crafty and manipulative. He's often pulling Celegorm's strings. He is set up as the rival to Maedhros from Losgar to Maedhros' capture, so Maedhros' return and capitulation of the kingship this season will likely send him reeling. I imagine we'll have him take a much more active role in leading the Fëanoreans after Maedhros' defeat in the 5th Battle.

But don't worry about being late to the conversation - Season 4 opens with the rescue of Maedhros, so most of our internal conflicts with the Fëanoreans remain in the future and therefore up to refinement and development :).
 
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Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Welcome, Ziggy!

We've made him a practical person
I'm still not certain (or have forgotten :p) when you say practical or pragmatic, how much you intend "coldly pragmatic". I still would prefer "mildly pragmatic, with strong feelings" and don't think that's necessarily ruled out by what we've written so far.

The twins killing each other in the Third Kinslaying is an interesting (very dark) interpretation, although we wouldn't be able to do that in SilmFilm.


Edit: I've been pondering why Tolkien never said Maglor forswore the Oath, when Maedhros did. They both tried equally hard to break the Oath, so it's odd. I have some ideas how to creatively interpret that so Maglor doesn't act out of character.
 
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Ziggy

New Member
Thanks for your willingness to pick up a cold conversation! What I love about the Silm Film Podcast and these forums is that people who love the story and read the supplemental material get to present their ideas about characters, events, objects, etc. Often these are things I never would have considered and helps to make Tolkien's great story that much deeper. MithLuin, I would love to read your Feanorean fanfic if it is posted somewhere to see what characteristics you find compelling abour each one. It helps to stretch my concepts of these well-loved characters.

For example I'm having trouble getting my head around seeing Curufin as so much like Feanor. Curufin was certainly his father's favorite and gifted in craft, but in person seems to be very different from his father in temperment. Feanor is willful, defiant, knows he is great, and has no problem reminding the rest of the world how great he is. Curufin has no magnum opus to point to to ligitimize his high opinion of his own accomplishments. As a result he is conniving, devious, and manipulative and seems much more like Sauron in how he operates rather than Feanor. I guess if I were to liken my current understanding of Feanor's character to a member of the Valar it would be Tulkas. Both are gifted, but subtlety is not in their wheelhouse and they unapologetically let people know how they feel.

As for the twins, having Amrod and Amras kill each other in the Third Kinslaying is very very dark, but it is a great illustration of the fruit of the Oath. By spurring each other on to fulfill the Oath the brothers have done nothing but push them all to Mutually Assured Destruction. In a way I think one can argue the Maedhros also dies at the Third Kinslaying since after that he has no more agency in his life. Just as the Ring overthrew Frodo to the Mountain, the Oath now controls Maedhros and he is its slave. I guess the last/only act of will he performs following the battle of the Falas is throwing himself into a firey fissure.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Welcome, Ziggy!

I'm still not certain (or have forgotten :p) when you say practical or pragmatic, how much you intend "coldly pragmatic". I still would prefer "mildly pragmatic, with strong feelings" and don't think that's necessarily ruled out by what we've written so far.

The twins killing each other in the Third Kinslaying is an interesting (very dark) interpretation, although we wouldn't be able to do that in SilmFilm.


Edit: I've been pondering why Tolkien never said Maglor forswore the Oath, when Maedhros did. They both tried equally hard to break the Oath, so it's odd. I have some ideas how to creatively interpret that so Maglor doesn't act out of character.
Maglor tries to reject the Oath at the end of the War of Wrath, but Maedhros persuaded him to help steal the Silmarils.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Maglor tries to reject the Oath at the end of the War of Wrath, but Maedhros persuaded him to help steal the Silmarils.
Both of them try equally hard to break the Oath for 26 years before the Third Kinslaying. I'm very confused why everybody seems to continually disagree that this ever occurred at all, or that Maedhros ever forswore the Oath, when these events stated explicitly in multiple volumes of HoME and even in the 1977 Silmarillion. It's frustrating that I have to keep reminding everyone and still nobody seems to believes me.

Generally, the type of unnecessary change most anathema to me is exaggerating or distorting a character into a misrepresentation of the person depicted by the author, especially erasing flaws from "good guys" and erasing positive traits from "bad guys," making them black and white. Especially with a character I like. One of the most wonderful and compelling things about Tolkien's writing is that even with tangible, cosmic forces of Good and Evil, he makes most of his characters complex and interesting.
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Both of them try equally hard to break the Oath for 26 years before the Third Kinslaying. I'm very confused why everybody seems to continually disagree that this ever occurred at all, or that Maedhros ever forswore the Oath, when these events stated explicitly in multiple volumes of HoME and even in the 1977 Silmarillion. It's frustrating that I have to keep reminding everyone and still nobody seems to believes me.

Generally, the type of unnecessary change most anathema to me is exaggerating or distorting a character into a misrepresentation of the person depicted by the author, especially erasing flaws from "good guys" and erasing positive traits from "bad guys," making them black and white. Especially with a character I like. One of the most wonderful and compelling things about Tolkien's writing is that even with tangible, cosmic forces of Good and Evil, he makes most of his characters complex and interesting.
What I mean is that at the end of the War of Wrath in the published Silmarillion, Maedhros wants to seize the Silmarils. Maglor doesn’t want to, but he yields to Maedhros.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Idea for the Second Kinslaying since Celegorm is the one who incites this one. He probably has a big grudge against Dior being the offspring of Beren and Luthien because Celegorm wanted to take Luthien for himself, so Celegorm tells his brothers “No one kills him but me.” Would also explain why Dior’s sons were left to die in the forest.

Good? Bad?
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I like that! Although I'm not following why that leads to Dior's sons being left in the forest. Please explain?
Because (in the plot I’ve had) he hates Dior for existing and wants to destroy everything related to Beren, Luthien and Dior. His servants leave Dior’s sons in the forest to starve.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Oh, you mean his motive for wanting the little boys murdered in cold blood. Yes, I agree completely. I thought you meant a reason for the method they were killed. Like, why a snowy forest instead of a sword, or a candlestick in the dining-room.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Oh, you mean his motive for wanting the little boys murdered in cold blood. Yes, I agree completely. I thought you meant a reason for the method they were killed. Like, why a snowy forest instead of a sword, or a candlestick in the dining-room.
Because it’s slower and more psychologically torturous to leave them to starve? He must have taken a leaf out of Bane’s book with leaving some hope to poison the soul of whoever was trying to save them.

 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
The method probably is just cowardice... he does not want to get his hands dirty... so instead of killing innocent children all by himsels he says "let's fate do it for me.."
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Well, Celegorm is dead by the time the decision to leave the boys to starve is made. It's his servants who do that, presumably in retribution for their lord's death. But also possibly because they might not think they have any right to personally kill Thingol's heirs, either, and decide that a decision like that is above their paygrade - let nature take its course, leave the woodelves in the woods and see how they fare.

It's cruel and vindictive, and yes, a bit cowardly.

We will have to include it, though, because it gives the audience the hope that when Maedhros finds out and chastises them, he might be in time to rescue the boys, but...we will then snatch that hope away by having them hide from the searchers (whom they would not perceive as 'rescuers!')

I'm not sure how we'll want to handle the open-ended resolution of them never being found; will our last glimpse of them on screen be them hiding in the woods somewhere, fallen asleep together, with the audience not sure if they're even still alive?

It of course sets up the fostering of Elrond and Elros after the Third Kinslaying at the Havens, but I'm not sure what more we want from this incident.


Ziggy, sorry not to respond earlier, but my Fëanorean fanfiction can be found on The Silmarillion Writers Guild website:
http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/archive/home/viewuser.php?uid=13
'Lessons from the Mountain' has character studies on the whole family in it ;).
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Well, Celegorm is dead by the time the decision to leave the boys to starve is made. It's his servants who do that, presumably in retribution for their lord's death. But also possibly because they might not think they have any right to personally kill Thingol's heirs, either, and decide that a decision like that is above their paygrade - let nature take its course, leave the woodelves in the woods and see how they fare.

It's cruel and vindictive, and yes, a bit cowardly.

We will have to include it, though, because it gives the audience the hope that when Maedhros finds out and chastises them, he might be in time to rescue the boys, but...we will then snatch that hope away by having them hide from the searchers (whom they would not perceive as 'rescuers!')

I'm not sure how we'll want to handle the open-ended resolution of them never being found; will our last glimpse of them on screen be them hiding in the woods somewhere, fallen asleep together, with the audience not sure if they're even still alive?

It of course sets up the fostering of Elrond and Elros after the Third Kinslaying at the Havens, but I'm not sure what more we want from this incident.


Ziggy, sorry not to respond earlier, but my Fëanorean fanfiction can be found on The Silmarillion Writers Guild website:
http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/archive/home/viewuser.php?uid=13
'Lessons from the Mountain' has character studies on the whole family in it ;).
What do you think of my idea of Celegorm marking out Dior for him to kill personally?
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
Boy oh boy. Even for a Feanorean, there is a big difference between "I desire the Silmarils, and I will kill anyone who gets in my way. And not just the men, but the women and children too." and "I desire to kill this specific person. Oh, yeah, and grab a Silmaril too I guess.".
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
One question..
why exactly would he want to kill dior?
Because Dior is the son of Beren and Luthien. Celegorm wanted to take Luthien for himself, so he hates Dior for existing and, alongside acquiring the Silmaril, wants to wipe out their line.
 
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