Frame Narrative

Shawn Mitchell

Active Member
Ok, I'm looking/using MithLuin's outline and just asking some questions to maybe start to get a better grasp of things.

- Episode 2

- Introduction of Arwen’s friend

- Who is she? Are we going to develop her back story in detail or leave things a bit ambiguous?


- Episode 4

- Arwen looks into the mirror of Galadriel and sees her brothers rescue her mother

- Are we going to give any explanation as to why she’s never looked before?? 500 years. Do we really just leave the time frame alone? Even if we do, why is this really weighing on her now? Maybe we somehow convey to the audience that “time” is not really the same for the elves? It might be strained if we show this coming to a head, with no explanation, after 500 years.


-Episode 9

- Arwen looks into the palantir

- Who is she going to talk to??

- Can she converse with more than one person? Maybe give a chance to include a multitude of the ideas presented recently … ex: her mother, Finarfin, etc…?? Maybe break it up (characters she talks to?) between episodes 9 and 11?
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
RE: The Mirror of Galadriel

I think we can quite easily convey the fact that the Mirror can be a bit perilous, and that you are not always seeing what you think you're seeing. It also is a scene Arwen might not want to see. Who wants to see a lived one being brutally tortured, especially if they might not comport themselves as heroicly as we might like.
 

Ray Burns

Active Member
We could have a constantly updating website for viewers who want to know more of the history of Middle Earth. It would be timed so that it doesn't give away too many spoilers (ex: the explanation for Elrond wouldn't say anything in detail about being captured and later raised by Maedhros until after that episode airs). It could also have web-exclusive videos of things that we wanted to show but couldn't find a way to make it fit into the Show. It could also have sneak previews of upcoming episodes but without context so that they are open to interpretation.

It could be called the Mirror of Galadriel....
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Shawn, two of your issues are related. It's been over 400 years since Arwen lost her mother. Why does all of this matter *now*? And the answer that the Hosts came up with for that was that Arwen would have a mentor who is now deciding to leave and depart over Sea into the West. So, the loss of this other character who was dear to her is bringing up the unresolved issues of the loss of her mother.

We ran into the problem of how to introduce an elf in Rivendell who has left, when our frame takes place in Lothlorien. The audience would not get a chance to meet this other elf, but we want them to understand why Arwen cares about her, so we would need flashbacks in the Frame in addition to the flashbacks to establish the Celebrían storyline...it was getting a bit unwieldy, and not really solving the problem it set out to solve.

So...who is Arwen's friend? Glad you asked! *I* want her to be an elf of Lothlorien who is 'like a sister' to Arwen...they are best buds and one of the reasons Arwen likes to come visit her grandparents so much (just kidding, but not really). So, then we could see the friendship 'in real time,' hear the friend's decision to journey into the West, involve Arwen in that journey and farewell, and *that* is the situation that brings up all the old memories of losing her mom that she has to deal with now. It's a much more streamlined version of the story, and one we can tell in the Frame Snippets that we have available each episode. The other version was going to take up a lot of screen time to establish...or else be rushed and very confusing to the audience, who was bound to lose the thread of the (3) different timelines in the Frame.


As far as the palantir goes - that was an option that was brought up recently, but the obvious advantage of it would be we could allow Arwen and her mother to have a conversation, to bring Celebrían out of historic flashbacks and into the present as a living character. To me, that is the only appeal of dragging Arwen halfway across Middle Earth in this season, though of course we can make good use of the journey for other purposes. Others may suggest other uses of the palantir.
 

ouzaru

Well-Known Member
Haha, you'll note I very carefully didn't assign either of you the line "You will lead, I will follow" :p But Fëanor drops out first, too, so that's worth considering.
Arguments in favor of me being Feanor: I am awesome.

Arguments against: I'm suuuuuuuper humble.


Also: unable to make anything more complex than a burrito with my hands.
 

Shawn Mitchell

Active Member
Shawn, two of your issues are related. It's been over 400 years since Arwen lost her mother. Why does all of this matter *now*? And the answer that the Hosts came up with for that was that Arwen would have a mentor who is now deciding to leave and depart over Sea into the West. So, the loss of this other character who was dear to her is bringing up the unresolved issues of the loss of her mother.

We ran into the problem of how to introduce an elf in Rivendell who has left, when our frame takes place in Lothlorien. The audience would not get a chance to meet this other elf, but we want them to understand why Arwen cares about her, so we would need flashbacks in the Frame in addition to the flashbacks to establish the Celebrían storyline...it was getting a bit unwieldy, and not really solving the problem it set out to solve.

So...who is Arwen's friend? Glad you asked! *I* want her to be an elf of Lothlorien who is 'like a sister' to Arwen...they are best buds and one of the reasons Arwen likes to come visit her grandparents so much (just kidding, but not really). So, then we could see the friendship 'in real time,' hear the friend's decision to journey into the West, involve Arwen in that journey and farewell, and *that* is the situation that brings up all the old memories of losing her mom that she has to deal with now. It's a much more streamlined version of the story, and one we can tell in the Frame Snippets that we have available each episode. The other version was going to take up a lot of screen time to establish...or else be rushed and very confusing to the audience, who was bound to lose the thread of the (3) different timelines in the Frame.


As far as the palantir goes - that was an option that was brought up recently, but the obvious advantage of it would be we could allow Arwen and her mother to have a conversation, to bring Celebrían out of historic flashbacks and into the present as a living character. To me, that is the only appeal of dragging Arwen halfway across Middle Earth in this season, though of course we can make good use of the journey for other purposes. Others may suggest other uses of the palantir.
Thanks for the summary on it MithLuin. I do remember listening to the Podcast and this was discussed ... but I simply forgot. That's why I take notes now haha.

I think her journey through Middle Earth would be something the audience would enjoy. As long as it were done in an expedited way ... just to keep it from over powering the main narrative. I think Bilbo was mentioned as a possible individual she could meet. One of the rangers, Haldbarad, was mentioned by Nicholas. Some other possibilities are (and they may have been mentioned before): The town of Bree, a Weathertop cameo, Bombadil (endless stories there). If she leaves from Lothlorien, there's the crossing of the Misty Mountains. There's a lot of shameless fan service we could do over that journey ... but again, it would have to be in a "tidy" fashion to maintain the "story" of the frame narrative and NOT overwhelm the main narrative.

I like the palantir b/c of the fact that it allows us to directly connect the frame narrative to the main. I think that connection could strengthen the frame narrative and give it a good tie in. Her conversation with her mother in Tol Eressëa lets even the laziest audience member see the connection between the two (by this time Tol Eressëa has been introduced in the main).
 

Lincoln Alpern

Active Member
I like the idea of the travelogue structure because it gives the framing story a narrative arc which is simple and easy to follow, so it needs little development. The original frame we concocted, with Arwen, Galadriel, and Celeborn just sort of hanging around Lothlorien shooting the breeze, has less of a structure to it, beyond Arwen's character arc of choosing whether to stay in or leave Middle-Earth (or, rather, giving the prelude to that decision).

I actually don't like the palantir idea, because even if we establish "this is a one-off deal," it undermines the mystique of Valinor as a place that's super difficult to access. I mean, I do like the idea of someone in Season 3 calling up Finarfin to get his recollections of the Exodus of the Noldor or the Kinslaying or something, but I feel like that should be a climactic moment of "holy sh*t! You mean we can actually contact someone in Valinor from here in Middle-Earth?" that the whole of the Season 3 frame story is building up to.

I also don't like the idea of bringing Celebrian in for a palantir video-conference, because again, even if we make it clear this is a special, one-off case, I feel like it will undermine the finality of her departure from Middle-Earth and her separation from Arwen. But feel free to contradict me on this point.

Even if we ditched the palantir angle, or I'm overruled on that point, there's another issue with switching to the travelogue frame. My understanding was that the main stories in Season 2 were going to be tales of the First Days related by Celeborn and by Galadriel to illustrate some point to Arwen, just as in Season 1 they were lessons by Elrond told to young Estel. If Galadriel and Celeborn are absent for six episodes, who's telling the stories which comprise the main plots of those episodes?


If we stick with the Lothlorien frame, I have the perfect story for Episode 9:

I know we're not doing "Arwen as awkward teenager," but the frame story is supposed to be a coming-of-age for Arwen, so:

The episode opens with Arwen coming to Galadriel and saying, "Hey, Grandma, there's this guy, and he's really funny and an excellent musician and woodsmen, etc., but ... I dunno, sometimes when he looks at me I get chills. There's something creepy about it. Anyway, he's asked to wear my necklace (or whatever that jewelry is Arwen gives to Aragorn in the Jackson films) as a token of affection at the next big festival, and I'm not sure what to do. Got any advice?"

Celeborn, in the background, bursts out laughing - we don't want to depict him as petty, so I don't think he would feel any residual ill feelings toward a dead guy who once tried to get with his wife eons ago, so I think he'd just find it hilarious. Galadriel, very solemnly, says, "As it happens, I had a similar experience back in Valinor, many long years ago ..." And from there we jump into the main story.


Come on, you know it would be brilliant.
 

Lincoln Alpern

Active Member
Also, I'm afraid I'm going to miss tonight's livestream because my sisters and I are having dinner with our father and his fiance. I'd really appreciate it if someone shared my suggestions with the hosts in the livechat. I want to get their reaction on the episode recording.
 

ouzaru

Well-Known Member
I had a lot of fun, and I'm super satisfied with the progress we made. I feel like we got enough done that it was a success, and had enough not done to maybe be able to finagle another session out of the hosts towards the end of the season. Do you guys have any hot takes on anything about the session today? I'm mostly sort of delirious and giddy, but it sounds like my pea brain is maybe the most unequivocally pleased by what we got done today?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
A few teasers for those who did not have the opportunity to listen in live (a recording should be available at some point):

1) No mention of leaving Lothlorien was made, so I think it is safe to assume that both the 'travelogue' and 'palantir' ideas are vetoed.
2) The Mirror of Galadriel is in, and serves the purpose of allowing Arwen to see Valinor and connect directly to our main story.
3) The 'mentor' character being instead a peer friend of Arwen's who is with her in Lothlorien was accepted. She is still a Rivendell elf, though.
4) The frame story was plotted out for the first 6 episodes.

Episode 1: Flashback of Celebrían being attacked by orcs. We meet Arwen and Celeborn. They discuss how the Shadow has always been there.
Episode 2: There is a festival of the stars, and we are introduced to Galadriel as the Lady of Lothlorien. Arwen gives her a tapestry depicting Varda, and they discuss how Varda is not known/celebrated by the elves of Lothlorien. Arwen asks Galadriel what Varda was like.
Episode 3: Arwen's friend and companion, who was with her at the festival, is preparing to leave Middle Earth. Arwen tries to talk her into staying (at least a little longer) and the friend remains steadfast in her decision to go. Arwen talks to Celeborn about how she does not want to fight with her friend during their final days together, and he alludes to how difficult it was when those we love follow a different path (or something).
Episode 4: Arwen's brothers Elladan and Elrohir arrive in Lothlorien. Discussion of how they rescued Celebrían. Arwen realizes that you can't save everyone.
Episode 5: Departure of Arwen's friend. While saying farewell, she expresses the hope that she and Arwen will meet again in the West someday. Arwen realizes that she too will have to make this choice someday. Celeborn and Galadriel are present as visual representations of the 'should I stay or should I go?' choices.
Episode 6: More conversations with Elladan and Elrohir. Fading of Celebrían after her rescue; Elrond's unsuccessful attempts to treat her. Arwen struggling with the 'Why wasn't I enough for you?' question and coming to accept her mom's choice as right...for her.

That's as far as we got for now, which is something. A later episode will feature Arwen looking into the Mirror of Galadriel (with Galadriel's cautions) to see Valinor for herself, and get essentially a 'noontide of Valinor' montage...maybe.
 

ouzaru

Well-Known Member
I think we should shelve travelogue for a later season. Palantir we can probably Kung Fu fight about later if we really want to include it, though I personally think it opens up kind of a can of worms that i think I'd rather keep shut.

I'm , it's nap time for menodding off as I type this,

Edit: okay, nap time for sure.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Alright... So we're back to Arwen being in a safe place where not much happens and having conflicting feelings about two characters who aren't there with her... Well I guess we'll manage. It's a challenge, but it'll probably work. :)
 

ouzaru

Well-Known Member
The conflict is brought to a head by those characters, but the real impact is on Arwen herself. This is Arwen figuring out the "Stay or go" question, which every elf has to decide.
 
Top