On the Spell of Bottomless Dread

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
I know it's early for it, but something I've been toying about with in my mind is that we could make it that cursing Hurin's line could maybe be the single largest permanent expenditure of Morgoth's personal power into the world since... since making Orcs maybe? He's so petty and vindictive that he could be goaded into overextending himself pretty easily, and Sauron or another onlooker could see it happening and be like, dang. Sending that big of a curse into the world, so open-ended and general, that pulls Elves and Dwarves and Men into its embrace, has got to be costly.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I know it's early for it, but something I've been toying about with in my mind is that we could make it that cursing Hurin's line could maybe be the single largest permanent expenditure of Morgoth's personal power into the world since... since making Orcs maybe? He's so petty and vindictive that he could be goaded into overextending himself pretty easily, and Sauron or another onlooker could see it happening and be like, dang. Sending that big of a curse into the world, so open-ended and general, that pulls Elves and Dwarves and Men into its embrace, has got to be costly.
That sounds about right. He's manipulating the fabric of the Music itself to achieve an end.
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
So the bigger picture here is that no matter what we show Morgoth doing, we have to show the cost to him in that moment, and also over time. We've talked of having Morgoth become more 'uncanny valley' over time, a gaunt skull-like face that no longer passes for a human/elf. That would be the toll of all this exertion on him. But we also have to show it in discrete moments. I'm not saying he should get winded by doing magic, but there needs to be something that indicates...not free, not easy. If we show the audience that he's putting his power into the world, and it's a non-renewable resource...they may start to understand that he's a Vala, but not at 'ultimate cosmic power' levels any more.

It is of course a trope that witches use magic to make themselves appear young and beautiful, but that they run out of magic trying to keep up appearances. This is more commonly played for laughs (as in Stardust), but I think we could use the audience's natural inclination to think that way to show the toll Morgoth's deeds are taking on his physical form. We should show him locked in, unable to change form. And then later bleeding, unable to heal. And then limping after the duel with Fingolfin. Etc.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
We should definitely (if none of you clever people already have) set up the wounds lingering from Fingolfin, by showing him taking some kind of similar wound in earlier seasons and healing it instantly without any effort.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
We should definitely (if none of you clever people already have) set up the wounds lingering from Fingolfin, by showing him taking some kind of similar wound in earlier seasons and healing it instantly without any effort.
Maybe he cuts himself shaving?;) His healing factor is definitely gone by the Dagor Bragollach, since he fears what would happen to him if Fingolfin wins, "for he alone of the Valar knew fear".
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
We do not have any examples of Morgoth putting the Spell of Bottomless Dread on a human, so I'm not entirely sure why Húrin is part of this conversation.
Well, you appear to be saying that Morgoth can automatically put it on anyone no matter what, that he succeeds every single time he tries, and that the only reason he doesn't do it to everybody he meets is that not all prisoners are important enough. I don't know why any automatic "Erase Free-Will" button would work on Elves but not short-lived, weak-willed, weak-spirited Mortals. So I'm trying to say that if it's automatic, then Morgoth must have deliberately avoided breaking Hurin because he was a less important prisoner than Edhellos, and Gondolin wasn't important to Morgoth.

Either Morgoth wants to break Hurin, tries, and fails,
or he does not want to break Hurin at all, and doesn't even try.

We should show the first, not the second. Morgoth by that time believed the Valar had abandoned Middle-earth forever, and that Turgon was the greatest threat to him. The Spell of Bottomless Dread can't be as utterly irresistable and 100% automatic against everybody as the lure of the Ring. It can't be an "I win, no saving throw!" button. We may not have any reason to show somebody resisting it, but we should write consistently with the idea that Morgoth can't automatically do this to every incarnate ever.


I also don't see what's so wrong with the explicit statement by Tolkien that it was flat-out impossible to put the Spell of Bottomless Dread on most Noldor, and that most Edain were also impossible to break. Nobody else has even acknowledged that Tolkien wrote that.


If Morgoth finally let him go, it was because he thought Húrin was "ready".
I'm pretty certain that he ran out of ways to break Hurin, and that was his last shot. It also almost failed, because one of the earliest things Hurin did was contemplate suicide, and the Eagles were about to pick him up and coincidentally kill the spies.
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
So the bigger picture here is that no matter what we show Morgoth doing, we have to show the cost to him in that moment, and also over time. We've talked of having Morgoth become more 'uncanny valley' over time, a gaunt skull-like face that no longer passes for a human/elf. That would be the toll of all this exertion on him. But we also have to show it in discrete moments. I'm not saying he should get winded by doing magic, but there needs to be something that indicates...not free, not easy. If we show the audience that he's putting his power into the world, and it's a non-renewable resource...they may start to understand that he's a Vala, but not at 'ultimate cosmic power' levels any more.

It is of course a trope that witches use magic to make themselves appear young and beautiful, but that they run out of magic trying to keep up appearances. This is more commonly played for laughs (as in Stardust), but I think we could use the audience's natural inclination to think that way to show the toll Morgoth's deeds are taking on his physical form. We should show him locked in, unable to change form. And then later bleeding, unable to heal. And then limping after the duel with Fingolfin. Etc.
Maybe his face looks less like a face, that he’s trying to take a fair form but is just off enough that it’s foul? Take a look at this description of Voldemort from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince after making a few Horcruxes:

"Voldemort had entered the room. His features were not those Harry had seen emerge from the great stone cauldron almost two years ago: They were not as snake-like, the eyes were not yet scarlet, the face not yet masklike, and yet he was no longer handsome Tom Riddle. It was as though his features had been burned and blurred; they were waxy and oddly distorted, and the whites of the eyes now had a permanently bloody look, though the pupils were not yet the slits that Harry knew they would become. He was wearing a long black cloak, and his face was as pale as the snow glistening on his shoulders."
 
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Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I like the idea of him falling increasingly into the Uncanny Valley, and the idea that his face may look burned or disfigured (although not too disfigured before Thorondor tears it up with his talons), as a way to show his weakening. Getting more gaunt is another option. I imagine that by the War of Wrath we may be piling several varieties of ugly onto him.

The one part where I would disagree with you is Morgoth trying to look fair. Except when he's at Hildorien, I imagine that at this point in his fall he enjoys being terrifying and horrific, and ruling through fear.

Edit: Maybe his teeth also change? Maybe while his face gets paler, his teeth get black or yellowish.
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I somehow liked the idea of melkors face becoming more like a statue, mor öike stone... but the more corpse or mummy like idea i like too!

I already said we somehow need to i ply that hes starting to make Arda his ring and is putting more and more of himself into the worlds matter...

Back them i have proposed that melkor is actually "taking roots" like hes intertwining with his throne and cave... as if his throne was more like a tool, like he is literally connected to the worls via his hair and fingernails and skin..
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
The taking roots idea is a cool way to show the way he connects himself to the world. Then we would need a way to show him getting up from his throne to walk around Angband doing stuff, going outside to kill Fingolfin and torture Hurin, and travelling to Hildorien, without giving the impression that his 'roots' are breaking. But also without them... visually getting in the way? Not sure how to do that.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I like the idea of him falling increasingly into the Uncanny Valley, and the idea that his face may look burned or disfigured (although not too disfigured before Thorondor tears it up with his talons), as a way to show his weakening. Getting more gaunt is another option. I imagine that by the War of Wrath we may be piling several varieties of ugly onto him.

The one part where I would disagree with you is Morgoth trying to look fair. Except when he's at Hildorien, I imagine that at this point in his fall he enjoys being terrifying and horrific, and ruling through fear.

Edit: Maybe his teeth also change? Maybe while his face gets paler, his teeth get black or yellowish.
The idea I had was of something like Michael Myers from Halloween regarding the Uncanny Valley.

Here is something I found on TV Tropes to describe Michael Myers:

  • Michael Myers' mask from Halloween creates this effect. If you're not paying attention, or viewing it in the dark, it looks human enough. At a passing glance, you might not even notice that it isn't his actual face. But when you get a good look at it, you notice something wrong. Very, very wrong. It looks like it was based on a human face, but one rendered soulless and inhuman by some unspeakable evil.note It gives the impression that Myers used to be human, but is now some horrific parody of humanity. The effect is unsettling at first, but the longer you look at it, the more it stares back, like some terrible staring contest. And the mask is never going to blink.
    • Dr. Loomis' description of Michael's actual face fits this trope like a glove.
    Loomis: I met him fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason, no, uh, conscience, no understanding and even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, of good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six year old child with this blank, pale, emotionless face, and the blackest eyes, the devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized that what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply... evil.
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
The taking roots idea is a cool way to show the way he connects himself to the world. Then we would need a way to show him getting up from his throne to walk around Angband doing stuff, going outside to kill Fingolfin and torture Hurin, and travelling to Hildorien, without giving the impression that his 'roots' are breaking. But also without them... visually getting in the way? Not sure how to do that.
Well my idea was that he actually NEVER walks around and leaves his throne, but does everything from his dark chamber, skulking, scheming , commanding and looking evil...

His duel with fingolfin is the one true real break from that and it would be a major thing for him to do because he would be literally rippingoff his connection with his throne... he would lose some long spiderweb-like hair, he would break his long clawlike fingernails which have grown intertwined with his throne... he would have to hurt his physical shape to leave his throne and angband... he would have to completely stop his merging with arda for that confrontation , and he'll have to start again (not com9letely from the start but still... re-grow with what he already has done in growing roots) with it after hes finished.So fingolfins sacrifice actually does cost Morgoth a lot... it puts his magical-merging on a hiatus, it buys the Elves a lot more time... its a serious cost of energy and delay for M.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Well... I don't think I like that direction, sorry. Morgoth leaves Angband itself three separate times. If it costs him that much to even stand up, he would have sent Sauron to Hildorien instead of going himself. While he does become a prisoner in his body, I'm not comfortable with also making him a prisoner in his throne, unable to move.

Making him a prisoner in his throne also makes him less credible as the tyrant-king of Angband. He's kind of helpless, so why is anyone obeying him?
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Because he does not need his body to use his power.his power already is in the matter of Arda, and in his creatures, and in Angband even stronger than everywhere else in Arda (i even think of Angband as microcosm-Morgoth in contrast to macrocosm-morgoth, which is what he is trying to achieve wirh Arda as a whole).

He leaves Angband two times if i remember correctly... to go to Hildorien and to fight Fingolfin, and both are major exploits and major exceptions from what he does. Even innthe books we only see him sitting on his throne and commanding most of the time...
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I don't think the books specify that he always sits on his throne and never moves.

In any case he also gets up to torture many Elves personally, to torture Hurin, to watch Hurin being tortured, to carry Hurin to Haudh-en-Dengin, and to carry Hurin up onto Thangorodrim. We already had him personally chain Maedhros to Thangorodrim. He'll have to get up at some point to work on making Dragons, and if he captures and tortures Eagles on top of Thangorodrim he'll have to get up for that.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I never had the impression he was by himself very active in those things, but quite the opposite...
that he was more personally active in the beginning and then gets more and morecpassive and reclusive, relying on his servants rather than doing things himself.

But anyway, thats just an idea, just a vision i wanted to throw in... if you think different about it, well it's just my own thoughtband impression.
 

Halstein

Active Member
I think "Evil Overlord sitting on throne" is a bit cliche. I agree with Faelivrin here, that Morgoth should be a bit more mobile. Even if he stays mostly in Angband, it seems to be a big place.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I never had the impression he was by himself very active in those things, but quite the opposite...
Well there are explicit references to him doing those things himself, especially in the Children of Hurin.

But I would rather depict Morgoth as proactive, even while he's cravenly hiding in his underground lair. We've started to make him rather passive and I don't think we should.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Well there are explicit references to him doing those things himself, especially in the Children of Hurin.

But I would rather depict Morgoth as proactive, even while he's cravenly hiding in his underground lair. We've started to make him rather passive and I don't think we should.
I'd say he's less proactive from Season 5 onward, what with not wanting to face Fingolfin because he fears that he will die "only he of the Valar knew fear", but for this season, he should be more proactive.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
It may seem cliche but it is a fact that M. Does not actually really DO a lot of things...

Yes even IF we chose to use the scene where M. Taunts Hurin on Haud en ndengin and if we chose that M. Does attach Hurin on Thangorodrim all by himself these still are rare exceptions of him walking around, doing things...
 
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