I'm currently running a bit late at work, but I should be home well before our 7:30 PM start time. As soon as I get there, I'll set up the event and get out at least a YouTube link.
I really love what you have done here. This draft has life!Draft Outline
Season 2 Episode 11: The Closed Doors of Formenos, or the (Partial) Redemption of Finwë...or, Fëanor really sucks at Hospitality
Conflict: In the isolated stronghold of Formenos, Fëanor stews in his sense of the injustice committed against him, while Nerdanel struggles to make him see sense as the distance between them grows.
Teaser: We see the newly constructed (still under construction) Formenos, and see some of the various ensemble characters at work. Finwë is overseeing the work. Fëanor is in his forge, making a locking mechanism for the front gate. Finwë approaches him, asking if that's really the critical path here. Fëanor retorts that he won't feel safe until he can ensure the safety of everyone within Formenos. He follows this up with a contention that it's all Finwë's fault they're even here, under the Valar in the first place, when they should have just stayed in Middle Earth and been free. Finwë informs him that that was not what Míriel wanted.
2. Indis arrives at Formenos, and Nerdanel greets her at the door. She brings her in to meet Finwë. Fëanor sees this and flips, having a private fight with Nerdanel about how he doesn't want 'that woman' here. Nerdanel makes it clear that Indis has come to visit Finwë, the KING, and Fëanor needs recognize the sacrifice Finwë has made to be here. Fëanor complains of Nerdanel making the decision for him, and says he doesn't want to see Indis. He leaves to go to his vault.
3. Indis and Finwë discuss the state of their family. Flashback to Finwë in Tirion declaring himself unkinged and opting to go into exile with Fëanor. It is clear that Indis and Finwë are working as a team to care for and heal the divisions in their family. Finwë asks about how the children in Tirion are doing. Indis asks why Finwë hasn't spoken with the Valar to resolve this mess - isn't he still the Ambassador to the Valar? He claims that has changed, because of the 'unkinged' thing. She also reminds Finwë of Míriel's insight into Fëanor's dark fate, and Finwë denies it, saying that he knows what Fëanor needs.
4. Fëanor trains his sons in swordsmanship. They are having a melee-style, last-man-standing sparring match. Maglor disarms Maedhros, who was just horsing around. Fëanor interrupts and angrily chastises them for not taking this seriously, demonstrating to Maglor how he is supposed to take down his opponent. They start again, and this time fight in earnest. Celegorm is the ultimate winner, defeating Maedhros last. He looks to his father for instruction, and Fëanor nods and says, "Again."
5. Nerdanel and Finwë discuss their own relationships with Fëanor. Finwë wants to give Nerdanel some marriage counseling advice, which she takes impatiently as she's been dealing with this for a long time. She tells Finwë that he needs to be the king and father in this situation, and take care of this before it gets out of hand. It's clear that they both want to help Fëanor, but they are coming at this from different angles and are not working together.
6. Fëanor is working with his blacksmiths, instructing them on something related to outfitting the army. He is never satisfied with their work. Celebrimbor, his 10-year-old grandchild, is there as an apprentice. Fëanor asks a question of the smiths, who are silent, and Celebrimbor pipes up with the answer. Fëanor uses this moment to both praise his grandson's genius and rub the other smith's faces in their inadequacy, dismissing them. Nerdanel passes by the forge and stops to speak with one of the departing smiths. From a distance, she sees a vignette of Fëanor interacting with Celebrimbor, and sees they obviously are both very happy working together.
7. Ilmarë, the handmaiden of Varda, arrives at Formenos to deliver a message from the Valar. The gate is opened for her, but she is surprised at the walls/gates of Formenos...clearly concerned. She enters the courtyard and is greeted by Nerdanel, but Fëanor angrily interrupts. He invades her personal space and tells her what his problems are with the Valar. Ilmarë tries to remain polite, and take steps back to leave space between them, and tries to answer Fëanor's concerns. He interrupts her, says nothing the Valar have to say is welcome here. She is patient, trying to wait for a chance to deliver her message, but Fëanor backs her through the gate and shuts her out. Nerdanel rebukes Fëanor for treating a messenger of the Valar so shamefully, and Fëanor tells her off for correcting him in public.
8. Maedhros and Maglor privately discuss their parents' relationship. It comes up that it's been a long time since Nerdanel and Fëanor have had a shouting match like that, and Maglor is concerned that this isn't like the fight-and-makeup arguments of the past. Maedhros is convinced that it is no different and it will blow over when Nerdanel comes around to Fëanor's way of thinking.
9. A bird of prey arrives on Maedhros' windowsill. Surprised, Maedhros quickly gets a horse and leaves, being vague about where he is going. He meets up with Fingon, who has the hawk/falcon on his arm. Fingon says it's been awhile and he hasn't heard from Maedhros, so he came to check on him. The two of them go hunting together. Their conversation starts with catching up on news (it comes out that Fingon has been away from Tirion long enough not to have gotten the message from the Valar's messenger). As their conversation progresses, though, it's clear that Maedhros is not willing to be open about what is really happening and that there is a growing distance between the two friends. Maedhros has to get back to Formenos for training.
10. On a training field, 280 soldiers (40 for each of the sons), are going through mock military exercises. Fëanor oversees the procedure from a raised area. Nerdanel comes out to see this, and immediately confronts Finwë who is standing there watching: Are you going to stop this or am I? Finwë makes it clear that he's not intervening, so Nerdanel goes to confront Fëanor. He ignores her at first. She points out that he got banished for breaking the peace, so what is this and how is it helping? Fëanor, unknowingly quoting Melkor, says that he has to be ready in case the Valar attack him. He voices his dissertation on the crimes of the Valar: not telling the Elves about Men, banishing him without consulting Finwë, releasing Melkor without talking to the elves, and forcing Míriel to remain a prisoner in Mandos until the end of Arda! Once Fëanor mentions his mother, Nerdanel knows the conversation is over.
12. The team of Maedhros, Maglor and Caranthir have won the war exercise, defeating Celegorm, Curufin and the twins. Fëanor invites the winners to his 'inner sanctum' where the vault holding the silmarils is kept. The celebration involves some congratulatory toasts, with the silmarils.
13. The losers are moping, and Nerdanel walks in to see them. They are expressing the thought that they have to do better to win their father's favor. Nerdanel seeks out Fëanor, seeing the weird 'victory party.' Nerdanel challenges Fëanor, saying that he will not take her sons from her, and that she will not let Fëanor turn them into whatever he is now. This conversation is interrupted by a page because...
14. Climax Melkor arrives at the door of Formenos. Fëanor, in full regalia, goes out to speak to him, standing between Melkor and the open doorway. Melkor repeats the grievances against the Valar, and suggests that they should join together. Fëanor silently listens. Melkor mentions that the silmarils are not safe from the Valar here. Fëanor flips (he just said the wrong thing), and sends away the jail-crow of Mandos, shutting the door in his face.
Fëanor then goes into the house, slamming the door behind him, and storms down to the office, gesturing for his sons to get out. Nerdanel, who has followed him down here, stands there as he grabs the silmarils, enters the vault, and closes the door on her.
Melkor evaluates his options for revenge, his rage clear on his face. He's holding himself back from razing Formenos on the spot....but then chooses to wait, leaving his revenge for later.
I really love what you have done here. This draft has life!
No, I did not picture her opening doors behind him; they should remain shut. She could be walking backwards in front of him if we need to see her enter a room with him or something. I was just picturing him throwing the boys out of the 'office', so that the door closed on his sons was one before the door closed on his wife.