S03E02 Script Discussion

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
So..... I have a problem here. I had tried to set up my September schedule to work around the anticipated Script Discussion schedble. The week shift of the podcast recording has made this impossible. In addition, my schedule shifted due to the resignation of a colleague. I will not be available for a Saturday evening until October. Even Sundays, I cannot get home until 8:30 the earliest.

If anyone else wants to host this in the meanwhile, that would also be ok.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I think we should hold off on Episode 2 until we resolve some questions of what will be in Episode 3. The hosts ran out of time this week, so there were some open questions of what needs to actually be included in Episode 2.

I am not available the weekend of Sept. 30th, but should be available the first weekend in October.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
There's a lot going on in this episode. No doubt we've forgotten some of it....

Season 3 Episode 2: The Kinslaying

Summary: Fëanor's sense of urgency and attempt to expand his rebellion has tragic consequences for the Teleri.

Protagonist: Fingolfin, with a side helping of Maedhros. We are not seeing this from Fëanor's perspective, and the audience should be distancing themselves from that as he spirals into madness after the death of his father last season.

Intro: FRAME - Young Estel is discovered to be missing from Rivendell. Elladan and Elrohir are sent to look for him. On his own in the Wild, Estel faces some basic survival challenges successfully. Elladan and Elrohir find his trail.

ACT 1
1.
Farewells and Packing in Tirion. Fingolfin and Finarfin talk to their wives (Anairë and Earwen, respectively). Fingolfin reiterates his intention to be true to his word and follow his older brother. Finarfin thinks there are worse things than breaking your word, and he's not convinced this entire enterprise won't end in disaster. Earwen is in tears, and says she will not depart. Anairë says that she won't leave Valinor, because she wishes to stay with Earwen, who is like a sister to her, but she will at least see her husband on his way. Irimë comes in and tells them to hurry up and get a move on - it's time to go.

2. Olwë and Uinen meet in the harbor of Alqualondë. The Teleri are hanging lamps to drive back the darkness. Olwë is not afraid, and expresses trust that the Valar will deal with Melkor as they did before. He is concerned for the well-being of the elves left behind in Middle Earth now that Melkor is there. [Name-drop Círdan.] Uinen alludes to Olwë's purpose in Ulmo's plan.

3. The Sons of Fëanor are urging the Noldor to pack quickly and to travel light. They can make new things in their new realms in Middle Earth. Parting artisans from their craftsmanship is difficult, though, and there are many who have trouble leaving their work behind. In particular, some of the builders insist that they can't leave their beloved city. Fëanor's urgency has been translated to his Sons, and they're not all polite in their efforts to get the people moving. Celegorm has Huan herd them like sheep, nipping at their heels or head-butting them if they don't move quickly enough. Maedhros chastises his brother and is more reasonable, but still insistent that they have to get going - the sooner the better. [For all his brave words, Fëanor expects an intervention from the Valar, and would like to leave before they figure out the Noldor have rebelled. But, this will be unstated.]

4. Eonwë, herald of Manwë, arrives and speaks for the Valar. He makes it clear that the Valar will *not* intervene, and that the Noldor are free to depart. Fëanor answers him back proudly, addressing his remarks to the crowd rather than the herald, but Eonwë does not show any indication of having been insulted. The people murmur a bit, but no one goes back to their homes after Eonwë departs. The contingent lead by Fëanor is ready, and they depart. Fingolfin's people are still in the city of Tirion.

ACT 2
5. ...

To Be Continued...
 
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Haakon

Administrator
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Great! I especially love the Farewells and Packing scene. You get the feeling that they perhaps think this will take just a few years, or at least that they will be able to return. They have no idea of the losses they will experience. It's really sad.
Love the Teleri lamps.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
ACT 2

5. Earwen goes to Alqualondë to talk her father Olwë. She gives an outsider/citizen of Tirion view of the events since the Darkening and of the death of their King. Olwë advises patience and trust in the Valar - who will surely do something about Melkor. He has been witness to the power of the Valar (in the War of the Powers). Olwë reminds us of the elvish view of death, and expresses that he does not personally fear death. The Teleri are much more chill than the Noldor in general, but especially now. Olwë more explicitly mentions his purpose in building a fleet of ships that can cross the ocean.

6. Fëanor sends his sons into Alqualondë. The Fëanorean host have stopped and set up some tents nearby (but not in sight of the harbor). Maedhros et al ask around for Olwë, to set up a meeting. Rather than being directed to the palace, they are directed to the harbor, where Olwë is seen doing something surprisingly mundane. (Fishing, helping out with the hanging of lamps, etc.) Maedhros is surprised - Olwë is not who he expected him to be. They agree to the meeting with Fëanor.

7. The Host of Fingolfin leaves Tirion. Someone expresses for the first time the fear that the Fëanoreans will leave them behind. Turgon keeps turning around to look back at the city of Tirion as they depart. Fingolfin chastises Turgon, saying that once you make a decision you have to stick with it and see it through. You can't keep looking back and be divided. The first expression of 'you can never go home.' Galadriel expresses a desire for realms of her own in Middle Earth.

8. Fëanor meets with Olwë in the palace of Alqualondë, with the full court gathered. The court of the Teleri is made up of master shipbuilders and ship captains, mostly. Earwen is there with her brothers, but Fëanor gives no indication that he sees her, and he does not address her in his greeting to Olwë. Fëanor brings some (but not all?) of his sons with him. Fëanor begins by inviting the Teleri to join in their endeavor - they are going back to Middle Earth to reclaim what is theirs (the silmarils) and to make Morgoth pay for the death of their king (Fëanor's father). The Teleri are sad to hear that the Noldor are leaving, and Olwë invites them to stay awhile longer, as they will be sorely missed. Fëanor is a bit thrown that his oratory, which has always swayed and persuaded people towards his viewpoint in the past, seems to have no affect on them. Fëanor emphasizes that he cannot stay or delay his mission in any way - it is imperative that he go immediately. He hopes that, if the Teleri will not join them, they will at least be willing to aid them by ferrying them across Belegaer? Olwë seems to consider this idea for a time, knowing that it is one of his purposes in having built the fleet of swanships in the first place. Olwë brings up the Valar, and asks what they think of the Noldor's mission to Middle Earth? Fëanor cannot help but reveal some of his scorn for the Valar, and the fact that while they have not forbidden him from leaving, they haven't exactly given their blessing, either. At this point, Olwë's entire court looks extremely skeptical of having anything to do with the Noldor. Olwë declines to aid the Noldor in their mission if it is not Valar-sanctioned. Fëanor brings up all that the Noldor have done for the Teleri, including building Alqualondë, and finally requests that if they will not take them to Middle Earth, can they not at the very least lend the Noldor their ships? The Teleri are scandalized by the suggestion, and reply by comparing the swanships to the silmarils - the works of their hands and precious to them...and not for others' use. The negotiations have broken down, and Fëanor storms out, furious.

ACT 3

9. The sons of Fëanor go to reconnoiter around the harbor, determining number of ships and whether or not they're manned. At this point, it is clear that they intend to steal the ships, since they do need them to reach Middle Earth. They (particularly Caranthir and Celegorm) express anger that the Teleri have insulted them and refused to help them, and have many disparaging things to say about their lack of courage and stinginess in refusing to help their own kin. They call them 'shoreland pipers' and don't think it takes much skill to sail a ship. They do not have anything unkind to say about the ships, though, unable to help but admire the craftsmanship. Curufin notices the strategic importance of the Arch at the entrance to the harbor, and points this out to Maedhros (who seems confused as to why his brother would bring that up). They meet some Teleri who are suspicious of the Fëanoreans' intentions, and then the Sons leave to report back to their father.

10. In the camp of the Fëanoreans, everyone is packing up and getting ready - putting on full armor. The force from Formenos is uniform; the Noldor of Tirion are more lightly armed and don't 'match.' Fëanor gives his people a speech to prepare them for taking the ships. He says that the Teleri have allied themselves with Morgoth by refusing to aid the Noldor. He also says that they are cowards, who will back down as soon as they see the might of the Noldor. His fiery oratory has a much stronger effect on his followers than it did on the Teleri of Olwë's court.

11a. The host of the Fëanoreans descend upon the harbor of the Teleri. Some ships are unmanned, and taken quickly (Fëanor is on one of these.) There are many Teleri on the quays, and they try to prevent the Noldor from reaching the ships. Some brawling breaks out, but it's weaponless fist fights at first. Some of the apparently unmanned ships had Teleri below decks, so there is fighting on the ships as well. The Noldor struggle greatly to get the ships underway. The Teleri retaliate by throwing Noldor in the water - but the heavy weight of the armor combined with the deep water of the harbor makes this a fatal action in some cases. The first Teleri to be run through with a sword was by Maedhros, reacting to someone attacking Maglor. Bloody, deadly fighting does not break out in all locations simultaneously, but the fighting quickly escalates to a massacre throughout the harbor.

11b. The host of Fingolfin comes upon the abandoned/hastily deconstructed Fëanorean camp. They don't know what has happened, but Fingolfin suspects an ambush from the Teleri. He gathers his fighting force (including Irimë and Galadriel and his sons), and leaves others (Anairë and Finarfin) behind with the baggage. Someone complains about Aredhel being lost again.

12. The death of Olwë. The Teleri have no armor and no swords but they are not weaponless. They have knives, harpoons, nets, grappling hooks, spears, bows and arrows, etc. Olwë sends some archers up onto the Arch, with the instruction not to let the ships leave the harbor. Earwen goes with them (she too is an archer). Olwë and his sons get into smaller boats to try to reboard the ships the Noldor have manned. Pirate fighting, with the Noldor repelling boarders. Olwë does not leave his rowboat, but shouts up to Fëanor, imploring him to put a stop to this madness. Fëanor answers him with a spear, and Olwë dies. Earwen, seeing the death of her father, gives the command for the archers to fire.

ACT 4

13. Celegorm's ship is overrun by Teleri boarders. Huan helps to chase them back off non-lethally. He is defending his master, and 'herding' the Teleri the same way we saw him herding the Noldor earlier. Some Noldor die from Teleri arrows (in the eye, throat, gaps in the armor), but for the most part armor works against these light hunting bows.

14. Fingolfin's host comes upon the scene in the harbor. He sees the Teleri shooting from the Arch and takes some of his force to put a stop to that (the rest go to the piers to back up the Noldor still fighting there). Maedhros leads a force to try to take the other side of the Arch. The archers turn on Fingolfin's (lightly armored) host. Irimë dies from an arrow. Fingolfin goes mad and charges into the archers with his sword. Earwen takes a swan dive off the Arch (striking a rock outcropping on the way down?). Galadriel, who was not involved in the fighting but nearby, drops her sword and shield and runs down to the base of the Arch, diving into the water to try to save her mother.

15. Maedhros and Fingolfin meet in the middle of the Arch. Maedhros is elated and covered in blood. Fingolfin is grieving and upset. Fëanor's ship escapes the harbor under the Arch, the first of the stolen fleet to leave Alqualondë. Fëanor on the deck of the ship looks up and meets Fingolfin's eyes on the Arch.

Coda: Finarfin arrives in the harbor, horrified by the carnage and bloodshed. There are dead bodies floating in the water (nearly all Teleri, but a few Noldor amongst them) and blood everywhere. Galadriel has found Earwen's dead body, and Finarfin is grieved to see that his wife has died. Anairë grieves the loss of her friend (and says she will remain in Valinor to wait for her?) Weeping of the Teleri in the relatively quiet aftermath of the battle. The last of the stolen ships leave the harbor.
 
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Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Great! A minor detail - if I were a viewer I’d be a bit surprised that Earwen died. She made that spectacular dive and seemed to be doing well. She’s a good swimmer, right? So we should perhaps see something hitting her head before Galadriel jumps after her?
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I love the details goven of feanors negptiatiin with olwe and the kinslaying, especially olwe's pirate action!
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, we went back and forth on whether Earwen would survive her swandive.

In the end, it is going to depend on the visuals as to what looks believable - how high is that arch? Obviously, the ships can sail under it with no trouble, and the natural stone arch will be a bit higher than that. There shouldn't be any rocks in the water - it is the channel for the harbor she's diving into, so the water ought to be plenty deep. She could be struck by a ship, I suppose, or some debris floating in the water. There could also be a jutting-out part of the Arch, so that when she jumps, she doesn't clear it and her body strikes that on the way down.

Elwing will, of course, survive her swandive, but that's because she magically turns into a bird. There should be no divine intervention in this scene - the Valar are very deliberately hands off right now.

I think that, in the end, we wanted the episode to end with devastation, not a 'minor' happy ending of 'Look, Galadriel saved her mom!' We decided that Finarfin, Galadriel and Anairë all mourning Earwen would be a decent note to end on, with the backdrop of the grief of the Teleri. If Earwen survives, then we will be focusing on her grief for her father Olwë, which also works.


Here is a video of some cliff divers in Mexico - they are jumping from a height of 115 ft (35 m), and surviving without injury. So, if it's something like this, the dive would be believably survivable. If it's significantly higher than that...not so much.

http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/09/05/acapulco-dliff-divers-pkg.cnn
 
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Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Ok if she dies the reason should be clear. So, struck by a ship or debris or hitting a jutting-out part of the arch or something works. Or making the jump but having something falling onto her. Anything that’s clearly an accident or Finarfin and his children probably would not join the march at all.
Surviving works as well but I like the idea of the jump failing, in contrast to Elwing.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
We're suggesting it. We'll see what the Execs have to say about it. It's possible they wanted the swan dive to have a more hopeful outcome!
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I like it overall, and this does a good job of elaborating on and emphasizing the horrific brutality beyond Tolkien's spare outline. I like that Olwe gets killed by Feanor instead of Fingolfin, and in response to diplomacy -- is Olwe unarmed, too? I think Feanor should also run through a lot of Teleri on the ship he takes, or who try to board.

I like the outline of the argument between Olwe and Feanor, and I like that you don't try to imply rapproachment between Feanor and Fingolfin. Nolofinwe has claimed the Kingship for himself (on the authority of the Valar!) and "dared" to call himself Finwe Nolofinwe. Feanor's attitude towards him at this point should already be enmity and outrage. To him Fingolfin is a traitor, whether or not he's temporarily useful at Alqualonde.

It's a little odd to me that you show Feanor sending his sons to be "diplomatic". Is it less diplomacy and more "Gather your court, Father has something to say"? Feanor's fiery oratory isn't really described in this script? (Is it supposed to be implied? That part isn't clear to me.)

I too am surprised Earwen dies. She's certainly a competent swimmer, and Elves' bodies are far more resilient than human bodies. She should be able to survive a longer dive than a Mortal could. If she has to die it should be clear that some debris or ship or arrow struck her. But I don't really like her dying at all.

What is Galadriel doing before she runs to rescue her mother? Please don't have her just stand there, gap-faced, unable to make any decisions. If she doesn't aid the Teleri she should try to break up the fighting, even bravely getting between people.

Lastly, while Fingolfin and Fingon get involved in the Kinslaying, I think Turgon and Aredhel should be further behind and not involved at all.
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
It's a little odd to me that you show Feanor sending his sons to be "diplomatic". Is it less diplomacy and more "Gather your court, Father has something to say"? Feanor's fiery oratory isn't really described in this script? (Is it supposed to be implied? That part isn't clear to me.)
I certainly didn't see this as a diplomatic overture on the part of the Sons of Fëanor. It is more like just setting up the actual meeting. Fëanor isn't going to waste his time searching around for Olwë

I too am surprised Earwen dies. She's certainly a competent swimmer, and Elves' bodies are far more resilient than human bodies. She should be able to survive a longer dive than a Mortal could. If she has to die it should be clear that some debris or ship or arrow struck her. But I don't really like her dying at all.
I get the aversion to Earwen's death in this scene. Truthfully, we were not certain which way to go with this. The idea of her leap seems a bit contrived to me to start with, and I didn't want to parallel Elwing's own dive too closely. If her death seems too objectionable, she can be retrieved on shore alive. My take on her death was never that it was the fall that killed her. She did not make the leap to escape the Noldor, but in sheer grief. That would make her death out of grief rather than from drowning or impact. If she makes the leap merely to escape the Noldor, she would certainly survive the fall, and should be found exhausted on the shore thereafter.



What is Galadriel doing before she runs to rescue her mother? Please don't have her just stand there, gap-faced, unable to make any decisions. If she doesn't aid the Teleri she should try to break up the fighting, even bravely getting between people.
So, Galadriel is with Fingolfin's people on their way up the arch. Galadriel does not actively engage in combat simply because there are people in the way. She is not trying to stop the Noldor, because they are under fire from the Teleri. It is when she sees Earwen make her leap that she realizes the horror that is around her and rushes back down the arch to (fail to) save her mother.

So, no, she is not staring about in horror. Neither is she actively attempting to stop the Kinslaying, as people under fire tend to side with the people being shot at with them.
 

Haakon

Administrator
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After some processing I find myself in the ‘Earwen should survive’ camp. I want to see her grief. Sorry, it’s cruel, I know. But that’s the Silmarillion.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
So Galadriel is perfectly willing to slaughter the Teleri, and doesn't manage to kill anybody just by happenstance/techicality? I am completely against this. There is nothing at all in Tolkien's writing suggesting that Galadriel, in any draft, supported the Kinslaying or was OK with it, and multiple drafts from multiple decades saying she fought against the Noldor (probably having arrived at Alqualonde before Feanor's host, perhaps to talk to Olwe, like Earwen does in this outline).

Willingly participating in slaughtering the Teleri is drastically out of character, and contradicts Angrod's and her own behavior at Doriath later. Galadriel should not be a Kinslayer. This is an extreme and unnecessary change to her character and every version of her story.

Why wouldn't she try to get the Teleri to stop shooting with words, the way Olwe tries to talk to Feanor?
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Faelivrin, I think you might look at her actions in the context into which they are being put, rather than focusing on the moment. Put yourself in her position. She arrives in Fingolfin's party to find the Teleri shooting down at the Noldor from atop the arch. Fingolfin moves up to try to do the very thing you are suggesting. He is not planning to kill the Teleri. The Teleri, seeing a party of armed Noldor coming toward them, begin to loose their arrows on the Noldor. In the chaos of wounded soldiers dying around her, the battlecry of Fingolfin who has just watched his sister fall, among all the other shouting, how would she possibly be heard even if she wanted to try to get the Teleri to stop. As it is, the hosts had suggested her be on the verge of actually killing someone before the leap of Earwen stays her hand, which is not what we have here. We have her being swept up in the tumult just as everyone is. She is not "slaughter[ing]" helpless Teleri. She is helping to defend friends and family members who are in the process of being slaughtered. In the point of view of the Noldor, if they do not act, they will be killed.

What we did with Olwe was a concession. What the hosts had asked for was for Olwe to actually board the boat without actually fighting, in an attempt to talk to Feanor. This would be impossible in the context of a boarding action. One does not peaceably board a vessel that is being manned by armed people who are actively trying to kill anyone who boards. We changed it to a shouted conversation (which I still think might not be audible in a real scenario) between the two boats while the boarding was taking place.

I understand the desire to preserve the purity of Galadriel's character, but the hosts have been very clear that the later versions of Galadriel in which she seemed to bear none of the guilt which the Noldor carry, do not make as much sense in light of her line to Frodo about "pass[ing] the test" as does the fierce, somewhat power-hungry, and rather flawed Galadriel that we seem to get in earlier drafts. If we put her in with Feanor's mob of murderers, I could understand. This is a case of fatally mistaken intention.

As to it being happenstance, as described in this scene, about 80% of Fingolfin's force on the arch probably don't kill anyone. I wouldn't really consider it a contrived accident. We can have plenty of mayhem taking place elsewhere with whomever does not go up the arch.
 
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