S03E03 Script Discussion

MithLuin

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So, this is the episode where we transition back to the Beleriand storyline. It presents a lot of challenges, as the various parts of the episode are not strongly connected to each other and there is not really a story taking us through from beginning to end. We introduce the orcs, but 'hey, orcs!' isn't really...a story. It is going to feel like a clunky filler get-everybody-up-to-speed episode without a lot more work than we've given it so far. So...a little help here?

Also, there were a *lot* of things that were meant to happen in this episode, and we didn't fit them all in. Some scenes have been relegated to other episodes, where hopefully we will have time for them. Eöl has been saved for episode 4. The meeting between Fingolfin and Fëanor where Fingolfin breaks his sword (but continues with the quest to Middle Earth) has been bumped forward to episode 5. And the scene of Manwë's grief for Fëanor (where Mandos says 'and yet remain evil - to me Fëanor will come soon') is being reserved for after the Doom of Mandos [where it belongs], when Fëanor has made his final choice and rejected the last chance the Valar give him to repent. Here, we simply see the grief and non-interference of the Valar.


Season 3 Episode 3: Meanwhile in Beleriand (I think better titles were suggested, but this was the working title and the others are slipping my mind right now)

Protagonist: Estel. This episode is such a mess that we needed to make the Frame the primary storyline to have any hope of holding it together.

Summary:
Loss of innocence? We have a...theme...more than a story here. Estel is stubborn and learns a lesson. Sort of.

Teaser: Frame: We open in Rivendell. Elrond tells an anxious Gilraen that there is no news yet of her missing son, but that his sons will find him and bring him home soon. She expresses gratitude that they're searching for him, and some embarrassed anger over her son recklessly putting others at risk for no reason. [The 'I don't know whether to hug him or punish him when I see him again' reaction] We then see 16-year-old Estel - he is standing on some rocky promontory on a wooded mountainside, watching a storm roll in. He seems rather unconcerned and happy where he is.

ACT 1

1. The Valar sit/stand in the destroyed Mahanaxar in the aftermath of the Kinslaying. Nienna is not the only one weeping. Some, like Tulkas, express anger, saying that they could have put a stop to all of this. Ulmo, who has been still and quiet, responds that he could have stopped it, but then there would be no Noldor, and no Teleri, and no Alqualondë. He's....furious. Manwë reiterates why he thinks it best to not interfere at this time - that there is still a chance to save the Noldor from themselves. [Vairë and Mandos conspicuously absent, caring for the dead?]

2. Ossë and Uinen are at Tol Eressëa, grieving the loss of the Teleri. Uinen is inconsolable, as she was closest to them. [Recall that Ossë has been banned from the coast of Valinor, and is not allowed any nearer than this.] When they see the fleet of stolen ships leave the ruined harbor of Alqualondë, Uinen's grief turns to rage, and, though Ossë attempts to restrain her, her wordless rage calls up a storm that she hurls at the ships. The (remaining) Teleri of Alqualondë see the storm coming, and the Noldor on the ships, who are not mariners, start to panic.

3. Frame: Estel has taken shelter under an overhanging rock to wait out the storm. While he is waiting there, Elladan and Elrohir come upon him. The twins inform Estel that they were sent to look for him, and that he worried his mother, leaving like that. Estel informs them that he's not going back, but if they want to come with him, they can. After realizing that they can't argue with the boy, the brothers decide to tag along with him until he's ready to be less hard-headed.

4. In Angband, Morgoth (what are we calling him here?) outlines his strategy for the time being. He fears retaliation from Valinor - the Valar, and probably Fëanor, are going to be coming for him after what he did to them, so he wants to be prepared. Gothmog and his balrogs will take orcs and defend the North from the West. Sauron, who has made no progress on finding the whereabouts of Ungoliant, is sent to conquer the South. His instructions concerning the elves are 'Kill them all.' He may seem a bit surprised or taken aback by that order, but he's not really in a position to call it into question, either. Glimpse of poorly-lit dungeons full of unhappy creatures.

ACT 2
5. The storm of Uinen slams into the Teleri ships. They are all battered and lose direction and are clearly no longer being controlled by the Noldor...but the ships are sturdy and most of them survive anyway. Some do sink.

6. We cross the ocean to Beleriand. Círdan is standing and looking out to sea, troubled. It's overcast (few stars), and the water is a bit choppy. Establishing shot of the town and port of Eglarest (early days). Beleg Celeborn has come from Thingol (Elwë) for news, and so Círdan happily shows him the newest ship they have built (it is not nearly as fine as the swanships).

7. We now see Thingol's wandering woodland Court. These are the days of peace in Beleriand, so we should see what the Sindar are like before any wars trouble them - time for a party scene! And we need to introduce (or reintroduce) all of these characters by name. Thingol and Melian are presiding over a feast in a well-lit forest glade (lots of lanterns and/or torches illuminate the space). Mablung and Celeborn Beleg are there. We establish the dynamics of the court. Thingol [in his eponymous grey cloak given to him by the Valar] is clearly the king and ruler, but the Court is fairly informal [maybe reminiscent of Elrond as Lord of Rivendell, rather than the court of the Noldor in Tirion], but should remind us of Olwë's court in Alqualondë, as well. While there has been music and probably some dancing during the feast, afterwards someone requests that Lúthien dance. She is seated next to Melian, and she is revealed to be Melian's daughter. A hush falls, and a single musician (Daeron) provides music while Lúthien dances. [This is her entrance, make it count! Flowers blooming at her footfalls is not overdoing it.]

8. Frame: Elladan, Elrohir, and Estel come upon fresh orc tracks (or some other indication that orcs have passed by recently). Elladan immediately wants to follow them, but Elrohir reminds him that they have Estel with them and should be more cautious. They agree to at least follow the trail and find out why these orcs are coming down out of the mountains, what they are up to.

ACT 3

9. Sometime after the feast, Beleg Celeborn returns to Thingol with his report from Círdan. While Círdan has no news to report, he too has been uneasy and shares Melian's concern that something is not right. The raising of Thangorodrim was seen from a distance and reported to Thingol, but no one knows what it means yet. Melian says something cryptically disturbing, but she suspects this has something to do with Melkor. Thingol orders Beleg and Mablung to take a few companions and go out again (Beleg to the west, and Mablung to the east) to see if they can find any indication of what has happened. [Why aren't they sending anyone north towards Thangorodrim? A job for Celeborn?]

10. Daeron and Lúthien have a moment to discuss life and establish their totally platonic friendship. It is revealed at this point that they are *not* related - no one should think he is her brother after this (but they probably never actually touch one another. Ever.) They are the younger generation, and have only known life in Beleriand.

11. Frame: As they follow the track of the orcs, Elladan lets everyone know how he really feels about the creatures. Estel interrupts this to say, 'Wait...doesn't your father say that no creature is evil from the beginning?' Elrohir is left with the awkward task of trying to defend his father's words while agreeing with his brother - something along the lines of, 'Well, they're evil now.' The trail of the orcs turns, and Elladan and Elrohir stop and exchange a look. If this is an orc scouting party, it is headed towards a Dunedain village. Elladan points out that they can't afford to let the orcs find their target, so Elrohir instructs Estel to wait for them. Estel point out that he'll just follow them anyway. They continue on despite Estel's presence.

12. Sauron is in the orc-training pits in Angband, observing. Boldog is there, keeping them in line. Thuringwethil finds Sauron there and tells him that he'll have to keep a close eye on his troops, because Gothmog's group has had deserters. [Gothmog has taken an army of orcs to guard the western coast in the north from any attack from Valinor.]

ACT 4
13. Beleg's party comes upon orcs, but from a distance. They decide to follow them and find out who or what these creatures are. Some confusion among the elves.

14. First contact between elves and orcs. The elves approach cautiously to see a distasteful scene - the group of about 20 beings are eating bloody meat/organs while a tree nearby is haphazardly set on fire. Beleg calls out to them, and the creatures turn to see the elves. Everyone is startled at first. There are some attempts to communicate, but they don't speak the same languages. Some critical mis-step leads to an outbreak of sudden violence. The orcs attack the elves, outnumbering them.

15. Frame: Elladan and Elrohir come upon the orcs. There is no hesitation - instant deadly fighting. Estel is trained, but has never been in a real combat situation before. So, he's not clumsy, but he is ineffective - one orc is enough to keep him busy, but he does kill it in the end. Elladan and Elrohir kill the rest of the scouts, making sure none escape.

16. The elves do not have steel weapons and are not wearing armor. Beleg's arrows are stopped by the orc armor, so he has a hard time stopping them. He recovers the weapon of one of the fallen orcs and uses that to kill them. Once the orcs see that their opponent is killing them, they flee. Beleg's companions are dead. His bow is broken. [He does not say, "I'm gonna need a bigger bow." But he does.]

Tag: Frame - Aftermath of Estel's first orc kill. He cleans his sword, washes the blood off his clothes in a stream.

Tag (Part 2):
Eöl is meeting with an unseen person in a dark cave lit by firelight from a forge. A voice from within the cave calls out to him by name. [The unknown person is a dwarf (probably Telchar); the audience does not see this person.]
 
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MithLuin

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dietlbomb has suggested that after Beleg's encounter with the orcs, the Sindar begin to try to make their own weapons and armor to match. So, I think it is important that we keep the idea of his bow being broken and him using an orc blade, which he will carry back to Doriath.

This will prepare the Sindar to be awed and impressed when they see dwarvish craftsmanship in the near future (though Angband's work isn't particularly crude at this point, maybe).
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
dietlbomb has suggested that after Beleg's encounter with the orcs, the Sindar begin to try to make their own weapons and armor to match. So, I think it is important that we keep the idea of his bow being broken and him using an orc blade, which he will carry back to Doriath.

This will prepare the Sindar to be awed and impressed when they see dwarvish craftsmanship in the near future (though Angband's work isn't particularly crude at this point, maybe).

Hey, when the hosts were talking about having Celeborn meet with Cirdan in a later episode, I started thinking that maybe he should be in the first Beleriand scene rather than Beleg. The audience is much more familiar with him than they are Beleg, which will help with the acclamation to the new environment.
 

MithLuin

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Agreed - that will work better. How do you feel about sending him out with a scouting party of his own, like Beleg and Mablung? He could be in position to see the first news of the advancing orc army later if we send him north now....
 

Haakon

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I’m not sure why Corey doesn’t want the elves to go north. Do you know why?
 
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Haakon

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Personally I don’t think Estel has to succeed in killing the orc. He still seems a bit young and the orc is a trained soldier.
 

MithLuin

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Sam Gamgee kills an orc in his first confrontation with them. True, he's significantly older, but shorter and completely untrained. Estel has been trained, at least. But yes, this could go differently.

As for the north issue, Corey Olsen seems to want fewer groups of elves to keep track of. We have Cirdan on the coast and the Sindar scattered throughout Doriath, but Sindar in the north who are independent of Doriath and can meet the Noldor seemed...too much?

But seriously, a group that is in the north now but flees south will hardly create any confusion, so....
 

Haakon

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I don't have a strong opinion about the killing of the orc. I guess Estel could succeed. I like that you say it's not easy for him. I think we should make the most of that. Show how he doesn't enjoy killing, that he's disgusted or similar reaction.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I’m not sure why Corey doesn’t want the elves to go north. Do you know why?
Like Mithluin said, this seemed to be an issue of preventing confusion. It's been brought up to them twice and they've shot it down both times.

To be honest, unless we have a named character up their to care about, it could wind up being dead weight.
 

Haakon

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Ok. Personally I don’t get why elves who are all over Beleriand would be confusing when appearing in the north in particular. Besides, I think he was against Beleg going there, and Beleg isn’t confusing. I took it more as a desire to have the Sindar avoid the North.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Ok. Personally I don’t get why elves who are all over Beleriand would be confusing when appearing in the north in particular. Besides, I think he was against Beleg going there, and Beleg isn’t confusing. I took it more as a desire to have the Sindar avoid the North.
We already know Beleg, though. It takes two seconds of dialogue to explain where he is going, rather than having to introduce new characters, and explain where they are.
 

Haakon

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We already know Beleg, though. It takes two seconds of dialogue to explain where he is going, rather than having to introduce new characters, and explain where they are.
Yes and that’s why I didn’t think it’s the idea that it would be confusing that is the thing Corey is opposed to.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Yes and that’s why I didn’t think it’s the idea that it would be confusing that is the thing Corey is opposed to.
I think if we were giving the reintroduction of the Sindar a full episode, it could be done, but the episode where that is done is already confusing enough.
 

Haakon

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Anyway I like the outline and I don’t think it’s confusing. I think it’s a good choice to focus on Estel. I also like the change from Beleg to Celeborn - I want a lot of Celeborn. I like the bits about Luthien and Daeron.
I also think that the two story levels match nicely. There’s a storm in each of them, which isn’t necessary but works well and it’s good that they’re slightly separated.
 
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