S03E04 Script Discussion

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
But that visual problem doesn't even exist in the canon.

They do not look like bearded human women at all. They don't have breasts or female voices. They look exactly, 100% identical to the male Dwarves, in absolutely every single way. There is nothing whatsoever to distinguish them at all, that non-Dwarves can perceive. They won't look any uglier or stupider than male Dwarves look.

The women also dress exactly the same as the men. They do not wear veils or hijabs or full-body burqas like conservative Muslim women. Pronouns are the literally the only gender indication, ever. Tolkien said this explicitly, in omniscient narrator mode.

I could live with changing their voices to sound female, except that would create the "ugly bearded women" problem that Tolkien explicitly said they don't have. And I question how we could have a male actor (without breasts) dubbed over by a female voice-actor and not make it look terrible on screen.



They also want Mim and the dwarf Kings (and Gamil Zirak?) to have lifespans of thousands of years! And when Azaghal dies at the age of 4122 years, he's still spry and young and fighting in battle. That's utterly absurd and ridiculous. We can't have Dwarves' natural lifespan be millennia! If even just the Fathers live for thousand and thousands of years, then Durin the I would have no heirs, he would still be king in Moria when the Balrog comes. And he was not still alive at that time, it was stated in The Lord of the Rings that the Balrog slew Durin the VI.

The entire reason there is a series of multiple Longbeard Kings named Durin in the LotR is because Durin the I did not live for thousands of years. He died, and had descendants who inherited his name (and the Dwarves believe, rightly or wrongly, were reincarnations of his soul as well). Azaghal the I and Naugladur the I absolutely cannot literally live for millennia. The original Fathers cannot still be alive when Morgoth returns, ~3620 years after they awoke. We can't do that. They can not be perpetually youthful from the awakening of the Dwarves until long after the Fifth Battle when Beren kills a king of Nogrod, 4154 years after the Dwarves awoke.

They are not Elves. They should not have lifespans so absurdly long that they look exactly as immortal as Elves. If the audience think that any of the Dwarves are immortal, that would be a huge failure.

The "reason" given for this big change is not at all enough. Supposedly there are "too many dwarf characters." If that's enough reason to throw out Tolkien's ideas, what happens when we get to Mortals?
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
You'll note that we will not have an impossibly old Gamil Zirak or Mîm; neither character will appear in our show until Season 4. Gamil Zirak's first appearance will be as a young Zirak, making the Nauglamir. The petty dwarves will be introduced with the founding of Nargothrond.

The concept of having a 'representative' main character for each group is rather standard in storytelling for film/TV. You don't just meet 'the dwarves' - you meet particular dwarves. For petty-dwarves, which particular petty-dwarf do we want to meet? Mîm, obviously. So, yes, wanting to have him present from the beginning is asking for a too-long life span. I understand that. We will likely demonstrate the mortality of the dwarves right away in Season 3. We will have Telchar's elderly teacher as a character showing signs of old age (which elves do not do), and the dwarf Norn, who was so eager to befriend the Sindar, will soon age and die out early in Season 4. The elves can be shocked by these things, drawing attention to them.

Nargothrond is founded in 52 FA. Mîm dies in 502 FA. So, realistically, it should be Mîm's grandfather or something who is driven out of Nargothrond.

So, yes, the Hosts are requesting that Mîm and Gamil Zirak live longer than is typical for a dwarf. But not more than twice as long.

Dwalin lives to 350 years in the dwarf family trees. Sure, that's likely a typo, as all the other dwarves die of old age around 250 years old. But if it's not, then apparently 350 year old dwarves are canonically acceptable.

The only 'nearly immortal' dwarves they are requesting are the founders of the houses/King of Belegost and Nogrod. I think we can play this as a 'Durin the Deathless' thing. A character who dies and is reincarnated (ie, has an heir who looks reeeeeeally similar) and has the same name achieves on-screen continuity. This method is used in the Redwall books, when the leader of one of the types of animals is given a title that is used as a name (Log-a-log is always the leader of the Guosim, who are shrews). That way, many generations of the character are, essentially, the same character. If we are using the same actor and the same name on screen (just with an appended number occasionally, so it can be 'Azaghal the VII' or whatever), we accomplish what we need to. Alternatively, the kings of Belegost and Nogrod can present themselves to the outside world as being undying, but really in fact be a dynasty. We're allowed some mystery and sense of not knowing the whole story when it comes to the dwarves.

But at any rate, further discussion of dwarf storylines can probably happen here:
https://forums.signumuniversity.org/index.php?threads/dwarves-s3-and-beyond.629/
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
This is my tentative attempt at a draft for the revisions that we were talking about. This draft is a lot rougher (and more extensively changed) than my suggestions for the previous episodes, but I think we were on the right track earlier about how to modify some of this. I didn't suggest any changes to the scene/act structure or the order things happen.

My suggested additions in purple, suggested deletions in red strikeout.

My lingering concern (which I don't feel I addressed) is that the reason the Orcs fight the Elves, but the Dwarves do not, comes across as being simply this: the Dwarves have learned an Elven language, the Orcs have not. It doesn't appear to be due to the Dwarves being less hostile/violent/afraid than the Orcs, but I think it would be better if that was part of the reason.



Season 3 Episode 4: Khazâd ai-mênu!
Protagonist: Mablung of the Heavy Hand
Introductions: Mablung has been part of this project since Season 2, but this will be the first Mablung-centric episode. The Dwarves were also introduced in Season 1, but this will be the audience's first exposure to their culture. Azaghâl I appeared in the creation-of-the-Dwarves scene (with Durin); Norn and Telchar are new characters. [A new minor character who might not appear again is the non-Grey elf interpreter I proposed. If she is included, she will need a name.]
Final Appearances: N/A
Characters: Thingol, Melian, Eöl, Mablung, Daeron, Lúthien, Norn, Telchar, Azaghâl, Mairon/Sauron, Boldog, Thuringwethil
(Frame: Elladan, Elrohir, Estel, Halbarad, Hamilcar)

Summary: Surprised to meet a new people in the east, the Sindar establish diplomatic relations with the dwarf-kingdom of Belegost.
Theme: Forging alliances. The misunderstandings and assumptions that come with first contact. People can work through less-than-positive first impressions with effort.



Frame Teaser - Elladan and Elrohir give Estel some advice before entering the village of the Dunedain. Aside from the practical diplomatic advice is the unexpected admonition not to mention his mother's name. When he seems confused, they tell him it is to protect her. When they reach the village, the sons of Elrond meet with Halbarad, sending Estel off with Hamilcar. As they wander around the village, the older people catch sight of Estel and have an "Oh!" widened eye reaction, but say nothing more. Hamilcar is annoyed that this young stranger is getting such attention.



Act I
Scene 1.
Doriath - Eöl comes before Thingol and requests that the land of Nan Elmoth be given to him. Thingol claims that this land is part of his realm. If Eöl were to move there, he would have to be subject to Thingol, even though he's not currently his subject. Eöl wants to live in Nan Elmoth because of the protections provided by Melian when she and Thingol first met, and for the renewable resource of the trees (in the rest of Middle Earth outside of Doriath, the trees are under the Sleep of Yavanna and do not regrow). Melian shares her misgivings concerning Eöl with Thingol in private.

Scene 2. The River Ascar - Mablung and his companions come upon a group of Dwarves on the border of Ossiriand and Thargelion that they see from afar. Surprised, they try to figure out who these beings are and discuss what to do. They worry that these beings might be evil hostile or dangerous. They decide to approach cautiously. They see that the Dwarves are engaged in the activity of building a road using carts to transport rock, stone cutters, surveyors, and guards. The Elves have never seen anything like this. The Dwarves are also systematically destroying a woodland glade, cutting down every tree and indiscriminately trampling the flowers and smaller plants. The Elves can see a forge-fire nearby. [The scene looks disturbingly reminiscent of the way the Orcs behaved last episode.] The Elves are worried and some are angry, but Mablung's group have not met the Orcs, and their first inclination is *not* to attack.

Scene 3. Doriath - Beleg returns to Doriath and reports on his encounter with the Orcs, showing Thingol and Melian the orc blade he picked up. His companions did not return with him because they have been killed.

Scene 4. Northern Ered Luin - Thuringwethil is flying over a desolate area covered in dark shadows. When she lands, she sees a lot of large spiderwebs.


Act II
Scene 5.
River Ascar - Mablung's group is spotted by the Dwarves, who halt work, startled. It is clear that the dwarvish guards have more significant weapons and armor than the elven scouts, but the scouts are also armed. Mablung and the Elves adopt a somewhat threatening stance towards these destructive beings, but the Dwarves only see unarmored savages armed with pathetic stone weapons and don't take the threat seriously. Mablung himself tentatively calls out a greeting, and one of the dark-haired dwarven guards answers back in accented Sindarin an archaic tongue close to the old Sindarin from the time of the Great March. The Elves are surprised to hear their own an Elven language and relax somewhat, but most of the Dwarves speak to one another in Khuzdul (with subtitles). The first attempts at communication are difficult, but Mablung remembers the older language that the Grey Elves spoke long ago, and can make out some of what the Dwarves say. Another elf in his party is one who had come to Beleriand later than the Sindar, and she can understand this speech even more clearly. The tension dissipates a bit once they realize they can communicate with one another, even without fluency. There is are some first contact type questions of "Who are you and where are you from," and in the end they agree to sit down together and share food/drink (cautiously). The Dwarves consider the Elves to be uncivilized savages. The Elves see the Dwarves as short ugly people with harsh voices. But despite some clear disdain/dislike, there are no open hostilities. As they talk, Mablung begins to pick up more of the archaic Elven dialect the Dwarves are using.

Scene 6. Angband - Boldog is impatient to leave and start attacking Beleriand, so he can fulfill their mission of wiping out the Elves. Mairon tells him to wait, because his army isn't ready or prepared for the campaign. It becomes very clear that Mairon understands tactics and strategy, whereas Boldog does not.

Scene 7. River Ascar - Mablung, the elf [NAME] who was helping him translate, and the Dwarven translator who is named calls himself Norn, discuss politics. They are able to converse with less difficulty now. Mablung explains that the territory where they are building the road is part of Thingol's territory. He can't speak for his King, but he knows that the Dwarves will need permission to complete this construction project. The Dwarves are surprised, as they had no idea the land had been claimed by the Elves. Norn explains that he is from Belegost and some of the other Dwarves are from Nogrod, so there are two dwarvish Kings to discuss the matter with. Mablung is curious how Norn learned his an Elven language. Norn tells him that he has met the Elves on the east side of the mountains, and they taught him. [NAME] remarks that a few Elves like herself have arrived in Beleriand from further east, and they are surely akin to the people Norn learned from. But Norn says those Elves don't have any official dealings with the Dwarves. The Dwarves are impatient to get back to work. Some of the Dwarves of Nogrod attempt to offer the Sindar minor trinkets to pay them off so they can just get on with things, which the Elves do not accept. Norn and Mablung agree that their leaders should meet to discuss these issues.

Scene 8. Doriath - Thingol's court discusses the monster problem. Some people seem to think it's only a minor issue with a small group. Others are very disturbed by the idea of evil creatures who can start fires. No one really knows what to do or what to make of it -- the idea of actual warfare has not occurred to anyone yet. But Melian recognizes Melkor's work in the steel blade, and is clearly disturbed. She lets the court know that the Orcs are not the real problem - that there are beings who will not rest until they rule all of Middle-earth.


Act III
Scene 9.
Frame: Estel is bursting with the news of his first orc kill. Estel challenges Hamilcar to an archery or knife-throwing contest after Hamilcar mocks his story. Hamilcar insists that he doesn't have time for games and leaves Estel on his own.

Scene 10. Doriath - Daeron shows Lúthien his runes, which she praises him for. He informs her that no one else seemed very interested, but she insists they'll be useful for things like recording music.

Scene 11. Mount Dolmed - Eöl meets with Telchar in a well-ventilated forge on the mountainside of Mount Dolmed. [We do not see Nogrod or Belegost in this episode]. They discuss Thingol. Eöl makes the point that Thingol is not his king, because he's not one of the Sindar. Telchar mentions that the King of Nogrod has no interest in meeting with Thingol, because he does not consider the Sindar important enough. Telchar is a young dwarf apprentice at this time, and the only one in the forge who talks with Eöl.

Scene 12. Doriath - Mablung reports back to Thingol to arrange the meeting with the King of Belegost.


Act IV
Scene 13.
Sarn Ford at the River Gelion - The arrival of Thingol's delegation; the Dwarves are already there waiting for them, with a pavilion set up across the river. There are courteous greetings on both sides when Thingol meets Azaghâl, King of Belegost. The Dwarves do make a slight dig about the Elves being late, but the Elves remain oblivious. The Dwarves are outfitted in their best armor.

Scene 14. Angband - Thuringwethil reports to Mairon that she has found the location of the large spider. Boldog's orc army marches out of Angband. Mairon and Thuringwethil take off and fly towards the location.

Scene 15. Sarn Ford at the River Gelion - The Elves and Dwarves sit down to a feast together. They find each others' food to be unusual, but not disgusting. Part of the entertainment is Lúthien singing a song and dancing. The Dwarves don't seem terribly impressed think she is beautiful, but aren't particulary impressed by her singing and dancing, which surprises the Elves. After the meal is a mutual gift-giving ceremony that seeks to establish the basis of a strong friendship between the two peoples. The Sindar give the Dwarves a collection of treasures (which includes amber, pearls, wood and ivory/bone/antler carvings, turquoise, and obsidian arrowheads), as well as some tokens such as a tree sapling, lamps, and fabric items. The Dwarves give the Elves steel knives and preserved foods, as well as some minor jewelry. The Dwarves are not impressed with the gifts they receive, with the exception of the pearls, while the Elves don't find the Dwarves' gifts to be very beautiful.

Scene 16a. Sarn Ford at the River Gelion - The Kings sit down to negotiate the territory dispute. Norn serves as interpreter, and Mablung stands by Thingol and helps interpret as well. Norn makes sure that whatever is said is translated into the most polite version possible (as indicated by subtitles.) Thingol initially lays claim to all of Beleriand. Azaghâl points out that the Dwarves too can see this land from their homes, so they see no reason to recognize that claim. They say that the Elves have built no homes or cities in any of the land the Dwarves can see, which the Elves don't consider relevant. Thingol is willing to concede lumber rights to the east of the River Gelion to the Dwarves, once he realizes that is what they want. They point out that they've already built the road and had already intended to harvest the trees, and that they would need to continually expand as the trees do not grow back fast enough for their needs. Thingol offers to send Elves who can grow new trees, and Thingol replies that the forests west of Gelion are home to many Grey Elves and he will not allow them to be driven out. Thingol also points out that the Dwarves are clear-cutting and killing the smaller plants, not coppicing and allowing trees to grow back; the Dwarves had no idea it was possible to harvest wood without clear-cutting, and didn't even realize that their actions were harmful. The Dwarves agree not to extend the road or tree-cutting beyond the River Gelion, and are interested in learning how to coppice so the trees they do cut will grow back quickly.

Scene 16b. Afterwards, Lúthien gives a gift Daeron had created -- an illuminated page leather sheet with the song she sang written on it -- as a personal gift to Azaghâl. Once Norn realizes what the runes are, he is very excited. He tells Mablung that he is very pleased with what happened today, and that he looks forward to learning more about the Sindar. Mablung is a bit more dour and less enthusiastic, but he agrees that this was a good meeting, and thanks Norn for helping to organize it.


Frame tag - Elrohir urges Estel not to jump to conclusions. Estel learns that Hamilcar lost his mother some years ago, and is responsible for looking after his younger siblings. He realizes that Hamilcar had a valid excuse for being impatient with him, since his little sister is sick and needs looking after.
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Ok, so this is just my edit of @Faelivrin's edit of @MithLuin's outline. A couple of notes: I cut some of the edits about language and communication. I think that it would be far too clunky on screen to have characters speaking in half-intelligible pidgin through translators that are speaking nearly the same language. This is a problem we have been discussing from the beginning of this project, and it is unfortunate, but it will slow things down significantly. The changes that deal with the removal of the Sleep work well. It's a bit "Captain Planet" but good writing will smooth that out. Modifying the word "trinket" with "minor" seemed a bit redundant.


Season 3 Episode 4: Khazâd ai-mênu!

Protagonist: Mablung of the Heavy Hand
Introductions: Mablung has been part of this project since Season 2, but this will be the first Mablung-centric episode. The Dwarves were also introduced in Season 1, but this will be the audience's first exposure to their culture. Azaghâl I appeared in the creation-of-the-Dwarves scene (with Durin); Norn and Telchar are new characters.
Final Appearances: N/A
Characters: Thingol, Melian, Eöl, Mablung, Daeron, Lúthien, Norn, Telchar, Azaghâl, Mairon/Sauron, Boldog, Thuringwethil
(Frame: Elladan, Elrohir, Estel, Halbarad, Hamilcar)

Summary: Surprised to meet a new people in the east, the Sindar establish diplomatic relations with the dwarf-kingdom of Belegost.
Theme: Forging alliances. The misunderstandings and assumptions that come with first contact. People can work through less-than-positive first impressions with effort.



Frame Teaser - Elladan and Elrohir give Estel some advice before entering the village of the Dunedain. Aside from the practical diplomatic advice is the unexpected admonition not to mention his mother's name. When he seems confused, they tell him it is to protect her. When they reach the village, the sons of Elrond meet with Halbarad, sending Estel off with Hamilcar. As they wander around the village, the older people catch sight of Estel and have an "Oh!" widened eye reaction, but say nothing more. Hamilcar is annoyed that this young stranger is getting such attention.

Act I
Scene 1.
Doriath - Eöl comes before Thingol and requests that the land of Nan Elmoth be given to him. Thingol claims that this land is part of his realm. If Eöl were to move there, he would have to be subject to Thingol, even though he's not currently his subject. Eöl wants to live in Nan Elmoth because of the protections provided by Melian when she and Thingol first met. Melian shares her misgivings concerning Eöl with Thingol in private.

Scene 2.The River Ascar - Mablung and his companions come upon a group of Dwarves on the border of Ossiriand and Thargelion that they see from afar. Surprised, they try to figure out who these beings are and discuss what to do. They worry that these beings might be hostile or dangerous. They decide to approach cautiously. They see that the Dwarves are engaged in the activity of building a road using carts to transport rock, stone cutters, surveyors, and guards. The Elves have never seen anything like this. The Dwarves are also systematically destroying a woodland glade, cutting down every tree and indiscriminately trampling the flowers and smaller plants. The Elves can see a forge-fire nearby. [The scene looks disturbingly reminiscent of the way the Orcs behaved last episode.] The Elves are worried and some are angry, but Mablung's group have not met the Orcs, and their first inclination is *not* to attack.

Scene 3.Doriath - Beleg returns to Doriath and reports on his encounter with the Orcs, showing Thingol and Melian the orc blade he picked up. His companions did not return with him because they have been killed.

Scene 4.Northern Ered Luin - Thuringwethil is flying over a desolate area covered in dark shadows. When she lands, she sees a lot of large spiderwebs.


Act II
Scene 5.
River Ascar - Mablung's group is spotted by the Dwarves, who halt work, startled. It is clear that the dwarvish guards have more significant weapons and armor than the elven scouts, but the scouts are also armed. Mablung and the Elves adopt a somewhat threatening stance towards these destructive beings, but the Dwarves only see unarmored savages armed with pathetic stone weapons and don't take the threat seriously. Mablung himself tentatively calls out a greeting, and one of the dark-haired dwarven guards answers back in accented Sindarin. The Elves are surprised to hear an Elven language and relax somewhat, but most of the Dwarves speak to one another in Khuzdul (with subtitles). The first attempts at communication are difficult, but Mablung being older than the others, and can make out what the Dwarves say. The tension dissipates a bit once they realize they can communicate with one another, even with difficulty. There are some first contact type questions of "Who are you and where are you from," and in the end they agree to sit down together and share food/drink (cautiously). The Dwarves consider the Elves to be uncivilized savages. The Elves see the Dwarves as short ugly people with harsh voices. But despite some clear disdain/dislike, there are no open hostilities. As they talk, Mablung begins to pick up more of the archaic Elven dialect the Dwarves are using.

Scene 6.Angband - Boldog is impatient to leave and start attacking Beleriand, so he can fulfill their mission of wiping out the Elves. Mairon tells him to wait, because his army isn't ready or prepared for the campaign. It becomes very clear that Mairon understands tactics and strategy, whereas Boldog does not.

Scene 7. River Ascar - Mablung and the Dwarven translator who calls himself Norn, discuss politics. They are able to converse with less difficulty now. Mablung explains that the territory where they are building the road is part of Thingol's territory. He can't speak for his King, but he knows that the Dwarves will need permission to complete this construction project. The Dwarves are surprised, as they had no idea the land had been claimed by the Elves. Norn explains that he is from Belegost and some of the other Dwarves are from Nogrod, so there are two dwarvish Kings to discuss the matter with. Mablung is curious how Norn learned his language. Norn tells him that he has met the Elves on the east side of the mountains, and they taught him. But Norn says those Elves don't have any official dealings with the Dwarves. The Dwarves are impatient to get back to work. Some of the Dwarves of Nogrod attempt to offer the Sindar trinkets to pay them off so they can just get on with things, which the Elves do not accept. Norn and Mablung agree that their leaders should meet to discuss these issues.

Scene 8.Doriath - Thingol's court discusses the monster problem. Some people seem to think it's only a minor issue with a small group. Others are very disturbed by the idea of evil creatures who can start fires. No one really knows what to do or what to make of it -- the idea of actual warfare has not occurred to anyone yet. But Melian recognizes Melkor's work in the steel blade, and is clearly disturbed. She lets the court know that the Orcs are not the real problem - that there are beings who will not rest until they rule all of Middle-earth.


Act III
Scene 9.
Frame: Estel is bursting with the news of his first orc kill. Estel challenges Hamilcar to an archery or knife-throwing contest after Hamilcar mocks his story. Hamilcar insists that he doesn't have time for games and leaves Estel on his own.

Scene 10.Doriath - Daeron shows Lúthien his runes, which she praises him for. He informs her that no one else seemed very interested, but she insists they'll be useful for things like recording music.

Scene 11.Mount Dolmed - Eöl meets with Telchar in a well-ventilated forge on the mountainside of Mount Dolmed. [We do not see Nogrod or Belegost in this episode]. They discuss Thingol. Eöl makes the point that Thingol is not his king, because he's not one of the Sindar. Telchar mentions that the King of Nogrod has no interest in meeting with Thingol, because he does not consider the Sindar important enough. Telchar is a young dwarf apprentice at this time, and the only one in the forge who talks with Eöl.

Scene 12.Doriath - Mablung reports back to Thingol to arrange the meeting with the King of Belegost.


Act IV
Scene 13.
Sarn Ford at the River Gelion - The arrival of Thingol's delegation; the Dwarves are already there waiting for them, with a pavilion set up across the river. There are courteous greetings on both sides when Thingol meets Azaghâl, King of Belegost. The Dwarves do make a slight dig about the Elves being late, but the Elves remain oblivious. The Dwarves are outfitted in their best armor.

Scene 14.Angband - Thuringwethil reports to Mairon that she has found the location of the large spider. Boldog's orc army marches out of Angband. Mairon and Thuringwethil take off and fly towards the location.

Scene 15.Sarn Ford at the River Gelion - The Elves and Dwarves sit down to a feast together. They find each others' food to be unusual, but not disgusting. Part of the entertainment is Lúthien singing a song and dancing. The Dwarves think she is beautiful, but aren't particulary impressed by her singing and dancing and lose interest quickly, which surprises the Elves. After the meal is a mutual gift-giving ceremony that seeks to establish the basis of a strong friendship between the two peoples. The Sindar give the Dwarves a collection of treasures (which includes amber, pearls, wood and ivory/bone/antler carvings, turquoise, and obsidian arrowheads), as well as some tokens such as a tree sapling, lamps, and fabric items. The Dwarves give the Elves steel knives and preserved foods, as well as some minor jewelry. The Dwarves are not impressed with the gifts they receive, with the exception of the pearls.

Scene 16a.Sarn Ford at the River Gelion - The Kings sit down to negotiate the territory dispute. Norn serves as interpreter, and Mablung stands by Thingol and helps interpret as well. Norn makes sure that whatever is said is translated into the most polite version possible (as indicated by subtitles.) Thingol initially lays claim to all of Beleriand. Azaghâl points out that the Dwarves too can see this land from their homes, so they see no reason to recognize that claim. They say that the Elves have built no homes or cities in any of the land the Dwarves can see, which the Elves don't consider relevant. Thingol is willing to concede lumber rights to the east of the River Gelion to the Dwarves, once he realizes that is what they want. They point out that they've already built the road and had already intended to harvest the trees, and that they would need to continually expand as the trees do not grow back fast enough for their needs. Thingol offers to send Elves who can grow new trees, andThingol replies that the forests west of Gelion are home to many Grey Elves and he will not allow them to be driven out. Thingol also points out that the Dwarves are clear-cutting and killing the smaller plants, not coppicing and allowing trees to grow back; the Dwarves had no idea it was possible to harvest wood without clear-cutting, and didn't even realize that their actions were harmful. The Dwarves agree not to extend the road or tree-cutting beyond the River Gelion, and are interested in learning how to coppice so the trees they do cut will grow back quickly.

Scene 16b. Afterwards, Lúthien gives a gift Daeron had created -- an illuminated parchment sheet with the song she sang written on it -- as a personal gift to Azaghâl. Once Norn realizes what the runes are, he is very excited. He tells Mablung that he is very pleased with what happened today, and that he looks forward to learning more about the Sindar. Mablung is a bit more dour and less enthusiastic, but he agrees that this was a good meeting, and thanks Norn for helping to organize it.


Frame tag - Elrohir urges Estel not to jump to conclusions. Estel learns that Hamilcar lost his mother some years ago, and is responsible for looking after his younger siblings. He realizes that Hamilcar had a valid excuse for being impatient with him, since his little sister is sick and needs looking after.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
We already talked about dealing with the language barrier on this thread, and I thought that we all agreed that we would show that the Dwarves and Green Elves don't inexplicably speak Sindarin, which they should not be able to speak. I think it is very important that the Green Elves do not speak the exact same identical language as the Sindar. Various people people weighed in with various possible alternatives to making the Green Elves the same people as the Sindar.

I not familiar enough with the Scandinavian languages to answer the first part, but the second... I'm afraid that might have to be where it goes. At the very least something like Portuguese and Spanish.
When you said this, and also "liked" Haerangil's suggestion, I really thought that you were willing to let Nandorin be slightly different from Sindarin. I based almost everything I wrote about the languages directly on Haerangil's idea, and you didn't appear to express any opposition to his suggestion at that time, nor to Brian Dimmick's similar suggestion. It seems now that you're changing your mind?

If I misinterpreted and you didn't mean that you agreed with the suggested compromise, or you're having second thoughts about it, please don't make a final decision until we talk about it some more. Making the Nandor the same as the Sindar makes me extremely uncomfortable, and unhappy after what I thought was a compromise between us.

This situation is going to come up again when Noldor and Sindar met, and when Edain and then Easterlings come into Beleriand. We of course can't say that all Elves and Men in every last corner of Arda speak Sindarin as their native language, so I think we should start dealing with how to show language barriers now.
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I'm ok with communication being a bit stilted. I'm not ok with making characters appear stupid through poor use of English on screen. I'm also not ok with hijacking the narrative to deal with linguistic issues rather than the diplomatic ones, or having a character speak progressively better English over the course of an episode.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I didn't specify that they use pidgin English, or "me Tarzan you Jane". I didn't write any dialogue at all, in fact the only spoken words in my post are copied exactly from MithLuin's post. And I don't consider linguistic issues unrelated to diplomatic issues, especially since I wrote it to be very much in the background and on a dialect level, rather than a full language barrier, just like we agreed to do. I don't feel that I hijacked the episode to talk about nothing but language, and that certainly was not my intent. Most of the episode as I posted it is about non-linguistic issues. My intent was to not ignore language entirely and make all Elves exactly the same culture - again, that was the compromised that we already discussed here.

I based everything that I wrote on the agreement and compromise that we already came to on this very thread. You were part of that discussion and I really thought that you agreed to compromise.

Did I misunderstand your post which I quoted, and you always have disliked and strongly opposed Haerangil and Brian's ideas? Or did I miss the post in which you said you oppose their suggestions? Or did you agree to compromise before, but are now changing your mind? If I misinterpreted and you didn't mean that you agreed with the suggested compromise, or you're having second thoughts about it, please don't make a final decision until we talk about it some more. Please let us discuss this before you make a unilateral Final Decision that everybody speaks the exact same Sindarin, and that the Nandor are the exact same people as the Sindar.



The elvish interpreter (based on Brian's idea) is the least essential part of the story. Mablung and Thingol can understand and pretty quickly learn to speak Archaic Proto-Nandorin or Common Telerin or whatever trade dialect the Dwarves learned. And having learned that, Thingol will find it even even easier to communicate with Denethor (although Denethor can easily use the archaic Nandorin/Common Telerin dialect too.) In fact with Denethor, Thingol will have no barrier whatsoever, after this episode, if the Dwarves use an archaic trade-Nandorin dialect instead of the Doriathrin dialect of Sindarin.
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Firstly, I am not making a unilateral "Final Decision". That is not my place. I do have a responsibility to make certain that what the hosts receive as outlines (that I will be obliged to explain to them) is good and uncluttered.

We spent several hours working this out, and there have been other discussions related to the language problem over the past couple of years. I'm willing to have there be some heavy accenting here, and for idiomatic language to be difficult for the dwarves to understand. Adding discussions about why Mablung can somehow understand the dwarves better than the other elves (or the audience), and explaining the backstory of this new character who has never shown up before (literally, invented to solve this problem) does take away from the focus of the episode. I'm not saying that linguistics and diplomacy are unrelated. But they are not the same thing.

Also, if we have the audience understand the dwarven translator as well as Mablung can, we don't want to take time to explain why the other elves can't understand what the audience clearly can.

There is either a language barrier, or there isn't in a visual medium. If you can find me an example of what you are suggesting successfully being pulled off, I'm willing to be swayed on this. But having Norn speak in partially understandable English is... unworkable from my point of view. And having him speak understandable English while other characters who are also speaking understandable English cannot understand him is worse.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I also think that it makes Mablung look pretty stupid if he's completely unaware of a population of the Sindar, his own people, living on the other side of the mountains. The Dwarves should not know more about his own culture than Mablung does.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I have no idea what you are talking about. Mablung, does, of course, know that the Nandor were left behind during the migration on the other side of two mountain ranges. He was there.

And incidentally, my creation of a new edit of the outline does not in any way imply a "Final Decision" in bold or regular font. It is merely a response to your creation of a new edit.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
We came to an agreement about this already. We already discussed this, and we agreed to compromise. I feel like you are unilaterally backing out of and breaking an agreement and decision that you agreed to, and completely dismissing me and Brian and Haerangil, our concerns and ideas, out of hand. That feels very crappy and unfair to me.

I have repeatedly asked to discuss this and compromise about it, as I asked to discuss and compromise before, and which you previously agreed to do. I have TWICE already said that the Elvish interpreter isn't needed. I have suggested how discussing the language issue now means we don't have to show Thingol having any trouble with Denethor. I have expressed my concerns about the Noldor, Edain, and Easterlings. I feel like you are ignoring all my attempts to compromise and dismissing me, Haerangil and Brian. It feels like you are saying you are not even willing to address the compromise which you already agreed to. I feel hurt.
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Bold and underlining notwithstanding, I am unilaterally doing nothing. I have made nor broken no agreement. You can feel how you feel, but I'm not going to be bullied into agreement with you here. I am willing to discuss things. I am not willing to have an emotionally charged argument.

If you can find me an example of your ideas working, that will certainly help make your case.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
We came to an agreement about this already. We already discussed this, and we agreed to compromise. I feel like you are unilaterally backing out of and breaking an agreement and decision that you agreed to, and completely dismissing me and Brian and Haerangil, our concerns and ideas, out of hand. That feels very crappy and unfair to me.

I have repeatedly asked to discuss this and compromise about it, as I asked to discuss and compromise before, and which you previously agreed to do. I have TWICE already said that the Elvish interpreter isn't needed. I have suggested how discussing the language issue now means we don't have to show Thingol having any trouble with Denethor. I have expressed my concerns that we should not make the Noldor, Edain, and Easterlings also speak Sindarin as their native languages. I feel like you are ignoring all my attempts to compromise and dismissing me, Haerangil and Brian. It feels like you are saying you are not even willing to discuss the compromise which you already agreed to. I feel hurt.
I thought the Noldor don't speak Sindarin as their native language. Thought it was Quenya.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I am really not trying to bully, I am sorry that it looks that way. I really didn't mean to. I am trying to point out that we already discussed this, here on this thread, which is available to read. I'm trying to stick to what I thought was the compromise that you suggested. I'm trying to understand what you are saying and what your thought process is, and to ask if my interpretation is close to what you meant, because the seeming contradiction between what you suggested then, and what you say now, is extremely confusing to me, and upsetting. I feel like you are dismissing my concerns, despite the fact that we discussed this earlier and you did not before state this opposition to Haerangil and Brian's suggestions. In your own post you said that you were OK with making Nandorin and Sindarin somewhat different, like Spanish and Portuguese. This was the discussion:

Or, we can make a slight adjustment to how different Nandorin and Sindar in are so that we can move the plot forward and not have Thingol look silly when he cannot make out the speech of his old friend's son.
Like... Swedish and Danish ? Or 'standard' English and Scots?
I not familiar enough with the Scandinavian languages to answer the first part, but the second... I'm afraid that might have to be where it goes. At the very least something like Portuguese and Spanish.
This is what you posted. This is what I thought we had talked about, and what I thought I and you had agreed upon, based on your own suggestion: Nandor and Sindar are not the exact same people and culture, Nandorin and Sindarin are quite similar and not hard to understand, but not absolutely, 100% identical in every single way. I compromised and agreed to your idea that you posted. If you're now saying we can't do that at all and Nandor speak Sindarin, I don't understand why.


I see the language Problem...

I think the solution mighht be that Norn and his House had met Nandor who spoke a very archaic dialect, a dialect that was still very telerin in character, and therefore Mablung, as a very old elf would be able to connect to that language. So He and Norn would not be able to talk fluently to one another (at the beginning), but with some trouble and adjusting each one would be able to learn faster what the other one does mean... especially Mablung as an elf and a natural language talent.
I don't know how far Sindarin and Nandorin are removed... is it like two germanic languages, say , english and german? Or rather like german and say... switzertütsch... which one... with some patience, can slowly learn to understand if one does know the one language.
This was Haerangil's suggestion which you "liked". This was the compromise that we discussed. I tried to put that compromise, and your comparison to Spanish and Portuguese, into my post. I really was trying to use your own idea and the suggestions that were based on your idea. I am very confused why suddenly this is so bad, and everything I wrote based on your and Haerangil's suggestions has to be deleted.

The Elvish interpreter is not necessary. What I wish we could discuss is Haerangil's idea, and your idea of comparing them to Spanish and Portuguese. If you have changed your mind and you don't like those ideas anymore, I beg you to please suggest another compromise for the Nandor to not be identical to the Sindar.


I thought the Noldor don't speak Sindarin as their native language. Thought it was Quenya.
I thought that was the case too. I would very much prefer the Noldor to speak Quenya at first, especially in Valinor.
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I think you are misunderstanding something here. Portuguese and Spanish speakers are able to understand each other with almost complete clarity. Better even than some dialects of English. Put a Cajun and a Scot in the same room and they are nearly unable to communicate without being very specific and very slow. And they are speaking the same language.

Let's try this: how would you depict on screen that Norn is speaking an archaic dialect that Mablung can barely understand?
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I am seriously not understanding where you're coming from, although I am still really trying my best to understand, and to compromise. It seemed to me that you had said (before) that Nandorin and Sindarin can be like Spanish and Portuguese, separate but very similar languages whose speakers understand each other with a little difficulty, and that you liked Haerangil's suggestion. Are you now saying that .... your idea is still ... acceptable to you...? And are you saying that now you ... dislike Haerangil's suggestion...? Am I getting ... any closer to understanding what you are saying? I'm only asking because I am trying to understand.

In the outline as you wrote it, it appears to me, that it entirely contradicts what I believed I understood was your own earlier idea of the languages being like Spanish and Portuguese. In the current outline, the Nandor and Norn explicitly and specifically speak Sindarin itself, not a closely related language that's easy to understand. It's not like Spanish and Portuguese, but instead all the Eldar in Middle-earth speak the very same dialect of Spanish (Sindarin) from Madrid (Doriath) with no differences. Norn merely has a Khuzdul accent. Portuguese (Nandorin) just doesn't exist at all in this outline.




So, if I were to try again, I would get rid of the Elvish translator since you don't think that's a good idea. It was only a tentative addition and I'm not at all insisting on it, not at all. Mablung and Thingol would interpret for themselves, that's totally fine. I have no skill for writing dialogue itself, but this is what I am thinking of and imagining how it would sound on screen:

The conversation would be stilted, not 100% perfect with no differences. But not pidgin either. Mablung would not just "barely" understand, that isn't my intent, nor my understanding of your Spanish and Portuguese idea.

Since on screen we use English for Sindarin, Mablung would speak just the same English (=Doriathrin dialect of Sindarin) he's always spoken. My suggestion is that I would give Norn English dialogue, but not make it identical to Mablung's English (=Doriathrin Sindarin). Norn would speak with a heavy accent and also some (only some) archaic or obsolete English words, and maybe even a few Shakespearean English or Middle English words. Like the way Tolkien used a lot of archaic vocabulary when he was writing the Lays. (For example, instead of talking about the wood or grove they're cutting down, Norn might call it a 'frith' or 'shaw' or 'holt'. Instead of asking for a payment for not extending the road, he could ask for a 'guerdon'.) And Norn would use the somewhat archaic ... I don't know how to say it. Syntax? (The way that Tolkien gives some LotR characters a somewhat archaic-sounding way of putting sentences together, even when they use mostly modern English words.) Not actually in poetry, though. Since some of the time Mablung would ask a question and Norn would answer, some meanings of archaic words could be conveyed through context. So, although it would be stilted, much of what Norn says would be comprehensible to the audience (and to Mablung).

Most importantly, Mablung would not ask "How did you learn to speak Sindarin, my own language?" and Norn wouldn't say "We met the Sindar who live on the other side of the mountains." Instead, Mablung would ask how the Dwarves learned an Eldarin tongue, so similar to Sindarin. Norn would say they met some Elves on the other side of the mountains. Maybe he would add that this is the way the different tribes of Elves over there speak to one another. Mablung would say something like "Ah, then surely you have met the Danwaith." (or "the Nandor" if that's what they're named in Season 2. Whichever name was already chosen for them.) He would realize it must be them, since the Avari wouldn't have an Eldarin language.

We don't have to show Norn speaking slowly (although it would be more realistic) because my guess is that talking slowly comes across as stupid to many viewers. (Although maybe it wouldn't be bad since we show him speaking in Dwarvish to the other Dwarves, at a regular speed. I don't know.)

Over the conversation, or in later conversations, or in later episodes, Mablung could pick up the archaic ... way of stringing sentences together. He could pick up a few of the (least) archaic words. Mostly, to make it easier for the audience, Norn would over time just stop using most of the archaic English vocabulary, although he would not pick up all of Mablung's vocabulary that he didn't already have -- he would start to use a smaller vocabulary (For example, instead of talking about needing to clear 'friths' he would just use 'trees', instead of picking up Mablung's 'woodland groves'. Instead of asking for a 'guerdon' in return for not extending the road, if the Dwarves wanted payment he might ask what the Sindar will give them). The conversation would become less stilted, though Norn would remain somewhat stilted since it isn't his native language and Dwarves learn foreig language more slowly than Elves. Later conversations between Norn and Mablung would retain the slightly archaic syntax(?) but progressively stop being stilted -- at the latest, by the time Menegroth is delved, it wouldn't be stilted between those two at all.


Thingol would pick up the archaic dialect even faster than Mablung, with Mablung doing a little interpreting. Then when Thingol meets Denethor, he would start out using that same archaic speech (with the archaic syntax(?) and archaic English words). Denethor would have no trouble using the same. Their use of it would be barely stilted at all. Or we could just show Thingol and Denethor speaking in regular English (=archaic proto-Nandorin), for the audience to understand better. If we have Denethor ask Thingol how he speaks Nandorin, Thingol would answer that he met the Dwarves and their languages have not sundered far since their people separated on the March. Or Denethor could comment that their languages have not sundered at all, and Thingol would say something like "Not far sundered, but yet a little. I have treated already with a dwarf who speaks your tongue."

In later episodes, Celeborn would do the same as Mablung and Thingol (picking up the archaic syntax(?) very fast), although by then Norn would already be using more regular English (=Doriathrin Sindarin) vocabulary anyway. In the First Battle, Mablung might speak to the Nandor (in English, =Nandorin) in a somewhat archaic way, and be a little bit stilted. If you wanted, we could potentially include a vocabulary misunderstanding when showing the cultural misunderstanding about the wereguild offered for Denethor, after the First Battle. By Season 4, Norn and other Dwarves would speak English (=Sindarin) with modern vocabulary and a Khuzdul accent. Norn would retain syntax slightly more archaic than the Doriathrin Elves use. The Guest-Elves in Doriath would all just speak regular English (with small Nandorin accents).


In the Ep. 4 script outline I would write that Norn uses an archaic Elvish dialect close to Sindarin, instead of saying he speaks, specifically, Sindarin itself. I would not write in this outline or the later outlines that the Nandor speak Sindarin itself as their own original native language (nor the Noldor, Edain, or Easterlings).




This is honestly, my sincere best attempt to depict what I think your earlier suggestion about Spanish and Portuguese, and Haerangil's suggestion, were: what I thought you and Haerangil suggested and I agreed to compromise to do. Throwing out all of Brian's ideas now.

Although I'm describing it in as much detail as I can think of, how I imagine it would sound as they talk on screen, I don't intend here to draw more attention to language in the words Mablung and Norn ask each other, than what MithLuin's version of the outline already did: "How did you learn to speak an Elvish language?" "We met some Elves over that way."

I don't speak Spanish or Portuguese. But my brother speaks both fluently, so I asked him how close they are, to attempt to better understand what you are thinking of. He told me they are not the same language, not dialects of the same language. He said people who speak them can understand each other to an extent, but not perfectly with zero difficulty. He said it's not just a different accent (like American and British accents), but separate languages. That there are both words and "grammatical constructions" that are different and not automatically understood. When I see Portuguese and Spanish in writing (where no accent could be seen), I can see that the words are not all 100% identical. There's enough difference that I can usually tell them apart and know which language I'm looking at. That's what I'm attempting to depict in my description here, and basically what I was trying to depict in my attempt to edit the outline before.

If I'm still misinterpreting your Spanish and Portuguese suggestion, or Haerangil's suggestion, it is not at all an intentional misinterpretation. It's still me trying to do ... the way I think you wanted to do it before, as best as I can understand it. I'm still only trying to compromise.
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
It sounds like we're really talking past each other. You're looking for some pretty deep details to be in the outlines that would honestly be more the realm of a dialect coach. Also, I think you are seeing our original version as too simple, while I'm seeing yours as too complicated, when in fact they aren't really all that different.

I, of course, understand that Portuguese and Spanish are not different dialects of the same language. But I do know native speakers of both who have been able to converse with each other without the same level of difficulty as say, a French speaker and a Spanish speaker. The tricky thing is that our actors are speaking English, which has no such analogue. The Scotsman and the Cajun are pretty much the closest approximation I can think of, except our elves are speaking a relatively normal dialect. I'm ok with having Norn speak a heavily accented English, possibly with some Old or Middle English pronunciations (still recognizable to the audience, at least through context). Throwing in Sindarin words would be weird, because than we have our dwarf speaking more elvish than the elves. This is just something that would have to be done very, very carefully, or it is going to seem odd or foolish. I would likely leave specific choices of how to handle the matter up to dialect coaches and the director, rather than trying to figure it out completely here.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I kind of liked the way they depicted the learning of a new language in 13th warrior, where Ahmad Ibn Fadlān quickly adapts the viking language by listening. It looks unrealistic for a human in that movie, but it could work with an elf...
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I kind of liked the way they depicted the learning of a new language in 13th warrior, where Ahmad Ibn Fadlān quickly adapts the viking language by listening. It looks unrealistic for a human in that movie, but it could work with an elf...

The problem is that it takes time to do that. In the movie, it is implied that it happens as they are travelling. Plus, there is a good chance the audience won't understand what is going on.
 
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