S04E01 Script Discussion

MithLuin

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Here is the rough outline from yesterday's session:

Main plot -Fingon
1. Fingon is living in the Camp of Fingolfin on the northern end of Lake Mithrim. He learns that Fëanor is dead and Maedhros is captive in Angband. Fingon is frustrated by the division of the Noldor.

2. Morgoth makes a cloud of smoke to hide Angband from the Sun. Seeing his opportunity, Fingon makes up his mind to rescue Maedhros. He leaves without the other Noldor knowing his intentions.

3. Fingon in Thangorodrim. The task seems impossible. He cannot find any way in. He searches the mountains for a secret entrance.

4. Fingon gives up. He sits down and starts to sing and play his harp. Maedhros is close by above him and answers. Fingon climbs up and sees Maedhros' predicament.

5. Maedhros begs Fingon to shoot him. Fingon readies his bow and prays to Manwë. The arrival of Thorondor.

6. Fingon tries to free Maedhros. Instead, he cuts off his hand. Thorondor carries them away. Someone from Angband is a witness to the escape.

7. Thorondor brings Fingon and Maedhros back to Mithrim. They land in {which camp?}, greeted by both factions.



Angband Story

1. The sunlight causes great dismay to Morgoth's armies.

2. Morgoth makes a cloud of smoke to hide Angband from the Sun.

3. Someone from Angband (who?) is a witness to Maedhros' escape. Morgoth is very alarmed by Thorondor's involvement.

Círdan’s Story

1. Meets the Noldor (Host of Fingolfin)

2. Begins to learn Quenya and start asking questions about why the Noldor are here.

3. Celeborn sees Galadriel

4. Sends news to Doriath

Fingolfin’s Story

1. Learns that Fëanor is dead and Maedhros is captive; Maglor (really Curufin) leads the Fëanoreans.

2. Reforges Ringil

3. Tension with Fëanorean Camp – What can be done?

4. Tension with Círdan – What not to tell?

Maglor's Story
1. Their dismay among themselves when Fingolfin shows up with a bigger host.
2. Exchanging news, briefly.
3. Some kind of contact with the Sindar?
4. Discussing what the heck to do now that Fingolfin may or may not want revenge. Curufin undermining Maglor's leadership
5. Reacting to a messenger accusing them of kidnapping Fingon


Italicized = added. Strikethrough = we were requested to cut these.



And here is what we came up with in the thread as far as putting it all together goes:

1. Fingolfin's folk meet the Fëanoreans. Fingolfin learns that Fëanor is dead, and that Maedhros is missing. Fingon is frustrated by the division of the Noldor.
2. Círdan and some Falathrim come down to meet Fingolfin's folk. Celeborn sees Galadriel but they don't really meet.
3. Círdan asks questions. Fingolfin doesn't mention the Kinslaying or the Helcaraxë. The Noldor came to fight Morgoth.
4. Morgoth makes a cloud of smoke to hide Angband from the Sun. Seeing his opportunity, Fingon makes up his mind to rescue Maedhros.
5. Fingolfin is with his inner circle, discusses the problems they have with the Fëanoreans and how to deal with the elves of Middle-earth. But where is Fingon?
6. Fingon in Thangorodrim. The task seems impossible.
7. Angband: Morgoth is happy with the cloud. He recieves news about the awakening of the Men. He leaves for the East.
8. Cirdan sends Annael to Doriath as a messenger. Celeborn and Galadriel have a first conversation.
9. Fingon gives up. He sits down and starts to sing. Maedhros is close by above him and answers. He climbs up.
10. Angband: Gothmog takes control over the Angband administration. He orders Boldog to raise a new army. Sauron’s task is ‘outer operations’.
11. Fëanoreans consider their options. Things look pretty bad, since they are outnumbered by the rest of the Noldor, whom they have betrayed. They expect some kind of attack.
12. Fingon tries to free Maedhros. The cutting, the arrival of Thorondor.
13. Someone from Angband is a witness to the escape.

14.Thorondor brings Fingon and Maedhros back to Mithrim.

Note: The italicized items in this part are likely Episode 2 material, but we can discuss that tonight.
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
We can likely use Balin and Gandalf dropping in on Bilbo for the frame for episode 1 for now, and then change it later if they make decisions affecting it.

As for Fingolfin, we may want to have him learn the news of Fëanor's death before we have him reforge Ringil, but not necessarily. It depends what significance we are giving that action.
How significant is the reforging of Ringil?

Also, what was Bilbo doing in the Season 1 Frame? I hadn’t joined the project yet.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
As for Fingolfin, we may want to have him learn the news of Fëanor's death before we have him reforge Ringil, but not necessarily. It depends what significance we are giving that action.
I would very much rather show events in their actual chronological order, not starting in media res or jumbled about. The order I listed in the threads:

https://forums.signumuniversity.org/index.php?threads/session-4-12-episodes-1-and-2.3187/page-2#post-25985
https://forums.signumuniversity.org/index.php?threads/session-4-12-episodes-1-and-2.3187/page-3#post-26054
https://forums.signumuniversity.org/index.php?threads/session-4-12-episodes-1-and-2.3187/page-4#post-26124

I've never been a fan of jumbling storylines out of order, and right now I'm so confused that I won't be able to write anything if it isn't in normal chronological order. I'm mentally exhausted, and trying to turn this into a mystery by putting the scenes out of order will be more than I can do.


Galadriel will not be going to Doriath until Episode2.
That creates the problem: What are the Noldor doing while Maedhros is recovering, before he is able to do anything political? I do not want the answer to be "sitting around, nothing" and I don't want to just skip it all in a time skip that make it look like Elves have magical Wolverine healing factors.

We discussed this in https://forums.signumuniversity.org/index.php?threads/session-4-04-4-05-overarching-storylines.3061/page-13#post-25226 and I thought we agreed that the Noldor shouldn't sit around doing nothing.
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
As the reforging of Ringil is an event we added, it happens precisely when we mean it to ;). I wasn't suggesting telling this out of order, but rather trying to pick when would be the most opportune time to have it happen.

Unless we are opening moments after Season 3 ended, there will be some timeskip where some events have already happened. We will need to pick an opening. I suggest we do not show them erecting the two separate camps, but rather open with the camps already established. We won't have to flashback to them building the camps...the audience will understand that part of what happened offscreen in the timeskip was...building camps. The only reason to show them building the camps is if that becomes important to telling the story of the tension between the camps.



In the Season 1 Frame, Bilbo was accompanying the dwarves on the Quest for Erebor. He stopped in Rivendell on the way there and back again, thus meeting young Estel (the 10 year old Aragorn). We used him as a character who recognized the cost of war, since the Season finale was about the Valar going to war against Utumno (the War to begin all wars).
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
The only reason to show them building the camps is if that becomes important to telling the story of the tension between the camps.
If we don't show Fingolfin setting camp, we can't show Maglor moving his camp out of the way to avoid Fingolfin's folk. And just putting the camps on two sides of the lake won't indicate what happened. We won't even have a chance show them being separate at all, if we spend the whole episode with them in peace talks before Fingon even leaves.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
If we don't show Fingolfin setting camp, we can't show Maglor moving his camp out of the way to avoid Fingolfin's folk. And just putting the camps on two sides of the lake won't indicate what happened. We won't even have a chance show them being separate at all, if we spend the whole episode with them in peace talks before Fingon even leaves.
Well, if one group needs to leave their camp to meet with the other group, and we have an establishing shot that shows the camps on opposite sides of the lake, I don't think we'll have a problem.

Additionally, it is very easy for someone to say that Maglor moving the camp is tantamount to an admission of guilt.
 

MithLuin

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Staff member
Do we want to show the scene of Fingon cutting off Maedhros’ hand?
Obviously, that is something to discuss tonight! The Hosts have requested a timeskip at that very crucial juncture, and we might find that an abrupt fade to black is an important move there. At this point, the chance seems very, very strong that the actual act of Fingon cutting Maedhros' hand off will not appear in episode 1.

Our choices are:
  1. Show everything in a blow-by-blow approach, including Fingon severing Maedhros' shriveled hand and field-dressing the stump. (Ange1e4e5's suggestion)
  2. Time skip/fade to black as Fingon raises the blade to sever Maedhros' hand. The audience may be lead to believe that Fingon has killed Maedhros. Next, we see Fingon arrive with Maedhros' body in the camp but he's alive! But has a bloody stump. (Nick's suggestion)
  3. Time skip/fade to black as Fingon raises his bow and prays to Manwë. The audience is definitely being invited to think that Fingon is shooting Maedhros in a mercy killing. And then later, surprise! he shows up on the back of an eagle with a maimed Maedhros. (Dave's suggestion)
In the case of #3, we would definitely show the cliffside rescue in flashback in Episode 2 to show how Maedhros was maimed. In the case of #2, we may or may not choose to ever show Fingon cutting Maedhros' hand off on screen.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Obviously, that is something to discuss tonight! The Hosts have requested a timeskip at that very crucial juncture, and we might find that an abrupt fade to black is an important move there. At this point, the chance seems very, very strong that the actual act of Fingon cutting Maedhros' hand off will not appear in episode 1.

Our choices are:
  1. Show everything in a blow-by-blow approach, including Fingon severing Maedhros' shriveled hand and field-dressing the stump. (Ange1e4e5's suggestion)
  2. Time skip/fade to black as Fingon raises the blade to sever Maedhros' hand. The audience may be lead to believe that Fingon has killed Maedhros. Next, we see Fingon arrive with Maedhros' body in the camp but he's alive! But has a bloody stump. (Nick's suggestion)
  3. Time skip/fade to black as Fingon raises his bow and prays to Manwë. The audience is definitely being invited to think that Fingon is shooting Maedhros in a mercy killing. And then later, surprise! he shows up on the back of an eagle with a maimed Maedhros. (Dave's suggestion)
In the case of #3, we would definitely show the cliffside rescue in flashback in Episode 2 to show how Maedhros was maimed. In the case of #2, we may or may not choose to ever show Fingon cutting Maedhros' hand off on screen.
Is it possible that if either of the former two are agreed on, the Hosts will press on with #3 anyways?

If #2, perhaps there's a long-shot with the camera cutting away with the sound of a sword strike and Maedhros screaming?
 

MithLuin

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Staff member
As far as I know, no one is arguing for out-of-order storytelling in Episode 1.

All that has been suggested is that there be a timeskip between the ending of the Season 3 Finale (Fingolfin marching away from Angband towards Mithrim), and the opening of Season 4. Once we open, we open, and we start there and then tell the story moving forwards. I don't think that opening in Year 3 asks the audience to figure out much of anything. It's not an in media res opening if we don't go back and tell earlier stuff (which we wouldn't).

The only reason an in media res opener was even considered was as a way of accommodating the request to start with Fingon in Thangorodrim. The Hosts did not stick to that request in the most recent session (yesterday), so we're not beholden to it and needn't start there. They approved of the background scenes that would be required to get Fingon to Thangorodrim (and I think they found the clouds of darkness argument particularly compelling). So, we aren't doing an in media res opener.


Is it possible that if either of the former two are agreed on, the Hosts will press on with #3 anyways?
Of course! The Hosts have full veto power. It's our job to come up with an outline that we think works, and submit that to them. They may alter it as they please.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
As far as I know, no one is arguing for out-of-order storytelling in Episode 1.

All that has been suggested is that there be a timeskip between the ending of the Season 3 Finale (Fingolfin marching away from Angband towards Mithrim), and the opening of Season 4. Once we open, we open, and we start there and then tell the story moving forwards. I don't think that opening in Year 3 asks the audience to figure out much of anything. It's not an in media res opening if we don't go back and tell earlier stuff (which we wouldn't).

The only reason an in media res opener was even considered was as a way of accommodating the request to start with Fingon in Thangorodrim. The Hosts did not stick to that request in the most recent session (yesterday), so we're not beholden to it and needn't start there. They approved of the background scenes that would be required to get Fingon to Thangorodrim (and I think they found the clouds of darkness argument particularly compelling). So, we aren't doing an in media res opener.




Of course! The Hosts have full veto power. It's our job to come up with an outline that we think works, and submit that to them. They may alter it as they please.

My intention is to script the rescue scene with actual dialogue, and maybe find some way to do an animatic. I'm concerned that unless we can move the hosts emotionally, they will continue to imagine the scene as foolish, which is how this whole thing happened.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
All that has been suggested is that there be a timeskip between the ending of the Season 3 Finale (Fingolfin marching away from Angband towards Mithrim), and the opening of Season 4.
Which means skipping the first contact between Sindar and Noldor, making it look like there was never any language difference between Quenya and Sindarin, skipping the first renewed contact between Feanorians and Fingolfinians, skipping the scene where Fingolfin and Fingon find out the news from the Feanorians, and skipping the scene where Celeborn sees Galadriel for the first time. None of those things should be skipped. They are all important.

We do not need every episode to proceed in real time, with the camera tracking from one minute to the next. We can have a time-skip within the episode instead of just cutting out all the events that happened before a chosen hour, and never filling in the audience. We have written with internal time-skipsup until now and I don't see any reason to suddenly change our methods.

I don't think that it's good writing to cut out valuable character moments just to avoid the time-skips that normally happen in all TV. There's nothing at all wrong with a time-skip within an episode.
 
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MithLuin

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Staff member
I agree that there is nothing at all wrong with time skips within an episode. There's also nothing wrong with timeskips between seasons. Unless a season ends on a cliffhanger, the audience will expect time to have passed during the 'break' between seasons.

Season 3 did not end on a cliffhanger. Therefore, picking up Season 4 'some time later' makes sense.

Note that I did not suggest skipping any or all of those things. My only suggestion was that the two camps be built already. And, yes, this means that Círdan will be in the Camp of Fingolfin (we wouldn't show him walking down the hills into camp), but this does not mean that we would skip the language barrier or the first time Celeborn sees Galadriel or any of that. I certainly have never suggested not showing those things.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
So how long a time skip are you talking about? Years? Months? Days? Hours? 5 minutes to pitch some tents? Which events do you want to skip?
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
It would likely take several days to move and establish the camps, so it would at least be days. At most it could be months before supplies started to run low.
 

MithLuin

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Staff member
Several months, I would think. Most TV shows have a 3-4 month break between seasons, and the audience is invited to think that approximately that much time has passed for the characters on the show unless otherwise specified. In the case of cliffhangers, no time passes at all.

For Season 3, we began shortly after Season 2 ended, but not immediately. Season 2 ended with the discovery of Finwë's body in Formenos by all of his children, and Season 3 opened with his funeral procession to Lorien. I am suggesting that what happened between the end of Season 3 and the beginning of Season 4 is: Maglor moved his camp to the south of the Lake, Fingolfin set up camp in Maglor's abandoned camp, and Círdan walked down the hill and met the Noldor. Mostly, that's it. We then let the rest of the episode play out from there.

Morgoth's cloud of darkness will happen before the midpoint (most likely), and from there on we will be in 'real time' in Year 5 (ie, no significant timeskips). That is, if we're keeping Fingon's rescue of Maedhros in Year 5. We're probably not actually specifying that. Considering basically nothing happens between Year 2 and Year 5...it's not really important precisely how much time passes.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
So why do Cirdan and Celeborn stand in the hills, watching the Noldor pitch tents, for several months? That doesn't make sense. They would make contact immediately, as soon as they spot the Noldor. That will happen about 5 minutes after the Sun rises, since they're standing directly above the camps in broad daylight.

So this time-skip requires either:

1. skipping the first contact between Sindar and Noldor, skipping the first meeting of Celeborn and Galadriel, and skipping most of the language barrier.

2. Cirdan and Celeborn standing in the hills for several months, without moving, or looking down at the Noldorin camps and just walking away without bothering to meet them. Why on Earth would they do that?




We do need to address this somehow. Cirdan is not hundreds of miles away. He is standing a stone's throw from the Noldor. They're right there. There is absolutely no reason for him to see the new Elves, the answer to the mystery of the burned ships and the saviors who drove out the werewolves, and to just turn to Celeborn and say "That's boring, let's go home." It's just silly.
 
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Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
This is my attempt to gather all the various separate outlines into one outline with all the events together. The order of things within part 2 and part 3-4 are fuzzy:

Act 1 (more or less) shows primarily the Sindar-Noldor contact and language barrier, sends away Cirdan's messenger, and shows Finrod using telepathy to establish near-fluent communication. Act 1 also shows contact with the Feanorians, Fingolfin's camp learning the news from them, and the dismay in Angband over the Sun that keeps the servants of the Shadow from stepping foot outside. Show Fingon's reaction to learning Maedhros was captured.

1. All of Angband is dismayed and flat-footed by the Sun. (not shown?)
2. Fingolfin's host return to Mithrim (not shown)
3. Maglor's host gets out of their way, going to the other side of the lake. Fingolfin's people need to set up a place to rest before they can deliver a message. They're tired. (not shown?)
4. Círdan and other Falathrim come down to meet Fingolfin's folk. Attempts to communicate begin. (not shown?)

5. Morgoth sends out spies at night.
6. Celeborn sees Galadriel in Mithrim, and recognizes that she is a force to be reckoned with, but they don't really meet.
7. There is a language barrier: Sindarin and Quenya are two separate languages.
8. Fingolfin sends a strongly worded message to Fëanor. Maglor recieves it. Some sort of communication happens, but very little. Fingolfin learns Fëanor is dead. Fingon learns Maedhros is missing.
9. Continued communication attempts with the Sindar.
10. Turgon sees Finrod and Cirdan having a near-fluent conversation. Finrod explains that he learned Sindarin with telepathy, and that his telepathy is much more powerful than other peoples' - more than he used to think when he lived in Valinor. Finrod acts as translator while the other Noldor catch up.
11. Cirdan sends Annael to Doriath as a messenger. Thingol’s reaction isn’t shown.



Act 2 opens after a substantial time-skip. Most or all of our Noldorin characters can now speak Sindarin (decent grammar, but maybe not a lot of fancy vocabulary). Fingon ponders the feud (or argues with Turgon, or something). Morgoth makes a huge cloud of darkness. Now we kick off Fingon's expedition to Angband.

12. The Noldor are sending out scouts, but remain divided. Both camps have defensive perimeters and guards.
13. Círdan asks questions. The Noldor don’t mention the Kinslaying or the Helkaraxe. They came to fight Morgoth. The Sindar assume everyone was ferried in the ships before Morgoth burned them, or transported by Valar. But, it's apparent that the two camps are separate groups and not friends.
14. There is no attempt to unite the hosts against Morgoth. Fingon and Finrod both point out that Morgoth could attack them any day now, nobody knows how many Orcs he has left, and as long as the Noldor are divided they could all be killed. But nobody listens to their wisdom.
15. Celeborn and Galadriel have a first conversation. There’s a mutual respect and interest.
16. Fingon is frustrated by the division of the Noldor. He agonizes about the situation – he wants to heal the feud, and knows they must or Morgoth will destroy them, but forgiving the Feanorians isn't easy after what they’ve done.
17. Idril has an insight that Galadriel has the potential to fall due to her ambition, and is uneasy/worried. Aredhel is concerned Galadriel was emotionally scarred by the Kinslaying and needs healing. (not shown?)
18. Morgoth laughs at the division of his enemies. He sets forges to make new weapons, and makes a cloud of smoke to hide Angband from the Sun. Seeing his opportunity, Fingon makes up his mind to rescue Maedhros. He leaves without the other Noldor knowing his intentions, and finds no enemies in his path (they’re still hiding from the Sun)


Acts 3 and 4 overlap Fingon's expedition with the continuing contact between the Elven groups.

19. Fingolfin is with his inner circle, discusses the problems they have with the Fëanoreans and how to deal with the Elves of Middle-earth. But where is Fingon?
20. Fingon reaches the Gates of Angband, but can’t get in. He begins climbing.
21. Círdan learns that some of the Noldor are descendants of Olwë, and suggests that they should come to Doriath to meet the king (Elwë), their kin.
22. Fingon in Thangorodrim. The task seems impossible. He cannot find any way in. He searches the mountains for a secret entrance. He is watched by Thorondor who is eating a reindeer.
23. Fingon gives up. He sits down and starts to sing and play his harp. Maedhros is close by above him and answers. Fingon climbs up and sees Maedhros' predicament.
24. Fingolfin sends a messenger to Maglor accusing him of abducting Fingon.
25. Maedhros begs Fingon to shoot him. Fingon readies his bow and prays to Manwë. The arrival of Thorondor.
26. Fëanoreans consider their options. Things look pretty bad, since they are outnumbered by the rest of the Noldor, whom they have betrayed. They expect some kind of attack.
27. Fingon tries to free Maedhros, who only wants to be killed instead.
28. Instead, Fingon cuts off his hand. Thorondor carries them away. (not shown)
29. Thorondor brings Fingon and Maedhros back to Mithrim.
 
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