S04E01 Script Discussion

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I'll be working on fleshing out my notes sometime tomorrow. If you have a question about a particular decision, I can probably answer it, though.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Okay! It will be understandable if people don't want to wade through a 6 hour discussion to hear us slog out the breakdown of episode one, but we will try to get an outline posted here in the next few days to help with the discussion. For now, here's a preview:

Season 4
Episode 1: It Seems We Are At An Impasse (ie, someone please name it for us!)

Protagonist: Fingon
Theme: Struggles with reconciliation
Summary: The Noldor have reached Middle-earth, but are divided. Fingon sets out on a hopeless task to rescue his old friend. Círdan and Celeborn make contact with the Host of Fingolfin.
A-plot: Fingon is frustrated by the division of the Noldor and seeks to rescue Maedhros.
B-plot: Fingolfin and Maglor command opposing camps across the lake of Mithrim. The situation threatens to dissolve into open hostility at any time.
C-plot: The Sindar make contact with the Noldor
D-plot: Angband (Sunlight and Darkness)

As you can see, we had a lot to juggle this time! Not to mention an attempt at portraying eucatastrophe in a way worthy of Tolkien's story ;)

Characters: Fingolfin, Fingon, Turgon, Angrod, messenger from Fëanorean camp, Círdan, Celeborn, Maglor, Curufin, Caranthir, Amras, Finrod, Galadriel, Morgoth, Thorondor, Rog, various other Noldor, Sinda messenger
Frame: Bilbo, Gandalf, Balin

Teaser
Frame: Bilbo is in Bag End. Gandalf and Balin stop in to visit him. Greeting old friends; Bilbo is pleased. They are on their way from the Blue Mountains to the Lonely Mountain to commemorate the 7 year anniversary of (the death of Thorin) and the Battle of Five Armies, (though they do not invite Bilbo to join them).


Act 1

Scene 1:
(Camp of Fingolfin on the northern shore of Lake Mithrim) We see the Host of Fingolfin getting settled in their camp. They are mostly in a positive mood after the events of the Season 3 finale, but they are very angry with Fëanor and anticipate doing something about him soon. Looking across the lake, they can see the camp of Fëanor set up on the southern shore. Some (such as Angrod and Turgon) are eager to confront Fëanor. Fingolfin urges patience; he has a plan. Fëanor will answer for his deeds; Fingolfin will confront him with a full army at his back as soon as they feel their position is secured. Riders arrive at the perimeter of the camp, causing a stir. Greetings from Maglor, lord of the Fëanoreans, are delivered by a messenger. Everyone is confused by this, so the messenger gives news of Fëanor's death and Maedhros' capture. Fingolfin, Fingon, and others react to this news. They are no less angry, but their intended aggression has been cut off with no clear target. Also, there is some genuine regret (or at least mixed feelings) about the news of Fëanor's death. The messenger does not tell of Angrod's death at the shipburning, and no apologies or warm welcome are offered. Fingolfin informs the messenger of the their crossing of the Helcaraxë to reach Middle-earth.

Scene 2a: (Camp of Fingolfin) Círdan, Celeborn, and a small contingent of Falathrim sailors come out of the woods and approach Fingolfin's camp. As they approach, they mention that the camp seems bigger than it looked from the mountain. They encounter perimeter guards, and a language barrier is discovered. The guards answer them in Quenya, which the Sindar do not understand, but they are invited into the Camp. Seeing another camp across the lake that was not there before, Círdan gestures at it, but does not understand the answer he is given.

Scene 2b: (Camp of Fëanor, on the southern shore of Lake Mithrim) Maglor and Curufin react to the news of the returning messenger. It seems their father's half-brother will not attack them at this time, and they reached Middle-earth without ships by walking across the grinding ice far in the north. Curufin had clearly coached either Maglor or the messenger and is working to call the shots himself. Amras chastises them for the shipburning that landed them in this mess.

Scene 3: (Camp of Fingolfin) Finrod and Círdan sit down and have a conversation in Sindarin. They discuss the situation in Beleriand (Thingol is King of Doriath) and the why the Noldor came (to fight Morgoth). They are clearly limited in vocabulary, but Turgon is amazed to hear them conversing as clearly as they do. Finrod's telepathic abilities are explained. The Sindar and Noldor share a meal where Finrod acts as interpreter.

Scene 4: (Angband) Orcs are terrified of sunlight, and are seen flinching from it and running back into the depths of Angband. Morgoth (looking at a burning fire?) soliloquizes on the source of sunlight, how it must be from Laurelin, which he destroyed, and he will destroy this, too. He commands {Gothmog} to send out the Watchers, and when Gothmog mentions that they do no like the sun, Morgoth impatiently tells him to wait for nightfall.
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Act 4
Scene 14: (Camp of Fingolfin) Galadriel watches the meeting between the Noldor of the two camps from afar, maybe a bit resentful at being passed over for her brother Finrod as a delegate to attend. Celeborn approaches her and asks what is going on (in halting Quenya). She explains in Sindarin that her cousin Fingon is missing, and they are meeting to try to find out what happened. Celeborn tries to ask her about more of the background behind why there are two camps, and she answers him telepathically that she does not have the words to explain and cannot talk about that. He is surprised and impressed that she shares Finrod's ability.

Scene 15:
(Thangorodrim) Fingon approaches the sound of Maedhros' singing to reveal the sight of Maedhros stapled to the sheer (overarching) cliff far above his head. There is no way for Fingon to climb up. Maedhros greets his friend and begs for death. Despairing of any way of helping him, Fingon gets out his bow and readies an arrow. But he hesitates, unable to bring himself to kill his friend, and utters a prayer to Manwë. Then he dashes aside tears, draws back the arrow, and takes aim. Thorondor arrives from above, calling out for Fingon to stop as he lands beside him. Fingon is amazed by the appearance of a giant eagle. Thorondor lifts Fingon to the ledge above Maedhros, and perches himself on the cliffside nearby. Fingon tries and fails to loosen the iron band around Maedhros' wrist, and in his frustration asks Thorondor why he even brought him closer if he still can't save Maedhros, who continues to request his own death. Thorondor answers that it is his part to watch. He saw the ships burning in Losgar, he saw the armies of Noldor fight the orcs victoriously, he saw the balrogs cut down Fëanor, he saw the defeat and capture of Maedhros, he saw the arrival of Fingolfin's Host. And he saw Fingon's humility and wish to extend mercy, and so he responded. It is up to Fingon to deliver the mercy he asked for. Fingon raises his blade.

Scene 16: (Neutral Pavilion outside both Camps) The discussion among the Noldor has gotten heated. They have moved beyond accusations about Fingon and are now bringing up their other grievances of the betrayal of the Shipburning and having to cross the Helcaraxë, and the lives lost as a consequence. Swords are drawn. The arrival of Thorondor brings everything to an immediate halt as they all react to the sudden appearance of a giant eagle in the middle of their fight. Fingon descends from the back of the eagle holding Maedhros' body. Then Maedhros stirs/moans/gives some sign of life, and his bloody stump is revealed. The gathered Noldor react to the sudden return of the wounded Maedhros and the reappearance of the missing Fingon. The conflict is abandoned.

Frame: Bilbo backs a bag and Gandalf smiles. Bilbo says that of course he's coming along, which was what Gandalf wanted, wasn't it? And after all, if all these Men and Dwarves and Elves are going to be in one place, they're going to need someone looking after them and keeping the peace, so Bilbo had better go along, since Gandalf can't be trusted to stick around for the duration.

Tag
Morgoth receives news of Maedhros' escape, and expresses his utter confidence by laughing at the sad divisions between the Noldor and their complete ineffectiveness against fighting a Vala.


More to come! We discussed the entire episode, of course; this is just a preview.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Will not be shown; presumably Morgoth has some servants (not orcs) who can be sent out as spies (such as Thuringwethil). This is to introduce the spying plotline obliquely.

Also, in a bizarre way, this is a set-up to introduce Thorondor! (you'll have to wait for Act III to see how)

Also, I have updated the Gantt Chart for Episode 1 based on the discussions Friday and Saturday. It doesn't include all events, of course, but I was able to nail a few things down more precisely.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1QZ0PrqCvWz5jy8pWZBj3TpG3Bnt1hPqHBaGL17TB0Y8/edit#gid=1115838130
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Cool! I like it. I am a bit disappointed that Fingon did not a big action scene... but it's okay
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Cool! I like it. I am a bit disappointed that Fingon did not a big action scene... but it's okay
I can understand that. If it helps at all, I don't think we had time to develop anything like that in the episode, the structure was pretty wonky as it was. Given that the emotional emphasis should be on the events on the cliff face, it would likely feel like an action sequence added to the story just to have one if we were unable to take the time to develop it.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
We do have a Fingon-searches-Thangorodrim-for-a-way-into-Angband montage in Act 3, but that would only be an action sequence if we decide to make it Assassin's Creed style parkour!
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Of course you don't have to ☺ i just had fallen in love wiht the idea that's all... we don't neet to invent additional action just to satisfy an audiences bloodlust...
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Of course you don't have to ☺ i just had fallen in love wiht the idea that's all... we don't neet to invent additional action just to satisfy an audiences bloodlust...
You're not alone, I had an idea for Rog's escape involving him slaughtering an entire corridor of Orcs like Darth Vader in Rogue One. Cool idea, just stupid.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
So, thankfully, Marie worked on the toughest parts, making what I had to do much easier!

Act II

Fingolfin forges Ringil while Fingon makes a pitch for reconciliation.

Fingolfin is at his forge. Fingon makes a passionate plea for reconciliation, but Fingolfin is having none of it. He points out all of the grievances they have against the Feanorians, and makes a case against trusting them that Fingon cannot overcome. Fingon leaves, disappointed, but as he does, darkness rolls in across the night sky from Angband. Fingon and other elves stare up, concerned, and Fingon hears someone say that in that darkness, it will be all too easy for enemies to sneak up on them. This gets Fingon thinking, and moments later, he is packing his sword, his knife, he bow, and of course his harp. When he sets out, the darkness has spread over the camp and no one sees him leave.


Celeborn sends a messenger to Doriath

Celeborn sends a messenger to Doriath, describing the darkness coming out of Angband, and the goings on of the camp. He communicates that there are two separate Noldor camps, but that it isn’t clear why. He mentions that the Noldor seem edgy and cautious, but who could blame them this close to the fortress of the enemy. As they conclude their conversation, an outcry (in Quenya) goes up in the camp, and they go outside. The messenger asks Celeborn what is being said and Celeborn says that they are saying something about the king’s son being missing.


Fingon-not-infiltrating-Angband Montage

Fingon approaches Morgoth’s fortress under cover of the dark clouds. He sees the gates, but they are impenetrable. We get various shots of him climbing around Angband, unable to find a way in, while his frustration and despair grow. We get a bird’s eye view of him from above, then the camera switches perspective to the eye of an eagle. The camera pulls back, revealing that the bird, perched up high on the peaks of Angband is immense, and has a deer in its talons. It occasionally stops watching Fingon to eat, but is certainly watching Fingon’s progress closely.


Act III

Fingolfin’s Messenger Accuses the Feanorians

A messenger from Fingolfin’s camp, who will be introduced as the elf formerly known as Rog, rides up to the gate of the Feanorian camp with an armed escort. He is allowed to approach and Maglor and company go out to speak with him. He states that Fingon, the son of King Fingolfin’s son is missing. He forcefully asks Maglor if he is with them, and if so demands that they produce him. The Feanorians are genuinely surprised, but proudly assert that Fingon, the rightful King’s half-cousin, is not amongst them. The situation seems to be on the path to escalation, which makes Maglor uneasy. He suggests to Rog that he meet with Fingolfin face to face, on neutral ground. Rog agrees.


Cirdan and Celeborn

Cirdan tells Celeborn that he is leaving to see to the disposition of his people, and to their resettlement. He has been away from them too long and Celeborn clearly has the situation well in hand. Cirdan is aware that there are some unanswered questions, but feels certain that the answers will come in time. The people of Fingolfin have been perfectly friendly to them and he foresees a great partnership growing from this relationship.


The Estranged Houses Meet

Maglor, accompanied by Curufin and Caranthir and a small retinue, approaches the meeting place where Fingolfin, accompanied by Turgon and Finrod and bodyguards. They sit across a table from each other that has been set up under the open sky. The discussion opens in tense, formal diplomatic language. Maglor’s main goal is to use this meeting to at least establish a cease fire so that he can withdraw more completely, but he is unable to divert Fingolfin from questions about Fingon, and in fact, doing so arouses their suspicions even further.


Fingon sings

Fingon is exhausted from clambering around Thangorodrim, and sits down, having pretty much given up. After looking around, he pulls his harp from his pack. Much to certain SilmFilmers joy, a music number ensues. It takes Fingon a while to notice that someone is singing along with him. He stops singing and the voice continues, and Fingon immediately starts looking around for its source.
 
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amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
Fingolfin forges Ringil while Fingon makes a pitch for reconciliation.

Fingolfin is at his forge. Fingon makes a passionate plea for reconciliation, but Fingolfin is having none of it. He points out all of the grievances they have against the Feanorians, and makes a case against trusting them that Fingon cannot overcome. Fingon leaves, disappointed, but as he does, darkness rolls in across the night sky from Angband. Fingon and other elves stare up, concerned, and Fingon hears someone say that in that darkness, it will be all too easy for enemies to sneak up on them. This gets Fingon thinking, and moments later, he is packing his sword, his knife, he bow, and of course his harp. When he sets out, the darkness has spread over the camp and no one sees him leave.
I can see this part of this scene in my mind as clearly as if it was already filmed. Fingolfin hammering away at his blade. "Grievance 1" *ting* "grievance 2" *ting* "grievance 3" *ting* "grievance 4" *quench in a hissing eruption of steam*
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Scene 16: (Neutral Pavilion outside both Camps) The discussion among the Noldor has gotten heated. They have moved beyond accusations about Fingon and are now bringing up their other grievances of the betrayal of the Shipburning and having to cross the Helcaraxë, and the lives lost as a consequence. Swords are drawn. The arrival of Thorondor brings everything to an immediate halt as they all react to the sudden appearance of a giant eagle in the middle of their fight. Fingon descends from the back of the eagle holding Maedhros' body. Then Maedhros stirs/moans/gives some sign of life, and his bloody stump is revealed. The gathered Noldor react to the sudden return of the wounded Maedhros and the reappearance of the missing Fingon. The conflict is abandoned.
I know that this is not the focus of this scene, but let's not forget that this will be the first time Ringil is shown onscreen, and there will have to be some attention drawn to that to pay off the forging scene earlier in the episode.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Of course you don't have to ☺ i just had fallen in love with the idea that's all... we don't need to invent additional action just to satisfy an audience's bloodlust...
We did talk a little bit about how to show Angband reacting to the problem of sunlight, and decided it would be a bit premature if, say, a bunch of orcs came out into Thangorodrim under the darkness and Fingon had to fight them. The orcs should still be extremely distrustful of sunlight and unwilling to go outside at all, even with the cover of darkness (which...could break up at any time). Morgoth has other servants, but it just seemed to fit better if Angband was ominously silent.

Granted, when someone actually sits down to script this, they might find that 'the silent journeys of Fingon' aren't working so well, and decide to insert some sort of watcher/guard/patrol that Fingon must overpower and kill while he's searching the mountains. I don't think action scenes are bad...just that maybe a fight scene would be superfluous here, and downplay the 'slumbering' appearance of Angband. Also, we probably shouldn't give Fingon a victory, because we want him to have no success and feel that his search is fruitless. He has to be frustrated to the point of giving up before finding Maedhros.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
We did talk a little bit about how to show Angband reacting to the problem of sunlight, and decided it would be a bit premature if, say, a bunch of orcs came out into Thangorodrim under the darkness and Fingon had to fight them. The orcs should still be extremely distrustful of sunlight and unwilling to go outside at all, even with the cover of darkness (which...could break up at any time). Morgoth has other servants, but it just seemed to fit better if Angband was ominously silent.

Granted, when someone actually sits down to script this, they might find that 'the silent journeys of Fingon' aren't working so well, and decide to insert some sort of watcher/guard/patrol that Fingon must overpower and kill while he's searching the mountains. I don't think action scenes are bad...just that maybe a fight scene would be superfluous here, and downplay the 'slumbering' appearance of Angband. Also, we probably shouldn't give Fingon a victory, because we want him to have no success and feel that his search is fruitless. He has to be frustrated to the point of giving up before finding Maedhros.
Maybe it works like this with having nobody for Fingon to find, because he has no one to question as to where Maedhros is? I admit that I'd be one of the last to leave out a fight scene (see post above about Rog's escape), but in this case it would work well.
 
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