S04E01 Script Discussion

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
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.
The issue is one of scene economy. You'll notice in the outline that we condense Fingon's search itself to a series of shots in a montage that lasts several minutes. Adding an action scene would require a scene to set up the confrontation, a scene to have the confrontation, and a scene for him to question a prisoner. That is about 10-15 minutes of screen time, which we just don't have in this episode. Had we stretched the rescue into Episode 2, it might have been doable, but it just wasn't possible in the time we had.
 

MithLuin

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Right. If we were going to add specific sequences to that, it would have to be something that would lend to Fingon's despair. So, Fingon drinking the last of his water, or rounding rocks to new vistas hopefully only to be greeted with...more nothing. Presumably there *are* ways into Angband's dungeons in that mountain range (other than the main gate), but Fingon isn't going to find the entrances.

ETA: Keep in mind that the audience doesn't even know he's searching for Maedhros!

In other news, I'd like to post the entire outline in one post, but this annoying 10,000 character limit is stopping me. Even trimmed down, it's apparently still too long! Thanks for posting the other two acts, Nick!
 
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MithLuin

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4-01: FRIEND OR FOE?

Teaser
Frame (Bag End) Greeting old friends. Gandalf and Balin visit Bilbo. They are on their way to the Lonely Mountain to commemorate the 7 year anniversary of the Battle of Five Armies; they do not invite Bilbo to join them.


Act I
1:
(Camp of Fingolfin) News is exchanged between the Exiled Noldor

The Host of Fingolfin looking across the lake can see the camp of Fëanor set up on the other side. Angrod and Turgon are eager to confront Fëanor. Fingolfin urges patience. Fëanor will answer for his deeds; Fingolfin will confront him with a full army at his back as soon as their position is secured. Riders arrive at the perimeter of the camp. Greetings from Maglor, lord of the Fëanoreans. Everyone is confused; the messenger gives news of Fëanor's death and Maedhros' capture (not Angrod's death). Fingolfin and Fingon react to this news. They are no less angry, but their intended aggression has been cut off. Fingolfin informs the messenger of their crossing of the Helcaraxë to reach Middle-earth. The messenger reacts with awe, sympathy, and shame, but does not utter an apology or warm welcome.

2a: (Camp of Fingolfin) First meeting of the Sindar and Noldor

Círdan and Celeborn come out of the woods and approach Fingolfin's camp. 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.

2b: (Camp of Fëanor) Fëanorean distrust and infighting

Maglor and Curufin react to the news of the returning messenger. 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 coached either Maglor or the messenger, working to call the shots himself. Amras chastises them for the shipburning that landed them in this mess.

3: (Camp of Fingolfin) Breaking through the communication barrier

Finrod and Círdan 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 limited in vocabulary, but Turgon is amazed to hear them conversing as clearly as they do. Finrod's telepathic abilities explained. The Sindar and Noldor share a meal where Finrod acts as interpreter. Celeborn sees Galadriel for the first time.

4: (Angband) The Problem of Sunlight

Orcs are terrified of sunlight, flinching from it and running back into the depths of Angband. Morgoth soliloquizes on the source of sunlight (Laurelin), which he destroyed, as he will destroy this. He commands Gothmog to send out the Watchers. Gothmog says they do no like the sun; Morgoth impatiently tells him to wait for nightfall.

Act II {Time Skip}
5:
(Camp of Fingolfin) Fingolfin reforges Ringil; Fingon makes a pitch for reconciliation.

The Noldor are settled in their camps. Fingolfin is at his forge, working on his broken sword. 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 Fëanorians, 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. The elves stare up, concerned, and someone says that in that darkness, it will be easy for enemies to sneak up on them. This gets Fingon thinking, and moments later, he is packing his sword, his knife, his bow, and his harp. When he sets out, the darkness has spread over the camp. No one sees him leave.

6: (Camp of Fingolfin) 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.

7: (Thangorodrim) Fingon-not-infiltrating-Angband

Fingon approaches Morgoth’s fortress under cover of the dark clouds. He sees the gates, but they are impenetrable. Various shots of him climbing around Angband, unable to find a way in, while his frustration and despair grow. A bird’s eye view of him, 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 an antlered deer in its talons. It eats while watching Fingon’s progress closely.

Act III
8:
(Camp of Fëanor) Fingolfin’s Messenger Accuses the Fëanorians

A messenger from Fingolfin’s camp (Rog) approaches the gate of the Fëanorian camp with an armed escort. Maglor goes out to speak with him. He states that King Fingolfin’s son Fingon is missing. Rog forcefully asks Maglor if he is with them, and if so demands that they produce him. The Fëanorians are genuinely surprised, but proudly assert that Fingon, the rightful King’s half-cousin, is not among them. The situation seems headed towards escalation, which makes Maglor uneasy. He suggests that he meet with Fingolfin face to face, on neutral ground; Rog agrees.

9: (Camp of Fingolfin) Círdan and Celeborn

Círdan tells Celeborn that he is leaving to see to the disposition and resettlement of his people. He has been away from them too long and Celeborn clearly has the situation here in the north well in hand.

10: (A Neutral Pavilion) The Estranged Houses Meet

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

11: (Thangorodrim) Fingon sings

Fingon is exhausted from clambering around the mountains of Thangorodrim, and sits down, having given up finding an entrance to Morgoth's fortress. He looks around, pulls out his harp, and begins to sing. 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.

Act IV
12:
(Camp of Fingolfin) First meeting of Galadriel and Celeborn

Galadriel watches the meeting between the Noldor of the two camps from afar, a bit resentful at being passed over 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.

13: (Thangorodrim) Maedhros' plight.

Fingon finds Maedhros stapled to the sheer cliff far above his head. There is no way for Fingon to climb up. Maedhros 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. 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 many things (the ships burning in Losgar, etc). And he saw Fingon's humility and wish to extend mercy, so he responded. It is up to Fingon to deliver the mercy he asked for. Fingon raises his blade.

14: (Neutral Pavilion) The meeting of the estranged houses breaks down.

The discussion among the Noldor has gotten heated. They move beyond accusations about Fingon and are now bringing up their other grievances of the betrayal and the lives lost. Fingolfin draws Ringil. The arrival of Thorondor brings everything to an immediate halt as they all react to the sudden appearance of a giant eagle. Fingon descends holding Maedhros' body. Then Maedhros gives a 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: (Bag End) Bilbo packs a bag; Gandalf smiles. Bilbo says that of course he's coming along, which was what Gandalf wanted, wasn't it? After all, if 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.

Tag: (Angband) Morgoth receives news of Maedhros' escape, and expresses his utter confidence by laughing at the sad divisions between the Noldor and their complete ineffectiveness.
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I've been debating something in my mind. Would it be beneficial for us to add some parenthetical notes to each scene explaining what certain items in the scene are about? It might not always be clear why we would do something.
 

MithLuin

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Hmmm, there can be 'Episode Notes' for the whole thing were we explain any meta details or reasons that need explaining, if that would help? If it's really specific to a particular detail in a scene, then it might be easiest to have an 'aside' to address that point right there.
 

MithLuin

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Ah, yes - I think we can deal with that in an 'End Note' format.

Note: The introduction of Thorondor is meant to be mildly ambiguous to the audience. They might not recall the Eagles (which have not been seen since the end of Season 2), or even if they do remember them, might not be sure if Thorondor is one of *those* eagles. Whose side is he on, anyway? So, when Morgoth sends out his Watchers, and a giant bird later appears perched on the mountain above Angband, the audience is at least invited to question if this bird might be an enemy of Fingon. To lend to the 'ambiguous' intentions of the majestic and wholly good giant eagle, we depict him perched over slaughtered prey, not in flight. A modern American audience is conditioned to think that any depiction of slaughtering animals is evil, even though of course...it is not. We don't wish to convince the audience that Thorondor is bad, but to raise the question of his level of threat and emphasize that he is not a tame 'pet' to help the elves. For this reason, we have him speak to Fingon on the cliff explaining that he (and all eagles) are not there to solve the Noldor's problems, but are servants of Manwë. [Curtailing, 'why don't the eagles just fly the Ring to Mount Doom?' conversations decisively from the beginning.]


Something like that?
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Ah, yes - I think we can deal with that in an 'End Note' format.

Note: The introduction of Thorondor is meant to be mildly ambiguous to the audience. They might not recall the Eagles (which have not been seen since the end of Season 2), or even if they do remember them, might not be sure if Thorondor is one of *those* eagles. Whose side is he on, anyway? So, when Morgoth sends out his Watchers, and a giant bird later appears perched on the mountain above Angband, the audience is at least invited to question if this bird might be an enemy of Fingon. To lend to the 'ambiguous' intentions of the majestic and wholly good giant eagle, we depict him perched over slaughtered prey, not in flight. A modern American audience is conditioned to think that any depiction of slaughtering animals is evil, even though of course...it is not. We don't wish to convince the audience that Thorondor is bad, but to raise the question of his level of threat and emphasize that he is not a tame 'pet' to help the elves.

Something like that?

Absolutely, I might even add to that that he specifically speaks against the idea that he is present to solve their problems in the scene on the cliff, heading off the "Why don't the eagles just... ?" nonsense right off the bat.
 

Haakon

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Season 4
Episode 1: It Seems We Are At An Impasse (ie, someone please name it for us!)
How about "Friend or foe"? It would allude to the Oath of Fëanor, and to the question that hangs over a lot of this episode. It could also apply to Thorondor, possibly, or at least suggest that we shouldn't be too sure about what to expect from him when he appears.
 

Haakon

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One question though: Why is Caranthir volunteering/chosen to accompany Maglor and Curufin on the meeting? It’s like inviting trouble, and should be considered a risky move by Maglor, and perhaps Fingolfin would take it as a provocation (maybe a bit of a stretch).
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
One question though: Why is Caranthir volunteering/chosen to accompany Maglor and Curufin on the meeting? It’s like inviting trouble, and should be considered a risky move by Maglor, and perhaps Fingolfin would take it as a provocation (maybe a bit of a stretch).
Do they not know of the feud between Angrod and Caranthir? When did it begin?
 

MithLuin

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So, we somewhat arbitrarily picked 'three representatives from each side + guards' because...why not? It's visually appealing and symmetrical :p Obviously Fingolfin and Turgon would be there (the meeting is about Fingon's disappearance, after all), and just as obviously Curufin would be with Maglor. So...the third spot was up for debate.

We chose Finrod as a reasonable person to balance out Turgon, and Caranthir as an unreasonable person, to show that this meeting is not entirely in good faith. We didn't want there to be any chance of the audience thinking they'd solved the problem without Fingon and Maedhros. Amras wasn't interested in going, so that left Celegorm or Caranthir as the possible choices. Any reason why we should pick Celegorm instead?

The 'feud' between Angrod and Caranthir likely had its origins in Valinor - ie, they probably just don't like one another all that much. But...the actual 'offence' between them hasn't happened yet. So, no, we haven't introduced that conflict. Angrod wasn't even really introduced as a character until Season 3, and didn't have lines until after the betrayal with the ships.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
So, we somewhat arbitrarily picked 'three representatives from each side + guards' because...why not? It's visually appealing and symmetrical :p Obviously Fingolfin and Turgon would be there (the meeting is about Fingon's disappearance, after all), and just as obviously Curufin would be with Maglor. So...the third spot was up for debate.

We chose Finrod as a reasonable person to balance out Turgon, and Caranthir as an unreasonable person, to show that this meeting is not entirely in good faith. We didn't want there to be any chance of the audience thinking they'd solved the problem without Fingon and Maedhros. Amras wasn't interested in going, so that left Celegorm or Caranthir as the possible choices. Any reason why we should pick Celegorm instead?

The 'feud' between Angrod and Caranthir likely had its origins in Valinor - ie, they probably just don't like one another all that much. But...the actual 'offence' between them hasn't happened yet. So, no, we haven't introduced that conflict. Angrod wasn't even really introduced as a character until Season 3, and didn't have lines until after the betrayal with the ships.
Caranthir, even without a feud, is "the harshest and most quick to anger" of the Sons of Feanor, not the best person to use when conducting negotiations. He's likely to screw things up.
 

Haakon

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...I’d go for Celegorm, if it’s all the same to you. He can still be something of a hothead, so it’s not like he will cool things down.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

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One question though: Why is Caranthir volunteering/chosen to accompany Maglor and Curufin on the meeting? It’s like inviting trouble, and should be considered a risky move by Maglor, and perhaps Fingolfin would take it as a provocation (maybe a bit of a stretch).
So the breakdown is this: Maglor is going. No way is Curufin letting him go alone. Curufin also wants someone else there to support his own position. Caranthir is the one least likely to support a conciliatory gesture like... for example, granting legitimacy to Fingolfin's claim to the throne.
 

Haakon

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Well, I don’t think Curufin puts Caranthir before Celegorm. I see your point, but if I were Curufin, I’d choose Celegorm any day of the week.
 

Haakon

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I can live with Curufin choosing Caranthir to come along, if Caranthir screws up somehow or loses his temper, and Curufin says (then or later) that he’ll never bring him to that kind of meeting again.
 
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