I think the frame for this episode is probably the best frame I've written, and I'm glad you like it. In this new version, I added a little more to the tag so it would include a full stanza of the Misty Mountains song.Teaser/Tag Frame: Your Bilbo voice is delightful! He sounds quaintly English and hobbity to my (very American) ears. No suggestions for improvement from me. I do like the 'significant look' and the set-up of Balin and Gandalf clearly playing Bilbo a bit here. Good job working in the wolves and the reference to the Important Events of the end of the Hobbit. And Bilbo rushing to put his papers in order and that sign on the door! Just, superbly done!
Thanks for the suggestion. I changed this line.p. 6 "Our approach to Feanor shall not be an immediate attack. We must first give him a chance to answer for his crimes. And I do not think he will attack us. He abandoned this campsite and moved to across the lake in order to avoid a confrontation."
I feel this should be condensed a bit. Perhaps....
"We do not attack without first giving Fëanor a chance to answer for his deeds. He did not attack us when we arrived, but abandoned this campsite and gave way before us."
Fingolfin just learned that his brother is dead, which is a shock to him. I imagine that he spent a lot of his time on the Helcaraxe picturing what his confrontation with Feanor was going to be like, but he never considered that Feanor might be dead, so any plans he made are now completely irrelevant. Immediately after this statement of doubt, he demonstrates that he is a good leader and does, in fact, know what to do. He reflects on what the Feanorians must be feeling, decides what his camp will do, and considers the practical matter of hunting.The Fëanorean messenger is great. Lots of awkward standing around. Tears in Fingon's eyes. Love it. Fingolfin admitting that he's not sure what to do might be a bit too far. Perhaps he should just admit that this changes things. I know he's talking to his two sons, so honesty is fine, but Fingolfin shows good leadership even when caught off guard (well, most of the time...)
Thanks for pointing that out. "Days" and "tomorrow" probably wouldn't be concepts for the Elves yet anyway. I made Cirdan and Celeborn talk about the Sindarin names for the Sun and Moon, which led directly into their conversation about the language barrier.I am not sure how I feel about Círdan and Celeborn discussing the language barrier before they meet, but I suppose it's fine to prime the audience for that. I do think the "their camp has been out of sight for a few days now" line is too on the nose. Maybe they could discuss the newly risen sun and moon instead? I very much like that they bring up Olwë's connection to Círdan and their assumptions about the ships and elves by the lake.
I used a different font for dialogue that is spoken telepathically instead of saying "voice over" every time. Does this make the telepathic scenes less awkward to read?The mind-reading scene - ugh, I feel like you did a decent job, but it's just so clunky sounding on paper! I think it's the concept of reading minds that is at fault, not your portrayal of it, but it's a weak point of this script, I fear. Turgon's joke about 'how do I say 'spoon' in Sindarin?' was a nice end note, though.
I looked up how to reforge a sword before writing this scene, and one of the most consistent things I read was that, when pieces of a blade are just welded back together, the sword is much weaker and very likely to break along those seams again. Since Ringil won't break again, I thought it might be good to explain this via magic. I changed it to make it a little more clear in the description that most of the work was Fingolfin's smithcraft and the magic just reinforced the weld, but I can change it more if the process is still too magical.Act 2:
How to reforge a blade - magic or smithing or both? I do like the magical elements you've incorporated, but I think the process should be shown to be...something vaguely realistic. So, I am fine with the snow that does not melt (because magic) but I am less fine with the seams between the shards that just...mend.
I want to keep the specific time reference here. I understand that leaving out specific references to time helps to convey the sense of timelessness of the Elves, but here I think it would do the opposite. Without it, I think viewers would perceive the amount of time to have passed as much shorter than it actually was. Two groups of humans probably would not spend five years sitting in separate camps on either side of a lake without doing anything, so mentioning that the Elves did so reaffirms that they are immortal and perceive the passage of time differently. Also, it reinforces that the Noldor really have wasted what probably would have been their best time to attack Morgoth.p. 23 To avoid the specific time reference, I would change this: "Five years have passed since we arrived at this lake. Methinks Maglor would have attacked us already if he were planning to do so." to "Methinks Maglor would have attacked us already if he were planning to do so. How long do you plan to sit idle beside this lake?" And then include Fingolfin's reply, but cut the next two lines of the exchange - no need for Fingolfin to say 'indeed' and Fingon can jump right ahead to 'And what of Morgoth?'
I added that Fingolfin hears the faint cries of his people as they perish on the Helcaraxe, and I had him chanting to blade before its starts to glow.Act 2 is really short - only 6 pages, and with three montage-like scenes lacking dialogue (passage of time, forging of Ringil, and Fingon exploring Thangorodrim). As a ballpark figure, we're aiming at 15-16 pages for an Act, so these are long spaces without dialogue that we should think about the ramifications of putting back-to-back-to-back like this. Changing seasons scene should be very brief (as you wrote it). Reforging Ringil scene could have some lines prior to the arrival of Fingon - Fingolfin can react to the memories of Fëanor he sees in the old blade, or chant something when he begins the reforging process, or well...hum as he works. Just, you know...something! I think the solo adventures of Fingon will be tense enough without dialogue, I'm just slightly concerned with that following these other dialogue-scarce scenes.
Thanks. I changed these.Act 3:
p. 28 "half-cousin" Certainly, this is how the Fëanoreans refer to the children of Finarfin and Fingolfin. I am not certain if the Host of Fingolfin would be so quick to draw that distinction? So, perhaps Rhogrin would say "your cousin" and Caranthir would jump in to point out "half-cousin" or something like that.
p. 36 - This line of Celegorm's feels a bit off "I have a similar role in our camp, yet I often go hunting alone. I think it not radical that Fingon would seek time to himself away from your camp, especially if, as you said, he seemed upset before he departed." The first sentence is fine, but for the rest, I might suggest: "Why do you think it strange that Fingon would seek to be away from your camp, especially if, as you say, he seemed troubled?" Likewise, his later use of "reciprocal" seems off.
I thought people might object to this, but I really like having Maedhros in his armor. Hanging from a cliff for a really long time while wearing tattered clothes would be uncomfortable, but doing so while wearing heavy armor would be much worse. Not only would the added weight of the armor cause more pressure on Maedhros' arm, but I think it would eventually dig deeply into his skin and, because it's metal, get really hot in the sunlight or really cold. Also, I imagine that Maedhros is wearing Feanor's heraldic device, so Morgoth is kind of using him as a flag. Morgoth doesn't expect anyone to be able to rescue Maedhros, so he puts him out on display so that, if any Noldor who come to attack Angband notice Maedhros, they may not recognize him, but they would recognize Feanor's symbol (and so will the viewers when they see him). Additionally, Morgoth probably enjoys gazing out his window at his captive and being reminded that Feanor is dead. However, the most important reason I want Maedhros to be wearing his armor is that Fingon can't kill him by shooting him in the chest. Fingon has to shoot Maedhros in the head, which means he has to look his friend in the eyes before he kills him.p. 38 Regarding Maedhros on Thangorodrim - his state of dress is up for debate, but I would argue that his armor at least was stripped from him in Angband after his capture. A captive isn't allowed weapons (obviously), so why would they be allowed armor to protect them from the lashes of their captors? He doesn't have to be stripped naked, but he could be. Sauron will do that to Finrod and Beren in Tol Sirion, and the parallel here is to Frodo in the tower of Cirith Ungol, where he was very explicitly stripped of all his clothing. I'm fine with his clothes hanging off him in tatters, but I do want to remove the reference to armor.
I changed the line so Thorondor calls Fingon "Fingon" the first time he says his name then "Fingon the Valiant" when he talks about what he specifically saw Fingon do.I am going back and forth in my own mind what Thorondor should call Fingon. I'm fine with Fingon calling him "Lord Eagle." I feel like there should be something more formal (like 'child of Finwë' or 'valiant elf' or something), but...it's also true that Fingon and Maedhros have been calling each others' names and Thorondor has heard them say that. So...he would at least know to refer to him as Fingon. But...maybe something more to make it less familiar? "Fingon of the northern shore of Lake Mithrim" or "Fingon of Valinor" or something?
I know how to make the accented letters, I just chose not to do it for the drafts. When I was first writing the script, I found that continually looking up names to see whether they had diacritical marks interrupted my flow of writing, so I just decided to ignore them all and then go back and add them later with Find-Replace in MS Word. I went ahead and did that for this script. Please let me know if I missed any names that need accents.General comments: I would encourage you to use published Silmarillion spelling whenever possible. So, for example, Fëanor rather than Feanor, Helcaraxë rather than Helcaraxe. It's a minor issue, and if that's a nuisance to correct it can wait until later. I can give you the keyboard shortcuts for the accented letters if you're using a PC. (It can be done on a Mac as well, it's just different)
You are exactly right about the issue with blade-welding. Another way to solve the problem is to show Fingolfin heating and breaking the blade into small strips, then welding those into a new billet, similarly to the way he would have made the original blade. This way he can make a new blade entirely from the pieces. This is likely the way I will want to show Anduril reforged as well.I looked up how to reforge a sword before writing this scene, and one of the most consistent things I read was that, when pieces of a blade are just welded back together, the sword is much weaker and very likely to break along those seams again. Since Ringil won't break again, I thought it might be good to explain this via magic. I changed it to make it a little more clear in the description that most of the work was Fingolfin's smithcraft and the magic just reinforced the weld, but I can change it more if the process is still too magical.
I remain completely unconvinced, but I certainly am willing to let you go to bat and defend this idea to see if it makes it through Executive review.I thought people might object to this, but I really like having Maedhros in his armor.
One reason I chose this passage is because I think the content and tension conveyed are really solid as written. (One could quibble that the messenger should have known that whatever response was given to 'how did you get here?' the obvious question in reply would be 'what happened to the ships?' - it's a predictable bind he's caught in. But also completely understandable that he would want to awkwardly get out of it rather than reply.)ANGROD: (from inside the tent) But Fëanor, too, is securing his position. The longer we hesitate in our attack – (He steps out.) - the more chance we give him to strike first.
FINGOLFIN: We shall not attack without first giving Fëanor a chance to answer for his crimes. He attacked us not when we arrived but abandoned this campsite and moved to the other shore.
The poles are all up inside the tent, so everyone moves outside and starts tying the tent down.
ANGROD: We bring with us a larger force. He hath likely relocated to a more strategic position.
TURGON: As far as I see, nothing maketh his position more strategic than our own, although his people are far better armed and equipped than we.
FINGOLFIN: Exactly. I have no wish to confront Fëanor until my full force is ready to stand at my back.
FINGON and RHOGRIN come over.
RHOGRIN: Lord Fingolfin, messengers have arrived from the camp across the lake.
FINGOLFIN: Though perhaps this confrontation shall be quite soon. Lead me to them, Rhogrin.
Fingolfin follows Fingon and Rhogrin to the edge of camp, where a MESSENGER flanked by two GUARDS from the Fëanorian camp waits. All three are on horseback. The Messenger dismounts to deliver his message as Fingolfin draws near.
MESSENGER: We come bearing greetings from Maglor, Lord of the Fëanorians and High King of the Noldor.
MESSENGER: We come bearing greetings from Maglor, Lord of the Fëanorians –
FINGOLFIN: Maglor is lord? What happened to Fëanor?
MESSENGER: Fëanor is dead.
FINGOLFIN: How? (The messenger is silent.) How did my brother die?
MESSENGER: He was slain by Morgoth’s demons of fire. We call them Balrogs.
FINGON: And what of Maedhros? Did the kingship not then pass to his eldest son?
MESSENGER: It did, but Maedhros was taken in battle. We know not whether he liveth still, so Maglor hath been declared king. (There is a long pause. Fingolfin does not respond, so the Messenger continues.) King Maglor would like to know ... how your people crossed the sea.
FINGOLFIN: (slightly accusingly) We walked across the Helcaraxë.
MESSENGER: (shocked) The Grinding Ice? Ye crossed it on foot?
FINGOLFIN: At the great loss of many of our people. Why did ye not send the ships back for us?
The Messenger gets back on his horse. He looks quite nervous because he did not expect to have to deliver news about the ship burning.
MESSENGER: I must bear these tidings to King Maglor.
FINGON: (angrily) Answerest thou my father’s question! What happened to the ships that were taken from the Teleri?
MESSENGER: (quickly) Fëanor and his sons burned them ... as soon as we reached land.
The Messenger and his Guards ride away, glancing back in case of pursuit. Rhogrin makes a move to go after them, but Fingolfin gestures at him to stand down. Fingon is completely shocked by the betrayal. He stares blankly at the riders retreating into the distance.
FINGON: They burned them ... they burned the ships ... Maedhros would never ...
Fingolfin places his hand on Fingon’s shoulder.
FINGOLFIN: Thy brother saw the ships aflame. We knew they were not coming back. We suspected –
Fingon turns to Fingolfin. There are tears in his eyes.
FINGON: You and Turgon suspected they had betrayed us. I never did. I believed the ships were burnt in an accident - or an attack. I thought they had been attacked. All while crossing the Ice, I thought they were in danger, that we would need rescue them. (beat) What-what shall we do, father?
FINGOLFIN: We will not attack them now. I know not what Maglor planneth to do as king. I know not what I should do ... No apologies did they offer for their betrayal, but it is plain they have suffered losses, just as have we. For now, we shall settle in our camp and keep watch across the lake. Dost thou think thou canst arrange our hunting parties?
Fingon nods, still looking extremely upset.