S04E08 Script Discussion

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
No link yet, but for the purposes of streamlining our discussion, the script fairies have decided to get some preliminary work done here where more folks can have input.

This is primarily going to be about what our primary conflicts are going to be. To kick this off I figured I'd go through the stuff on the Gantt chart for this episode.

Edhellos "found"

Feanorian wife captured

Cirdan aids Fingon (not sure what this means)

So, I know that the hosts wanted to focus on Angband for this episode. Beyond that, they didn't discuss it much. If Edhellos is to be broken by the SoBD there, it would seem that this is a good opportunity to make her the protagonist there again. The focus would have to be on her resistance there. What do you guys think?
Since we already had Edhellos as the protagonist of an episode, what if we make Curufin's wife the protagonist of this one? She could become Edhellos' new cellmate or be kept nearby, so she could witness Edhellos being defiant until Morgoth decides to do the Spell of Bottomless Dread. Maybe they could both be brought before Morgoth, and, upon seeing Edhellos driven mad, Curufin's wife submits to being a slave so it does not happen to her.
If this episode is going to take place mostly in Angband, that would make sense. We could have the capture of Curufin's wife at the beginning and the finding of Edhellos at the end.
Ok. Any idea what that Cirdan helping Fingon thing was? I'd rather there be something showing Fingolfin's reaction to the Ban, but...
I'm not sure what that is supposed to be either. I don't remember the discussion about it, and I couldn't find anything in the book that looked like what it was based on.

This episode would be a good opportunity to show Fingolfin's reaction to the ban. With the capture of Curufin's wife, we might also be able to work in the Feanorian reaction.
Right, if Curufin and Maedhros were on their way to Mithrim when the attack occurs, it would make sense for them to talk to Fingolfin about it, and for Finrod and Angrod to arrive around the same time.
If Curufin's wife is captured before they leave or while they are travelling, Angrod and Curufin could agree to work together and start sending out search parties, one of which would eventually find Edhellos.
Or actually, what if Orodreth and Celebrimbor bond over losing their mothers (setting up Celebrimbor's decision to stay in Nargothrond later), and they're the ones who find Edhellos.
Or actually, what if Orodreth and Celebrimbor bond over losing their mothers (setting up Celebrimbor's decision to stay in Nargothrond later), and they're the ones who find Edhellos.

They certainly could; it gives us a chance to meet them. I'm not sure that their eyes are the ones through which we should be seeing the ban though.
They don't necessarily need to be the main characters in the scenes about the ban, but their search for and discovery of Edhellos might be a good chance to show that the Noldor still speak Quenya among themselves.
Well, unless we decided to have them speak Quenya to the audience just for that purpose, it wouldn't necessarily accomplish that. But I think having them be a subplot in the Noldorin story works.
Is there anything we could do in the frame related to language to emphasize the importance of the ban?
Or something with the runes needed to make the gates dragon-proof? I don't know; I'll try to think of something better.
One disadvantage of talking about the season long story arcs up front is that it's been long enough that we've all forgotten what we talked about :p

Círdan aiding Fingon is likely meant to be in the next episode and is just 'left over' from when this was the Dagor Aglareb episode. Meaning, I think it's assisting with the attack down the coast. At the very least, it's showing that Círdan does not let the Ban prevent him from working together with the Noldor.

But I think it's fine to keep this an Angband-centric episode, leave the audience in suspense (at least a bit) as to what's going on with Fingolfin and his reaction to Thingol's Ban.

Certainly, the focus of this episode should be on what happens to Edhellos, so having Curufin's wife be the eyes through which we see that works.

Edhellos' story: Prisoner in Angband. Refuses to aid Sauron, who is frustrated because he thought he'd broken her. Morgoth, who has returned from the East to check in on Angband(?) essentially says 'watch this' and puts the SoBD on Edhellos. Sauron is majorly impressed. Edhellos is broken - completely. She's crushed. She perhaps can't even speak coherently. Morgoth can use her as a puppet. After demonstrating this, they abandon her, leaving her for the Noldor to find. The Noldor find her, and while dismayed, try to treat her.

Díriel's story: Captured (how?) and brought to Angband. Meets the captive Edhellos. Sauron tries to get the elven prisoners to work for him, with very limited effect. Díriel refuses. Morgoth works the Spell of Bottomless Dread; the elven captives see the aftermath. Suddenly, cooperating with Sauron becomes a much more reasonable option. Díriel (and others) become slave labor in Angband, aiding the war machine that is fighting their own people.
I've been thinking about the frame for this episode, and this is the best thing that I've come up with so far:

The method of making dragon-proof gates was developed by the Dwarves of Moria in cooperation with the Elves of Hollin and used for the gates of Moria. Oropher, who was king of the Woodland Realm at the time, commissioned the Dwarves of Moria to make dragon-proof gates for his halls. He pays the dwarves in installments as they work on the gates. The final touch on the gates is an inscription in Quenya. Oropher did not realize the inscription would be in Quenya, so he is outraged when the Dwarven craftsmen show him the completed gates and they are covered in the language of the Kinslayers. Oropher would be particularly sensitive to this because he was in Doriath when the Second Kinslaying happened and may have lost friends or family in the attack. The Dwarves cannot change the inscription to Sindarin because the magic would not work the same, so Oropher refuses to pay the final installment and throws the craftsmen out. Thranduil was elsewhere in Middle-earth when all of this happened, and Oropher did not speak of it to his son because he quickly began to appreciate the gates despite the Quenya inscription.

The document that had the Moon-letters is biased from a Dwarven perspective and only cryptically refers to what Oropher was upset about. It might say he refused to pay them because he "disliked the language used in the inscription" or something to that effect, which Thranduil would not realize referred to Quenya and Dain would see as a pointless quibble about a magic inscription that cannot be altered because he would not understand or may not even know about the ban or its implications.

The frame scenes for this episode can focus on tense negotiations as the kings trying to figure out exactly what the ancient conflict described in the document is now that the hostage situation has ended.

Beginning scene: Negotiations with Thranduil, Dain, Bard, Gandalf, and Bilbo. Dain is demanding payment. Thranduil is insisting that his father would only refuse payment if there was a just cause. Bard says let's find out what the cause is, but they do not know how to do this. Thranduil does not remember the incident because he was not there for it. Gandalf is certain the answer can be found in the document. The cryptic hint about the language makes Bilbo think back to when he saw the gates in Mirkwood. He confides in Gandalf that something about them seemed odd, but he can't put his finger on it.

Ending scene: Bilbo has a eureka moment in the middle of the negotiations. He realizes that the inscriptions were in Quenya and extrapolates the reason Oropher did not pay for them. The issue is finally understood, but Dain still demands payment, so the hostilities are not resolved.