Script Discussion Frame Backfill Session

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
This discussion is set to take place on 15NOV2020 at 8:30 PM Eastern, unless something happens. We will resume our regular schedule on 29NOV2020 as long as everyone's holiday schedule allows.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Hypothetical question: since Gandalf will be in unfamiliar territory (for the viewers), how do we want the music to sound in the Frame? I started a thread in the Season 5 Music sub-forum but there's no interest.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Hypothetical question: since Gandalf will be in unfamiliar territory (for the viewers), how do we want the music to sound in the Frame? I started a thread in the Season 5 Music sub-forum but there's no interest.
That would certainly be a better place to discuss the matter.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Here is what we have come up with so far on the discussion of the Frame story for Season 5! We've inserted frame scenes into the episodes we've already discussed, and developed a bit of a plan for where the Frame is going.


We will need names for 3 Haradrim characters! The leader of the seaport town Gandalf is visiting needs a name, as do his two sons. Any suggestions?
As a note, we were thinking of going with two brothers (older brother/younger brother) dynamic for the frame to show a parallel to the Boromir/Faramir relationship. Phil Menzies did suggest having the siblings be a brother and sister. The studious 'wizard's pupil' is the character who will ultimately side with the Mouth of Sauron. This could be the younger brother (who has no chance to inherit his father's throne), or it could be an older sister, who is also resentful of being passed over and only meant to support her younger brother's rule. Any preferences or cases to make for particular sibling dynamics here?
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Sorry but why do we have to show Gandalf travelling all the way from Rivendell? If it's to show Bilbo and make the connection between him and the studious "Bilbo" in Harad, I'm sure that's not necessary, people think of Bilbo at all times. I guess since it's a teaser, it won't take much time, but I still think we could do without it. I'd much rather prefer just presenting the setting in Harad and then - wow, Gandalf appears.
I do like the competitive relationship the brothers have, and I like the idea that there's an inheritance issue that makes the younger brother more inclined to side with Sauron. The older brother should really be almost a bully, I think, I like what you've done there. I can't see the benefits from making the older sibling a sister, I'm interested in hearing more about that. The one who becomes the future Mouth of Sauron should be a young man, not a woman (if it's the Mouth in ROTK), not just because I think it's a man in ROTK, but because it would risk becoming a "women become evil in Harad" thing. Is there a mother? If not, why? If she's dead, how did that happen, and what is the impact on the family? Do the sons actually really need a mother, and is that part of the reason Gandalf's student goes to the Mouth, who is some kind of mother figure?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Sorry but why do we have to show Gandalf travelling all the way from Rivendell? If it's to show Bilbo and make the connection between him and the studious "Bilbo" in Harad, I'm sure that's not necessary, people think of Bilbo at all times. I guess since it's a teaser, it won't take much time, but I still think we could do without it. I'd much rather prefer just presenting the setting in Harad and then - wow, Gandalf appears.
I do like the competitive relationship the brothers have, and I like the idea that there's an inheritance issue that makes the younger brother more inclined to side with Sauron. The older brother should really be almost a bully, I think, I like what you've done there. I can't see the benefits from making the older sibling a sister, I'm interested in hearing more about that. The one who becomes the future Mouth of Sauron should be a young man, not a woman (if it's the Mouth in ROTK), not just because I think it's a man in ROTK, but because it would risk becoming a "women become evil in Harad" thing. Is there a mother? If not, why? If she's dead, how did that happen, and what is the impact on the family? Do the sons actually really need a mother, and is that part of the reason Gandalf's student goes to the Mouth, who is some kind of mother figure?
In my observation of Tolkienverse, oftentimes mothers don’t participate much in the stories (they’re usually dead, and sometimes the fathers are as well). To give a few examples, Celebrian is recuperating in Valinor, Belladonna Baggins (née Took) is dead, Finduilas of Dol Amroth is dead, Miriel is dead (albeit returned to life), Theoden cares for his sister’s children Eomer and Eowyn, Anaire, Nerdanel, and Earwen are out of the picture once the Silmarillion’s action moves from Valinor to Beleriand, and we had to create Orodreth’s wife wholesale since she’s unmentioned. When mothers participate in a story it’s because they’re more powerful, ie Melian Galadriel, and Idril. Definitely a bit strange since Tolkien‘s mother was, of his parents, the one who was more of a presence in his life.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Well...yeah, I agree with you that this is how things often look in the writings of JRRT. But maybe we can take a look at this particular situation.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Simply put, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch of the imagination that the Haradrim leader's wife is dead.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Sorry but why do we have to show Gandalf travelling all the way from Rivendell? If it's to show Bilbo and make the connection between him and the studious "Bilbo" in Harad, I'm sure that's not necessary, people think of Bilbo at all times. I guess since it's a teaser, it won't take much time, but I still think we could do without it. I'd much rather prefer just presenting the setting in Harad and then - wow, Gandalf appears.
I do like the competitive relationship the brothers have, and I like the idea that there's an inheritance issue that makes the younger brother more inclined to side with Sauron. The older brother should really be almost a bully, I think, I like what you've done there. I can't see the benefits from making the older sibling a sister, I'm interested in hearing more about that. The one who becomes the future Mouth of Sauron should be a young man, not a woman (if it's the Mouth in ROTK), not just because I think it's a man in ROTK, but because it would risk becoming a "women become evil in Harad" thing. Is there a mother? If not, why? If she's dead, how did that happen, and what is the impact on the family? Do the sons actually really need a mother, and is that part of the reason Gandalf's student goes to the Mouth, who is some kind of mother figure?
My feelings surrounding the opening travel montage are somewhat mixed. I can appreciate the visuals it would create, and it would help establish the geographical positioning of Harad. But, every second spent on it is a second not spent on the critical conversation between Gandalf and the ship captain which contextualizes every other aspect of the journey. That conversation has to establish Harad's position both geographically and geopolitically, with a focus on the relationship with Gondor. It has to establish that the place to which Gandalf is travelling is a small city-state, not some sort of national capital. It also should give some indication of the societal landscape into which Gandalf is about to enter. Taking any time away from that conversation risks losing some of that information, or worse, conveying it awkwardly.


I agree with the point about the older brother being "almost a bully". It's important to remember, though, that we're creating a mirror image of the Boromir/Faramir relationship. When OlderBrother bullies YoungerBrother (or whatever dynamic we go for here), it shouldn't be simply out of malice. Selfishness is fine (Stop reading that book and come have fun with me), but malice is a step too far. The closer their relationship, the more impact the betrayal will be.

As to the question of the mother, I'd point back to the Boromir/Faramir parallel, but I'd be willing to have further discussion about the potential mother figure.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
To me, the absence of a mother in yet another story is not a price I’m keen to pay for giving the Student a desire to listen to the Mouth of Sauron. I’d much rather see a mother who is distant in a more psychological sense. Alternatively, she could prefer the older son, either emotionally or for traditional reasons. I mean, she could love the older son more, a bit like Denethor prefers Boromir, and/or just follow a tradition which says the oldest son is the only important one. This would however mean that we would have to deal with a big Why (Why do they let Gandalf tutor the younger son, if he’s more or less pointless?). There would have to be some goal for the younger son, some role to strive for. I don’t mind if it’s not completely clear, since that would make his choice to follow Sauron more plausible. Perhaps Gandalf teaches him to become some kind of ambassador?
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
To me, the absence of a mother in yet another story is not a price I’m keen to pay for giving the Student a desire to listen to the Mouth of Sauron. I’d much rather see a mother who is distant in a more psychological sense. Alternatively, she could prefer the older son, either emotionally or for traditional reasons. I mean, she could love the older son more, a bit like Denethor prefers Boromir, and/or just follow a tradition which says the oldest son is the only important one. This would however mean that we would have to deal with a big Why (Why do they let Gandalf tutor the younger son, if he’s more or less pointless?). There would have to be some goal for the younger son, some role to strive for. I don’t mind if it’s not completely clear, since that would make his choice to follow Sauron more plausible. Perhaps Gandalf teaches him to become some kind of ambassador?
Hey, just a thought here, since we're doing a mirror, why not eliminate the father? The city-state is ruled by the Queen-Regent until the oldest son is ready.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
If we’re going to have the elder son, the one with less of a connection with Gandalf, escape to Gondor, what role do we envision him having in future seasons?
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
To me, the absence of a mother in yet another story is not a price I’m keen to pay for giving the Student a desire to listen to the Mouth of Sauron. I’d much rather see a mother who is distant in a more psychological sense. Alternatively, she could prefer the older son, either emotionally or for traditional reasons. I mean, she could love the older son more, a bit like Denethor prefers Boromir, and/or just follow a tradition which says the oldest son is the only important one. This would however mean that we would have to deal with a big Why (Why do they let Gandalf tutor the younger son, if he’s more or less pointless?). There would have to be some goal for the younger son, some role to strive for. I don’t mind if it’s not completely clear, since that would make his choice to follow Sauron more plausible. Perhaps Gandalf teaches him to become some kind of ambassador?
Seems likely, since the Mouth's role is that of an ambassador (albeit a more unpleasant one than most).

Also, any names for the city-state Gandalf will be operating in?
 
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