Script Discussion S05E01

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
I'd actually say we should go back even further. It would be really great to spend some serious time with pre-contact humans from their own perspective, and get to know Bëor outside of his relationship with Finrod.
I'm not sure. I feel like that's one of those things that should remain mysterious, both to the Elves and to the audience.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure. I feel like that's one of those things that should remain mysterious, both to the Elves and to the audience.
The audience is human and is likely familiar with at least some elements of what primitive human cultures were like. I'm not sure what mystery you're looking to preserve.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
The audience is human and is likely familiar with at least some elements of what primitive human cultures were like. I'm not sure what mystery you're looking to preserve.
I think it's more reluctance to delve too far into the circumstances of Men's journey to Beleriand and their encounters with Morgoth; even the Edain are tight-lipped about it, with only one house (Hador in the books, Beor in Silm Film) passing down the tale.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I think it's more referring to the circumstances of Men's journey to Beleriand and their encounters with Morgoth; even the Edain are tight-lipped about it, with only one house (Hador in the books, Beor in Silm Film) passing down the tale.
Right, we can keep that minimal. But the audience should spend some time with these people outside the Elvish perspective so we see how their lives change.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Perhaps a compromise? House of Bëor struggling in hail and snow on a mountain pass. This could take a while. Then they’re finally descending into the forest of Ossiriand. Relief! They set camp, talking about their fantasies and expectations of the lands they’ve entered. They’re all very tired. Some of them start singing by the fire. Then suddenly Finrod appears.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Perhaps a compromise? House of Bëor struggling in hail and snow on a mountain pass. This could take a while. Then they’re finally descending into the forest of Ossiriand. Relief! They set camp, talking about their fantasies and expectations of the lands they’ve entered. They’re all very tired. Some of them start singing by the fire. Then suddenly Finrod appears.
That is more or less along the lines of what I'm recommending as the episode arc, where they have to surmount some obstacle on their own before they meet Finrod.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
But on the other hand, didn't we have Men entering Beleriand at the end of last season? Please remind me.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
But on the other hand, didn't we have Men entering Beleriand at the end of last season? Please remind me.
Sort of. We had a very brief scene with Finrod entering their camp, playing the harp, and Bëor waking up. This was with the understanding that we would back track and show the leadup to that event from the human perspective.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
The meeting of Finrod and Bëor, from Finrod's perspective, was the final scene 'teaser' at the end of the last episode of Season 4. Taking a step back in time to show how the humans got to the point of that meeting at the beginning of this season is fine - that's essentially how we introduced Elves in Season 2, after announcing their arrival in Season 1. The first episode of Season 2 shows the end-of-season battle between the Valar from the Elves' perspective at Cuiviénen.

Here's where I currently am on the question of introducing Bëor:

What do we need to know about Bëor's people before they make contact with the Elves?
  • Why did they cross the Mountains into Beleriand?
    • This is a small group of people, led by someone with a clear vision and sense of purpose. Everyone in the group is very much on board with Bëor's goals - if they had serious doubts, they would have stayed behind with whatever peoples/families got left behind. They are cohesive and monolithic (like the Vanyar)
    • Bëor's goal is to find the Light in the West. What does that mean to him? What has he already heard about the Valar, and from whom? What does he know about this new land he's entering?
    • There is some significance to this group being the very first ones to make the journey - they are the trailblazers, on the edge of the unknown - they must have a pretty strong spirit of adventure, exploration, pioneering, etc.
  • What is their culture and lifestyle like before contact with the Noldor in Beleriand?
    • Mostly this will be shown by scenes of daily life on their journey, but includes music (the harp) and stories (the core of any culture)
  • Once they enter Beleriand, what is their reaction? What do they think of this new land?
    • It should seem better than where they came from - they aren't disappointed!
    • What are their hopes and fears? Do they think they've found paradise? Do they have a 'what now?' conversation?
    • Do they know about the ocean separating them from Valinor?

What mysteries do we want to keep vague or no more than alluded to?
  • The Fall of Men - what Morgoth was up to in Hildorien (generations before Bëor)
  • The detailed political situation between the various groups of Men in the East; all we need to know is that there are many more Men in the East, and that Bëor has broken with them to journey west.
  • The relationship between Men and Avari? I don't think this is a secret, but we aren't going to show it, simply allude to it.

At the bare minimum, we would need a long scene of them in camp to establish all of these things prior to Finrod's arrival. Preferably, we would have multiple scenes, showing them crossing the mountains and reacting to this new land, with some discussions along the lines of 'what now?' We will want to establish the hopes and fears of these Men before Finrod steps into their camp.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Bëor is a grandfather when we meet him; most of his life will happen offscreen. How much of his backstory we invent or talk about is a matter to consider. I do think we need to cover *why* he is leading these people west.

So, some suggestions on how to handle this:

In a story to small children (his own grandson Boron, a young Adanel), he can relate how he first heard about 'the Light in the West' and what life is going to be like on this side of the mountains. He can express hope and instill a sense of wonder about this particular topic in the little ones. And since it's a story for young children, we aren't going to be suspicious if he doesn't get into a long detailed history of the political strife among the Men in the East! We should be able to tell from his story whether or not he personally had dealings with the Avari, or heard these things related by other Men, and we should get the distinct impression that this group of travellers is unique for thinking these things.​
In a scene where scouts report back what they have found, we can get a sense of any concerns these people have about this new land. Bëor can be shown showing some concern for the safety of the children in the group, and be pleased that, based on the scout's reports, they are entering a land that is less dangerous than the one they left behind.​
I don't think we'll want to show much internal conflict in the group. They are fairly unified. I mean, sure, some grumbling about hardships or something, but not some of the group thinking they should turn back or anything.​
We will want to decide how far to take Bëor's story in this first episode. This is likely the only episode that will focus on him, and he's not going to be alive for very long. Once he decides to throw in his lot with Finrod, there is not much more to his story. He lives out his days in Nargothrond, peacefully coexisting with elves and learning from them. The decision to move to Nargothrond is the last pivotal moment of leadership for him, the last significant decision he makes until....time to die.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Bëor is a grandfather when we meet him; most of his life will happen offscreen. How much of his backstory we invent or talk about is a matter to consider. I do think we need to cover *why* he is leading these people west.

So, some suggestions on how to handle this:

In a story to small children (his own grandson Boron, a young Adanel), he can relate how he first heard about 'the Light in the West' and what life is going to be like on this side of the mountains. He can express hope and instill a sense of wonder about this particular topic in the little ones. And since it's a story for young children, we aren't going to be suspicious if he doesn't get into a long detailed history of the political strife among the Men in the East! We should be able to tell from his story whether or not he personally had dealings with the Avari, or heard these things related by other Men, and we should get the distinct impression that this group of travellers is unique for thinking these things.​
In a scene where scouts report back what they have found, we can get a sense of any concerns these people have about this new land. Bëor can be shown showing some concern for the safety of the children in the group, and be pleased that, based on the scout's reports, they are entering a land that is less dangerous than the one they left behind.​
I don't think we'll want to show much internal conflict in the group. They are fairly unified. I mean, sure, some grumbling about hardships or something, but not some of the group thinking they should turn back or anything.​
We will want to decide how far to take Bëor's story in this first episode. This is likely the only episode that will focus on him, and he's not going to be alive for very long. Once he decides to throw in his lot with Finrod, there is not much more to his story. He lives out his days in Nargothrond, peacefully coexisting with elves and learning from them. The decision to move to Nargothrond is the last pivotal moment of leadership for him, the last significant decision he makes until....time to die.
Do we want Bëor to have met with the Avari?
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
In a story to small children (his own grandson Boron, a young Adanel), he can relate how he first heard about 'the Light in the West' and what life is going to be like on this side of the mountains. He can express hope and instill a sense of wonder about this particular topic in the little ones. And since it's a story for young children, we aren't going to be suspicious if he doesn't get into a long detailed history of the political strife among the Men in the East! We should be able to tell from his story whether or not he personally had dealings with the Avari, or heard these things related by other Men, and we should get the distinct impression that this group of travellers is unique for thinking these things.
This is kind of what I was thinking, but I think it should be even more vague than that. After a few generations of travelling, the search for light in the West will have become almost a mythological tradition among Beor's people. He can be telling something that is clearly a legend he is passing down from his ancestors; he doesn't know the original story it was based on.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Something for the C-Plot: perhaps a montage of various entities learning of the arrival of Men: Fingolfin, Maedhros, Thingol (via Beleg?), somebody in Morgoth's camp? On the latter point, who should be the party who learns of their arrival?
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
Something for the C-Plot: perhaps a montage of various entities learning of the arrival of Men: Fingolfin, Maedhros, Thingol (via Beleg?), somebody in Morgoth's camp? On the latter point, who should be the party who learns of their arrival?
I would prefer Thingol not learn of Men's arrival in this episode. His reactions to Men will be the focus of a separate story, and I think part of his negative reaction to Men should come from feeling like he was kept out of the loop when Men first arrived.

As for the villains learning of Men's arrival, I think we should show Sauron delivering this information to Morgoth and Morgoth saying something relatively cryptic in reference to his work corrupting Men last season, maybe something about how easily they can be turned to evil, which will inspire Sauron to begin his efforts sowing hatred between Men and Elves. I think this should happen in a scene with Morgoth's full court assembled, so all our other named villain characters will be there, even if they don't have speaking roles. This will remind viewers about these characters and give them and idea of Angband's strength at the beginning of the season. It also might be good to show Rhogrin, Annael, Diriel, and the other prisoners in Angband to remind the viewers about them and their situation. This doesn't need to be a full scene; it could just be Sauron passing them in the hall or something.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Something for the C-Plot: perhaps a montage of various entities learning of the arrival of Men: Fingolfin, Maedhros, Thingol (via Beleg?), somebody in Morgoth's camp? On the latter point, who should be the party who learns of their arrival?

If Finrod isn't meeting men at the beginning of the episode, how do these reactions take place early enough to be a plot in the episode? Wouldn't having those reactions in E02 make more sense?
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
We'll be going to a completely new setting in the frame, one which will be very unfamiliar to viewers because Tolkien wrote so little about Harad. Therefore, I think we should begin the frame story with a scene that establishes where it is in relation to the rest of Middle-earth.

The way I envision this is a montage: Gandalf sets out on a horse from the Shire (after dropping Bilbo off). He rides southeast across Middle-earth, with lots of wide shots to show the change in geography. He rides past or through locations that will be recognizable to fans of LOTR: the Misty Mountains, wide plains with lots of grazing horses for Rohan, possibly Orthanc, the white city of Minas Tirith. He sees the light from Mount Doom, which is now active, over the mountains of Mordor, and continues riding southeast. The land around him changes to deserts and grasslands. Perhaps he rides past a train of Mumakil. Finally, he arrives at his destination. The land, architecture, and people are significantly different from that of western Middle-earth. He is in Harad.

If we include a scene like this, I think the music could be used to great effect. Hints of the themes for different places could play as Gandalf rides past them, and the whole piece would be gradually changing from the type of music people generally associate with Tolkien's world to something that sounds distinctly different, perhaps gradually incorporating Middle-Eastern or African instruments and tunes.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
If Finrod isn't meeting men at the beginning of the episode, how do these reactions take place early enough to be a plot in the episode? Wouldn't having those reactions in E02 make more sense?
It would also make sense to have Finrod meet Men at the beginning of this episode to make sure there's room to include these reactions.

If we go back too far in time telling the story of the House of Beor, there's not going to be much Season 5 material we can cover in parallel with it. Because this season is so full, I think we need to cover as much as we can in Episode 1.
 
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