Script Discussion S05E01

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I do have a concern with the Aredhel storyline in Episode 1. I recognize that the script unfolds the story more gradually, not sharing Aredhel's true views until later in the episode. While that can be an interesting way to add anticipation, where the audience wants to find out why she's restless and what is wrong...there are some potential issues with that.

As we discussed in the script discussion, the temptation with Aredhel's story is often to reduce her to a damsel in distress or someone who just became bored and discontent with the structure of Gondolin. While the boar hunting scene alleviates the first point...the second point is still a major concern in this script as written. By waiting until later in the episode to reveal why she is unhappy with Turgon's choices, we invite the audience to form their own conclusions about her discontent.
Twenty pages into the script, this is what we know of Aredhel at this time:
She likes to hunt dangerous creatures.​
She treats the rules surrounding the secrecy of Gondolin more as...suggestions.​
She's melancholic, and misses spending time with her brother.​
Something about Turgon's feast speech bothers her. What, we are not told.​
In the library, she waxes poetic about the might of Angband.​
On page 20 of the script, we are given our first hint of what is wrong - she says that the reason Gondolin was built was because of the might of Angband, and that they must not forget that. But...there is a very ominous twinge to her discontent. Up until this point in the episode, it would be very easy to conclude that the people of Gondolin are happy and living good lives, but that Aredhel personally has some darkness about her that makes her obsess over evil and darkness and question the rules. In other words, if this background were a setup for Maeglin's betrayal, it would be fitting. But...it's not meant to be that. Aredhel loves Gondolin, and is proud of what they have done. She is only dismayed that everyone has become too complacent, and is worried that they will not be ready for the 'next step' in the plan - the part where they save Beleriand. Her disdain for Turgon's rules as well as her relative isolation makes her introduction of the topic of Angband much more foreboding than it ought to be - it almost sounds as though she admires the place!

Later, in her fight with Turgon, her accusation that he is like Fëanor falls a bit flat, since he accuses her of this first...and in a way which the audience is likely to find legitimate. The cooped in a narrow land language is very much Fëanor...and the specific aspect of Aredhel's unrest we did not want to highlight as her chief motivation. What reason does the audience have to think Turgon wrong?

I know that we had originally planned for an Aredhel and Idril interaction in the earlier scene. And while Idril does appear at the feast, she and Aredhel do not interact in any way. I feel that Idril might add a bit of levity to lighten Aredhel's darkness, and also would be a character who is sympathetically thoughtful instead of just chiding Aredhel to be happier. Idril's thoughtfulness and insight would add some sympathy to how the viewer perceives Aredhel's discontent. I think an injection of an understanding listener whom Aredhel may be frank with would greatly help to dispell the ominous buildup of traitor!Aredhel in the early part of the script.

So, my first suggestion would be to add dialogue between Aredhel and Idril at the feast, after Turgon's speech. Perceiving Aredhel's discontent, Idril invites her to open her heart to her, and Aredhel can share a concern that will let the audience know that it's not a matter of Aredhel not liking Gondolin or not fitting in with the culture of Gondolin, but rather that she loves Gondolin and its people...and its raison d'etre. She is feeling like the only true Gondolindrim while the people around her grow insular. Please let her tell Idril that.

My second suggestion is to alter the scene where she confronts Turgon in the library (also, I suggest that Turgon's throne room would be a more appropriate setting than an impromptu meeting in a corner of the library). As written, the reason she gives for wanting to leave Gondolin is that it is not her place. Here, again, we are emphasizing that she does not fit, and the problem is not Gondolin, but her. I think, rather, that she must lead the argument by saying that she must do what Turgon will not. She would have been content to stay in Gondolin for many more years...if the Gondolindrim were preparing for the day in which they may aid in the defense of Beleriand, maintaining communication with their father Fingolfin, etc. But, as he has grown complacent, she must leave to take up the task which Ulmo entrusted to him. If she begins her reasons with the emphasis on the failed mission, rather than her failure to fit in, this will sound much less like the 'I got bored and wanna leave now' speech that we were explicitly instructed to avoid.

I realize there are indications to the audience that maybe not all is well in Gondolin. But making the red flags more and more obvious and anvil-sized while seemingly every other citizen of Gondolin remains oblivious just serves to emphasize that Aredhel is an outsider who doesn't fit here. Much better to keep the causes subtle, but give her more opportunities to articulate them - and an occasional friend who agrees so she is not so alone.

Also, we do need to keep in mind that her departure next episode will take place 15 years after this episode. Knowing that should color how she and Turgon leave things with one another. She needs to express a desire to leave, and he needs to express a desire that she stay, but they should not be discussing the details of her departure. We can include dialogue from the book, but not all of it. Save some for Episode 2.
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I do enjoy the emphasis on the importance of song to the people of Bëor. I think that it demonstrates a way that the culture of Men and Elves can overlap while remaining distinct, and it also shows this first group of Men, which is so dedicated to their mission, to find their meaning and their motivation in their songs. The parallel with the poetry of the Vanyar works well. Also, Finrod's introduction as a harpist and Bëor's role as a harpist shows that their friendship stems in part from shared interests. The appearance of Finrod's banner (with the harp) at the end is a silent way to show the meaning of the songs throughout the episode to both of them. Obviously, we were always going to include the scene of Finrod playing the harp in Bëor's camp, but that single scene is amplified by the entire storyline's focus on Bëor's music.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
Getting the formatting right in the Google Doc is tricky, so here's a PDF that should say exactly the same thing to share with the hosts for Thursday's session.
 

Attachments

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Getting the formatting right in the Google Doc is tricky, so here's a PDF that should say exactly the same thing to share with the hosts for Thursday's session.
Once we are done with the editing process, we should be able to get the format fixed well enough in the Google Doc to be converted directly into a PDF.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Podcast review of Episode 1 Outline (Sessions 5-18 & 5-19)


What Corey Olsen really liked a lot about the story:

Bëor’s storyline

Bëor as teacher and leader, imparting his knowledge to the young generation

The timing of when to show the meeting of Finrod and Bëor within the episode is approved as is

The contrast between simple harp strumming and talented harp playing when Finrod picks up Bëor's harp

Faerean drama – elvish singing transporting you into the story, to be used with the language barrier


Aredhel storyline

Idril as someone who shares Aredhel’s sense of mission

Gondolin as the epitome of a haven of elvish changelessness…but even the emphasis on the resistance to change is itself a change

Pengolodh as the voice of insular Gondolindrim who do not know the world outside because they are sheltered inside

Turgon speaking his point of view with the backdrop of the ‘false’ Trees


C-plot

Sure, the numbers are small now, but what if there are more coming?

Fingon’s reconnaissance sets up Hador

LOVED Sauron as the maker of Grond!


Frame

Queen with two young adult sons is fine

Adûnaic names for Haradrim characters is good

Street preacher (no confrontation) as single sour note in the entrance to the Near Harad city-state is fine



What Corey Olsen requested we change about the story:

Bëor’s storyline

There should be an ‘edge’ to the acceptance of Finrod when he first appears; does anyone question who they have summoned? They are a once burned, twice shy people who are naturally leery; someone expresses initial resistance – how do we know this is not the Deceiver?

Scene 7: General awe and surprise, but some people have trepidation and fear. Finrod reassures them by speaking a word or short phrase in their own language. (Something like ‘Fear not!’ or if someone asks in a hushed voice ‘is this the Enemy?’ he could respond, “I am not the Enemy.”)​

Scene 9: Bëor could discuss the situation surrounding Finrod’s time in their camp with one of his people, prior to his conversation with Finrod. This would give them a chance to candidly discuss whether or not they trust Finrod and what they think of him.​

A parallel scene of Finrod teaching the human adults the way Bëor taught the children about herbs.

Finrod cannot echo the words of fake!Amlach and say there is no light in the West. And he cannot think that Morgoth is the source of their quest – it must be either the Valar or Iluvatar. Finrod must support their quest, not discredit it. He will not crush their hopes. Their quest can’t be in vain, so the goal of their quest must be Beleriand, not Valinor. His hesitation is to figure out his own role in their quest.
Bëor asks if Finrod has come to be their guide to the West. Yes and no. I will be your guide, and I will help you, but there is something you should know about the light in the west….your vision is true – there is a light in the west. Unfortunately, you will be unable to reach it, but your quest is not in vain. There is a way to find it in Beleriand, even if you cannot get to Valinor (where the Trees are darkened). And it is not chance that lead you to me; I am meant to be your guide to fulfill your quest for the light.​

Finrod will not say they cannot achieve their quest. He will, however, have to tell them that Morgoth, the Enemy they were fleeing…is here in Beleriand. So Beleriand is the land they were looking for in their quest…but it’s not peace/security/safety/happiness…I hate to disappoint, but it’s actually a battle of light versus dark. Wanna join up?

Bëor chooses to stand with the light against the darkness, and agrees to go with Finrod to Nargothrond, demonstrating both courage and hope.

Finrod does not know about mortality, so the invitation to Nargothrond is a ‘temporary respite’, not a fleeing from the fight.​
Bëor’s choice to go to Nargothrond is therefore choosing to join the fight, and Andreth is thus continuing Bëor’s choice rather than making a change of direction.​


Aredhel storyline


Turgon’s view is that Aredhel got restless and wanted to leave, because he does not understand her concerns. So, the story in the published Silmarillion is told from Turgon's point of view, but Aredhel has a different viewpoint, in which she challenges Turgon's approach to fulfilling the mission Ulmo set for him.

The final private confrontation between Aredhel and Turgon shows that they are both correct and have valid concerns about the other person.


C-plot

Angrod and Aegnor’s response – Angrod gets angry when you bring up Fëanor; if Finrod isn’t worried, he isn’t. Aegnor is not over the top anti-human, but tries to urge Angrod to consider possibilities cautiously – we don’t know what we don’t know (but nothing rash or silly). Everyone knows Fëanor got the idea of Men as Usurpers from Morgoth…but was Morgoth lying?

Fingolfin’s questions – Is there room for the newcomers? Finrod would report the rumor that there are more camps beyond the mountains on the way.


Frame


More emphasis on who knows Gandalf is a wizard? Maybe not a change, but a question he definitely seemed to want answered in each of the three scenes.

Gandalf introduces himself to the boat captain as Incánus, not Mithrandir or Gandalf

For culture – avoid any hints of Muslim Harad vs Christian Gondor


...now to update the outline to reflect this discussion!
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Alright, here is the Episode Outline, updated to reflect the discussion with Corey Olsen and Dave Kale in the past two podcasts. Any edits or suggestions?


The Silmarillion Film Project
Season 5, Episode 1: The Light in the West


Central conflict: We see a lot of characters consider their goal/purpose in this episode....and the low point comes when Finrod tells Bëor that the enemy the Men have been fleeing from is here in Beleriand.

A-Plot: Bëor’s people are searching for the light in the West
Protagonist: Bëor
B-Plot: Aredhel is concerned about Turgon abandoning his purpose in Gondolin
POV character: Aredhel
C-Plot: Reactions to the arrival of Men in Beleriand

Episode Outline

Teaser: Frame - Incánus (Gandalf) boards a ship in Gondor to Harad, discussing his travels with the ship captain.

Act I

Scene 1: Frame - Entrance to Hobbiton-in-the-South. Parallels to Gandalf’s interactions with hobbits, but also a street preacher in the marketplace. Younger son meets Incánus and gives a Bilbo-like speech. He brings Incanus in to meet the leader - his mother.

Scene 2: East side of Ered Luin - Bëor wakes up. He walks through his camp, greeting people, making sure they are all ready to move out. He is a patriarchal figure, the oldest in the group, and treated respectfully by everyone he meets. He finds young child Adanel (4) and invites her to come with him and some other children to gather some herbs that they need to replenish before moving to higher elevation. As they travel through the foothills, he teaches her what they use the plants for, and tells her of the light in the west that they will search for on the other side of these mountains.

Scene 3: East Beleriand, near Ossiriand - Finrod is hunting with Maedhros and Maglor. They are talking about the Long Peace. Finrod waxes poetical about Nargothrond. The Fëanoreans are feeling short on allies - the dwarves supply things, but won’t join the siege. Finrod defends his choices, and explains (gently) why the Fëanoreans may be short on allies.

Scene 4: Gondolin - Turgon gives a speech. Aredhel listens, displeased. There Turgon goes, talking about how great everything is here in Gondolin, but what about his goal to preserve the elves here For a Purpose? Has he forgotten his purpose? Realizing that Turgon is never going to do what Ulmo told him to do, Aredhel voices to Idril that she will have to take responsibility for the Noldor of Beleriand, since Turgon will not.

Act II

Scene 5: Ered Luin - Bëor’s people cross the mountains into Beleriand. They sing a call-and-response walking song about their search for the light in the west. As they crest the pass, all of East Beleriand opens before them. They react to this sight, eager to arrive in Beleriand as they descend from the pass - this is a brand new place they've never seen before. Ossiriand is beautiful! Scouts report back to Bëor what they have seen of the land ahead of them.

Scene 6: Gondolin - Aredhel looks up disconsolate at the Encircling Mountains. She meets up with Pengolod in the library, taking off her cloak. Pengolod is talking about his latest book, and refers to Gondolin as the greatest fortress in Beleriand. Aredhel looks doubtful, and points out that he has not been outside Gondolin. She speaks of the rest of Beleriand, showing her interest and concern for those outside their hidden fortress.

Scene 7: Ossiriand - Bëor’s people have camped. Bëor is playing a harp. His people are happy, celebratory. Bëor falls asleep by the fire, listening to the sounds of his joyful family. Finrod arrives in Bëor’s camp; it is quiet. Everyone has gone to sleep in their tents and bedrolls. He picks up a harp while they are sleeping. The Men awake to his song, and see this Vala among them! Mixed reactions of fear and awe; what have they conjured with their music? Who is this..is it the Enemy? He tells them not to be afraid and reveals he is a Calaquendi (speaking Sindarin). Then he reassures them haltingly in their language that he is not the Enemy.

Scene 8: Angband - Sauron is working on something in a forge. He then presents this item to Morgoth in his throne room. He passes Gothmog who is just leaving; they don’t like one another. Sauron presents Grond to Morgoth. Morgoth tells Sauron that Men have arrived in Beleriand, and that they should be easy to control, as they have already fallen to him. Sauron suggests some things he can do, if they are that vulnerable. Morgoth dismissively gives him permission to proceed with his plans.


Act III

Scene 9: Ossiriand - Finrod among the Men. He has been here awhile. He understands their language now, and speaks it to them, teaching them as Bëor taught the children earlier. Bëor and his son have a private conversation revealing what they think of their visitor - alluding to the ‘darkness behind’ their people where they have been taken in before, but ultimately concluding that Finrod is trustworthy. Bëor and Finrod discuss why the Men left the East. Finrod is impressed by their quest for the light in the West, and marvels that it must have been given to them by the Valar or Ilúvatar himself. He concludes that Beleriand must be the object of their quest, as Valinor is unreachable, but hesitates to declare his own role in meeting them.

Scene 10: Dorthonion - Maedhros and Maglor visit Angrod and Aegnor. Maedhros is not impressed with the wooden fortifications. He shares the news of the arrival of Men. Angrod, Aegnor, and Maedhros discuss the potential threat of the Second-born. Morgoth told them they would be usurped by them! But Morgoth lies. The Valar did not speak of the Second-born, though - what were they hiding? Angrod becomes angry at the mention of Fëanor, and states that he trusts the judgement of his brother Finrod. Aegnor cautions that there may be a threat here, and they should be careful. The conversation stays in the realm of conjecture, and no concrete actions beyond ‘wait and see’ are suggested.

Scene 11: Ossiriand - Bëor asks for Finrod’s help in fulfilling their quest. Finrod gently lets him down, explaining that there is bad news. The quest is not in vain - they have found the light in the west here in Beleriand! But...Finrod warns Bëor that Morgoth is here, in the north - they have found a battle between light and dark, not the idyllic peaceful land they had hoped for. Finrod invites them to come with him to Nargothrond, as the elves came from Cuivienen to Valinor. It’s one choice of several, including the option to move to woods further south (far from Angband). Bëor is crestfallen; this is not the end to the quest he had hoped for. The sun sets in the west.

Scene 12: Gondolin - Aredhel confronts Turgon under the image of the trees about his changed vision. Turgon defends himself. Aredhel tells him that if he has forgotten the Noldor in Beleriand, she has not, and if he will not think to the future and how the people of Gondolin can help them, then she will.

Act IV

Scene 13: Barad Eithel - Maedhros and Maglor bring the news of the arrival of Men to Fingolfin and Fingon. Fingolfin wants to know the numbers of Men, and they tell them the group is small, but Finrod reports rumors of more in the East. Where will these Men live, if more and more of them come into Beleriand? Maedhros shares his possible concern about the ‘usurpers,’ and Fingon volunteers to keep an eye on the situation in East Beleriand. He will find out what sort of people these Men are, and whether or not they are trustworthy or foes. The focus of this conversation is much more on immediate practical concerns.

Scene 14: Gondolin - In a private conversation, Aredhel tells Turgon she wants to leave Gondolin. She expresses her belief that Turgon will not be ready to fulfill Ulmo’s mission, and so she must go back into Beleriand to help the Noldor whom he has forgotten. He cautions her that she is being impatient, and that ill will come of her leaving Gondolin (but he will permit her to go).

Scene 15: Ossiriand - Bëor’s people are despondent. Their quest has brought them to a land of conflict, not the paradise they thought they would find! Bëor inspires them - no, the quest has not failed. The sun has brought us here, and the light of the Two Trees is here in Finrod. They will follow that light to Nargothrond, and join the fight of the light against the dark. Bëor accepts Finrod’s invitation.

Scene 16: Frame - Incánus meets with the leader of the seaport town. The queen reacts with surprise that Incánus, who was an old man last time she saw him, is still around - the Men of the West are long-lived. She introduces her older son.

Tag: Nargothrond
- Bëor and his clan arrive in Nargothrond. They are in awe of what they see. Here are elves who have seen the light of Valinor! Look at their culture. The House of Bëor has found the object of their quest.


Comments?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
If the Gondoldrim see themselves as separate from the rest of Beleriand, what is going to get Turgon (and the rest of the Gondolodrim) to break out of their ennui and join Maedhros’ alliance, the one that leads to the Nirnaeth Arnoediad?
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
If the Gondoldrim see themselves as separate from the rest of Beleriand, what is going to get Turgon (and the rest of the Gondolodrim) to break out of their ennui and join Maedhros’ alliance, the one that leads to the Nirnaeth Arnoediad?
That's mostly a question for other seasons, but I imagine that Aredhel and Fingolfin's death play a role, as well as meeting Hurin and Huor. We will work with Turgon as we proceed to give him an arc.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Something about the street preacher/Mouth of Sauron: how do we want the Mouth to speak and act? Normal talking voice? Bombastic lines in stoic delivery? Full ham?
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Something about the street preacher/Mouth of Sauron: how do we want the Mouth to speak and act? Normal talking voice? Bombastic lines in stoic delivery? Full ham?
We haven't reached anything with the Mouth of Sauron in it yet. As for the street preacher, he should be earnest and intense, but not a caricature. He should appear genuinely concerned for the fate of the city, and to truly believe what he's saying.

 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
We haven't reached anything with the Mouth of Sauron in it yet. As for the street preacher, he should be earnest and intense, but not a caricature. He should appear genuinely concerned for the fate of the city, and to truly believe what he's saying.

So the street preacher and the Mouth are different characters?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
You know, some of the stuff with Gondolin reminds me of the opposing philosophies of Mystique and Professor X in X-Men: Apocalypse, in a conversation they have after Mystique shows up at Xavier’s school with Nightcrawler, a new student. Professor X has a more protective outlook while Mystique wants to teach the mutants at the institute how to fight, which Professor X takes issue with because he’s reminded of Magneto, how they trained the initial team of X-Men to fight the Hellfire Club at the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the breakup between the two of them.

Charles: It's good to see you, Raven. - Welcome home.

Raven: This isn't my house.

Charles: It was once.

Raven: No, it was your home. I just lived here. I barely even recognize it now.

Charles: Yeah, I have plans for this place. I mean to turn it into a real campus. A university. Not just for mutants, even for humans too. Living and working, ... growing together.

Raven: You know, I really believed that once. I really believed we can change them after DC.

Charles: We did.

Raven: No Charles. They still hate and fear us. It's just harder to see because they're more polite about it. I got sick of living that lie.

Charles: That's why you're not in your natural blue form.

Raven: I'm not going to be the face of a world that doesn't exist.

Charles: Things are better. The world is better.

Raven: Maybe in Westchester. Out there, mutants are still running, hiding, living in fear. Just because there's not a war doesn't mean there's peace. If you want to teach your kids something, teach them that. Teach them to fight. Otherwise, they might as well live in this house for the rest of their lives.

Charles: You still sound just like him. You sound just like Erik.

Raven: That's why I'm here. He's resurfaced. He had a wife and a daughter. They were killed. Along with a handful of policemen. The whole world will be looking for him. But you can help me find him before they do.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
While not exactly analogous to what we are doing with the entrance of Gandalf (Incánus) into the town in Harad, it may be worthwhile to consider the scene where Mr. Norrell enters London (travelling from Yorkshire) in the first episode of the BBC's adaptation of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

Having already established the distinction between a 'theoretical magician' (who studies magic) and a 'practical magician' (who performs magic), we are now introduced to the concept of a 'street magician' - generally speaking, a charlatan who pretends to practice magic. As there are no practical magicians, when people hear of a practical magician, they naturally think of a street magician. Mr. Norrell is a practical magician who would like to have the respectability of the theoretical magicians, and distance himself from the street magicians. We catch a glimpse of Vinculus the street magician in his yellow curtained tent, but Vinculus and Mr. Norrell have no direct interaction in this scene...that is for later. No mistake that the one thing we hear Vinculus say here is a reference to the Raven King.

Clip from 24:22-26:44

Likewise, Incánus' entrance to the seaport town should introduce us to the location of Harad, and catching a glimpse of a street preacher should show us that there is an active presence of those who support the cult of Sauron in this place. But there is no direct confrontation between Incánus and the street preacher, and we don't yet know exactly what is going on with the cult of Sauron - the street preacher's words should inspire a note of disquiet, but the rest of the marketplace is cheerful and bustling and pleasant activity.
 

Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
This as good a place to ask the script team a question. I usually produce my videos for soundtrack music without advice but this time I feel I need it. For the piece The Light in the West, I have departed from the script by orchestrating each series of verses with music that reflects the different cultures of Humans, Dwarves and Elves and this is a good opportunity to show some visuals of those encounters. Do you have any input as to what would be good for those visuals, in particular for the choruses where Beor's ancestors are just saying, we are heading west, and goodbye?
 
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