Script Discussion S05E02

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Well, we have an season outline now, so might as well get started talking about episode two!

Sunday October 18th, 8:30 PM EDT

As before, stay tuned for participation info, and feel free to PM if you don't have an invite but want one.

In this episode, we're going to be handling Aredhel's travels, Finrod's bromance with Beor, and Fingolfin's bromance with his own stratagem. Feel free to post any specific thoughts on plot elements for E02 right here if you are able.
 
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Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
If we go that route, then we will need to think up a scene of Finrod and Bëor doing something together earlier in the episode - whether another trip, or something in Nargothrond.
I think they should do something in Nargothrond. Either something in the caves, discover something, or it could be about something the Men have done. Or they could do something close to Nargothrond. I don’t know, something could happen by the riverbanks?
 

Alcarlótë

Active Member
Considering the larger Nargothrond plot, whatever they do should probably either set up the problematic differences of Elves and Men or show why those aren't a big issue for the first decades in Nargothrond. Who cares what they're actually doing, right? :D
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
I suggested a while back that Fingolfin hold a tournament early in this season, and this episode might be a good place to put it. A tournament would be a reason to have several Elven lords together in the same place, and the siege would definitely come up as a topic of discussion. It would also be a good opportunity to show Finrod and Beor's bromance because they could come to the tournament as well.

I'm not sure if we want to make the whole episode about the tournament, but we could certainly use it as the backdrop for several of our scenes.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I suggested a while back that Fingolfin hold a tournament early in this season, and this episode might be a good place to put it. A tournament would be a reason to have several Elven lords together in the same place, and the siege would definitely come up as a topic of discussion. It would also be a good opportunity to show Finrod and Beor's bromance because they could come to the tournament as well.

I'm not sure if we want to make the whole episode about the tournament, but we could certainly use it as the backdrop for several of our scenes.
What sort of events will be at the tournament? Another opportunity for fight choreography?
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
That brings a good point: This would be the third tournament we depict amongst the Noldor. How would we make this one unique?
The presence of the House of Beor would make this unique. Even the most skilled of them would probably be no match for the Elves, so they would either have to compete among themselves or accept losing almost all the time. Finrod would probably work to figure out ways for Men to still have fun/participate in the tournament, but the other Noldor may begin to have doubts about Men's ability to help them fight Morgoth.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
The presence of the House of Beor would make this unique. Even the most skilled of them would probably be no match for the Elves, so they would either have to compete among themselves or accept losing almost all the time. Finrod would probably work to figure out ways for Men to still have fun/participate in the tournament, but the other Noldor may begin to have doubts about Men's ability to help them fight Morgoth.
Which event is going to allay those doubts about Men's usefulness?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
After a lengthy discussion, we have created an outline for Episode 2!


Now, there are still some areas in need of improvement, and some points of contention.

1 - The fortress of Celegorm and Curufin at the Pass of Aglon will need a name; any suggestions?
2 - The dwarf characters in this episode are all new and we will need at least two names for them.
3 - The story of Adanel and Bëor needs work and fleshing out. This discussion was long, and we reached a point where we ran out of suggestions for what could be happening in her story. We want the story to be Bëor training Adanel as his replacement. So...what is she actually doing, then? Any ideas?
4 - Círdan may not appear in this episode; there is room for him in scene 2, but we didn't really discuss what to do with that. If so, Finrod would visit him at the Sea without Bëor present, and we'd have to have them talk about Fingolfin or Gondolin to tie it into other elvish stories (in addition to discussing Men).
5 - We KNOW that it is a major point of contention whether Aredhel's companions will be:
  • Members of her own House from Gondolin, or
  • Glorfindel, Ecthelion, and Egalmoth
The version in the outline reflects the first choice, as that was considered the most elegant solution that did not raise further questions and additional plotlines by the majority of folks in the discussion...but we also discussed how the story could be told with the second option. We are willing to discuss it further, and we recognize that people have strong opinions both ways. I do recommend listening to the discussion on Twitch to figure out how we landed on this plan!
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Phew... That was very hard work. Harder than I expected. But also, this episode was one I feared would be a weak point in the season, a fear our long session has somewhat allayed.

When we approached this episode, we had several problems. Beor didn't really have a story. He is essentially just waiting around to die, the next important thing he has to do in our season. Fingolfin himself has no real story. Being happy with the situation you have created isn't a story.

While we had a story for Aredhel, it was pretty clearly a series of somewhat disconnected misadventures. She is in no way on a collision course with Eol from the beginning, and it isn't exactly clear why she ends up in the places she does. The action of her story feels very front-heavy. If we were ending her story with her escape from Nan Dungortheb, we would have more time with her and we'd be able to tell that story and the story of her misadventures in more detail. But with the need to get her to Nan Elmoth by the end of the episode, there just isn't a lot of time.

The focus on Beor's efforts to prepare both Adanel and Finrod for his critical existence failure in the not-too-distant future gives us a story to tell, and giving Fingolfin a chance to be both kingly and fatherly and to learn something from humans in both contexts gives us a story as well.

Having Aredhel seek Eol out gives us the ability to make him a part of her story earlier in the episode, and having her travelling with the dwarves allows her to get to know them a bit better.

To weigh in on the issue of who is travelling with Aredhel when she first leaves Gondolin: I really was not completely sure what to do there and had no very strong feelings either way. I even tried to put off making a decision on this point by making both a possibility in this episode. But the longer we talked about, the more I was convinced, in large part due to extraordinarily persuasive and convincing arguments from @Alcarlótë, that putting Glorfindel and Echthelion there carried a cost our story economy could ill afford. We don't have time to show Aredhel searching unsuccessfully for her missing companions as she does in the book. Nor do we have time to tell a separate story from their companions. Again, if we had no other stories to tell, her companions could be a B plot and we could tell their story in a way that doesn't diminish them. Having them all die, and having Aredhel know they are dead, frees both them and her of the responsibility of having to look for missing members of the party. As was expressed during the session, the amount of additional material we'd have to have to explain why no one is diminished or made to look a fool by not finding the other members of the party.

Essentially, having Aredhel be clearly the only surviving member of the party ties the situation up much more neatly and quickly. We even found a way to get the news of Aredhel's "death" to Turgon in a short tag piece that requires no dialogue.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Before I forget, we want to make sure that that we have opportunities available for members of the community to write episodes for the series. While @Rhiannon has expressed her willingness to write as many episodes as possible, I do want to make sure that we have a period of a week from yesterday for other individuals who have an interest in writing for this project to speak for this episode. That would make the deadline for anyone to request that 10/25/2020. If you have an interest, do let us know.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
What sort of Dwarves do we need?

And what should Ecthelion and Glorfindel be doing this season if they're only going to be standing around in Gondolin? This is their only significant action throughout this season.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
What sort of Dwarves do we need?

And what should Ecthelion and Glorfindel be doing this season if they're only going to be standing around in Gondolin? This is their only significant action throughout this season.
The sort of Dwarves we need would essentially be teamsters/merchants.

As to Glorfindel and Ecthelion, they will certainly have a role to play when we go back to Gondolin, and one which does not diminish them. It's also important to note that Gondolin is not central to the plot of this season except in its relationship to Aredhel. Bringing in Ecthelion and Glorfindel for an episode only to kind of humiliate them doesn't really help them any.
 

Alcarlótë

Active Member
Considering the large cast of characters we have (which is probably at its largest ever this season, with Men coming in before the Elf-Lords of Beleriand start dying) there'll always have to be some that don't really do much in any given season - Mablung, Orodreth, Maglor and Amras were relevant characters in the last season but won't do much at all this time around. Even Melian and Luthien won't have much to do, and they're more important than the Lords of Gondolin.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I have some further thoughts regarding Adanel.

Our main struggle with her story is that we do not have time to develop an Adanel-centric plot or storyline. We cannot very easily have two scenes where we are trying to tell this individual story with her in this episode. She's too peripheral to warrant her own little mini-story. The focus of her story is on Bëor, and on how he is training her as his replacement.

It was suggested during the session that we show the process of Adanel being trained - perhaps at first, she could be undertaking a responsibility that she's not ready to handle, and then fail in some way. By the end of the episode, we would return to her, to see her now competently carrying out her tasks. While that does give her an arc of sorts - learning how to lead - it also introduces other problems. She's such a minor character; we won't see very much of her. If one of the only things we *do* show is her young and inexperienced ineptitude, it will be difficult to establish this character as a wise woman in the minds of the audience. And we do need that, as she is going to be the one vouching for Andreth later. While characters can certainly make mistakes, she has too little screen time to truly redeem herself from any major flub up. And what crisis would we want to introduce in the 'life is idyllic in Nargothrond' episode, anyway? Nothing too seriously bad, and so it would be a sit-com level mistake, nothing too serious, or a comedy of errors.

The real reason the idea of 'Adanel makes a mistake' was introduced, though, was to solve the problem of why Finrod would complain about how Bëor is training his replacement. After all, if Finrod says something along the lines of 'But I like working with you! Why do I have to deal with her???' he sounds whiny and petulant. So, he should have a valid reason to complain, and Adanel making a mistake would be a valid reason. It's not the only possible reason for him to complain, though. Adanel is quite young at this time - maybe 19-20 years old. Old enough to be viewed as an adult in her culture, certainly, but still quite young to be taking on serious responsibilities. What if Finrod's complaint is that Bëor is pushing her too hard? Why is Bëor putting such heavy responsibilities on this young woman? Can't Bëor do this work himself? If Finrod is chiding Bëor for 'shirking' his leadership responsibilities, and suggests that Adanel should remain 'in training' for longer, then we have an opportunity to showcase the different perspectives of Men and Elves. Elves remain 'apprentices' for longer than a human lifetime, and elven lords can have heirs as an emergency contingency, but they don't *expect* to need a replacement. Finrod's leadership style might include some measure of delegation, but he's not expecting to have to train someone to do his job in his (permanent) absence. He does not expect his kingdom to outlive him.

Bëor can explain to Finrod, look, I have to train my replacement. I need to know that she'll be able to do this when I am gone. And...I am 80 now. I don't necessarily want to do all the work of running around organizing things myself. I'm content to trust her to oversee it, and if there's an issue, she can come to me about it...for now. Fingolfin and Finrod both will have the opportunity to think about the implications of training a replacement in their own lives.

So, what is Adanel's story in this episode? There is likely some event being planned for Fingolfin's visit. Perhaps a feast/banquet. Perhaps a 'cultural showcase' with song and dance. Perhaps some official ceremony where Fingolfin the High King is officially welcomed by the House of Bëor and given gifts as tokens of their goodwill and friendship. Whatever this event is, she's the organizer. She's running around a bit harried, doing her best to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. If there are any glitches, she is putting in the work to fix the situation. Finrod sees her doing all this work, and thinking she looks a bit overworked, chides Bëor for sitting down on the job and leaving this young person to do his work for him. That is when Bëor explains to Finrod, as explicitly as he can, that he will die someday, and he must train a replacement to lead his people after he is gone. Finrod hears this as a prophecy - he too has made ominous statements about his own fate! - and doesn't understand how imminent and inevitable death is for Bëor. Fingolfin, who has not been living with the Men in Nargothrond, gets it...and his own take-away is to consider what it means that Fingon is his heir.

So, if others like this idea, here is what Adanel's story would look like:

In Episode 1, she is a 4-year-old child entering into Beleriand with Bëor.

In Episode 2, she is a 19-20 year old woman. We are introduced to her again in Scene 6, when Finrod returns to Nargothrond from his travels, and tells Bëor that the High King of the Noldor will be visiting soon. He and Adanel begin planning a series of events: welcoming ceremony, cultural showcase, etc, type of things to greet Fingolfin. Bëor is very much involved in the planning process, guiding the decisions made as Adanel suggests things. We see Adanel briefly in Scene 8. She is directing things among the Men when Fingolfin arrives, but this scene is told from his viewpoint, and he does not notice or interact with her. Scene 10 is a bit more of a 'behind-the-scenes' look at how the elvish lord's visit has disrupted life for the Men, and this is where we see Adanel running around harried, doing her best to keep everything running smoothly. She's got it handled, but she does not make it look easy; she's about at the limit of what she can handle. Bëor is there to 'supervise' or troubleshoot, but he is sitting down, very clearly not running around busy. Finrod sees this dynamic, and is unhappy that his friend seems to be shirking his responsibilities and leaving too much to his young helper.

And...that's it. We'll see Adanel again in Episode 3, as Bëor quite literally passes his mantle to her, but her role in Episode 2 is a minor one - she will be a subject of Finrod and Bëor's conversation, rather than having her own independent story. What do people think of this?

I have added my ideas here to the outline as 'suggested edits' - anyone is welcome to suggest their own edits or make comments directly on the outline. In general, we would like to have outlines finalized about a week after the script discussion, so that the script writer knows what ideas we are all settled on. I know that not everyone can join us 'live' for the script discussions, but I do want to make sure we incorporate ideas from people here on the boards - so make sure to speak up and let us know your thoughts!
 
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