Script Discussion S05E07

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
About time I post this. Our discussion will take place at 8:30 PM Eastern on Sunday, January 24. This episode is going to center around the Council of Estolad, including Amlach's role and Sauron's role in doppelganging him. Also, we will have Maeglin growing up and Aredhel being restricted to Nan Elmoth.

Questions I'd like to answer before we meet (feel free to add your own):
How to we tie the Nan Elmoth plot to the Estolad plot thematically?
Do we bring Maedhros into the episode at any point?
What's Fingolfin doing? Is it related to Hador in any way?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
About time I post this. Our discussion will take place at 8:30 PM Eastern on Sunday, January 24. This episode is going to center around the Council of Estolad, including Amlach's role and Sauron's role in doppelganging him. Also, we will have Maeglin growing up and Aredhel being restricted to Nan Elmoth.

Questions I'd like to answer before we meet (feel free to add your own):
How to we tie the Nan Elmoth plot to the Estolad plot thematically?
Do we bring Maedhros into the episode at any point?
What's Fingolfin doing? Is it related to Hador in any way?
Maedhros: how is Amlach found so that he can thwart Sauron's doppelganging him? My idea is that Maedhros sees Amlach being led away to be killed so Sauron can completely replace Amlach) and Maedhros intercepts whoever is guarding Amlach and frees him.

Fingolfin: How aware is Fingolfin of events in Estolad?
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Maedhros: how is Amlach found so that he can thwart Sauron's doppelganging him? My idea is that Maedhros sees Amlach being led away to be killed so Sauron can completely replace Amlach) and Maedhros intercepts whoever is guarding Amlach and frees him.
Yes, I've been struggling with this same question. But in this scenario, why is Amlach not killed immediately?

Fingolfin: How aware is Fingolfin of events in Estolad?
Fingon was keeping a pretty close eye on things up through E06. And my question is revolving around the desire to keep Fingolfin a part of the story of this season.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I think what we need is an excuse for Amlach to not appear at the Council, and for Sauron to be reasonably sure he will not appear.

We have established that the gathering at Estolad is a regular event, so the default would be for Amlach to go there. And since he has a concern that he wants to bring up with others at this meeting, he has a strong motivation to attend.

So...what would keep him away? Yes, being made captive and guarded by orcs would do the trick, certainly. But is there any other 'emergency' we (ie, Sauron) could invent to keep him away? Travelling in Middle-earth takes time. If Sauron can verify that Amlach has gone back to whatever settlement he is from to *deal with contrived emergency*, then he can be fairly certain to not be interrupted while he is masquerading as Amlach.

Sauron could certainly intend to kill Amlach or replace him more permanently...but fake!Amlach's plan fails. No decision to attack the Elves is made. Hador unites the people to join Fingon, and Bereg takes the dissenters out of Beleriand, but fake!Amlach does not garner followers/support. So, at that point, Sauron likely abandons his plans and gives it up as a lost cause - these Men were not as easily swayed as he had hoped.

I have to imagine that real!Amlach has spoken somewhat disparagingly about the young men who have gone off with elf-lords prior to this. So, joining Hador and Fingon is still something he would be resistant to - he's not part of the newly-united House of Hador. But...he does want to join the fight against Morgoth, so he needs to find another willing elf-lord to join with. 'Why Maedhros?' is a question we need to answer, as up until now, there would be no reason to suspect that Amlach knows anything about Maedhros. What he and Maedhros have in common is the 'personal' nature of the grudge against Angband...so how will Amlach come to know that?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I think what we need is an excuse for Amlach to not appear at the Council, and for Sauron to be reasonably sure he will not appear.

We have established that the gathering at Estolad is a regular event, so the default would be for Amlach to go there. And since he has a concern that he wants to bring up with others at this meeting, he has a strong motivation to attend.

So...what would keep him away? Yes, being made captive and guarded by orcs would do the trick, certainly. But is there any other 'emergency' we (ie, Sauron) could invent to keep him away? Travelling in Middle-earth takes time. If Sauron can verify that Amlach has gone back to whatever settlement he is from to *deal with contrived emergency*, then he can be fairly certain to not be interrupted while he is masquerading as Amlach.

Sauron could certainly intend to kill Amlach or replace him more permanently...but fake!Amlach's plan fails. No decision to attack the Elves is made. Hador unites the people to join Fingon, and Bereg takes the dissenters out of Beleriand, but fake!Amlach does not garner followers/support. So, at that point, Sauron likely abandons his plans and gives it up as a lost cause - these Men were not as easily swayed as he had hoped.

I have to imagine that real!Amlach has spoken somewhat disparagingly about the young men who have gone off with elf-lords prior to this. So, joining Hador and Fingon is still something he would be resistant to - he's not part of the newly-united House of Hador. But...he does want to join the fight against Morgoth, so he needs to find another willing elf-lord to join with. 'Why Maedhros?' is a question we need to answer, as up until now, there would be no reason to suspect that Amlach knows anything about Maedhros. What he and Maedhros have in common is the 'personal' nature of the grudge against Angband...so how will Amlach come to know that?
How about having two Orc packs under Sauron’s command; one (they could be glamoured as Elves for all I care) does a feint at Amlach’s village. Amlach goes to deal with the trouble and Sauron way lays him. We discussed Amlach having a more aggressive plan as to how to deal with the Elves in the area, possibly egged on by Sauron. Sauron however doesn’t trust Amlach to deal with the problem, so he incapacitates Amlach with the other pack of Orcs and impersonates him, telling them to execute Amlach. However Maedhros intercepts the Orcs and rescues real!Amlach, real!Amlach goes to the Council and reveals fake!Amlach. Fake!Amlach/Sauron and his crew packs bags, there’s no point trying anything else.

This is why I suggested Maedhros rescuing Amlach; Amlach would be compelled to at least not fight the Elves out of gratitude towards Maedhros, a life debt.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
We are given Amlach's motivation for joining Maedhros, though - he takes it personally that an agent of Angband has impersonated him and spoken on his behalf in front of all their people. So, given that, he now is committed to opposing that enemy. He does not give up his enmity towards the elves over a life debt, but rather because of what Angband has done - they have made themselves known, and made their enmity towards Amlach quite clear.

The challenge is to make 'why Maedhros?' make sense in the context of our story. We have the 'against Angband' and 'not with Hador' pieces...but we now just need a reason to answer 'why Maedhros?' Certainly, that could make sense if Maedhros has rescued him and Amlach personally owes him his life. But I think that we can likely come up with a more subtle reason for Amlach to pledge loyalty to Maedhros and still have that make sense.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
We are given Amlach's motivation for joining Maedhros, though - he takes it personally that an agent of Angband has impersonated him and spoken on his behalf in front of all their people. So, given that, he now is committed to opposing that enemy. He does not give up his enmity towards the elves over a life debt, but rather because of what Angband has done - they have made themselves known, and made their enmity towards Amlach quite clear.

The challenge is to make 'why Maedhros?' make sense in the context of our story. We have the 'against Angband' and 'not with Hador' pieces...but we now just need a reason to answer 'why Maedhros?' Certainly, that could make sense if Maedhros has rescued him and Amlach personally owes him his life. But I think that we can likely come up with a more subtle reason for Amlach to pledge loyalty to Maedhros and still have that make sense.
Location wise, where is Amlach’s settlement in relation to Maedhros? Are they relatively close distance-wise?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Steve, I am approaching this as trying to find the best way to tell the story we are trying to tell. Secret bands of orcs who have delayed orders to kill Amlach aren't impossible, but they do create other potential problems and obscure some of the motivations. I'm not saying 'no,' so much as asking, 'is there a better way?'
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
If Sauron impersonates Amlach at the Council, how long does he intend to impersonate him? If temporary, can he keep to Sauron’s rhetoric? Can Sauron trust Amlach not to change his mind? If he can’t trust him, why not kill him and replace him?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Right, 'why not kill him and replace him?' is a valid question. And the story does invite the audience to ask what the long-term plan is here - simply letting Amlach walk back into the conversation can't have been the initial plan. The problem with 'kill him and replace him' is that it doesn't happen, so then we have to spend time on how and why that plan doesn't play out. Preferably without altering the event that Amlach's decision hinges on.

Now, we have seen Sauron put a whammy on multiple characters this season, so the most straightforward explanation of how Sauron plans to deal with 'real' Amlach after would be...the Spell of not-so-bottomless dread. We could establish that plan in very little time, and would not need to clarify for the audience whether it happened or not. Amlach will be dead before the Dagor Bragollach, so there would not be a spy still in play at Himring at that time.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Right, 'why not kill him and replace him?' is a valid question. And the story does invite the audience to ask what the long-term plan is here - simply letting Amlach walk back into the conversation can't have been the initial plan. The problem with 'kill him and replace him' is that it doesn't happen, so then we have to spend time on how and why that plan doesn't play out. Preferably without altering the event that Amlach's decision hinges on.

Now, we have seen Sauron put a whammy on multiple characters this season, so the most straightforward explanation of how Sauron plans to deal with 'real' Amlach after would be...the Spell of not-so-bottomless dread. We could establish that plan in very little time, and would not need to clarify for the audience whether it happened or not. Amlach will be dead before the Dagor Bragollach, so there would not be a spy still in play at Himring at that time.
We’d still need an event that gives Amlach enough space that Sauron can try and put the Spell on him or at the very least get him away from the Council so Sauron can impersonate him. Can’t exactly have him cast the spell on him in broad daylight in the middle of a crowded square.
 
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Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I could accept Sauron planning to kill Amlach, if he'd incite enough people at the meeting to attack the Elves, he wouldn't have to be present all through such a process, he could sneak away at some point. But yeah he could plan to return to the imprisoned Amlach and put a whammy on him after the meeting. So probably the orcs take Amlach and Sauron has to rush to the meeting after taking a good look at him (so he can impersonate him) and orders the orcs to keep him until he returns.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I think that the 'fake!Amlach' plan ought to be a last minute change. Originally, Sauron-disguised-as-a-human is merely fomenting anti-elf sentiment. He is content to let Bereg and Amlach carry it out...until Hador arrives. Hador disrupts Sauron's plan, and that is what prompts him to replace Amlach at the Council.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I think that the 'fake!Amlach' plan ought to be a last minute change. Originally, Sauron-disguised-as-a-human is merely fomenting anti-elf sentiment. He is content to let Bereg and Amlach carry it out...until Hador arrives. Hador disrupts Sauron's plan, and that is what prompts him to replace Amlach at the Council.
How would Hador disrupt Sauron’s plan?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
By being strongly pro-elf, and winning the support of the majority of the people. 'Let's go be Fingon's auxiliary army' was not the choice Sauron was steering the Council towards!
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
So there would need to be an opening that Sauron could go and impersonate Amlach. What should he do, ambush Amlach when he goes to take a leak and come back to the Council as if nothing happened?
 
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