Script Discussion S05E13

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Opening: Pan over from east to west Beleriand; the Sons of Fëanor are alive but their lands are in flames, Angrod and Aegnor are dead, the camera focuses in on Finrod in the fens where the Minas Tirith theater is going badly.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
We ended Episode 12 on a cliffhanger (the balrogs arriving to the battle with Fingolfin's forces), so decided to start Episode 13 with that battle in progress, showing the chaos the Elves and Men are stuck in with balrogs on the field. The first act progresses from west to east across the battlefields.

We've only gotten through the first half of the episode so far; we will discuss the second half and the frame scenes for Episodes 11-13 on June 6th.

 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
So, final script discussion coming up on Sunday! To prepare for that, I thought I'd start a collection of 'duels on film' to see what elements, if any, we would like to borrow or avoid in our season finale.

King Peter vs King Miraz in Prince Caspian
Part 2 ; Part 3

Inigo Montoya vs the Six-Fingered Man from The Princess Bride

Luke vs Darth Vader from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Rob Roy McGregor vs Archibald Cunningham

The Mountain vs The Viper from Game of Thrones


Simply some food for thought - obviously, we are trying to come up with original content here.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
How much trash talk do we intend between Fingolfin and Morgoth (assuming this is the duel we’ll be having in this episode)?
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
How much trash talk do we intend between Fingolfin and Morgoth (assuming this is the duel we’ll be having in this episode)?
Some. At the beginning of the fight, I want to make sure that Morgoth is super-terrifying, which would be undermined by trash talk from either party.

There might be some room for a little bit of levity from Fingolfin towards the middle of the fight, but before it starts getting deadly serious.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Also recall that when Fingolfin rides up to the Gate of Angband to issue his challenge, he has to say something that will make Morgoth come out and face him. The book reports that he calls Morgoth 'craven' and 'lord of slaves' - so, certainly, some insults are included in the challenge to one on one combat. It's not exactly trash-talking, but in that vein, certainly. Basically, Morgoth has to face him, because remaining silent means accepting what Fingolfin is saying without challenge, and that makes him look weak. There's no 'good' reason for Morgoth to accept this challenge. He can let Fingolfin rant and rave at his gate indefinitely. He can send some minions out to deal with him. And yet...he *can't* do these things, because of what Fingolfin is saying.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I recognize that this should go without saying, but possibly the biggest challenge of the duel between Morgoth and Fingolfin is that Fingolfin loses and dies; Morgoth walks away.

Granted, it is not as simple as that - Fingolfin succeeds in challenging Morgoth, so that he comes out to fight him. And Morgoth is wounded in this duel, so that he limps for the rest of time. But the death of Fingolfin is a pretty heavy blow. As wonderfully exciting and epic as this scene is...it has a rather downer of an ending. This is not 'Eowyn fights the Witch-king'; she falls, but survives. The lord of the Nazgûl is killed.

I was thinking about that as I was perusing some other film duels. There are some similarities between Oberon Tyrell's duel with Gregor Clegane and this one. The 'good' guy, the one the audience is rooting for, and the underdog in the fight, is the Viper. He is smaller, less armored, and well, no one fights the Mountain and wins. Added to that, he has a personal vengeance. He is trying to get his opponent to confess to a murder. Granted, he gets a lot further against the Mountain than Fingolfin will against Morgoth. But he does die in the end (rather gruesomely), and yet manages to get that public confession that he wanted. Not that it does him any good, but his gambit worked. Sort of. We probably want the audience to come away with a sense that Fingolfin's gambit 'worked', even as Fingolfin's dead body is being carried off by an eagle.

A duel that similarly ends in defeat for the good guy is Luke Skywalker facing Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back. Luke fails to win against Vader. Luke gets his hand chopped off. Luke is reduced to someone crying 'Nooo, that's impossible, that's not true!' while crawling away. And yet...Vader does not win, either. Vader fails to convince Luke to join him. Vader has to 'give away' a plot of ruling the galaxy as father and son, and that plot goes nowhere for him. And Vader fails to capture Luke, who escapes in what should be a suicide move. So in the end, it's more of a draw, but Luke is definitely the more gravely wounded. Luke's ability to resist, to insist upon his 'I'll never join you' is part of what makes that duel end hopefully. Fingolfin having the opportunity to fight Morgoth until his last breath, that counts for something.

We are very much primed for good guys to win, or at the very least survive. Sure, there are heroes who die, but that's not the most common story. So when Achilles defeats Hector, because of course he does, why wouldn't he? It's not exactly what the audience is rooting for. And how do we handle that?


I think Morgoth's limp helps. It's not like the watching crowd at Angband is going to cheer Fingolfin's death when the eagle shows up. We can mitigate that in some ways. But at the end of the day, we can't forget how disappointing it is that Fingolfin dies. Just some food for thought as we go into planning the second half of the final episode in our last script discussion later today.
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I recognize that this should go without saying, but possibly the biggest challenge of the duel between Morgoth and Fingolfin is that Fingolfin loses and dies; Morgoth walks away.

Granted, it is not as simple as that - Fingolfin succeeds in challenging Morgoth, so that he comes out to fight him. And Morgoth is wounded in this duel, so that he limps for the rest of time. But the death of Fingolfin is a pretty heavy blow. As wonderfully exciting and epic as this scene is...it has a rather downer of an ending. This is not 'Eowyn fights the Witch-king'; she falls, but survives. The lord of the Nazgûl is killed.

I was thinking about that as I was perusing some other film duels. There are some similarities between Oberon Tyrell's duel with Gregor Clegane and this one. The 'good' guy, the one the audience is rooting for, and the underdog in the fight, is the Viper. He is smaller, less armored, and well, no one fights the Mountain and wins. Added to that, he has a personal vengeance. He is trying to get his opponent to confess to a murder. Granted, he gets a lot further against the Mountain than Fingolfin will against Morgoth. But he does die in the end (rather gruesomely), and yet manages to get that public confession that he wanted. Not that it does him any good, but his gambit worked. Sort of. We probably want the audience to come away with a sense that Fingolfin's gambit 'worked', even as Fingolfin's dead body is being carried off by an eagle.

A duel that similarly ends in defeat for the good guy is Luke Skywalker facing Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back. Luke fails to win against Vader. Luke gets his hand chopped off. Luke is reduced to someone crying 'Nooo, that's impossible, that's not true!' while crawling away. And yet...Vader does not win, either. Vader fails to convince Luke to join him. Vader has to 'give away' a plot of ruling the galaxy as father and son, and that plot goes nowhere for him. And Vader fails to capture Luke, who escapes in what should be a suicide move. So in the end, it's more of a draw, but Luke is definitely the more gravely wounded. Luke's ability to resist, to insist upon his 'I'll never join you' is part of what makes that duel end hopefully. Fingolfin having the opportunity to fight Morgoth until his last breath, that counts for something.

We are very much primed for good guys to win, or at the very least survive. Sure, there are heroes who die, but that's not the most common story. So when Achilles defeats Hector, because of course he does, why wouldn't he? It's not exactly what the audience is rooting for. And how do we handle that?


I think Morgoth's limp helps. It's not like the watching crowd at Angband is going to cheer Fingolfin's death when the eagle shows up. We can mitigate that in some ways. But at the end of the day, we can't forget how disappointing it is that Fingolfin dies. Just some food for thought as we go into planning the second half of the final episode in our last script discussion later today.
As far as how Fingolfin is defeated, the text says that he grows weary and that’s how Morgoth is able to get a bead on him. Maybe we have a dodge or two early in the duel and later the same situation arises and Fingolfin is unable to make the move?

Also, how tall is Morgoth?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
15-20'

We decided that Fingolfin (who is about 6' tall) should come up to mid-thigh on Morgoth during this duel. I believe this conversation was at the end of Session 4-17.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Another question: how much of the evacuation of Ladros are we showing, or is that for next season? We could have a small preview of the Beren and Luthien story where there's a shot of Sauron disguised as an Elf, but we don't know the complete meaning of this scene until Gorlim is captured and Sauron reveals that his wife is dead.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
We definitely show the evacuation of the refugees and the destruction of Ladros, and in the end show Dorthonion as occupied territory. Sauron is shown in Angband still at the end of the Season, not Dorthonion. But we do introduce Gorlim!
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
We definitely show the evacuation of the refugees and the destruction of Ladros, and in the end show Dorthonion as occupied territory. Sauron is shown in Angband still at the end of the Season, not Dorthonion. But we do introduce Gorlim!
If Sauron and his followers are still in Angband, how is Eilinel waylaid?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Keep in mind that it is important that the viewer not know what actually happened to Eilinel. They need to know that she is missing, and that Gorlim is looking for her...but we would prefer that they not know for sure that she is dead. When Gorlim sees the vision of her in his homestead, and when Sauron promises to reunite them...the viewer should be highly suspicious, but not *know* the truth. Otherwise Gorlim looks like an evil traitor, rather than an unhappy fool.

We also need to make sure we don't lose track of the Fëanoreans at the end of Episode 13. Caranthir and Amras will establish themselves at Amon Ereb, because a dragon is currently present in Caranthir's home, and Amras' nomadic lifestyle is no longer a reasonably safe option given the reality of marauding orcs in East Beleriand. We can probably see that in Scene 11A, so I've added that in to the montage (after we see Maglor's Gap overrun, and before we see Glaurung on his new hoard in Keep Helevorn).

Celegorm and Curufin are more of an open question. We've shown their defeat at the Pass of Aglon, and we know that they will be in Nargothrond next season. The question is what we want to show now to end their story for the Dagor Bragollach while setting up their story for the Beren and Lúthien story. We don't have time for a full scene with them, so they can either appear in that same montage (Scene 11a), or they can appear in the Tag to the episode (sharing time with other more important scenes, such as Fingolfin's grave). Or both. But we should probably consider what we'd like to do with them that leaves the door open to tell their stories in Nargothrond next season.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Keep in mind that it is important that the viewer not know what actually happened to Eilinel. They need to know that she is missing, and that Gorlim is looking for her...but we would prefer that they not know for sure that she is dead. When Gorlim sees the vision of her in his homestead, and when Sauron promises to reunite them...the viewer should be highly suspicious, but not *know* the truth. Otherwise Gorlim looks like an evil traitor, rather than an unhappy fool.

We also need to make sure we don't lose track of the Fëanoreans at the end of Episode 13. Caranthir and Amras will establish themselves at Amon Ereb, because a dragon is currently present in Caranthir's home, and Amras' nomadic lifestyle is no longer a reasonably safe option given the reality of marauding orcs in East Beleriand. We can probably see that in Scene 11A, so I've added that in to the montage (after we see Maglor's Gap overrun, and before we see Glaurung on his new hoard in Keep Helevorn).

Celegorm and Curufin are more of an open question. We've shown their defeat at the Pass of Aglon, and we know that they will be in Nargothrond next season. The question is what we want to show now to end their story for the Dagor Bragollach while setting up their story for the Beren and Lúthien story. We don't have time for a full scene with them, so they can either appear in that same montage (Scene 11a), or they can appear in the Tag to the episode (sharing time with other more important scenes, such as Fingolfin's grave). Or both. But we should probably consider what we'd like to do with them that leaves the door open to tell their stories in Nargothrond next season.
My intention was not to show what happened to Eilinel, it was to show that Sauron had infiltrated the evacuation of Dorthonion/Ladros and up to a new scheme, but we wouldn't know what he has in mind until Gorlim is brought before him.

As for Celegorm and Curufin, how about having a short scene of them arriving at Nargothrond?
 

Patrick Graham

New Member
I'm not sure if this link will work but here goes:
https://forums.signumuniversity.org/index.php?threads/session-5-15-5-16-season-outline.4171/page-9#post-36434
it's my idea for Celegorm & Curufin , its in the season 5 outline section, basically they are being pursued and are denied entry through Doriath and refused aid for their refugee people by the march wardens which will help explain the enmity toward all things Doriath in the later seasons. PS this could maybe be seen as a flash back in the next season if it does not fit in this episode.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure if this link will work but here goes:
https://forums.signumuniversity.org/index.php?threads/session-5-15-5-16-season-outline.4171/page-9#post-36434
it's my idea for Celegorm & Curufin , its in the season 5 outline section, basically they are being pursued and are denied entry through Doriath and refused aid for their refugee people by the march wardens which will help explain the enmity toward all things Doriath in the later seasons. PS this could maybe be seen as a flash back in the next season if it does not fit in this episode.
I don’t think that’s the case as of this point, since in the future Curufin is willing to engage in an alliance with Doriath… on his own terms of course. It’s what Beren does to Celegorm that’s going to set him off.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
There is definitely enmity between Doriath and the Sons of Fëanor at the current time! Thingol did ban them from his land 400 years ago, and that ban is ongoing - apparently even enforced during a desperate time when they are fleeing a war zone. I think that showing this refusal is an important detail in the story. The question is...how and when to do so?

Patrick, thank you for linking back to the earlier discussion! Good refresher there on the issues involved.

As Florian (Alcarlótë) pointed out in October, the more times someone traverses Nan Dungortheb prior to Beren, the more diminished his feat becomes. Yes, Beren is going north to south, not east-west (so no road), and Beren is alone. It's still an impressive feat, no matter what. But Aredhel twice, Haleth's whole people, and Eöl pursuing Aredhel have all made it through...and all of them are considered foolish or desperate or forced into this decision. We've had to explain (within the story) why they each felt compelled to take that route, rather than another safer option. We will definitely not have time to explain why the Sons of Fëanor couldn't have gone south. We don't even really have the opportunity to establish why they are setting out for Nargothrond in particular. So showing them taking that route raises a lot of problems in our story telling.

I am fine with the logistics of: chased away from the Pass of Aglon by the forces of Angband, turned away from Doriath by Thingol's march-wardens, and then journeying south (past the Gates of Sirion?) to reach Nargothrond.

What is a bit hazier to me is their motivation to make this journey. Why not simply go to Himring or to Amon Ereb? Why leave East Beleriand entirely? And, having left, why not go to an empty land like Nevrast and start over there - why go to Nargothrond? Also...does Finrod know they are coming? When would he have had the opportunity to invite them, and why would he do so? If it's uninvited, what makes them think they will be welcome there? The best connection we have already established is the close friendship between Orodreth and Celebrimbor. So, Celebrimbor wanting to go to Nargothrond because he thinks Orodreth will be there makes some sense (though why he doesn't know Orodreth is in Minas Tirith is less clear). And Celebrimbor is the one who has been to Nargothrond before - he attended Galadriel's wedding there in FA 260 (end of Season 4).

It's their entire people travelling with them. So, it's a refugee/army showing up on the steps of Nargothrond. That can be alarming, and we can see (once they are there), that they are seeking out a safe refuge as a new home. But...there were so many other ways they could have done that without moving into Finrod's kingdom, so it does beg for some explanation (in Season 6, not now).

While we don't have time to explain their reasons for moving to Nargothrond in Episode 13, we do probably want to imply that they are moving there, so that it's not a case of 'here they are in East Beleriand' and then we have to put them in motion and get them into West Beleriand during the beginning of Season 6 (which we might not have time for as a wholly separate storyline), or just start with them in Nargothrond as a surprise that needs to be explained. If they've at least been turned away from Doriath, we know they are headed west....
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
There is definitely enmity between Doriath and the Sons of Fëanor at the current time! Thingol did ban them from his land 400 years ago, and that ban is ongoing - apparently even enforced during a desperate time when they are fleeing a war zone. I think that showing this refusal is an important detail in the story. The question is...how and when to do so?

Patrick, thank you for linking back to the earlier discussion! Good refresher there on the issues involved.

As Florian (Alcarlótë) pointed out in October, the more times someone traverses Nan Dungortheb prior to Beren, the more diminished his feat becomes. Yes, Beren is going north to south, not east-west (so no road), and Beren is alone. It's still an impressive feat, no matter what. But Aredhel twice, Haleth's whole people, and Eöl pursuing Aredhel have all made it through...and all of them are considered foolish or desperate or forced into this decision. We've had to explain (within the story) why they each felt compelled to take that route, rather than another safer option. We will definitely not have time to explain why the Sons of Fëanor couldn't have gone south. We don't even really have the opportunity to establish why they are setting out for Nargothrond in particular. So showing them taking that route raises a lot of problems in our story telling.

I am fine with the logistics of: chased away from the Pass of Aglon by the forces of Angband, turned away from Doriath by Thingol's march-wardens, and then journeying south (past the Gates of Sirion?) to reach Nargothrond.

What is a bit hazier to me is their motivation to make this journey. Why not simply go to Himring or to Amon Ereb? Why leave East Beleriand entirely? And, having left, why not go to an empty land like Nevrast and start over there - why go to Nargothrond? Also...does Finrod know they are coming? When would he have had the opportunity to invite them, and why would he do so? If it's uninvited, what makes them think they will be welcome there? The best connection we have already established is the close friendship between Orodreth and Celebrimbor. So, Celebrimbor wanting to go to Nargothrond because he thinks Orodreth will be there makes some sense (though why he doesn't know Orodreth is in Minas Tirith is less clear). And Celebrimbor is the one who has been to Nargothrond before - he attended Galadriel's wedding there in FA 260 (end of Season 4).

It's their entire people travelling with them. So, it's a refugee/army showing up on the steps of Nargothrond. That can be alarming, and we can see (once they are there), that they are seeking out a safe refuge as a new home. But...there were so many other ways they could have done that without moving into Finrod's kingdom, so it does beg for some explanation (in Season 6, not now).

While we don't have time to explain their reasons for moving to Nargothrond in Episode 13, we do probably want to imply that they are moving there, so that it's not a case of 'here they are in East Beleriand' and then we have to put them in motion and get them into West Beleriand during the beginning of Season 6 (which we might not have time for as a wholly separate storyline), or just start with them in Nargothrond as a surprise that needs to be explained. If they've at least been turned away from Doriath, we know they are headed west....
They're still willing to pursue an alliance with Thingol via a forced marriage that goes against the nature of Elves.

As for why Nargothrond, Finrod mentions to Beren that Celegorm and Curufin command a large influence there. How does that arise, do Celegorm and Curufin save Orodreth's neck when he has to flee Minas Tirith or something like that?
 
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