Script Discussion S06E05

Odola

Well-Known Member
[...} We're going to say "Lúthien requests supplies and makes a cloak from her hair" (or something to that effect) in the script outline. Working out all of the details is more of a question for costumes and props. What we set here are the constraints, and what we hope to accomplish with this scene.
Accomplish? Magic. Spinning and weaving are magical actions in old Europeans mythologies. They symbolise the creation of the world and of the human body, the spun thread symbolises life itself. Spinning untersils have been universal gravegoods - especially for women and especially for high status women - for millenia.

As such the process is symbolising female power to create, is connected to motherhood, female authority and female magical power. As the sword/spear represents male power, the distaff represents the female.

Tolkien just uses an old mythological element here, very fitting for the story he tells - he lets a powerful female perfom things that in ancient times represented ultimate female power.

Luthien is about to rebel against her father's authority, she does this by envoking her original female magical power to bring it up against him - and this power is more basic, more primordal one than mere political authority - it is live (&love) itself.

Edit: The same idea is hinted at in Lothlorien with the magical cloaks made by Galadriel and her ladies herself or Arwen's personally making Aragorn's banner. - Noble women magic conveing blessings, protection and power.
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Perhaps, but she also has to convince the tree to let her go, so we will be focusing on how she 'wins over' Hirilorn during her imprisonment. Interactions between characters tends to be more interesting than simply working with inanimate objects in solitary, though there are exceptions.

Also, we will have to figure out how Daeron features into this. Naturally, he is not named as being involved in Lúthien's escape in the published Silmarillion, but does play a role in the Lay of Leithian. We have already made some decisions so far this season about Daeron, his relationship with Lúthien, and how he interacts with her once Beren comes to Doriath. As such, he is not in a position of having 'betrayed' her yet...in Episode 4, he merely urges Lúthien strongly to put an end to her secret anthropological study of Beren, and then Lúthien makes the decision to go to court on her own.

But how does Thingol learn that Lúthien intends to follow Beren? Does Lúthien confide in Daeron, and then Daeron tells Thingol? Or is something else going on? If Daeron does betray Lúthien's confidence here, then what will their interactions be like during her imprisonment? We definitely wanted Daeron to think that Thingol had gone too far, so he would be willing to aid Lúthien, but if there is a betrayal between them, she may be reticent to trust him.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
If Daeron does betray Lúthien's confidence here, then what will their interactions be like during her imprisonment? We definitely wanted Daeron to think that Thingol had gone too far, so he would be willing to aid Lúthien, but if there is a betrayal between them, she may be reticent to trust him.
I've always assumed Daeron's intention was to let Thingol talk Luthien out of her crazy idea - not to imprison her.

I do believe Daeron is genuilly shocked at the result.

Luthien has known Daeron for millenia, she understands him. After a short initial anger episode - and after Daeron's sincere apology and assurances that Daeron sees it was a mistake - I do not think Luthien would find it hard to trust Daeron again.

But now Thingol trusts Dearon too, due to this very "betrayal" and so Thingol sees no problems in letting Daeron visit Luthien. Maybe Thingol thinks she will forget the new suitor when her proven reliable old one is near her helping her out in her need - by conversing with her, taking her messages and bringing her the stuff she requires. So Thingol might by design put Daeron in a position to be able to help Luthien (Thingol has no reasons to assume Daeron would help Luthien escape) - to help Daeron win (back) Luthien's good graces.

Do not myself see any problems with the relationship dynamics?
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Here is the outline for Episode 5:


And the Twitch conversation
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Here is the outline for Episode 5:


And the Twitch conversation
Really liked Beren's "outlaw in one's own land" line being picked up by Luthien and the execution like procession with Luthien to Hírilorn.

Also I do side with those who like Luthien's attitude towards Daeron being more that of a annoyed teacher than real anger - the delay his mistake caused her is yet slight and she is not yet used to be freaked out about wasting time. Actually her offical fallout with Thingol gives her greater freedom (as an "outlaw") not to be obliged to ask for his permission the next time she (successfully this time) attempts to leave Doriath. So I doubt Daeron's mistake would cause her to get really furious - more like dissapointed imho.
 
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Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
After listening to the session on this part of the story I was left wanting with the story of Hirilorn and thinking that the solution as to why the tree lets Luthien go was not answered satisfactorily for me. Luthien has to convince the tree to let her go, and in the end the tree does. Why? My thoughts when approaching it from a musical perspective is that I need to come up with a progression in Luthien’s songs. This is the first time that she uses song to affect change on another being and every song needs to build on this starting point. To me the rationale needs to be that if Luthien stays she will come to harm and what better way to introduce the concept of elves dying from grief. If Luthien stays and Breen dies she will die of grief so Hirilorn can prevent this harm by letting her go. I don’t believe that we have done a story of an elf dying from grief except for Muriel (but as Corey always says, that is a bad data point). The difficult thing will be to portray this as more than a woman swooning saying that she will die without her man (go script team). To me the emphasis needs to be on the grief and what this does to her fea and hroa. I would also envisage this as being the starting point in her next song, to convince Huan to release her and accompany her. This starting point also is a root for the overall season theme of release from bondage.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
After listening to the session on this part of the story I was left wanting with the story of Hirilorn and thinking that the solution as to why the tree lets Luthien go was not answered satisfactorily for me. Luthien has to convince the tree to let her go, and in the end the tree does. Why? My thoughts when approaching it from a musical perspective is that I need to come up with a progression in Luthien’s songs. This is the first time that she uses song to affect change on another being and every song needs to build on this starting point. To me the rationale needs to be that if Luthien stays she will come to harm and what better way to introduce the concept of elves dying from grief. If Luthien stays and Breen dies she will die of grief so Hirilorn can prevent this harm by letting her go. I don’t believe that we have done a story of an elf dying from grief except for Muriel (but as Corey always says, that is a bad data point). The difficult thing will be to portray this as more than a woman swooning saying that she will die without her man (go script team). To me the emphasis needs to be on the grief and what this does to her fea and hroa. I would also envisage this as being the starting point in her next song, to convince Huan to release her and accompany her. This starting point also is a root for the overall season theme of release from bondage.

The angle we wanted to stress here is that the parent's unwillgness to let go of their adult child prevents the child from having his/her own life - as such being contraproductive - and the parallel is the release of the beechnuts by Hirilorn - she risks some of her seeds being tramped, eaten, destroyed, but they have only a chance of becoming great trees themselves when/if she releases them - so with Thingol and Luthien - Luthien can only become who she is meant to be if Thingol lets her go. Do you think that angle insufficient?
 
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Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
There is definitely merit in that approach and I think it can be an element of the argument, but we are left with Hirilorn disobeying a direct order from the king of the realm. The reason for releasing Luthien needs to trump the imprisonment order and I feel that letting Luthien blossom and grow does not cut it and comes over a bit wishy-washy. A bit like when the resolution to every problem in Doctor Who was “think happy thoughts.” Say what you will about the Peter Jackson adaptations of LOTR but he successfully upped the tension and suspense in many scenes by adding the threat of death eg. Frodo falling into the Dead Marshes, Sam falling off the slope at the slag hills and nearly being discovered by the Harradrim or the orc chasing Merry and Pippin into Fangorn. Death was on the line which makes for good drama according to Vissini. Death by grief is a real thing in Tolkien and I think this is a good opportunity to begin the exploration of this idea and to up the level of tension and drama in this scene. Will Hirilorn blindly obey the king’s order which will ultimately lead to the death of Luthien whom she loves or will she risk the wrath of the king by letting her go but ultimately saving Luthien in the process? Such drama!
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
There is definitely merit in that approach and I think it can be an element of the argument, but we are left with Hirilorn disobeying a direct order from the king of the realm. The reason for releasing Luthien needs to trump the imprisonment order and I feel that letting Luthien blossom and grow does not cut it and comes over a bit wishy-washy. A bit like when the resolution to every problem in Doctor Who was “think happy thoughts.” Say what you will about the Peter Jackson adaptations of LOTR but he successfully upped the tension and suspense in many scenes by adding the threat of death eg. Frodo falling into the Dead Marshes, Sam falling off the slope at the slag hills and nearly being discovered by the Harradrim or the orc chasing Merry and Pippin into Fangorn. Death was on the line which makes for good drama according to Vissini. Death by grief is a real thing in Tolkien and I think this is a good opportunity to begin the exploration of this idea and to up the level of tension and drama in this scene. Will Hirilorn blindly obey the king’s order which will ultimately lead to the death of Luthien whom she loves or will she risk the wrath of the king by letting her go but ultimately saving Luthien in the process? Such drama!
The thing is - Hirilorn is a tree. She thinks like one. Death by grief seems to me a completely foreign concept to a tree, while the wish to become a great tree itself a valid natural goal for a beechnut - which is how she sees Luthien in relation to Thingol. Thingol wants to protect Luthien - as his seed - this is an idea Hirilorn considers legitimate in itself - but he clearly does overdo it - which is a fault and Hirilorn might choose to help Thingol to do what he should do himself - or at least not to be complicit in his clearly overstepping his nature-given boundaries? If Hirilorn is a representant of nature, life and the natural order (and - to an extent - the female) then Thingol clealy goes againts all this in his ultimately life-denying preservation of the status quo. As such Hirilorn joining Melian's and Luthien's position on the matter after having had some time to think about it seems a natural development to me. And the consideration of Luthien possible death of grief a little to far-fetched for Hirilorn's perspective and outlook?
 
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Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
True, the concept of death from grief is a foreign concept for a tree but Hirilorn does not need to understand the whole thing. The important thing to the tree is that imprisonment is leading to death which can be physically seen in Luthien at this point and she will die if she remains imprisoned. We can further the freedom and blooming analogy for the tree’s sake as part of Hirilorn’s motivation to release her but for Luthien the risk of death from grief is real and the audience are the ones to take home this new understanding of elvish bonds in life and death. This will also be the precursor for Luthien’s final act to save Beren as my understanding is that her fea will follow Beren to Mandos, in effect dying herself as I don’t see her physically travelling to Valinor unless one of the valar intervenes. I don’t think the hosts dealt with this issue specifically in the sessions.
Otherwise it comes across as Luthien begs and the tree relents against direct orders. I think that commands from the king are much simpler for a tree to understand than the complex weighing up of whether a seed will germinate and grow into a tree, and by the tree’s standard very few of its seeds will become full grown trees and reach their full potential. Surely Thingol has more offspring that will succeed if Luthien fails. The difference is that Hirilorn has love for Luthien. In terms of complexity of needs, Hirilorn is acting according to the most basic needs. She is providing food and shelter, but this is actually compromising her safety and security so it is out of love that Hirilorn acts. I think that is as far up the pyramid that a Huorn can go.
I think I have also been influenced by Asimov’s laws of robotics. 1. Don’t harm humans 2. Do what human’s ask you to do unless that contradicts the first law. We have to make Thingol’s command harmful to Luthien otherwise disobeying the command does not carry enough weight. I know Hirilorn is not a robot but I think it is a good analogy.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
True, the concept of death from grief is a foreign concept for a tree but Hirilorn does not need to understand the whole thing.
Agreed.

The important thing to the tree is that imprisonment is leading to death which can be physically seen in Luthien at this point and she will die if she remains imprisoned. We can further the freedom and blooming analogy for the tree’s sake as part of Hirilorn’s motivation to release her but for Luthien the risk of death from grief is real and the audience are the ones to take home this new understanding of elvish bonds in life and death. This will also be the precursor for Luthien’s final act to save Beren as my understanding is that her fea will follow Beren to Mandos, in effect dying herself as I don’t see her physically travelling to Valinor unless one of the valar intervenes. I don’t think the hosts dealt with this issue specifically in the sessions.
Otherwise it comes across as Luthien begs and the tree relents against direct orders. I think that commands from the king are much simpler for a tree to understand than the complex weighing up of whether a seed will germinate and grow into a tree, and by the tree’s standard very few of its seeds will become full grown trees and reach their full potential. Surely Thingol has more offspring that will succeed if Luthien fails. The difference is that Hirilorn has love for Luthien. In terms of complexity of needs, Hirilorn is acting according to the most basic needs. She is providing food and shelter, but this is actually compromising her safety and security so it is out of love that Hirilorn acts. I think that is as far up the pyramid that a Huorn can go.
I think I have also been influenced by Asimov’s laws of robotics. 1. Don’t harm humans 2. Do what human’s ask you to do unless that contradicts the first law. We have to make Thingol’s command harmful to Luthien otherwise disobeying the command does not carry enough weight. I know Hirilorn is not a robot but I think it is a good analogy.

But Luthien is not passive? She is actively using empowering female magic to contravene and rebel against Thingol's authority - both as a king and as a father - as he has clearly overstepped the natural bounds of his authority in both the areas. Would you like Luthien to mimic the "Arwen is dying" trope from the Peter Jackson's movies? But then Luthien would be to sick to travel ahead alone. While I think to grasp the basics of your idea I think its consequences would complicate both Luthien's character and her active storymore than actually resolve the problem of Hirilorn's motivation of letting her go. Still putting more stress on Hirilorn considering herself Thingol's personal friend and not only and primarily his subject might have had helped the matter.
 
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Kathrin

Well-Known Member
Re: the who is the protagonist of this episode: what if we make our theme for the three storylines sort of "rebellion against authority" one ofc Luthien finding allies and subverting her father's will in order to flee, then Annael trying to shake the thralldom, with the best intentions but maybe ultimately not successful, and then C&C rebelling against Finrod. In the last, the obvious choice would be to make Finrod the protagonist, navigating this rebellion he has on his hands. The other might be having C&C sort of as antihero rebel protagonists, or the whole episode centring around them and finrod from the courts perspective, and then they and the court of nargothrond become witnesses to Beren arriving and pleading his case.
 

Arnorion

Active Member
Has a draft script been produced for episode 6.05? I'd like to review it if possible before it gets discussed in the next SFP session (6-20) on 8 Dec 22.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
Has a draft script been produced for episode 6.05? I'd like to review it if possible before it gets discussed in the next SFP session (6-20) on 8 Dec 22.
I offered to write the script for this episode when I learned we didn’t have one in the last script discussion. I was also traveling for work all last week and didn’t have much time (or internet connection) to work on it. I’ll post what I have done of the script this Thursday or Friday. It probably won’t be a full script, but at least it’ll be better than nothing. :)
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
I've got about a third of the episode written. I might be able to write a few more scenes before this episode gets discussed, but I wanted to go ahead an post what I have so people can start reviewing if they want to.

Here's the link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1H85pKQ-horwqLyNJ4ztZEsXRYLAujnjR/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=106619077854869050690&rtpof=true&sd=true

Let me know if you have any issues accessing it.

The formatting's a little wonky from copy/pasting, but I'll fix that in the end.

Script team, I'm sorry, but I've been really struggling to keep up with the video messages on the Marco Polo app we've been using. If you've got any feedback on what I have written so far, please comment it in the Google Doc so I'll be sure to see it.
 
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