Season 1 Episode Outlines

MithLuin

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Staff member
No, that was intentionally put first, as we wanted the opportunity to introduce the Ainur before the Music. She sings her theme, but it's not the full-on weeping lament we'll get as worse stuff happens. The idea was to give the audience some clue that this is not, overall, a happy story. But this also happens *before* Ilúvatar commissions the Music - it's just 'her part'.
 

Alex Long

Active Member
As I adjust (I guess I misunderstood the Episode 1 plot outline,) here is what I typed up first. Please use this to give any suggestion as to outline format (again, I'm fixing the content of the outline.) The one question I have is whether or not to keep full quotations in. They take up a lot of space and outlines are not supposed to be that detailed. Should I leave them or insert quick conversation summaries instead? (Ex. 'Gilraen apologizes for overreacting,' 'Elrond is lecturing Estel,' '[Melkor and Varda] express their observations of their fellow Ainur,' etc.)
 

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MithLuin

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I think that a summary of the conversation would be fine. The 'quotes' are not usually what we want the characters to actually say, anyway - just a way to convey the content of the conversation.

The one exception is Ilúvatar - there is a strong desire to quote him directly from the published Silmarillion. Still, a note at the bottom that all of his dialogue is taken from there should suffice - we don't need to have that copied out. And, yes, the voiceover by Elrond of the first two sentences was also meant to show how much would be spoken vs shown, but....it's your call if that just clutters things up.

I am fine with this style of outline, and suspect the Execs would be as well. The attempt to use a more screenplay-friendly format was not continued past the 4th episode, and I'm not familiar with that style/format, so I can't make any suggestions on how to do that. I really appreciate you fleshing it out, and I'm sure people will have comments on content once they're together, but I'll let you do your thing first ;).
 
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Alex Long

Active Member
Haakon: if the EPs are vehemently opposed to starting with Nienna, I've conveniently written a version where a currently unnamed Ainu begins the first theme (possibly Manwë,) and we don't hear Nienna's lament until the third theme. So it's there as a option for them.

Well everyone, I've run into another problem that I want the crowd's opinion on. The beginning of the third episode begins by rehashing the first episode. Now this wouldn't normally be a problem (we save the audience from the dreadful 'Last time on..." cold opens that have plagued serial television shows as of late) except that this will be the second time in a row that we rehash this. Again not a huge issue for a long show except that, of course, this is the third episode, and we will effectively be recounting to the audience the same story three times in three consecutive episode (those three episodes being the only episodes the audience has seen thus far.) With everyone's permission, I would like to start this episode after where Episode One ended with the first shots of the main narrative happening just moments before or just a moment after where Episode One ended (Ilúvatar speaking "Ea!" and giving being to the Music.) Even with these changes, the beginning of the episode can still play out relatively the same except that the scene will be the characters' reactions to the Music instead of their actions during it. We also avoid the inevitable major continuity errors that could occur between this episode and Episode One while moving the story forward instead of backward.

Please let me know of your thoughts. Again, I'm not trying to make this my own, I'm just trying to make it all make sense.
 

Alex Long

Active Member
It's also still outlined that Gilraen doesn't want Elrond to teach Estel about Melkor/evil. This is a problem I personally have with this outline which I have discussed elsewhere. But if this is still the route that the group wants to take, I will write the outline as such. You all say jump, I just want to know how high.
 

Haakon

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Staff member
I can see this work - Gilraen could be a mother who wants to (over-) protect her child, but I could easily see Gilraen being the one who wants her son to know about evil, to prepare him, and Elrond softening.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
The goal was to have Episode 3 start prior to the events of episode 1, and to skip over the music, but giving Ilúvatar's commentary here in episode 3 (since episode 1 ended with 'Ea!').

In other words - I completely agree with you that rehashing is bad, but I thought we were pretty nuanced in how we did not do that. That may have all been lost in the summary, though. [To be fair, it was a 5-hour long conversation with changing participants that generated the plot outline for episode 1, so there was no way that was going to get condensed cleanly.]
 

Alex Long

Active Member
The way Episode One's outline worked out was that Ilúvatar creates the Ainur and they, almost immediately, start the first theme. The 'prior to the Music' angle is cool, it just never got retroactively transferred over to the Episode One outline. So we have to change one of the outlines or there will be a continuity error.
 

Haakon

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Staff member
It's also still outlined that Gilraen doesn't want Elrond to teach Estel about Melkor/evil. This is a problem I personally have with this outline which I have discussed elsewhere. But if this is still the route that the group wants to take, I will write the outline as such. You all say jump, I just want to know how high.
I could also see the conflict being about Gilraen wanting Elrond to tell a rather short story where Melkor is bad from the start and Elrond tells a more complex story.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Pretty much the only way we have of showing time in the Timeless Halls is 'number of Ainur created'. So, for the early scene of Episode 3, there aren't many characters for Melkor to practice leading, whereas later in the episode, the Halls will be more populated.

Episode 1 starts with Ilúvatar alone (so, the *very* beginning), but immediately shifts to a large crowd of Ainur and the first 'solo' performance before the Music begins.

This may be too confusing, though, and I agree that the outline is not as clear as we could have liked.
 

Alex Long

Active Member
I could also see the conflict being about Gilraen wanting Elrond to tell a rather short story where Melkor is bad from the start and Elrond tells a more complex story.
My idea was that they see Varda's reaction to Melkor's advances through different lenses. Elrond think Varda was wise to leave him and keep herself pure. But Gilraen believes that Varda should have done more to stop the evil intentions she perceived in Melkor. They ultimately disagree on which interpretation Estel should be taught. The episode would end with Estel (and the audience) having been given both views and left to choose which one he believes.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
It's also still outlined that Gilraen doesn't want Elrond to teach Estel about Melkor/evil. This is a problem I personally have with this outline which I have discussed elsewhere. But if this is still the route that the group wants to take, I will write the outline as such. You all say jump, I just want to know how high.
I would say that a more nuanced disagreement is better. We want Gilraen to be upset about the current direction of the lesson, or at least prompt her to talk to Elrond after seeing the affect on Estel. I don't think she has to say 'don't teach him this!' but should have a differing opinion to Elrond's in a discussion that lends itself to the audience understanding the theme 'nothing is evil in the beginning.' Since we know that the name 'Melkor' is completely taboo and that this guy is going to cause a lot of problems down the road, Gilraen can have OPINIONS about how her son is introduced to this topic. You don't have to keep those opinions as-is, but they should fit within the overall script.
 

Alex Long

Active Member
Pretty much the only way we have of showing time in the Timeless Halls is 'number of Ainur created'. So, for the early scene of Episode 3, there aren't many characters for Melkor to practice leading, whereas later in the episode, the Halls will be more populated.

Episode 1 starts with Ilúvatar alone (so, the *very* beginning), but immediately shifts to a large crowd of Ainur and the first 'solo' performance before the Music begins.

This may be too confusing, though, and I agree that the outline is not as clear as we could have liked.
Right, that didn't get conveyed in the outline (at least not strongly enough for me to pick up.) With the way that The Timeless Halls will be portrayed, there is almost no way to show passage of time (they are 'Timeless' halls, after all.) They only way to clue our audience into where they are (temporally) is through events they have already seen. If we start this episode before any of the events that have been shown, the audience will be completely lost. And I don't think skipping the music is going to help since this is the only event the audience has to gauge when these new events are happening. This is why I figured we should start with Ilúvatar speaking "Ea!" The audience knows where we are, and we can continue forward chronologically without jumping around through the weird timeless time of The Timeless Halls' eternal eternity. Anyways, we are going to have to show Varda and Manwë entering into Arda at some point during this episode to let the audience know where/when Episode Two happens. These events also happen at some point after the events of Episode One so they can be shown chronologically as well.
 

Haakon

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Staff member
My idea was that they see Varda's reaction to Melkor's advances through different lenses. Elrond think Varda was wise to leave him and keep herself pure. But Gilraen believes that Varda should have done more to stop the evil intentions she perceived in Melkor. They ultimately disagree on which interpretation Estel should be taught. The episode would end with Estel (and the audience) having been given both views and left to choose which one he believes.
That's a great idea. But I'm not sure - Elrond, being one of the wisest in Middle-earth, should be able to discuss Varda's actions in different perspectives. In the end, maybe the conflict situation is wrong in some way. Maybe Gilraen objects to Elrond's version but perhaps he accepts this objection. He could be open to talk about the nature of evil and we could have some lines about that. Also, there is the question of what Varda said no to - she did not say no to Melkor, as perhaps he (Melkor) thought, but she said no to going out into the Void trying to find the Flame. He felt wronged, embarrassed or disgraced or something, I don't know what Valar feel, while she just did not want to do the things he wanted to do.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Right, that didn't get conveyed in the outline (at least not strongly enough for me to pick up.) With the way that The Timeless Halls will be portrayed, there is almost no way to show passage of time (they are 'Timeless' halls, after all.) They only way to clue our audience into where they are (temporally) is through events they have already seen. If we start this episode before any of the events that have been shown, the audience will be completely lost. And I don't think skipping the music is going to help since this is the only event the audience has to gauge when these new events are happening. This is why I figured we should start with Ilúvatar speaking "Ea!" The audience knows where we are, and we can continue forward chronologically without jumping around through the weird timeless time of The Timeless Halls' eternal eternity. Anyways, we are going to have to show Varda and Manwë entering into Arda at some point during this episode to let the audience know where/when Episode Two happens. These events also happen at some point after the events of Episode One so they can be shown chronologically as well.
There was a vote for not showing the transition from the Timeless Halls to Arda at all. Showing Ainur entering into Arda was seen as....difficult to do convincingly.

The problem with starting with 'Ea!' is that most of what is happening with Melkor in this episode (going out into the Void, complaining about wanting to create things, looking for the Flame Imperishable) all happens pre-Music. We can repeat 'Ea!' and pick up where we left off when we get to that part (so, some overlap), but we don't have to completely re-do the Music again.
 
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