Season 1 Script Discussion: Session 5

MithLuin

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Staff member
I was thinking this lesson could happen in the Hall of Fire, to give it a more informal feel (perhaps after a meal), and to allow the other inhabitants of Rivendell to make a fairly natural appearance. But this might work better for episode 6, so I am open to other ideas for the frame this time around! We'll want something with darkness and light.

Seeing Estel have a lesson with wooden swords might be a good follow up to the last episode as well.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
You know, I was thinking about that yesterday, trying to figure out why the whole sword-stealing business hit such a chord with me. Finally I remembered something that happened to me when I was a boy ... about twelve, I think I must have been.

I was joining a re-enactment group that was part of the church denomination I grew up in. We were on a weekend camp in the mountains of upstate New York. Now, the group from my church had been explicit instructions that we were not allowed to buy any knives. I had owned several folding pocketknives at this point, but in the camp store, I came across a rather cheap-looking (I realize now) sheath knife. I had enough money to buy it, and when there was no one from my group around, I did. I felt guilty immediately and hid the knife in my sleeping bag, terrified it might be found. By the next morning, I couldn't bear it any longer and confessed to the person in charge of our group. He was amused, I think, at how upset I was over what may have seemed to him a little thing. I returned the knife. That night, we were being inducted into the organization, and the entire group of boys from my church (including myself) received that very same knife as a gift.

No wonder they didn't want us buying any.
 

MithLuin

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Staff member
That is an awesome story! And yes, much more amusing after the fact.

Which raises the question....would Estel feel guilty enough to confess on his own, or are we good with him being caught and made to confess by Gilraen?
 

ouzaru

Well-Known Member
Estel confessing on his own gives him some agency, but it also sort of undercuts the possibility of his ever going bad. I like it better that he makes an actual mistake and has to learn a harder lesson about character, gets it, and stays the course going forward.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I tend to agree with Ouzaru here. Our intention with this moment is to give Estel a chance to do something obviously wrong. While I do like both methods, having him caught sends a stronger message about the cost of pride.
 

Karita Alexander

Administrator
I should be able to make it somewhat tonight; no webcam capabilities and I might be a little distracted due to being in the homestretch of a project...but I will tuning in and commenting as possible.
See you in a few!
 

ouzaru

Well-Known Member
Good session! I am realizing now that we didn't much address the stolen sword; was that sort of left over from Episode 4, and this Episode was more about the aftermath, or did we need to insert that into the frame story here in Episode 5? Because my final head-plan for Episode 5 doesn't include a scene with the stealing of the sword yet, although I don't think it'll be particularly difficult to work something like that in.

Edit: I'm seeing now that the sword-incident is firmly in Episode 4. I can easily see Gilraen making reference to his interest in sword-play in the various moments we've given her to be displeased with Elrond's track so far, though. I also wouldn't be above having Gilraen's initial flashback either be triggered or at least book-ended with Estel receiving fencing lessons in the yard of their little home, as Marie suggested further up the page.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, stolen sword is Episode 4, and the issue is resolved before we go to Ancient Arda. We will likely begin episode 4 with Estel's fencing lesson with Elladan and Elrohir, so we may not want to repeat that, but by focusing on Gilraen and showing that Estel is still using a wooden sword it might be a good follow up. Or we could just have her sending him out the door to his fencing lesson, and then begin her introspection/ flash back.
 

ouzaru

Well-Known Member
Depends mostly on what we want the pacing of that scene to be, I suppose. I like the angle of dropping the audience into a scene with people and places they may not immediately recognize so they can have an "ah-hah" moment when Gilraen shows up, but the is far from the only approach.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Keep in mind that we have to be very careful in the handling of our 'nested' stories - we already have a frame and Ancient Arda, which should be easy enough to tell apart, but a random scene in the Frame, with characters we don't know and no context will be very confusing....it has to be clear it's a flashback within the frame - but clearing it up after the fact might be fine.
 

ouzaru

Well-Known Member
That's what I'm thinking, yeah, really leaning into the transition: fade to white, close up on Gilraen day dreaming at the window, then perking up and cut to Estel and Elrohir sparring in a field not too far away, something super obvious.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Here's my attempt at an outline, to try to keep us up to speed with that. Feel free to make any comments, and I'll go back and edit things in (or out).

Episode 5: Little Red Riding Hood

Frame - We open on a flashback to the time when Arathorn was chieftain of the Dunedain. No names are used, but we see Gilraen with a baby. The flashback ends, and we see that Gilraen is in her guest cottage in Rivendell, reminiscing. Estel is out in the yard, playing, and then running off to his lesson. Gilraen seems dissatisfied with something, and follows the boy. Elrond holds the lesson in the Hall of Fire.


We open in Almaren. Aulë and Melkor, along with their subordinates, are discussing the plans for the Lamps that were proposed earlier. Aulë's design looks decidedly mountain-like, with a wide base, and any attempts to talk him out of this result in him pointing out that they need to be like this, for strength. Most of this bickering is between Aulë, Mairon and Curumo. Mairon turns to Melkor, and asks his opinion. Melkor suggests using metal, not rock. Aulë points out that iron is too weak for what they are doing, and demonstrates by bending an iron bar. Melkor applies fire, to make steel out of the iron, and hands that to Aulë. He has to try considerably harder to bend it, and nods his approval. Aulë still voices some concern that the proposed pillars will fall down if the design is flawed.

Pillar construction sorted out, they split into two teams. Melkor, Mairon and Curumo will work on the construction of one pillar, while Aulë and Gothmog and Arien will work on the other. [Both teams need to have access to fire.] The pillars are a combination of stone and steel reinforcing.

While the pillars are under construction, there is a meeting of the Valar in Almaren to discuss the project. Manwë is very pleased to see everyone working together. Melkor reveals that he can produce as much heat as they might want, but that won't be enough - the Lamps will also need light. He even references the Music (for the last time). He demonstrates by super-heating a metal bar, and dropping it on the table (damaging what it touches). He looks to Varda and says, "I need more."

*back to the Frame*
The Hall of Fire has background cavorting tra-la-la-lally elves. During a pause/interruption, Gilraen expresses some doubts as to whether or not this lesson is particularly useful. Elrond replies that he's getting to the point. [This is a chance to show elves reacting in shock/distaste if Elrond says the name 'Melkor'.] Gilraen remembers saying goodbye to her husband.

*back to Primordial Arda*
Varda has given out vessels that hold light, and everyone is scattering around to gather it up. Nessa is walking (okay, dancing) through the wilderness of Arda alone, gathering ambient light. She comes across an area that is dark - there is no ambient light there. Curious, she goes to check it out. We see her from above, a bright spot in the gloom, and realize she is being watched by someone. Ungoliant (in humanoid form) comes down to greet her, obviously *very* curious about Nessa's vessel of gathered light. They don't know one another, and are both a bit surprised and curious. Ungoliant invites Nessa into her mountain cave, and Nessa follows her.

As they walk together into the mountain, it is a twisty maze. Their conversation begins pleasant, and takes a sharp turn towards creepy and dark. It quite literally gets dark when Ungoliant swipes the vessel of light and eats it. At this point, Nessa recognizes that there is a problem here, and makes it clear that she intends to leave now. This is when Ungoliant informs her that she cannot leave, and that she and her wonderful light will be staying there. Nessa is effectively trapped underground, but she is not constrained. She manages to evade whatever webs and traps Ungoliant sets for her. Ungoliant chases her around within the dark maze, but Nessa herself shines brightly in the darkness.

They have a back-and-forth conversation revealing their rather different world views. Nessa expresses her trust in Ilúvatar, and Ungoliant scoffs, 'Who is that?' Nessa is confused for a beat, asking, 'You...don't know? Were you not there?,' but then goes on to explain that the will of Ilúvatar will play out in the history of Arda, and she will put her trust in that. We leave the mountain, seeing that it is a dark patch.

Lightning strikes! The crater reveals Tulkas, who looks the part of a young god. He calls Nessa's name, maybe? Anyway, then he punches the mountain to break it. Even with the rock broken open, the inside of the mountain is still dark with Ungoliant's unlight. He is surprised by that, but goes in.

It does not take long for Ungoliant to trap him in her webs. He tears them away, but more catch him, and he's fairly pinned down. Nimble, agile Nessa is still free, slipping past such things. Ungoliant issues a threat to Nessa, saying that she has to stay, because this 'other one' is caught. Nessa offers back to Ungoliant, 'Why don't we leave together? Come to Almaren with me.' We see in this moment that Nessa recognizes and pities Ungoliant's loneliness. Ungoliant wants none of it, but Nessa takes the opportunity to help free Tulkas from his bonds.

Ungoliant transforms into a giant spider, but rather than fighting Tulkas and Nessa, she flees.

Nessa brings Tulkas back to Almaren, and on the way there, they discuss how he came to Arda. She then introduces him to the other Valar, who are happy to see her safe.

The pillars of the Lamps are finished now. Each of the Valar and Maiar contribute a little of their own light, and then gather in Almaren to watch the Lamps be lit. Mairon is at the northern Lamp and Gothmog is at the southern Lamp (both Aulë and Melkor are in Almaren with everyone else).

Melkor considers this moment to be his crowning achievement. He kinda stands front and center, waiting to be acknowledged, but....instead, the Valar and Maiar turn to each other with mutual joy and congratulations. Melkor interrupts this to focus the attention back on himself, giving a short speech. The proto-balrogs (Valaraukar) enthusiastically cheer his speech, but everyone else is mostly confused. Ulmo is angry, and looking around the group, he catches Varda's eye and they share a significant look.

We zoom out and are left with an image of the new Lamps shining brightly over primordial Arda. We then see a large spider creature scuttle into a dark cave to hide from the new light.


Back in the Frame, Elrond's audience seems happy and appreciative. The elves know this tale and like it, and Estel is smiling. We pan to Gilraen, who is decidedly not smiling. The group breaks up (it's time for a meal), and Gilraen remembers the party that returned with news of her husband's death (bringing his dead body?). She catches Elrond's attention and tells him that he cannot fill the boy's head with happy stories like this, because not every tale has a happy ending. He assures her that the story isn't over yet, and agrees with her.


***

Okay, so maybe that's more than a little rough/uneven in places, but I tried to make a coherent summary of everything that was discussed. There were a *lot* of ideas as to how this episode should play out, so....how do I fix this?
 
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ouzaru

Well-Known Member
This looks pretty solid to me, certainly as a starting point. My only quibble is that the "don't you remember" line seems not to be in line so much with the notion that Ungoliant is an "unknown". I have a lot of (rather well-documented) concerns with that, but within the context of that particular angle, if she really doesn't know who Ungoliant is, the better question might be "weren't you there?" This is a little more explicit in presenting her as recognizable to Nessa as a Maiar but expresses pretty clearly that Nessa hasn't ever actually seen Ungoliant face to face.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I'm wondering about Gilraen's objections here. It seems she isn't happy when Elrond is telling dark stories and not happy when he's telling happy ones. She seems depressed. (Which wouldn't be surprising) In any case, when I'm doing the outline, I'm going to soften her negative reaction at the end of the episode, if that's ok.
 
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