Season 1-Session 2

ouzaru

Well-Known Member
I'm assuming that something very interesting went wrong with your link there o_O
Possibly? It may not work correctly until the blab is live, which is in several days.

Or it could be that blab doesn't like chrome for iPad, in which case I will defer to the illustrious Mr. Palazzo to rescue me from ruination.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Ok. I've taken the liberty of creating a new Blab. Link is here:https://blab.im/nicholas-palazzo-silmfilm-project-script-discussion-s01e02

I'd like to keep the recording for this one down to two hours. We can continue talking if we want, but I would like to keep them to a more watchable length. So let's pencil in a timeframe of 7PM-9PM EST (12AM-2AM GMT) and see how that goes. I think that we can safely schedule these every week, and whomever can't make it can't make it, but we do have the documents open to everyone, so no one has to get left out.
 

ouzaru

Well-Known Member
I have updated the original post with Nick's URL. We're racing against the clock a little bit this season, since nobody really took initiative for so long on the outlines. Next season we can go at a MUCH more leisurely pace, though I wouldn't be opposed to having two outlining sessions per podcast session, if we have enough to discuss. This first attempt is much more rushed, but I am hoping we can afford to be a great deal more inclusive in the future.
 

ouzaru

Well-Known Member
Something I realized we did not discuss that was mentioned in the podcast was the coupling of the Valar. We got at it a little bit with Varda and Manwe and Aule and Yavanna, but the podcast made it seem like the coupling was very tied to the harmony of the Valar.

There was also mention made of Uinen and Osse having a more prominent role, and I do like the foreshadowing that does for Osse later rebellion. I would actually maybe like to see the Mairon/Osse rivalry seeds get down here. Re-listening to the podcast has made me think that we've got the basic shape of the episode right but we missed a couple important details, I'll try todo end some time on the document this week playing up those bits a little more.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Ok, basic outline for Episode 2 is complete, I am going to let everyone take a crack at it while I go back to work on the second level of detail in episode 1.
 

ouzaru

Well-Known Member
I took a stab at restructuring Episode two a bit, using the "Suggestions" mode. Have a look and fight me if necessary. :3
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Well, I tried to incorporate a few of the details we discussed. I hope I didn't mangle the document.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I have had a thought that would be a fairly significant change, so I want to run it by everyone before altering the document.

We have said that there would be some Maiar who are not on board with Manwë's idea to found Almaren, a place where they all work together to shape Middle Earth. Some even outright leave and do not join in on this 'project'. We have a reluctant Ulmo, but we've had few candidates to actually reject the plan. Melkor is not there yet, nor are his key followers (the proto-balrogs).

Ungoliant is the obvious non-joiner....but based on our storyline for her, she should never come to Almaren at all. Those gathering up the Maiar to say, 'come, meet in the center!' don't find her, so she never goes at all (the Avari of the Valar, if you will :p ). So, she can't walk out of the meeting.

Tom Bombadil would be a perfect loner who does his own thing; this may be an opportunity to have a cameo for him. He could be met with surprise by Eonwë and Ilmaren (who are doing the gathering), and there would be a confused, 'Who are you?' moment [since they don't know each other]. That would alleviate the 'Tom is a Maia' conclusion for those who don't like that, leaving his origin as mysterious as Tolkien left it [since we only meet him in Arda, not before.] He could go along to the meeting, decide it's not really his thing, and then just walk off (blue jacket, swan-wing feather in his cap, and yellow boots, of course).

But this isn't really a loss - having random nameless characters who we will never see again say, 'eh, not really my thing' doesn't leave Manwë all that disappointed. So...who is left?

Lorien, Estë, Námo and Vairë

We have decided not to introduce them until episode 7, when the Valar go to Valinor. What if...they are the ones who say, 'being here isn't our task' and they go to prepare their places in Valinor instead? This would be a rather significant split, and would give the Valar a reason to decide to move to Valinor after the destruction of Almaren.

The reason why I am not considering this a brilliant decision that must be implemented immediately is because....having Mandos disagree with Manwë is a Big Deal, and we could never let it happen again. Or, rather, Manwë would never again ignore the advice of Mandos. Also, we were counting on 'meeting' the last four Valar in that episode, and don't really have room to introduce them here. If we meet them then, Mandos can confirm Manwë as High King, which vindicates the results of the Manwë vs Melkor showdown after the Lamps.

So, anyway, what do people think? Who should be the dissenting voices to the founding of Almaren if Arda is not really 'marred' yet - is it followers of Melkor from the Music?
 

ouzaru

Well-Known Member
I don't recall that we decided to have Ungoliant not show; in fact, considering the angle we took with Nessa's rejection of her, I rather thought we had given some foundation for why Ungoliant would bother showing up in the first place, that being that the Ainur were made as one people, social beings, and had an innate need for companionship that Ungoliant warps in her desire for Nessa's and eventually eschews altogether in Melkorian fashion, to her eventual ruin.

I have mixed feelings about introducing the Valar that we were going to leave out. There are practical considerations for why we left them out at all.... I think it's a little too much that Mandos would refuse a request of the one he knows is their Leader... Though we haven't hammered out exactly how his Doomsaying works yet, if it's tied to his wife's weaving or what....

I mean, part of the problem with the Valinor idea actually is that there really isn't a Valinor yet, there's really only one continent: Valinor and Middle Earth won't even be actual places until the pillars come down and the world is wrecked. That does sort of mean it's a bit of a plot hole that there would be anyone there when they arrive, but we already know some people come late, I would be comfortable leaving where the Feanturi, of all the Valar, somewhat mysterious in their origins.

I'm pretty big on having Ungoliant be the spoiler of Manwe's meeting, though. She's really the only canonical representative of the group that never cared to play ball that is explicitly one of the Ainur (I've never been fond of the Bombadil-as-Maiar theory, though Melian makes a strong case for the possibility). While I think it's fair to say that the Published Silmarillion character wouldn't bother to respond to the summons, I think it does a lot for her character to give her a little internal conflict and make her a little less one dimensional while sticking to the spirit of who she is.

Did I just make all that up in my head, and we actually did decide last time that she wouldn't go? It seems like such a good opportunity to give her some great lines, stomp all over Manwe's plan, and take some of the heat off Melkor as a big-bad early in the season, especially since he hasn't arrived yet. If she makes a big stink, we can set the audience up to expect to see her again. It seems like a way better TV moment to have Nessa's exploring the darkness in the mountains and run into a familiar face than to try and explain who and what Ungoliant is entirely within the context of that one episode.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I have had a thought that would be a fairly significant change, so I want to run it by everyone before altering the document.

We have said that there would be some Maiar who are not on board with Manwë's idea to found Almaren, a place where they all work together to shape Middle Earth. Some even outright leave and do not join in on this 'project'. We have a reluctant Ulmo, but we've had few candidates to actually reject the plan. Melkor is not there yet, nor are his key followers (the proto-balrogs).

Ungoliant is the obvious non-joiner....but based on our storyline for her, she should never come to Almaren at all. Those gathering up the Maiar to say, 'come, meet in the center!' don't find her, so she never goes at all (the Avari of the Valar, if you will :p ). So, she can't walk out of the meeting.

Tom Bombadil would be a perfect loner who does his own thing; this may be an opportunity to have a cameo for him. He could be met with surprise by Eonwë and Ilmaren (who are doing the gathering), and there would be a confused, 'Who are you?' moment [since they don't know each other]. That would alleviate the 'Tom is a Maia' conclusion for those who don't like that, leaving his origin as mysterious as Tolkien left it [since we only meet him in Arda, not before.] He could go along to the meeting, decide it's not really his thing, and then just walk off (blue jacket, swan-wing feather in his cap, and yellow boots, of course).

But this isn't really a loss - having random nameless characters who we will never see again say, 'eh, not really my thing' doesn't leave Manwë all that disappointed. So...who is left?

Lorien, Estë, Námo and Vairë

We have decided not to introduce them until episode 7, when the Valar go to Valinor. What if...they are the ones who say, 'being here isn't our task' and they go to prepare their places in Valinor instead? This would be a rather significant split, and would give the Valar a reason to decide to move to Valinor after the destruction of Almaren.

The reason why I am not considering this a brilliant decision that must be implemented immediately is because....having Mandos disagree with Manwë is a Big Deal, and we could never let it happen again. Or, rather, Manwë would never again ignore the advice of Mandos. Also, we were counting on 'meeting' the last four Valar in that episode, and don't really have room to introduce them here. If we meet them then, Mandos can confirm Manwë as High King, which vindicates the results of the Manwë vs Melkor showdown after the Lamps.

So, anyway, what do people think? Who should be the dissenting voices to the founding of Almaren if Arda is not really 'marred' yet - is it followers of Melkor from the Music?
I'm at a training conference right now, so I just wanted to point out that one of the main reasons for pushing Irmo, Este, Namo, and Vaire back to Valinor is to reduce the amount of characters we have to introduce in the first few episodes. Just keep in mind that for their leaving to have an emotional impact, we have to invest in them before now.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, I agree that it's problematic for that reason. The whole point was not to introduce them, so...why would we introduce them?? I do want to hammer down who the voices of dissent are, though. I would perhaps be okay with Lorien (Irmo) saying that he has to get back to someone and just wander off - so it's not defiant, it's just vaguely mysterious. When we meet him later and discover that his wife sleeps on an island all the time, we might understand why he couldn't really come to Almaren without her. Very minimal defiance, but also no emotional impact as we won't know who he is. [It is my understanding that Valinor currently exists, and is just the far western part of the land that is still connected to Almaren - once the Lamps are destroyed, the sea will cover Almaren, separating Valinor from Middle Earth - but Mandos could certainly have foreseen that and planned accordingly so his Halls don't flood in the cataclysm.]

As for Ungoliant....

The hosts did say that she could be at the meeting Almaren...but this was before the story with Nessa was developed.

We (okay *I*) vetoed that idea, as we had leaned towards her being a creepy creature of darkness, not someone who could just wander into a gathering of other people and have a conversation with them. It...doesn't fit her very well. [I thought we were in agreement on this.] Instead, we see her briefly in this episode, as a mysterious figure who retreats into shadow when the call to gather in the center goes out. We introduce her in Episode 3, when Melkor meets her in the Void and they have a conversation. Her effect is seen in Episode 4, when some injured Maiar are blamed on Melkor but (for once!) not his fault. And then in Episode 5, Nessa will meet her for the first time, not knowing who she is, but the audience will have some knowledge of her (and thus interest in learning more about her at this point). Nessa's innocent curiosity was an important part of their interaction, and it would be difficult to maintain that if Ungoliant was known to the Valar as someone who had defied Manwë and rejected his plan for Arda. Nessa (even a 'the Valar are really innocent right now!' version of Nessa) would show at least some suspicion or trepidation on being invited into Ungoliant's lair if she had seen first hand what type of character this woman had.


I am fine with someone defiantly opposing Manwë at the meeting, and leaving in a huff. If we want a canonical character, I suggest Thuringwethil. But we could just as easily substitute in any random 'follower of Melkor' as not a few of the Ainur switched to his side during the Music.

Even if Tom Bombadil is not one of the Ainur, he would already be present in Arda at this time [first rain-drop, before Melkor comes....]. So, if he is introduced as an anomaly they 'meet' while out and about, mystery preserved.

Ulmo will be a vocal voice of opposition, but of course he will be brought around by Varda.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Okay, re-listening to our session (the link to Blab is available above).

We start discussing the formation of Almaren at the 1:56 mark. The discussion of who should be present in Almaren comes up at 2:11-2:13. ouzaru, you are the one who said 'not Ungoliant'! But I agree the discussion was brief and I maybe didn't give you a chance to consider all of the ramifications before moving on, so maybe the 'agreement' was in my head. 2:20 is where Ungoliant being missed comes up.

I want to point out that the main conflict of this episode is the Valar learning to work together - so while some should probably hie off and not join in, the stepping-on-each-others-toes in Almaren for those who stay is a more pertinent conflict. The challenge to Manwë's leadership does not come until Melkor arrives in Episode 4.

Ulmo is the 'I don't have time for this' guy and Oromë is 'I don't remember this in the Music.' Do we really need more defiance than that? And, if so - please consider using Thuringwethil here.
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
There was also mention made of Uinen and Osse having a more prominent role, and I do like the foreshadowing that does for Osse later rebellion. I would actually maybe like to see the Mairon/Osse rivalry seeds get down here. Re-listening to the podcast has made me think that we've got the basic shape of the episode right but we missed a couple important details, I'll try todo end some time on the document this week playing up those bits a little more.
Can we work Ossë and Uinen into Episode 6 (with the wedding of Tulkas and Nessa?) They could be the side story there?
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I see no reason why we couldn't at the very least see them goofing around together, maybe in the lake that surrounds Almaren. I am a bit unsure about what kind of subplot we could incorporate with them, though.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
During the Ossë Rebellion discussion, it became clear that we wanted to have Ossë and Uinen have a pre-established relationship, one which made it clear that she was not intimidated by his violent nature. So...that needs to happen during the 'peace time' on Almaren, and seems to fit around Episode 6. Not sure what I want that to look like, but them becoming a couple would at least pair thematically with the wedding of Tulkas and Nessa.
 
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