Season 2: Episode 2 - We Three Kings


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can see some advantage to showing Indis witness the return of the Ambassadors and the happy reunion/engagement of Finwë and Míriel. I just want to avoid any implication of love triangle - Finwë doesn't know who she is at this point, and she's there to greet Ingwë (her uncle).
Even if we show Indis as a child at Cuivienen, we probably won't focus on her very much. Especially since we're being restrictive about introducing characters.


Staff member
Right - I wouldn't introduce her, but she can be there (as 'unidentified blond girl in the group greeting Ingwë'). Certainly no dialogue yet. She will be introduced as a character in Valinor, preferably after the death of Míriel, though she can be in the background in a couple of scenes prior to her introduction, if we want.


Staff member
Nick brought up the question of how long Míriel would survive after the birth of Fëanor. Her case is (essentially) a really bad case of post-partum depression, and thus not instant death in a 'died in childbirth' kinda way. In the Annals, Tolkien lists her death in the Valian year after the birth of Fë he can be a toddler when they lose her, if we want (Valian years being 10 years long, he can be anywhere from 1-20 when they lose her, with the older range still leaving him pre-adolescent.) We can decide whether or not Fëanor clearly remembers his mother later, but I just wanted to point out that there is ample time between his birth and her death for any domestic family scene we may need.


Staff member
The last session is on iTunes now and I had some time to listen to parts of it. Dr O talked about Arwen's mentor and about the possibility to make her spokesperson of the Avari, based in part on dreams brought to her by Ulmo, who as plan B after the decision to invite the Children would try to convince the elves to stay in Middle-earth on his own - just like he later sends dreams to Turgon and Finrod. It wouldn't be obvious that Ulmo was sending the dreams. This would in any case mean that a scene, in which Arwen's mentor dreams that they should stay in Middle-earth, would be inserted in this episode, while the ambassadors are in Valinor.


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Why the Ambassadors should stay out of Mandos:

We should *not* establish any precedent for elves to be able to enter and leave the Halls of Mandos freely. If we allow an elf to go in, we would expect elves to be able to visit the dead. Finwë and Míriel should be able to get together after her death for weekly tea in Vairë's sitting room to discuss the goings-on in their lives. Clearly, this does not happen - she isn't available, in any capacity, and is cut off from Finwë when she is disembodied in the Halls of Mandos.

I am willing to make an exception for Valar and Maiar, of course - they can go in and out at will. But they don't experience death the way the Children do. When Eonwë 'died' in Season 1, he hung out in Lorien until he was reborn; he didn't even go to Mandos.

Melkor's imprisonment is such that he can't break out of jail. Whatever is done to constrain him there is very effective. Thus...we probably should never see it. No one is going to believe that you can just lock Melkor in a dungeon with a wooden door and wrought iron hinges and a lock with a key..... So either we figure out a way to handle that, or we don't show it and just make ominous references to what was done.

There can be an 'entranceway' to the Halls of Mandos, and elves can approach. I just want it to be very clearly off-limits. We can later show elf-spirits hanging out within Mandos if we really want to, so long as they don't have any interaction with the living.

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I do agree that we should make it clear that the dead and the living cannot interact. However, I do not think that anything that we are doing violates that.

I'll explain:

In S01E07, we have Manwë enter the tapestry chamber of Mandos. The hosts have suggested making a clear delineation between this area and the actual halls of the dead. They suggested depicting a door that Manwë himself cannot open. The original idea for the Finwë/Vairë tapestry scene (no fanfic suggestion intended) would clearly be shown to be only in the tapestry room, an antechamber. He cannot go into Mandos proper any more than Manwë could.

If you refer to Aulë taking him to the halls of Mandos to explain the war and Melkor's imprisonment, I would clarify that they do not go inside at all. I am thinking now that it might be fun to hear him railing against his captors deep inside the structure, or even to juxtapose Aulë and Finwë standing outside with Melkor chained with Aulë's magical chain in a dark place which is obscured from the camera. Just to have a chance to show the audience Melkor's face again.

I am not in any way arguing against a different meeting place for Finwë and Vairë, I'm just saying that the original idea doesn't cause a problem as far as communication with the dead.


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Ah...I wouldn't have thought that Vairë's workroom was off limits to the dead Míriel, and so having this as a separate ante room 'open to the public' (but not to the dead) had not occurred to me. It is workable, I guess, but we'd have to be very careful to maintain the delineation. Staying outside seemed most visibly clear to me, with a gate that cannot be crossed by elves at all. But something more subtle could be workable if we're very, very clear about it.


Staff member
Anything is more subtle than a looming metal gate, shrouded in mist, with a 'Do Not Enter' sign on it. Or a door in a cliff with no handle on the outside. Which is more or less what I was suggesting.

A mysterious-door-that-cannot-be opened after entering the slightly-creepy entrance room is by definition more subtle. And I am (potentially) fine with that....if there is a very clear demarcation of 'this far and no further.' We don't need an 'abandon hope ye who enter here' sign, but....we shouldn't be allowed to enter. There should be a lot of mystery about what the Halls of Mandos *look* like.

Showing Vairë and Námo in her workroom with looms is one thing; showing a living elf there is something else, which I am not very comfortable with.


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I mean, I say all of this as someone who has written an entire story that takes place within the Halls of Mandos. But all of my characters were dead, or Valar/Maiar who belonged there. The delineation between realm of the dead and of the living is a big deal. I don't think I broke that down until we reached endtimes in that story.

We shouldn't show the inside of the Halls of Mandos on the show, no matter how much the viewers want to see it. (Until Lúthien gets there in Season 5, maybe...but not even then!)
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Well-Known Member
Looking forward to hashing this out more on Sunday, I'm actually available for the Session tomorrow for a change, and our summer season is winding down at work, so I should have a little more free time to get in here and be a part of the conversation. It seems like we're mostly at a consensus for everything, but if anybody needs to be brow beaten into understanding how right I am about things, I'm happy to joust with you all on Sunday Morning (Saturday evening for those of you on the wrong side of the world).

(PS- I kid, if we do need to go over anything left over from Episode two, we'll carve out a half hour or so in the next Roundtable so that we're all on the same page going forward; as I recall one of the major reasons for relying on Vaire was that she had basically nothing to do up till now, and we wanted to give her a little spotlight. I actually need to go back and watch the session to get back in the head space, I completely sympathize with the objections and think that it might be worthwhile to revisit that particular point.)

Richol Richards

Well-Known Member
I like the idea of Indis having lost her mother at a young(-ish) age. We may be able to do something with that in the Frame when we get to her story (as Arwen would sympathize), and we can then give her some basis for recognizing Finwë's grief.
She and Fëanor can both make mistakes in their relationship, but I would like it to be clear that part of his intense dislike for her is him being an unfair jerk, not a completely justified reaction to her being a bitchy stepmother.

I think this would be a good angle (although I also support the Ingwë's seniority idea). I can almost see a scene in which Indis tries to reach out to Fëanor over the loss of a mother and him firing back that it's not the same and storming out, angst magnifying tenfold.


Staff member
*sigh* The Hosts are quite insistent that we show Melian in Valinor during this episode. She and Elwë don't interact, but he does catch a glimpse of her.
We are to insert a scene where Melian and Radagast talk about the lands of Middle Earth in a 'I want to go there!' way, which allows for Olorin to be not impressed with the idea.

Then, Tom Bombadil cameo.


Staff member
*sigh* The Hosts are quite insistent that we show Melian in Valinor during this episode. She and Elwë don't interact, but he does catch a glimpse of her.
We are to insert a scene where Melian and Radagast talk about the lands of Middle Earth in a 'I want to go there!' way, which allows for Olorin to be not impressed with the idea.

Then, Tom Bombadil cameo.
Is there any way we can show Melian in Valinor without having her see Elwë and him see her?....


Is there any way we can show Melian in Valinor without having her see Elwë and him see her?....
I guess it'd be possible to show her being busy singing and tending the gardens of Lorien. Maybe the elves need to go somewhere quickly and Elwë might be the only one hearing it and seeing something beautiful in the distance. Perhaps then Elwë can go back and search without finding Melian and he might be too shy to ask about it.
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Richol Richards

Well-Known Member
I have to catch up on the podcast later as I missed half the live session. But I think if either of them is going to glimpse the other, perhaps it would be best to have Melian notice Elwë but him not notice her. The audience will know she's not a threat and Elwë still gets the full, powerful 'first encounter' effect in Nan Elmoth. I still believe we could successfully dispel the whole nefarious aura and give viewers the heads up about Melian re: Elwë without either being at all aware of the other in Valinor, though.

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
The Co-Hosts, in the last session, were quite insistent that it be Elwe noticing Melian, but possibly not the other way around. He was searching around for her in Valinor, which is why he is so transfixed to come upon her unexpectedly.

I think that, at the very least, this is Elwe's driving motivation for the push to Valinor. When he finds her in Middle-Earth, it is easy for him to abandon the migration, since he has found what he is looking for.

Not a fan of this departure, but after listening to the last session live, I believe it is one I can live with.

Richol Richards

Well-Known Member
I think that, at the very least, this is Elwe's driving motivation for the push to Valinor. When he finds her in Middle-Earth, it is easy for him to abandon the migration, since he has found what he is looking for.
I did consider that angle when the idea of him noticing her in Valinor was first introduced and I think that it could make sense, but am not as certain it's necessary for it to make sense? But if we're going with that line I think I can live with it as well. I'm eager to hear the rest of the session.


Staff member

1. (Up to 4 pages)
A scene picking up where the last episode left off: Ingwë,
Finwë and Elwë greet Oromë, who introduces himself as a
Vala and tells them of Valinor.

Act One
2. (4 pages)
[Frame: Arwen is preparing/dessing, with her confidant
[?name], for her formal greeting / welcome to Lothlórien
with Galadriel. It is on the eve of an Elvish festival and
she shares her anticipation and excitment for the festival
to come.]

Main: The debate of the Valar. Tulkas is enthusiastically
for. Aulë is for - he wants learners. Oromë is for - he
wants to remove the Quendi to safety. Irmo is for - he is
geographically situated in Aman, and wishes to invite the
Quendi to partake in Lórien. Ulmo is against - his
thoughts are for Middle-earth first. Vána is against -
Valinor has not been built with the Quendi in mind.
Yavanna against at first, until [Someone] points out they
would have to leave the Two Trees which would break her
heart. Manwë and Varda listen to the cases both for and
against before deciding that ambassadors should be brought
to allow the Quendi to make their own decision. Námo
states, "so it is doomed."

3. (4 pages)
Oromë is striding through the Quendi settlement. He is
shown some items of craftsmanship, and he takes an
avuncular interest. Several children try to approach him
and are restrained by their parents, admonishing them to
stay away from the glowing giant.
Finwë, Míriel and Elwë discuss the arrival of Oromë. Elwë
has come round to Oromë, Míriel is concerned that Oromë
sees them as children and objects to the idea that the
Valar care about them. Finwë is undecided/neutral. Elwë
reminds Finwë that he convinced him to meet Oromë in the
first place. Finwë wants to know more about what is
happening. Míriel does not want the Quendi to end up
serving / being beneath the Valar.

4. First plot point (4 pages)
At a Quendi council, Oromë announces the Valar's decision
to summon ambassadors. He selects Ingwë, Finwë and Elwë.
Ingwë accepts on behalf of everyone, Elwë is also on board
and Finwë goes with the flow, not speaking up.
In the moments before the ambassadors' departure, Finwë
and Míriel argue. She is furious he blithely accepted the
invitation, without speaking up about his concerns. Finwë
is clearly in the wrong without a leg to stand on. Míriel
storms off.

Act Two
5. (4 pages)
The ambassadors arrive in Valinor. They meet with the
Valar. Cast shot.
Vairë touches Námo's arm, leaving. As she goes, she shares
a meaningful look with Finwë who is unnerved by her.
Walking through Valmar. Ingwë is attentive to everything
the Valar say. Elwë is excited, looking through every
window and door. Finwë is withdrawn, missing Míriel.

6. First pinch point (4 pages)
In Lórien. Finwë stands in the glade where Míriel will be
passed out after birthing Fëanor. [? needs more content.]
Back at Cuiviénen, Míriel is getting on with life without
Finwë; however, the Dark Hunter has returned and is taking
people again. Morwë makes a pass at her; she considers it.

7. (4 pages)
[Ingwë is with Nienna, who grieves with him for the loss
of his wife (Indis's mother). She takes him to Estë who
gives him rest and peace for his bereavement.]

Brief scene of Vairë spinning some thread and laying out
her weaving tools.

8. Midpoint (4 pages)
At the Two Trees. Ingwë and Elwë argue with Finwë. Ingwë:
it would be ungrateful/immoral for us to not come and be
with the Valar in this amazing place they have made for
us. Elwë, "you see the glowing trees, right?" Wouldn't it
be wonderful to live in the land of light, not darkness.
Finwë restates Míriel's case that the Quendi would be
living under the Valar, that they have been fine so far
and that they are meant to be out in the world.
Watching this argument at a distance, Vána expresses that
she agrees with Finwë to Yavanna. Yavanna, who still
habours some doubts about inviting the Quendi to Valinor,
suggests she kind of agrees.

Act Three
9. (4 pages)
[Finwë and Elwë discuss what they miss about Cuiviénen
(Finwë misses Míriel, but a more general discussion of
homesickness in a foreign land), and it is remarked that
for all the wonders of Valinor, you cannot see the stars
[Ingwë with Manwë and Varda.]

10. Second pinch point (4 pages.)
[Ingwë and Elwë are having a jolly time with Tulkas.
Nessa goads Finwë into dancing and enjoying himself.]
Back at Cuiviénen, Morwë is telling stories to some Quendi
children as Míriel watches. He tells them about Oromë's
arrival, hinting that he was the Dark Hunter and how he
took away Ingwë, Finwë and Elwë, "...and they were never
seen again." Míriel angrily shouts at him to not tell that
story and that "they're coming back!" She storms off.

Brief time-lapse scene of Vairë beginning to weave a

11. (4 pages)
[Melian, Aiwendel (Radagast) and Olórin (Gandalf) discuss
a longing for the lands of Middle-earth. Melian decides to
go there, and Aiwendel agrees with her but decides to stay
in Valinor (too timid?) Olórin doesn't know what they are
on about, and is eager to meet the Children who will soon
be coming to Valinor. Elwë catches sight of Melian from
afar, but they do not meet or speak to one another (she is
gone before he can approach).]

Finwë making stuff with Aulë. Aulë talks about the
knowledge and craft he wants to teach the Quendi and makes
his case for why the Quendi should come to Valinor.

12. Second plot point (4 pages)
Finwë asks about the war of the powers. In the Courtyard
of the Halls of Mandos
, Aulë explains about the war and
Melkor, and that Melkor ischained inside.
Finwë is convinced by Aulë that they should come to
Valinor, but does not think he will be able to convince
Míriel. [Finwë will echo Aulë's words in the episode 3
debate.] Walking through the Courtyard, Finwë sees Vairë
hanging a new Tapestry - it depicts him and Míriel holding
a baby together in Lorien. Finwë is happy to see this image,
but Vairë's face betrays sorrow (he misses that.)

Act Four
13. (4 pages)
[Gifts of the Valar to the Ambassadors?]
Frame: [Arwen is ushered in for the formal gift-giving
ritual with Galadriel. Galadriel is resplendant. Galadriel
gives Arwen a starry cloak. Arwen gives Galadriel a
tapestry she made showing the Two Trees. A courtier
remarks on the strangeness of the imagery. Galadriel and
Arwen share an informal moment, where Galadriel prepares
Arwen for the idea that the festival will not be what
Arwen expects.]

14. Climax 1 (4 pages)
The ambassadors are preparing to return to Cuiviénen.
15. Climax 2 (4 pages)

16. (Up to 4 pages)
At Cuiviénen, Míriel is going about her life. There is the
sound of hoofbeats and there is panic. Three glowing
riders emerge from the forest. Míriel realises the
ambassadors have returned. The ambassadors are laiden with
swag from Valinor. She and Finwë run to each other and

This one needs some restructuring and tweaking. We need a Valinorean protagonist to at least share the spotlight with Finwë here. Should it be Ulmo? Or Melian? My preference is Ulmo, but other arguments can be made. The timing of Finwë's changed attitude has to move earlier in the story, so we can see him being gung-ho for Valinor despite his worries that Míriel isn't going to like this. To keep the Ambassadors from being tourists in Valinor, we should focus on subcreation -- what do they make/do now that they have met the Valar? For the Valar storylines, how do we tie back to Season 1?

...but I'll let others listen to the most recent session and form their own thoughts on what we should do.