Session 2.12 for S2E08

Lincoln Alpern

Active Member
I agree with MithLuin that we shouldn't be trying too hard to deceive the audience about Melkor's sincerity, especially after the first season's frame story with Elrond teaching Estel about the early history of the Valar. I'm pretty sure Elrond makes it clear in there that Melkor is Not A Very Nice Person At All.

On the other hand, now I think about it, that might be an interesting way to play upon the audience's perceptions. We already know he goes down in history as an evil person hated by the elves, but is that because he was deceiving the Valar about his repentance, or was he sincere in trying to make amends and something else happened which caused him to return to his old, nasty ways? I dunno, maybe that angle would be incredibly irritating, what do you folks think?


Speaking of frames, I like the idea of Galadriel and Aredhel being born in this episode; and keep in mind, the frame is that this is a story Galadriel is telling to Arwen. (At least, I seem to recall we've agreed Celeborn narrates the Middle-Earth centered episodes, and Galadriel the ones set in Valinor.) Do we want the fact that Galadriel is providing the narration impact the way we handle her and Aredhel's births? And if so, how?
 

Ray Burns

Active Member
The key is, how much do the Elves know of Melkor's previous behavior? If the Valar told them everything about his past behavior, it's hard to accept that even the most forgiving of the Elves would welcome Melkor, especially if it was their parents or daughter or auntie that was taken at Cuivienen. But, if the Valar, in another display of lack of foresight and failure to understand evil, just say that Melkor did some bad things and now he has served his time and seems repentant, then the Elves (some of them anyway), might be willing to listen. That's a key component that we need to establish, what the Elves know of Melkor's crimes.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
The disappearance of the elves at Cuivienen continued after Melkor was locked up, so I think it quite likely that the Valar and the Elves do not blame him for the actions of the as-yet-unidentified Dark Hunter.

The elves do know *something* of the war that destroyed Utumno, but.....how much they know and understand about Melkor is very much an open question that should be addressed in this episode.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
  1. How much of the episode should be wrapped up in the trial itself?
  2. To what extent are the elves aware of or involved in the trial?
  3. What do we do apart from the trial? (B story?)
  4. Do we introduce the third generation of elves or wait until episode 9?
1. No more than about the first 10 minutes; the trial should be the premise for Melkor's release, but the probation allows him to act, not just speak, and that is where it gets interesting.
2. SOME Elves are passive witnesses; OR elf-kings are briefed after. This one is tricky, and no matter what probably reflects badly on the Valar.
3 & 4. The main story should be Melkor gaining the trust of the Valar and elves over the course of the episode (post trial); secondary plots should include the Fëanor/Fingolfin feud, the introduction of the oldest grandchildren of Finwë (Maedhros, [Maglor?], Celegorm, and Fingon) and the birth of the youngest granddaughters (Galadriel and Aredhel) towards the end of the episode. Fëanor should also continue being awesome and invent stuff (palantiri, perhaps?)
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
2. SOME Elves are passive witnesses; OR elf-kings are briefed after. This one is tricky, and no matter what probably reflects badly on the Valar.
I suggest that Ingwë should be there, as well as Finwë and Indis, plus some Vanyar and Noldor. No Teleri.
 

Ray Burns

Active Member
I think that this is an opportunity to show that the Valar, while wise and extremely powerful, are NOT infallible. They make mistakes and as Dumbledore says, "In fact, being – forgive me – rather cleverer than most men, my mistakes tend to be correspondingly huger."
 

Shawn Mitchell

Active Member
I suggest that Ingwë should be there, as well as Finwë and Indis, plus some Vanyar and Noldor. No Teleri.
"Only the Teleri beyond the mountains still sang upon the shores of the sea; for they recked little of seasons or times, and gave no thought to the cares of the Rulers of Arda, or the shadow that had fallen on Valinor, for it had not touched them, as yet."

Haakon, per the text, I agree that it makes little sense to have the Teleri there. We have a pretty solid cue that this type of affair would hold little interest for them.
 

Shawn Mitchell

Active Member
Fëanor should also continue being awesome and invent stuff (palantiri, perhaps?)
I thought, at first, the palantiri deserved a little more dedicated screen time. BUT, looking at the arch and what needs to be accomplished in just two or three episodes we probably DO need to show him creating these in this episode ... as you suggest ... right?? Seems like for some of these things we will just have to squeeze them in.
 

Ray Burns

Active Member
Maybe that's how we emphasize just how awesome Feanor is becoming.

Even his most amazing accomplishments are just another's day work for him. He might have made the Palantiri as an afterthought when his father mentions that it would be nice to be able to talk to Olwe without having to travel to Tol Eressea.

But, in a way, it also shows his growing obsession with the creation of the Silmarils. While he is consumed with their creation, he is still making all these amazing things almost as afterthoughts.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Stuff Fëanor creates:

Tengwar --> Innocent farm equipment --> palantíri --> silmarilli --> Fëanorean lanterns --> helms and tempered swords

We will be showing the Tengwar (possibly, if we include Rúmil) and the innocent farm tools in the previous episode (7), when we show Fëanor as a bright young man being the apprentice of Mahtan. In this episode (8), he should be working on his own, though still as a part of a community of craftsmen. The palantíri are thus 'public', meant for communication, still tied to working together....they fit with Fëanor's intentions in this episode, and could even be meant as a gift for his Father to try to see what is happening in Middle Earth. He will make the silmarils in the next episode (9) (after the incident with Galadriel's hair) and that will be a 'secret' project that doesn't involve anyone else. Corey Olsen specifically requested the lanterns come after the silmarils as a 'lesser' project in light meant for the 'masses' (so save them for episodes 10 or 11). And then of course while the Noldor are all busy inventing heraldry, he makes a secret forge and arms himself and his household, in preparation for challenging Fingolfin at swordpoint in Episode 10.

Are there any other creative projects we want Fëanor involved in? He should not be giving Melkor the time of day, so whatever 'getting on the Valar's good graces' project Melkor gets into involving light and fountains has nothing to do with Fëanor - he's off making the palantíri during all of that.
 

Ray Burns

Active Member
How about Feanor is involved in improving the farm implements that he was working on in the previous episode. Literally making new plowshares for Valinor (which will just further emphasize the irony when he beats them into swords).

And, I say this knowing full well that I will be ritually hit about the head and shoulders, maybe Feanor builds an anchor for Tol Eressea (The Corey Olsen Memorial Anchor)?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
*brings out Salmon of Correction*

No swords until after Melkor has had some time to work on the Noldor. So, definitely not in episode 8! I imagine that will be an episode 10 plot.

I think we only need to see Fëanor working on each task once. If he was learning to make plows and scythes in episode 7, we don't need to see him revisit that in episode 8 - he's moved on to new projects. But of course his workroom could have various farm implements laying around, to show the continuity there.
 

Shawn Mitchell

Active Member
So an easy putt ... we show him working on the Palantiri ... throw in other "inventions" in the background.

Now, concerning his rivalry with Fingolfin. I'm assuming, for this episode, this is in full blown "we really don't like each other mode" ?? Is Finarfin trying to reconcile the two or is he shamelessly in Fingolfin's camp? I've always pictured it where Fingolfin and Finarfin are biasedly for one another but is this how we will portray it?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Their dislike for one another should be well established by this point. Fëanor dislikes all of the children of Indis (on one level), but it's Fingolfin that he is threatening because he claims he think he is trying to usurp his place. He does not seem to consider Finarfin as much of a threat, so, therefore....Finarfin must have made some early peace-making overtures. This might be the end of Finarfin trying, though - we might be seeing the last straw here. Certainly, Finarfin will side with Fingolfin rather than Fëanor when it comes down to it. I just figured Finarfin is the most level-headed of the brothers and willing to consider another person's point of view. This is the father of Finrod and Galadriel we're talking about - being wise and insightful should be part of his characterization.
 

Ray Burns

Active Member
I can see Finarfin tying to be the mediator between Feanor and Fingolfin. And Feanor perceiving this aspect of Finarfin's personality (willingness to listen and try to compromise) as 'weak'. Feanor's hatred for Fingolfin should be shown as, for the most part, baseless. People like Fingolfin because he is a nicer person not because Fingolfin is trying to usurp loyalty from Feanor. At the same time, we should also be seeing that Fingolfin has reached his wit's end trying to be the nice guy, and any effort that the has to be civil to Feanor is only for love of Finwe and the respect that Indis instilled in him. Fingolfin's weakness, if you can call it that, is that his respect for the House of Finwe and the teachings of Indis has made him too submissive to Feanor. How things might have changed if Fingolfin had just finally hauled off and corked Feanor early on.... Keeping all that anger and frustration bottled up is also a good foreshadowing of the final despair that he feels after the Dagor Bragollach.

I think that for the viewer, they should be coming out of this with the thought, "Gee, it's too bad that Finarfin can't be the King when Finwe gives it up. He'd make a great King."
 

Shawn Mitchell

Active Member
I just figured Finarfin is the most level-headed of the brothers and willing to consider another person's point of view. This is the father of Finrod and Galadriel we're talking about - being wise and insightful should be part of his characterization.
I think the text points us in that direction ... he was wise enough, after the pronouncement of the doom, to turn back and put ego aside. Showing him as peacemaker - or an attempt - is NOT a deviation from the spirit of the text, IMO.
 

Shawn Mitchell

Active Member
How things might have changed if Fingolfin had just finally hauled off and corked Feanor early on
You made me laugh Ray ... the first time I read the Sil I was still in my 20s and full of testosterone and that's EXACTLY what I was thinking! "... man he should have jacked that dude up!" haha.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Oh, but I so admire Fingolfin when he just silently walks out on Fëanor and does not rise to his insults or even dignify them with a response. Fëanor is so offended by this dismissal that he feels the need to escalate from angry words to brandished weapons, but still Fingolfin just stares him down. Fingolfin is dead awesome.
 
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