Session 2.13 for S2E09

Shawn Mitchell

Active Member
I don't want to try to fool the audience. It likely won't work and will come off as a cheap trick.

I do, however, want to plant doubt in the audience's minds. I want them to at least consider the possibility that Melkor's repentance is genuine and that he's on a different path now. I want them to question their conclusion that 'obviously' Melkor is bluffing.

So, when he turns out to have been bad all along, they will feel somewhat vindicated - told you that wouldn't last - but in the moment of these 3 or so episodes, they have to wonder if the other characters are right about him or not.

That means that Melkor can never give the game away, speak directly to the camera, or reveal his plans to a confidante. It doesn't necessarily mean he can't behave suspiciously. There just has to be at least one plausible explanation of what he is up to being above-board.

I like ... but I'm afraid after hearing Professor Olsen on the live session say he doesn't even want a HINT to the audience, it'll get shot down :-( BUT, we can hope!
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
We shall see.

Here is an image of Gandalf in the library of Minas Tirith, looking quite wizardly, even though he's just reading some history.

Artist: Patrick H.Wynne

So, I think if all the writing is in Tengwar with some obscure illustrations...it will seem esoteric and magical to the viewer, even if it is just a recipe on how to make silima.

I'm thinking that Tengwar will have a similar affect to alchemic symbols:
 

Ray Burns

Active Member
Feanor's Lab.jpg
Something like this? This is really crude. Give me a few hours on Photoshop and you'd think that writing was on parchment hanging from the walls. And I take no credit for the elvish and don't know what it translates to, I was just wanting to give one idea for a corner of Feanor's lab.
 

MithLuin

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Staff member
I have no idea how to work Maglor and Turgon into this story. Maglor should do something musical, obviously (though Ray's suggestion of having Maglor be the first to see the silmarils is fine, we need to introduce him before that scene). And...Turgon eventually married Elenwë? We know she's a Vanya, but other than that know very little about her.

Celegorm hunting with Oromë and young Galadriel denying her uncle Fëanor a lock of her hair are fairly clear scenes to me. Maglor and Turgon? Much less clear. Unless they are both tag-alongs to a Maedhros and Fingon scene.
 
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Haakon

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Since Turgon builds Gondolin in memory of Tirion, we should show his love for their city. Maybe Turgon and Maglor races to the top of Ingwë's tower...and then Maglor sings from the top balcony.
It's not much, but it's something. :)
 

MithLuin

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Staff member
Not a bad start - we could even do that in the previous episode, since they'd be more 'kids' there.

I was wondering if we should work Aredhel into this episode? She is the same age as Galadriel, and they are the only two granddaughters of Finwë. So, if blond Galadriel is showing her spunk in this episode by saying 'no' to Fëanor [I feel the need to point out that this is a strong-willed child refusing to 'give grandpa a kiss' at a family gathering, not him hitting on her], then perhaps dark-haired Aredhel could also be showing the stubbornness of the Noldor women by running off with her older cousins Celegorm and Curufin without any permission. Or something.

That might give Maglor and Turgon something to do, if they have to chase down their wayward younger siblings ;).
 

Ray Burns

Active Member
I like the idea of Maglor and Turgon being the older siblings who are constantly chasing down their younger siblings, but not really chasing them but using it as an excuse to run wild themselves. When Galadriel and Aredhel run off, Maglor and Turgon immediately volunteer to rein them in. But they take their sweet time about it, using it as an excuse to explore. Turgon falls in love with Tirion as he travels and *wink wink* searches for Galadriel and Aredhel through all the nooks and crannies of the city. Maglor often stops along the way during his *wink wink* searches to listen to the poetry and music and spends much of his time duplicating and, eventually, surpassing what he has heard. Eventually Maglor and Turgon "find' Galadriel and Aredhel and they share tales of what they learned and saw that day.

Maybe it's on one of these 'adventures' that Feanor runs into Galadriel and Aredhel and it is in the middle of the public square that Galadriel denies Feanor's request. Or, Galadriel relates the tale of her meeting to Maglor and Turgon and Maglor creates a song praising the 'pluck' of Galadriel that goes viral (or whatever passes for viral in Valinor) so that, soon, everyone knows what Galadriel did (which won't help Feanor's temper much), but also starts Maglor's reputation as a poet and singer.

The meetings of the four would be a great combination of character development and a device to bring the audience up to speed on events.
 

MithLuin

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Staff member
Galadriel and Aredhel are, of course, not Maglor's siblings. Maglor would likely have his hands full if he's given responsibilities for his 5 younger brothers, though, so same idea. There is no clear indication that Galadriel and Aredhel are friends with one another, but I certainly wouldn't mind if we went that direction.

I do like the idea of the cousins and half-cousins running wild in Tirion, going exploring, and having scenes with each other that don't directly involve their parents.

Siblings - Fingon, Turgon*, Aredhel^ (children of Fingolfin and Anairë)
and their full cousins Finrod*, Aegnor^, Angrod*, and Galadriel^ (children of Finarfin and Eärwen)
and their half-cousins Maedhros, Maglor*, Celegorm^, Curufin*, Caranthir^, Amrod and Amras (sons of Fëanor and Nerdanel).
(Not to mention that Finarfin's kids have cousins in Alqualondë - Eärwen's brothers' kids)

There are friendships across these families - Fingon and Maedhros are best buds forever, and Celegorm and Curufin are friends with Aredhel. Finrod seems to get along with Fingon and Maedhros somewhat (he is on a hunting trip with them when he meets Bëor) and also Turgon (they are travelling together when they get the dreams for Nargothrond and Gondolin). All of the sons of Finarfin get along with the sons of Fingolfin, IIRC, which explains them going into Exile when Finarfin backs out of the rebellion.

And lest it sound too much like everyone is buddy-buddy except for Fingolfin and Fëanor, I have to also point out that Caranthir and Angrod really don't like each other at all. And....Galadriel and Aredhel are very....SEPARATE, for being the only two granddaughters.


* indicates wife/gf who may be introduced, but maybe not. The only one we need 100% by the end of the season is Turgon's wife Elenwë of the Vanyar (and their child Idril). Finrod's lady love Amarië of the Vanyar will show up early next season when she refuses to go with him into exile, so likely will appear at the Feast at the end of this season as his girlfriend. Curufin's wife is totally unknown, but Celebrimbor comes from somewhere, and this is his last chance to meet Fëanor. Angrod's wife Eldalotë in a Noldo. Maglor's wife is totally unknown.
^indicates someone who *must* be single at the time of the Darkening of Valinor (ie, they will have romantic stories later). Caranthir is iffy, but people consider his interest in Haleth a rough attempt at courting and thus keeping him single until then is probably preferred.
You will note that neither Fingon nor Maedhros is listed as having a romantic interest at this time, nor a story for later. IF Fingon were to be Gil-galad's father (rather than Orodreth), that would be different. The fandom has already decided, of course, that they are too into each other to notice anyone else.
 
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MithLuin

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Are we going to show Fëanor putting something of himself into the Silmarils, the way Sauron will put something of himself into the Ring?

The silmarils have captured the light of the Trees, of course, so showing Fëanor capturing/harnessing treelight so that the gems glow with their own light will be important. But...should this in some way diminish him, take something of his own fire?

It might just be hubris or hyperbole when he tells the Valar that breaking the silmarils will kill him....but Aulë at least seems to take that seriously, and reminds the other Valar that they don't know what they're asking of Fëanor. We went to a lot of pains to show Míriel putting too much of her spirit into Fëanor - could we do something similar with Fëanor putting something of his 'spirit of fire' into the silmarils...and that's why he can only make 3? [Analogy - most people can give a pint of blood without any trouble, assuming they are adults, not anemic and weigh over 115 lbs. But most people can't safely give 3 pints of blood.....]

Does he use his actual blood in the forging, or is that too blood magic occulty? We don't want the silmarils to be creepy - they're not only beautiful, but also 'holy' in a way.

Thoughts?
 

Haakon

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Staff member
Good thoughts. I agree that blood might seem a little creepy. What if it's his tears? His pity, his sorrow, and perhaps his ability to cry? He cries into the Silmarils, like he has cried for Míriel, and like Nienna cried when the Trees were created.
 

ouzaru

Well-Known Member
Can I play devil's advocate for a second? Why do we want to show in any detail the making of the Silmarils? I appreciate Nick's point that "It's hard" is not a reason we shouldn't do it, but I think the opposite question "Why bother?" is a fair one. One of the effects of the Silmarils' sudden appearance in the book is that they're quite miraculous, not unlike the Two Trees, and quite a shocking, apparently serendipitous nail in the coffin of "Who is the Greatest Elf of All?". I don't necessarily think that such a point is a huge one to lose, especially since we're going to spend a lot more time looking closely at Feanor and ought to have a sufficiently nuanced understand of his Greatness, but I do feel inclined to ask the question "What do we get out of giving screen time to the creation of the Silmarils", not the least reason being I have no idea what the answer is to that. What are we going to learn about Feanor from this that makes it the best vehicle for delivering that lesson?

The only thing that springs immediately to mind is really leaning into the "Spirit of Fire" angle? A unique and nuanced presentation of obsession? Nerdanel is maybe privy to his tireless labor to be an audience surrogate? We can draw some parallels with Miriel in the aftermath of Feanor's birth, but instead of waning, Feanor grows stronger, mirthful, more appreciative of life? I feel like the message really ought to be pretty muddled, that he should seem obsessed to the point of mania but that it doesn't have an immediately deleterious effect on his health, or his relationships, perhaps even the opposite?
 

ouzaru

Well-Known Member
Good thoughts. I agree that blood might seem a little creepy. What if it's his tears? His pity, his sorrow, and perhaps his ability to cry? He cries into the Silmarils, like he has cried for Míriel, and like Nienna cried when the Trees were created.
That seems altogether inappropriate for the kind of elf that Feanor is, although the does seem to be something to tying the Silmarils to Miriel in some way.

Maybe he has never cried over Miriel, and fancies himself unique in that strange suffering as he is exceptional among the Eldar in so many other ways? And this is the only time he ever cries over her, in an attempt to rid himself of a sorrow no one but perhaps his father can relate to, but that is nevertheless what he knows as "normal"? I feel like it is important that we leave his feelings over Miriel unresolved. It would give us a pretty plausible and direct source for some of Feanor's more extreme behavior.

Edit: This is also a really good argument for showing the making on screen, if we're trying to get at the root of some of Feanor's flaws through his relationship with his mother, connecting the Silmarils to Miriel's death seems economical and narratively "right" to me.
 
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Haakon

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I kind of bounced at your strong expression against my idea...
But I think I was a bit sloppy when I wrote it. I think that we can agree that Fëanor doesn't cry a lot over Míriel. I mean if he does, it's not in public and he doesn't spend too much time crying. Most of his crying would be done during his childhood and then he should make himself hard and focus on creating things.

What if he runs into some problems while working on the Silmarils. He's not progressing. Maybe he goes to Yavanna or Nienna or in some other way tries to find out more about the trees in detail. And he learns or is reminded of the tears of Nienna. And this gives him the idea to put tears into his creation. So he opens to his grief over Míriel which has been locked in for years, and cries tears which he uses in his creation.
 

ouzaru

Well-Known Member
I kind of bounced at your strong expression against my idea...
But I think I was a bit sloppy when I wrote it. I think that we can agree that Fëanor doesn't cry a lot over Míriel. I mean if he does, it's not in public and he doesn't spend too much time crying. Most of his crying would be done during his childhood and then he should make himself hard and focus on creating things.

What if he runs into some problems while working on the Silmarils. He's not progressing. Maybe he goes to Yavanna or Nienna or in some other way tries to find out more about the trees in detail. And he learns or is reminded of the tears of Nienna. And this gives him the idea to put tears into his creation. So he opens to his grief over Míriel which has been locked in for years, and cries tears which he uses in his creation.
The trouble I have with this is that it's too... healthy? Like, for me the right angle is not reaching out and pulling from elsewhere, using a support network to work through his grief. I would want the Silmarils to be sort of externalizations and crystallizations of his improperly and incompletely mourned grief, rather than give him an avenue to work through it, which means it needs to be a solo effort.

Maybe he starts the whole process after running into Melkor skulking around his mother's body?
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Yes I do think it should be a solo effort, as you say. The creation of the Silmarils is done behind closed doors, and no one sees him cry when the moment comes. And I do agree that it should not mean that he has worked through his grief. It's more like he opens the bottle and pours it out and then puts the stopper back, even harder this time.

EDIT: But I think he could do it in a way that is a bit healthy, after all. It could have a touch of healthy coping to it. It could be the last really healthy thing he does, perhaps. I think it would add a nice tragic touch to his downfall.
 
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Haakon

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I think he could begin the process after running into Melkor, as long as it doesn't look like he (Fëanor) is forseeing Melkor killing the Trees.

The connection between his grief and the making of the Silmarils is important...but we mustn't forget that he is trying to match the beauty of the Trees; it is hubris. He is driven by the ambition to match the work of the Gods. We need to find a way to show both of these things.
 

MithLuin

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Staff member
Did we really just ask, 'Why should we bother showing the creation of the silmarils in a show called The Silmarillion'?

No, I understand that if we show Fëanor disappear into his workroom and later appear with these glowing jewels, they will be introduced to the audience. The process is meant to explore Fëanor's reason for making them, and allows us to avoid exposition on what they are.

I like tears better than blood. I think the tie-in to the creation of the Trees is a positive connection. I think 'spirit of fire' needs to be part of this, somehow, as well.

We don't know what 'silima' is: we could treat it like some sort of synthetic diamond, but it's not something you could shatter with a hammer (unlike real diamonds, which are extremely hard, but also brittle). It could have the optical properties of quartz. The process of making it could involve extreme heat and pressure (we know the silmaril isn't going to be destroyed by falling into a pit of lava, unlike a certain gold ring). The tie-in to water is a good one. Galadriel's ring of adamant in Nenya, the ring of water, and explains her Mirror (the way Gandalf's ring of fire Narya explains his fireworks). People expect fire-stuff to be red, but the silmarils are clear, like water. Or we could go the fire opal route......
http://www.gemstone.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=125:sapphire&catid=1:gem-by-gem&Itemid=14




 
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Marielle

Well-Known Member
I always imagined the Silmarils to be somehow in the family of fire opals, but more translucent than a typical opal, so that one could "see" the fire/light within them. White light predominately, but with the light fracturing within the crystal to show colors, esp. silver and gold.

... no, how in the **** would I depict that on screen? Not a clue.
 
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