Discussion in 'Episode Questions' started by MithLuin, Jul 14, 2017.
Yeah it would be good to use contrast there.
I understand the reasons for wanting to focus on the White Council but if we are going to integrate that with a story about young Aragorn it needs to fit thematically. Of course we can just hint at it, showing Elrond leaving a scene with Estel because Saruman arrives, or something like that, but that would hardly serve any meaningful purpose. It's either meaningful thematic integration or nothing, I feel.
Also, let's keep in mind that our frame is only getting 3-8 minutes of screen time per episode. That's an average of 5.5 minutes (which is high in my estimation), or 71.5 minutes total (also a bit high). Anything that is going in the frame should fit in about an hour of TV.
I think that taking a good look at the story structure of our frame arc is the next level that we should be looking at this season.
Exactly, the frame is like an episode of its own spread out over the entire season, tying into the storyline and themes of the season as well as the individual episode points.
So, if we're all comfortable with Rivendell as the base for this season, we can probably work in all the ideas about having young Estel wanting to get out into the Wild, Elladan and Elrohir assisting him (but Elladan showing a dark revenge streak), and Elrond being busy with White Council stuff. Somehow, it can all form one story.....(the White Council is the 'big picture' stuff for Elrond, as that is how he interacts with the world outside Rivendell).
Here is the Episode Outline from the first session - it's a rough draft, but we should probably be trying to come up with 13 different mini-events that we could use in the Frame to match these.
1 – Rebellion of Feanor
Non-reaction of Valar
Brief visit to Angband -- Fortification of Thangorodrim
2 – Kinslaying
Osse and Uinen
Death of Olwe
Storm of Uinen
3 – Meanwhile, in Beleriand
Establish Thingol, Melian, and their court
NO Menegroth, living above ground, in Doriath, No Girdle
SNOP details, orcs being prepped for release
Sauron given charge of campaign in South
First orc raids (Mablung and Beleg)
4 – Khazad Ai Menu!
Elves losing and dying
Encounter w dwarves
Divided host of the Noldor
Menegroth given to Elves
Mim tossed, disgruntled
Sauron starts Phase 2 (sneaky)
6 – Girdle of Melian
Phase 2 proceeding (infiltration)
Trouble in the Havens
Girdle goes up
Curse of Mandos
Finarfin turns back
Burning of the Ships
Forgiveness of Finarfin
Setting off across the Helcaraxe
First skirmishes with orcs, victory of Feanor (Dagor-nuin-Giliath)
Humiliation of Gothmog
Green elves, ents!
Crossing the Helcaraxe
Death of Feanor (Gothmog gets his mojo back)
Making of the Sun and Moon
Still Crossing the Helcaraxe
Arrival from Helcaraxe, Rising of the Moon
Death of Denethor, slaughter of Green elves
13 – Despair and Hope
Capture of Maedhros (Fake Parley)
Rising of the Sun
Arrival of Fingolfin in Mithrim
Messengers arrive to Thingol, telling of Noldor
So frame episodes could involve
E1: Establishing Estel's feeling of being kept in Rivendell against his will or being constrained. Possible conflicts with Gilraen and/or Elrond
E2: Estel running away but getting lost or hurting himself. The twins are sent to find him and do so.
E3: As the White Council shall meet in Rivendell, and Elrond wants Estel out of the way for various reasons, the twins take him on a field trip. Unfortunately they encounter orcs.
E4: Continuing the field trip, Estel and the twins meet some dwarves and Estel learns something about their ways.
E5: Another encounter with orcs, this time with dwarves to help.
E6: Back at Rivendell, Estel finds that his mother isn't all pleased with his field trip.
E8: In one of these episodes, Estel finds the broken sword and is fascinated.
E10: He (Estel) should make another field trip. Maybe the second one should be more adventurous and contain the orc encounters. Or the second one is about him meeting some of his own people (without getting hints of his heritage)
Oh well, I ran out of ideas for now.
We could, with either episode 12 or 13, whichever one has Maedros going to the fake parley, work in Estel spying on a White Council meeting: I'm thinking the one where Saruman rebukes Gandalf for smoking, and Gandalf does the taunt with the smoke ring in response. I know that scene is a bit problematic for Corey, given that it contradicts Gandalf's thinking about Saruman in the published LotR, but I have an idea that might work. Hear me out. What if Gandalf is not calling out Saruman's desire for the Ring, but merely for control and order? The scene could go something like this:
S. calls out G. for smoking, calling it disruptive. G. laughs, and says it's fine. S. is annoyed that his orders were disobeyed. G. gives him a pointed look, blows a smoke ring, and says:
"Careful, S. For sometimes even the great and wise may find their desires thwarted, and to grasp too eagerly that which is beyond your reach" grabs at the smoke ring, and it disintegrates, "may be to its ruin, if not your own."
Cue switch to Maedros agreeing to go to parley in exchange for silmaril.
Also, how set in stone is the order of these episodes? I'd argue that our current episode 7 (curse of Mandos, Finarfin turns back) should come before our current episode 3 ("meanwhile in Beleriand"). I'm on record here thinking that I want the Doriath, green elves, et. al. episodes to happen while the Noldor are sailing to M. E., to help convey the sense of time. I really think it'll look like a 3-hour plane ride if they set sail at the end of one episode and burn the Ships the next.
I tried to argue for that during the session, and agree with you.
Glad there was someone there to argue our position! I couldn't make the beginning of the session, and even when I did join, my connection was terrible. Hardly heard every third word, so gave up.
It's funny Corey didn't seem to think of that, considering how much he teases the PJ films for their lack of any sense of scale...
Corey did seem to agree, though. I don't know why it didn't turn out that way. My connection was off at times as well.
Not set in stone, but this is the draft we're working with. I think those concerns should be raised again, and we'll see where it goes.
I think the logic of switching to Beleriand just then is based on the idea that 'nothing much happens' while the Noldor are making their way north up the coast of Aman. And so, it's a good point to cut away and just rejoin them later without any time spent on that journey - just a quick check-in in Episode 4.
But I do agree that we want the Sea-crossing to take time, so we should spend some time with the host of Fëanor on the boats, not just have them leave and *poof* arrive. Maedhros is going to stand up to his father when they land, so it seems to me there should be some build up to that, with the different brothers on different ships having a different view of what is happening, and whoever is on Fëanor's ship maybe noticing the guy is heading closer to crazy-town.
Haakon, I like your suggestions, and am hoping to add some Dunedain to Estel's encounters outside of Rivendell. Maybe instead of dwarves? Meeting humans would be a 'cultural event' that could be analogous to the Sindar meeting the dwarves, and the foreign-ness of it would drive home Gilraen's point that she didn't want her son raised as an elf. Estel has seen Men before, of course, but as visitors to Rivendell. Seeing them in their own home rather than as guests would be new to him.
Of course, there's reason to have dwarves on the road between the Blue Mountains and the Lonely Mountain, so...we can have dwarves, too, if we want them. Recall that Estel met Bilbo (and the dwarves) in Season 1.
Yes I'm not married to using Dwarves, I actually like the idea of Estel meeting Dunedain much better. Since we have only a few minutes per episode for the frame, we should keep the story as clean as possible, and this time it should be about him coming of age and gaining some skills and self confidence in the wild. Dwarves aren't necessary for that and should be excluded. Spying on the White Council would still be possible I think.
I agree seeing his own people would be more important: we could, if we're clever, tie it in with some of the Noldor's culture shock when they return to M. E.
But we've given Estel the elven pov and introduced him to the dwarven; Men is the big hole left in his educational resume.
Another thing I would like to see in the Frame this season is the Noldolante performed in the Hall of Fire in Rivendell, and someone making a big deal about doing that in Elrond's house. It would somewhat prefigure Bilbo's cheek in making the Lay of Earendil.
I really wish we could have saved the fostering of Estel in Rivendrll to parallel the fostering of Turin in Menegroth. But I suppose there's no way to make that work.
Ok, before we go too far here, I just want to divide up our "Acts" for the S03 main plotline.
I'm looking at it as a three-car story, since leaving our A-plot storyline for a whole act makes no sense. (I'm not super-thrilled leaving them behind for more than an episode, but what can you do?)
Episode 2 (Pinch Point - Kinslaying [Should really happen in third episode.]
Episode 7 (Midpoint - Curse of Mandos)
Episode 8 (Pinch Point - Burning of the Ships)
Episode 13 (Climax - [This is why the parley would need to happen in Episode 13])
This arc is a bit jacked up, but it is workable. But remember that similar points in the frame arc need to match this.
I think the wish to make Curse of Mandos the Midpoint could be the reason why that happens that late in the season, right?
As to Nick's comment about the Kinslaying happening in e2 rather than in e3, I can see that... I'm always open to messing about with these things. I could see a e1 that's twice the normal length in which the Kinslaying is the climax. Then we can make the Curse of Mandos the pinch in e3. The Midpoint could be the the act of leaving Fingolfin behind, and the next pinch is the burning.
Well, the reason the Curse happens so late in the season is because it actually opens up the plot, as evidenced by Finarfin turning back. A "pinch" does the opposite, which is why the burning and the Kinslaying fit the pinch model so well. Fëanor's actions limit what can happen moving forward and drive the story in a very particular direction.
I've gone over this in more detail with a few tweaks over on the previous session' s thread, because I have some major concerns about the dissonant notes of tension our arcs are hitting.
Thank you Nick for your patience with me not following the storytelling concept. If you don't mind, I will keep on trying ideas that don't necessarily fit that model. In the end, I think it'll be good for the process.
The Curse might open up, but to be honest I really don't like its position so far into the season. It is the reaction to the Oath and the Noldor leaving, and should logically come closer to them leaving after the Kinslaying.
I can’t remember if this has been discussed yet, but what age is Estel in this season? Is he, say, 13, or more like 17 or 18? I think it changes how we portray his attitude; I lean toward having him a little older.
In thinking about this season’s frame, I wonder if it is too early to focus on Estel wanting to get out of Rivendell. He will be there for several more seasons until Arwen comes into the picture. Since I don’t think Elrond would force him to stay, if we focus on his desire to leave too early, the audience will then wonder why he hangs around for several more years. I like the idea of playing up his restlessness and desire to leave in S5 (or whenever we end up doing Beren/Luthien) where he can feel pulled in different directions as he starts to have feelings for Arwen.
Maybe, instead of running away, he leaves because Elrond, for the first time, lets him accompany the twins on some important mission outside. That would be a big deal for him. Then he lets it go to his head a little bit and has to learn a lesson.
I’m inclined to postpone his meeting the Dunedain until next season, simply because there are no humans in the main story yet. We could make meeting the Dunedain, and Estel beginning to wrestle with being a man in a world of elves, the central them of S4, when the first encounters of elves and men is a key feature of the main plot.
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