Session 3.04 - S3 Ep 1: The Rebellion of the Noldor

Discussion in 'Episode Questions' started by MithLuin, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. MithLuin

    MithLuin Well-Known Member

    This episode will be the rebellion of the Noldor in the torch-lit square of Tirion. The debate culminates in the Oath of Fëanor.
    Frame: Aragorn wants to leave Rivendell. News arrives that Sauron has declared himself openly in Mordor, so Gilraen is adamant that her son stay hidden in Rivendell - no field trips! Aragorn sneaks out anyway.

    Questions for Next Time

    1) How are we going to handle Nerdanel?

    2) What is Galadriel going to do?

    3) Who else should participate in the public scene?
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  2. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    Just a quick thought before really thinking this through: we could choose to show this through the eyes of the women. Totally get into Nerdanel and how she doesn't get Fëanor and can't reach him and ends up rejecting him, leaving him with a bitter, broken heart. And as a contrast, Galadriel, who is in some kind of conflict about what to do, desiring to go to Middle-earth and feeling the fire of Fëanor's words but at the same time she's a bit taken aback by the fierceness and almost mindless hatred, but still ending up choosing to go along and go into exile.
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  3. Marielle

    Marielle Well-Known Member

    This could work, but I'm not sure I want her taken aback. We have Nerdanel for the negative reaction, along with her mother and sisters in law. I'd put Galadriel more in her aunt Irime's camp: furious and ready for blood, as well as longing for Middle Earth -- for good and bad reasons.

    Actually, we could have the three women represent the three reactions: Nerdanel seeing the crisis as a call to pause and rethinking; Irime just seeking vengence; and
    Galadriel, wanting vengence, but also seeing an opportunity....

    Remember, everyone we will see talk knew and loved Finwe, and anger is a natural part of grief. The sense of betrayal, too, has been increased by how we depicted Melkor among the Noldor. Galadriel thought she knew Melkor, had sat around while he told her cousins their fortune. Nerdanel did a project with him -- a particularly intimate act, I'd think, for a Noldo. Yes, they're angry, but if we make anyone's position simple, we're losing the internal conflict present in each character. Grief, shock, rage, and betrayal should be clear in each and every speech, no matter which position they advocate.
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  4. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    Quite right, 'taken aback' wasn't a good choice of words. But she should have some mixed feelings I think. She loved Finwë and is appalled by Morgoth's crimes, of course. But just like Nerdanel, she doesn't feel the hatred in the same way as Fëanor and his sons do. And she notices this difference and this makes her react in a way that shows us that the Oath is problematic.
    (She could look frustrated at times during Fëanor's speech for example. She and Finarfin could talk later)
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
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  5. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    I really don't want to make people's positions simple. If I gave you that idea, it was a misunderstanding.
  6. MithLuin

    MithLuin Well-Known Member

    Irime for one definitely needs to be showcased during the debate in the square in Tirion. She is unequivocally on Fëanor's side. She is angry, and wants vengeance for the death of her father Finwë, and she is ready to march to Middle Earth and wring Morgoth's neck for this. Of course, she isn't going to make it past Alqualondë, but I think we need to hear her voice in this very public forum before all of that happens. She should be the grief-and-vengeance voice that has *nothing* to do with the silmarils.

    ...which is awkward, because of course Galadriel is supposed to be the *only* one of the female Noldor to speak out here and now.

    I would not give Nerdanel a public voice. I think her reactions should be very clear based on body language alone. She doesn't need a microphone for everyone there to know what she thinks of all of this. If she is going to remonstrate with Fëanor at all, it would be before he marches into the square, or after the Oath. She has given up trying to stop him by now.
  7. Richol Richards

    Richol Richards Active Member

    Definitely agree with this. Not because she shouldn't have a voice, but I believe her body language would be more meaningful, for lack of a better word. Show vs. tell, that kind of thing...
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  8. Marielle

    Marielle Well-Known Member

    I actually agree with this. Any debate they have should be private, or with only the sons as witness. I'd like the sons to at least know what she thinks of this, so they're not making their choice between mother and father in ignorance. But I agree, her body language probably says plenty.

    Though Corey did say he wanted to give Nerdanel Galadriel 3.0's role...
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  9. Ange1e4e5

    Ange1e4e5 Active Member

    In what way?
  10. Brian Dimmick

    Brian Dimmick Member

    I like the way this lays out the different positions that we will show int he debates. Everyone will feel the loss of Finwe and the trees, and feel anger at Melkor, but they may differ in what the response should be. Even those who are furious may be held back by love and trust of the Valar, and desire to keep the life they have. Some will fear the strength of Melkor in Middle Earth,, while many will be brimming with confidence about what they can do. The same initial reaction can lead people in different directions as they try to understand how to respond.

    I think the initial reaction we should show from almost everyone, before Feanor's speech especially, is shock and disorientation. What has just happened is literally unthinkable to the Noldor. It's not like they have ever thought about a succession plan for Finwe--he's immortal. And they would never have conceived that the Trees could be destroyed or Valinor's safety violated. As time passes (and a fair bit of time does seem to pass between the death of the trees and the speech, time enough for the Noldor to return to Tirion and mourn). As time goes on the Noldor start to recover a little fro their shock and begin to react in different ways. (Not suggesting we devote a lot of time to shocked Noldor wriging their hands in sorrow, and we may want to compress the passage of time a little here to make it seem like the speech/Oath and the rebellion follows very soon after the darkening of Valinor).

    Should we also look in on the Teleri in this episode, and show them reacting differently, without the same kind fo anger and desire for action, to lay the groundwork for the Kinslaying?
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  11. Marielle

    Marielle Well-Known Member

    This made me remember what the execs stressed in the Great Debate last year: that we want some people doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, and vice-versa and kitty-crossed. Some people remaining out of fear would be an example of the former, while someone going along with Feanor because they long for Middle Earth could be an example of the second.

    An interesting idea, but I think we want this episode pretty Noldor-focused, if only to build the suspense. If we don't see the other elves or the Valar, we don't know how they're going to react; could they use force to keep the Noldor in Valinor? Will any other elves join in the rebellion?
  12. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    Should Nerdanel speak up or not?

    She should definitely keep her thoughts to herself while Fëanor is speaking. Most of all because she knows that his fury would only grow stronger if she spoke against him at this point, and even more so if she interrupts him, and because she respects him.

    I don't think she has given up just yet. If she had, she might as well be somewhere else, she would be unnecessary in the scene. (But when he swears the Oath though, that might do it.)

    So we can use her body language during the speech and we can have a scene afterwards with a dispute, short or long.

    Perhaps the most effective protest would be that she simply leaves just after the Oath. She could be standing in a prominent place where everyone can see her clearly, and after the Oath she gives Fëanor a meaningful look and leaves, moving through the crowd. At this time, she could give up.
  13. Brian Dimmick

    Brian Dimmick Member

    Does Nerdanel know what Feanor is going to say before he says it? Does Feanor?

    We could portray this as a spontaneous reaction by Feanor that is fueled by his anger and perhaps goes further than he intended, but I think that is hard to do given the sequence of events and the defiance he has already shown to the Valar in refusing to give them the Silmarils. So probably it is a fully premeditated speech by Feanor.

    If he has this planned otu and doesn't tell Nerdanel in advance, that tells us a lot about their relationship already. Just showing her reacting with surprise like others it he crowd will convey a lot and we can show that surprise turning to dismay.

    On the other hand, they could have a conversation beforehand in which he tells her his intent and she disagrees or tries to dissuade him. (We don't necessarily have to show this on screen; we could have her talking to someone else later and say she tried to change his mind but failed and she fears what is going to happen).
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  14. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    Good thinking! I can see both alternatives working. We could also do something in between - A conversation beforehand in which they discuss parts of what Fëanor is going to say, and then he improvises and goes farther than he had planned. So we know her feelings about some of the stuff and can guess what she feels about the rest.
  15. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    For example, they could discuss his idea to go after Melkor, but then, while speaking, he decides to have people swear an oath. (Or it's something he's been toying with but not spoken about)
  16. Nicholas Palazzo

    Nicholas Palazzo Well-Known Member

    The Oath does seem preplanned in the text, so I'm not sure we want to have it spontaneously appear. I think that we need to consider scenes that lead up to the Oath, because we certainly aren't likely to spend 40 minutes in one scene.
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  17. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    Ok in order to keep the suspense and not reveal the Oath, I suggest a shorter discussion or one not including Fëanor. Nerdanel could talk to someone else about it.
  18. Marielle

    Marielle Well-Known Member

    The ideas do seem preconsidered, if not preplanned, but I think we could tweak that. I could easily see an actor like Armitage playing it like he's working himself up to a frenzy.

    Also think we might need to alter the text, slightly. Below is my suggestion, with acting cues

    "Be he foe... or friend [glancing ominously over the crowd]
    Brood of Morgoth or bright Vala [same facial expression as when he refused to give up the Silmarils]
    Elda or Maia or Aftercomer,
    Man yet unborn upon Middle-Earth
    Neither love nor law nor league of swords*,
    Dread nor danger, not Doom itself [growing in agitation, clenching and unclenching his fists]
    Shall defend him from me or any of my kin**,
    Whosoever hides or hoards, in in hand holds
    Finding, keeps, or casts from our grasp
    A Silmaril.***
    Dead we will deal him ere Day's ending, [almost fae, if not actually pacing than in an attitude of similar agitation]
    Woe until world's ending! In witness hear us****
    Eru Allfather! To the everlasting
    Darkness doom us if in this we fail....*****
    On the holy mountain hear in witness [sarcasm on "holy"]
    and our vow remember,
    Manwe and Varda! [scorn audible in their names]

    *this change because I think it flows in a more logical progression. Love would stay his hand first, then laws, then swords
    **talking in third person about yourself is always weird on screen
    ***modernization of language to make meaning clearer to audience, removal of "this we all swear", for reasons discussed later
    ****modernization of language
    *****modernization of language

    I don't think we can have the sons say it in unison or repeat it back to him line-for-line without it being absurd. But we can have Feanor turn to his family and cry "who will abide this oath with me?" and have each of his sons in turn stand forward and say "I shall." It could be a little hoaky, but I think we could make it work. People tease about the forming of the Fellowship in PJ's film now, but I suspect most people found the scene moving on first viewing.
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  19. MithLuin

    MithLuin Well-Known Member

    We do want the Oath to be a bit of a surprise to the audience, at least. So we're not going to have a scene of the sons standing around trying to memorize it in advance or anything :p I do think the episode will need some setup, with establishing the situation, before Fëanor marches into Tirion. So, we should have an opportunity for Nerdanel to talk with someone before all of that if we want to.

    As written in the text, Fëanor and all 7 of his sons recite the Oath together, suggesting that it was very much premeditated. An alternative is that it was done in a call-and-response format, where his sons just repeat after him as he says it (which would allow it to be a more on-the-spot composition). I feel that just saying 'So swear we all' at the end is not enough for the sons. They are going to spend the next 500 years and all of their moral currency to fulfill this oath. They have to say the words themselves.

    Of course, Fëanor's dying request is to have them renew the Oath, so it's possible we will have the brothers all recite it in unison in that scene in Episode 10 (or whenever), and therefore want to do it differently in the initial scene.

    Personally, I want our soundtrack to have a chanted Quenya version of the Oath set to suitably ominous music. So I'm not going to quibble (too much) over the English translation ;). But I will point out that 'kin' is rather all encompassing of much of the gathering in Tirion, and the only people Fëanor really includes in his Oath are his sons. Celebrimbor does *not* swear the Oath.
    (For more on music stuff, see this thread: )
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  20. Marielle

    Marielle Well-Known Member

    My vote, right now, is for the latter version. Call-and-response feels too ... schoolteachery? It's like they're joining the Boy Scouts, not condemning themselves and those around them to years of fruitless conflict and suffering.

    The renewal at his death, though... that could work. Maybe we need not even repeat the text in full, but his seven (or six) sons surrounding him, weeping, with Maedros holding his bloody hand, and tearfully repeating the oath to him as he lay dying in the mire, each son shown saying a line or two in turn... that could be quite powerful, I think. And that being their last memory of their beloved father could help drive them all the more.
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