Session 3.10 - S 3 Ep 5: Menegroth

Discussion in 'Episode Questions' started by MithLuin, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. MithLuin

    MithLuin Well-Known Member

    Announcement: Session 3.10 will be held next week on Friday Nov. 10th.

    1. What happens in the next episode?
    2. What is Círdan up to?
    3. Do we get battles with orcs? How does Boldog distinguish himself?
    4. Do we want to check in with the Noldor?
    Regarding number 1, we know we have the petty-dwarves being evicted from Menegroth, and we know Boldog is heading south. But we do need a story for why Thingol wants to move into Menegroth and what order of events play out.
  2. MithLuin

    MithLuin Well-Known Member

    I am of the strong opinion that if we check in with the Noldor here, it is *solely* to have the scene that the hosts wanted to have in Episode 3, of Fingolfin and Fëanor meeting after the storm, and Fingolfin breaking his sword. That was a bit too much Noldor content for the 'Meanwhile, in Beleriand' Episode, so I'd be comfortable shifting it forward rather than including it there.

    But if that stays where it is, then let's just stay in Beleriand.....
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  3. Marielle

    Marielle Well-Known Member

    I agree. Not just that it's too much Noldor content in the episode, but not enough time has past for that to make sense for Fingolfin's temper. Reflection doesn't usually immediately follow a fierce fight and sudden storm. Giving Fingolfin an episode & 1/2 to calm down and think lets the emotions and reactions breathe a little bit [side note: characters jumping stages of anger/grief/surprise/horror to get to the reaction the author/creator wants them to get to is actually a pet peeve of mine. Almost nothing character-wise pulls me out of the story faster].

    2. Cirdan. Do we want to have the werewolves attack the havens here? We've got the setup with Orcs and Sauron in the south, and the beginnings of the alliance with the dwarves. The loss of the Havens seems an obvious way to really get the ball moving for the actual plot of Beleriand this season.

    So perhaps we begin with sacking of Havens, Cirdan and people driven to their ships. Thingol is visiting Azaghal, admiring his city and palace, news reaches him of disaster. He laments that his people have no stronghold in which to defend themselves. Azaghal has a "well, actually..." moment, decides to give the caves already technically in Thingol's territory to him.

    EDITED TO ADD: now that I think about it, what about making Azaghal and Thingol good friends? It would prevent Thingol from appearing to be simply racist in his future quarrel with the dwarves.
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  4. MithLuin

    MithLuin Well-Known Member

    Azaghal seems to be a solid, stand-up guy who makes friends well.

    Telchar, a dwarf of Nogrod, gives him the Dragon-helm, even though he is king of Belegost. We know that the dwarves of Nogrod and Belegost are on friendly terms, but this is one of the few concrete examples of that.

    When Maedhros intervenes to save Azaghal's life, Azaghal responds by gifting him the Dragon-helm and then later joining the Union of Maedhros and showing up with a dwarvish force that protects the Fëanoreans' retreat. In other words, he's a solid ally who does not take loyalty lightly.

    He personally stabs Glaurung, and would have killed the dragon, had his sword been longer. Despite being king, he's still a leader who fights himself (unlike someone like Thingol).

    His people mourn his death profoundly (and in the middle of a battle). He was obviously a well-loved leader. And his enemies (the hosts of Morgoth?!) respect that procession enough not to interfere. So, even in death, he commands *that* level of respect!

    So yes, if *any* dwarf could pull off a friendship with the Sindar, I would think it would be Azaghal. He should be able to earn Thingol's trust and 'do him a solid' by telling him about the caves of Menegroth. And it's a practical choice, as he has to recognize that these caves are already in Thingol's territory, so of no use to the dwarves anyway.
  5. Faelivrin

    Faelivrin Well-Known Member

    And they actually retreated to Dolmed and probably Belegost itself.

    I think rather that the hosts of Morgoth feared to interfere with a Dwarven funeral procession. Dwarves are probably very serious about their dead and you don't want the already angry Dwarves to get even angrier. And hadn't Azaghal just sent Glaurung howling back to Angband? That's kinda scary.

    Definitely. Plus it's a way to replace those undersized weirdos that nobody liked anyway with solid allies and trading partners, as neighbors.

    ...yeah, I mean the mountain Dwarves are offended when they learn the Sindar killed some Petty-Dwarves, but they evidently have few compunctions about violently evicting them with their own hands...

    How violent do we want the mountain Dwarves to be towards Petty-Dwarves? Show up in superior numbers and drag them out by their beards? Unsubtly threaten violence? Beat them up? Actually kill some? The Petty-Dwarves won't give up their homes without a fight, I think, unless they know they're outnumbered and out-armed (who would?). Should the eviction remind the audience of the Kinslaying, and in what way -- by being quite similar, or showing the mountain Dwarves to be less violent than the Feanorians? How sympathetic do we want the mountain Dwarves to be, how unsympathetic or sympathetic should the Petty Dwarves be, and how shocking and surprising should it be when the Dwarves later turn on Thingol and destroy Doriath?

    I feel like we should steer well away from the evil Dwarf vibe of the early, pre-Hobbit texts. I get the impression Dwarves don't normally kill each other. But we also shouldn't sugar-coat the way the Petty-Dwarves lose their land to colonizers. They can be violent creeps and still we can give Mim legitimate reasons for grievance when Turin meets him.

    Is Thingol aware that Menegroth was stolen from Petty-Dwarves? I'm certain Finrod wouldn't have accepted Nargothrond if he'd known, but I am not entirely certain about Thingol -- his people were at war with them at first, after all. If we were including the Dwarf-Sindar fighting in this adaptation, by now there might be very few left alive in the Thousand Caves anyway.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
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  6. MithLuin

    MithLuin Well-Known Member

    One request from the session today was to come up with an Orkish/Black Speech name for Morgoth. What do the denizens of Angband call him? Obviously they can't call him Morgoth - that's Fëanor's name for him. And 'Bauglir' means 'tyrant', so while accurate, probably not his preferred name. But Melkor doesn't really fit now, either.

    There could be some hints in Sauron's Morgoth-cult on Numenor. One of the things the high priest Sauron has the Numenoreans call Morgoth is 'the Lord of All'. It sounds like the kind of title Melkor would appreciate - it's a little blasphemous and challenges Manwë's rule. 'Lord of Arda' or 'the Dark Lord' could also work.

    Obviously, we know only a very little Black Speech, and it was invented by Sauron well after the First Age. But. His Black Speech was based on Melkor's attempt to give the orcs a common language ('Orkish'), and was ultimately based on his own native tongue (Valarin). And very luckily, here is part of the corpus for the Black Speech:

    Lugbúrz = the Dark Tower


    durbatulûk = 'to rule them all'

    So, we have búrz = dark

    and durb-at-ul-ûk = rule-(infinitive)-them-[completely]

    You can turn an adjective into a noun with -um (burzum = darkness), but I don't know how to make the verb 'rule' into the noun 'ruler'

    It would be nice to be able to say either 'the Dark Lord' or 'the Lord of All' in the Black Speech, but as far as I know, Tolkien did not tell us that.

    I don't suppose anyone here knows anything about the Hittite language? It is a non-IndoEuropean language that has some commonalities with the Black Speech (according to Alexandre Nemirovsky), so Hurrian-Urartian would probably be as good a place as any to look for parallels. We can always claim it's Morgoth's version (distinct from Sauron's version) anyway.

    [Oh...and obviously, I looked all of this up on Ardalambion; ]

    EDIT: Well, thanks to the internet, I found an Hurrian-Uratian glossary, which was apparently all the rage back in the 1940s. I have to agree that these words look like they would fit right in with Black Speech. There is totally a tribe of orcs somewhere whose dialect is (essentially) Hittite.

    arš-u-, rule
    (LÚ)ere/i-li, king
    eur-i, lord, ruler
    ibir-ani, whole, complete, full
    nul-du-, overpower, rule

    It is cool what you can learn about what matters to people, in what bits of their language got preserved. They cared about whether or not land had water on it. Guess they lived somewhere arid....

    But anyway, their word for lord/ruler was euri, so I figure we incorporate that into what we already have. (And do you leave off the -i in nominative case? I don't even know how to read this glossary....)

    So, Durbibúrz or something would be Dark Lord, right? Sounds pretty dumb. *sigh* I feel like there are enough pieces here to do something cool that still sounds harsh and unlovely. Ah well.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
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  7. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    I’d like to see the beginning of the dark campaign with Boldog moving south happening at the very end of the episode. Before that, we need to see Sauron realising that the Sindar are disappearing. We could also show his meeting with Shelob. In the session yesterday Corey implied that we perhaps shouldn’t show it but since we’re a bit out of story I think it would be a pity to miss it.
    We should also see Thingol summoning all of his people to Menegroth. I mean all. This means that I suggest that he wants Círdan to come. Círdan says no of course but this makes it clear that Círdan and the Falathrim are in potential danger. We should visit Círdan one time before that as well to show him hand over pearls that Sindar give to the Dwarves. We see Menegroth and smithing.
    The whole episode will be a race against time - will the elves be ready when Morgoth releases his hosts?
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  8. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    Two thoughts:

    A. Could the Green Elves arrive at the end of the episode - looking like allies who could potentially tip the scales in favour of the Sindar-Dwarf alliance?

    B. Could someone - an elf or a dwarf - have ventured north and seen evidence of a mass invasion? I feel it’s a problem that the alliance doesn’t know what’s coming, in a way. Or Melian could hint danger is coming, like ‘Morgoth’s wrath is growing. He will not let Beleriand have peace for much longer’ Well that could be problematic I guess.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  9. Haerangil

    Haerangil Well-Known Member

    In lost tales the orcs call him " goth" ... But that might invoke more recent subcultures to our audience.

    I'm not convinced by those theories about the black speech... Tolkien's black speech & orcish have elements from many languages including english, arabian, old norse and gaelic...

    Ruler should be durub, black burz or mur... Duruburz or murdurub could be titles meaning dark lord. The orcs of mordor however called sauron shakhburz, dark lord... So shakh is another term for lord, maybe hur was too..,
  10. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    Murdurub sounds good but maybe they could call Morgoth Shakhburz as well. Does it matter that Sauron is called by that name later?
  11. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    1. Dwarves and Sindar make weapons and armour. A skirmish in the north with fiercer orcs makes them intensify their efforts. Judging by the orcs’ equipment, the Dark Lord is mustering a powerful army. The idea to move to Menegroth is presented.
    2. Menegroth is being established. Dwarves and Sindar work side by side and Thingol sends word to all of his people to come. A group of Petty-Dwarves is discovered and are kicked out on the recommendation of the Dwarves who say they bring bad luck. Círdan says he won’t come to Menegroth, whatever the risks.
    Thuringwethil says a lot of Elves cannot be found as easily as before. Sauron decides it’s time to attack Beleriand. But first he meets Shelob and makes a deal with her.
    3. Boldog leads a host of orcs south and enters Beleriand. A group of elves cross into southern Beleriand with a group of Ents.
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  12. Faelivrin

    Faelivrin Well-Known Member

    Haakon it appears you are suggesting a merging of Eps 5 and 6 of your previous outline (quoted):

    5. Safe Haven. Mim ejected from Menegroth and construction begins. Dwarves make weapons. Eöl and dwarves. Angband: Boldog sent south under Sauron's command. I think this might be moved to e6; we should show Sauron's scouts searching for Sindar who have disappeared.

    6. Distant Cousins. The Green Elves and Ents arrive in Beleriand. I think Sauron's military campaign should begin at this point, he should send orcs under Boldog south between Doriath and Blue Mts., which will eventually lead to battle at/around Amon Ereb. He will himself lead wolves and werewolves south to the west of Doriath. We can discuss of course how far they get this eisode and at which point in time they should encounter elves, but given the magnitude of the campaign and the previous lack of story in this episode, it could fit here.

    Are you making more room so later events can take more time? Also you had suggested Sauron meets with Shelob in ep. 4 -- did the execs decide to delay it?
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  13. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    Well Thuringwethil meets Shelob in e4 but not Sauron.
  14. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    I yes to a degree. The execs want Boldog to go south this episode but I’m thinking we just see the beginning of it now, but combine it with the first appearance of the Lindi.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  15. Faelivrin

    Faelivrin Well-Known Member

    So then will we return to the Noldor in ep. 6 instead of ep. 7?

    This looks like a sped-up timeline; has Morgoth returned to Angband at this point? In The Silmarillion there's a fairly long time period after the first Orcs come to Beleriand when there isn't a war going on, before Morgoth himself returns. The Orcs were exploring and scouting, but not yet invading.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  16. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, Morgoth is already in Middle-earth. Yes, it’s a sped-up timeline.
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  17. MithLuin

    MithLuin Well-Known Member

    I did not mean to suggest that the Black Speech was just a re-hash of Hittite. Of course it's its own invented language, with unique traits. It does seem, though, that some of the sounds and grammar are a good match, so there's at the very least a passing similarity between the two. And since our Black Speech corpus is so limited, we have to draw from *something* for inspiration if we're going to make stuff up. So, why not that? Seems as good a basis as any. But I am of course open to other suggestions.

    And, to be honest, I feel like 'the Dark Lord' is such an overused title for bad guys that if we're going to use it, I want to use it in another language...for variety's sake, if nothing else. I would be perfectly content if no one ever calls Morgoth 'the dark lord' in English onscreen. Sauron, yes, of course - that is meant to be the commonly used epithet for him, and I'm not trying to change that.

    Morgoth just seems like more of a 'King of the Universe' kinda guy. He'd...demand a fancier title. Perhaps.
  18. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    I’m not an expert at all on the languages and should probably leave this to you guys, but based on what you’ said so far, could they call Morgoth Shakhatulûk? Or did I just misunderstand black speech completely?

    Maybe we should just call him Khatulu...
  19. Haerangil

    Haerangil Well-Known Member

    Cthulhu reference!

    Shakathuluk would mean " to lord them all" in black speech - which doesn't exist yet. Though i would admit that melkian or angbandian orcish could be in some way seen as proto- bs perhaps.

    Morgoth would want to be called " radiant one" ... Or " great lord and master" ... Such a thing.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  20. Faelivrin

    Faelivrin Well-Known Member

    So they are NOT going "back" at all to show the Sindar having a long time of peace living in Middle-earth?

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