Session 3.16 - S3Ep11: The Making of the Sun and the Moon

Discussion in 'Episode Questions' started by MithLuin, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. MithLuin

    MithLuin Well-Known Member

    Note: The next session will be on Friday March 9th.

    Questions for Next Time:
    1. Shadow-demons for Tilion to fight and the attack on the moon - are we including this? How?
    2. How do we convey Fëanor’s knowledge of the futility of the Noldor war against Morgoth?
    3. How do we handle the physical component of the making of the Sun and Moon? How do we transition from a Valar-only scale to an elf POV?
    4. How much combat with spiders precedes the Girdle?
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  2. amysrevenge

    amysrevenge Well-Known Member

    2. I can't see a way other than dialogue. A private chat with Maedhros?
  3. Faelivrin

    Faelivrin Well-Known Member

    1. Flying demons are the easiest and are canon, and would occur in Episode 12 after the Moon rises. But if the Hosts fear that's going to create a "why don't they stop chasing Tilion and help kill the Noldor" problem, we'd have to fall back on the suggestion to make Tilion attack the demons pre-emptively on the Helkaraxe (before they can attack the Noldor) and cause a the first aurora. Or if there's not enough time, we can drop the concept. I'd rather focus on telling a good, solid story with the Noldor (with events in the proper order when possible, see below) than take time out to include a story which, though cool and exciting, isn't directly connected to the rest of the plot.

    2. We would have to show a foresight vision from Feanor's point of view, like we did with Turgon in Episode 8. Feanor purposely withholds his knowledge of the futility of this war from his sons, and demands that they continue to fight against Morgoth, knowing he's dooming them. But perhaps also fearing that they'll actually go to the Void if they give up, due to the Oath.

    3. There are the long descriptions in the Lost Tales, but we should be careful how much of that we use because the conception of the Valar and their relations to each other were so different in the Lost Tales. I would at the least not include Tulkas and Aule dropping the Fruit of Noon and splitting it open, or the details of what virin is, or the elf who stows away on the Moon. It should be mythic and amazing, but I think it may be good to avoid showing a lot of technical details that make it look less mythical. Keeping a bit of mystery would be good, I think, if we can do so.

    4. Not much I think. Mostly fleeing in terror, and trying to flee and getting caught and eaten. It should be near the end of the episode.

    I want to put in again my strong request that we move at least a part of the false parley to this episode, and possibly even the capture of Maedhros, so that we can have him on Thangorodrim before the Moon rises. We should keep those events in their proper order, and so it doesn't look like he's only captive for a couple weeks, no big deal. I think it is a big mistake to have him captured after Fingolfin already has arrived in Middle-earth and the Moon has risen. That's too much alteration of the story.

    One possibility is to do it a bit like we did the abandonment of Fingolfin. Episode 11, the false parley is arranged, and Maedhros goes off.... and doesn't come back when expected. His brothers get worried and go to the meeting site, where they find a lot of dead bodies, which don't include their brother. We begin next episode showing what happened from Maedhros' point of view, and end with the Moon rising with him already on Thangorodrim, having already been there long enough to have starved. In between we would know some time is passing due to the Helkaraxe sequence and the whole march across Lammoth and Dor-Daedeloth (which is still actually a rather short time).

    We don't need Maedhros being captured to be a climax of the separate Feanorian story line that happens at the very end, because starting with Episode 12 the Noldorin storylines coalesce back into one single storyline which has its proper climax with Fingolfin's return to Middle-earth and arrival in Mithrim. And if the Feanorians are shown doing anything, we need to make space in the last 2 episodes to show Maglor's poor leadership and decision not to accept Morgoth's demands nor try to rescue Maedhros.

    I think we should at least try to show events in their canonical order, and try to suggest it to the Hosts.

    Also, did Eol already buy Nan Elmoth or was that going to happen after the Girdle is raised? I hope not, because he was busy helping fight against the Orcs in Ep 10. If we move his purchase out of this episode and to the time of the Girdle (Ep 12 or 13) that leaves more room in this episode for the Feanorian story. Especially if the attack on the Moon also occurs after it rises.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
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  4. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    I agree that dropping the idea is a reasonable alternative. If we do want to keep them, we could make them rather mindless or at least simpleminded, so they won’t be interested in moving to another place and fighting another battle. They could even be some kind of ‘local spirits’ and be unable to move, or have similar restrictions, like ‘they can only move in the dark sky or if they descend onto Arda they can only do so in the far North’. I think that we don’t have to get into this kind of detail in our storytelling though and it will be possible to introduce the spirits in a way that conveys their nature without to much explanation.
  5. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    As I understand the situation, the only thing Fëanor has left to do is to die, so this has to be done as he dies. I don’t think it should be in dialogue or Fëanor would end his life telling his sons that they are trapped in adhering to a hopeless oath. I agree that he could have some kind of vision, or experience some kind of internal event. This insight should be something he rejects and refuses to accept and this should result in his fire to burn more intensely and so he dies.
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  6. Nicholas Palazzo

    Nicholas Palazzo Well-Known Member

    If we go with a vision, it could be something like he looks in the eyes of each of his sons, and each time he does, he sees something that prefigures their deaths. Nothing that gives it away, but something that would spark recognition in second-time watchers or those familiar with the text.

    I like this. Fëanor has never had a vision before. It is almost a final attempt on the part of Eru or the Valar to save his sons from the Oath. And it fails.
  7. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, that would be the implication. We don’t have to spell it out and give Ralph Fiennes actual lines but maybe a touch of musical theme or something.
  8. amysrevenge

    amysrevenge Well-Known Member

    He could have that conversation with just Maedhros (or just Amras), who would then have to keep it bottled up inside.
  9. Faelivrin

    Faelivrin Well-Known Member

    I think that hiding this knowledge has to be on Feanor, not one of his sons. I would rather get rid of the idea completely than shift it so that one of his sons knew the war was futile and hid that from his brothers.
  10. amysrevenge

    amysrevenge Well-Known Member

    Maybe. But I always felt like in his heart Maedhros knew it was futile but had to carry on anyway.
  11. Faelivrin

    Faelivrin Well-Known Member

    I'm sure everybody felt that way after the Fifth Battle. But somebody who already thought it was all hopeless wouldn't have started the Union of Maedhros, he would have bunkered down in his fortress and held out as long as possible, as Ulmo tried to tell Orodreth to do.
  12. Erucheb

    Erucheb New Member

    2) So, as I was listening to the last episode, I couldn't help but think that Fëanor's foresight could play really well into Amras' storyline. Here's how the scene plays out in my head:

    In the aftermath of the battle, as Fëanor is being taken back to Mithrim by his sons, Amras comes to Fëanor alone in their camp on the shoulders of Eryd Wethrin. Seeing his father broken, the last of Amras' resolve breaks as well, and he fully comes to believe that the quest for the Silmarils is doomed, and the Oath will destroy them. Amras again bitterly accuses Fëanor of leading the Noldor to their doom. But this time, Fëanor has no words to turn aside the accusation like he did at Losgar. He simply turns away from Amras in silence, and his expression tells us all we need to know: Fëanor knows that his sons will fail. Amras leaves him in disgust. But Fëanor, turning away from his son, sets his eyes toward Thangorodrim and makes his last bitter curse against Morgoth.

    His confrontation by Amras could then be what spurs Fëanor to make his sons swear the Oath again. Maybe he fears that Amras could convince some of them to forsake it. So Fëanor calls Maedhros and Curufin, his eldest and his favorite, to ensure that they hold true to the Oath. Curufin is proud to reaffirm his oath; Maedhros submits reluctantly, but dutifully. They assemble their brothers, and together before their father Maedhros, Maglor, Celegorm, Curufin, and Caranthir swear the Oath once more. Amras stands darkly aside.​

    Now, what to do with this Amras, though? I'm not sure. This could easily, I think, be the Amras who commits suicide after Maedhros is captured -- foreshadowing Maedhros, his suicide would be a forlorn attempt to escape the doom of their Oath. I could just as easily see this Amras being a disillusioned hunter-prince of southern Beleriand who is not found among his brothers until they are forced to flee south after the Nirnaeth Arnoediad (almost like the published version).

    But I also lean towards a very interesting, though dark idea: could Curufin kill Amras? It would certainly have to be secret, but it would cement so many parallels between Fëanor and Curufin (each kills an Ambarussa in fell service to the Oath). Maybe Amras does try to leave for parts unknown, but Curufin follows and kills him, without any of the other brothers knowing. This preserves Amras as a tragic character, it brings the Oath home, it ensures that Fëanorians always die of betrayal, kinslaying, or suicide, and it is a way to prevent a disillusioned Amras from spilling the beans about the Fëanorians to the Sindar -- something Curufin especially might think to forestall. I like the idea of Amras choosing to leave -- my only hesitation is that it might be too dark for Curufin at this stage.
  13. Faelivrin

    Faelivrin Well-Known Member

    I'm absolutely opposed to killing Amros in any way before the Third Kinslaying. He has to be alive to begin that war. I really strongly dislike the idea.

    But your idea of him accusing Feanor of leading them to their doom, and Feanor not disagreeing, is an interesting one. Yet I'm not sure I'd have him actually look away... that would suggest he felt any shame, which I don't think he did.

    One question I have is, why did Feanor demand that they renew the Oath? They are already bound from swearing it in Tirion, already unable to escape it. Did he do it to remind them, or as a test of loyalty?
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
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  14. Nicholas Palazzo

    Nicholas Palazzo Well-Known Member

    Like most self-obsessed people, what Fëanor values most in people is their personal loyalty to him and his agenda. My take on the reaffirmation of the Oath has always been that he wanted assurance that his sons, whom he sees as his possessions, will pursue his agenda even if it kills them. He might suspect that without this reaffirmation, they might *gasp* move on with their lives, and that their goals won't revolve around him.
  15. Erucheb

    Erucheb New Member

    Hmm. So, I've been listening for a while, but I'm new on the boards, so forgive me for not being totally up to date on what people are talking about. Isn't the bit about the assault on the Havens from a much earlier version of the story, back when the twins were Damrod and Díriel? The later versions I've found don't mention Amrod/Amros having any significant role at all in the last Kinslaying, except for one or both of them dying there.

    I've not got strong feelings either way on keeping Amros around. Based on the later Maeglin story in War of the Jewels, Tolkien may have also considered offing him early ("5 sons of Fëanor"; 327ff.), but in other places Tolkien seems to still have Amros around, too. Comme ci, comme ça.

    Hmm, yeah, I definitely don't think shame is the right emotion. "Rage, rage against the dying of the light" seems more like Fëanor's final attitude. Stony rejection of Amros rather than turning away, perhaps.

    I agree with Nicholas; it seems like it must have been an assurance of loyalty: he "laid it upon his sons to hold to their oath, and to avenge their father."
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  16. Faelivrin

    Faelivrin Well-Known Member

    Nothing to forgive. :) Welcome to the SilmFilm project!

    Nearly everything we know, from the period starting with Thingol's death, was written in the 1930s. Tolkien wrote almost nothing about that period later, except the 1950s Tale of Years which gives only very minimal information about anything, and isolated little scraps. So it's not that the 1930s story (Amrod and Amros started the Third Kinslaying, Maedhros and Maglor only reluctantly helped) was abandoned, but that we don't know what Tolkien would have changed and kept about it, if he'd ever gone back to it. The 1950s Tale of Years only says that after the Kinslaying only Maedhros and Maglor were left alive.

    As for the bit in the Maeglin story, you're right that it could refer to Amros' death. But that text also contains a genealogy in which Fingolfin doesn't exist, and refers very vaguely to battles that don't fit into the storylines of any of the Quentas or Annals. Also from about the same time period (c. 1968 to 1973) come equally strange statements, such as that Turgon was the High King while crossing of the Helkaraxe (again, Fingolfin didn't exist?) and that the Second Kinslaying was the last act caused by the Oath (so, the Third Kinslaying didn't happen at all??), and that Galadriel somehow got to Middle-earth without participating at all in the Rebellion of the Noldor. These kinds of statements might represent either forgetfulness or mistakes, or new and radically different versions of the stories. Personally I discount things like that -- they contradict everything elsewhere, but have far too little context for me to to figure out what they're describing. (Excepting Bizarro!Galadriel, which does tell a comprehensible story but contradicts the LotR itself.)

    (In 1968-1973 Tolkien also wrote things that are comprehensible within the framework of the stories he'd told in the 1950s and early 1960s, so he didn't do this all the time. The rest of that Maeglin story is perfectly reasonable and was used seamlessly in the 1977 Silmarillion.)

    "5 sons of Feanor" could be a typo, or it could refer to the earlier death of anybody except Curufin or Celegorm -- we don't even know who was spposed to have died, when, or how. We could make up a story, but I really like the story written in the 1930s, that Maedhros and Maglor repented after the Second Kinslaying, and only very reluctantly took part in the Third. That story can't happen if Amros is already dead.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  17. MithLuin

    MithLuin Well-Known Member

    One thing that was brought up in the session on Friday that I think is very pertinent is this: we have adopted the idea of Amrod dying at the burning of the ships, an idea Tolkien wrote about in the Shibboleth. But at no point did Tolkien go back and work that idea into the rest of the story. He never wrote anything about how Amrod's death here changed or altered anything else.

    So, one obvious change is that Amrod cannot participate in the rest of the events of the First Age, and thus will not take part in the 2nd and 3rd Kinslayings or the battles or anything like that. But he had no significant role there, so writing him out is easy.

    But...if we added this event in, it has to have significance. There has to be a reason we've included Amrod's death, and it has to impact the surviving characters. And I think the main reason to include this version of the story is because it highlights how unbreakable the Elves think this Oath is. So, it's a worthwhile addition to the story as told in the published Silmarillion, and will hopefully help keep the audience from saying, 'Come on, just break the Oath already, it's not that big of a deal,' to their TV screens.

    So...what is the fallout? The Fëanoreans are not just going to go on as though nothing happened here. The death of one of the sons should mean something to all of them. We've opted to have Amras be the most significantly affected, as he was his twin and closest to him, and also understood what was going on with him right before his death. So...what is the impact on Amras? We have to decide what we want his story to be for the rest of the show.

    I recognize that in the published Silmarillion (and some other versions of the story), Amras is a motivator for the 3rd kinslaying. That is the only unique role that Tolkien ever gave him (so far as I know), so in looking at this we have to see if we can preserve that. Would Amrod's death here alter that later story? And what was Tolkien doing by giving him that role?

    Symbolism is only so valuable, but I think that Tolkien was saying things about the Oath and the Doom of Mandos in the way the Kinslayings played out. For one thing, none of the Sons of Fëanor is killed by an enemy (no orc, balrog, dragon, etc takes them out). In inventing the story where Fëanor burns Amrod in the ship, he preserved that, so this addition does not change that restriction. Thus, when we consider Amras' story, we should at least consider not allowing him to be killed by any of Morgoth's minions. Another very interesting detail is that those who instigate Kinslayings don't have long to live. Fëanor survives the first Kinslaying, it's true, but he dies in the next battle he is in, barely having set foot in Middle Earth before he is killed by balrogs. The 2nd Kinslaying seems to be instigated by Curufin and Celegorm. Dior's existence is particularly irksome to Celegorm (who wanted to marry Lúthien himself), and it is only when Dior holds the silmaril that they attack Doriath. Who dies in Doriath? Celegorm, Curufin, and Caranthir. The other brothers participated, but it wasn't (presumably) their idea, and they lived to go on. At the Havens, Tolkien has the twins as instigator, and Amrod and Amras dying there. For the 4th and final kinslaying, we actually have dialogue for Maglor and Maedhros' debate ahead of time, which makes it clear that Maglor is reluctant and Maedhros is pushing for it. They survive the kinslaying, but Maedhros dies after he touches the silmaril (while Maglor, at last, repudiates the Oath by throwing the silmaril away).

    Some of this is subject to interpretation. We don't actually know which of the brothers instigated the attack on Doriath, so my supposition of it being Celegorm and Curufin is implied rather than definitive. Is it important that we have instant karma deaths for those who decide to kill innocent elves in the pursuit of the Oath? Maybe. And if it is, then we need someone other than Maglor and Maedhros to be alive at the Havens. We've already killed Amrod. That means we either need Amras around to have his final fanatical Oath-bound hurrah, or we need to keep Caranthir alive post-Doriath and then kill him in the Havens (he can be wounded in Doriath, but survive, or something). Or, we have to decide that this isn't a big deal, and give that decision to Maglor or Maedhros. I don't like that, because it seems that it will be a repeat from the 3rd to the 4th Kinslayings if it's just Maglor and Maedhros both times.

    This is a TV show. Amras can't just be 'there' for 8 seasons and then finally speak up about the Oath when it comes time to attack the Havens. He will have to have a clear role throughout. It can be a minor role, as the youngest Fëanorean, just back up support or opposition to his more main character brothers. But that's why we have to think this through. I understand not wanting to invent a death for him right now (I don't want him to die this season). But if we keep him alive, we're going to be inventing plenty of scenes for him as we go along. He'll likely wind up saving one of his brother's lives in the Unnumbered Tears. He'll likely be the elf Finrod is visiting before his famous hunting trip where he discovered Men. And maybe other stuff that's completely off script that I haven't thought of yet. The point being... we need to figure out where he goes post-death-of-Amrod and what unique role he plays that his brothers do not. If we have nothing unique for him...that's not going to be good storytelling.
  18. Faelivrin

    Faelivrin Well-Known Member

    I suggested some things for him to do (all of them totally unconstructive and uncooperative) or rather, not do in the Feanorian Storylines thread:

    Alternatively, we could have him start trading with Dwarves before Curufin and Caranthir do (perhaps on account of restraining himself from calling them ugly to their faces), only to have his brothers later poach the better trade agreements from him somehow.

    Here's another idea: Morgoth started a lot of rumors about the misdeeds of the Noldor circling among the Sindar, leading to Thingol's confrontation with Finrod, Angrod, and Aegnor. What if a rumor about the burning of the ships was started instead by Amros? It would be a spiteful and negative thing for him to do, by comparison with Finrod's unwillingness to defend himself if it meant casting blame on his cousins... or would it simply be Amros' unwillingness to hide the ugly truth?

    When Fingon rescued Maedhros and the Feanorians were finally convinced/dragged into reuniting with Fingolfin's host, I generally imagine that nobody wanted to talk about the burning at Losgar... or explain where Amrod was... except Amros who just blurted out the whole sordid tale. (Or Maedhros could explain, but I envision this scene happening while he's still too asleep/unconscious/out of it to converse meaningfully.)

    I think a balance of regretting the Oath first of all the brothers, and being very antisocial towards his immediate family, could be interesting without pushing him too far either towards "total jerk" or "the most repentant of the brothers." Although since JRRT wrote nothing about his personality, "total jerk" wouldn't contradict anything, but I think it would get boring.

    Also Erucheb's idea for Feanor's death scene is growing more on me.

    That could be an interesting turn of events. He wants absolutely nothing to do with this brothers, but when it's really important he clearly isn't so angry he wants them to die. Maybe shunning them, ultimately, is just making him more lonely. Then again, there's no reason to assume he has no friends.

    But this was Maedhros and Maglor.

    This is pretty close to my interpretation of things, too. The brothers who survive each Kinslaying are those who are closest to repentance (or remain the most repentant.) I think they were being given chances to try to break the Oath. (Although this stops looking merciful once Maglor is wandering alone in eternal pain, but he could kill himself at any time and in some versions he did so.)

    Amrod did try to break the Oath... and maybe death was a grim mercy to stop him from actually incurring the full consequences of that. He certainly didn't end up tangled in any more Kinslayings...
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018 at 6:54 AM
  19. Haakon

    Haakon Administrator Staff Member

    This is what happens according to the PubSil:

    Then his sons raised up their father and bore him back towards Mithrim. But as they drew near to Eithel Sirion and were upon the upward path to the pass over the mountains, Fëanor bade them halt; for his wounds were mortal, and he knew that his hour was come. And looking out from the slopes of Ered Wethrin with his last sight he beheld far off the peaks of Thangorodrim, mightiest of the towers of Middle-earth, and knew with the foreknowledge of death that no power of the Noldor would ever overthrow them; but he cursed the name of Morgoth thrice, and laid it upon his sons to hold to their oath, and to avenge their father. Then he died; but he had neither burial nor tomb, for so fiery was his spirit that as it sped his body fell to ash, and was borne away like smoke; and his likeness has never again appeared in Arda, neither has his spirit left the halls of Mandos. Thus ended the mightiest of the Noldor, of whose deeds came both their greatest renown and their most grievous woe.

    As much as I like the idea that Amras gets a moment alone with his father, I don't think it fits. I don't believe any one of the sons leaves him at this point. They should all be there. Amras could of course break and express his feelings about the Oath and say that the Doom of Mandos will break them all, but then I feel it has to be done with care and it should not take too much focus. Yes, we're thinking a lot about Amras right now and try to build his story, but at this moment, he isn't the most important character. Fëanor is. On the way away from the battle scene, Amras can let all his anger and dispair show and express his resentment. The older brothers silence him. Fëanor could give him a look but say nothing. Then he tells them to stop, and that he is dying and wants to look at Thangorodrim as he does so. He then has a vision of some sort - and I'm not sure we even have to show it, we could just see something in his eyes, some dispair, and then he reacts to it and his inner flame burns more intensely. He curses Morgoth and demands that his sons hold to the Oath. And so, his fire consumes him.
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  20. Ange1e4e5

    Ange1e4e5 Active Member

    So would the episode end on Feanor’s death? And the next episode open with an envoy from Angband? Because in the Silmarillion it’s mentioned that the envoy that leads to Maedhros’ imprisonment comes within an hour of Feanor’s death.

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