Still trying to catch up. Responding in this way is confusing me and fuzzing up my brain, I think. I apologize if I accidentally repeat myself or respond to an idea that has been dropped.
About the idea that Galadriel shows Celeborn an image: I find it a little bit problematic. Why does she tell someone she's just met this picture? Ok, it could work if they're already in love. Only then.
But then, why does she show him just a part of the story? It would be like lying. Why would she lie to a man she's just fallen in love with? Ok, it would work if he stops her, or if she doesn't have the power to continue... No, not the latter, that's not Galadriel. So only if he stops her. But then, why show her the death of her mother? It seems manipulative, doesn't it?
Galadriel wouldn't want to tell the truth about the Kinslaying because, well, one could blame Fingolfin and Fingon's charge directly for Earwen's death, and she loves her uncle and cousin too much to get them in trouble like that. Plus, Fingolfin can give orders that they are not going to get the Sindar involved in the feud between the Houses, or give them reason to fear or hate the Noldor.
I think that having the Noldor lie makes sense. At this point in the story, they're a bit ashamed of how their rebellion played out. They are running into people who have never murdered anyone, and faced with that innocence, they naturally feel a bit guilty and defensive.
But, yes - the nuance of *what* lies, *what* silences, *what* speculation on the part of the Sindar.
We want there to be a false foundation, built up and covered over by more and more dishonesty, until the house of cards comes tumbling down and the truth is revealed.
What is suspicious? What doesn't add up? Who has a guilty conscience and speaks up? Or who chooses to reveal truths to make others look bad? The simmering tension between the camp of Fingolfin and the camp of the Fëanoreans in episode 1 is *not* resolved with the crowning of Fingolfin in episode 2 - that simmering continues on. One does not easily set aside the ordeal of the crossing of the Helcaraxë, and if one were personally guiltless in the Kinslaying....
I think the Noldor say that they came to destroy Morgoth, avenge the Two Trees, and deliver Middle-earth from evil. They don't say how or why they got to Middle-earth, and allow the Sindar to imagine they're emissaries of the Valar, but don't dare say outright that they are emissaries -- the Valar are already mad enough at them! What's suspicious is, well, they won't talk about their immediate past or how they got here. The gaps in their story invite speculation. The Sindar can also see that they're divided into two camps and not behaving like best buddies, which invites more speculation. I think the Sindar are giving them the benefit of the doubt at first -- they can't imagine something like the Kinslaying, and these people did just crush the huge armies of terrible enemies who were poised to wipe out their civilization. But they wait for a message from the Valar, and from Olwe, they ask about the Teleri and what news the Noldor can bring... and none of the Noldor provides anything. They give evasive answers or none at all. They say they don't want to talk much about the Darkening of Valinor because it was so awful (which it was). The Sindar gradually realize they're behaving like people who have something to hide, but this won't be apparent immediately.
I don't think anyone except Angrod reveals the truth. In the book the rumors about the Kinslaying come entirely from Morgoth, not from the Noldor. He uses the Sindar to receive and amplify his rumors, knowing that they're less familiar with his ways than the Noldor are. Cirdan hears the rumors and believes that the Noldorin houses are spreading rumors about each other out of jealousy. He sends messengers to Thingol telling all he learned.
This is my attempt at a suggested outline. My suggestion is that Noldor meeting Sindar, and the feud between the Houses, both be present with significant focus in both Ep 1 and Ep 2. That is, both eps have an A plot and a B plot. I admit I'm having trouble mentally processing the theme concepts and how to do tension, but I do feel strongly about keeping the events in order. I think this is similar to one of MithLuin's outlines, but I'm not sure.
Maglor hastily moves the Feanorian camp out of Fingolfin's way. The host of Fingolfin meet both the Feanorians and Cirdan's Sindarin scouts. On the one hand are people who barely tolerate each other and come very close to exchanging blows, but do want to exchange news. On the other hand is a real language barrier (which I do not want to ignore this time).
Fingolfin learns Feanor is dead, but he and nearly everyone in his camp judges the sons the accomplices of their father. Fingolfin reforges Ringil, and it's ambiguous whether he's planning to fight the Feanorians. "there was peril of war between the hosts". Fingon and Finrod both point out that Morgoth could attack any day now, nobody knows how many Orcs he has left, and as long as the Noldor are divided they could all be killed. But nobody wants to listen to them. Meanwhile, among the Feanorians Maglor and many of the common folk do repent of abandoning Fingolfin's people and burning the ships, but don't have a good idea what to do about that.
Nobody mentions the Kinslaying to the Sindar, because some of Fingolfin's host were party to it and they realize these people are akin to the Teleri -- their language alone shows that. Galadriel and Celeborn meet for the first time and have good impressions of each other, but at this stage only basic communication is possible (not Me Tarzan You Jane. Gramatically correct but short, simple sentences without nuance or detail, no fancy words). I think that we should show the Noldor getting more expressive with Sindarin gradually, during the first 2 or 3 episodes. Cirdan sends Annael to Doriath as a messenger, announcing that strange Elves from Aman have come and killed many Orcs and Werewolves, delivering the Falathrim from danger. He and Celeborn and their crew take their one ship (they only brought one) to Balar to tell the Falathrim the news. Cirdan gladly welcomes the Noldor, but Thingol is more cautious, and doesn't welcome them with a full heart. He's understandably concerned they may try to take inhabited lands for themselves, but his misgiving and resentment is more than that.
Angband scene: After the initial shock of the Sunrise and the obliteration of his army wears off, "Morgoth laughed at the division of his enemies" and starts preparing for war. Forges produce new weapons, and new smoke to hide Angband and Dor Daedeloth from the Sun. Morgoth is putting on a false confidence (the Sun terrifies
him!) but the Noldor are looking pretty pathetic. He can make new Orcs faster than they can make new Elves, and Feanor is dead. (Morgoth's preparations can be an ominous episode ending, if not the forging of Ringil or rescue of Maedhros.)
Some time passes before Fingon rescues Maedhros, while the rest of the above happens. We show seasons passing. The rescue is an early demonstration of teamwork making people stronger -- this would have been impossible without Thorondor's help. Fingon could do this at the end of Ep 1, or the start of Ep 2. I'm not sure where it would fit best. Ep 2 allows the tension between the Noldor a little more time, but then gives us less time to show the process of reconciliation. The trouble with using Ep 2 is that it's a climactic event, and I remember Nick saying climaxes have to be the end of an episode, not its start.
The two camps of the Noldor are trying to reconcile, but tensions continue. Maedhros is recuperating, which takes a while. His brothers are all very glad to see him, and probably all of them are at least a little
grateful to Fingon. (Although somebody is going to rudely ask, "What, Fingon couldn't manage to bring back all of him?") The Noldor station permanent watchmen to keep an eye on Dor-Daedeloth and Thangorodrim. They send many scouts around Beleriand, Ard Galen, and Dorthonion. Maps are drawn up showing what lands the Noldor could settle on, and the location of Angband -- the Sindar are able to provide some information as well, although maybe they don't bother with maps because they know the land so well. The Noldor meet a much larger number of Falathrim, who sail up Drengist in multiple ships to meet their saviors. The Noldor try to present a united front to the Sindar, and meet a larger number of them. Finrod sends Angrod to Doriath as an official ambassador, with a Sinda guide (this is separate from Cirdan sending his earlier messenger.) Finrod and Angrod are, so far, sincere about trying to accept reconciliation and forgive people. Galadriel is probably trying as well, but is not quite as forgiving as Finrod. Turgon is having nothing of this forgiveness thing. More conversations between her and Celeborn.
Doriath: Angrod's version of the Noldorin story is extremely whitewashed. Angrod tells Thingol of their numbers and "the ordering of their force", and their deeds in the North against Morgoth's Orcs. But he has decided to forgive the Feanorians and be loyal to the Noldor, so he mentions no wrongdoing. He tell Thingol about the Darkening of Valinor, but avoids mentioning the Silmarils. It's also hard to mention Finwe died without getting into the current succession crisis, which is an embarrassing situation. (I think I see why our ideas about the order to tell these events differ: The Quenta Silmarillion implies this happened after Maedhros abdicated, but the Grey Annals tells it in a different order, with Angrod's arrival in Doriath the year before Maedhros abdicates.)
Meanwhile in Angband, everyone is very concerned by Thorondor's involvement in the rescue. (Had the Eagles been sighted before now? They'll be a surprise to the audience and the Elves, but when did they actually come to Middle-earth?)
either Episode 2 or 3 (end of 2 or start of 3) :
Maedhros returns the goods and livestock stolen from Fingolfin's people (except what was burned), gives many rich gifts as well, and "begs forgiveness" for what his people did to Fingolfin's people (even theough he himself wasn't involved in burning the ships).
The council at which the Noldor decide what to do from now on. Angrod returns with Thingol's message. Maedhros says disparaging things about Thingol, and Caranthir says even more disparaging things about Thingol and the entire House of Finarfin. But Fingolfin intends to respect Thingol as the High King of Beleriand, and is in awe of a man who was chosen to marry a Maia. Maedhros sternly rebukes Caranthir - I don't think he makes a show of physical strength by dragging his brother out (he's far from 100%) but cows his brothers with hard words and very stern looks. He's scary when he's mad.
Maedhros realizes this reconciliation isn't going to work without his giving up his claim the crown, which he does. We could make it a total surprise to the audicence by showing it from Fingolfin, Fingon, or Finrod's perspective. Afterwards, our point-of-view character considers that none of the other sons of Feanor looked surprised or said anything to oppose Maedhros' abdication. The point-of-view character asks Maedhros (aside) "you planned this all out, didn't you?" and he replies that he had to make it clear to his brothers he wouldn't allow them to interfere. What exactly he said to them, and when, wouldn't have to be specified. We can demonstrate how he can get them under control with how he handles Caranthir's outburst.
Fingolfin gives kingly advice about settling and building new kingdoms. Using the maps drawn in Episode 2, the Noldor decide where each House will settle, with Maedhros specifically choosing the east. This isolation isn't ideal, but it's necessary to reduce the chances of conflict. He promises to stay in touch so they Noldor can continue to coordinate. Finrod expresses a desire and exciement to explore all of Beleriand personally
, not just vicariously through the scouts. He longs to visit Doriath and see the Thousand Caves for himself (Angrod has described how amazing they are.)
This episode may have time to show most of "Of Beleriand ands its Realms," other than the founding of Gondolin and Nargothrond.
I very, very much want to get Eol's story told in flashback, and fairly early, rather than spread it out over multiple episodes in real time. I strongly disagree with that aspect of MithLuin’s outlines.
As for Mereth Aderthad, I agree it's a good idea to include Celeborn and Beleg, in addition to Mablung and Daeron. Perhaps Celeborn's family comes too (I'd still like to make them characters). We don't have many episodes in which to show Galadriel's friendship with Celeborn grow into love, so using the Feast to advance that plot is good. In any case the party from Doriath should be notably small -- smaller than the number of Feanorians or even Nandor who attend.
After Mereth Aderthad is the Finrod and Turgon focus episode, in which Ulmo sends them dreams, and then Finrod visits Doriath, sees how awesome Menegroth is, and decides he wants a cool underground fortress, too.
I think Morgoth himself should start the Dagor Aglareb by sending his rebuilt armies to attack the Noldor. Whoever went to Hildorien has returned to Angband by then.
I'm concerned because so far in these outlines, we haven't given thought to showing how Morgoth uses captured Noldor by letting them "escape" as spies. Morgoth's constant attempts to divide his enemies is the counterpoint to the theme of this season, right? I think that if possible, we should show the use of "escaped" slaves as spies, and why the Noldor and Sindar stop allowing refugees to return to their homelands. I don't have a good suggestion how to show it, though.
Thinking about it more - do we deliberately go out of our way to insert her into ongoing stories, the way Galadriel was retroactively wedged into pre-existing stories by The Man himself (possibly in anticipation of a never completed re-write)? Like, do we give her a prominent on-screen role during any battles, or maybe are the master-apprentice sessions between Melian and Galadriel also attended by Luthien, making a strange three-way dynamic? Does Thingol send her out on errands the way he sends out Celeborn, Beleg, and Mablung? I'm just wildly throwing darts here...
I don't think Luthien should fight, ever. We'll have chance enough to show that she's mighty indeed, when she needs to be -- but she's a woman of peace and probably a healer like her mother.
I think Galadriel can partake in battles before she goes to Doriath. When does she go there? Afterwards, she'll stay put, develop a strong master-apprentice relationship with Melian, and grow wiser and more powerful. She also gets to know Daeron, Luthien, and Celeborn's brother and father. We can develop Luthien and Daeron at the same time, show them having a friendship with Galadriel.
I like the idea that Luthien wants to go to the Feast of Reuniting, but I think Thingol should forbid her from going. And she's willing to obey him on that. She does respect her father, of course -- their relationship isn't one with problems (yet).
Luthien's reaction to the Kinslaying has to consider Melian's advice, which is that the Noldor cannot possibly keep Morgoth restrained forever, and that the Curse and not-entirely-healed feud among them can have dangerous consequences for outsiders who get too tangled with the Noldor. Luthien probably respects her mother's advice more than Thingol does. Yet she remains friends with Galadriel, and I think Finrod too. This is also the woman who forbid Beren from strangling Curufin to death, even after everything he and Celegorm had done, even the minute after they tried to murder Beren (again) and kidnap Luthien (again). Her conduct now should be in keeping with that wisdom she shows later.