Session 4.03 - Frame Narrative for Season 4

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
I'm trying to sort out why?

Is it to have one available to be killed in the sack of Doriath? I could buy that, if that's what it is. By that point, we are in some locations sort of running out of named characters to be involved in the big events.

But one of the neat "reward" moments in the frame that came up in the session on Friday is for Bilbo (and the audience) to realize that the Elf Lady in Mirkwood is actually Elrond's GG (that's shorthand for great-grandmother in my family, as my kid still has 3 alive). This wasn't a required or mandated item, but it was sort of part and parcel with the whole concept. And then it would be weird (but not an un-tellable story, of course) for Nimloth's mother to be long gone but her aunt/uncle to still be kicking around in Doriath.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Especially to kill off one or two of Celeborn's relatives in Doriath. His millennia-long fanatic racism against Dwarves is a very negative character trait and needs some personal cause for him to not come across as a total jerk and a fool. It would also be valuable to have named male characters in Doriath after Daeron, Beleg, and Saeros die, more than just Mablung.

MithLuin's point about women going to live with their husbands and men staying where they grew up also makes me realize that we don't know where Dior will meet Nimloth. In Ossiriand? That seems like the case but he might meet her in Doriath. If we want to leave both options open, we would best do that by having potential parents available for Nimloth in both Doriath and in Ossiriand. They could both be women if you're determined Celeborn must not have a brother, but the one in Doriath would have to marry a Sinda, a Guest-elf, or nobody.

By the way, Galathil isn't a masculine name. It's gender-neutral, so there'd be no reason to rename a female Galathil. "Galathiel" wouldn't be valid Sindarin anyway.

But seriously, why not give Celeborn 2 siblings? There seems to be a widespread strong resistance to the idea, and I just can't fathom why. What harm could it possibly cause, to Celeborn or the story?
 
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amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
I think the difference it this: we have a good strong reason to give Celeborn a sibling, and a role for her to fill. We don't really have any reason not to have a second one.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I did provide a good strong reason to give him a relative in Doriath, plus 2 less major reasons. Here's another reason: no canon characters die in the first sack of Doriath except Thimgol: not even Mablung dies at Doriath (CRT made a mistake, JRRT actually said he survived until the Third Kinslaying). It's hard to convey how horrible the massacre of nameless extras is without some named characters to kill off, too. It's hard to show named characters mourning for nobody we ever met, who never had lines or a name.

I think it would be a good story to give Celeborn relatives to die in the fall of Doriath, and a personal reason to be a fanatical racist bigot.
 
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cellardur

Active Member
Where did he become a racist bigot?
That's going to far, but the Sindar in general are lot more prejudiced against other races than the Noldor. Thranduil and Celeborn remember the sack of Doriath and hold a grudge against dwarves. Celeborn in many versions of the story refuses to through Moria. In LOTR we can see the reaction of the Silvan elves, when they refuse to let Gimli enter without blinding him. Then there are his words to Gimli, which Galadriel very lightly reproaches him for.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
I did provide a good strong reason to give him a relative in Doriath, plus 2 less major reasons. Here's another reason: no canon characters die in the first sack of Doriath except Thimgol: not even Mablung dies at Doriath (CRT made a mistake, JRRT actually said he survived until the Third Kinslaying). It's hard to convey how horrible the massacre of nameless extras is without some named characters to kill off, too. It's hard to show named characters mourning for nobody we ever met, who never had lines or a name.

I think it would be a good story to give Celeborn relatives to die in the fall of Doriath, and a personal reason to be a fanatical racist bigot.
Where I was going with that is that we definitely do need a named person (or more named people?) for the sack of Doriath - there just isn't a positive reason for it to be a sibling of Celeborn, only the lack of a negative reason for it not to be - it could be a sibling or descendent of Mablung or Beleg (or Daeron), or it could be some other non-sibling standalone person we make up, or it could be a sibling of Celeborn. Unlike the "neato" moment of family recognition in the frame (and I guess even there it doesn't need specifically to be a member of Celeborn's family, it just needs to be whoever the mother of Nimloth is, it's just cooler if it is).
 

cellardur

Active Member
Where I was going with that is that we definitely do need a named person (or more named people?) for the sack of Doriath - there just isn't a positive reason for it to be a sibling of Celeborn, only the lack of a negative reason for it not to be - it could be a sibling or descendent of Mablung or Beleg (or Daeron), or it could be some other non-sibling standalone person we make up, or it could be a sibling of Celeborn. Unlike the "neato" moment of family recognition in the frame (and I guess even there it doesn't need specifically to be a member of Celeborn's family, it just needs to be whoever the mother of Nimloth is, it's just cooler if it is).
I have only listened to the first podcast of season 4 and need to catch up, but don't we have lots of named people for the sack of Doriath?

I am really not on board with this idea a named character has to die after every tragedy. We are doing a series, where over 90% of our named characters will be die violently.

Seeing the destruction of Menegroth and the refuge of the Sindar is going to be devastating enough. Menegroth should be the most stunning palace ever in Middle Earth.

Plus we know why the Sindar are bitter, because they lost Thingol. I don't so far we are giving Thingol his due. He is beloved by the Sindar, married to a Maiar, comparable to one, the tallest ever Elf, and in early drafts noted as being the mightiest and greatest after Feanor died. Elrond the greatest lore master chooses to trace his line back to Thingol rather than Finwe or Fingolfin. He makes a commandment and all the Sindar obey. Celeborn and Thranduil never forgave the death of Thingol. The Sindar are the ones, who abandoned even Valinor, because they loved Thingol so much.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Celeborn could, of course, have any number of siblings (so long as it's less than six).

The suggestion in Friday's session was 'let's give Celeborn a sibling in Ossiriand, as we are in need of a named character among the Green Elves there.' It could be a brother or a sister, it was just important that this person *not* be in Doriath (with Celeborn). The suggestion to make it a sister is because (obviously) the number of named male elf characters is *significantly* higher than the number of named female elf characters. So, if you don't need someone to be male...maybe don't go there at this point.

While it's not impossible to add more elves to Doriath, we don't have a specific role for an additional Doriath elf at this time. The death of Thingol, Celeborn's king and mentor who saved his life when he was a teenager and he'd followed ever since, is likely a strong enough reason for any of Celeborn's anti-dwarf sentiments. [cross-posted with cellardur]

I agree that the death of *just* extras is pretty much meaningless on screen (here's looking at you, Hela in Thor: Ragnarok), so you have to establish some rapport with the audience if you want them to care. But...that isn't an issue of it simply being a named character. The Warriors Three die when Hela invades Asgard, and they were in the two prior films. The audience should know their names and know some things about them. At least one of them has dialogue and a singular death scene (rather than being part of a general massacre). But...they aren't reintroduced in the third movie at all, so the audience doesn't even notice that it's a named character who is dying. To do this well, you show that character (even if just an extra), doing normal day-to-day stuff earlier in the episode, letting the audience get comfortable with them, and then you show evidence that they have died/their death scene. I haven't watched Schindler's List, but I know about the little girl in red, because that was so powerfully done that people talk about it.

So, here is the liquidation of the ghetto scene:
It's a black and white film, so the only color on screen is this young girl's red coat. You see her move through the scene, seemingly immune to what is happening around her. The onlooker (and thus the audience), is clearly rooting for her. You lose sight of her and focus on other things, but keep coming back to her, until finally the end of the scene is from her point of view alone. You see people murdered on screen during this scene, and you see the onlooker being horrified and wanting to look away. And yet...the focus is on the little girl in red.

Which makes it all the more powerfully tragic when this happens:
You don't need to know her name or anything about her for that sequence to be powerful. And it's certainly a million times better than showing the deaths of nameless faceless people and expecting the audience to feel the horror of it.

If we find we are coming up on a massacre and haven't introduced any named characters to die in it, that's when you spend a moment getting to know the common folk and seeing things from their perspective. Peter Jackson's Two Towers showed us two children fleeing from the Uruk-hai sacking their village, with the fate of their mother unknown. Obviously none of those characters were 'important' to the story, even if they did have a role in the plot. But part of the point of telling the story that way was to make the audience feel the threat of war better than simply showing an advancing army would do. You are supposed to worry when the little girl pipes up and asks 'Where's Mama?'
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I've been advocating since early Season 3 that Celeborn should have a family, with names, so the audience know that he's not an orphan and only child. So far none of my suggestions for Galadhon or Galathil has made it into any script. I was told we'd delay their introduction until Season 4, so I hoped they might finally at least be mentioned to exist.

While it's not impossible to add more elves to Doriath, we don't have a specific role for an additional Doriath elf at this time.
But won't Celeborn introduce his fiance to his family? Won't his family attend his wedding? What about his parents? Eldar only invite close family to wedding ceremonies. Thingol and Cirdan won't be there. They aren't related to him, in SilmFilm.

And when Beleg and Saeros and Turin are dead, and Daeron and Luthien are gone, we're left with only 4 named Elves existing in Doriath. Are you 100% certain that nobody else will need to have any role in Doriath during its Fall? We have lots of non-extras among the Noldor and actually only a few in Doriath. I've already begun to find it implausible that Thingol has only 3 thanes at all, and only Celeborn does anything this season.

Setting up characters, even briefly, means they're available when we need them, without appearing to be tacked on as afterthoughts. "Tacked on" is less of a problem with just a thane, but the nuclear family of a main character are pretty important and I don't think they should be ignored to the point that they appear not to exist at all. I dislike writing Celeborn as though he's an orphan, especially compared to the Noldor who all have families. I find it weird and unexplained. It'll be even weirder if nobody attends his wedding on his side.

I'm also getting confused why Celeborn should not have more family unless I can come up with a desperate need for them to become major characters. Most people, even most Elves, have families and it's normal to have one. It's unusual not to. I didn't think it required such extraordinary justification for a main character to merely have relatives, for them to merely exist and attend his wedding.

Where did he become a racist bigot?
He continues to have contempt for Dwarves he has never met, all Dwarves everywhere on Earth, six thousand four hundred years after the fall of Doriath. Despite centuries of alliance between the Elves and Dwarves in Eregion, where he lived for many years. That's very extreme, in my opinion. His behavior in the LotR is very unsympathetic. Gimli's entire kindred didn't once even set foot in Beleriand, but Celeborn treats him with contempt. This is the equivalent of holding each and every one of the Avari personally responsible for the Kinslaying at Alqualonde, but worse, because Gimli also wasn't even born in the First Age.
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
The suggestion that Celeborn have a sibling in Ossiriand is specifically being made *because* you have advocated for Celeborn to have family. This sibling will end up in Mirkwood, not Lothlorien, though.

We will certainly introduce more characters in Doriath as we go; we discussed Nellas being young in the Túrin story, and whether or not we'd have her survive the fall of Doriath. Obviously Oropher will be around at some point. Nimloth is also likely not born yet. For each character we introduce, we discuss their role in the story. If we have nothing for Beleg and Mablung to do in Season 4 (we are sending them to the Feast, of course), it doesn't seem a good time to introduce another named character in Doriath.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Thinking about Luthien makes me wonder if we should try to work in Arwen again this season (in the frame). She wouldn’t have to be the main character but she could theoretically visit the Woodland realm. Using her would give us the whole Galadriel-Luthien story. She could visit her father’s sibling, if he or she lives there. We kind of left her off hanging in the air at the end of season two. It could be better to bring her in again rather than using Bilbo, even though I don’t mind doing that. Since we’ve been moving towards a meeting between Aragorn and Arwen, I think spending another frame season on her would be a good idea, or at least a few episodes.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
If Arwen visited Mirkwood in the frame in the same episode (wherever we stick it) that Luthien goes off to visit Green Elves or Dwarves or Noldor or Cirdan or (who's left?) then it could be cool. I don't think we need to spend multiple episodes on frame-Arwen, but one would be good.
 

cellardur

Active Member
The suggestion that Celeborn have a sibling in Ossiriand is specifically being made *because* you have advocated for Celeborn to have family. This sibling will end up in Mirkwood, not Lothlorien, though.

We will certainly introduce more characters in Doriath as we go; we discussed Nellas being young in the Túrin story, and whether or not we'd have her survive the fall of Doriath. Obviously Oropher will be around at some point. Nimloth is also likely not born yet. For each character we introduce, we discuss their role in the story. If we have nothing for Beleg and Mablung to do in Season 4 (we are sending them to the Feast, of course), it doesn't seem a good time to introduce another named character in Doriath.
I forgot that Thranduil should be around too.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
IF this is a commemorative event that you invite outsiders to, then Celeborn and Galadriel can come from Lothlorien...or whatever Lothlorien contingent arrives could include Arwen.

If that were the case, she could be there, but maybe only for part of the season.

I do like the idea of Balin and Gandalf 'fetching' Bilbo for this, though we would probably not show their visit to the Shire, just Bilbo's arrival in Dale.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
True... arwen goes for a short stay at her grandparents for more than a human life and celebrian also seems to visit her parents for very long terms, which seem only a brief time in the life of an elf. After galadriel sets of for Valinor Celeborn decides to stay for a while... and we dont even know if he rejoins her ever (though it is i plied i think he did so at some point), however they both live separate lives for some time even in the second age.
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
One advantage of using Arwen here is that all of our Frames have been 'linked' so far.

Season 1 Frame introduced child!Estel, Rivendell, Elrond, etc. The twins appeared as minor supporting characters within the Frame.

Then, in Season 2, the twins come to visit Arwen in Lothlorien, thus providing a tie to the Rivendell frame.

Estel (from Season 1) and the twins (from Seasons 1 and 2) are major characters in the Season 3 frame, with Elrond and Gilraen being reduced to minor background characters.

If we then go to Dale, we'll have Elves and Dwarves and Men....but very little connection to our previous Frame stories. It's true that Bilbo appeared in two episodes of Season 1 (on his way to and from the Lonely Mountain), and the Battle of Five Armies was discussed in both Season 1 and 2 Frames. So...there is a connection, and we could even make sure that the dwarf Estel met briefly turns out to be in this Frame. It's not a *wholly* start-from-scratch situation. But having Bilbo or Arwen or both appear helps to tie it in, and I like that.

This would be a perfect opportunity to showcase Arwen's choice to remain involved in the affairs of Middle Earth. So, even if Celeborn and Galadriel refrain from making the trip, she's being outgoing/ambitious and making that effort. And, it's probably good to at least give her a cameo in Season 4, since it is a bit much to ask the audience to jump from the Season 2 Frame to the Season 6 Frame without seeing her at all in the interim.

Likewise, I like the idea of bringing Bilbo back in, as we can then just follow him home for a Season 5 Frame in the Shire. And he can talk about the brutal winter they just had and the wolves in the Shire, bringing in the Season 3 Frame by allusion.
 
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Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I have listed about a dozen reasons why Celeborn's parents and a brother should exist, and the goalposts keep moving. Tolkien explicitly stated that Celeborn has a father, which obviously requires that he has a mother.

If we have nothing for Beleg and Mablung to do in Season 4 (we are sending them to the Feast, of course), it doesn't seem a good time to introduce another named character in Doriath.
How could Celeborn's romance and wedding possibly be a BAD time to introduce his family? Why on earth is it such a stupid idea for his family to attend his wedding?

It is very difficult to have every single thing I suggest shot down without appeal, and not even know why.

Is there any reason why it is required that Celeborn be an orphan? Is there any explanation how his parents and brother all died? Nobody has said that they died at any point in Season 2. I suggested killing Galadhon in Season 3, and was shot down. Or why would they point-blank refuse to attend their own son's wedding? Do his whole family hate him? If they hate him, why?
 
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Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
If the Hosts have made a Final Decision that Celeborn is required to be an orphan and is not allowd to have a brother, or any other Final Decision, it would be much easier if it was spelled out somewhere, or if there was a link to where I can read about or listen about it. Of course I will obey whatever unquestionable Final Decision the Hosts have made, but I do not know how to obey without knowing what has been Decided.

I would rather not waste any more time or emotional energy making suggestions that are forbidden.
 
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