Session 4.03 - Frame Narrative for Season 4

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Faelivrin, I think you will find that what we are saying is that, yes, sure, OF COURSE Celeborn can have a family. But that the named character we are intending to introduce as a sibling of Celeborn (based on the Session 3 podcast) is:
  • a Green Elf of Ossiriand
  • someone who survives the First Age
  • later, an elf of Mirkwood
  • (probably) female
We aren't saying he can't have other family members who exist, but rather that the new character we are talking about here is NOT a brother in Doriath who dies during the First Age.

Also...I am very, very hesitant to label what we are doing 'changing' anything. Galathil is quite literally a name on a family tree with no story attached. While the character is (presumably) intended to be male and Nimloth's father, it would be possible to read that family tree and interpret the (as you point out, unisex) name as Nimloth's mother. At no point did Tolkien describe Galathil or describe his fate. Right? All we know is that all of Celeborn's relatives have 'tree names,' and that this character does not appear in any of the stories.

Also, one serious change we DID make for Silm Film was to make Celeborn an elf of Cuiviénen. He is a 'teenager' during the War of the Powers. We also depict the Hunter attacking Elwë and Celeborn, and dragging off what are (presumably) members of their family. So, it's quite possible that Galadhon already exists in this project....but as one of the hapless elf captives who later become the orcs! :eek:

So, yes, of course Celeborn had parents. Whether or not those parents are alive or in Doriath is a question we will have to answer this season, in light of Celeborn's impending nuptials. We have already suggested that when Galadriel shares about the death of her mother, Celeborn responds with compassion...and relates a story of loss of his own (connected to the Hunter). Who was lost? We'll have to decide that.

The only 'Final Decision' that I am aware of related to Celeborn's family is "absolutely no Elmo" which was discussed at the beginning of Season 2 and reiterated during the Season 4 Session 3 broadcast.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
I think (it's been a while) that we decided back in S2 that Celeborn was to be an original 1st generation Elf. (ETA: based on the concurrent post above mine, perhaps he's not first generation and my memory is faulty hahahaha.) We've wiped the slate of a lot of the (unpublished) drafted first generation Cuivienen Elves, the ones that never appear in the 1st Age histories. First generation Elves still have siblings (see Elwe and Olwe) in some non-biological/non-specified way, but not parents.

The overall attitude of the SilmFilm creative team about Elves that are named in background material but never appear in the Silmarillion is that each and every one is optional. We can use the ones that fit our needs, and ignore the ones that don't. Until we needed one, no sibling for Celeborn was either mandated or forbidden in SilmFilm. Then we discovered that it would serve a story function for there to be one sibling, so we've proposed having one. This one would be a sister, who does not stay in Doriath long enough to get to the sacking (or maybe never lived in Doriath at all) and survives into the 3rd Age, for various reasons that are fun and interesting and serve multiple stories.

Independently of this, other than in timing, we are also talking about a brother for Celeborn. One that in my opinion would not really have any inherent story role (we can make up a story role just fine if we decide to) other than to die in the sack and serve as a seed for racism from Celeborn (that I'm not convinced we need, but I'm also not solidly opposed). I'm not Corey, and I'm also not ideologically opposed to Celeborn having a brother in addition to this proposed sister, but I just haven't been convinced that we need one - the arguments have not swayed me at this time. If I had to decide this second, I'd say no we don't need a brother. But I can see that there might be something there to convince me if we keep talking about it, and if the people who actually decide things were to decide yes we need a brother, it wouldn't upset me.

The two proposed siblings are coming from completely different starting points. For the sister, we came up with a story role first, that needed a new character. For the brother, we've got a character first and are looking for a story role. It's a chicken and egg thing.
 
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Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
During Season 3 I was told that No decision had ever been made to make Celeborn the first generation, in fact I was told at that time that we would probably introduce Celeborn's canonical family in Season 4.

On the other hand I was told that a firm decision had been reached that characters without parents cannot have siblings. So if Celeborn's parents literally do not exist and never existed, then his sister definitely does not exist either.

In fact if he was a "teenager" at Cuivienen during the War against Utumno, then it is obvious and necessary that he is at least 377 years younger than the first generation of Elves. That requires that Galadhon and his wife exist!

If they do exist and refuse to attend Celeborn's wedding, or he refuses to invite them, then Galadriel is going to ask why. Because despite the Noldorin royal feud she has a normal nuclear family who don't hate her. And the audience will wonder why, because most people have the sorts of normal parents and siblings who don't boycott their relatives' weddings.
 
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amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
Turns out I was wrong about him being first generation. But his parents are most probably dead. They're definitely more useful to us dead than alive at this point - for the reasons you point out above, and also because we'd then need to figure out what happens to them.

And I don't remember (which certainly doesn't mean I'm correct!) parents for Olwe/Elwe.

I'm starting to think I need to go back through some S2 threads....
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Faelivrin, I think you will find that what we are saying is that, yes, sure, OF COURSE Celeborn can have a family.
Then why do you say that they should not be present or introduced at any time during this season, not even his wedding?

Edited to show what I am reacting to:
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.
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.
At the very least, I ask the other writers to make a token effort to explain why Celeborn's entire family, including his sister, are not at his wedding. That is bizarre behavior and ought to be explained, not just thrown in the story.

If Celeborn's sister exists in the Third Age, that logically requires that she existed in the First Age too, and had the ability to attend his wedding. So there should be an actual reason why she does not attend.

Also...I am very, very hesitant to label what we are doing 'changing' anything.
Declaring that Celeborn's parents do not exist and never existed would be a change. Edit: I am relieved that you aren't arguing for that.
 
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amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
For me, the explanation would be this:

Parents: dead
Brother: doesn't exist
Sister: Became a Green Elf rather than a Sindar Elf. Currently living in Ossiriand. They have recently been reunited after losing track of each other during the great westward trek. She could be there, but as a visitor and not a local. Will eventually fill the needed slot in the Elrond family tree.
Other siblings: none surviving
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Furthermore, this is significant for the frame. If Celeborn's sister hates him so much she refuses to go to his wedding, or he hates her so much he won't invite her, then that will affect their relationship in the Third Age. What sort of relationship does she have with the daughter and grandchildren of the brother she hates and shuns? Does she also shun Celebrian and Arwen? How do they react to being shunned by their aunt? Does this woman also shun Elrond? How does he react to being shunned by his great-grandmother, if that's who she is?

But when did their parents die? Not in any Season 2 or Season 3 episode. There were no conflicts or violence outside ("between") those two seasons. There is no violent event at which we can actually say that they died or disappeared, because these events already happened on screen, and Celeborn's parents weren't present at any of them.

Their separation from Celeborn was never shown in any past episode. His reaction to his parents [dying/being captured/disowning him/becoming Avari/coming back as Orcs] has never been shown, although I would expect him to react! Leaving these things out becomes increasingly bizarre as he becomes more of a major, major main character. He is one of the most important characters this season and was a major character last season, too. It is difficult, at best, to retroactively say that they died during some event that happened on screen, in which they themselves were definitely not on screen. For example, we showed the First Battle in the script. We did not show Celeborn's family die nor show him reacting to his parents dying in that battle. It would be awkward and poor writing to retroactively say that they died (off screen) and he didn't even react the slightest bit to his parents' deaths.

But his parents are most probably dead. They're definitely more useful to us dead than alive at this point
I suggested killing them in season 3, but my suggestion was shot down. As a result, they have not died.
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
We don’t have to have a backstory for every major character. Look at Obi-wan Kenobi in Star Wars; in the new Expanded Universe, he has no backstory before The Phantom Menace.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
I suggested killing them in season 3, but my suggestion was shot down. As a result, they have not died.
If they are dead, they died before S3. They would have died in the first few episodes of S2. From the Hunter. Or at least we hope they're dead, for their sakes.

Here was the gist, upthread
We also depict the Hunter attacking Elwë and Celeborn, and dragging off what are (presumably) members of their family. So, it's quite possible that Galadhon already exists in this project....but as one of the hapless elf captives who later become the orcs! :eek:
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
They were not characters in Season 2. What scene in what episode shows Celeborn reacting to his parents deaths/capture/disowning him/whatever ?

And again, why is his sister not at his wedding?
 
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amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
They were not characters in Season 2. What scene in what episode shows Celeborn reacting to his parents deaths/capture/disowning him/whatever ?

And again, why is his sister not at his wedding?
The episode where it happens, with Elwe (from memory, prompted by the quote up thread). Celeborn isn't a super important character yet at the time.

For me, the explanation would be this:
[snip]
Sister: [snip] She could be there
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
Celeborn isn't a super important character yet at the time.
I remember the tone of conversation around many Cuivienen Elves who would be important later, but were not important at the time, was that they might show up in the background as extras but they weren't required to have artificially elevated importance then, just because they would end up being important later. So even if this character moment were to happen at that time for Celeborn, it wouldn't have been stressed because other than this one incident, Celeborn isn't important to the S2 story at that point. The early S2 story is about Ingwe and Elwe and Finwe leading the Eldar, and about the Avari, and the should they/shouldn't they debates, and the trek west.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Oh my. I feel we are making a huge mess of everything, and I'm not sure where things have gone wrong. Let me try to sort this all out....


Ingwë is the elf without parents who can't have siblings in Silm Film. He is the first elf to awaken, as he was in the Etymologies in HoME V. His wife was one of the victims of the Hunter who died; Indis is their daughter. In Celeborn's case, we have truncated his family tree by making him an elf of Cuivienen. Elmo DOES NOT EXIST. Celeborn does have parents though, and we are certainly not trying to change that.

In Season 2 Episode 1, there is a scene where Elwë and Celeborn flee from the Hunter. Other elves are shown being made captive at this time, and the understanding is that they are relatives of Elwë and/or Celeborn. So, while Elwë and Olwë are brothers, their parents are never introduced or shown in this project. Presumably they were at Cuivienen initially...but they may have died/been lost before the Great Debate. While the Hosts did not specifically state that Celeborn's parents died at this time, they did at least imply that it was a possibility that he'd been orphaned. [We will have to revisit that question now.] Celeborn attaches himself to Elwë, and follows him consistently ever after.

We have now suggested introducing a sibling for Celeborn in Season 4. She would be an elf of Ossiriand in the main story, and a (much older) elf of Mirkwood in the Frame. The reunion of Celeborn with his sister would be shown at some point (likely during Mereth Aderthad), and I see *no* reason for the two of them to be in conflict. They are estranged, in that one went with Lenwë and one went with Elwë, but this was not out of any ill will - it could be as simple as the sister married one of Lenwë's people and stuck with the Green Elves to be with him...while Celeborn stayed with Elwë. Celeborn may invite her to move to Doriath, but she will decline and wish to remain in Ossiriand. The sister will no doubt have an opinion about Celeborn's budding relationship with the (much younger) Noldo Galadriel, but we get to choose whether that opinion is positive or negative. One possibility is that she begins by chiding him over the fact that he never married, and then, after seeing them together, makes a comment about how, oh, now I understand...you were waiting for her to come along (or something). Or she could have a more negative view, thinking it weird that he'd be interested in one of the elves from Valinor. We are planning to use her as a voice of reconciliation in the Frame, so I doubt she's stay mad at him for long...though she could have an initial bad reaction.

I would certainly expect this sister to attend Celeborn's wedding, and can't think of any reason why she wouldn't. We would want her to appear in more than one episode, so the Feast and the Wedding would be good places to include her. Not too many excuses to go to Ossiriand during this season, I don't think, but then she'll be there if we need her later.

I do think that Celeborn's parents are an open question, but we will give Celeborn the opportunity to speak about his personal losses to the Hunter when he speaks with Galadriel about the death of her mother. IF one or both of his parents was captured by the Hunter, that would be the time when he would mention it, and the audience would understand who the nameless elf lost in Season 2 was. If it was a cousin or something, he could bring that up too. If his parents simply didn't leave Cuivienen with Elwë and Olwë and became Avari, we'd learn that too. Whatever parents survive that conversation (if any) would then most likely attend his wedding. They wouldn't need to be introduced in advance unless they had some objection to his marrying one of the Noldor. A brief cameo by someone doesn't really count as introducing a character, but that doesn't mean they *can't* be there, either. If they're alive and in Beleriand and not boycotting the marriage, they'll be there. (Keep in mind that Celeborn and Galadriel will get married late in the season, after the Ban.)


I hope that helps to clear up what we have already discussed in Season 2 and what we are currently discussing in Season 4.
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Faelivrin, I think you will find that what we are saying is that, yes, sure, OF COURSE Celeborn can have a family. But that the named character we are intending to introduce as a sibling of Celeborn (based on the Session 3 podcast) is
An Avar maybe?
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
During Season 3 I was told that No decision had ever been made to make Celeborn the first generation, in fact I was told at that time that we would probably introduce Celeborn's canonical family in Season 4.

On the other hand I was told that a firm decision had been reached that characters without parents cannot have siblings. So if Celeborn's parents literally do not exist and never existed, then his sister definitely does not exist either.

In fact if he was a "teenager" at Cuivienen during the War against Utumno, then it is obvious and necessary that he is at least 377 years younger than the first generation of Elves. That requires that Galadhon and his wife exist!

If they do exist and refuse to attend Celeborn's wedding, or he refuses to invite them, then Galadriel is going to ask why. Because despite the Noldorin royal feud she has a normal nuclear family who don't hate her. And the audience will wonder why, because most people have the sorts of normal parents and siblings who don't boycott their relatives' weddings.
I think there is something like a silent agreement that we treat Elwe, Ingwe etc as first generation elves and yet it is never actually said or memtioned in the series, and i like that being left open. On the opposite it is clearly stated in the series that the brothers (Elwe, olwe etc. ) are real brothers, which implies parents, even if they are never actually mentioned, maybe leaving open that the 1st generation elves were killed or abducted and the teenage elves we meet at cuivienen MIGHT be the children of such characters.

As for Celeborns siblings I think they MIGHT exist, question is in how far they do play a role in the story... maybe Elmo DOES exist somewhere, he's just never mentioned for some reason (or he was the elf killed by the hunter) and does not appear in our plot (maybe Celeborn could at some point casually mention his "brothers" as a nod...

Galathil i don't know... we have so far not really found a use for him, still i would like to keep him save if we ever would need an elf we have to pull out of somewhere it would be nice to bind him in as a long lost or remote brother of celeborns (maybe a former prisoner of Angband if we wish to play that card again- he doesn't need a story we tell, he could be amongst those elves freed at the War of Wrath -everybody thought him dead and we can explain why he never before appeared, plus we have a character for the second age - just brainstorming here of course!) . For that reason the sister were talking about should be a new and unique character with an original concept and name (i'm still sometimes kind of thinking about Evranin or Nielthi, but both are not Tree Names, so maybe better invent a new one here - maybe Galadwen? Galagloriel?Celebren?Celebhrein?Celebriol?Celevon?).
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
We probably wouldn't want to use a name like Celebren, as it's sooooo close to Celeborn. I'm not sure if we want to give her a 'green elf' type of name, but I think the tree name is appropriate for Celeborn's family tree. Maybe Galadhwen would work.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I am very relieved that you guys are OK with Celeborn's family appearing in the First Age and attending his wedding. Thank you for clarifying that.

Edit: I was confused by your separating "real introductions" from "cameos".

I do still think that giving him living parents and a brother is far from useless. But do you want me to make a separate thread for that?
 
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