Session 4.03 - Frame Narrative for Season 4

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Now we have to assume the Children of Elrond would visit Mirkwood fairly often for an elf or have extended stays, which changes the dynamic of their relationship to Legolas.
I don't think that their relationship with Legolas ever comes up in LotR, so we really have a blank slate to work with. We can give them any relationship we want.

We have no active plans for Celeborn's sister to hate or get revenge on anyone. I don't think that has been suggested in this thread, ever. She will be involved with reconciliation between Noldor and Sindar in the main story. She will encourage Elf-Dwarf reconciliation in the frame. She won't take part in any warfare in the frame, or the main story. We have no plans to show her killing anyone, Dwarves or otherwise. There is no contradiction.


My desire to keep Galathil and Galadhon in the main Season 4 story is to kill Celeborn's relatives in Doriath so that he has a stronger reason for his eternal antipathy towards all Dwarves everywhere, and to ensure that we have named people still left alive to die in the battle that destroys Doriath.
 
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cellardur

Active Member
We have already discussed Arwen visiting Celeborn's sister, in Season 4, on this very thread. Please read this thread before accusing people of ignoring something. It's very frustrating to discuss this topic with you when it feels like you haven't read any of our plans.
I have read this thread and I have replied throughout the thread. I also purposely waited until listening to the last podcast, or what I thought was the latest podcast 4.06. I have not listened to 4.07

You alone have brought up Arwen visiting and the reaction, but you have not mentioned how this changes their interactions with all the other characters in Mirkwood. This story is not a vacuum and I throwing pebbles creates big ripples. You addressed Arwen and Legoals for instance later on, but that's just one of the things I said would have to be considered and changed. These have not been addressed, but we are changing the fundamental relationship of many characters.

Legoals does not know Elronds Sons at least on any personal level. He does not interact with them as friends and seems a bit in awe of them. Not the sought of relationship they would have if Elrond Sons had been having extended visits in Mirkwood.
You don't understand my point. The Grey Wanderer has no home. He isn't the sole defense standing between a well-known Elven city and the armies of Mordor. If he leaves Bree to go to Gondor, thousands of Orcs aren't going to raze Bree. He also isn't related to Celeborn.
Not sure how this is relevant. Rivendell was defender from Sauron before the ring and Lothlorien has an army. Boromir wasn't completey wrong when he said Gondor was the shield protecting Sauron marching with full force into the Western Lands.
The other things you bring up have no relevance to Season 4, which is about the time before Men arrive, and about one event 7 years after the Battle of Five Armies. There are no Numenoreans in Season 4. Estel is a teenager confined to Rivendell and won't even appear this season. We can figure out their relationships (if any) to Celeborn's sister when we get to a season that includes them.


I too would like Celeborn's brother Galathil to be Nimloth's father. But I don't think we need to obsess about every single relative of Celeborn making a long visit to his sister during the Season 4 frame. Family vacations are not the focus of Season 4, and the frame doesn't have time for extra subplots.

Nothing of the sort is happening this season, nor ever. The only Elven invasion of a Dwarven kingdom is the Battle of Five Armies, which happened in Season 2. We have not made any plans to include Celeborn's sister in that battle, or to show her killing Dwarves in cold blood at any other time. On the contrary, as a voice of reconciliation with the Dwarves in the frame, she obviously did not help invade Erebor.
We need to discuss, realise the potential repercussions of our decisions and then the host can make a decision on them. I stress once more if Celeborn's sister is not Nimloth's mother then we don't have to worry about these things, but IF she is then we do.

I am against constantly kicking cans down the street, because we are coming close to retconning things. The separation of Celeborn and his sister should have been shown in Season 2, but it was decided he didn't need a family. Celeborn is actually going to be the second longest running 'main' character in series after Sauron and now it's decided he needs sibling(s).

The fight with dwarves IS supposed to happen when Beren ambushes the dwarves of Nogrod with the Green Elves. As our unofficial spokeswoman for the Green Elves you would imagine she is going to be involved. Dior is another person she is going to know personally and see him grow from a boy. So at worst not only is Dior a beloved grand-nephew he is also a child she helped raise. The Feanorians are going to kill him and his two sons, children she VERY likely helped raise too.

Being friendly with people she initially distrusted has NOT worked out well for her.

I have to be honest it feels like we are shoehorning a character in and not making her act realistically. I am all for Celeborn's sister being in it, as long as she is not Nimloth's mother, but the truth is she should be working through her issues with dwarves. Instead of reconciliation, it stands to reason she would be pushing for Thranduil not to trust the dwarves. Then her and Thranduil can get over their grievances with dwarves.

The Green Elves don't make peace with anyone and threaten or actually go to war with their enemies. At no point do they suffer or change their views as whole. The opposite happens and their initial prejudices are reinforced.

For the frame it just makes a lot more sense to have Celeborn's sister or even Thranduil's mother be a Northern Sindar (who lives in Gondolin), or a Sindar from Nargothrond or even one of the Fallas.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
You alone have brought up Arwen visiting
That is simply not true.
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.
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.
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.
One advantage of using Arwen here is that all of our Frames have been 'linked' so far.



this changes their interactions with all the other characters in Mirkwood
We aren't changing anything about the relationship between Elrond's children and Legolas, or Aldarion and Legolas, because the LotR never describes these relationships. Nor is there any scene establishing their relationships with Thranduil, or Celeborn's non-canon sister, or unnamed Mirkwood characters that aren't part of LotR or this project. There is nothing to change.

We have repeatedly agreed that Aragorn, Elrond's children, and even Aldarion can interact with this woman. I don't even know what you are demanding at this point. It would help if you would explain your request more clearly and concisely.

Not sure how this is relevant. Rivendell was defender from Sauron before the ring and Lothlorien has an army.
Elrond had a large army which barely defended Rivendell only for a few years, and was losing when the Numenoreans came to Rivendell's rescue. Said Elven army (what was left of it) then mostly died in the Last Alliance or sailed West in the early Third Age. In the LotR Elrond said he had not the military strength to resist, and Tolkien has also said in a letter that Galadriel didn't have a powerful army either. Their late Third Age armies are tiny. It's very clear that their rings are the only things defending their realms, and maintaining their anti-time bubbles.



As for the fall of Doriath, that's not happening this season and won't contrast with the Season 4 frame. And we haven't planned for Celeborn's sister to be a warrior. There's no reason for her to ambush the Dwarves at Sarn Athrad even if Green Elves are involved. Which they shouldn't be because JRR Tolkien explicitly said that Beren was helped by Ents, not by Elves, and Christopher Tolkien rewrote that entire story. In any case, Celeborn's sister has 7000 years afterwards to forgive a completely unrelated clan of Dwarves who weren't even related to the perpetrators. What's bizarre and wrong is actually that Thranduil and Celeborn still irrationally hate all Dwarves 7000 years later. Celeborn's sister is the sensible one, not them.

And the entire point of Celeborn's sister is that the Nandor don't all have the exact same opinion. See Legolas vs. Thranduil for another example. We want a foil to Thranduil's extremism.
 
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cellardur

Active Member
That is simply not true at all.

We aren't changing anything about the relationship between Elrond's children and Legolas, or Aldarion and Legolas, because the LotR never addresses that and never has them in the same scene. Nor is there any scene establishing their relationship with Thranduil or Celeborn's non-canon sister. We are not changing anything at all.

We have repeatedly agreed that Aragorn, Elrond's children, and even Aldarion can interact with this woman. I don't even know what you are demanding at this point. It would help if you would explain your request more clearly.
I think I have made it very clear, that an interaction with a ancestress changes things and the way they will be perceived. Aldarion refusing to listen to his great grandmother looks a lot worse than refusing to listen to random elves.

I have pointed out that Elrond's children and Legolas do not know each other. These are BIG changes we will need to make in the future and will greatly effect the way we look at characters. The whole interaction would have to be different. It would now be long lost friends meeting similar to Aragorn meeting Glorfindel. I won't mention the others things here again.

'And have you marked the brethren Elladon and Elrohir? Less sombre is their gear than the others,' and they are as fair and gallant as elf lord; and that is not to be wondered at in the sons of Elrond of Rivendell.'


Elrond had a large army which barely defended Rivendell only for a few years, and was losing when the Numenoreans came to Rivendell's rescue. Said Elven army (what was left of it) then mostly died in the Last Alliance or sailed West in the early Third Age. In the LotR Elrond said he had not the military strength to resist, and Tolkien has also said that Galadriel didn't either. It's very clear that their rings are the only things defending their realms.
The army Elrond had lost at Eregion and was forced to retreat. Elrond AND Gandalf both imply Rivendell has enough strength to resist longer than anywhere else.

'Is Rivendell safe.'
'Yes at present, until all else is conquered......And Here in Rivendell there live still some of his chief foes: the Elven-wise, lords of the Eldar from beyond the furthest seas. They do not fear the ringwraiths for those who have dwelt in Blessed Realm live at once in both worlds and against both the Seen and Unseen they have great power.'


Rivendell still has the greatest concentration of powers for good. They can send out at 4 riders capable of riding against the 9 including an enhanced Balrog slaying Glorfindel and that's before we take into account the Sons of Elrond.
As for the fall of Doriath, that is not happening this season. It is many, many seasons away. And we haven't planned for Celeborn's siter to be a warrior. There's no reason for her to ambush the Dwarves at Sarn Athrad even if Green Elves are involved. Which they shouldn't be because JRR Tolkien explicitly said that Beren was helped by Ents, not by Elves, and Christopher Tolkien rewrote that entire story. In any case, Celeborn's sister has 7000 years afterwards to forgive a completely unrelated clan of Dwarves who weren't even related to the perpetrators. What's bizarre and wrong is actually that Thranduil and Celeborn still irrationally hate all Dwarves 7000 years later, to the point Thranduil wants to slaughter and torture them at random. Celeborn's sister is the sensible one, not them.
Tolkien never wrote down a final version and in his last writings he had Dior living with the Green Elves. Not to mention Christopher made the most coherent version he could with an Unfinished story. Unless I am forgetting a note, Christopher Tolkien's reading seems to be correct and the Ents were added in addition to the Green Elves.

Cory often mentions how Christopher Tolkien states, just because JRR did not include something in his latest manuscript from an older one, does not mean the idea was discarded.

Celeborn's sister does not have to be a warrior, she is the voice of Green Elves, so we can assume she gave the go ahead.

I don't think Thranduil and Celeborn's hatred of dwarves is bizarre at all, wrong, racist and prejudiced but sadly very, very common in the world. In fact Liam Neeson's recent interview shows just how prevalent such ideas are.
And the entire point of Celeborn's sister is that the Nandor are not a hive-mind and they don't all have the exact same opinion. See Legolas vs. Thranduil for another example of Nandor not all having the same exact opinion.
Then she can't be the VOICE of the Nandor as the Host have intended her to be. They want her not to be the 'leader' but to be the face and voice of the Nandor.

Also Legolas seems to have his father's opinion on things, but only though exploring the world and getting first hand experience does he begin to change his views.

'A plague on dwarves and their stiff necks!' after he agrees without Gimli's consent to have him alone blindfolded.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I preface this by saying I still agree with you that Galathil should be Nimloth's father, rather than Celeborn's sister.

I think I have made it very clear, that an interaction with a ancestress changes things and the way they will be perceived.
It does, when there was something there before to change. In Aldarion's case Tolkien didn't say anything about his relationship with any Elves except Gil-galad and Cirdan, so I don't understand what change you're referring to. Not to say it doesn't matter, but that I truly don't follow you. Sorry. If it's that he'll look like a jerk... personally I don't mind that, I think he's already a jerk. :p

I don't interpret that part of the LotR as necessarily saying Legolas could not have met the sons of Elrond. Arwen and her brothers are such minor characters that we hardly see them interacting with anybody in the whole book. I could be missing something about that one line from Legolas, but I don't think it rules out him having met them before, or means that we're changing something about Elrond's children.

I don't agree at all that Elrond and Galadriel's rings aren't important in defending Rivendell and Lothlorien. But I don't want to derail this conversation with more arguing about that topic. For this frame it's only a question (for me) of whether Galadriel will visit Mirkwood. And considering she wouldn't or couldn't visit her daughter Celebrian during her ordeal or to say goodbye before she sailed west... I can't imagine Galadriel visiting Mirkwood except to attack the Necromancer.


Tolkien never wrote down a final version
He did, actually. Not in detail like we'd want, but here's part of Letter 247, from 1963:
J.R.R. Tolkien said:
Beren did not show himself among mortals again, except once. He intercepted a dwarf-army that had descended from the mountains, sacked th realm of Doriath and slain King Thingol, Luthien's father, carrying off a great booty, including Thingol's necklace upon which hung the Silmaril. There was a battle about a ford across one of the Seven Rivers of Ossir, and the Silmaril was recovered, and so came down to Dior Beren's son, and to Elwing Dior's daughter and Earendel her husband (father of Elros and Elrond). It seems clear that Beren, who had no army, received the aid of the Ents - and that would not make for love between Ents and Dwarves.
Apparently "mortals" includes Dwarves here. *shrug*

Anyway, this is the last thing JRRT ever wrote about that battle, and he not only had Ents involved, but declared that Beren had no actual army, no help besides the Ents themselves.

And it makes sense, if the Green-elves swore off war they wouldn't then... go to war. Sniper fire on mortals from cover, perhaps, but not open warfare.

I don't think Thranduil and Celeborn's hatred of dwarves is bizarre at all, wrong, racist and prejudiced but sadly very, very common in the world. In fact Liam Neeson's recent interview shows just how prevalent such ideas are.
Bizarre may be in the eye of the beholder, but I don't want the entire race of Nandor to be uniformly horrible racists with no variation and no personal differences of opinion. That's boring and unrealistic, and also super unsympathetic.

Then she can't be the VOICE of the Nandor as the Host have intended her to be. They want her not to be the 'leader' but to be the face and voice of the Nandor.
She can't be the voice or the leader in the frame anyway, because Thranduil is King of Mirkwood. I suppose the Hosts meant her role in the First Age, where she'll be the only named Green-elf in Ossiriand this season and likely for some later seasons, too. But she won't be the spokeswoman for any warfare since the Green-elves don't go to war again. Actually in Ossiriand the Nandor have no leaders at all, so she can't really be that prominent, except as a literary role as the "face" of the Laegelrim.

And this is a good reason to keep the Green-elves entirely out of the Battle of Sarn Ford (in addition to the quote above).
 
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cellardur

Active Member
I preface this by saying I still agree with you that Galathil should be Nimloth's father, rather than Celeborn's sister.

It does, when there was something there before to change. In Aldarion's case Tolkien didn't say anything about his relationship with any Elves except Gil-galad and Cirdan, so I don't understand what change you're referring to. Not to say it doesn't matter, but that I truly don't follow you. Sorry. If it's that he'll look like a jerk... personally I don't mind that, I think he's already a jerk. :p
Well each to his own, I think in some ways he is a great hero. Without him Gil-galad, Cirdan, Galadriel and Elrond would probably all have died. He wasn't perfect, but his foresight saved the Elves. I have always sympathised with Aldarion.
I don't interpret that part of the LotR as necessarily saying Legolas could not have met the sons of Elrond. Arwen and her brothers are such minor characters that we hardly see them interacting with anybody in the whole book. I could be missing something about that one line from Legolas, but I don't think it rules out him having met them before, or means that we're changing something about Elrond's children.
The line doesn't rule out meeting them before, but it certainly rules out any close friendship as does the greetings between the two. Compare Legolas' reaction to them with even
[QUOTE
I don't agree at all that Elrond and Galadriel's rings aren't important in defending Rivendell and Lothlorien. But I don't want to derail this conversation with more arguing about that topic. For this frame it's only a question (for me) of whether Galadriel will visit Mirkwood. And considering she wouldn't or couldn't visit her daughter Celebrian during her ordeal or to say goodbye before she sailed west... I can't imagine Galadriel visiting Mirkwood except to attack the Necromancer.[/QUOTE]
We will save this discussion for another place.
He did, actually. Not in detail like we'd want, but here's part of Letter 247, from 1963:
Apparently "mortals" includes Dwarves here. *shrug*
Well dwarves do die, so it makes sense. As I said it's only a 'final version if it is printed.' Otherwise he was constantly changing things around and in some of his later letters mistook Turgon for Fingolfin. However, in his last works he once again stresses the connection between Dior and the Green Elves. Dior grew up KNOWING the language, which again shows Beren and Luthien had some interaction with them.

Christopher Tolkien was given the right by JRR to edit any or add anything to the story he saw fit. He had far more power to create than he has ever used.

If Christopher addresses the Green Elves being a mistake he made, then it would be great if you have it. So far it just seems did not go into detail or did not consider the Green Elves a force to stop the dwarves and so included the Ents.
Anyway, this is the last thing JRRT ever wrote about that battle, and he not only had Ents involved, but declared that Beren had no actual army, no help besides the Ents themselves.

And it makes sense, if the Green-elves swore off war they wouldn't then... go to war. Sniper fire on mortals from cover, perhaps, but not open warfare.
Not really, open war yes, but if they were prepared to attack the people of Haleth for just cutting down trees, then they would do more for the murder of Thingol. They hid from the people of Hador, because they didn't have the strength to do anything major.

This actually points to the Green Elves playing a role, but being too weak to stop the dwarves that defeated Doriath. This could be why the Ents had to be included, because with the Ents the battle now makes sense.
Bizarre may be in the eye of the beholder, but I don't want the entire race of Nandor to be uniformly horrible racists with no variation and no personal differences of opinion. That's boring and unrealistic, and also super unsympathetic.
The entire race is obviously too much, but the majority of them ARE. Tolkien does not shy away from having his good guys act in terrible ways. Some Elves are racist and the majority of the later Numenoreans WILL be racist.
She can't be the voice or the leader in the frame anyway, because Thranduil is King of Mirkwood. I suppose the Hosts meant her role in the First Age, where she'll be the only named Green-elf in Ossiriand this season and likely for some later seasons, too. But she won't be the spokeswoman for any warfare since the Green-elves don't go to war again. Actually in Ossiriand the Nandor have no leaders at all, so she can't really be that prominent, except as a literary role as the "face" of the Laegelrim.
The host wanted to make her the spokeswoman and voice of the Nandor in the First Age.

I still think the text and implications are that Tolkien never wanted to change the Nandor being involved in the Battle of Sarn Ford, but needed to find a way to boost their strength. Hence why he added the Ents.

As for a leader, the leader of the attack was Beren.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Re: racism

Sure, it's very unsympathetic and an unlovely character trait. It's also very common in the world, despite people's frequent and vehement denials of it.

In the Harry Potter books, J. K. Rowling used racism as a short-hand for evil characters. If you knew someone's political views on being a pureblood wizard, you could confidently determine whether that person was a good guy or a bad guy. She did use *some* nuance - the Weasley twins thought Hermione's house-elf rights campaign to be completely misguided, because in their view, the house-elves liked being servants bound to wizarding families. There were some otherwise good characters who accepted the status quo. But in general, if someone was a good person, they not only were going to fight Lord Voldemort, but be a champion of equal rights, etc.

It's obviously not a bad thing that she worked some of those issues into her fantasy novel, since it was set in more-or-less the real world (if the real world had a secret society of wizards and was inhabited by lots of magical creatures).

But the point is that the short-hand worked; it was easy for her to train readers to recognize any whiff of racism as a sign that a character was a Death Eater and the enemy. Notice that someone didn't have to be running around committing murders or controlling people or involved in other nefarious activities...they 'merely' had to give voice to the idea that centaurs weren't really human and shouldn't be treated the same as humans under the law. And then the reader knew.


COULD one tell a story in which an otherwise decent person was also blatantly racist? I suppose one could, but...probably not on a modern television show in America. It would be condemned as terrible writing for trying to 'excuse' such distasteful views. If one were writing a comedy, one could portray a character like that, but he'd be the brunt of the jokes or an anachronism or something. More commonly, the character would be deeply flawed in other ways as well, and the racism would be part of how the audience is shown that this person's view of the world is skewed. Racism alone is enough to make a character despicable.

We're not trying to write American History X. We don't want to focus on evolving views of race in Tolkien's world. And so...we have some choices to make.

If we present characters who are unabashedly racist, we are giving the viewer permission to view these characters as villains whose views of the world should not be taken seriously.

So, we can write a character to be as unforgiving in their views as Tolkien wrote them and probably intended them to be, with the understanding that the audience will judge this character very strongly for these views. If we *don't* want a character to be viewed as a villain, then we should probably tone down the racism.

There are ways around this - one can make it 'personal'...people are fine with the 'you killed my family!' revenge trope. As long as the target is *actually* the person who killed your family. So, 'not all dwarves' - just the actual dwarves who were actually guilty of slaying Thingol.

Some racism (particularly between elves and dwarves) is to be expected. I am hardly suggesting we excise this from the story and act like there was never an issue between these groups! But the tension should have a source, and we should connect the dots for the viewers. As long as they can still condemn blatant racism in the characters, we can portray some nuanced history to explain the situation.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Re: racism

Sure, it's very unsympathetic and an unlovely character trait. It's also very common in the world, despite people's frequent and vehement denials of it.

In the Harry Potter books, J. K. Rowling used racism as a short-hand for evil characters. If you knew someone's political views on being a pureblood wizard, you could confidently determine whether that person was a good guy or a bad guy. She did use *some* nuance - the Weasley twins thought Hermione's house-elf rights campaign to be completely misguided, because in their view, the house-elves liked being servants bound to wizarding families. There were some otherwise good characters who accepted the status quo. But in general, if someone was a good person, they not only were going to fight Lord Voldemort, but be a champion of equal rights, etc.

It's obviously not a bad thing that she worked some of those issues into her fantasy novel, since it was set in more-or-less the real world (if the real world had a secret society of wizards and was inhabited by lots of magical creatures).

But the point is that the short-hand worked; it was easy for her to train readers to recognize any whiff of racism as a sign that a character was a Death Eater and the enemy. Notice that someone didn't have to be running around committing murders or controlling people or involved in other nefarious activities...they 'merely' had to give voice to the idea that centaurs weren't really human and shouldn't be treated the same as humans under the law. And then the reader knew.


COULD one tell a story in which an otherwise decent person was also blatantly racist? I suppose one could, but...probably not on a modern television show in America. It would be condemned as terrible writing for trying to 'excuse' such distasteful views. If one were writing a comedy, one could portray a character like that, but he'd be the brunt of the jokes or an anachronism or something. More commonly, the character would be deeply flawed in other ways as well, and the racism would be part of how the audience is shown that this person's view of the world is skewed. Racism alone is enough to make a character despicable.

We're not trying to write American History X. We don't want to focus on evolving views of race in Tolkien's world. And so...we have some choices to make.

If we present characters who are unabashedly racist, we are giving the viewer permission to view these characters as villains whose views of the world should not be taken seriously.

So, we can write a character to be as unforgiving in their views as Tolkien wrote them and probably intended them to be, with the understanding that the audience will judge this character very strongly for these views. If we *don't* want a character to be viewed as a villain, then we should probably tone down the racism.

There are ways around this - one can make it 'personal'...people are fine with the 'you killed my family!' revenge trope. As long as the target is *actually* the person who killed your family. So, 'not all dwarves' - just the actual dwarves who were actually guilty of slaying Thingol.

Some racism (particularly between elves and dwarves) is to be expected. I am hardly suggesting we excise this from the story and act like there was never an issue between these groups! But the tension should have a source, and we should connect the dots for the viewers. As long as they can still condemn blatant racism in the characters, we can portray some nuanced history to explain the situation.
Well, I think that the Feanoreans are going to show some racism against Dior for being the offspring of an Elf and a Man. They are going to be seen as the darker grey amongst the Noldor (they did instigate the Kinslayings). Just not quite Mrs. Black’s portrait level:
“Filth! Scum! By-products of dirt and vileness! Half-breeds, mutants, freaks, begone from this place! How dare you befoul the house of my fathers--”
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
The Fëanoreans are going to be seen as despicable for the Second Kinslaying in general, yes! And while Celegorm and Curufin are certainly not fans of Beren, and therefore not of Dior, their beef with him is not that he's a Mortal Man, nor do they automatically hate all mortals. Look down on? Yes, we're going to be showing their pride, and pride tends to make people dismissive of others.

But pride and racism, while potentially connected, are *not* the same thing.

In the end, I don't think we'll be showing a lot of racism from the Fëanoreans. The Green Elves, though? And Thranduil?

Thranduil does not care for dwarves. He makes this explicitly clear. How to handle that will be...of interest...to how we develop the story of the Season 4 Frame. Someone is probably going to have to call him on it. So, if he's going on about dwarves this and dwarves that....someone (Celeborn's sister, most likely), is going to have to say 'I don't recall Dain doing this or Dain saying that' to emphasize the point that you have to work with individuals, not just lump all dwarves ever together and then dismiss them as untrustworthy. If Thranduil backs off, he might be salvagable as a character. He's not going to actually change his view, but he can make sure his actions are fair and honorable, and that's what is needed from him.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
The Fëanoreans are going to be seen as despicable for the Second Kinslaying in general, yes! And while Celegorm and Curufin are certainly not fans of Beren, and therefore not of Dior, their beef with him is not that he's a Mortal Man, nor do they automatically hate all mortals. Look down on? Yes, we're going to be showing their pride, and pride tends to make people dismissive of others.

But pride and racism, while potentially connected, are *not* the same thing.

In the end, I don't think we'll be showing a lot of racism from the Fëanoreans. The Green Elves, though? And Thranduil?

Thranduil does not care for dwarves. He makes this explicitly clear. How to handle that will be...of interest...to how we develop the story of the Season 4 Frame. Someone is probably going to have to call him on it. So, if he's going on about dwarves this and dwarves that....someone (Celeborn's sister, most likely), is going to have to say 'I don't recall Dain doing this or Dain saying that' to emphasize the point that you have to work with individuals, not just lump all dwarves ever together and then dismiss them as untrustworthy. If Thranduil backs off, he might be salvagable as a character. He's not going to actually change his view, but he can make sure his actions are fair and honorable, and that's what is needed from him.
Speaking of which, we should talk about what Thranduil, Dain and Bard should be doing for the Frame; all will have an impact on the area. I’ve suggested them as characters in the casting thread, but we’ll get to that in March, right?
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
The line doesn't rule out meeting them before, but it certainly rules out any close friendship as does the greetings between the two.
Just because they've met, doesn't require them to be best friends.

As I said it's only a 'final version if it is printed.' Otherwise he was constantly changing things around
This is incorrect. That letter was the last mention, written by JRR Tolkien, of the Battle of Sarn Athrad. The 1977 Silmarillion does not contain anything remotely "final," and its contents were not universally written later than the HOME contents. Christopher Tolkien himself repeatedly denied that, and pointed all the places where he outright made something up. I know in very minute detail exactly which sentences were written earlier than other sentences, and in most cases the date when each sentence was written.

If Christopher addresses the Green Elves being a mistake he made, then it would be great if you have it.
Christopher Tolkien said:
In the story that appears in The Silmarillion ... The ambush and destruction of the Dwarves at Sarn Athrad was given again to Beren and the Green Elves (following my father's letter of 1963 quoted on p. 353, where however he said that 'Beren had no army'),
Edit: Bold emphasis mine, original italic replaced with underline. (Given "again" to Beren is because in an earlier version, Caranthir ambushed the Dwarves.)



Regarding Thranduil, I do not think he's salvageable as a decent person. He treats Mortals well, but mostly he's an awful person. What he did to the Dwarves was torture, and he declared his intention to continue it for the rest of their lives. He's despicable, and I don't see any way to "salvage" him without either 1.) Contradicting the events in The Hobbit; or 2.) Showing a complete change of heart, great remorse, and serious attempts to make amends.

Celeborn is salvageable, because he's only guilty of saying racist things, not torturing innocent people for revenge. Making Celeborn more sympathetic is a major reason I want to introduce his brother and father this season, so we can have Dwarves kill them.
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Just because they've met, doesn't require them to be best friends.

You are incorrect. That letter was the last mention, written by JRR Tolkien, of the Battle of Sarn Athrad. I do not lie. I have researched the First Age texts very, very extensively for many years. The 1977 Silmarillion does not contain anything remotely "final," and its contents were not universally written later than the HOME contents. Christopher Tolkien himself repeatedly denied that, and pointed all the places where he outright made something. I know in very minute detail exactly which words were written earlier than other words, and in most cases the date when each word was written.

Bold emphasis mine, italic original.



Regarding Thranduil, I do not think he's salvageable as a decent person. He treats Mortals well, but mostly he's an awful person. What he did to the Dwarves was torture, and he declared his intention to continue it for the rest of their lives. He's despicable, and I don't see any way to "salvage" him without either 1.) Contradicting the events in The Hobbit; or 2.) Showing a complete change of heart, great remorse, and serious attempts to make amends.

Celeborn is salvageable, because he's only guilty of saying racist things, not torturing innocent people for revenge. Making Celeborn more sympathetic is a major reason I want to introduce his brother and father this season, so we can have Dwarves kill them.
Perhaps Thranduil goes through some character development this season in the Frame?
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Some character development could happen, but it's a long road from "I enjoy torturing random Dwarves because they're the scum of the Earth, no better than Orcs." to "Oh God, I've done such wrong, I need to make amends and treat the Dwarves as equals." And when you look at the words of Gloin to Legolas at the Council of Elrond, Gloin doesn't think the Mirkwood Elves have tried to make amends, or even apologized, for what they did to him. Gloin may not be quick to acknowledge small apologies, but still we can only show so much change from Thranduil without contradicting the LotR.

As for how common racism is, consider that what's common among fallen Men isn't necessarily as common among unfallen Elves. And making it common is different from making it universal with no individual variation. Celeborn's sister should be a voice for decency. And there can be other Nandor who are willing to reconsider their reactions. Remember that Thranduil himself is a Sinda, and most of the Mirkwood Elves weren't personally in Doriath and didn't know anyone who was. They've been told by the Sindar and Green-elven immigrants that Dwarves are bad and untrustworthy, but it isn't personal for them. They don't have personal experiences being hurt by Dwarves, but many did fight alongside Dwarves against the Orcs in the Battle of Five Armies, and they have had opportunities since then to meet Dwarves and see that they're just people. In the real world, positive or neutral personal experience is a great way to alleviate racial prejudices, if they aren't super-strong hatreds.


edited for spelling and typos
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Some character development could happen, but it's a long road from "I enjoy torturing random Dwarves because they're the scum of the Earth, no better than Orcs." to "Oh God, I've done such wrong, I need to make amends and treat the Dwarves as equals." And when you look at the words of Gloin to Legolas at the Council of Elrond, Gloin doesn't think the Mirkwood Elves have tried to make amends, or even apologized, for what they did him. Gloin may not be quik to acknowledge half-hearted apoligies, but still we can only show so much change from Thranduil without contradicting the LotR.

As for how common racism is, consider that what's common among fallen Men isn't necessarily as common among unfallen Elves. And making it common is different from making it universal with no individual variation. Celeborn's sister should be a voice for decency. And there can be other Nandor who are willing to reconsider their reactions. Remember that Thranduil himself is a Sinda, and most of the Mirkwood Elves weren't personally in Doriath and didn't know anyone who was. They've been told by the Sindar and Green-elven immigrants that Dwarves are bad and untrustworthy, but it isn't personal for them. They don't have personal experiences being hurt by Dwarves, but many did fight alongside Dwarves against the Orcs in the Battle of Five Armies, and they have had opportunities since then to meet Dwarves and see that they're just people. In the real world, positive or neutral personal experience is a great way to alleviate racial prejudices that weren't based on personal bad experiences.
Well, not to the point of making amends, but perhaps seeing maybe a few as worthy of respect, kind of like a “you are a credit to your race”.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Yes, there is an indication that Thranduil showed some grudging respect in the immediate aftermath of the Battle, by returning Thorin's stolen sword and putting in on his grave. So he has changed a little, even before the frame starts. Gloin at the Council of Elrond doesn't mention any other Dwarves who were captured and tortured in the years after the Battle, so we can guess that it didn't keep happening... although we can also guess the Dwarves found other routes past Mirkwood to visit Eriador, especially with 3/4 of the Misty Mountain Orcs killed. I can't recall if there was any mention of Mount Gundabad, if the Dwarves ever re-took it from the Orcs. Clearly, the Elves didn't invade Erebor again.

Edit: Possibly Tolkien, Bilbo, and maybe even Thranduil didn't realize how cruel and damaging it is to put somebody in solitary confinement and total darkness. Tolkien didn't necessarily think of it as torture when he wrote it, and Bilbo thinks Thranduil is a nice guy.
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
It is also most likely the case that after the Battle of Five Armies, the dwarves of Erebor would be able to ask the elves of Mirkwood for permission to use the old road through the forest...and get it.

Thorin refused to say why he was travelling through the forest and 'interrupting' the elven feasts. He would only say, 'because we were starving.' Thranduil suspects that there is more going on, and that secrets are being kept. If later dwarves aren't keeping secrets...they would not be treated that way.

We could potentially have the discussion about dwarf traffic through Mirkwood come up during the Season 4 frame, and tie this to the episode where Caranthir enacts a toll on dwarven merchants crossing his land.

You can be a nice guy and yet have a severe black spot.
You can, certainly. How to portray that, though?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
It is also most likely the case that after the Battle of Five Armies, the dwarves of Erebor would be able to ask the elves of Mirkwood for permission to use the old road through the forest...and get it.

Thorin refused to say why he was travelling through the forest and 'interrupting' the elven feasts. He would only say, 'because we were starving.' Thranduil suspects that there is more going on, and that secrets are being kept. If later dwarves aren't keeping secrets...they would not be treated that way.

We could potentially have the discussion about dwarf traffic through Mirkwood come up during the Season 4 frame, and tie this to the episode where Caranthir enacts a toll on dwarven merchants crossing his land.



You can, certainly. How to portray that, though?
Perhaps an agreement between Thranduil and Dain and reverse the situation in each so now that the Mirkwood Elves are agreeing to do something (help repel spiders), while Caranthir was exacting a toll?
 

cellardur

Active Member
Just because they've met, doesn't require them to be best friends.

This is incorrect. That letter was the last mention, written by JRR Tolkien, of the Battle of Sarn Athrad. The 1977 Silmarillion does not contain anything remotely "final," and its contents were not universally written later than the HOME contents. Christopher Tolkien himself repeatedly denied that, and pointed all the places where he outright made something up. I know in very minute detail exactly which sentences were written earlier than other sentences, and in most cases the date when each sentence was written.

Edit: Bold emphasis mine, original italic replaced with underline. (Given "again" to Beren is because in an earlier version, Caranthir ambushed the Dwarves.)
Maybe you are right. I did not meant the Silmarillion was final, because Christopher admits he made mistakes, but rather Christopher has the POWER and AUTHORITY to do as he sees fit regarding the Unpublished works of his father. Tolkien left him complete power to recreate, create or edit anything he wished.
Regarding Thranduil, I do not think he's salvageable as a decent person. He treats Mortals well, but mostly he's an awful person. What he did to the Dwarves was torture, and he declared his intention to continue it for the rest of their lives. He's despicable, and I don't see any way to "salvage" him without either 1.) Contradicting the events in The Hobbit; or 2.) Showing a complete change of heart, great remorse, and serious attempts to make amends.

Celeborn is salvageable, because he's only guilty of saying racist things, not torturing innocent people for revenge. Making Celeborn more sympathetic is a major reason I want to introduce his brother and father this season, so we can have Dwarves kill them.
Whether Thranduil is salvageable as a decent person is a matter of opinion and I want the audience to decide this for themselves. I don't want to give a white washed version of characters. Many great heroes of our world did a lot worse, to races they considered inferior, and with less cause than Thranduil did to the dwarves. Yet they are still considered heroes. The likes of Aragorn, Elrond, Elendil etc are extremely rare even amongst the great heroes.

I loved that Tolkien never shied away from showing the darker side of his characters even the most noble ones.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Regarding Thranduil, I do not think he's salvageable as a decent person. He treats Mortals well, but mostly he's an awful person. What he did to the Dwarves was torture, and he declared his intention to continue it for the rest of their lives. He's despicable, and I don't see any way to "salvage" him without either 1.) Contradicting the events in The Hobbit; or 2.) Showing a complete change of heart, great remorse, and serious attempts to make amends.
Well, he has to be somewhat decent, otherwise
  1. He wouldn't have found anyone to marry him since Elves marry for love, and
  2. Legolas wouldn't be a halfway-decent person
As I said, maybe he's respectful of Dunedain because of what Beren and Luthien managed to do, generally dislikes Dwarves for killing Thingol and sacking Doriath, and at the same time sees particular individuals among Dwarves as worthy of respect?
 
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