Session 4.04 & 4.05 - Overarching Storylines

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Everyone is so quick to jump on "final word" or "final decision". Nothing is final until Corey and the Exec crew say it's final, and even then they can change their minds.

"Current working plan" is the firmest possible way to describe anything that Corey hasn't declared out loud on the podcast.
True.

I'm still having a hard time picturing Charles Bingley (Simon Woods) as the right-hand man to the Devil, and that was before I arrived on the site. But this probably isn't the place to complain.
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
1. Why did you walk if you had ships?
2. They were all burned by Orcs, and no Telerin sailors were left alive to help you? Very sad.
...
3. (to each other) Um, good ships don’t burn easily. It takes a while to even set them alight, let alone burn them to the waterline.
4. How is it none of the Telerin sailors had the wit to get their ships out in time, when they saw an army coming? We did it, why couldn’t they?
5. Why didn’t the sailors jump overboard and swim to shore?
6. All the Teleri were already dead before the ships burned? But how?
...
7. Did you bury Olwë on the shore? He was my good friend, I want to visit his grave.
8. You didn’t bury him? I can’t find any graves here. And no sign of a battle, either.
9. The earth says there’re no graves and no battlefield on this firth. The sea says only one person died in the ships.
10. Your story makes no sense. If there was no battle, how did the ships burn?
11. Noldor burned them!? Why would you destroy a precious gift your Telerin friends gave you?
12. You stole the ships!
13. The Teleri wouldn’t just let you steal their ships. Ulmo wouldn’t just let you. You betrayed our kin and disobeyed the Valar.
14. Something bad happened in Aman. What are you hiding?
So, what this reminds me of is the kind of mystery you get in a police procedural kind of TV show, with the truth eventually coming out as suspects are questioned. One difference here is that the Falathrim have no reason to suspect a crime has been, or could have been committed. Combine that with the lacksadaisical way in which elves seem to go about getting to the bottom of something (looking at you, Necromancer), and I think this process could indeed go on for some time.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
I think this process could indeed go on for some time.
Yes!

The clues are all there (not all at once, but certainly before the whole story is revealed), but due to a combination of no initial suspicion, the "what, me hurry?" attitude of Elves in general, and the obvious scapegoat of Morgoth/Orcs already in place, it takes waaaay longer than maybe it feels like it should for them to piece it together. And all of this only serves to make the outrage even stronger when it finally all comes out.

It was that lackadaisicalness (what a word!) that was missing all along in my own vision of the process. I can see so many conversations being ended by an unchallenged "I don't want to talk about it any further". Why push back against that? You'll find out some day, and it's not like there could possibly be some horrific revelation behind it all, that's unthinkable. So wait until they want to talk more. What's fifty years to wait? A hundred? Big deal.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
If it wasn’t about encouraging other people to go to the police, I can see a resemblance to the Helkaraxë (I don’t know how soon she wrote the blog). And I already acknowledged Amysrevenge’s point that it would only take 1 Elf to talk about trauma eventually. But I think there’s a significant difference between eventually (30-40 years later) and immediately. A year is like less than a month to an Elf, which I think you're all missing when you say that the Noldor would start sharing it with strangers after only 2-3 years.
I think you might be misunderstanding what my sister's blog post was about. There was no need to go to the police, because nothing illegal happened. It was a very difficult and traumatic situation, but more in the line of natural disaster/medical emergency/children in danger/being cut off with limited communication. It was about enduring hardship, not a crime. So, no, she did not use it to encourage anyone to go to the police, she used it to encourage others that they too could get through the difficult situation of giving birth while their husband is away on military duty....even if these other people (her intended readers) would be unlikely to be facing hurricanes, power outages, tornado warnings, no food, and lack of sleep or support on top of that. She decided to offer encouragement to those who were looking forward to a looming difficult event with trepidation by saying 'surely it won't be as bad as all this - and hey, I survived even that.' She did wait three years to have another child after that, but I would not say that was entirely based on this experience, either.

So, yes, I'm not saying my sister crossed the Helcaraxë. But, as far as birth stories go....hers is a crazy one! (Especially considering that the birth itself had no complications). I was equating the sense of endurance through a trying ordeal.

I don't have any personal experience of being trapped in the snow and fearing freezing/starving to death (though of course I've read news stories of that happening). The closest my family stories come to that is the snowstorm of '58, when my grandfather went away on a business trip leaving his wife and six children (aged 6 mo. to 9 years) in their brand new house in the country. The snow came, and the power and phones went out. Unfortunately, the street they were on was an 'extension' of an existing street, and they were the only house/family back there (so far). No one knew they were there, because they'd just moved in, so the snowplows took care of the main street, but did not get back to them. They didn't have the capability to dig themselves out, so they decided to make do with what they had until the snow was passable. No power meant no heat, so they kept the fireplace going, burning leftover floorboards from the recent construction (they didn't have a woodpile yet). They put the food from the refrigerator out in the snow to keep it cold, but local dogs came and ate it so that was gone. The kids put their mattresses around the fireplace and wrote 'HELP' in the snow, hoping that maybe someone would see it. My grandfather tried to call them, but just got a busy signal, so figured his wife was on the phone with new neighbors or family when he was trying to call. Eventually, someone figured out they were stuck, and my grandmother's brother-in-law trekked a mile through the snow with a bag of groceries to rescue them. They'd been on their own for about a week. Nobody died or was seriously hurt, though I think they all had a strong sense of concern during the ordeal. They were stranded, but in a house, not out in the elements. It lasted one week. My father wrote an essay about the experience for school, and told me about it when I asked him to describe his childhood for an elementary school essay of my own. (The Baltimore area gets a snowstorm with 2' of snow approximately once every 7 years. News report on the snow storm in question is here: https://www.baltimoresun.com/features/retro-baltimore/bs-fe-snow-retro-1958-story.html )

For some of the Noldor, the Helcaraxë is an ordeal that they endured, and afterwards they are going to mock anyone who ever complains of the cold. For others, it was the place where they lost close friends and family. And for some, it was a traumatizing experience. As Haakon cautioned, though, the Noldor don't act particularly traumatized as a whole, so we aren't going to portray all of their responses to this (or the Doom, or the Kinslaying) as responses to trauma. We are going to show effects of the Helcaraxë moving forward - costume choices, dialogue choices, how and when it is referenced. Bilbo's hobbity resilience to the Fell Winter (which may come up in the Season 4 Frame) will be different than the elven response to the crossing of the Helcaraxë.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Uh... I can't imagine there was anyone who didn't lose friends and family, or that some people weren't grieving at all afterwards. But my concern about people talking about trauma was the smallest of the concerns I expressed in my post.

I wasn't expressing my concerns just to vent. I was really hoping that we would actually continue this conversation and address the problems with this story so that we could compromise on a story that's acceptable to everyone. I am asking for... an actual response to my concerns. Please don't just ignore 90% of my post. I have a right to be concerned, and to request compromise.


Edit: And since the final overarching storylines podcast is this weekend and I'll be gone all weekend, it's almost too late to resolve this. I don't think it's fair at all to brush off/ignore my concerns until it's too late and just refuse to even discuss compromise. I'm really feeling hurt right now.
 
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amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
I've read and reread your post a couple times now, and it's a difficult thing. I don't like arguing, and like I said in an earlier post in this very thread, it is so difficult to disagree without making it feel like I'm yelling or dismissing or disregarding. I assure you that this is not the case. I value this discussion we are having, and I'm doing my best to disagree in good faith and in good humour.

I guess I feel like you are still insisting that some things must happen too quickly, and other things must happen too slowly, but I don't see as much "must" in the timelines. And you are still saying that some conclusions will be made immediately with preliminary evidence, and I don't think that is the case. They are kind of fundamental disagreements - there isn't a lot of room for compromise; it kind of either has to go the way you are proposing, or the way I am proposing.

I don't think (as you already know) that "you walked the Helcaraxe" leads directly to "you killed my brother" in a Columbo-like monologue from Thingol over 5 minutes ("oh yeah, one more thing"). It will take time. It can take a lot of time. It can take as much time as we need it to.

I don't think that "we walked the Helcaraxe" is a state secret. Some Elves will want to speak of it right away, others will never speak of it. The Kinslaying IS a state secret. All Noldor are specifically instructed not to speak of it to anyone.

I think that "I don't wish to talk further about this" when discussions veer toward the events in Valinor will deflect casual questioning for decades. Lackadaisicalness + no previous suspicion + existing scapegoat per above. Additionally, it's not like the Sindar have detectives and forensic scientists and experience with how to conduct an investigation. They are feeling their way through this, with no sense of urgency. If not for Cirdan and his curiosity about the ships and their providence, (and later Sauron's rumours) they would probably continue bumbling along for centuries without figuring anything out.

I think that the first few of the revelations, as they are revealed, make the Noldor more sympathetic and not more suspect. The turn at the end is more effective because of this.

Here is the order of revelations (there might be more bullet points worth injecting in the list, this is just a close-enough attempt):

1) There are burned ships - from Valinor
2) Noldor arrived from Valinor in those ships, but no Teleri.
3) A great many other Noldor arrive separately, far more than could have arrived in the ships
4) There is some division between the groups of Noldor
5) The larger group of Noldor, for some reason, crossed a hellscape on foot to get here.
6) Wait, Orcs didn't burn those ships.
7) Wait, it was the Noldor, specifically the Feanoreans (the Sindar know enough about inter-Noldor politics to suss this out by now).
8) Wait, the Noldor aren't here to save us, they are here for their own reasons.
9) Wait, they were *thrown out*?
10) Kinslaying oh no.​

All the way up to the point where they start to realize 6, it's mostly all about sympathy and thankfulness for the presence of the Noldor. I think that it can take as long as the presented timeline to get to the point of 6. Anything between 6 months and 60 years could be made to look feasible.

I think that the revelations from 7 to 9 come very quickly, with Thingol figuring out up to 9 on his own in concert with Cirdan. Then there's an angry confrontation with some Finarfinians*, in which Angrod goes into damage control mode; he thinks the whole thing had been discovered and inadvertently spills the beans confirming 10 in order to try to deflect the blame toward the Feanoreans.

*Thingol hearing a Sauron-inspired rumour of 10 and springing it on the Finarfinians as if he knows it is true is my preferred way to get to the end point above.

The Noldor don't know ahead of time how it's going to turn out, and they are not experienced at subterfuge, and they are just doing their best to avoid letting on about the Kinslaying. It can't possibly work forever, but they don't think of it like that - they are avoiding dealing with the Kinslaying because they don't want to think about it and they don't know what to do about it, and they are probably hoping to deal with Morgoth and get their Silmarils (and maybe go back to Valinor?) before they have to think about it again. Thingol and the Kinslaying are problems for later, and if they ignore it long enough maybe later will never come? And so, with the help of Sauron egging the Sindar on from behind the scenes, and with Cirdan continually circling back to the ships and how they got here, things are slowly revealed over time.

This, to me is a believable course of events that coincides with the knowledge, skills, and motivations of all parties, that can get us from where we start to where we need to be, in the amount of time we need for it to take (both in terms of screen time, and in terms of in-world time). I'm actually kind of proud of the outline, I've been puzzling over it and remembering Corey's comments and reading what other people have to say and turning it over and over in my brain for weeks.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
This is probably going to be really long!

I saw you said the outline would do that, and I’m sorry I seemed to ignore it. I’m really confused because you also seem to say that the Noldor must describe Helkaraxë crossing to Círdan + Thingol immediately in Eps 1-2. That it’s impossible to hide that the 2 hosts came separately, and that they have to tell Círdan as soon as they meet him, or that he already knows about the Helkaraxë before they meet him. I may be misunderstanding, but that’s my honest best attempt to interpret your posts.

I don’t think any survivor wants to open up to total strangers immediately in the first few years (1-2 months to Elves). In fact it sounds like the Hosts want Galadriel to cope by not talking with anyone, not even her family.

But more importantly, the Noldor truly need to hide it, to avoid conflict with the Sindar. I don’t want to show them blithely taking idiotic risks.
Okay, let's see....possible timeline for the Season

As far as timing in this project goes, the meeting with Círdan is the first Sindar/Noldor interaction, and that focuses on learning each other's languages. And so we'll get the first basic answers to 'why are you here?' and 'how did you get here?' but it is possible for there to be some confusion/misunderstanding in those sequences. Círdan may not be able to ask the questions he wants to ask right away, as they're still stuck on the 'My name is Círdan' part of the conversation. But, yes, eventually Círdan is going to ask about the mystery of the burned ships, and someone has to think of something to tell him that *doesn't* implicate Fëanor. Key details that should emerge in these earliest interactions are that the Noldor came to fight Morgoth, and that the ships were all destroyed. The Teleri...are not here. We will have to show Círdan making some erroneous assumptions, and the Noldor failing to disabuse him of them.

Galadriel's trip to Doriath is very early on (so, say, Episode 2), and she does shut down at that point. She's not offering much of anything to Thingol and Melian and is working through her guilt (survivor's guilt, sure, but she feels a bit like a co-conspirator). It is possible that Thingol (or his court) will ask her questions that she can't answer and is clearly upset by, which would color how they approach Angrod later. Galadriel's visit may teach the Sindar to tread lightly, which would help the Noldor's concealment plans greatly. I realize that 'silent tears' doesn't sound like a terribly Galadriel reaction to anything, but the whole point is that she is very much not herself after she looks at Melian. It is clear at this point that 'something bad' happened in Valinor, though of course the Sindar have no clue what. She establishes her kinship with Thingol, but that's about all.

Angrod visits Doriath as ambassador for the Noldor in FA 6 (so, likely Episode 3). We will now have more 'formal' questions and answers, and what Angrod says should be planned (by Angrod himself, of course, but also potentially coached by Finrod and/or Fingolfin). We would expect Angrod to confirm the intentions of the Noldor to stay in Middle-earth, maybe even going so far as to say that there is 'no way' back for them...without revealing anything remotely like the Doom of the Valar and Valinor being shut to them. Likewise, he is going to have to say that he can bring no news of Olwë, as...*launches into tale of Morgoth's misdeeds in Valinor*. He will affirm the Noldor's commitment to fighting Morgoth, and voice their desire to make permanent homes in Beleriand. Thingol will make Doriath off limits, and stress to Angrod that the Noldor will encounter Sindar who already live in these lands (a very 'they were here first' vibe, so he makes it clear he doesn't want the Noldor messing with them). Angrod, for his part, will attempt to portray the Noldor as a united front. Depending on whether or not Fingolfin was crowned before Angrod left, he could specifically speak of the High King of the Noldor (what about Finwë? Oh...he's, ummm....dead. Morgoth!), but even if that's later, he would still speak of a unified group because he thinks that the division between the Host of Fingolfin and the Fëanoreans is at an end now that they are all in Middle-earth. [Obviously, we will have to show *something* in Mithrim prior to this that justifies that interpretation.]

Angrod returns, the Noldor settle into their new realms, and the Sindar are with them (well, in Nevrast; not in East Beleriand so much). Fingolfin instructs them to leave the past behind and not speak of the darkness behind them to their new neighbors (or something like that) - in effect, he issues a gag order.

When we get to the Mereth Aderthad (Episode 5 at the moment), the Sindar and Noldor are intermingling, and now we get to the point where the Sindar are asking questions, the Noldor are giving non-answer brushoffs, and the Sindar are getting frustrated/confused/curious as to what's going on? Sauron smells a rat. Galadriel begins to open up again, speaking with Celeborn, who notices the change in her.

In the time between the Mereth Aderthad and the Dagor Aglareb (Episodes 6-7, FA 20-60), the Sindar would learn about the crossing of the Helcaraxë and that there was no 'ferrying' of elves. They would take the charitable interpretation that, 'Oh! The Noldor braved that journey to come help us fight Morgoth! What loyal friends!' They have known all along that the ships were destroyed. They know that some Teleri are dead. What they have thought all along is that every bad thing they hear about, Morgoth is behind.
At the same time, Sauron is spreading malicious rumors about the Noldor. He knows that Fëanor burned the ships (or at least, he knows Fëanor came on the ships and they burned, and that Morgoth/Gothmog did *not* do it). Some of his rumors are outright lies; others are closer to the truth, but not quite on the mark. He doesn't have any 'inside' information yet.....
Also during this time, Galadriel tells Melian about Fëanor's silmarils (though not the Oath). She also reveals the entire Kinslaying to Celeborn, who keeps this in confidence.

In the aftermath of the Dagor Aglareb, Círdan hears the rumor that the Noldor burned the ships (and killed the Teleri on board). [Sauron got so close....] Alarmed, he reports this to Thingol [in Episode 9], with some wisdom about going directly to the source. Finrod and Angrod and Galadriel are *all* present in Menegroth when this happens (Galadriel lives there, Angrod is official ambassador, and Finrod is there on Nargothrond-related business). Thingol questions them angrily about the truth of this, and how they are sitting in his halls after murdering their own kin. Angrod breaks his silence - that's the last straw, that he would be accused of being a Kinslayer simply for protecting the actual Kinslayers with his silence.

Now that Thingol knows the whole truth (Darkening of Valinor, death of Finwë, theft of the silmarils, Oath, Doom, Kinslaying, Helcaraxë, Shipburning, reconciliation of Fingolfin and Maedhros), he has to decide what to do. This will lead to the Ban [Episode 10].

Fingolfin will be shown accepting the Ban, and commanding all of his followers to do as Thingol has bid and speak Sindarin to the Sindar and remove their gems from their clothing. [Episode 10 or 11]

At some point (immediately? later?), Thingol will learn that Celeborn, one of his trusted representatives, has known this truth (including the Kinslaying) for some time, but did not tell him. Thingol will have to react to this apparent betrayal of trust.

If they never talk about the journey in front of Sindar, and just tell the Sindar they don’t want to talk about it, nobody would think to ask “Did you walk across the Grinding Ice?” It’s nearly as unthinkable as the Kinslaying, because it’s so insanely dangerous, and the Sindar don’t know that Calaquendi are so much tougher than themselves. The Sindar don’t even know yet that the Ice exists, because Ulmo only made it when Morgoth left Valinor. They have no idea walking over the Sea is even possible.
It's true that they don't yet know about the Helcaraxë, most likely. Thingol has been to Valinor before (with Oromë as Ambassador from Cuiviénen), but we did not specify *exactly* how he got across Belegaer. Presumably, giant turtle islands or icebergs pulled by narwhales or something. Ships are the only way they are going to think of for crossing the Sea (you would think).

I agree that the Noldor of Fingolfin's Host would have to not talk about the journey at all if they wanted to avoid letting the Sindar know they crossed the Helcaraxë. It would involve outright lies to talk about how they got to Middle-earth without mentioning the fact that they walked across the Grinding Ice and did not take ships.

I also agree with you that they won't outright lie, so this means that their choices are to say nothing and let the Sindar assume they took ships, or to say they crossed on the Ice.

I don't think the crossing of the Helcaraxë needs to be the first thing they reveal about their recent past. They can manage to not mention it for awhile. But if no one in the Host of Fingolfin is ever going to falsely claim that he crossed the ocean in a ship (and he won't), then it is going to come up eventually. And as soon as it comes up, the Noldor would admit that. One can admit the crossing of the Helcaraxë without admitting anything else. The ships were burned; the Sindar already know that. Only some of us made it across and the rest were stranded, so we walked. Oh! They aren't going to ask if the ones who came first betrayed the ones who came later.


This story would only come out by accident from somebody very young, or inebriated, or betrothed to/in love with a Sinda. I explained how easily Círdan could misunderstand why there are two camps, without instantly knowing they crossed the Helkaraxë. Here. At worst, Círdan would assume the second host was brought over by the Valar.
I agree that we can delay Círdan figuring it out for a time. He can assume that there was ferrying, and that some batches were dropped off further north before the final group was set upon and the ships were destroyed. Or, as you say, he could think that the Valar aided the Noldor. The Valar have aided the elves in crossing this Sea in the past, after all, as Círdan well knows (though he thinks that time is over). We want to be careful not to make Círdan seem oblivious or naive, but I think some natural confusion associated with learning a new language and not getting clear answers may lead to an honest misunderstanding that the Noldor take advantage of.

I think that even the realization that the Noldor are hiding something should happen gradually. At least as gradually as in the outline I proposed above.

I’m also concerned that Marie’s outline contradicts the story written by Tolkien, who did not think the Noldor want to tell the Sindar about Finwë’s death immediately. I’d much rather give the author the benefit of the doubt that he had a reason for what he wrote. If pushed, Angrod can tell Thingol he hasn’t spoken to Finwë or Olwë recently, has no messages, and doesn’t know how they are doing. He might hope that by now they’ve been reincarnated; after all they were innocent. If he tells Thingol about Finwë then he also has to tell him that the Noldor don’t have a new King because they’re divided by a feud, and that Angrod is the ambassador of just one faction.
There's a lot of issues to deal with in there. To be honest, the 'I haven't heard from x lately' work around is really quite dishonest when the Noldor know very well that they're both dead. And Elwë *will* ask about Finwë and Olwë, so there's no chance that it just won't come up. So, while it maybe doesn't have to come out in the very first conversation ever, it is likely going to be difficult to hide this for long without lying. I think there is a value to doling out bits of information gradually. Some news has to come out more quickly. Everything *except* the kinslaying has to come out before that final bit.

For the death of Finwë, Angrod has to weigh the benefits of concealing this for a time versus the repercussions if the news comes out and Thingol finds out that he didn't tell him. So, he could tell him right away. Or, yes, his initial conversation *could* conceal this. He could say that they came 'from Finwë' or 'because of Finwë' or 'on behalf of Finwë' without mentioning that Morgoth killed Finwë. But...he can't hope to keep that up for long, so in another conversation, he'd have to excuse himself by saying he didn't want to 'mar their first meeting' or 'give Thingol such grievous news publicly' or something. But...he would tell Thingol soon enough, I think.

[As an aside, Finwë is going to at least consider refusing reincarnation to keep Míriel from being trapped in Mandos, but of course the Exiled Noldor don't know anything about this.]


And I'd like to clarify that I want to use the story of the rumors in the books: Sauron and his spies eventually find out the whole truth and spread rumors specifically about the Kinslaying; then Thingol accuses Finrod and brothers of slaying kin at Alqualondë.
I thought that the final piece of information that set Círdan off was the reveal that Fëanor burned the ships, and the story that the Noldor killed the Teleri is part of that story. We have to show Círdan's story making sense; it begins when he sees the burning ships, and ends when he learns that truth. We want Círdan to report the rumors to Thingol. Therefore...the rumor includes that bit of information. There are many different possibilities of different rumors spreading after Sauron starts. Sauron does learn the truth after he gets some prisoners - that would be during the Dagor Aglareb, perhaps?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Faelivrin, I've been typing that up all afternoon/evening. I separated out the portion dealing with my own family history because the post was really long and I wanted to separate them. It certainly was not my intent to ignore your post and I am very sorry you feel hurt by the manner in which I posted my reply. I also am going to be away all weekend.

This week's podcast will focus on the Villains' storyline.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
This is probably going to be really long!



Okay, let's see....possible timeline for the Season

As far as timing in this project goes, the meeting with Círdan is the first Sindar/Noldor interaction, and that focuses on learning each other's languages. And so we'll get the first basic answers to 'why are you here?' and 'how did you get here?' but it is possible for there to be some confusion/misunderstanding in those sequences. Círdan may not be able to ask the questions he wants to ask right away, as they're still stuck on the 'My name is Círdan' part of the conversation. But, yes, eventually Círdan is going to ask about the mystery of the burned ships, and someone has to think of something to tell him that *doesn't* implicate Fëanor. Key details that should emerge in these earliest interactions are that the Noldor came to fight Morgoth, and that the ships were all destroyed. The Teleri...are not here. We will have to show Círdan making some erroneous assumptions, and the Noldor failing to disabuse him of them.

Galadriel's trip to Doriath is very early on (so, say, Episode 2), and she does shut down at that point. She's not offering much of anything to Thingol and Melian and is working through her guilt (survivor's guilt, sure, but she feels a bit like a co-conspirator). It is possible that Thingol (or his court) will ask her questions that she can't answer and is clearly upset by, which would color how they approach Angrod later. Galadriel's visit may teach the Sindar to tread lightly, which would help the Noldor's concealment plans greatly. I realize that 'silent tears' doesn't sound like a terribly Galadriel reaction to anything, but the whole point is that she is very much not herself after she looks at Melian. It is clear at this point that 'something bad' happened in Valinor, though of course the Sindar have no clue what. She establishes her kinship with Thingol, but that's about all.

Angrod visits Doriath as ambassador for the Noldor in FA 6 (so, likely Episode 3). We will now have more 'formal' questions and answers, and what Angrod says should be planned (by Angrod himself, of course, but also potentially coached by Finrod and/or Fingolfin). We would expect Angrod to confirm the intentions of the Noldor to stay in Middle-earth, maybe even going so far as to say that there is 'no way' back for them...without revealing anything remotely like the Doom of the Valar and Valinor being shut to them. Likewise, he is going to have to say that he can bring no news of Olwë, as...*launches into tale of Morgoth's misdeeds in Valinor*. He will affirm the Noldor's commitment to fighting Morgoth, and voice their desire to make permanent homes in Beleriand. Thingol will make Doriath off limits, and stress to Angrod that the Noldor will encounter Sindar who already live in these lands (a very 'they were here first' vibe, so he makes it clear he doesn't want the Noldor messing with them). Angrod, for his part, will attempt to portray the Noldor as a united front. Depending on whether or not Fingolfin was crowned before Angrod left, he could specifically speak of the High King of the Noldor (what about Finwë? Oh...he's, ummm....dead. Morgoth!), but even if that's later, he would still speak of a unified group because he thinks that the division between the Host of Fingolfin and the Fëanoreans is at an end now that they are all in Middle-earth. [Obviously, we will have to show *something* in Mithrim prior to this that justifies that interpretation.]

Angrod returns, the Noldor settle into their new realms, and the Sindar are with them (well, in Nevrast; not in East Beleriand so much). Fingolfin instructs them to leave the past behind and not speak of the darkness behind them to their new neighbors (or something like that) - in effect, he issues a gag order.

When we get to the Mereth Aderthad (Episode 5 at the moment), the Sindar and Noldor are intermingling, and now we get to the point where the Sindar are asking questions, the Noldor are giving non-answer brushoffs, and the Sindar are getting frustrated/confused/curious as to what's going on? Sauron smells a rat. Galadriel begins to open up again, speaking with Celeborn, who notices the change in her.

In the time between the Mereth Aderthad and the Dagor Aglareb (Episodes 6-7, FA 20-60), the Sindar would learn about the crossing of the Helcaraxë and that there was no 'ferrying' of elves. They would take the charitable interpretation that, 'Oh! The Noldor braved that journey to come help us fight Morgoth! What loyal friends!' They have known all along that the ships were destroyed. They know that some Teleri are dead. What they have thought all along is that every bad thing they hear about, Morgoth is behind.
At the same time, Sauron is spreading malicious rumors about the Noldor. He knows that Fëanor burned the ships (or at least, he knows Fëanor came on the ships and they burned, and that Morgoth/Gothmog did *not* do it). Some of his rumors are outright lies; others are closer to the truth, but not quite on the mark. He doesn't have any 'inside' information yet.....
Also during this time, Galadriel tells Melian about Fëanor's silmarils (though not the Oath). She also reveals the entire Kinslaying to Celeborn, who keeps this in confidence.

In the aftermath of the Dagor Aglareb, Círdan hears the rumor that the Noldor burned the ships (and killed the Teleri on board). [Sauron got so close....] Alarmed, he reports this to Thingol [in Episode 9], with some wisdom about going directly to the source. Finrod and Angrod and Galadriel are *all* present in Menegroth when this happens (Galadriel lives there, Angrod is official ambassador, and Finrod is there on Nargothrond-related business). Thingol questions them angrily about the truth of this, and how they are sitting in his halls after murdering their own kin. Angrod breaks his silence - that's the last straw, that he would be accused of being a Kinslayer simply for protecting the actual Kinslayers with his silence.

Now that Thingol knows the whole truth (Darkening of Valinor, death of Finwë, theft of the silmarils, Oath, Doom, Kinslaying, Helcaraxë, Shipburning, reconciliation of Fingolfin and Maedhros), he has to decide what to do. This will lead to the Ban [Episode 10].

Fingolfin will be shown accepting the Ban, and commanding all of his followers to do as Thingol has bid and speak Sindarin to the Sindar and remove their gems from their clothing. [Episode 10 or 11]

At some point (immediately? later?), Thingol will learn that Celeborn, one of his trusted representatives, has known this truth (including the Kinslaying) for some time, but did not tell him. Thingol will have to react to this apparent betrayal of trust.



It's true that they don't yet know about the Helcaraxë, most likely. Thingol has been to Valinor before (with Oromë as Ambassador from Cuiviénen), but we did not specify *exactly* how he got across Belegaer. Presumably, giant turtle islands or icebergs pulled by narwhales or something. Ships are the only way they are going to think of for crossing the Sea (you would think).

I agree that the Noldor of Fingolfin's Host would have to not talk about the journey at all if they wanted to avoid letting the Sindar know they crossed the Helcaraxë. It would involve outright lies to talk about how they got to Middle-earth without mentioning the fact that they walked across the Grinding Ice and did not take ships.

I also agree with you that they won't outright lie, so this means that their choices are to say nothing and let the Sindar assume they took ships, or to say they crossed on the Ice.

I don't think the crossing of the Helcaraxë needs to be the first thing they reveal about their recent past. They can manage to not mention it for awhile. But if no one in the Host of Fingolfin is ever going to falsely claim that he crossed the ocean in a ship (and he won't), then it is going to come up eventually. And as soon as it comes up, the Noldor would admit that. One can admit the crossing of the Helcaraxë without admitting anything else. The ships were burned; the Sindar already know that. Only some of us made it across and the rest were stranded, so we walked. Oh! They aren't going to ask if the ones who came first betrayed the ones who came later.




I agree that we can delay Círdan figuring it out for a time. He can assume that there was ferrying, and that some batches were dropped off further north before the final group was set upon and the ships were destroyed. Or, as you say, he could think that the Valar aided the Noldor. The Valar have aided the elves in crossing this Sea in the past, after all, as Círdan well knows (though he thinks that time is over). We want to be careful not to make Círdan seem oblivious or naive, but I think some natural confusion associated with learning a new language and not getting clear answers may lead to an honest misunderstanding that the Noldor take advantage of.



There's a lot of issues to deal with in there. To be honest, the 'I haven't heard from x lately' work around is really quite dishonest when the Noldor know very well that they're both dead. And Elwë *will* ask about Finwë and Olwë, so there's no chance that it just won't come up. So, while it maybe doesn't have to come out in the very first conversation ever, it is likely going to be difficult to hide this for long without lying. I think there is a value to doling out bits of information gradually. Some news has to come out more quickly. Everything *except* the kinslaying has to come out before that final bit.

For the death of Finwë, Angrod has to weigh the benefits of concealing this for a time versus the repercussions if the news comes out and Thingol finds out that he didn't tell him. So, he could tell him right away. Or, yes, his initial conversation *could* conceal this. He could say that they came 'from Finwë' or 'because of Finwë' or 'on behalf of Finwë' without mentioning that Morgoth killed Finwë. But...he can't hope to keep that up for long, so in another conversation, he'd have to excuse himself by saying he didn't want to 'mar their first meeting' or 'give Thingol such grievous news publicly' or something. But...he would tell Thingol soon enough, I think.

[As an aside, Finwë is going to at least consider refusing reincarnation to keep Míriel from being trapped in Mandos, but of course the Exiled Noldor don't know anything about this.]




I thought that the final piece of information that set Círdan off was the reveal that Fëanor burned the ships, and the story that the Noldor killed the Teleri is part of that story. We have to show Círdan's story making sense; it begins when he sees the burning ships, and ends when he learns that truth. We want Círdan to report the rumors to Thingol. Therefore...the rumor includes that bit of information. There are many different possibilities of different rumors spreading after Sauron starts. Sauron does learn the truth after he gets some prisoners - that would be during the Dagor Aglareb, perhaps?
Ok, so Sauron gets prisoners and uses their info to start rumors that lead to Angrod revealing the Kinslaying... right?

When it comes to the order of events, could someone please voice my concerns regarding the Ban being after the Dagor Aglareb? I will be out for the first hour or so.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
Sort of. Our fun idea was that even before then Sauron is starting some rumours way earlier, like at the Mereth Aderthad. He makes stuff up (that the Noldor stole the ships is something he might even be able to deduce just from knowing that the bad guys aren't the ones who burned them), little realizing that the worst of his lies actually don't come even close to the actual truth.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Sort of. Our fun idea was that even before then Sauron is starting some rumours way earlier, like at the Mereth Aderthad. He makes stuff up (that the Noldor stole the ships is something he might even be able to deduce just from knowing that the bad guys aren't the ones who burned them), little realizing that the worst of his lies actually don't come even close to the actual truth.
So what’s worse, the truth or his lies? Maybe one lie is saying that some Noldor killed other Noldor, which is even worse Kinslaying since it’s your relatives?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I think the idea is that even Sauron's worst, most malicious invented rumors aren't as bad as the truth.

But as Sauron gains better and better intel, he eventually discovers the truth. He will likely know before Thingol .

Sauron has a very different perspective and his mind is much more willing to go towards betrayal. But he's also more removed and missing different pieces than the Sindar.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Faelivrin, I’ve been typing that up all afternoon/evening. I separated out the portion dealing with my own family history because the post was really long and I wanted to separate them. It certainly was not my intent to ignore your post and I am very sorry you feel hurt by the manner in which I posted my reply. I also am going to be away all weekend.

This week’s podcast will focus on the Villains’ storyline.
OK Thank you. I understand now. Sorry.
I’ve been very worried that the March 1 podcast will be Episodes 1 & 2 Script Outlines. I’m not ready to write those. I can’t even be online for the Villains podcast, and will be extra-busy until the 22nd.


So, what this reminds me of is the kind of mystery you get in a police procedural kind of TV show, with the truth eventually coming out as suspects are questioned. One difference here is that the Falathrim have no reason to suspect a crime has been, or could have been committed. Combine that with the lacksadaisical way in which elves seem to go about getting to the bottom of something (looking at you, Necromancer), and I think this process could indeed go on for some time.
The clues are all there (not all at once, but certainly before the whole story is revealed), but due to a combination of no initial suspicion, the “what, me hurry?” attitude of Elves in general, and the obvious scapegoat of Morgoth/Orcs already in place, it takes waaaay longer than maybe it feels like it should for them to piece it together. And all of this only serves to make the outrage even stronger when it finally all comes out.

It was that lackadaisicalness (what a word!) that was missing all along in my own vision of the process. I can see so many conversations being ended by an unchallenged “I don’t want to talk about it any further”. Why push back against that? You’ll find out some day, and it’s not like there could possibly be some horrific revelation behind it all, that’s unthinkable. So wait until they want to talk more. What’s fifty years to wait? A hundred? Big deal.
I really like the suggestion of Elvish lackadaisicalness and “Why hurry?” attitude, I think that fits them pretty well. I can agree that it takes pressure off of the Sindar even after they hear about the Helkaraxë.

I would expect this lackadaisicalness to apply equally to all of the Sindar’s questions:
  • How did the Noldor cross the open sea? Obviously they had boats, and the Valar helped them. Maybe they had to make several trips in the boats. And they don’t want to talk about the fire. OK, maybe some other decade.
  • Why isn’t Finwë your leader? Oh, he didn’t come with you? That’s too bad, I’d have liked to see him again. Oh well.
  • What messages do Finwë and Olwë have for me? ...They didn’t give you any message? Bummer. You don’t want to tell me about their lives in Valinor yet? Well, OK maybe another decade.
  • What message do they bring from the Valar? No doubt that will be revealed at the appropriate time, when the Valar want it revealed. The most obvious message is that they sent brave warriors to defeat our Enemies. Yay!
Lackadaisicalness would also slow down any Noldorin... urge?... to brag about the Helkaraxe, even after they get over the trauma and actually make friends with some Sindar.

I think that "I don't wish to talk further about this" when discussions veer toward the events in Valinor will deflect casual questioning for decades. Lackadaisicalness + no previous suspicion + existing scapegoat per above. Additionally, it's not like the Sindar have detectives and forensic scientists and experience with how to conduct an investigation. They are feeling their way through this, with no sense of urgency.

[...]

1) There are burned ships - from Valinor
2) Noldor arrived from Valinor in those ships, but no Teleri.
3) A great many other Noldor arrive separately, far more than could have arrived in the ships
4) There is some division between the groups of Noldor
5) The larger group of Noldor, for some reason, crossed a hellscape on foot to get here.
6) Wait, Orcs didn't burn those ships.
7) Wait, it was the Noldor, specifically the Feanoreans (the Sindar know enough about inter-Noldor politics to suss this out by now).
8) Wait, the Noldor aren't here to save us, they are here for their own reasons.
9) Wait, they were *thrown out*?
10) Kinslaying oh no.
I don’t think 3 is obvious, or would be discovered by the Sindar unless they made the kind of determined, urgent investigation that you say they wouldn’t make. If they’re lackadaisical, then they’re lackadaisical about everything, not only one very narrow subject. There are more reasonable explanations for the Noldorin organization: ships, multiple ferrying trips, Valarin help, battle tactics, etc. Nobody will investigate them expecting to prove they walked. If there’s no Sindarin Intelligence Agency aggressively investigating the Noldor, then there’s just no investigation.

The Noldor aren’t experienced with subterfuge, no, but they still wouldn’t deliberately take risks in an unfamiliar situation. They still don’t know how easily the Sindar can pick apart their story, so they’d take the easy way out: Lying by omission.
 
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Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
But, yes, eventually Círdan is going to ask about the mystery of the burned ships, and someone has to think of something to tell him that *doesn't* implicate Fëanor.
Noldo: *very uncomfortable* “That was a bad incident, I don’t want to talk about it.”

We will have to show Círdan making some erroneous assumptions, and the Noldor failing to disabuse him of them.
Agreed. Assumptions are easy to make, since the truth is just about the least plausible answer to Círdan’s questions.

Looking at your timeline, yes I like this a lot. Thank you so so much for clarifying and tying it all together in detail, that helps me to understand a lot better what you were trying to say earlier.

It is possible that Thingol (or his court) will ask her questions that she can't answer and is clearly upset by, which would color how they approach Angrod later. Galadriel's visit may teach the Sindar to tread lightly, which would help the Noldor's concealment plans greatly.
I like this suggestion.
  • Galadriel not answering their questions: I like that. She needn’t cry, but she doesn’t have to say anything, especially if she feels the pressure of Melian staring at her and doesn’t want to do that thing where Incarnates accidentally reveal their thoughts to mind-readers while talking.
  • I expect that Fingolfin would order them not to speak of any of these secrets during the first contact in Mithrim, but the Finarfin family meeting about damage control would happen before Angrod’s trip.
  • Angrod going in Episode 3 at the latest: Yes, glad to see this. I don’t know that it’s certain he’ll immediately say that Finwë is dead (but more on that below).
  • Mereth Aderthad: I like this description, yes
  • Yes, I agree the Sindar could learn about the Helkaraxë at this point. I’m very relieved you’re OK with that. You are right that it would start coming out in mixed company once the Sindar and Noldor start living together and mingling, and especially when Orodreth, Aranwë, Pengolodh’s parent, etc. actually marry Sindar.
  • Rumors: I imagine there is or could be a distinction between rumors obtained by spies and deduction (before Dagor Aglareb) and the rumors spread after Dagor Aglareb, when prisoners have been taken and questioned. The increasing intensity and horribleness of the rumors finally leads Círdan to act.
Presumably, giant turtle islands or icebergs pulled by narwhales or something. Ships are the only way they are going to think of for crossing the Sea (you would think).
lol :D Or ships pulled by zillions of birds, even though you’d think whales would work better.

I agree that the Noldor of Fingolfin's Host would have to not talk about the journey at all if they wanted to avoid letting the Sindar know they crossed the Helcaraxë. It would involve outright lies to talk about how they got to Middle-earth without mentioning the fact that they walked across the Grinding Ice and did not take ships.

I also agree with you that they won't outright lie, so this means that their choices are to say nothing and let the Sindar assume they took ships, or to say they crossed on the Ice.
I think lying by omission would be enough for 25-40 years, just because “ships and the Valar” is more plausible than the truth.

I don't think the crossing of the Helcaraxë needs to be the first thing they reveal about their recent past. They can manage to not mention it for awhile. But if no one in the Host of Fingolfin is ever going to falsely claim that he crossed the ocean in a ship (and he won't), then it is going to come up eventually. And as soon as it comes up, the Noldor would admit that. One can admit the crossing of the Helcaraxë without admitting anything else. The ships were burned; the Sindar already know that. Only some of us made it across and the rest were stranded, so we walked. Oh! They aren't going to ask if the ones who came first betrayed the ones who came later.
I can agree with this. It’s easier if the lackadaisicalness of Elves is combined with not hearing about the Helkaraxë until after the Feast. Even if once or twice before then the Sindar overhear some oblique reference to “the Ice” when Noldor talk amongst themselves, it wouldn’t sound important and no one would explain. Overheard allusions between people who all know the subject by heart, would be even more obscure to the Sindar. And sometimes when talking amongst themselves they’ll switch to Quenya (it may be rude to use a language other people in the room can’t speak except for something really private, but some Noldor likely do it anyway).


We want to be careful not to make Círdan seem oblivious or naive, but I think some natural confusion associated with learning a new language and not getting clear answers may lead to an honest misunderstanding that the Noldor take advantage of.
If needed, we could have a scene where some Falathrim sailors discover the Grinding Ice, to show that they didn’t know it existed. They’d need a reason to sail so far north, but “exploring for fun” is a Telerin thing and the Edge of the World is over there.

There's a lot of issues to deal with in there. To be honest, the 'I haven't heard from x lately' work around is really quite dishonest when the Noldor know very well that they're both dead. And Elwë *will* ask about Finwë and Olwë, so there's no chance that it just won't come up. So, while it maybe doesn't have to come out in the very first conversation ever, it is likely going to be difficult to hide this for long without lying. I think there is a value to doling out bits of information gradually. Some news has to come out more quickly. Everything *except* the kinslaying has to come out before that final bit.

For the death of Finwë, Angrod has to weigh the benefits of concealing this for a time versus the repercussions if the news comes out and Thingol finds out that he didn't tell him. So, he could tell him right away. Or, yes, his initial conversation *could* conceal this. He could say that they came 'from Finwë' or 'because of Finwë' or 'on behalf of Finwë' without mentioning that Morgoth killed Finwë. But...he can't hope to keep that up for long, so in another conversation, he'd have to excuse himself by saying he didn't want to 'mar their first meeting' or 'give Thingol such grievous news publicly' or something. But...he would tell Thingol soon enough, I think.
So you feel that the way it happens in the books isn’t really plausible when depicted in detail?
Let’s see...
  • Angrod or other Noldor will surely mention the Trees were slain. The Noldor are coming after Morgoth for a reason.
  • Angrod can’t avoid saying he has no message from either Finwë or Olwë, and that neither they nor any Teleri came with.
  • If Thingol asks “How fare my brother and Finwë?” Then Angrod can’t conceal their deaths without outright lying, which I agree isn’t something Angrod would do to Thingol.
  • If Thingol doesn’t think to ask that question, Angrod can avoid mentioning their deaths. Motivation to hide Olwë and Eärwen’s deaths is because of how they died.
  • Is Angrod motivated to hide Finwë’s death? Haakon thinks it would be hard to mention without mentioning the Silmarils, and we know the Noldor didn’t mention those for decades. I think Angrod could just say Morgoth murdered him, and not specify how. IMO the motivation to hide his death is to hide the feud situation, but we haven’t decided yet whether that’s resolved before Angrod’s mission.
  • I think Finwë did refuse reincarnation, yes.
  • I agree that the Kinslaying itself is the last thing to come out.
I thought that the final piece of information that set Círdan off was the reveal that Fëanor burned the ships, and the story that the Noldor killed the Teleri is part of that story. We have to show Círdan's story making sense; it begins when he sees the burning ships, and ends when he learns that truth. We want Círdan to report the rumors to Thingol. Therefore...the rumor includes that bit of information. There are many different possibilities of different rumors spreading after Sauron starts. Sauron does learn the truth after he gets some prisoners - that would be during the Dagor Aglareb, perhaps?
I reread that part in the books and it isn’t specified how much Thingol knew before Angrod spoke. The rumors include murder, but may or may not get the location of the Kinslaying correct, or include Olwë as a victim. “[T]he evil truth was enhanced and poisoned with lies.” so I expect the rumors either include the full truth and then added more evil deeds, or are off the mark but just as bad as the truth. And they would paint all Noldor as equally guilty, IMO. You’re right that prisoners are going to be a source for some of the intel that comes out in the rumors.

For some of the Noldor, the Helcaraxë is an ordeal that they endured, and afterwards they are going to mock anyone who ever complains of the cold. For others, it was the place where they lost close friends and family. And for some, it was a traumatizing experience. As Haakon cautioned, though, the Noldor don’t act particularly traumatized as a whole,
They’ll be as traumatized as we write them. In the books, admittedly with minimal details, the Helkaraxë isn’t mentioned again until Thingol confronts Angrod. I only saw one mention of boasting to foreigners, by Voronwë who was born in Middle-earth. I think everyone was traumatized, and everyone lost friends and family. I recognize they’ll deal with trauma in different ways, and some will eventually tell the Sindar. But some won’t speak of it for a few centuries, or longer.

Marie, reading your family stories, I acknowledge that some people do talk about traumatic experiences. My own perspective has been informed by family stories of my own that were largely hushed up. My grandparents and their families lived in Denmark during the Nazi occupation, and had close connections to the Resistance. My grandfather’s best friend was in the Resistance, and was captured and tortured. He told few details and almost never discussed that time with his children and grandchildren. We know there were many stories they never told. I don’t think the occupation resembled the Helkaraxë, but it is an example of people hiding stories of even second-hand trauma, even from their own kids. Of not talking about a time when close friends and relatives died horribly and nobody could help them.
 
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amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
I wonder... How much will Galadriel's first audience with Melian resemble Boromir's first audience with Galadriel? I see some similarities.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
I'm not saying "Melian reads the Kinslaying out of Galadriel's mind" the way that Galadriel sort-of predicts Boromir's temptation, but even just shutting her mind tells Melian plenty. In both cases, the supplicant/visitor is hiding (or trying to hide) something from the all-powerful lady.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I'm not saying "Melian reads the Kinslaying out of Galadriel's mind" the way that Galadriel sort-of predicts Boromir's temptation, but even just shutting her mind tells Melian plenty. In both cases, the supplicant/visitor is hiding (or trying to hide) something from the all-powerful lady.
Though it’s perfectly within her powers to just read the Kinslaying out of Galadriel’s mind. Galadriel’s an Elf, Melian’s a Maia; they’re on different power levels.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
You'd think power would determine who can overpower the other telepathically, but telepathy in Arda doesn't actually work that way. Eru Illuvatar is the only person whose telepathy is unblockable. So Galadriel and Angrod can block Melian all they want. Boromir could have blocked Galadriel, and maybe even did block her somewhat. I don't know if her warning to Aragorn was "He wants to take the Ring from Frodo" or just "He's sorely tempted by the Ring."

But yes, as Amysrevenge says, blocking would tell Melian right away that they're hiding something. I think it's better not to give her any reason to try reading their minds at that first meeting. I'd rather that the very fact that they're hiding something become apparent more gradually. ("Hiding something" in the sense of lying by omission to conceal something. "I don't want to talk about it now." would be clear at once.) Melian perceives that Galadriel is very distressed, and maybe backs off out of respect for her feelings.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
You'd think power would determine who can overpower the other telepathically, but telepathy in Arda doesn't actually work that way. Eru Illuvatar is the only person whose telepathy is unblockable. So Galadriel and Angrod can block Melian all they want. Boromir could have blocked Galadriel, and maybe even did block her somewhat. I don't know if her warning to Aragorn was "He wants to take the Ring from Frodo" or just "He's sorely tempted by the Ring."

But yes, as Amysrevenge says, blocking would tell Melian right away that they're hiding something. I think it's better not to give her any reason to try reading their minds at that first meeting. I'd rather that the very fact that they're hiding something become apparent more gradually. Melian perceives that Galadriel is very distressed, and maybe backs off out of respect for her feelings.
So theoretically those under the SoBD could block a telepath like Finrod?
 
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