Session 4.04 & 4.05 - Overarching Storylines

MithLuin

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I think that Sauron and Thuringwethil would not know of the Kinslaying before the Feast, and not learn of it there. They don't figure it out until afterwards, though part of their goal was to sow suspicion and mistrust - they had to make up the suspicious behavior they intended to accuse the Noldor of, but used the Noldor's we-sure-do-look-guilty silences to their benefit.

After the Ban...do the Sindar and Noldor get along? I realize this will partially depend on whether the Ban is declared before or after the Dagor Aglareb, but we should probably have some concept of what the forgiveness/reconciliation looks like at this point.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I think that Sauron and Thuringwethil would not know of the Kinslaying before the Feast, and not learn of it there. They don't figure it out until afterwards, though part of their goal was to sow suspicion and mistrust - they had to make up the suspicious behavior they intended to accuse the Noldor of, but used the Noldor's we-sure-do-look-guilty silences to their benefit.

After the Ban...do the Sindar and Noldor get along? I realize this will partially depend on whether the Ban is declared before or after the Dagor Aglareb, but we should probably have some concept of what the forgiveness/reconciliation looks like at this point.
My thought has been to have the Ban before the Dagor Aglareb, which would leave some uncertainty as to whether or not the Sindar and the Noldor could put aside their differences to defeat the Orcs. There would even be some tension between different factions of the Noldor, say Caranthir thinking that the House of Finarfin ratted them out to Thingol.
 

MithLuin

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I strongly doubt Galadriel was already living in Doriath before the Feast of Reuniting in year 20. She and Finrod were still probably living in the vicinity of their siblings. I would rather not send her to Doriath before the Feast.

Edit: It appears in the Simarillon that at the time Finrod started building Nargothrond, Galadriel first moved to Doriath and stayed there. Given the timeline rearrangement we won't necessarily be able to do that, but it does show that she wasn't yet there at the time of Mereth Aderthad.
Yes, it is a bit early to get her there. Part of this is based on her role in the reveal of the Noldor's backstory. She will need to be in Doriath to tell Melian, and that is certainly not their first conversation where she just spills the beans. So, it may be necessary to have Galadriel visit Doriath for the first time *before* the Feast, and decide to stay there after meeting Melian.

If the timing of the Ban is later in the Season (for instance, after the Dagor Aglareb), then having Galadriel move to Doriath after the Feast will make more sense.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
After the Ban...do the Sindar and Noldor get along? I realize this will partially depend on whether the Ban is declared before or after the Dagor Aglareb, but we should probably have some concept of what the forgiveness/reconciliation looks like at this point.
Working together as allies would be part of it. The Sindar aren't necessarily going to suddenly want to work closely with the Feanorians... which is fine, they don't feel like working closely with Sindar either :p But we need Sindar living in Nevrast, Mithrim, and among Finrod's people, and they will meld into one people, to paraphrase the Quenta. I proposed that emigration northward happens early, before the rumors get bad. But we will see them choose to stay there among the Noldor, and even follow Noldorin Kings to both Gondolin and Nargothrond. Even if those kingdoms start being built before the Ban (as in canon), they aren't completed until after the Ban.


Regarding the timing of Dagor Aglareb, the Ban, and the dreams from Ulmo, in the abstract I favor the canon order of events (Merth Aderthad -> Ulmo -> Dagor Aglareb -> Ban), if it works and the Hosts OK it. In Session 2 they seemed up in the air about what order things would happen. Putting the Ban later does allow us more time for Galadriel to talk to Melian and the spies to do their work.

There's also this question: when are Elves being captured? At Dagor Aglareb, or in skirmishes before or after it? Orodreth and Rog et al., need to escape before Gondolin is inhabited, unless Rog starts with Fingon's people*. When will the Elves under the Spell of Bottomless Dread (= Eldalote?) "escape", and when will they betray people -- will the treason even happen in this season? Depending on the answers, we may want more time before or more time after the Dagor Aglareb.

*I lean towards putting Rog in Fingon/Fingolfin's people and adding him to Gondolin only after the Nirnaeth. It gives us flexibility in timing his escape, and gives Fingon's host somebody non-royal.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I prefer having the Ban come before the Dagor Aglareb because the Ban's divisive effect on the Noldor and the Sindar (not to mention the factions in the Noldor) could build tension on its own if they're fighting amongst themselves, then pull themselves together to fight this massive horde of Orcs. Besides, we've already seen the Noldor slaughter Orcs by the score. There's no need to have this great victory and have all their gains come apart as if you snapped your fingers (insert Infinity War joke). It could also set up a contrast with the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, where there is definite friction such as Thingol refusing to send an army over Celegorm and Curufin's actions towards Luthien (plus traitors amongst the Easterlings) and the Elves and Edain lose. Badly.

We could have the ban enacted between Mereth Aderthad and the Dagor Agraleb; 40 years is plenty of time.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
40 years maybe, but how many episodes? Tension is good in theory, but to build up tension, we would ideally want an episode in between the Ban episode and the Dagor Aglareb episode. But I don't think we'd have room for that.

Is there a way to have tension instead while Gondolin and Nargothrond are being built?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Not that I know of, except for some confusion as to why Turgon is going into the mountains instead of staying at Nevrast, which is closer to Valinor. Aredhel might not like the mountains so much...
 

MithLuin

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We probably won't get into the villain storylines tomorrow, so we'll table the captive elves discussion until next week, but certainly, that is going to be an important issue to time correctly this season. My guess is that any traitorous side effects will *not* kick in this season, though I'm not sure we'll have an actual traitor at any point.

My guess is that at least *somebody* would be taken captive during the Dagor Aglareb.
 

Ange1e4e5

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I've suggested that the three we've suggested to get captured turning out fine turned out to be a fluke, because we have other Elves under the Black Spell of Despair farther down the line. Maybe Rog is captured and fights his way out?...
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
though I'm not sure we'll have an actual traitor at any point
Really? I got the impression Corey strongly wanted named Elves for all 3 types of outcomes. I think using Eldalote for the Bespelled/Collaborator role would work, if we do need somebody -- I'd much rather the collaborator be her than Orodreth. (I was using "treason" as a shorthand for involuntary collaboration under the Spell of Bottomless Dread, not in the sense of Maeglin.)
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Really? I got the impression Corey strongly wanted named Elves for all 3 types of outcomes. I think using Eldalote for the Bespelled/Collaborator role would work, if we do need somebody -- I'd much rather the collaborator be her than Orodreth. (I was using "treason" as a shorthand for involuntary collaboration under the Spell of Bottomless Dread, not in the sense of Maeglin.)
I daresay we'd have more traitors amongst the Feanoreans, Mithrim and Hithlum. Gondolin is completely off the map for Morgoth until Hurin's lament at the foot of the Encircling Mountains and Maeglin's treachery, Doriath has no one enter until Beren, and Nargothrond is a) hidden and b) has a telepath who can probably tell someone's allegiance.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I don't disagree. The trouble is, we don't have any named non-royal Elves among Feanorians or Hithlum/Mithrim, and AFAIK the Hosts want the Spell on a canon named Elf, not a made up "red shirt". I'd be fine with a red shirt, but I really don't want the Hosts to make us turn Orodreth into a collaborator.

Eldalote would be in Dorthonion, which is also exposed. But I suggest her because she's named and has a relationship with two princes, but has no canon story and is thus disposible. Plus, if she does something collaborative during the Dagor Bragollach she can get her own husband killed, or get Tol Sirion conquered.

Maybe we can have some red shirts in addition, in Hithlum and Feanorian land. Orodreth and Rog and Maedhros won't look like flukes if they outnumber the collaborators. And if they don't look like flukes, then later escapees won't suffer so much suspicion.
 

MithLuin

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The Noldor don't want to talk about it ('it' being the Kinslaying). So, what do they say? "The grief is still too near," and let the Sindar draw their own conclusions.

First, they let it be known that there is some tragic disaster behind them in Valinor. The Sindar respond with pity and understanding.

The Noldor first reveal the destruction of the Trees by Morgoth. The death of Finwë also comes out quickly. The crossing of the Helcaraxë also comes out right away. So now the Sindar know that the Noldor suffered the death of the Trees and the ordeal of crossing the Helcaraxë, both traumatic experiences inflicted on the Noldor. The Sindar have admiration for the Noldor who have endured such hardship to be loyal to their kin and come to help.

This is revealed to be part of a bigger tragedy, though, when the Noldor were unwilling to talk about the Teleri at Alqualondë. The Sindar know about the destruction of the Trees and the crossing of the Helcaraxë, but there is clearly something in the middle the Noldor are not talking about.... they assume Morgoth is to blame and that the Noldor are the victims.

The ships are the smoking gun. The suspicion would be that the Teleri came on the ships, but were then destroyed by Morgoth when they arrived. The Sindar would conclude that the Teleri and Noldor were working together, and the Teleri were ferrying the Noldor across. But, tragically, Morgoth destroyed the ships and killed the Teleri sailors. The Noldor are unwilling to talk about their losses, but are still viewed as loyal self-sacrificing friends of the Sindar.

Sauron smells a rat. He knows Morgoth didn't burn the ships. He concludes that Fëanor did that himself. He sends Thuringwethil the spy to ferret out the truth, and eventually learns of the Kinslaying. He spreads the rumors that begin to awaken Sindar suspicion against the Noldor - maybe the Noldor are not the victims, but the perpetrators of the tragedy behind them.

Círdan suspects that Olwë has died on the burned ships. But he sends an urgent message to Thingol when he hears the rumor that it was the Noldor, not Morgoth, who did that.

That is what I got from the end of today's session. We will then have to fit this in with our particular events for Season 4.


THE NEXT SESSION WILL BE ON FRIDAY DECEMBER 14th, and will focus on Celeborn and Galadriel. There will be no session on December 28th. SilmFilm will resume in the new year.

Please continue to use this thread to discuss the High Kingship, the Kinslaying (and the discovery/cover-up associated with that), and the romance of Celeborn and Galadriel. For other topics, see the new thread. Thank you!
 
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Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Do you think it's a Final Decision that the Noldor absolutely have to tell the Sindar about the Helkaraxe that they do not tell them in the books? Because what Corey suggested is very unrealistic behavior from recently traumatized people.

I was trying to explain to Corey that survivors of recent trauma are not normally inclined to tell details of what they suffered to total strangers in the marketplace in a foreign country, much less making it publically known to everyone in the whole country. I don't think he believed me. But it's true. Trauma isn't just a slightly painful memory to casually discuss over lunch with random strangers you met 5 minutes ago. Many, many people who have survived trauma - mere Mortals without the Elvish "gift" of unfading and perfectly vivid memories - go decades without telling even their closest family. People who have survived rape or are refugees fleeing from terrorism, who need to tell authorities what happened to them to get justice or asylum, very often still cannot bring themselves to tell strangers what happened to them. To say that there's "no reason" any Noldor would be reticent to make their terrible experiences public knowledge to an entire foreign nation of strangers is simply untrue.

I found myself feeling upset by the way Corey talked about trauma and seemed to dismiss and trivialize its effects on survivors. I want us to be very, very careful and respectful in how we treat trauma and characters who experience trauma, not just torture or rape but all trauma in a broad sense. The things Corey said disturbed me and are not things I want to put into a story. I very much do not want to write a script that would trivialize trauma and insult real survivors. (And I'm not thinking about the insult to a hypothetical audience, but the real readers and writers of this work.)
 

MithLuin

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I do not think he intended for it to be a casual topic of conversation at all. What it *isn't* is a secret. So...it does come up. How much an individual Noldo shares about the event is up for debate, and likely varies from person to person. Turgon, for instance, isn't going to talk about it so much, focusing rather on protecting those he can now. But there is a difference between sharing the details of one's trauma...and acknowledging how the majority of the Noldor reached Middle Earth. We had spoken in the costuming discussions about those who crossed the Helcaraxë considering it a badge of accomplishment that they had endured this together, and incorporating fur into their costumes when other elves don't wear fur. I don't think that is a completely insensitive view of how people might react to such an event.

A shared traumatic event is very different from an individual trauma. One has only to look at national tragedies such as the attack on Pearl Harbor or 9/11 to see that the country very much acknowledges that this happened and that families of victims do talk about it. Of course, one reason such national events are so talked about is because they are a shared loss, true, but often at a very removed level. I lived through 9/11, but I didn't lose anyone I knew that day. A girl at my sister's school lost her father - that's, like, three degrees of separation. My other sister lived in DC, so I of course wanted to check that she was okay. But I didn't suffer personally. Lots of people witnessed JFK's assassination. But that didn't mean that they were personally traumatized by it. Our situation here is different - every single member of Fingolfin's camp endured the passage of the Helcaraxë. So, we should equate it more to experiences where an entire group endures an awful hardship.

It is certainly true that soldiers often don't share their war stories with their children, wanting to keep those two worlds firmly separate. And Holocaust victims often waited decades to discuss when happened to them or share their stories. Many did, however, share eventually. People who lived through the Rwandan genocide (20 years ago now) certainly have shared their stories and written books and made memorials and discussed how to make sure it never happens again. These aren't easy conversations to have, but these conversations do happen. It is my understanding that those in the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) are most motivated to talk about what happened to them in the context of preventing it from happening to anyone else. That 'Never Again!' message doesn't apply in the case of the crossing of the Helcaraxë, so I could see how it might take longer for the stories to come out. The survivors of Jonestown seem to want to talk about Jonestown, but not in the sense of reliving the final awful days, but rather in celebrating and memorializing those who were lost at that time. These were friends and family, who all died suddenly and horrifically, and they are immortalized in pop culture by the insulting phrase 'drink the Kool-aid.' No surprise that those who knew them wish to remember them differently, and dislike false stories being spread by the ignorant.

We are talking about having an official ambassador to Thingol (Angrod) acknowledge how the Noldor reached Middle Earth maybe 5 years after it happened. He doesn't have to go into any detail, merely saying that the Noldor gained passage across the Grinding Ice with much loss and hardship, or something vague like that. Enough to paint the picture without volunteering any personal details. I don't think this is too much to ask, and if any Sinda tries to casually bring it up in an insensitive manner (such as over produce at the marketplace), a Noldo can shut the conversation down by saying that it is a painful subject and they don't wish to speak of it just now.



The gradual reveal of the Kinslaying is probably going to take more episodes than we originally devoted to it, pushing it back until after the Dagor Aglareb. This isn't official or anything, just what happens when I translate what we talked about today into the time line. I think we need to give more time to the rumors to spread and develop, and for Sauron to learn the truth before Círdan (but after the Feast).
Season 4 Plot Arcs.jpg
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I don’t agree with having the Dagor Aglareb before the Ban, it just throws out any tension that there might be because of the numbers of Orcs, particularly since we’ve seen the Noldor slaughter Orcs in droves. Having the Ban after the Dagor Aglareb feels like a Yank the Dog’s Chain moment that makes the Dagor Aglareb feel like it was for nothing because the Noldor and Sindar start fighting amongst themselves. We already have plenty more of these Yank the Dog’s Chain moments down the line; Turin’s life is just a series of them.
 

MithLuin

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Certainly, there would be positive reasons to have the Ban come before the battle. But I think that timing and pacing for the Season might make that difficult.

One issue is that the battle does go well for the Elves. They win. So, we have to keep that in mind when planning the tension. We can temper that win - a character could be captured, dampening the win as the audience worries about (Orodreth's) fate. The win can be a surprise -we can expect the villains to have figured out a way to decimate the elves by now, and have them be pleasantly surprised when it's just orcs. Recall that the last time the armies met, Morgoth wiped out the elves by introducing trolls onto the battlefield. Sure, trolls can't travel in sunlight, but...that doesn't mean the elves are entirely safe.

As for the Kinslaying...I feel that leading up to the battle, the rumors would be building in strength. Between the Feast and the Battle, Sauron discovers the truth. We need time for those things to play out, and we can't really push the battle into a later episode. (We could try to bring the Feast up to Episode 4, though that's pushing it.)




No matter how we handle it, it won't be a Yank the Dog's Chain moment, though, because those occur when you have an ongoing unsolvable problem. The Coyote is never going to catch the Roadrunner, so if you've set up something that *looks* like he might, clearly, you're going to have to mess it up before his trap is sprung. We aren't writing a serial show, and the problems for the characters evolve over time. Introducing new conflicts after particular conflicts are resolved is just...how the story goes. When the Kinslaying is finally revealed to the Sindar, it *won't* feel as though the consequences to the Noldor/Sindar relations came out of nowhere - that threat has been hanging over their heads from the moment they met the Sindar. It should feel a natural consequence of that action. I also don't think it would be viewed as a piling on or 'can't catch a break' moment.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
I think the point about the Helcaraxe isn't thst everyone is all happy to gab about it at the drop of a hat. There is a spectrum of responses, most don't wish to talk about it, but it only takes one outlier to get the story out there
 
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