Session 4.08 - Overarching Storylines, Final (I hope!)

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Okay, so today's session focused on the Catch-and-Release program. I know that not everyone had the chance to be there, so of course I urge people to listen to what was discussed when they get a chance. I know it's frustrating to just get out-of-context snippets like this. So, my apologies.

Sauron and Thuringwethil will attend the Mereth Aderthad as spies, and possibly learn of the Kinslaying at that time. Sauron will then begin his catch-and-release program, explaining to Morgoth how he will sow dissension among their enemies.

Both Orodreth and Ecthelion were rejected as potential captives of Morgoth and Sauron. There seemed to be some irreconcilable details of their stories with what we'd want to do with them as captives. Corey Olsen said he'd make Glorfindel a captive before he used Ecthelion in that role.

The 'invention' of new characters not needed later in the project was strongly condemned. The goal is not to create a character who can be a captive, but to introduce a character we plan to have in the project anyway and then make use of them as a captive (with one minor exception). So, no 'Penlod's unnamed brother' because we probably won't even know Penlod.

Sauron should use Tevildo to begin capturing elves after the Mereth Aderthad. One of the first elves he should capture is Angrod's wife (Eldalotë/Edellos). He will try to get information out of her and torture her, but not be overly successful. Then Morgoth will get ahold of her, and completely break her mind. She will be under the Spell of Bottomless Dread, and be left somewhere outside Angband to be found by the elves sometime before the Dagor Aglareb. She's a mess - possibly stark raving mad. She does something treacherous in the lead-up to the battle, acting as a 'sleeper agent' but obviously having no real control over her actions. After the battle, she may have some moments of lucidity where she regrets her actions and tries to repent, but the damage is fairly permanent. She lives (for a time) and should be allowed to do something somewhat heroic before her death, to show that she's been trying (unsuccessfully) to fight Morgoth the entire time.

Rog, from the people of Fingon, will be made captive as well. We will indicate that Sauron is questioning him about details of the Kinslaying/what happened in Valinor. He will escape under his own power, and go to Gondolin after the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.

Annael, a Sinda elf who is with Círdan, will be a captive who resists the control in some way, but has a claw in him....he will inform on the Elves as a spy without even knowing he's doing it (rather Dracula-esque visits from Thuringwethil to pass on information). When his treachery comes to light, he will be horrified, and become a exile from the other elves who no longer trust him.

There were several suggestions for the captive rescued by Lúthien in the fall of Finrod's tower. Galdor of the Havens came up, as did Oropher. I think we still need to do a little work on that story, but we should try to smooth it out.

Yet another elf (as yet undecided) will be made captive and forced to work as a slave indefinitely in Angband. No rescue, no escape, no release (though possibly eventual death in captivity). It was suggested that this elf be a female Noldo artisan, so the idea of putting her to work should be appealing. She would be the precursor to Gwindor.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I have problems with some of them. Annael should not be captive and unknowingly a spy. Otherwise, Rian would not have trusted him with Tuor.

Glorfindel does not work as a captive; none of the Elves going to Gondolin can be a spy, otherwise Gondolin would have been discovered much sooner.

Corey said that the freed prisoners from Tol-en-Gaurhoth go to Doriath. That isn’t possible, since fate, like Beren fleeing to Doriath from Taur-nu-Fuin, is the only thing that can penetrate the Girdle of Melian.
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Assuming he was caught, correct?
Yes, there's going to be evidence that he committed treason, caught, and exiled since the Sindar no longer trust him.

I mean, if the Sindar, who have a Maia in their midst and can sense the Kinslaying, don't trust Annael, why should Rian, who is much more vulnerable, being heavily pregnant and alone?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
You are saying that Rian, a woman who abandons her new born baby to go lay down and die somewhere, is in a state of mind to be making good choices about the care of her child? Because, ummmm....moms don't just abandon their newborns like that. At all. They might *want* to when the baby won't stop screaming, but only an extremely desperate (or in this case, extremely depressed) mother would do that. Or possibly someone who never wanted to be a mom in the first place.

If anything, the treachery would occur in Season 4 or 5, resulting in Annael living apart from the other elves in Dor-lomin before the Men even arrive there. Enough time has passed that a) Sauron and Thuringwethil have abandoned their spy, because, while still alive, he's no more use to them, and b) the Men of the area may very well be unfamiliar with Annael's history. The elves might warn them about the weird exile who lives in caves, but it's not like any of this will be recent/current events.

So, Annael is actually a trustworthy, good elf (even if maybe he doesn't fully trust himself anywhere near Morgoth's forces or other elven settlements). If he finds Rian wandering in the wild and helps care for her and her baby, she might very well decide to leave Tuor with him without questioning Annael about his history. Annael could even be reluctant, like, no, really, I'm not dad material, but Rian insists and leaves anyway. It's not like Tuor gets a vote here; he's an abandoned orphan.

There is no reason for Annael to be or ever have been an elf of Doriath. He's going to be in the north when he's made captive, so he can be a Sinda settling in Nevrast or Hithlum.




The suggestion to make Glorfindel captive was never followed through on and offered more or less as a flippant joke. The only lord of Gondolin who is going to be part of the catch-and-release program is Rog and he a) is not originally from Gondolin and b) escapes without being broken.

While I agree that a captive elf could probably not just walk through the Girdle into Doriath in the middle of the woods, that is not to say that the wardens couldn't let him in. Outsiders *do* visit Doriath - the children of Finarfin, dwarves, etc. Melian lets them all in. If the released captive was originally an elf of Doriath (as Oropher is), then they could decide to...let him back in. They might question him first, but it's not like he can't *possibly* go there.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
You are saying that Rian, a woman who abandons her new born baby to go lay down and die somewhere, is in a state of mind to be making good choices about the care of her child? Because, ummmm....moms don't just abandon their newborns like that. At all. They might *want* to when the baby won't stop screaming, but only an extremely desperate (or in this case, extremely depressed) mother would do that. Or possibly someone who never wanted to be a mom in the first place.

If anything, the treachery would occur in Season 4 or 5, resulting in Annael living apart from the other elves in Dor-lomin before the Men even arrive there. Enough time has passed that a) Sauron and Thuringwethil have abandoned their spy, because, while still alive, he's no more use to them, and b) the Men of the area may very well be unfamiliar with Annael's history. The elves might warn them about the weird exile who lives in caves, but it's not like any of this will be recent/current events.

So, Annael is actually a trustworthy, good elf (even if maybe he doesn't fully trust himself anywhere near Morgoth's forces or other elven settlements). If he finds Rian wandering in the wild and helps care for her and her baby, she might very well decide to leave Tuor with him without questioning Annael about his history. Annael could even be reluctant, like, no, really, I'm not dad material, but Rian insists and leaves anyway. It's not like Tuor gets a vote here; he's an abandoned orphan.

There is no reason for Annael to be or ever have been an elf of Doriath. He's going to be in the north when he's made captive, so he can be a Sinda settling in Nevrast or Hithlum.




The suggestion to make Glorfindel captive was never followed through on and offered more or less as a flippant joke. The only lord of Gondolin who is going to be part of the catch-and-release program is Rog and he a) is not originally from Gondolin and b) escapes without being broken.

While I agree that a captive elf could probably not just walk through the Girdle into Doriath in the middle of the woods, that is not to say that the wardens couldn't let him in. Outsiders *do* visit Doriath - the children of Finarfin, dwarves, etc. Melian lets them all in. If the released captive was originally an elf of Doriath (as Oropher is), then they could decide to...let him back in. They might question him first, but it's not like he can't *possibly* go there.
Ok, I think I understand it better, with Annael not having contact with the Sindar of Doriath and Sauron and Thuringwethil leaving him to his own devices after a while. I thought they mentioned in the session today that he was an exile from Doriath.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
You are saying that Rian, a woman who abandons her new born baby to go lay down and die somewhere, is in a state of mind to be making good choices about the care of her child? Because, ummmm....moms don't just abandon their newborns like that. At all. They might *want* to when the baby won't stop screaming, but only an extremely desperate (or in this case, extremely depressed) mother would do that. Or possibly someone who never wanted to be a mom in the first place.

If anything, the treachery would occur in Season 4 or 5, resulting in Annael living apart from the other elves in Dor-lomin before the Men even arrive there. Enough time has passed that a) Sauron and Thuringwethil have abandoned their spy, because, while still alive, he's no more use to them, and b) the Men of the area may very well be unfamiliar with Annael's history. The elves might warn them about the weird exile who lives in caves, but it's not like any of this will be recent/current events.

So, Annael is actually a trustworthy, good elf (even if maybe he doesn't fully trust himself anywhere near Morgoth's forces or other elven settlements). If he finds Rian wandering in the wild and helps care for her and her baby, she might very well decide to leave Tuor with him without questioning Annael about his history. Annael could even be reluctant, like, no, really, I'm not dad material, but Rian insists and leaves anyway. It's not like Tuor gets a vote here; he's an abandoned orphan.

There is no reason for Annael to be or ever have been an elf of Doriath. He's going to be in the north when he's made captive, so he can be a Sinda settling in Nevrast or Hithlum.




The suggestion to make Glorfindel captive was never followed through on and offered more or less as a flippant joke. The only lord of Gondolin who is going to be part of the catch-and-release program is Rog and he a) is not originally from Gondolin and b) escapes without being broken.

While I agree that a captive elf could probably not just walk through the Girdle into Doriath in the middle of the woods, that is not to say that the wardens couldn't let him in. Outsiders *do* visit Doriath - the children of Finarfin, dwarves, etc. Melian lets them all in. If the released captive was originally an elf of Doriath (as Oropher is), then they could decide to...let him back in. They might question him first, but it's not like he can't *possibly* go there.
I thought they were seriously considering Glorfindel as a captive of Angband.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
It was more a way to stress how badly they didn't want Ecthelion to be a captive. Paraphrasing "I'd rather have Glorfindel be a captive than Ecthelion, that's how much I don't want this."
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I’m quite disturbed about Annael and really want to beg the Hosts on my knees to reconsider. If Annael is under Morgoth’s control then something very bad will happen to Tuor. This makes no sense.

Once again, we can’t just arbitrarily rewrite Tuor’s story with random sabotage and agents of Morgoth controlling his life. That’s Turin’s story, not Tuor’s. Tuor should grow up in a normal Sindarin community like in the books, not alone in the woods controlled by someone under the Spell of Bottomless Dread. That’s worse than Aredhel’s situation!

Decisions like this have consequences. Retcons made now will affect the plot later!

This is the consequence of not creating characters when we need them. And did Corey do this to eliminate the Sindarin community from Mithrim by making Annael alone? Is that the goal?
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
In support of @Faelivrin, and I’ve been wanting to say this for a while:

There is a definite problem with “dumping” a less important character’s plights onto another character. The best example I can think of is Game of Thrones. In the fifth book, Ramsay Bolton, possibly the vilest character in either the books or show, marries a girl who is said to be “Arya Stark”. Her real name is Jeyne Poole, who was mainly a supporting character for Sansa in the first book. He... abuses her in several ways, including rape, torture, and forced bestiality until she manages to escape with the help of Theon Greyjoy. In the show, Jeyne is adapted out apart from a single scene in the first season and her storyline is transferred to Sansa Stark, with the justification by the show creators that because Jeyne is a relatively minor character, they gave it to a main character so the audience would sympathize more with her plight (at least Sansa didn’t have to have sex with the dogs).

The move was widely criticized, mainly for compromising Sansa’s character development and rehashing her victimization by an abusive betrothed/husband that she endured for three seasons beforehand, turning her into a plot device for Theon’s redemption (the camera focuses on Theon’s tear-stricken face instead of Sansa’s trauma) and possibly promoting violence against women on a wider, social scale.

@MithLuin suggests that by the time Tuor is given to Annael, Sauron and Thuringwethil have been gone for some time, having decided to drop him as a spy (note Thuringwethil was killed either by Huan and Luthien or by Luthien destroying Minas Tirith).
 
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Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
If he is under the Spell of Bottomless Dread, then he is forever Morgoth's slave and has no free will for the rest of his life. He is a traitor who permanently serves Morgoth, constantly.

So now we will need to invent a new Sindarin character to foster Tuor instead, so he isn't just sold to Orcs at birth. And Corey probably won't let us.

Also, we aren't allowed to invent Penlod's brother to be captured and never escape, so instead ... some canon character is just going to be eliminated from the story permanently? Cory would rather eliminate or ruin canon characters who have irreplaceable story roles rather than invent a red-shirt who will appear in only one scene and never be seen again?



It is not possible to write a halfway-decent story if the Hosts create irrepairable plot holes every other session. I joined this project to create art, to write good fanfic that is worth reading, and instead I feel like the butt of a cruel game. The repeated jokes about how "funny" it is to make the Script Writers miserable are not funny, but this is even worse.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
If he is under the Spell of Bottomless Dread, then he is forever Morgoth's slave and has no free will for the rest of his life. He is a traitor who permanently serves Morgoth, constantly.

So now we will need to invent a new Sindarin character to foster Tuor instead, so he isn't just sold to Orcs at birth. And Corey probably won't let us.

Also, we aren't allowed to invent Penlod's brother to be captured and never escape, so instead ... some canon character is just going to be eliminated from the story permanently? Cory would rather eliminate or ruin canon characters who have irreplaceable story roles rather than invent a red-shirt who will appear in only one scene and never be seen again?



It is not possible to write a halfway-decent story if the Hosts create irrepairable plot holes every other session. I joined this project to create art, to write good fanfic that is worth reading, and instead I feel like the butt of a cruel game. The repeated jokes about how "funny" it is to make the Script Writers miserable are not funny, but this is even worse.
How do we make this right? We should take this up with @MithLuin, see if there can be a compromise, and the problem we could run into down the line.

What do you think of my example involving Game of Thrones?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Faelivrin, I know you were away from home and didn't have a chance to participate in the session. I am also away this weekend. I hope you eventually have a chance to listen to the session to see how the choices were arrived at.

In the meantime, I will merely point out that Annael will *not* be under the Spell of Bottomless Dread, nor will he be a slave to Morgoth's will. What was proposed was more falling under hypnosis and spilling secrets *while in the presence of the villains*, thus serving as an unwitting spy.

Once this is discovered, Annael becomes an outcast...thus losing all his value as a spy. He goes to hide in the woods, and presumably Sauron loses track of him.

Tuor's childhood proceeds as in the book. No one hands him over to orcs or Easterlings.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Faelivrin, I know you were away from home and didn't have a chance to participate in the session. I am also away this weekend. I hope you eventually have a chance to listen to the session to see how the choices were arrived at.

In the meantime, I will merely point out that Annael will *not* be under the Spell of Bottomless Dread, nor will he be a slave to Morgoth's will. What was proposed was more falling under hypnosis and spilling secrets *while in the presence of the villains*, thus serving as an unwitting spy.

Once this is discovered, Annael becomes an outcast...thus losing all his value as a spy. He goes to hide in the woods, and presumably Sauron loses track of him.

Tuor's childhood proceeds as in the book. No one hands him over to orcs or Easterlings.
Still though, Annael's depicted as being the leader of this community of Sindar in Hithlum. Will we have him be a loner this time around?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
He will start as a loner/outcast and gradually gather people. I know Annael is a minor character and doesn't have much of a story arc, but we can give him one.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
The 'invention' of new characters not needed later in the project was strongly condemned. The goal is not to create a character who can be a captive, but to introduce a character we plan to have in the project anyway and then make use of them as a captive (with one minor exception). So, no 'Penlod's unnamed brother' because we probably won't even know Penlod.
Is there any particular reason why the Hosts are so reluctant to introduce new characters?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Offhand, the Published Silmarillion only mentions the catch-and-release program (and not by that term) in the aftermath of the Dagor Bragollach.

"But ever the Noldor feared most the treachery of those of their own kin, who had been thralls in Angband; for Morgoth used some of these for his evil purposes, and feigning to give them liberty sent them abroad, but their wills were chained to his, and they strayed only to come back to him again. Therefore if any of his captives escaped in truth, and returned to their own people, they had little welcome, and wandered alone outlawed and desperate."
 
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