Session 4.09 & 4.10- Overarching Storylines: Hildorien, Dragons, and Lúthien

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Yes I like the direction of this. I think the strongest roles for her are to encourage the things that do happen (example: the healing of Galadriel), and discourage the things that could have happened but didn't (ie. a worse reaction by the Sindar to the Kinslaying reveal). That way her fingerprints are all over the narrative in the way that it actually plays out.

I have no idea how to go from this big picture down to actual events though. I would like to see her gently teasing Galadriel over her mood - not right away t first, but after she's had some time to heal. Teasing her in a friendly way, and coaxing her into singing of leaves of gold, would be a great way to get her to the next stage of recovery. Actually, could it even be Luthien who encourages G&C to head out East on their own?
Speaking of which, Galadriel and Celeborn will not play a significant role in the events during the First Age. We have to decide what she does, (at some point she'll visit Nargothrond) and later on, she and Celeborn will leave Beleriand entirely.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Dragons: What do we want them to be? Morgoth possibly intends them to be evil versions of the Eagles, and how does he go about this? Are they upgraded Werewolves? I have an idea: he pours a lot of power into Glaurung's creation to boost his intelligence, which is why none of the other Dragons don't seem to be as masterful schemers or possess the power to induce amnesia.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I don't see any need to add extra centuries to the timeline. Tolkien considered 590 years enough for the First Age and he made it work fine. If we put all the storylines together and find an actual problem, then we could consider it.


This is basically the biggest problem (in my mind) of all of the First Age. Whither Luthien, outside the Beren and Luthien story? There is no pre-canned explanation for what she is up to - she's not doing other important stuff, she's not job shadowing her father OR her mother, she's just invisible until the moment she pops up in the narrative. We have to craft a way for her to exist, and to do stuff, in a way that makes her not look ineffective, and yet doesn't change a story upon which she canonically has zero impact.
She should do noticeable things in Doriath, where her Mother takes care of all the really important things (like making invasions impossible) so she doesn't have to get involved in battle. She should lack the ambition to become a ruler or warrior and just want to do things like healing, teaching, dancing, singing, composing, and reminding the Sindar what they are fighting for. Encouraging the Sindar to reconcile with, or at least work with, the Noldor.

And I think she should not be at Mereth Aderthad. It's in character for Thingol to forbid her to go, we know canonically she did not go, and it isn't weird for Elves, even as adults, to obey their king who is also their parent. She doesn't have a strong reason to disobey until Beren comes between them. She loves her father and isn't trying to rebel against him, either as an angsty human teeager or as a political rebel.

We can show her leaving Doriath in circumstances that Tolkien didn't expressely exclude her from. Luthien and Daeron visiting Nan Elmoth and discovering Eol there was suggested, and makes sense to me.


What is the starting material? Are they creatures imbued with spirits or corrupted eagles or what?
We know that fell spirits (=fallen Maiar) are imbued into flesh-and-blood bodies. I think the bodies are hideously mutated from animals through magic, and then essentially possessed by demons. When two Dragons reproduce, the offspring would be soulless, but open to possession by other demons. Somehow, this combination is more powerful than the demon was before, possibly because Morgoth is expending his own power and imbuing it into the body.

But more importantly...why does Glaurung escape? This seems to be a stupid idea. Does someone mistakenly think Glaurung is ready? Whose foolish mistake is this? (Glaurung is no fool.) If this isn't a foolish action, what's the clever reason for it?
Glaurung can be a bit foolish and impatient when he's young. He knows that he's Morgoth's secret nuclear bomb project. He knows that he's bigger and more terrible than any monster before him, and a peer of Balrogs. He's very arrogant. Let him overestimate himself, and learn from it.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I think the session discussing Luthien's role is a good time to discuss the role of women in this project, in general. I want to bring to the Hosts' attention the problem we are creating by writing nearly all of our (very few) canon Elven women out of the show, in the very early seasons. I want to ask them to reconsider the requirement for both characters captured in Angband and put under the Spell/never seen again to be female, but I know that just using the webinar comment section is quite unlikely to get my concern noticed, much less understood. (See the Women Fighters thread discussion.) I want to seriously tell them, why it's a bad idea to require both of those eliminated characters to be wives. (Also what message does it send if only male captives are ever able to escape with free will intact? Seriously, that's a bad message.)

I also want to tell them that we have real, significant roles for Elven women to play (Besain, healers, healer-heralds, scholars/councilors) and it doesn't make sense to consider nearly all women expendable, depict them as expendable and useless, or get rid of them in the very early seasons.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
I think Besain and heralds and healers, as concepts, have been on our backburner, for probably longer than they should have been. It's exactly the way to go with gender roles (and wider beyond gender roles even) for Elves, and if this was a "real" project it would be worth the production company's time and money to go back over S3 and even S2 and identify places where those concepts could be introduced and enhanced to rival the story role of the warrior-princes. And you're right that Luthien is kind of where that role comes to the forefront of the story. If we've been setting up the critical importance of people filling that role for a season and more already, then there is no Luthien problem. She does *that*. Better than almost anyone else ever has or will.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I agree that the 'Lúthien' conversation is the perfect place to bring up the role of Besain in elven culture. Lúthien is not that (that's Melian's role), but her role should certainly be discussed in that context.

Simply taking the time to say that we want to identify a besan or incorporate the role of the besan in various scenes forces us to think about what the women in this culture are doing. I really liked Faelivrin's suggestion that the healing of the feud between the Host of Fëanor and the Host of Fingolfin would include the Fëanorean besan (someone's wife - Maglor's?) gifting lembas to the besan of Fingolfin's Host (at this point, Aredhel daughter of Fingolfin).

The Hosts have spoken generically about the role of a medieval lady in running the household of the castle and how that would be a good model for the elves, but we do need to start applying some specifics. Part of this season is meant to be 'a time of peace', and so the roles of scholars and artists should be prominent as they don't *just* need soldiers and healers right now (though those are both still needed).

The added advantage is that the discussion of the roles of women in elven society will almost definitely preclude any chance that we'd get to the point of looking at the timeline for the season, giving us three more weeks to get that filled in with more details. ;)
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I agree that the 'Lúthien' conversation is the perfect place to bring up the role of Besain in elven culture. Lúthien is not that (that's Melian's role), but her role should certainly be discussed in that context.

Simply taking the time to say that we want to identify a besan or incorporate the role of the besan in various scenes forces us to think about what the women in this culture are doing. I really liked Faelivrin's suggestion that the healing of the feud between the Host of Fëanor and the Host of Fingolfin would include the Fëanorean besan (someone's wife - Maglor's?) gifting lembas to the besan of Fingolfin's Host (at this point, Aredhel daughter of Fingolfin).

The Hosts have spoken generically about the role of a medieval lady in running the household of the castle and how that would be a good model for the elves, but we do need to start applying some specifics. Part of this season is meant to be 'a time of peace', and so the roles of scholars and artists should be prominent as they don't *just* need soldiers and healers right now (though those are both still needed).

The added advantage is that the discussion of the roles of women in elven society will almost definitely preclude any chance that we'd get to the point of looking at the timeline for the season, giving us three more weeks to get that filled in with more details. ;)
Is it a good thing that we're putting the timeline off? I'd like to get to the episodes as quickly as possible and/or discuss what characters we need this season.

Or am I going about this the wrong way?
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
We are not putting it off. We are (hopefully) going to talk about things that need to be talked about.

Knowing what we are doing with half of the elven characters in their society is an important part of worldbuilding. We should probably talk about that.

I recognize that this preliminary stuff is taking a lot more time than in previous seasons, and it's frustrating to have to wait and lose momentum. Session 10 will be the final 'Overarching Storylines' session, and that podcast will be in one week. We weren't likely going to have much time to get into the timelines after talking about Dragons and Lúthien, but adding the Herald/Besan/Scholar conversation will be a good use of time (in my opinion).

Just hang in there a little longer!
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
So, for next week, I would love to have some specific suggestions for scenes or roles these characters could play in Season 4. Suggestions for how to show the healer/fighter dichotomy would be good, but also roles a besan, herald, or scholar could play in Season 4. (General discussion of the roles in Elvish society can continue on the Women Fighters thread).

Faelivrin has suggested that the Feanorean besan (Maglor's wife in the absence of Nerdanel) would give Maedhros lembas to aid his recovery, and give the besan of the Host of Fingolfin (Aredhel) wheat seeds and lembas during whatever gifts are given when the feud between the Hosts is healed.

Maedhros will need a healer for his lengthy recovery, and all of the Feanorean characters introduced thus far are clearly fighters. Could Curufin's wife take this role?

Irime's daughter (sister or mother to Glorfindel) could serve as Fingolfin's herald. Tolkien liked the sister-son and sister-daughter (niece and nephew) relationship, and Fingolfin is a terribly isolated king. (We are picturing heralds as being predominantly healers rather than fighters).

When Eldalote returns damaged, a healer will try, though fail, to help her. Who would that be? If she is out by the coast, it's someone in Fingon's following, maybe? Or maybe Orodreth was a healer, not a fighter all along, making him suitable as Finrod's herald.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
We are not putting it off. We are (hopefully) going to talk about things that need to be talked about.

Knowing what we are doing with half of the elven characters in their society is an important part of worldbuilding. We should probably talk about that.

I recognize that this preliminary stuff is taking a lot more time than in previous seasons, and it's frustrating to have to wait and lose momentum. Session 10 will be the final 'Overarching Storylines' session, and that podcast will be in one week. We weren't likely going to have much time to get into the timelines after talking about Dragons and Lúthien, but adding the Herald/Besan/Scholar conversation will be a good use of time (in my opinion).

Just hang in there a little longer!
Ok.

Would it be too much to ask for the Hosts to be a little less long-winded? I'd hate to miss out on a topic on the last Overarching Storylines session.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I can request that they talk about dragons first, and then the remaining time can be women/healers/heralds/besain/Luthien.


Edited to add:

Part of the frustration here is entirely my fault, and nothing to do with the Hosts. When I realized that the Overarching Storylines were going to be a bunch of discrete topics, and we might cover anywhere from 1-3 in a Session, I started making sure that the messageboard discussion stayed ahead of the Hosts, and the Powerpoints/Notes I provided them would cover whatever topics they might get to. But the result was that I may have created an expectation in listeners that they would always cover 3 topics in a Session (which they seldom did). Sorry about that! I was more concerned with not having them finish up a discussion and be like 'where's the next topic?' then I was worried about them delaying a topic until the next podcast. So...it probably has felt that they are the ones causing delays and taking their time, when I was the one creating the 'hurry up and wait' situation. So, I do apologize. I think we're past that now.
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
For the process of creating dragons: Do we want Morgoth to have a failure somewhere before the emergence of Glaurung? Perhaps an early effort has a failure in the process of adding a spirit to the body and it dissolves into sludge, or something like that?
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
For the process of creating dragons: Do we want Morgoth to have a failure somewhere before the emergence of Glaurung? Perhaps an early effort has a failure in the process of adding a spirit to the body and it dissolves into sludge, or something like that?
Why would this be necessary? We already know that Morgoth can and has done this before.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Well, he's never managed to create the exact combination of properties that is a dragon - so the cleverness and ability to move about in sunlight unharmed and physical strength and ability to breath fire...put it all together and you've got something unique.

I don't think there would be *total* failures, but it's possible he comes up with a proto-dragon that isn't enough something, and so goes back to make a new one.

It's also possible that he makes an entire batch of dragons, but then they fight amongst themselves, and Glaurung is the only one to survive because he ate all of his siblings. Granted, that is the origin story of the Indomitus Rex in Jurassic World, so we probably don't want to do the exact same thing here!
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
It's entirely plausible that Morgoth made mistakes while creating Dragons. I'm less convinced of a cannibalistic free-for-all, as typically evil as it sounds, because I'm not sure if an Umaia can be re-embodied as a Dragon again after being incarnated into a true body and then killed in that body. My understanding of incarnated demons, at least from Morgot's Ring, is that if their body is destroyed they may or may not be reduced to a ghost forever. (Great Orcs did come back from "death" sometimes, but Glaurung and Carcharoth didn't.)

But either way, how could we show such mistakes and/or fights happening, without spoiling the surprise that Morgoth is creating Dragons?

Is it a good thing that we're putting the timeline off? I'd like to get to the episodes as quickly as possible and/or discuss what characters we need this season.
One of the problems is that we're nowhere close to having our various storylines coordinated into a season timeline, and some of our storylines are also still in the beginning stages of brainstorming. Some of the usually highly active members have not had the time to actually stay caught up with the project this season, which is making it very difficult to get these timelines figured out. I know I have been almost useless this season and will have to remain largely absent henceforth.

So to me it feels like we're hurtling at Mach 1 towards a cliff, with no steering wheel and no brake pedal. I wish we could have a full month after next podcast to work out the timeline. Maybe then we'd have a prayer of actually figuring it out before the deadline. Or 2 months to give everyone a "vacation" in which to deal with real life!


Faelivrin has suggested that the Feanorean besan (Maglor's wife in the absence of Nerdanel) would give Maedhros lembas to aid his recovery, and give the besan of the Host of Fingolfin (Aredhel) wheat seeds and lembas during whatever gifts are given when the feud between the Hosts is healed.
My suggestion is that the Feanorian Besan, with her authority, doesn't have to wait for any official gift-giving signal from the princes, and wouldn't wait. She'd approach Fingolfin's Besan at first opportunity, and get to Maedhros even earlier.

Maedhros will need a healer for his lengthy recovery, and all of the Feanorean characters introduced thus far are clearly fighters. Could Curufin's wife take this role?
I have always imagined him being brought back to Fingolfin's camp, not Maglor's, so I think it should be one of Fingolfin's healers.

Irime's daughter (sister or mother to Glorfindel) could serve as Fingolfin's herald. Tolkien liked the sister-son and sister-daughter (niece and nephew) relationship, and Fingolfin is a terribly isolated king. (We are picturing heralds as being predominantly healers rather than fighters).
I think she's his Besan, being the highest-ranking woman in his camp. You wouldn't risk your Besan by sending her into battle. (Also, I think some heralds could be warriors instead of healers. The'd be a minority, but possible.)

Regarding Feanorians and heralds, maybe they just have none. The custom must be one that develops gradually among the Noldor as they get used to war (so they have no heralds yet) and maybe it only develops among the Houses of Fingolfin and Finarfin.

Or maybe Orodreth was a healer, not a fighter all along, making him suitable as Finrod's herald.
I like him as Finrod's herald, but not as a healer. Tolkien did say he was a warrior-scholar, not a healer. A healer couldn't be a King. Recall the conversation about the Noldorin royal succession? When we ask why was Idril skipped over in the succession, the options are:

1. Because she's a girl. Sexism.
2. Because she's a healer, and only a warrior can be the king of a people in wartime.
3. She refuses because ????

IMO #2 is the best option out of the above, and so we should consider who is and who isn't a healer.
 
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