Session 4.11 - Season 4 Episode Outlines (Revisited)

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
In the same way, we need to lean hard on the problem of sunlight for Angband in the early part of the season. And yes, we can introduce the character who will become Glaurung. We can have that Maia express Dragon-like views. And we can have a dumb creature crawl out of the ruins of Utumno. But we just need to set the stage in the beginning. We don't need to launch Operation Dragon until much later. Not out of nowhere, but as a follow up to the introductory material.
I do think this might be a decent compromise to make this work. My contention was always that the character should be introduced in the first act of the season, and his motives established. The particulars I was less concerned by.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah I’m fine with this. There’s no need for an early start of the dragon project, just a start of that arch.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I have to get to work, all I can say right now is that I despair of finishing even the Gantt chart in 1 week. I do not have the time in my life to quit my day job just to finish the Gantt chart and Season outline in 1 week, let alone the rest of what Corey is demanding.

And I'm very, very upset with how the Galadriel story and the Noldor-Sindar contact stories have been completely derailed, torn apart, and ruined. I am very very upset that we are forced to have Maedhros rescued in the very first scene of Episode 1, before the Noldor and Sindar meet or even notice each other.

We wrote out all of our storylines in great detail, and now we have to rewrite almost every thing from scratch, in one week. I can't do that even if I do quit my job.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I updated the Gantt chart as they were talking, so it is more-or-less updated based on today's decisions. I am currently away/travelling, so I'll take a closer look at it later to clean up anything I missed (I'm sure there's still some things to fix).

Nick's chart needs only cosmetic updates - essentially, the storyline label under the character names.

I must have missed the part where they said they wanted Maedhros' rescue to be the opening scene of Episode 1 rather than the final scene; in the past, they had said they wanted that to be the final scene of that episode. Certainly we can discuss that next time when they go over what they want to have happen in Episode 1.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I am very very unhappy that we are forced to have Maedhros rescued in the very first scene of Episode 1, before the Noldor and Sindar meet at all.
I don't recall them saying Maedhros has to be rescued in the first scene, but even if they did, I don't think the E1 outline will read that way when we turn it in.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Corey said that Fingon has to set out to get Maedhros in the opening scene, before the Sindar speak to the Noldor. We can "rebel" but he won't let us.

And everything we wrote about the first half of Galadriel's storyline has been completely rejected. Now we need to rewrite her whole storyline from scratch.

We have one week to rewrite all of our storylines, especially Galadriel and Angrod's storylines, and redo all of the coordination and connections between them, before we can write Episodes 1-2.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Corey said that Fingon has to set out to get Maedhros in the opening scene, before the Sindar speak to the Noldor. We can "rebel" but he won't let us.

And everything we wrote about the first half of Galadriel's storyline has been completely rejected. Now we need to rewrite her whole storyline from scratch.

We have one week to rewrite all of our storylines, especially Galadriel and Angrod's storylines, and redo all of the coordination and connections between them, before we can write Episodes 1-2.
What did they say about Angrod? I don’t recall his name being heard in today’s session.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Corey said that Fingon has to set out to get Maedhros in the opening scene
That's not quite the same thing as having him rescued in the first scene, is it?

And when I addressed the issue with him, he seemed like he could be drawn away from that with further discussion.

And everything we wrote about the first half of Galadriel's storyline has been completely rejected. Now we need to rewrite her whole storyline from scratch.
I'm not sure what has changed in this. His discussion of Galadriel and Celeborn seemed pretty firmly in line with what has been previously discussed.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I have to get to work, all I can say right now is that I despair of finishing even the Gantt chart in 1 week. I do not have the time in my life to quit my day job just to finish the Gantt chart and Season outline in 1 week, let alone the rest of what Corey is demanding.

And I'm very, very upset with how the Galadriel story and the Noldor-Sindar contact stories have been completely derailed, torn apart, and ruined. I am very very upset that we are forced to have Maedhros rescued in the very first scene of Episode 1, before the Noldor and Sindar meet or even notice each other.

We wrote out all of our storylines in great detail, and now we have to rewrite almost every thing from scratch, in one week. I can't do that even if I do quit my job.
Well, we're only focusing on a small part of the Gantt chart, right? Episodes 1-2?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
The Galadriel storyline and the Angrod storyline have to be rewritten from scratch because Corey rejected everything we had in the first half of each. We need to rearrange everything to move the battle and Kinslaying reveal and remove Morgoth from almost all the episodes. And we need to make sure all the rewritten storylines fit together... basically, all the work we did in the month leading up to yesterday morning, needs to be redone in one week
Well for Morgoth, we merely need to remove the Morgoth scenes, right? The villains are mostly self-contained this season. For Episode 1, we could have a scene where Morgoth says he’ll be out on business in the East and tells Sauron and Gothmog to not screw up.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
While we are not introducing the actual cities of Nargothrond and Gondolin before the Dagor Aglareb, the visions that precipitate them certainly should, so no, we are not introducing new plotlines after that.
I don’t think we can introduce even the vision from Ulmo before the Mereth Aderthad. There isn’t time, and it wouldn’t make sense for them to start planning Gondolin and Nargothrond before they even build Vinyamar and Minas Tirith.

It just doesn’t work to start all of these projects by Episode 4. I understand that the character arcs for Finrod and Turgon need to begin that early, and that all the arcs need to be more or less at the same emotional point on their trajectories in each episode to avoid mood whiplash. But the character arcs for Finrod and Turgon begin before they start building Gondolin and Nargothrond.

Likewise, Glaurung's arc can begin before he is incarnated as a Dragon. He can be an Úmaia living in Angband (if the Execs to allow it). He doesn’t have to be a Dragon right away.

This is where I stated that the story arcs of the season should begin in the first 3-4 episodes. I'm not sure how that is vague, as you state here:
At first I didn't think that you meant Glaurung must already be a Dragon in Episode 4. I read your spreadsheet when most cells had just one word in them.


There is currently no one arguing that there should be a fully-formed dragon in E4. This is not a point of contention, so I'm not sure why it is even being brought up as such.
Nick I think we’re talking past each other somewhat, and that’s why you think I’m repeating things that you think you’ve already addressed. You have misunderstood what my concerns are.

I don’t object to Glaurung’s existence as an Úmaia in Episode 4, actually I welcome it. I object to Morgoth actually starting the project to turn him into a Dragon before Dagor Aglareb. I’m saying that there should not be a Dragon of any size in Episode 4: not a Dragon egg, nor a baby Dragon, nor a half-grown Dragon, nor any other kind of Dragon, nor any project to create a Dragon. The entire concept of Dragons should not be formed in Morgoth’s head yet.

I'm suggesting that the dragon project has been begun by E4, but not completed, that it gets put on hold for Morgoth to deal with the arrival of Men, and that the Dagor Aglareb proves conclusively that the dragon project is a priority, and thus it is resumed in earnest. Meanwhile Operation Catch and Release continues throughout.
It’s a project to turn a Demon into a Dragon. If Glaurung is turned into a Dragon (even a tiny baby) in Episode 4, then the Dragon project is complete. I do not see what there is left for Morgoth to do except passively watch Glaurung grow bigger. Glaurung will be growing while Morgoth is gone for most of the season, so he doesn’t need Morgoth to help or even watch.

If Glaurung is already incarnated as a Dragon in Episode 4, what do you propose Morgoth does in response to the Dagor Aglareb? You and Haakon say you don’t intend him to be passive. So what actions and decisions are avilable for him to do after Dagor Aglareb? What can he do that will be active, decisive, and a threat to the Elves? Can you suggest something for him to do?

We are now creating a story in which Morgoth, the prime antagonist of everybody, is barely even present in the season. The current plan is that he leaves in Episode ¿1 or 2? and doesn’t return until Episode 10 or 11 at the earliest, after the Dagor Aglareb. The Dragon has already been made and is growing without Morgoth’s help. Sauron is doing all of the spying and capturing and even casting the Spell of Bottomless Dread, without Morgoth’s help (according to Corey). There’s nothing left for Morgoth to do. This doesn’t just make Morgoth “weak”, it makes him totally irrelevant. He’s a non-entity and a non-threat. I think that’s a very big mistake. We shouldn’t make it look like Morgoth suddenly doesn’t matter or that the writers forgot he exists. He shouldn’t simply disappear for almost the whole season, and then return for 1-2 episode(s) in which he does nothing. That would make it look like he’s been downgraded to a background character/extra, and Sauron is the real primary antagonist of this show.


It has not been addressed, because we, as Haakon suggested above, consider that a detail which can be ironed out once we have come to something of a consensus on the structure of the season, which is the point of this discussion. As it stands, I don't think it would be an awful thing, but we can discuss that once the rest has been ironed out.
This isn’t a tiny detail to me, though. Creating a Dragon in Episode 4 and Morgoth doing nothing with him afterwards is a very different story from introducing Glaurung as an Úmaia in Episode 4 and turning him into a Dragon after Dagor Aglareb. We’re really talking about two different storyline proposals. If you think of them as the same proposal with insignificant or no differences, then that may be part of why my objections don’t seem to make sense to you.



So, on the matter of trolls, there is a tremendous difference. The trolls are merely a tool of our antagonists. Glaurung is an antagonist all his own. The threat Glaurung presents is the actual story of the finale, what the entire story should be driving towards.
I see that there is a difference, but not that the Trolls mere tools or weapons. Despite being golems, they aren’t just inanimate props. Sauron is the antagonist of the episode where Maedhros is captured, but the Trolls are Sauron’s army. The story requires them and they’re a major part of it. Their threat is a major story of that battle, the way they effortlessly kill an army of Noldor. And that battle is what that episode is driving towards.


The example you provided from B5 is an interesting one. The Shadows are not a major plot element until S2, but they are introduced in S1, about the halfway mark. This would be the equivalent of introducing Glaurung around the middle of S3 and having him actually become a threat at the Dagor Aglareb. Babylon 5 indeed does an excellent job of causing the audience to anticipate coming threats in a way that generates interest and maintains a continuous plot arc through seasons.
Do you mean Dagor Bragollach?

I think you might be misremembering B5 a little).

(For those who don’t know, Babylon 5 had 22 episodes per season, but Season 1 also had a 2-hour pilot which could be considered Season 1 Episode 0. The first 13 episodes are an arc about the space station and diplomatic relations being established, establishing the main characters, and fighting raiders [think space pirates].)

Then suddenly in Episode 13 (just past the half-way point), the raiders all get vaporized by the Shadows, and other things happen related to the Shadows that are more spoilers. The Shadows’ sudden appearance not only ends the raider arc, it introduces a completely new antagonist which has never been hinted at before. This antagonist is also completely unrelated to all other antagonists in the show before – it’s a new alien species. In that way they are much more “out of nowhere” than a Dragon who quite clearly comes from Angband.*(It would greatly help to establish that Glaurung is part of the threat of Morgoth, if Morgoth himself was present and active for at least half of this season.)

With the B5 raider arc decisively ended, a new story arc begins in the second half of Season 1. I find it harder to describe this arc without spoilers, and because all of Season 1 is less arc-heavy than the rest of the series. It doesn’t star the Shadows, but the do come back as major players in the last Episode of the season, and almost all of Season 2.



I believe that we can introduce a significant antagonist after the midpoint, and do it well, because it has been done well in Babylon 5, and with a much more awkward and mysterious antagonist. Taking B5 as an example of what’s possible in an epic arc-heavy series isn’t a bad idea. B5 has some faults but it, and particularly the Shadow War storyline, is an excellent example of epic or mythic story arcs in TV, and it seems to be partly inspired by the LotR and Silmarillion. (For those who’ve heard that B5 had major tempo problems, but don’t know the details, there were big problems in Seasons 4-5 but they weren’t related to how the Shadow War was introduced or written. They happened because Season 5 was cancelled, and later uncancelled.)
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
To clarify, that storyline has been condensed, not entirely rewritten. And while it is true that the scenes we imagined with Angrod may not all be shown, they do still happen. All that has changed is that we do not have to show Thingol questioning Angrod, which is for the best, most likely. It's true that we were planning on showing Celeborn and Galadriel having multiple conversations spread out over several episodes, and now both of those significant conversations will happen in the Mereth Aderthad episode. They won't be in the same scene, though, so we don't lose them, just change the timing.

Part of the planning process involves changing things. But simply moving some scenes around does not mean that everything is rewritten.

Changes were made, but we were not asked to do more work to prepare for next time. Except for Nick, who was asked to change his chart a bit.

Any thoughts people have on episodes 1 and 2 can be shared in the new thread.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I don’t think we can introduce even the vision from Ulmo before the Mereth Aderthad. There isn’t time, and it wouldn’t make sense for them to start planning Gondolin and Nargothrond before they even build Vinyamar and Minas Tirith.

It just doesn’t work to start all of these projects by Episode 4. I understand that the character arcs for Finrod and Turgon need to begin that early, and that all the arcs need to be more or less at the same emotional point on their trajectories in each episode to avoid mood whiplash. But the character arcs for Finrod and Turgon begin before they start building Gondolin and Nargothrond.

Likewise, Glaurung's arc can begin before he is incarnated as a Dragon. He can be an Úmaia living in Angband (if the Execs to allow it). He doesn’t have to be a Dragon right away.

At first I didn't think that you meant Glaurung must already be a Dragon in Episode 4. I read your spreadsheet when most cells had just one word in them.


Nick I think we’re talking past each other somewhat, and that’s why you think I’m repeating things that you think you’ve already addressed. You have misunderstood what my concerns are.

I don’t object to Glaurung’s existence as an Úmaia in Episode 4, actually I welcome it. I object to Morgoth actually starting the project to turn him into a Dragon before Dagor Aglareb. I’m saying that there should not be a Dragon of any size in Episode 4: not a Dragon egg, nor a baby Dragon, nor a half-grown Dragon, nor any other kind of Dragon, nor any project to create a Dragon. The entire concept of Dragons should not be formed in Morgoth’s head yet.
In most of these issues, it would seem the hosts agree with you. I think they are wrong, but I can't do too much about it.

Do you mean Dagor Bragollach?

I think you might be misremembering B5 a little).

(For those who don’t know, Babylon 5 had 22 episodes per season, but Season 1 also had a 2-hour pilot which could be considered Season 1 Episode 0. The first 13 episodes are an arc about the space station and diplomatic relations being established, establishing the main characters, and fighting raiders [think space pirates].)

Then suddenly in Episode 13 (just past the half-way point), the raiders all get vaporized by the Shadows, and other things happen related to the Shadows that are more spoilers. The Shadows’ sudden appearance not only ends the raider arc, it introduces a completely new antagonist which has never been hinted at before. This antagonist is also completely unrelated to all other antagonists in the show before – it’s a new alien species. In that way they are much more “out of nowhere” than a Dragon who quite clearly comes from Angband.*(It would greatly help to establish that Glaurung is part of the threat of Morgoth, if Morgoth himself was present and active for at least half of this season.)

With the B5 raider arc decisively ended, a new story arc begins in the second half of Season 1. I find it harder to describe this arc without spoilers, and because all of Season 1 is less arc-heavy than the rest of the series. It doesn’t star the Shadows, but the do come back as major players in the last Episode of the season, and almost all of Season 2.
Ok, it is possible that I misremembered. I was under the impression that the Shadows did not become a concrete antagonist until season 2. However, I would point out that Babylon V was made in a different era. They were pioneering the story arc in a world still dominated by episodic television, and a world where people watched their show one week at a time. That is not the world we live in now. Telling one story in six episodes, and another story in the later seven episodes is not something that works in a series-binging, no commercials world. My wife and I were talking about something similar last night. We were watching the show Criminal Minds (I don't actually recommend this. Sometimes compromise is a part of marriage). I was a bit thrown by a move from an extremely tense scene to a friendly conversation in a bar, until we came to the conclusion that there had originally been a commercial break in between. At the time, no one would have considered the effect of this sort of thing on a viewer who did not have that commercial break between the scenes. Sure, someone might buy the show on video or DVD, but that person would likely have already seen the show before to put in that kind of investment.


As it is, this may all be moot, because the Hosts don't typically have much regard for the structure of the season in the context of continuity of tension.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
On galadriel and celeborn: wouldn't it be cool if celeborn gave her that name?

I mean, that could be quite q cool dialogue for two elf lover...

"Whats your name"
"Alatariel"
*smile*
"The ancient language with thhe voice of Aman! That would be in our tongue... "Galadriel"
*smile*
"Then Galadriel shall be my name..."

:p
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
On galadriel and celeborn: wouldn't it be cool if celeborn gave her that name?

I mean, that could be quite q cool dialogue for two elf lover...

"Whats your name"
"Alatariel"
*smile*
"The ancient language with thhe voice of Aman! That would be in our tongue... "Galadriel"
*smile*
"Then Galadriel shall be my name..."

:p
Well, no one has used any name other than Galadriel up until this point, so this might be a bit confusing.
 
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