Session 4.12 - Episodes 1 and 2

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
Look, one elf sneaking around the huge Thangorodrim range isn’t worth considering a risk of any kind. Even if he by some weird chance would happen to stumble upon the one Morgoth nailed to the cliff, he would have to cut off that one’s arm to free him. And then what? His little redhead chum would die soon enough, and none of them would come back to their fine friends, all alone as they are.
Exactly. It's as inconcievable as, for example, a hobbit and his servant simply walking in to Mordor. Can't be done, so no sense taking precautions to prevent it. History is a flat circle...
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
There are STRONG overlaps between Fingon's rescue of Maedhros and Sam's rescue of Frodo in the tower of Cirith Ungol.
True.

How do we want to imply that time has passed between Episodes 1 and 2? Statement of date by a character? A timestamp (1 month later)?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I’m not sure how much time that has to have passed since the last episode of the previous season. I can grudgingly accept putting Fingon (no autocorrect, not Fingolfin!) in the mountains but he certainly can’t have found Maedhros already.
The stages as I see them:

1. Noldor: ‘where’s Fingon?’ Cut to Fingon (no autocorrect, no!) who is in the mountains.
2. Perhaps a scene with the Noldor meeting Sindar or something. Cut to Fingon (sigh) who now is about to give up. He sits down. He starts to sing. Pan to above cliff, where we now see Maedhros, who hears the song from far below. He answers. Cut to Fingon reacting. They sing together.
3. Something Noldor camp something. Cut to Fingon (omg) who has climbed to where Maedhros is hanging. He tries to release Maedhros but fails.
4. Maybe continued from 3. or after a camp scene. Best though would probably be a scene with Angband people discovering something is happening (they should see Thorondor later). The cutting and Thorondor etc.
5. Fingon (not ‘Ding on’!) and Maedhros back at camp.

None of these stages can be skipped out imho but few of them take a lot of time, on the other hand. Or as much time as we like.
(Sorry about the autocorrect comments)
I guess I'll do my autocorrect story. Whenever I try to type in "Hurin", unless I make it otherwise, it will be changed to "Turin".
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
We're also now told to show that Galadriel disappears into Doriath and doesn't emerge for years, and that Angrod comes looking for when they become concerned that she's missing, and that neither of them bring back word from Thingol until many years later.
.

Recall that this is a restatement of ideas the Hosts shared during the session in December in which they discussed Galadriel and Celeborn's story. This is not a new request on their part. We will make the timing work. Our story and theirs both involve Galadriel's initial visit to Doriath being followed up by Angrod's later one. The difference is they don't have Galadriel returning to the north, so we will have to find a way for communication to happen. Most likely we will use messengers (her entire entourage could return without her), but our focus will be on getting her and Celeborn in the same place. Galadriel can just as easily not be present when the Noldor choose realms whether she is withdrawn in Finrod's tent or still in Doriath. Her story at this point is about missing out either way. They also have shifted the 'camera focus' more to Galadriel and less to Angrod, which makes sense as she is a more major character than he is. So, yes, from her perspective, it might seem as though Angrod just shows up, but we can send messengers back and forth as needed and show whatever scenes we need to make that make sense.

What changed in Angrod's story was the element of 'permission' to Thingol granting realms. No doubt the Noldor intended to claim lands anyway. They had expressly said as much while they were still in Valinor. Thingol's existence and Doriath's existence isn't an impediment to that aim, so the Noldor are exploring Beleriand and making plans before Angrod's trip. Angrod does indeed secure permission, but it's not like the Noldor were waiting for it. I think that fits the story we have been telling fairly well. We also have contemplated not showing Angrod's meeting with Thingol, so we would just show him meeting with Galadriel in Doriath and delivering that message to the Noldor. You do have to choose which scenes to show, and you can't show both the initial scene and the delivery of the message unless there's some change or dramatic tension to it. We wouldn't want to be redundant. And this does allow us to get away with not showing Angrod failing to answer Thingol's questions.

We're told to show Maedhros recovering instantly, the day after he's rescued. We're told to show Galadriel trusting Celeborn with her deepest, darkest secret, the very first day she meets him.
We were not told either of these things.

What was requested was that Maedhros be well enough to cede the crown to Fingolfin in episode 2. We are not forbidden from showing any recovery time, nor are we forbidden from indicating that time has passed. If the opening scene of Episode 2 is Maedhros getting out of his sickbed, we could easily have a concerned person say something like 'But it has only been x amount of time; surely you should be resting....' There could certainly be a scene where someone redresses his stump after Maedhros leaves a public scene so we can see that he is only partially healed and pushing himself to reassert control of his brothers. Etc.

It is true that they do not want to keep Maedhros out of commission throughout Episode 2, so any healing scenes would be brief, and then he rejoins the story. In other words, they have requested that we not make Maedhros' story for Episode 2 'recovery from Thangorodrim' but rather have it be 'heal the feud'. This does not mean the recovery doesn't happen, or even that it isn't shown. It just means that the rest of the story is not delayed to accommodate that.


As for Galadriel and Celeborn, what we were told is that their initial meeting (in Episode 1) is one-sided him noticing her, and that in Episode 5 (at the Feast), she will reveal the Kinslaying to him.

This means that we need to fit the steps we came up with to go in between those events into the intervening episodes, perhaps with slight modifications.

So, if she stays in Doriath, we should have Celeborn return to Doriath, and be surprised by her changed demeanor when he meets her there. That would be their initial meeting (two-sided), in Episode 3 or 4, and he would establish his compassion and care for her then. By the time it comes time for the Feast, he would be the one encouraging her to go (perhaps Lúthien as well), and we would see that they have grown closer and are more comfortable around one another. There is clearly a growing friendship and mutual concern.

Then, during the Feast, we could have the scene by the harbor where she opens up to him about her mother's death. He is a good listener, and has also experienced tragic deaths. Rather than being out of nowhere, this would seem to be a natural extension of the trust we've shown growing between them. The Feast is not a 3 day event - it's an ongoing time, so another, later private conversation between the two of them would be where she reveals the Kinslaying.

This is simply a 'for instance' as to how to tell their story as we discussed.


None of this makes any sense to me. I don't even know how to start writing, after throwing out most of what we planned for Episodes 1-3.
A reminder that the progression of the project is:
The Hosts discuss an episode during a podcast session (with input from us here on the messageboards). Then, we hold the Script Discussion session to try to put together an episode. The Outline we come up with then is posted here on the boards for more input, and at the end of the Season, we submit it to the Hosts for review.

We are just now transitioning from pre-planning to the actual Season, so...no one is asking anyone to write any episodes yet. What we are doing on this thread here is sharing ideas and suggestions for Episodes 1 and 2 that the Hosts will discuss when they get to those episodes on Friday (or the next session).

I understand that we all have real lives, and those take precedent. This is a hobby/entertainment, and should thus be a lower priority. I am certainly grateful for your assistance with the Gantt chart, but if doing so means you are having to neglect real-life responsibilities, then I am sorry and it was NOT my intention to put pressure on you to do that! Please, take some time to take care of your own things.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I'm encouraged that you think some of these compressed and altered stories might be possible to write without plot holes. Galadriel sending messengers back from Doriath is a great suggestion to get Angrod there before decades have passed.

What changed in Angrod's story was the element of 'permission' to Thingol granting realms. No doubt the Noldor intended to claim lands anyway. They had expressly said as much while they were still in Valinor. Thingol's existence and Doriath's existence isn't an impediment to that aim, so the Noldor are exploring Beleriand and making plans before Angrod's trip. Angrod does indeed secure permission, but it's not like the Noldor were waiting for it. I think that fits the story we have been telling fairly well. We also have contemplated not showing Angrod's meeting with Thingol, so we would just show him meeting with Galadriel in Doriath and delivering that message to the Noldor. You do have to choose which scenes to show, and you can't show both the initial scene and the delivery of the message unless there's some change or dramatic tension to it. We wouldn't want to be redundant. And this does allow us to get away with not showing Angrod failing to answer Thingol's questions.
I understand not showing most of Angrod's scenes, that makes sense. But if we're expected to get rid of the entire message he brings from Thingol, and the council in which Caranthir insults him, or somehow (?) put the council after the Noldor have spread out over the Northlands -- I can't agree with doing it. I think it's important to show that the houses of Fingolfin and Finarfin, and Fingolfin himself, genuinely respect Thingol and don't seize land outside of Mithrim without his permission. It's out of character for them to treat him and his people with the same contempt that the Feanorians have. The Noldor have taken Mithrim without permission, because they settled there before they met the Sindar, and they need somewhere to live. But the non-Feanorians wouldn't just go and colonize the continent before hearing back from Thingol.

If the Hosts want us to get rid of those concepts ... I think we should show them an episode "mini-outline" that overlooks that request and show them why it makes sense for Fingolfin to respect Thingol. Show them that we don't have to make Fingolfin and the House of Finarfin act totally out of character and can still make the events fit into the episodes. (And we can remind them, some of these events will happen in Episode 3).

I also don't agree with Haakon that we should show Fingolfin's host meeting the Feanorians before the first meeting with the Sindar. They can meet the Feanorians soon afterwards, but it doesn't make sense for them to decide to make contact with their hated kinsfolk before the Sindar walk down the hill towards them. Haakon, your outline doesn't mention overcoming the language barrier. I very strongly think we should acknowledge the barrier, instead of pretending Sindarin and Quenya are the same language like we did with Sindarin and Nandorin. I don't think we need to make them the same language -- I suggested a way to use Finrod to bridge the barrier and get them talking almost at once, while still showing that the barrier exists, and as a bonus it introduces the concept of telepathy.

I'm also concerned with how your outline overlaps Fingon's expedition so closely with the Sindarin first contact. It makes the rescue happen too fast for the timeline. I recognize that the A and B plots need to overlap to a significant extent, but here's my suggestion:
  • Act 1 (more or less) shows primarily the Sindar-Noldor contact and language barrier, sends away Cirdan's messenger, and shows Finrod using telepathy to establish near-fluent communication. Act 1 also shows contact with the Feanorians, Fingolfin's camp learning the news from them, and the dismay in Angband over the Sun that keeps the servants of the Shadow from stepping foot outside. Show Fingon's reaction to learning Maedhros was captured.
  • Act 2 opens after a substantial time-skip (which we show... somehow. the camps have built houses and farms?). Most or all of our Noldorin characters can now speak Sindarin (decent grammar, but maybe not a lot of fancy vocabulary). Fingon ponders the feud (or argues with Turgon, or something). Morgoth makes a huge cloud of darkness. Now we kick off Fingon's expedition to Angband.
  • Acts 3 and 4 overlap Fingon's expedition with the continuing contact between the Elven groups.
Would that work? In essence, the Fingon plot would include the Feanorian relations plot, so the rescue itself wouldn't need to start in the equivalent of Year 1, Month 1.
 
Last edited:

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I didn’t include anything about the language problems at this point because I didn’t want to go into too much detail. It could wait until later in our process.

Ok I see what you mean about Fingolfin meeting the Sindar before they meet the Fëanoreans. That makes sense. I guess I didn’t think of the meeting between the Noldor groups was a question of wanting to meet, but that they had encountered each other by the time we start the season. I want to turn up the heat of their conflict as soon as possible, so I still think it’s a good idea. Perhaps there’s a solution in some kind of middle ground.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Recall that the two-opposing-camps-across-the-lake-from-each-other was not shown at the end of Season 3. So, if we open with the two camps established, we will naturally be inviting the audience to think that a time-skip has occurred.

We don't need to show Círdan walking down the hill to meet the Noldor. His Sindar could already be in one of the camps (presumably Fingolfin's), and the language barrier could be worked through enough that they are communicating, albeit haltingly. This would explain why Círdan didn't immediately ask his questions, but is only now starting to ask about the ships and why the Noldor came to Middle-earth and what the Valar are up to and all of that.

We do want to show Fingolfin and Fingon's reactions to learning about Fëanor's death and Maedhros' capture, respectively. So, even if there's very little interaction/communication between the groups, we do have to come up with an excuse to have that information conveyed (and preferably on screen).

I really don't see the camps coexisting without any communication at all. I know things are tense, but the Host of Fingolfin had things they wanted to say to Fëanor, and I don't think it makes a lot of sense for them to establish a permanent camp within sight of the other Host but never talk. So, yes, finding out about Fëanor's death should happen very early on (Year 1), and the rescue of Maedhros is a bit later (Year 5). We're not going to have timestamps on the bottom of the screen, but it's possible we're rejoining our elvish friends in, say, Year 3.

If that is the case, the first contact between the Host of Fingolfin and the Host of Fëanor (as well as the first contact with Círdan) would be shown as flashbacks since we're starting out much more in media res. It wouldn't have to be an awkwardly done flashback, or a lengthy scene - just a flash of Fingolfin finding out his half-brother is dead when the topic of Fëanor comes up in the current timeline. Who delivered that news to him? Maglor? Curufin? One of his own people who had met with the Fëanoreans and then reported back to Fingolfin?

We will definitely be focusing on the Host of Fingolfin as the main point-of-view characters in Episode 1, I think.

Hey Nick, that file tells me 'access denied' - I'll check it out as soon as I can!
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Okay, so if I'm understanding correctly, a '6' indicates a high level of tension in this particular arc, and a '0' indicates that that arc isn't part of that episode. Right?

I think there is a mistake in 'Círdan's investigation' - that will be introduced in the first episode, most likely, continue in the 5th, and then come to a head when he finds out that the Fëanoreans burned the ships. Episode 6 is devoted to the spread of rumors, and he eventually hears those rumors. Then in Episode 7, he tells Thingol and the Kinslaying is revealed. Yes?

The issuing of the Ban should also ramp up the Intra-Noldor tension. After all, it was the children of Finarfin who told Thingol about the Kinslaying, and they named themselves blameless while doing so. That's...pretty much throwing everyone else under the bus. Fingolfin accepts the ban, but I can't imagine the Fëanoreans are super happy about this development, so....tension. That tension gets resolved during the Dagor Aglareb (where they fight against Morgoth's forces) and in the immediate aftermath, when they agree to uphold the Siege together [and Maedhros commissions a new sword (Narsil) for Aegnor]. It's not as much tension as earlier, but it's something.

For Galadriel/Celeborn, the two high points are the Kinslaying reveal and Thingol finding out that there was a secret kinslaying reveal, correct? Their story is involved enough that I'm not sure how to read tension in it. Like, surely their engagement and marriage should matter.....

For Sauron's storyline, he may not have a spy/mole/traitor ready for the Dagor Aglareb if Morgoth isn't coming back from the East until after the battle. So, the high point of his catch-and-release storyline might fall closer to the release of Glaurung, with the spying and rumors being the earlier high point.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Okay, so if I'm understanding correctly, a '6' indicates a high level of tension in this particular arc, and a '0' indicates that that arc isn't part of that episode. Right?

I think there is a mistake in 'Círdan's investigation' - that will be introduced in the first episode, most likely, continue in the 5th, and then come to a head when he finds out that the Fëanoreans burned the ships. Episode 6 is devoted to the spread of rumors, and he eventually hears those rumors. Then in Episode 7, he tells Thingol and the Kinslaying is revealed. Yes?

The issuing of the Ban should also ramp up the Intra-Noldor tension. After all, it was the children of Finarfin who told Thingol about the Kinslaying, and they named themselves blameless while doing so. That's...pretty much throwing everyone else under the bus. Fingolfin accepts the ban, but I can't imagine the Fëanoreans are super happy about this development, so....tension. That tension gets resolved during the Dagor Aglareb (where they fight against Morgoth's forces) and in the immediate aftermath, when they agree to uphold the Siege together [and Maedhros commissions a new sword (Narsil) for Aegnor]. It's not as much tension as earlier, but it's something.

For Galadriel/Celeborn, the two high points are the Kinslaying reveal and Thingol finding out that there was a secret kinslaying reveal, correct? Their story is involved enough that I'm not sure how to read tension in it. Like, surely their engagement and marriage should matter.....

For Sauron's storyline, he may not have a spy/mole/traitor ready for the Dagor Aglareb if Morgoth isn't coming back from the East until after the battle. So, the high point of his catch-and-release storyline might fall closer to the release of Glaurung, with the spying and rumors being the earlier high point.

Ok, I made some changes based on these recommendations. Good thing about using Google Docs is that we can make adjustments even after you submit your packet to the execs.

The bad news is that I still feel like the story arcs are messy. There is too much that is just getting rolling as other plots wind down for the season. And the most important conflicts are resolved before the season is actually over.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Okay, so if I'm understanding correctly, a '6' indicates a high level of tension in this particular arc, and a '0' indicates that that arc isn't part of that episode. Right?

I think there is a mistake in 'Círdan's investigation' - that will be introduced in the first episode, most likely, continue in the 5th, and then come to a head when he finds out that the Fëanoreans burned the ships. Episode 6 is devoted to the spread of rumors, and he eventually hears those rumors. Then in Episode 7, he tells Thingol and the Kinslaying is revealed. Yes?

The issuing of the Ban should also ramp up the Intra-Noldor tension. After all, it was the children of Finarfin who told Thingol about the Kinslaying, and they named themselves blameless while doing so. That's...pretty much throwing everyone else under the bus. Fingolfin accepts the ban, but I can't imagine the Fëanoreans are super happy about this development, so....tension. That tension gets resolved during the Dagor Aglareb (where they fight against Morgoth's forces) and in the immediate aftermath, when they agree to uphold the Siege together [and Maedhros commissions a new sword (Narsil) for Aegnor]. It's not as much tension as earlier, but it's something.

For Galadriel/Celeborn, the two high points are the Kinslaying reveal and Thingol finding out that there was a secret kinslaying reveal, correct? Their story is involved enough that I'm not sure how to read tension in it. Like, surely their engagement and marriage should matter.....

For Sauron's storyline, he may not have a spy/mole/traitor ready for the Dagor Aglareb if Morgoth isn't coming back from the East until after the battle. So, the high point of his catch-and-release storyline might fall closer to the release of Glaurung, with the spying and rumors being the earlier high point.
So for Sauron, would he be at first torturing Elves to figure out what happened between the Noldor and the Teleri, then sending spies to spread rumors amongst the Sindar of what the Noldor are keeping mum about?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Okay, focusing on just Fingon in Episode 1, what I see right now is:

1. Fingon is living in the Camp of Fingolfin on the northern end of Lake Mithrim. He learns that Fëanor is dead and Maedhros is captive in Angband. Fingon is frustrated by the division of the Noldor.

2. Morgoth makes a cloud of smoke to hide Angband from the Sun. Seeing his opportunity, Fingon makes up his mind to rescue Maedhros. He leaves without the other Noldor knowing his intentions.

3. Fingon in Thangorodrim. The task seems impossible. He cannot find any way in. He searches the mountains for a secret entrance.

4. Fingon gives up. He sits down and starts to sing and play his harp. Maedhros is close by above him and answers. Fingon climbs up and sees Maedhros' predicament.

5. Maedhros begs Fingon to shoot him. Fingon readies his bow and prays to Manwë. The arrival of Thorondor.

6. Fingon tries to free Maedhros. Instead, he resorts to cutting off his hand. Thorondor carries them away. Someone from Angband is a witness to the escape.

7. Thorondor brings Fingon and Maedhros back to Mithrim. They land in {which camp?}


These events have to happen in this order, obviously, but we don't have to tell them in that order. So, if we do decide to start with Fingon in the mountains of Thangorodrim at the opening of the episode (step 3 here), we would then have to show the other events (1 and 2) in flashback or some other version of out-of-order storytelling. I am fine with that, though I doubt the Hosts will like it. Still, I will suggest that as an option.

Events 4-7 happen back-to-back continuous, so we can combine them into one scene or split them up with other scenes between, as desired. They are each a discrete event, though.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Okay, focusing on just Fingon in Episode 1, what I see right now is:

1. Fingon is living in the Camp of Fingolfin on the northern end of Lake Mithrim. He learns that Fëanor is dead and Maedhros is captive in Angband. Fingon is frustrated by the division of the Noldor.

2. Morgoth makes a cloud of smoke to hide Angband from the Sun. Seeing his opportunity, Fingon makes up his mind to rescue Maedhros. He leaves without the other Noldor knowing his intentions.

3. Fingon in Thangorodrim. The task seems impossible. He cannot find any way in. He searches the mountains for a secret entrance.

4. Fingon gives up. He sits down and starts to sing and play his harp. Maedhros is close by above him and answers. Fingon climbs up and sees Maedhros' predicament.

5. Maedhros begs Fingon to shoot him. Fingon readies his bow and prays to Manwë. The arrival of Thorondor.

6. Fingon tries to free Maedhros. Instead, he resorts to cutting off his hand. Thorondor carries them away. Someone from Angband is a witness to the escape.

7. Thorondor brings Fingon and Maedhros back to Mithrim. They land in {which camp?}


These events have to happen in this order, obviously, but we don't have to tell them in that order. So, if we do decide to start with Fingon in the mountains of Thangorodrim at the opening of the episode (step 3 here), we would then have to show the other events (1 and 2) in flashback or some other version of out-of-order storytelling. I am fine with that, though I doubt the Hosts will like it. Still, I will suggest that as an option.

Events 4-7 happen back-to-back continuous, so we can combine them into one scene or split them up with other scenes between, as desired. They are each a discrete event, though.
7. Brings him back to the Feanorean camp, perhaps as a token of goodwill? Which one is closer? Does Maedhros choose to step down there?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Right, there's a choice to be made - Fëanorean camp or Fingolfin's camp?

Obviously, Fingon came from Fingolfin's camp, so if he's headed back 'home'...it's that one. But, if he's bringing Maedhros back 'home' - it's the Fëanorean camp. I think that Fingon, not Maedhros, is giving Thorondor directions - Maedhros just got his hand chopped off and has been out of touch with his brothers since before Fingolfin arrived in Middle Earth.

I've always presumed that Thorondor brought them back to the Fëanorean camp, as a way to 'deliver' Maedhros to his brothers. Fingon may have stopped there as well to make sure Maedhros was okay before heading back to the camp of Fingolfin. Faelivrin has suggested that Thorondor brings them back to the camp of Fingolfin, so that the Sons of Fëanor need to come 'visit' that camp if they want to see their brother, thus bringing the two sides together that way. We could do it either way, honestly. As far as I know, Tolkien didn't specify those logistics. It's not mentioned in the Grey Annals, and in the Quenta in Shaping of Middle-earth, it just specifies that Throndor brought them back to Mithrim, without specifying which of the opposing camps (as in the published Silmarillion).
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Right, there's a choice to be made - Fëanorean camp or Fingolfin's camp?

Obviously, Fingon came from Fingolfin's camp, so if he's headed back 'home'...it's that one. But, if he's bringing Maedhros back 'home' - it's the Fëanorean camp. I think that Fingon, not Maedhros, is giving Thorondor directions - Maedhros just got his hand chopped off and has been out of touch with his brothers since before Fingolfin arrived in Middle Earth.

I've always presumed that Thorondor brought them back to the Fëanorean camp, as a way to 'deliver' Maedhros to his brothers. Fingon may have stopped there as well to make sure Maedhros was okay before heading back to the camp of Fingolfin. Faelivrin has suggested that Thorondor brings them back to the camp of Fingolfin, so that the Sons of Fëanor need to come 'visit' that camp if they want to see their brother, thus bringing the two sides together that way. We could do it either way, honestly. As far as I know, Tolkien didn't specify those logistics. It's not mentioned in the Grey Annals, and in the Quenta in Shaping of Middle-earth, it just specifies that Throndor brought them back to Mithrim, without specifying which of the opposing camps (as in the published Silmarillion).
I suggest the Feanorean camp as a sign of good faith by Fingon, otherwise the Feanoreans might think that the Fingolfians did something to Maedhros to make him abdicate his position as King; blackmail, threat of force, mind-control, etc.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
He forces the orcs to endure sunlight, and then throws them at the Noldor in the Dagor Aglareb.
 
Top