I'm not sure this actually gets away from what I'm saying. You are basically saying that a giant eagle dropping down and talking to Fingon and Fingon trying to get the staple off Maedhros' hand is going to look stupid. I'm just saying that I can certainly imagine ways in which is would, I can also imagine ways in which it wouldn't.Not quite. The reason to do this isn't just to avoid showing Fingon hacking at a cliff with a knife/sword/whatever he has with him that isn't the harp or the bow. It's also to introduce Thorondor's involvement in a way that makes the reaction of the audience mirror the reaction of the elves.
The Hosts were right to pan some of the possible ways to introduce Thorondor here. Fingon should be surprised that his prayer is answered, which is fine, but what kind of startling are we going for? As Ange1e4e5 points out...not a jump scare. And not a slow-mo eagle flying in. So...he just shows up? And Fingon, what, asks for a ride? Handling the 'S'up, Fingon' appearance of Thorondor is something that has to happen if we're going to show that scene all the way through Fingon getting up on the cliff.
Not that it can't be done....but Thorondor flying into the camp of the Noldor has a much greater chance of success as an introduction. That one can work without question. Now...if we do want to show Thorondor's arrival in Thangorodrim, we have a lot of choices to make about how to pull that off. Possibly, Thorondor could swoop in, pick up Fingon, and deposit him on the ledge, all without conversation. Also possibly, Fingon and Thorondor could have a conversation about what type of assistance Fingon needs. But....the eagle is huge. It's going to get really crowded on that ledge, and we're going to wonder why the eagle's beak/talons couldn't cut through that iron band holding Maedhros in place. It's just...really difficult to ignore a giant eagle once you have one, and if the scene is meant to be about Fingon....
So, I agree that this makes Thorondor an afterthought. If Fingon can climb up, he can surely climb down. And he didn't come this far without a rope with which he can lower the injured Maedhros down, did he? I am confused about the suggestion that Thorondor would be able to bite or claw through the steel bar which has Maedhros trapped. This doesn't make much sense to me. Assuming that his beak and talons are strong enough to cut through the metal, which I'm not sure they would be, how could he do that without ripping Maedhros' arm apart? This seems to depend on the design of the metal bond. If it looks sturdy enough, I'm not sure anyone would be led to ask that question.Yeah, I keep coming back to this. In the book, Thorondor helps with two things - lifting Fingon up the mountain so he can reach Maedhros on the cliff, and also carrying them both back to Mithrim. If we didn't want to show the Eagle hanging around while Fingon tries to cut Maedhros free, the solution is to have Fingon climb the cliff on his own (not actually an impossible task).
But...then when does he make the prayer to Manwë? And why does Thorondor arrive? Not that the taxi service isn't helpful, but....if that's all he's doing, it's potentially almost an afterthought to have him there. And if he arrives while Fingon is trying to cut through the iron cuff, we would expect the eagle to cut/bite through that for him. When the eagle just stands by and watches Fingon cut Maedhros' hand off....that might look...superfluous?
I do think that Thorondor is perched up on Thangorodrim at that time. I'm working on the exact structure of the scene, since I feel compelled to actually script it to show that it works.I think we have to. There's no other logical explanation for how Thorondor could have arrived on time unless he was on the mountain at the time, watching Fingon's progress. Maybe he doesn't live there, but he does have to be there at the time.
He needn't have a conversation with Fingon, but I wouldn't want him to just appear and snatch Fingon off the cliff without warning or explanation. I think he swoops down, and either calls from above or says as he lands, "Stay your weapon" or something like that, very simple. And then... does whatever it is to put Fingon where he needs to be. Actual conversation would wait until they're flying back to Mithrim. Fingon of course will thank him and assume he was sent by Manwe. Thorondor can say, briefly, that Manwe commanded them to watch Morgoth and the war but not to intervene except in the most extreme circumstances. And he can have a terse style of speaking. We can thus make it clear (in case anyone doubted it) that he was sent by the Valar, while also establishing that he is not a deus ex machina to call upon whenever they feel like it.
Negotiations are not often done in a single meeting. If you look at any union dispute, for example, there will often be a series of meetings before some kind of arrangement is reached. I don't agree that only Finrod and Aredhel are interested in negotiation, because the alternative is war. Marielle's point about Fingon being missing can certainly be a catalyst for this meeting, though.I am not attracted to any of the suggestions for the Fingolfinians and Feanorians to be having a meeting when Thorondor shows up. When Fingolfin arrived he had things to say to
Feanor MaedhrosMaglor. They had news for him. After that... why would they be talking to each other? What else do they have to say? Nobody except Fingon and maybe Finrod or Aredhel is interested in any kind of reconciliation. The Fingolfinians hate the Feanorians, for the most part. The Feanorians either despise the Fingolfinians, or are too ashamed to talk to them. What topic could they meet about that wouldn't look contrived and silly, or look like premature reconciliation? Does Turgon walk over to their camp to yell at them, just to blow off steam? Do Fingolfin and Curufin repeatedly exchange depressingly repetitive demands for the other side to submit to him? They wouldn't schedule a meeting just to have a forum to argue with each other. They aren't interested in negotiation.