Session 4-22: Final Creative Content - Dragons!

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Session 4-22 will be held on Thursday August 22nd from 10 PM - 12 Eastern Time. Note the change!

We'll certainly want to discuss the intended design of Glaurung, but what other topics would people like to raise? This will be our final 'Creative Content' session for Season 4, so the floor is open to any topic you think should be discussed.

Here is our existing thread on Dragon design:
https://forums.signumuniversity.org/index.php?threads/dragons.254/
 
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Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I’m thinking about sets. We’ve discussed Nevrast. Should we talk about Minas Tirith? The fortresses of the Fëanoreans? Not sure what we’ve said. Sorry if I’ve lost track of things. I guess there’s going to be a wrapping up session later on, on sets?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, we will have a post-season discussion of sets and locations, where they review whatever we submit. These creative content sessions are to get direction/feedback from the Hosts on what they are looking for. So, certainly, we can ask them what they have in mind for Himring and Minas Tirith (also Gondolin and Nargothrond, which will both appear before the end of the season!)


I'm thinking we'll also want to discuss how to handle time skips. They've made it clear they don't want '100 years later' flashing up on the screen (or 'First Age 260') for the finale.

Here's the timeline of the Season, with the fixed events/dates in bold.

FA 1-5: Episode 1-2
FA 6-7: Episode 3
FA 8-19: Episode 4
FA 20: Episode 5 - Mereth Aderthad
FA 21-59: Episodes 6-8
FA 60: Episode 9 - Dagor Aglareb
FA 61-259: Episodes 10-12
FA 260: Episode 13 -Glaurung escapes

One of these things is not like the others ;). In the early episodes, we're not being too specific about time. It passes, but we're not having characters saying things like 'it's been x years since...' Tolkien specified a timeline for some of those events, but we're not calling attention to the year in which Fingolfin was crowned High King (for instance). The construction that takes place in Episode 4 (Of Beleriand and its Realms) makes it clear that time is passing more swiftly, so that the Mereth Aderthad is years later, and not weeks later. So, I think we have the passage of time covered for Episodes 1-5. It's generic/nebulous, but indicated to the audience sufficiently.

But what about Episodes 6-9? Do we intend to indicate in some way that more than a year passes between the Mereth Aderthad and the Dagor Aglareb? The events happening on screen are not necessarily time sensitive. The Kinslaying reveal/Ban and the capture/torture of some elvish prisoners could happen over the course of a few months. There's nothing inherent in what we're portraying that would suggest the passage of 40 years. Do we want to make that clear...and if so, how?

This becomes much, much more pertinent in the end of the season. Finrod and Turgon have their dreams from Ulmo in episode 10. By episode 13, Turgon is moving his people from Nevrast to the newly-constructed Gondolin. Gondolin was not built over night....that is meant to take a hundred years. We need to indicate a time leap at some point in these episodes. Not just a generic 'time passes' but more like 'and then a century passed, and everything was at peace and there's nothing to report'. Do we open an episode with a chronicler writing down a history of the Noldor in Beleriand? Do we introduce Pengolodh right before the move to Gondolin? I know he's born in Nevrast, but he doesn't have to be a child in FA 260. And if not that, then how?
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
Yes, we will have a post-season discussion of sets and locations, where they review whatever we submit. These creative content sessions are to get direction/feedback from the Hosts on what they are looking for. So, certainly, we can ask them what they have in mind for Himring and Minas Tirith (also Gondolin and Nargothrond, which will both appear before the end of the season!)


I'm thinking we'll also want to discuss how to handle time skips. They've made it clear they don't want '100 years later' flashing up on the screen (or 'First Age 260') for the finale.

Here's the timeline of the Season, with the fixed events/dates in bold.

FA 1-5: Episode 1-2
FA 6-7: Episode 3
FA 8-19: Episode 4
FA 20: Episode 5 - Mereth Aderthad
FA 21-59: Episodes 6-8
FA 60: Episode 9 - Dagor Aglareb
FA 61-259: Episodes 10-12
FA 260: Episode 13 -Glaurung escapes

One of these things is not like the others ;). In the early episodes, we're not being too specific about time. It passes, but we're not having characters saying things like 'it's been x years since...' Tolkien specified a timeline for some of those events, but we're not calling attention to the year in which Fingolfin was crowned High King (for instance). The construction that takes place in Episode 4 (Of Beleriand and its Realms) makes it clear that time is passing more swiftly, so that the Mereth Aderthad is years later, and not weeks later. So, I think we have the passage of time covered for Episodes 1-5. It's generic/nebulous, but indicated to the audience sufficiently.

But what about Episodes 6-9? Do we intend to indicate in some way that more than a year passes between the Mereth Aderthad and the Dagor Aglareb? The events happening on screen are not necessarily time sensitive. The Kinslaying reveal/Ban and the capture/torture of some elvish prisoners could happen over the course of a few months. There's nothing inherent in what we're portraying that would suggest the passage of 40 years. Do we want to make that clear...and if so, how?

This becomes much, much more pertinent in the end of the season. Finrod and Turgon have their dreams from Ulmo in episode 10. By episode 13, Turgon is moving his people from Nevrast to the newly-constructed Gondolin. Gondolin was not built over night....that is meant to take a hundred years. We need to indicate a time leap at some point in these episodes. Not just a generic 'time passes' but more like 'and then a century passed, and everything was at peace and there's nothing to report'. Do we open an episode with a chronicler writing down a history of the Noldor in Beleriand? Do we introduce Pengolodh right before the move to Gondolin? I know he's born in Nevrast, but he doesn't have to be a child in FA 260. And if not that, then how?
I like the idea of using Pengolodh writing his chronicles to convey the passage of time. We probably don't want to overuse him, but it would be a good way to convey that many years have passed without much change.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I like the idea of using Pengolodh writing his chronicles to convey the passage of time. We probably don't want to overuse him, but it would be a good way to convey that many years have passed without much change.
I don't think we discussed Pengolodh when we were talking about who to cast this season. Do we want to include him?
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I do not want to introduce Pengolodh this season, and I would like Time to be floating and unclear at this point. Elves do not have a natural inclination to measure time, at least not the way we do, and I’d like the measuring of time to be introduced next season, along with Men and the theme of mortality. Then Pengolodh could definitely be the one who represents it.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I do not want to introduce Pengolodh this season, and I would like Time to be floating and unclear at this point. Elves do not have a natural inclination to measure time, at least not the way we do, and I’d like the measuring of time to be introduced next season, along with Men and the theme of mortality. Then Pengolodh could definitely be the one who represents it.
Then how do we convey the passage of time for this season?
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
I think(?) the only reason in the Jackson movies we know how long the 3rd age was is Elrond explicitly saying "I was there 3000 years ago..." We are clever, we should be able to bury a reference to time into dialogue somewhere. Maybe someone is talking about a grove of trees, and how impressive it is that in just 200 years it has covered the space (that we knew was bare at the previous time stamp). As a thought-of-in-2-seconds example, I'm sure we can do better.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Even if the Elves begin measuring time pretty much as soon as the Sun has risen twice and the suspicion among them is that it will make a habit out of doing so, I think that the passing of time is not something the elves bother with too much. Things happen, one after the other, events follow events. They're not oblivious of this, but knowing the exact amount of time between events, or making specific appointments, that's not important. The Loremasters will want to keep track, though. So, I think that, if we introduce Pengolodh in season five, he could be calculating when various historically important events occurred. The rest of the elves should perhaps be less interested, unless they are involved with Men and curious about how long they stay alive.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Certainly, as an elf-centric story, we want to convey something of the timelessness of elves and how they live in a perpetual now.

At the same time, we have left Valinor and the Valar behind, and come to Beleriand, a changeful place. So, we are currently in a transition towards time keeping and the mortal experience of the flow of time. Certainly, that should be more complete in Season 5. So, I am fine with saving Pengolodh and formal record keeping for later. But...dialogue about years of the Sun or the passage of time can fit in Season 4. Let's just be mindful to keep it elvish.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah I guess elves could make comments about things having taken place long ago (many years of the Sun), or for instance that it will take many years of the Sun to build Gondolin or Nargothrond, or that Edhellos has been lost for more than a year of the Sun. My main wish is that they keep things vague and unspecific.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
Yeah I guess elves could make comments about things having taken place long ago (many years of the Sun), or for instance that it will take many years of the Sun to build Gondolin or Nargothrond, or that Edhellos has been lost for more than a year of the Sun. My main wish is that they keep things vague and unspecific.
For sure, they almost always will. We really only need them to do it in specific terms twice up to now. Once to show that they've at least noticed that time is now a countable thing, and once to measure that 200 year gap.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Agreed. Still - who’s counting, and why? To which Elf should this be important and a natural thing to do and talk about? Could Turgon be interested in completing Gondolin at a certain time? I’d rather connect the measuring to something meaningful.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
If this creative session is on dragons, how big do we want Glaurung to be at the premature attack and adult size?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
'Yen' is an elvish word meaning 'long year', but it actually represents 144 years. It appears in Galadriel's "Namárië" song, so of course Tolkien commented on it. The plural 'yeni' means countless years.

Yeni onotime ve ramar aldaron = Long years numberless as the wings of trees (wings of trees = leaves)

The significance of 144 is that elves use a base 12 number system, so that 144 is (essentially) a century. So, FA 144, 288, and 432 would all be 'centennial' years for the Noldor. Since our finale happens in FA 260, the only real opportunity to introduce the concept of 'yen' this season would be year 144. OR, to have Turgon desire to complete Gondolin 144 years after he started it (or after his dream).

Now, Tolkien had Ulmo's visions come to Finrod and Turgon a little earlier (around FA 52, before the Dagor Aglareb), and we are doing it a little later (ca FA 60-something...after the battle). But Tolkien did put a gap of about 12 years between Turgon having the vision and starting construction of Gondolin. And then it takes 52 years to build (completion date FA 116).

So, if we have Turgon have the vision in FA 62, and then start construction of Gondolin 12 years later in FA 74, and then have him complete it in 144 years (rather than 52), we're looking at a completion date of FA 218, which could be the lead up to our finale (or near enough, anyway).

We will need Gondolin to take longer than Nargothrond. Turgon doesn't have any dwarven helpers, and he's doing everything in secret. We don't necessarily need to call attention to how long it's been, but...it's been awhile.


My main concern is that it doesn't look to the audience that the elves built cities overnight or in a single year, since all of the other episodes to this point in the season are running on a different timescale. I want to convey that a significant amount of time has passed, but it doesn't have to be so blatant as Turgon announcing how many years it took to build Gondolin. Though...he could.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
'Yen' is an elvish word meaning 'long year', but it actually represents 144 years. It appears in Galadriel's "Namárië" song, so of course Tolkien commented on it. The plural 'yeni' means countless years.

Yeni onotime ve ramar aldaron = Long years numberless as the wings of trees (wings of trees = leaves)

The significance of 144 is that elves use a base 12 number system, so that 144 is (essentially) a century. So, FA 144, 288, and 432 would all be 'centennial' years for the Noldor. Since our finale happens in FA 260, the only real opportunity to introduce the concept of 'yen' this season would be year 144. OR, to have Turgon desire to complete Gondolin 144 years after he started it (or after his dream).

Now, Tolkien had Ulmo's visions come to Finrod and Turgon a little earlier (around FA 52, before the Dagor Aglareb), and we are doing it a little later (ca FA 60-something...after the battle). But Tolkien did put a gap of about 12 years between Turgon having the vision and starting construction of Gondolin. And then it takes 52 years to build (completion date FA 116).

So, if we have Turgon have the vision in FA 62, and then start construction of Gondolin 12 years later in FA 74, and then have him complete it in 144 years (rather than 52), we're looking at a completion date of FA 218, which could be the lead up to our finale (or near enough, anyway).

We will need Gondolin to take longer than Nargothrond. Turgon doesn't have any dwarven helpers, and he's doing everything in secret. We don't necessarily need to call attention to how long it's been, but...it's been awhile.


My main concern is that it doesn't look to the audience that the elves built cities overnight or in a single year, since all of the other episodes to this point in the season are running on a different timescale. I want to convey that a significant amount of time has passed, but it doesn't have to be so blatant as Turgon announcing how many years it took to build Gondolin. Though...he could.
So we’re going to have Turgon take longer to build Gondolin?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Well...it depends how long after the battle he has the vision, how long after the vision he starts building, and how long before the season finale it's completed....

But we've got 200 years to work with, and Tolkien only used 64 to accomplish this, so.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Options:
1. Someone says time has passed.
2. Montage or clip indicating time is massing/has passed. For example, you can show someone planting an acorn in the ground, and then showing a old tree, or show it growing in a montage.
3. A series of scenes that indicate that they take place with time passing in between them. Basically like 2) but not as fast.

What else?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Page 116 of The Silmarillion (Houghton Mifflin, Second Edition) speaks of Morgoth devising new evils as the Siege is established other than Glaurung. What sort of new evils should these be?
 
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