Session 4-27, 4-28: Post-production Script Review, Parts 3 and 4

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
I want to look at the episode structure, and see what makes the most sense based on what we have planned, and start *there*.

So. Who is the main antagonist in this episode? I think it is clearly Gothmog. He is the one planning and executing the Dagor Aglareb, and thus most of the time the heroes are responding to his actions. Now, obviously, Morgoth is an overarching Big Bad who has a role to play here (Spell of Bottomless Dread), and surely Sauron can continue his ongoing storyarc of capturing elves. But the main, primary villain of this particular episode is Gothmog.

Thus, Gothmog should be acting in the event that makes this worst for the elves. The tension point I described as the 'nadir' (from the viewer and elvish perspective) should be the moment of Gothmog's almost-triumph. He should be doing something that they have to react to and deal with. He should...be villain-y.

This is the *only* episode in Season 4 in which Gothmog is the primary villain. Sauron has been hogging the spotlight all season, and Morgoth has been off being mysterious offscreen. We aren't going to see Glaurung until Episode 13. And so, I recognize that it might seem a bit unusual or a break from what we've been doing thus far, but it's rather important to see Gothmog acting in this episode. All of this talk about how Sauron could kill Edhellos seems to ignore the more pertinent question, which is - what is Gothmog doing right then? How is he bringing about the despair of the Noldor engaged in battle with his army?

I do *not* think it's a good plan to have Sauron sweep in during the final Act and kill off one of the protagonists under Gothmog's nose, robbing him of the spotlight and relegating him to an inconsequential villain role in his own battle episode. That seems unnecessary and defeats the purpose of having Gothmog be the primary villain in this episode.

Were Sauron and Thuringwethil the primary antagonists of Episodes 5 and 6? Sure. He was definitely personally involved in Edhellos' capture and torture. But that storyline had its conclusion when he got the information he wanted out of her. After that, she was tossed in the slave pit (general pop) rather than being kept in her private cell where he had a special use for her. Sauron essentially handed her off to Morgoth in Episode 8.

So...*why* does Sauron need to come swooping into this battlefield he doesn't even belong on to kill her? What's so personal or important that he needs to complete this task himself? Hasn't he moved on to other captives, starting to develop his own version of Morgoth's spell to overcome their wills? Wasn't she just planted as a spy?

There was nothing wrong with suggesting that Sauron could kill Edhellos. Of course he could. And there were positive aspects of the scene you wrote. But once it was established that Gothmog is the villain this episode is focusing on, Sauron slaying Edhellos makes significantly less sense.
I have two points to counter that. First, I'm not sure Gothmog needs to be the main antagonist, and, second, I think it would be possible for Gothmog to be the main antagonist and Sauron still be the one to kill Edhellos.

The main reason I think Gothmog doesn't need to be the primary antagonist is that Sauron has been playing a pretty big role in this season so far. He and Thuringwethil were the primary antagonists in Episodes 5 and 6; Sauron was a major character in Episode 8; and Episode 4 turned out to be all about Thuringwethil's spying. Gothmog has been kind of sidelined, but I don't think we need to give him a turn as primary antagonist just to be fair. Rather, this battle, even though it is Gothmog's initiative and he will be leading the troops, could be seen as a a continuation of Sauron's story arc.

We obviously don't want the audience to forget about the Balrogs or stop being afraid of them, yet we also want to make Gothmog the one held responsible for their loss in the Dagor Aglareb. This means we have to be careful not to make Gothmog too stupid. If the only episode in this season in which Gothmog is the primary antagonist is the one in which his biggest failure occurs, I think we run the risk of doing just that.

Also, Gothmog killing Edhellos would not seem very villan-y. It is certainly cruel. Killing anyone is cruel. But, when I have Sauron killing Edhellos, she runs towards him because, having (mostly) overcome or been released from the Spell of Bottomless Dread, she recognizes him and wants revenge for what he did to her. This would not be the case with Gothmog. Either Gothmog would have to come over to where Edhellos is or she would have to run to him. If Gothmog comes to Edhellos, that would look ridiculous. Why would he be targeting her? Yes, she's a commander, but she's not currently commanding anyone. She's way behind Elven lines, talking to her husband, and, if Gothmog wants to kill an Elven commander, he should be going after someone more important than Edhellos, like Fingolfin, Fingon, or Finrod. Yes, Gothmog knows she has been Sauron's pet project, but would he really go that much out of his way to kill her? If Edhellos runs to Gothmog, that would mean changing her state of mind when she is not under the Spell of Bottomless Dread. She would have to be so distraught that she runs into Gothmog because she doesn't know where she is going, and Gothmog would kill her simply because she was there. This doesn't show any kind of motivation on Gothmog's part. Gothmog would kill a puppy simply because it was there. Also, Edhellos wouldn't be putting up any kind of a fight, so Gothmog killing her would not be a demonstration of how terrible the Balrogs are, nor would it seem triumphant. To both the viewers and the characters, it would look like Edhellos went mad and then just so happened to run into the biggest thing on the battlefield to be killed by. Her death by an Orc or a Troll would have the same effect. For Gothmog, killing Edhellos would be even easier than killing any other Dorthonion soldier, and the Elves would be most concerned about why Edhellos suddenly decided to run into a Balrog, not the presence of a Balrog on the battlefield. Really, I think Gothmog killing Edhellos would make less sense and do less for the tension of the Episode than Sauron killing her.

However, if we still want Gothmog to be the primary antagonist, I think Sauron killing Edhellos could still work. It would not be the nadir of the episode. That could still be Gothmog's almost-triumph, and the death of Edhellos could be the event that ushers this in. After Edhellos dies, Angrod is incapacitated in some way, and Aegnor loses his sword, things are going to look pretty bad for the Dorthonion army. They now know the Feanorians aren't coming. Fingolfin knows that Turgon isn't coming. Suddenly, the Balrogs show up too! The Balrogs will appear a lot more triumphant and cause a lot more despair when they are decimating armies than when they are killing distraught Elves who just run into them. I could even write the battle so that Fingolfin and Fingon are surrounded or other major characters are in significant danger. That would be the nadir. That would be the moment when all hope seems lost.

Sauron killing Edhellos would not be him swooping down to the battlefield to kill a protagonist right under Gothmog's nose. Sauron would be present for a plausible reason (I have several possibilities), and he would murder Edhellos because she is no longer useful to him as a spy, might reveal even more of his plans if she is left alive, and, as a bonus, killing her makes the Elves very sad. Sauron could certainly get someone else to dispatch her, but he is the one who makes the calculation that it is her time to die, and, if he is right there, why not do it himself? Moreover, killing Edhellos himself, especially in front of her husband, especially while wearing Angrod's face, reaffirms that Edhellos is his and has been his since her capture. This is not only important for Sauron and Edhellos, but as synecdoche for the prisoners in Angband and Spell of Bottomless Dread as a whole.

Especially given Sauron's prominence in the season up to this point, I think he has to be present in this episode. If not, the viewers will wonder where he is and what he is doing. Morgoth may be controlling Edhellos now, but Sauron is the one with the intel to know what she needs to do to prevent the message from Angrod and Aegnor from reaching the Feanorians. Sauron is the one who (via Thuringwethil) knows the plans for Minas Tirith. Sauron's forces may not be directly on the battlefield, but they are on the fringes to capture Elves like Rhogrin, and would be useful in a number of other ways as well. Also, if we want Sauron to be ascendant, he has to show himself willing to work for what Morgoth wants. Morgoth wouldn't approve of Gothmog's plan to capture Minas Tirith then let Sauron sit out of it just because Sauron doesn't like Gothmog. Sauron won't look favorable in Morgoth's eyes if Gothmog comes back from losing a battle that Sauron intentionally chose not to take part in.

I don't deny that Gothmog and the Balrogs need to be a major threat in this episode. And they certainly can be. However, I think that making this particular episode all about the Balrogs and forgetting about Sauron would undermine our efforts to remind the viewers that the Balrogs are scary, confuse viewers about why Sauron is not there and why he is looked upon favorably afterwards, and significantly weaken Edhellos' death.

If Gothmog goes back to Angband bragging about how he killed Edhellos, Sauron's response would be something like, "Wow, thanks, Gothmog! Had I been there, I totally would have killed her too!"
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
What I am balking at is the entire idea of saying, "So, if we want Sauron to kill Edhellos, the episode can play out like...."


That is *not* what we want. What we want is to plan a battle, and have each part of that battle work together to tell a story. I am fine with giving Sauron something to be doing and a reason to appear on screen at some point in this episode. If you want him to personally be present for the capture of Rhogrin and Annael or during the reveal that they are in Angband, I am fine with that. I do *not* think that Sauron's storyarc requires that he be the primary antagonist in *every* villain-centric storyline. Morgoth is our primary antagonist. He's been taking a back-seat this season, being involved in only a few key events. But it's Morgoth, not Sauron, who is the villain of Episode 8. It is Morgoth who creates the darkness and places the Spell of Bottomless Dread on Edhellos. No one considered it diminishing Sauron's role to have Morgoth come back and do those things...because Sauron's not in charge. I realize that Gothmog might be a much less interesting villain than Sauron, but asking to give him *one* episode to focus on his actions for this season is really not too much to ask. And it absolutely will 'steal the show' from him if it's the actions of Sauron, not Gothmog, that have the dramatic impact on the characters. Think about how you've described everything to this point. You have detailed character reactions - Sauron will do this, and it will upset people because of that, and therefore the scene will be very dramatic and sad.....and you contrast that with balrogs smashing things and being scary, but in a completely impersonal way. So...make it personal. Sure, both Sauron and Gothmog can kick puppies just because they are there. Make the scene more interesting than that.

Who is the protagonist of this episode? Whose eyes are we seeing the climatic final moments from? Obviously not Edhellos; she's dead. I know it sucks that you can't be the protagonist of an episode where you die unless you die in the final minutes, but that's how it works. Míriel didn't get to be protagonist of her death-episode, either. It was a story about Finwë losing his wife, *not* a story about Míriel giving up her life for her child. (I mean, it was both, but the dramatic moment of Finwë weeping over her body in Lorien doesn't require much participation from her.)

We have a few choices. It's not Fingolfin or Fingon - they are supporting characters in this story. Same with Orodreth. That leaves Finrod, Angrod, or potentially Aegnor as our protagonist. Finrod is really only on the table because the assault on Minas Tirith will be seen from his viewpoint, but with the survival of Angrod, the climax doesn't exactly impact him personally, so he's not the best choice.

If Angrod survives, it should be him. He is the one who we are wondering 'when is he going to figure out about Edhellos?' and his grief at her loss is going to be most impactful to the audience. He is the one who sent to the Fëanoreans for aid, the action that saves the day (albeit without his messenger).

If Angrod dies, then it will need to be Aegnor, who would assume command for the end of the battle and then be the one whose grief in the aftermath we see most clearly. Or Orodreth, who loses both his parents, but he's passive, not a commander, and it would be really hard to pull that off.

So, if you agree that Angrod is the protagonist, and you look at the story you are telling, you will see that you have left Gothmog's actions completely incidental to that story. Like, yeah, there's a battle going on and you should worry for these characters' safety, but let me take a moment to digress and show you Sauron assume Angrod's form again and kill Edhellos. Remember, the audience already knows about what Sauron did to Edhellos, so there is no shock or revelation for the viewer, just for the characters. It's a diminished payoff when you are watching someone react in shock to something you already know.



So, how does one make Angrod the protagonist and Gothmog the antagonist? Here's one possibility:

Throughout the episode, we see moments of Angrod worrying about Edhellos or being careful/solicitous of her. He knows she went through an ordeal, and is trying to protect her. The viewer knows that her ordeal is far from over, and that she's experiencing Morgoth's influence (or complete control) at various points. The moment comes when it breaks -- Edhellos confesses to being a kinslayer and says that the Fëanoreans won't be coming. Now, they are both distraught. Angrod reassures her that this is not her fault, but obviously he's in over his head. She says that she will not be used as a tool of the enemy again, and rushes out into the battle. Angrod shouts in dismay and runs after her.

At this moment, the balrogs join the fighting. The elves are in a panic, and it looks as though they will be overrun any moment. Angrod wades through the chaos to get to his wife, and Aegnor, seeing him, tries to join him.

Edhellos did not run out in a helpless panic - she's armed and furiously attacking orcs, but in a way that makes it clear that she hopes to die fighting rather than win a battle (no attention to defense at all). Gothmog spots her, and we see the recognition on his face. He tells the trolls near him to let her through, to bring her to him (probably a not entirely verbal command, but he could indicate that she is 'Sauron's slave' or whatever at this point). Edhellos is caught by a troll and dragged over to the balrog. There are now trolls between Aegnor and Angrod and Gothmog and Edhellos. Aegnor and Angrod know what is going to happen before it does, and so does Edhellos.

Her last moment is what we choose to make of it. She could defiantly attack Gothmog, knowing this will not end well for her, but at least she'll die rather than continue to do Morgoth's will. Or, she could turn her back on the balrog, and shout to Angrod that the sun will shine again before Gothmog strikes her down. Or whatever we need.

Obviously, Angrod is very upset by all of this, and he would like to kill Gothmog now. He and Aegnor attack the trolls, killing at least one of them. (Ray of sunlight turns one to stone?) Aegnor's sword is broken.

Fingolfin's arrival, and all-hope-is-lost discussion. Turgon isn't coming. The messenger never reached the Fëanoreans. Balrogs and trolls about to overwhelm the elves.

...And then Celegorm arrives with his cavalry, Fëanoreans attack from both sides, and the army of Gothmog is driven north in a rout.



If we side-line Gothmog to give Sauron more screentime and the dramatic named-character-kill in this episode, then we are diminishing Gothmog and the balrogs significantly in the eyes of the viewers. Balrogs will just be 'there,' not present threats. Having Angrod hate balrogs for killing his wife can likely have a payoff in the Dagor Bragollach next season. Restraining him so he doesn't fight Gothmog right this second isn't that difficult to do (and needn't be the scenario I outlined above).

In other words, I remain thoroughly unconvinced that Sauron need be involved at all. Once we decided that this initiative (attack Minas Tirith) is Gothmog's offensive, then it became clear that Gothmog is the primary villain, and that he should be the main villain present in the Act IV battle scenes in the Fens of Serech. Suggesting that he can be scary and fighting, but not do anything of particular interest or note doesn't really address that.



As a side note, referring to Edhellos as 'suicidal' here is likely unfair. She is a prisoner seeking escape, and there is no escaping the complete control of her will that Morgoth has imposed on her. Her moment of clarity is used to end that, and as a side effect, her life as well. This is more akin to people leaping to their deaths from burning buildings. I think we can portray her as determined and clear-eyed as she grimly seeks her own destruction on the battlefield. She need not be crazy nor so distraught as to be easy prey to an enemy.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Ok, just finished butchering my Thanksgiving turkey so that we can roast it tomorrow. I'm going to make this my last post on this topic, because at this point it's starting to feel to me that we're just going to keep talking past each other in circles

The main reason I think Gothmog doesn't need to be the primary antagonist is that Sauron has been playing a pretty big role in this season so far. He and Thuringwethil were the primary antagonists in Episodes 5 and 6; Sauron was a major character in Episode 8; and Episode 4 turned out to be all about Thuringwethil's spying. Gothmog has been kind of sidelined, but I don't think we need to give him a turn as primary antagonist just to be fair. Rather, this battle, even though it is Gothmog's initiative and he will be leading the troops, could be seen as a a continuation of Sauron's story arc.

We obviously don't want the audience to forget about the Balrogs or stop being afraid of them, yet we also want to make Gothmog the one held responsible for their loss in the Dagor Aglareb. This means we have to be careful not to make Gothmog too stupid. If the only episode in this season in which Gothmog is the primary antagonist is the one in which his biggest failure occurs, I think we run the risk of doing just that.
Giving Gothmog some time in the spotlight isn't about being fair. It's about reminding the audience that Gothmog is not simply a naysayer to Sauron's brilliance. Yes, this episode could be seen as a continuation of Sauron's arc, but if he isn't leading the attack, it shouldn't be. He is not the one threatening the protagonists through the episode, making him a side-plot at best if he were added into this battle. And honestly, we're chock-full of plotlines in this episode already. Explaining what Sauron is doing there in a way that doesn't make him look like a traitor or a fool would take valuable screen time away from the other events of the episode, and I'm just not willing to make that sacrifice.

We obviously don't want the audience to forget about the Balrogs or stop being afraid of them, yet we also want to make Gothmog the one held responsible for their loss in the Dagor Aglareb. This means we have to be careful not to make Gothmog too stupid. If the only episode in this season in which Gothmog is the primary antagonist is the one in which his biggest failure occurs, I think we run the risk of doing just that.
Not as much as we risk it by making him responsible for the Dagor Aglareb and then sidelining him during one of the more personal moments of the battle. Gothmog exacts no personal cost from us, the viewers. He just makes an error in judgement.

Also, Gothmog killing Edhellos would not seem very villan-y. It is certainly cruel. Killing anyone is cruel. But, when I have Sauron killing Edhellos, she runs towards him because, having (mostly) overcome or been released from the Spell of Bottomless Dread, she recognizes him and wants revenge for what he did to her. This would not be the case with Gothmog. Either Gothmog would have to come over to where Edhellos is or she would have to run to him. If Gothmog comes to Edhellos, that would look ridiculous. Why would he be targeting her? Yes, she's a commander, but she's not currently commanding anyone. She's way behind Elven lines, talking to her husband, and, if Gothmog wants to kill an Elven commander, he should be going after someone more important than Edhellos, like Fingolfin, Fingon, or Finrod. Yes, Gothmog knows she has been Sauron's pet project, but would he really go that much out of his way to kill her? If Edhellos runs to Gothmog, that would mean changing her state of mind when she is not under the Spell of Bottomless Dread. She would have to be so distraught that she runs into Gothmog because she doesn't know where she is going, and Gothmog would kill her simply because she was there. This doesn't show any kind of motivation on Gothmog's part. Gothmog would kill a puppy simply because it was there. Also, Edhellos wouldn't be putting up any kind of a fight, so Gothmog killing her would not be a demonstration of how terrible the Balrogs are, nor would it seem triumphant. To both the viewers and the characters, it would look like Edhellos went mad and then just so happened to run into the biggest thing on the battlefield to be killed by. Her death by an Orc or a Troll would have the same effect. For Gothmog, killing Edhellos would be even easier than killing any other Dorthonion soldier, and the Elves would be most concerned about why Edhellos suddenly decided to run into a Balrog, not the presence of a Balrog on the battlefield. Really, I think Gothmog killing Edhellos would make less sense and do less for the tension of the Episode than Sauron killing her.
This is all a matter of construction. Aegnor and Angrod are fighting against Gothmog's center, having the largest and freshest forces. Edhellos and Angrod are not way behind the lines. They are just not at the very front. There are no safe places on this battlefield, as the Elves are in a desperate fight for their lives. The enemy is likely a hundred feet away at most. Their forward command post is near the middle of their deployment line, which is directly opposed to where Gothmog is located, and for similar reasons, being able to command and control their troops as effectively and quickly as possible. So Marie's version (which she typed as I was working on this response) makes perfect sense in that regard. Alternatively, Gothmog, flanked by his bodyguards, could even cross the earthworks, and catch her before she even reaches the front. This only needs to be constructed poorly if that is how we construct it.

To be continued...
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Sauron killing Edhellos would not be him swooping down to the battlefield to kill a protagonist right under Gothmog's nose. Sauron would be present for a plausible reason (I have several possibilities), and he would murder Edhellos because she is no longer useful to him as a spy, might reveal even more of his plans if she is left alive, and, as a bonus, killing her makes the Elves very sad. Sauron could certainly get someone else to dispatch her, but he is the one who makes the calculation that it is her time to die, and, if he is right there, why not do it himself? Moreover, killing Edhellos himself, especially in front of her husband, especially while wearing Angrod's face, reaffirms that Edhellos is his and has been his since her capture. This is not only important for Sauron and Edhellos, but as synecdoche for the prisoners in Angband and Spell of Bottomless Dread as a whole.
You seem to be arguing from a premise with which most of us disagree, that there are plausible reasons for Sauron to be on the field which free him of responsibility for the battle's failure. Thus far, the most plausible reason in my mind is that he is screening for Gothmog. If he is doing this, the failure of the battle would seem to land squarely with Sauron doing a poor job. And if he does his job and Gothmog ignores him, then why is he even there? Morgoth has not thus far forced any of his lieutenants to work together. If anything, Morgoth has actively fostered this rivalry, stopping just short of pitting his captains against each other. That makes any attempt to place Sauron on the battlefield look like he is there purely to kill Edhellos.

And why does he do it? You say that it is because she has outlived her usefulness. Well, this is of course assuming that Morgoth immediately informs Sauron of that fact. Which doesn't make much sense. If the only reason why Morgoth released Edhellos was because the Elves were basically all going to die, why does he dispatch Sauron specifically to take her out? And if Sauron is just acting on his own (because Morgoth just figured he'd share the info in real time for no reason), doesn't he know that Angrod and maybe Aegnor are the only ones in the know? Wouldn't it make more sense to kill them and abscond with Edhellos for later use?

As to the idea that Edhellos belongs to Sauron, this is not the case. In presenting her to Morgoth for the SoBD, he is relinquishing any claim of ownership he may have over her. Gothmog may still consider her Sauron's toy, but she truly belongs to Morgoth.

Sauron is not the one who decides that Edhellos is no longer of use, Morgoth does that. She no longer belongs to Sauron in the sense of her being a tool of his. Therefore, none of these are reasons why he should be the one to kill her.

Especially given Sauron's prominence in the season up to this point, I think he has to be present in this episode. If not, the viewers will wonder where he is and what he is doing. Morgoth may be controlling Edhellos now, but Sauron is the one with the intel to know what she needs to do to prevent the message from Angrod and Aegnor from reaching the Feanorians. Sauron is the one who (via Thuringwethil) knows the plans for Minas Tirith. Sauron's forces may not be directly on the battlefield, but they are on the fringes to capture Elves like Rhogrin, and would be useful in a number of other ways as well. Also, if we want Sauron to be ascendant, he has to show himself willing to work for what Morgoth wants. Morgoth wouldn't approve of Gothmog's plan to capture Minas Tirith then let Sauron sit out of it just because Sauron doesn't like Gothmog. Sauron won't look favorable in Morgoth's eyes if Gothmog comes back from losing a battle that Sauron intentionally chose not to take part in.
Part of the issue is that we aren't showing the specifics of what is happening in Angband leading up to this. We can show Sauron being involved in Rhogrim's capture, as Marie suggested, but we could also have him up in Hithlum. If the orcs can pass the north end of the mountains unopposed and undetected, so can he and his forces. It would be easy enough for someone to mention in E10 that whole villages went missing overnight while their armies were otherwise occupied.
If Gothmog goes back to Angband bragging about how he killed Edhellos, Sauron's response would be something like, "Wow, thanks, Gothmog! Had I been there, I totally would have killed her too!"
Honestly, I think this is completely untrue. Nothing about the Sauron we've depicted up until this point suggests someone who would be entirely onboard with the killing of Edhellos. I don't think he'd be super-thrilled that Morgoth ungagged her either. The language we used when we described that happening in the discussion was, "Morgoth can't help himself." Sauron isn't like that. At least not the Sauron we have been working with up until this point.



So here's the deal. I'm not persuaded. Maybe you can find a way to convince Prof. Olsen, and I don't intend to impede that. I will, of course, tell him my reservations about Sauron being anywhere near the battle, because I'm not certain it occurred to him at the time he made the off-hand remark about being ok with that. I'm quite satisfied with the outline that we produced as a team. I think that the discussions we have had for each episode have produced excellent results for the most part. I hope that moving forward, we can continue to work collaboratively, rather than in isolation. Perhaps, following this season, we can workshop a few of the episode scripts with an eye on preventing this sort of issue from spiraling out of control in this way.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
I agree that we should be writing an episode that makes sense, not one that just leads to the conclusion we want. In this case, we aren't writing an episode from scratch, we're revising and episode to add Balrogs. It probably does require more reworking of earlier scenes than what I've been doing for the new Episode 9 scripts I've posted.

One of the weaknesses of my previous scripts is that I was definitely thinking of Edhellos as the protagonist and the Spell of Bottomless Dread (personified by Sauron when he kills her) as the antagonist. The episode was about her ultimately fruitless struggle against it. The battle was won, and almost everything seems to work out, but there is also the darker note that the Spell of Bottomless Dread remains a danger that the Elves will have to contend with. When I rewrite this episode again, I will make sure to have a clear protagonist that isn't Edhellos. I like it being Angrod, although I'm not sure the protagonist couldn't be Aegnor or Orodreth; I'll have to see when I get to writing.

I very much like your proposal for how to make Gothmog killing Edhellos more personal for Angrod. It certainly has the potential to be emotional; however, I still do not think it is as strong of a moment as Sauron killing Edhellos. What I really want to try to write is what I said I was going to write: a script in which the Balrogs are present in the battle, but Sauron is still the one who kills Edhellos. Gothmog killing Edhellos is a fallback if the hosts do not like that script.

I see your point about Gothmog being diminished by Sauron getting the named-character kill for this episode. I think the solution is to make the arrival of the Balrogs more climactic than the death of Edhellos.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
First of all, I want to apologize for keeping this discussion going on for so long. I recognize that my opinion for how this script should play out is the least popular opinion, and I keep defending it because I want to figure out and address the issues everyone has with it before I go through the effort of writing the script again.

I am not totally opposed to writing a version of Episode 9 where Gothmog kills Edhellos; this is just not my first choice, and I would rather try to write a version with Sauron killing Edhellos that works. So, I am going to write another script where Sauron kills Edhellos, keeping in mind the concerns that you guys have raised. If I have time before the podcast session, I will also write a version where Gothmog is the one who kills Edhellos, keeping in mind the concerns that have been raised about that scenario. If the hosts are utterly opposed to Sauron killing Edhellos, I will be happy to go with the Gothmog script. However, I want to be sure that the issues are not something that can be fixed with better writing.

If anyone has any concerns or suggestions for Episode 9 other than who kills Edhellos that you would like me to incorporate into the script, please let me know soon. I want to make sure things like the sizes of the forces and the logistics of the battle are as realistic as possible.

I would love to workshop some episode scripts. As someone with almost no scriptwriting experience, I find the feedback and collaboration that happens in this project wonderful and inspiring, and I really hope I haven't seemed too antagonistic in defending my views.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
How about when Rhogrin is captured, we have a sickening "crunch!" sound as if to indicate that he got his head smashed, then it turns out he got captured?
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
How about when Rhogrin is captured, we have a sickening "crunch!" sound as if to indicate that he got his head smashed, then it turns out he got captured?
That depends on what we want to do with his capture. In one version, I have Rhogrin saving Annael’s wife and son (but not Annael) from some giant cats and getting captured. In another version, I have Rhogrin apparently killed be a Balrog, but the family gets away.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
That depends on what we want to do with his capture. In one version, I have Rhogrin saving Annael’s wife and son (but not Annael) from some giant cats and getting captured. In another version, I have Rhogrin apparently killed be a Balrog, but the family gets away.
My suggestion is seeing it from Rhogrin’s perspective, then the screen cutting to black when the “crunch” is heard.
 

Octoburn

New Member
Another alternative to that would be to, from Rhogrin's perspective, see the Balrog approach, raising it's whip, then cutting away as the whip is close to contacting him, and he screams

It's also possible to show the Balrog flick his whip at him, wrapping up his ankles, then cutting away from there. This still leaves his ultimate fate up in the air, leaving viewers to speculate, but would also heavily imply his immenent death, seeing as Balrogs are not known for taking prisoners.

I know I am adding a question to an already complicated situation, but why is Rhogrin being taken captive? That is Mairon's initiative, and the Balrogs are under Gothmog's orders. With Gothmog and Mairon's "rivalry" would the Balrogs be willingly cooperating with Mairon's plan here?

(Apologies if I've missed something, I have caught up on the podcasts up to the current one, but have not made it far into reading the actual scripts yet)
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
No, you are right, taking captive elves is very much Sauron's 'project' and should continue to be so. Professor Olsen expressed support for the idea that Sauron would capitalize on the opportunity presented by the battle and seek out messengers on Ard Galen to kidnap in the wake of Gothmog's army. Balrogs have taken elves captive in the past, which led to the creation of orcs, but during this Season, it's been very much Sauron's initiative to do that, and we want it to continue into Season 5. Balrogs prefer killing the elves they hunt.

So, the version where Sauron's cats capture Rhogrin and Annael is the preferred version to use.

If a balrog attacks Rhogrin, the viewer would assume he's dead, but...so would I. The balrog wouldn't have any reason to spare him.
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
No, you are right, taking captive elves is very much Sauron's 'project' and should continue to be so. Professor Olsen expressed support for the idea that Sauron would capitalize on the opportunity presented by the battle and seek out messengers on Ard Galen to kidnap in the wake of Gothmog's army. Balrogs have taken elves captive in the past, which led to the creation of orcs, but during this Season, it's been very much Sauron's initiative to do that, and we want it to continue into Season 5. Balrogs prefer killing the elves they hunt.

So, the version where Sauron's cats capture Rhogrin and Annael is the preferred version to use.

If a balrog attacks Rhogrin, the viewer would assume he's dead, but...so would I. The balrog wouldn't have any reason to spare him.
Ok.
 
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