Session 5-04: The Season 5 Frame

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Session 5-04 will happen on Thursday May 7th at 10 PM Eastern Time. We will be discussing the Frame Story for Season 5.


I know we started discussing potential frame stories for Season 5 in one of the pre-season threads. Let's continue discussing options here, keeping several things in mind.

Season 1 Frame (TA 2941): Young Estel (10-11) in Rivendell learns 'lessons' about the creation of the world from Elrond.
Season 2 Frame: Arwen in Lothlórien contemplates the place of elves in the world - Valinor or Middle-earth?
Season 3 Frame: Teen Estel runs away from Rivendell and joins the Dunedain during a harsh winter.
Season 4 Frame (TA 2948): Bilbo accompanied Gandalf and Balin to Erebor for a 7 year commemoration of the Battle of Five Armies.
Season 5 Frame: TBD
Season 6 Frame (TA 2952): A 20-year-old Estel in Rivendell learns of his heritage and meets Arwen.

Our Frames go in chronological order. So, the Season 5 Frame should fall within a narrow time frame of the Third Age (Shire Reckoning 1348-1352), but does not have to focus on a specific event recorded in the timelines. Also, typically the events of the Frame will play out over a single year. We might have some wiggle room there, but there's no easy way to indicate the passage of time in the frame so consistency here is preferred.

The Frame will focus on one central character, and should tie in to the Season's theme: response to the changefulness of Middle-earth.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
Should we talk about and try to develop some storylines for the next session? It did seem like Corey wanted to look more on each storyline before trying to put together an outline.
Absolutely! I think we should move that discussion over to this thread, though, and include the frame as one of the storylines we discuss.

There are a lot of events listed in the Gantt Chart, but even the ones that involve the same characters don't all necessarily connect. I think what we need to do is come up with ways to connect them that tell a story and identify which events will involve more than one storyline. We can also identify events where more than one storyline intersects.

There are also areas where we need to come up with content. For example, what does our Dwarf-centric storyline look like? What form exactly does Annael's treachery take and how is it discovered?
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
I have my own ideas.
For a villain's storyline: Sauron is continuing his "Catch and Release" program. He puts Annael under his spell. The next project for Sauron is sowing discord between Elves and Men; to this end he'll put some captive Elves under his spell (or maybe take the form of a generic dark-haired Elf); he'll lure, kidnap and kill those from the House of Hador, with these Elves left behind as scapegoats. If the Hosts want Amlach to dither, this could be a reason why as, on the surface, Elves would be making Men disappear. He'll slip up when he impersonates Amlach when the Council of 368 F.A. occurs and Amlach affirms his support for the Elves.
I'm not really in favor of Sauron trying to blame Elves for kidnapping Men. That plan sounds a little far-fetched and impractical, and I think we would be missing some of the important themes addressed in the council if we reduce it to being about a series of disappearances that Elves are blamed for.

However, I know that this suggestion is based on your desire to have Sauron take a role similar to that of Arnold Friend in Joyce Carol Oates's Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? and I've thought of another potential way to incorporate that.

In Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Arnold Friend is some kind of mildly supernatural entity who is trying to lure a young girl out of a house he cannot himself enter. Sauron does not operate under this kind of restriction. He could easily enter the dwelling of any Man or Elf and has no need to lure them out. Except for Doriath, and Sauron might be interested in capturing someone from Doriath for information or to place under his spell.

So, we could have Sauron in the form of an Elf on one side of the Girdle, trying to lure a Sinda out so he can capture him/her. If we want to use an actual character from The Silmarillion, perhaps it could be young Nellas.

We would still need to figure out how to incorporate this into a larger storyline. I don't think the focus of an episode should be Sauron going around and kidnapping Elves, nor do I think we want Sauron to actually succeed in kidnapping this Elf, especially if it is young Nellas. So, what if it's not Sauron trying to lure an Elf out, but Tevildo. Then, we could incorporate it into the Haleth-kills-Tevildo storyline, and Haleth could rescue the Elf who is lured out. We would need to make Tevildo capable of shapeshifting into an Elf. I don't think we've shown him do this before, but I also don't think that's something we've decided he can't do. Just because he much prefers the shape of a cat doesn't mean he isn't capable of taking another form when he needs to.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I'm not really in favor of Sauron trying to blame Elves for kidnapping Men. That plan sounds a little far-fetched and impractical, and I think we would be missing some of the important themes addressed in the council if we reduce it to being about a series of disappearances that Elves are blamed for.

However, I know that this suggestion is based on your desire to have Sauron take a role similar to that of Arnold Friend in Joyce Carol Oates's Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? and I've thought of another potential way to incorporate that.

In Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Arnold Friend is some kind of mildly supernatural entity who is trying to lure a young girl out of a house he cannot himself enter. Sauron does not operate under this kind of restriction. He could easily enter the dwelling of any Man or Elf and has no need to lure them out. Except for Doriath, and Sauron might be interested in capturing someone from Doriath for information or to place under his spell.

So, we could have Sauron in the form of an Elf on one side of the Girdle, trying to lure a Sinda out so he can capture him/her. If we want to use an actual character from The Silmarillion, perhaps it could be young Nellas.

We would still need to figure out how to incorporate this into a larger storyline. I don't think the focus of an episode should be Sauron going around and kidnapping Elves, nor do I think we want Sauron to actually succeed in kidnapping this Elf, especially if it is young Nellas. So, what if it's not Sauron trying to lure an Elf out, but Tevildo. Then, we could incorporate it into the Haleth-kills-Tevildo storyline, and Haleth could rescue the Elf who is lured out. We would need to make Tevildo capable of shapeshifting into an Elf. I don't think we've shown him do this before, but I also don't think that's something we've decided he can't do. Just because he much prefers the shape of a cat doesn't mean he isn't capable of taking another form when he needs to.

Isn't Nellas the elf who befriends Turin? Just a note that she'd be no longer young when she meets Turin if we put her here.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
I've suggested before that the frame of this season could continue to follow the adventures of Bilbo on his way back from Dale, and that he meet Estel again in Rivendell. I'd like to expand on this and suggest some variations for what the actual story could be and how it could fit with the theme of change.

Bilbo in Mirkwood
When we left Bilbo at the end of Season 4, he and Gandalf had just arrived at Thranduil's halls in Mirkwood. One possibility for the frame would be to have it take place in Mirkwood, with Bilbo and the Wood-elves dealing with the theme of change. According to the timeline, the only major events between 2948 and Estel learning of his heritage in 2952 are three Nazgul reoccupying Dol Guldur and the beginning of the reconstruction of Barad-dur. A Mirkwood-based frame would allow us to show Thranduil's response to the reoccupation of Dol Guldur, which would be to not really do anything. Bilbo and Gandalf (unless we want him to leave) could be more in favor of attacking, but this would ultimately not happen.

We could draw parallels between a Mirkwood-based frame and our main story. Bilbo would be a mortal in an Elvish realm (and able to pay more attention to cultural differences since he is not hiding and stealing all the time), there would be an obvious parallel between Angband and Dol Guldur, and Thranduil would be resistant to change and want to keep things the way they are, while Bilbo and maybe Legolas could be more in favor of addressing change. We could also have some of the same characters. Galathil, Celeborn's sister the Green-elf, would be there, and we could have Celeborn and/or Galadriel come visit Mirkwood if we wanted to.

I think this frame would be a good size for this season, especially if we are going to have a fairly complicated main story. We wouldn't be introduced to many new characters that haven't appeared in the frame before, and we wouldn't be trying to tell a hugely complicated story. However, there is certainly the potential for action and tension, and this frame is at a place and time that gives us a lot of room to invent. I also like that it would give us a chance to explore Mirkwood and its culture since last season was focused more on Dale and Erebor. One potential problem with this frame is that it might sound a little like how Thranduil and Legolas were handled in Peter Jackson's Hobbit movies, but I am certain that we could tell a Mirkwood-based story that is different (and probably better).

Bilbo and Estel in Rivendell/On the way to the Shire
Another possibility for the frame would be to have Bilbo in Rivendell, renewing his friendship with Estel and learning some more about the history of the First Age. This gives us a chance to see Estel again before he learns that he is Aragorn and falls in love with Arwen, and we again have the benefit of frame characters the audience has met before. We would also have three mortals (Bilbo, Estel, and Gliraen) to be more accepting of change and plenty of Elves who might be resistant to it. However, differences between the viewpoints of Men and Elves is something that has already kind of been addressed in the frames of Season 1 and Season 3, so we may want to do something different in Season 5.

This frame also gives us room to invent story, so perhaps we could have Estel and a group of Elves escort Bilbo back to the Shire. This would allow us to visit some settings other than Rivendell, such as Bree and the Trollshaws, and the theme of change could be addressed if one or more of the Elves in the group has not left Rivendell for a long time and is surprised by how much the world is changed.

Another benefit of this frame is that we can have the main story of some of the episodes be a story the frame characters tell in Rivendell or while travelling. Estel could focus on the stories of Men, and the Elves present could talk more about Elves. If Glorfindel is there, he could talk about Gondolin, and he and Bilbo could share stories about fighting spiders when he tells about his adventures in Nan Dungortheb.

Bilbo in the Shire
A third possibility for a Bilbo-centric frame would be to have it take place in the Shire after his return. The Shire is a relatively change-resistant place, so if Bilbo decided to do something like teach young Hobbits about his adventures, that could provoke discussions about the benefits of embracing/resisting change. I haven't had any super clear ideas yet about the details of a Shire-based story that deals heavily with the theme of change, but that doesn't mean there isn't something we could do.

While the Shire would be a very fun place to explore in a frame story, there are some potential drawbacks. We would be meeting a lot of Hobbits who would be new characters, and Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin aren't even born yet. While we could create some kind of tension or conflict, it would not be as large in scale as something that happens outside the Shire. However, these could also be seen as benefits. Maybe we want to have some fun new characters in a more lighthearted frame since our main story will be getting increasingly darker.

Bilbo Travelling
If there are things we like about more than one of these possibilities for a Bilbo-centric frame, we could simply have Bilbo visit more than one place over the course of the season.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Session 4 will be devoted to discussing potential ideas for the Frame of Season 5. We will have opportunities to discuss other storylines in other sessions, but this one will exclusively focus on the Frame.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
Isn't Nellas the elf who befriends Turin? Just a note that she'd be no longer young when she meets Turin if we put her here.
Yes, Nellas is Turin's friend in Doriath. You're right that she needs to be young when she meets Turin, which isn't for another 60-70 years. We could invent another young Elf who is kind of like her, though, if we want to do this.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
While I do like some of Rhiannon's suggestions above, and Bilbo in Rivendell in particular, I want to put in a word for Arwen. We don't want to lose touch with her, I think.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I'm not really in favor of Sauron trying to blame Elves for kidnapping Men. That plan sounds a little far-fetched and impractical, and I think we would be missing some of the important themes addressed in the council if we reduce it to being about a series of disappearances that Elves are blamed for.

However, I know that this suggestion is based on your desire to have Sauron take a role similar to that of Arnold Friend in Joyce Carol Oates's Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? and I've thought of another potential way to incorporate that.

In Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Arnold Friend is some kind of mildly supernatural entity who is trying to lure a young girl out of a house he cannot himself enter. Sauron does not operate under this kind of restriction. He could easily enter the dwelling of any Man or Elf and has no need to lure them out. Except for Doriath, and Sauron might be interested in capturing someone from Doriath for information or to place under his spell.

So, we could have Sauron in the form of an Elf on one side of the Girdle, trying to lure a Sinda out so he can capture him/her. If we want to use an actual character from The Silmarillion, perhaps it could be young Nellas.

We would still need to figure out how to incorporate this into a larger storyline. I don't think the focus of an episode should be Sauron going around and kidnapping Elves, nor do I think we want Sauron to actually succeed in kidnapping this Elf, especially if it is young Nellas. So, what if it's not Sauron trying to lure an Elf out, but Tevildo. Then, we could incorporate it into the Haleth-kills-Tevildo storyline, and Haleth could rescue the Elf who is lured out. We would need to make Tevildo capable of shapeshifting into an Elf. I don't think we've shown him do this before, but I also don't think that's something we've decided he can't do. Just because he much prefers the shape of a cat doesn't mean he isn't capable of taking another form when he needs to.
Well, the reason why I envisioned Sauron as the tempter is that it seems more his skillset since Tevildo as a torturer. And I think that Sauron does have a restriction on where he can be; he has to have been there, otherwise he could pop into Gondolin.

Also, not all of the plotlines need to fit with a theme; the Sindar plotline for Season 3 did not really adhere to the theme of rebellion.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Well, the reason why I envisioned Sauron as the tempter is that it seems more his skillset since Tevildo as a torturer. And I think that Sauron does have a restriction on where he can be; he has to have been there, otherwise he could pop into Gondolin.
Stay on topic, please
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
While I do like some of Rhiannon's suggestions above, and Bilbo in Rivendell in particular, I want to put in a word for Arwen. We don't want to lose touch with her, I think.
We could have Arwen arrive in Rivendell during the season, which should mesh nicely with next season’s frame as it mentions that she had been in Lothlorien to visit Galadriel.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
We could have Arwen arrive in Rivendell during the season, which should mesh nicely with next season’s frame as it mentions that she had been in Lothlorien to visit Galadriel.
Yes we could. But then she’d probably run into Estel while he’s still quite young? Not sure we want that.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah... Maybe. Or, we just do the part where he learns of his ancestry (not sure what we did earlier on this, have to check) and receives the shards of Narsil? Perhaps Elrond can prepare for her return in some way at the end of the season, as a teaser/cliffhanger?
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
It's interesting, we haven't really discussed exactly what part of the Aragorn-Arwen story we want to use as frame in the Beren-Luthien season. One could argue that their meeting and betrothal in Lorien in 2980 would suit better than their first meeting. But then we would have to speed through his Thorongil years.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I mean...since we're speeding through the generations of Men in the First Age, we could speed through the Thorongil years...We could then begin this season with the ancestry reveal and shards of Narsil, have him meet Arwen and then leave, showing some fighting for King Thengel mirroring the Dagor Bragollach. Next season, we could begin with him and Arwen separated, and show him fighting for Ecthelion of Gondor, winning against the Corsairs, and then return and meet Arwen as an ending mirroring Beren and Luthien uniting. Not saying it's perfect, but maybe worth considering.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I mean...since we're speeding through the generations of Men in the First Age, we could speed through the Thorongil years...We could then begin this season with the ancestry reveal and shards of Narsil, have him meet Arwen and then leave, showing some fighting for King Thengel mirroring the Dagor Bragollach. Next season, we could begin with him and Arwen separated, and show him fighting for Ecthelion of Gondor, winning against the Corsairs, and then return and meet Arwen as an ending mirroring Beren and Luthien uniting. Not saying it's perfect, but maybe worth considering.
My thought was to have his years in Gondor coincide with the main story at the Fall of Gondolin, particularly because Denethor's attitude seems to be similar to Maeglin's even though Denethor never betrays Gondor directly.
 
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Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
My thought was to have his years in Gondor coincide with the main story at the Fall of Gondolin, particularly because Denethor's attitude seems to be similar to Maeglin's even though Denethor never betrays Gondolin directly.
Yes. Still, we don't have to mirror the main story that much (which is an argument against my idea as well). I feel we sometimes risk making the frame an echo of the main story.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Have her arrive at the end of the season then?
We could end the season with him seeing her from a distance and calling out to her, "Luthien!" - it could work, perhaps.


I guess I am arguing for a frame that's not focused on Bilbo but on Estel. Bilbo could be there a few episodes though.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
We could end the season with him seeing her from a distance and calling out to her, "Luthien!" - it could work, perhaps.


I guess I am arguing for a frame that's not focused on Bilbo but on Estel. Bilbo could be there a few episodes though.
Well, who have been the protagonists of our frames? Season 2 was Arwen, Season 3 was Estel (Aragorn), Season 4 was Bilbo. Who was it in Season 1?
 
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