Session 5-06: The Storylines of Men, Part 2 - Bëor, Amlach, and (possibly) Hador

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Session 5-06 will be held on Thursday June 4th at 10 PM Eastern Time, and will continue the discussion of the storylines of Men from Session 5. We have talked about Haleth's story, so now it is time to move on to Bëor and Amlach. Also, potentially Hador.

For Bëor, we know we want to introduce him as a middle-aged man. We know that he is the leader of his people when they enter Beleriand. And we know that his response to meeting Finrod is to swear fealty and become his vassal. His death of old age will also be rather significant. What is his story? What are we doing with his life and death? How do we plan to show the 'brittle' nature of the relationship between his House and the elves?

For Amlach, we know that his story will focus on the Council that he doesn't even appear at (well, Fake!Amlach does). How does that connect to the other stories? Which characters will we need to tell his story? And how will he represent the viewpoint of the House of Hador?

Speaking of Hador...what will his story be? We may not have time to discuss that in full in the next podcast, but let's have the conversation here so we are ready when it does come up.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Session 5-06 will be held on Thursday June 4th at 10 PM Eastern Time, and will continue the discussion of the storylines of Men from Session 5. We have talked about Haleth's story, so now it is time to move on to Bëor and Amlach. Also, potentially Hador.

For Bëor, we know we want to introduce him as a middle-aged man. We know that he is the leader of his people when they enter Beleriand. And we know that his response to meeting Finrod is to swear fealty and become his vassal. His death of old age will also be rather significant. What is his story? What are we doing with his life and death? How do we plan to show the 'brittle' nature of the relationship between his House and the elves?

For Amlach, we know that his story will focus on the Council that he doesn't even appear at (well, Fake!Amlach does). How does that connect to the other stories? Which characters will we need to tell his story? And how will he represent the viewpoint of the House of Hador?

Speaking of Hador...what will his story be? We may not have time to discuss that in full in the next podcast, but let's have the conversation here so we are ready when it does come up.
Well, the conversation (also from the Hosts) has been pointing towards Hador being responsible for a great deed of valor at a young age that results in him earning the fief of Dor-Lomin and the Dragon-Helm of Hador. The question is: where and when?
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
For Bëor, we know we want to introduce him as a middle-aged man. We know that he is the leader of his people when they enter Beleriand.
If Beor is the first man the Elves see die of old age, he's going to have to be a lot more than middle-aged when we first meet him.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
If Beor is the first man the Elves see die of old age, he's going to have to be a lot more than middle-aged when we first meet him.
Well, the Elves aren’t going to be in Estolad all the time. What’s distinctive for the Elves is that he was a close friend and that Beor willingly gave up his life peacefully and at a very old age; 93 years is extremely old for modern day, let alone Tolkien’s time where Men’s lifespans were mainly lengthened whenever they were in close proximity to Elves.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Well, the Elves aren’t going to be in Estolad all the time. What’s distinctive for the Elves is that he was a close friend and that Beor willingly gave up his life peacefully and at a very old age; 93 years is extremely old for modern day, let alone Tolkien’s time where Men’s lifespans were mainly lengthened whenever they were in close proximity to Elves.
I'm just incredulous of the prospect of the Elves not coming across one funeral in 50 years.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
I think that a good way to simplify discussion of the genealogies is to focus on the relationships between the most important characters. We don't need to name or show all the generations between characters in order to imply their relationships. For example, we could show two young children named Bereg and Boromir at the funeral of Beor then later show them as adults.

HouseOfBeorGenealogy.jpg

Marach is on this chart because the hosts want there to be conflict between Men and the Green-elves that involves the house of Hador. There need to be some Men of that house to interact with the Green-elves, but they do not necessarily need to be named.

HouseOfHadorGenealogy.jpg

HouseOfHalethGenealogy.jpg
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I'm just incredulous of the prospect of the Elves not coming across one funeral in 50 years.
Well 44 in this case. It does seem odd. What we could have is people dying of causes other than sheer old age; people dying of violence, children dying of disease, that sort of thing.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Death from disease is also outside the elvish experience. They only know about death from violence, extreme injury, or grief.

I think it is okay to show, for instance, the battle at the stockade with human deaths, because that is a thing elves expect/are familiar with. That wouldn't detract from the significance of Bëor's death. But...we're probably going to need some people to die of illness/age at some point, and that will matter if it enters into any of the stories before Bëor's death.

For instance...what happened to Haleth's mom? Is she alive? Did she die in childbirth or of illness when Haleth was a child? How will we convey that? If the elves don't know about these deaths, that might seem like not a problem...but it is a problem if we're telling the audience and they knew all along, and then the elves are shocked/surprised. It makes the elves look dumb and naive to have not 'figured out' stuff that we already told the audience. Now, in this case...the audience is going to expect the human characters to be mortal, because the audience is human. It's not really a surprise. But it is a topic we probably shouldn't grapple with on screen until we get to Bëor's death.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I realize that any characters being removed from the story has trickle-down effects and consequences for later branches of the family trees. Some can be altered more easily than others.

Here's the family tree that is compatible with the published Silmarillion (note that Baran has a younger brother named Belen, whose line is not shown here):

1590284472941.png

Obviously, not every individual on this tree is important to our story. Nor did Tolkien develop stories or even details about all of them. Some of them are merely placeholders to keep the individuals he cared about born at the correct time and with the proper relationships to one another. There are a bunch of ways you could simplify it, and still tell very similar stories. You might have a slightly condensed timeline, but it's not like Tolkien didn't start with that anyway. [In the older Grey Annals, Bëor was born in F.A. 370, met Felagund in 400, and died in 450. In the new version Bëor was born in F.A. 262, encountered Felagund in 310, and died at age 93 in 355.] If we were doing an entire season that were only focused on Men (no Elvish storylines), we could invent stories for many of these characters and flesh out the family trees more. But...we aren't doing that.

So, if you had Bëor as the father of Boromir and Bereg, they could be brothers who handle the death of their father very differently, and Bereg leading a chunk of the people away could be seen as him challenging his older brother for the leadership. Or, we could keep Boromir and Bereg as cousins, making Bereg Bëor's nephew rather than his son. Either way, Baran and Boron are gone. We're not going to need them or name them or show them, so...let's just make them not exist. It really doesn't change the story, though it does compress the timeline a bit.

Messing with the bottom of this family tree has other consequences that we'd have to be more careful with. For instance, it's all well and good to *say* 'Let's make Barahir Andreth's brother.' But we do need Andreth's nieces and nephews to exist. Bregolas' sons are going to be some of Barahir's companions, for instance. And they are the fathers of Morwen and Rian, so we do need them for connect-the-dots purposes, as well. So, if we wanted Boromir's children to be Bregor, Andreth, and their baby brother Barahir, that could be made to work. Adanel could still be the grandmother of Emeldir.

I am not suggesting that a family tree like this is better than what is linked above. Nor am I suggesting that it's important to eliminate all of the generations in this way. But would it be possible to do something like this and tell our story? Probably, yes.

1590287085525.png
Bold are named characters who would appear on the show. Italics are placeholders who must exist to make the relationships work. Circles for women; rectangles for men.

I recognize that it wouldn't be necessary for Boromir to remarry in order to have a child who is much younger than his other children. But it is one possible explanation for that. It seemed like a very Tolkienian story to have Andreth lose her mother (though I admit that the stepmother thing is uncommon in his tales). Likewise, it isn't necessary to eliminate Andreth's younger sister Beril, but as she's not necessary at the moment, I eliminated her to avoid cluttering things up. If we decided later that we wanted her, she could easily be added back in.
 
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Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
I realize that any characters being removed from the story has trickle-down effects and consequences for later branches of the family trees. Some can be altered more easily than others.

Here's the family tree that is compatible with the published Silmarillion (note that Baran has a younger brother named Belen, whose line is not shown here):

View attachment 2908

Obviously, not every individual on this tree is important to our story. Nor did Tolkien develop stories or even details about all of them. Some of them are merely placeholders to keep the individuals he cared about born at the correct time and with the proper relationships to one another. There are a bunch of ways you could simplify it, and still tell very similar stories. You might have a slightly condensed timeline, but it's not like Tolkien didn't start with that anyway. [In the older Grey Annals, Bëor was born in F.A. 370, met Felagund in 400, and died in 450. In the new version Bëor was born in F.A. 262, encountered Felagund in 310, and died at age 93 in 355.] If we were doing an entire season that were only focused on Men (no Elvish storylines), we could invent stories for many of these characters and flesh out the family trees more. But...we aren't doing that.

So, if you had Bëor as the father of Boromir and Bereg, they could be brothers who handle the death of their father very differently, and Bereg leading a chunk of the people away could be seen as him challenging his older brother for the leadership. Or, we could keep Boromir and Bereg as cousins, making Bereg Bëor's nephew rather than his son. Either way, Baran and Boron are gone. We're not going to need them or name them or show them, so...let's just make them not exist. It really doesn't change the story, though it does compress the timeline a bit.

Messing with the bottom of this family tree has other consequences that we'd have to be more careful with. For instance, it's all well and good to *say* 'Let's make Barahir Andreth's brother.' But we do need Andreth's nieces and nephews to exist. Bregolas' sons are going to be some of Barahir's companions, for instance. And they are the fathers of Morwen and Rian, so we do need them for connect-the-dots purposes, as well. So, if we wanted Boromir's children to be Bregor, Andreth, and their baby brother Barahir, that could be made to work. Adanel could still be the grandmother of Emeldir.

I am not suggesting that a family tree like this is better than what is linked above. Nor am I suggesting that it's important to eliminate all of the generations in this way. But would it be possible to do something like this and tell our story? Probably, yes.

View attachment 2909
Bold are named characters who would appear on the show. Italics are placeholders who must exist to make the relationships work. Circles for women; rectangles for men.

I recognize that it wouldn't be necessary for Boromir to remarry in order to have a child who is much younger than his other children. But it is one possible explanation for that. It seemed like a very Tolkienian story to have Andreth lose her mother (though I admit that the stepmother thing is uncommon in his tales). Likewise, it isn't necessary to eliminate Andreth's younger sister Beril, but as she's not necessary at the moment, I eliminated her to avoid cluttering things up. If we decided later that we wanted her, she could easily be added back in.
I have problems with this compression of the genealogy on several levels.

First, this specific genealogy doesn't work.

Here's a timeline I put together based on it. With just the House of Beor, it looks okay. Beor dies before the Dagor Bragollach. There's room for Andreth to be young when she meets Aegnor and become middle-aged by the time of the Athrabeth. Boromir can retire so Bregor can be chieftain of the House of Beor during the Dagor Bragollach and take the place of Bregolas by dying with Angrod and Aegnor. Bregor will be succeeded by Barahir and soon Beren. All good so far ...

HouseOfBeorCompressed.jpg

However, when adding the other houses of Men, this genealogy starts to fall apart. We want Haleth to be of a generation born in Beleriand, so I made Haldad the same age as Boromir and Haleth the same age as Bregor. Now, Haleth's first battle takes place about halfway through the season and she's alive for the Dagor Bragollach.

HouseOfHalethCompressed.jpg

Adding the House of Hador makes it even worse. If Hareth were Haldan's daughter, she would be to young to marry Galdor, so I changed Haldan into Hareth. This means we'll be losing part of the gender element of Haleth's story if her chief opposition in her own tribe is also female.

We need Hurin and Huor to be around during the Dagor Bragollach, so they need to be the sons of Galdor and Hareth. Their wives need to be the daughters of Baragund and Belegund from the House of Beor. We can't add Bregolas to this genealogy because that would make Morwen and Rian a generation younger than their future husbands; therefore, I made Baragund and Belegund the sons of Bregor. However, this creates a new problem: Baragund now precedes Barahir in line for chief of the House of Beor. Depending on whether the House of Beor allows women to be chieftains, this could mean that after Baragund and Barahir are killed, Morwen is next in line rather than Beren.

TimelineCompressed.jpg

Just to sum up the problems this causes:
  • Haleth's story must take place later in the season than I think we want it
  • Haleth is still alive during the Dagor Bragollach
  • The character we want to be Haleth's antagonist in her own tribe is another woman
  • Baragund is chief of the House of Beor rather than Barahir
  • Morwen is chief of the House of Beor rather than Beren
If we want to avoid these problems, then we need to have more than four generations of Men before the Dagor Bragollach.



My second issue is that I still just don't see why we need to mess with the family trees and timeline at all. We want to focus our show on the stories of certain major human characters, but this doesn't mean we need to eliminate all their brothers and sisters and make them the children of the last characters whose stories we focused on.

When we focus on a human character, what we show onscreen will be the major event or events in that character's life. That character's parents and siblings will be supporting characters if they are also involved in the event (as in the case of Haldad and Haldar for Haleth), but often a character will only be interacting with characters outside his/her family. For example, it doesn't matter who Hador's parents are because they won't be shown onscreen and probably won't ever get mentioned. All the audience will need to know about Hador is that he is the leader of his house.

If we want to rearrange the genealogy to connect all our human characters more closely than in the original family trees, then we will have to spend screentime establishing who everyone's parents and children are, which takes time away from scenes relevant to the stories we are trying to tell.
 

Alcarohtar

Active Member
Edain.jpg
I haven't compressed or changed anything just removed a lot of people who mostly just are names without stories:
  • Belen, Beldir, Belemir, 1st Beren, Boron, Baranor, Belegor, Bregil, Hirwen, Gilwen and Beleth from the house of Bëor.
  • Marach, Imlach and Hathol from the house of Hador.
  • Hundar, Hunleth, Hundad, Hiril and Meleth from the house of Haleth.
In white are people I think we definitely should not introduce this season, maybe later:
  • Morwen and Rían from the house of Bëor.
  • Gloredhel, Húrin and Huor from the house of Hador.
  • Halmir, Haldir, Handir, Hareth, Hardang, Hunthor and Manthor from the house of Haleth.
In yellow are characters that could be supporting characters (or removed):
  • Baran could be Bëor's son and a supporting character for Bëor.
  • Beril doesn't really have any story, but we could have her interact with Andreth as her sister.
  • Bregor is later known because of his bow which became an heirloom. He's also Andreth's brother. We could do something with that, or just cut it away.
  • Bregolas is Andreth's nephew and Barahir's brother. He fights in the Dagor Bragollach and dies together with Angrod and Aegnor. He is also the father of Baragund and Belegund and therefore grandfather of Morwen and Rían.
  • Baragund and Belegund and members of Barahir's band of outlaws, and fathers of Morwen and Rían respectively. They could be introduced next season maybe?
  • Malach Aradan and Magor could be supporting characters of Adanel. I have earlier suggested that Malach is away serving Fingolfin and that is one of the things that Amlach critisices her for, but ultimately it also leads to Fingolfin giving Hador Dor-lómin as he remembers Hador's ancestor who served him. Magor could be there just as Adanel's brother and eventually Hador's grandfather.
  • Galdor and Gundor are Hador's sons who fight together with him during the battle. Gundor dies together with his father Hador. Galdor is Húrin's and Huor's father.
  • Haldan is Haldar's son and the heir of Haleth.

I would prefer to just not show a lot of people and compress what we show, not the timeline. So the viewers would know the relationship between those shown on screen, but if they wanted they could pick up a family tree and see the rest of the characters not shown on screen. For example they would know that Boromir and Bereg are cousins and that they are great-grandsons of Bëor. If they wanted to know exactly how they are cousins and who are between Bëor and Boromir they could check a genealogy on internet or in the Silmarillion and it wouldn't be completely different from our show. It wouldn't be necessary to check any genealogy for the series of course.

If we do have to compress it's possible to cut a generation without changing everything else. If we keep all those characters in yellow we could cut out that generation between Boromir/Bereg and Baran, and between Hador and Magor.
We could also ditch Haldan and go straight to Halmir. Neither of them does very much but Halmir is more important in that he connects all of the later descendants of Haleth, and also he is in charge when Húrin and Huor goes to live in Brethil (although they are fostered by Haldir, his son). Halmir is the one who fights orcs with Beleg after the Dagor Bragollach and the fall of Minas Tirith/Tol Sirion. Haldir son of Halmir will fight in the Nirnaeth and be slain when he tries to cover Fingon's retreat.

If we don't compress the timeline, it seems like we would still only focus on 4 of the 6 generations:
  1. Bëor (1st)
  2. Boromir, Bereg, Adanel, Amlach and Haleth (4th)
  3. Andreth (5th)
  4. Barahir and Hador (6th)
We could remove 3 of the generations:
  1. Beör (1st)
  2. Boromir, Bereg, Adanel, Amlach and Haleth (2nd)
  3. Andreth, Barahir and Hador (3rd)
This would make Boromir and Bereg Bëor's sons, Barahir and Andreth would be siblings and Boromir's children. Adanel would be Emeldir's mother, and the aunt (?) of Hador, Haldan would be gone.

Edain 2.jpg

I do not like this last one though. Everything would happen so fast and I think doing this kind of compression could cause some serious problems for us. The first genealogy looks more complicated but in reality it isn't. It's just more spaced out in time. We would still focus on the same characters. Having those generations in between would only show the elvish perspective even better. Those "empty" generations come in be beginning of the season together with Bëor's death, and that is perfect because the elves get to know Bëor, but at his death suddenly they notice that generations of men pass in "seconds" form their perspective.
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I have problems with this compression of the genealogy on several levels.

First, this specific genealogy doesn't work.

Here's a timeline I put together based on it. With just the House of Beor, it looks okay. Beor dies before the Dagor Bragollach. There's room for Andreth to be young when she meets Aegnor and become middle-aged by the time of the Athrabeth. Boromir can retire so Bregor can be chieftain of the House of Beor during the Dagor Bragollach and take the place of Bregolas by dying with Angrod and Aegnor. Bregor will be succeeded by Barahir and soon Beren. All good so far ...

View attachment 2914

However, when adding the other houses of Men, this genealogy starts to fall apart. We want Haleth to be of a generation born in Beleriand, so I made Haldad the same age as Boromir and Haleth the same age as Bregor. Now, Haleth's first battle takes place about halfway through the season and she's alive for the Dagor Bragollach.

View attachment 2915

Adding the House of Hador makes it even worse. If Hareth were Haldan's daughter, she would be to young to marry Galdor, so I changed Haldan into Hareth. This means we'll be losing part of the gender element of Haleth's story if her chief opposition in her own tribe is also female.

We need Hurin and Huor to be around during the Dagor Bragollach, so they need to be the sons of Galdor and Hareth. Their wives need to be the daughters of Baragund and Belegund from the House of Beor. We can't add Bregolas to this genealogy because that would make Morwen and Rian a generation younger than their future husbands; therefore, I made Baragund and Belegund the sons of Bregor. However, this creates a new problem: Baragund now precedes Barahir in line for chief of the House of Beor. Depending on whether the House of Beor allows women to be chieftains, this could mean that after Baragund and Barahir are killed, Morwen is next in line rather than Beren.

View attachment 2918

Just to sum up the problems this causes:
  • Haleth's story must take place later in the season than I think we want it
  • Haleth is still alive during the Dagor Bragollach
  • The character we want to be Haleth's antagonist in her own tribe is another woman
  • Baragund is chief of the House of Beor rather than Barahir
  • Morwen is chief of the House of Beor rather than Beren
If we want to avoid these problems, then we need to have more than four generations of Men before the Dagor Bragollach.



My second issue is that I still just don't see why we need to mess with the family trees and timeline at all. We want to focus our show on the stories of certain major human characters, but this doesn't mean we need to eliminate all their brothers and sisters and make them the children of the last characters whose stories we focused on.

When we focus on a human character, what we show onscreen will be the major event or events in that character's life. That character's parents and siblings will be supporting characters if they are also involved in the event (as in the case of Haldad and Haldar for Haleth), but often a character will only be interacting with characters outside his/her family. For example, it doesn't matter who Hador's parents are because they won't be shown onscreen and probably won't ever get mentioned. All the audience will need to know about Hador is that he is the leader of his house.

If we want to rearrange the genealogy to connect all our human characters more closely than in the original family trees, then we will have to spend screentime establishing who everyone's parents and children are, which takes time away from scenes relevant to the stories we are trying to tell.
Once I half heartedly suggested we have Barahir be the father of Baragund and Belegund, with Beren as the youngest son. But again we run into the problem that Morwen would be the Chief of the House of Beor (though it’s likely a moot point since the massacre of Tarn Aeluin in F.A. 460).
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I want the Dagor Bragollach to happen in FA 455. Any compression of the story moves the opening of Season 5 later, rather than moving the Battle earlier. This is to avoid confusion later. There is no need for FA 310 to be the fixed date when Finrod meets Bëor; that's the 'flexible' point, whereas the date of the battle is fixed. So, working backwards.....

We need Beren to be grown and in his young 20's at the time of the Dagor Bragollach. He cannot still be a child in 455. So keep his birth in 432.

Barahir must be grown by the time Beren is born, so his birthdate would be FA 400-410.

Andreth, as Barahir's much older sister, would be born in FA 380-395 (She should be 15-20 years older than Barahir). This makes her 60-75 years old at the time of the battle. Since we wanted her to be old, but not so ancient that she can't escape with the refugees, this will work for her character, who will now noticeably outlive Aegnor. We do probably want to lean towards the earlier end of that range though, so say no later than FA 390 for her birth.

Bregor is Andreth's older brother. So, he would be born in the FA 375-388 range. That would make him 67-80 at the time of the battle. Presumably, he will not be fighting then, and it is his sons we will see taking his place (either Bregolas if we include him, or else Baragund and Belegund if we do not). Or we could do the 'old man gears up for battle' story with him, so that he leads his house into battle despite not being physically fit himself.

Boromir, as the father of Bregor, Andreth, and Barahir, would have to be alive at least 20 years before Bregor is born. So, FA 355 would make him 20-33 years old when Bregor is born, and 45-55 years old when Barahir is born. He will die sometime before the Dagor Bragollach.

So far, we're only about 20 years off from the published genealogy, having condensed one generation, essentially.

Now, Bëor originally dies as a man in his 90s in 355, 100 years before the Dagor Bragollach. If Boromir is going to be born in 355, then we likely want to shift Bëor's death forward about 20-30 years, so that Boromir is old enough to react to it, and we can get to Andreth being a character quicker. That's the real incentive to compress the timeline - if Bëor is the great-grandfather of the characters we want to get the audience to care about, then there is no 'overlap' time of them on screen - you have to tell the stories sequentially, waiting for Bëor to die before Boromir can be introduced. Bëor and Andreth cannot be contemporaries in the original genealogy, as he dies before she is born.

Placing the death of Bëor in FA 385 potentially allows Andreth to be a child at his funeral. Bëor is now born in FA 292. Naturally, this would mean that he doesn't meet Finrod in FA 310, but likely sometime in the 330-340 range.

Naturally, there is at least one more generation in there at this point, with either Baran or Boron existing to be Bëor's son and Boromir's father. To eliminate that generation, we would have to move up Bëor's timeline further, placing his death in FA 400, his birth in FA 307, and his meeting with Finrod in the FA 350's range.

One compromise would be to have a generation between Bëor and Boromir, but to have had that person (Bëor's son) killed in their wanderings before they reach Beleriand. Thus, Bëor has been raising his grandsons Boromir and Bereg, who are still very small children when Bëor meets Finrod, despite Bëor himself being in his late 40's/early 50s.

This timeline compresses about 50 years out of the story. We don't need to compress it down to the 80 years missing from Rhiannon's timelines, I don't think, but a little bit of compression is probably helpful for allowing our characters to overlap rather than live at completely separate times. I know I still have to work on the other two Houses, and some more adjustments will likely be needed to get all of them to work.

1590367778281.png

I realize there are some unusual quirks on this family tree, but I don't think anything on it doesn't appear in my own family tree over the past 4 generations, so it's nothing that unusual. I have a grandfather who was born in 1901. I'm younger than Corey Olsen. If you do the math...that's fewer generations than you might expect. I have a step-great-grandmother. I have a cousin who died in his 20s, leaving behind a widow and 10 year old son. My mom has a sister 16 years older than she is. I am hoping that all of these quirks are the sort of details that would serve the story, not clutter it up, but obviously they might not all fit in very well.

I take it we’re eliminating Bregolas?
....
Once I half heartedly suggested we have Barahir be the father of Baragund and Belegund, with Beren as the youngest son. But again we run into the problem that Morwen would be the Chief of the House of Beor (though it’s likely a moot point since the massacre of Tarn Aeluin in F.A. 460).
Not necessarily. It would be possible to make Bregor the father of Beldis, Baragund, and Belegund, eliminating Bregolas. But it isn't required. And I don't think we need to make Baragund and Belegund into Beren's brothers. But yes, it is quite possible that Bregolas will not exist in our version of the story. If Bregor is dying in the Dagor Bragollach, we wouldn't need Bregolas to do so as well.

We were always going to need a story why Barahir, younger brother of Bregolas, became the chieftain/leader of his house, rather than Baragund or Belegund, Bregolas' adult sons. It's the same story if Barahir is Bregor's younger brother, and he becomes leader over his sons Baragund and Belegund. When all three are killed, though, Beren being the heir is the default.
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I took the same approach to the House of Hador as I did to the House of Bëor - start with the characters whose dates are fixed and necessary. So, in this case, Húrin and Huor. They need to be precise ages for the Dagor Bragollach (FA 455) and the Nirnaeth Arnoediad (FA 472). We shouldn't shift them around any.

So, Húrin will be born in 441, and Huor in 444, as expected.

The 'double wedding' between Gloredhel and Galdor of the House of Hador with Haldir and Hareth of the House of Haleth would therefore happen in FA 436, about 19 years before the Dagor Bragollach. That's not a problem for the House of Bëor (Morwen and Rian can be the correct ages regardless of whether their fathers are sons of Bregolas or sons of Bregor.) But it does make it troublesome to place the battle of the stockade IF we are eliminating Halmir.

Haldir and Hareth would need to be born within a decade of their intended spouses. And if their father is going to be killed at the stockade, then they of course will have to be born before he dies. So, with a 436 wedding, that would give a (roughly) 410 stockade battle, at the earliest. That is likely too late for us to work with.

If we keep Halmir, this goes much easier. Then, both Haldir and Hareth can be born sometime in the 410-420 range, and Halmir can be the one who is born before the stockade battle (so, 385-390). This allows us to move Haleth's story into the earlier part of the Season, before the death of Bëor or the birth of Andreth. We don't need both Haldan and Halmir - we can eliminate one generation. But to eliminate both causes problems.

The other solution, of course, is to nix the double wedding between the House of Hador and the House of Haleth. Which is fine - it's such a minor part of the story, I wasn't sure if we'd be including it or not. If so, then Húrin and Huor would still need a mother to come from the Haladin, but she needn't be Hareth or needn't be a direct relative of Haleth. Meaning...she could be born in whatever year we need her to be born in, and her role in Haleth's timeline becomes unimportant.

So, I am saying that we can either eliminate both Haldan and Halmir and introduce Hareth as Haleth's niece, or keep Hareth as the mother of Húrin and Huor, but we probably can't have her be both. It's a question of resolving this, or giving up on having Haleth be one of the season's early stories, which I don't think is the right choice.

I am not sure how important the early genealogy of the House of Hador will be. They will have leaders, sure - but are we going to introduce any of them outside of Amlach? Who isn't even the direct fore-father of Hador anyway? One solution is to just name them all 'Hador' with added epithets. So, 'Hador the Golden' for the one we care about, and 'Hador the Unready' for whoever is Chieftain during the Council, and 'Hador the Young' for whoever is chieftain during the Green-Elves episode, etc. Hador should be alive by the Council, so we can introduce him as the Chieftain's son at that point, with Amlach being a leader of one of the tribes. But that's obviously the real solution - the House of Hador is made up of a bunch of different tribes, and each one of them has their own leader. So, Hador is the heir of his house...but it's not until he becomes Lord of Dor-lomin that the whole group bands together under a single chieftain? Or something like that.

As I see it right now:

1590378765064.png
(Dates for Haleth reflect the altered timeline for the House of Bëor.)
1590378874070.png
(No dates on this part of the family tree have been altered.)

Episode 1: Bëor meets Finrod and becomes his Vassal (360)
Episode 2: Aredhel leaving Gondolin
Episode 3: Haleth/Stockade battle (390)
Episode 4: Green Elves vs House of Hador/Aredhel in Nan Elmoth
Episode 5: Haleth in Doriath and Nan Dungortheb/Death of Bëor (400)
Episode 6: Romance of Andreth and Aegnor (408)
Episode 7: Council-Bereg and Amlach/Haleth in Brethil
Episode 8: Death of Boromir/Athrabeth - Finrod and Andreth discuss life and death (430)
Episode 9: Aredhel's return to Gondolin
Episode 10: Hador does heroic stuff and establishes his House/Fingolfin's attempt to rally the Noldor?
Episode 11: Double wedding of Galdor/Hareth and Haldir/Gloredhel? (436)
Episode 12: Dagor Bragollach (455)
Episode 13: Fingolfin duels Morgoth (456)

Obviously, a lot of that doesn't match with what we've discussed so far, and there's plenty that's still missing - I know this isn't correct, but I just wanted to lay out the events in order with years and see if it could be made to work, roughly. And I know there is concern about Aredhel being away from Gondolin long enough for Maeglin to grow up into a moody teen, so I included her story here even though we haven't really discussed how we want to tell that yet.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
I guess I still can't wrap my head around why we are removing generations. Am I misunderstanding the motive maybe?

If the motive is "It is imperative for {reasons} that we compress the timeline - that means some generations have to go!" then I'm on board. Let's compress that timeline, for the {reasons} stated above.

If the motive is "These characters don't do anything and it's just too confusing so let's get rid of them. Oh, and I guess that will compress the timeline as well." then I don't get it at all.

I mean, I assume we're planning to go on beyond the sinking of Beleriand to tell stories from later. There will be hundreds (thousands?) of generations of Men that we don't name or meet. Why is it only these ones near the beginning that matter? It's a similar sort of logic to the James Bond notion of killing all of the henchmen without the slightest compunction but then not killing the main baddie for ethical reasons. If we are willing to accept generations of later Men passing by unnamed and unmarked, why are we not willing to do so now?

I typed up what I thought was going to be a reasonable conclusion but it just kept getting longer and more unhinged as I went. I'm keeping it, but putting it in spoiler tags.

I've listened to sessions, and I've followed closely on the forum, and I still haven't seen a compelling reason why these Men in this period must have every member of every house with a name and an introduction and a role in the story, but Men in the time of Aragorn's great-to-the-twenty-eighth-power-grandfather don't. Is it because we don't want to use forced exposition to explicitly state how much time is passing? Is it too clunky to have some Elf say in passing "Wow, I can't believe it's been 80 years since that last scene" and so therefore the only way to connect one scene to the next with Men is to have every Man ever alive appear on screen with a name attached to them and explicit on-screen relationships established all the way down the family tree? Is losing generations and shrinking the timeline the only way to avoid introducing someone as "Hey, I'm the great-grandson of that guy from the previous episode. No, not that guy, the other one, with the similar haircut and similar outfit to mine, in the same location. Guess what? I'm not telling you my dad's name. You'll have to read the article on silmfilm.com to get the full genealogy."
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I guess I still can't wrap my head around why we are removing generations. Am I misunderstanding the motive maybe?

If the motive is "It is imperative for {reasons} that we compress the timeline - that means some generations have to go!" then I'm on board. Let's compress that timeline, for the {reasons} stated above.

If the motive is "These characters don't do anything and it's just too confusing so let's get rid of them. Oh, and I guess that will compress the timeline as well." then I don't get it at all.

I mean, I assume we're planning to go on beyond the sinking of Beleriand to tell stories from later. There will be hundreds (thousands?) of generations of Men that we don't name or meet. Why is it only these ones near the beginning that matter? It's a similar sort of logic to the James Bond notion of killing all of the henchmen without the slightest compunction but then not killing the main baddie for ethical reasons. If we are willing to accept generations of later Men passing by unnamed and unmarked, why are we not willing to do so now?

I typed up what I thought was going to be a reasonable conclusion but it just kept getting longer and more unhinged as I went. I'm keeping it, but putting it in spoiler tags.

I've listened to sessions, and I've followed closely on the forum, and I still haven't seen a compelling reason why these Men in this period must have every member of every house with a name and an introduction and a role in the story, but Men in the time of Aragorn's great-to-the-twenty-eighth-power-grandfather don't. Is it because we don't want to use forced exposition to explicitly state how much time is passing? Is it too clunky to have some Elf say in passing "Wow, I can't believe it's been 80 years since that last scene" and so therefore the only way to connect one scene to the next with Men is to have every Man ever alive appear on screen with a name attached to them and explicit on-screen relationships established all the way down the family tree? Is losing generations and shrinking the timeline the only way to avoid introducing someone as "Hey, I'm the great-grandson of that guy from the previous episode. No, not that guy, the other one, with the similar haircut and similar outfit to mine, in the same location. Guess what? I'm not telling you my dad's name. You'll have to read the article on silmfilm.com to get the full genealogy."
To be a bit blunt, the Professor doesn't feel like keeping characters if they don't have stories behind them. The compression of the timeline is a side effect that he's fine with.
 

Alcarohtar

Active Member
Edain.jpg
There is no reason to cut generations if we want to connect the different stories:
  • Boromir and Bereg are respectively 18 and 15 when Bëor dies according to the original uncondensed timeline that Tolkien actually wrote. They could interact with Bëor during his last days. After Bëor comes to Beleriand he leaves his people to live with the elves, so he isn't really supposed to interact with a lot of men during this season. He leaves his folk and family to live with the elves. It would seem reasonable that some of his family would visit him when his life is reaching it's end. This could be Boromir and Bereg's role. We don't even need to mention Baran, Boron or Baranor.
  • Bereg is involved with Amlach and Adanel during the council, and Andreth (Boromir's daughter) is learning stuff from Adanel. All of them are connected through the story. We don't need to know about their ancestors. All we need to know is that Adanel is a wise-woman and Andreth is training to become one too. Adanel and Amlach are cousins.
  • Hador could be introduced as the grandson of Adanel's (unnamed?) brother if we want. He could interact with an old Amlach in Himring when he fight's in the battle of Aglon and receives Dor-lómin. We don't need to know his father at all. I think it would be cool to include Malach Aradan as a background character. He could be away serving Fingolfin during the council in Estolad and therefore Amlach could be criticising Adanel for her father not being with his people. Later Amlach could see that Malach Aradan's abcense would lead to Hador being gifted Dor-lómin by Fingolfin. Fingolfin could remember Malach Aradan and see some of him in Hador. Malach Aradan would never really be shown on screen, but it would be a nice nod to the published text.
  • Hador would also be connected to Boromir who gets Ladros at the same time.
  • Andreth's story would cover a lot of this season and she could witness Boromir's death, together with her nephew Barahir and maybe Emeldir Adanel's granddaughter. They're all connected! (Except Haleth though, that story is quite independent.)
Instead of cutting away generations and changing who's in family with who, we just cut some "screen-time" between the stories. We only show important moments in the characters' lives and things that are important for the stories we want to tell.
We focus on Bëor and the elves. This could still be in the elvish time perspective, it wouldn't matter how much time has gone. UNTIL Bëor is old. He is visited by Boromir and Bereg. The elves are shocked when he dies and a lot of geneations have passed! "WTF time has gone so fast! Everything is changing much faster than we have experienced before." Things are now at the time of the council or when the Haladin battles orcs. (Haleth's story is so independent of the others so it doesn't really matter which comes first. It seemed like Corey wanted Haleth to be before Amlach.)
After the council we could jump some years forward and Andreth meets Aegnor.
Some years later Hador visits Amlach, "Wow time has gone fast, he's old now!". Boromir is also old. They get Dor-lómin and Ladros.
Oh shit Boromir dies, Barahir is there. And Emeldir too.
Some more time and suddenly everything goes bad during the Bragollach.
Those time jumps would of course be filled with other stories like the elvish stories that we need to tell.
There are just as many stories as if the timeline is condensed, but instead of fucking up the genealogy and timeline we just decide which stories to focus on and show them. It seems like we already know what stories to tell, and they are already connected, so why change things anyway?
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
I also, as I have stated many times before, do not understand the reason the Hosts want to alter the genealogy and compress the timeline. I find it absurd that there not being a story connected to a name in a family tree means that person is not allowed to exist.

If the reason is that we want to simplify the genealogy for viewers, I ask why do the viewers need to know the genealogy at all? Whether there are four or seven of them, knowing the names of every chieftain from Beor to Beren is not remotely important to the stories we are trying to tell, and we shouldn't be asking the viewers to know them.

If the Hosts think that keeping the genealogy and timeline as they are in the book means that people like Baran and Belen and Boron and Baranor and Marach and Malach and Imlach and Halmir and Hundar are going to appear onscreen, get fully introduced, and have a story told about them, then the Hosts are wrong. No one who has argued for keeping these people in the genealogy has said that they should be characters in our show. Rather, we want the existence of these people to be taken into consideration when planning the stories of the characters we are going to focus on.

And by "existence of these people," all I mean is that the time in which Boron lives, has children, and dies passes offscreen. The only impacts that Boron's life would have on our show would be that the dwellings of the House of Beor look a little more lived-in and Men act like they have been in Beleriand for a longer amount of time. That is literally all that "keeping Boron" would mean.

Eliminating Boron, on the other hand, screws up the genealogy, screws up the timeline, and leaves us with the duty of figuring out how to reconcile his non-existence with the stories of the characters we want to tell. It creates way more work for us.

Rather than asking, "How can we convey the passage of several generations without introducing new characters?" (which would not be hard to do) we are trying to make up new genealogies and timelines, which I, frankly, see as a waste of our time and energy. Tolkien has already created a genealogy and timeline that work perfectly together. Yes, there are a lot of names listed in that genealogy. Yes, it looks confusing at first glance. But no one is saying that we need to show this whole genealogy.

The only other argument I have seen for compressing the genealogies and timeline is that we want our main characters to be alive at the same time. I, first of all, question whether this serves the stories we are trying to tell. Elves know and can regularly interact with their great-great-grandparents. For Men, their great-great-grandparents are distant stories of people they have never met. What better way to convey this difference than to have a Man meet an Elf who knew that Man's great-great-grandparent, who that Man himself never met?

Second, I refer to @Alcarohtar's post above that points out all the overlaps between characters we are going to focus on and to my timelines that visually illustrate the overlaps. We have so much to work with already that it seems ridiculous to say we need to create more.

Third, I argue that compression of the genealogies is unnecessary to create this overlap. If we absolutely must have Andreth alive at Beor's funeral, just make Beor live to be 120 and die in FA 382.

If there are other reasons to compress the genealogy and reasons to compress the timeline other than to accommodate a compressed genealogy, what are they? Seriously, what are they?
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I feel like @amysrevenge kind of answered the question of why the hosts want to trim the family trees of the Edain in his post, to be honest.

If the human characters on whom we focus in this season are Beor, Andreth, Hador, and Haleth (with smaller amounts of focus going to other characters) we need to be very aware of the fact that none of these characters are alive for the whole, or in some cases, most of the season. The audience gets at most 2-3 episodes with these characters (yes, I know there's been a lot of talk about having Beor's funeral in episodes 6 or seven, but that really beggars belief as I've pointed out before). Therefore, we absolutely must maintain a throughline from one character to the next. The audience has to be able to understand where the characters fit in the grand scheme of things or the season is going to feel random and disjointed, like a weird collection of unconnected stories. No amount of thematic continuity will prevent this if the audience doesn't get invested in the characters.

Now why can't we maintain the timeline and the genealogy and just have characters living and dying off screen in the gaps between episodes? It's a good question. But the problem comes in when we want to convey the throughline between characters. Sure, you could give some subtle visual cues, and I think that should be done. But that can only support what we tell the audience. And if we are only connecting the dots between the characters onscreen and their long-dead ancestors with clunkily specific introductions, there will be a large percentage of the audience who are going to lose track, whereas putting characters on screen together to reinforce their connections avoids that, giving us a series of handoffs. Is it necessary for the audience to know the lineage of every character on screen, obviously not. But the main characters who are going to come and go quickly? Yeah, they do need to understand the context in which those characters exist in order to get the full impact of their actions.

Now, if we had more time, another season perhaps, I think we could do what you guys are asking for without risking losing the audience. But we don't have that time. If you can convince the Hosts that we need yet another season between now and Beren & Luthien, I'll be onboard with maintaining the genealogy. I just don't think it's the best way to tell our story in 13 episodes. It's a way, but I don't think it's the best way. And it certainly isn't the only way.

Does cutting out generations give us a puzzle to solve, absolutely. But it's certainly a solvable puzzle.
 
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