Session 5-11: Aredhel and Eöl

Alcarlótë

Active Member
Thank you for the great summary, @Rhiannon =)

I really loved this session and the ideas we came up with, it was a productive back-and-forth between the hosts and the listeners. I was a bit afraid of this storyline, but the political views and goals of Aredhel that Corey brought up helped us listeners to come up with the potential gain Eol represents in terms of his smithcraft, status and relation to the Dwarves and Avari - I'm not sure the Avari angle will amount to anything more than a vain hope played up by Eol's deceitfulness, but there's great potential for some awesome political Dwarven storylines! Yay!

Did you decide what company she has when leaving Gondolin?
No, we really didn't touch on her journey; we discussed Aredhel's motivation to leave and then jumped to how her relationship with Eol starts. But to be honest, I'm fine with that - we focused on the big picture today, and what happens in Nan Dungortheb and how she arrives at Eol's house can be worked on here on the forums and decided in future sessions concerning single episodes and our future script discussion sessions.
 
Last edited:

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
No, we really didn't touch on her journey; we discussed Aredhel's motivation to leave and then jumped to how her relationship with Eol starts. But to be honest, I'm fine with that - we focused on the big picture today, and what happens in Nan Dungortheb and how she arrives at Eol's house can be worked on here on the forums and decided in future sessions concerning single episodes and our future script discussion sessions.
Oh I agree, that’s fine, we’ll get to it later on. :)
 

David_M_R

New Member
Thanks, @Rhiannon. I would add one point that was missed out: Eol not teaching Aredhel Khuzdul. He could do this, for instance, by claiming the dwarfs won't let him, and it would risk his standing with them (and lose them as allies) if he does. This would play to Aredhel's strategic attitude. When we slowly reveal Eol's nature, we could see the dwarfs question why she can't understand them, or doesn't talk, and Eol could claim he tried to teach her but she couldn't (or wouldn't) get it. Or similar excuse This way there is a further wedge driven between Aredhel and the dwarves, preventing them from trying to warn/rescue her.

Man, this abusive relationship stuff gives me chills. All too real.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Tolkien wrote an interesting story about someone trapped in a dark forest. I think that if we portray that as a textbook abusive relationship (rather than a kidnapping), we increase the sense of horror for the audience. People tend to (somewhat wrongly) think that people won't be trapped in an abusive relationship if they are personally strong. But that is not how it works. Anyone who truly loves someone is vulnerable to being used by that person, and there are many ways to become trapped. Showing a combination of Eol's deceit and charm combined with Aredhel's wishful thinking should make the story all too real to the audience when his possessiveness becomes clear. The whole point of Beauty and the Beast is that the imprisoned girl has no hope of a happy ending, but. . .then things change, in an unexpected way that she couldn't have counted on or even hoped for in the beginning. Aredhel won't get this eucatastrophe.

In the LotR films, they chose to portray the influence of the Ring as a drug addiction (and thus depicted Gollum as a junkie). That sort of choice allows the writers, actors, and audience to have some sort of reference for understanding the psychology of the characters.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Tolkien wrote an interesting story about someone trapped in a dark forest. I think that if we portray that as a textbook abusive relationship (rather than a kidnapping), we increase the sense of horror for the audience. People tend to (somewhat wrongly) think that people won't be trapped in an abusive relationship if they are personally strong. But that is not how it works. Anyone who truly loves someone is vulnerable to being used by that person, and there are many ways to become trapped. Showing a combination of Eol's deceit and charm combined with Aredhel's wishful thinking should make the story all too real to the audience when his possessiveness becomes clear. The whole point of Beauty and the Beast is that the imprisoned girl has no hope of a happy ending, but. . .then things change, in an unexpected way that she couldn't have counted on or even hoped for in the beginning. Aredhel won't get this eucatastrophe.

In the LotR films, they chose to portray the influence of the Ring as a drug addiction (and thus depicted Gollum as a junkie). That sort of choice allows the writers, actors, and audience to have some sort of reference for understanding the psychology of the characters.
This actually makes me think back to the first couple seasons of Game of Thrones and the ”relationship“ between Joffrey and Sansa. They were betrothed, but Sansa‘s heart was in it right from the beginning and was willing to overlook much of his negative traits even though some of them played out in front of her (much to the irritation of readers and audience members), in order to fit with her fantasies of becoming a princess and later a queen. It was only when Joffrey ordered her father’s execution that she saw his true colors, but by then it was too late; she essentially became a prisoner in his castle where his bodyguards regularly beat her.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, outsiders tend to be harshly judgemental about the plight of people caught in domestic abuse - if it was so bad, why didn't you leave? But the reality is that these same people tend not to ever notice that anything is amiss. The abuser is courteous to friends and family, who don't see the uglier side of the person's behavior - maybe not even for years. So then when the person living through that finally speaks up about what is happening behind closed doors, they are met with disbelief - so-and-so? Are you sure? Well, what was the situation, was there a reason. ..? The person is often deemed a liar or thought to be exaggerating the extent of what is happening. And those asking why they stay forget that abusers frequently make their spouse dependent on them and isolated - no source of funds to leave and start over. There are plenty of ways to trap someone without literally locking them up.

The situation with Sansa is definitely abusive, but she is deemed a naive fool for not seeing Joffrey for who he really is sooner. She is very young (while older in the show than in the book, they still include the detail that she has not yet gone through menarche when her father is executed), so her foolishness is excused as innocence and naivety, and she does grow out of it (eventually).

I would not want our audience to judge Aredhel as harshly as Sansa. Aredhel is not a child, and she is not missing blatant 'run away!' signs. There are red flags, but most of them show up later, after she has committed. Her mistake is overconfidence that she can mold Eol into who she wants him to be, and a bit of impulsiveness in jumping into marriage too quickly. If she is naive, it is in taking what he says at face value, not realizing that he is trying to win her as a possession.
 
Top