Session 5-12: Miscellaneous Elves and Villains

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I think that course of action makes sense - the Edain don't really have any business with the Feanorians apart from Amlach joining Maedhros and Caranthir rescuing Haleth and her people, but that's pretty short-lived considering she rejects his offer and leads her people on an unnecessary and deadly journey. The Feanorians can have more of their own Men in the next seasons.



Oh, these are great ideas! Having Aredhel visit directly and having Thuringwethil enable the orc attack on the Haladin help to explain certain events and ties all the various plots neatly together. It's the setup needed for the "Doom of Huan" storyline I outlined above to actually be an organic part of this season - and gives it more depth. Great teamwork! =)

Huan's fate could even be tied into the worldview theme of the season, because he has a pretty unique perspective - he's immortal and apparently unkillable until his fateful encounter with the mightiest wolf, where he will die and perish for good. Unlike Men or Elves, animals like him don't have a feä to continue to exist in some way - which might be very relatable to our audience.




That makes sense - there's certainly some details and nuance Huan could use in past seasons. Personally, I think retroactively inserting something important like his Doom is too much considering the past Seasons have been worked out without it. I wouldn't be strictly against handling it like that - but for now, we have to assume it's not been brought up until now, until the podcast hosts and/or we here on the boards commit to declaring it as always having been there at a level below that of the script outlines.
Does Aredhel's visit with the Feanoreans match up with the assault on the Stockade? I think there's a bit of a gap there of a few decades or so.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
One way to spy is to infiltrate. Elves are long-lived, and so are their enemies; patience isn't a problem. You can try to just show up one day and claim to be a visiting elf, hoping everyone will accept your imaginary back story. But if you are looking to discover a weakness or an opportune moment to attack...then it might be better if you are fully embedded with a useful cover story. Perhaps she has an established cover where she has a reason to travel between the Fëanorean strongholds, and lives there for years, popping in and out - easy enough to report back to Angband when the watch is inattentive or where the gaps are.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Okay, I thought it was more like Thurwingwethil bringing info on Aredhel in Feanorean country and then the Orcs wait for several decades before attacking, with the Haladin having set up shop in the interim.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
Concerning Gil-Galad, I'd like input from the podcast hosts on when and how they envision his early years because we basically have a blank slate on that (apart from the one sentence about Gil-Galad being sent to Cirdan later on, but Christopher added that and mistakenly made him Fingon's son) and it seems like there's not much of a consensus here.

My current proposal is that he's born at Minas Tirith some years before the Beorians leave Nargothrond, so young Gil-Galad meets young Barahir when the Beorians are coming through the Pass of Sirion. During the Dagor Bragollach, Gil-Galad is deemed too young and inexperienced enough to fight (which works timeline-wise if he matures slowly and his parents are sufficently concerned about his safety, as they are in the Silmarillion). He sneaks out of Minas Tirith and meets up with Finrod's force that gets surrounded by the enemy before Barahir rescues them (who at this point is like 40-60 years old? Not sure exactly). This would set up Gil-Galad's boldness as a reason for his parent's protectiveness (which might play into him not dying in the Ruin of Nargothrond like his father) and fit with his eventual death battling Sauron personally. Also, it would really pay off the theme of differences in worldview between Elves and Men, that we're trying to emphasize this season, storywise. I don't have firm ideas on what or how much they'd say to each other the two times they meet, but how different they're aging and living would be a great showcase for Elvish and Mannish outlooks on life.
I very much like the idea of young Gil-galad being friends with some of the young Beorians because it allows us to show how Elves and Men mature at different rates, sort of a precursor to Turin and Nellas. However, I suggest having his birth a little earlier in the timeline to be closer to his sister's, and having Gil-galad be the childhood friend of Boromir or Andreth. That way, it can be something that Andreth can mention when she is convincing Finrod that the House of Beor should leave Nargothrond.

Since we have decided for SilmFilm to have Gil-galad be the son of Orodreth rather than Fingon, as was in the published Silmarillion, Gil-galad is also the younger brother of Finduilas, and we need to answer why Orodreth sends his son away to safety after the Dagor Bragollach but not his daughter. It seems like a kind of bad decision to make as a parent, especially since Finduilas will die and Gil-galad will live to become High King.

As a solution to this, what if we have Orodreth send Gil-galad to the Havens on a mission to request Cirdan's aid rather than merely for his own protection? After Minas Tirith is taken by Sauron, Gil-galad would remain in the havens and Orodreth would be in Nargothrond, so they would end up in the same places as they are in the books without it looking like Orodreth is intentionally separating his children.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
Some other minor characters to discuss this session are Annael and Rhogrin, whose escape from Angband kept getting pushed back and back in the story until it ended up in this season. (Can we please have them escape in the first few episodes? Those poor guys have been in Angband a really long time!)

The plan last season was to have Annael placed under a Spell of Not-So-Bottomless Dread by Sauron in imitation of Morgoth's Spell of Bottomless Dread and reveal Noldorin secrets to Thrungwethil while in a sleepwalking/hypnotized state the Annael himself is not aware of. However, based on the other stuff that has been suggested for Sauron and Thuringwethil to do this season, I'm not sure we need to have them involved in this subplot.

Therefore, I propose we simplify it and have Annael be placed under the actual Spell of Bottomless Dread by Morgoth and attempt to sabotage the Noldor in some way, similarly to what Edhellos did in Season 4. Since Rhogrin was a lieutenant of Fingon and Annael's family currently lives in Dor-lomin, it would make sense for the treachery to happen around the time that Hador is serving there as a young man. With Morgoth as the one controlling Annael, I think it will be okay to make the treachery something simple that Hador can discover and help thwart. We can still have Annael go into some kind of self-imposed exile and become, as he is in The Book of Lost Tales, one of a few Noldor resisting the Spell of Bottomless Dread to help Tuor.

Another benefit I see to having Annael placed under Morgoth's control rather than Sauron's is that it will help set up the enmity between Morgoth and the House of Hador if Hador himself is the one to thwart Morgoth's plan.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Some other minor characters to discuss this session are Annael and Rhogrin, whose escape from Angband kept getting pushed back and back in the story until it ended up in this season. (Can we please have them escape in the first few episodes? Those poor guys have been in Angband a really long time!)

The plan last season was to have Annael placed under a Spell of Not-So-Bottomless Dread by Sauron in imitation of Morgoth's Spell of Bottomless Dread and reveal Noldorin secrets to Thrungwethil while in a sleepwalking/hypnotized state the Annael himself is not aware of. However, based on the other stuff that has been suggested for Sauron and Thuringwethil to do this season, I'm not sure we need to have them involved in this subplot.

Therefore, I propose we simplify it and have Annael be placed under the actual Spell of Bottomless Dread by Morgoth and attempt to sabotage the Noldor in some way, similarly to what Edhellos did in Season 4. Since Rhogrin was a lieutenant of Fingon and Annael's family currently lives in Dor-lomin, it would make sense for the treachery to happen around the time that Hador is serving there as a young man. With Morgoth as the one controlling Annael, I think it will be okay to make the treachery something simple that Hador can discover and help thwart. We can still have Annael go into some kind of self-imposed exile and become, as he is in The Book of Lost Tales, one of a few Noldor resisting the Spell of Bottomless Dread to help Tuor.

Another benefit I see to having Annael placed under Morgoth's control rather than Sauron's is that it will help set up the enmity between Morgoth and the House of Hador if Hador himself is the one to thwart Morgoth's plan.
So how is it not going to be obvious that Annael is under Morgoth’s spell? When he put Edhellos under his spell last season she was rendered near-catatonic. It would be plain to them (and to us) that something was wrong with him.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
So how is it not going to be obvious that Annael is under Morgoth’s spell? When he put Edhellos under his spell last season she was rendered near-catatonic. It would be plain to them (and to us) that something was wrong with him.
Edhellos was near catatonic when she was rescued, which was right after she had the spell placed upon her. However, in time, she recovered and seemed much more like herself to those around her (though not the viewers because we saw some scenes through her eyes). If Annael has been under Morgoth's spell for some time, I doubt there would be any suspicion that he is anything more than a traumatized escapee when he arrives in Dor-lomin. How much he keeps up this appearance vs. returning to normal life would depend on what purpose Morgoth has for him.
 

Alcarlótë

Active Member
I very much like the idea of young Gil-galad being friends with some of the young Beorians because it allows us to show how Elves and Men mature at different rates, sort of a precursor to Turin and Nellas. However, I suggest having his birth a little earlier in the timeline to be closer to his sister's, and having Gil-galad be the childhood friend of Boromir or Andreth. That way, it can be something that Andreth can mention when she is convincing Finrod that the House of Beor should leave Nargothrond.

Since we have decided for SilmFilm to have Gil-galad be the son of Orodreth rather than Fingon, as was in the published Silmarillion, Gil-galad is also the younger brother of Finduilas, and we need to answer why Orodreth sends his son away to safety after the Dagor Bragollach but not his daughter. It seems like a kind of bad decision to make as a parent, especially since Finduilas will die and Gil-galad will live to become High King.

As a solution to this, what if we have Orodreth send Gil-galad to the Havens on a mission to request Cirdan's aid rather than merely for his own protection? After Minas Tirith is taken by Sauron, Gil-galad would remain in the havens and Orodreth would be in Nargothrond, so they would end up in the same places as they are in the books without it looking like Orodreth is intentionally separating his children.
I can dig that idea as well! It might well make the contrast between Gil-Galad and Barahir more striking if Gil-Galad is clearly older-looking than Barahir when the Beorians leave Nargothrond (maybe Gil-Galad goes to Minas Tirith for a visit and accompanies them?) only for a clearly older-looking Barahir coming to rescue Gil-Galad and Finrod during the Bragollach. Gil-Galad might move to Nargothrond in his youth because Meril and Orodreth know it's a nicer and safer place than Minas Tirith - and Finrod is a great uncle to send fosterlings to.

As for sending Gil-Galad to Cirdan later on - he might be on a mission to visit Cirdan, but why isn't he ever returning to his parents? Do they need a permanent embassy there? I don't see Cirdan stalling him or something, and Orodreth certainly has trouble in Nargothrond that he could use help with. I think we can make sense of why Meril and Orodreth would treat their children differently, and they don't have to come off as making perfect decisions. Gil-Galad might be (at this point! He has a long career ahead of him) a pretty bad fighter for how bold and rash he is and might need protection from himself, while Finduilas either never fought or at least had given up fighting when Turin came to Nargothrond.

Considering Gil-Galad will be with us for like 10+ seasons and grow into an important character, I would like him to start off like Galadriel did - with an emphasis on his own, still far from perfect, character. It feels more fitting to have him play a minor role in this Season, give him a bigger role in Season 6 and then see what we can do with him for the rest of the First Age, rather than having him be a character that is sidelined until later. We should try to remedy his artificial, retroactive insertion into the Silmarillion and give him a cool story! Regardless of why he goes to Cirdan later, Gil-Galad could resent his fate to be far away from the action at first and treat Cirdan accordingly, but grow in Cirdan's presence and become friends with him (and we certainly can use a character for Cirdan to talk to whenever we need one!). He might have a temporary relapse after Nargothrond falls and his parents die, but he will ultimately grow into an ally of Cirdan and therefore the people at the Mouths of Sirion. Even as High King, he will never abandon living with Cirdan. I totally want them to be boyfriends, but that's an entirely different plot point :D

Therefore, I propose we simplify it and have Annael be placed under the actual Spell of Bottomless Dread by Morgoth and attempt to sabotage the Noldor in some way, similarly to what Edhellos did in Season 4. Since Rhogrin was a lieutenant of Fingon and Annael's family currently lives in Dor-lomin, it would make sense for the treachery to happen around the time that Hador is serving there as a young man. With Morgoth as the one controlling Annael, I think it will be okay to make the treachery something simple that Hador can discover and help thwart. We can still have Annael go into some kind of self-imposed exile and become, as he is in The Book of Lost Tales, one of a few Noldor resisting the Spell of Bottomless Dread to help Tuor.
Do we have any plans for Rhogrin in that story? My intuition is that he fights Hador to make Hador known as a great warrior also, but at this point I couldn't tell you whether it's for training, out of anger or because Rhogrin is temporarily influenced by Morgoth. It's just what it is ^^
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I am not comfortable with the idea of shifting Annael's treachery to being a result of being under Morgoth's spell.

For one thing, the catch-and-release program is very much Sauron's plan. Yes, he has things to do this season, but that doesn't mean he'd abandon what he's been working on to go after Men. Fake!Amlach is a one-episode plot, not a season-long arc.

The second issue is that if we do a re-run of Edhellos' storyline...we are merely repeating something we've already shown the viewers. That definitely is difficult to do in a way that will still seem interesting. The entire purpose of our 'four named character prisoners' was to give them all different experiences and outcomes.

My third issue is that we need Annael to recover enough sense of self to foster Tuor later. If we have him directly under Morgoth's spell...why is he able to shake it off when Edhellos wasn't? It makes it look like we're just throwing away female characters, and making new loopholes for male characters to keep them in the story.

Sauron's spell never leaves Annael (hence his need for self-exile), but *as* an exile, he's a useless pawn, and so receives no more visits. He regains his life by giving it up, always with the knowledge in the back of his head that if he were go back to his family and his settlement...he may be the doom of both. It's a tragic story, but it's a *different* story from Edhellos'.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I do have a suggestion as to why Díriel remains trapped in Angband and is not able to join the escape with Rhogrin and Annael.

I know that the easiest answer to that is that she is physically separated from them - that whatever allows them to get away, she's in a different pit/cage, she's press ganged into working at the time, etc. So, she can know of the escape or aid it, but it's not for her.

Ange1e4e5 has suggested giving her a physical disability/ permanent injury. This would explain why she misses out on not only this escape attempt, but all future ones. It also gives a way to embody her imprisonment and the toll it is taking on her. No one is going to think it's all roses working for Morgoth, but showing her hobbling around with a limp (or something) will definitely clue everyone in as to how bad this is. Since we will see her in only brief moments over the years...this very obvious toll is important to show in clear ways.

Díriel is both a Fëanorean (by marriage) and the 'leader' of the Noldor prisoners. What if...she's been forced to swear an oath of loyalty to Morgoth at some point? This can come up before Sauron requests such an oath of Finrod in Season 6, but the idea that 'no elf' would swear such an oath...only applies to elves who are free to avoid certain consequences. It will be easy enough to threaten to kill off more of the prisoners if she refuses, and so she may eventually be convinced. We've already seen that she's willing to sacrifice a little personal pride and dignity for the sake of everyone else there, so this would just be taking her initial acquiescence a step further. And, as we know, in this world, you are bound to your oaths. Once she does that...escaping to go back to Curufin and Celebrimbor is...less likely to be her main goal in life. She knows she's there till she dies (if she dies).
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
I am not comfortable with the idea of shifting Annael's treachery to being a result of being under Morgoth's spell.

For one thing, the catch-and-release program is very much Sauron's plan. Yes, he has things to do this season, but that doesn't mean he'd abandon what he's been working on to go after Men. Fake!Amlach is a one-episode plot, not a season-long arc.
Sauron doesn't need to be uninvolved in the catch-and-release program for Morgoth to be the one to place the spell on Annael. It can be the result of a collaboration between them. If I remember correctly, part of the reason that Sauron tries to create his own spell is that he is tired of Morgoth taking over and, in Sauron's eyes, ruining the projects he starts. However, if we want to show Fingolfin wounding Morgoth as something that really causes a rift in their relationship, it might be worthwhile to show them working together earlier in the season.

The second issue is that if we do a re-run of Edhellos' storyline...we are merely repeating something we've already shown the viewers. That definitely is difficult to do in a way that will still seem interesting. The entire purpose of our 'four named character prisoners' was to give them all different experiences and outcomes.
I am not suggesting that we merely do a repeat of Edhellos's story with Annael. The reason I brought up Edhellos as a comparison was that, under Morgoth's spell rather than Saurons, I thought Annael's treachery would be more likely to take the form of direct sabotage, like how Edhellos killed the messenger, rather than gathering information.

The original plan for the four named character prisoners was to show four different outcomes: remaining a prisoner in Angband (Diriel), legitimately escaping (Rhogrin), broken and driven mad by the SoBD (Edhellos), and under the SoBD but does not know it (Annael). However, the way Edhellos's story ended up playing out, she was more in the category of being under the SoBD and not knowing it. Therefore, I don't think we necessarily need to stick to our original plan for Annael.

My third issue is that we need Annael to recover enough sense of self to foster Tuor later. If we have him directly under Morgoth's spell...why is he able to shake it off when Edhellos wasn't? It makes it look like we're just throwing away female characters, and making new loopholes for male characters to keep them in the story.
No. No it doesn't. The gender angle only comes up if the reason Annael is able to resist the spell and survive is because he is a male, which won't be the case. I don't see any reason why the self-exile situation you describe below wouldn't work for Annael, just with Morgoth in charge of the spell rather than Sauron.

Sauron's spell never leaves Annael (hence his need for self-exile), but *as* an exile, he's a useless pawn, and so receives no more visits. He regains his life by giving it up, always with the knowledge in the back of his head that if he were go back to his family and his settlement...he may be the doom of both. It's a tragic story, but it's a *different* story from Edhellos'.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Sauron doesn't need to be uninvolved in the catch-and-release program for Morgoth to be the one to place the spell on Annael. It can be the result of a collaboration between them. If I remember correctly, part of the reason that Sauron tries to create his own spell is that he is tired of Morgoth taking over and, in Sauron's eyes, ruining the projects he starts. However, if we want to show Fingolfin wounding Morgoth as something that really causes a rift in their relationship, it might be worthwhile to show them working together earlier in the season.



I am not suggesting that we merely do a repeat of Edhellos's story with Annael. The reason I brought up Edhellos as a comparison was that, under Morgoth's spell rather than Saurons, I thought Annael's treachery would be more likely to take the form of direct sabotage, like how Edhellos killed the messenger, rather than gathering information.

The original plan for the four named character prisoners was to show four different outcomes: remaining a prisoner in Angband (Diriel), legitimately escaping (Rhogrin), broken and driven mad by the SoBD (Edhellos), and under the SoBD but does not know it (Annael). However, the way Edhellos's story ended up playing out, she was more in the category of being under the SoBD and not knowing it. Therefore, I don't think we necessarily need to stick to our original plan for Annael.



No. No it doesn't. The gender angle only comes up if the reason Annael is able to resist the spell and survive is because he is a male, which won't be the case. I don't see any reason why the self-exile situation you describe below wouldn't work for Annael, just with Morgoth in charge of the spell rather than Sauron.
So how would Annael be able to throw it off and not Edhellos if they’re subjected to the same sort of power?
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
So how would Annael be able to throw it off and not Edhellos if they’re subjected to the same sort of power?
First of all, I'm not sure it was decided whether Edhellos's final moment of lucidity was due to her throwing off the SoBD or Morgoth simply dropping his control because he no longer had use for her. The way I wrote it in the script, it could be either, though I was thinking more of the former. In either case, Annael's experience with the SoBD still comes down to how useful he is to the villains. Whether he is under Morgoth's spell or Sauron's, Annael will not be a useful tool to achieve their goals once he is discovered and removes himself from society, so he is not directly under their control. We can decide how much we want the SoBD to still affect him while he is in exile. He can definitely still act traumatized and be afraid of being part of large groups lest he betray them.

Also, Morgoth's power levels will in general be waning and directed towards other things, so if we do actually want to show Annael break the spell in some way, I don't think it will seem that strange that this would be easier for a later victim of the spell than the very first victim.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
We want to show Sauron developing Spell-of-Bottomless-Dread-lite this season, using it on a character to create a hypnosis/suggestible state where the victim is very biddable. Sauron is interested in conquering wills, so he's keen on getting into this new form of domination. We want to show the next step of his process, and how he's going to use what he learned from Morgoth for his own purposes and devices. I remain unconvinced that we want to take this story away from Sauron and give it to Morgoth.

Our chosen victim is Annael.

If we shift things so that Morgoth puts the SoBD on Annael, the audience is expecting the same outcome and behavior as Edhellos. We wind up looking like we haven't remembered the rules of our own story if it is now weaker and easier to be thrown off, and the exact sort of villain decay we're trying to avoid -- we *are* going to have Morgoth weaken over time. But we don't want to be in a position of trying to sell him to the audience as a big bad scary villain if he doesn't have the power to live up to that. If we want to convey that, I would rather have Morgoth express disinterest in directly enslaving more of his elf captives that way...because it takes too much out of him to do so.

I recognize that it might not seem like a gendered reason for the differing outcomes, but do keep in mind that the *main* reason why Annael and Rhogrin survive and escape, while Díriel remains imprisoned and Edhellos dies, is because both Annael and Rhogrin have things to do later in the story. They are going to play roles in the future, and so can't die yet. And the female characters are, naturally, a bit more expendable, seeing as Tolkien barely mentioned that they existed, so didn't get around to telling us anything about their lives or deeds. So, yes, when we've come across the 'we need named characters to die' dilemma, we wind up killing off a disproportionate number of our female characters. At least one of those deaths was canonical (Elenwë perishing on the Helcaraxë), but the majority are invented by us - the deaths of Olwë, Earwen, and Irimë at Alqualondë, the death of Edhellos in the Dagor Aglareb - two of those characters don't even exist in the published Silmarillion, and yes, it's the women.

I am not saying that we are killing off women for the fun of it, nor that every female death in a story is fridging (Elenwë undoubtedly is in the source material - her death is only mentioned to explain why Turgon is so upset). By the end of the First Age, almost ALL of our characters will be dead, male and female, human and elf and dwarf. We have...very few survivors by the time we get to the War of Wrath. I am pointing out that, unless we invent a role for some of these minor female characters, they wind up being very expendable and dying early. And so, if we put both a male and a female character into a very similar situation/dilemma, and the female gets killed by a balrog, but the male is okay and goes to live in exile....it does look rather deliberate on our parts to have 'saved' the important male character while leaving the female character to die.
 

Alcarlótë

Active Member
Speaking of fridged characters, we could probably develop Finduilas' personality a bit more...
I'm really interested in how much we will stray from the very stereotypical role she plays in Turin's story (beautiful princess that sits at home, loves the main character of the story, gets captured and is in need of rescuing) - her death is really only there for Turin's character and the tragedy of the story because he's deluded into not saving her.

Personally, I don't any reasonable amount of development we can give her, with how busy these stories already are, is going to improve her character much if we don't deviate a decent amount from the text. Sure, stereotypes and tropes aren't bad per se, but in this case they sure make the character either very predictable and boring (if you expect no twist) or very dissapointing (if you expect a twist).

I think this is a pretty difficult challenge - my personal inclination would be to just cut Gwindor completely and give Finduilas his role in our series, but that's probably too extreme for the taste of most :D
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I'm really interested in how much we will stray from the very stereotypical role she plays in Turin's story (beautiful princess that sits at home, loves the main character of the story, gets captured and is in need of rescuing) - her death is really only there for Turin's character and the tragedy of the story because he's deluded into not saving her.

Personally, I don't any reasonable amount of development we can give her, with how busy these stories already are, is going to improve her character much if we don't deviate a decent amount from the text. Sure, stereotypes and tropes aren't bad per se, but in this case they sure make the character either very predictable and boring (if you expect no twist) or very dissapointing (if you expect a twist).

I think this is a pretty difficult challenge - my personal inclination would be to just cut Gwindor completely and give Finduilas his role in our series, but that's probably too extreme for the taste of most :D
Let’s not take out characters that are going to play a role in the Great Tales, all right?
 
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