Session 5-12: Miscellaneous Elves and Villains

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Think of how we are handling the Aredhel/Eöl situation. What happens in the book, happens in our story. But, we are delving a bit further into both of their motivations, so that what happens will be a full story, and not just a series of incidents that the characters go through. And in the end, that does shift the type of story being told (a bit).
I think we will be able to do something similar with Finduilas. She'll be in Nargothrond in Season 6, and we can give her personality and viewpoints that go beyond what the story gives her.

As for Gil-galad...perhaps Orodreth will send him to Círdan in the Havens when he becomes king of Nargothrond on the death of Finrod. It's likely Gil-galad will be too old for a 'fostering' situation at that point, but as an apprentice, or 'in service to' sort of thing, perhaps? Gil-galad could be sent off to serve as Círdan's herald, or to learn to build ships, or to gain a better understanding of his Sindar heritage. It doesn't have to be a 'keep him tucked away safe' situation, as surely Nargothrond is deemed even safer than the Havens. And that's why Finduilas doesn't need to be sent away 'for her safety' - she is being kept safe, in Nargothrond.
 

Alcarlótë

Active Member
Think of how we are handling the Aredhel/Eöl situation. What happens in the book, happens in our story. But, we are delving a bit further into both of their motivations, so that what happens will be a full story, and not just a series of incidents that the characters go through. And in the end, that does shift the type of story being told (a bit).
I think we will be able to do something similar with Finduilas. She'll be in Nargothrond in Season 6, and we can give her personality and viewpoints that go beyond what the story gives her.

As for Gil-galad...perhaps Orodreth will send him to Círdan in the Havens when he becomes king of Nargothrond on the death of Finrod. It's likely Gil-galad will be too old for a 'fostering' situation at that point, but as an apprentice, or 'in service to' sort of thing, perhaps? Gil-galad could be sent off to serve as Círdan's herald, or to learn to build ships, or to gain a better understanding of his Sindar heritage. It doesn't have to be a 'keep him tucked away safe' situation, as surely Nargothrond is deemed even safer than the Havens. And that's why Finduilas doesn't need to be sent away 'for her safety' - she is being kept safe, in Nargothrond.
The chief difference I see between Aredhel and Finduilas is that Aredhel has, after participating in the Gondolin plot, her own story that we spared a fair bit of time for since it is important for the Silmarillion, while Finduilas is basically always around characters more significant than her and merely part of their stories. In theory there's a lot of things we could do with Finduilas, but when we get into the concrete planning stages a lot of the ideas for more fringe characters might either fade from discussions or be consciously cut because there's more important things to focus on, like it happened with Eol.


We're doing a good job with Aredhel so far, but another difference between her and Finduilas in the Silmarillion is that Aredhel actually does things and is relatively easily improved by giving her depth. Finduilas actually needs to become an interesting character with impact in the process of developing her, because there's not much in the source material at all. I'm not saying we (or at least you guys :D) can't do a good job - I can understand why the general mood here, in regards to major changes to the source material, is pretty conservative compared to some of my inclinations and live with that (if I'm being annoying with a suggestion, feel free to say so).

I guess my point is that it won't be easy and we need to pay attention to these minor and badly developed characters between the theorizing stage we're in now, where everything seems possible, and the finalizing the script outline stage where everything needs to be well-justified and fitting to be included.


Concerning Gil-Galad...I think we can arrange for him to be in Minas Tirith, Nargothrond or wherever, depending on where we want him at the time, without major issues. We should prioritize giving him a good role in our story and then figure out the details of his relocations around Beleriand, because the latter should serve the former - story first, logistics second :D

In terms of him staying with Cirdan for like 3500 years, I think it makes for the best story if he's there for a temporary task, stays because Beleriand has almost completely fallen and then develops a relationship with Cirdan. They will have a lot of time together in Lindon, where Cirdan gives up being a ruler and stays with Gil-Galad in Lindon until Gil-Galad dies and Cirdan becomes his successor.
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I can understand why the general mood here, in regards to major changes to the source material, is pretty conservative compared to some of my inclinations and live with that (if I'm being annoying with a suggestion, feel free to say so).
It is always fine to suggest things. If we have moved past a decision we'll let you know, but for the most part suggestions, even suggestions that alter details in the book, are welcome. You are more likely to get push back when you suggest combining characters, but that doesn't make it a bad idea. And since we have not yet gotten to Finduilas' story and are unlikely to develop her as a character this season, she will remain an open question going into Seasons 6 and 7.

I see logistical issues with combining the characters of Gwindor and Finduilas. While we could certainly come up with a reason for Finduilas to be roaming around Taur-nu-Fuin before meeting Beleg...it can't be the same reason Gwindor was.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
One thing we can do with Finduilas this season is begin developing her relationship with Gwindor. Perhaps we could work in a romantic scene where the two of them visit the Pools of Ivrin and Gwindor first calls her "Faelivrin." While we could wait until after the Dagor Bragollach to start showing their relationship, I think it would be better for it to begin in peacetime.

We probably also want to show Gwindor being close with his brother Gelmir, who will be captured in the Dagor Bragollach.

There's also Gelmir and Gwindor's father Guilin. I don't think the Silmarillion says much about him, but I believe there was some suggestion on the boards here a while ago that he be one of the ten Elf lords who go with Finrod and are killed in Sauron's dungeons. If that is the case, Guilin and his sons would most likely be living in Nargothrond during this season, which means they would be around to interact with the House of Beor.

Perhaps Guilin, Gelmir, and Gwindor could be part of Finrod's company that is surrounded in the Fens of Serech and rescued by Barahir. Well, all of them except Gelmir are rescued. Owing their lives to Barahir and his Men would give Guilin some motivation for going with Finrod to help Beren and possibly even be part of why Gwindor is willing to help Turin.

Guilin, Gelmir, Gwindor, and Finduilas are going to be very minor characters this season, so I'm not even sure they're worth discussing at the storyline-planning level, but there are still ways to work them into the story to set up what is going to happen with them later.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I think that the Finduilas/Gwindor relationship will have to wait until Season 6. She's going to be in Minas Tirith this season, and there will be few reasons for our story to go there. I'm not saying she can't appear (of course Orodreth and his family can visit Nargothrond if we want them to), simply that there's not likely to be time for the Finduilas/Gwindor subplot yet.

I do agree that this season is our opportunity to introduce the family of Gwindor (or at very least the brothers Gwindor and Gelmir) as minor characters in Nargothrond.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I think that the Finduilas/Gwindor relationship will have to wait until Season 6. She's going to be in Minas Tirith this season, and there will be few reasons for our story to go there. I'm not saying she can't appear (of course Orodreth and his family can visit Nargothrond if we want them to), simply that there's not likely to be time for the Finduilas/Gwindor subplot yet.

I do agree that this season is our opportunity to introduce the family of Gwindor (or at very least the brothers Gwindor and Gelmir) as minor characters in Nargothrond.
They’d of course be background to Beren and Luthien, I thought they would be the focus of Season 6.
 

Alcarlótë

Active Member
It is always fine to suggest things. If we have moved past a decision we'll let you know, but for the most part suggestions, even suggestions that alter details in the book, are welcome. You are more likely to get push back when you suggest combining characters, but that doesn't make it a bad idea. And since we have not yet gotten to Finduilas' story and are unlikely to develop her as a character this season, she will remain an open question going into Seasons 6 and 7.
Oh, I'm not afraid of push back as long as it results in a civil discussion =) I appreciate the welcoming stance towards new members and ideas, I'm just conscious of the fact that I'd rather be an asset than a detriment to the overall atmosphere of the boards and quality of the product. And you and Rhiannon are very right, this whole Finduilas topic is better saved for later even though she will feature minorly in this season.

I see logistical issues with combining the characters of Gwindor and Finduilas. While we could certainly come up with a reason for Finduilas to be roaming around Taur-nu-Fuin before meeting Beleg...it can't be the same reason Gwindor was.
This illustrates the different mindsets very well, I think! With the focused, functional perspective of a veteran it's clear that Finduilas can't be in Taur-nu-Fuin for the same reason Gwindor was. With the perspective of a naive and slightly silly newbie I'm just thinking...Why not? :D We could totally make it work for the benefit of the story if we wanted to.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
AH, again, I am not saying we *can't* have Finduilas wandering Taur-nu-Fuin at the time of Turin's story. I am merely pointing out that she would not be there as an escaped captive of Angband, who was made captive in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, on account of a brash charge to Angband, spurred on by the murder of her captive brother (who was made captive in the Dagor Bragollach). She can't be there for *that* reason! But, as you say, why not?

There is a tendency from many folks here on the messageboards to want to preserve every minor character in the story, and in fact to add in additional minor characters from the ancillary source materials - characters from Lost Tales or Unfinished Tales, for instance, or the family trees in the later History of Middle-earth volumes. And, in general, if we have a role for them to play in the story and we like their characters, why not??? So, we can always suggest those additions or stories to the hosts, and if they like it, they can be added in. That's how we've wound up with Tevildo and Irime as characters in our story.

Of course, in most adaptations, especially when dealing with the 'cast of thousands' that is the Silmarillion, you typically want to think about excising minor characters, or allowing one minor character to fill all the roles. I don't always like that, but that doesn't mean it can't be done well, and help to tell a better story as the viewer has a chance to get to know that one character. Condensing a story in this way can be done well...or it can be done ham-fistedly. A lot of people wanted to mock Peter Jackson for 'replacing' Radagast with a moth in his LotR films - the moth is the device by which Gandalf is rescued from Orthanc to make up for excising that minor character from the story. I know I have pointed it out here before, but the invention of Emily Watson's character for the show "Chernobyl" was very well done. That is a story about a historic event that took place 35 years ago; many of the people who lived through it are still alive. So, naturally, you can't just insert fanfic-characters into that story! So why does it work? It's true that 'Ulana Khomyuk' was not a real person - but her character represented the team of scientists who worked alongside Legasov, and thus she was able to add an additional voice without there being a committee of nameless voices trooping along after him in the TV show. She represented real people, and the actions she took were things that were done by real people. She might have come across as maybe a bit too much - doing a lot of different things - specifically *because* she was playing a role that covered multiple people. But they didn't Mary Sue her up - they did not make her always competent and never wrong or anything like that. They made her intelligent, but not perfect. I thought that was a well-considered choice in adapting that story; no doubt the family of some of the 'nameless' scientists would feel differently!

As far as I can recall, the only green-light we have had to combine characters is to make Galdor of the Havens into Galdor of Gondolin. Two Galdors, one elf, and he's introduced in Season 3 and present all the way through to the Third Age. We are about to have another issue with the two Gelmir's - Gwindor's brother who is made captive in the Dagor Bragollach, as well as Gelmir and Arminas who show up with warnings. We'll likely rename one of those, because they obviously can't be combined into one. Very early on, Dave Kale did (somewhat facetiously) suggest that Fëanor didn't really need 7 sons, and so maybe we could cut some of those. I shut that down real fast! But we did wind up killing off Amrod at the shipburning, so that was one way of trimming the characters down sooner rather than later. It's also possible that Amras will die before the Third Kinslaying (we shall see). All in all, the listeners tend to want to keep all of the characters from the story. The hosts of the podcast are more willing to consider trimming down our cast list if that makes for a good adaptation choice, as can be seen in their approach to the Men in Season 5.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
AH, again, I am not saying we *can't* have Finduilas wandering Taur-nu-Fuin at the time of Turin's story. I am merely pointing out that she would not be there as an escaped captive of Angband, who was made captive in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, on account of a brash charge to Angband, spurred on by the murder of her captive brother (who was made captive in the Dagor Bragollach). She can't be there for *that* reason! But, as you say, why not?

There is a tendency from many folks here on the messageboards to want to preserve every minor character in the story, and in fact to add in additional minor characters from the ancillary source materials - characters from Lost Tales or Unfinished Tales, for instance, or the family trees in the later History of Middle-earth volumes. And, in general, if we have a role for them to play in the story and we like their characters, why not??? So, we can always suggest those additions or stories to the hosts, and if they like it, they can be added in. That's how we've wound up with Tevildo and Irime as characters in our story.

Of course, in most adaptations, especially when dealing with the 'cast of thousands' that is the Silmarillion, you typically want to think about excising minor characters, or allowing one minor character to fill all the roles. I don't always like that, but that doesn't mean it can't be done well, and help to tell a better story as the viewer has a chance to get to know that one character. Condensing a story in this way can be done well...or it can be done ham-fistedly. A lot of people wanted to mock Peter Jackson for 'replacing' Radagast with a moth in his LotR films - the moth is the device by which Gandalf is rescued from Orthanc to make up for excising that minor character from the story. I know I have pointed it out here before, but the invention of Emily Watson's character for the show "Chernobyl" was very well done. That is a story about a historic event that took place 35 years ago; many of the people who lived through it are still alive. So, naturally, you can't just insert fanfic-characters into that story! So why does it work? It's true that 'Ulana Khomyuk' was not a real person - but her character represented the team of scientists who worked alongside Legasov, and thus she was able to add an additional voice without there being a committee of nameless voices trooping along after him in the TV show. She represented real people, and the actions she took were things that were done by real people. She might have come across as maybe a bit too much - doing a lot of different things - specifically *because* she was playing a role that covered multiple people. But they didn't Mary Sue her up - they did not make her always competent and never wrong or anything like that. They made her intelligent, but not perfect. I thought that was a well-considered choice in adapting that story; no doubt the family of some of the 'nameless' scientists would feel differently!

As far as I can recall, the only green-light we have had to combine characters is to make Galdor of the Havens into Galdor of Gondolin. Two Galdors, one elf, and he's introduced in Season 3 and present all the way through to the Third Age. We are about to have another issue with the two Gelmir's - Gwindor's brother who is made captive in the Dagor Bragollach, as well as Gelmir and Arminas who show up with warnings. We'll likely rename one of those, because they obviously can't be combined into one. Very early on, Dave Kale did (somewhat facetiously) suggest that Fëanor didn't really need 7 sons, and so maybe we could cut some of those. I shut that down real fast! But we did wind up killing off Amrod at the shipburning, so that was one way of trimming the characters down sooner rather than later. It's also possible that Amras will die before the Third Kinslaying (we shall see). All in all, the listeners tend to want to keep all of the characters from the story. The hosts of the podcast are more willing to consider trimming down our cast list if that makes for a good adaptation choice, as can be seen in their approach to the Men in Season 5.
In the case of Finduilas, maybe she's responsible for finding Gwindor and Turin and guides them back to Nargothrond? Though what she'd be doing near Taur-nu-Fuin is anyone's guess since even Orcs fear going there, and she doesn't seem like the combat-capable type (she winds up getting captured and dragged off without much of a struggle in the Fall of Nargothrond).

If we have thoughts on taking Amras out before the Third Kinslaying, it's definitely not going to be the Fall of Doriath since we already have three Sons of Feanor going down and at least one of those will be a "killed offscreen, body found in the aftermath" types.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
There was talk at the end of Season 3 of making Amras a suicide-death. It obviously wasn't done right then, but no doubt that suggestion will come up again around the time of Unnumbered Tears.

It might be possible to have Finduilas meet Turin at the Pools of Ivrin, rather than in Taur-nu-Fuin. Regardless, I'm not super concerned with planning out Season 8 right now....so we still have time to decide what to do about her.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
I think that the Finduilas/Gwindor relationship will have to wait until Season 6. She's going to be in Minas Tirith this season, and there will be few reasons for our story to go there. I'm not saying she can't appear (of course Orodreth and his family can visit Nargothrond if we want them to), simply that there's not likely to be time for the Finduilas/Gwindor subplot yet.

I do agree that this season is our opportunity to introduce the family of Gwindor (or at very least the brothers Gwindor and Gelmir) as minor characters in Nargothrond.
Actually, if we want to have a young Gil-galad visiting Nargothrond, it would make sense for him to be traveling with more of his family, potentially including his sister. I don’t think there needs to be anything more than a scene or two with Finduilas and Gwindor in the way of a subplot. We don’t need to show them falling in love or their relationship developing, but if we have room for it in an episode or it makes sense given the setting and context, why not?
 

Alcarlótë

Active Member
AH, again, I am not saying we *can't* have Finduilas wandering Taur-nu-Fuin at the time of Turin's story. I am merely pointing out that she would not be there as an escaped captive of Angband, who was made captive in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, on account of a brash charge to Angband, spurred on by the murder of her captive brother (who was made captive in the Dagor Bragollach). She can't be there for *that* reason! But, as you say, why not?
I think there is a misunderstanding here - you're still giving me the benefit of the doubt with your interpretation of my message :D But I said

With the focused, functional perspective of a veteran it's clear that Finduilas can't be in Taur-nu-Fuin for the same reason Gwindor was. With the perspective of a naive and slightly silly newbie I'm just thinking...Why not?
The "Why not?" refers to the whole sentence, her presence and the reason for it.

I was precisely questioning why she couldn't be there as an escaped captive of Angband, who was made captive in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, on account of a brash charge to Angband. The only part that would need changing is the guy being executed that provokes the intial attack of the Nirnaeth. We just make that her beloved (whether his name would be Gwindor or Gelmir) and everything fits (kind of :p). Finduilas leads the charge into Angband, gets captured, escapes, meets Beleg etc.

That's what I wanted to get at with the different perspectives - I was making proposals that are terrifying or even unimaginable to the more seasoned people here.
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I think there is a misunderstanding here - you're still giving me the benefit of the doubt with your interpretation of my message :D But I said



The "Why not?" refers to the whole sentence, her presence and the reason for it.

I was precisely questioning why she couldn't be there as an escaped captive of Angband, who was made captive in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, on account of a brash charge to Angband. The only part that would need changing is the guy being executed that provokes the intial attack of the Nirnaeth. We just make that her beloved (whether his name would be Gwindor or Gelmir) and everything fits (kind of :p). Finduilas leads the charge into Angband, gets captured, escapes, meets Beleg etc.

That's what I wanted to get at with the different perspectives - I was making proposals that are terrifying or even unimaginable to the more seasoned people here.
That would mean changing a character around completely, which is something we'd want to avoid. One of the biggest reasons why Game of Thrones' final season was reviled was because of the changes in characters that seemed unlike themselves; for example, Jaime Lannister killed the Mad King, the defining incident in his life, because the Mad King wanted to kill everyone in King's Landing, and in Season 7 abandons his sister Cersei because he wants to do the right thing by fighting the White Walkers instead of abandoning Daenerys' forces to face them alone. Come the last few episodes and Jaime throws out what character development he had by going back to Cersei despite her attempting to have him and Tyrion killed, abandons Brienne after they consummate their feelings for each other, and telling Cersei he doesn't care about the common people. Wasn't that the thing that he forswore his oaths to do and blacken his reputation, to save the common people?

Also, there's the Nigel Bruce portrayal of Dr. Watson. In the original Sherlock Holmes stories, Watson is not as smart as Holmes, but he's above average; he's a medical doctor for one, and there are things that he's better at Holmes at, such as dealing with women. The Nigel Bruce version is a buffoon; while this made him more lovable, it rankled with people who read the original source material (in the Nigel Bruce Watson case, you'd wonder how the man got a doctorate).
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
We are going to have an entire Season of the show to devote to the Nirnaeth, so certainly the events leading up to it and the crucial charge that makes the western forces attack before the eastern forces are in position will be something we can discuss...in Season 7. People here may be less adverse than you think to the idea of making Finduilas a warrior. We've already shown the following women elves take up arms: Irime, Earwen, Galadriel, and Edhellos. We've divided elven society into 'healer'/'fighter' roles, rather than 'male'/'female' roles, so that while more men are fighters and more women are healers, there's not a strict gender role divide. In any given company of elven warriors, there would be some women in the mix, though less than half. This is at least somewhat compatible with Laws and Customs of the Eldar, where it is stated that young unmarried women (ie, non-mothers) could be considered physically equal to men (among Elves). We've also created a military role of 'herald' which would traditionally be held by a non-fighter. It's a second in command that is meant to bring a unique perspective to the leadership, and to prevent the society from becoming too strictly militant. 'Healer' roles in society include scholars and farmers; 'fighter' roles include hunters, not just soldiers. The only roles that will be strictly gender-exclusive are the 'bread-giver' is always female, and the High King is always male.

Regardless, if we want Finduilas on the front lines at the Nirnaeth, we can put her there...but I am not sure that we want/need her there. I would want to see what advantage that would give to our story, before eliminating the Gwindor-Gelmir dynamic. I realize that we do need to decide who is getting captured from the Fens of Serech in the Dagor Bragollach by the end of this season, so that leads us to answering this question sooner rather than later - if Finduilas is going to 'play' Gwindor's part, then Gwindor will be taking the place of Gelmir, and we'll have to show that. I do recognize that this suggestion solves some of the 'damsel in distress' problem from the original - now she is a hurt and damaged character, and the audience will think that Turin does not return her love because she is now unlovely, no longer the beautiful elf maiden named after the Pools of Ivrin that she once was. Is that a story we want to tell? Is that better than the love triangle with Gwindor? I am not sure it's an improvement, though it does give her more agency in her own fate. (And if Gwindor is being captured in the BoSF, then of course all of the Gwindor/Finduilas scenes would have to be in this season as well.)


Ange1e4e5 - as always, I must point out that whether or not you change something should not be the standard of whether or not an adaptation choice is a good one. The question must always be whether or not the change is improving the story you are trying to tell in the new medium. In this discussion, you've asked us to avoid 'fridging' Finduilas, which is certainly more-or-less what happens in the original story. Her capture/death is all about making Túrin feel guilty for failing to save her, and she basically doesn't exist outside of Túrin's story. Alcarlótë's suggestion of making Finduilas an escaped captive is meant to give her more story before Túrin appears. It's...an idea. It's okay if you don't particularly like that idea. But if you don't want to see her story go in that direction, then which alternative direction would you like to see it go in? Because if your answer is 'as written in the book'...then we are back to her death motivating Túrin again. Granted, I certainly acknowledge that there are other ways we could give her roles in the stories of Seasons 5, 6, and 7...if we choose to. But we would need to come up with that.

In the case of Avatar: The Last Airbender, they took a well-loved show with wonderful characters and then did...whatever that was...to it. I have no intention of ever watching that film, and based on what I'm hearing about the new live-action series, probably not much chance of giving that a chance, either, now that the creators have left the project for similar reasons. I have no problem (in theory) with further developing Fire Lord Ozai - he is a shadowy big bad villain whom is seldom seen on the show, so showing more of him or his motivations would (naturally) humanize him in ways. Since he *is* a human being, that's not a bad thing! I agree that he is not the type of person to show regret, though - that's not how you develop him further. Changing the character of others is much more problematic - Aang's peppy, child-like innocence is a very important part of his story (because he's only like 12!), so aging him up and making him into a moody teenager is...a different story dynamic. Sokka, as a non-bender, is handled very carefully in the show. Sure, he's comic relief, but he's never stupid, and they make sure that he's the person with sense in the group who is contributing in his own ways and growing in his viewpoint as he travels the world - early on, he doesn't think women can fight, and he doesn't think that anyone from the fire nation can be a good person. He has a very black-and-white view of the world which is connected to his limited experience of other people and places. As time (and their journey) goes on, he revises those views. Obviously, he's not the only character who grows. Zukko has a rather powerful redemption arc, and he's clearly the one who starts out as an angry young man with some rather serious father-issues...his zeal for finding the Avatar is all about his vain hope of regaining his father's respect. And of course....Uncle Iroh is perfect as is, and you can't mess with a character like that without enraging everyone who ever watched the show. So, yes, when something is very, very good as-is...you don't change it. You can add original content, but you must keep within the spirit of the original.

I should not have to point this out, but the last season of Game of Thrones was not an adaptation. The original work has not reached that part of the story, so that was all original content creation based on the earlier show and the existing books. I certainly agree that the creators of that show are not as good at coming up with original content as they seemed to think they are, but at the same time, I feel that the ending season of the show rises or falls on its own merits, and should not be viewed as an adaptation. You can't point to the original and say 'G.R.R. Martin did it this way!' I am familiar with three animes based on incomplete mangas that have had to take this adaptation model - adapt what is available, and then create original content to complete the story. The least successful was "Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles" - that manga has an abrupt change in style, so that suddenly everything is terrible and much, *much* darker than the happy-go-lucky quest for the feathers seemed at first. It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye...(or in this case, accidentally time travels). The anime remains unfinished, because the intended audience was for a younger crowd that wasn't into bloody violence, and they just teased the main villain without ever revealing what the plan was. Hellsing was always going to be bloody and violent, but the creator of that manga took his time and only slowly published the story. So, the anime keeps the premise, but goes ahead and creates their own villain and tells their own story. It's...okay...but not great. Once the manga was completed, it was remade as Hellsing Ultimate - and that is a faithful adaptation. The story is better, though the ending is basically the same. (Here 'better' includes Nazi vampires attacking London by zeppelin in 1999, so, uh...'better' is a matter of perspective - it is very crude.) The most interesting is Fullmetal Alchemist. Very little of the original manga was written when they started that adaptation, so they had to make up a lot - including the main villain and the way homunculi are created and the actual consequence of human transmutation attempts. The anime is beautifully done, and the story told works very well for what they started with. But again, after the manga was complete, it was remade as Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, faithfully following the manga storyline. There is not as much creativity in this adaptation (almost everything in it is directly from the manga), but because it is based on the original creator's story, it has a bit more satisfying of an ending (to my mind). There is no question that the original anime is of superior style and creative output, though.

Our adaptation of The Silmarillion is also based on an incomplete story. We are going to have to deal with the fact that the story of Eärendil remained unwritten at some point. We are going to have to do a lot of original story work for the 2nd Age material. Granted, we know how the stories end, more or less. But how we get there is a question of interpretation, and the guiding creative views on this project (ie, Corey Olsen, Dave Kale, and Trish Lambert), have expressed a willingness to make changes to the story IF those changes further very specific storytelling goals. For the question at hand - is it important that Finduilas remain primarily the center of an unhappy love triangle and die as a damsel in distress as the main story we tell about her? Or would it be possible to develop her story in other directions, while still having her killed in the aftermath of the sack of Nargothrond in Túrin's story?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
What I had in mind for Finduilas was that we get a better grasp on her personality, not put her through things that would make her unrecognizable from the character in the story; Finduilas and Gwindor interact with Turin in different ways while in Nargothrond.

I wasn’t pointing to the original books for Game of Thrones, I was referring to the characters veering off track from their trajectories established in earlier seasons.
 

David_M_R

New Member
I think it's worth thinking about Finduilas+Turin+Gwindor in the light of the other relationships around this point of time. We have Aredhel+Eol, Andreth+Aegnor and, upcoming, Beren+Luthien. The love triangle shares interesting things in common with these others: we have Finduilas+Turin, a foreshadowing (if we want to play it that way) of a Elf princess + a rugged Man from the wild (B+L), but also potentially an Elf princess + a dark and grim individual that's not good to get involved with (A+E), but also an unrequited love (this time Elf woman -> Man, rather than a human woman -> Elf). But also a contrast, in that for A+A it is mutual, but left off for reasons intrinsic to Elf nature, and Turin being much less of a good catch than Beren. And instead of like Eol taking advantage of the situation for his own benefit, Turin refuses. Not to mention Maeglin (add that to the list of (almost) relationships above!). And also the devotion that B+L show each other despite separation and imprisonment contrasts Finduilas dropping her attentions to Gwindor after he returns (I mean, it's "Oh Gwindor, so glad you're ba.... Who is that?! <3 <3").

I do wonder this this last aspect, that Finduilas is so ready to drop her betrothed after a mere 18-year separation ("mere" for Elves) after meeting this Man. From what I know of Laws and Customs this seems slightly unusual; don't Elves have pretty much always only one person they are really matched with (loosely speaking)? It might indicate a flightiness, or even shallowness to her nature. Everyone in the Silm is so epic and earnest (Turin especially!), but surely there's scope for someone more flighty, and a sheltered Elven princess who is kept at home (as opposed to being sent away similar to Gil-Galad) might be such a person. Turin trying to avoid her affection out of respect for Gwindor seems to indicate he might recognise such a mentality. Maybe it's scope for Finduilas to grow as a person, when the seriousness of the situation is revealed, Turin is outed, he becomes a senior figure in the Nargothrond leadership and the risk of open war becomes more serious. She might have scope for self-examination in light of Turin's reveal, and maybe be inspired as others are at this time to greater things. Gwindor's reveal is then doubly tragic, in that it gives more scope for admiration, rather than warning her. This would make her final fate more tragic, in that it seems like she is going to have a redeption story, from a stay-at-home flighty/flirty princess to maybe even joining the fighting at the sack of Nargothrond, having trained up in the meantime, and then essentially being betrayed by Turin when he believes Glaurung's lie. There could have been a strong platonic relationship from Turin's side, as the Mormegil leading the people of Nargothrond, including Finduilas, though she is still holding a crush on him. Then the pleas to save her are multilayered: both pleading for his love and rescue, but also in a potentially military sense. Then her death is less of a fridging but more as casualty. I don't see her being carried away kicking over some orc's shoulder, but incapacitated in some sense (compare Merry in Two Towers as wounded when being carried over the plains of Rohan, so not in a position to be the more mature Hobbit in the situation). This would make her death more plausible: less experienced fighter, maybe wounded, but potentially pinned to the tree in a gruesome execution as she is trying to fight back when the Haladin attack the orcs. This would make for an interesting ambiguity, in that viewers might then wonder, instead of "oh, man, Turin should totally have gone and saved her", the possibly uncomfortable "oh, man, even if Turin tried to save her, she still might have not made it", playing to Morgoth's curse. Even if Turin had seen though Glaurung's lies, the sting might have still happened, so his action becomes less clear cut. Also, if he knows or at least believes Finduilas to be somewhat capable, it's less "I'll just believe this servant of Morgoth" and more a balance of probabilities: she might be able to take care of herself given a chance, and she kinda is, but Morwen and Nienor are helpless. It becomes a real choice: Turin would have to weigh up between Glaurung lying and not, and if Finduilas can do anything if he doesn't come.

I'm not suggesting to make Finduilas a hyper-capable warrior, but just involved enough in the cultural shift in Nargothrond to a warlike city state, to make it believable she's not a complete damsel in distress still pining for the forbidden love by the end of her arc. Just completely over her head, like all of Nargothrond is. And not by doing a Mulan, for instance, and joining up in secret disguised as a man, to then be trained by the Mormegil while she pines for him :p Or being a clone of Eowyn, as she has hope rather than despair at her situation (also the male/female dynamic of Elves is much different to the more patriarchal Rohirrim).
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
of course Orodreth and his family can visit Nargothrond if we want them to
Oh I'd love a scene where their family visits Nargothrond, and Orodreth says to Finrod, "You should come and visit us at Minas Tirith! It was you who built it, and it will be yours as long as it it still standing"

For the record, I am quite fond of Gwindor's story and I would like to see some other kind of development for Finduilas than a Gwindor takeover. But I guess she could be a fighter and be by Gwindor's side at the start of the Nirnaeth. They would both have to become captives then. I don't know, perhaps she could escape. Maybe it is a drastic change, but perhaps it's worth it.
 

David_M_R

New Member
Erm, I got the order wrong :oops: Was riffing too much from memory while taking a break at work. Turin comes after Beren and Luthien. Though, checking the actual text, I see Gwindor tells Finduilas Turin is no Beren, so there's an explicit in-text contrast.

Also: Finduilas is apparently attracted to Beren against her will. Hmm. I'm not sure this is an essential plot point.

Anyways, make of my comments above what you will. :)
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I don't really have time to catch up on reading the whole discussion here at the moment, so forgive me if this has been said.

The "damsel in distress" trope is not one that Tolkien plays straight. Ever, to my recollection. Luthien subverts and inverts it at nearly every opportunity (except maybe the "leap of Beren" which... given time, Luthien probably would have escaped on her own). Galadriel is never depicted in distress. Eowyn specifically refuses to become the trope. Arwen may be the "girl back home" but she certainly isn't in distress. Aredhel is in distress at first, but no one even seems interested in rescuing her and then she inverts it to save her son.

I've noted before that the Findulias/Turin story is one where Tolkien subverts the trope in a different way. Turin is given the opportunity to save a "damsel in distress" but then fails. Completely.

I think it's also worth remembering that the "warrior=superior" and "civilian=inferior" tropes are equally harmful. Findulias does not have to be a fighter to be cool or interesting. It doesn't make her better. It just makes her different.
 

Alcarlótë

Active Member
We are going to have an entire Season of the show to devote to the Nirnaeth, so certainly the events leading up to it and the crucial charge that makes the western forces attack before the eastern forces are in position will be something we can discuss...in Season 7. People here may be less adverse than you think to the idea of making Finduilas a warrior. We've already shown the following women elves take up arms: Irime, Earwen, Galadriel, and Edhellos. We've divided elven society into 'healer'/'fighter' roles, rather than 'male'/'female' roles, so that while more men are fighters and more women are healers, there's not a strict gender role divide. In any given company of elven warriors, there would be some women in the mix, though less than half. This is at least somewhat compatible with Laws and Customs of the Eldar, where it is stated that young unmarried women (ie, non-mothers) could be considered physically equal to men (among Elves). We've also created a military role of 'herald' which would traditionally be held by a non-fighter. It's a second in command that is meant to bring a unique perspective to the leadership, and to prevent the society from becoming too strictly militant. 'Healer' roles in society include scholars and farmers; 'fighter' roles include hunters, not just soldiers. The only roles that will be strictly gender-exclusive are the 'bread-giver' is always female, and the High King is always male.
I've read some of the scripts/script outlines and listened to most of the podcast episodes, and so far I really like how you handled these characters :) It's less sexist than the text without it feeling off or forced, because it fits in the story and with the norms from Laws and Customs. The High Kingship's line of succession would be pretty easy to chalk up to/explain as primogeniture through the male line only, but since they're Elves and not Men it's good to leave the matter a bit vague - we will see later on with Oropher and Celeborn/Galadriel that it's really more about being respected and accepted as ruler than about strict laws like it is with nobility in our world.
 
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