Session 6-02: The Villain Storylines

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
As much as i like Gorgol, he is not an important character... i feel him leading the orcs against Barahir, killing him, then get killed by beren is sufficient.Two episodes?
 

Rob Harding

Active Member
I just worry that you start the season with Beren wanting revenge but almost immediately achieving that goal. It really takes the steam out of his story. Unless you play it as, he realises Gorgol was just the weapon and that he wants to go after Sauron. Which is fine. But I sort of want him to have a physical opponent he can tackle as Luthien sings to Sauron or battles Thuringwethil. Otherwise what is he doing? Watching? And if it’s just a generic werewolf or orc, it feels like the stakes are personally lower? If you have it as a scarred Gorgol then suddenly Beren is confronting this grief he thought he dealt with and the fight would also be personal for Gorgol. I suppose he doesn’t need to be recurring. You could just bring him back for a finale. Put a tag on the prior episode to show he’s still alive even.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I get your message but I’m honestly not sure how big part revenge should be of Beren’s motivation. I feel his drive should be about something else, about Luthien mostly of course. No one has just one source for their motivation but… Well, I have to think a little more about this.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
I get your message but I’m honestly not sure how big part revenge should be of Beren’s motivation. I feel his drive should be about something else, about Luthien mostly of course. No one has just one source for their motivation but… Well, I have to think a little more about this.
Some of the motivation might be the need to prove his worth (and that of his late House) in front of Thingol. Preserving the dignity, renown and memory of his lost House might drive him to a lot, actually.
 

Rob Harding

Active Member
I agree nobody has one motivation but you need to set up a goal and obstacles. Like Arya and her list (I don't know why I keep using lots of GoT references, I'm not really that big a fan). BUT stuff comes between that. And they can achieve their goal and realise it was the wrong goal and then have a crisis. That's true for thrillers and romcoms. I totally think you should have Beren get revenge on Gorgol. Maybe even in episode 2. And then feel lost. Revenge shouldn't be this catharsis for him. Everyone he cared for has left him alone. It's a crisis point. Then he meets Luthien. And from her he gains this higher purpose. Good drama. But what if that original goal wasn't actually accomplished? What if Gorgol rears his head? Now both these drives are alive again? What does he chose? He's torn. That's great drama. Because in many ways, the audience will root for both. But they will, we hope, root more strongly for his relationship with Luthien. We are hoping he can let old Beren's vengeance go now it looks like it may boil back over.

I 100% agree he should feel like he is now a representative for the Houses of Men. I also think there should be some baggage there too about elves. He was promised that an elf king would come to his family's aid. And then they were all butchered. He probably isn't likely to be that trusting of another elf king. Adds a little bit of spice to his falling for Luthien as well. And how likely is the quest for the silmaril to really end in the promised outcome? Can this elf king be trusted any more than the last? Another reason I think we need to build a stronger reason to go than simply a hand in marriage. Because is Thingol really going to be okay with that whatever happens? So it's partly to prove his valour and that of his family. Partly to snub Thingol and be like 'I'm a better man than you think.' Partly to get to the true hand behind his father's death and yes, partly to win over and 'earn' this amazing ethereal woman. Who perhaps doesn't particularly want to be earned. But then you have this nice package of reasons for the main quest. And even more drama when he does meet with Finrod. And a real sense of closing the loop and sadness when Finrod does give his life to save Beren.
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Hmm... interesting thoughts. I never ever felt Gorgol was such a big deal... i understood him as the main reason why Beren actually stayed in dorthonion instead of going away, but after his death i felt it was for Beren between dispair and survival until he met Luthien... and nothing else mattered really anymore for him after he had met her.
 

Mithrim

New Member
Thank you for putting my ideas together, Rob Harding, on the other page. I really like the counterpoint comparison between B&L and S&T.

I like the idea of Sauron at first trying to scramble back into power (spiders? ghosts?) then drifting into apathy as the seasons go on.

With Annael, could someone give him a task to shore up any vulnerable spots at Minas Tirith? Then when Thuringwethil hears the information, she compels him to weaken it even more?

Any thoughts on my Glaurung idea?
 
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Rob Harding

Active Member
Hmm... interesting thoughts. I never ever felt Gorgol was such a big deal... i understood him as the main reason why Beren actually stayed in dorthonion instead of going away, but after his death i felt it was for Beren between dispair and survival until he met Luthien... and nothing else mattered really anymore for him after he had met her.
I’m going to post my reply to this in the big picture thread as it’s more relevant there.
 

Rhiannon

Well-Known Member
This is the first session I've been able to listen to live in a while, so here are my notes:

Session 6-02: Villain storylines

Who should Silmfilm count as a villain in the context of this discussion? There will be various antagonists to Beren and Lúthien this season, but not all of them come from Angband. The “villains” we will be discussing tonight are Sauron, Thuringwethil, and Boldog.

Q: Will Galadriel have an expanded role in this adaptation of Beren and Lúthien?

A: Yes, as she does not appear at all in this part of the story in Tolkien’s works. At the very least, she will appear at the end in Beren and Lúthien’s “retirement.”

It is important to take Galadriel’s character arc slowly, and she will need to backslide some from where she currently is in terms of desiring power. We will also need to consider Celeborn and the role he will play in Galadriel’s arc. Eregion will probably be a pivotal moment for Galadriel – for good and/or ill.

Sauron is our primary villain in this season (and all of Silmfilm). Sauron’s role this season will be pivotal in his series-long character arc. Sauron will be setting up in Minas Tirith, which will involve taking a more open role in affairs rather than working behind the scenes, as he has primarily done up to this point.

So far, we have seen Sauron take a more subtle approach to villainy than Gothmog and Morgoth. He has become frustrated and disappointed on more than one occasion when they have ruined his projects, such as with the creation of the Orcs and the Spell of Bottomless Dread. When Sauron saw Morgoth wounded by Fingolfin, Sauron’s doubts in Morgoth came to the forefront. He no longer sees Morgoth as the guaranteed victor.

While Sauron is separating himself from Morgoth, he is not fully rebelling. Morgoth is still more powerful than Sauron, and Sauron knows this. However, he has separated himself from Angband and wants to do his own thing.

Sauron sees an opportunity to reinvent himself as the Necromancer rather than “the Abhorred.” Some of Tolkien’s writings suggest that Elvish spirits’ journey to Mandos was voluntary. The spirits that remained tended to become corrupted. Necromancy was communication with and manipulation of these spirits.

Necromancy is a new approach that Sauron is going to take. While Tol-in-Gaurhoth is associated with werewolves, werewolves are not something new for Sauron.

Necromancy could be a way Sauron is trying to continue his approach to the Orc project. He wants to create loyal worshippers, not mindless slaves. He may try to do the same with the spirits he communes with.

Perhaps Sauron could attempt to capture the wraith of Gorlim as part of attempt to dominate the souls of Men, but the ghost could escape to bring Beren tidings. We should think about how to handle ghosts in Tolkien, including the ghost of Gorlim, the Oathbreakers, barrow-wights, wraiths, etc.

Since there has just been a catastrophic battle, this would probably be a good time to introduce the concept of displaced Elvish souls and Necromancy. What is Sauron trying to do? Gain information? Coerce spirits to do things? How does this further his plans?

Is Sauron’s discovery of necromancy the cause of his decision to set up on his own, or vice-versa?

It would be good if Sauron had a problem that he needed to solve through necromancy. Perhaps he could recruit an Elvish spirit to impersonate Eilinel, but it would probably be better to save that role for Thuringwethil.

Sauron could use a ghost army to take Minas Tirith. Annael could open a window or barrier of some kind to let the dead in. The spirits would not be like the army of the dead in Peter Jackson’s film; they would primarily instill terror in their foes, more like in the books.

Sauron should be enslaving spirits in a way that prefigures the Rings of Power.

Perhaps we could have a named Elf be a victim of Necromancy. Aegnor? Angrod?

The fall of Minas Tirith needs to happen in the first or second episode of the season. We should not focus too much on Sauron, as he is not even the main villain of this season.

However, introducing spirits that are uncertain to go to Mandos would set up Lúthien’s confrontation with Mandos later. Many Noldor would be reluctant to return to Mandos because their last experience with Mandos was his delivery of the Doom of the Noldor. This would help set up death and fear of what happens after as an antagonistic force in the season.

Sauron has a concern about Morgoth using up too much of his own power and becoming weaker, he wants to separate himself from Morgoth, and he sees an opportunity to take advantage of the displaced Elf spirits, so he leaves Angband.

We could open the season with Mandos offering to take the spirits of dead Elves. It would be best for Mandos to appear in person to Elves who fell on the battlefield. We also have the opportunity to show the difference between what happens to the spirits of Elves and Men. Elves stay in Arda whether they choose to go with Mandos or not. Men do not appear to have any choice in their fate. They go to Mandos for a time, then they leave the world.

Tolkien’s concept of Mandos is somewhat like Purgatory. It seems strange that, for Men, this would be in Arda. Perhaps we could envision this something like a portal that only Men’s spirits could pass through. Lúthien’s request that Beren wait for her keeps him from passing through. This portal could be the opposite of the Doors of Night, through which Morgoth will be thrown into the void.

Sauron could speak to a dead Elf and learn about the uncertainty of the Noldor. He would see domination of these Elves via Necromancy as a way to increase his own power without expending himself as Morgoth does. Ironically, Sauron will end up on exactly the same path as Morgoth by the Third Age.

Choosing to remain in Beleriand rather than going to Mandos makes these spirits weaker and easier to dominate. Aegnor and Angrod would be unlikely to remain. Sauron cannot talk to Eöl because Eöl would probably immediately reveal the location of Gondolin.

After Sauron’s conversation with the dead Elf ends in the Elf’s enslavement, we can imply that he repeats the process, producing a ghost army. The taking of Minas Tirith by the spirits of former Elves of Dorthonion would be particularly demoralizing. Sauron’s own forces would not need to be that large because the defenders would be unable to face the spirits.



Perhaps the enslaved Elf spirits could be imprisoned in a vat or something in the basement of Minas Tirith, released by Lúthien’s song, and then rise up to kill Thuringwethil.

The first Elf Sauron speaks to could appear again during the attack on Minas Tirith and again when released by Lúthien. After being released, the Elf spirits would go to Mandos, having learned their lesson. This could be like when Saruman dies at the end of LOTR, but these spirits would be allowed to go West.

How does Lúthien gain the spell to take down the tower from Sauron? The tower of Minas Tirith may be unnaturally tall, held together only by the will of the owner. How does the spell to hold the tower transfer from Finrod to Sauron? Maybe the pit of Elf spirits in the basement is somehow linked to holding the tower up, and the spell is broken when the spirits are freed. Lúthien could succeed where Finrod failed, not just because she is more powerful, but also because she understands the mechanics of the spell in a way Finrod does not.

We should be careful not to make the magic too mechanical – but that will be a discussion for another session.

Next time, we will discuss what Sauron’s reign from Minas Tirith is like. How does he handle the Dorthonion situation? What is Thuringwethil’s new role in Sauron’s new plan? How will her death be a fitting end to her story?

Next session will be January 13, 2022.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I am just catching up with listening to the last podcast... about Necromancy... i do not even think we need to explain in detail what Sauron is doing... we could just have a short scene in which he stalks the silent fields of the last battles humming an evil dark song or melody and then we see spirits arise seemingly enthralled by his song and following him...
It then would be open whatever he does with these spirits or where exactly they come from, elves, men,demons,orcs or all of it... it would just show he can do it and it works and we could let the viewer decide to interpret it , if Sauron forces these spirits into werewolves, uses them to create Phantoms , forces them into the very stones of Tol in Gaurhoth or whatever... though i think an excorcism of possibly enthralled ghosts from the fortress causing it then to fall apart could be a nice, powerful scene as i imagine it.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I am just catching up with listening to the last podcast... about Necromancy... i do not even think we need to explain in detail what Sauron is doing... we could just have a short scene in which he stalks the silent fields of the last battles humming an evil dark song or melody and then we see spirits arise seemingly enthralled by his song and following him...
It then would be open whatever he does with these spirits or where exactly they come from, elves, men,demons,orcs or all of it... it would just show he can do it and it works and we could let the viewer decide to interpret it , if Sauron forces these spirits into werewolves, uses them to create Phantoms , forces them into the very stones of Tol in Gaurhoth or whatever... though i think an excorcism of possibly enthralled ghosts from the fortress causing it then to fall apart could be a nice, powerful scene as i imagine it.
As you say, it need not be too detailed, but there must be some level of expansion, as this is a brand new ability, with a class of creature (elvish ghosts) that we've never utilized before.
 

Octoburn

Active Member
If we had thought of this before, we could have made the spirit used to create Draugluin and/or Thuringwethil an elven spirit that somehow ties back into this story...
 
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