Session 6-03: Sauron and Thuringwethil

Rob Harding

Active Member
Sorry yes it’s a metaphor lol

To add, dogs and trumpets, likeable connecting qualities, apply to villains too. Make audiences invested, even slightly rooting for at least some aspect of them. For a true villain, that desire to see them do well comes crashing down when they truly commit to just being horrid. I’m thinking of the Godfatger for example. I think for Thuringwethil, we could really humanise her a lot this season. Then either have her death be a tragic loss, or have her choosing evilness before her death be the tragic betrayal of the audience who rooted for her.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Sorry yes it’s a metaphor lol

To add, dogs and trumpets, likeable connecting qualities, apply to villains too. Make audiences invested, even slightly rooting for at least some aspect of them. For a true villain, that desire to see them do well comes crashing down when they truly commit to just being horrid. I’m thinking of the Godfatger for example. I think for Thuringwethil, we could really humanise her a lot this season. Then either have her death be a tragic loss, or have her choosing evilness before her death be the tragic betrayal of the audience who rooted for her.
About Thuringwethil - is she especially gifted in "hearing things"? I mean bat and echolocation kind of stuff. Is her hearing better even than that of elves? I think it should be. Has this been brought up already? Would make her an excellent tracker in the dark. What if the orcs do not appreciate this, if orcs are sexists and refuse to follow her orders and accuse her of "hearing things" that are not there but only in her head? So her gift turns to a curse for her socially?
 

Rob Harding

Active Member
I did wonder more about deception and manipulation.

Watching people be good at a thing, even a thing we don’t support to even understand, has been found to be a part of films audiences respond to. So someone being really good at using others pulls you in. You think ‘oooh they are awful, but so good at it.’ I suppose that’s more Sauron’s MO, but strikes me we could use Thuringwethil this way. Particularly if we set it up early with tricking and manipulating Gorlim. Then as we watch her we always distrust her. Which, you know, we already do. But if there is another layer (let’s say a breaking from Sauron just for the sake of a concept already on the table) then audiences don’t know if they can trust her to be untrustworthy even. She is a real rogue agent and her lies might be lies or halve truths, and for whose benefit. That’s an interesting character depending what role we want her to fulfil.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
I did wonder more about deception and manipulation.

Watching people be good at a thing, even a thing we don’t support to even understand, has been found to be a part of films audiences respond to. So someone being really good at using others pulls you in. You think ‘oooh they are awful, but so good at it.’ I suppose that’s more Sauron’s MO, but strikes me we could use Thuringwethil this way. Particularly if we set it up early with tricking and manipulating Gorlim. Then as we watch her we always distrust her. Which, you know, we already do. But if there is another layer (let’s say a breaking from Sauron just for the sake of a concept already on the table) then audiences don’t know if they can trust her to be untrustworthy even. She is a real rogue agent and her lies might be lies or halve truths, and for whose benefit. That’s an interesting character depending what role we want her to fulfil.
This could actually work together, if she she hears so much better than others and keeps most of what she has heard to herself, nobody really knows what she has heard him murr under his breath or gossip behind people backs, there might be rumours about her "hearing people think", so that all below her are scared of her and actually relieved when she dies. Her power would be exerted by not really exerting it. It would be enough for her to enter a room and to give somebody therein a nod with a knowing smile for that person to completely lose it, whether she does really know something about him or not. She could be very consciously using that to her advantage.
 
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Kathrin

Well-Known Member
I love the idea of Thuringwethil being kind of a wild card. She's not like the dragons or werewolves, who still have their own wills but are bred and trained for this, she seems more like an ally. But why is she loyal to Sauron/how loyal is she? What would make her go "nah, i'm not your attack dog, dude"? Maybe she thinks of herself as more of a collaborator with Sauron and at a certain point his way of doing things diverges too much from hers where he just puts his foot down.

I don't think it necessarily has to be about evil and good though, it can be just about agency or domination. Also I think the audience can root for different bad guys over others when they're quarreling among themselves. Maybe in the end she goes out on her own and actually tracks down Luthien herself, & tries to take her out herself, and then she, the ultimate hunter, gets ironically outhunted and skinned by her prey ^^ I'd kinda love Luthien to maybe trap her somehow, like a very small localised girdle, or a prototype of her lullaby (or both).

Also in general we have so much song magic (and magic over all) this season, i think most of those magics should feel very different, so it doesn't just feel like this is the season the production team accidentally bought the big box o' magic for and it gets tacky xD.
 

Rob Harding

Active Member
I love the idea of Thuringwethil being kind of a wild card. She's not like the dragons or werewolves, who still have their own wills but are bred and trained for this, she seems more like an ally. But why is she loyal to Sauron/how loyal is she? What would make her go "nah, i'm not your attack dog, dude"? Maybe she thinks of herself as more of a collaborator with Sauron and at a certain point his way of doing things diverges too much from hers where he just puts his foot down.

I don't think it necessarily has to be about evil and good though, it can be just about agency or domination. Also I think the audience can root for different bad guys over others when they're quarreling among themselves. Maybe in the end she goes out on her own and actually tracks down Luthien herself, & tries to take her out herself, and then she, the ultimate hunter, gets ironically outhunted and skinned by her prey ^^ I'd kinda love Luthien to maybe trap her somehow, like a very small localised girdle, or a prototype of her lullaby (or both).

Also in general we have so much song magic (and magic over all) this season, i think most of those magics should feel very different, so it doesn't just feel like this is the season the production team accidentally bought the big box o' magic for and it gets tacky xD.
Love this, for Thuringwethil. Agency.

I think Luthien’s ‘lullaby’ should be seeded early on. I think an option is to have her have this ASMR hypnotic soothing quality that she employers in healing others. It can have multiple voices within it and sort of sound like birdsong. Maybe even gave nightingales in the audio mix. We could meet her singing like this within Menegroth. Maybe soothing Thingol after a troubling dream? Perhaps as Thingol’s dreams worsen, knowing she can help her people by helping him would be a strong reason for her to remain and not help Beren on the quest. She could be singing in this voice when Beren meets her. He’s entranced but also soothed snd she continues to sing as she meets with him and heals his physical and spiritual/mental wounds. And her journey to find power in her own voice, beyond simple service of her people is then reflecting by her voice initially being a something she uses solely to heal in a localised way, and then tears down dark strongholds to heal in the land in a much broader way.

Sorry to verge back toward Luthien again. Voices as weapons could be an interesting contrast between Luthien and Sauron though. Even prior to their confrontation
 
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Odola

Well-Known Member
I love the idea of Thuringwethil being kind of a wild card. She's not like the dragons or werewolves, who still have their own wills but are bred and trained for this, she seems more like an ally. But why is she loyal to Sauron/how loyal is she? What would make her go "nah, i'm not your attack dog, dude"? Maybe she thinks of herself as more of a collaborator with Sauron and at a certain point his way of doing things diverges too much from hers where he just puts his foot down.
She is Sauron's messager to Morgoth, right? Maybe Morgoth signalises to her that he is interested in her spying on Sauron for him, not that he thinks Sauron's betrayal likely, I think Morgoth is to full od himself to think this possible, but just "out of principle" and out of the desire to meddle and to have the upper hand everywhere. I do not think Thuringwethil is fooled by this "friendly uncle" act but she becomes even more aware of the fact that she is a agent of her own. She will start to try to play both Morgoth and Sauron against each other but this undermines her trust relationship with Sauron and in the end she is actually alone on her own, alienated from her own forces - even if outwardly nothing has changed. Morgoth corrupted and undermined her loyalty and relationship to Sauron just for the fun of it, because he could, for no other tactical reason but out of sheer malice.

I think it would show then when the corruption of evil progresses, it starts to "eat itself up" from within - like Ungolianth did in one of her stories' version. By destroying anything good left evil itself becomes "inviable" in the very end.
 
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Mithrim

New Member
OK, I need to finish reading all of the above, but I wanted to get my thoughts "on paper" as it were before I fall asleep tonight and forget all about it.

I agree with @Rob Harding that tying Thuringwethil more tightly to the Beren & Luthien story is desirable.

My thoughts are to do it early on, having her be the one behind the destruction of Barahir's band. While, as @MithLuin says, that event "has Sauron's fingerprints all over it", our Thuringwethil operates more or less in the same spheres. It would also give her something to do on her own.

As to how to pay that off, there are a few options, but having Beren involved in her death in some way would be my vote. Having her death also involve the released spirits would be even better for ... reasons. I'll dive into that more later.
I really like having Beren and the released ghosts involved in the death of Thuringwethil. Luthien has enough on her plate with Sauron. Quick question; would Beren be able to see elvish spirits?

Edit: Sorry. I meant in terms of the lore, would Beren be able to see elvish ghosts?

Edit 2: Sorry again. The edit above didn't clarify my question at all. Lorewise, can a mortal being see elvish spirits?
 
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Rob Harding

Active Member
I really like having Beren and the released ghosts involved in the death of Thuringwethil. Luthien has enough on her plate with Sauron. Quick question; would Beren be able to see the elvish spirits?
So this is a bit of bigger question I had about Beren. Do we want to highlight anything about him being special? Can he enter the girdle being of some fated prophecy? Is he somehow different? Is the typical 'chosen one' as it were? Or does that diminish the storyline of him being a normal mortal man and her this demigod elf princess? I'm inclined to diminish anything that sets him apart other than his own innate character and skills. So I feel like seeing spirits would be something Luthien can do and not him. But I also feel him having weakness and yet choosing to fight despite that is a lot braver. So maybe he can be battle Thuringwethil and can't see this spiritual element also happening all around him? Maybe he in someway releases some spirits knowing they will help him in some way? Even if he only sees Thuringwethil attacked but not by what? I'm hazy on the method of how Sauron controls and corrupts spirits, but if some are as yet uncorrupted, he could free these to his aid. Maybe Sauron raises some corrupted spirits to battle and we have this supernatural conflict layered over our characters fight?
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I agree.Barahirs ring is just a symbol, it does not have any magic powers. If Beren ever needs something special... dies he have a famous sword or a good mail? Just maybe..
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
I agree.Barahirs ring is just a symbol, it does not have any magic powers. If Beren ever needs something special... dies he have a famous sword or a good mail? Just maybe..
I can agree about the "no special powers" thing, but anything elven-made being completely "unmagical" and mundane feels equally wrong too. But the magic could be only to enhance its artistic appearace and not lending any power to the wearer.

Edit: Maybe the serpents can blink or the crown of flowers change the kind of flowers according to the seasons, or something like that?
 
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Rob Harding

Active Member
I can agree about the "no special powers" thing, but anything elven-made being completely "unmagical" and mundane feels equally wrong too. But the magic could be only to enhance its artistic appearace and not lending any power to the wearer.

Edit: Maybe the serpents can blink or the crown of flowers change the kind of flowers according to the seasons, or something like that?
Oh I think there being some magical quality to his paraphernalia is okay if it serves a purpose to the narrative. Frodo and Bilbo are normal guys but they have sting and the ring. But I think it needs to serve the story.

Likewise with Thuringwethil and changes, characterisation or dramatic moments we give her can’t be out of the blue. If we want to tie her into the spirits somehow, even having Sauron raising spirits, needs to be thematically consistent and support the narrative.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Oh I think there being some magical quality to his paraphernalia is okay if it serves a purpose to the narrative. Frodo and Bilbo are normal guys but they have sting and the ring. But I think it needs to serve the story.
For me making the audience remember that the ring is an elvish gift and that elves are deeply naturally magical and to some extend whimsical creatures would be narrative purpose enough.

Edit: But it could be used - if the magic would be connected to seasons - to help Beren keep track the time: how long he has been on the run already - he could be so focussed on surviving any given day that he can lose track of time - and seeing e.g. the flowers on the ring changing again makes him remember - "oh, it this time of the year again... we would be celebrating this and this feast with my family now, how long am I on the run actually?" ... etc... etc.
 
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Rob Harding

Active Member
For me making the audience remeber that the ring is an elvish gift and that elves are deeply naturally magical and to some extend whimsical creatures would be narrative purpose enough.

Edit: But it could be used - if the magic would be connected to seasons - to help Beren keep track the time how long he has been on the run already - he could be so focussed on surviving the given day that he can lose track of time - and seeing e.g. the flowers on the ring changing again makes him remember - "oh, it this time of the year again... we would be celebrating this and this feast with my family now, how long am I on the run actually? ... etc.. etc.
I like this even as just a cutaway to show seasons passing as he’s on the run/sitting in the woods. Perhaps a little more overtly magical than I’d pictured but something to signify passing seasons. I’d personally jut use the weather/flowers (as I think flowers are significant this season) for that but still, back to bad guys
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
I like this even as just a cutaway to show seasons passing as he’s on the run/sitting in the woods. Perhaps a little more overtly magical than I’d pictured but something to signify passing seasons. I’d personally jut use the weather/flowers (as I think flowers are significant this season) for that but still, back to bad guys
Regarding the bad guys - is it already decided if Thuringwethil is involved in tracking Beren and to what extent? What method does he use to avoid her?

Regarding her connection to the spirits I do not know how to do this elegantly. Bats and vampires are more connected to undead bodies than to ghosts and as such I do not see any natural affinity there.

Regarding the crown of flowers on Barahir's ring being reactive to the change of seasons - would fit nicely with the seasonality of Thranduil's vegetational crown in the Hobbit, Galadriels singing of the "fading crown have twined the golden elanor." and the crown of flower of the beheaded king's figure that Sam and Frodo pass on their way into the Morgul Vale. Also this would be a feature the Aragorn might share neither with them nor later with Findegil so that they might have just overlooked to describe it in the TLOTR. ;-)

Regardless, drawing more attention to the elven ring would also stress that in his human mortal desperation the one and only pure and beautiful thing Beren has still left on him is elven-made (and elven-magical). This would show how both kindreds can inspire and help each other when working together, and that each can give the other something the other doesn't have but needs.
 
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Rob Harding

Active Member
Regarding the bad guys - is it already decided if Thuringwethil is involved in tracking Beren and to what extent? What method does he to avoid her?

Regarding her connection to the spirits I do not know how to do this elegantly. Bats and vampires are more connected to undead bodies than to ghosts and as such I do not see any natural affinity there.

Regarding the crown of flowers on Barahir's ring being reactive to the change of seasons - would fit nicely with the seasonality of Thranduil's vegetational crown in the Hobbit, Galadriels singing of the "fading crown have twined the golden elanor." and the crown of flower of the beheaded king's figure that Sam and Frodo pass on their way into the Morgul Vale. Also this would be a feature the Aragorn might share neither with them nor later with Findegil so that they might have just overlooked to describe it in the TLOTR. ;-)

Regardless, drawing more attention to the elven ring would also stress that in his human mortal desperation the one and only pure and beautiful thing Beren has still left on him is elven-made (and elven-magical). This would show how both kindreds can inspire and help each other when working together, and that each can give the other something the other doesn't have but needs.
Actually, I kind of like the idea of seeing Beren walking through different seasons but with a close up on the ring in his finger being unchanged. Snow runs off it, for example. It looks bright even in the night. It doesn’t reflect the changing world. So in a montage we see a passage of time and Beren trudging though it in varied states of cloaked etc but the ring is unchnaging. And as we focus on it, we can cut to Luthien looking on a changing world. For example.

Could Thuringwethil supply Sauron with something to make Necromancy viable. Could there even be lore books in Tol Sirion, perhaps a secondary personal reason for taking it. Maybe Thuringwethil seeks is put and assassinates its keeper as Sauron oversees the main assault. She is the reason he can reach these heights of power. Worse then perhaps if we do go with the idea of him then rejecting her further advice.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Actually, I kind of like the idea of seeing Beren walking through different seasons but with a close up on the ring in his finger being unchanged. Snow runs off it, for example. It looks bright even in the night. It doesn’t reflect the changing world. So in a montage we see a passage of time and Beren trudging though it in varied states of cloaked etc but the ring is unchnaging. And as we focus on it, we can cut to Luthien looking on a changing world. For example.
He is on his own for several years. Whatever cloak he had has long fallen apart. He can have some hide of a hunted animal but I doubt he had much time to process it - so it's widely half-raw. As the matters stand he should have some trouble to get himself clothed, I doubt he has the time to gather and spin some wild sheep's shed wool and weave himself something, this takes time and men, while probably knowing the basics, have usually much less training in those matters than their sisters. So the ring and maybe some knive or other metal weapon are the last remnants of civilization he has still on him. He might be even forced to knapp himself some flint arrowheads and make some simple rawhide shoes.
 
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Rob Harding

Active Member
He is on his own for several years. Whatever cloak he had has long fallen apart. He can have some hide of a hunted animal but I doubt he had much time to process it - so it's widely half-raw. As the matters stand he should have some trouble to get himself clothed, I doubt he has the time to gather and spin some wild sheep's shed wool and weave himself something, this takes time and men, while probably knowing the basics, have usually much less training in this matters then their sisters. So the ring and maybe some knive or other metal weapon are the last remnants of civilization he has still on him. He might be even forced to knapp himself some flint arrowheads and make some simple rawhide shoes.
The specifics weren’t what I was trying to highlight per se, but yes, this was my point. We could see his apparel change over time as the season as the seasons do, as he does, getting shaggier and shabbier. The elves ring remains unblemished by time
 
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