Session 6-04: Villains

Odola

Well-Known Member
Does he have a sidekick at some point, who tragically dies when they are forced to escape?
So, just as a thought experiment - just for you, Haakon - because that is too cheesy to be used:

So, in the in the winter after Barahir's men are killed Beren has yet to learn how to survive a winter alone, he meets small herd of wild horses in the woods not far form the graves of his lost comrades - he himself does not go to the graves themselves as they might be watched and he wanted to leave no traces in the snow, so he stay above in on a stony hill, he is terrible hungry, cold and dejected. The herd sees him freezing, standing there alone and they move around him to warm him with their breaths, and there is a mother and and almost yearling foal that is still suckling and that stands aside and nudges him to have some of his milk so that Beren - in wonder - gets some warm milk into his cupped hand and has something warm and nourishing to drink. Been is moved, he is the only one left to defend Dorthonion and the land itself seems aware of it and it itself feeds him. He takes this as a sign to continue on and himself to be bound to be Dorthonion's guardian. He stops hunting its animals, as he consider them now fellow Dorthonians under his protection. The foal he then sees from time to time growing up over the few years and it does treat him as his "milk-brother" and always greets him, but he consider it to young for riding. One day after those 4-5 years Beren is enjoying the wind and sun in the heaths in South Dorthonion when a pack of wolves/wargs happen upon him, then the horse comes running seemingly out of nowhere and Beren mounts it without thinking. It bring him to the cliffs of Ered Gorgoroth and throws him down, and he falls a substantial but not live-threatening distance down a cliff. The horse, still above on the heaths, then turn and runs away, the wolves following it. Its fate remains uncertain, but Beren finds it impossible to climb back up and is forced to try the way down the terrible mountains - in spite of all the horrid tales he heard about them as a child. As he has come to regard the horse as a "ambassador of Dorthonion" to him, he regards himself now as having been released from his duty towards it.

Here you have it, included a reference to movie Aragorn and Brego. - Cheesy enough for your liking? ;)
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Didn’t you discuss mining ore before? Ok what if the orcs are establishing tunnels and perhaps mines in the Gorgoroth range? Beren follows Gorgol there, kills him, but has to flee, but gets lost and ends up in Nan Dungortheb (which he of course tries to get out of) through a tunnel.
Could work as is told that he was the only one of the good guys to ever cross it and that he never ever told anyone anything about it. But the ore idea has been dismissed?
Was it dismissed? By the execs? Sorry I’m not up to speed….
I don't think the topic of ore was ever discussed. They were more focused on the "tub of evil".
During the discussions here, @MithLuin explained that the interest in Dorthonion is strategical and not in its resources, so that extracting both ore or wood would done only on the side and more as a means to destroy or corrupt the land than anything else. And you cannot corrupt Ered Gorgoroth more than it already is?

It was [discussed]. As I have brought it up here in this thread. ;-) I have even linked a paper showing that there is ore in the Altai, which is our location for Dorthonion. But the idea has not been met with much enthusiasm.


Okay, this is an example of what I mean by creating confusion by conflating discussions we have here with discussions on the podcast. Now, granted, I am likely contributing to the confusion since I sometimes appear in both discussions. I know it's not always clear when I am speaking simply for myself, giving an opinion on a topic under discussion, and when I am speaking authoritatively in a 'this is what was decided in Silm Film' reminder kind of way. So, I do apologize for that.

But just to make sure we're all on the same page now....

Our topic of discussion for this thread involves the question of Dorthonion - what is going on there in Season 6? We have a pretty good idea of what Barahir's band is up to, but what are the villains up to? To figure that out, we need to toss suggestions into the ring. Then, I will collate those suggestions and present them to the podcast, so that those ideas will be 'on the table' when Corey Olsen starts talking about the Dorthonion question. Naturally, he may have his own idea in mind, unrelated to anything discussed here...but multiple suggestions will give him something to work with, and generally speaking makes our storytelling more robust. And, as a rule, I present all suggestions that are still compatible with the project, not only the suggestions I personally like.

So far, Corey Olsen has expressed interest in having Thuringwethil involved in the Gorlim storyline, as well as interest in having Boldog survive whatever happens here, whether or not there is an attack on Doriath.

So, so far, some ideas that have been discussed are: Dorthonion is a southern foothold for Angband, and thus occupying it has strategic value. Dorthonion serves as a gateway to Beleriand, or will, once the Orcs build a road through the Pass of Anach, which they are working on. Dorthonion is a source of raw materials/supplies that Morgoth is interested in exploiting for his own use, or preventing the Elves from accessing. All of those ideas are still on the table, at least until the next podcast. There's no need for only one of these to be the case, and if we decide to make use of one or more, great.

It is true that I said the strategic value of the location was more important than any potential resources that might be found there. Morgoth didn't send a dragon to Dorthonion to steal its resources; he did it to break the Siege, and to make it more difficult for the Noldor in East and West Beleriand to coordinate with one another. That does not mean that the suggestion of orc quarries/mines is dismissed. The person with authority to select or reject ideas on this project is Corey Olsen. So, until he weighs in, the idea is still on the table. And, if we can come up with a story reason as to why the mines in question would be relevant, then that is all the better.


While we have done a fairly good job of discussing what Angband is up to in Dorthonion early in Season 6, we probably could spend more time discussing the roles of the different players. There are quite a few potential named villains who can be active in this area at this time, and not all of them would be coordinating or working together or having the same goals in mind. Potential players: Morgoth, Sauron, Gothmog, Thuringwethil, Boldog, Gorgol the Butcher, and Draugluin. Naturally, not all of those characters will be present (Morgoth and Gothmog remain in Angband), but they still can have something to do with the story playing out, potentially.

If Sauron sends Thuringwethil to deal with the Outlaws, and she enacts the 'ensnare Gorlim' trap, that is all fine and good. But since when does Thuringwethil command a company of orcs? Or share her gathered intelligence with Boldog? So, the step between "Thuringwethil discovers the location of Barahir's hidden camp from Gorlim" and "Gorgol the Butcher leads a company of orcs to attack the hidden camp of outlaws" needs some explanation. If Thuringwethil had worked with orcs before, we wouldn't need to show or tell anything here, but this is not currently a case of one leading to the other, so...we need a connection. Also, who is in charge of the 'build an orc road in the Pass of Anach' plan? Why are they doing that right now - is there already a plan to attack Doriath, or is it just a case of thinking they'll need a road eventually if they are ever going to move out of Dorthonion? Also, if Thuringwethil was willing to use her spywork to get rid of Barahir's band, is there a reason she doesn't follow up with tracking down lone Beren? Or does she attempt to find him and fail? Or is her discovery of him what leads to him fleeing South? Are these orcs in Dorthonion reporting to Boldog (and thus Gothmog), or are they now falling under Sauron's chain of command, via the werewolf/warg rider initiative? Or...are there orcs of mixed allegiances in Dorthonion at odds with one another? If that is the case, how would we convey that tension?
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
So , just as thought experiment - just for you, Haakon - because that is too cheesy to be used:

So, in the in the winter after Barahir's men are killed Beren has yet to learn how to survive a winter alone, he meets small herd of wild horses in the woods not far form the graves of his lost camrades - he himself does not go to the graves themselves as they might be watched and he wantd to leave no traces in the snow, so he stay above in on a stony hill, he is terrible hungry, cold and dejected. The herd sees him freezing, standing there alone and they move around him to warm him with their breaths, and there is a mother and and almost yearling foal that is still suckling and that stands aside and nudges him to have some of his milk so that Beren - in wonder - gets some warm milk into his cupped hand and has someting warm and nourishing to drink. The foal he then sees from time to time growing up over the few years and it does treet him as his "milk-brother" and always greets him, but he consider it to young for riding. One day after those 4-5 years Beren is enjoying the wind and sun in the heats in South Dorthonion when a pack od wolfs/wargs happen upon him, then the horse comes running seemingly out of nowhere and Beren mount is it without thinking. Tt bring him to the cliffs of Ered Gorgototh and thows him down, and he falls a substatial but not live-theatening distance down a cliff. The horse then turn and runs away, the wolves following it. Its fate remains uncertain, bur Beren finds it imposible to climb back up and is forced to try the way down the terrible mountains in spite of all the horrid tales he heard about them as child.

Here you have it, included a reference to movie Aragorn and Brego. - Cheesy enough for your liking? ;)
Omg what have I done to deserve this :D

Seriously, what I was grasping for was a person to talk to as a means to clarify for the viewers what’s happening.
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Can't he talk to himself , like whitewater sam? Or the birds?

OT i know, so...

Bad guys in Dorthonion were now up to Thuringwethil, Gorgol and possibly Draugluin, yes? Chain in command, responsabilities, what do they do now?
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Omg what have I done to deserve this :D
Be careful what you wish for! ;)

Seriously, what I was grasping for was a person to talk to as a means to clarify for the viewers what’s happening.
One can clearly talk to a horse, elves and Rohirrim do this all the time. The advantages are - it does not talk back nor can it betray what you have said.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Be careful what you wish for! ;)



One can clearly talk to a horse, elves and Rohirrim do this all the time. The advantages are - it does not talk back nor can it betray what you have said.
Well it does create a setup for the talking dog later.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
If Sauron sends Thuringwethil to deal with the Outlaws, and she enacts the 'ensnare Gorlim' trap, that is all fine and good. But since when does Thuringwethil command a company of orcs? Or share her gathered intelligence with Boldog? So, the step between "Thuringwethil discovers the location of Barahir's hidden camp from Gorlim" and "Gorgol the Butcher leads a company of orcs to attack the hidden camp of outlaws" needs some explanation. If Thuringwethil had worked with orcs before, we wouldn't need to show or tell anything here, but this is not currently a case of one leading to the other, so...we need a connection. Also, who is in charge of the 'build an orc road in the Pass of Anach' plan? Why are they doing that right now - is there already a plan to attack Doriath, or is it just a case of thinking they'll need a road eventually if they are ever going to move out of Dorthonion? Also, if Thuringwethil was willing to use her spywork to get rid of Barahir's band, is there a reason she doesn't follow up with tracking down lone Beren? Or does she attempt to find him and fail? Or is her discovery of him what leads to him fleeing South? Are these orcs in Dorthonion reporting to Boldog (and thus Gothmog), or are they now falling under Sauron's chain of command, via the werewolf/warg rider initiative? Or...are there orcs of mixed allegiances in Dorthonion at odds with one another? If that is the case, how would we convey that tension?
I would suggest the name of the Road of Haste refers not only to the orcs always being in haste, but also to commemorate the haste with which is was build. If it was build with haste then there is an urgent goal it serves. I would think this to be rather soon attack on Doriath. I would think the orcs and slaves send from Angband are the builders and constructors, while Sauron has been tasked with security and safety and the clearing and claiming of the country to assure everything goes as planned.

Then the three years between Sauron taking Tol Sirion and Barahir's death would give Barahir's men the opportunity to ambush the orcs busy in the West of the country preparing and then starting the building project. Those are mostly builders, so not so much fighters and a relatively easy target. They work at night and cover for the day (that makes Sauron consider for the first time there might be value in having human slaves who could take over such projects during daylight hours - even if they are far weaker, the project would be finished faster with such a rotation). But the orcs still kill a lot of game just for fun and destroy as much nature as they can by default which makes Barahir's men think they must defend their country from corruption and defilement by killing as many of them as they can. (As the orcs work at night, they also use up enormous amounts of wood to feed the huge bonfires needed to light their building site for them.) Gorgol is one of the captains dealing with the safety of the workers. He attempts to capture Barahir's band but unsuccessfully. They know the country and make sure to limit their actions to the day-light hours and if still far from their hiding place at Tarn Aeluin at night they do hide e.g. in the branches of high pines and the trees do protect them.

When Thuringwethil checks on the building site she hears what is the problem is and gets impatient with Gorgol's failure and in her contempt for orcs claims to find the hiding place of the band in no time. She uses her previous knowledge and flies straight to Ladros and soon enough she meets Gorlim. She gets the info needed, gets rid of Gorlim (as a reaper spirit she can do this quite elegantly, without getting herself bloody) but considers her part of the work done. She provides the gained information in a very condescending way to Gorgol and leaves the scene. She later considers the hunt for Beren not really her job, she has done more then enough for the orcs: let them do their job - they can handle a lonely human at least- can't they? As long they cannot, she has a reason to show them her fully contempt and to mock them merciless at any occasion she meets them, so she is not in a hurry to help them out again.

Edit:
After Gorgol is killed by Beren Thuringwethil tries to pressure Sauron into being more harsh on the orcs to force them to do their job, but by that time Sauron already has other things on his mind. He sends her to check on Glaurung to give her something to do so he can work on his new project in peace. She is happy to see more of the world beyond Angband, Tol Sirion and Dorthonion again, so she checks some other locations also - "just in case". When she meets Glaurung she gets a scarce report about what happened there and at the end of it she asks if he has anything else to say. She then gets the seemingly random prophecy about "Huan being killed by the greatest wolf who ever lived" that she then delivers to Sauron more as a curiosity - as he deals with wolves - with all the other intel she gained - not thinking much of it at the time.

Boldog I would leave in Angband preparing and planning for the Doriath attack - he lacks info about the Sindarin army's strength and ability for his plans and he decides to go and get it as soon as the Road of Haste is finished.
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Boldog I would leave in Angband preparing and planning for the Doriath attack - he lacks info about the Sindarin army's strength and ability for his plans and he decides to go and get it as soon as the Road of Haste is finished.
When should Boldog attack?
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
When should Boldog attack?
Boldog arrives in Doriath after Luthien has left it and he has left Angband before she arrives there. We would need to calculate how fast he can move from Angband to Doriath while keeping his unit battle ready - so he is popably not wearing them out too much. When we have this technical timeframe established, (that we would need to count this out, distance, travel speed, stopping for the day etc.). then we can go with a story wise reason, where it fits best for the pacing of an episode?

So basically the possible timeframe of the attack would be Luthien's travel time from Doriath to Angband with Boldog's travel time from Angband to Doriath added to it. We still have no time estimate for the first one, but we could already calculate the latter. I assume the attack would fall into the second half of this "technical timeframe", but that is to be seen.
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
What sort of troops does Boldog have? Only orcs? Infantry, Wolfriders? Orcs can move incredibly fast, even on foot...
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
What sort of troops does Boldog have? Only orcs? Infantry, Wolfriders? Orcs can move incredibly fast, even on foot...
I tried to start work with the 150 leagues stright line from Angband to Menegroth, that seems ca. 4 weeks for "normal" humans, about 3 weeks for trained ones, 10 days for Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas - could they keep their pace this long, and about one week for orcs? Could somebody check my estimates here? I am not very good at calculations.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I judged it was more about 230 miles... given an almost straight line from the Gates of Angband to Dorthonion and then a not so straight route through Anach to Doriath's northern borders.

Given Orcs can do 19 miles in 12 hours on a forced march they'd be there in almost 12 days. I didn't use Uglúk's troops speed, those were lightly armed scouts who didn't carry much equipment on them.

Orcs could probably march 16 hours a day instead of 12 like roman legionaries did... the 16 dark hours between sunrise and sundown, yet they'll still have to have some short breaks and to put up camp.yes, I still think they could do it in 12 days.
 
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Odola

Well-Known Member
I judged it was more about 230 miles... given an almost straight line from the Gates of Angband to Dorthonion and then a not so straight route through Anach to Doriath's northern borders.

Given Orcs can do 19 miles in 12 hours on a forced march they'd be there in almost 12 days. I didn't use Uglúk's troops speed, those were lightly armed scouts who didn't carry much equipment on them.

Orcs could probably march 16 hours a day instead of 12 like roman legionaries did... the 16 dark hours between sunrise and sundown, yet they'll still have to have some short breaks and to put up camp.yes, I still think they could do it in 12 days.
This depends which distance to Angband do we take, the shorter one of Christopher Tolkien on the Silmarillion map or the greater one from Tolkien's later works stated in the The Grey Annals - of 150 leagues for Menegroth to the gates of Angband. If we go with the latter, and considering that the width of Dorthonion is 60 leagues then the whole route Boldog has to travel is ca 142,7 leagues, as Menegroth is farther South. But I do think about 2 weeks is reasonable. Daylight hours kind of depend on the season.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Allright then! I used Karen Wynn-Fonstadts map... i guess so then we go for... hell if a league is 3 miles then it'd be only 50 miles! They could be there in two days given that it's probably far longer dark in the regions close to Angband anyway!
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
I am so bad at maths

Of course it'd be 450 miles, not 50!
20-23 days then...?
I took the data form this post The Location of Angband : tolkienfans (reddit.com)
And took this map that was linked there below: gXTDJm2.jpg (1798×2574) (imgur.com)
Then I have scaled it up in 3D and measured Boldog's route:
Angband Doriath 150 leagues.PNG

Of course there can be some measuring error, but my scale had ca 1m precision. I had the route bend towards Rivil's Well, as orcs need water too.

So 2-3 weeks seems fine.

Now we just would need the timeframe for Luthien's journey from Doriath to Angband - which would take much longer - but that will be decided later, when we discuss her herself, I assume.
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Do they actually attack Menegroth? If they only make it to Doriath's northern borders then it'd be ca 390 miles according to that map, straight line from Angband to wells of rivil and a more serpentine route down through Anach. Would still be 20 days i think.Sounds reasonable as they have good roads by then.

If they actually go INSIDE Doriath then it'll become hard to estimate...
The elves would use the forest labyrinth and magics to scatter them, destroy their formation, bringbthem down in small groups from sniper points up in the high trees...
The orcs on the other hand would probably be tempted to start forest fires to actively smoke them out.No i cannot see that scenario happening... Melian would do all she can to prevent that. On the other hand... showing at last the orcs being successfull doing a bit destruction already should show that even Doriath is not invulnerable any longer now that Dorthonion has fallen!
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Do they actually attack Menegroth? If they only make it to Doriath's northern borders then it'd be ca 390 miles according to that map, straight ,one from Angband to wells of rivil and a more serpentine route down through Anach. Would still be 20 days i think.Sounds reasonable as they have good roads by then.

If they actually go INSIDE Doriath then it'll become hard to estimate...
The elves would use the forest labyrinth and magics to
I have meassured the blue line on the map (imported into a 3D enviroment and scaled up so that the original green line on the map is 150 leagues). And got ca. 143 leagues for the blue line - which is Baldog's route. So ca. 7 leagues less then the distance to Menegroth. I do not think Baldog could cross the girdle itself, the battle was at the North-Western border of Doriath.

20 days works for me.

EDIT: BTW from Tol Sirion to Rivil's Well it is ca 23 leagues.
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Correct, the Girdle of Melian will prevent any attack from penetrating into Doriath. Presumably this attack is an attempt to figure out how strong the defenses are. So, from the villains' perspective, it's more recon for a future attack, rather than an earnest effort to invade Doriath.

As far as the timing goes, the story takes place over multiple years. I'm not worried about finding a 3 week window to move troops from Angband to the borders of Doriath.
 
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