Session 7-09: Season Outline

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Our next session will be on Thursday February 15th at 10PM Eastern time. We will be discussing the outline for the 13 episodes of Season 7.

We will begin with a young Húrin, Huor, and Handir entering Gondolin, and we will end with Húrin dragged away captive after the Nirnaeth. What will happen when?

How many episodes should we stay in Gondolin? How many episodes should be devoted to the Nirnaeth? Will the arrival of the Easterlings be our midpoint this season?

A few things to keep in mind when suggesting how to tie the storylines together....

Each episode will have one dominant storyline and one secondary storyline. A 3rd storyline can appear, but we will not have the screen time to do much with it.

Húrin is the main character of the season. He can appear in every episode. No one else is going to get that much screentime. So, when considering how to break down a story such as Maedhros organizing the Union against Morgoth, keep in mind that it may appear over 7 episodes, not 13.

When suggesting stories to put in the same episode, consider if we gain something by juxtaposing these stories. Ie, what should Galadriel be doing while the Summit meeting is happening at Tol Sirion? Which storyline would do best with a "Meanwhile in Angband" interlude?
 
Still wondering about timeline of events. Specifically pertaining to how they relate to Beren and Lúthien. B-plot for one episode: Maeglin trying to romance Idril?
 
When Beren and Lúthien escape from Angband via Eagle, they fly over Gondolin. This is during the time that Húrin, Handir, and Huor are there. So, Episode 1 of Season 7 will take place during the end of Season 6. Did you need a more precise tie-in point?


Here is my starting point for breaking down the storylines into Episodes:

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I realize that this isn't easy to read. The general idea is that we will see something going on with Húrin in practically every episode. Sometimes it will be family stuff, sometimes it will be Dor-lómin stuff, and sometimes it will be Union of Maedrhos stuff. But Húrin will be with us throughout the season. I'm not sure how many episodes we plan to devote to the Nirnaeth Arnoediad itself. Maybe the final 3 episodes of the Season? I've only put the Maedhros storyline in even-numbered episodes, so we have a chance to let that breath and develop over the course of the season, culminating in the Nirnaeth. It will also allow us to maintain the impression that 'now is the time' and this is going to work. If we see too much of the planning, some doubts are likely to start creeping in. Galadriel's story seems much heavier in the first half of the season, but she'll stick around in the latter half as well.

First half...
1707187884899.png1707187951997.png
...and latter half (obviously, this is missing a lot!)
 
Some suggestions based on this:
  • I like where things meet in episode 4, I think that's a strong end to the first act of the season, if you will.
  • I think pairing things around the birth and death of Lalaith needs to be done carefully: her young death has often read to me as almost an omen of the woe that is to befall her family. I think we might want to put both her birth and death in one episode. We could maybe pair that (as you have her birth) with the introduction of Ulfang, again to keep the sort of harbinger of woe along the episode, and the romance of Gwindor and Finduilas.
 
That's not a bad way of looking at this season - in 3 acts.

Act 1: Episodes 1-4: Establishing Amdir
I think that for Episode 1, we want to focus almost exclusively on the storyline of Húrin, Huor, and Handir going to Gondolin. We should establish their three different points of view in being there, and bring the story far enough along to have the tension of having to stay there an established issue (for all except Huor, who is fine with it). Then, at the end of the episode, they should look up to see the eagles carrying Beren and Lúthien away from Angband, indicating to the viewers that we are now catching up with that story from last season. Since we are now past the destruction of the tower on Tol Sirion, we could also show Sauron arriving in the Barrow Downs as a tag to the episode.

In Episode 2, we can introduce our other major storylines - Galadriel deciding to recruit a mortal army, Maedhros deciding to plan the Union. We will continue the Gondolin storyline, culminating in Turgon granting permission for they to leave. We end the episode with the arrival of Húrin and Huor in Dor-lómin.

Episode 3 would have its main storyline take place in Dor-lómin. This is where we learn that Emeldir is sick with some sort of wasting disease (ie, cancer). Morwen as her pupil and caretaker is established, as well as the respect the House of Hador shows her as leader (the epithet 'Man-hearted' now appears). The conflict with Angband as a real and present danger is brought to the forefront with the death of Galdor, and Húrin assuming leadership of his people. We see the beginnings of Morwen and Húrin's relationship with one another here.
As a secondary story, we can have Galadriel's journey east, while Celeborn sets out for Doriath.

Episode 4 would now build on everything we've seen so far.
Maedhros arrives in Eithel Sirion for a visit with Fingon. While on the surface he is renewing their friendship and pledging his fealty to Fingon as High King...in reality he is there for a purpose, and that purpose is to convince Fingon that now is the time to muster armies and attack Morgoth in Angband. Fingon...is convinced, but not without reservation.
Morwen and Húrin agree to marry. Death of Emeldir? (this could be pushed back to Episode 5) We see that Húrin and Morwen are forming a partnership, and that they admire and respect one another...but they have a ways to go as far as communication and mutual love go.
Galadriel meets the Emperor of Bree, her first step in recruiting an Easterling army.

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Act 2: Episodes 5-9: Building Amdir

TBD




Act 3: Episodes 10-13: Amdir gives way to Estel
I envision a lot of turns in the battle - the advantage should seem to shift back and forth multiple times, so that there is an ebb and flow of amdir. Towards the end, amdir will be exhausted, but estel will survive.

TBD
 
When is the timing of the migration of the folk of Bëor to Dor-Lómin? They are still in Brethil at Beren and Lúthien's wedding. Would they arrive in Episode 2 (or maybe the rumour of their arrival be mentioned), with their proper arrival in Ep3?

If we need Handir to marry a woman of the House of Bëor, then he could either already be married (depending on how old we make him), which might contribute to his grumpiness about being in Gondolin, OR he could have a sweetheart who he meets again when the Eagles drop them off in Dor-Lómin (but we'd need the Bëorings to be there already).
 
Suggestions for Act 2

Act 2: Episodes 5-9: Building Amdir

Episode 5
can focus on Galadriel as the main story, with her attempts to recruit Ulfang and/or Bor to her cause. Meanwhile in Dor-lómin, Túrin is born.

Episode 6 would then be the Summit meeting at the ruins on Tol Sirion (Finrod's grave). We'd introduce our ensemble cast and let Maedhros and Fingon try to persuade them to join (with mixed results). Our main subplot would be the romance of Gwindor and Finduilas. We'll show them have a private moment at the Pools of Ivrin before or after the Council.

Episode 7 - Time for a Plague? The brief childhood of Lalaith, and the grief of her family over losing her. Meanwhile, we deal with the aftermath of the Summit meeting across Beleriand, getting reactions from Thingol and Orodreth's decision. At the very end of the episode, the Easterlings cross the mountains into Beleriand, changing everything.

Episode 8 - The Fëanoreans recruit the Easterlings. Maglor is the liason for Bor, Caranthir for Ulfang. Curufin and Celegorm are kept out. Galadriel is recognized for her efforts and brought into the war councils. Do we check back in with Gondolin at this point?

Episode 9 - Romance of Rían and Huor. At this late hour, the dwarves of Belegost join the Union (with Curufin as liason). Meanwhile in Angband, the plight of the prisoners - we check in with Guilin.

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I imagine we will need to have scenes in Nargothond and in Doriath around Episode 5 (before the Top Sirion meet up), even if just to establish where Orodreth and Thingol are in their attitudes post-Beren/Lúthien
 
When is the timing of the migration of the folk of Bëor to Dor-Lómin? They are still in Brethil at Beren and Lúthien's wedding. Would they arrive in Episode 2 (or maybe the rumour of their arrival be mentioned), with their proper arrival in Ep3?

Right, the House of Bëor arrives in Dor-lómin at the very end of Season 6 (so, FA 464 at the earliest).

My understanding is that the three humans are going to spend more than one year in Gondolin. It might seem like just one year to them, but it will be in reality a bit longer. So, by the time they come back, we are fully caught up in the timeline, and past all of the events we've shown in Season 6.
This will allow us to begin other important storylines in Episode 2, even if they are still in Gondolin.

And so...I would think that the House of Bëor is already in Dor-lómin when Húrin and Huor return, showing that we are now 'in the present' again.

If we need Handir to marry a woman of the House of Bëor, then he could either already be married (depending on how old we make him), which might contribute to his grumpiness about being in Gondolin, OR he could have a sweetheart who he meets again when the Eagles drop them off in Dor-Lómin (but we'd need the Bëorings to be there already).

True, he could take Beldis home with him from Dor-lómin when he returns to Brethil.
 
True, he could take Beldis home with him from Dor-lómin when he returns to Brethil.
I like this. It gives another reason for him to be grumpy when he is in Gondolin. He doesn't know that Beldis will be waiting for him in Dor-lómin. He thinks she is still in Brethil (not that she knows he is coming back - she could be quite heartbroken). What a eucatastrophe for her!
 
Suggestions for Act 3:

Act 3: Episodes 10-13: Amdir gives way to Estel
I envision a lot of turns in the battle - the advantage should seem to shift back and forth multiple times, so that there is an ebb and flow of amdir. Towards the end, amdir will be exhausted, but estel will survive. I'm not sure how much screentime we need for the battle scenes, but I want to give enough to allow the ups and downs to breathe. Very unclear where the betrayal of Uldor needs to be; naturally, it will play out throughout the war campaign.

Episode 10 is the Dragon-trap episode. This is the final action that must be completed before the Elves can take to the field in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. It's brave, desperate, necessary...and partially successful. We could also focus on Círdan's logistical efforts here, and Gil-galad bringing supplies to where they need to be with Beleg and Mablung.

Episode 11 would then be the great muster, as the troops all move into place to begin the battle. Lots of farewell scenes, as Finduilas is left behind in Nargothrond, and Morwen and Rían are left behind in Dor-lómin. The sudden arrival of Gondolin! Turgon's army joins the field, and Fingon utters "Auta i lómë! Utúlie'n aurë!" (The night is passing! The day has come!) Zenith of Amdir. There are some delays on the Eastern front, causing concern.... (mild concern thus far) The silent waiting, Boldog bringing out the prisoner Guilin, and Gwindor's charge. Deaths: Guilin

Episode 12 is full pitched battle. We will see the result of Gwindor's charge, and the Men of Brethil taking on Boldog. Fall of Haldir, Handir slays Boldog. Destruction of siege equipment and betrayal of Uldor the Accursed. The Eastern front is ready to join the battle now, but suddenly Glaurung appears! He has broken out of his confinement. The Dwarves meet this new threat and are able to harass the dragon. Azaghâl is killed, and wounds Glaurung. Glaurung retreats. Deaths: Haldir, Boldog, Azaghâl

Episode 13 Easterling (Bor) vs Easterling (Uldor) battle in the East. All Sons of Fëanor wounded in battle. Galadriel kills Uldor. Retreat in the West. Fingon engages the balrogs, and he and his companions are all killed. Turgon, the remainder of Fingon's forces (including Rhogrin) and the Men of Dor-lómin retreat towards the Fens of Serech. Final stand of Men of Dor-lómin. Farewell to Turgon (prophetic words of Huor). Húrin's "Aurë entuluva!" (Day shall come again!) as the statement of estel. Húrin captured and dragged away. Tag: Sauron having tea with the Emperor of Bree Deaths: Bor, Uldor, Elrhûn, Fingon, Huor
 
Suggestions for Act 3:

Act 3: Episodes 10-13: Amdir gives way to Estel
I envision a lot of turns in the battle - the advantage should seem to shift back and forth multiple times, so that there is an ebb and flow of amdir. Towards the end, amdir will be exhausted, but estel will survive. I'm not sure how much screentime we need for the battle scenes, but I want to give enough to allow the ups and downs to breathe. Very unclear where the betrayal of Uldor needs to be; naturally, it will play out throughout the war campaign.

Episode 10 is the Dragon-trap episode. This is the final action that must be completed before the Elves can take to the field in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. It's brave, desperate, necessary...and partially successful. We could also focus on Círdan's logistical efforts here, and Gil-galad bringing supplies to where they need to be with Beleg and Mablung.

Episode 11 would then be the great muster, as the troops all move into place to begin the battle. Lots of farewell scenes, as Finduilas is left behind in Nargothrond, and Morwen and Rían are left behind in Dor-lómin. The sudden arrival of Gondolin! Turgon's army joins the field, and Fingon utters "Auta i lómë! Utúlie'n aurë!" (The night is passing! The day has come!) Zenith of Amdir. There are some delays on the Eastern front, causing concern.... (mild concern thus far) The silent waiting, Boldog bringing out the prisoner Guilin, and Gwindor's charge. Deaths: Guilin

Episode 12 is full pitched battle. We will see the result of Gwindor's charge, and the Men of Brethil taking on Boldog. Fall of Haldir, Handir slays Boldog. Destruction of siege equipment and betrayal of Uldor the Accursed. The Eastern front is ready to join the battle now, but suddenly Glaurung appears! He has broken out of his confinement. The Dwarves meet this new threat and are able to harass the dragon. Azaghâl is killed, and wounds Glaurung. Glaurung retreats. Deaths: Haldir, Boldog, Azaghâl

Episode 13 Easterling (Bor) vs Easterling (Uldor) battle in the East. All Sons of Fëanor wounded in battle. Galadriel kills Uldor. Retreat in the West. Fingon engages the balrogs, and he and his companions are all killed. Turgon, the remainder of Fingon's forces (including Rhogrin) and the Men of Dor-lómin retreat towards the Fens of Serech. Final stand of Men of Dor-lómin. Farewell to Turgon (prophetic words of Huor). Húrin's "Aurë entuluva!" (Day shall come again!) as the statement of estel. Húrin captured and dragged away. Tag: Sauron having tea with the Emperor of Bree Deaths: Bor, Uldor, Elrhûn, Fingon, Huor
Shivers!
 
I like episodes 11 and 13 but I think episode 12 could be reworked. The betrayal of Uldor ought to come at the very end of the episode, I think, and most of the consequences faced in episode 13, since that's the deciding turn of the battle. Putting it in the middle of an episode I think would give an impression of missed potential. It doesn't have to take up the whole of episode 13, but it's the major shift that dictates a new phase of the battle. Meanwhile I think the escape and routing of Glaurung should be spread more evenly throughout episode 12 so as not to give the impression that Glaurung is a half-episode problem (even if it takes up the same amount of screen time). He's a primary antagonist in the next two seasons, and shouldn't be seen by the audience as merely an inconvenience.
 
Oh, agreed. These are lists of things to happen in each episode, not episode structure. I am very unclear as to when Uldor should kill Ulfang though.
 
Just listened to the episode and I had a thought based on the discussion of why Uldor turns to the side of "the God in the North". If the Plague happens after the arrival of the Easterlings, what if that is actually the portent that convinces Uldor (and other Easterlings) that Morgoth is both real and powerful, and opens him up to Sauron's suggestion? I don't think this specific idea came up in the episode, but it seems like a natural convergence of various threads.

Also, if it hasn't been mentioned already, what if the proto-Breemen also call Morgoth "the North King", like the title the wildmen use in the tale of Tal Elmar? That could be a cool and subtle reference to insert.
 
Based on the discussion last night, I am able to settle on a firmer timeline for the season.

First, here's the family trees and the birthdates we will need:

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In Tolkien's geneology, Túrin would be born in 464. I have had to shift him one year younger, as I can get his parents married in 464, but I cannot realistically have him born that same year. It is what it is. We are preserving Lalaith as a child who dies at age three, but we are shifting her dates slightly. She will be born 2 years later. So, instead of Túrin being 2 when she's born and 5 at her death, he will be 3 when she's born and 6 at her death. I am not too concerned by these minor shifts, as they should not impact the story in a significant way.



So, here's the timeline:

Episode 1 is a 'rewind,' taking place in an overlapping manner with Season 6. So, it will begin in 462 and progress towards 464.

Episodes 2-4 will all take place in FA 464.

Episode 5 will take place between 464 and 468. Túrin will be born during this time.

Episodes 6 and 7 will depict the Summit in FA 468. Túrin will be about 3; Morwen will be pregnant with Lalaith.

Episode 8 will contain the birth and young life of Lalaith, so will take place between FA 468 and 471.

Episode 9 depicts the Plague and the murder of Ulfang. At this point, we are in the year leading up to the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, so...FA 471.

Episodes 10-13 take place in FA 472 and will encompass the Nirnaeth Arneodiad.
 
Assuming we get scripts this season, they are going to devastate me. The Dagor Bragollach episode already made me weep. With one young daughter and a second on the way ... I'll definitely be :,-(
 
Each episode is composed of 4 acts, with each act having 4 scenes. So, a normal episode consists of a teaser (2 min), 16 scenes (4 min each), and a tag (2 min) for a total of 68 minutes. We strive for 60 minute episodes, so we have to trim here or there to make this work. Naturally, there can be variations with the scene division, the timing, and how the episode is balanced and structured.

A-Plot is the main story. We can expect up to half of the screentime of the episode to be devoted to this storyline. The typical structure is that the A-Plot will make up every other scene. The protagonist will be the point of view character of the A-plot, and the climax of the episode will center around the climax of this plotline.

B-Plot is the secondary story. The B-Plot typically appears in all 4 acts of the episode, so there will be a minimum of 3-4 scenes devoted to this storyline.

C-Plot is something minor. Only 2-3 scenes will be spent with this storyline. It will be introduced, and it will be resolved. It is possible to have two secondary plots of each importance/screentime rather than a clear B and C plot.

D-Plot is not a storyline. This is a single scene, often with minimal dialogue, which reveals or teases a plotpoint from a storyline not covered in the episode. The placement of this single scene would typically be at the beginning of the episode, at the midpoint of the episode, or at the end of the episode as part of the tag. It is designed to make the audience aware of what is happening with that character, but it does not have a plot with beginning and resolution the way the other storylines do.

Act 1:

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Another way of breaking down these storylines would be to focus on which storyline each part of the episode is connected to. This is what was done in the original flowchart, but can be put into this format as well.

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The colors of the storylines match the colors here:

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