Faelivrin, using your list, I've bolded the names that we are already including in Season 4, and italicizing the names that we have not yet gained any indication from the Hosts that they want to approve.
(name) among the Green Elves
(Orodreth's feancé/wife), one day to be Besan of Dorthonion > Minas Tirith
, scholar?, very briefly the Besan of Dorthonion (I don't think she can resume her office once she's insane)
or Curufin's wife
? Pennor = Quennar?) chief healer, scholar, and artisan
(Faniel?) Fëanorian Besan and scholar, maybe a healer too (to replace Curufin's wife in Feanorian chief healer role)
Fingolfin's Besan and chief healer (Lalwen daughter of Irimë
, mother or sister of Glorfindel)
(Erien?) - but as a repeat background character for now
In other words, the bolded names are in (so far, unless we change something later), and the italicized names may be something that we have to discuss if we want to upgrade them from repeat background faces to minor characters; nothing indicates the Hosts intend to include these characters at this time.
There are really two main reasons to be conservative with the incorporation of minor characters in the project. The primary concern, about there being too many characters and the audience getting confused, would be more of an issue in a 'real' show - the intended audience of this project is really....us. And we're...not likely to forget who everyone is. The Hosts would like their listeners to know who they're talking about, of course, but...we could probably manage
But there's another issue, and that reflects on the quality of the show. If you have too many characters, too many storylines, and try to introduce too much...you wind up with more than you can handle. You go to all the effort to introduce this minor character, but then don't have the time to do anything with them. Or, you write yourself into corners and start butchering characterizations to make characters 'fit' scenes. The audience (in this case, us!) starts feeling frustrated that we've barely touched on this really cool character and haven't given them a chance to really do anything. With a large cast, it's difficult to juggle well. It's difficult to keep everyone afloat. Most TV shows have a short list of main characters who appear in nearly every episode, and a few minor characters who appear in only one episode per season. The audience knows who these characters are and doesn't forget about them, but...consider how few other characters there are around to distract!
Our show...is not a sitcom. We don't have a consistent cast of 5-6 main characters in every episode. We have over 20 'main characters' whom we want to give screen time to and let the audience follow around. THAT's why we can't work in a bunch of minor characters - doing so takes away from the characters we're actually trying to tell a story with. It's true that there are lots of TV shows with memorable minor characters who appear no more than once per season (or maybe only in a single episode). But what those shows ALL have that we lack...is a relatively small cast of main characters in every episode. This gives them the flexibility to let the spotlight shine on someone else for a moment, as the audience is unlikely to 'forget' about the main character they've watched through 100 previous episodes. That's what we're working against.
Some random examples of memorable minor characters:
's 'Soup Nazi'
Note that three of the main characters from this show introduce the existence of the minor character, and then interact with him in multiple scenes. Also, humor. This show had 4 main characters and 2 supporting characters, and other minor characters appearing in fewer than 30 of the 173 episodes.
's 'Pontiac Bandit' (Doug Judy)
This recurring minor character is the one who got away. He and the main character on the show would probably be best friends...if he weren't a car thief, and the main character weren't a cop. He has appeared in 7 episodes. Note that his ongoing interaction is with the show's central character. The show has seven main characters (based on opening credits
), with two additional supporting roles. No other character appears in more than 10 episodes (out of 130). The show is a comedy, not a procedural cop show; it's more like Parks and Rec
I know we've brought up Firefly
before. The middleman Badger is certainly a minor character on the show. It would be perfectly easy for someone to watch the show and forget about his character, but still remember the overall storyline. In this particular episode, his role is to keep the crew on lockdown so they can't go rescue the Captain. A necessary role, to be sure, but more of a role than a character. The most memorable scene he's in is really River's scene:
A more memorable/important recurring minor character would be Saffron. She's the title character of 'Our Mrs. Reynolds', and as such has a rather important role in that episode!
has nine main characters. Saffron and Badger each appear in 2 of the 14 episodes; no minor character appears in more than 2 episodes of the first season (though who knows what would have happened had it been renewed).
In this scene, a minor recurring character (Charlie) and a supporting character (Rowena) have a discussion focused on whether or not they can work together or respect each other, while a main character (Castiel) brings them snacks. This show has 2 main characters who appear in every episode (the Winchester brothers), and three other characters who count as main characters (Castiel, Crowley, and Bobby). After that, no character appears in more than 36 of the 300+ episodes (Mary, Lucifer, and Jody would count as supporting characters, along with Rowena). But as most of the characters on the show appear only in one episode, any character who recurs at all is a minor character. Background characters are most of the people associated with their cases (victims, monsters, law enforcement, coroners, witnesses, etc).
So, looking at Season 4, what are we up against? (Ignoring the Villains.) Our theme for the Season is 'reconciliation', and so we are focusing most of the subplots that tell that story (intra-Noldor, Noldor/Sindar, elf/dwarf, and Dwarf/Petty-dwarf relationships)
Celeborn's sister the Green Elf
Celegorm (+ Huan)
Galdor of the Havens
Various Besain, Healers, and Heralds
These lists are just based on who we seem to be talking about as we talk about the Season. Obviously, we don't even have our episode breakdowns yet, so things can very much change. Basically, if we seem to have a season-long arc featuring that character prominently....main character. If a character appears in one or two episodes to do something important, but other than that sorta fades into the background...minor character. If we literally have not given the character any role during this Season so far, other than to 'be there'....I've assigned them as a background character. Female characters in italics (considering what thread this is....) Ensemble episodes like the Mereth Aderthad should allow for a lot of characters to appear, but not everyone who attends will be a main character. We'll likely focus on Celeborn/Galadriel, Lúthien vs Sauron, and Círdan's sleuthing.
A final comment on our source material. Galadriel's role at this point in the history of Middle-earth is a minor one. We are choosing to make her a central character and focus on her experience. Our minor female characters are either invented by us, named or implied in supplemental materials (but not given any stories), or....are Aredhel, Lúthien, and Melian. If any characters on this list are going to be bumped from 'background' to 'minor' characters...I would suspect we're talking about Glorfindel and Echthelion, our 'new' characters. It is not
the goal to bump all of the characters up to 'main character' status. The goal is to manage the storytelling so that we don't lose track of the main characters' storylines.