Season 2, Session 12: Episode 8 – Everybody loves Fingolfin

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  • Trial of Melkor
    • Melkor in Valinor could be really cool
  • Turning point
    • The real conflict of the season


1) Over $25K raised (of $50k goal)

2) Webathon – Saturday October 29: couldn’t fit all the great programming into a Sunday afternoon

  • Corey Interview by awesome middle school kid – a kid’s Silmarillion Q&A 6pm
  • The SilmFilm frame discussion – 7pm 10/29
  • 4pm – Stranger Things discussion with Breton Dickinson
  • 2-4pm LOTRO

3) New Beren and Luthien book (will be published next year)

  • It’s interesting to see where/when the final versions of stories fall in place
    • Where bits of the published Silmarillion came from
    • Tolkien had the 1939 Silmarillion in his head when he’s writing LOTR
    • Designed for popular consumption
      • Lavishly illustrated by Alan Lee
      • Turin Turambar, Beren and Luthien, The Fall of Gondolin, and (one other story not written out anywhere but lots of notes) are the most complete stories that could be stand-alone
      • 2007 Children of Hurin was a way to immerse in all the Turin Turambar material
      • Beren and Luthien story has been started and re-started (all versions were too long to fit in his vision of the Silmarillion so he kept writing shorter and shorter versions
        • Would be nice to discover new material that provided new insights into the story


From last time/Today’s discussion

Discussion of script outline episodes

  • Condemnation of Melkor – not punitive, but therapeutic
    • He could be dragged off in chains at the end of the season, and then begin with his sentencing
      • Take some time to reflect – you have strayed off the path but you can still do good”
      • “3 ages earlier…”
        • When Melkor is brought before the Valar, he is haughty and defiant and angry and indignant.
        • When he comes out after imprisonment, he should be different
          • He should be absolutely reformed, positive
          • The viewer should believe that he’s totally reformed
          • There will be red flags and things he says that could be taken either way
          • Mairon might wonder if they’re “losing him”
            • Parallel Melkor’s being “good” with Mairon choosing an evil path
              • Gullible viewers might think Melkor is reformed so
            • Longest running character – his story is at the heart of our adaptation
            • By the time we get to LOTR, Sauron has emptied himself and is beyond saving
              • All Tolkien villains devour themselves -Ungoliant is the most extreme case but they all do it.
              • He becomes a shell of himself and he becomes flat
            • The Valar have the sense that something is slipping, but no one knows why
              • We want the audience to feel it as well
            • How do we show Wise Manwë being fooled?
              • Everything looks like its going to plan
              • He can choose to have hope, even though there’s a good chance it could be the wrong choice…but it was still good
                • Iluvatar’s will cannot be thwarted
                • Melkor looks exactly as Manwë hoped
                • Nienna speaks for him
                  • Everything she says about pity and compassion and mercy is all true
                  • Foreshadows Frodo and Bilbo’s compassion for Gollum
                  • Follow-up conversation
                    • Tulkas or Oromë: “so I guess you were wrong? To have pity for Melkor?”
                    • Nienna: “no. It was the correct choice, and I’d do it again.”
                  • Manwë’s choice – its hard to tell if it’s the right decision or not – even if it’s a bad choice, there was good that still happened as a result
                • Tulkas is simply intolerant (he’s correct for the wrong reasons)
                  • Should be the primary speaker against Melkor
                  • Ulmo glowers more than anything – not so outspoken here
                • This is our opportunity to imagine what a good Melkor would look like
                  • Repentant
                  • Gripping speech full of genuine remorse
                • Are the Elves there at the sentencing?
                  • We’ve got to get the Elves to the point where they are openly mistrusting the Valar
                  • The trial is Valar business, but they wouldn’t see the elves as peers
                  • The Valar are accessible to the Elves, but the Elves ave to go to them
                  • Neighbors, not housemates
                  • How about any affinity with Maiar?
                    • Olorin/Gandalf, Curumo/Saruman, aiwendil/radagast
                    • Melian’s marriage to Thingol must be an extraordinary thing
                      • Deviant but in a good way
                    • Gandalf and Galadriel might begin their friendship in Valinor but walks among them unseen (may better not to have them hanging out yet)
                  • Perhaps the mistrust begins out of an innocent sort of miscommunication/not talking
                    • Fëanor would be like “we can’t trust the Valar, they’re all like Melkor”
                    • Would rather have the Elves be told to accept Melkor, as opposed to participating in his judgment
                    • Being called to account before the Ainur, not the elves
                    • The trial might end in the middle; certainly not the culmination of the episode
                    • We could have elves hanging out with Maiar learning stuff
                    • Fingon and Maedhros could be best buddy middle schoolers. Totally inseparable
                      • If Fingon and Maedhros’s friendship predates the tension between their fathers, Fingon rescuing Maedhros is a more profound healing of the breach
                    • Nerdanel should see that Fëanor’s problems with his brothers stem from   his mommy issues
                      • Needs to be a fiery match to Fëanor
                      • She can’t be insipid – she ends up being a primary antagonist
                      • Peacemaking is not her thing
                      • She can be sympathetic but gets in his face
                        • Maybe she can openly accuse him of having mommy issues
                      • Fingolfin – who doesn’t love Fingolfin? Everybody loves Fingolfin
                        • Fingolfin has a kinder heart but Fëanor is the greater of the 2
                        • Have to make Fëanor not look petty, or Fingolfin smarmy
                        • Fingolfin might be the better leader but Fëanor has the charisma
                      • Finarfin – distant back runner, but ends up being the king of Tirion (bc his humility)
                        • Totally overshadowed unless he’s trying to stop them from yelling at each other
                      • Bring in Baby Galadriel here, so that she can be old enough to refuse Fëanor’s request for her hair next episode
                        • Might be more effective if she not yet fully mature
                      • Last episode was focused on the forges, this episode can show off his works.
                        • Palantiri are the best choice
                        • We could show them being used
                          • If Fëanor could use them…maybe he’d spy on the Valar when he doesn’t trust them
                          • Melkor could get one. He could spy on people
                          • It would be like Denethor being swayed by what he sees (LOTR)
                            • Sauron could manipulate how to interpret what he seen, but the seeing stones do not lie
                          • Do the Elves use Palantiri on Middle-earth?
                          • They were at Formenos,taken by Ungoliant. The only ones left are the ones held by the Elves of Tol Eressea and given to the Numenoreans
                            • Maybe that comes up in the Kinslaying – Fëanor wants them back
                          • Melkor might want Mairon to have one
                          • Aragorn saw the Corsairs in the Palantir


Questions for next time:


  • Melkor sowing the seeds of doubt and rebellion among the Noldor while being absolutely positive
  • Making of Silmarils
  • What is it in Fëanor’s thinking that causes his decline
    1. Role of Palantiri
  • 3rd generation subplots
    1. Celegorm and Huan
    2. Maglor and Turgon