Season 2, Session 12: Episode 9 Finally! The Flippin Silmarils!

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Introduction

  • So…Why is it called The Silmarillion?
    • It’s only the name of the book and the hypothetical TV show and this podcast…

Announcements

  • 1) Thanks to all who participated and donated to fundraiser
    • 1) record-setting goal of $44.5k raised (of $50k YEARLY goal)
    • 2) All the sessions from the Webathon are on YouTube
      • The interview with the 11 year old Tolkien prodigies are amazing.
        • “you can determine someone’s intelligence by the questions they ask.”

2) Next book is “Return of the Shadow”

  • The rule is that we can’t have consecutive books by the same author

 

From last time/Today’s discussion

  • The calm before the storm – conflict is nigh and will abound
    • We need to get some characters introduced so that they’re available to be killed at the Kinslaying
      • Its status as a tragic event is established but we don’t have much emotional gravitas established
      • It should be evoked as a memory of grief for our viewers
      • It needs to reverberate down the ages.
      • Irmë
    • The unrest of the Noldor
      • The moral progress of the people – they are not innocent in their unrest
        • It wouldn’t be “normal” for well-adjusted folks to be happy and then suddenly be upset bc of things that Melkor has said
          • Perhaps it’s the traveling elves that make the other Noldor want to explore
          • Memories of Middle-earth and wanting a realm of ones own
            • A conversation could take place between Fëanor and Nerdanel where he wishes he could come and go, and visit place to roam freely, all the raw materials available to make new things
            • Perhaps Valinor is beautiful but doesn’t really change (no seasons bc no Melkor) and isn’t very challenging. Stories of the harshness of Middle-earth would be exciting
            • Kinda bored with Valinor/romantic mystique to Middle-earth
            • Goes back to the mistake of the Valar bringing the Elves to Middle-earth
            • All this before Melkor begins talking to them
              • Shows Melkor as cunning for being able to pick up on it
              • 90% of what Melkor says are not lies – twisted, yes, but not untrue
            • Making gems
            • Fëanor with his wife and father in-law crafting
            • It’s not that the love of the craft of their hands became excessive – they gave them away freely
              • They’ve begun to hoard them more
              • Escalation of self-adornment
                • Class stratifications start to develop, defined by level of adornment
                • There’s a haughtiness that came their love of their creations
                • “we are doing the best, so we are the best” – ok so the (Teleri) ships are nice, but look at how amazing everything is with US. And seriously…poems? What can you do with poems?!”
              • Contrast with the new dwellings of the Vanyar in Taniquetil
                • The Vanyar and Teleri should be less ornamental/adornment
              • Melkor’s actions
                • Question of deceiving the audience…it’s not about actually fooling people
                  • We want to make sure that what happens is 100% interpretable – want to encourage viewers to think about why he is the way he is and why he falls
                  • Tolkien’s villains don’t start off that way.
                  • Would want the audience to kinda root for the bad guy to redeem himself
                    • The audience should be weeping at Melkor’s end…weeping at what he could have been but ending here
                  • Melkor wouldn’t be a killjoy…he’d be praising the Noldor and feeding their egos
                    • Could contrast with Manwë who doesn’t show as much effusiveness
                    • He could be talking to an learner of Aulë and say something like “I see your craft and skill offers so much more than your teacher appreciates” bc Aulë would always be pressing them to be better each time
                      • Aulë could have a reaction to this
                    • He would also fan the flames of curiosity for Middle-earth
                    • His flattery can’t be so egregious that it becomes smarmy
                      • Should appear sincere and enthusiastic rather than fawning
                      • Some of the Noldor might think Melkor is with shallow or simple
                      • Fëanor didn’t trust him, but others listened to him.
                      • He would lower himself in their minds…humility
                        • Goes with his being “reformed”
                        • What could go wrong with the harmless guy that loves us to death?
                        • They might start making armor and weapons to prepare for going back to Middle-earth…a more innocent motive
                      • Making of weapons to apply to their situation in Valinor will open episode 10.
                        • this and the point where the Noldor actively have negative thoughts for the Valar
                        • Fingolfin could be one of Melkor’s “dupes”
                          • Finarfin is Content in Valinor
                          • Fingolfin wants to go to Middle-earth
                          • Fëanor doesn’t explicitly listen, but is misled by Melkor says anyway
                            • Finarfin doesn’t listen for good reasons
                            • Fëanor doesn’t listen for bad reasons (and overreacts)
                              • “I don’t need you telling me that”
                              • Contempt for Melkor
                            • Fingolfin would now have a history at his final duel with him
                          • Nerdanel may love Melkor’s praise at the onset and think he’s a great ally
                            • This would piss off Fëanor bc he hates him
                              • He’d throw it in her face that she was duped
                              • But then she’d admit it, and say that at least she was trying to fix the damage, as it were
                            • Nerdanel could be the one who recognizes that they’ve been deceived and actively begins to work against Melkor’s work
                            • Maybe Nerdanel does a work project with Melkor
                              • He lays claim to having made the Silmarils, so maybe he may learn of the Silmarils by way of a “talking shop” type conversation
                              • “well, if not for my advice, the Silmarils would not be made”
                              • But Fëanor wouldn’t even listen bc of his contempt…this may be at the point that we learn of Fëanor’s hate
                            • It would be cool if Melkor never said an untrue statement. He can encourage incorrect conclusions to be drawn
                          • The Silmarillion
                            • Starts writing a sketch (background) 1930 (Quenta Noldorinwë)
                            • 1939 is when it became titled The Silmarillion
                            • The light of the trees are all that’s left of Valinor and it’s contained in the Silmarils…one in the land, one in the sea, one in the sky
                          • The making of the Silmarils – is it magic or science? Do we show them being made?
                            • A MacGyver-esque construction montage would be corny
                              • Instead there would be subtle references about Fëanor’s being alone working and disappearing
                              • Then he emerges from his secret workshop and reveals the Silmarils
                              • But we have to talk about how the light of the trees is crystallized
                                • Maybe in that conversation with Nerdanel
                                • We could have an earlier conversation about him kinda obsessing over the light of the trees
                                • A scene of him filling a flask of light like sap, or picking fruits from Laurelin and Telperion 🙂
                                • It has to cost him something to make them
                                • He emerges changed…he could look aged and gaunt…he could act differently as well.
                                • Elves don’t age, so him looking older would be significant
                                • Maybe he makes the Silmarils in memorial to his mom
                                  • The way his mom set her fire into Fëanor parallels the way he set his foreign the Silmarils
                                  • Nerdanel could comment about it
                                  • Fëanor is already trying to outdo Melkor
                                  • Galadriel does not think of what they do as magic – she does associate the word “magic” with the deceits of the enemy
                                  • The enchantment of the Elves vs. laborious “Dr. Faustus” magic
                                    • Application of science to control nature is an evil magic (to Tolkien)
                                      • Dominate others/control people
                                      • Elves don’t do this (in general…Celebrimbor and 3 Elven rings)
                                    • The (what The Hobbits would call) “magic” swords were made by craft and skill
                                    • If we show Fëanor looking like he’s a chemist, the Silmarils will no longer be magical
                                      • Maybe they should be blessed by Iluvatar/”holy jewels”
                                      • Hallowed by Varda
                                        • Would make them even more attractive to Melkor
                                        • Size of Silmarils
                                          • Fëanor wears all 3 of them on his brow
                                          • Melkor wears them on his crown
                                          • Luthien wears one as a necklace
                                          • They fit in the palm of one’s hand
                                          • Maybe they can change in size – the One Ring does it
                                            • The less we show them, the more awe-inspiring
                                            • There would only be a few points that they need to be shown
                                              • Reveal, then hiding
                                              • Melkor stealing them
                                              • Ungoliant and Melkor arguing over them
                                              • On Melkor’s crown – the least luminous. They barely shine
                                              • Luthien’s necklace
                                              • Beren’s hand
                                              • Burning Melkor’s hand
                                            • Maybe they’re points of light, rather than actual gems. Bc of their luminosity they wouldn’t be faceted
                                              • They’re bright enough to be seen on a bow of Vingulat – thinking of this as a physical object would be wrong
                                            • Color of the light?
                                              • Gold/silver? Ambiguously gold/silver?
                                                • Twinkle/sparkle, should remind us of the Trees
                                                • Light could change color either in sync with the Trees’ cycle…
                                                  • They’re dull on Melkor’s crown in protest of being there (they’re in captivity and thus are downtrodden)
                                                  • It’s as if the Silmarils are alive and reacting to their situation
                                                • Definitely can’t do the prism of colors
                                              • Metaphor for The Eye of Sauron: begins with Mairon saying “The Eye of Sauron is upon you” meaning “I’ve got my eye on you”
                                              • Galadriel? Her hair is central here
                                                • Age? She needs to be an adult (college kid age) when they leave Valinor, bc a little kid throwing a temper tantrum and then being told by the Valar that she can’t come back would be ridiculous
                                                • But when Fëanor asks for her hair, she could be a “pre-teen”
                                              • Aredhel – friends with sons of Fëanor, sister to Fingon and Turgon
                                                • She marries Eol
                                                • Maybe she could be playing with them as kids
                                                  • Maeglin and Idril
                                                • Might be “14” when Galadriel is “11”
                                                • Maybe Galadriel and Aredhel and all them as kids are playing together in the same room, and Fëanor might see Galadriel’s hair being braided and notice how the light shines off it, and asks for a lock of hair
                                              • Turgon – always gave Melkor a feeling of doom whenever he meets him
                                                • Melkor is afraid of this kid…but it’s a future thing
                                                • But making him LOOK worried or afraid would be weird
                                                • Maybe a music thing
                                              • Celegorm and Huan
                                                • Wolfhound? Irish or Hungarian
                                                • Ahuandorable boy and puppy scenes (we might need a 2 hr episode)
                                              • Maglor playing music (and his local supremacy)

 

Questions for next time:

 

  • Fëanor and Fingolfin
    • How do we depict the growing friction?
  • How are their children with this? Do the kids start fighting amongst themselves?
  • What role do the Valar play?
    • Do we have a hearing with the Valar about Melkor’s involvement?
  • How do we play Finwë going into exile with Fëanor?
    • Terms of banishment?

 

Saturday 11/12/16 – script discussion

 

Next session is 11/18