Season 2, Session 9: Episode 5 The Enemies and The Surfer Elves

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1) 2 weeks away from midmoot at UMD – Day after Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday

  • Good crowd registration – had to expand our banquet reservation
  • Good list of presenters
  • All day Saturday and part of Sunday
  • “Nerd Christmas”

2) Large pot of stuff that’s brewing at Signum

  • It is almost time for the Signum Annual Fundraiser
  • Bilbo’s birthday through Halloween Eve (4th annual Webathon)
  • Special SilmFilm session (with outlining team)
    • Need a better name for them 🙂

From last time/Today’s discussion

Comments about Thingol/Melian meeting

  • Dissatisfaction with how we were talking about the Girdle/fear thing
    • Maybe instead of fear, they should have confusion
    • “mazes” – bewilderment and confusion/unable to make it through (not necessarily physical mazes)
    • For the servants of Morgoth, there should definitely be fear
    • Can’t be as casual as Alice’s Through the Looking Glass moment when she’s trying to get to her destination and she ends up moving further
      • Other than frustration, there’s little other emotion
      • Tolkien had envisioned something more mind-bending
      • “an unseen wall of Shadow and bewilderment”
        • Needs to be dark
        • A different kind of fear
        • Orcs would experience the Girdle differently from Men or the sons of Fëanor
          • Thingol would have the initial “awe” type fear but dares to come through (trespassing)
          • When Beren comes through, he is guided by fate as well, and he, too is daring to trespass but it should feel a little different
        • Should be “holy” vibe
      • Love at first sight: being careful not to undermine Beren and Luthien parallel
        • Particularly concerned with Thingol seeing Melian first
          • Not an issue…Beren and Luthien don’t get together right away either
          • He’s transfixed the first time he sees her, but she doesn’t take his hand
            • He goes through the period of uncertainty…he sees her, and she alludes him
            • (In Valinor as ambassadors) Thingol may see Melian through the trees whilst walking and chatting with Finwë, but when he excuses himself to find her, she’s gone, and she may or may not have seen him
            • So when he sees her in the woods, it’s a recapitulation
            • His desire to go back to Valinor is to find her



Enemy storylines

  • Sauron’s posse
    • Thuringwethil – shape shifting between human and bat form (and her special cloak that Luthien wears later)
      • Wardrobe/costuming project
      • Spy/messenger
      • Ally, not slave
        • She can respect him more than Gothmog
        • Main confidante – they scheme and plot together
        • Gorlim, stuff in seasons 3-4, has to die in season 5
        • Do we give this a sexual charge/flirtation/chemistry
        • It would be nice to have a female villain who’s NOT oversexualized
          • Ungoliant’s unbridled hunger already has a sexual component
        • What is Thuringwethil’s drive?
          • She wants to know all secrets
            • Precursor to gollum
          • Her spying isn’t bc she’s in love with Sauron, it’s bc she loves spying and she respects him enough to share her discoveries
            • He’s her complement – he’s the front man while she sneaks around
          • Draugluin – dumb hired muscle
            • Sauron was always associated with werewolves (even in Tolkien’s early writing)
              • He doesn’t discover them, he makes them
              • Enslavement
              • Chaining spirits of Maia to beasts to make them smarter and more fearsome
              • Necromantic powers
              • Would like to see him NOT achieve mastery, he shouldn’t be fully formed yet
                • Has more to learn from Morgoth
                • He’s not even fully committed to being a dark lord
                • He was called Sauron as an insult, but the name doesn’t really fit him
                • We don’t need a conclusive end to the conflict between Sauron and Gothmog
                • Morgoth might take over the Orc project and will take out his malice and hatred for the elves, but he would be pleased with what Sauron is doing
                • We should feel pity for Draugluin
              • Tevildo
                • A very large talking cat doesn’t have to be comical (nor a talking dog like Huan)
                • Don’t want him to merely be filler; he should have a role
                • Counterpart to Huan (Companion spirit of Oromë)
                  • But unlike Huan, he’s not loyal to a pack bc he’s a Cat
                • Ally that comes and goes but not necessarily reliable
                • Assassin/torturer (the way cats torment their prey)
                • Unpredictable…might let prey get away when playing
                • Wouldn’t be going up against Balrogs but may be in charge of prisons
                • Maybe Tevildo hangs around Mairon bc the Balrogs look down on him (and basically anyone who’s not Morgoth)
              • So Sauron makes werewolves bc he’s being bullied
              • Sauron is the dark rider…Gothmog would just kill them
                • Initial goal is to convert them to become worshippers/servants of Melkor
                • We don’t need full-fledged orcs yet
                • We need to see the progression in Sauron from merely trying to convert, to forcibly trying to convert
                  • With the rings, he was trying to make a “child of Iluvatar” werewolf
                  • His relationship to the lesser Maia is the Necromantic element
                  • First begins as recruitment officer, then experimenter
                    • Will kill them to find ways to enslave their bodies and spirits
                      • Capture dying elf spirits to stop them from going to Mandos
                    • Just as the Valar sees the Elves and love them bc they’re “other”, Mairon sees their otherness and feels envy and ambition
                  • When you put them up against Gothmog and the Balrogs, his team is all about stealth and subtlety and deception, whereas Gothmog is all brute strength


Episode 5


  • Last episode had:
    • Thingol and Melian
    • Olwë and Cirdan deciding to go on
    • Celeborn and other Sindar staying


  • We start with Noldor and Vanyar arriving. What do we emphasize?
    • Valar welcoming them? Sunday best with confetti?
    • Noldor with Aulë?
      • Aulë uses a retractable stick for instruction
      • Fëanor invents laser pointer, which leads to Tevildo’s eventual demise
        • Also invents wifi and glitter
      • Ingwë playing checkers with Manwë
      • Maybe don’t show the arrival, but rather opening with the sea and the mountain, and Valinor getting closer
        • More a suggestive concept
        • Mingling of lights
        • Later showing glimpses of the Elves having settled
        • Frodo’s dream in Tom Bombadil’s house would have the same camera angle (season 49)


  • They arrive at the shore after the Noldor and Vanyar leave
  • Is very patient (waiting millennia to give boat rides)
  • Cirdan’s calling
    • Lenwë’s sense of duty after meeting Treebeard is what causes him to split off
    • Ulmo visits in dreams, especially to those sleeping next to bodies of water
      • Cirdan may simply have a dream (don’t need to show it, but he could talk about it…or maybe others have dreams and talk about it, but we reveal the dreams’ source with Cirdan)
      • Turin is healed by Ulmo’s dreams (PTSD after killing Beleg)
      • Get wet —> have vision
        • Galadriel’s mirror
        • Shows the active presence of Ulmo vs. the absence of the other Valar
        • LOTR and Hobbit events can be set up/”cameo-ed” in
      • Ossë
        • Kinda anti-social/rough and chaotic, so it would be a departure for him to be a softie to the Elves
        • He wouldn’t be “bestowing a role” onto Cirdan but it would be an Ulmo thing (the Music of the Ainur has ordained it)
        • Ulmo sends Ossë (his messenger)
        • Young Cirdan might be rather gruff and thus somewhat temperamentally suited to be friends with Ossë
        • It might be Cirdan’s mellowing out that may cause them to grow apart
        • Ossë may have taught the concept of surfing (would be cool to depict this if not for being so culturally loaded)
        • It’s Ossë’s love for the Teleri as a whole that causes him to root the island (another little rebellion against Ulmo)
        • Shoreland pipers (Ossë loves their music)
        • Maybe Cirdan hears Ulmo’s horns
          • Cirdan himself could be playing/singing his own music, and the horns of Ulmo blend into his song



  • Following his brother’s orders…but we don’t have much of a story
  • Emphasize friendship between Olwë and Cirdan so that it’s tragic when they part
    • Sacrifice on both their parts
    • Maybe they each have a vision, one being told to stay, one to go (paralleling Turgon and Finrod)
    • If they’re friends, it’ll be sad, especially if it seems like one of them is being set up to be killed
      • Fëanor will probably kill Olwë at the Kinslaying
      • Olwë would let the Kinslaying happen and live?
      • We should always be setting up for future tragedies
        • Tragedy is the dominant note of the Silmarillion
      • Maybe Cirdan’s wife goes with the other Teleri (and gets killed)
      • Makes Thingol’s wrath against the Noldor much more personal
      • Ulmo may have had a destiny for Olwë that will now never happen bc of Kinslaying
        • We don’t want Ulmo to look like the only “right” Valar
        • The non-death end (if not for Fëanor) would have been to have Olwë enable the Valinor elves to come back to Middle-earth (counterpart to Cirdan)
          • Now the trip West is one way
          • Olwë was supposed to build ships and take the other elves back East, but Fëanor steals the ships to go East (tragic irony)
          • End episode with Olwë’s departure / Cirdan watching with surfboard ad tear


Questions for next time:


  1. The frame
  2. What’s going to happen?
    1. Rooting of Tol Eressea
    2. Building ships and arriving in Valinor / begin Valinorean part of season
    3. Need Valinorean story
      1. Finwë’s marriage/birth of Fëanor/death of Miriel
      2. Tol Eressea/Finwë parallel?
    4. What do we want to do with Tol Eressea?
      1. What kind of significance do we want to give it?
        1. Tol Eressea is “Elvenhome away from Home”
        2. Becomes the island of England