SilmFilm 2-18: January 13, 2017

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What is the climax of episode 13?

  • The great tragedy is the killing of the trees
  • The turning point for the season is when Fëanor refuses to hand over the Silmarils
  • If we weep for Finwë more than the Trees, we lose something of Tolkien
    • Fëanor should be hit really hard by it all
    • He should be thinking about handing over the Silmarils when the Trees are killed
    • Finwë’s death is important, but it’s after the turning point, and he fails to repent.
    • The lost of the Trees is the end of an era…Fëanor’s loss of Finwë is an echo of the greater loss
  • Final scene should still be Fëanor putting on his father’s crown, and Melkor putting on his iron crown, and seeing the holy light of the Silmarils burning his hand
    • The last shot in Valinor could be Nienna weeping over the Trees at the mound
      • But for this to be effective, we need to make the Trees characters, otherwise the loss won’t be understood
        • They can be a visual symbol
      • Nienna should be posed the same way as she was when she last wept at the mound to create the Trees
    • Any time Mandos says “Thou hast spoken,” that character has had a significant moment

Frame:

  • At the beginning of the season, the Frame question was “where do elves belong?”
  • Once we get to Valinor, it becomes a Valinor story instead of Middle-earth
    • The theme of the season becomes about how the fall (of Fëanor, Melkor and the Trees)
    • As the Trees are being destroyed, no one will be debating “Middle-earth or Valinor”
      • But Arwen could be in the frame
        • She doesn’t need to take the whole season to figure out her answer
        • She could be focused on loss and falling in the second half of the season
        • Her chronological age isn’t important, but rather where she is in her life
          • She might not be what we think of a “teenager” but perhaps she’s still figuring out what course her life will take
          • She’s not immature the way teenagers are, but her life is still ahead
            • We can’t make it so that Elves are exactly like humans except longer time periods for everything, it wouldn’t make sense
          • Her perspective could change over time
          • She hasn’t met Aragorn yet, so he’s not a factor yet
          • Should be a reaction to Mom
            • Her mom’s departure might have her thinking that she ought to go West bc that’s what you do
            • But she may be troubled that her mom’s departure seems like a copout
          • Consider where Arwen has lived/what she has seen of Middle-earth at this point
            • Lothlórien and Rivendell – 2 places that are under the influence of the Elven Rings of Power
              • Remember that when the Hobbits spend a month in Rivendell, they have no idea that it’s been that long…they’re places that “time forgot”
              • 2 places in “eternal spring”…she hasn’t seen the rest of Middle-earth yet
              • After the departure of the rings, Lothlórien is empty
            • Elves don’t really have an incentive to grow up – they’re not going to die unless something untoward happens
              • Elves who aren’t decision-makers have no responsibility (or very little)
              • They can be happy enough not mixing with other groups of people
            • Suffering and Departure of Celebrían was the seed event to precipitate the question
              • Big picture – Elrond has had a fairly sucky life and has experienced a great deal
              • Arwen by comparison is very sheltered
                • What is Arwen doing with her life?
                • “What has Arwen accomplished” sounds like a human question
                • The Elvish temptation is to not really do much and become separate from the world
                • Her issue is part teenage rebellion, part midlife crisis
              • Celebrían’s suffering is the only thing Arwen has experienced.
                • Her brothers take vengeance for their mother’s suffering
                • (Need to be significant characters in the Frame in Season 3)
                • Could be seen as similar to Fëanor’s vengeance but it’s different.
                • We learn that “You killed my father, prepare to die” might not be a good life philosophy
                • Elladan and Elrohir are a matched set…nothing in Tolkien’s work distinguish them from one another
                • Corey would like to see one twin darker (spiritually) than the other, and he could be on his way to a fall if not careful. Some of Fëanor’s characteristics would be reflected in him (pride, arrogance)
                • He would need an intervention to keep from going bad
                • They’re going to need to be around a lot if we’re going with Young Aragorn
                • New way of determining what character amongst a number of them becomes the “evil” one – which one has the best sounding name when shouted J
                • Elladan might want to go some place “because there’s more orcs to kill there” or be like “any day where I get to kill orcs is a good day”
              • Arwen can see see in her brother the potential for a fall
                • Question of Purpose
                • Question of Loss – the lurking Darkness that destroys
                • Fëanor’s fall is a greater loss than the Loss of the Trees
                • Elladan has made a career choice in vengeance. He now has drive and purpose
                • Elladan gets the line “Yes, the dead ride behind. They’ve been summoned” and he could be all about it.
                • She could conclude at the end of the season that she has a purpose in Middle-earth, but she doesn’t know what it is…but she will be looking forward to it and ready
              • Arwen might not understand the significance/weight of the loss of the Trees – she only knows the sun and moon
                • Would the Noldor have appreciated the Trees while they were there?
                • Galadriel is the only one who will know how great the loss is, so she should eulogize them as a foreshadowing, but not reveal how it happened
                • She can miss them and speak of them longingly and with fondness…it may sound like the lament of an exile. It can be more about missing being in Valinor, not revealing that they were actually destroyed
              • Arwen has limited exposure to the rest of Middle-earth.
                • Maybe she should go out with her brothers?
                • Maybe she goes out on her own and has a few adventures interacting with people outside of Lothlórien and hearing about Gollum…but this might be too distracting
                • Elladan hearing about Gollum would make him want to kill orcs
                • If she is a healer like her father, then she can be visiting hurt communities helping to alleviate suffering (beginning to discover purpose)…this would be less distracting/more framey
                • Don’t want Arwen to be warlike – we want to fight against the Peter Jackson idea that the only way to be awesome is to be a warrior. It’s belittling.
                • Arwen healing would show her and Aragorn being a good match.
                • Arwen comforting those whose babies were abducted by Gollum would parallel what happened to her mom
                • How would we see her coming off toward them?
                • Her destiny is to become the Queen of the World basically…it’s a position of leadership but also service
                • We don’t need to have her being naïve and dumb and needing to be taught a lesson by the Woodmen, we can instead have her winning their trust and she can begin to grow into her servant-leadership role
                • She can be shocked and stunned at the daily terror and strife of these humans
              • Arc of Arwen’s character
                • Questioning her place/purpose, the Elves’ place/purpose/perspective?
                  • “Gung-ho” for Valinor is the “default”
                  • She had a friend who left for Valinor, then pondering her mom doing the same
                  • Conversations with Galadriel and Celeborn to greater inform her view
                  • She could be critical of Galadriel and Celeborn – Rivendell and Lothlórien doesn’t engage with Middle-earth but it’s not Valinor
                    • “Hey, did you know there are people suffering and dying right outside our door? Don’t you think we should do something about that?
                    • Galadriel is helping the people who become Rohan (shielding them as they ride) so she IS engaged with Middle-earth WHEN Celebrían is leaving for Valinor…this is a sacrifice she makes
                    • Celeborn, OTOH hasn’t been doing much lately
                    • By the end of the season, Arwen is in harmony with Galadriel
                    • Arwen’s field trip could be early on so that we can parallel tension in the frame
                      • Perhaps the episode that Arwen denounces Galadriel is the episode that Fëanor draws the sword on Fingolfin?
                      • We dispel the tension/resolve by going to Galadriel’s Mirror
                    • Bad guy subplots
                      • Secret Necromantic Orc Project
                        • What if the Orcs were an accident?
                        • Mairon began this operation bc he needs an army
                          • “I didn’t kidnap you, I’m trying to recruit you”
                          • Would offer to help them and improve them, but they resist and he doesn’t understand why
                          • Unable to convince them, he begins torturing them
                          • He might actually be repelled by them
                          • He’s like Aulë, but he hates his new people instead of loving them
                          • Also kinda like Victor Frankenstein
                          • He does make werewolves first – lesser spirits joined to the bodies of beasts
                          • Wolves:Elves :: Werewolves:____?
                          • We don’t have any jobs for Orcs yet, so we don’t need them (Season 3 and 4)
                          • Show the werewolf process and the initial attempts of recruitment and persuasion and upgraded
                            • Maybe the Elves don’t resist? Maybe they agree but it doesn’t turn out well, so the others resist?
                            • Maybe Mairon’s operation is more benign…maybe they’re not driven by hate yet, maybe they’re not mindless…maybe Mairon isn’t even torturing them
                            • Perhaps we don’t get orcs as we know them until Morgoth takes over, and Morgoth HATES the Elves…
                              • He inflicts his malice on the Elves to create the orcs
                              • He uses the orcs to destroy the elves
                            • Mairon’s continuing fall
                              • If he seems like the lesser of 2 evils, he’s more sympathetic
                                • His fall is not complete, he could be turned around
                                • His quest for power could look more like a survival thing, as he’s being bullied (basically)
                                • Mairon wasn’t consciously turning to the dark side – he was choosing what he perceived to be the winning side and liked Melkor’s leadership style
                                  • Will still be motivated by “who is best to rule Middle-earth”
                                  • He doesn’t need to be all “I MUST ACQUIRE MORE POWER”
                                  • He will be increasingly fueled by petty reasons (Descent into Pettiness)
                                    • Elladan has the same thing going on
                                    • Falling in Tolkien’s world is to grow in influence yet diminish in character
                                  • Gothmog vs Mairon
                                    • Gothmog gives Mairon the name Sauron as an insult and calls him that the rest of the time (This happens in Season 1)
                                    • Do we want the audience to root for Mairon? (Gothmog is a real brute)
                                    • When Morgoth returns and ascends to the throne, Sauron could be on his left
                                  • Mairon’s allies – a dog, a cat, a bat and a redhead walk into a stronghold

 

Frame tangent:

  • If we have Lord of the Rings events being the frame for a Silm season, we could do things like what the walk from Rivendell to Moria would be like, what stories would be told

Homework

Post production: nominations for casting

Middle-earth half of season – script outlines

Elladan and Elrohir: identical or fraternal twins?

 

Lift ban on dead actors…Peter Cushing as Saruman