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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:36 am 
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Season 5: Episode 1 The Nirnaeth Arnoediad and the Fall of Doriath

Prologue:

Brethil, First Age Year of the Sun 457


[Scene opens on aftermath of slaughter…The dead bodies of Orcs and Men lay strewn about; Camera pans across the battlefield and into the woods beyond where we glimpse more orcs headed that way. Cut back to battlefield. We see two boys, roughly 13 and 16 years of age, though the younger boy is actually taller than his brother. The younger tries to retrieve his axe from the Orc's head...]

Húrin: Leave it, Huor, there are more Orcs heading this way!
Huor: [continuing to struggle...panting with the effort:] No! this belonged to our grandfather!
Húrin: Hador's axe may be the death of us if you do not hurry!
Huor: I will not abandon it!
Húrin: [exasperated] Then, let me help! [Húrin grapples with the handle as the party of Orcs enters the clearing]
Huor: They are on us: RUN!

[With one final effort the axe is recovered but the boys find themselves surrounded by baying foes advancing with bloodlust in their eyes. Húrin charges at one axe in hand, hewing at its midriff and spilling guts, whilst Huor employs his speed to evade them; they are soon blindly running headlong into the forest in fear for their lives. Beyond them they can hear the voices of pursuit; orcs grunt and snarl, and shout when they get the boys in their sights. Eventually the youths burst out of the forest and find themselves facing the River Sirion. Looking back over their shoulders they see their pursuers closing in, so they splash their way across the ford a little way downstream. As they do so, the river seems to churn and bubble, and a thick, damp mist rises steadily from he waters, masking the boys’ escape.

They reach the far shore and dive in to the undergrowth at the foot of the craggy slopes beyond.

Cut back to the other side of the river. The pursuing orcs are blinded and confused by the mist, and the water disguises the boys’ trail. Cursing, the orcs turn back into the forest.

Cut back to the two boys who pause on the far, foggy side of the river in shock at their escape and in grief for the others. Having caught their breath they decide to put further distance between them and the orcs despite them appearing to have given up the chase. After a while, Huor pulls up, looking around to try and get his bearings.]


Huor: [miserably] Where are we?
Húrin: [struggling on ahead of his brother, cresting the hill, and starting down again without pausing.] Dimbar. That river crossing was the ford at Brithiach.
Huor: [panting] I knew that much already…
Húrin: [irritably] I know no more than you, then. [he finally halts, peering at the overcast sky and then down at his hands, still flecked with dried Orc blood.] Night is falling… we might as well make camp. Sit and rest yourself. [he begins to gather sticks for a fire.]
Huor: [insisting] I can help.
Húrin: Sit, Huor. Get the waybread from your pack, if you must.
Huor: [looks sheepish.] I lost mine. The strap came loose during the battle - it must have fallen.
Húrin: [expression softens] Here: [takes his own food pack from underneath his mail and tosses it over.] You realize that means we have food for one day, not two - and that is without you sneaking extra.
Huor: [indignant] I have never cheated on the rations.. I am simply bigger-boned than you.
Húrin: [sighs] My hard luck to inherit mother's small stature, then…you are only now reaching your growth, not yet a man, whilst I am still the hardier. [He collects enough wood to suit him and arranges it to start a campfire, which gives off more smoke than heat in the damp atmosphere caused by the remnants of the sudden mist.]

Huor: This is hopeless… [dampens down the smouldering wood. Muses] I do not understand how that mist came to rise so suddenly as we crossed the ford…
Húrin: Nor I, but surely it saved our lives… [bites gingerly into the waybread] Our uncle will think us slain…no doubt he will send a messenger to our parents in Dor-lómin, announcing our deaths.
Huor: [protesting] But….might he not allow a few days for those who were scattered to return?
Húrin: [shaking his head] The rest of our company was taken or slain, Huor, not scattered… we do not know what has become of the Haladin, or of the Elves who came out of Doriath to help us.
Huor: Then what are we to do?
Húrin: [shrugs] As we have been doing: try to find the way back ourselves.
[Huor groans half-heartedly and lays back, trying to make himself comfortable on the cold ground. As the sound of his slow breathing rise from his brother. Húrin moves closer to Huor in order to conserve body heat. He curls up in his cloak, staring up at the dark and starless sky.]

Húrin: [to himself: ] ‘Tis no good fooling: despite my brave words we are truly lost in the wilderness… [sighs. Draws up his hood and finds sleep at last. Fade.]

* * *

[Fade in on scene the next morning. The weather is clear and chilly with the wind coming down off the mountains of Crissaegrim. Huor wakes first, and climbs to the nearest hilltop before his brother stirs. Húrin opens his eyes to an empty campsite, which frightens him badly before he spots where his brother has gone. Huor is staring at the northern sky, one hand shading his eyes from the low, slanting glare of the sun.]

Húrin: [calls up to him] What see you?
Huor: [pointing happily] Eagles! …Look! [camera follows Húrin’s gaze to where the great birds fly high up, circling on the currents with enormous wingspans outstretched.]
Húrin: [grins] I cannot imagine that the Orcs will like that, not that anything eats Orc… We must be relatively safe here. [mutters under his breath] If we but knew where 'here' is…
Huor: [returns to the campsite, picking up Húrin's food pouch that lays on the ground between them, and glumly inspects its contents.] We shall have to find our way back to the others, across the Sirion. It is too far to the houses of Men in Brethil.
Húrin: And Elves watch some of that way…they do not welcome strangers.
Huor: [frowns] Elves of Doriath? Beleg Strongbow came from there to help us. He did not seem unfriendly.
Húrin: [nods] Beleg is kind. But you were right about our course, whatever the reason. Come on. [he stands, slings the pack against his back, and turns to face his shadow.] This way is west, or near enough. We will surely strike the river sooner or later.

[We see clips of them wandering aimlessly, their journey proving more difficult more complicated than they expect. The hills of the Crissaegrim are full of deceits and places where a sudden cliff or gully proves impassable. They are forced to sidetrack when this happens, north or south. Then the morning's fair-weather clouds gather and darken with the menacing promise of rain.]

Húrin: [defeated] It is no good, I have lost all sense of direction.
Huor: [mutters] We should have come to Brithiach hours ago. [The first fat, cold drops of rain fall, the wind blows them through his cloak.]
Húrin: I know that, but- [stops suddenly, stifling a yell of surprise. The ground drops away at his feet; an old riverbed, now dry, has carved a sharp gorge before them. If previous small gullies had made the going difficult, this was impossible. He exclaims in disgust] Bah! I do not know whether the ford lies north or south, and this gorge apparently extends for some distance.
Huor: [unfazed] Nay, we can cross it: [undaunted by the damp rocks, he begins to pick his way down the steep rock face. The rain worsens steadily.]

Húrin: [calls down] I do not deem it wise, not now! Come back! [Huor ignores him. Locking his fingers into the crevices of the rock, he lowers himself easily.]
Huor: [shouts back up] The wind is not so sharp down here, brother. Perhaps we can camp at the bottom!
Húrin: [incredulous] You are suggesting we camp in a riverbed to wait out a rainstorm? Do not be a fool! [His warning comes too late as Huor loses his footing and fall with a cry. Huor!

[Húrin hurriedly works his way down in his brother's path, moving slowly to avoid the same mistake. The younger boy has slid only a few feet, but he is sitting heedlessly in the mud and sobbing with pain. His ankle twisted hard under him.]

Húrin: [anxiously] Can you stand? You are too far grown for me to carry you..
Huor: [shaking his head helplessly] It hurts…

[Suddenly we hear the thunder of huge wings bearing down on the boys. Húrin looks up in alarm as huge talons find purchase in his habergeon and carry him aloft. A second dark shape swoops low over his brother.]

Huor: [cries in alarm] Eagles!
Gwaihir: Fear not, Sons of Galdor, we feast not upon the Children of Eru; and besides Ulmo hath chosen one of thee to his purpose. Therefore, since I know not which brother, both of you have been saved this day from certain death...
Landroval: [cocks his head in an approximation of a smile] Our lord, mighty Thorondor, has commanded us to bear two bewildered wanderers hence to the great and fair city of Gondolin
Huor: Gondolin?
Landroval: The city of Turgon the Wise, brother to the High King. It is closer than any other dwelling of Elves or Men, and my lord believed that ye would need the help quickly.
Húrin: We have heard rumors of a hidden city, but had assumed that it lay much further south…
Gwaihir: The city’s continued safety lies in such assumptions. And for such to remain I must ask you to veil your eyes until we have reached our destination.

[Both boys nod and cover their eyes. As night falls, the eagles drop from the clouds into the midst of a valley dotted with the lights of civilization. Húrin lands quite gently on his own feet, but apparently the great eagles do not understand his brother's injury. The younger boy collapses onto hands and knees with a gasp as he is deposited. The eagles wheel, clumsy in the dark and so close to the ground, and fly away into the night.]

Húrin: [calls after them] Great lords, we thank you! [kneels beside his brother who is moaning, staring at the grass between his hands with a grim expression.] Huor…can you stand? [Huor attempts it but looks about to faint so Húrin slips an arm around his shoulders to hold him up. By now, shouts of alarm have alerted the Elves in the city all around them. Some of the cries change to curiosity as the first few people reach the lawn, and a hurried discussion begin in a language the boys do not understand. After a moment, the tallest, a dark-haired Elf Lord, flanked by a row of mail-clad guards, switches abruptly to Sindarin.]

Turgon: From whence do you come?
Húrin: The eagles… [vaguely waves his ams aloft, though the great birds have long gone.] …we were lost in Dimbar after the fighting. My brother is hurt.
[Turgon looks at the two mortal children, small and pathetic, soaking wet, in dull armour that would not withstand any serious blow, yet he is wary. His hand hovers near the hilt of his sword.]

Turgon: [mutters] What means Thorondor by leaving two strays upon our doorstep? [addresses the children] The law of this kingdom is such that no stranger who finds the way in must remain here, except in death. And we do not trust mortals with the secret even then.
Húrin: Lord, we did not find the road to Gondolin – indeed we do not know surely where this city stands, for we were brought in fear and wonder by the high ways of the air, and in mercy our eyes were veiled.
Turgon: [nods] And what are your names?
Húrin: [proudly] Húrin son of Galdor of Dor-lómin, of the house of Hador…and this is my brother, Huor.
Turgon: [expression changes suddenly.] Hador? [Húrin nods] Was it not Hador whom served so well my father, Fingolfin?
Húrin: He was vassal to the High King, Lord; as is my father after him.
Turgon: Well then, in token of this it is my duty and honour to name you both as my fosterlings; this I shall proclaim throughout the kingdom and in Gondolin you shall be treated as such. My Daughter and Sister-Son shall bear witness to this!
Idril: Gladly...
Maeglin: [looks somewhat annoyed but says nothing...]
Turgon: [turns and gestures to Idril who has been watching the scene] We must make provision for our guests. [He strides away, calling out an order in the High-Elven tongue of Quenya. Others come to help the boys into the city. Maeglin hurries to catch up with Turgon, whispering in his ear:]

Maeglin: My Lord, are you certain in this course of action? [derisively] These are mortals…they do not belong here among the Eldar!
Turgon: They are still children of Eru, Maeglin, and infants at that…would you have me leave them to starve in the wilderness?
Idril: [overhearing] Have some compassion, cousin. Do not think that this world is made to service your whims and joys. [turns away to supervise the servants who are shepherding the boys into the city.]
Maeglin: [coldly] I think it may yet be a mistake to let them remain with us…

[Camera cuts to Huor closeup:]
Huor: [whispers to Húrin] Do you not find his sudden change of demeanor surprising?
Húrin: [shrugs] Few may understand the counsel and purposes of kings… [Fade.]

* * * * *

One year later…
[Scene fades back in on Maeglin standing on a balcony overlooking the Vale of Tumladen at the top of Turgon's tower. Idril is seated just inside, working on some embroidery with her maid, Meleth. Turgon is reading. It is approaching dusk, and a torch on the wall adds to the fading light as night falls gradually upon the city of Gondolin,. Below, Glingal. and Belthil of the King’s making blaze in the fiery sunset.]

Maeglin: [turns back into the room suddenly from his musing on the balcony] My Lord, if I may be so bold, what future do you see for our young guests?
Turgon: [looks up from his book] How do you mean? Think you they are not content living among us?
Maeglin: I pay no attention to idle chatter… [smoothly] I merely wondered whether, should they express any desire to return to their homeland, you would permit them to leave? After all, your law is very clear: It would be safer if they had no choice but to remain here as our servants to their life’s end.
Turgon: [sternly] That, Maeglin, is not your decision. I know not whether it is Húrin or Huor whom Ulmo has appointed to accomplish his will, however I am quite certain that this cannot come to pass with them aging and dying behind these walls. Regrettably, the rest I shall have to leave to the grace of the Valar!
Maeglin: Being born of twilight I cannot ascertain the ways of the Valar but I can say that the king’s grace is great indeed!
Idril: Grace is the better part of tolerance!
Turgon: I understand your doubts, Sister-son, but my heart tells me that grace is the wiser path; I find I have come to consider Húrin and Huor like family to me – indeed they remind me at times of myself and my brother Fingon.
Idril: [musing] I too, would judge a parting sore…I find myself delighting in their company. Húrin’s mind is swift and eager, and he has absorbed much that I have taught him of the lore of the Elves. Yet perhaps you should ask the sons of Galdor themselves what they desire?
Turgon: [nods reluctantly] Yea, you are right. [rises] I will send for the boys… [cut]


* * *

[cut to scene in Turgon’s study. Huor and Húrin are standing in front of Turgon’s desk. Turgon leans back in his chair, surveying the two boys.]
Turgon: No doubt you wonder why I have summoned you both. Do not fear that you are being called to account for some misdemeanour. [both boys relax a little] I simply wish to know if you are happy here in Gondolin, and if any matters weigh heavily on your hearts that I might be able to ease your minds.
Huor: [glances at his brother] I beg leave to speak, Lord, of a matter that has been in the back of my mind for some time.
Turgon: You may do so freely, son of Galdor.
Huor: I wonder at the significance of our house to you, Lord. It seems to me that the name of Hador prompted your change of heart upon our sudden arrival.
Turgon: [smiles easily, nodding] I fear I should have spoken to you of this before now: messages and dreams had come to me around that time from the Lord Ulmo, speaking of woe to come, and counselling me to deal kindly with the sons of the house of Hador from whom hope should come to me at need. Ever has the Lord of Waters sought to advise and protect my people, and I would have been foolish to ignore his counsel, would I not?

Húrin: [bows in acknowledgement] Indeed, Sire, and we have much gratitude for your succour in our time of need. We would not have survived in the wild, even had the eagles housed us in their eyries! Yet we miss our kin dearly and desire to return to Dor-lómin so they might know we still live.

Turgon: You have dwelt in Gondolin for nearly a year, my fosterlings. My law holds that none who come here may depart. Yet despite that law, despite Ulmo's counsel that aid to the city will come from you at some time, I would gladly welcome you both to remain here for love alone, if you are willing?
Húrin: [sighs and shakes his head] Lord, we are but mortal Men, and unlike the Elves who may endure for long years awaiting battle with their enemies in some far distant day; for us the time is short and our hope and strength soon wither.

Huor: We would gladly remain, lord, were it not for the strife that continues beyond these walls in the lands of our kin. Do not think that we place your friendship below such ties! But one must go where need calls one, leaving behind fair and peaceful things.

Turgon: [bows his head in understanding] I wll give you leave to depart by the way that you came, if Thorondor is willing. Yet I grieve at this parting and hope that in a little while, as the Eldar account it, we may meet again. [Húrin and Huor bow deeply and take their leave of the King. As they pass from his chambers they come across Maeglin who has obviously been eavesdropping.]

Maeglin: [spitefully] The King’s grace is far greater than you know, and the law is become less stern than aforetime, or else no choice would be given to you but to abide here to your life’s end. Some might now wonder wherefore the strict law is abated for two knave-children of Men!
Húrin: [levelly] The King’s grace is great indeed; but if our word is not enough, then we shall swear oaths to you: we shall never reveal the counsels of Turgon and vow to keep secret all that we have seen in his realm. [Maeglin accepts the oaths grudgingly and turns and stalks off. Cut.]

* * *

[Cut to clips of Húrin and Huor departing again with the Eagles by night. Cut to them being set down in Dor-lómin before dawn the next morning, not far from the settlements of their kinsfolk. They return to a warm welcome and the loving arms of their parents. They also face their many questions:]

Hareth: [hugging Huor tightly to her] Oh my precious children, we feared you taken from us for ever! For messengers from Bethil said that you were lost after the battle. Even the Elves of Doriath took time to help search for you, to no avail.
Huor: [sheepishly] We were rescued in the wilderness by the eagles that brought us home.
Galdor: Did you then dwell a year in the wild? Or did the eagles house you in their eyries? But you found food and fine raiment, returning as young princes, not as waifs of the wood…
Húrin: [firmly] Be content that we have returned, Father; for only under an oath of silence was this permitted. [Galdor nods grimly and says no more, as their mother shepherds them into their house. Fade.]

* * * * * * *

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


Last edited by Elentári on Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:08 am 
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Himring, First Age Year of the Sun 472

[Camera open on courtyard of Himring. The courtyard is busy as Men and Elves assemble supplies for a long march and battle. Packs are stuffed with bundles of food. Leather, wood, and spare blades are packaged so that weapons and armour can be repaired as needed. Several children are rolling bandages and packing them into bags marked with a red band.

Camera focus on Bór and his two older sons, standing with other Men. Borlach checks his pack, with three stuffed quivers of arrows lashed to it. Borlad looks carefully down the blade of a broadsword, then tests the balance by swinging the blade. He nearly hits a pair of Elves who are walking near him. The Elves jump out of his way, laughing. Bór grabs Borlach’s arm roughly.]


Bór: [impatient] If you want to be a man, act like one!
Borlad: [subdued] I am sorry. I only wanted to test the blade.
Bór: [sighs, hugs Borlad] I keep forgetting that this will be your first battle. No wonder you are afraid.
Borlad: I am not afraid. [softly] I just do not want to make a fool of myself in front of Borlach.
Bór: [chuckles] Worry not. Once the battle is joined, your brother will be too worried about his own skin to pay much attention to your technique. Have you finished your pack?
Borlad: [nods] I have food enough for nearly two weeks, just in case we do not stop to forage. I have two blankets, a good cloak, spare shafts, two bowstrings, and a whetstone.
Borlach: Where did you get a whetstone?
Borlad: The silent one gave it to me. She caught me in the workroom looking for more arrow heads.
Borlach: Do you think you will sharpen your sword during the battle? [shakes head] In five minutes all blades become clubs. Save the whetstone for your hunting knife. Deer do not wear armour.
Borlad: [defiantly] I think I will take it anyway. It might come in handy.

[Bór turns away from his older boys as Borthand approaches with full water skins. Bór lashes the skins to his pack, then turns to see Borthand has not left.]

Bór: Does not the lord Maglor have something for you to do?
Borthand: [squares shoulders] I want to go with you. I am old enough to fight.
Bór: [firmly] No. You will stay here with the other children –
Borthand: I am not a child!
Bór: Then do not act like one! I have enough to worry about without you giving me more grief. I would have one of my sons remain here safely, at the least. Now off with you.

[Borthand lifts his chin defiantly. Bór glares. Borthand exits left, quickly. Camera follows Borthand, then focuses on Maedhros and Nassë, who enter with Elf Captain 1. All look serious.]

Maedhros: [to Elf Captain 1] Are we certain our baggage wains can keep pace with the horses? We will take no good from spare gear left straggling along the road.
Elf Captain 1: [nods] I have already taken care of that, my Lord. Lord Maglor suggested that the baggage be split into three groups and sent by different roads. All will meet as scheduled, with luck and the Valar looking down on us.
Maedhros: I count not on their looking down on us. So long as they do not laugh I shall be content. [to Nassë] I have left food enough for nearly three months, should this stretch out so long. You will have no need to leave these walls.
Nassë: [raises eyebrow] Think you we cannot hunt as well with you gone?
Maedhros: Nay. I know you are more than capable of caring for yourself, and most of those staying here can say the same. I fear that once we have won, those foul servants of our foe that survive may flee into the mountains. They are not likely to show gentleness to any. We will clean them out quickly once we return.
Nassë: [soft laugh] You may clear away as many as we leave you.
Maedhros: [whispers] Do not make me beg for this! I wish more than anything to find a bride waiting for me, whole as I leave you!
Nassë: [touches his cheek with one hand] Worry not. I speak only to tease you. I will hold this fortress and all within it safely until you return. [Nassë kisses Maedhros lightly. Maedhros pulls her closer and returns the kiss more forcefully, clearly possessive. Elf Captain 1 coughs softly, then turns his attention to several loaded wagons hitched to sturdy horses. He steps around a wagon and nearly trips over Borlad, who is standing behind the wagon with a human girl who looks about 16 years old. The girl is wrapped in a heavy shawl, but we can see she has a plump, pretty face and curling brown hair. Both humans jump and blush when interrupted.]

Elf Captain 1: [shakes head, smiling] I cannot fault you, lad. Our lord is as deep in this mire as you are. Just keep your head about you when you defend yourself in battle, I beg you.
[Borlad nods, takes the girl’s hand and pulls her between the wagons, toward the sheds some distance behind them. Camera follows them, returns to Elf Captain 1, and then pans the busy courtyard from his POV. Camera fade quickly.]

****

[Camera pan Gates of Himring. The army is assembled and ready to depart. Maedhros leads them, flanked by his Captains and three Elves bearing the banners of the House of Fëanor. The noncombatants who are staying gather to bid farewell. Some wave, some blow kisses, some hold up children as the army starts down the path.

Maedhros glances back toward Nassë. She closes her eyes to conceal tears, then lifts her chin and waves bravely. Maedhros grins, waves with confidence, and walks out the gate.

Camera focus on Maglor, who is a step behind Maedhros. He waves in a general direction and walks out the gate, whistling merrily. Camera shift to Eldacala, standing in a doorway. She hesitates, then waves back after Maglor has turned his back on the yard.

The Men come next, led by Bór. Borlad and Borlach walk beside him. Camera pan over rest of army. Curufin and Celegorm lead sections of the army further back, but march with their own banner bearers. Camera focus on a slim, cloaked figure with a pack, a bow, two full quivers, and an Elf sword in his hands. The figure joins the ranks behind Curufin, sliding in between companies and shaking his cloak more completely over his face. Camera reveals the cloaked figure is Borthand, smiling as he walks out the gates. Camera fade to black.]


****

[Camera opens on Caranthir’s camp, in Himlad. The camp is well laid and defensible, with sharpened stakes driven into the ground around its perimeter, gates of thick wood banded with iron, and guards well placed along the walls. Camera focus on a command tent flying the blue banner of Fëanor’s house. Caranthir emerges from the tent, followed by Amrod, Amras, two Elf Captains, Ulfast, Ulwarth, and Uldor, who are dressed in the livery of his house. Caranthir is holding a small message.]

Caranthir: [Beckons to Uldor,, hands over message] Have copies of this sent to Lord Fingon and to Lord Maedhros. [Uldor bows and exits right. Caranthir turns to Elves.] Fortune has favored us well thus far. I plan to dine in Morgoth’s hall within the week.
Elf Captain 1: [uncertain; in Quenya] My lord, are you certain it is wise to trust so much to an Edain? [glances at Ulfast and Ulwarth. They return his glance evenly.]
Caranthir: You, my friend, see treachery everywhere. These men are sworn to me, as are the Dwarves of Belegost. Even were they not, have you never heard the wise old saying [in Quenya] “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”? [slaps Elf Captain 1 on the shoulder] Fear not. Our allies know they will be well rewarded once we have taken our enemy’s halls. No doubt there will be treasure enough to satisfy all and more to leave by the roadside. For now, let us find some wine. [Caranthir and Elf Captains exit left. Ulfast and Ulwarth watch them go, then exit right quickly. Camera follows. Cut.]

*

[Camera focus on Uldor, who is folding the last of three messages and sliding it into a small leather tube. Three pigeons wait in cages, cooing softly. Ulfast and Ulwarth approach, glancing around casually to make certain they are not observed.]
Ulfast: Is all prepaired?
Uldor: [nods] As our lord wished.
Ulwarth: [smiles] We shall be well recompensed for this day’s work. Our lord is most generous.
Uldor: [grim] If you cannot shut your mouth, brother mine, your recompense shall find you more swiftly. [attaches messages to two of the pigeons and releases them. Camera follows birds into the sky. One turns right, one turns left. Camera shift to Ulfast, shaking his head.]
Ulfast: You trust so weighty a matter to a bird?
Uldor: [picks up third pigeon and attaches message. Pets pigeon lightly.] Oh, I do not trust this bird at all. That is why I have arranged for an escort to take this message where it needs to go. [releases pigeon] Fly quickly, little one. Destiny waits for you.

[Camera follows pigeon into sky. Pigeon turns left. Camera pan to dark forest. An evil looking Raven flies out of the trees and pursues the pigeon. Pigeon flies frantically, but cannot outrun the predator. Raven strikes pigeon to the ground. A large wolf rises from the grass and seizes the wounded pigeon. Raven and Wolf strike toward Angband, Camera follows. Cut.]

*****

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:25 am 
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[Camera fade in on Maedhros’ camp. It is almost dark, and the Elves and Men are preparing for rest after a long march. Fires are lit, food is prepared. Some Elves and Men have already removed their boots and are rubbing their feet. Camera focus on Maedhros, Maglor, Celegorm, and Curufin, sitting near a fire. ]

Maedhros: [leans back and stretches his legs] We made a good start today.
Maglor: I did not know that you planned to walk our feet off before we reach the battle, brother.
Celegorm: [teasing] That is what you get for spending so much time sitting with your harp. You forget how to use your legs.
Curufin: Where is that harp? I could do with a song to brighten the evening.
Maglor: [shakes head] I left my harp safely in my chamber. There will be little enough use for it in our camps, and I would not see it harmed.
Celegorm: [still teasing Maglor, speaks to Curufin]
Besides, that harp was a gift from a woman. [chuckles] I think our dear brother is smitten! If we are fortunate, you may not be the only one of us to father a son.
Curufin: If he ever does more than moon about the situation I will eat my boots. [to Maglor] There are better ways of persuading a woman into your bed, you know. I could give you lessons.
Maglor: [tense] Have a care how you speak, brother.
Celegorm: [laughs] Ah! It seems we have hit upon a tender spot!
Curufin: He has learned nothing from --- what was her name? That girl in Valinor? [Celegorm and Curufin both laugh]


Maglor: [stands, furious] Hold your tongues! [exits left]
Maedhros: [mildly] Will the pair of you ever grow up?
Celegorm: We were but jesting.
Maedhros: Some scabs are too sensitive to pick.
Curufin: [pokes fire] How far are we from the gathering place?
Maedhros: Two days’ march, if we can keep our current pace. I hope to arrive with time to rest before we face our foe.
Celegorm: [licks lips, obviously tense] You realize our path brings us near Doriath. This would be an apt chance to retrieve what was stolen from us.
Maedhros: If you mean our father’s treasure, you can forget that for now. I do not plan to fight foes both before and behind me.
Celegorm: Remember our oath! We cannot let Thingol hold what is rightfully ours.
Maedhros: We will not, but time is on our side in this. Morgoth holds two of the gems, and he will fall to us now. When we have his great iron crown in our hands, we may concentrate on recovering the last of our birthright. For the moment, keep your mischief to yourselves.
Curufin: I will smash that iron crown with my own hands. [smiles] Or would you like that honour, Maedhros? You are the firstborn, so ‘tis your right.
Maedhros: [shakes head] Fingon is our High King, so let him break the thing. I plan to set no foot inside that iron prison. I have seen more than enough of the place.

[Maedhros opens a skin of wine and drinks, then passes it to his brothers. Camera shift left and focus on the edge of camp. Maglor stands at the edge of the camp, tense, glaring at the trees. The sound of small wings makes him look right. Elf 1 enters right, with the messenger pigeon in his hands.]

Elf 1: My lord! A message from Lord Caranthir!

[Maglor opens the message, reads it quickly, then sprints off right shouting for Maedhros. Camera follows. All brothers have risen by the time Maglor reaches the fire. Maglor shoves the message at Maedhros.]
Maedhros: [reads message. Lips thin, tension obvious. Whispers an untranslated expletive, then shouts] Back! Back to Himring! As fast as we can move!
Curufin: What has happened? [grabs sword]
Maglor: Caranthir sends word that the enemy has moved on Himring! We must make haste to reach our own walls before they do.
Celegorm: What of it? Let us take Angband now that he has so conveniently depopulated it for us.
Curufin: Are you mad? Most of these men left families behind them. Do you think women and children can hold those walls?
Celegorm: They can find new wives easily enough. In the dark, all cats are gray.
Curufin: [dismissive] About this, brother, you know nothing! [exits right, quickly]

[Camera pan over camp. Men and Elves gather weapons and ready for a fast march. They leave gear, fires, and food in their haste. Camera follows Maedhros’ army as they hurry through the forest. Cut.]


****

[Camera focus on Himring, quiet in early dawn. Camera shift to Maedhros’ army, sweating and panting but ready for battle, at the foot of the hill. Focus on Maedhros and Maglor, examining the scene.]
Maglor: [whisper] It looks quiet.
Maedhros: [whisper] If the Valar are with us we outstripped the Orcs. [more firmly] I am going for the gate. Cover me.
Elf 1: From what threat?
Maglor: In case our foes are already inside the walls.

[Camera follows Maedhros as he edges up the path. He slips from cover to cover, taking care not to expose himself. Camera shift up, focus on Woman 1 standing on the wall with a bow and quiver. Woman 1 looks down, then pauses and looks more carefully.]

Woman 1: [lifts bow, nocks arrow] Stay where you are! [Maedhros dashes up the trail to a low bush. Woman 1 fires. The arrow sticks in the bush just above Maedhros’ shoulder.]

Woman 1: I said stop! The next one is through your eye! Show yourself!

[Camera shift to Elf 1, who nocks and arrow. Maglor pushes his bow down and shakes his head. Camera shift back to Maedhros, who steps out from the bushes and faces the wall. Camera shift to Woman 1, shocked. ]
Woman 1: Lord Maedhros! I am so sorry! I never would have –
Maedhros: All is well. Open the gates. We return in time.

[Camera follows Maedhros’ army up the path. Cut to Maedhros, in courtyard of Himring. Nassë enters right, frowning.]
Nassë: Is the battle over so quickly, then?
Maedhros: Did you think we would not come to your aid?
Nassë: To aid us in what? We have seen nothing and heard nothing, in the day since you left.
Maglor: [joins Maedhros] We were told you were under attack, or soon would be.
Elf Captain 2: [softly] I am smelling a rat.
Elf Captain 1: [nods] Possibly more than one.
Bór: [pushes through the crowd] Who sent that message?
Maedhros: [pulls message out of his belt] I know not the name of his clerk, but it bears my brother’s seal. [Bór reads message. Camera shifts to show text:
“For the love of the Valar, Maedhros, get back to your home! Morgoth has a traitor among your men. He knows you gone and sends half his force to attack Himring. We will be caught between his armies if you cannot stop them.”
Uldor, son of Ulfang, wrote this under seal of my lord Caranthir.” ]


Bór: [firmly] The poisoned tree yields poisoned fruit. Trust not this message nor the hand that wrote it. [Maedhros hesitates] I knew the father, and his heart lay in Morgoth’s hand! On the lives of my sons, I swear to you this is no true writ!
Curufin: Why would they want us delayed?
Maedhros: Because Morgoth means to strike first!
Nassë: Go! We will be fine.
Maglor: If we cut through the Pass of Aglon we can save nearly a day.
[Murmurs rumble through the army. The murmurs grow to a roar, with shouts of “Treachery!” and “We have been tricked!” Camera pan back as the army rushes out the gate and down the path, before Maedhros can decide on a route or control them. Camera shift to Maedhros, who glances back.]

Maedhros: Nassë, I . . . I have a bad feeling about this . . .
Nassë: Go! Nothing can harm us here, and you may yet win the day if you do not lose heart.

[Maedhros nods, exits left at a fast trot. Camera focus on Nassë as she watches the gates close behind Maglor, Caranthir, and Curufin. Eldacala enters right, stands beside Nassë. Nassë’s hands drop to her sides. Eldacala takes one hand and squeezes it in friendship. Camera pan back, shift over Elves and Men running through hills and trees. Camera fade.]

* * * * * * *

[Camera fade in on Angband courtyard, dusk. Camera focus on a large Wolf entering through a small door, carrying a Pigeon in its jaws. A large Raven flies above the wolf and settles on its shoulder when the Wolf stops moving. Sauron enters right, holds out his hand. The Wolf drops the Pigeon in Sauron’s hand. Sauron pats the Wolf, removes the message from the Pigeon’s leg, and scans it. Morgoth enters upper right and holds out his hand for the message. Camera focus on Morgoth as he reads the message and smiles.]

Morgoth: All is as I would wish it. [to Sauron] Your servants have done very well. I think they deserve a better reward than this pigeon.
[Sauron bows, motions upper left. Camera follows motion, focus on a preadolescent Orc carrying a bucket of water. The young Orc puts down the bucket and hurries to Sauron. Camera follows.]
Sauron: Just the thing. Something tender that we will not miss.
[Sauron twists young Orc’s head sharply. Camera focus on young Orc’s face, still conscious and frightened as his neck breaks. Camera pan back as Sauron pushes parylized Orc toward Wolf and Raven, who begin to feed. Camera shift to Morgoth, far right. Several companies of Orcs enter, dragging a prisoner with them. Camera focus on Gelmir, blinded, stumbling but still standing tall.]

Morgoth: I think it is time to return this lost one to his kin. [commanding] You have your orders. Travel quickly and silently. Cover the distance by night, surprise our arrogant foes in the morning, and you will feast on their bones!
[Orcs cheer, raise weapons. Camera pan over Orcs as they hurry out the gates, with their cheers falling to silence. Camera cut to Morgoth, smiling. Camera focus on Ered Wethrin, far left, a darker shadow as night falls. Camera fade.]

End of Episode 1
*************************************************************

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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