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User:Amroth/Screenplays/Fall of Gondolin

The Fall of Gondolin screenplay is an attempt to turn Tolkien's The Fall of Gondolin into a film script. The Fall of Gondolin is, next to the story of Beren and Lúthien (see Lay of Leithian screenplay) and possibly the Narn i Chîn Húrin (see Narn i Chîn Húrin screenplay), considered the most adaptable of Tolkien's writings to screen. This project will also cover the coming of Tuor. To aide in this project, see the Talk page above.

Dramatis Personae

TUOR (TUOR) – a young man, looking noble but slightly wild
IDRIL (IDR.) – an elf maiden, appearance of youth, long golden hair
TURGON (TUR.) – an elf-king, tall, proud, regally dressed but not glamorously
ULMO (ULMO) – a Vala, tall, blue-green, reflecting the properties of the Sea
VORONWË (VOR.) – an elf-mariner, quiet, reflective, and yet a touch of youth
EÄRENDIL, young (EDL.) – a young boy, appearing between five and ten
EÄRENDIL, older (EDL, E) – a handsome young man, yet solemn of face
ECTHELION (ECT.) – a tall, brave, but stern elf-lord
GLORFINDEL (GFD.) – a brave, golden-haired, merry elf-lord
ROG (ROG) – a misshapen, scarred elf; good-hearted
GALDOR (GAL.) – a cheerful but fierce elf-lord
MAEGLIN (MAG.) – a young, ambitious but somewhat cold elf
EREGDOS (ERD.) – grave lieutenant of Turgon
EGALMOTH (EGM.) – tall, handsome, fiery elf-lord
LORGAN (LOR.) – Cruel Easterling captain
WHIP-MASTER (WHM.) – Easterling slave-driver

BLACK SCREEN

DOORS OPEN DIRECTLY AHEAD, letting in WHITE LIGHT… TURGON IS FRAMED IN DOORWAY OF VINYAMAR

ULMO (VO) Thou hast found thy exile, Turgon King.

TURGON (face hidden) LEANS over TABLET to place down ARMOR upon it, one piece at a time.

ULMO (VO) The Noldor forsook their land of happiness. Even now thou must flee the realms of the West, and come to the place to which I will bring thee. Morgoth shall search for thee.

TURGON moves his hand over FISH-MAIL.

ULMO (VO) But he shall not find thee, until I send my messenger to thee. He shall wear this armor which thou art to put to rest in the halls of Vinyamar. Thou shalt build a city in hiding, greater than any other city wrought by the hands of the Elves.

TURGON TURNS away to leave, heading for the DOORS OF VINYAMAR.

ULMO (VO) Thou shalt call it Gondolin.

DOORS OF VINYAMAR CLOSE, SCREEN GOES BLACK

MUSIC STARTS. FADE IN image of MOUNTAINS OF MITHRIM

SUPER: THE WHITE CITADEL: The Fall of Gondolin

EAGLE PASSES OVERHEAD, ANGLE BELOW to EASTERLING ENCAMPMENT

WHM Walking through camp, SHIFT to inside tent, flap opens to let WHM enter You there, the Master wants you, now.

TUOR YAWNS, RISES from BED, and FOLLOWS WHIP-MASTER through CAMP to LORGAN’S TENT. SHIFT to inside TENT, where LORGAN SITS at DESK with AIDE. ENTER WHM and TUOR

LOR You slave, get me some fresh water, and be quick about it.

TUOR Yes, my Lord.

TUOR EXITS. SHIFT to OUTSIDE TENT, where TUOR crouches down beside TENT to LISTEN. SHIFT to INSIDE TENT.

LOR The deed must be done, lieutenant. We have defeated the rebels, yes, but if any of our captives escape a new rebellion could be raised against us.

AIDE I assure you, Lord Lorgan, the Men of Dor-Lómin have been crushed utterly. Even were one of the foul elf-princes to come from the South, there could be no sizeable resistance against you. You are a great lord, and the Master of Angband has rewarded you richly for your services in battle, when the Men of this land were defeated. This move could inconvenience us greatly.

LOR It must be done, I say again. There is a rumor that Huor’s son is among us, and with the dedication of these men no torture will induce them to indicate who he is. Let us kill them all, and so may the Men of Dor-Lómin, the friends of Elves and other evil folk, no longer trouble the mighty Warlord Lorgan and his Easterlings!

CAMERA SHIFT to OUTSIDE TENT. TUOR RECOILS, when APPROACHES MELDIR.

MDR Tuor! What are you doing?

TUOR Hush! Listening.

MDR You’ll be whipped, Tuor, for eavesdropping, if they don’t kill you outright. Have you learned nothing in the three years you’ve been the slave of Lord Lorgan?

TUOR We must warn the others, Meldir. They’re going to kill us all! We must escape.

ENTER WHIP-MASTER, SEES TUOR and MELDIR. RUNS toward them with an EASTERLING YELL in native tongue. EASTERLINGS ENTER from the surrounding area, and from in TENTS.

TUOR Run, Meldir! I’ll draw them away, you help the others.

TUOR RUNS forward, MELDIR DUCKS behind tent. TUOR RUNS through ENCAMPMENT, HIDING here and there, while MELDIR THROWS DOWN EASTERLING GUARD, STEALING SPEAR. ENTER LARGE TENT.

MDR (to captives) Run! It’s a massacre.

EXIT MELDIR TO ENCAMPMENT, RUNS through, SHOUTING ALERTS to SLAVES. SHIFT TO TUOR, who reaches the FOREST and LEAPS in among TREES. CIRCLES around ENCAMPMENT, while SOUNDS OF PURSUIT die away. SHIFT to MELDIR, who is URGING SLAVES as they FLEE into FOREST. At last MELDIR TURNS to FLEE into FOREST, but an EASTERLING ARCHER SHOOTS HIM in the BACK. MELDIR FALLS.

LOR Quick, after them. Kill them all. I’ll have your head, Whip-master, if any escape.

EASTERLINGS RUN into FOREST, LEAPING over MELDIR. As SOUNDS OF PURSUIT die away once more, TUOR ENTERS from FOREST, COMING to MELDIR and LEANING OVER HIM.

MDR (to Tuor) Farewell, Tuor son of Huor, last of the Princes of Dor-Lómin! I must go now.

TUOR' No, Meldir, we shall escape together! We survived the Coming of the Easterlings, we shall survive this.

MELDIR DIES. TUOR STANDS, SHOCKED, then TURNS AWAY with hand over eyes. LORGAN ENTERS from FOREST and ATTACKS TUOR with a YELL. TUOR STEPS ASIDE and TAKES UP MELDIR’S SPEAR. DODGES several BLOWS of LORGAN’S SWORD, then STABS LORGAN in BELLY. LORGAN FALLS. TUOR FLEES into WOODS. SCREEN FADES AWAY.

SCREEN FADES IN, revealing TUOR as rugged OUTLAW, walking out of CAVE and into FOREST with BOW.

ULMO (VO) For four years Tuor Huor’s son lived alone as an outlaw, hunting, and harassing the Easterlings he so hated.

IMAGE: TUOR SHOOTING down a group of four EASTERLINGS, then approaching to take their packs and eat what food is in them.

ULMO (VO) But at last a strange longing came over him, a desire to head west to lands he had not seen before.

IMAGE: TUOR STANDING on high ledge above CIRITH NINNIACH at SUNSET, behind him ANNON-IN-GELYDH.

ULMO (VO) He heeded the call, and continued to travel westward for days, never finding what his heart possessed him to find.

IMAGE: TUOR WALKING along rocky bank of RIVER in CIRITH NINNIACH, suddenly STOPPING and COCKING HEAD as SEA-GULLS MEW far ahead. TUOR MOVES FORWARD, with a light in his eyes, STRAINING to HEAR. MEWING comes again, and TUOR BEHOLDS GULLS FLYING overhead.

TUOR What beautiful creatures are these white birds! How my heart leaps within me, in anticipation of some great wonder that lies before me.

TUOR WALKS ON. SHIFT TO TUOR WALKING forward TOWARD CAMERA, then coming to STOP UPON ROCK. ANGLE TO VIEW FROM BEHIND TUOR, to reveal the ROARING SEA. TUOR is AMAZED.

TUOR This is what my heart has longed for. This must be what is called the Western Sea, across which lies fair Valinor and the Undying Lands! I shall never forget the sight of it.

SHIFT TO BEACH at NIGHT, TUOR SITTING laying beside FIRE. WHISPER COMES, and TUOR RAISES HIS HEAD.

GULL (VO) Go South, and find what thou canst there.

ANGLE to FROM BEHIND TUOR’S HEAD, to see GULL on ROCK. GULL turns and FLIES AWAY. SHIFT TO DAYTIME, where TUOR is WALKING along the beach. ANGLE FROM BEHIND TUOR. TUOR HALTS, and LOOKS UP AT VINYAMAR. TUOR WALKS ON. SHIFT TO TUOR CLIMBING PATH TO GATES OF VINYAMAR. TUOR HALTS BEFORE GATES, and LOOKS ABOUT HIM. Then TUOR PUSHES OPEN GATES. SHIFT TO INSIDE VINYAMAR. TUOR LOOKS ABOUT HIM at the grandeur of the magnificent hall of stone, its tapestries still hanging. ANGLE TO TABLET, on which light falls. TUOR APPROACHES TABLET and RUNS FINGERS ACROSS MAIL.

TUOR It’s almost as if these were left here for me. This place seems Elvish to me, and there is a wholesome air. This armor is a marvel, the like of which I have never seen. I wonder how long it has waited here; waited, seemingly, for me. I feel somehow as if I were meant to have it.

TUOR TAKES UP MAIL, and PULLS IT ON, CAMERA SHOWING CLOSEUPS OF EACH PIECE OF ARMOR as TUOR places it on himself. Lastly, TUOR PLACES HELM on his head; MUSIC IS QUIET BUT TRIUMPHANT. CAMERA SHIFTS to show TUOR WALKING ALONG BEACH in front of VINYAMAR. Suddenly there is the sound of THUNDER out over the SEA, and TUOR TURNS to GAZE out on the Ocean. SHIFT TO VIEW from BEHIND TUOR. ULMO’S THEME played on French horns and reed instruments, while a heavy wind comes forth from the Sea. Green peaks, seeming to be enshrouded by mist, appear far over the turbulent sea. Then ULMO ENTERS, RISING FROM THE SEA GRADUALLY, UNTIL AS IF KNEELING IN THE WATER.

ULMO Hail, Tuor, of the House of Hador! I am Ulmo, the Vala of the Sea, who long ago instructed the Elf-lord Turgon to leave the arms you now bear in the abandoned city. I have chosen you as my messenger, and now I give you the command to depart from these strands, and to seek Gondolin where Turgon reigns as King of the Noldor.

TUOR How shall I find Gondolin, great one?

ULMO I shall provide for you. Five hundred years ago the Elves went into exile, and we the Valar knew that it was not right for they that broke our commands to return once more. Though Gondolin has hidden Turgon for all this time, it will not always. Morgoth, the Dark King of Angband, is not far from finding the City, and when he has found it, he will surely destroy it. Therefore I am sending you to Turgon, that you may tell him the words of Ulmo. And these are my words: he must seek the Sea, for I know that the exile will not last, and I believe that the other Valar will look favorably on such an act of faith. But if he remains in Gondolin, he will surely fall.

TUOR And if he does not listen?

ULMO You must only deliver the message, Son of Huor. If you have done it, I count your mission fulfilled. Turgon’s blood is on his own head if he remains in Gondolin, for I am no god, but simply a Caretaker. My reach does not extend far beyond the Sea, and I cannot help him in days of trouble. Go in peace, Tuor, and go quickly!

TUOR I go, Master of the Waters.

ULMO BOWS, and raises STAFF. WHIRLWIND COMES, and ULMO EXITS amid it. TUOR STANDS on BEACH as the last strains of ULMO’S THEME fades away. TUOR’S EYES are DOWNCAST, but when he LOOKS UP, he sees VORONWË LYING AT EDGE OF WATER in torn and soaked clothes. TUOR WALKS DOWN, and PULLS VORONWË UP by the arm. TUOR PULLS VORONWË up the beach, and SETS HIM DOWN on his back.

TUOR Who are you? Are you all right.

VOR (cough) I am Voronwë.

TUOR You are an elf! One of the Noldor. Whom do you serve?

VOR My master is Turgon, High King of the Noldor. Please, my ship has been wrecked and I am the only survivor. By all the Valar, get me some water!

TUOR ADMINISTERS WATER to VORONWË. VORONWË SIGHS and LAYS BACK his HEAD on the sands. SHIFT TO NIGHT, WHERE TUOR SITS BEFORE FIRE, VORONWË RESTING NEARBY.

VOR So tell me, my preserver, who are you, and who is your lord?

TUOR No-one is my lord. I am Tuor son of Huor, and I have lived as an outlaw for four years.

VOR Huor’s son! I had thought none of that line were left. Indeed, I am glad to meet you, for Huor saved my master in battle at the cost of his own life, at the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.

TUOR I did not know what took place there, only that my father did not return. You are a mariner of Turgon, the King of Gondolin?

VOR Yes. I and twenty others were sent on a ship westward. So far as I know, I am the only one who has escaped.

TUOR And what was your mission?

VORONWË REMAINS SILENT. SEVERAL MOMENTS PASS.

TUOR Do you know the way to Gondolin?

VOR Why do you want to know?

TUOR I am called there by Ulmo, the Vala of the Sea. I have a message for Turgon.

VOR I know.

TUOR How did you know?

VOR Four centuries ago our master, Turgon, dwelt in that city over there, Vinyamar, with his followers. Morgoth, the Fallen King of Darkness, enemy of the Valar and the Elves, was rising against us strongly. Ulmo came to Turgon and asked that he place armor in that city. If the time came that the Noldor were to leave the hidden city, Ulmo would send a messenger to Turgon dressed in that armor. You are arrayed in such. Indeed, I had mistaken you for an elf at first glance. It is fitting, however, that the son of Huor should warn us of our doom, as it was Huor who preserved us in the hour of need. When the battle was fierce, Huor and his brother, Húrin, covered the secret escape of the Noldor from the battlefield, so that Gondolin might remain hidden a little longer. Huor paid for it with his life, along with many others. But Turgon escaped safely. Yes, I believe you when you say whose messenger you are, and I shall guide you as best I may to Gondolin. We shall leave in the morning.

FADE TO BLACK. IMAGE: TUOR and VORONWË WALKING along the ERED WETHRIN. ANGLE TO FACING TUOR. TUOR TURNS to look on last time upon the SEA. VORONWË HALTS and WATCHES TUOR.

VOR The Sea! No elf can resist its call. We forsook our paradise across the sea, and it is the hope of every Noldo that we may someday return.

TUOR TURNS AWAY and COMES UP BESIDE VORONWË to LOOK OUT OVER MIDDLE-EARTH spread out before them. WOODS OF NÚATH below.

VOR Beleriand, Beleriand, the borders of the elven land. We have many miles to go. We shall cross the Narog at the Pools of Ivrin, and then pass by the woven wood of Doriath. Gondolin should lie north of that place, amid the Encircling Mountains.

TUOR The world seems so big.

VOR It is a lot larger than you can possibly imagine, Tuor. There are lands much greater than Beleriand west of the sea, and large plains and seas to the east that have been unexplored since the beginning of time.

VORONWË MOVES ON. TUOR STANDS STILL for several moments, then FOLLOWS. SHIFT TO SCENE of TUOR AND VORONWË WALKING THROUGH FOREST.

ULMO (VO) Thus Tuor and Voronwë journeyed eastward, to lands where Tuor had never been, on a quest to save a people Tuor had never known.

VOR I look forward to seeing the Pools of Ivrin again. Their beauty is unsurpassed. I remember when, almost five hundred years ago, Fingolfin the High King called a grand feast there. Ah, the mist in the mornings, when we could hear the singing of the nightingales and the cry of the loons! The moonlight would dance upon the shimmering surface of the waters among the reeds at night.

SHIFT TO VORONWË LEAVING FOREST. VORONWË STOPS, SHOCKED.

TUOR (from behind) What is it, Voronwë?

VOR All that remains of the Pools of Ivrin, I fear.

SHIFT TO FROM BEHIND VORONWË AND TUOR, SHOW BURNT-OUT BOG.

TUOR These are the marvelous Pools of Ivrin? This is a reeking bog!

VOR Some foul monster has been here since I passed through. And it seems I am the only one left to mourn them.

TUOR We should not stay here. Evil has been here.

VOR You are right. I do not wish to gaze upon this destruction overlong. Yet we must pass through this to get to the Crossings of Teiglin and Doriath. We must cross it, though death itself lies in our way.

TUOR I think that’s highly possible, Voronwë, and I can’t say I’m looking forward to it, whatever the Elven poets say.

TUOR AND VORONWË MOVE FORWARD. SHIFT TO TUOR AND VORONWË WALKING across Eithel Ivrin. TUOR STEPS IN MUD AND SINKS DOWN TO HIS KNEE, then PULLS FOOT OUT.

TUOR I shall be in a fine state as the glittering messenger of Ulmo if I come to Gondolin muddied and hungry, more like a beggar than the emissary of a Vala.

VOR I would not worry about that yet, Tuor my friend. Ah, I remember when we would bathe in the sparkling pools, and watch the silvery fish glide through the clear waters. I cannot begin to tell you, Tuor, what a terrible thing this is for me, to return and find it like this.

AS VORONWË TALKS, SHOW SCENES ALTERNATELY OF HIM AND OF A SNAKE-LIKE BEING MOVING THROUGH THE MARSH. Suddenly VORONWË IS GRABBED BY THE LEG, and TUMBLES with a CRY.

TUOR Voronwë!

TUOR RUNS OVER TO VORONWË, who STRUGGLES TO HIS FEET, ENCOILED BY A GREAT SERPENT. TUOR RUSHES up and DRAWS his SWORD. BATTLE ENSUES, in which TUOR and VORONWË at last DRIVE AWAY the SERPENT. TUOR AND VORONWË STARE after it.

TUOR Was that one of your silvery fish, Voronwë?

VOR (laughs) Tuor, you have saved my life, and I shall not forget it. But we must keep going, if we are to escape this foul place before sundown. It holds no more beauty to me.

This area needs to be finished




VORONWË and TUOR open the DOOR of the PASSAGEWAY.

VOR Tuor, unless the guards of Turgon are altogether unwary, we shall be captured not far down the tunnel. But I do not worry about capture. Elves rarely use this passageway, and men never. They would spare a shot when they saw an Elf walking up the passageway, but if they saw an elf in the company of a man, they might not hesitate to assume treachery. I only hope that your unusual armor will make them wait until we can explain our purpose.

TUOR I hope so, too, Voronwë.

VORONWË LIGHTS TORCH; BOTH WALK down into the PASSAGEWAY. SHIFT to scenes of WALKING through the darkness. SHIFT to images of hands DRAWING BOWS. SHIFT back and forth.

ECT Who goes there?

TORCHES FLARE to reveal GUARDS with drawn bows and naked swords.

VOR Stepping forward I am Voronwë, a mariner of Turgon King who has returned from a long journey.

ECT Who is your companion?

VOR He is Tuor son of Huor, a messenger come to Turgon from the Vala Ulmo. Behold, he wears the armor!

ECT A man. Men are not welcome to Gondolin, though they be children of Huor or even of the mighty Húrin Thalion. Not since there day has any man looked upon Gondolin the White.

VOR I know you, Lord. You are Ecthelion, chief of the House of the Fountain. You know better than any of the prophecy, for you stood beside Turgon as he received Ulmo’s message.

ECT Yet time has made me wary, Voronwë son of Aranwë. You I will not deny, for you are an inhabitant here and of noble birth. Yet though he be the herald of Manwë himself I will still bind this man, if he will submit to it. I would not counsel resistance.

TUOR Nor will I offer it. If the King will judge me, I will be content.

ECT Bind his hands. We shall go to the Great Gate. There I shall see the mortal in better light, and may make good judgement.

GUARDS BIND TUOR’S HANDS. TUOR and VORONWË are led through the passage. Eventually they come to the GREAT GATE. The GREAT GATE OPENS, and the PROCESSION WALKS through. LIGHT FALLS on TUOR, and his armor sparkles in the sunlight as his cloak flows out behind him. The GUARDS STEP BACK. The eyes of TUOR and ECTHELION meet.

ECT Truly, you are the very image of Huor your father. I see nobility in your eyes, strength in your brow. I can find no evil in your eyes or your heart. Walk now as a free man across the plain of Tumladen, and be glad. Few of the outer world have seen what you are about to witness.

GUARDS UNBIND TUOR. ECTHELION LEADS TUOR to the edge of the OVERLOOK. From there TUOR SEES TUMLADEN, with GONDOLIN sparkling in the center like a white gem.

ECT May you take pleasure at the sight, Tuor. Be light of heart, weary travelers, for rest is found here, and beauty. Light and laughter dwell here, and peace.

VOR There never was a fairer sight. May the Rock of Singing Water stand forever.

TUOR You know my message, my friend. Alas that I should be the bearer of such ill tidings.

ECT You shall not find the Noldor of Gondolin eager to receive such a message. Especially Turgon King.

TUOR Does he not trust the word of Ulmo?

ECT It perhaps is not my right to speak of my king so, but you shall see that he has changed a good deal. He loves his city and his people, but heaviness has taken his heart of late. He believes his city to be invincible, and hidden completely from the eyes of the Dark Enemy.

TUOR What then does he fear?

ECT Even he knows that not. The doom of the Wise is a heavy one.

ECTHELION, TUOR, and VORONWË WALK down the path. Music is loud as alternating shots of them pass by of them walking down the MAIN HIGHWAY across Tumladen. SHIFT to view from WALLS OF GONDOLIN, angled slightly from above. GUARDS STAND solemnly gazing out over Tumladen toward the Mountains. IDRIL ENTERS to look out over the wall. SHIFT back to view from behind TRIO. HORNS SOUND. SHIFT BACK to view on WALLS. ENTER GLORFINDEL beside IDRIL.

GFD Those are the horns of Lord Ecthelion. For whom do they sound?

IDR It is as if Ecthelion is heralding some great visitor. See! Three now approach.

GFD One must be Ecthelion. His armor flashes like silver and diamond. But who are the others? One appears taller than the others. [Pause] By all the Valar, it can’t be.

IDR What do you see, Glorfindel?

GFD My lady, I see the doom of Gondolin.

SHIFT to other places along the WALLS. Many GONDOLIN-FOLK are gathered on the WALLS, LOOKING out at the TRIO. SHIFT to TUOR, CLOSE-UP. TRIO HALTS at the foot of the GONDOLIN STAIRCASE. TUOR takes a deep breath, then MOVES FORWARD. SHOW SCENES of TUOR WALKING up the STAIRCASE. SHIFT to ECTHELION.

ECT [Shouting] Open the gates!

SHIFT to INSIDE of the GATES OF GONDOLIN. GUARDS OPEN GATES, and TRIO WALKS through.