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.
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
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 BESIDE DOGS, 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 Ah, there you are, slave. Whip-master, leave us.
WHIP-MASTER BOWS and EXITS.
LOR I have been informed of your conduct. You are taller and stronger than the other slaves. I treat those well who can work. You are of the royal house of the thrice-accursed strawhead Hador, are you not?
TUOR I am, master.
LOR You were captured three years ago in the company of the outlaws. They say you slew half a dozen of my soldiers before they could disarm you. You and six others were brought here, and I gave you the hardest work. Four of you died, but you and one other survived. Even my Whip-master can give no complaint as to your conduct. I have lightened your load, for I want you to survive. You were only a boy when you are captured, and now I have never had such a worker as you. Therefore I am sending you west with the working crew into the forest. The reason I tell you this is because I want you to be the overseer.
TUOR I, master?
LOR I am a generous and benevolent man. I do this for the timber, not to punish. The other slaves trust you, this I know. I believe they shall work twice as fast under your leadership. I am, of course, sending along the usual guard, and you will be under the jurisdiction of the captain. Do well on this assignment, and I shall grant you better next time. You may go.
TUOR Thank you, master!
TUOR BOWS and EXITS. A PAUSE.
AIDE Are you sure this is wise, Lord Lorgan? He is a hard worker. The King cannot touch us out here.
LOR You would be surprised what the King can do. [Lifts up a piece of parchment] The King of the North has sent me a message. Word has come to his ears that one of Hador’s house still exists, in my care. He demands that I send the slave to him, or else dispose of him quickly and quietly. I agree that he has been of great profit to us. But I shall do as the King bids. I will not send the slave to him, but kill him myself. He shall not return from this mission, nor his companion. The Whip-master will do his work thoroughly.
AIDE Why not kill him here?
LOR Because, you fool, it might start a slave revolt. No, it is much safer out in the wilderness, and more sure of success.
SHIFT TO TUOR WALKING through CAMP. ANNAEL JOINS HIM.
ANL Tuor, why did Lorgan want to see you?
TUOR He is having me oversee a mission in the west to gather timber. I thought I could get him to trust me.
ANL I don’t like it, my son. Lorgan surely knows you are a threat to him.
TUOR A threat, father Annael! How could I be a threat to one of the greatest lords of the Easterlings?
ANL Because you are the symbol of the hope of Dor-Lómin! We two alone have survived from the original band. To him I am just an old man with some work left in me. But you are young and strong, and though you have acted submissive these three winters, he must know that you cannot be trusted.
TUOR He is a fool not to. Don’t you see that this is our chance to escape? You’ll surely also be put on the work team, and we can escape together.
ANL Too risky. Even if he does trust you, he’ll surely put a strict guard around you. We need more time.
TUOR You raised me to be proud. You were the chief of the outlaws, men who would not submit to the Easterlings after my father died and Dor-Lómin fell. You fostered me. You told me about the hope in the south, and of the Valar and the sea. You told me never to lose hope, never to submit to the invader. I believe our time must surely have come.
SHIFT TO SCENES OF TEAM WALKING through the woods. SHIFT TO SLAVES CHOPPING down trees, TREE FALLING. SHIFT TO TUOR CHOPPING FALLEN TRUNK. ANNAEL COMES UP WITH WOOD IN ARMS.
ANL The guards seem more watchful than usual.
TUOR Well they should be. [Chops] Even the Easterlings could not find us if we disappeared into the forest, without dogs. But it is too risky. They are all armed with bows and javelins.
ANL Have you noticed how we two are the only ones not off cutting down trees? All my senses revolt at this. Be wary.
ANNAEL MOVES ON. TUOR CONTINUES TO CHOP. SHIFT TIME. TUOR PICKS UP cut logs and WALKS toward wagon. SUDDENLY SEES EASTERLING lift up JAVELIN and HURL it at ANNAEL. TUOR SHOUTS, ANNAEL TURNS and receives the javelin in his side.
TUOR LIFTS UP AXE, dropping logs, and ATTACKS EASTERLINGS. BATTLE ENSUES. TUOR KILLS EASTERLINGS, but WHIP-MASTER ENTERS. BATTLE ENSUES. TUOR KILLS WHIP-MASTER, and DROPS down beside ANNAEL.
TUOR Annael, get up.
ANL No, Tuor son of Huor, I cannot. This javelin shall be the death of me, I fear. Run while you can. Others will come.
TUOR I shall take you with me.
ANL No! Even as you have trusted me in life, you must trust me now. With me you will not get far. You must go now. [Begins to breath more labored] Remember, my son, there is a King in Gondolin.
ANNAEL DIES. TUOR STARES SHOCKED for a moment, then TURNS TO SEE EASTERLINGS approach. Angrily, TUOR CATCHES UP AXE. ARROWS WHISTLE BY, and TUOR FLEES into woods.
ETL1 After him! Don’t let him escape! Bring out the dogs.
SHIFT TO TUOR RUNNING through woods. HEAR DOG SOUNDS FAR AWAY. TUOR ENTERS CLEAR, ROCKY HILL and RUNS UP. As he nears the top, DOGS come forth from TREELINE and pursue. EASTERLINGS COME FORTH and HALT THERE, PANTING.
ETL2 Sir, I cannot run any longer!
ETL1 We’ll wait here. The dogs will run him aground. The little white demon!
TUOR HALTS AT TOP OF HILL, panting heavily. DOGS APPROACH, AND LEAP ON HIM.
TUOR Urmald, Orgrin, all of you, get down!
DOGS WAG TONGUES, and look at him.
TUOR You are wise beasts, and the only ones I shall miss in leaving my life as a slave. Return to the camp! Go home!
DOGS BARK and EXIT. TUOR WATCHES, then EXITS. SCREEN FADES IN, revealing TUOR as rugged OUTLAW, walking out of CAVE and into FOREST with BOW.
IMAGE: TUOR SHOOTING down a group of four EASTERLINGS, then approaching to take their packs and eat what food is in them. Suddenly TUOR RAISES HEAD. HE TURNS to see two ELVES walk forward toward him.
CDH Hail, Tuor son of Huor!
TUOR Caladharn! Long has it been since I heard the sound of your voice.
TUOR RISES AND EMBRACES CALADHARN.
CDH I come from Círdan, Lord of Balar. We have a ship in the Firth. We had heard of the destruction of the outlaws, and feared for your life. We were sent to search for you, to bring you south to the Havens of Sirion, where you will be safe. Our search has been long, but at last we have found you. You may escape this land.
TUOR Caladharn, I have known you since childhood. You remember that before my mother went southward never to return. after the death of my father in battle, she begged that I, then an infant, should stay in Dor-Lómin, and that great good would come of it. Dor-Lómin was overrun, but still Annael kept me safe in the Caves. Now even the Caves are gone, and I am a wanderer. Yet still this is the land of my father still, and I will ever stay here to avenge myself and Annael on these marauding men of the East.
CDH Tuor, surely you know that you cannot stay here forever. The life of an outlaw is risky, and one day you shall be caught and killed, or worse sent to the Dark Enemy himself. Lorgan is hunting for you. Please, my friend, come with us. Círdan’s power is still great, and he will keep you safe though all Beleriand crumble about you.
TUOR I will not do it. I’m afraid your mission has been in vain.
CDH Very well. But this may be the only chance you ever get. I can leave you only with this counsel: if need is dire, go west. There is a secret tunnel through the mountains called the Gate of the Noldor, along the stream we call Mithalag. Follow it, and it will take you to the Western Sea. Is there naught else I may do for you, my friend?
TUOR Only tell the Lord Círdan, wisest of the Elves, that Huor’s son still lives, and one day he shall avenge his father against Morgoth.
CDH This I hear. Farewell.
ELVES EXIT. FADE TO BLACK. SHIFT TO EASTERLING ENCAMPMENT, and then INSIDE LORGAN’S TENT.
LOR This shall not do. For three years this young devil has eluded me, raiding and stealing. He shall drive me to ruin.
AIDE May I suggest setting a trap for him?
LOR I have tried it before, but he seems to have some accursed elven-sense that keeps him from harm. Have you anything new to propose? The only way to rid us of him would seem to be asking the King for soldiers to raze all Hithlum in search of him!
AIDE You need not ask for a whole army, my lord.
LOR What is that?
AIDE I have heard that the King of Angband has trackers of an unusual sort. They are bred to find blood.
LOR Not the werewolves of Gorthaur!
AIDE Merely tell the King that one of Hador’s line is abroad, and I’m sure he will spare some for our purposes.
LOR It is well thought-of. Tuor cannot escape the werewolves. So be it!
SHIFT TO NIGHT-TIME. WEREWOLVES APPEAR, and ENTER LORGAN’S TENT. SHIFT TO INSIDE. LORGAN WAKES AND LIGHTS LAMP.
LOR What is this? [Gasps]
GTH The Master of the World sends his greetings to Lorgan, lord of the fief of Dor-Lómin. [Morphs into man-figure] I am Gorthaur, the right hand of the illustrious Melkor.
LOR [Rising nervously] Lord Gorthaur? I am honored by your presence.
GTH Not at all, man of the East. I have brought three werewolves with me, some of my finest killers. Due to your bungling efforts the son of Huor is alive. His throat will soon be in my jaws.
LOR Does your master usually send you upon such matters?
GTH He entrusts me with all such matters of importance. Have a good night, Lorgan. We shall bring you his corpse in the morning.
LOR Yes, as you say, my lord.
GORTHAUR MORPHS INTO WOLF-FORM. WEREWOLVES FLEE with HOWLS. SHOW SCENES OF THEM SNIFFING AND TRACKING. SHIFT TO TUOR SLEEPING, THEN RISING.
TUOR Something doesn’t feel right.
TUOR SCANS THE TREES. SUDDENLY, WEREWOLF FLIES out AT HIM. TUOR DRAWS SWORD. BATTLE ENSUES. TUOR FORCES WEREWOLF OFF CLIFF INTO RIVER AND FLEES, as other howls rise up. SHIFT TO DAYLIGHT, TUOR WALKING WEST. SHOW SCENES OF FOLLOWING VARIOUS STREAMS, THEN TURNING AWAY as they lead to dead-ends or turn eastwards. SHIFT TO TUOR SITTING on a ROCK mournfully, HEAD LOWERED. SUDDENLY, TURNS to see SPRING FROM HILL, falling into GORGE. WALKS DOWN INTO GORGE. SEES GELMIR and ARMINAS BELOW. THEY TURN, DRAW SWORDS, AND ATTACK. TUOR DOES NOT MOVE, and G&A LOWER WEAPONS.
AMN Do my eyes belie me, Gelmir?
GLM Nay. For surely this is a man of the House of Hador. Is not his hair yellow as spun gold?
TUOR I am Tuor, son of Huor, son of Galdor, son of Hador. You are unlike any other elves I have seen. A light is in your eyes, and your faces seem to shine.
AMN Well said, Man of Shadows. We are Noldor, who have seen the light that lies in the West across the Sea. We knew Huor in the days of old, and fought beside him in battle. I am Arminas, and this is Gelmir, my brother. We thought that the House of Hador was utterly destroyed. How came you here?
TUOR I seek escape, and the Gate of the Noldor.
GLM Your search is ended. We have just come up from the gate. [Points behind to opening] There it stands before you. We can set you on your road, but cannot guide you far. For we are on a mission of great urgency. But fear not. A great doom is written upon your brow, and it shall lead you far from these lands, far indeed from Middle-earth, as I guess.
AMN Come, Huor’s son, take this lantern. It comes from Valinor, imbued with the light of the stars of Varda, and shall not go out.
ARMINAS HANDS TUOR LANTERN. ALL ENTER CAVERN. SHOW THEM ENTER FROM INSIDE. TUOR LOOKS ABOUT in wonder.
GLM Beautiful, is it not, Man of Shadows? Yet it is incomparable to what you shall see on the other side.
SCENES OF WALKING DOWN TUNNEL. At last, TWAIN EXIT TUNNEL above FALLS and CIRITH NINNIACH.
AMN This is the Ravine of Rainbows, which leads down to the Sea. Straight is your course; just follow the ravine. If you wish to find the Havens, your journey must be long, but continue south along the shoreline, and you will find it eventually.
GLM But now we must return, for our errand is pressing. Matters of great peril are stirring in Beleriand.
TUOR Has the hour arrived when the King of Gondolin shall come forth?
GLM What do you know of Turgon, Man of Shadows, and the Hidden City?
TUOR Only that my father died to save him and his people at the Battle of the Nirnaeth, and that his hidden stronghold is the last hope for Beleriand against Morgoth. Ever the name of Gondolin stirs my heart. Perhaps one day I shall find it.
AMN Who shall say? I, too, have sought it long and yet never found it. There are no Men who know this. Only the few messengers of Turgon that come forth from the Mountains have this knowledge, and they will tell no-one, for fear that Morgoth will learn.
GLM Yet I have heard that your House has the favor of the Lord of Waters. And if his counsels lead you to Turgon, then surely you will come to him, wherever you turn. Follow the road placed before you, and fear not, for you shall not long walk in the darkness. The Dweller in the Deep moves many things in this forsaken lands, and I do not think that our meeting was by chance. Farewell, and may we meet again in happier hour. Anar kaluva tielyanna!
GELMIR AND ARMINAS DEPART BACK THROUGH TUNNEL. TUOR TURNS FORWARD, and LOOKS OVER the ravine. BEGINS TO WALK DOWN.
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 Surely this is the fulfillment of my wildest dreams. No Man has seen the Sea of which the Elves sing. Surely across its waters lie the Undying Lands of Valinor, and the houses of the Valar.
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. GULL PERCHES ON HIS SHOULDER.
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. [Touches emblem on shield] By this token shall I take up these arms, and whatever doom they bear.
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.
ULM Hail, Tuor, of the House of Hador! Fear not my wrath. I am him whom the Noldor name Ulmo, Lord of Waters, Vala of the Sea. Long ago I instructed the elf-lord Turgon to leave the arms thou now bearest in Vinyamar. Long have I called thee to this place, and time grows short. It would have been good hadst thou come in the Spring, but thou must learn haste, for Winter draws near, and thy journey will be hard. A great evil creeps on the Valley of Sirion, and already a host of foes have come between thee and thy goal.
TUOR What is my goal, Lord?
ULM That which thy heart hath ever sought. To find Turgon, and look upon Gondolin. For this reason I have arrayed thee as my messenger. Now thou must pass under shadow and peril. Tarry no longer. Wilt thou take up my errand?
TUOR I will, Lord.
ULM Take this cloak to hide thyself from evil eyes. [Throws forth cloak of shadows] I will set words in thy mouth to say unto Turgon. He is a Noldo, one of those banished from the Undying Lands for his rebellion five centuries ago. Doom is strong, and the shadow of the Enemy lengthens. I alone of the Powers wish to pardon the Elves, and am alone and weak in Beleriand. The curse of Mandos, given after the rebellion, states that all the works of the Noldor will come to ruin. That curse is close to fulfillment. They have one hope left, and that is in thee. A light shall pierce the darkness. From the wrath of Ossë I shall send you a guide, a mariner from the last ship to seek the West before the rising of the Star. Go now!
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. PULLS ON CLOAK. 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 Welcome, Voronwë! I await you.
VOR 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 Who are you, my preserver? Long I have labored against the sea, and I seek tidings. Is the Shadow overthrown? Have the Hidden People come forth?
TUOR Nay, good mariner. The Shadow lengthens, and the Hidden remain hid. I am a Man. Are you not Voronwë son of Aranwë, last mariner of the last ship to seek the West?
VOR I am, but my name and errand were secret. How do you know such things?
TUOR I have spoken with Ulmo, Lord of Waters. You have been saved from the wrath of Ossë that you may become my guide to the Hidden City.
VORONWË REMAINS SILENT. SEVERAL MOMENTS PASS.
VOR You have spoken with the Lord of Waters. I doubt not your voice. But no man has the right to go thither to Gondolin. Even were I to lead you to the gate, you would be turned away there. The mission would be vain.
TUOR Nothing ordained by Ulmo is vain. I am Tuor son of Huor, and the name of Huor cannot have been forgotten by Turgon. Nor can he have forgotten the words of Ulmo long ago. No matter how perilous the journey, and no matter how unlikely the outcome, I must go to Gondolin. And you are my ordained companion.
VOR So be it.
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 the Wide, west of the Blue Mountains, east of the Great Sea. 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. SHIFT TO TUOR and VORONWË SITTING DOWN ON LOG, FIRE COOKING VENISON.
TUOR Tell me your story, Voronwë. I am most interested.
VORONWË CLOSES HIS EYES, then OPENS THEM.
VOR The story begins in the year 473 in the Years of the Sun, thirty-two years ago. On the coast for many centuries had stood the kingdom of the Falathrim, known as the Falas of the Two Cities [Image: Eglarest]. Círdan, most foresighted of all the elves was its lord [Image: Círdan], and the enemy could not reach that far. But after the Nirnaeth the Black Foe invaded the Falas [Image: Sack and burning of Eglarest], and it fell before him. Almost two thirds of all the elves there were killed or fell into captivity. [Shift back to Voronwë, who falls silent for a moment] Turgon heard of this, and knew that he was the last free lord in the North. Morgoth had his eye trained on Gondolin, and Turgon feared it might go ill. He heard that Círdan had survived with some of his followers, and had gone down to found the Havens and the Isle of Balar. Therefore he sent forth messengers [Image: Messengers coming forth], bidding Círdan build ships that would bear them westward, to seek Valinor and the pardon of the Valar [Image: Swan-ships]. Yet I tarried in the fair land of Nan-tathren [Image: Voronwë in Nan-tathren], and came last to Balar. All but one of the seven ships had by then been built, and one by one the mariners had departed never to return [Image: Ship sailing away]. I left on the last ship, seeking to find the beauty that I had tasted in the springs I spent in Nan-tathren. [Shift to Voronwë, who sighs] The ships of the Falathrim cannot be drowned by any water, but worse things there are in the Great Sea [Image: Great storm, with Voronwë’s ship and the sounds as if of a monster howling in the darkness, then fade to black]. For seven years I labored against it, coming to strange and fearful lands, but never to the west. It was shut to us. [Shift to Voronwë] At last the ship broke against the rocks off of where you found me, and the sea spit me up onto the sand. I was spared, but had been shown many dreadful deaths in the Sea. [Voronwë laughs] And yet very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when the clouds about the West were drawn away. Still at times we would see another cloud to the west; or, as some held, perhaps the mountains of the Pelóri beyond the lost strands of our ancient home. I know not. Far, far away they stand, and none from mortal lands shall come there ever again, I deem. The west is closed.
SHIFT TO TWAIN WALKING THROUGH THE WOOD.
VOR I look forward to seeing the Pools of Ivrin again. Their beauty is unsurpassed. Few remember when, almost five hundred years ago, Fingolfin the High King called a grand feast there. I remember 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.
VOR Alas! Has the evil come even here? Once far from the threat of Angband was this place; but ever the fingers of Morgoth grope further.
TUOR It is even as the Lord of Water said.
VOR Yet a malice has been here with strength greater than that of Orcs. Fear lingers in this place.
TUOR [pointing] Voronwë, look!
SHIFT TO GLAURUNG’S TRACKS.
VOR Yea, a great evil. Not long ago Glaurung, the Great Worm of Angband, was here, most fell of all the creatures of the Enemy! We are already late. There is need of haste.
ENTER TÚRIN, VORONWË AND TUOR DRAW BACK.
TÚR Ivrin, Faelivrin! Gwindor and Beleg! Here once I was healed. But now I shall never drink the draught of peace again.
EXIT TÚRIN. VORONWË AND TUOR COME FORWARD.
TUOR Who was that man, who bore a black sword?
VOR A strange light was in his eyes. Some fell doom was upon him. I feel as if some dreadful thing has happened. We should not stay.
TUOR AND VORONWË MOVE AWAY. SHIFT TO SKY; SNOW BEGINS TO FALL. SHIFT TO TUOR and VORONWË CROSSING snowy plain. IMAGES OF SNOWY TRAVEL. SHIFT TO WALKING THROUGH COPSE.
TUOR Voronwë, I don’t know about you, but I cannot survive this much longer. We have not eaten in days, and this cold pierces my very marrow.
VOR Something fell is in this wind. I do not like it. But look! There is fire.
TUOR Let us hope they are travelers, and will offer us shelter.
VOR There are no travelers in this land. Nevertheless we shall get close as we may.
TUOR and VORONWË APPROACH. SHIFT TO THEIR VIEW OF ORC ENCAMPMENT.
VOR It is a raiding party of orcs.
TUOR Gurth an Glamhoth! I would risk death for mastery of that fire, or even a piece of their meat.
VOR We have no choice. We are too few. Let us leave, quickly, before they catch our scent.
PAUSE. ORCS SUDDENLY RISE and TURN in their direction.
VOR Too late – we must flee.
SCENES OF CHASE. At last, TUOR and VORONWË HUDDLE BENEATH BOULDER.
TUOR Someday, I vow, I shall be able to put my blade to these servants of Morgoth, rather than flee like a cowed dog.
VOR May you take joy in the moment, my friend! Here we should be safe. [Pause] I heard some of their words? I know a little of their speech. They seek one called Blacksword, and I heard the name of Túrin mentioned.
TUOR It cannot be the man we saw at Ivrin? Do you not know? Túrin is my cousin, the son of Húrin.
VOR Some evil fate has found him. Be glad, Tuor, that you are favored by the Valar so. The Blacksword had done evil; he was fay and fell, and his conscience burdened him. Death would be a better lot than his. Ponder these things deeply, Tuor. Understand them, and you may gain much wisdom.
SHIFT TO MORNING. VORONWË RISES.
VOR By the Valar, look Tuor!
TUOR SITS UP and OPENS HIS EYES. SHIFT TO SCENE BEFORE THEM.
VOR The Ered Echoriath, the Encircling Mountains! We came further than I thought. Gondolin is not far.
SHIFT TO SCENE OF WALKING OVER RISE, in front the Ford of Brithiach.
VOR We must wait here. We cannot cross the Ford of Brithiach in daylight, nor while we still are in doubt as to whether or not we are pursued.
TUOR The cloak of Ulmo will shade us from unfriendly eyes. Time is pressing. We cannot afford the delay.
VOR [Looking up, and joy comes into face] It is well! The Brithiach is still guarded.
TUOR What do you see, Voronwë?
VOR Short-sighted are men! Do you not see, up in the sky? The Eagles of the Crissaegrim are here, coming toward us.
EAGLES COME INTO SIGHT. VORONWË BECKONS, but THEY TURN and FLY AWAY.
VOR Let us hurry. If there are any orcs nearby, they shall be cowering until the Eagles have completely gone.
TUOR What were they?
VOR The Great Eagles are the protectors of the Hidden City. No spy of the Enemy has ever gotten past them, and it is because of their vigilance we are safe. Come, now.
TUOR and VORONWË RUN down the slope. SHIFT TO WALKING in FORESTED AREA at FOOT OF MOUNTAINS. VORONWË HALTS BEFORE STREAMBED.
VOR At last we have found it. This is the mouth of a dry stream. It goes through the gully for a long way, and then we come to the tunnel.
TUOR It is certainly not what I expected. I had thought to see a great gate barring the entrance, but this is open and would be easily accessible, save that it is a wearying road for the footsore.
VOR Though Turgon is mighty, he trusts still to secrecy. You shall see these mighty gates, but they are a ways down. Would anyone have seen this as different than any of the other numerous streambeds that come from the Mountains? And yet I will warn you that in entering you are placing yourself in great peril. I may be regarded as a traitor to bring a man thither, and we should both be instantly slain did they have the slightest doubt of suspicion. May the Lord of Waters show his power here, and protect us.
TUOR Forebode no more, Voronwë. I have been warned. Lead on!
SHIFT TO TWAIN WALKING through STREAMBED. VARIOUS SCENES of this. At last, VORONWË HALTS and POINTS OFF TO THE LEFT, up another DRY TRIBUTARY. THEY WALK UP for a ways, then come to a CAVE MOUTH.
VOR This is one of thousands of caves in the Ered Echoriath, and yet is the only way to the Orfalch Echor. Our journey is almost over. It will be a tight squeeze, but eventually I believe it widens out.
VORONWË LIGHTS TORCH; BOTH WALK down into the PASSAGEWAY. SHIFT to scenes of WALKING through the darkness. PASSAGE OPENS into LARGE CAVERN. VARIOUS SCENES. ENTER SMALLER PASSAGE AGAIN, WALK for a ways.
ELM Who goes there?
LANTERN UNVEILED 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. Far have I walked, yet I still remember your voice, Elemmakil.
ELM [Walking forward into the light] Well do I know thee, Voronwë. But who is this stranger thou hast brought with thee? Thou knowest well that it is against our laws. Step forward, stranger.
TUOR STEPS FORWARD.
ELM A mortal man, hooded and cloaked. We were long friends, Voronwë. If you had brought one of our own kindred, I would have trusted you. But now you force me to choose between the law and our friendship. He has seen the secret way, and that means I must slay him.
VOR Not so, my friend. I have acted on greater authority than that of the laws of the White City. The King alone must judge me.
ELM I shall take you to the Lord Ecthelion, master of the Great Gate and deemed the wisest of the lords of Gondolin, save for the King himself. Come with me.
SCENES of SEVEN GATES; THEME STRONG in the background. Eventually they come to the GREAT GATE. ECTHELION and GUARDS STAND THERE.
ELM Hail, Ecthelion, Lord of the Fountains.
ECT Who are these you have brought with you, Elemmakil?
ELM It is Voronwë Aranwion, who returns from his long voyages. And a stranger, whom Voronwë demands must see the King.
ECT You have been brought to the Last Gate. No stranger that passes it may come forth again, save in death.
TUOR If the messenger of the Lord of Waters go by that door, then all those who dwell here will follow him. Hinder him not.
TUOR THROWS BACK CLOAK, and the SUN SPARKLES on his ARMOR.
TUOR I am Tuor, son of Huor, sent by Ulmo who moves the Deeps to the Hidden City of Gondolin. I am commanded to go there, and give a message to the son of Fingolfin.
ECT No further proofs are needed.
ECTHELION SIGNALS with his hand. The GREAT GATE OPENS, and the PROCESSION WALKS through. ECTHELION LEADS TUOR to the edge of the OVERLOOK. From there TUOR SEES TUMLADEN, with GONDOLIN sparkling in the center like a white gem. GONDOLIN THEME is played fully for the first time.
ECT Gondolin. May you take pleasure at the sight, son of Huor. 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.
ELM But now I must return to my post. Farewell, Tuor, and may we meet again under the stars!
ELEMMAKIL TURNS AWAY.
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 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. HOST of GONDOLIN-FOLK GATHER around the TRIO, looking curiously. ECTHELION takes the lead, and WALKS down the KING’S HIGHWAY. The CROWD PARTS for the TRIO as TUOR and VORONWË follow. SHIFT to scenes showing TRIO WALKING down KING’S HIGHWAY. At last, TRIO ASCENDS to KING’S SQUARE. ENTER PALACE and GREAT HALL. TURGON SITS there on his throne, accompanied by GLORFINDEL, IDRIL, MAEGLIN, EREGDOS, and TRAIN OF NOBLES. TURGON STANDS.
TUR Long has been the journey of the Man of Shadows, and yet he comes at last to his heart’s desire. Welcome, Messenger of the Lord of Waters. Tell me thy name, and from whence thou comest.
TUOR Hail, Turgon King son of Fingolfin, wisest and greatest of the Noldor east of the Sea! I am Tuor son of Huor, who has come out of Nevrast. Time presses.
CLOSEUP of TUOR’S FACE. HIS EYES SHINE, and his FACE IS IMMOBILE.
TUOR Hear the voice of Ulmo: That the time has now come indeed when all the works of the Noldor shall come to naught. Doom is at hand, and now the Mover of the Deeps bids thee rise up and leave Gondolin forever. Seek the West, and the pardon of the Valar. For in that alone may you be preserved.
LIGHT in TUOR’S EYES DIES. SHIFT TO TURGON.
TUR Do you think I have been idle during these long years? Do you think that I do not yearn for Valinor? I sent messengers to Círdan of the Havens, bidding him build ships and seek the West. How many have returned? Only Voronwë Aranwion, who stands beside you. The West is closed.
TUOR If you place your lives in the hands of the Valar, such an act of faith may stir them to action against the Dark Enemy.
TUR This I cannot do. I would be placing the lives of all the Gondolindrim at risk. I am one of the last of my house, and the people of Gondolin are nearly the last remnant of the Noldor in Middle-earth. Why should I trust the Valar to save us now, when they have been deaf to the Elves these longs years? My father and all my brothers are dead. Where were they when Hithlum was sacked, or the Falas were destroyed? Where were they at the Nirnaeth, in our hour of need? Though it be the counsel of Ulmo himself, who guided me long ago to Gondolin, I will not do this thing.
TUOR Then I will only bid you remember the words of Ulmo that he spoke to you long ago: “Love not too well the work of thy hands and the devices of thy heart; and remember that the true hope of the Noldor lieth in the West, and cometh from the Sea.”
MAG My lord, Gondolin lies still hidden from the eyes of the Black Shadow. Even were the Enemy to escape the eyes of the Eagles, he could scarcely assail us here. Are we to abandon all that we have toiled and bled for these hundreds of years? Are we to place the fate of thousands into the pitiless hands of the Powers, who dwell in bliss in the West and care nothing for the troubles across the Sea?
TUR You speak well, Maeglin. I knew your father, Tuor, and loved him as a brother; the more so because he saved my life and that of my people, sacrificing his own to keep us safe at the Nirnaeth. I also know that Ulmo is the friend of Man and Elf. But it is not his people that he would place upon so fragile a hope. It is not he who has been ignored by the Valar when in need. The Doom of Mandos lies on us still. We deserved our exile, I do not deny it. But if they will not give us pardon, we must trust to our own strength, the strength of the Noldor, and this city.
TUOR TURNS and WALKS AWAY, OUT of the PALACE and to the edge of the KING’S SQUARE, STANDING to overlook the city. TURGON COMES up behind him, and LAYS A HAND ON TUOR’S SHOULDER.
TUR Stay in Gondolin, Tuor. It would not only be for your father’s sake that I would welcome you as a son.
TUOR Thank you, Lord King, I will.
TUR [Turning to Voronwë] Voronwë, I welcome you back to Gondolin. Go with Tuor as his guide.
VOR With a good will, Lord King.
SHIFT BACK TO TUOR, who LOOKS AT IDRIL. IDRIL LOWERS her HEAD. SHIFT TO TUOR and VORONWË WALKING through the GARDENS.
VOR I am sorry, Tuor. Turgon is very old, and has seen many things under the sun and moon, and still more before they were wrought. He heard the Doom of Mandos pronounced. He is deemed the wisest of the Noldor in Beleriand.
TUOR And yet he who has seen the Valar will not trust to their mercy.
VOR You do not know how much of his heart he has poured into this city. He loves his people, but has seen death and horror, and many battles. He thinks he does what is best. The city is strong.
TUOR But doom is stronger. [Pause] Who was that one who stood beside the King, and counseled against me?
VOR That was Maeglin, Turgon’s nephew. His mother was Aredhel, the King’s sister, who was lost while traveling abroad. When she returned, she brought with her a young son. It seems that she was trapped and forced into marriage with a Dark Elf, one of the Moriquendi named Eöl. The Dark Elf followed the two to Gondolin, and was taken before the King. Eöl would not accept the mercy of the King, and chose death rather than to remain in the city forever. He would have killed his own son, but Aredhel took the blow for him, and died. Eöl was executed shortly after. Nevertheless Maeglin, their son, has grown up strong and bold, and holds the favor of Turgon and many of the lords of Gondolin, for he is wise and cunning.
TUOR And who was the woman sitting at the King’s right hand?
VOR Idril, the King’s daughter, one of the fairest maidens of Gondolin.
TUOR Is Gondolin so untroubled that it can cultivate such beautiful flowers?
VOR It is peaceful here, but none may forget the Exile and the Nirnaeth.
SHIFT TO ROG’S FORGE. VORONWË and TUOR ENTER.
VOR I am taking you to Rog, the chieftest of our smiths. He has wanted to see you ever since you arrived.
ROG TURNS from his anvil.
ROG I have waited long for your coming, messenger of Ulmo. I was compelled years ago to forge a weapon unlike any I have yet made. Was it not I who forged Glamdring, sword of Turgon, and the greatest blades of Gondolin? And yet this work is greater still.
ROG WALKS to a RACK and LIFTS UP DRAMBORLEG. HE WALKS TOWARD TUOR.
ROG This is Dramborleg, which in the tongue of Men is called Sharp Stroke. The blade shall neither break nor bend, nor will it rust or blacken though it lie in the ground for a thousand years.
TUOR TAKES DRAMBORLEG and RAISES IT UP. ROG BOWS REVERENTLY. SHIFT TO TUOR and VORONWË WALKING OUT OF the FORGE.
TUOR What happened to him? Why is he so bent and scarred, when all the Gondolindrim I have seen are tall and fair?
VOR Long ago he was captured and tortured by balrogs. He took the name of Rog, come from the elven word meaning “bent”, and roughened it until it sounds uncouth on our tongues. He professes an undying hatred to the Dark Lord and his servants, especially the balrogs.
SHIFT TO GARDENS, where IDRIL WALKS THOUGHTFULLY. MAEGLIN APPROACHES.
MAG Fairer than the petals of the elanor are the maidens of Gondolin, taller and sweeter than the golden mallorn-trees, and yet Idril Turgon’s Daughter is fairer than they, even as they are to mortals.
IDR Maeglin, your approaches profit you nothing.
MAG Am I to be despised because I love you so fully and so well?
IDR You know that it is forbidden for you to marry your cousin, by the laws of the city and of the Eldar. And I have let you know full well that my heart leans not to your advances.
MAG So I am tortured night and day. And yet to be with you is joy, though fleeting. I would that we were wed, more than anything in the world.
IDR I pity you, Maeglin. And yet this desire is unwholesome. Leave me, and try and forget this passion.
GFD Is Maeglin troubling you, my lady?
MAG You would naturally be here, meddler and window-peerer, Glorfindel of the Golden Flower.
GFD I meant no discourtesy. But if the Lady Idril is in any way threatened by your behavior.
GLORFINDEL PUTS his HAND on MAEGLIN’S ARM.
IDR Glorfindel, let him go.
GFD On your way then, dark elf [Releases Maeglin]. And do not address the Lady again without her consent.
GFD He is bad, through and through.
IDR Not wholly, I think. But two sides strive for mastery of his soul, and his desire, though borne out of one side, can turn him to the other.
GFD Yet you are safe in Gondolin, my lady.
IDR My heart turns ever westward. I was only a child when I left Valinor with my father, and yet you grew up there, and now must ever feel the memory of that place.
GFD The messenger has disturbed you, then?
IDR I love my father, Glorfindel. But he has lost his faith, and almost his hope. We cannot stay hidden forever, though Thorondor and Ulmo and all the powers of Beleriand try and protect us.
GFD I long only for battle, and the feel of orc-blood on my blade once more.
IDR You were the greatest warrior among us. And yet by no power of the Noldor may the Dark King Morgoth be thrown down.
GFD You speak well and wisely, my lady. My heart as well aches for the West, more than ever since the coming of Huor’s son. Whether by the sword or by the ship, I hope that one day I shall return there. I long to see white shores again, and the fair green country. Thus I fear not death.
IDR Ecthelion says that you have taken to dreaming of late. And yet your dreaming must be sweeter than the living.
GFD The West still lives. One day, the Valar shall pardon us, and we will return.