User talk:Amroth/Screenplays/Fall of Gondolin

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Latest comment: 4 September 2008 by Ederchil in topic Lords of Gondolin

Greetings! This is the screenplay for Tolkien's epic story, The Fall of Gondolin. The title "Fall of Gondolin" may or may not be kept. We may start the script either with Tuor, or with Turgon's building of Gondolin, or with a certain "fictional" character who sees Turgon. Unlike the Lay of Leithian or the Narn i Chîn Húrin, it is possible to insert a "fictional" character, that is one the writers made up, to put the story into more "story-like" form. The other option would be to center on Tuor himself.

As far as my own ideas for the general style of the production go, I believe this production would do well with a sort of poetic style. That is, a heavy emphasis on music and landscape, for instance. Also, the world will be revealed through Tuor's eyes; we see Gondolin for the first time at the same time he does, for instance. Discuss this screenplay below, and feel free to challenge anything if you see fit. --Narfil Palùrfalas

General Discussion

General discussion below this line.

Maeglin vs. Tuor

For me the fall of gondolin rotates around the Turgon's obstiance, Tuor's family and Maeglin and Tuor's rivalry. It may be just me, but I wonder if for dramatic purposes it would be good to make Tuor vs. Maeglin a climactic fight(and probably a little later in the battle) rather than Tuor flinging Maeglin off a cliff first thing. Could this be good? (I have figured how this would work, considering a few technicalities.)

I agree. A lot of the battle will be condensed. Maeglin would, as in the account, seize Earendil, who bites Maeglin or draws a little dagger given him earlier on (even Sting perhaps!) or something of that sort. Then there will be a whole duel scene between the two, ending by Tuor wounding Maeglin and then casting him from the walls. At least, that's how I visualize it. --Narfil 15:49, 4 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New script additions

I have written a rather large chunk of the script going up to the beggining of the battle, and I am posting it in chunks, especially since I am converting it to the proper format. I know this is a lot of script, much of it will probably be unneccescary so I wanted to add a couple notes.

First of all, please edit it (of course). I pretty much took the policy of more rather than less so there will probably be some uneccescary stuff (namely the large part I have already posted on Maeglin). I really don't mind whatever you switch. There may be a couple parts of sentmental attatchent tha I thinkre important, but really fee free to shang it around (that's what this is for!)

additionally, I'm not sure how specific I should be with direction, etc. so if I am unclear let me know and I will clarify it.

I think that's all I can think of for this segment, I will be posting other segments quickly as possible.

OK....just added another chunk. Again, much of it probably isn't the best diolouge, so do what you want with it. I have 2 quick notes.

-Here I want to emphasize the romance between Tuor and Idril, that after all these years they still love eachother. I think Tolkien makes this stand out so it should here as well. It might appear to be a little over the top, so there's something to look at.

-Also I include a few changes in things such as Idril's dream. originally she dreams Maeglin does all of this, but I cut that and made it anonymous so the audience could figure it out. I made a couple changes like that, but if you like the purism just change it back. that's pretty much it.--Maeglin 22:22, 16 May 2008 (EDT)

It's a great chunk you've typed up, but I do agree that much of it could be shortened. We don't need a fast-paced action film here, but we don't want to bore the audience either while. A lot of what I wrote will similarly be sandpapered. Still, it's best to write as much as possible, see what we have, and then break it down from there. --Narfil 15:49, 4 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've read and thought about your additions, and I have a few suggestions.
  1. Maeglin's story could be shown more visually in Morgoth's dungeons. Morgoth prods Maeglin's mind, and flashes of his dark history show. Perhaps Morgoth repeats some of the words of SPY8. That would cut down greatly on space.
  2. I really like the way you had Maeglin searching for more ore, and how Maeglin decided to venture past the King's boundaries (although I think the word leaguer is used incorrectly).
  3. You may disagree, but I feel that, with the dream, there is no need to further emphasize Maeglin's abiding (and evil) passion for Idril. Subtlety goes a long way on film, and a few glances here and there with appropriate cinematography can do the trick more quickly and efficiently.
  4. Although it could do with some revision, I like the way you presented the dream.
  5. I personally feel that Salgant's conversation with Maeglin is unnecessary. Perhaps Maeglin could start working after his episode with Morgoth, and there Salgant is introduced in some shape or form. The content in this discussion ould probably be spread out in other scenes to condense it.
I hope you don't mind if I do a little editing. I'll wait for a response from you, though, before I jump right in. --Narfil 16:11, 4 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lords of Gondolin

Should there be a scene (Such as a meeting) that would introduce the lords of gondolin systematically (as well as a couple integral names) to clarify things? Or would that complicate it- people that don't get it don't need to.

I think this also ties in with a couple general questions- is it better on the whole to add more and thus make it longer? Is it better to go into more detail?

Have you seen Prince Caspian? There's a scene there where, almost in the background, Telmarine lords pledge their troops. It might be nice to have a similar "sideline" scene, where the lords of the houses march into Gondolin and declare their presence to the King. Perhaps while Turgon is musing philosophically on the approach of Morgoth's armies they would sort of be in the background. --Narfil 15:49, 4 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That would kinda mimick the entry of the Fiefs of Gondor, the wonderful Homeric episode in Minas Tirith (chapter) (which, unfortunately, wasn't good enough for Jackson). I think it serves great dramatically, and also allows the audience to identify who's who. Medieval-styled war movies often have the problem of introducing many fiefish characters without properly introducing them by name. -- Ederchil (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 16:50, 4 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Maeglin subplot

Would it be worth it to add a minor subplot concerning Maeglin's upbringing? It would probably only be a few minutes and could intertwine with Tuor's youth, perhaps. Does that sound reasonable or am I just being irrational because I like Maeglin(thus my username)? At any rate I think it would be worth mentioning his past in order to set up his role.--Maeglin 22:44, 29 April 2008 (EDT)

Personally, I would prefer that the audience see Gondolin revealed through Tuor's eyes. I think a few brief flashbacks would be good as Maeglin's character is developed, but in my opinion there's no need to show bits of Maeglin's story alongside Tuor's. --Narfil Palùrfalas 11:56, 30 April 2008 (EDT)

Galdor's name

Should we change Galdor's name? Because of how early in the legendarium he appears I should think it to be forgivable. The point is that I don't want people confusing Tuor's grandfather with this elf-lord (nor do I think Tolkien would, if he had ever rewritten the tale). In one scene I wrote Tuor as saying, "I am Tuor, son of Huor, son of Galdor, son of Hador." Galdor the elf-lord is a minor character, but he does appear at least once by name. A simple solution would be to just have Tuor say, "I am Tuor son of Huor, descendant of Hador." Or, we could change Galdor's name to something else (or even replace Galdor's role altogether with an "invented" character). What are your opinions? --Narfil Palùrfalas 11:27, 21 December 2007 (EST)

I kind of like the idea of just not mentioning his name, it doesn't confuse people and yet it doesn't go against what Tolkien wrote. --Hyarion 12:04, 21 December 2007 (EST)

Title Ideas

  • The White Citadel
  • Gondolin
  • The Hidden Rock/ Secret City
  • Plain old 'The Fall of Gondolin'?



Synopsises below. You may add on ideas as you wish, directly after the synopsises under their own heading.


The prologue scene; in this scene, Ulmo will do a voiceover as Turgon places the armor in Vinyamar. Ulmo should introduce Turgon's calling to Gondolin, and the promise of a messenger to herald the end. Turgon's face should be hidden during the entirety of this scene, either hooded or merely not shown directly.

This prologue scene (similar to the Peter Jackson film version of The Fellowship of the Ring) should also include a voiceover narration of Huor assisting Turgon at the fifth battle, and Huor's death with an arrow to the eye. Unsigned comment by PaulBHartzog (talk • contribs).
If Scene Two is to be Tuor's escape, then it might be fruitful to also include at least something that shows the elves rescuing Tuor's mother from the elements.Unsigned comment by PaulBHartzog (talk • contribs).


In this scene Tuor should escape from the Easterlings, introducing his lineage and the position of Men.


Here Tuor heads west, coming to Belegaer. He will eventually be whispered-to by a gull, a sort of messenger from Ulmo, and head south to Vinyamar. There he enters and discovers the armor, putting it on.


In this scene Tuor exits Vinyamar to stand on the sands in front. As he does so, he spies storm-clouds westward over the sea, and hears thunder. Ulmo appears in all his majesty, with his horns calling, and charges him with a mission.


Conceptual Design

Below shall be discussion for Conceptual Design, and below the discussion conceptual drawings.

Leitmotif code: Each normal letter signifies a quarter note, with ","s to seperate them into beats. "+" or "-" are added to show whether the following note is the one above or below it; a double of either of these shows that it is that note plus and octave. If there is a "/" between two regular notes, that shows both notes to be eighth-notes; double "/" shows them to be sixteenth, and so on. Half-notes are denoted when italicized, and whole notes when boldened. A connecting slur is denoted by "_", while a dot is ".". See below the example:

"Mary had a little lamb": E, -D, -C, +D, +E, E, E, -D, D, D, +E, +G, G, -E, -D, -C, +D, +E, E, E, E, -D, D, +E, -D, -C.



Tuor should be a rough-looking sort of man to begin with, but at the same time tall and lordly. Rather like the description of Aragorn, yet not quite so rugged and "in-tune" with the wild. He should always show a certain cleanliness, even when in the wilderness. After he enters Gondolin, he should be always dressed simply, generally in white and blue.

His leitmotif is somewhat wild and free, a little rustic, but tuneful. It also has a solid, low subtone that suggests nobility or royalty. Ideal instruments would be violin, harp, and/or whistle.


Idril generally wears, like her father, white and red, though occasionally blue and silver can be found in her outfits. Her hair is long and golden, reaching below her waist, often crowned with golden leaves or with a braid.

Idril's leitmotif is high but soft, probably in flutes, whistles, and/or a solo singer. It is probably the most romantic theme, yet not overly so. It remains soft and simple, without being rich and reinforced by a host of other instruments. Best compared to the theme to Mel Gibson's Braveheart (see samples for tracks 2-4).


Turgon is very tall and proud, grave of face; reflective and wise. Like his people, his garments are simple, though fine. He is often found in silver-gray or white, and his silver crown contains large red garnets. In great ceremonies he wears red and white, embroidered with gold, carrying a staff carved of white wood, with a gull carved on the end.

His leitmotif is very sturdy and regal. It relies much upon brass, perhaps French Horns or trumpets, playing slowly and solemnly. It also has a distinct tinge of sadness or wistfulness.

Idea leitmotif (3/4): E, +A, +B, +C, -A/+B, +C, +D. /-C, -B, -G, -D, +E, +F#, +G, +A/-G, -F#. /-E, -D, +E


In the beginning Voronwë is dressed in simple gray; a loose tunic and brown belt. Later he wears blue and silver, but always somewhat simply, without jewelry and always loosely.

Voronwë's leitmotif is played ideally on pipes or harps, like the Sea theme but lower. It is wild and quiet, somewhat simple as well, with a tinge of wistfulness.


Ulmo appears as he is described, very strong, in shining mail. Despite his even bearing, he has a bit of wildness about him.

His theme, too, is similar to both the Valinor and Sea themes. It is a combination of whistles in a high, churning melody, and low, sweet strings and horns in a slow, regal and beautiful theme.

Lords of Gondolin

Glorfindel is light-hearted, but very powerful and fiery. Ecthelion is more stoic, with quiet emotion and a cold but steady sword-arm. Rog is misshapen, and it is suggested that he was once tortured by Morgoth; he has a fierce hate of evil, and a love of his art of smithing. All others feature only as minor: Egalmoth and Galdor appear several times with speaking roles, Penlod, Duilin, and possibly Salgant are relegated to a non-speaking (except possibly for several short phrases) background role.

Glorfindel's leitmotif would be played on the woodwinds; high and noble, but seeming never to be still, always active. Ecthelion's is more horns and flutes, a regal, tuneful theme with a tinge of sadness and solemnity. Rog's is deep, with drums and a suggestion of darkness and great anger.

Rog leitmotif idea (bass clef): A, +C, -Bb, +E, -D, +E, -C, +D#, -A, +B
Glorfindel leitmotif idea (upper clef, high register; steady A below): E/+A/-G/+A/+D/-C/+D/-C/-E/+A/-G/+A/+D/-C/+D/-C/+E/-C/-A/-E/E/+A, C


Maeglin is generally dressed in black embroidered with silver, never excessively ornamented. He should be handsome and dark-haired, but with a somewhat rough voice.

His leitmotif can be played either quick or slow depending on the situation. It is, in its way, beautiful; played either minor or major, with occasional twists and surprise movements, but steady. Possible instruments would be strings or woodwinds.

Inhabitants of Gondolin

In Gondolin it is accepted that weapons are not generally openly displayed, except for guards on duty or during special ceremonies. Men wear Roman-like tunics, but often longer and more robe-like. Women typically have long dresses similar to those in fashion in Medieval Europe in the 14th century, but looser and lighter of material. In ceremonies of importance both their robes are still simple (no elaborate layers decked with gems or anything like that), but embroidered with gold, silver, and other colors. Soldiers wear surcoats bearing the emblem of their house, beneath which is fish-scale mail.





Idea leitmotif (4/4): A, A, +E, E, -D, +E/-D, +F, -E, A, A, +E, E, -D, +E/+G, -F#, -D

Square of the King

A four-sided area on a raised portion near the center of the City of Gondolin. On the far side is the great white palace of King Turgon, with the high tower spiraling up from its center. On either side of the bronze doors of the palace is a tree, one of gold and one of silver (Glingal and Belthil). The space of their branches is great enough that a score of elves could sit in each of their boughs, and they are filled with many singing white birds. In the middle of the courtyard, however, is the main attraction: a great fountain, formed by a natural geyser coming from the earth. It shoots up twenty-seven fathoms in the air, seeming to be made of crystal rain. The courtyard is bordered by a low wall of white stone, from which one could look out on the whole city, and just inside the walls by many beautiful green trees, though far smaller in stature than Glingal and Belthil.

Square of the Folkwell (Gardens)

A place of light and beauty. The ground is laid by smooth white stone like marble, and great trees grow about them. The roots of the trees are planted each in a raised area of green, grassy earth, which are close enough together that the sunlight comes down in shafts through the branches. Each of the circles is about fourteen cubits in diameter. Some of the mallorns have buildings in their high bows. The trees form a sort of ring around the Folkwell, which is fully two fathoms across and nine fathoms deep clear. It is fed by a spring down at the bottom, and the excess water is piped off to feed the trees of the Square.

Hall of the Chronicle

Not found in Tolkien's works. The hall is long and white, with a high ceiling. Windows are found just below the ceiling, on a clerestory. The paintings of the history are unbroken, one painting shifting into the other, in bright colors of blue, red, gold, silver, etc., very much in the romantic style.

Gar Ainion

A place, again, of light and beauty, with an ephasis on gold, white, and green. It is regular in shape, with arches leaving it open to the winds. Trees grow around it, especially mallorns. Its stone is white and laced with vines, inlaid with intricate gold engravings of leaves and scenes of hunts and bliss in Valinor.

Firth of Drengist

Ideal filming locations would be Cathedral Caves in New Zealand or Cape Cove in Oregon. Both are very different, so it's one or the other. The description in The Fall of Gondolin is of trees, white sands, and great cliffs beset with caverns and spoutholes.