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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Middle-earth TV Series Discussion:
Battles in the upcoming show?

Victariongreyjoy
Lorien


May 15, 11:52pm

Post #1 of 16 (1676 views)
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Battles in the upcoming show? Can't Post

What battles will likely be on the show? Will Amazon spend as much as HBO did for their GOT battle episodes?


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 16, 12:31am

Post #2 of 16 (1642 views)
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Potentially? [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Native Men of Eriador and Enedwaith vs. the Numenoreans over deforestation.
2. Numenoreans establishing dominions in Middle-earth.
3. War of the Elves and Sauron.
4. The Fleet of Numenor vs. Sauron (though there's not really a fight).
5. The War of the Last Alliance.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on May 16, 12:34am)


squire
Half-elven


May 16, 12:31am

Post #3 of 16 (1640 views)
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I don't think there are any battles in the Second Age [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien wasn't thinking that way when he scoped out the moral catastrophe of Numenor. There are battles in the First Age, and battles in the Third Age, but none in the Second Age (by memory - I await correction!)

When Numenor explores Middle-earth with its navigators and colonists, the primitive peoples of the continents flee or abase themselves before the technological superiority of the Dunedain.

When Numenor lands at Umbar to do battle with Sauron, its force is so overwhelmingly strong that his armies desert him and he humbly surrenders - only to take the empire down by stealth, charisma, and lies!

When the vast armies of Numenor land on Valinor to take Heaven by storm, the mighty armada is buried by the upheavals of earth and sea that lead to the world being turned from a disk to a globe. Great special effects - no battle.

Why, do you like battles on epic fantasy shows?



squire online:
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Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 16, 12:35am

Post #4 of 16 (1640 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

...considering that the Second Age ends with the War of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, yeah, there are a few battles. And the Numenoreans meet at least some resistance when they start over-harvesting the forests of Middle-earth. Not to mention some minor disagreement between Sauron and the Eldar over some jewelry.

#FidelityToTolkien

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on May 16, 12:40am)


squire
Half-elven


May 16, 2:25am

Post #5 of 16 (1616 views)
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Right! [In reply to] Can't Post

I forgot about the 'Elves v Sauron' war. Yes, some actual battles because Numenor is not directly involved. Of course, when Numenor shows up those battles end, because no one can beat Numenor militarily.

As I was trying to explain, that's the whole theme of the Second Age: battles mean nothing, because Numenor always wins without even trying hard. Its defeat is moral, not physical. Any TV series that emphasizes or overplays mere battles in a show about the Second Age, is missing Tolkien's point. And I know Amazon won't make that mistake.

I admit I never think of the Last Alliance battle as even being in the Second Age, even though it is. That's because my mind has always told me, 'Oh come on! the world is changed in its basic cosmic shape when Numenor falls, and that event is not considered the end of an Age?'



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.

(This post was edited by squire on May 16, 2:27am)


Hasuwandil
Lorien


May 16, 3:51pm

Post #6 of 16 (1523 views)
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Book of Lost Battles [In reply to] Can't Post

It's all up to Amazon, of course, but I don't think they need to focus on battles quite as much as PJ did. However, I do see several areas with potential for battles:

  • If Rhûn is a location in the series, it could be the scene of battles from about S.A. 500 on.

  • It is said that Galadriel saw the Dwarves as potential allies against the Orcs, which implies that they were causing trouble even before the forging of the Rings of Power, sometime between about S.A. 750 and 1350. No doubt they infested the Misty Mountains. Any merchants bearing goods from Eregion or Khazad-dûm would present a tempting target.

  • As others have mentioned, there were conflicts between the people of Enedwaith and Minhiriath (the Gwathuirim), and the Númenóreans. "The Mariner's Wife" only mentions them plundering the port of Vinyalondë while it was unoccupied by the Númenóreans and being "openly hostile", but elsewhere Tolkien writes that they attacked and ambushed the Númenóreans, although the time period of these hostilities is not clear. Vinyalondë was established about S.A. 800, and the conflicts must have happened some time after that.

  • The War of the Elves and Sauron began in S.A. 1693 and lasted some eight years, although half of that was a siege. If this war is featured in the series, it will no doubt cover multiple episodes. Tolkien wrote about several major events that took place during this war, but the writers could expand on what he wrote. Most of the fighting took place in Eregion and Eriador, but one lesser-known conflict of this war was an attack on Mount Gundabad by Sauron's forces.

  • There were probably multiple conflicts in Middle-earth during the Dark Years between the War of the Elves of Sauron and the capture of Sauron, though likely relatively small in scale. Some of these would be between Númenóreans and native inhabitants of Middle-earth.

  • There was civil war in Númenor beginning during the reign of Tar-Palantir (S.A. 3177).

  • Although not exactly battles, the forces of Númenor were mobilized to attack Sauron in S.A. 3261 and Valinor in S.A. 3319.

  • And, of course, the War of the Last Alliance in S.A. 3429-3441.

  • Although it took place in the Third Age, I think it would be fitting to include the Disaster of the Gladden Fields in T.A. 2.



Hêlâ Auriwandil, angilô berhtost,
oƀar Middangard mannum gisandid!


Althoun
Lorien

May 16, 5:14pm

Post #7 of 16 (1505 views)
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The Battle of the Gwathló [In reply to] Can't Post

The most significant military confrontation of the War of the Elves and Sauron is probably the Battle on the Gwathlo river at Tharbad in S.A. 1701.

Tom Shippey even seemed to refer to this battle in his interview i.e.


Quote
The Tolkien Estate will insist that the main shape of the Second Age is not altered. Sauron invades Eriador, is forced back by a Númenorean expedition, is returned to Númenor. There he corrupts the Númenoreans and seduces them to break the ban of the Valar. All this, the course of history, must remain the same.


So, I think it's safe to say that depending on the rights situation (and they seem to have access to parts of UT, as indicated by the map), there is a good chance that this battle will feature in the series. Bizarrely, the above paragraph appears to mesh the War in Eriador together with Ar-Pharazon's expedition and capture of Sauron over a thousand years later.

The chapter of Unfinished Tales titled "History of Galadriel and Celeborn" gives a detailed account of the events immediately preceding, during and after this decisive Gwathlo campaign, which could be described as the "Stalingrad" of the First War of the Ring (inasmuch as it proved as disastrous for Sauron as the real-life Hitler or Napoleonic invasion of Russia in 1941/1812 respectively, the former of which ended disastrously in 1943 with the Russians' complete routing of the German Sixth Army on the Volga river):


Quote
"Sauron was driven away south-east after a great slaughter at Sarn Ford (the crossing of the Baranduin); and though strengthened by his force at Tharbad he suddenly found a host of the Númenóreans again in his rear, for Ciryatur had put a strong force ashore at the mouth of the Gwathló (Greyflood), 'where there was a small Númenórean harbor'...

In the Battle of the Gwathló Sauron was routed utterly and he himself only narrowly escaped. His small remaining force was assailed in the east of Calenardhon, and he with no more than a bodyguard fled to the region afterwards called Dagorlad (Battle Plain), whence broken and humiliated he returned to Mordor, and vowed vengeance upon Númenor. The army that was besieging Imladris was caught between Elrond and Gil-galad, and utterly destroyed. Eriador was cleared of the enemy, but lay largely in ruins."


Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 4, The History of Galadriel and Celeborn: Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn


Basically, a small detachment of Numenoreans and Elves are trying to hold the line of the river Lune from Sauron's invading army that has now overrun and despoiled the entirety of Eriador, save for Imladris where Elrond is keeping the enemy at bay in a long siege, with the intent now of besieging Lindon (a march to the Sea kind of campaign to complete the continental conquest).

Emergency aid has been requested from distant Númenor and Minastir has overruled the isolationist queen Tar-Telperion, however the Navy he has dispatched under the Admiral Ciryatur is caught in stormy weather and delayed.

When all hope seems lost, and Sauron's total victory in Middle-Earth appears to be assured, then in the nick of time the Númenórean navy arrives, sailing up the Gwathlo river, at which point Sauron's forces are entirely routed and he escapes only with his personal bodyguard to Mordor.

Unbeknownst to Sauron, Admiral Ciryatur had more forces at his disposal and landed a large amphibious force at the small Númenórean harbour at the mouth of the Gwathló River. This new contingent falls upon Sauron's rear from the south-west while Gil-galad's Elves and the other Númenóreans attack from the north.

The fortunes of the war utterly reverse, as does the balance in Middle-Earth politics, with the Elves realising the sheer plenitude of power of the Númenóreans and the coming dominion of Men, compared with their fading glory, while Númenor begins to establish permanent colonies in Middle-Earth and its precipitous moral lapse into imperialism begins.

This battle will surely be on the scale of Helms Deep and Pelennor Fields if depicted. It has the potential for high-stakes drama and complicated international politicking in the background between the Eregion exiles, the Noldor kingdom of Lindon, the new haven of Imladris under siege and Númenor.


(This post was edited by Althoun on May 16, 5:28pm)


Solicitr
Gondor


May 16, 7:22pm

Post #8 of 16 (1446 views)
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Well, [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Will Amazon spend as much as HBO did for their GOT battle episodes?


The question is not how much money is spent, but how well they are realized. While some GoT battle scenes worked, others were plain bad. Compare the absolutely horrible (and extravagantly expensive) Battle of Winterfell, with The Last King's Battle of Ethandun realized on a fraction of the budget- or GoT's own (much less costly) Battle of the Blackwater.

A lot of money is no guarantee of a good outcome (Heaven's Gate, anyone?). Unless the writers and director know what they're doing, the GDP of a small country couldn't polish the inevitable turd.


Solicitr
Gondor


May 16, 7:43pm

Post #9 of 16 (1442 views)
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con't [In reply to] Can't Post

As an example of what good direction can do with the budget of a junior high school play, witness Agincourt in Branagh's Henry V:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOGQmWXf788

"And so our scene must to the battle fly;
Where - for pity! - we shall much disgrace
With four or five most vile and ragged foils,
Right ill-disposed in brawl ridiculous,
The name of Agincourt.


And yet- it WORKS, notwithstanding the 17 quid half-crown budget, the historical and tactical nonsensicality and the rubbish "fighting", because, as drama, it is thoroughly compelling.


fantasywind
Bree

May 17, 6:53am

Post #10 of 16 (1364 views)
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Second Age battles [In reply to] Can't Post

As already all previous posts mentioned, in the source material for Second Age events there are plenty of battles, within single War of the Elves and Sauron there are several very major battles: the Sack of Eregion, basically could be a siege scenario, city of the Elves, the capital of Eregion Ost-in-Edhil is assaulted as per the Unfinished Tales account, battles with forces of Moria and Lorien, Celeborn and Elrond, battle of Sarn Ford, Battle of Gwathlo as mentioned before, all sorts of skirmishes and sieges (like besieging Elrond's force in Imladris valley), there were also other wars throughout Second Age, wars of Numenor, wars of Ar-Pharazon and Sauron's assault on Numenorean colonies, then of course the very end of Second Age is the giant War of the Last Alliance (the assault on Minas Ithil, defensive battles of Anarion on the line of Anduin, Battle of Dagorlad, then the 7 year long siege of Barad-dur which ends with final combat on slopes of Orodruin). It all depends on the events that the Amazon show will portray, (and how they will portray it, their interpretations may be vastly different).

Wars and battles in general are source of visual spectacle, plus add tension for the characters even if we know they survive. It's still pretty much vague how the Amazon will approach this show, what will they do with it, we can only guess.


Chen G.
Rohan

May 17, 1:58pm

Post #11 of 16 (1314 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Tolkien wasn't thinking that way when he scoped out the moral catastrophe of Numenor. There are battles in the First Age, and battles in the Third Age, but none in the Second Age (by memory - I await correction!) [..] Why, do you like battles on epic fantasy shows?


Well, the Second Age is in general Tolkien's least well-drawn. Its little more than a piece of interstitial tissue between the events of the First Age and of the Third Age, each concpetualized in isolation from each other and requiring some bridging material to be made after the fact.

But as Tolkien developed it, battles do emerge in the Second Age. Besides, like it or not, the films did set the stage in terms of channeling Middle Earth into action filmmaking.

Even if this show weren't set to follow in the films' continuity (which per Howe and Jackson - it is), I doubt it could really step away from that formula of having major action setpieces within the piece.

I personally don't subscribe to the idea that the presence of action in a narrative somehow "cheapens" the narrative, so I'm totally fine with it. I like action.


In Reply To
3. War of the Elves and Sauron.[..]5. The War of the Last Alliance.


As far as I can discern from the map, the show is set in the period leading up to the War of the Elves and Sauron. The issue there is that the War of the Last Alliance and even the events of Akallabeth are far-removed from those events, even in terms of the lifespan of Numenorean kings.

It'd be tricky to set-up a cast of characters (which will no doubt include quite a few Numenorean characters) and then overhaul so many of them as the events of history unfold. Game of Thrones was quite a lengthy, but the bulk of its fictional narrative takes place over a couple of years. Doing millennia is tricky.

I know some people are hoping for something anthological in nature where each season covers a separate epoch in the Second Age, but shouldn't we want any one of these Century-sprawling, history-changing events to have several seasons dedicated to it?

My guess is the show will be about the War of the Elves and Sauron, and the spinoff that Amazon optioned will focus on the events later down the chronology.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 17, 1:59pm)


Wainrider
Bree

May 20, 11:52pm

Post #12 of 16 (907 views)
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Battles [In reply to] Can't Post

THey could do something with the Black Numenorians (not sure when they officially appeared), Easterlings, Haradrim, Dwarves or even Dragons, unless they have to follow the appendices strictly.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 21, 12:23am

Post #13 of 16 (903 views)
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Black Numenoreans [In reply to] Can't Post

The Black Numenoreans actually gained control of Numenor near the end, but some would have also controlled dominions in Middle-earth. The Mouth of Sauron was probably from a corrupted bloodline or from one of the last few pure ones (though I think Tolkien indicates otherwise).

#FidelityToTolkien


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


May 21, 3:14pm

Post #14 of 16 (836 views)
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yeah, the fight I'm most looking forward to seeing [In reply to] Can't Post

even though it will probably be more of a successive series of duels rather than a battle, is that final confrontation between Gil-galad, Elendil, Isildur and Sauron. I wonder if they'll include more characters in that scene as well: Elrond, Galadriel, Cirdan or Glorfindel, for instance, could all potentially be present, though I could only see Galadriel and Glorfindel actually helping to physically fight Sauron. As long as they don't mess it up as badly as Benioff & Weiss did with the Night King, that'll be an epic fight.


InTheChair
Lorien

May 23, 9:54pm

Post #15 of 16 (711 views)
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Sounds interesting. [In reply to] Can't Post

I like the sound of those longbows being used in that scene. Reminds of how important sound is for a good battle scene. Especially if you want to make a specific point, as for instance, how important the longbow may have been at Agincourt. Brian Blessed hammering away with a mace on a shield, well that's just a neat visual, although given Blessed's voice you'd almost expected them to have done something with it.

There ought to be a few interesting things that Amazon can do with battles, without falling into the tired Hollywood cliché of a massive CGI army muddle, predominantly grey or brown.

Numenor should give them opportunity of one or two good ship boardings, though I don't know who would be the enemy.

Those special steel bows of the Numenorans is something they could make use of.

Their ability to force march and move great distances in short time is another.

Then there is the Numenoran shield-fence formation, and so on.

There are opportunities for good battle scenes if they are allowed to use material from UT.

Of course I have no idea how much importance they intend to place on the book material.


(This post was edited by InTheChair on May 23, 9:56pm)


fantasywind
Bree

May 24, 5:25pm

Post #16 of 16 (563 views)
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Numenoreans in battle [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I like the sound of those longbows being used in that scene. Reminds of how important sound is for a good battle scene. Especially if you want to make a specific point, as for instance, how important the longbow may have been at Agincourt. Brian Blessed hammering away with a mace on a shield, well that's just a neat visual, although given Blessed's voice you'd almost expected them to have done something with it.
There ought to be a few interesting things that Amazon can do with battles, without falling into the tired Hollywood cliché of a massive CGI army muddle, predominantly grey or brown.
Numenor should give them opportunity of one or two good ship boardings, though I don't know who would be the enemy.
Those special steel bows of the Numenorans is something they could make use of.
Their ability to force march and move great distances in short time is another.
Then there is the Numenoran shield-fence formation, and so on.
There are opportunities for good battle scenes if they are allowed to use material from UT.
Of course I have no idea how much importance they intend to place on the book material.


Indeed the UT accounts give lots of interesting information on Numenorean warfare, Disaster of Gladden Fields contains references to specific battle formations and tactics, the Numenorean steel bows could be portrayed as an amazing weapon of great effectiveness, of course if only the lore bits would be available to use. Also the use of the fleets to carry and transport the troops, the ships may have little use in the actual wars though (sea battles would be more fitting for say Aragorn fighting corsairs of Umbar :), as young Aragorn adventures were once rumored, maybe one day we'll see a spin off based on this).

 
 

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