Sunday, November 8, 2015

Council of Elrond with Sauron

I really enjoyed the reenactment (if you can call it that) of the Council of Elrond the other day during class. It seemed like each of the characters were voiced accurately even with some extras added in. Something that bothered me, though, was the presence of Sauron and even Saruman.

Since these characters are evil, they dissolve a lot of energy among the characters fighting for good, and it seemed to slow the conversation down at times in the discussion setting. The whole role of these characters is to foil plans and that made it difficult to both portray and include those characters in the Council. Maybe if they had their own "council" it would be easier to discuss since the bad characters have similar motivation for the ring.

Was there anything that bothered anybody else about our portrayal of the Council, and did anybody else notice this about the portrayal of Tolkien's less savory characters?


Lórien said...

I can see what you are talking about here, the Council probably would have reached an agreement sooner without the interference of the evil characters. However, since the goal was to reproduce the council accurately, I think their inclusion helped out a lot. Our goal was try to gain a better understanding of the characters and their motivations. In this sense we made far more progress by having Sauron and Saruman join us for the council.

On another note, I thought it was strange to have a Council of Elrond without Frodo. While it's true that he didn't speak at the council very much, I feel like there was potential there to figure out more about his character. For example, why did Frodo choose to take the ring instead of returning to the shire? Certainly no one would have blamed him, and Frodo was reluctant to move forward. It isn't that big of a deal, but it was probably the aspect of the exercise that bothered me the most.

Aulë said...

One thing that I noticed during our Council was that we kept talking in circles, and I feel that maybe a lot of us got so caught up in what our characters would want that we didn't adapt that even as the discussion evolved, for example when Sauron said "This is my Ring. I made it." Even after that pretty definitive revelation, there was some waffling about it.
I had mixed feelings about having the evil characters present; I thought it had the potential to add a lot of depth to the discussion, but I agree with Ulmo that it may have blunted the good characters' reactions. No one wanted to talk about how to destroy the Ring with Sauron in the room!

Manwë said...

I personally liked the inclusion of the darker characters- Saruman in particular. I think that he had the potential to really turn the tables in some of the arguments; it was pointed out that he was put in charge by Manwë so therefore he must have, or at least had, some superiority or greatness above the other wizards (though it could be argued that Saruman was needed in the defeat of Sauron and therefore was put in charge as some form of divine intervention- but that’s a whole nother argument). The morality of Saruman is also interesting in that it could be argued that he did indeed want Sauron defeated and saw the Ring as the perfect opportunity, rather than wanting to become another Sauron (at first anyway). If such points were brought up more prominently then maybe some people, like the men of Gondor, might have changed their minds if they got something out of it as well.
I also thought that the addition of Sauron’s Messenger was important as it brought up the question of loyalty to Sauron- if the messenger got the ring would he give it over? Or would he take it for himself and become the new dark lord? I think the question of solidarity and loyalty/motivations within the darker sectors of Middle-earth is very interesting.