There are many challenges for someone who wants to bring Tolkien's world to life, but this is a really tough one: Light and weather.
Normally in movie-making you can decide for every scene, if it's day or night and how the weather is (sunny, cloudy, rainy). But before the age of the sun things are different. So here are some questions about that topic:
How dark is Middle-Earth? Of course before the sun rises the first time, it's always night with stars shining; but when clouds hide the stars, is it then darker than dark? Or the other way round: I belief that it is not easy to find the right sort of light to give Middle-Earth some kind of shiny gloss.
What is the colour of the sky in Valinor? Now in Valinor things are even more confusing. The source of the light is on the ground. Beside the fact that someone (scriptwriters?) has to decide for every scene if we are in the golden (5 hrs.) or in the silver period (5 hrs.) or in the period when both trees are in 'half power mode' (1 hr.), it is unclear for me, what colour the sky has. For your information, the blue sky (at morning and in the evening red) is caused by diffuse sky radiation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffuse_sky_radiation Now do you believe in correct physics in the holy country? (Did Tolkien anyway?) I did not make computer simulations to test it ;-), but the colour would be probably black or dark violet. So what do we want to do?
What is the weather forecast for Valinor? Does it rain in the holy country? Or do the plants in Valinor not need any water from the sky, because the ground is, well, a cool holy thing? How would it look like, when it is cloudy over Valinor and rainy, but not grey, because the source of the light is still on the ground? Are there like hundreds of rainbows?
Post by Huinesoron on Nov 17, 2007 19:14:39 GMT -5
I was all ready to come in here with a comment along the lines of '[Has no art skills either]', but lo and behold, here's something I can comment on! Praise be to Manwe Lord of the West etc etc.
How Dark Is Middle-earth?
The easiest answer, really, is to make it not cloudy most of the time, and to make sure everyone carries torches. For instance, on the march north in Aman there would be many torches. At Alqualonde and on the swanships, there may well be magical lanterns. So make sure there's always a fire around, and the problem goes away. But that's a fiddle, not an answer. Problem is, the answer is: very dark at all times. Starlight has never illuminated much. Maybe we can argue that the stars were brighter when Varda first formed them? Or maybe elves just glow... (joke, joke).
Weather and sky in the Blessed Realm
I would imagine -- and this is thoroughly imagination, I don't believe Tolkien ever said -- that there wouldn't be heavy rain in Aman. After all, it is completely under Valarin control. But whether there is or not, it's important to remember that it wouldn't be dark and murky -- the light is coming from under the clouds. It might even be more beautiful than usual. I'd imagine it would rain, or at least drizzle, from time to time, though. The Earthqueen wouldn't want to go against the natural order of things by growth 'just happening', would she?
As to the sky... well, we know the Treeslight blocks out the stars (hence the objection of the Teleri -- quite rightly so). But we don't know much else. If I pull out my pretty picture books, I can tell you that Sarah Ball shows the sky as black (but that her picture of the Two is ugly), and that Michael Foreman appears to show it as depending on the Treeslight at the time. Interestingly, both of these are from books by David Day (Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopedia, and Characters From Tolkien, respectively). Scientifically, the black sky makes more sense -- no matter how large a city on our earth, it never makes the night sky glow unless there's cloud cover -- but the gold/silver skies look prettier. So... I'unno. Maybe black, but with scattered clouds which will reflect the Treeslight?
~He came never back among the people of the Elves~
I cannot do any kind of art, but I can share my vision and then see what you can come up with in regard to tree light vs sky light.
Text: Telperion had shining silver leaves and from his countless flowers a dew of silver light was ever falling. Laurelin had flowers with a horn that spilled a golden rain. It took seven hours for each tree to wax and then it would wan and the other tree would blossom one hour before the other tree ceased. Each light lingered for 12 hours. The mingling hours being dawn and evening. Varda captured the silver dew and golden rain in vats like shining lakes that were to all the land as wells of water and of light.
So our dear trees served a dual purpose. They served up liquid light.
So here is how I envision it. The closest thing I can come to in the world as we know it is a flood light. For convenience I will give times, but I know this does not apply in the of JRRT. At 6:00 am Lauralin begins to wake up and Telperion is going to sleep, their light mingles for an hour until T is fully asleep. L's light continues to grow brighter and brighter until 1:00 in the afternoon when it is at it's zenith, it then begins to grow dimmer and dimmer until 6:00 pm when L is going to sleep and T is waking up, hence both lights are dim and mingled for one hour, when L is fully asleep. T's light continues to grow brighter and brighter until 1:00 am when it is at it's zentith, it then begins to grow dimmer and dimmer until 6:00 am when it is now time for him to go back to sleep and for L to wake up and they mingle their lights for an hour. Like a flood light their light shoots up from ground zero and rises in the air, rising ever higher and expanding ever further as the light grows ever brighter and then rescinding and descending as it grows ever dimmer. It rains everyday, but only in the vicinity of the trees when L is in bloom and it is a golden rain. And there is dew every day, but only in the vicinity of the trees when T is in bloom and the dew is silver.
But I personally do not see the silver and gold light as some weird colouring out of a bad sci/fi movie. I don't think JRRT meant it that way, though I could be wrong-but we refer the sun's light as "golden" in our descriptions of it do we not? And the moon we refer to in poems and sonnets and love songs...."By the silver light of the moon....." So I think the light of our dear Lauralin can resemble sunlight instead of being some wild and weird shade of gold and I think Telperion's light can resemble moonlight instead being some weird shade of silver. And I think it is okay at the zenith for his light to be really bright. I have seen nights of a full moon when I was in awe because the moon was so big and so bright that it was a bright as day, even though the sky was dark and it was night. Of course on nights like that you can't see any stars because the moon outshines them, but then that of course is the point here, right?
So having said all of that, I think the sky itself can react to the light of each tree accordingly as it would to sunlight or moonlight and the trees will water the land with their golden rain and silver dew. Two suggestions, the water in the lake/vats is magic and it seeps into the ground and spreads throughout the land underground to water everything, or the elves can develop an irrigation system. Whatever works for you and hS. Or you don't have to use any of my ideas.
Sorry for the LOOONNNGGGG explanation, but since I cannot draw I have to put what I see in my mind into TOO MANY WORDS.
Post by Huinesoron on Nov 19, 2007 13:09:16 GMT -5
And I think it is okay at the zenith for his light to be really bright. I have seen nights of a full moon when I was in awe because the moon was so big and so bright that it was a bright as day, even though the sky was dark and it was night. Of course on nights like that you can't see any stars because the moon outshines them, but then that of course is the point here, right?
Re: this. Yes, it is okay -- in every version of the mythos, the flower in the Moon was dimmed in some way. Sometimes it was dropped, sometimes attacked by Melkor, sometimes scorched during Tilion's too-close approach to the sun, but in every version, Tolkien found it necessary to dim the moonflower, because it would otherwise be as bright as the sun (which we know the moon is not).
~He came never back among the people of the Elves~
Next step would be research of what is known about those from the book.
Good lists. I like the concept. It helps know what we are dealing with. Later on, after the first of the year, I can try to help out with collecting information about the characters from the book for you. It's just that right now my time is so short that I've been focused on working with hS on the script. I only have 12 days left and then my Internet will be disconnected and depending on my finances I may not be able to reconnect until after school starts in January and then I may be reduced to using the school library until I can afford to purchase internet. We are all having to be patient with one another because we are so few in number, but if you are willing to wait for me, I am willing to lend you a hand.
Last Edit: Nov 21, 2007 21:33:18 GMT -5 by tamitha