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  1. #1
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    Death in Gundabad: Legacy of Durin and Trials of the Dwarves

    What I’m about to suggest is probably something that is either:
    1) Already going to happen in some respect during the upcoming expansion or
    2) Too late in the development process to actually happen now

    But nonetheless, I think it is worth saying.

    Durin’s progress towards Gundabad has so far seen a lot of bloodshed of nameless red shirt dwarves, but it hasn’t seen many (or any?) named dwarves die.

    Why does this matter? Well, it makes the stakes seem pretty low. Not that I want any characters to die in particular, but if I think back to the Grey Company, the reason I (and many others) cared about them was the fact that they were vulnerable to events in the story (alongside the fact that our characters had previously got to know them) - if they had all survived to see Aragorn be crowned king, the story would have been far less compelling. Even when we know a character is going to die (in the Blood of Azog, Frerin and Nain in particular come to mind, or Halbarad and Calenglad in Vol 4), the story still packed an emotional punch. Candaith’s death in particular never ceases to make me sad, despite having played that instance many times on many characters.

    So what is my suggestion? Some of Durin’s close allies need to die in/around Gundabad. This can be in a heroic way, but so far it has been too easy for the young Prince - and only through proper adversity can we see his character fully develop.

    The next question is who. While I don’t expect any suggestion to see itself implemented in the story, my suggestions would be someone big, like:
    - Nain the Slakeless (losing his uncle and a hugely powerful warrior would really give Durin something to contend with)
    - Gloin (I know he’s technically got Tolkien-armour until about FA12, which is his listed death date, but SSG have bent timelines a bit when it suited them. Gloin is the steadying hand on Durin’s shoulder and the Prince relies on him. Losing him would have a really interesting impact, and would remove one of the most empathetic - and therefore potentially popular - characters in the current quest line).
    - Bosi (he’s been through a lot, and it might be his chance to reclaim his honour after the fall of the Iron Garrison)
    - King Thorin (if the king joins the battle in Gundabad, this might really raise the stakes for Durin)
    - Agnar, Lagi, Reithvald (these heroes seem unkillable. Seeing their defeat would raise the sense of danger)

    Some of these (or even all of them/any other characters we’ve come to care about) dying for the conquest of Gundabad (I see it happening very heroically, protecting Durin’s retreat) would pack a serious emotional punch and in my opinion would elevate this already good story to the next level. MoL probably planned this story out ages ago, and something like this may even be on the cards anyway, but I felt the suggestion was still worth expressing!
    - Taravan, R12 Captain - Tirian, Tanking Guardian - Telperon, Completionist LM -
    - Afranius, R9 WL - Tolobain, R7 Weaver - Vargan, R6 Stalker -

    Ex-Leader of Lost Realm of Imladris - Evernight - Co-Founder of Beauty and the Beasts

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Tirian-Hammerfist View Post
    What I’m about to suggest is probably something that is either:
    1) Already going to happen in some respect during the upcoming expansion or
    2) Too late in the development process to actually happen now

    But nonetheless, I think it is worth saying.

    Durin’s progress towards Gundabad has so far seen a lot of bloodshed of nameless red shirt dwarves, but it hasn’t seen many (or any?) named dwarves die.

    Why does this matter? Well, it makes the stakes seem pretty low. Not that I want any characters to die in particular, but if I think back to the Grey Company, the reason I (and many others) cared about them was the fact that they were vulnerable to events in the story (alongside the fact that our characters had previously got to know them) - if they had all survived to see Aragorn be crowned king, the story would have been far less compelling. Even when we know a character is going to die (in the Blood of Azog, Frerin and Nain in particular come to mind, or Halbarad and Calenglad in Vol 4), the story still packed an emotional punch. Candaith’s death in particular never ceases to make me sad, despite having played that instance many times on many characters.

    So what is my suggestion? Some of Durin’s close allies need to die in/around Gundabad. This can be in a heroic way, but so far it has been too easy for the young Prince - and only through proper adversity can we see his character fully develop.

    The next question is who. While I don’t expect any suggestion to see itself implemented in the story, my suggestions would be someone big, like:
    - Nain the Slakeless (losing his uncle and a hugely powerful warrior would really give Durin something to contend with)
    - Gloin (I know he’s technically got Tolkien-armour until about FA12, which is his listed death date, but SSG have bent timelines a bit when it suited them. Gloin is the steadying hand on Durin’s shoulder and the Prince relies on him. Losing him would have a really interesting impact, and would remove one of the most empathetic - and therefore potentially popular - characters in the current quest line).
    - Bosi (he’s been through a lot, and it might be his chance to reclaim his honour after the fall of the Iron Garrison)
    - King Thorin (if the king joins the battle in Gundabad, this might really raise the stakes for Durin)
    - Agnar, Lagi, Reithvald (these heroes seem unkillable. Seeing their defeat would raise the sense of danger)

    Some of these (or even all of them/any other characters we’ve come to care about) dying for the conquest of Gundabad (I see it happening very heroically, protecting Durin’s retreat) would pack a serious emotional punch and in my opinion would elevate this already good story to the next level. MoL probably planned this story out ages ago, and something like this may even be on the cards anyway, but I felt the suggestion was still worth expressing!

    the one who might die is Durin

    https://prnt.sc/16b2efs

    as you can see he's not durin VII who appear much more later, so, maybe he'll die or change his name in the following events

  3. #3
    I'm thinking Nain, and of Ingor I wonder if the Frerin and whatshisname thief was foreshadowing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Morgahad View Post
    the one who might die is Durin

    https://prnt.sc/16b2efs

    as you can see he's not durin VII who appear much more later, so, maybe he'll die or change his name in the following events
    That's not at all apparent.
    Argendauss, Captain
    Rechart, Warden
    Hrodgart, Beorning
    Gunnart, Guardian

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgahad View Post
    the one who might die is Durin

    https://prnt.sc/16b2efs

    as you can see he's not durin VII who appear much more later, so, maybe he'll die or change his name in the following events
    They could go for this option, but I think it is unlikely. For all intents and purposes, I think this Durin is meant to be the Durin that reconsiders Moria - it’s just that this may be quite a way down the track, and that SSG are giving us Gundabad to get as close to conquering Moria without retreading old content.
    - Taravan, R12 Captain - Tirian, Tanking Guardian - Telperon, Completionist LM -
    - Afranius, R9 WL - Tolobain, R7 Weaver - Vargan, R6 Stalker -

    Ex-Leader of Lost Realm of Imladris - Evernight - Co-Founder of Beauty and the Beasts

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tirian-Hammerfist View Post
    ...so far it has been too easy for the young Prince - and only through proper adversity can we see his character fully develop.
    He hasn't had a great deal of success to this point, to be honest: he had one door he wanted to get through and then a giant dragon landed in front of it and said 'Nah,' forcing him to retreat. Hardly an astounding triumph for someone with his name.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tirian-Hammerfist View Post
    MoL probably planned this story out ages ago...
    Like most videogame stories, this one's been in development for a long time, so its course is pretty set. I will say that Middle-earth is a dangerous place -- but I'll also say that I treat every story as its own thing, and this isn't just 'The Grey Company... but with dwarves this time!' This is something different. I hope by the end of it you'll have been similarly taken with it.

    MoL

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadeOfLions View Post
    He hasn't had a great deal of success to this point, to be honest: he had one door he wanted to get through and then a giant dragon landed in front of it and said 'Nah,' forcing him to retreat. Hardly an astounding triumph for someone with his name.



    Like most videogame stories, this one's been in development for a long time, so its course is pretty set. I will say that Middle-earth is a dangerous place -- but I'll also say that I treat every story as its own thing, and this isn't just 'The Grey Company... but with dwarves this time!' This is something different. I hope by the end of it you'll have been similarly taken with it.

    MoL
    I take your point - although it feels more like a pause than a proper setback (perhaps caused by the fact that we know that Gundabad is coming up as an expansion, meaning any delay is only temporary), whereas a death of a character would be a more permanent ‘oh dear’ moment.

    The Grey Company storyline had a significant advantage in being able to feed off the existing stories from Vol 1 in particular, which gave it that greater level of immediate impact - so Candaith could be killed off quite earlier and his death still mattered - but I totally get that there isn’t necessarily going to be that Tur Morva moment for Durin - yet in a way, I’m kinda glad about that, given the number of off screen deaths that it led to.

    That said, the Grey Company weren’t the only ones that saw significant numbers of death - the fates of the Rohirrim really had an impact on me too, and as for Vol 2, it had its share of impactful deaths (more amongst the elves than the dwarves - until Mordor the four leaders had made it unscathed through their trials and tribulations!), which really contributed to the powerful sense of hopelessness in much of Book 9.

    To clarify, I am really enjoying the dwarven storyline so far, and am really excited to see where it goes in the expansion (although I’ll be sad to see it end so soon). Some may be calling for less dwarf content, but for me, the more the merrier!
    - Taravan, R12 Captain - Tirian, Tanking Guardian - Telperon, Completionist LM -
    - Afranius, R9 WL - Tolobain, R7 Weaver - Vargan, R6 Stalker -

    Ex-Leader of Lost Realm of Imladris - Evernight - Co-Founder of Beauty and the Beasts

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Tirian-Hammerfist View Post
    I take your point - although it feels more like a pause than a proper setback (perhaps caused by the fact that we know that Gundabad is coming up as an expansion, meaning any delay is only temporary), whereas a death of a character would be a more permanent ‘oh dear’ moment.

    The Grey Company storyline had a significant advantage in being able to feed off the existing stories from Vol 1 in particular, which gave it that greater level of immediate impact - so Candaith could be killed off quite earlier and his death still mattered - but I totally get that there isn’t necessarily going to be that Tur Morva moment for Durin - yet in a way, I’m kinda glad about that, given the number of off screen deaths that it led to.

    That said, the Grey Company weren’t the only ones that saw significant numbers of death - the fates of the Rohirrim really had an impact on me too, and as for Vol 2, it had its share of impactful deaths (more amongst the elves than the dwarves - until Mordor the four leaders had made it unscathed through their trials and tribulations!), which really contributed to the powerful sense of hopelessness in much of Book 9.

    To clarify, I am really enjoying the dwarven storyline so far, and am really excited to see where it goes in the expansion (although I’ll be sad to see it end so soon). Some may be calling for less dwarf content, but for me, the more the merrier!
    TBH: The main Dwarves I'm concerned about are, in fact, those Dwarves who have indeed come from earlier zones and places + more are coming. In theory, they could kill-off Dwalin, Bosi, Bori, Broin, any of the Iron Garrison survivors or even all of them, Afwald, Thorgest, Eywind from the Misties, anyone named in the pending reinforcements from Erebor, anyone named from other Dwarf Houses we've encountered in Blood of Azog or their descendants who may arrive, any Dwarves from Gabilshathur in Angmar, any from Othrikar in ND, any other named Dwarves from Ered Luin / Thorin's Hall, etc.

    Broin in particular is the one I'm the most worried about, storywise. He may go out in song, but Mazog's curse from Battle in the Tower will likely kill him and many others. Don't forget that part. He's as haunted as Golodir was in his own way; I'd say Broin has become the Dwarven Golodir of this storyline. Bori is also concerning. Broin could go-out trying to save him.

    In short: Don't count anything out quite yet! I'm with MoL on this one!


    I do have one recommendation for MoL:

    It doesn't make much sense to me that this huge dragon just flies over the Dwarf towers without doing any damage to them (i.e. Elderslade's main hub and the War of the Three Peaks "main base" tower for Durin's army). I mean... wouldn't Hrimil, who hates Dwarves, just unleash full ice fury on those hubs? Make it a race against time for the Dwarves to dig themselves out from icy tombs?

    I think Gundabad needs to begin with Hrimil making the first move exactly against the main Dwarven hubs / bases in Elderslade. Some form of counter-attack that has Durin and company scrambling. It just seems way too easy for Durin and his army to retreat to a couple of towers and hunker-down waiting for reinforcement without a significant counter-attack from the baddies with some notable deaths. We need a real shock, a real test that these Dwarves need to rebound from as best as they can when the reinforcements arrive. That can be their Tur Morva.

    I similarly had issues when I watched the end of the new Fall of Khazad-dum raid. How about making those Dwarves RUN up those stairs at the end into the First Hall, pant a bit, and then moan about the loss of their kingdom instead of........... the Balrog just suddenly stops chasing and decides to make the Fissure of Fire bisecting the Second Hall............. rather than chasing them across the Bridge? I'm pretty sure Gandalf held that span because he knew the Balrog could cross it. I can see those Dwarves escaping the East Gate and THEN letting it hit them that they lost their home. But.......... yeah. They just turn around and slowly plod up the stairs with sad remembrances going up to the First Hall. Huh? If others did the storytelling for that raid, it's worth raising to their attention

    The Enemy is not attacking Dwarves enough! Plenty of Dwarves attacking the Enemy, especially in War of the Three Peaks; I also thought the stakes were raised really well for Dwarves with the fall of the Iron Garrison, the interlude dragon attack on Erebor, and Karazgar's attack at Skarhald- but I think we need another similar jolt of that magnitude before we even enter Gundabad. Blood of Azog did a great job significantly raising the stakes in the past: now we need those stakes similarly raised again for Durin. It's time for Hrimil or Gorgar to make the next move- their turn, as it were. Durin made his move; let the enemies respond. That is my friendly critique, offered of course in the best of spirits (it's all good fun!) - Cheers!
    Last edited by Phantion; Jun 23 2021 at 02:46 PM.
    Phantion no longer has a character named Phantion in-game. He transferred to Landroval.

    .

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantion View Post
    It doesn't make much sense to me that this huge dragon just flies over the Dwarf towers without doing any damage to them
    It's almost like there's something else afoot here!

    But I'll let the story speak for itself when it arrives, and not spoil it in advance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phantion View Post
    I similarly had issues when I watched the end of the new Fall of Khazad-dum raid.
    Raids are for playing, not for watching! I trust Lansu's judgment on the way the story unfolds at the end of the raid.

    MoL

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by MadeOfLions View Post
    It's almost like there's something else afoot here!

    But I'll let the story speak for itself when it arrives, and not spoil it in advance.



    Raids are for playing, not for watching! I trust Lansu's judgment on the way the story unfolds at the end of the raid.

    MoL

    Thank you so much! I'm actually very excited right now and am looking forward to Gundabad!

    RE- raids: Yes, I agree That said, I find it hard sometimes to multitask between story and raiding, so I like to watch for both to see how the mechanics works / "experience the LOTRO-movie-version" first

    So, with that in mind, I did a re-watch - and I liked the "ending" much better the second time through; kudos to Lansu!

    For both your amusement, here's my "close reading" of the raid ending:

    Then so it was by chance, if chance you call it, that Durin's Bane looked down and so deigned to mark his new fell realm by opening an abyss of fire few could dare to cross, and so it was that by the hidden will of Iluvatar and the protection of Aule the Crafter the Dwarves departed their fallen realm in peace.

    Cheers!
    Phantion no longer has a character named Phantion in-game. He transferred to Landroval.

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