Friday, January 03, 2003

Thanks to Neil Gaiman’s excellent journal I now have to post some of these re-writes of Lord Of The Rings he flagged up:

The difficulty in selecting material in which the reading public might show interest, the problem as a chronicler has been choosing those adventures which most brilliantly illustrate the deep knowledge and remarkable talents shown by my illustrious friend, Frodo Baggins of 221B Bag End.

I find, according to my notes, that it was a Wednesday in September in '19, that I chanced to be sitting in the parlour reading the Red Book of Westmarch while Baggins, in one of his odd humors, handled a large and battered felt hat. After some time, he tossed it over to me.

"Well, Gamgee," said he, gravely. "Here is the consequence of our ramble across the Water into Buckland yesterday. We have spent an instructive afternoon investigating my new digs in Crickhollow, but in our absence have missed a caller. An agitated one, I should say: in his haste he has left behind this most excellent hat."

"It is a pity we missed him," said I, examining it. "There is no way of knowing who it might have been. He left no calling-card?"

"I feel sure when the gentleman returns we shall have no difficulty in identifying him," Baggins said airily. "Can you not find any indications as to his identity?"

I knew my companion's methods and I did my best to imitate them. "It is a large hat," I ventured.

"Indeed, that is the most telling point of the matter," said Baggins. "Note the wide brim and exceptionally large and pointed crown. Such a hat would not fit you or I. The man who wore this hat must be at least four ells, if I am not mistaken, much into the manufacture of fireworks, well-travelled, gray-haired, and carries a well-worn wooden staff."

"My dear Baggins!" I cried. "It is quite beyond belief! I believe you are some kind of wizard!"

"Not I, Gamgee," said Baggins, peering through the curtains of the bowed window. "But unless I am much mistaken, there is one upon our doorstep to retrieve his hat."

Billy the page let in the visitor, who stood in the hall of Bag End, all in a gray cloak. He seemed to me as a large weathered aspen, tall and wizened with the weight of years, and had a craggy, lined face. He peered down at us with a desperate, haunted gaze, as one with a story of such horror and grotesquerie that I thrilled to imagine it.

"Have a seat, dear sir," said Baggins, gesturing with a pipe toward the basket chair. "This is my gardener, Dr. Gamgee, before whom you may speak as to me."

"My name is Gandalf," said the visitor, with a slight look of apprehension in my direction. "I am one of the four Istari, and I am at my wits' end, Mr. Baggins! I only hope you might help me with a devilish problem! It is quite beyond me or my order, so I come at last to you for the answer I must have."

"Istari?" said I, with a look at Baggins.

His eyes half-lidded, Baggins nodded. "One of the wizards who came to Middle-Earth in the year 1000 of the Third Age," he murmured. "You will find it filed under G in my pigeon-holes. Pray continue, Gandalf."

"Well, sir," Gandalf went on hurriedly, "I have been searching for a lost heirloom of magic which vanished on the Gladden Fields after the battle on the plains of Dargorlad. It is a ring, a small one, but one which my order is seeking. We know it was carried by the last King of Gondor, the heir Isildur, but I believe after that it has simply vanished from Middle-Earth! I am quite beside myself, Mr. Baggins, and you are my only hope. Can you help me?"

Baggins steepled his fingers together, his eyes closed. "Can you describe the Ring?"

"It is a plain gold band, without ornament whatsoever," said our mysterious visitor. "It is quite an ordinary ring, but of great sentimental value. I should be most appreciative if you could shed any light on my little problem."

"Of course," said Baggins. "Do you have any further information that might be of use in this investigation, however trifling?"

Gandalf hesitated. "It may be of no consequence."

Baggins opened his eyes. "It is upon the observation of details that the practise of genius relies," said he, sententiously.

"I may have overheard someone in connexion with the Ring," said the stranger, "give the name Shire. I decided to come to you at once."

"I see," said Baggins. "And was this informant an ancient Stoor perhaps two ells in height, with lanky hair and a bedraggled countenance?"

"Yes, that would be the very same," said the visitor, excited. "I see you are the very man who can solve my problem!"

"Quite," said Baggins. "I believe I can have this minor detail brought to a successful conclusion in a few days. Call again in two days and I'm sure I shall have your answer. And pray this time do not forget your hat."

"Thank you, Mr. Baggins," said our visitor, clutching the hat to his chest, and when he had been shown the door, Baggins sat down again at the deal-topped table, his brow clouded.

"Devilry, Gamgee!" was all he said.

In a quarter of an hour he rose to his feet and reached for his jacket. "Have you your service revolver, Gamgee?" said he.

"I have a stout walking-stick," I replied, meekly. "This is Middle-Earth, not London. Firearms have yet to be invented."

"A walking stick is just as well," said Baggins. "We shall have to make a little tramp through Hobbiton--perhaps as far as Rivendell. I suspect it may be dangerous, old man, so if you do not feel up to the challenge of such a journey--"

My stubborn streak reasserted itself. "I'm game," said I.

"Good hobbit," said Baggins, and his grey eyes flashed. "I'm afraid I cannot tell you more about this case at present, but our mysterious visitor was not the wizard Gandalf, but a clever disguise."

"Good gracious!" said I. "But how can you be certain?"

"Our visitor's hairs were white, as you must have observed, not gray," Baggins said. "In addition, he made a fatal mistake when he spoke of the four Istari, for in truth there are five wizards. I do not know what has become of the real Gandalf, if that is so, but we have no time to lose."

"Surely, Baggins," I said, and my spine tingled with horror. "You don't believe that Gandalf is a prisoner!"

"It is a capital mistake to theorise without data, Gamgee," Baggins said. "But allow me to summon a hack, and let us make first for Bree, where a little something nutritious from Butterbur's would not be out of order."

"The Fellowship of the Ring" as written by A.C. Doyle

Your Horoscope

By Loyd Schumner, Sr.
Retired Machinist and
A.A.P.B.-Certified Astrologer

It will be small consolation to learn that the incident with the Balrog was just the result of a big misunderstanding.

It’s nothing to be ashamed about. Most mortal men would have tried to take the ring from Frodo and thus doom all of humanity.

Your future involves a trip to the Grey Havens, a fight to free your homeland, and an erotic encounter with a giant female spider, but not necessarily in that order.

You’ve never been rescued by Ents after being captured by Uruk-Hai before, which just goes to show that there’s a first time for everything.

Despite all your pleading, slithering, and hissing, your Precious is still not interested in returning to you.

You’ve always just assumed that your army of Orcs would have no trouble dealing with a band of scrappy heroes. Well I guess we’re going to get that misconception cleared up, aren’t we?

Your belief that men are a flawed and weak race will be tempered when you learn of Aragorn’s selfless heroism. But only slightly.

If it makes you feel any better, countless evil overlords have made the mistake of concentrating all their power in a small, easily-losable object.

The Stars would like to politely suggest that it might be a prudent idea to delay your trip through the Misty Mountains until at least next April.

You will take part in a hilarious incident involving an inn and song about dancing tableware, although the humor of it may not be obvious at the time.

You’ll feel that being forced to face an army of ten-thousand Orcs is an unfair burden. Well join the club, buddy.

While your friends will be surprised to see you again, they’ll feel that the transition from “grey” to “white” smacks of self-promotion.

George Lucas (old)

INTERIOR: Mines of Moria -- Outside Balin's Tomb -- The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm

GANDALF: You shall not pass!

BALROG: If you only knew the power of the dark side. Saruman never told you what happened to your father.

GANDALF: He told me enough! He told me you killed him.

BALROG: No. I am your father.

Shocked, Gandalf looks at Balrog in utter disbelief.

GANDALF: No. No. That's not true! That's impossible!

BALROG: Search your feelings. You know it to be true.

GANDALF: No! No! No!

BALROG: Gandalf. You can destroy Sauron. He has foreseen this. It is your destiny. Join me, and we can rule Middle Earth as father and son. Come with me. It's the only way.

Balrog puts away his sword and holds his hand out to Gandalf. A calm comes over Gandalf, and he makes a decision. In the next instant he steps off the stone bridge into space. The Dark Lord looks over the platform and sees Gandalf falling far below. The wind begins to blow at Balrog's smokey wings and the torrent finally forces him back, away from the edge. The wind soon fades and the wounded Istari begins to drop fast, unable to grab onto anything to break his fall.

George Lucas (new)

ARAGORN : It is not disrespect, Master, it is the truth.
GANDALF : From your point of view....
ARAGORN : The hobbit is dangerous...they all sense it. Why can't you?
GANDALF : His fate is uncertain, not dangerous. Elrond's Council will decide Frodo's future...that should be enough for you. Now get on board!

ARAGORN reluctantly boards the Rivendell boat followed by MERRY. GANDALF goes over to FRODO.

FRODO : Gandalf, sir, I do not wish to be a problem.
GANDALF : You won't be, Frodie....I'm not allowed to train you, so I want you to watch me and be mindful...always remember, your focus determines your reality. Stay close to me and you will be safe.
FRODO : Master, sir...I've been wondering...what are midi-chlorians?
GANDALF : Midi-chlorians are a microcopic lifeform that reside within all living cells and communicates with Magic and the Ring.
FRODO : They live inside of me?
GANDALF : In your cells. We are symbionts with the midi-chlorians.
FRODO : Symbionts?
GANDALF : Life forms living together for mutual advantage. Without the midi-chlorians, life could not exist, and we would have no knowledge of Magic. They continually speak to you, telling you the will of Magic.
FRODO : They do??
GANDALF : When you learn to quiet your mind, you will hear them speaking to you.
FRODO : I don't understand.
GANDALF : With time and training, will.

Adventure at Mount Doom
A Choose Your OwnTM Adventure

page 1

You are sitting in your little house at Bag End enjoying a nice cup of tea with your friends Sam, Merry and Pippin, when suddenly there is a loud knocking at the door. You open the door to see a tall, gray-haired old man. He points a bony finger at you and says, "My name is Gandalf, I was a friend of your uncle Bilbo. I have come to warn you of a terrible danger. Do you still have your uncle's ring?"

"You mean this ring?" You hold out the ring to him. You don't remember much about your uncle, except that people always said he was a great adventurer. Could he have known this strange old man?

"It's too dangerous for you to stay here," the old man snaps. "There are dangerous people searching for this ring as we speak. You must go to Bree, where I will meet up with you and take you to someone who will know what to do. Will you go?"

"Yes, I will" Turn to page 20.
"No, thanks" Turn to page 49.
page 49

The old man looks worried. "Are you sure? It's very dangerous to stay here."

"I really think we should go" says Merry.

"Me, too" says Sam, "think of the adventures we could have!"

"Ok, I'll go" Turn to page 20.
"No, count me out" Turn to page 14.

page 14

Gandalf frowns at you. "Very well, if that's the way you want it... Alakazam!"

With a wave of his wand, the room starts to spin around you. As your vision fades, you feel you feet start to slip out from under you...

Turn to page 20.

page 20

After a long hike, you arrive at the Prancing Pony Inn with Sam, Merry, and Pippin. The inn is full of people drinking and laughing, but Gandalf is nowhere to be seen. In the corner, you notice a strange man watching you carefully.

You order some food from the innkeeper. Turn to page 52.
You order some drinks from the bartender. Turn to page 63.
You go to your room to get some sleep. Turn to page 31.
You talk with the bartender. Turn to page 27.You talk to the stranger in the corner. Turn to page 18.

page 52

The innkeeper runs off to the kitchen to prepare your dinner. Just as you are about to sit down, the stranger strides over to your table with a sly grin on his face. "And what would you folk be doing so far from home?" he asks. "These parts aren't very safe. You should come with me if you want to avoid those who'll do you harm. Come up to my room and we'll talk."

"Ok, let's go" Turn to page 6.
"Leave us alone" Turn to page 37

page 37

"Very well," the stranger says, and walks back to his corner.

After supper, you and your friends go up to your room to sleep. In the middle of the night, you are awakened by a slight noise. Before you can look around, a hand covers your mouth and a sword blade plunges into your chest. As your life slips away, the last thing you feel is the ring being taken off your finger.

The End.

crap, page 6

Just as you enter the stranger's room, he slams the door behind you and draws his sword. "Now I've got you!" he cackles, "hand over the ring!"

"Never! You'll have to fight me for it!" Turn to page 13.
"Ok, you can have it. Just let us go." Turn to page 44.

page 13

"Fools! You're not even armed!" With one quick strike, he plunges his sword into your chest. As your vision fades, the last thing you hear is his laughter.

The End.

damn, page 44

"Ok, take it. Just don't hurt us."

"Well, you lot are even less brave than I thought! Gimme that!" He grabs the ring from your hand.

"You've got what you wanted, now let us go!" You shout.

He grins at you. "Not so fast there. I can't have you blabbing to your wizard friend, now can I?"

Without another word, he stabs you with his sword. As you lay bleeding, you can't help but think you've let a lot of people down.

The End.

shit. Ok, page 27

You strike up a conversation with the bartender, who seems eager to speak with you in between filling tankards for the other guests. Things seem to be going well until you decide to tell a joke. While your wit has made you famous throughout the Shire, but the bartended is not so taken with it. He punches you in the nose, causing you to fall back and strike your head against one of the tables. Your sight dimming as the blood flows from the gash in your scalp, you wonder how you were supposed to know his mother was a one-legged turnip farmer from Gondor?

The End.

#&@%#$$! page 63

The beer is poisoned. You die.

The end.

Book is flung across the room

Ring Quest by Anne McCaffrey


Anor, in the Tolkinian Sector, was a golden G-type star. Endor, its third planet, was enveloped by an atmosphere that sentient beings could breathe, boasted water they could drink, and possessed a gravity that permitted many life forms to walk confidently erect. It had five major peoples (elves, dwarves, hobbits, men, ents) along with numerous stray groups it had attracted and held in recent millennia (wizards, orcs, goblins, trolls).

About every 200 cycles around Anor, Endor came into contact with a pernicious Maiar, known by various names—Sauron, Gorthaur the Cruel, the Necromancer, the Eye, the Nameless One, Ringmaker, Black Hand. His evil penetrated Endor spreading insidious threads that grew, multiplied and destroyed all life. The sentient peoples bonded together to fight this recurring menace. But not all believed the red eye would return yet again.

3018, the eleventh month of the twentieth cycle

The first rays of the sun glanced over the weyr’s star stone. The blue watch dragon let out an uneasy keen. Eowyn, Weyrwoman of Edoras, paced the cool flag stones of her weyr, her bare feet pushing aside a few stray grains of sand. She had awoken early after an uneasy night, unable to banish thoughts of the vivid the red eye growing larger in the east.

By the Shards of Narsil, how dared those hidebound oldtimers at Rivendell hold a so-called Council of Elrond and fail to inform her! She’d expect no less of Boromir. But the others!! They must, all of them, even the usually reliable G’mli and L’golas, be dazzled by that upstart Weyrwoman Arwen and her proddy dragon Eevenstarth.

She'd learned last night that F’rodo, son of D’rogo, rider of rogue dragon Samth, had apparently impressed a golden fire lizard, giving it the outlandish name Ringth. Master Harper Gandalf was of course only telling her half the story in true harper style. He’d admitted that the firelizard egg had come from a pirated clutch from the queen Precious, stolen by the renegade outcast Gollum and later appropriated by F’rodo’s uncle. This much was certain, but he would tell no more.

Fortunately his youthful apprentices, Meriadoc and Peregrin, were less closed mouthed. A few cups of Edoran wine and she'd gleaned from them the fact that there was some dispute about ownership of Ringth. As if a firelizard could look to more than one being at a time. Well, she'd have something to say about this! There would be time later to deal with the intractable Lord Holder Aragon. Why did that man distract her so.

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of Eriador lies a small unregarded countryside.
In this land is an utterly insignificant little green town whose men-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think smoking is a pretty neat idea.
This town has--or rather had--a problem, which was this: most of the people living in it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of lots of small birthday gifts, which is odd becuse on the whole it wasn't the gifts that were unhappy.
And so the problem remained; lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with weed-pipes.
Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming from Bree in the first place. And some said that even Bree had been a bad move and that no one should ever have left the Anduin.
And then, one Mid-Year's Day, over three thousand years after one maiar had gotten his finger cut off for trying to rule the world, a wizard sitting on his own at a small inn in Bree suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and he finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and (hopefully) no one would have to get any digits cut off.
Sadly, before he could arrange to get a letter sent, he made a mistake and headed South, and the idea was lost for ever.
This is not his story.
But it is the story of that mistake, and some of its consiquences.
It is also the story of a ring, a ring called 'The One Ring'--not a Shire ring, never made in the Shire, and until after the mistake occured, never seen or even heard of by any but a few Shire-folk.
Nevertheless, a wholly remarkable ring.
In fact, it was probably the most remarkable ring ever to come out of the great smoking mountain of Orodruin, of which few Shire-folk had ever heard either.
Not only is it a wholly remarkable ring, it is also a highly dangerous one--more dangerous than Vilya, more suductive than Nenya, and more destructive than Narya.
The One Ring scores over these older, more pedestrian works in two important respects.
First, it has a mind of it's own, and second, it has the words 'Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul' inscribed in large friendly elven-script on its exterior.
But the story of this Mid-Year's Day, the story of it's extraordinary consequences, and the story of how these consequences are inextricably intertwined with this remarkable ring begins very simply.
It begins with a Hobbit-hole.

LotR according to Douglas Addams

If Bill Waterson took on Lord of the Rings

Calvin and Hobbes.
A quest thought the house to get to the cookies while avoiding the baby sitter.
Calvin: Frodo
Hobbes: Gandalf
Roslyn: Sauron/Saraman

Open on Calivin's bedroom, again unfairly sent to bed by Roslyn just after his parents leave for a night out.
Alone in bed Calvin looks out the window and makes a wish on the first star he sees.
Calvin: I wish there was a way I could get past Roslyn without getting into trouble like last time, but she took away my Stupendous man costume.

The door bursts open. A tall dark shadow stand in the door holding a staff and wearing a pointy hat. Calvin, wide eyed, pulls the covers up under his chin.

The drama is broken as the figure reaches up and switched on the light. It turns out to be Hobbes in a paper hat holding a toilet brush.

Hobbes:“Neato effects huh?”
Calvin: Who are you, Peter Jackson all of a sudden?

Next strip.

Hobbes standing next to the bed in his paper hat holding onto the toilet brush.
Hobbes: Roslyn sent you to bed at six o’clock?”
Calvin: Yeah! She’s still mad about me locking her boyfriend Chuck in the basement last time and not telling her. She needs to stop living in the past.
Hobbes: Well I think I’ve got an idea that will cheer you up.
Calvin: If you hid sardines in the bed again you’re going to get it and how.

Next strip.

Hobbes sitting on the bed in hat with brush in his lap. Calvin staring at him in astonishment.
Calvin: A quest? Like what? To foil an evil alien invasion? To save the world form over education?
Hobbes: Better than that, we’re going to destroy a ring!
Calvin: Oh no, count me out. Mom won’t let me anywhere near her jewelry box ever since that little incident with the buried Pirate treasure in the toilet.

Next strip.

Same scene.
Calvin looking at a small object in his hands: What is it?
Hobbes: It’s a Ring of Power. With it you can turn invisible!
Calvin: What does the inscription say?
Hobbes: It is written in the black speech of Odor, but in the common tongue it is a most terrible curse!
Calvin: It looks like it says “Roslyn, class of 2004.”
Hobbes: Fool of a Mook! Do not speak the black speech here!

Next strip
Calvin’s bedroom door. Calvin to one side, Hobbes to the other. Calvin peers out the slight opening.
Calvin: So you’re telling me that if we destroy this ring Roslyn’s powers as a babysitter will be destroyed as well?
Hobbes: Yup! And you’ll be free to sit up and eat cookies and watch TV all night long!
Calvin: And she’ll have to do anything I say?
Hobbes: Right again!
Calvin: Look out video store, here we come!
Hobbes: Vampire Vixens of Venus at last!

Next strip,
At the foot of the stairs, Calvin and Hobbes look around the corner and see Roslyn sitting on the couch reading with headphones on.
Calvin: This is going to be a snap! If I put the ring on it’ll make me invisible and I can walk right past her to the kitchen and drop it into the garbage disposal!
Hobbes: Oh no! You can’t put it on! If you do her evil radar power will pick you out and we’ll be done for for sure!
Calvin looking shocked: What kind of a stupid ring of power is that? Why not just have a foghorn on it and shout as we walk into the mouth of doom!
Roslyn getting up from the couch and taking the headphones off: Calvin? If you’re out of bed I’m going to tie you to the bedpost!
Hobbes pushing Calvin: Quick! Into the basement! It’s our only chance!

Next strip: Sunday full color.

Artwork: The fellow ship walk down a flight of stairs. Calvin as the Ring bearer.
Voice over: We walked the dark and lonely caverns of Moria, the bodies of fallen dwarves surrounding us. The threat of attack looming ever present. The stink of Orks hangs heavy in the air.

Artwork: The fellowship stand at the crossroads in Moria, Gandalf aka Hobbes pauses to try and remember the way.
Voice over: The quest to destroy the ring and seems cursed at every turn. Trapped here in the darkness we can only wonder at what evils the dark lord is causing on the outside world.

Artwork: The great hall of the Dwarven city
Voiceover: We gaze at a place long forgotten; in Awe and sadness, yet we press ever onward. But in the darkness unseen eyes track us.

Artwork: The fellowship look around in a panic as the sound of drums thunder in the air.
Voice over: Our luck was stretched to thin! Now the hordes will soon be upon us by the thousands and all will be lost in the city of the dead!

Artwork: The Barlog with the army of orks along side it rear up out of the darkness. The fellowship flees for their lives.
Voice over: The Creature of a time before time has come! A great fiery apparition as tall as a mountain lumbers through the great hall after the heroes. Doom seems certain! There is no fighting and no escape!

Artwork switches from fantasy back to reality.
Hobbes: It’s only the furnace coming on!
Calvin: Forsooth, I knew that! Now help me get out of the Dryer! I’m stuck!

Next strip

Hobbes holding a flashlight shines it up an old set of stairs: Hey, this must be the storm cellar door outside! We can get out here!
Calvin: Great idea, then what? Wait around outside until Mom and Dad get home and try to explain what I’m doing out in the dark in my pajamas with my dumb tiger?
Hobbes: Well it’s either out this door or we stay here and you starve.
Calvin: What do you mean me? You haven’t got anything to eat either!
Hobbes gives Calvin the “predatory” grin.
Calvin: Ok, give me a boost will you? The bottom step is broken.

Next strip
Outside the storm cellar doors.
Calvin: Ok Mister Wizard, we’re outside, now what?
Hobbes: I dunno, I’m tiered of doing all the thinking on this quest. You think of something.
Susie Derkins looks out her window and sees them both. She opens the window and calls to them.
Susie: Calvin? What on earth are you doing outside?
Calvin in a panicked voice: Egad! It’s the Elf Witch! She’s come to get us!

Next strip
Outside between Susie and Calvin’s houses, Susie is talking to Calvin from her bedroom window.
Susie: So you got locked in the basement and didn’t want to get in trouble so you came out this way?
Calvin: Forsooth and verily. The Wizard tiger and I are on a quest!
Susie: Yeah, right. How are you going to get back in?
Calvin eyeing the drainpipe of his own house: The wizard tiger is going to cook up a flying spell and we’re going to go back in through my bedroom window.
Susie walks away from her window: Right hang on a second.
Susie returns to the window: Here, You parents gave my parents a spare key for emergencies, just give it back tomorrow before anyone knows it’s missing.
Calvin Bows gracefully: Zounds, thou art truly a fair and just queen of the Elves and we are honored by your gifts.
Suzie: What ever, I just don’t want to be waken up by an ambulance coming to take you away after you fall off the roof.
Hobbes now animated since Susie is gone: Heh heh. Smoochie smoochie with the elf lady eh?
Calvin: Oh shut up.

Next strip
The back door to the house, in the kitchen.
Calvin: This is great! We can ditch the ring in the garbage disposal and destroy Roslyn’s babysitter powers before she knows what’s happening!
Hobbes: Lucky break for us! Then it’s cookies and tuna for everyone!
They open the door and start to sneak in. Roslyn steps around the corner she was hiding behind.
Roslyn: Ha! I got you now!
Calvin: The Ring! Quick where is it? We can turn invisible and get away!
Hobbes: you had it! I gave it to you!
Calvin: No you didn’t you bumbling old half-wit wizard!
Hobbes: Yes I did you half pint little…
Fight ensues, Roslyn sighs.

Next strip
Same scene
Roslyn reaches down and picks up a struggling Calvin and an inanimate Hobbes breaking up the “fight”.
Ros: I don’t know what you’ve been up to or why you were outside but I just know it’s going to be as bad as the superhero bit!
Calvin: But.. How did you know? We didn’t put on your ring!
Ros: So that’s why I found it on the floor next to the basement stairs! I thought I just left it in the bathroom! What were you going to do with… Never mind I don’t want to know.
Last frame: Calvin and Hobbes in bed looking disgruntled.
Calvin: Now what?
Hobbes: Either the land will be covered in an age of darkness or she tells your parents.
Calvin: I’m hoping for the darkness thing.


Lord of the Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett.

It was a nice day.

All the days had been nice. There had been rather more than billions of them so far, according to the Silmarillion, and rain was uncommon this time of the year. But clouds massing east of Isengard suggested that a thunderstorm was on the way, and it was going to be a big one.

A wizard put his pipe between his teeth as the first drops fell.
"I'm sorry," he said politely. "What was it you were saying?"
"I said, that one went down like a lead balloon." said the other wizard.
"Oh. Yes." said the first wizard with the pipe, whose name was Gandalf the Gray.
"I think it was a bit of an under-reaction on my part, to be honest," said the other wizard. "I mean, first offense and leniency and everything. I can't see why you missed the events happening in the Shire, unless you must have been smoking too much of that hobbit weed."
"It can't be that bad," reasoned Gandalf, in the slightly concerned tones of one who can't see it either, and is worrying about it, "otherwise I wouldn't have noticed when Radagast came to see me. And why aren't you in white, come to think of it?"
"White? White cloth can be dyed, a white page can be overwritten. White light can be broken. And have you any idea how high my laundry bill is? White just shows all the muck and grime." said the other wizard, whose name was Saruman the White, although he was thinking of changing it now. White, he'd decided, was not his color...
"But it's no longer white, is it?," said Gandalf. "And you know, someone who breaks something just to see how it'd turn out is a plain bloody git. It's down to your basic, you know. Color. Nothing personal, Saruman the White."
"You've got to admit it's a bit of a pantomime, though," said Saruman. "I mean, a new Power is rising, and we can't really stand much against him, not with our old allies and all that rot. Not to mention, he provided me a new wardrobe as part of my new job benefits. Pretty good bargain, there. Maybe you could wear something other than gray."
"It's best not to talk like that, Saruman," said Gandalf. "I've heard speeches of that kind before, and they come straight out of Mordor."
They stood in embarrassed silence for a while, watching as fat drops of rain started to bruise the flowers.
Eventually, Saruman said, "You did find the Ring, didn't you? The one with the fiery writing on it."
"Er," said Gandalf. A guilty expression passed across his face, and then came back and camped there.
"You did, didn't you?" said Saruman. "It's supposed to flame like anything."
"Er. Well-"
"It looked very impressive, I thought, with that Black Speech all over it."
"Yes, but. Well-"
"Lost it, have you?"
"Oh no! No, not exactly lost, more-"
Gandalf looked wretched. "If you must know," he said a trifle testily, "Bilbo gave it away."
Saruman stared at him.
"Well, I had to let him do it," said Gandalf, rubbing his hands distractedly. "Frodo looked so sad, poor thing, and he's lost Bilbo and all, and what with the vicious Black Riders and all out there, and the storm coming up, he's just a poor little hobbit, and I thought well, where's the harm so I just said look, if you stay in the Shire there's going to be an almighty row, but you might be needing to carry this ring to Rivendell, so here it is, now go to the Prancing Pony in Bree and await my word, and all, just do me a favor and don't let the Nazgul get you here."
He gave Saruman a worried grin.
"That was the best cause, wasn't it?"
"I'm not sure if you could have done anything stupider, hobbit weed or no," Saruman said sarcastically, lifting his staff and brandishing it menacingly at Gandalf.
"Oh, I do hope not," he said. "I really do hope that this may not prove to be one of the lighter matters," Gandalf said, before Saruman levitated him all the way to the top of Orthanc, after hitting him about a few times.

It was cold, wet and rainy up there, and Saruman came up to watch the rain for a while.
"Funny thing is," said Saruman, "I keep wondering if this whole Ruling Ring business was the point- I mean, Sauron seems really bent on getting his hands on it, and it winds up in the hands of a little hobbit from the Shire. I wonder if that whole palantir business was the smart thing to do."
The green meadow below was covered in crazed lines that glowed dimly in the miserable rain, the light of the furnaces below shining up the walls of the tower.
"Not really," said Gandalf, huddling against one of the stargazing pillars trying to keep out of the cold- Saruman wasn't quite known for his hospitality, come to think of it.
Saruman looked at the sky.
"No," he said, sobering up. "I suppose not."
Slate-black curtains tumbled over Isenguard. Thunder growled among the hills. The Uruk-Hai, freshly made, went about their usual business of lurking in the rain.
Far away near the Ford of Bruinen, a tiny gold trinket flickered momentarily among the wet trees. And then the screams of the Nazgul pierced the air.
It was going to be a dark and stormy night.

More Prattchet.

The ghost of Boromir made a face as it got up from the ground. Aragon had just left his side and had been a little to emotional for one mad to be toward another. It had put him off a bit.
“He kissed me!” He said, scrubbing the back of his hand against his forhead. “What kind of thing is that for one man to do to another!”
The voice was as deep as the dark ocean and had undertones of tombs and long forgotten funeral dirges. Still, Boromir was in no state of mind to realy notice.
“Yeah, but he KISSED me!” He ranted. “there I am, half a dozen arrows the size of oak trees sticking out of me and all he can do is kiss me! Some King of Gondor he’s s’posed to be! What about all that about ‘Healing hands’ they kept on about? Did he think to even try and take an arrow out?”
Calming down a little, Boromir sighed. “Well, at least I’m out of that. Stupid quest anyway. Elron pro’bly swapped the One Ring for something out of his jewelry box back in Rivendell. I am dead now right?”
“Alright, just to make sure.” Boromir took what would have been a deep breath is he still had lungs to breath, and let loose a torent of curses on Elves, Dwarves, hobbits and Rangers that could have peeled varnish off of a table top.
“Very.” Boromir smiled, his form starting to fade. “What happens now?”
THAT, Death said, IS UP TO YOU.

"Gandalf, Gandalf! Take the ring!
I am too small to carry this thing!"

"I can not, will not hold the One.
You have a slim chance, but I have none.
I will not take it on a boat,
I will not take it across a moat.
I cannot take it under Moria,
that's one thing I can't do for ya.
I would not bring it into Mordor,
I would not make it to the border."

-excerpt from Dr. Suess's FOTR.

The Lord of the Rings
or The Land of Middle-earth
by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

SCENE. -- Front yard of Bag End in Hobbiton, the Shire. Various hobbits discovered standing and sitting in various attitudes suggested by Rankin-Bass films and trippy illustrations from the 1970s.


If you want to know who we are,
We are gentlemen of the Shire;
In many an inn and bar,
By many an alehouse fire,
We dine on six meals a day;
Our attitude's bright and gay;
But we don't mean it that way, oh!
If you think we are cutesy-poo,
Like an Ewok or Jar-Jar Binks,
You don't know what we do:
When we don't smokes, we drinks!
Our dwelling is Hobbiton;
We only stand three foot one;
We use evil rings for fun, oh, oh!
We use evil rings for fun!
If you want to know who we are,
We are gentlemen of the Shire;
In inn and bar, by alehouse fire;
In many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many a bar, oh, oh, oh, oh!
In inn and bar, by alehouse fire!

Enter Gandalf in great excitement. He carries a pack of fireworks on his back and a staff in his hand.


Gentlemen, I pray you tell me
Where a gentle hobbit dwelleth, named Frodo,
The ward of Bilbo?
In pity speak, oh speak, I pray you!

TED SANDYMAN. Why, who are you who ask this question?
GANDALF. Come gather round me, and I'll tell you!


A wand'ring wizard I,
A thing of spells and magic,
Of stories dark and tragic,
Of counsel I'll prophesy...

That's where inspiration flagged. Although I could post the touching "Departure from Rivendell" scene...

A Lost Short Story by J.R.R. Tolkien

The chicken, sunlight coruscating off its radiant yellow-white coat of feathers, approached the dark, sullen asphalt road and scrutinized it intently with its obsidian-black eyes. Every detail of the thoroughfare leapt into blinding focus: the rough texture of the surface, over which countless tires had worked their relentless tread through the ages; the innumerable fragments of stone embedded within the lugubrious mass, perhaps quarried from the great pits where the Sons of Man labored not far from here; the dull black asphalt itself, exuding those waves of heat which distort the sight and bring weakness to the body; the other attributes of the great highway too numerous to give name. And then it crossed it.


Frodo looked blankly at the garden. "Sam, is there a reason you pulled up all the flowers?"

"Oh yes sir, Mr. Frodo, sir. Cause a them wassits, the bugs gottem. Aye. Yessir."

Frodo turned his questioning stare back to Sam, "And I'm sure this has nothign to do with the fact that Farmer Maggot has been buying them for ten-pence a dozen, either?

"Errrr....Oh no, not a bit of it, Mr. Frodo."
* * *

About that time, the visiting Archprocurer of Old and Mostly Unwanted Documents to Stick on a Dark Shelf in the Library, Gandalf of the More-or-less-seen tower of Isenguard showed up at the Inn of the Prancing Pony. The rough and tumble Eastern men eyed him supiciously. WHich was not unusual, they eyed everyone suspiciously. Including themselves, when they were about a mirror. "Hello there, Barliman. Could you get me a pot of Ale? On my credit, if you please."

"You've been running up a good tab lately, Mr. Gandalf, sir. You sure you're good for it?"

Oh, of course, Butterbur. 'Sides, the same law goes all down to Mordor. The night watch'd have my hide if I tried to cheat you. And its not like I expect some horrible fiend from beyond the pale of mortal ken to fight me in a gigantic duel above an ancient Dwarven City, leading to both our deaths, after all.

Barliman stared at Gandalf. "Errr... that wouldn't be a Balrog you're a speakin' of, right?

"Exactly sir. I cannot possibly be speaking of a Balrog since they don't exist. Hence I must be good for my debt. Haha."

~Terry Pratchet, though he would have done a much better job than I, surely.

The trouble with writing an epic, I find, is knowing just where to begin. So here I am, quill and parchment at the ready, a full bowl of pipeweed and, dash it, have great difficulty in beginning! That's the trouble with epics, as I suspect old Treebeard himself would say, and wasn't he a one for insisting that every story begin at the very beginning - of time, that is, and it takes all one's memories of school training to be polite to the old boy when you're rushing to catch an Eagle.

I brought this up with Gandalf when he dropped by yesterday. "Gandalf", I said, "Do you remember that old ROP we dropped into the crack of Mount Doom?" He did, of course. It was one of those rectangular - no, I mean rhetorical - questions. How could one forget? It was a tale to freeze thy blood, to make one's hair stand on end like quills upon the fretful porpentine - though I've never understood why one says porpentine when you mean porcupine. Something to do with elves, no doubt. I had been thinking of making a start by putting one of the elven marching songs on the title page, but all I can remember os 'Ding, dong, ding, dong, ding, dong, I hurry along', which would never do. Elrond would never approve.

So Gandalf applied himself to the task at hand - and that's a sight to see that makes strong men gasp and the ladies swoon. You could see the blood whizzing through that magnificent brain of his, chock full of all that health food he grazes on with Tom Bombadil. When there's a problem to be solved, just slip a few nuts and berries to old Gandalf and stand back, I say. Frightening, really.

So after a good think, Gandalf suggested Bilbo's eleventy-first birthday, and I knew right away I held the winning ticket, cash for life with no taxation. "Perfect" I told him. "That's just precisely where I'll set the starting post. You have hit the n. right on the h."

P. G. Wodehouse

On this particular evening, something changed hands quietly in the back of a hobbit-hole in the Shire many miles from the dark realm of Mordor. A small, metallic something. Something which could be accurately described as a circular loop of shining metal.

The land of Middle Earth was almost oblivious to the change of ownership, which was wonderful for the two parties concerned. The trade went unnoticed among the citizens of Rivendell, it escaped the Nazgul completely, and even the dark lord himself continued straight on with his day without noticing. This was a pity for him, because it was exactly the thing he had been searching for all these years.

-- from The Mostly Harmless Ring of Power, by Douglas Adams

See Frodo run,
Run Frodo run.
See Sauron search,
Gollum and Frodo are playing,
Oops, Gollum dropped the ring in Mount Doom.
Now Sauron will have to find another ring.

-- See Frodo Run

Frodo crept down the stairs of the of the castle, his invisible cloak sweeping around his legs. He simply had to get the ring into Professor Saurons office without attracting attention. The castle was quite and he made his way without difficulty. A faint light was glowing from under the Professors door but nobody appeared to be in the office. Sneaking in quietly, he saw the volcano on the ledge bubbling quietly. He was just about to throw this ring into the fiery chasm when the door burst open and the Professor strode in. Not having time to think, Frodo Potter froze on the spot, grateful for being invisible.

Professor Sauron wasn't the only person who entered the room however. A massive hulking glowing monster had also ambled in alongside him and they were now deep in a conversation. Frodo froze, although he had never met one of those before, he had heard about it enough times to know that the thing standing in front of him was a Balrog!

"I want you to send a message to Professor Saruman, Tell him that I am prepared to join forces so that we can both live our lives without worrying about prying eyes. Fly swiftly for I need the message soon"

"But I dont have no wings" said the Balrog dumbly

"Use a broomstick you fool" snarled professor Sauron and swiftly left the classroom.

So it was true thought Frodo Potter, Sauron wan't to get rid of him and he was willing to enlist the help of Saruman to do it. He had to tell his friends Pippin and Merrione, they would know what to do.

"striding out of the classroom as fast as he could, he turned down a corridor without looking and a giant flash of green light blinded him. The scar on his forehead was now excruciating with pain. The last thing he saw before he blacked out was the figure of Elrond laughing madly.

Frodo gradually became aware that he was now lying in a bed. Trying to get up, he heard a gently voice in his ear.

"Ah, Frodo, it seems we are up and about already", it was the gentle voice of Headmaster Gandalf.

"I suppose you want to know what happened last night, It turns out that your last Defense against Dark Arts teacher wasn't really Elrond at all but was actually Lord Melkor's minion, Smeagol. You see, nobody actually knew what Elrond looked like before he came to HobbitWarts becuase he kept to himself. When Smeagol arrived, we all assumed it was Elrond. Quite unfortunate really."

"But I saw Professor Sauron with that Balrog, he was talking about removing those prying eyes"

"Yes, Sauron was one of the first suspect something about Smeagol, it was all those potions full of rotten fish that gave it away he said. He knew he couldn't tackle Smeagol alone so he enlisted the help of Saruman. He was the one who found you unconcious"

"You mean... Sauron is innocent?" stammered Frodo

"Yes you fool of a Took! I've been trying to tell you that for the last 4 years" snapped Gandalf rather angrily "Now get some rest so we can send you home to your awful Uncle Bilbo"

-- Frodo Baggins and the One Ring by JK Rowling ("Frodo Baggins and the Knarliest Ring" in the USA)

LOTR: Choose Your Own Adventure

You're sitting in your hole, smoking a pipe and drinking some fine hobbit ale, when the door knocks. Outside, there's Gandalf the Wizard. Do you let him in?

If yes, go to page 65, if no, turn to page 43.

Page 65
"Ah, my dear Frodo, it's good to see you. Now, my boy, I'm here on urgent business. The magic ring your Uncle Bilbo took from Gollum is cursed, and must be taken far from here, until we decide what to do with it. Will you take on this mission?"

If yes, go to page 13, if no, turn to page 72:

Page 72:
"Your courage does you honor, Frodo. Take this ring, and I'll meet you later. Do you want me to meet you at Galdriel's tree fortress or at Elrond's palace?"

For Galadriel's fortress, go to page 88, for Elrond's palace, turn to page 27.

Page 68:
As you enter the forest, the beautiful Galadriel and her footmen greet you. She says, "My, you're courageous to take this quest. Carrying that ring must be exhausting. Would you like to keep it, or give it to me?"

To keep the ring, go to page 47, to give it to Galadriel, turn to page 88.

Page 88:

"HAHAHAHAHAHA, you foolish halfling," she cries. "Now I am beautiful and terrible and mighty, and will rule all the Earth."

As she laughs, she signals her minions to torure you to death. At least, you die knowing you won't be around to see all of Earth under her tyranny.


The Reverend Dodgson submits the following:
Frodo was beginning to get very tired of living with his uncle Bilbo in Hobbiton and of having nothing to do: once or twice he had peeped into the red book in which Bilbo was writing, but he couldn’t make it out and it did not have enough pictures of elves, ‘and what is the use of a book,' thought Frodo `without pictures of elves?'

So he was considering in his own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made him feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of having an ale with Sam in Bywater would be worth the trouble of getting up and collecting Same, when suddenly a dwarf with a blue hood and walking stick ran close by him.

There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Frodo think it so very much out of the way to hear the Dwarf say to himself, `Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late! And Balin will be so angry with me' (when he thought it over afterwards, it occurred to him that he ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the dwarf actually took a large axe out of its belt, and swung it a few times as if preparing for battle, and then hurried on, Frodo started to his feet, for it flashed across his mind that he had never before seen a Dwarf in Hobbiton with either an axe or a belt to remove it from, and burning with curiosity, he ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large hole under the hedge.

In another moment down went Frodo after it, never once considering how in the world he was to get out again. The hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Frodo had not a moment to think about stopping himself before he found himself falling down a very deep well.

Either the well was very deep, or he fell very slowly, for he had plenty of time as he went down to look about him and to wonder what was going to happen next. First, he tried to look down and make out what he was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything; then he looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled with cupboards and book-shelves; here and there she saw maps of Middle Earth and pictures of dragons hung upon pegs. He took down a jar from one of the shelves as he passed; it was labeled `LEMBAS,' but to his great disappointment it was empty . . . .

From Frodo's Adventures in Middle Earth, by Lewis Carroll.

Frodo jacked in.

He felt huge, invincible, unstoppable. Some small part of him knew that was the hits of pipe-weed talking, skewing his sense of self, making his nerves scream like they were being raked over rusted chrome. Knew, and didn't care.

Over his shoulder he could feel Sam hovering, a hollow nonentity. It was eerie knowing he was back there, like having an itch in a limb long amputated. All around him the middle-matrix arced off into an impossible blue infinity, gridlines benchmarking the empty nonspace.

"There it is," came Sam's voice. "That's the ice. Good luck breakin' in there, man, that was made by a military AI. Name of ephelduath. You ain't seen nuthin' like it. They say it's two way ice. Not only will it fry your brainpan tryin' to get in, nuthin' inside can work its way out. Leastaways, not without sarumancer's say-so."

Frodo wished Sam would shut the hell up. He also wished he wasn't about to do what he came for. He wished a lot of things. He surveyed this sector of cyberspace. Before him was the ephelduath ice, shadowy and indistinct, and very very deadly. And beyond it, just visible through the whorls of lethal, greasy code, was sarumancer himself. The Dark Lord presented in the middle-matrix as a collosal data construct, angular and hideous. A mountain of vicious, evil information so dense it was hard to look at, hard to take in all at once. It played tricks on the eyes. Each nodule, each piece of it seemed to contain a perfect glittering symmetry. A simple frightening geometry. But taken altogether it became a great organic pyramidal thing, a digital volcano spewing mirrored liquid spheres of awareness out into the void. These spheres, Frodo knew, served as sarumancer's eyes. When they intersected a gridline, at random, they would latch onto it and streak off in an unchosen direction in a vain effort to apprehend, to know, to see, all of the middle-matrix at once.

Here we go. He drew out the elvish icebreaker and contemplated its image for a moment. Given to him by Galadriel herself. He activated it, his unseen fingers moving fluidly over the keys of his Ono-Sendai. Triggered, the icebreaker flared up, a searing point of magnesium brilliance. He clicked forward, towards the ice. Slowly. Click. Carefully. Click. The elvish icebreaker encountered ephelduath's handiwork, and forced it to recede. The ice's killer algorithms spiralled futiley around Frodo and Sam as they rode the icebreaker inwards...

From The Lord of the Rings by William Gibson

The Khazad-dum Bridge Disaster
Beautiful Stony Bridge of the Dwarven mines!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That two lives have been taken away
On the last (Third Age) day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

'Twas about seven o'clock at night,
And the Balrog it burn't with all its might,
And the fire came pouring down,
And the dark orcs seem'd to frown,
And the Demon of the fire seem'd to say-
"I'll pass across the Bridge today."

When the party left Rivendell
The Fellowship's hearts were light and they felt quite well,
But Boromir threw a terrific strop,
Which made their hearts for to stop,
And many of the Fellowship with fear did hum-
"I hope Elbereth Gilthoniel will send us safe across the Bridge of Khazad-dum."

But when the hobbits were ready to feed their tum,
The Balrog he gathered his orcish scum,
And shook the whole structure of the Bridge of Khazad-dum
On the last (Third Age) day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

So the Wizard mov'd slowly along the Bridge of Khazad-dum,
Until he was looking at the Balrog's bum,
Then the whole bridge gave way with a hiss,
And down went Gandalf and Fiend into the abyss!
The Fiery Fiend did loudly quip,
Because he'd gotten Gandalf with his whip,
On the last (Third Age) day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

As soon as the catastrophe which could not have been worse
The alarm from mouth to mouth spread from river to firth,
And the cry rang out all o'er Middle Earth,
The Khazad-dum Bridge is blown down - O Elbereth!
And in the Fellowship from Rivendell,
Of which all the people were scared as h*ll,
Because they all heard Gandalf's yell
"Fly, you fools!" Well, none had breath to to tell
How the disaster happen'd on the last last (Third Age) day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

by William F. McGonagall

The unofficial Australian version...
Once a jolly wizard camped by a dwarven mine,
Under the shade of the mountains misty,
And he sang as he watched and waited 'til his password worked,
"Who'll come Ring-bearing young Frodo with me?
Ring-bearing Frodo, Ring-bearing Frodo,
Who'll come Ring-bearing young Frodo with me?"
And he sang as he watched and waited 'til his password worked,
Who'll come Ring-bearing young Frodo with me?"

Down came a monster to grab at that Ring-bearer:
Up jumped Lego-las and loaded his bow with glee,
And he sang as he fired all his arrows at that mo-onster,
"Who'll come Ring-bearing young Frodo with me?
Ring-bearing Frodo, Ring-bearing Frodo,
Who'll come Ring-bearing young Frodo with me?"
And he sang as he fired all his arrows at that mo-onster,
Who'll come Ring-bearing young Frodo with me?"

Up came a Numorean, carrying his broken sword;
Down came the hobbits, one, two, three:
"Where's that coat of mithril you've got underneath your shirt?
"Who'll come Ring-bearing young Frodo with me?
Ring-bearing Frodo, Ring-bearing Frodo,
Who'll come Ring-bearing young Frodo with me?"
"Where's that coat of mithril you've got underneath your shirt?
Who'll come Ring-bearing young Frodo with me?"

Up jumped the pony Bill and fled from the scene quickly;
"You'll never take me in there!" thought he;
And his neighs may be heard as you pass by that dwarven mine,
"Who'll come Ring-bearing young Frodo with me?
Ring-bearing Frodo, Ring-bearing Frodo,
Who'll come Ring-bearing young Frodo with me?"
And his neighs may be heard as you pass by that dwarven mine,
Who'll come Ring-bearing young Frodo with me?"

Apologies to A.B. "Banjo" Paterson

Err... I don't know where that came from. But I *do* know where this came from:

Belrond lounged indolently back in his chair, scratching at his formal purple robe in mild irritation. "Why do I have to wear this thing, anyway?"

Arwen smirked at him. "I think it helps them to think of you as
somewhat respectable, Old Wolf. Frodo, if you don't stop playing with it, it will never leave you alone."

Frodo looked up from the glowing blue ring in his lap. "But it keeps singing to me. Why's it doing that?" Belrond and Arwen exchanged a glance. "It does that to everyone, Frodo. Now, put it back in your pouch and let's go. I'm sure the council is about to start."

As if on cue, Legolas entered, bowing deeply. "Ancient and Beloved, Lady Arwen, the kings have assembled and await thy presence." Rolling his eyes, Belrond lead them down the hallway towards the council chamber. Frodo stared at the rich tapestries and columns of pure white marble, thinking how a few months ago, he had been living in a simple hobbit-hole, and Aunt Arwen was just Aunt Arwen and not someone to be treated with respect by kings.

As they rounded a corner, Belrond was nearly floored by a dirty fist. Legolas watching in disbelief, Belrond wrestled his assailant to the ground, each of them letting out a stream of curses that curled Frodo's ears. Finally, they separated, and Belrond cursed again, muttering "What's got into that ratty excuse for a head on your shoulders, Gandalf?"

His opponent, a hairy, misshapen fellow clad in grimy grey robes, glared back. "That's for sending me to Saruman's tower on a fool's errand, Belrond. The old goat sat me on his roof for three months. I'm lucky he lost concentration and let me shift into falcon form before I started getting too hungry." With a belch, he turned his attention to Arwen. "You're getting fat, Arwen. Aragorn finally knock you up, or you just letting yourself go?"

Legolas gasped, but Arwen regarded the ugly wizard calmly. "When's the last time you took a bath, Gandalf?"

Gandalf shrugged negligently, scratching himself "I think a storm rained on me a couple years ago, while I was watching Kal Sauron's tomb."


-- Lord of the (Blue) Rings, by David Eddings

Lothlorien Rhapsody
Written by Freddie Mercury
(As told by Dionysus, performed by Frodo and the Sweathogs)

Is this the real life?
Is this High Fantasy?
Caught in a land war.
No escaping my destiny.

Open your eyes, look up to the sky and see...

I’m just a Hobbit, I need no sympathy.
These Rings are easy come, easy go, Little high, little low.
Anywhere these Rings go doesn’t really matter to me, to me...

Mama, just killed a wraith,
Put my sword up to his head,
Ran him through and now he’s dead.

Mama, life had just begun,
But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away.

Mama, oooh, Didn’t mean to make you cry,
If I’m not back again this time tomorrow,
Carry on, carry on, as if these Rings don’t really matter...

Too late, my time has come,
Sends shivers down my spine, body’s aching all the time.

Goodbye, ev’rybody, I’ve got to go...
Gotta leave you all behind and face the West....

Mama, ooooh, [(Frodo) Anywhere the Rings go...] I don’t want to die.
I sometimes wish I’d never found this Ring at all....

(Cool guitar riff.)

I see a little silhouetto of a man,
Saruman! Saruman! What will you do with Frodo?
(The Nine Wraiths)
Thunderbolts and lightning, very, very fright’ning- me!

(Merry) Gandalf-eo! (Legolas) The Grey Pilgram!
(Merry) Gandalf-eo! (Legolas) The Grey Pilgram!
(Merry and Legolas) Gandalf-eo, Mithrandir...
(Gollum) Smeagol....

I’m just a Hobbit and nobody loves me.
He’s just a Baggins, from a Shire family.
Spare him his life of this Ring bear-r-ring.

Easy come, easy go. Will you let me go?
(Fellowship) The Stinker! (Sam) No, I will not let you go!
(The Nine) Let him go!
(Fellowship) The Stinker! (Sam) I will not let you go!
(The Nine) Let him go!
(Fellowship) The Stinker! (Sam) I will not let you go!
(Gollum) Let me go!
(Sam and Frodo) Will not let you go!
(Gollum) Let me go!
(Sam and Frodo) Will not let you go!
(Gollum) Let me goooo!...
(Fellowship) No, no, no, no, no, no, no!

Mama mia, mama mia!
Mama mia let me go!

The Loooord of Mordor has a Ring-Wraith set aside for me...
For Me......

(REALLY cool guitar riff.)

So you think you can fool me and spit in my Eye?
So you think you can use me and leave to die?
(Sauron and Gollum)
Oh, Frodo! Can’t do this to me, Frodo!

(Frodo and Sam)
Just gotta get out! Just gotta get right outta here...

(Even more cool guitar...)

Oohh Yeah! Oooh Yeah!

These Rings don’t really matter, anyone can see...
These Rings don’t really matter...
These Rings don’t really matter...
(Galadriel, Elrond, Gandalf, Bilbo)
To me.....

Anywhere these Rings go...

I think I’d better stop now!

Should also mention that I finally finished the London Book on New Year’s Eve and am now deep into Terry Pratchett’s The Amazing Maurice And His Educated Rodents.

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