i Nili o i Ardanole Newsletter:

Your source for Lord of the Rings Updates, Poetry, Art, Parody and Satire.

Issue 1, Volume 1. May 25th, 2003. 

In This Issue:
Headlines: Missing Manager and Untamed Uruks by Perian.
The Return of the King, by Xara.
How to Sing Like Enya, by Xara.
Lembas: An Attempt by Frodo (Perian).
Awards and Announcements.

In Every Issue:
Quote of the Week.

  Disclaimer!: Due to the semi-perodious (misspelling intentional) nature of this newsletter, please note that many articles by myself are fictional or semi-fictional, and that any similarities with persons, creatures or places living, returned to the West, or dead are ... entirely my fault. And not really meant to be slanderous.


Extra! Extra! Manager and Members Missing!
Rogue Uruk-hai Element Suspected
by Perian.

  Unassociated Press, Emyn Muil. Not long ago, it came to this reporter’s attention that a very disturbing phenomenon has been occurring of late: There have been several disappearances, not the least of which being that of our founder and manager, Anduwen.
  When asked, MSN customer service said that they had no knowledge of these events, and that they were not to be held responsible, and asked rhetorically if this reporter was in her right mind.
  The first disappearance occurred several months ago; the excuse given then so as not to upset the public was "exams". Most were quite happy with this fabricated answer. However, it continued...
  Since then, there have been several disappearances, notably of formerly active executive members such as ElfChild, Ranger, Luthien Elendil, and BlueDili. This was soon followed by the most shocking and upsetting event of all: The utter silence from our founder and manager, Anduwen Evensong.
  Ms. Evensong is a poet and verbal artisan, with many years experience of Lord of the Rings. Her abduction will not go unanswered. Abduction, you ask? Yes. After careful examination of the evidence, the evidence of examination is unforgivably faulty, and utterly lacks dramatic flair. Therefore, we (that being my faithful colleague, the keyboard, and myself) have come to the most determined and desperate conclusion: This must be the work of the Uruk-hai.
  There is a vast well of information which points to this conclusion. Uruks have a history of abduction, reaching all the way back to the fourth age, when they most unforgivably captured Celebrian, daughter of Galadriel. Some say that it was Celebrian’s choice, as Elrond was rapidly aging. This is unconfirmed, though after looking at a picture of Elrond, this reporter finds it perfectly plausible.
  That was only the first of their crimes. This was soon followed by the seizure of Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took. It took an eored of Rohirrim to return them to the ... er ... relative peace of each other’s company.
  You can now see, there is a clear link between Uruk-hai and kidnaping. But how did they accomplish this in today's society? "The answer is quite simple," says an Uruk researcher with a long white beard and hair and grey hat who wished to keep his name anonymous. "They have been breeding and army in the dungeons of schools, preparing to test the world of Man." When I commented that schools no longer have dungeons, and that the "world of Man" was an utterly un-politically correct phrase according to hobbits such as myself, he simply drew slowly from his pipe and sent a rather unpleasant Middle-earth hand signal floating animatedly through the air.
  Latest in the series of disappearances has been Padfoot, resident humourist and local Sauron. Could it be that Saruman has returned to reap vengeance upon his ancient enemies?
  Keep it here for developments.

The Return of the King: What We Know So Far
by Xara
The moment the credits rolled on The Two Towers all anybody wants to talk about is The Return of the King. What happens next? Will PJ be true to the books? What will the settings look like? Who will be doing what? When will it be released? Why oh why Peter couldn't you have just left them all as one ten hour long film? On December 1st, all the rich and the famous will know, on December 17th, the rest of the world will know too. Until then, there has been countless rumours, hints and speculation about the almost unbearably anticipated third installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and today, I will attempt to summarise it for you. For those of you who have been following the news and rumours I fear little of this will be a surprise to you, but for you who haven't, be warned, much of this could cause an excitement overload, you read at your own risk.
  I will begin with what definitely is, and what definitely isn't. The Scouring of the Shire, a name which might mean little to those who haven't read the books, the chapter in which the hobbits proved they were now capable of defending themselves without the help of wizards and fellowships Peter Jackson states will not be in the movies. Saruman and Wormtongue will die at Orthanc, and although a picture has appeared on the internet of Saruman impaled upon a spiked wheel, it is unconfirmed that this will be his fate. It has been confirmed that a Galadriel V.O will end the trilogy, just as she began it, that the Grey Havens will be in the movies, that Frodo writes in the Red Book of Westmarch, that Frodo and Sam get to wear their orc armour and Merry and Pippin their Rohirrim and Gondorian uniforms. It is also confirmed that Isengard will be dealt with and gotten out of the way at the beginning of RotK and attention will then move towards Mordor and the final struggle. There will be no new characters apart from Denethor, the Steward of Gondor, Ghan-buri-ghan is gone and Shelob the spider was based on a New Zealand spider named the Tunnel Web. It has also basically been confirmed that a Smeagol and Deagol flashback will be included in the final movie and that Eowyn will indeed fight the Witch King of Angmar, what part, if any, Merry will play in this has not been indicated.
  Now for the rumours. There have been many rumours that Sauron will appear in physical form at the Battle at the Black Gates (it is now taken for granted that Peter will greatly enlarge the part of the battle as opposed to the one and a half pages it was given in the books). This rumour has been given extra fuel by Peter who says that Sauron will appear "in his true form" and expresses some dissatisfaction with Sauron's lack of presence in the books. It has been suggested that rather than Sauron himself appearing at the battle (for as far as we know this would be impossible for him as he cannot take physical form until he regains possession of the Ring) it will be the Mouth of Sauron (Sauron's lieutenant or spokesperson), as Peter has also said he called Sala Baker who plays the Mouth of Sauron back to reshoot all his scenes as he decided his armour was too similar to Sauron's.
  Amongst the speculation there is the one that Arwen will collect the Shards of Narsil to be reforged, this is suggested by a certain shot in The Two Towers trailer which did not appear in the movie. There has also been speculation that the Paths of the Dead will be replaced by The Dead Marshes but this has been disproven by the Official site and by Brian Sibley's official guide to The Making of the Trilogy. It has also been speculated that the final movie will be more true to the books than The Two Towers was, it is suggested that the reason Peter changed so much of The Two Towers was that he feared it would suffer from 'middle child syndrome' and follow the general pattern of sequels that are worse than their predecessors.
  I said before that I would attempt to summarise the spoilers for you but looking at the size of the article it appears I have done a bad job of it. I hope you enjoyed my lengthy summary, for Return of the King pictures please go to All Things Lord of the Rings, and for future RotK news and rumours keep a look out at www.theonering.net.
How to Sing Like Enya
by Xara.
  For those of you who have heard the Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack you will of course be familiar with the singer Enya, who provided the vocals for both "May it be" and "Aniron". Enya's music has long been associated with Lord of the Rings and so to many it was no surprise to see her appearance on the soundtrack. Like many singers both professional and amateur I have long been an admirer of hers and have added many of her songs to my repertoire. The following article consists of some 'tricks of the trade' that I have been taught to use and found quite affective when singing her style of music and I share them now with you.
  The first thing that needs to be remembered when singing Enya's music is breath, in two senses of the word. The first and most obvious sense is breathing, and the other is breathiness. I will be talking about both. Breathing is very important in all forms of music, and it is always important to plan ahead and know when you are going to breath. When singing Enya's music each phrase is like one word, the sounds blend perfectly together, and this is because she does not take any breaths in the
middle of her phrases, which is alright for her, but for us lesser mortals who don't have the lung capacities of a hot air balloon it can be quite challenging. But if you know what to do, it can become surprisingly easy. Believe it or not it rarely matters how much air you actually breath in when you are singing, but how quickly you let it out. This is why singers brace their stomach muscles very tightly when singing, which enables them to last a long time on very little air, as it holds it in rather than letting all the air out at once.
  Which brings me to breathiness. The best way to explain what breathiness is is to demonstrate it, but I am not able to, I will have to try and describe it instead which is difficult so just bear with me for a moment. Breathiness is when that huffy sound you make when breathing loud affects your voice when you sing, you can hear the breath under the note, hence the term 'breathiness'. This is not always a bad thing, there is a time and a genre for breathiness but this is not it, so that is one of the things we need to eliminate to sing like Enya. If you listen to her music, you can hear how clear her voice is, like a bell, this is because she has not breath in her voice. There are several tricks to eliminate breathiness and strangely enough they do not involve the stomach, the lungs or the vocal cords, only your imagination. It is quite simple, imagine there is a very fine pencil line going down the centre of your face, from the top of your forehead to the tip of your nose. Once you've got that, imagine that all the sound you make when you sing comes out of this line, concentrate the sound so that it will fit through. This is surprsingly effective in getting rid of breathiness. If you don't want to try this you can imagine the sound going up and resonating in the top of your head. One more method and the one which I tend to prefer is to imagine you are not pushing the sound out of your mouth, but sucking it in, this also, I think, helps you hold your breath. Finally, something that needs to be addressed in all styles of singing, high and low notes. All singers voices have different ranges, some may be able to easily reach high notes that others struggle to get close to. Some can go down very low while others cannot. For some singers high and low notes are not an issue for Enya's music, but for others they may be, depending on their range. If you are trying to sing a note at the top of your range, it is easy for the sound to become thin and squeaky, and nobody likes that. Similarly if you are reaching to the bottom of your range the sound can become harsh, glottal and not blend at all with the rest of the song. To counter this, again the method is quite simple. Instead of reaching up to the high notes and down to the low notes, do the opposite. Imagine the high note is very low down and reach down for it, and vica versa for the low notes.
  I hope that this information has been useful to those of you who are singers, and interesting to those who are not. I or course do not pretend to be an expert in the field but I assure you that I have found all these methods very effective and that they have come from very reliable sources. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you have benefitted from it.

Lembas: An Attempt.
A true story (more or less) by Frodo Baggins, Esq.

Cooking is an artform right? Right?
  ("A' course it is, Mister Frodo," I hear a voice say in my head.)
  And so I have been attempting to create one more artisan in the field. Myself. After several millennia of deprivation of it, I have been attempting to reproduce possibly the most difficult of all foods: Lembas. For the first attempt I mixed one cup of flour, a heaping spoon of honey, water, a spoonful of olive oil, a drop of vanilla, a teaspoon of ground flax seed (as I don't picture elves sucking eggsess...) and the teeniest bit of nutmeg. All good so far! Batter tastes delicious. I ate quite a bit of it, actually, leaving me with only a small amount to cook... whether that was a good thing or not remains to be told.
  Now comes the tricky part... how in Middle-earth did they condense it into a wafer? I look through every cupboard for inspiration; and at last! It strikes. (I have since learned to greatly question my inspiration, at least without a few minutes of thought.) With a flourish, I smile and whip out an old waffling iron from the cupboard. Aha! Wafers, coming right up! 
As it turns out, modern technology and ancient recipes do not mix. Either that or the waffling iron had a true vendetta against me. I poured in the batter, and out came one perfect wafer.
  "That's enough! I'm too old to work any longer today," said the waffling iron.
  "I'm about five thousand years older than you are. Stop griping," I retorted, and proceeded to pour in the batter for the second. 
   Alas, I should have listened to the warning. I spent the better part of the next hour picking little teeny pieces of lembas wafer out of teeny cracks and indents in the iron. Of course, being a hobbit, I popped each piece in my mouth after picking it out. That was the equivalent of about six wafers. My stomach is still recovering.
  Soon, the iron was burning and fizzling my precious lembas. Maddened by its behaviour, I flung water at it. It responded by spitting it back. Then came a grand row; me and the iron trying desperately to best each other. Flour flew everywhere, burning water sprayed through the air. It was a gorgeous fight. We eventually decided to call it even when I was scalded, and it was unplugged.
  No, I did not succeed in making the perfect lembas, but what an action scene that would make in a Lord of the Rings sequel!
Quote of the Week.
  "It would be the death of you to come with me, Sam," said Frodo, "and I could not have borne that."
  "Not as certain as being left behind," said Sam.
  "But I am going to Mordor."
  "I know that well enough, Mister Frodo. Of course you are. And I'm coming with you."

  After a long familiarity with the works of Tolkien, I have begun to realise the difficulty for the newcomer with the linguist's style and use of antiquated words. And so, to further the ease with which the average reader may go through The Lord of the Rings, The SIlmarillion and other books, and to heighten the understanding and appreciation of his gift, I have begun this regular column explaining the words he frequently turns to which are not often used in modern society. We may eventually expand to include elvish and dwarvish as well as Westron and hobbit vocabulary, but for now the primary focus is English and the occasional word of Anglo-Saxon.
  This week: Thee, thou, thy, and thine.
  Though these words are oft' used in classical literature, they are among the largest stumbling blocks for Tolkien readers to overcome. Despite popular belief, though they do have different meanings from each other, they are translated into the very same words: All are forms of "you". Thee is accusative, used as you would use me, him, or her. Thou is nominative, like the words I, he, or she. Thy is possessive, an exact translation being your, and thine, similarly, is yours. Though this may look complicated, it is quite simple when you observe how Tolkien uses it within conversation.
  Tolkien often used these words to signify a higher speech, without having to switch to an entirely unfamiliar language. You can see it used frequently in the nobler of cultures, such as that of Gondor. It is also often used by the Rohirrim. It is a language always spoken around royalty save by the insolent, or those, such as the hobbits (with the exception of Frodo) who do not know any better. 

  If there are any Tolkien words which you often puzzle the meaning to, let me know and I will include them in next week's newsletter.