i Nili o i Ardanole Newsletter:
Your source for Lord of the Rings Updates, Poetry, Art, Parody and Satire.
Issue 5, Volume 1. June 28th, 2003.
Primary Contributor and Reporter: Xara.
Additional Contributing Writer(s): Frodo Baggins, Esq., Gollum and Smeagol.
In this issue:
Survivors of the Deep.
Potter or Baggins? by Xara.
An Interview With Gollum by Smeagol
Lord of the Merchandise by Xara.
Garage Sales in Middle-Earth by Xara.
In every issue:
Quote(s) of the Week.
Letters to the Editor.
Survivors of the Deep.
UP, Ered Luin. Last month an event took place which is likely to change the course of i Nili's fame as we know it. One small band of members, unaided by unexpected elves, conquered the festering forces of modernistic evil, wraiths of the foulest sort (otherwise known as exams.)
As I sat here like a very distinguished chicken, my view was clear and unmarred of the battles which raged about me. But did not reach me, thank goodness. Anyhoo, I looked with wonder, and with this small telescope, over the Sundering Seas and ... Oho! Hearken! It is Elijah Wo-
... Er, like I was saying, it came to my attention that our dear Anduwen had been taken hostage by those Uruk-Hai-like elements. But lo! As crisis occurs, heros rise from the mist. Before this reporter could talk the Eye into blinking, it's Blinklessness, Padfoot the Unquenchable, and amazonian Wo-man Prongs rose to the challenge. Within hours they were setting off on a daring rescue attempt. Armed only with chocolate, brushes encrusted with a residue from their most recent venture, and their own wit they wrested our Manager from the catagorised clutches of the abyss in which she was imprisoned. She is now returned to i Nili, none the worse for the wear, and Padfoot and Prongs are back to their shinan- schenani- sh- Oh, bebother. Back to their Mischief.
Meanwhile down in the wild marches of the Shire's Uni, our very own Eldarwen brandished her pencil against the multitude of people who have lived through the ages. She challenged the armies of the dead and survived the tests of time. When it was over, and her beloved foes vanquished, she had lived through the right of passage to earn title and honour. (That's Lady Eldarwen, B.A. to you.) Not surprising for an elven maiden to immortally live through history, eh?*
Furthermore, Legolas has been spotted in battle once again. This time in the company of the fair and mythical elf, former lover of Amroth, son of Galadriel and Celeborn, Nimrodel. Calm down ladies. Let me go on. Thank you. No, he is not sheild-boarding down staircases this time, but rather recounting his life's adventures. The traumatic haircuts and horrifying tights of his youth were selflessly put aside as he skipped right over to his secondary role in the little petty battles of the end of the third age. He even permitted her to submit his journals as part of the paperwork skirmish of school. Whether the Lady Nimrodel and Prince of Mirkwood are seeing each other on a personal level remains unknown.
Reporting for the Unassociated Press, I'm Perian.
*The reporter is having a minor battle of her own in trying to remain a non-Canadian. Sadly, her strength against the might of the Canadian vocabulary is waning.
Potter or Baggins?
As Potter mania sweeps the world this month millions of people young and old, no doubt many of yourselves included have been rushing to get their hands on their very own copy of the highly anticipated and coveted novel. But in all their excitement, many Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings fans alike must be grieved to see the papers once again pursuing that well-worn debate of which is better? Frodo or Harry's adventures? Today I have managed to pull myself away from the astoundingly gripping latest adventure of Harry's and his friends' to compare the two famous fantasies the media seems so bent on forcing into competition.
The stories of JRR and JK are widely known and widely loved, and not without good reason. Both bare many similarities, they are both fantasy, involving magic. Both their main characters are young and innocent, tragically orphaned at an early age and very unlikely candidates for the responsibility and challenges that lie on and ahead of them. Both are guided by a much older and wiser wizard, whom it is said is one of the only people who has the power to induce fear upon the Dark Lord (both Vold - I mean...You-Know-Who and Sauron).
And yet, they both take on an entirely different tone, writing style, density and place on the shelf and in our hearts. Lord of the Rings, as all those who have read it will undoubtedly be aware, is a very heavy read. Although you are all the time dying to know what happens next, the pages seem to turn slowly, and you begin to get the feel that you are ploughing your way through it. Harry Potter on the other hand, equally gripping, lets the reader fly through with ease and agility. Lord of the Rings has a dark, sometimes pessimistic tone, whereas Harry Potter is light and bouyant, the dark undercurrents often receding to make way for humour and fun. The plot of Harry Potter is tighter, faster, more planned, whereas Lord of the Rings strolls along at its own pace, sometimes straying a little from the path.
When Lord of the Rings came out in the 1950s, it was an instant classic. Set in another time, another realm, yet with strong echos of our own world, and messages that cannot be ignored. On the other hand, whilst there is little doubt in everyone's minds that Harry Potter will become a classic, it is not a classic yet. It is set in our world, in our time (with some alterations obviously), and will one day be out of date. Whilst readers today chuckle knowingly as Mr. Weasley pronounces telephone as "fellytone" readers in 50 years time will say, "Fellytone? Huh?". Whereas, readers have always said, "Dwimmerlaik? Huh?" when reading Lord of the Rings.
There can be no comparison between the two, no saying one is better than the other, as in the end it all comes down to preference. Some people prefer Lord of the Rings, some prefer Harry Potter, some can't decide, and some like neither (don't ask me why). It all depends on what you like, what you enjoy, what gives you a buzz and what you, to be honest, couldn't care less about. We will never know which one is better, and lets face it who wants to? rather than constantly comparing and competing them, why can't the world just enjoy them?
An Interview with Gollum
Smeagol: Thank you Gollum, for coming, my love.
Gollum: We don't know why we agreed to coming to this stupid interview... sss... Bad Editor Masster tricks us, he does.
S.: No, no, mustn't talk like that. Master is our friend. He helps us in our dream of being famous interviewer, yes...
G.: Stupid Smeagol.
S.: If you say that once more, precious, we kicks you out again.
G.: Blackmailing alterego. We iss beginning to hates it, we are...
-Interview briefly descends into something akin to a barroom brawl of a single mime drenched in a rather fishy cologne. Master and semi-Editor Frodo Baggins is forced to break up the fight, sitting both interviewer and interviewee down on a chair surrounded by a loop of elven rope. Mr. Baggins is forced to stay in the room for the remainder of the interview as a mediator.-
F.: Behave. I am not going to allow the two of you to use my flat here in Perian's mind as a battleground. Now go on with the interview.
S.: Yes, yes master... Gollum, how did we find the Ring?
G.: Best fisherman award, it was.
S.: We thought it was a birthday present.
G.: And tell me You aren't senile after another age coming and going.
S.: We'll move on, yess. Why did you make us stay so long in the darkness and caves?
G.: Free sushi and caviar everyday I catch for him, and this is the thanks I getss... sss...
S.: Smeagol was only curious. Smeagol is good to Gollum.
G.: Smeagol is our friend.
S.: But Smeagol is me. I can't be friends with Smeagol. Oh, no, precious, now I'm lost...
G.: Perhaps Master will let me out to find you.
F.: Gollum, you're not helping.
G.: Smeagol, your Master is still telling me what to do.
S.: Moving on, Gollum love, how is it that we came to be here.
G.: Having good finger-food, we were, when Master attacks us!-
F.: I did not! You attacked me!
G.: We were hungry. Hobbit is scrumptious and munchable. Ask Dark Ladies. She is our friend. She knows how scrumptious and munchable Hobbit is. Then we goes up, and gets scorched on hot smoke, but mmm, well done hobbit meat...
S.: Remembers what stupid hobbits says. "Make him sick you will"...
G.: We thought of looking for a cheese dip, didn't we, precious?
F.: I can't believe this. I'm mediating an interview of a cannibal who is reflecting on my scrumptiousness!
G.: Would have been even better with dill seeds and a slice of fish...
F.: That's it... I'm calling this off until you can be reasoned with, Gollum.
Lord of the Merchandise
When Lord of the Rings was first published it came with a bang! It seamlessly divided the entire literary world into two categories, those that loved it and those that hated it. Those that loved it would read the beloved trilogy over and over again, whilst the ones that hated it would protest noisily over their shoulders. The critics of Lord of the Rings have always predicted doom and failure for the book, yet still it continues to grow in popularity and status, and today, those poor people who cannot stand the sight of Tolkien's masterpiece are absolutely unable to escape it.
The moment you walk into a bookshop you look around and the first thing you see is a nice, neatly and publicly placed LotR shrine. An entire bookshelf containing all sorts of Lord of the Rings goodies. Movie guides, Tolkien companions, biographies, other books by JRR, fan quizzes, Middle-earth maps, chocolate bars with pictures of Frodo or Aragorn or Gandalf on them, soundtracks, DVDs, extended DVDs...and then there's the actual books themselves. Row after row of Lord of the Rings in different sizes, colours, illustrated covers, plain covers, bright covers, glossy covers, hardback cover, paperback covers, special movie edition covers, collectors edition covers, vintage covers...the list goes on!
But even these large and immodest book shop places of worship do not contain half the amount of merchandise now available to the Lord of the Rings fan with more money than free-will. Posters, action figures, keyrings, costumes, jewelry, weaponry, statues, viedo games, board games, chess games, battle games, card games, puzzle games, medallions, goblets, waterglobes, stamps, ornaments, caps, T-shirts, pipes, motorbikes, even aircraft!! So much fuel for one obsession it is too overwhelming for words!
The first age has long passed, the second, scarcely documented is now little more than legend, the third and fourth too have disappeared. We have now without a doubt entered the fifth age; The Age of Fandom, and if you don't like Lord of the Rings...well that's just too bad!
Garage Sales in Middle-Earth
Garage sales. We've all been to them, most of us has held one, and we all know what they're for: getting rid of all that garbage just lying around that house that you've forgotten the use of, what you ever saw in it or are no longer able to tell what it is through the rust. Garage sales are an essential part of our modern society, ceremoniously burdening other people with junk that they will in turn burden upon other people when their own sales occur. We need garage sales. But the good people of Middle Earth don't have garages...so how on earth would they get rid of all their useless junk? It appears that they are deprived, stuck with their garbage for good. So, let us all lucky garage salers stop for a moment, to consider how those poor unfortunate ones lives would be like.
We'll start with Sauron. The Dark Lord has been living in Barad-dur for centuries! Think of all the old mathoms that must be accumulating there even as we speak. No way to trick people into paying for orcs that have passed their use-by date, old last-season implements of torture, a broken palantir, perhaps one or two lawn-mowers a travelling salesman tricked him into buying and a Fellowship of the Ring DVD which turned out to be out of date and not the spying tool the Witch-King of Angmar had said it was.
And what of Lothlorien? Think of all the broken mirrors Galadriel was forced to keep after Gimli tried to look into them. The hundreds upon hundreds of elven gowns that she wore once and could never be seen in again incase someone copied her design...not to mention countless unhinged elvish seamstresses forced to make a new dress every single day in the same colour and make them all look different! And what about all those used arrows? Those sodden gelatine ear extensions? That purple wig Celeborn gave to Galadriel on her 5000th birthday, thinking it would be a laugh! All doomed to rot in a cellar in Caras Galadhon forever.
And let's not forget Minas Tirith. The hoards of useless tosh stored in an underground vault beneath the city. The baby toys of every single Steward and King in the line of Anarion: teething rings, chewed teddy bears, dozens of colouring books, each and every page shaded a uniform red. A broken horn, perhaps the skeleton of a servant who got locked down there by mistake, some rough draft sketches by the designers hired to redecorate the place half-way through the Third Age, and an ancient scroll bearing the lyrics to three of Pippin's favorite Shire songs he had been forced to recite to Denethor.
Alas for these great dwellings, that they will never be rid of their unwanted junk. But there is a ray of hope. It seems that the hobbits of the North found a solution to the deprivation of the garage...they offload their unwanted trash onto their friends and relatives on their birthdays! A truly ingenious plan, let us only hope that they choose to share it with some of their less fortunate Southern neighbours. But until that time comes, remember, never take garage sales for granted, think of those less fortuntate next time you set out to buy a box-full of someone else's junk!
Quote of the Week.
"I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and if by life or death I can save you, I will."
Rucinar lumna: Pronounced roo'keen-ahr loom'nah. At Xara's request, I have looked up the elvish (Quenya) equivalent of confusticate and bebother. This is as close as I could come, with "confuse and burden". Elves don't seem to use even the most minor of unpleasantries!
Letters to the Editor.
As always, it was with joy that I received your newsletter, and although I was greatly saddened to hear that it will now only appear half as many times as usual, I can understand the change. I admit, I was slightly worried as to the effects of the stress of a weekly newsletter on you our esteemed editor! I was very excited to see that I was not all alone on the letters to the editor section this week!! I was confluffed (to use a word from Hula's vocabulary) at the description of myself as a person with sagacity as I have no clue what the word means, but it sounds cool anyway! I am anxious to take your advice about dreaming tonight and spent the next twenty minutes after reading your article in the search of a suitable notebook! Can't wait for better dreams!
Thank you for your kind words. And for your steady contributions. I was extraordinarily amused when I read your article "Garage Sales of Middle Earth". A pity that you are once again alone in this section.
In response to your befuddlement:
Sagacity: (noun) wisdom or discernment. Came to English in the fifteenth century via old French... er, yes, I'll put away the dictionary now.