i Nili o i Ardanole Newsletter:
Your source for Lord of the Rings Updates, Poetry, Art, Parody and Satire.
Issue 10, Volume 1. September 6th, 2003.
Primary Contributor and Reporter: Xara.
Additional Contributing Writers: Eowyn Evenstar, Padfoot, Prongsie.
In this issue:
Headlines: Fleet of 29,000 to Invade Valinor by Perian.
Quest for a Quill by Xara.
The Origins of Gollum by Perian.
An Article About Writing Articles by Xara.
In every issue:
Fantasy Fan Fiction. This fortnight: A Look Back (A Little Something) by Perian.
Fleet of 29,000* to Invade Valinor!
by Perian with ideas from and special thanks to Eowyn Evenstar.
UP, The Grey Havens. It has been revealed that a fleet of 29,000 vessels are currently sailing the ocean, taking a winding course indirectly to Valinor. The actual purpose of this fleet was originally unknown. It is only recently that their existence and the reason for which they were sent was brought to light.
Eleven years ago this fleet of bestial castaways set sail upon the Sundering Seas (No, not those Sundering Seas, the other Sundering Seas.) What their original destination was, no one then knew. They were generally ignored, save by a few obsessive weathermen who were curious as to where they were going. But now their true nature has been uncovered, by none other than our own staff, Eowyn Evenstar and Perian. Their intention to raid the hidden havens of Valinor is now unquestionable. The only remaining issues to ponder over are when will they arrive and what will they do upon arrival?
Though, due to the ambiguous location of Valinor, we cannot determine when they will arrive, we do have theories as to how they intend to immobilize the might of Valinor. Interviewees Legolas and Gimli, who are on a secret seafaring mission to chart the course of this fleet, have stated quite clearly that:
"They're not natural. There is some evil upon the waters of the earth. I can sense it."
"They're cute, though."
"Ai, but that is only a deception of their evil. I have seen them with my keen elf-vision, and they are pale as the morning mists. They are deceptions, white as the whiteness of the traitor Saruman before he was revealed."
"I still say they're cute."
"Alas, Gimli, if you do not stop talking and start paddling, they shall soon come nigh upon us."
"Oh, eherm, right."
This motley crew, pale and cute, are planning to distract the defenses of Valinor. And they shall succeed if nothing is done to stop them. Twenty-nine thousand. No defenses in Valinor, Middle-earth, or the long watches of the East have ever taken on such a force of seaward invaders in hand-to-hand combat. Will Valinor survive? Will Manwë still uphold the winds of the planet? Will Varda's light be fizzled out? When news comes, you will be the first to know. For the Unassociated Press, I'm Perian.
*Perian neglected to mention in her article that this fleet is composed of "Floatees", better known as rubber ducks, and other assorted bathing toys.
Quest for a Quill
It was when I first watched Bilbo ink his quill and begin to write his final copy of "There and Back Again: A Hobbit's Tale by Bilbo Baggins" in the Extended Version of the Fellowship of the Ring that I first felt the urge to try writing with a quill and ink. This idea was inflamed to the point of my actually trying it, however, after I watched Liv Tyler's truly breath-takingly beautiful film Onegin, in which there are many close-up shots of her quill sweeping delicately and gracefully across the page. My mind was set. I would do my best to make a quill and try it out for myself.
I began my search logically, in my back garden. I scrutinized the ground for a stray feather to work with, but none could be found. This, I decided, was probably for the best as I would no doubt catch bird lice if I used one that just happened to by lying around. Instead, I made my way up to my local craft shop to see if I could buy a clean feather to use. But I was completely out of luck, not one of the craft shops I visited had any feathers whatsoever. In the end, I settled instead for a one dollar plastic red rose, whose stalk I decided had a similar quality to that of a feather.
I made my way home, the proud new owner of a singular red rose (which looked surprisingly real) and attracted many a grin from passers by on the way. Once home, I set about trying to turn my rose into a decent quill. I soon discovered that the plastic stem held a wire core when I attempted to sharpen the end into the right shape. It was clear to me that this wire would have to go. I marked out where it should be cut off and set about trying to sever it with my scissors. After ten minutes of persistence I realised the only thing I had achieved was the blunting of the scissors. Three quarters of an hour followed in which the entire house was searched and every sharp implement tried and discarded in turn. Nothing could slice through that wire, I'd obviously got more than I bargained for out of that one dollar rose!
It was time to get out the special equipment. Armed with a pair of wire cutters, a towel and a hair-dryer, I proceeded to melt the wire for half an hour, until finally it became soft enough to snip, though an awful amount of effort was still required. I then shaped the remaining wire free plastic into what I thought was a nice good shape for the tip of my make-shift quill. Now came the most dangerous part of all. I covered my desk, floor and self with old dirty sheets, knowing the wrath of my mother should I spill ink on anything would be swift and terrible. This done, I got out an ancient calligraphy box given to me by some distant relative and a small glass jar...and split a cartridge of jet black ink into the bottle. It was a messy business. My fingers were instantly blackened until they extremely resembled Frodo's own fingers where they are in the memorable scene in the Prancing Pony Inn, playing with the Ring (Apart from the bitten fingernails).
I then loaded my quill with ink, and began to write. It was instantly clear to me why some people love writing with quills so much, although my writing (Understandably as I was using a plastic rose to write) was messier than ever, there was a certain elegance about it. A swishy, loopiness that I was not able to reproduce with the pen. The ink glistened on the page as I filled it with favorite quotes and then, just for fun, a reproduction a Harry's quill conversation with Tom Riddle's diary.
I also became very aware why the ball point pen had been invented. I had to re-ink my quill after every couple of words, which became increasingly tedious until finally when the page was full and the ink low, I was both disappointed and relieved to be stopping. I packed up, cleaned up, found a nice spot on the window sill for the rose/quill, and went to wash my inky black hands....As I am typing this article now, my fingers are still as black as the moment the ink spilled out onto them. Being unable to scrub the ink off with hot soapy water, I went in search of the turpentine, only to discover that we had run out. It may be many hours before my fingers are finally restored to their original colour. Knowing now the staining power of ink, I have begun to wonder whether the many songs written during the quill-writing period containing lyrics such as "deeply we were stained" are not actually referring to the effects of ink on the poor writers of the time. My respect for the likes of Bilbo, Frodo, and other Middle Earthean writers, and writers of the quill period in our own history, has enormously increased! I can only say that although my experience with the quill was fascinating, I do not intend to repeat it!
The Origins of Gollum
We all, or most of us, know the origins of Smeagol, mostly derrived from the Shadow of the Past chapter. He was a riverside-dwelling hobbit from an important and matriarchal clan which inhabited the Anduin. Clear, simple. Probably a forebear of the Brandybucks.
But where did Gollum come from? The answer that he came from the mind of his host is too simple. Gollum's differences in mannerisms and accent is more dramatic than a solitary persona, and one untravelled and unfamiliar lands, can account for. I have studied this change quite extensively and have come to a firm conclusion: Gollum, however he ended up in the body of Smeagol, was a Canuck.
I first noticed the dialectic evidence during his debate with Smeagol. It is Gollum, not Smeagol, who clearly uses Canadianisms:
"Not yet, eh? Perhaps not. She might help..."
This is followed soon after by two more examples of ehness:
..."To the gate, eh?" Gollum squeaked... and "Yes, yes, master; give it back, eh?"
A little light goes on, especially with the correlations between Canucks and Gollum and frogs.
So how did a Canadian frog come to inhabit Smeagol? Here's my theory: When creating the Ring, Sauron accidentally ripped a tiny portion of the space-time continuum, bringing back the spirit of a Canuck (Who, judging by the hacking gollums also happened to be a fifty-something year old chain-smoker) and binding it to the Ring (Thus explaining Gollum's particular attachment to it). Only when the Ring was destroyed was he (Or she, considering Gollum's particular interest in Frodo) able to return to this time. So there you have it. Gollum is alive today, and in the land of the maple leaf, which also might explain his revulsion for mallorn... a sort of leaf-war patriocy. Perhaps he is even reading this now. But if Gollum is a Canuck, what does that make Ring-Frodo?
This Fortnight: A Look Back (Renamed A Little Something)
I was wondering if I could have some advice on my cat. The vet tells me she is overweight so I've been trying to get her to do a bit of exercise. I tried 2 coax her to go on a walk with me, took her on my walks to show her how much fun it is, I even chased her around the house for a while to give her some exercise, but she only turns around and attacks me, then stalks off to sleep somewhere (probably on MY bed). What can I do? She doesn't understand about lifestyle diseases!
Well, first off, there's nothing wrong with a bit of weight. Don't forget to tell the cat how beautiful she is with it, and darling, and loveable. Keep her spirits up. If you're still determined to force her resizing, give her a diversion. If she weren't a cat, I'd say use a Ring of Power, but catnip may have to do. Then while she's distracted, slip away her food. Hiding it isn't always good enough, as those who are hungry have an incredible sense of smell. Eat her portion as well as your own. That's what I did when my master began to look more like a hobbit than a pretty elf, if you take my meaning.
I've met someone. She's everything your father warned you about because his mother warned him about it and then you warned me. She has a history of being materialistic, power-hungry, and a corporate big-shot. She's so sly, she has not only wiles, but afores and afters. Her eyes even glow in the dark. But there is something very attractive in all this, and we have some rare commonalities, like a fetish for gold jewelry. Is she worth giving up morals and onions for?
-Love, Mr. E. Hobbit.
Dear Mister F- er, Mister E. Hobbit,
You have yourself in a right fix, and no mistake. You're facing your fears, and that can be good, but it makes it a little more confusing when you're facing fears doesn't also involve a glowing sword or a frying pan. It could be that you are trying to make peace with your part of you that's right bad, like she is. You could make this work if you set your foot down when it comes to the kitchen. No woman, undead or alive, is worth giving up onions for.
Sam, I'm so confused. Don't get me wrong I LOVE this certain someone. And I am sooo happy he said yes when I asked him to marry me but I don't know if this will be a happy marriage, 'cause we come from totally different ends of the spectrum and I don't know what's going to happen. Should I still go along with the marriage? Or should I postpone it and stuff?
Dear Confused Carron,
Now, that depends on which opposite ends of the spectrum you're on. Now, see, I could be friends with my master, though we were right different, but Stinker and Slinker, on the other hand, were just impossible. Seeing as how you say you love him, I would say you should go ahead with it. Unless... hey, you're not named Carron, are you!?! Master Frodo asked me about someone. There wouldn't be two weddings in so short a time, and that's a fact. Well, I don't know but as you should go ahead, but not if I can help it.
I am in love with a hobbit (coincidentally called Samwise also) ... the problem is, he is married to a hobbit (coincidentally called Rosie). I was wondering if you had any advice on how I could break them up so that I can marry Samwise instead? Thank you very much.
Well, seeing as how I might see it from a different point of view as I have had a stalking she-fan coincidentally called Fork (if you don't believe me, turn to "Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit" to read of the little stowaway) I would say that Samwise and you would both be happiest if you loved one another from afar. Very afar. Fantasies are always better than the reality of the matter, and it saves you that gruesome end at the point of the coincidentally named Rosie's darning needle, beneath their clan of thirteen children.
With coincidental sincerity, Samwise.
MISSING: One precious Ring. Gold, not sure what size it is, no, we're not. Give it back to us. It was stolen from us, my precious, and we wants it.
-S & G, The Cave Under The Misty Mountains.
FOR SALE: Second hand Orc Blaster 2000. In relatively good condition, only 150 in the orc-blasted clock. Only $50, provided you pick it up midnight, nasty technical legalities with some unfortunate accidental deaths involving the Blaster to consider, you understand...of course it wasn't the Blaster's fault! It going out of control like that was completely down to the air pressure I tell you! But try telling the lawyers that...Anyway, ahem, where was I? Ah yes, contact email@example.com if you're interested!
BAKE SALE: Fantastic Lembas Bread for sale at the North East corner of Lorien. Help support the Elf Scouts trip to the Shire! Lembas Bread available only while supplies last.
JOB OPP: Requirements: Must be bloodthirsty, savage, brutal, ugly, know how to wield a weapon. Ability to tolerate sunlight a plus. Pay negotiable. Great benefits, meals of flesh provided. Dental not included. Call The White Hand Employment Agency @ +1.666.018.78
Hobbitish, Part V.
hloth: (noun) a simple cottage or one room house. Element in the untranslated Hlothran (Cotton).
-i: (prepositional suffix) from, as in smiali; from the smial.
kali: (adjective) merry, jolly. The untranslated nickname of Kalimac (Meriadoc).
kast: (noun) a valuable item with no known use. Synonymous to mathom.
lithe: (noun) midsummer, to hobbits a holiday of two to three days, depending on whether or not it is a leap year.