i Nili o i Ardanole Newsletter:
Your source for Lord of the Rings News, Updates, Poetry, Art, Parody and Satire.
Issue 16, Volume 1. November 28, 2003.
Assistant Editor: Xara.
Contributors: Prongs, Fool of a Took.In this issue:
Gwaihir & Gandalf - Secret Lovers? by Xara.
Not In Our Age by Perian.
A Tribute to the I Nili o i Ardanole Writers by Prongs.
Middle Earth & Now - The Language Barrier by Xara.
Preparing for the Premier... A Challenge from Perian.
In every issue:
Fanfiction: This Fortnight: Another continuation of that titleless thing by Perian.
Letters to the Editor.
Gwaihir & Gandalf - Secret Lovers?
Some of our readers may remember an article our esteemed editor published by myself several months ago concerning speculation as to the reasons behind Gwaihir's many spectacular rescues of one Gandalf the Grey/White and companions. At the time, I exhausted all information and speculation I had to offer, but I had not exhausted my own curiosity on the matter and so continued to ponder the riddle. However other distractions, well, distracted me and I laid the matter aside for a time and only lately returned to consider the anomaly. It was then, suddenly that the realisation hit me, so blatantly obvious that I marvelled I had not seen it before.
Consider this, there are five occasions on which Gwaihir is mentioned to make a rescue, and every single time, who is the person whom he rescues? Gandalf! The first time they met, Gandalf was about to plunge to his death in Wilderland, stuck in a tree surrounded by wargs and orcs. The second time, Gandalf and friends were in battle with wargs and orcs and looking like getting wiped out. The third time, Gandalf was truly defeated and stranded on the pinnacle of Orthanc with no hope of escape (or so he thought). The fourth time, Gandalf was lying naked (Gwaihir you rascal you!) on Zirak Zigil recently being returned from death by (if my sources are correct) the grace of the Valar. And the fifth time, Gandalf was in the middle of a hopeless (again, so it appeared at the time) battle! And remember, it was Gandalf whom Gwaihir first lifted out of the treetop the night they first met, could it be that he only rescued the dwarves and Bilbo to carry favour with the old wizard?
Gwaihir's affection and devotion to Gandalf is plain for all to see, the real riddle here is, did the wizard reciprocate Gwaihir's feelings? Was this a mutual love, or was it unrequited? It is difficult to tell, certainly Gandalf was much more 'close' as Merry and Pippin put it, than the smitten eagle, but there is evidence to suggest that Gandalf's love belonged to another, Galadriel. The moment in Edoras when the wizard sings of her in Meduseld and the fact that Gandalf requested Gwaihir to bear him to her during his predicament when he found himself sky-clad on the mountain-top. However these instances have too much room for interpretation to be considered real evidence of where Gandalf's heart truly lay.
Unfortunately I have discovered little more evidence to shed light on this mystery as yet. While the answer to Gwaihir's strange fetish for daring rescue has been found, the question of where the eagle lay amongst Gandalf's affections, remains to be seen. For the moment, I leave this riddle to you.
Not In Our Age
Some may wonder why fantasy novels of the highest quality are either set in the middle-ages, the Atlantian eras, and so on, or in alternate worlds which exist in mediaeval manner in a time parallel to our own, as in the works of J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis and the Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass tales. The answer to that ponderance is simple: There is something ridiculous, something inexplicably complicated, and thoroughly unbelievable about our own time. If you plan on introducing dragons, fair folk, water serpents, tree shepherds, and rivers' daughters they must have a reasonable setting. That setting is not ours. Let me illustrate.
We open with Frodo and company trying to cross the Brandywine. "Good evening, sirs. Please give your luggage to the security gentleman there, and stand before me where indicated by the sign above you. May I see your passports please?"
After much displacement of curls while scratching their heads and a fair share of dismay the hobbits, already stressed by the quest which has been thrust upon them, the looming machinery, and the garish lights, as well as a fair amount of sleep-deprivation, burst into cries for help. From the giftshop where he has been buying plastic flowers (unable any longer to obtain real blossoms) leaps Tom Bombadil. "Hey, now, derry-dol, what is this, my fellows? Quite a fright, if I'm right, for you're all greenish-yellows."
In short time Frodo tells their tale, of how they must get to Bree, and on time, and they don't know why Gandalf failed to think to give them passports. The jolly Tom strokes his beard a bit, then laughs, claps his hands, and produces from the cuff of his sleeve their passports. Before they are able to thank him, he has disappeared.
The lady at the counter examines their passports one by one. Upon reaching Frodo's she stops, glaring down at him. "Your ticket is registered for a Mister Frodo Underhill, yet this says Baggins. What are you playing at, lad?"
"It is naught but a misunderstanding, fair lady," he hurriedly consoles. "I am a travelling writer, and my pen-name is Underhill. Perhaps my agent gave such to you in error."The woman accepts this story, though with a doubtful quirk of her brow. Maybe he's fleeing a divorce hearing, or is a rich celebrity wishing to avoid publicity. No harm in that. A nudge from her co-worker pulls her away from speculative thought. "Mister Gamgee," she calls. Hesitantly he approaches her, standing on tiptoe to see the items she is pulling from his overstuffed bag and gesturing toward. What a mess, he thinks unhappily, as he spent the better part of a week packing so well. "What," she asks, "is this?"
"Of all the confounded... yes, I'm sure!"
"And in here?" "Why, pipeweed, of course." "Hmm, you admit to that, at least. Write what he said down, Jimmy, and confenscate this item. And these?"
"What do you think they are!?!"
"Potentially lethal cookware. Am I correct, Mister Gamgee?"
"That's something to think of, now isn't it?" grumbles Samwise, growing both red and belligerent. "By your leave, Mister Frodo?" he asks, taking the handle of a pan and nodding at the obtrusive clerk.
"Not now, Sam."
"Security! Detain this hobbit for further questioning. The rest of you may board the ferry. If you will please remove all metal from your persons and step through that arch over there..." There is a soft green light and a musical ping as Merry and Pippin pass through (after which they wink at each other conspiratorially, and proceed to commandeer the ferry). Frodo, however, has not been so lucky with the metal detector. After several more tries and a tremendous scuffle he has the Ring confiscated and he is thrown into a holding cell with Sam, suspected on charges of being a petty thief, possibly in a conspiracy with his disgruntled companion.
So the story would end. Thank goodness their time was not so unbelievable.
A Tribute to the I Nili o i Ardanole Writers
Author's note: I was not bribed, threatened or cajoled to write this by any means -- it is 110% sincere.
Being an avid reader with a good grasp of the English language, I thought that taking a university English course would be one of the more intelligent ideas that I have had. Clearly, I was wrong. Oh, don’t get me wrong - I love the course! I love the short stories that I’m reading! What I’ve discovered that I cannot do is write. Perhaps that is slightly misleading - I can write and my essays are quite good but they take me ages to complete! And staying up until the wee hours of the morning to write an essay is not my idea of a good time - especially if it means that I lose out on sleep.
In light of my discovery that writing takes a lot of work, I would like to say a big thank you to Xara and Perian for all the work that they put into writing the newsletter. Don’t think for a second that we don’t appreciate your efforts because we do! I keep a hard copy of each newsletter in my folder so that, one day, I will have the pleasure of sending everyone all 120 issues for your reading pleasure (twice a month for 5 years - do the math.). Yes Perian, you will one day tell us where you live. Can you imagine us relaxing in our rocking chairs out on the porch, laughing at the witty, thoughtful and imaginative articles and columns written primarily by our soon-to-be-famous author and journalist? Well, I can!
So, thank you Xara, Perian and everyone else who contributes, for making me laugh, cry and even think! Sunday evenings would not be the same without the newsletter. Long live I Nili o i Adranole!
Middle Earth & Now - The Language Barrier
With Apologies for the Puns.
There are many ways, some obvious and some not so, in which Middle Earth and its inhabitants differ from our own world. There's the races, the clothes, the warfare, the houses, the geography, the magic, the list goes on! But one I think of the more important or, practical you might say, differences, is the language. In Middle Earth, they just say things differently. Their way is more formal and polite, more eloquent. Their speech is constantly dotted with words like "mathom" and "dwimmerlaik" which are lost on most readers. They even insult people differently:
Wormtongue: Late is the hour in which this conjurour chooses to appear. Lathspell I name him. Ill news is an ill guest.
Gandalf: Be silent. Keep your forked tongue behind your teeth. I did not pass through fire and death to bandy creed words with a witless worm.
Now, in our society this kind of verbal assault would get nothing more than laughter and strange looks, but in Middle Earth this is pretty strong stuff, especially for a King's hall. But however much trouble we have understanding the people of Middle Earth, it is nothing to how much trouble they would have understanding us! Imagine if Aragorn came up to you and said, "How are you?" and you replied, "Ugh! Tired! My computer got a virus and all the files on my C Drive were deleted. I had to stay up all night rebuilding the system." Rather than a sigh of sympathy or an oath to hunt down the evil hacker responsible the only response this would produce from the wise and learned King-in-exile would be a look of supreme incomprehension.
We may use the same language as hobbits, but it may as well be in Old Entish for all that they would understand of it. And what they would catch would sound to them more uncouth than a conversation with an orc! The extreme differences in our societies has caused our use of language to change dramatically. For example, if a Frodo Fan were by accident to meet Frodo wandering on a walking path near Bywater, imagine the conversation they would have!Fan: Frodo! Hey!
Frodo: Oh, there's some over there in the west paddock.
Fan: Er....right...thanks. Oh mu gosh I am so excited to meet you! I...I mean my friend, thinks you are so hot!
Frodo: She does? But how can she tell? I feel fine, but then there has been this strange fever going around recently. Is your friend skilled in the art of healing?
Fan: Er...no, not particularly. Well, how are you?
Frodo: Oh, I'm keeping well, thankyou.
Fan: Sorry, I didn't catch that, you're keeping what?
Frodo: You don't need to apologise for anything. What was it you wanted to catch?
Frodo: Ok, well, how are you?
Fan: Oh, I'm cool.
Frodo: Are you? Here, have my cloak.
Fan: Oh, but I'm not cold.
Frodo: But I thought you said that...}
Fan: Never mind. Listen, Frodo, could I have your number?
Frodo: Oh, I'm not a slave.
Fan: Riiight....well, here's mine. Give me a ring sometime!
Frodo: No!!! Get away from me, thief! It's mine! It's my precious! Leave me alone!
Preparing for the Premier... A Challenge
Time to test the resolve of the true fan. As Editor in Chief, I challenge you to go to The Return of the King premier (or at least to the cinema at some time, even if be not on the 17th,) in costume. Afterward send a .jpg in to Perian@frontiernet.net. Best costume will be featured in the newsletter and/or on the site.
But, but ... I don't have a costume!
No problem. You have three weeks and clearly you have a bit of time on your hands (if you're reading this). Here are a few simple techniques, all of which I have used to great effect:
The Cloak: This requires minimal-to-no sewing skill. Pick your colour according to your costume (or plan your costume according to the cloak materials available to you): Grey for the Fellowship; pale green, brown, or yellow for a hobbit; black for a knight of Gondor; deep green for one of the Rohirrim; white or sylvan shades for an elf, etc. For a "taylored" cloak (well-fitted) you will need a piece of cloth which reaches from your shoulder to knee in its length, and twice as wide. You will need to cut it into a semicircle. To do this evenly and easily take a piece of string as long as the shorter side of the cloth, tie a piece of chalk to one end and tack the other to the top centre of the cloth. Starting at the top corner trace the chalk around in an arc, using the length of the string as your radius. Now cut along this chalk line. When you have done that cut a very small circle (about the width of your outstretched hand) directly inside the centre of the straight edge. This is your neck-hole/collar. Put it on and clasp. There's most of your costume, as the remainder will be hidden beneath.
If you don't have material for this make a pre-Fellowship Frodo style cloak by taking a small blanket and wrapping the end, gathered together, over your shoulder and clasping there. Not as good a fit, but it will pass nicely.
Hobbit Tips: Hobbit costumes, at least male-hobbit costumes, are fantastically easy. Find, either in garage sales, flea markets, or the back of the closet: 1. A pair of too-big black or brown pants. Cut off to the point above the ankle-bone, then fold over the hem twice to avoid having to sew it. Belt with a piece of thin rope or thick string. 2. An oversized blouse of white yellow or tan to use as a tunic. 3. A waistcoat or an old button-up sweater which you can cut the sleeves from to imitate a waistcoat. Now curl your hair. No need for ears under those lovely locks; notice how rarely you see the hobbits' ears, even during the windy scenes.
To be and Elven Lady: Now the real fun. Generally you can find old ladies' used nightgowns in velvet or silk for nearly nothing. This will work for your basic gown (you won't see the terrible cut under your cloak). Find a matching (or at least not clashing) scarf to use as a belt. Make a 'v' with this over the hips, knotting in front and leaving the ends to trail down. Lace is always a plus if you are going for the otherworldly look, so pull down your curtains (lace or sheer). Valances are excellent due to the varying length. String them up where the curtain rod slides through and tie either around your waist (as an embellishment to your skirt) your shoulders, shawl-like, or both.
Remember, the key to creativity is imagination. See you there, mellon nin!
Fanfiction:Another continuation to A Little Something
Dear Samwise,November is in full swing here in the southern hemisphere and the heat is unbearable, and this is but a taste of what it will be like in the summer months. I don't know for how much longer I can stand this heat! I remember now why summer is my least favorite month. What can I do? Xara
Well, I don't know about you, but I have to use all of the daylight hours outside, gardening and such. So what I have done for the past fifty years or so is to soak and freeze whatever I'll be wearing. You learn to innovate after a few months in the Wilderland of the modern era...
WANTED: A suitcase large enough to fit several rather jealous and desperate friends, preferably with X-ray resistant inside shielding, inside padding (optional... hehehe) and durable enough to survive 16 days driving around New Zealand plus two two-and-a-half hour flights in the luggage cargo of an airplane. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with information on suitcase or groveling pleas to be allowed inside it. Thank you.
WANTED: Every ding-dang word in the English language implanted in my head so that I never have to ask what words mean ever again. And if you can't get that, a cure for hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia would be nice. -Fool of a Tookie.
Hobbitish: Last Part.
Trewesday: (noun) Tuesday.
Tuk: (noun) family name (Took).
ugad: (adjective) holding fast, stuck in place.
Wedmath: (noun) August.
Winterfilth: (noun) October.
zara: (adjective) old.
Letters to the Editors.
Dear Editor,Another triumph oh Peri-o the magnificent, though all your 'what if's' were highly alarming and some I scarcely dared contemplate! So that's the long awaited Dr. Seuss article?! Hahahahaha! Perhaps Peter Jackson should consider for a children's movie version of Lord of the Rings? Hehe...Oh and I would just like to add a note to my fellow readers, if any of you have something in answer to one of my classifieds I have put my email address in them for a reason! ;) Xara.
What a thought... Peter Jackson directing a children's movie is enough for my mind to wrap around a the moment, though!
Hehehe! I’m in the fanfiction part! And the survey part! I feel special now... Oh! and after reading the fanfiction part I finally got the 't u v' part!! The first few times I read it I felt very confused, (but then again, its not that hard to confuse me.) But, knowing me, I have a few vocab questions. Ok, so, what does: agrarian advocate, iambic pentameter (that sounds like a parking meter...), pentameterphobic (goodness! more parking meters!!), and anti-ergonomic work setee mean?
~A very hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobic Fool of a Took.
Dear Fool of a Took,
Thank you, thank you. Yes, I do include occasional "extras for those who read aloud" in what I write; something picked up from Tolkien. No on to the vocabulary queries:
Agrarian: something of nature, the wild, pastoral, as in the agrarian society of the Shire.
Advocate: a person who advocates or supports something.
Iambic pentameter: a poetic tool, often used in sonnets, if I remember my literary lessons correctly. A line of iambic pentameter is characterised by alternating rhythm in the syllables (those words are a good example of what I mean ... alter-nating rhythm) and five (penta) metric feet (five groups of two syllables).
Pentameterphobic: afraid (phobic) of such things as pentameter. Not technically a word, but as there are so many phobias, I'm sure it will be someday.
Ergonomic: I'm not sure what this one means, but you read it in advers for chairs. I personally think there is no such thing, and it is meant to catch the eye. "Oooh, honey, look at this computer chair! It's ergonomic ... our computer chair isn't ergonomic... we need it..."
Setee: A type of sofa.