i Nili o i Ardanole Newsletter:
Your source for Lord of the Rings News, Updates, Poetry, Art, Parody and Satire.
Issue 21, Volume 2, February 6th, 2004.
Editors: Perian, Xara.
Primary Reporter: Ivy Brandybuck.
Chief Corespondent: Prongs.
Contributor(s): Cart, Padfoot, Sam (no, not that one).In this issue:Oscar Wrath by Xara.
The Lord of the Globes: Onto the Oscars® by Prongs.
Influences by Perian.
The Survival of the Fellowship by Ivy.
Facing the Musical by Xara.
Ringbearers Anon. by Perian and Padfoot.
In every issue:
Fanfiction: This Fortnight: Chapter Three by Ivy.
Site Status and Updates.
The Oscars. No Lord of the Rings fan can hear those two words together now without screaming with frustration. The cheek of it! Not giving Peter Jackson Best Director! Denying The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers their deserved Best Picture! This is motion picture history they made with those movies and the least they can do is give it some credit! And now Oscar season is coming around again. They're getting ready to roll out that red carpet for all the stars to walk down and sit around big tables with TV cameras shoved in their faces and find out who the Academy Members think deserves the awards this year. For the rest of the world it's business as usual, but for us Lord of the Rings fans, this is our last chance and we're just dying for Lord of the Rings to win it.
It is common knowledge these days that many members of that darned academy have it in for hobbits, elves, dwarves, wizards and things that go bump in the night. They don't want to give an award to a movie about a Ring of Power and a Dark Lord who wants to take over the world. They think fantasy movies are beneath an Oscar simply because they're not real. We all know that's a completely wrong and rather stupid point of view to take. We all know the value of fantasy, the ground-breaking advances that movie made, the amazing acting, the never-before-seen directing (three films at once I mean come on! If that doesn't deserve an Oscar then I'm the Dark Lord of Mordor, and everyone knows that's Padfoot!), the sweat blood and tears that went into those three movies, the overwhelming box-office figures, the world-wide love of Lord of the Rings. But try telling the academy that!
I'm not going to try and predict the outcome of this year's Oscars. I know too little about the film industry to ask you to trust my speculation. I'm not trying to say that all the academy members are bad people, I'm sure many of them are perfectly reasonable. I am trying to say this though; if Peter Jackson and Lord of the Rings miss out a third time in a row, something bad is going to happen. I don't know what, but there'll be about ten million angry fans out there who will each turn of their TV screens, turn around and want some kind of revenge, and those kind of numbers can't be ignored. We're looking at an army beyond even Sauron's wildest dreams out for the Academy's blood if Lord of the Rings doesn't win.
Now, if, and I say if Lord of the Rings and Peter Jackson miss out on those Oscars a third year in a row, I, and I'm sure all of you, will have something to say about that. What we need to make sure of is that we have the right people to say it too. It's no use complaining about it to other people who already agree with you. We need to go in force to the Academy itself. We need to snow them in, swamp them and bury them with complaints in such numbers as they've never seen before. Now I've said my piece, here's their address:
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
8949 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, California 90211
Let us hope for their sake that the members of the academy come to their senses. I take no responsibility for the resulting Oscar wrath should they not, but merely provide an outlet for the anger of fans, it's not healthy to keep all that pent up inside. And now let us prepare, for on the 29th February, once again, the stars are coming out to play.
The Lord of the Globes: Onto the Oscars®
Place? The Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California. Date? Sunday, February 29th at 8 p.m. Event? The Grand Mamma of all awards ceremonies – the Oscars®! After bagging all 4 Golden Globe awards that they were nominated for, including Best Director for Peter Jackson and Best Picture, the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King received a grand total of 11 Academy Award® nominations including, once again, a Best Director nod for Jackson and a Best Picture nod. While many members of the press, public and even Jackson’s peers believe that he deserves the gold, ultimately, it is the opinions of the voting members of the Academy that matter. In this article, your reporter discusses why she believes that Peter Jackson should bring home Oscar® gold.
It is an undeniable fact that, over the past two years, Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies have been the box office dominators with the third instalment, the Return of the King, currently doing much better than its predecessors. It was a massive undertaking for Jackson to bring Tolkien’s masterpiece to screen, a feat that many in Hollywood thought would fail and one that would be the (then) little-known Kiwi’s downfall. How wrong they all were! The trilogy has done brilliantly, putting New Zealand on the map and making Jackson one of the most talked about directors in Hollywood. So, why hasn’t he taken home any major bling-bling? Twice he should have won, twice the award went to “worthier” directors and while it cannot and should not be said that “The Pianist” and “A Beautiful Mind” were bad movies, neither of them had the grandeur, beauty and sheer power that Jackson’s first two movies did.
Of course, it could be argued that the Oscar voters see the trilogy as a single entity and not as three separate films, and were therefore waiting for Return of the King to come out before deciding whether or not to give Jackson his award. Well, guess what? Return of the King is in theatres now and Jackson has indeed saved the best for last. As with the first two installments, he has blended raw emotion and eye-popping visual effects with the skill equal to that of a doctor performing by-pass surgery. In the process, has won the hearts and minds of even the most critical audience member. While there is no denying that the special effects are stunning, they do not take over the entire movie but, as many a film critic has said, serve to enhance the story. Ultimately, what makes the trilogy, and especially Return of the King, so powerful is the emotional depth that every actor brings to his or her character. The lines that they delivered will remain etched our minds for a while and this is attributed to the collaborative writing of Jackson, Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens – or as your reporter calls them, the Terrific Trio.
From a fan’s point of view, the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King deserves to win every single award that it was nominated for. The score is an integral part of any film and Howard Shore did a magnificent job with his score for Return of the King. Annie Lennox’s haunting voice on “Into the West” reverberates through our minds, even as we read this newsletter. And we are still reeling from the shock of watching Frodo being pierced by that massive ugly of a Shelob, to say nothing to the shenanigans of Gollum! Costumes, art work and make up are brilliant, brilliant and brilliant and this reporter has no doubts that Ngila Dickson, Grant Major, Alan Lee, Dan Hennah and Richard Taylor will get their just dues.But the person on everyone’s mind is Peter Jackson. Will he bring home the gold? Or will, in a fit of mean-spiritedness, the voters deem another director worthier? In a day and age where liberalism is encouraged, it is sad, dare this reporter say hypocritical, for a man with such talent and creative vision as Jackson to be turned down for an honour just because he is a Kiwi outsider who made a (phenomenal) fantasy epic instead of a (weepy) romantic one.
(Forgive me if this theme has been used in other ways before.)
The true Ringer sees their doctrine in everything. They roar with laughter when the word 'precious' is uttered. They should "Where!?!" when someone named Mary is called for in a public place. Are we influenced by Rings... or is it our culture which has succumbed to its influences? Let us analise a few of the more random icons of our popular culture, beginning where beginning is expected: with children's media.
Possibly the most well known figure of toddlers' entertainment is Elmo, that squeaky but loveable hand puppet who lives in his own self-titled world. He is a creature of indeterminable species, his closest affinity being with a goldfish who holds a central location in his world. A fanatical Ringer may look at this omniscience, connection with aquatic life, and unusual name to have brought to their mind Ulmo, Tolkien's Lord of the Waters. Did Jim Henson read The Silmarillion, only to recall Ulmo as a half-remembered name and a vague connection with fish?
Next we shall step into that obscure realm known as modern music. Picking a song at random (or as close to random as you can get when drawing from a genre in which you have little or no reference material) here are a few lyrics from Natalie Imbruglia's White Lillies Island:
She'll fly to France
'Cause there's no chance
No hope for Cinderella
Everything wrong gonna be alright
Now this may appear completely unrelated to The Lord of the Rings, but to a true Ringer the meaning is infinitely clear. Using the gender reversals common in the pop world, 'she' is Frodo before setting out on the quest, stricken with a "save me from my doom, please!" attitude, otherwise known as a Cinderella complex. That is, until that fateful day in September. As we know, everything wrong did become all right thanks to the journey he set out upon in that month. France? Clearly a typo. What she meant to say was Prance, as in Prancing Pony.
The influences are evident even beyond the modern era, validating the concept known in theoretical physics as a paradox. Think of the similarities between Gandalf and that cheap imitation Merlin; between the pale beauty and flying speed of Shadowfax and his less believable cousins the unicorns and pegasi; between the chained what's-his-name elf from The Silmarillion (was it Maedhros? Something like that,) and the mythological Prometheus. One could even draw ocular parallels between Horace and Sauron.
The Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion have influenced our world, whether they (non-fans) like it or not. It holds in its words our past, present, and with hope our future.
Or at least in the Ringer's mind.
The Survival of the Fellowship
A big thanks to Sam (no, not that one) for the help!
This is an obvious statement, but we all know the story of The Lord of the Rings. One day, I was sitting at the desk, thinking about it, when I came upon a startling discovery: The Fellowship would never have survived were it not for Bill the Pony.
Living the life of a starved, abused pony, Bill was obviously not very happy. (Please do not ask me why I'm speaking of him like he's a servant... I dunnae know why... But then again, he might have been, but I won't go into it.) Under the care of Bill Ferny, who (or what) could be happy? Though throughout the beginning of FotR, and then toward the end, all the way to the very end Bill is not with us, (the Fellowship, I should say) he was still vital to their survival.
After Our Samwise (as you will learn about in later articles) took Bill from Bill (er... you get the idea) the pony's health dramatically improved. He actually got the the point where he could have been called "fat" (in the horse sense!) Thinking of this, usually the "fatter" a horse, (or pony) the more it can carry, thus saving our brave heroes much energy and also quickening their pace.
As I began writing this article, a friend of mine pointed out another possible (though most likely never considered and certainly never acted upon) possibility: Bill, if the Fellowship was in dire need, may have been (I hate to say this, I really do) a possible food source! While this is horrible to think about, if you were starving, you would eat a pony, too (though it would never be our Bill.) Luckily, he was spared the task of warming Frodo's belly, or anyone else's for that matter. I'm nearly certain, however, that Frodo's would have come first.
And now I reach the sad part of Bill's journey... His departure from our tale. At the Doors of Moria he leaves us. Not intentionally, and if Sam had anything to say about it, he would have gone with them until the very end. Of course, Watchers in Water tend to scare off ponies... Thinks of a parody entitled "Scared Little Newborn Ponies" but quickly squashes it. Sam gave so much affection to Bill (as did the rest of the Fellowship to some degree,) that it was quite sad to see him go, especially in the manner he did. Alas, is that not the case in most stories?
We'll always remember Bill the Pony. Not just for his adorableness, but also for his heroic efforts and willingness to follow the Fellowship to the end! We love you, Bill!
Facing the Musical
Since the dawn of time (well not quite but who cares) there has been a fear amongst Lord of the Rings fans so terrible and frightening to contemplate that it has been seldom discussed at fan club meetings or on forums. This nameless fear has lurked at the back of our minds, haunted our wildest dreams for almost fifty years and has emerged at last to trouble the world of the living. You know what I'm talking about. No, it's not a children's serial cartoon of Lord of the Rings which has absolutely nothing to do with the original plot to be screened on Saturday Morning Disney. No, it's not a Diet Hobbit Soup kit from Lean Cuisine. It's not even a Hobbit Topiary. Ladies and Gentlemen our worst fears have been realised...it's a musical.
That's right! A Musical! Will we see hobbits dancing in a chorus line? Legolas pausing to do some high kicks in between slashing down an army of orcs on stage? Will Aragorn suddenly break into a hearty chorus of "Oh I Just Can't Wait To Be King!!" or Sam sing "If I Were A Rich Man"? When Gandalf falls in Moria will the Fellowship turn and put on their opera voices for a verse of "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again"? Can you see the orcs marching to war, skipping on every alternate step and stopping in the middle for a pretty walking stick dance with their spears? What if Galadriel descends from the ceiling on strings?!!! The awful, awful possibilities are endless.
But however apprehensive we are, however much the sickening scenarios chase each other around in our imaginations, it will be happening. They've started workshops and are threatening to release this musical in London's west end in 2005. But however nervous the leading cast may be on the opening night, the hundreds of fans quaking and jittering in their seats will be no match for anxiety. There are simply too many things that the makers could mess up. But whatever happens, my one wish is to see no hobbit jump, skip or prance his way to Mordor.
However, in all situations you have to look on the bright side. Who knows? It might be good. Aragorn might just manage to remain kingly and noble after his solo from The Lion King, and dancing orcs would be a sight worth seeing, however completely incorrect it may be. We as fans of Lord of the Rings have had to to deal with many such frightening situations in the past. At one point The Beatles were planning to make a cinematic version of Tolkien's grand epic! And like before, like we did less than two years ago now when Peter Jackson's Fellowship of the Ring hit the screens, we're going to have to face our fears, trot along to the theatre one evening and see how Lord of the Rings shapes up scored, scripted and choreographed. The time is coming, when we must face the musical.
with thanks to Paddy for Sauron's speech.
UP, Valinor: As we well know, possession of a Ring of Power is a hard hobb- er, habit to break. Once it takes hold of you, it never lets go, as one former Ringbearer phrased it. A Ringbearer can become a menace to society; thieving, lying, using second-person pronouns. It is a threat which has loomed over us, even after the unmaking of the Seven and the One.
This is why Aulë, Valar of the crafts by which the Rings came into being, and the elven smiths who have relocated to Valinor have come together to create Ringbearers Anonymous. Invitations and intimidations were discreetly issued through various Maia, convincing everyone ever suspected of Ringbearerism to attend their first annual meeting.
The turnout was more or less what the organisers had expected. Frodo Baggins, still fresh-faced, with a silver-white pendant glimmering atop his blue velvet dresscoat was the first to enter the meeting hall. With him was a more wizened Gamgee, grumbling as he was dragged forward in his former master's wake. Gollum and Smeagol entered hand-in-hand, their old rags and loincloth replaced for this occasion by a modern equivalent: boxers. The ancient Bilbo crept in at the pace of a night-long family reunion. Three of the Nine moped bodiless in the corner like naughty children suddenly caught between their victims and their teachers. Another hobbit-footed character, disguised by a knee-length coat and a floppy felt hat slipped in seven minutes late. Even Isildur was uprooted from his restful home on the edge of the Dead Marshes. Elrond and Gandalf had, as ususal, played hookie.
"Welcome," Aulë boomed in greeting. "I hope you know why you have been summoned-"
"I was told there would be food," said the cloaked hobbit.
"Close enough," said Aulë, seeming eager to maintain calm. Truth be known, his reputation still stands on shaky ground after the conversion-to-evil of his two apprentices (maia) Sauron and Saruman. "Now, please everyone, let us get acquainted. Starting with you," he opened his hand to the hobbitish speaker. "What is your name, and what is your relationship with Rings of Power?"
"I thought this was supposed to be anonymous," said the hobbit.
"Hullo, Merry," said Frodo, recongnising the voice.
"Oh, hullo, cousin Frodo!" cried Pippin from beneath the coat. The arm of Merry hurriedly slipped inside at what appeared to be the stomach and tried to quiet him. A proven impossibility. So it went on with lighthearted hobbitish banter for several hours until the others returned to sleep or death, all Rings forgotten. Desperate, Aulë summoned his first speaker, the Ring corrupter herself, Sauron.
"First of all I would like to thank Aulë, Manwë, Mandos, and Gollum for having me do this lecture for all of you. Now I'd like to begin with the beginning, as always with the creation of the greatest Ring. The Ring I made!!! Now when I first made it I didn’t know the effects it would have on mortals. Like Isildur, or Boromir, or Frodo... that little cute hobbit in the corner with those beautiful eyes and nice hair and... whoops, sorry. Ok, going a little off topic. Hehe. Ok, as I was saying, well I did have a semi idea about the power of my Ring. When I made it I made the stupid decision to put most of my power inside of it. That means that when it left my finger I pretty much disappeared and lost most of all my power. And then I was reduced to an eyeball. Then I suffered many eyeball jokes, like 'Would you like some Visine, master?' or 'Would you like me to cut you some onions, ma'am?' which all were very annoying. The making of my Ring was pretty simple. Just need a lot of luck and Mt. Doom. Now im gonna say something Aulë probably doesn’t want me to say but I’m gonna to say it anyway. If you wanna make a Ring come on over to Mt. Doom and I'll give you detailed instructions on how to. I know this is a Ring obsessors’ group, but, I mean a little obsession cant be a bad thing, right? I mean, I had an obsession with taking over Middle-earth. Which I will! I will rule again!"
Any who were still asleep (namely Bilbo) were jolted awake by an evil laugh from Sauron, and a round of applause from the trio of Undead. "Just you wait! Hahahaha!... Erm... I mean... umm... don’t look at me like that! Oh man. I just screwed up, didn’t I? What I meant to say was, an obsession is a very bad thing which can cause many problems down the road. I recommend that you stay in this class and get all the help you can until you are perfectly capable of acting on your own with out depending on a Ring to always be on your finger. You all are very special and I wouldn’t want to see anything bad happen to any of you. Especially a major corruption like this one. It could be deadly. Wouldn’t want you nice little hobbits getting hurt now would we? Hey stop looking at me like that! Ok, I better stop talking before I get into a deeper hole... um... goodnight everyone!" And with that, Sauron ran from the room.
"What shall we do?" cried Pippin, forgetting for the moment that he was not a Ringbearer.
"Fear not, young Peregrin Took," said the second speaker, gliding with a twinkle onto the platform: The Lady Galadriel herself, "you will find your sanity. As the only person to reject the Great Ring of Power-" Sam was to smitten to correct this, "-I wish to encourage you in your task-" A vivid red Wrap it up! appeared on the teleprompter behind her audience. She ignored it. "-for if you do not find your way-" In three... "no one" ...two... "will need to-" one.
Aulë leapt to the stage and ushered Galadriel, still pontificating, off. As they disappeared through the doorway he called, "And that's all. Thank you for coming, and we'll see you next year!"
So ended the first Ringbearers Anonymous meeting. Let us hope it brings to this world the harmony it advertised in its flier.
This Fortnight: Chapter Three
of something by Ivy.
Pippin broke the long silence of the journey. "Do you regret leaving?" he asked innocently.
Merry looked over at him. "Do you regret leaving your wife and son behind?" was his reply, which caused Pippin to lapse into a finally comfortable quiet. They rode on, passing fields and forests, eventually making their way to a suitable camp. It was then that they realised they had no idea what they were doing.
"How can it be so hard to make fire?!" Cried Pippin in frustration, throwing down the flint he had been toying with for the past half an hour.
"Still nothing?" Merry inquired, leaning forward from the tree he was resting against.
"NOTHING!" the other hobbit replied sourly.
Merry sighed. "Let me have a go at it, then." he took up the pieces of flint and struck them together, immediately sending sparks flying onto the wood, and starting to burn. He smiled smugly and leaned back into the tree, Pippin glaring at him the entire time. "Takes skill, that does." Merry teased.
Pippin laughed. "So easily amused, you are! You start a fire and suddenly you're the King of Gondor!"
"No... That would be Aragorn." Merry retorted cheekily. They continued their banter late into the night until sleep took them. Days passed, and they finally came upon Bree. Again, Pippin broke the long silence, asking the question they both wanted to avoid.
"Are we going to war?" They were sitting in the famous (To them, at least.) Prancing Pony Inn, at the same table they were at that night so long ago, when Frodo accidently slipped on the Ring. The same table at which they had discussed Aragorn, then known as Strider.
"I'm not sure, Pip. Eomer and Aragorn simply sent for us for counsel. We shall give it and go from there."
"Merry, I don't want to fight." Pippin said quietly.
The other turned and looked him squarely in the eye. "That is not your or my choice. We shall do as our services command. No more, no less. You may ask for no war; no fighting, but it is inevitable, whether you will it to be or not."
Pippin nodded dully, the words hitting him with a shock. He would lie awake that night, pondering them until the sun crept over the horizon in the east, signalling a new day. Neither of them had yet to realise how true those words would end up to be.
Xara'sRandom Fandom.Xara: At Bilbo Baggins's 111th birthday party Frodo asks you for a dance, but you're far too tall for him!!! What do you do?!Cart: Simple! I would ask him to climb onto Merry's shoulders! Double the hobbit, double the pleasure! heheXara: The moment you've been waiting for your entire life has arrived, your fan mail letter to Orlando Bloom has been answered. Opening the letter with trembling fingers you pull out a sheet of paper and read:Cart: Dear Ms. Cart...Orlando Bloom has established a restraint order of the account of he thinks you are stalking him, because you know way too much for his comfort. Please, send no more letters or e-mails to Mr. Bloom, OR come within a mile of him. Good day!Xara: You accidentally burnt all your hair off when getting too close to the fires of Mount Doom. A disaster! Luckily, being on the Lord of the Rings set, there are plenty of wigs around to cover up this horrible accident, the only problem is, they're glued to peoples' heads! How do you get one?Cart: Hmmm...well, that does seem like a problem...but here's what I would do...I'd rip off Sam's wig and blame it on Gollum!!!Classifieds.STOLEN: My sanity! Give it back you thieveses!!! If anyone has seen a suspicious looking character fleeing with a stolen sanity please contact me immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is important! I need that for school on Monday!
WANTED: Every edition of Tolkien's books ever published in any language. Do I know where to find them or have anything to offer in exchange? No. But that doesn't stop me from the wanting of them.
How do you sleep at night?
With my own mattress and a lovely feather pillow, valerian tea, and a pint of brewed hops to follow it down.
Note: Your submissions to ask Samwise sent over the next few weeks will appear in Issue 23, the 5th of March. Reasons forthcoming -ed.
For the the upcoming issues Tolkienish will concentrate on root words commonly used in the names and places of The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion in the hopes that this will help unravel complexities which prevent everyone, including our staff, from reading Tolkien's work with ease.
Of Places and Geological Features: (Key: q. = Quenya, s. = Sindarin.)
amon: (s., noun; plural Emyn) hill. In Amon Hen, Amon Amarth, Amon Sul, Amon Rudh, Amon Ereb, Emyn Muil, and Emyn Beraid.
an(d): (q., adjective) long. In Anduin, Andram, Anfalas, Cair Andros.
andune (q.), numen (q.), annun (s.): (adjective) west. In Andune, Numenor, Numinore, Annuminas, Henneth Annun.
annon: (q., noun) great door or gate. In Morannon, Sirannon.
Letters.Dear Editor,May I first congratulate the two new members of staff! I look forward to reading more of my co-workers work! A most exciting issue with so many different article contributors! I wish I could have gone to Prongs's LotR celebration, though I don't think I would have had quite the appetite of a hobbit. I would also like to commend Ivy on her bravery at called Legolas a nancy elf! Hehehehe!! You can hide at my place if worst comes to worst Ivy! And Perian, that voice in your head called the Teleri, I don't have it (as you may have noticed) so I can't sympathise, but I know many people who do so your fortnightly scenario was not unfamiliar! All in all, bravo!!! I have said it many, many times already but I'm gonna say it again: On the newsletter staff it's the life for me!~Xara
As 'tis their moment in the spotlight, I will let our new staff members reply. Oh, and 'tis the life for me, too!Perian.Awwww... lookit! Hehehe... My thanks. I accept [your] gracious offer to hide at her place, though I think that all of the Legolas fans heard that, and 'twill be of no use.Slainte, Ivy.
Dear Xara,Many thanks for the congratulations and I look forward to working with you over the coming issues. You'd probably be the sensible hobbit out of the bunch of us because we forced ourselves to eat and then got sick in the process. My stomach ache didn't vanish until yesterday. Eating like a hobbit is not recommended unless you are either a hobbit or a boy.Prongs.