i Nili o i Ardanole Newsletter:
Your source for Lord of the Rings News, Updates, Poetry, Art, Parody and Satire.
Issue 23, Volume 2, March 6th, 2004.
Editors: Perian, Xara.
Primary Reporter: Ivy Brandybuck.
Chief Corespondent: Prongs.
Contributor(s): Samantha, Rob, Fan, Lady Morrigan Shadow, Space-case.In this issue:“It’s now official. There is nobody left in New Zealand to thank.” by Prongs.
A History of Swords by Ivy.Elves - Best Served Hot by Perian.
When Shelob Comes a-Biting, Bite Back! by Xara.Growing Ghastly by Perian.
Mordor Found at Mordor Pound by Xara.
In every issue:
Fanfiction: This Fortnight: Chapter Five by Ivy.
New! Newsletter Trivia.
“It’s now official. There is nobody left in New Zealand to thank.”
Whether the Oscars® were watched on the day of (Ivy, Rob and V.G.), the day after (Xara and Angel), or weren’t watched at all but listened to on the radio (a la Perian), there was celebration galore as the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King stomped all over the competition to win 11, yes! 11, Academy Awards® on Sunday evening. The ceremony was so deliciously one sided that Master of Ceremonies, Billy Crystal, quipped “Did you know that people are moving to New Zealand just to be thanked?”
Hours prior to the big win, having being given the giant responsibility that was the remote control, your reporter was flipping through various channels in hopes of catching a red carpet glimpse of the Hobbit quartet. Her perseverance was rewarded when E!s Joan Rivers interviewed the boys. Boy, did they clean up real good or did they clean up real good? Dom’s wine red tie and white handkerchief were particularly spiffy and squeals echoed through the living room as he scratched Billy under the chin while Elijah was talking.
The ceremony took off with Billy Crystal’s montage entitled the “Return of the Host”, which began with him finding a golden ring in his box of Cracker Jacks. “Myyyy preeeeeeecious,” purred V.G. to herself. As Crystal slipped the ring on, he was transported into a series of scenes from the “Return of the King”, key ones including a schizophrenic Gollum-like argument with his reflection in a pond. “I haven’t been to the Oscars since they were taken over by evil wizards.” “The Orcs?” his reflection asked. “No, the Weinsteins”, he replied, referring to the head honchos of Miramax, Bob and Harvey Weinstein. “My favourite part,” says Rob, “was when Michael Moore popped up onto the screen saying ‘Shame on you Hobbits! Shame on you’ and promptly got trampled by an oliphaunt!”
The major disappointment of the evening was the performances of the nominated songs, introduced by Liv Tyler. While your reporter, like so many fans, adores “Into the West”, she had to admit that she wasn’t blown away by Annie Lennox’s performance of the song. Indeed, it seemed like Alison Kraus’ rendition of “Scarlet Tide” from the Cold Mountain soundtrack was a much better show. V.G. thought it was terrific that Lennox dedicated her performance to her mother but your reporter was just relieved that “Into the West” took home the Oscar®. Ivy, however, had no doubts about the victory, and sang away as the nominees names were read out.
Emotions ran high throughout the night! Richard Taylor was about to cry when he accepted his Oscar® for Best Costume. Totally cute! Ivy bawled when Peter Jackson thanked his late parents during his Best Director acceptance speech. Double cute! Upon Jackson’s stage exit, Crystal called out, “And he’s wearing shoes!” which drew many a laugh from the audience in the Kodac Theatre as well as in the dorm living room. Dom had tears in his eyes when the Return of the King was declared Best Picture, as did your reporter, Rob and Ivy (again). Xara was so happy that she burst into a Bilbo-esque song!
On a personal note, and be warned: Blatant Advertising of Canadian Pride, this reporter would like to shout out a huge “Congratulations” to Toronto born Howard Shore for bagging his second Oscar for Best Music (score)! She would also like to mention that Canada took home the Oscar for Best Foreign Film for a French piece set in Quebec called “The Barbarian Invasions”. Denise Robert, the film’s producer was “so thankful that ’Lord of the Rings’ did not qualify in this category”. Until next year, it has been a pleasure!
A History of Swords
When you think of The Lord of the Rings, eventually you think of battle, and then it comes to swords. Of course, there are so many swords to name: Sting, Glamdring, Orcrist... And then there are the types: Longswords, mediumswords, shortswords... So many! Then, of course, there's Narsil. Anyone who's read the book or seen the film knows that Narsil is the sword of Isildur. After Elendil, his father, passes, Isildur uses one of the broken shards of Narsil to kill Sauron. But why didn't he re-forge it? Maybe I can clear that up.
Narsil was created by the most gifted of dwarves, and for men, which makes it fairly important. Well, more important than some people make it out to be. Swords, in other lore, sometimes take years to forge, and this was the case with Narsil. That alone makes it important in Tolkien's literature.
As anyone can notice, the sword broke at the most inoppurtune time. But perhaps it wasnae an accident. As in many legends, the wielder of the broken sword passes after the breaking. The breaking symbolises the fact that no one may again wield it until the rightful heir returns and it is mended for them. Why, then, did Isildur not reforge it?
Swords, in many tales, cannot be reforged until the proper and rightful heir comes to the throne. Something about Isildur must have made him unworthy to reforge the sword and use it. Temptation might be a good place to start. He had the chance to cast the Ring into the fire, but temptation took over, and he claimed the Ring for his own. Eventually, that led to his own downfall, as a random party of orcs attacked the troupe of travellers. Isildur slipped on the Ring and attempted to get away, but the Ring betrayed him and fell from his finger, making it impossible to escape, and leading to the would-be-King's death.
Now, skip forward a few thousand years. Narsil is still broken. But there's this guy... Aragorn? Yeah, you know the one... He's the ranger who is in fact the heir of Numenor. Oooh, who would have thought?! Now, Aragorn was tempted by the Ring. Everyone is tempted by the Ring, except perhaps Elves, but we won't say any names in this article. So, the ranger was tempted by the Ring, but he refused it. He was thus deemed worthy to the reforged sword. (Is this starting to sound incoherent?)
It is said that "The reforged sword is both the signal and the means by which a rightful dynasty is restored." Aragorn is the heir, he's worthy, and the sword is re-made. The Elves name it Anduril, Flame of the West. Now, some may think that's not very special, but take into account the fact that the spirits in the Dwimhold would have killed him, Legolas, and Gimli were it not for Anduril. Starting to make sense now?
So, swords break when a world-changing event occurs. It can't be reforged until a worthy heir comes, and when it is re-made, it symbolises that the King has come at last to claim the throne. Ooh, so there was a reason it broke! And now this reporter hopes that she has managed to finally bring to light why the best swords always break, and at the worst times. And, in a final, last, conclusive note: Ecet!
Elves - Best Served Hot
When fans gather and are caught speaking of elves, Legolas, Haldir, and Arwen in particular, a most intriguing set of adjectives arise. Among these are hot, scrumptious, yummy, cool, delicious, tempting, and tantalising. Let’s look more closely at a few of those words, shall we?
hot: a) having much heat; characterised by a temperature higher than that of the human body. b) characterised by a relatively or abnormally high temperature; very warm: opposed to cold.
Now those of you who remember my thermodynamics theories will also remember that actual humanoid-elven body temperature is quite cool. Hot is, however, possibly the most often used term given by fans to describe elves.
Next word: scrumptious: very fine, first-rate, usually used to describe food.
And another: delicious: very pleasing, especially to the taste.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Not being an elf-fancier, I did not use these words and was therefor puzzled by their use... that is until I ran across a curious food product (a form of cookie) labelled as "Hobbits". They confirmed the average hobbit-lover’s usual assertions in that they are small and round and very sweet. You can find a picture of the edible "Hobbit" at under the portfolio’s "Flavour of the Month" section. Finally, it occurred to me. The answer is so simple:
Elves are a food.
Scoff if you like, but can you think of a better explanation? Every word fits perfectly. It is like a code, from one consumer of elves to another. A series of messages so elusive, yet so simple when solved, like a riddle once the answer is known. These keepers of secret knowledge (who knows, maybe it’s the recipe for how to best prepare elves they have in their possession) drop clues for their fellows to find, in much the same way as a reader of The Secret Diaries will mention horns and hats to trigger response from fellow readers.
What is this elusive dish elf-fanciers revere? Well, it’s not sweet. One glance at the uffish Elrond will tell you that. It is by all accounts best served hot, but is only slightly less tempting when cool. It cannot be lembas as elves are known for being "smooth". Elves are an exotic delicacy, ageless and eternal. Elves are ... and this may come as a bit of a shock to you ... steamed carrots. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
In the movie, scenes which were not graced with elves were made more bearable for elf-fanciers by carrots (did you notice how Peter’s Bree carrot seemed to emit an unearthly, elven glow?) This no doubt led to the reverence of this culinary icon. When an elf cannot be obtained, the next best thing is ... an elf, in vegetable form.
What is it that makes these elves so irresistible? Is it the way they are prepared, with a notable spiciness? Their continuity? Their ability to be blended with other vegetable species without loss of flavour? Not really. It’s simply the fact that they’re elves.
When Shelob Comes a-Biting, Bite Back!
Are you sick of Shelob eating your friends? Tired of fearing to go out late at night lest you be eaten? Are you ready to do something about it? The Mordor civilian casualties this over-grown arachnid has caused are growing beyond count, and if you're not careful, you could very easily become a statistic of the spider. However we at I Nili have come up with a solution, which, if we all work together, could be highly effective in ridding the world of this persistent pest. The philosophy which led to this discovery is simple: If Shelob eats your friend, eat her! If Shelob bites you, bite back!
Do you know what I mean? No? Let me explain a little further. Next time Shelob attacks you or a friend, eat her. Yes, I know she is very large and you wouldn't be able to fit all of her in, but we're not asking you to. If we as a community work together, each eating small parts of this menace as revenge she will soon disappear from our midst forever. Now, don't do anything rash like hunting around Shelob's Lair with a toasting fork and a box of seasoning, surprisingly enough eating Shelob will be a little more dangerous than it sounds, but if you follow this carefully planned procedure we've put together, you should not find yourself in more danger than usual.
1. Carry a carving knife and meat fork with you wherever you go as Shelob prefers to use the element of surprise.
2. If you or a friend is attacked by Shelob, remain calm, place your meat fork into the flesh and carefully carve a meal-sized piece off the spider. This process is similar to that of carving roast lamb or chicken, you may want to practice on one at home. You may also cut more than one piece depending on who is with you and how hungry they are.
3. Having cut yourself a piece of Shelob run as fast as you possibly can in the other direction and find a safe enclosed place.
4. Kindle a small roasting fire and spear your piece of Shelob on a toasting fork or, if one is not available to you, your meat fork will suffice.
5. Roast until well done as the flesh can be poisonous if left rare.
6. We find Shelob goes very well spread with mustard, with a small lightly toasted bread-roll and a light salad. If you wish for a more exotically flavoured Shelob you may want to try marinating her before hand. For information on marination consult Samwise Gamgee and/or Smeagol.
7. Be sure to remove Shelob's thick and super-tough skin before eating as attempting to chew it may cause severe lacerations of the tongue and mouth, the wearing away of tooth enamel and chocking, that and the fact that it is completely indigestible.
8. After your Shelob meal, wash down with a glass of ice cold water and proceed to your nearest GP where you can receive free 12 hour observation to be sure of no after effects.
So there you have it, it's that easy! So get out there, do your bit in the war against Shelob and above all, enjoy your dinner.
Orcs. Indeed, they are the nastiest, most gruesome, most despicable and contemptible of the Rings minions. They have not the cunning intellect of their leaders, nor the trace of honour and morality which lies deep in their human counterparts’ personalities. They cannot even maintain their claim as skilled fighters, as in every battle portrayed they outnumbered the humans at least ten to one and lost every time.
For all their lack of virtues, there is one thing above all which makes us shudder at the thought of orcs, one thing we cannot deny despite claims of not harbouring any prejudices: orcs look hideous.
The sparse and tangled locks, the crooked and rotten teeth, the bloodshot yellow or red eyes, the slime dripping from their disfigured limbs... Their mutilated forms are enough to imbue us with terror even if they were unarmed. No, Tolkien didn’t exactly write any of this about them. Some, he did mention, were swart and squint-eyed, but beyond that his image of the orc was relatively mild. Yet everyone knows how disgusting orcs are. The original Tolkien calendar artists painted their grotesque images away back in the seventies; forty- and fifty-year-olds who had The Lord of the Rings read to them as children can still tell you how akin a goblin was to the gooey monster under the bed.
A 1970's cartoon of The Hobbit used this image, frightening wee Summer of Love resultants into early rejection of animated films (or into reading The Hobbit for themselves to see if the goblins really were that mean to the poor little folk-song singing hobbit.) Though memory does not serve for their exact representation in the later Bakshi films, it is fairly safe to bet that he, too, made monstrosities out of the orcs.
Skip chapter on those dreadfully Lord of the Ringsless decades of the 80's and 90's and let play the 00's, the Return of the Ring decade. Peter Jackson unveils his mini-masterpieces, and what is this? Could it be? Yes, the level of orc unattractiveness has risen to an entirely new level! He has refined the drool and the grime, turned their speech into unpleasant animal noises, rotted their skin, even traded their hairy leather breeches for loincloths!
Wait a moment ... now, were the orcs traitorous elves or not? Beyond the pointy ears occasionally seen (which I have yet to see written by Tolkien - for all we know, elves and orcs may have had no visible ears at all,) the orcs in every depiction bear no resemblance to their forebears.
Orcs aren’t the only species to become hideous and beastly in contrast to their former form. Trolls were made as a copy of the ents, and yet they bear far more resemblance to humanoids than to trees. The Balrog, a creature of "shadow and flame", has been given demonic form and a lion-like roar. Even the human villains became repugnant with open sores, sallow skin, awkwardly formed features, disproportionate limbs, lack of eyebrows, and so on.
Is it a human condition that we cannot perceive an evil mind without transmuting the body to match? Or perhaps it is the humanisation of inhuman creatures, the bringing them to such an earthly level that they would have skin disorders and receding hairlines merely a reminder that they are as helpless as any protagonist, and have been merely victims of circumstance.
Mordor Found at Mordor Pound
Everyone knows that New Zealand is the undisputed home of Middle-earth. The amount of fans that have made the pilgrimage there (myself among them) is astoundingly proof enough of this movie location's supremacy. However, though Peter Jackson's chosen country has far better to claim to the title of Middle-earth, it is not without a rival. I recently discovered an astounding fact about my own country Australia which puts us Aussie's in the running as the inhabitants of a modern Middle-earth. It seems us Ringers are not without influence in the field of Geology as member of the Bureau of Mineral Resources Alam Langworthy proved now thirty three ago when he renamed a strange rock formation in the middle of the Northern Territory 'Mordor Pound'.
That's right, you read it correctly, Mordor Pound, right here in Australia. But what exactly is this 'Pound' they speak of? A pound is a valley enclosed by cliffs. This particular Pound has cliffs on three sides, turning peculiarly at right-angles, effectively fortressing the land inside on three sides. Sound familiar? There is even a hill inside Mordor Pound named Mount Doom. However, before you true believers in Middle-earth get too excited, the Pound is unfortunately far too small to effectively house Sauron's Dark Tower thousands of orc armies, evil men armies and slave-worked fields. However it does provide food for thought.
The Mordor Pound, coupled with the ample evidence we've seen on the big screen, namely the New Zealand locations, prove that land formations such as those described by Tolkien can and do actually exist on this Earth. Mordor Pound is just another step along the way to proving that Middle-earth is more than mere fantasy, it is absolutely possible as a land formation. Never again can those non-fans scoff and say 'as if you get places like that in real life', because now we know, you do!
I would like to acknowledge the following sources as contributors to this article as well as refer readers on to more information:
This Fortnight: Chapter Five
The day finally came, and the sun shone out a dazzling red. Merry and Pippin tried to ignore it, not wanting to think about its possible symbolism. The hours passed, and then Edoras came into the distance. Pippin, out of the corner of his eye, could have sworn he saw his cousin flinch when they fianlly passed over the hill and the greatest village in Rohan appeared before them.
As they came upon the gate, shouting was heard from the inside, and they slowly opened to reveal Edoras in its full splendor. The two hobbits rode in, nodding to the guards, some of whom gawked, and others who nodded in return.
They dismounted and stood before the doors to the Golden Hall. Merry took a deep reath and pushed them open. He began to walk down the length of the room, Pippin a few steps behind. As they reached the throne of Eomer, they lowered themselves to one knee.
"Hail Eomer, King of Rohan," Merry began, "My companion and I have arrived at your request.."
Eomer smiled. "You may rise, Master hobbits. Feel an equal in these halls, for you are well known within them," he said.
Merry laughed slightly, though to Pippin it sounded a bit forced. He was nervous. They both rose at Eomer's command.
"You require counsel, my lord?" Merry asked, tilting his head inquisitively.
"Yes, but first we must ride to Minas Tirith," Eomer replied.
Merry let out a little squeak. "Why not explain now?!" he asked, apparently becoming flustered.
"Be ready to ride at dawn, Master Meriadoc. Things will clear up as we reach Gondor." He dismissed them without another word.
Welcome to the first Newsletter Trivia Column. Time to test your knowledge on past issues. The name of the first person to answer correctly will be featured in the following issue. Questions provided by Ivy.
Q: What was the name of the Professor in a short play written by Prongsie?
Q: What subject essay did Xara abandon to write the article Lord of the Stress?
Xara: Due to your secret intelligence work with the CHA (Central Hobbits Agency) you have in your hot little hand a phone number for Legolas. Millions of screaming fan girls would sell all they owned, kill, maim, enter a unicycle marathon to get their hands on that number. What are your plans?
Rob: What's the fastest way to make a ton of money? That's right! Hold an auction! I would hold an auction. First I would put up advertisements on every major Orlando Bloom/Legolas fan site and every Lord of the Rings fan site, specifying a date, time and place. These ads. would be put up about 6 months in advance so that the girls can come up with the cash. Then I would hold my auction and sell the number off to the highest bidder. Of course, unbeknownst to the girls, I would have a copy of the number and I would hold the auction again and make more money! Mu-ha-ha-ha!
Xara: As you are walking down the street you happen to find yourself passing Sauron the Dark Lord of Mordor. Sauron very rudely steps on your toe and then does not apologise as you pass, how do you react?
Rob: How would one tick off Sauron to the maximum degree? By humiliating him of course! I would make sure that there was space between myself and him, then run really fast, jump on his back and have him carry me piggy back style! Let him try to buck me off! I'll just come back for more!
Xara: You have joined the Fellowship of the Ring on their quest to destroy Sauron. As you and your companions climb out of Rivendell and begin the long trek to Mount Doom, you suddenly realise you've forgotten to pack your teddy bear! What do you do?!!
Rob: Oh man, I'd go back for it! Oh for sure, I would have to! It's my teddy bear! Won for me by my girlfriend! It's a treasured possession. A good luck charm. I'd have to go back for it! I'd have to take it up to Mount Doom! And once I'm there, I'd throw it into the fire and be rid of it forever!
Ask Samwise.Dear Samwise,Hi Sam. You being a gardener and all, I have a little problem with my garden and maybe you can help me. Well about a year ago today I started up a garden. Everyday I go outside and do the normal gardening things, but lately nothing's growing. Everything else in Mordor is growing now except my garden. It's deader than dead. All the leaves are kinda black. Am I over watering or do plants just not like me?Sad, Sauron.
If it were anyone else, I might say you should try differing lighting conditions. However, this problem is more specific, if you follow me. First, move your garden. Ages worth of herbicides and a lava flow passing are not going to help your plants. You might want to try watering them every now and then, too, or tell one of your orcs to do it. I know you avoid water as best you can, but it's good for your garden, sure enough. Let me know if this helps.Sam.
Dear Samwise,There is a snake in one, no, two of my classes at school. The snake, female, cackles loudly, talks constantly about the most mundane and annoying topics in a voice that projects to the entire room, speaks with an phoney American accent even though the snake is not even a little bit American, has never been there, and only has experience of the accent through Hollywood, makes loud comments occasionally when bored concerning myself and friends of a less than complimentary nature, has stolen one of my friends for herself (obviously she cannot get her own friends so she has to steal other people's) and is a general pain in the behind. I spoke to my Student Representative Council to ask them whether such wildlife should really be allowed in the classroom, and the P&C, but have so far recieved no response. I called the pest removal company but they're busy. In your wise and worldly experiences with such unsavory creatures (though as far as I know not snakes in particular) what would you suggest?~XaraDear Xara,Invoke the name of Elbereth, borrow a sword from a friend, and go for the eyes.Sam.
Classifieds.LOST: Pet Balrog. Comes to the name "Fluffy". Looks: Like a Balrog...black...tall...horns...fire. Caution: Don't touch without Blacksmith Gloves
FOUND: Two hobbits: one mischievous, carrot-breaking Hobbit who answers to Merry. The other is a mushroom-finding Hobbit, is said to be quite a lady's man. He answers to Pippin. If you recognize either one of these Hobbits, please come and get them. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.ATTENTION: Anyone in possession of a time-turner. Desperate university student requires a loan of this magical piece until mid-April. Loaners will be handsomely rewarded.
DESPERATELY NEEDED: Frodo!!! Sigh... thud. email@example.com.WANTED: Small, curly-haired creature that enjoys jewelry fondling and dark places, and having long conversations with small attractive (read: fetid) creatures. Must enjoy fish (raw) and rabbits (raw) prepared in the most delectable manner (raw) and long walks along mushy pond banks. To apply, send picture, along with personal menu of side dishes for expertly prepared dinners (raw meat) to 134 Dank Cave, Mordor. Leave at cave opening and yell CREATURE, then run. Replies in 2 weeks time.
WANTED: Carrot of unusual shape and size. No questions asked. Will pay good money. Contact at Brandy Hall, with code, "The donkeys fly at midnight." Repeat, no questions asked.
Of Places and Geological Features, Part III: (Key: q. = Quenya, s. = Sindarin.)
dagor: (noun) battle. Dagorlad.dol (s.), dhol (?, q.): (noun) head (of hills or mountains). Dol Guldar, Dolmed, Mindolluin, Nardor, Fanuidhol.
dor (s.), norë (q.): (noun) land, as opposed to sea. Doriath, Dorthonion, Endor, Eriador, Gondor, Mordor, Valinor(ë).duin: (q., noun) long river. Anduin, Baranduin, Esgalduin, Malduin.
Dear Editor,Wow, I never knew how badly Samwise had suffered even before he joined the Fellowship! Being a sufferer of spontaneous rash myself (though not nearly to that extent) I can sympathise. Although the issue would have been better if it had been about Frodo...sigh...'twas excellent once again all the same. If only there'd been a little more contributions to the columns to go with it. Ah well, I live in hope!~XaraDear Other Editor,
Mmm, my condolences. Contributions are, fortunately, coming in at a much better rate thanks to our new tort- er, encouragement methods. My thanks to you for initiating that.Fear not, Frodo is sure to seep in again soon.Perian.Dear Editor,I would like to apologise to Tookie for a stupid mistake that I made. Having not specified which address I wanted my Samwise responses sent to, Tookie made the sensible assumption to send it to my former inbox. I did receive the mail, but rather than forward it to my current account, I stored her email in a folder and completely forgot about it, until last weekend, when I was sorting through my folders and came across it. So Tookie, thank you SO much for your reply, and I'm sorry that it wasn't included because of my stupidity.Prongs.Dear Prongs,If there is to be a reply, I think I should leave it to Tookie...Perian.Dear Editors,I would just like to say that this is a fantastic newsletter and I am a happy subscriber. Keep up the good work.Rob.Dear Rob,And I am a happy co-editor to see such enthusiasm in a new subscriber! You keep up the good work Rob! And give the teddy a chance will you? If you were a teddy bear, would you appreciate being thrown into the Fires of Mount Doom?~Xara