Your source for Lord of the Rings News, Updates, Poetry, Art, Parody and Satire.
Issue 34, Volume 2, August 6th, 2004.
Editors: Perian, Xara.
Primary Reporter: Ivy.
Chief Correspondent: Prongs.
Local Commentator: Rob Stames.
Contributor(s): Lady Morrigan Shadow.
Find past archives, or submit an article or column contribution, at http://inili.iwarp.com/
Since the first time I became aware of the concept of Lord of
the Rings having an author, the thought of Tolkien, as well as filling
me with admiration, reverence and a twinge of jealousy, has always made
me tremble in my boots. The image of the aged professor with his pipe
haunted my nightmares, the little I read of him suggesting a very
critical and serious man who I imagined would probably come after me
and rap me on the head with his pipe for less than saintly thoughts
about his beloved hobbits. I felt certain the great author of my most
treasured trilogy would think me nothing more than a silly school girl.
I was not worthy.
And then I began to write fan fiction. Making his beloved characters the subject of hilarity. Though my respect for Tolkien and love of his trilogy was undiminished, I could not help myself from the jokes that seemed to be there for the taking. But my fear of Tolkien grew ever stronger! Surely the man was turning in his grave at every word I typed?! Surely my articles written about his work, especially some of the less reverent ones, would be enough to send his ghost after me in fury?! I was less than not worthy, I was despicable.
These were my notions of what the author of the greatest literary author of all time would think of me. But what did I know, what do I know, of Tolkien's mind? Only what he set down on the page, but as Tolkien himself once said, "...only one's Guardian Angel, or indeed God Himself, could unravel the real relationship between personal facts and an author's works. Not the real author himself...and certain not so-called psychologists." What did I really know of Tolkien's mind, and whether he would believe me deserving of a strong reproof?
Yet still I was uneasy in my mind. Until today. Until I learned what his very first published work was. A parody. Yes, a parody! Clever and witty, with elements of the ridiculous! His first published work was one of humour, of irreverence you might even call it (though I disagree that a parodist is necessarily irreverent to their subject)! It was a poem, in the King Edward's School Chronicle, a parody of The Lays of Ancient Rome, in which he gives his school-mates the names of ancient heroes and tells a Rugby match like it were an ancient battle.
This was not the work of the man I had pictured, the aged professor with his pipe. This was surely the work of someone young, intelligent, with a great sense of humour! I then read that Tolkien and his school friend's main aim in their youth was to "incapacitate each other with laughter" (-Tolkien as quoted in Great War by John Garth.) Perhaps my impressions of Tolkien were wrong. Perhaps he would not think me so silly and despicable after all. Perhaps I was not so terribly unworthy. I still know as little of Tolkien's mind and personality as I do of the meaning of E = MC2, but I have come to understand that the man was human, just like everyone else. I threw the illusion of worthiness and unworthiness aside, and got on with my writing.
Bilbo Baggins and the Thirteen Dwarves
With thanks to Perian for the name and the inspiration.
Once upon a time, in a far away kingdom there lived a young
hobbit princeling named Bilbo Baggins. His mother had died in
childbirth, and soon after this his father had married again. So Bilbo
had a step-mother. Now, this step-mother was the most fascinating
story-book character in the land. For example, she was a step-mother,
and this instantly gave her an untrustworthy usurper-type feel. She was
also very beautiful, but vain, which gave the reader something to
disapprove of. And she was an evil jealous pain in the behind. She had
a mirror which told only the truth, and every day she would cry to it,
"Mirror, mirror on the wall! Who is the best character of them all?"
And the mirror would reply, "Who could it be but you, witch! There's
none around who's such a (censored)" And the queen was satisfied.
Meanwhile, Bilbo Baggins grew, and grew, and as he grew, he became more and more fascinating. He acquired a quirky, eccentric personality, a fondness for going off on adventures and a knack of getting himself into danger, then saving himself cleverly at the last minute. He bobbed around in his hobbit way smoking pipes and having second breakfasts and being very entertaining, until one day, the queen cried to her mirror, "Mirror, mirror on the wall! Who is the best character of them all?" And the mirror replied, "Juicily evil though you are, Bilbo Baggins is more fascinating by far!"
Thje queen screamed in furious jealousy!! Bilbo had surpassed her! This she could not have. So she called the royal huntsman to her and cried, "Take Bilbo Baggins out into the woods and smte him from this earth! Then bring me back his bleeding heart!" Terrified of the woman's wrath, should he refuse, the huntsman obeyed, and took Bilbo out into the woods. But as he rose his axe the poor hobbit "Confound and confusticate it! Blast and bebother it! This is surely the end!" And the huntsman was so amused by the hobbit sentiments that he bade him flee into the woods. The huntsman then grabbed a passing boar and removed it's heart to bring back to the queen.
Now, Bilbo Baggins ran and ran and ran as fast as his hobbit legs could carry him until he reached a strange hut, and there he found living thirteen dwarves, who had the very worst of luck possible! They were miners, but every day at least one of them hammered his thumb by mistake or hit his head on the roof or fell down a mine-shaft into a pool of boiling oil. They had just discovered that thirteen was an unlucky number and were discussing recruiting a fourteenth dwarf or similar when Bilbo walked in through the door. "Perfect!" They cried at him. Bilbo was rather confused, but they soon explained all and he was very happy with his new life as a hobbit-dwarf.
Back at the palace, the evil step-mother queen, confident that the Baggins had been destroyed cried to her mirror, "Mirror, mirror on the wall! Who is the best character of them all?" But the mirror replied, "Awfully nasty though you be, the answer to your question Bilbo Baggins be!" The queen was once again furious! She stomped, she screamed, she roared, she raged! She grabbed her best rags and a poison apple and headed for the door.
It just so happened that the same day as all this happened Bilbo Baggins was home alone. He had a headache and so had been exempt from mining duty for a days rest. He was just enjoying a good smoke when there came a knock at the door. "Who is it?" he called.
"Just an old peasant woman, come to sell apples!" cried the queen from outside.
"Apples!!" cried Bilbo, his hobbit-nature springing up eagerly, "Brilliant! He opened the door and bought an apple from his evil step-mother, disguised as a peasant, and was about to bite into it when suddenly..
"Hold it!! Hold it!!" Cried a lawyer in a black suit with a briefcase. "Excuse me, Mr. Baggins, but you're going to have to break this up. Hobbits are copyright, especially you. You're only allowed to appear in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Now you must accompany me immediately out of this story. Come on!"
"Yipeee!!" cried the evil step-mother, "I am free of the wretched rival!"
"And as for you," the lawyer continued, "Evil step-mothers can only legally appear in Cinderella from now on. I'm afraid you'll have to be terminated."
"T-t-terminated?" cried the queen, aghast. "But, but, I have rights you know! I have the right to be the most evil person in this story and kill that damn hobbit!"
"Not any more you don't." said the lawyer, producing a magic contract, which, on seeing, caused the evil step-mother to fade into oblivion.
"How dare you!" cried Bilbo.
"What's all this noise?" came a voice from behind. Bilbo turned around, the dwarves had returned home from the mines.
"They're trying to take me away!" cried Bilbo.
"I knew we should have made him come. As soon as we went back to thirteen the bad luck returned!" Muttered a dwarf.
"Unlucky thirteen you say?" said the lawyer, "That's not allowed. A Mr. Smithby copyrighted unlucky thirteen this morning. It'll have to be twelve from now on." The dwarves looked outraged.
"Now just you wait a minute," cried one.
"You'll do," said the lawyer, and with that, the dwarf disappeared. Consternation arose from both the dwarves and Bilbo.
"Now Bilbo," continued the lawyer, "You're going to have to have this brand," he produced a TM brand from his pocket and began to heat it with a cigarette lighter, "And just to make sure no one tried to write you into any other stories again, you can wear this collar." He clipped a large metal collar around the hobbits' neck, attached to which was a chain which the lawyer held. "Now, say goodbye."
"May the force be with you," said Bilbo to the dwarves solemnly as he was led away.
"I could have you fined for that you little beggar." said the lawyer to Bilbo as they vanished from the story forever. The End.
"Oi," said the lawyer, returning briefly, "None of that, please." Sorry. The Favooshka.
"That's an interesting word. Would you like to take out a copyright on it?" the lawyer appeared again. No, bugger off.
"You're missing out. Ah well, bye!"
Have you recently read a book you would like to recommend to our readers? Send a review to Perian@frontiernet.net
This Fortnight: The Fourteenth and Final Chapter of The Long Road Home
Merry felt weak. He had made this entire journey
and others - he had shared his entire life - with this hobbit. As he
knelt over the body of his cousin, his once sparkling eyes - eyes that
were always fulls of laughter and spontaneity - staring up at the night
sky, now empty and lifeless, his feelings of grief were overcome with
the sudden insatiable urge for revenge.
Within the next hour, Meriadoc Brandybuck passed on that field while defending Minas Tirith as Eomer of Rohan watched from his steed in helplessness as the hobbit attempted in vain to fight off three of the enemy at once.
Gondor was victorious, and many had fallen. A special ceremony was held for the two hobbits. A monstrous pyre was erected, and both Merry and Pippin were laid upon it, clad in the attire of Rohan and Gondor.
As a messenger reached the edge of the Anduin, he looked back and saw flames reaching for the sky.
Estella had just finished her daily stroll when she saw the
horse and rider at the end of the road. Thinking it was Merry returning
to her, she ran to him, only to find it was actually a young man. Her
husband was not in sight. Confused, she accepted the sealed message
given to her by the man and watched him ride off before opening it. The
handwriting was not any she recognised. As she read the letter, one
hand came to her throat. She looked up from the letter and down at the
road Merry and Pippin had taken to Minas Tirith, and she let the tears
roll down her face. She sank to the ground, the message still clutched
in her hand. She sat there in silent grief, staring at the road,
lamenting that they never found a way back home.
Our regular writer will be back next issue, I promise! Until then:
Q. Name five staff alter-egos.
Q. When was the first issue published?
(Try not to cheat. It's more fun that way.)
Comings and Goings at i Nili o i Ardanole
By Robert Stames