Your source for Lord of the Rings News, Updates, Poetry, Art, Parody and Satire.
Issue 35, Volume 2, August 20th, 2004.
Editors: Perian, Xara.
Primary Reporter: Ivy.
Chief Correspondent: Prongs.
Local Commentator: Rob Stames.
Contributor(s): Cerridwen, Jen, Lady Morrigan Shadow, Sam.
Find past archives, or contribute, at http://inili.iwarp.com/
Aragorn: Friend or Deceiver?
Ah, Aragorn. Everyone knows him as the rightful heir to the
throne of Gondor. The king who exiled himself from his title and also
helped destroy the Ring. He bears Anduril, the sword of the king, and
grew up around Elves, the most graceful of all races. But is he really
as good as we make him out to be? Or does our glorification shadow out
his ulterior motives for joining the Fellowship?
Throughout much of The Fellowship of the Ring, Aragorn faithfully follows Gandalf until he is taken by the Balrog in the mines of Moria. He then continues with the Wizard’s plan as he leads the group to Lorien. After, though, that changes.
The Fellowship’s purpose is, of course, to help the Ringbearer reach Mordor and Mount Doom and successfully destroy the One Ring. Then, though, the group becomes divided. There are those (not many) who want to turn their road to Minas Tirith to aid them in the oncoming war. Then there are those who believe that they cannot help and just want to destroy the Ring and be done with it. Aragorn leaves it up to Frodo to decide, but is it not clearly implied that he wants to go to Minas Tirith?
Then, after Boromir falls, Merry and Pippin are taken hostage, and Frodo and Sam make their way to Mordor on their own, Aragorn insists that the fate of the Ring is out of his hands. He even urged Frodo to go alone! Then he leads Legolas and Gimli in what seems to be a hopeless pursuit to find Merry and Pippin.
The direction in which they pursue the Uruk-hai, may I point out, is not only in the nearly exact opposite direction of Mordor, but is actually leaning toward Minas Tirith! When the trio arrive in Edoras after finding Gandalf and are assured that the two hobbits are safe, Aragorn asks that the Rohirrim ride to Gondor!
This does not happen, however, and Aragorn bravely fights alongside Theoden in Helm’s Deep. The battle is won and Eomer and his loyal followers are returned to their high standing with the king.
Of course, the poor soldiers didn't get much of a break, and before we know it, the beacons of Minas Tirith are lit and they are on their way to aid Gondor in the oncoming war. Here is Aragorn's chance! He returns and shows himself as the heir to the throne. Sadly, he isn't exactly welcomed back with open arms, since the current steward isn't all there, if you understand rightly.
We all know how it ends up. Denethor goes crazy and kills himself (Not the cleanest death, either) and Aragorn is given the throne and leads Gondor to victory in front of the Black Gates. Well done, woohoo, and Middle-earth is saved thanks to the Fellowship!
Happy ending to Gondor's story, no? But the questions still remain: Did Aragorn join the Fellowship to help save Middle-earth or to achieve his own ends? This reporter is going to let you decide.
The Real Elessar
So you think you know who The Elessar is?
Aragorn, right? Ranger who runs around killing orcs and kissing elves
and eventually becomes King of Gondor, right? Wrong. The truth is that
Aragorn son of Arathorn's lovely nickname has a lot more behind it than
it seems. And the story of Aragorn's namesake is nearly as interesting
as the story of Aragorn himself! The tale of The Elessar, told in brief
in Tolkien's "Unfinished Tales" is in fact so little known that not
even The Encyclopedia of Arda seems to be aware of it. And so without
further ado, ladies and gentlement, the real Elessar!
In "Unfinished Tales" Tolkien gives two different versions of the story of The Elessar, of which I will here recount both. But they both begin in the same way. Ernedhil of Gondolin was the greatest jewel-smith of the Noldor save Feanor himself, who by this time was long dead. And Ernedhil loved the sight of sunlight shining through green leaves, so much in fact that he imprisoned the light of the sun inside a green jewel which he called The Elessar. This he gave to Idril, the King's daughter, mother of Earendil Half-Elven, and it was said that the Elessar gave healing powers to the person who wore it. After the fall of Gondolin before Idril went away, she gave the stone to Earendil her son, and for a while he used it to heal the hurts of the world. However he always wore it when he sailed out to sea and so on that fateful voyage when he finally reached Valinor, but was not allowed to return, it was lost to Middle Earth forever.
And here Tolkien splits his story in two, giving two different accounts of how The Elessar returned to Middle Earth. The first is that Olorin the Maiar, who when he came to Middle Earth was known as Gandalf the Wizard, brought with him as a gift from Yavanna to Galadriel, The Elessar stone, so that she may for a while make her realm as beautiful and undying as Valinor itself. However when Galadriel was given Nenya by Celebrimbor, she no longer had need of The Elessar and so gave it to her daughter, Celebrain, who passed it to her daughter Arwen, and so it came to Aragorn, of whom it had been fortold would come to bear it's name.
The second version of Tolkien's is that, being grieved by the withering of the world around her, during the Second Age Galadriel went to Celebrimbor, a great elven craftsmen who made The Three Rings and asked him to try and recreate the word of Ernedhil, who had been a good friend of his in Gondolin long ago. Celebrimbor agreed, although he was not as skilled as Ernedhil, and managed to create a second Elessar stone, as beautiful as the first and yet it's healing power was not as strong. This Galadriel used in her realm until she recieved Nenya, and the rest of that part of the story is already told.
And so there you have it! The story of the real Elessar! A little known chapter of the great history of Middle Earth, but now you have heard it, you know the truth behind another of Aragorn's many names! The hands of a king are the hands of a healer indeed! And now we know why!
My Time With Aragorn
The awed reporter makes her way across the chamber … walking slowly and gazing in awe at the splendor that is the King’s throne room *speaking of the hot, hot King* … *dammit brain, behave yourself -- you’re a professional* … *yes, but he’s so cute* … *I don’t care if he’s a dancing bear, stop gawking at him!* The ‘professional’ reporter continues to argue with herself in this fashion, inching closer and closer to the King of Gondor. *oh, he’s so hot* … *brain, I’m warning you!* She arranges her face into an appropriately solemn expression as she curtseys before the King.
Aragorn: Welcome, esteemed friend. Your arrival to Gondor has been
Prongs: Thank you, Highness. I have wanted to make this visit for a long time now. The people I encountered on my journey here speak of you often.
Aragorn: grins slightly Well, some of that talk about me had to have been good.
Prongs: *oh, look at those pearly whites! And what a beautiful smile!* … *snap out of it!* … er, yes, yes … as I recall, all of it was good …
Aragorn: smiles Excellent, excellent … but … if you wanted to visit for a long time now, why didn’t you come? Your arrival would have been welcome, I can assure you.
Prongs: *I would have been welcome – eeep!* … *calm down, lunkhead!* Oh, I did try to Highness, several times in fact … but I was turned away at the doors of your throne room by two of the guards …
Aragorn: looks aghast You were … what?! Turned back?! You?!
Prongs: bites back a gleeful grin Aye Highness … me
Aragorn: Well, those guards will have to be punished then-
Prongs: puts hands up in alarm No, no … wait, don’t punish them them Highness … I didn’t mind really … *stop talking, fool – he’s going to punish someone on your behalf – this is so great!* … *it is not you-*
Aragorn: interrupts I am … what, too lenient a punisher? I don’t know … I thought spending the night babysitting my children was a tough enough punishment …
Prongs: shakes her head Babysitting your … children … that’s the punishment?
Aragorn: Yes. Well, I think it’s a harsh enough punishment anyway, what with the children being the rambunctious lot that they are … well, Arwen and I haven’t had a moment’s rest after the first set of triplets were born …
Prongs: smile fades a tad at the sound of the name Ah yes, how is her Highness?
Aragorn: beams with obvious joy She is well … she is excellent with the children, they love their mother … the people of Gondor love her … I love her …
Prongs: *yes, yes – everyone loves her - sigh* … *hey, idiot! The King’s staring at you!* … *he’s staring? At me? Yes! Score!* Sorry, Highness … you were saying?
Aragorn: I was offering you a glass of water … you haven’t spoken in over two minutes … I was concerned …
Prongs: *he was concerned – yes! Score!* … *OK, don’t lose the advantage* … Er … so, what other plans do you have for the Kingdom?
Aragorn: Well, we have had a bad year weather-wise .. .we lost a lot of crops .. .I have been working with Eomer of Rohan to bring supplies into Gondor
Prongs: *oh, he’s so manly when he talks about his Kingdom … oh, I could listen to him talk forever*
Unfortunately, at this point, Arwen walks in and whisks Aragorn away for their romantic dinner … PAH! This disappointed reporter trudges out of the palace, on her way passing by an open room in which she sees two dismal looking palace guards surrounded by screaming children.
Aragorn - Frodo Fanatic?
I'm a self-confessed Frodo fanatic. Everyone knows that. And
as a fanatic, I am more tuned towards other Frodo fanatics than say a
Legolas fanatic might be. It was yesterday morning when I was musing
upon my fanaticism, wondering what I would do with a thread of Frodo's
breeches should they tear off as he was running away with them, that
the Frodo Fanatic Detector light suddenly flashed. "What was that for?"
I asked sleepily. Silence. "Fine, be that way." I decided I would
cherish the thread, have it framed and hung in prime position in a
Frodo shrine...FLASH! "Ok, now you're just being plain rude. Stop
interrupting me." FLASH FLASH FLASH. And then, finally, the Frodo
Fanatic Detector delivered. It dug up a scene from Return of the King
and delivered it fresh to the front of my mind. All thoughts of Frodo
shrines were forgotten. A new Frodo Fanatic had been discovered, and he
must be caught and forced to wear an "I love Frodo Baggins badge." The
first clue had been discovered.
"...Even the orc-rags that you bore in the black land, Frodo, shall be preserved. No silks and linens, nor any armour or heraldry could be more honourable." Gandalf, The Field of Cormallen, The Return of the King.
These words are spoken by Gandalf, but it is plain who gave the order to preserve the rags. For who else but King Aragorn Elessar would be giving orders any more? It is plain what Aragorn intends to do with Frodo orc garments, set them up in a small Frodo shrine, "Objects Touched by the Ring-Bearer." This is plain, as this is not the first time Aragorn has salvaged Frodo memorabilia. Cue clue number two!!
"Briefly Strider told [Glorfindel] of the attack upon Weathertop, and of the deadly knife. He drew out the hilt, which he had kept, and handed it to the Elf."
Strider kept the hilt of the knife that stabbed Frodo? But that was a seriously evil object, what purpose could he have for such a thing? Some claim it was because he hoped it might give clues as to how to heal Frodo, but perhaps there is a better explanation. Perhaps Aragorn is a Frodo fanatic! After all, it is not uncommon for fanatical people to keep momentums of their dearly beloved. Who knows what else Aragorn might have taken, in secret? Could it be that throughout his journeys with the fellowship, objects would mysteriously disappear from his pack? A toothbrush perhaps, or pieces of tinder? Things that Frodo wouldn't notice, or blame on Sam and so say nothing about their disappearance?
This momentum collecting, coupled with the fact that Aragorn had been following Frodo on the road into Bree, and seemed to take an especially enthusiastic interest in his welfare throughout their journey, could mean that Aragorn really was a Frodo fanatic. But the evidence is inconclusive. I guess we will never know the truth, but it does give food for thought.
Aragorn was many things to many people; King, warrior, lover,
wildman, friend (och, this is starting to sound like a funeral speech.)
For all this there was a single trait which guided him in all choices
and undertakings (I swear to you, I'm not being flippantly morbid on
purpose!) He was a man of high goals and aspirations. A dreamer.
The time when he first met Arwen is a good example of this. He was certain, after he realised that she was not an apparition, that she was Luthien the Fair herself. Only an idealist would neglect to remember that Luthien had perished, oh, a few thousand years before. When he learned she was Arwen Undomiel, the daughter of his foster-father and an inaccessible elf-maiden at that was he deterred? No! He made like a fangirl and pined and swooned over her until he had won not only her heart but her immortal soul. Nothing less than the best for Elessar!
When first he went to Minas Tirith he went in disguise. What reason could there be for this? Perhaps he was planning to evaluate it, give it a glance before committing to a kingship there. It did not, apparently, live up to his standards. "Have you seen it, Aragorn: The white tower of Echethelion, glittering like a spike of pearl and silver, its banners caught high in the morning breeze? Have you ever been called home by the clear ringing of silver trumpets?" quoth Boromir, directly from Tolkien's own description of the city (plagarising son of a steward!) to which Aragorn replied, "I have seen the White City, long ago," with a tone and a look on his face which plainly continued for him, "And after being raised in Imladris, I frankly wasn't impressed." Methinks he had higher ambitions than Minas Tirith. The elves were already beginning to migrate. Perhaps he thought to rebuild the Northern Kingdom, from the Shire (which he frequented and purposefully protected,) to Rivendell. Perhaps, with Arwen and her heritage in mind later, even as far as Lorien.
Then the balance of power shifted eastward. The dreamer and schemer turned his eyes back toward Minas Tirith (see Ivy's article above.) Hmm, maybe the chalk-rock fortress wasn't a bad idea after all. He had already pledged his life and death to the one who was assigned to save Middle-earth (Och, how he loth he was to play second to a hobbit, but it was worth it,) Arwen had pledged the same to him, the North now existed in relative peace. Why not save humanity himself? The dunedain rangers weren't such bad companions, after all.
Aragorn's life revolved around an ever more grandiose set of ideals and ambitions. Deep down he wanted to feel needed, to be the most powerful man in Middle-earth. Yes, I know he said he didn't want power, but he wouldn't have taken it if he hadn't, now, would he? He would have said, "Here, Faramir, you go on stewarding for me while Arwen and I raise a family in some remote corner of the Lothlorien woods." He always had a dream to follow - well, almost always. When he was finally a King of more or less all of Middle-earth, married to Arwen, father of a grown and healthy heir or three, what was left to achieve? Sauron was toppled, Saruman was dead, orcs had disappeared or become used wain salesmen. What more could he want? Aragorn was never one to settle for anything small, at least since he was rejected by a Shireling as Xara explained, so rather than retiring to the Minas Tirith Library with a quilt and a pipe, or taking up a hobby such as pottery or White Tree cultivating, he chose to end his life. Aragorn, The Dunedain, Ranger of the North, King of Gondor, lived and died by a dream.
"Kushiel's Dart" by Jacqueline Carey
Reviewed by Sam
Synopsis: A young girl is born with a scarlet
mote in her left (right?) eye, and is therefore useless to her parents.
She's sold into a secret council that raised her until she was 10, and
then was sold to a gentlemen who taught her to be an elabrate spy who
gathered information from his enemies in the form of a Courtesean (sp).
That's all you get, or else I'll give the book away.
Review: I give this book three and a half stars (out of four) because it has well-developed charactors, and has just enough details to give you a scene but not enough to lose your interest. Those who have virgin minds, however, won't appreciate this book because of a few graphic love scenes. Despite those, I really liked the book. I would definately reccomend it to everyone.
Fanfiction. This Fortnight:
Midnight Flower by Cerridwen.
Eiliandel glanced at her father, took a deep
breath and stepped forward to take Novrion's hand. She offered a
nervous look at Novrion before looking away - she was so nervous.
Novrion for his part, could hardly breathe. Here they were, standing in
front of Gandalf, who was about to say the words in honour of the
ceremony of their marriage and they were both so nervous, it was
unbelievable. They hardly heard a thing until it was almost over, and
Novrion leaned over to kiss Eiliandel, sealing their vows. As the
couple turned around to face the few family and friends that had
gathered, Eiliandel felt a blush crawling up her face. She lowered her
gaze as she and her new husband walked past Aragorn, Arwen, Lords
Elrond and Celeborn, and Lady Galadriel, blushing furiously as she past
Arwen watched as her friend blushed as she walked past. Eiliandel's long dark hair was braided neatly, hanging down the back of her deep blue gown. Novrion looked every inch the handsome groom, his blonde hair brushed out neatly, his tunic and breeches immaculately clean. She smiled as they passed and then glanced up at Aragorn, who gave her a broad smile in return. In a week, they would be the ones standing in front of all those they knew and many more that they did not. It did not take long for the small celebration to end, Lord Palin, Eiliandel's father, watching his daughter with obvious pride throughout. Within a few hours, Eiliandel and Novrion left, obviously seeking to be alone. Lord Palin and Legolas, who had stayed on the edge of the celebration, vanished, to where no-one knew. Elrond, Celeborn, Galadriel turned to leave, but Elrond turned back.
"Aragorn, perhaps you would care to accompany me and Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel?" Elrond asked, looking at the man that was soon to become his daughter's husband.
Of course." Aragorn replied before turning to Arwen, "Arwen, can you make it back to your rooms alright?" he asked, knowing she still had not memorized her way to and from various locations throughout Minas Tirith.
"I can." Arwen gave a nod. She watched them go before turning the other way and shaking her head. She truly couldn't find her way, but she wasn't about to inconvenience anyone but saying so. She started off in the general direction that she'd thought she'd come from. After walking for some moments, she slowly started to get lost in her thoughts, not really noticing where she was going. By the time she'd pulled herself back to the present, she was standing in an unfamiliar corridor. Arwen looked around, she could back track, but she didn't really know what to back track to. She looked around, seeing the maids and servants of the Minas Tirith palace move about in a hustle. Arwen looked around, completely lost now, wondering who to ask to direct her back to at least where she'd started walking from.
Eowyn directed the barely controlled chaos with an easy knowledge. She'd had much practice in Edoras directing situations like this, so it did not bother her one bit. A tall, delicate looking woman caught her attention. The woman stood at the edge of the room, looking completely lost. She was holding her hands tightly clasped in front of her, and she seemed to be somewhat frozen in place. Unsure of whether the woman was in need of aid or just standing there oddly, she walked over, an suddenly realized just who she was looking at. The unmistakable face of Arwen looked back at her, her deep blue eyes, long black hair, and pointed ears now leaving no question as to her identity. Eowyn took a breath - she'd never have thought she'd have spoken to the elf, but now, here she was.
"My lady? What are you doing here?" a blonde woman, whom Arwen had seen watching her as she'd entered the room, said as she approached.
"I................I am a little confused as to where I am." Arwen phrased her reply politely.
The blonde woman looked a little startled, but took in stride, "And just where are you trying to get to?" she asked.
"My rooms, but if you could simply tell me how to get back to the main hall, I would be most grateful." Arwen said, feeling she couldn't ask too much.
Eowyn listened to Arwen's gentle accent as she spoke. She'd heard a little of elvish, but not much and wondered what it sounded like, what with the elf's accent. "Please, my lady, allow me to take you back to where you want to go." she offered.
"Oh, thank you." Arwen smiled, "That is very kind of you."
"It is my pleasure, my lady. Allow me to introduce myself, I am Eowyn." Eowyn said, figuring that Arwen would be far too polite to ask.
"A pleasure to meet you, Eowyn." Arwen inclined her head, "I am Arwen."
"I know who you are," Eowyn replied.
"Oh?" Arwen looked over, slightly startled. Aragorn had mentioned Eowyn to her, but she had not thought that he had said anything about her to Eowyn.
"Yes. I asked Aragorn about the necklace he wore," Eowyn said, glancing at the elf, "He told me of whom it had originally belonged."
Arwen easily hid her surprise, "And he answered?" she knew he had thought of her but she hadn't know he'd have spoken about her.
"He did." Eowyn looked over, knowing how much Aragorn loved this woman, "He spoke very highly of you - he adores you, you know."
To her surprise, Arwen blushed, "I know." her soft answer came.
"Forgive me, my lady, for embarrassing you." Eowyn hurried to apologize.
"There is nothing to forgive." Arwen held up her hand, "I have asked too many questions of you." she took the blame. Eowyn let it go, realizing that Arwen would never blame her for her embarrassment over a minor comment. They walked in silence until Eowyn had lead Arwen back to her rooms, before Eowyn turned back to the elven lady.
"Perhaps you would care to join me and some of the ladies of the court tomorrow?" Eowyn asked as Arwen turned to go into her room.
"Of course." Arwen said, interested in finding someone she could befriend in Minas Tirith. She knew that Aragorn was going to be very busy in the coming months and she had no interest in spending her days alone.
"Tomorrow morning, I shall come to get you then." Eowyn gave a nod as she left. Arwen nodded and watched the blonde woman leave, before heading into her room.
To be continued...
To confuse and frustrate you to no end:
Q: Why is Quickbeam the tooth fairy?
Q: What does Ivy believe Peter Jackson really is?
The Comings and Goings of the i Nili Community
By Robert C. Stames
It has been an extremely hectic week for the site members
what with school beginning, exams to write, the last days of summer
ending … so let’’s get to it … what’’s the news of our members …
A few birthday announcements to start us of …… Fool of a Took turned 14 on Monday and Viggo’’s Girl turned 34 on Thursday … wow, a 20 year age difference between 2 members … and I’m 24 … this is cool … 14, 24, 34 … anyway, I digress. A very happy birthday to Tookie and VG. God Bless you and may you both have many, many more to come!
From birthday announcements to wedding announcements … no, no-one at the site is getting married, but the brothers of 2 site members are; my brother, Nick, is getting married on December 31st. I am the Best Man … it’s very exciting! And Ivy’s brother is also getting married this year. Our best goes out to both lucky men!
A few missing members have returned and we are so glad to have them back. Ivy came back from her European vacation about 2 weeks ago. Paddy came back from camp two weeks ago also and Prongs came back yesterday from … er, the depths of the library.
Ivy enjoyed France and Ireland tremendously but right now, is a tad nervous about going back to school again.
Paddy had a great time at camp, is obsessed with the song "Our Lives" by The Calling (which I might add is an excellent song) and has promptly disappeared again. No-one knows where but she asked us to keep her in our prayers. So, Paddy, we are praying for you girl! Good luck with whatever you’re going through.
Prongs spent the past week studying like a maniac (well, what would you call spending 18 hours a day at the library –– I tell you, it’s unhealthy) and wrote her exam on Friday. She is now back, happy and ready to cause some mayhem! She asks you to please keep her in your prayers as she is anxious to do well on this exam.
And the biggest news of this fortnight (sorry all you other members but this is big) is that our very own Perian’s art exhibition opened last Saturday! Perian, we all wish you the very best of luck. We wish that we were there (wherever there may be) with you so that we could gaze in awe at your artistic talent … and probably so we could buy some of your work …… CONGRATULATIONS from all the i Nili community!
And on that happy note, I will leave you all. Remember, if you’d like a mention in this column (and there’’s nothing wrong with e-mailing me and letting me know what’s going on with you even though I don’t know many of you) please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Until then, my friends, have a good fortnight.