Your source for Lord of the Rings News, Updates, Poetry, Art, Parody and Satire.
Issue 38, Volume 2, October 1st, 2004.
Editors: Perian, Xara.
Primary Reporter: Ivy.
Chief Correspondent: Prongs.
Contributor(s): Fidget, Cerridwen.
Find past archives or contribute at http://inili.iwarp.com/
Magpie for Lunch
"Oh! Oh no, Frodo! You're in a spider hole! Get out! Get out!
Get...was that an Australian magpie?" Yes, I know that sounds like
unlikely dialogue, but it is exactly what I was saying to myself as I
watched those terrifying moments in Shelob's Lair during Peter
Jackson's latest movie at the end of last year. So, was that an
Australian magpie I saw hanging lifeless in one of Shelob's diabolical
webs? There was no way to be sure, it had only been for a fleeting
second. But I, qualified as I am in recognizing native Australian fauna
(ok, well no, but I do live here, that's got to count for something
right?) was curious, very curious indeed.
So I waited, carefully, patiently, chewing my sleeve day and night, I waited, until, when chance came, it ensnared a new bearer...sorry, it happens to all of us. But indeed I did wait, until the Return of the King DVD came out. And so, whilst I was obsessing over capturing every single frame of those adorable hobbits that I could find, I took a brief moment to capture a frame, a single frame from Shelob's Lair and that frame contained the suspected dead bird. "Somebody call the asylum! Xara's finally cracked, she's taking pictures of dead birds!" Calm yourself, my friend! It was not the dead part I was interested in, ok?
Anyway, I capped the bird, and I looked at it, and I thought to myself, "Yes, that does look suspiciously like an Australian magpie." I even went so far as to look outside my window and try to spot one for comparison, but unfortunately all the maggy's were off, having a tree-party somewhere no doubt right when I needed them, and so I was unable to compare.
It seemed perhaps I would never know the truth of the matter, until when chance came...argh! I have to stop doing that! The idea came to me, (yeah, see if you can turn that into one of your spooky voice over quotes Galadriel!) that I wouldn't necessarily need an actual magpie to compare with. And so I opened the trusty google search window and typed in the magical keywords and almost instantly I found what I was looking for.
Bingo! Identical! Even the colours of the beak (black at the tip, fading into the white, if you'll observe) are the same! And so, I have to ask myself an important question. What the blazing hobbits is an Australian magpie, albeit a dead one, doing in Shelob's Lair?! Now, you might think the answer to that was obvious, Shelob was hungry, she thought Australian magpie in a pie might round off that jug of orc blood nicely, strolled down to the nearest gum tree and caught herself one. But wait just a minute, as our smarter detectives have already noticed, she would have to be in Australia to do that! I mean, they don't put the 'Australian' part before the 'magpie' part for nothing, right?
Now, if you remember an article I wrote way back in Issue 23, there is actually a rock formation right here in the Australian desert called Mordor, for it's strange geographic resemblance to the homeland of the Dark Lord Sauron. And so I have to ask myself another very important question. Do I live in the Black Land? Am I standing on Mordor soil? Is my prime minister the Dark Lord? (Many people, I suspect, have asked that question before me, but for different reasons. Anyone who might have taken offence to that, rest assured I speak in ignorance, I know as much of politics as Gollum does of the delights of fried fish) Alarming questions for anyone to ask. And so now I must go, I think I may be having an identity crisis...
Those Things on the Elephants
During the War of the Ring, tales were told of a fierce tribe
that came forth to fight: The Haradrim. You may remember them from the
books: brown-skinned men who appeared on horseback and some on foot.
Others, the dread Corsairs, came in fleets of dromunds, or black ships.
Fans of the film will remember them from The Two Towers (When Faramir's
men attacked them as Frodo and Sam watched from the bushes) or from The
Return of the King (the ones on the back of that awesome elephant [aka
oliphaunt] that Legolas looked SO cute while he was killing.
[Please note the sarcasm in the author's tone]). Books readers will
know those oliphaunts as mûmakil.
In the battle of Pelennor Fields, the Witch King's main allies were the Haradrim. hey were dressed in deep red cloaks, golden collars, and donned magnificent shields that were studded with golden spikes. All of them had black eyes and paint that looked similar to blood covering their faces. Not very pleasant creatures to look at, eh?
One of the most horrible things about these men was that they served Sauron through the Second and Third Age. Their allegiance to Sauron, Mordor, and the Nazgul was incomparable. They worshipped Sauron and made sacrifices to him, and in time the Dark Lord increased their power.
In the next seven hundred years, the Haradrim attacked Gondor three times, until a rebellion began in the country in or around the year of 1450 of the Third Age. A group of rebels made an alliance with them. The brutes then began raiding Gondor's borderlands and shores for nearly a century.
Then, in the year of the War of the Ring, the Haradrim, along with all other dark forces that were loyal to Sauron -- Orcs, Trolls, Uruk-hai -- were sent to way (Yes, I know, that was obvious) but were defeated at both Pelennor Fields and the Black Gate.
It is said that after the war Aragorn made peace with the (form of) Men, and it lasted into the far end of the Fourth Age.
An Unlikely Fan
By Xara and Fidget
My interviewee today will be the strangest yet, surpassing
hobbits, Dark Lords and even Newsletter Editors! She's small, furry and
of the feline species. But there's a problem, she can't talk! But
before we come to that, I must find her!
I run off looking under on the cumfiest lounge chairs, the best spots by the window in the sun and under beds for this illusive feline. Suddenly I come across her, settled comfortably on the softest most fluffy doona and bed in the house.
Ah!! There you are Fidget! You don't mind if I ask you a few questions do you?
Fidget yawns, twitches her ear and begins to purr.
I'll take that as a yes. Ok, you're a Lord of the Rings fan, correct?
Fidget blinks and looks faintly annoyed before settling back onto the bed and snoring softly.
How did you first discover Lord of the Rings?
Fidget looks blank for a moment, then turns away so she is no longer facing me.
Who is your favorite character?
Fidget takes a swipe at me and starts to swish her tail, eyes still narrowed with sleep.
Are you disappointed there weren't more cats in the films?
Fidget swipes at me again, scratching the doona slightly, her eyes widen as the sleep leaves.
How did you feel when Lord of the Rings won all eleven Oscars?
Fidget blinks and twicthes nervously, then curls up again and starts ignoring me, still swishing her tail.
Does it bother you that you can't read, and so will never be able to read any of Tolkien's books?
Fidget looks up slowly, then curls up again and begins to snore louder.
If it were you, how would you go about getting the Ring to Mount Doom to be destroyed?
Fidget looks up suddenly in alarm and swipes at me a third time, eyes bulging and swishing her tail faster than ever.
Do you know any other cats who enjoy Lord of the Rings as much as you do?
Fidget slowly moves her right ear, backing away on her stomach, watching me intently with a dangerous look in her eye.
As a cat, do you relate much to the character of Gollum?
Fidget twitches her head, looking imperious and breathing deeply.
As someone who has never flinched from scarring me repeatedly, do you feel the orcs were justified in their mindless brutality towards hobbits?
Fidget settles on her outstretched arms and appears to go to sleep.
Do you consider yourself to be an evil cat?
Fidget does not move or make a sound, but ignores me completely.
When watching Lord of the Rings, who were you siding for, Frodo and the Fellowship or Sauron and his orcs?
Fidget slowly opens an eye and looks menacing. At this point I decide it is no longer safe to continue the interview.
Well, thankyou for your time Fidget, I think that's all I need.
I reach out to shake paws with Fidget but she snatches hers back and flattens her ears, wriggling into a springing position. At this point I turn around and run away in the other direction.
"... but force finds no favour among the folk
where I dwell
and any gift not given gladly and freely."
"Sir Gawain" and the
two other texts were manuscripts unearthed by
Tolkien in the Oxford library. He managed to take these ancient
documents and translate them into English while retaining the
beatifully fluid, lyrical form and the entirity of the tales. He did,
however, retain a smattering of the Old English dialect in translating,
which may confuse some readers. Fortunately, there is a full glossary
at the end.
"Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" is the tale of, as the name implies, Gawain, the nephew of King Arthur and an eerily inhuman seeming knight who interrupts a royal feast. The story twines and twists in ways you wouldn't imagine, allowing the reader to be captivated and startled through the entire text, while containing still the deep discriptional detail characteristic of Tolkien.
"Pearl" is more obscure. It is a rhyming, metaphoric tale, telling the story of what most scholars assume to be a child, but embodied in the persona of a single perfect pearl.
"Sir Orfeo" is a bright, easily readable tale which could be mistaken for the brainchild of Tolkien himself in its form and content. While reading Sir Orfeo, it is easy to feel that you are being sung by a minstrel a faery-tale of old.
Anyone who can read a page of poetry without flinching would do well to read these antiquated but beautiful tales.
This Fortnight: Midnight Flower
"I believe that Eiliandel and I will bid you a good night." Novrion said as he stood, taking his wife's hand as he did so. Legolas smiled and nodded as he stood as the couple left. He'd felt awkward spending most of the afternoon with them when they'd only been married a day. He figured that they'd want to be alone, but they didn't really seem to care. He watched them go and then went to his own room.
Eiliandel laughed quitely at the words Novrion was whispering
in her ear. She smiled and tightened her grip on Novrion's hand as she
saw her father in the hall.
"Eiliandel, Novrion, how are you?" Palin greeted his daughter and son-in-law.
"I am fine, ada." Eiliandel smiled. Novrion gave the older elf a nod in answer to his question.
"That is good. Eiliandel, I need to have a word with you, if your husband doesn't mind my stealing you from his company," Palin tried to tease, but his face was too serious.
"Of course," Eiliandel said quickly, glancing over to Novrion, who let go of her hand and walked off a ways to give them privacy.
"Eiliandel, you know of how I have sent most of our people to the Havens to leave?" Palin started.
A look crossed Eiliandel's face, "Adar," her voice had a warning tone. She did not want to leave and she'd thought that that had been made clear the last time he had asked her to go.
Palin held up his hand, "I know - and I have decided not to ask you to come anymore. You made it clear you wished to stay, and I will respect that," he said. Eiliandel eyed him. He had never, ever given in to something like this before - not even when her mother, Istawen, had tried to persuade him to do various things. Palin caught his daughter's look and sighed, "Eiliandel, I have decided I will be leaving tomorrow. I would have left earlier, but I did not wish for your wedding day to be sad for you," he looked at her sadly.
"Ada..." Eiliandel looked at him sadly before nodding slowly, "Aa’ i’sul nora lanne’lle," she said, staring at the floor.
"Eiliandel," Palin reached over to put a hand under his daughter's chin to lift her gaze to his face. Her eyes were filled with tears, making the brilliant hazel even deeper as she looked at him. She tried to smile, but only one corner of her mouth moved. "Eiliandel, do not cry," Palin said, pulling his daughter into an embrace, "I will see you again." he let go of her enough to look at her face. "Remember that. I will see you again." Eiliandel nodded and tried to smile again for him, but she could not bring herself to do it. "Novrion," Palin called over to the blonde-haired elf. Novrion turned at the sound of his name and hurried over to the two. "Novrion, I will be leaving."
Novion looked at him oddly, "To the Realm?" he asked slowly, not understanding why Eiliandel would look so upset if her father was merely going home.
Palin shook his head, "To the Havens, to leave," he said. Novrion stared at him in understanding for a moment before reaching out to take Eiliandel's hand in silent support to her. "I wish you both the best," Palin said, knowing he had to get this done soon, or he'd never be able to bring himself to leave.
"Thank you," Novrion said quietly. Palin was about to say more, but he decided against it. He was leaving tomorrow, but he had to start riding tonight in order to make one of the last boats. He leaned forward, rested his hand on his son-in-law's shoulder and then leaned farther forward to gather his daughter in one last embrace before he left. He then stepped back, looked at them once more and then turned and quietly left. Novrion turned to look at Eiliandel, who stood perfectly still, watching her father until he turned a corner and she could no longer see him.
"Eiliandel," Novrion ventured, worrying for her.
She turned to face him, her eyes bright with unshed tears. She would not cry. She would see him again. "I will see him again," she said softly, before turning and heading for a window to watch for her father, who she knew would be riding away at any moment.
"Arwen?" Aragorn was as quiet as he could be as he knocked on
Arwen's door. There was the sound of a few faint movements before
Galadriel opened the door. She gave him one of her half smiles - the
one where he could never tell if she was happy to see him, or if she
knew what was about to happen and found it amusing, but wasn't going to
tell him - and pushed open the door for him and breezed pasted him and
then silently walked down the hall. Aragorn shook his head - he'd never
understand her, and then went into Arwen's room. She sat on the edge of
her bed, looking out one of the windows, the pale moonlight only making
her seem more like a dream as Aragorn approached. "Arwen?" he said her
She whirled to look at him, "Estel?" Her voice still sounded shaky, but she seemed to have recovered somewhat.
"Arwen, are you alright? I would never have let you go to talk with them if I'd have known," Aragorn did not like that fact that he could have stopped this before it had even happened if he had just brought her with him to the meetings he'd gone to.
Arwen offered him a small grateful look before nodding, "I am alright, Estel. I just did not think that someone would do that, or say such things - about my mother no less." She looked like she was about to get more upset.
Aragorn sat down next to her and wrapped his arm around her shoulders, "It's alright. I excused them from our company - you do not have to talk with them again," he said.
Arwen looked up at him, "Oh, but I don't want them to be angry at me for that!" she had an odd look on her face, "They already do not like me."
"The won't be, Arwen, they won't be. They'll be mad at me, but they cannot do a thing about it," Aragorn shrugged, "Besides, I did not excuse them from the court, so they won't be that angry," he tried to explain. Arwen looked confused at his explanation, but nodded anyway and leaned against him. For how long they stayed like that, Aragorn wasn't certain, but he did know that when her breathing evened out to indicate she'd fallen asleep, the moon had moved quite a bit in the sky. He gently moved her so that she could lie comfortably in her bed, and covered her with a thin blanket before leaving. He decided that she needed something to be happy about again - and, due tomorrow morning, he knew there was a surprise for her - and, if who he knew was coming were in moods, all of Minas Tirith. Smiling to himself, he headed for his own room.
Q: Which article later became a full-length fiction?
(And for an extra point, who was it by?)
Q: Merry (aka Marry) Brandybuck was whose secret desire?
Last issue's answers:
A: Orlando Bloom, Issue 33
A: The zoo. Issue 33
A serious question this fortnight. I was at work this morning, when someone called me bossy. A lot of people have told me that I was bossy before, and I have really tried to change. I’m not the kind of person who says it’s my way or the highway. I’m democratic. Anyway, Sam, could you please help me out? What do I do to be less bossy?
WANTED: A clone of my wonderful boyfriend who can sit in the library and do all his work for him. Evil geniuses please send your emails to email@example.com