Your source for Lord of the Rings News, Updates, Poetry, Art, Parody and Satire.
Issue 43, Volume 2, December 10th, 2004.
Editors: Perian, Xara.
Primary Reporter: Ivy.
Chief Correspondent: Prongs.
Columnists: Lady Morrigan Shadow, Padfoot, Cerridwen.
Contributor(s): Angel, Elfish Emma, Eowyn Evenstar, Fan, Matthias, Smeagol.
After all, who can resist a Gamgee? (Part II)
When last we left Sam and Rosie, they had
just been blessed with their seventh child, Hamfast. Rosie’s business,
‘The Green Dragon’, was in trouble (‘Paddy’s Hole’ was still doing much
better in spite of the fact that the owner was watering down the
drinks) and Sam was mayor of Hobbiton. The extra mouth to feed was
causing Rosie some real worry ... one growing husband (sideways not upwards) … seven growing children, one of
whom was born pre-mature and was sick. Of course, it has been a year
since Goldilocks was born and the Shire doctor was very pleased to
inform Rosie and Sam that she was perfectly healthy. Whew! Seven happy
and healthy children … well, healthy if not happy … the children, being
children, fought a lot … mostly over toys and the attention of their
parents' attention and their adoptive uncles, Merry and Pippin.
Speaking of those two, Pippin decided to throw a party for his son Faramir on the occasion of his first birthday and all 7 Gamgee children were invited. Never being one to miss an opportunity to spend alone time with his wife, Sam decided on a romantic dinner … candles, banjos, a carriage ride home, the works … that Sam was a real romantic, eh? Well, Rosie thought so anyway … the dinner was wonderful, the carriage ride magical … too magical, if you catch my drift … yes, I kid you not … of all the places to … erm, well you know … Sam and Rosie decided to go bananas in the carriage. Oh dear. Apparently, the 15 minute ride home was too much of a wait for them. And of course, nine months later, who should arrive but little Daisy? Aww cute … to whomever is keeping track … that’s 8 children now.
One more mouth to feed ... not a good predicament to be in when your business was not doing well … Rosie was concerned … but she was more than just concerned, she was ticked off! She knew that the Green Dragon had the best ale in the Shire and she was anxious to prove it. So she put her head together with Sam, Merry and Pippin to come up with a competition … an ‘Ale-Off’ – where the hardiest drinker from each pub drank pint after pint of ale and the pub representative left standing at the end would be declared the winner. The ale-off pitted Pippin against some other loser, and no-one was surprised when Pippin was still standing … even after 4 hours of solid drinking. Pippin’s supporters were all cheering their lungs out, and when Pippin was declared the winner, they celebrated by … buying him a drink (ah, the logic of the hobbits). Four hours later, after the Green Dragon was closed down for the night, Rosie was still quivering with excitement and joy. She and Sam got back home and … decided to go right to sleep … hah, they weren’t that bad, you know … but promptly changed their minds once in bed and … well, (yes I lied – get over it) … Primrose was born nine months later.
The year was 1436 – King Elessar and Queen Arwen rode to the Shire, stopping at Brandywine Bridge to meet their friends of old. In a simple, but very touching ceremony, Elanor was made a Maid of Honour to Queen Arwen … Sam and Rosie both had tears in their eyes, they were very proud of their eldest daughter. Like the loving parents that they were, they celebrated Elanor’s honourary position with a feast at the Gamgee residence … there was joy, there was laughter, there was hilarity from Merry and Pippin (as usual) … Sam and Rosie got a wee bit drunk and slipped out of the room for a few minutes to … er … “compose themselves” … which is a tactful way of informing you readers that they … er well … you know what they did … and you know the result by now as well … nine months on, Bilbo was born.
The next few years saw hectic, yet joyful times for the Gamgee family … Samwise was kept occupied with his mayoral duties, Rosie was busy at the Green Dragon (which was regaining the fine reputation that it had once had) and the children were at various important stages in their lives – first day of school, first day as a gardener’s apprentice and so on. One night, Sam was kept at his office until the late hours of the night and decided to stop by the pub and pick up Rosie on his way home. Well, the best laid plans, eh? Oh no, Sam did get to the Green Dragon, he did see Rosie … however, instead of going home, they both sat at the bar and talked and talked and ... well, talked – about their children, their lives, their relationship … and to prove to themselves that their relationship was as strong as it had ever been (well, that’s the excuse they made to themselves … we all know that they just wanted to get it on) … I don’t have to elaborate again, do I? (Editor: I think you’ve said enough for one article). Anyway, Ruby was born nine months later … a bouncing, healthy baby girl!
To Samwise and Rosie, one day was more important than any other … not their children’s birthdays (although that too was important), not the anniversary of Frodo’s departure (ditto to the importance of that date), not the day that the ring was destroyed (again, important but not quite making it to the top) ...May 1st, 1440 – the day of their 20th wedding anniversary. They enjoyed a lovely dinner hosted by the many friends that they had, but the loveliest gift of all was a weekend getaway for two at an inn along the Brandywine River that was a gift from their children. Well, when you add together a weekend getaway, a 20th wedding anniversary and a couple very much in love, even mathemaphobics can figure out the result … a good time (a very good time) and a twelfth child, a boy named Robin.
As we look into the Gamgees two years later, we find them all fit and happy … including baby Goldilocks who isn’t a baby anymore at the age of 11. Elanor is 21 years young and in charge of the children while her parents are away. Frodo is 19, and doing well for himself as one of the premiere gardeners in the Shire. He is very much the father figure to his brothers and sisters while his parents are away. The other children (save for Robin, who is with his parents) are doing sailing through school with ease – Rose is even becoming somewhat of a poet. Merry and Pippin, although born 2 years apart, have a very close relationship and are often at the centre of all the trouble, much like the hobbits after whom they were named. While young Hamfast enjoys helping his big brother Frodo out in the garden, Daisy and Primrose enjoy helping Elanor out in the kitchen and around the house. Bilbo spends a lot of his time with Rose as both of them are aspiring poets and Ruby is as adorable as the day is long, bringing a smile to everyone’s face, even when she does something naughty.
As for Sam and Rosie, they are in Gondor, enjoying the hospitality of King Elessar and Queen Arwen … and as we leave them, Rosie is in the Houses of Healing, recovering from her long labour … baby Tolman, only a few hours old, is in her hands. Samwise sits proudly by her bed, Robin in his arms … Robin points towards Rosie and Tolman and say … “Tol-Tol” … a nickname that will remain with the youngest of the Gamgees until the end of his days.
How to Get Your Dream Elf, the Simple Way!
With thanks to Elfish Emma
"Oh! Was that... Legolas!?! Over there!?! Oh! Oh! Please sign
this piece of scrap for me! Wait! He's running away! Dammit! Ooooh!
Arwen! Hey! Over here! Could you lend me your hairbrush!?!... Where's
she going!?!" Does that scenario sound familiar to you? There are so
many beautiful elves out there, but no one ever seems to be able to get
hold of them. For countless millennia it has been a mystery as to how
to secure an elf of your very own. Morgoth tried it, indeed, he wanted
more than just one, he wanted them all! Sauron too gave it a pretty
good go. Millions of love-sick teenage girls topped these two Dark
Lord's efforts ten times over! And of all these people only three ever
succeeded. Beren, Tuor, and Aragorn were the only three mortals ever to
secure an elf.
How did they do it? Was it looks? Charm? Perseverance? Did the beautiful elf-maidens merely feel incredibly sorry for the poor lost souls? Perhaps, perhaps, but I think not. I think they used a different method, a method which this reporter only this afternoon proved successful on an elf going by the name of Emma (see the thanks above). It's called elf baiting, and it works! And so now, the method of the mortals, the ensnarer of the elves, if you are a Dark Lord and you're reading this please turn away, the one, the only, elf baiting:
In order to successfully capture your elf, your first step should be to dig a large steep pit beneath the furthest branches of a large tree that will support your weight. Remember to fill the pit with lots of lovely soft pillows, if your baited elf gets bruised the tantrums could be fatal. Then cover your pit with leaves and ground forest litter so as to disguise it. This done, climb your tree and, once high enough to be successfully screened by the foliage, sit and wait quietly until an elf comes along. It will be useful to note that using a tree in an elf inhabited area will achieve more speedy results. If this is not possible, bring supplies, and a sleeping bag.
Once your elf has entered the vicinity of your tree wait until the moment is right, then take a nice, large, symmetrical green leaf, attach it to a long length of transparent fishing line and lower it until it is just above the elf's reach. Now I know what you're thinking! Do not attach a hook to your leaf! The object is not to harm the elf! You may want to rustle the branches a bit to get their attention. Once they have seen the leaf, move it slowly, tantalizingly down towards them, but as they reach up to take the seemingly levitating leaf, take it up out of reach again. Now begin to slowly slide along your branch towards your pre-prepared pit, making sure to keep the elf interested as you go so that they follow the leaf. The rest is simple, as they reach the edge of the trees foliage they will fall into the pit and be trapped.
This achieved, you may yourself drop into the pit and the elf is yours. Remember to give your elf the leaf as a sign of good-will, and as a reward for their efforts. And the rest I leave to you. And so there you have it. An actual proven method of elf baiting, and, in my opinion, the real reason why past mortals have been able to attract their attention. And so, until next time, happy baiting!
Back it Up! - A Message to Writers
I was walkin' along, mindin' my business, when out of an
orange coloured sky; wham! bang! alakazam my computer went and deleted
my files!!! That's right. I was writing a re-edit of a fan fiction of
mine, was almost complete, we're talking 36 A4 pages here, which is a
lot for me, when suddenly my box went bing. I still don't know quite
what happened, but when I hit the save button everything froze.
Thinking I was safe, that the most I could lose was what hadn't been
saved already, which was a grand total of three sentences (I'm very
careful about these things, you never know when the computer will play
tricks on you), I clicked a few buttons and closed the program. All
fine. I went to open my file again. There was nothing there.
ARGH!!!!!!!!!! Imagine you've just been attacked by a dwarf with a blunt axe, and imagine it's done considerable damage to your legs with that very same axe, and imagine you now have it by the hair and are about to give it a piece of your mind. That's something like what I sounded like at this moment. I will not corrupt your eyes with the amazingly excessive amount of profanities I let off at this point, in between sobbing, wailing and kicking the computer. I had made no back up, I had written nothing down, and now it was all gone. Kaput. Thank Eru it was only a second draft and that I still had the original or I don't think the computer would have survived. I would have taken the axe from the dwarf mentioned above and destroyed it.
I have heard horrifying stories. A friend of mine lost her entire novel in a freak thunderstorm, or so I am told. I have heard about people whose computers have got a virus that eats everything the night before an enormous essay is due. At times like these, I do seriously start to wonder whether computers are out to get us. And I can't help but think to myself, what if I'd backed it up? What if I'd had a second disk? What if I'd e-mailed half of it to a friend to ask for feedback, like I usually do? What if I'd made a copy on my hard drive? I could have written it down first, or printed it out, or done a million other things but I didn't, and now it's all gone, and I'm back to square one.
This is a message to all the writers out there; nothing can prepare you from the excruciating horrors of finding a precious, beloved, or highly important file deleted by those damn boxes that go bing. Nothing. Back up your files! Make several copies in several different locations, make your friends save it to their computers, do anything you like as long as it's backed up! We are at the mercy of our technology, as so many people have found out before me. This is probably the most horrible day all year for me, which is saying a lot. So for the love of Frodo, back up your files! I wish I had...
Gandalf: Gift from the Valar?
Think Gandalf. Tall, grey beard, long cloak, big staff,
pointy hat, and probably really bushy eyebrows. He's intelligent and
powerful, and best of all he's funny and always speaks in riddles. To a
lot of Lord of the Rings fans he is a favourite character. Many people
believe Gandalf is a wizard, or some kind of all powerful, high and
mighty elf. Well, they're wrong! So what, you ask, is he?
First, we must look at the inspiration for the character. It is quite commonly guessed that Gandalf came from Merlin in the tales of King Arthur. After all, he practices magic and mentors a hero. The legends of King Arthur were also originally in Welsh, one of Tolkien's favourite languages, and they were also some of his favourite stories. But actually, Gandalf came from two places: Norse legend, and a postcard.
Yes, yes, I know what you're thinking. A postcard? But it's very true! Tolkien was one day hiking in Switzerland when he found a postcard with a mountain man that probably looks very similar to how you picture Gandalf.
Anyhoo, back to the former of the two. Mithrandir, as Gandalf is also known, shares many traits with a Norse god, Odin. This god could read the runes that Gandalf can, and he, too, seemed to be on a lonely and wandering quest that others have trouble understanding. Though, if you look into it, Odin is very different from out wizard. In Scandinavian mythology, Odin was a supreme god, an Gandalf seems to take his orders from someone else. Mithrandir is always kind, when Odin was often known for slaying mortals and accepting human sacrifices. Brutal, eh?
So, you're probably still wondering what in Middle-earth any of this has to do with what Gandalf really is. He's still as mysterious as ever, no? Well, there's a reason Tolkien made it that way. The Grey Wizard was, in fact, a spirit sent from Valinor by the gods to help Middle-earth in its battle against Sauron. He seems so strange and elusive only because he is not allowed to reveal anything about his mission or what he is. He and several others were sent to Middle-earth ages ago, and were called the Istari. They could not push any one person to make a decision as to what to do about the fight against the Dark Lord, and that's why Gandalf only seems to ever give advice and drop hints here and there.
But even Gandalf, a spirit of Valinor, did not know everything. He was even tested, just as the rest of the Fellowship. (His test being to sacrifice himself in Moria so that his friends could escape.) He did actually die, because the Istari were given human bodies to make them as vulnerable as anyone else, but because of his good deed he was awarded even greater powers by the Vala, and returned to his friends as Gandalf the White.
Now Gandalf has gone from grouchy, bearded wizard, to all powerful servant of the Vala. Only with Tolkien's master writing skills and a little help from mythology and legend could such a brilliant character have been created. Hats off, folks!
Prose translation by E. Talbot Donaldson
Review by Ivy.
The classic tale of Prince of the Danes, and the original
inspiration for The Lord of the Rings, Beowulf tells the tale of the
prince Beowulf of the Geats. It documents, particularly, his defeat of
Grendel, a monster that had taken hold of a rather Rohirric-like Golden
Hall. Many parallels to Rohan appear throughout the first chapter,
'Beowulf and Grendel'. The descriptions in the text are beautiful, and
the wording is truly from medieval England.
This makes an excellent read on a rainy day (or three) if you have the patience to get through the fifty-five (extremely long) pages. The translation was done extremely well, and the footnotes clarify many foggy spots. Though not in the original poetic form, it is still highly understandable, and also highly recommended.
This Fortnight: Midnight Flower
Part VIII (Finale)
Arwen swallowed nervously as she stood at the
door to Minas Tirith's largest hall. She glanced over to her father who
stood at her side, just as he'd promised that he would. He took her
hand and put it on his arm as the doors opened. Arwen risked a quick
look up at him, and got a reassuring look in response. She swallowed
hard and began walking forward. As she entered the room, she caught a
glimpse of all the people crowded into the old stone halls, and
immediately fastened her gaze to the end of the hall, where she saw
Aragorn. If she looked again, at those gathered, she knew she would
panic. Elrond kept his arm steady, having caught her glance at the
people and then how she steadfastly looked away.
Aragorn had to keep himself from staring as Arwen walked towards him - a vision in a white dress, with a gaze like the light from a star. He watched as she came forward steadily, Elrond seemingly helping her along as she walked. He held out his hand as she approached and Elrond looked lovingly at his daughter as he took her hand and placed it in the waiting hand of her husband-to-be. Elrond then went and stood with the other elves, still alongside Arwen, as he'd promised he would be, but not near her anymore. Gandalf gave the couple in front of him a smile before beginning the ceremony, though judging by the looks on both Aragorn and Arwen's faces, they weren't really hearing the whole thing. Aragorn really wasn't sure how long they'd been there, but then he was suddenly aware that all eyes were on him and Arwen as they turned to face each other. Aragorn gave her a small smile before leaning in to kiss her as passionately as he could - this was it, they were finally married.
From the side, Elrond watched as his daughter kissed her husband. It always was amazing at how gentle Aragorn was with Arwen - here he was, a powerful warrior, with hands built for wielding a sword, yet he could be so gentle with her, that not even the flowers she held in her hand were even moved as he held her to kiss her. He watched as they slowly stopped kissing and, after letting a quiet moment pass between them, they turned to look at those gathered. An uproarious applause echoed in the hall. Elrond could see his daughter tense as that happened, but Aragorn put his arm around his wife and she seemingly relaxed. With even, measured steps, they slowly began walking to the other end of the hall.
Arwen felt Aragorn's arm tighten around her waist as the walked through all the people. She was slightly unnerved at how intensely everyone watched them, but Aragorn's presence reassured her. She walked alongside him, her dress barely touching the floor as she walked along. At her side, Aragorn walked with steady steps, but inside, his heart was pounding - he could hardly believe that she was truly his wife and she was truly there. He tightened his grip on her and they walked out of the hall.
Legolas looked over as Eiliandel and Novrion came to join him alongside the edge of the celebration, Arwen and Aragorn were still talking with the higher nobles who wished to wish them well. He nodded to the two, getting a nod from Novrion and a half curtsey from Eiliandel in return. They stood in silence, as did Elrond, Galadriel and Celeborn. The other three elves were hanging back at the farthest edge, nearly hidden from view, but watching Arwen and Aragorn. Elladan and Elrohir were on the other farthest side, though from Legolas's experience with them, they were most likely standing there because Elrond had warned them not to do anything, and now they were at loose ends. When Arwen looked up, in an obvious attempt to find her father, it was incredible to see how Elrond saw the slight motion of her head and moved forward to join her, seemingly appearing out of nowhere behind Aragorn and Arwen. As he stood there, he was pleased to see Arwen smile so - she was so happy that he could literally feel her joy radiating off of her. He smiled a little to see her so happy - he would have nothing more than that for her.
How long the celebration had been, Aragorn did not know, but
it had to be close to the middle of the night, and it was still going.
He could see Elladan, Elrohir, Legolas and Novrion talking about
something, and judging by the mischievous looks, he was fairly glad he
wasn't involved in the conversation. Farther off, Eiliandel stood with
Galadriel, though he could not tell if they were talking - although
with both of their capabilities he wondered if the enchantress and Lady
of Light even needed words to express what they were thinking. Elrond
and Celeborn stood even farther off, speaking in low tones - and again,
Aragorn was glad not to be involved, what with the obvious serious tone
that they had going. He turned back in time to see Arwen slipping away
from the celebration, quietly slipping through the crowds and then
vanishing into one of the halls. Curious as to where she was going and
if she was all right, Aragorn followed her, keeping as far back as he
dared without loosing sight of her. He followed her through many empty
halls and through a few passages that were lit with the dancing light
of torches, but she did not stop there. Instead she kept going, winding
her way through the passages, almost as if she was following a map in
her head. Aragorn kept trailing her, wondering just where she was
going, due to the fact that they were now so far from any torch light,
he could barely see her delicate frame. She suddenly vanished
completely from his sight, going through a doorway that lead back
outside. He slowed his pace and walked quietly through the doorway. The
garden. She'd managed, somehow, to find her way in near darkness, to
the place she liked the most. Aragorn shook his head as he saw her
standing near one of the flowering bushes. She looked so ethereal in
the moonlight - no torches lit here, leaving only the moon's light to
grace the garden - making her seem more like she belonged in this
dream-like place, than the harsher light of day.
"I know you are there," Arwen said softly, knowing full well that Aragorn had followed her.
Aragorn chuckled and walked over to her, "I guess I should know better than to try to follow an elf," he replied, smiling at her.
Arwen smiled back, "I would think," she agreed, before going to stand at the garden wall.
Aragorn watched her and then gently picked the largest flower off of the bush she'd been standing near before. He walked up behind her, just as a bell off in the lower levels sounded the midnight chime. He handed her the flower, "A flower at midnight for an evening star," he said softly as he handed it to her. She gently tucked the flower into her dark hair, behind her ear, as he wrapped his arms around her, just as the bell finished it's last chime.
Q: Tolkien writer's brand? Where?
Q: Mount Doom to toast marshmallows? Fun! Who did it and who wrote the article?
Last issue's answers: Dr. Seuss, Issue 15; Boredom, Issue 20.
Recently I have been a nervous wreck because of all of my responsibilities. How can I relax without giving up any of the things I have to do?
Now that can really be a right problem, and no mistake. 'Specially if you're in Mordor when it comes to trying to relax. But as you're not, it should be possible. If you like what you're doing, it should be easier. Always stick to what you love most (even when it seems best to off and do something else). And reward yourself with a good meal and a story by the fire when you have a job well done to your credit.
Help! I am officially addicted with Lord of the Rings! And the addiction is going to get worse as the extended edition DVD is coming out. What do I do?
WANTED: Someone with
information about what my Christmas present is. My girlfriend is not
telling me but she promises that it's going to be "really good". Anyone
with knowledge on this matter please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org
DESPERATELY WANTED: a miracle. And thoughts and prayers (please). Unless I get an A on my final tomorrow, I will get a C on my course ... I can't afford a C. I really can't.
WANTED: More volunteers for a research project! No bodily harm will come to you, I promise. If you're interested, e-mail email@example.com for details. Small reward still vaguely possible
While I realize that this may sound biased, I would like to commend Prongs on a truly hilarious and imaginative article. It was a perfect combination of humour and dirtiness and I am on pins and needles for the next one (you'd think she would have let me read it already but no).
Hilarious and imaginative? You're right, you are biased ... but thank you for the compliments all the same. I'm sorry I whacked you when you tried to read the follow-up, I hope that lump on your head has now subsided.
ARE YOU SAYING THAT PIPPIN IS NOT A HERO!?! WHY YOU LITTLE! *resists urge to strangle Perian.* I'LL GET YOU FOR THAT ONE! On a happier note, I really enjoyed your article Prongsie!!! Sooooo squelchy!!! Cant wait for the followup!!! Ta!
Well, I have to give someone else a chance, eh? Pippin is so much of a hero he doesn't even need to be mentioned. When listing the things a human needs to survive, the typical things listed are water, food, shelter, and so on. Only rarely is air included, but try taking the air away... That's the way it is with Pippin. Everyone but you takes him for granted. (How did that sound? Can I live?)
And the follow-up is... up.
*Blush* Aw, I'm feeling the love! Thanks a lot! So, does that mean I can venture from my room and no one will throw things at me for being a dirty one? *wink*
While I have never been one to be obsessed about anything (Matt: liar), Ivy's article, 'A Fan's Addiction' made me realize that I am a true Lord of the Rings geek. I comment her on finding a highly scientific way to analyse an individual's obsessive nature. It was a most entertaining and insightful read.