i Nili o i Ardanole Newsletter:

Your source for Lord of the Rings News, Updates, Poetry, Art, Parody and Satire.


Issue 49, Volume 3, March 4th, 2005.

Editors: Perian, Xara. 
Chief Correspondent: Prongs.
Columnists: Lady Morrigan Shadow, Padfoot, Cerridwen.
Webmaster and Archivist: Ivy.
Contributor(s): Roxanne, Unknown (see Classifieds).

In this issue: Quirks!

Was Legolas Legless by Xara.
Thieves by Perian.
Saruman the Secret Smoker by Xara.

In every issue:
Fanfiction: This Fortnight: If the Light Should Ever Fade - Part Six by Cerridwen.

Xara's Random Fandom.
Ask Samwise.
Tolkienish, provided by Perian.

Find past archives or contribute at http://inili.iwarp.com/


Was Legolas Legless?
By Xara
With thanks to Perian.

  I know what you're thinking! You're thinking, "Of course he's got legs! We can see them on screen all the time! That elf has more legs than all the fellowship members put together! He should be on Broadway with high-kicking legs like that! Ahhh the legs..." But no my friends! You mistake my meaning! I do not mean legless in the sense of having no legs, but in the sense of being very, very drunk. What I mean to say is, is Legolas an alcoholic? Scoff if you will, but the evidence cannot be denied, and here I shall present it to you!
  First of course there is the name, Legolas, which in both spelling and sounding, is extremely close to the word legless, a euphemism meaning drunk. Is this a mere coincidence? Perhaps you say, but I now ask you to look at the elf who named him, Legolas's father. Thranduil, King of the elves of Mirkwood was no stranger to alcoholic beverages. As the dwarves found out, he often held large and merry feasts in his forest and kept large amounts stored in his cellars at all times. Now look at the people under his rule. Is it not true that Bilbo once witnessed a guard and a butler of Thranduil drinking themselves stupid in the Kings cellars? Could it be that all the elves of Mirkwood were great alcoholics, and that Thranduil named his son in light of this fact? Could Thranduil even have been drunk at the time of Legolas's naming?
  Next of course there is the startling evidence provided in the chapter The Road To Isengard of The Two Towers. "...I would sooner learn how they came by the wine." said Legolas, when coming across Merry and Pippin, smoking and drinking and enjoying themselves amidst the ruins of Isengard. And his meaning is plain. He is not interested in the pipeweed or the salted pork or any of their spoils except the wine. He not only would like some wine, but would like to know where they got it, so he can get some more. In one innocent expression of his interests, Legolas has given himself away as an alcoholic!
  Finally, there is of course the strong evidence of Legolas's behaviour throughout the Lord of the Rings. I ask you, would any person, be he elf, man or dwarf, jump onto the back of a rampaging oliphaunt if he were sober? Granted, Legolas did it very nimbly, but then, he is an elf, so alcohol probably does not have the same effect on his balance as it does on us humans. Would any person, be he elf, wizard or hobbit, jump onto the shoulders of an angry cave troll if he were sober? Would any person, be he elf, orc or Rohan man, mount a horse in the fashion we saw Legolas do in the Two Towers shortly before the brush with the wargs, if he were sober?
  Ladies and gentlemen, I conclude not only that Legolas was an alcoholic, but that he was drunk for the larger part of his expedition with the Fellowship, and of the War of the Ring. His name, the history of his people, his dialogue and his behaviour makes this plain enough. We can only hope that Legolas, in the peace that followed the War of the Ring, was able to find the time to enrol in Alcoholics Anonymous, and beat his terrible addiction.

By Perian.
  Tolkien clearly abhorred many of the things about which he wrote - war, discrimination, dictionless demi-demons... but if there is one presumably 'bad' habit which Tolkien seemed to praise rather than condemn in his work it was theft.
  Beginning in The Hobbit the sentiment is made clear. The dwarves took Bilbo with them not because of his virtuous personality or his excellent culinary skills, but because Gandalf had mislabelled (or at least the title was inaccurate at the time) the poor little hobbit as a burglar. Granted, Thorin sanctified the profession by glossing it "expert treasure hunter", but the duties were still the same. He lived up to the name by the end; stealing the key which lead them to the trolls' treasure trove, where Glamdring and Sting resided; the two-handled cup which lead to Smaug's leaving his hoard and unleashing his might upon Dale, and subsequently being defeated; the Arkenstone, which was used for barter and prevented another war between the elves and dwarves; and most importantly of all the One Ring from the hapless Gollum. You could say that Middle-earth was saved on multiple occasions by acts of theft all committed by Bilbo Baggins.
  A bilbo or bilboe, ironically or intentionally, is a fetter for a prisoner's ankles, made of iron. Perhaps Tolkien's conscience nagged him about honouring the burglar.
  One of the first things we learn about Bilbo's cousin, Frodo, is that along with the name, looks, longevity, and Bag End, he inherited from Bilbo a penchant for pilfering. His youth was spent in the pursuit of Farmer Maggot's mushrooms, no doubt among other things, giving him a reputation in Buckland as one of the worst young rogues of that land. And this fellow was the most pure of heart and mind of all the people gathered at the Council of Elrond? Surely they could foresee the likelihood of his running off by himself with the Ring from his past record? But no, he was still the best for the job.
  To bring attention to yet another hobbit, were it not for Pippin's purloining of the palantir in the fields of Rohan, Sauron's attention would not have wavered at the crucial moment. Yet again hobbitish inclinations toward theft saved the day. But was it only hobbits who possessed this vice-like virtue? Not at all.
  The Ring's eventual destruction was the result of a long string of theft - Isildur's initial cutting of the finger of Sauron and subsequent claiming of the Ring for his own; Sméagol's robbery and murder of his cousin Déagol; Bilbo's theft, as mentioned earlier; Gandalf's ... well, it wasn't theft, but it was certainly coercion at Bilbo's birthday party; Sam's well-intentioned apparent "grave" theft; and at last Gollum's assault upon Frodo in the Cracks of Doom. Interestingly, the only two keepers of the Ring who did not obtain it by stealing it were its two most famous bearers; Sauron and Frodo. That isn't to say that Sauron didn't try. He did. He was simply not as adept at it as the "good guys". You see? Not only were thieves essential to the story, but the dark forces were worse at it! If there were a course on "How to be a hero in Middle-earth" course it would have to include theft in the curriculum, directly between purity of heart and how to eat nothing, comfortably.
  Was it only in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit? Oh no! How about the stealing of the Silmarils? That was a high and honourable act, now, wasn't it? Time after time Tolkien lauds the work of the thief. Keep your eye out, and soon you may begin to notice a pattern, a list too long to give in a single article!
  Please note that the writer of this article takes no responsibility for the wave of notorious acts which may soon occur among Ringers. And if any one of you tries to steal our precious, we'll force feed you sushi, yess.

Saruman the Secret Smoker
By Xara.

  Of all the weird and wonderful places in the world, of all the high halls and dark caverns of Middle Earth, the storage rooms of Isengard would surely be one of the less likely places to find two barrels of pipe-weed, and Longbottom Leaf at that! Sure, you'd look in Isengard before you looked in the stomach of the Watcher in the Water, but it's still amazing that they found any there at all! So what on Middle Earth was Longbottom Leaf doing in Isengard? With the help of The Unfinished Tales by J.R.R. Tolkien, I have been able to delve into the history of Saruman's smoking addiction!
  It all began when Saruman started to go rotten inside. He had been jealous of Gandalf from the first as he knew Gandalf was the wiser and more powerful of the two. And he watched carefully all that Gandalf said and did. And so when Gandalf discovered the wonders of pipe-weed and the halflings, Saruman, seeking always to disrepute Gandalf, scorned him for his smoking habit. However, in secret, Saruman visited the Shire himself and came across some of this pipe-weed, and he tried it. Soon Saruman began to smoke regularly, and his spies were always in and out of the Shire gathering it for him, when he could not go himself.
  Though Saruman came and went in the Shire in secret, he could not for long escape the sharp eyes of the hobbits, and some mistook him for Gandalf. And so Saruman stopped visiting, not wanting to be recognised. After openly mocking Gandalf for his hobbit habits, his pride could not stand the thought that his own smoking habits should be discovered, and his mockeries turned against him. But Gandalf soon became aware of Saruman's visits to the Shire and his gathering of pipe-weed, but he kept the information to himself, not wishing to see Saruman embarrassed.
  However, because of his new smoking habit, Saruman had gathered much knowledge of the Shire which, though at the time he deemed it useless, would become to him incredibly useful in his efforts to possess the Ring, and later to lead to his domination of the Shire, though it turned to his undoing. In fact, had it not been for his interest in Gandalf's affairs, and his addiction to pipe-weed, Saruman would never have taken any interest in the Shire. There would have been no Battle of Bywater, no nasty men taking over and bossing hobbits around. No Sharky. Strange how such innocent habits can lead to such connections and events in history.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Reviewed by Perian.

  There is, my dear readers, a definite disadvantage to not contributing to the newsletter; that being that you have to read only the editors' biases in every issue. However, as we quite enjoy flaunting our own opinions, I present you with another review on a book which I highly recommend. 
  The Picture of Dorian Gray could, by our modern definitions, be deemed a fantasy novel. A beautiful and innocent young man's tarnishable soul is transferred to a portrait painted by a friend at the instant his innocence is lost. While the young man keeps his youth and appearance of beauty unspoilt by a corrupt nature, his painted image begins to age and decay (rather like what happens to those who bear the Ring, come to think of it). Dorian hides the painting away, delighting in his secret but not wishing anyone to discover it. I am not going to tell you all that happens... you have to read it for yourself!
  Filled with witticisms and thought-provoking passages, many of which later made it into "Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young" ("If one tells the truth one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out," etc.), Dorian Gray is a delightfully wicked tale of beauty and vice.

This Fortnight: If the Light Should Ever Fade
Part Six
By Cerridwen.

  "Who are you?" Elrohir demanded as Meluiwen and Ciryawen held their captive firmly by the arms.
  "I am Thurin. I am the pride of Talath's army. I was sent to find the enchantress, but I instead wish to take you to the Queen." Thurin said hurriedly as he saw Legolas, Elladan and Eiliandel come into view beside Aragorn and Elrohir.
  "Unhand him. Tell me of my wife!" Aragorn ordered. Meluiwen and Ciryawen left go , but remained prepared to defend Aragorn should Thurin's offer be nothing but a bluff.
  "Haradion has her, in the stronghold. I can show you where it is." Thurin informed Aragorn as he dusted off his shirt. Elladan and Elrohir leaned forward, hoping to hear of their sister. Legolas looked to Aragorn, who nodded.
  "Thurin, we would appreciate it if you would take us to her." Aragorn said politely.
  Thurin nodded, "Yes, my king," he turned to look at all of the others, "I am afraid you have me at a disadvantage, for I do not know your names."
  Aragorn waved his hand, "We will introduce as we ride." Thurin nodded, accepting the king's orders as they all mounted their horses and began to ride. "I believe you must know Legolas," Aragorn said as Thurin rode up next to him.
  Thurin nodded, "I had heard of you, m'lord, but never met."
  Legolas gave a nod, unsure of this man. "Next to him, is Eiliandel." Aragorn continued.
  Thurin's eyes widened, "My master has spoken of you!" he exclaimed, adding "But not very highly, I am afraid," he looked down.
  Eiliandel gave a hard smile, seemingly pleased with herself. "That is Elrohir and Elladan along with Meluiwen and Ciryawen." Aragorn pointed to the four.
  "Pleasure to meet you, m'ladies and lords." Thurin offered.
  "It is a pleasure to meet you as well. Please do not bother yourself with titles, it becomes a bore." Elrohir said, causing a smile to appear on Thurin's face. These elves would treat him with respect even if he was a mere servant compared to them.
  "As you wish, Elrohir." Thurin replied earning himself a look of approval from the elves.
  "Where are we headed Thurin?" Ciryawen asked, looking into the dense fog.
  "To the stronghold, it is in the direction of Mordor........" he trailed off.
  "Ciryawen." she supplied. Thurin nodded thankfully. Eiliandel, Ciryawen and Meluiwen all resembled each other, there were differences, but the fog blended them, making them harder to tell apart.

* * *

Arwen slowly opened her eyes, very carefully lifting her head. The room was pitch black, making it hard for her to determine when she was, but she was grateful for no light - she had a feeling it would have make her head ache worse. She had no idea how long she'd been laying there, but it must have been long as her body was stiff. 'Just get to the bed.' Arwen ordered herself, wishing to get off the floor. She very carefully got to her hands and knees, breathing deeply as her head spun. Waiting until the feeling of dizziness passed, she got to her feet. She stumbled towards the general direction of the bed, thanking the Valar as her shin smacked the bedpost. Carefully lying down she sighed in relief. At least she was off the floor, she thought as she drifted off.


Aragorn yawned and opened his eyes. They had rode through the night, taking turns sleeping and watching. Legolas and Eiliandel were sharing a horse, with Legolas sleeping and Eiliandel guiding the horse and watching for wolf attacks, Eiliandel's horse following loyally. Elladan and Ciryawen were doing the same as was Elrohir and Meluiwen. Aragorn had ridden alone, but had managed to sleep as he trusted Eiliandel to help his horse keep up. Thurin had ridden half awake-half asleep. He was worried about the elf that he'd left. It had been two days since he'd left after Haradion had ordered him to. Two days since he'd left the beautiful queen alone. Two days since Haradion had been so angry with her. Two days in which he had no idea if she had survived Haradion's wrath. He could only hope that he was bringing Aragorn to save his wife, not witness her fate. Shaking his head he turned back to see one of the elvish women looking him curiously. The blonde elf riding with her was asleep, and she pulled her horse closer.
  "A question, Thurin, if I may?" Eiliandel's low voice was gentle.
  Thurin nodded, "Of course." He waited for her question.
  "Is Talath behind this?" she asked. Thurin looked at her curiously. "Did Talath order her abduction?" she rephrased her inquiry.
  Thurin shook his head, "Haradion ordered her taking. Talath has other plans."
  She looked at him curiously, "And just what were his plans?"
  Thurin shook his head, "That I do not know, I am sorry." Thurin turned one of the others called quietly.
  "Eiliandel! Mani naa tanya nat'?" They turned to see Ciryawen pointing ahead, a faint reddish glow visible on the horizon.
  "That is the stronghold," Thurin answered, "We will reach it within a day."
  Legolas, who had woken up with Ciryawen's question, no matter how quiet it had been, looked at him, "A day? How far is this stronghold from the City?" he asked. They had not travelled that far, yet, no one knew that this had existed.
  "Three day's travel straight from Gondor's gates. Four if you ride slow." Thurin answered. Legolas quickly filed in the information away in his head. Once Arwen was safe, he'd gather an army to take out the stronghold.


Haradion glared at the elf. She had woken once in the past two days. He knew it had to be at least once because she'd moved herself to the bed, and no one had been here to do that for her. "Why won't you tell me?" Haradion asked her, even though he knew he'd get no reply, "You could spare yourself this pain, elf." Still, no movement from the queen's form. Sighing Haradion left the room, she was proving less useful than he'd originally thought. He'd thought that she would be still so weak that she would give in instantly, telling him the location of the pendant and stone, in order to get back to her family. He'd clearly underestimated her. He hoped he'd gauged her husband right and that the man was now sending a messenger with his pendant and stone and asking for the queen back. Haradion had no intention of releasing her. Once he had what he wanted from King Elessar, he would dispense of the messenger and demand more for the release of the queen. He was sure he could control them.

* * *

Arwen's eyes shot open as Haradion shut her door. Waiting until his footsteps were no longer within earshot, Arwen eased out of bed. He'd underestimated her all right. She had woken only an hour after she'd gone to sleep after moving herself to the bed, already healing as she'd explored her room more thoroughly. She had instantly gone to the window lock. Haradion had thought that she had spent her time staring out the window, when in reality, she'd been studying the lock, almost positive she could pick it. Casting a wary look at the door, Arwen began to carefully pick the lock using one of the few hairpins she had with her. Her long black hair hung loose as it had for the past days, concealing the pins which had only been meant to hold her hair away from her face during her sleep. Now those pins were providing her with a way out. Easing the pin into the lock she began to maneuver it, trying to open it.


  "We should leave the horses here." Thurin said. Aragorn looked at him, "Haradion's guards know only one horse left, they will not allow anymore through the gates." he explained. All dismounted, landing silently on the rocky ground.
  "Who says we're going through the gate?" Legolas heard Eiliandel mutter as she began walking forwards. Legolas laughed to himself, that was Eiliandel and her infamous attitude. He wondered what her father, Lord Palin, would have thought of his only daughter climbing over fences into fortresses of evil. Somehow he was convinced that Palin would not have been too pleased.
  He looked to Meluiwen and Ciryawen, who were whispering back and forth, obviously mixing in mental speech as well, evidently up to their usual antics as well. He knew both were excellent sword fighters and that their skill with the bow was as good as his.


  Cursing to herself, Arwen dropped the badly bent hairpin and switched to another. The flimsy pins were not strong enough for the lock, bending as she applied even the slightest pressure. Sighing, she wished that Eiliandel were there. She would never wish for Eiliandel to be abducted as she had, but the enchantress could definitely have removed the bars and lock over the window.
  Arwen began to fiddle with the lock again, when she heard the door handle being pushed. Yanking the hairpin out of the window, she darted to the bed, lying down just as the door opened. Haradion peered in, a growled to himself, "You have to wake up sometime!" he came over and pulled her up by her shoulders. Arwen simply let herself hang, her head lolling back and to the side as he pulled her upright. Haradion let go, letting her drop back to the bed. Disgusted with his own inability to get what he wanted, he left, cursing a streak as he went. The door shut and Arwen was back on her feet, scurrying to the window. He may have held her captive, but it was she who was controlling the show now. She laughed to herself, she had cried at first, fearing him, but now she realized that he was merely a feeble old man, having been around the same time as Eiliandel's mother had lived. Arwen knew that Haradion was the man that had killed Istawen, but she did not know if he was still as powerful as he had been when he had fought and defeated the elvish enchantress several centuries ago. She knew it was the dark magic that kept him alive. Dark magic and the fact that he was part elvish. Most did not know, but Haradion had very weak elvish blood running through his veins, diluted by that of the race of men, yet enough to give him longer than other men to live. She went back to patiently picking the lock.

Random Fandom.
Xara: You are entertaining a visiting dwarf from the Blue Mountains and, to break the awkward silences that keep arising, make an inappropriate joke about his mother. You realize too late that this was less than wise, and your only option now is to escape, but how? 
Frodo's Friend: I did the only thing that was left for me to do. I blamed an orc. "The Orc! The Orc made me say it!" Mr. Dwarf swung his axe, cracking my table, "What orc!?!" he roared. This was a good question. "Uhh, well, the thing is, he left... yes, yes, he left, and he said something about going to your mother's house to steal her treasure!" The only thing dwarves hate more than jokes about their mother is to hear that an orc is stealing from them. So with a roar, he charged out the door. A few days later I received a letter from the dwarf to say that his mother and her treasure was safe, and that the orc had obviously been scared off by Mr. Dwarf's presence. He also sent me compensation for my table.
Xara: You have misplaced your best waistcoat which, as it happens, had your favourite ring in it's pocket. You need the ring back, but no amount of looking will reveal the coat! But suddenly, you come up with a plan, a way of finding it! What is it? 
Frodo's Friend: I hired a Ringwraith...After the fiasco at Mount Doom, folks in Mordor had limited options for jobs. A few started doing honest (well, sort of) work. It was in their newsletter "Orc and Goblin are Frendz" that I found my answer: MISSING YOUR PRECIOUS? HIRE A RINGWRAITH! Since I was at my wits end, I decided to give it a try and got fantastic results! The wraith found my coat and ring within a week of me sending out the request. Apparently my gardener had borrowed it for a date with his girlfriend and had quite forgotten to give it back. The fee was quite reasonable, considering he had travelled all the way from Mordor. I recommend his services to anyone else in the same predicament!
Xara: A young Took has spent the past two days locked in your pantry. How did he get there? 
Frodo's Friend: Well first off, it was my second pantry that he was locked in. You see, I have two pantries. In the first one I keep all my favourite hobbity treats -- the best cheeses and teas and ales... and I keep the second one stocked with all the food that I don't mind sharing with company.
On one particular night I was having some ale with some close hobbit friends. The younger hobbits (and there were quite a few) were entertaining themselves by playing hide and go seek throughout my humble hobbit hole. I had just made a trip to the second pantry for a bit more cheese. As I was closing the door the young Took darted in thinking it would be a good hiding place. I didn't notice him, for I already had drained a few pints!
So it ended up that I didn't take anymore trips to the pantry that night, and we  were all a little too tipsy to do a proper head count of the young ones, so the mischievous little Took was stuck in my pantry until two days after, when I was expecting a visit from a VERY grumpy dwarf from the Blue Mountains.  Needless to say, the Took had gotten into everything and would have been quite comfortable if I hadn't found him for another week!

Ask Samwise.

  Dear Samwise,
  Do you have a dirty-minded alter-ego who's been answering some of your letters over the past few weeks?
  Dear Anon,
  That you shall never know! MUAHAHA- I mean, o' course not, Mr. Anon, sir!


WANTED: Email. Any topic you like, my inbox looks bare and empty! Take pity on a poor suffering, email addict. My address is hobbitsinskirts@gmail.com. Thankye!

NOTICE: The slogans you sent in were good, don't get me wrong, but we still don't have the perfect one. Keep sending them, peoples. I've decided that there is no deadline.
DONATIONS NEEDED: For the 'Send Legolas to Alcoholics Anonymous Fund'. We guarantee that all your generous donations will go directly towards sending Legolas to AA, right after I've bought myself a nice new laptop computer with mobile internet access and a DVD player. Send donations to xara229@hotmail.com. Thank you very much!

WANTED: Something to distract penguins - they've taken over and driven out the squirrels.

WANTED: The name of whoever contributed that last classified. It was lost in a late-night e-mail inbox purge. If you wrote that, please e-mail me at Perian@HotPOP.com so I can properly credit you in the Contribution Contest. Speaking of which, also...

WANTED: Contributions to the i Nili Newsletter! Our primary staff have had a string of bad luck and schoolwork (which are often synonymous) and have been unable to contribute. This means two things: We need contributors and if you do contribute regularly, there's a good chance you pass our regular staff up in the contest before it's over! Again, the address is Perian@HotPOP.com or you can go to http://inili.iwarp.com


Descriptive Elements, Part XIV. (Key: q.= Quenya, s. = Sindarin, where known.)
tal, dal: (noun) foot, end. Celebrindal, Ramdal.
tar- (s.), tara (q.): (adjective) high, lofty. Tar-Atanamir, Tar-Calion, Tar-Ciryatan, Tar-Elendil, Tar-Minastir, Tar-Minyatur, Tar-Miriel, Tar-Palantir, Annatar.
thol: (noun) helm. Dor Cuarthol, Gorthol.
thoron (s.), soron (q.): eagle. Thorondor, Cirith Thoronach, Soronume.

  Dear Editor,
  Hehe! You know I can't say that I agree with you about the right-handed people automatically turning right you know. The last time I was lost I made two random turns left, not that it helped much. Paddy! I can't imagine anything more frightening than a room that looks like Shelob's Lair, but I liked your idea of a themed room. My room's a little themed too actually, I have a stack of CD racks stacked in the shape of Edoras complete with a golden Meduseld on top I made myself in wood-work class several years ago ;) Great article. My only complaint is that there weren't more of them, but circumstances I know prevented some people. Looking forward to the next issue!
  Dear Xara,
  You should know well enough by now that our newsletter is comprised partially of supposition and partially of sheer and wonderful nonsense! (Don't tell the readers, or the far more studious co-editor, aka you, for that matter.) And how do we know you're not left-handed? Where's the proof? Eh? Nae, just kidding. As for the rest, well, I'll leave it to writer Padfoot to reply, save to say that I'm as looking forward to this issue you are now finishing reading as you are!
  Hi! My name is Roxanne and I would like to reply to the article called "LotR Style Rooms" by Padfoot from the last newsletter. After seeing LotR a million times and reading it as much, I painted the walls of my room dark green to make it look like a forest, I painted the edges of my window and the door gold, I bought a big, golden chandelier and put on the wall a golden mirror. I also bought a green comforter and it's all very pretty. It's not much but I feel closer to the story and the "earthy" way they lived.
   P.S. I love your newsletter. Keep them coming! Thanks.

  Ooh, that's awesome, Roxanne! My mother won't let me paint my walls so I have to stick with cardboard cutouts and string.
  Dear Roxanne,
  WOOT! *Dances.* A happy subscriber! Please, do pass the word of the newsletter on to anyone you think might like it! *Dances off into the next issue.* See you next fortnight!