i Nili o i Ardanolë Newsletter:

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


Issue 55, Volume 3, 11 June 2005.

Editors: Perian, Xara. 
Chief Correspondent: Prongs.
Columnists: Lady Morrigan Shadow, Padfoot, Cerridwen.
Archivist: Ivy.
Contributor(s): Frodo's Friend.

In this issue:
Images by Xara.
Who Did Legolas Love? by Frodo's Friend.
Right of Passage by Perian.
Middle-Earthian Etiquette - Part I by Some Random Gondorian.

In every issue:
Fanfiction: This Fortnight: Ringbinder: Of Legolas and the Forest by Xara.

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


By Xara.

   My first experience of Tolkien...well that's not quite right...of Lord of the Rings, was at the age of eleven, when my dad (yes, he was still reading me bed-time stories then, though I seldom admit it) read me the entire trilogy, or, if not the entire thing, the first two books. The third he cheated on and borrowed an audio recording of it from the library ;) Why am I telling you this? Because this initial reading was highly ineffective. I completely failed to remember most of the details of the story, Saruman being completely and utterly erased from my memory, and Merry being mistaken for a girl (an easy mistake to make when it's read aloud to you, Mary being a far more common name than Merry). Two years later, as the release of the movies approached, I, becoming aware of the incredible gaps in my memory, began frantically re-reading, by myself this time, and what I found was this...
   I discovered that not just most, but almost all of the books were completely missing from my memory, apart from a few very, I would go so far as to say incredibly, strong mental images. I remembered the Mirror of Galadriel, the scene preserved perfectly in my mind, and my fright as Frodo began to be pulled down towards the eye of Sauron, and Galadriel crying, urgently in my mind, "Do not touch the water!" I remember Aragorn on the plains of Rohan bending down and examining a discarded helmet with the emblem of the white hand upon it (transplanted, I now know, from a previous scene) and looking ahead of him at the endless tracks of uruk-hai feet. And I remember Gandalf, in what seems to have become a combination of the battle of Weathertop and Helm's Deep, emitting great flashes of light from his staff, surrounded by thunder atop a small castle/battlement, driving off several dark figures which encircled him, and surrounded by the confusion of battle.
   I can't tell you why I remembered these three scenes and not the others, and I certainly am yet to fathom why Weatherop and the Helm's Deep, separated by considerable amounts of time and space, became combined in my confused head, but I think it is interesting nonetheless, and I would like to put out a call to all readers, I say, write in, and tell us what your first, or most enduring, images are from Lord of the Rings, be it from the books or the movies. Your letters can be sent to either myself (hobbitsinskirts@gmail.com) or our Editor-in-Chief Perian (Perian@HotPOP.com), to be published in the next issue. Good luck!


Who Did Legolas Love?
By Frodo’s Friend.

  J.R.R Tolkien is an excellent story teller with the greatest attention to detail. However, one particular subject in which he includes almost no detail at all is love! If you read the Lord of the Rings series before watching the movies you might agree with me that it was only until Aragorn thwarts Eowyn’s advances that it really occurs "Oh, yeah, he must like that elf lady Arwen that was briefly mentioned in the first book." Unless of course you read the appendixes first… but I digress! My point is, even though the movies were able to amply show how much Aragorn and Arwen loved each other, J.R.R. Tolkien was not exactly forthcoming with matters of the heart.
  Mayhaps the readers are thinking "Why is she talking about Arwen? I wanted to hear about Legolas! (riot ensues)" Forgive my introduction, I am used to writing papers where it is necessary to stretch out the intro as long as possible so that I don’t actually have to write about my topic. So I will now move on. As we all know, Legolas is a well loved character. However, his part in the book is not as dazzling as the movies made him. Why? Why is he so silent, so brave, yet so obscure! My answer is this – if Tolkien had been more interested in fleshing out the love stories Legolas would have a much bigger part. Legolas was lovesick through the entire epic adventure! It was only his joining of the Fellowship that made his presence inevitable throughout the stories.
  But who did Legolas love? I am prepared to convince you all that Legolas was deeply in love… with Aragorn! I have plenty examples to prove this. Tolkien obviously had some trouble choosing the right wording to show this, which is why we must rely completely on Peter Jackson’s creative interpretation of Tolkien’s books, and Legolas’s part in them (also because I am lazy. I remember the movies better than the book, and it is much quicker to review them than it is to read all three books again).
  I will start at the beginning. Fellowship of the Ring: The council of Elrond. The first time we see Aragorn and Legolas interact is when Legolas jumps up to defend Aragorn. Aragorn is obviously embarrassed at the outburst and tells Legolas to back down. And when Aragorn agrees to go with Frodo to Mount Doom who is the first to follow? Legolas. For being so quiet most the time, you think he could be more subtle. On top of his direct interactions with Aragorn, Legolas is always showing off in battle. He is obviously trying to impress someone. Whenever Aragorn is in immediate danger, who saves the day? Legolas.
  The Two Towers is where Legolas’s feelings really show. In the warg battle Aragorn supposedly falls to his death, which visibly devastates Legolas. If King Theoden hadn’t been there, he would have surely leapt off the cliff after Aragorn. Anyone would be sad if their friend/leader fell in battle, but this scene was not even in the books. It was obviously added to the movie to show how devoted Legolas was. When Aragorn returns, we see Legolas giving him Arwen’s necklace. Or does he? We are lead to believe that this was Arwen’s necklace that Aragorn lost, but I propose a new idea. At that moment, Legolas gave Aragorn his own necklace! Not Arwen’s! If you watch the scene again you will see what I mean. Even Eowyn has enough sense to not interrupt such a romantic moment!
  In The Return of the King we see another romantic scene. Right before Pippin looks into the palantir, Aragorn and Legolas have a clandestine meeting under the stars. I think it becomes clear at this point that Aragorn has resigned himself to the fact that Arwen has left for the grey havens. Legolas just so happens to be the next prettiest in line. And Legolas of course has been trying his best to show off – the perfect hair, the cool fight moves… really, what’s not to like? Unfortunately for Legolas fate takes an unexpected turn. Watch the scene where Aragorn is crowned. You will see him descend from the throne and walk through the crowd. He first makes eye contact with Legolas and is surely about to proclaim his love when lo and behold! There appears Arwen! Aragorn immediately rushes past Legolas and into her arms. All of Legolas’s dreams are shot down at that very moment, and he has no other choice but to spend the rest of his life sailing the seas with Gimli.
  So the question remains…Legolas: A loyal friend? Or an elf suffering from an unrequited love? Though I would like to back this up with solid evidence, I am afraid I have absolutely none whatsoever. There is rumor that Legolas kept a diary which would completely clear up the whole matter. I have not yet created…er…I mean…discovered these documents, but will surely share once I produce…er… come across a copy. For the time being, I recommend you kick back for another Lord of the Rings marathon. Once you have reviewed the scenes that I have called to attention I am sure you will agree that actions speak louder than words.


Right of Passage
By Perian.
  The following dramatisation is based on actual internal dialogue.
  "How come Frodo got to go on the ship? He's not an elf!"
  "It's quite simple, really. Even though Arwen gave the evenstar pendant to Aragorn in the movie, and the oaf ... pardon, king-to-be ... went and shattered it, in the books she actually gave it to Frodo. It was her passage onto the ships, you see, and as the ships take the elves to the Undying lands, it was also a symbol of her immortality. In giving it to Frodo she not only allowed him passage aboard the ships, but also stated her devotion to Aragorn by giving up her only way out of the relationship. Giving it to Aragorn would have been rather like giving a fiance you're tired of a one-way ticket to Hawaii and telling him 'I love you, but I can't stand to be around you anymore. Why don't you go on a long holiday and leave me in peace? There will be a condo waiting for you when you get there. Have a nice immortal life. Bye!'"
   A pause for breath and to goat about spouting trivial logic to any potential moviegoer is allowed in the mental processes. The triumphant grin gives way with alarming speed to,
   "Then why did Bilbo get to go? No one gave a necklace to him."
   "As a Ringbearer, he was accorded a special place on that ship. You'll notice that most of the other passengers were Ringbearers as well. There were Elrond and Galadriel and Gandalf, who each possessed one of the Three. Gandalf wasn't an elf, either, as you will have noticed by the facial hair. If you read The Hobbit you will find indication when they first go to Rivendell that elves don't grow facial hair; their laughing at the dwarves' beards, namely. Where was I? Oh, right. So Gandalf was a maiar - just call him a wizard if that's too much to remember, as all the wizards were maiar. Yet he and Bilbo were granted passage because they had, or still did in Gandalf's case, possessed Rings of Power. Even Sam was allowed to go to the Undying Lands after Rose Cotton-Gamgee died, for those few hours in Mordor when Frodo was thought to be dead and he took the One from him."
   "So they were all allowed to go because they were Ringbearers?"
   "In so few words, yes. That's the idea."
   "So why did Frodo have to have the evenstar? Isn't it rather redundant to be given that when he was already a Ringbearer and had his right of passage that way?"
   "I ... well, yes, but ... I mean ... that is to say ..."
   "Couldn't Arwen have given it to someone else? I mean, in the movie her son's wearing it. Wouldn't it have made more sense to give it to him?"
   "Maybe, but in the movie it broke. They could use an extra continuity editor."
   "But theoretically, shouldn't have been saved for him?"
   " ... Sibling rivalry?"
   "I think that Frodo needed it because he wouldn't have been allowed onboard otherwise, because he wasn't a proper Ringbearer. Because he failed."
   "Oh, don't look so smug."
Middle-Earthian Etiquette - Part I
By Some Random Gondorian.
  Many are the times I, a simple man of Gondor who has strangely outlasted my time, has heard folk just like you long to live in my time, somewhere in Middle-earth. Frankly, this makes my colleagues and I dubious. How long would you last amid angstful balrogs, trigger-happy elves, and little men who would be happy to relieve your tired legs of their burden with wood-splitting tools? We have a tourism and trade industry to keep up just like everyone else, however, so I shall give you a few basics on Middle-earth etiquette in case you do accidentally find your way here.
  Balrogs: As mentioned, these fellows are temperamental. Have a bit of sympathy. If you were stuck in the caves of Moria for so long with nothing to eat but orcs and the occasional troll you would be, too.
  -On first meeting: Let's hop you don't have to meet one. If, however, you are forced by fate or the foolish actions of genetic anomaly to do so, may this be of assistance ...
  -What to say: As little as possible before running. A few magic words may put him in a bad mood, but knowing them is worth the risk. When all else fails 'Hot in here, isn't it?' will safely fill an uncomfortable silence.
  -What not to say: 'Great! I haven't been to a marshmallow roast since I was a kid!' Also avoid 'yo' vala' jokes.
  -In case diplomacy fails: Bring a staff, elvish blade, and a fire-extinguisher.
  Barrow-wights: They aren't as scary as they look. All right, they are. Scarier.
  -On first meeting: Do not fall asleep to their poetry. It's tempting, as that poetry is older than they are, but don't do it.
  -What to say: 'Thank you for the invitation, but I'm expected in Bree.'
  -What not to say: A refrain of 'It's Not Easy Being Green' might not be as good an idea as it appears.
  -If he takes you into his home despite all your efforts: Hide his swords and agree to play dress up, but only if he agrees to listen to your own poetry (or rather your friend Tom's) for a change.
  Beornings: These chaps make very good allies, and the dining is superb. A visit to their neck of the Mirkwoods is highly recommended. Poachers should look for hospitality elsewhere.
  -What to say: Capture interest with a tale. Heroic animals are a plus. So is length. Take a copy of the Redwall series or Watership down and start reading aloud when you're a league or two off.
  -What not to say: Much else.'
  -Above all do not: Offer gifts of bearskin rugs, easy frozen roast dinners, or trendy leather gear. Think of the lecturing vegetarian member of Greenpeace who yelled at a friend of yours for wearing whale-product based cosmetics? This is the Middle-earth equivalent.
  -If all else fails: Sorry, can't help you there. No one has lived to tell how to escape a Beorning's wrath.
  Breelanders: These may seem a simple, rustic, and otherwise harmless folk. They are.
  -What to say: 'Tell me about yourself.' Breelanders are only too happy to do so.
  -What not to say: 'Tell me about yourself.' As a matter of fact, Breelanders are far too happy to do so.
  -Do not!: Disappear when you're supposed to be entertaining. It's surpassing rude, particularly when it sobers the comfortably drunk.
  -Still can't get on their good  side?: Pretend to be a moody, dangerous ranger. They're used to those sorts, and will leave you more or less alone.
  Corsairs: The corsair ilk hail primarily from the port of Umbar. Though not widespread inland, you may encounter them from time to time. On riverways, like as not. If somewhere else ... that's odd now, isn't it? Completely unexpected. It is not my fault.
  -On first meeting: Unless you have a host of deceased companions at your back, hiding behind a rock is a good idea.
  -What to say: It has been suggested that 'Arr' and 'Har-har!' are sufficiently neutral to get on their good side.
  -But be careful not to: Mix up your arrs and har-hars. Very important.
  -If that did not work: I hope you know how to swim.
To Be Continued...

The Tawny Man Trilogy by Robin Hobb
Reviewed by Perian.

  Rarely do I come across a writer whose work does not seem unworthy to sport the name of Tolkien which critics have a habit of tacking on to any fantasy book which is published. Robin Hobb, however, is a master. Her fantasies are akin to Tolkien's in that her characters are wonderfully realistic, her plots escape the genre's usual clichés, and yet her work holds true to the nature of fantasy.
  Where she differs most strongly is in writing style. Whereas Tolkien's works (at least The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings) are almost epic-historical in proportion and tone, The Farseer and Tawny Man Trilogies are, though almost equal in scale and definitely at least triple the page count, of a more personal nature. Tawny Man, like its predecessor, is told as a first-person narration, by a character so believable that it's difficult not to become incredibly attached, even if he is a more than a little bit flawed individual. And the one whose life it follows is a character destined, I believe, to become an icon of fantasy literature in much the same way as have Merlin, Gollum and Harry, though it may take longer to do it.
  I must warn you, be sure you have some extra time on your hands before you plunge into these. Yours truly ignored exam study for their sake, they're that good. No one who has read them has been disappointed yet.
  And once you have read them, take a peek at John Howe's illustrations of the books at www.john-howe.com. How do you think I discovered them? Nothing but the best for our esteemed Tolkien concept artist to illustrate. Enjoy.

This Fortnight: 

Of Legolas and the Forest
By Xara.

One folder to rule them all
One folder to bind them
One folder to bring them all
And in the darkness bind them
  In the deep vaults of Minas Tirith, a thousand years after the War of the Ring a series of scrolls were discovered. They contained tales set around about the time of the War of the Ring, and carbon dating has revealed they were in fact written shortly afterwards. However the most mysterious thing of all about these stories was that they were all found together, bound, in a ring-binder folder.
  Here follows the tale:
Of Legolas and the Forest
  Legolas ran and the forest followed. Legolas stopped. Legolas turned. The trees stood still and whistled innocently. It did not occur to Legolas that trees could not whistle, so he shrugged his shoulders and continued to skip lightly along his merry way. The subsequent cacophony was very similar to the noise made by a large herd of trees which is attempting to skip. In fact, I'd go further, I'd say it was exactly the same.
   Legolas, rather alarmed by the noise that was going on behind him, turned again. The trees suddenly began to have animated discussions with one another, pretending not to have noticed that Legolas was there. It did not occur to him that trees could not have animated discussions, so he turned and began to hopscotch his way along. Several trees, tangled by their own roots came crashing down, missing Legolas by inches. More, unable to stop quickly enough, tripped and piled on top, creating a wall into which the trees behind them hopscotched painfully.
   Legolas watched in horror as the entire forest proceeded to collapse in upon itself, all manner of birdlife rising with many an affronted squawk, most of them, fortunately, having the presence of mind to take several ground-dwelling organisms of the forest with them, and thus diverting complete environmental catastrophe.
   "LEGOLAS!" Legolas turned as an infuriated voice, accompanied by loud stomping feet, approached from behind. It was Thranduil, his father. Legolas shrivelled. "What in Eru's name have you been doing!?!" Shouted Thranduil, looking around at the vast destruction of Mirkwood which stretched to all corners of the horizon.
   "I was just skipping in the woods, father," said Legolas quietly, looking at his feet.
   "Skipping in the woods?" said Thranduil, "Oh, he was skipping in the woods," he explained to the world in general, laughing, "How many times have I told you not to skip in the woods!?!" He turned back to Legolas, his anger returning three-fold.
   "Two thousand seven hundred and sixty two," said Legolas in a small voice.
   "I'd make that two thousand seven hundred and sixty three but clearly, my words have made no impact on you!" said Thranduil.
   "I'm sorry," whispered Legolas, visibly shrinking into his boots.
   "You're sorry!?! YOU'RE SORRY!?! Well I should bloody well hope so! Do you have any idea how long this is going to take to clean up!?! Two hundred years at the very least, and that's if those damned orcs and Eru knows what else down at Dol Guldur don't decide to give us any trouble, which they will!" Thranduil threw up his hands, looking around at the carnage in despair. "You're too cute!" he said, turning back to Legolas, "Too cute for your own good, that's what!"
   "I don't mean to be..."
   "Oh yes you do!" Thranduil interrupted. "Don't tell me you spend five hours a day on hair care alone and don't mean to be cute!" Thranduil paused and considered. "Yes," he said finally, "Yes, that's it! I know what to do with you, young rascal!"
   Legolas looked up suddenly, eyes wide as he began to guess his father's plans. "Father," he said, "No!"
   "It's too late now, my boy. I think the hot pokers should do it..."
   "No! No!!! Not the hot pokers!" cried Legolas, "Please! Don't! Don't bespoil my handsome features!"
   "Should have thought about that before you went skipping in the woods!" said Thranduil, "I'll have all that blonde hair cut off too..."
   "NO!!!" screamed Legolas, clutching at his hair, "Not the hair! Anything but the hair!!!" Tears of fear and devastation began to stream down his face. Thranduil let out a high demonic cackle, grabbed Legolas and began to lead him, screaming, away to be disfigured. He would never inspire a forest to follow him in girlish delight again.

NOTICE: Just a reminder that though the last contest has finished, there is strong possibility that we will have another for this year. In case of this, I am starting with this issue in recording contributions, so you have a chance once again. Send any contributions you wish to make to the newsletter to Perian@HotPOP.com

Of Names, Part V. (Key: q.= Quenya, s. = Sindarin, where known.)
illuve: (noun) the whole, the all. Illuvatar.
kano, gon: (q., noun) commander. Fingon, Turgon.
kemen: (q., noun) earth. Kementari.
lok: (q., verb) bend, loop. Uruloki (dragon).

  Dear Editor,
  I must say, the school-theme articles of the last issue offered some great insights into my lack of creativity(idea sucking professors), the strange wishes of wanting to throw myself into the depths of Mount Doom (exam nerves) and my general exhaustion at the amount of homework heaped on my desk. Oh yes, and my fear of flying...er, anyway, good luck to everyone on final exams!
  Frodo's Friend.
  Dear Frodo's Friend,
  Ahh, yes, I understand fully! Am experiencing the Mount Doom trepidation at this moment, as a matter of fact. That lucky fellowship... They only had six months of toil, and the worst thing that could happen to them was to be skewered by an orc or to lose one's mind under the influence of the Ring. They never had to feel the agony of a tedious lecture. 
  By the by, apologies for the delay in publishing your article and letter. Blame it on my own case of school-induced disorderliness. All will appear, I promise you. Thank you for your contributions!




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