i Nili o i Ardanolë Newsletter:

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


Issue 62, Volume 3, 1 October, 2005.

Editors: Perian, Xara. 
Chief Correspondent: Prongs.
Columnists: Lady Morrigan Shadow, Padfoot, Cerridwen.
Staff Writers: Angel, Evenstar, Fan, Smi Gol.
Archivist: Ivy.
Contributor(s): Quentin.

In this issue:
A Few Very Brief Notices from Perian.
In Peter Jackson's Defence by Xara.
Éomer's Atonement by Perian.

In every issue:
Fanfiction: This Fortnight: Recollections: A Conspiracy Unmasked by Perian.
Ask Samwise.

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

  A Few Very Brief Notices. 
  I would like you all to welcome, at long last, Smi, Fan, Evenstar and Angel, the newest members of the i Nili staff.
  Also, upon the advice of more or less the entire staff, at least all those who responded to the question put forth to them, the i Nili Newsletter will henceforth be a monthly publication. This, of course, has nothing to do with slackness of the editor or a drop in contributions. We're merely keeping up with the current speed of time, if you follow me. 

In Peter Jackson's Defence
By Xara.

  It was long ago when legend first reached me of a movie version of Lord of the Rings made previous to Peter Jackson's. A cartoon version, I was told, made in the 70's, by someone called Ralph Bakshir, absolutely monstrous in every sense of the word, they told me. So I avoided it. But gradually my curiosity grew, until, yesterday, I decided to see exactly how monstrous this movie was and rented it out. Well! I could write an entire article about the faults of this movie! The fact that Aragorn wears a tunic which looks like a miniskirt, the constant fact and pronunciation mistakes (Arooman I ask you? Did the makers of this film simply miss the 'S' at the beginning of Saruman's name every single time they read the book?), the fact that Sam looks and acts like a complete and utter...well fool is the only word to describe it! But no, that's not what this article is about, because there is one thing that I did notice in this movie, on which I have even more comments to make.
  It followed the books really very closely. In fact the only two drastic partings from the book that I noticed were the cutting out of the Tom Bombadil scenes (understandable in my opinion but that's a whole new article to itself) and the replacement of Glorfindel with Legolas (I nearly laughed my pants off in that scene). Yes, Ralph Bakshir's "Lord of the Rings" followed the books very, very closely and...it was terrible.
  It didn't work at all. Every single scene either raced by leaving you wondering what the hell had happened, or dragged on endlessly. I feel sure that if I hadn't read the books I wouldn't have had a clue what was happening. The simple fact of the matter is, Tolkien's books are fantastic (as I have said many times), but translated directly into film...it doesn't work!
  Why? Because book and film are two entirely different mediums. What works brilliantly in a book is a total disaster on film. In a book you have plenty of time for everything, complex ideas can be explained, a battle can take place in one chapter and the aftermath in four. On a film many complex ideas go straight over the audience's head. There's no time for everything. A battle could take forty minutes of screen-time and the aftermath five. I once met a Lord of the Rings fan who said, "Wouldn't it be brilliant if someone translated all of Lord of the Rings word for word onto film." Well, thought I, it would be brilliant if we could be somehow magically transported to Middle Earth and watch the entire thing happen exactly as Tolkien described it, but on film, actually it would be pretty lousy.
  Peter Jackson has been criticised by many a fan for departing too much from the books, and believe me, I do sympathise with them. I was horrified when Faramir took Frodo and Sam captive, devastated when Frodo did his great, "Go home!" tantrum. But, I have to admit, even with these scenes of horror, I have to admit I can see where Pete was coming from too. It does work better that way on screen. So, I apologise to any purists to whom this article is blasphemy and sacrilegious, I'm afraid I'm siding with Peter. You did the right thing, Pete.

Éomer's Atonement
By Perian.
  It is safe to say that nearly everyone has had an embarrassing moment in his or her life which he or she still has not fully recovered from. But few people call the High King of Gondor names, yell aggressively at him, and accuse him of bad taste in companions in the space of a single conversation.
  Think about it. How would you feel if you found out the lad you just told to bugger off back to his own country and take his vulgar-description-here friends with him was, say, Prince William? Or better yet, someone who comes straight out of legend, like a returned King Arthur?
  Feel the blush as people point and comment, 'Yes, that's the one. You know, the one who called Lancelot an arrogant prick and told the King to shove off. It's a good thing he knows a witless fool when he sees one and was lenient, eh?'
  Oh the shame. It would be nearly impossible to live down. It is precisely this which Eomer, captain of the Mark and later a king of Rohan, had to live with.
  That's right. He more or less said that Aragorn and company looked like orcs, treated their fighting ability with doubt, called Aragorn strange about a dozen times, accused them of sourcery while in the same breath insulting Lady Galadriel (Aragorn's future grandmother-in-law), threatened to kill Gimli - or rather said that such an act, though tempting, was quite literally beneath him - decried them as haughty, told them to leave, and made several almost racist slurs against elves before learning his guests' names.
  Oho, how his tune changed then! From arrogant king's nephew confronting three grubby interlopers, he became the one in the wrong, and he knew it. His words and actions after that stop just short of groveling sycophancy. Strange Strider becomes an instant 'lord', Éomer lends them a pair of horses (bear in mind that to the Rohirrim horses are as dear as children; how readily do people generally lend out their children?), and breaks the law of the land - yes, risks his own imprisonment! - to let them go free.
  Éomer learned his lesson. Readers everywhere flash the chapter a quick smile and move on. But this was a matter Éomer could not so easily let go of. As a matter of fact, it plagued him for many years to come, if not his entire lifetime. How do we know? Well, beyond the most obvious event, when he begged Gimli's forgiveness while at the same time proclaiming that not only the most beautiful woman in Middle-earth, but the second most also, were elves (and not just any elves at that, but Galadriel as well as Aragorn's betrothéd, Arwen), there is a tell-tale sign that Éomer was still atoning for his mistake and wanted to be sure that it never happened to him or any noble of the Riddermark again.
  He named his first born son Elfwinë. Elf-friend.
  Thus ended a tradition of kings' heirs whose names meant king, and began a new era free from distrust and natural prejudice toward elves from the men of Rohan, as well as one of unusually close alliance between Rohan and Gondor. Perhaps embarrassment isn't such a bad thing.

(Perhaps a bit circumspect, but there is an album promotion in there if you look hard enough. Enjoy! -Ed.) 

It's a Ringer's World
By Quentin.

  The 22nd September it seems, is a day of ringish coincidences. Frodo and Bilbo, two ring-bearers and extraordinary hobbits amongst a population of very ordinary half-lings were both born on it. 22nd September also happens to be the release date of a little-known Australian folk band "The Fellowship of the Strings"'s debut album. 22nd September is the day I bought this little-known debut album and met the lead singer who is also, incidentally, an elven goddess. 22nd September is the date I graduated from high school with another little-known co-editor of an international Lord of the Rings online newsletter. 22nd September is the date various people who also happened to graduate from the same class engaged in various hobbitish activities involving Butterbur's finest ale and copious amounts of pipe-weed. 22nd September is the date when certain Secret Diariyish fancies were disclosed. Who says it isn't a Ringer's world?

This Fortnight: Recollections
Chapter Six: A Conspiracy Unmasked
By Perian.

  "Frodo, have you seen Perian's journal?" Xara called. She was shuffling through a mass of papers and books on the tables, desks, and lamp-stands of the Bag End den. Brushing her hair out of her eyes, she made her way to the bookshelf and began to run a finger over the spines of the books, searching. Not one seemed to be what she was looking for. Frodo entered with a plate of steaming cookies in hand, an amused look upon his face.
  "Reading Perian's diaries, my dear Xara?" he asked. " Tsk, you really are turning into a mother. Care for a cookie?"
  "I haven't read any of her journals for years," Xara replied, affronted by the accusation. "In fact, it's that one I'm looking for. I want to give it to her. You remember the one. That massive volume which prompted us to go to Valinor. Mmm, thank you."
  "Oh, that," said Frodo, smiling with the memory of the journey. "Yes, I know where it is." He led her out and into the study. Once there he moved a stack of books and a pot of dehydrated tea off an antique cedar chest. He lifted the lid and began ruffling through the contents. Xara drew a small phial from where it sat amid his folded wedding clothes. The label was wrinkled and faded, peeling off at the edges, but nonetheless she recognized it.
  "Pippin's entwash phial?" she asked, grinning.
  "Erm, a memento," he replied.
  "Lying to me again, Frodo?"
  "I'm afraid so. There were a few drops left, but I'm not sure whether to use it. It would be nice to be able to reach the kitchen cupboards. Aha, here it is," Frodo drew from the chest a cloth-wrapped book. He handed it to Xara and took the moment while she was unwrapping it to shift around the chest's contents to cover his three small bottles of stay-on, waterproof mascara before she noticed them. He turned back when he heard a sniff. Xara was running her fingers over the cover, a glaze of memories misting her eyes. Frodo caught up her hand. "She's alive," he reminded her gently, "and as much Perian, deep inside, as I am Frodo. I know you're afraid to grow close to her for fear of it happening again, but she lives and more than in your memory. Oh, and she told me to thank you a few days ago."
  Xara looked up. "For what?"
  Frodo shrugged and smiled. "Just as the original, she's enigmatic." Swept up by his voice, his gaze, Xara leaned forward and kissed him, lightly but lingeringly. She let go of his hand and picked up the journal as they drifted apart. "And I'll second the sentiment," he breathed, smiling.
  "You're welcome," Xara said, helping the dazed hobbit up. "Now, do you have any idea where Perian might be?"
  "They're in the storage room, she and Matti and Ishlad, but I wouldn't suggest trying to get in there until they're finished with whatever mischief they're doing," he added in warning. "Merry tried to peek in through the keyhole and he's still trying to scrub off the ink Matti blew out at him. They're not opening the door otherwise, either."
  "Oh, I see. I'll give it to her later, then. I have enough to keep me occupied for quite some time, taking revenge on Editor Willis for that slanderous article."
  "What are you planning?" Frodo asked with a twinkle in his eye. Of course, his eyes always twinkled, but this was a flickering, mischievous twinkle, not a beautifully morose, watery twinkle.
  "As if I could tell you!" Xara replied, swirling away, her skirts swishing softly as she strode out through the door. Frodo turned back to the chest. He considered the phial, then slowly set it down in a nestle of white linen which had covered the journal. He set the bundle back in the chest amidst his own journals, a collection of tapes he had purloined from Xara's audio archive, several photo albums filled with giddy humans and a few hobbits pulling plasticine poses (not actually filled with them... i Nili would never fit between the covers of the small books), a dragon's hoard of rings made of everything from paper maché to platinum (he had owned one of carven ice, but it was inconspicuously missing), his All Hallows Eve costume (Xara had insisted he dress as Rose Cotton, complete with wig... It had been a fantastic success, particularly with Sam, whom Frodo had to slap away more than once), and then there was the mascara and-
  It was gone. Someone had been pilfering his belongings. He ran to the door of the storage room and wrenched the knob around. They had been careful not to install locks. Even so it wouldn't open. They, and They being a They with a capital T audible even in his mind, had used an armchair to block it again. "Matthia Máire Brandybuck!" he shouted.
  "I didn't do it!" she called.
  "Why do I not believe that?" he murmured to the companionably silent wooden door.
  Ishlad watched his hair fall into the wastebasket with a pained expression. A nervous one replaced it as he once again felt the cold point of the scissors against the back of his neck. "A-are ye sure this is necessary?" he asked, swallowing down his fear of Perian with anything sharp, particularly around the throat area.
  "'Course it is," said Matti, grabbing his quaking chin and turning it toward her. "We tried for two hours to get a comb through it. You can't be a proper hobbit with dredgelocks. Or without eyeliner. Now hold still or I might accidentally jab this point in your eye." She waved the pencil in front of his face, showing off a point so razor-sharp that he decided to thank any number of deities if he had any lashes left afterward.
  "Matthia," said Perian, glancing over their tray of hobbit-making implements, "did you fetch a glass of water as I asked?"
  Shrugging, Matti replied, "Didn't have a chance. The others were snooping about when I tried to leave the room. Why? Thirsty?"
  Perian shook her head and searched through the room for something which might pass as water. She checked the saucers beneath the potted plants, murmuring disgruntlement upon finding them dry. Literally. She said "disgruntlement". At that moment, however, she found a solution. Grinning, she dipped a comb into a large earthen mug. The rich aroma of coffee rose from Ishlad's hair as she wrapped it around the papers and tied them. Meanwhile, Matti had finished her most dangerous task with only two pokes to his eye, and was now using one of Perian's paintbrushes to apply liberal, lefty, bleeding-heart amounts of blush. "You're sure we can't talk you into one of Mum's skirts?"
  Though it could have been the result of bloody spots on the whites of his eyes, Matti was taken aback by the demonic red glow which greeted her question, set it afire, and watched with satisfaction as the question frantically leaped into the pools of Matti's eyes. Matti sighed with the relief of one who has averted a natural disaster, though it was she who set the field aflame in the first place. Figuratively speaking, of course. Not too figuratively, though, as it wouldn't be appropriate to speak of Matti's figure until a later date. When she has one, for example. She rocked back onto her heels and surveyed their work so far.
  "You're looking more like... er, something other than yourself already!" she said, a bizarre quirk of her eyebrow betraying her reassuring smile. Ishlad dove for the cloak they had covered the vanity mirror with. Matti slapped his hand back. "Not until we have the papers out of your hair, or you'll be suffering from trauma-induced disorders for the rest of my life."
  "The rest of your...?"
  "I do expect to know you that long." Her pearly white teeth flashed in a smile. Ishlad was suddenly reminded of something he had been told when he was younger. When extra-terrestrials had attempted to contact Earth in 2332 they had been so frightened by the barring of teeth which greeted them they had gathered up the cows, snails, and cabbages (all of which seemed docile and endangered by comparison) and fled at the speed of light.
  "Matthia!" Perian cried from the far end of the room.
  "I didn't do it!" Matti protested automatically.
  "Oh. Ishlad!"
  "Neither did I. It must have been you this time, Perian. What are you accusing us of?"
  "Finding my diary and removing it from its hiding place," said Perian, gesturing to a magazine stand. "It's gone."
  "Oho, is that where you keep it?" Matti asked eagerly. "Here, I'll help you look."
  "Yes, it is, and thank you very much," said Perian, innocently oblivious to Matti's ulterior (and not even very ulterior at that) motives. Something in the back of Perian's muddled mind twitched in warning, tickling the nerves at the base of her skull and causing her to sneeze and silently giggle. Something's not ri-
  A shrug very reminiscent of her mother's moved Matti's shoulders, pulling Perian's attention from the warning. "What are friends for?" the child asked.
  Unnaturally blue eyes with specks of lilac (her predecessor had requested this alteration in her death note - some suspected that this tweaking caused a few shortings of mental circuits; a tater-chip thin slice of bone wasn't much to separate the two abnormalities) watered, and Perian impulsively hugged Matti. "I've missed you."
  Matti patted her head. "You're nutters. Come on, let's see what we can do with his feet."
  After what Matti termed the "lock-period", the time in which it would be unwise to break free from a hug lest the hugger become offended - That's one thing trees never have to worry about, she thought - she wriggled away and turned back to Ishlad.
  "What aboot m' feet?" he asked, not at all sure he was still in favour of this entire transformation procedure. It reminded him of days he was desperately trying to forget. A season as a mall Santa Clause in order to raise the money for a ticket out of America was among them. Trying to convince the sugar-ODed children that yes, people in the North Pole really did have such funny accents, no matter what he had sounded like last year, and that no, Santa didn't wear spectacles any longer as this was the modern age and if he was allowed to wear plastic buttons he could most certainly wear contacts, and what the h- happy Christmas, pardon me Mrs., do my freckles have tae do with anything, ye scallawag? Ishlad shuddered, very thankful that soft drinks had been outlawed for anyone under the age of eighteen. "Ye're no' doing anything with my feet, Matti, and that's final," he said with sudden vehemence.
  Matti set down the piece of hair-clad tape she was carrying with a pout. The vanity was suddenly in possession of a mustache, and stared at it with crossed eyes when Matti's back was turned. Would have, that is, if it had eyes.
  "I think you're ready, then," said Matti after fluffing a large wad of cotton across either cheek to even out her application of artifical humiliation. "Perian, help me take out the papers. I can't reach the top of his head."
  "I'll do it," said Perian. "Once the chair wedging the door is removed, it would be beneficial to all concerned for you and the eye-emboldening cosmetics to be returning to where the latter belongs via the external porthole network."
  Matti tilted her head to the side and pondered this. "So, you want me to slip out the window and put the eyeliner back where I found it?"
  "In twenty-one syllables or less, yes," replied Perian.
  Matti glanced from one to the other of her companions, then let out a rolling laugh at the absurdity of her notions. "I've been around Mum and Dad too long," she said to herself and the World in General. The General agreed. "Ta!" Matthia called, and slid backward through the window, a black stick clutched tightly in her hand.
  "Toodleoo," Perian called softly in response. She turned back to the task at hand, nimbly pulling away the crackling papers. She stepped before him when they were all out, her eyes widening. "Oh dear," she said weakly. "Ringlets? Here, allow me to muss them. They look a bit too ... er, perfect."
  Ishlad winced. "Like Matti's? Whatever ye do, don't put ribbons in them, please. Or clips. Or bows."
  Perian giggled maniacally at the mental image his words provoked. "That's one picture I'm keeping to myself, fear not," she said, reaching out a hand. It stopped short of Ishlad's head and recoiled. "Um, tousle those up, if you would," she said. After he had done as she asked, she pressed a coffee-saturated cloth against his mouth. "Don't breath," she whispered.
  "Do I hae a choith?" he inquired through the rag.
  Perian whipped a can of fixative out of her pocket and removed the lid with an ominous pop. "Close your eyes," she added, spraying a layer of liquid gunk that would assure not only that his curls would stay in place for some time but also that the dirt still in them would become firmly affixed and that each coated lock would not fade with UV exposure. Coughing and gagging they both ran into the kitchen, leaving a toxic cloud and a startled Frodo behind. Merry dropped a piece of toast as they entered, his mouth falling open. "I would like to introduce you to the newest member of your species," said Perian in a gleeful trill before slipping out of the kitchen with Merry's toast in hand. It did belong to the inhabitants of Bag End after all, though Merry never seemed to grasp that when it came to others' food, ale, pipeweed, matches, coats or love-letters. "What did they do to you?" she heard him say in a tone of mixed startlement and approval. Success. Perian hummed happily, nearly walking into Xara as the latter hurried toward her, a large volume clutched in her arms.
  "Peri-o," she said in a rush, "I've been looking for you. I want you to have this. The ... I mean, you, gave it to me when you died. It's your journal. Everything for over five years is in here - the making of the hobbits, an article you wrote when you sailed to Valinor-"
  "I went to Valinor?" breathed the awe-struck clone. "You mean, I've died - and - gone to heaven?" Her fingers twitched as she reached out for the manuscript. Xara held it out for her, but as she did Perian pressed it gently back toward her. "No," she said, though still eyeing the book longingly. "I've already had one journal of mine stolen by me of late. I would not want this one to meet the same fate."
  Xara gave her a puzzled look. "But... it's yours."
  Backing away, Perian shook her head firmly. "I gave it to you. Keep it for a little longer. That is all I ask."
  "You're sure you don't want-"
  "You cannot give me this," whispered Perian, fear seeping into her words. "Keep it secret. Keep it safe. Put it somewhere out of sight, please."
  With that Perian spun on her heel and fled, leaving a confused Xara standing in the hall. Xara shook her head. "Will I ever be able to understand you, Peri-o?"

  To supplement the article above, it might be helpful to note that wine (pronounced win-ay, almost an appropriately Rohirric whinny, but certainly not as a bottle of fermented grape juice) is Old English for friend, and Éomer in Anglo-Saxon is 'horse lord'.



Previous IssueNext Issue