Here we go again. Maybe we can have Tolkien pastiches in the style of other authors declared an Olympic indoor sport. James Murray has been so kind as to direct me to a further compendium of them, which I take as a clear indication that it’s time to play Spot the Style.
Down at the bottom you’ll find a series of links to the pastiches as they originally appeared. If you’re stumped but aren’t quite ready to give up, hover over the link number and you’ll get a hint. It’s not guaranteed to be helpful. If you’re posting guesses, you should probably stay away from the hints.1.
In the beginning was the ring. And the ring was with Sauron and the ring was Sauron. The same was in the beginning with Sauron. All things were made dark by the ring, and without it was not anything made dark that was made dark. In it was death, and the death was the darkness of men.2.
Oh, the quest is bigger It’s bigger than you3.
And you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
To destroy this cursed ring!
Oh no, I’ve gone too far,
I put it on.
from III C 2, Whether Balrogs have Wings:4.
I assert that Balrogs do not have wings. For, it is a natural impulse to act to preserve one’s life, and in doing so, to make full use of one’s capabilities. If the Balrog did have wings, it would not allow itself to fall to its death in the mines of Moria, but save itself by the use of its wings. …Reply to Objection ii. Dragons and Balrogs are alike in that they are both servants of evil and of flame, but they differ in their accidental traits. Because two things are alike in one way, it is not proper to argue that they are alike in other ways.
“Woolheaded man!” sniffed Arwen, folding her arms beneath her breasts, then unfolding them again so she could tug on her braid. Aragorn grimaced. If only Legolas were there. Legolas always knew how to talk to girls.5.
There are rings that come with diamonds that are used plight one’s troth, And there’s a ring round planet Saturn – or is it Jupiter? – or possibly both.6.
But whatever ring you have, there’s one type of ring that admits no tomfoolery
And that’s magic jewellery.
For as soon as you put it on, you’re sure to disappear abruptly
And whatever you were doing before, you’ll soon be doing it corruptly … to accept a ring from the likes of Sauron
You’d have to be a mauron.
The sun came up over the ridge like a fried egg on top of a burnt slice of toast. Then the trumpets sounded. Lots of them, as if Sauron had paid for a lifetime supply and wanted to get his money’s worth if the world ended today. The night shift went back to the holes they had crawled out of the night before, and the day shift started to straggle in, lugging their swords, as if they didn’t know which they hated more, Sauron or themselves. “Well, here we are!” said Sam. He liked to tell you things you already knew. I didn’t mind, most of the time, but here in front of the Black Gate of Mordor, I could think of one or two or a hundred more useful topics of conversation. He talked about his father a lot too, and his garden, and he seemed to think that if he ever got back to them, everything would be like it was. I kept quiet about that. It wasn’t my job to tell him that seeing the wide world changes your shape so that you don’t fit in the places you used to. He was a little guy, but I liked him.<7.
It was about eleven o’clock in the morning, mid-March, with the sun not shining and the usual look of hard, cold doom in the foothills. I was wearing an orc’s old suit, brown pants, brown shirt, no shoes, some mail and armor. I was tired, I was frightened, and I was desperate, and I didn’t care who knew it.8.
Once there was a way to get to Mordor Hope there’ll be a way to get back home9.
Sleep Master Frodo, do not cry
And I will watch for Uruk-hai
Frodo, the Deliverator, belongs to an elite order, a Fellowship of nine members only. He’s got esprit up to here. Right now, he is preparing to carry out his only mission that matters. His armor is silver like the light of the full moon, jangling only slightly with its decorative gems. An arrow will bounce off its dwarvenmesh weave like a hammer off an anvil, but excess perspiration wafts through it like the winds over the charred plains of Gorgoroth. All the arrows of all the hunters in the world couldn’t cut it against this one. When they gave him the job, they gave him a sword. The Deliverator never looks for trouble, but some Orc might come after him anyway—-might want his armor, or his cargo. The sword is tiny, aero-styled, lightweight, the kind of sword a Hobbit would carry; it cuts quickly into load-bearing beams without visible effort, and when you get done using it around evil, you have to sheathe it, because it glows in the dark.10.
the ring being Brand -new;and you11.
know consequently a
little big i was
careful of it and(having
thoroughly shined the elvishK.)i went right to it jammed-it-on my finger straight …
script checked my pocket felt of
its chain made sure it was around my neck O.
The door to Bag End deliquesced, and the derelict lurched into the hall.12.
He was an old man. He was a strong man. Must be Gandalf, Frodo thought. Dresses like Gandalf, grey robed, a rope holding up his torn grey pants. And his eyes. (Orcs’ eyes?).
“You , boy. Are you Frodo Baggins?”
Frodo fingered the dirt between his hairy toes. Wanting to say “no” he began a “yes”.
The codger flapped out a hand (a sack of magic-ruined knuckles) and caught a chair. “We were moving out, boy, the lights of Minas Tirith like a puddle of molten mithril on our left, the black of Mordor on our right. We’d turned off the palantir so we were flying blind. Then, centred on the dark, an Eye! It reached out, brighter than the elven-glass of Galadriel, grabbed our attention so we couldn’t look away.”
Frodo got the words ready in his mouth, excuse me, huh? I gotta go.Gandalf coughed, spat red. “The Eye was Sauron’s. He took us this close” - his thumb brushed his forefinger (nail bitten to the quick) - “this close” - to Mount Doom. You can damn him, and damn the One Ring for that, boy, whoever you are!”
You may talk o’ ale and lembas And the nine Fellowship members13.
When you’re sittin’ in the Prancing Pony’s wing
But if it comes to questin’
The story that goes best in
Is of Nine-fingered Frodo and the Ring!
“There was me, that is Gollum, and my two droogs, Precious and Precioussss….”14.
In front of a grassy-mound, in the shire, stood a bearded man, in solomn-coloured garments and a gray steeple-crowned hat stood with his eyes intently fastened on the oaken door, for he was the wizard, Gandalf. The wooden edifice, by a strange chance, had been coloured by way of paint or some other form of dye a shade of green, long after the fall of the gigantic pines and oaks that the hue and sprung up around, whether it being of personal or cultural taste, we shall not take upon us to determine. Finding it so directly on the threshold of our narrative, which is now about to issue from that inauspicious portal, we could hardly do otherwise than to view the object held in by the might of the former foliage. It may serve, let us hope, to symbolise the wild and evils in this world, which hath spring forth from the land from where such a colour exists in abundance; as some moral lesson that may be found along the track, or relieve the darkening close of a tale of hobbit and human frailty and sorrow.15.
Gandalf: What happen? Samwise: Somebody set us up the orc.16.
Pippin: We get signal.
Pippin: Main seeing stone turn on.
Gandalf: It’s you!!
Saron: How are you Fellowship!!
Ever see an elfshot? I saw a wight catch one in Mordor. We rigged his grave with a one way looking glass and charged an orc kin to watch. He never got the arrow out of his arm, they don’t if the shot is right. That’s the way they found him, barrow full of buried treasure, dawn of a new day. The look in his eye when he was hit - it was tasty.17.
When perfect silence was once again restored, one of the two aged elves who sat at the side of the patriarch arose, and demanded aloud, in very intelligible Westron:18.
“Which of my prisoners is La Longue Rapier?”
Boromir, a little at a loss in what manner to proceed, remained silent; but the ranger, who had listened attentively to all that passed, now advanced steadily to the front.“That I did not answer to the call for La Longue Rapier, was not owing either to shame or fear,” he said, “for neither one nor the other is the gift of an honest man. But I do not admit the right of the Uruks to bestow a name on one whose friends have been mindful of his gifts, in this particular; especially as their title is a lie, ‘anduril’ being a broadsword and no rapier. I am the man, however, that got the name of Aragorn from my kin, the compliment of Estel from the Sindarin, who live on their own river; and whom the Orcs have presumed to style ‘The Long Rapier’, without any warranty from him who is most concerned in the matter.”
Isildur was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. He was shot quite full of arrows by a party of orcs and left floating in the river. Sauron willed it. And Sauron’s will was great upon Middle Earth, for anything he chose to put his mind to. Isildur was as dead as a barrow-wight. Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a barrow-wight I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a barrow-wight as the deadest denzien of all the undead hordes. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or Middle-Earth’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Isildur was as dead as a barrow-wight.19.
[FRODO holds his smoking hands in front of him, horrified by the force he has just unwittingly unleashed. He stops at the brink of the Cracks of Doom. At his summons, a machine of unimaginable monstrosity lurches upward from the depths and aims itself at him.]20. The SysAdmin’s view of LOTR.
FRODO: Sooner or later, Sam, I will lose all control, and the evil that will follow staggers the imagination…yet I can see it clearly. I can’t let that happen. I have to purge this power from existence before it consumes the cosmos.
SAM (straining hopelessly to unleash his garden-hothouse-lamp eye beams against the machine): Don’t you do it, Mr. Frodo!
FRODO: I love you, Sam!
[The machine disintegrates FRODO with a bolt of raw energy, colored slightly differently from the one that hit the elven ships to aid our comprehension.]
[The remaining CIRTH-MEN, NAZGUL, ELFJAMMERS, GONDORAN and EASTERLING ARMIES, and SAURON arrive in time to see SAM cradling a pile of ash. They kneel around him, overcome with emotion, in a tableau that will later be enshrined forever in a foil-embossed poster by Byrne and Austin.]
SAM: I love you, Frodo…
[Far away,… ULMO, ruminates.]
ULMO: Humanity! I will never tire of watching them! A blighted race, it’s said…and yet, in the face of certain disaster, they exhibit sacrifice that would shame the Valar themselves! There have always been forces like the Ring, trying to tempt and corrupt them into betraying their true destiny…but in the face of love and courage, those attempts are doomed to defeat! All admirable ploys — but they’ve failed!![Stay tuned until next month, when the CIRTH-MEN will do a lot of crying and looking at sunsets and being attacked by GRIMA THE WENDIGO on their way home. Excelsior!]