LOTR Mary-Sue Litmus Test - G-rated version

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Read through this one before you ask to have your Mary Sue included in the stories section.

You may also enjoy the "Which Mary-Sue are You?" quiz located here.

Adapted from "Gil Shalos' BIIIIG List Of LOTR
Fanfic Cliches And Mary Sue-Doms"

The following is archived with the author's permission.
You may visit his website for more, though the G rating will not apply.

The author includes thanks to: Jungle Kitty, Lori, and J Winter for some pertinent suggestions and additions.

There is no scoring system for this list, but as a general rule, the more "yes" answers you give, the more strongly you are advised to reconsider your character and/or plot.

1. Is her name YOUR name?
2. Your nickname?
3. Your net name?
4. A really cool name?
5. That you wish you had?
6. That you've tried to get other people to call you?

7. Is her name an Elvish derivation of your name? (I think mine would be something like Gilolias Shaleborn. Err, perhaps not.)

8. Is your character's name a noun not usually used as a name?
9. Did you spend more than a day thinking up the perfect name for your character?
10. Did you not need to spend any time thinking up the perfect name for your character because all your characters have the same name?
11. And it's yours?

12. Is the character's name an unusual spelling of a more common name or word?
13. Or a female with a male-sounding name?
14. Or a name the character chose for him or herself, because s/he "didn't want to forget"?
15. Is the character's name in the title of the story?

16. Is the character the same gender as you?
17. Is the character the same race as you?
18. If not, is this because the character is a hobbit or an elf?
19. Although s/he didn't know s/he was until mysteriously transported to Middle-Earth?
20. If the character is a hobbit, does s/he have unusually dainty and hair free feet?
21. Does this lead to a nagging toenail fungus problem?
(If the answer to question 21 is Yes, you are excused the rest of the test. Go forth and write).

22. Is your character a combination of two different races?
23. Are they

a) Human and Elf?  
b) Hobbit and Elf?
c) Dwarf and Elf??

24. Does your character have the strong points of both races?
25. And the weak points of neither?

26. Is the character really, really young?
27. Is the character older than the Firstborn, or just as old?
28. Is the character in the same age as you?
29. Or is the character at the age you would like to be?

30. Is your character a teenager or in her early twenties?
31. If no, does your character look like she's a teenager or in her early twenties?
32. For no good reason?
33. For a good reason?
34. That you plan on making a plot point later?

(If the good reason is because s/he's found a brand of moisturiser that actually performs as advertised, please let me know what it is).

35. Is your character beautiful?
36. Extremely beautiful?
37. More beautiful even than Luthien Tinuviel?
38. Who was so beautiful that the whole world went into mourning when she died?

39. Does your character have grey or violet eyes?
40. Does your character have long hair?
41. Of an unusual colour?
42. That you describe at length?
43. More than once?
44. In the first page?

45. Is your character from Earth?
46. Mysteriously transported to Middle Earth?
47. Mysteriously transported to New Zealand?
48. For no reason other than magical door that appears out of nowhere?
49. Through a wish?
50. Through a dream?
51. Has the character already read LOTR from the first book to the last?
52. So she/he can predict everything that's going to happen?
53. Or does she/he suddenly become amnesiac upon arriving in Middle-Earth?
54. So all s/he gets is a nagging feeling of dread right when a bit of precognition would come in handy?
55. And then a lot of angst afterward because s/he "should have known"?

56. Is the character related to any of the Middle-Earth's residents?
57. To an Elf?
58. To a hobbit?

59. Does your character have a spitfire personality?

60. Is your character:

a) Aragorn's younger and rebellious sister?
b) Arwen's younger and rebellious sister?
c) Legolas' younger and rebellious sister?
d) Boromir's younger and rebellious sister?
e) Galadrial's younger and rebellious sister.
f) Elrond's younger and rebellious sister
g) Eomer's younger and rebellious sis-- oh, wait, that's Eowyn.

61. Or royalty of any type?
62. That she/he does not originally know about?

63. Is your character Gandalf's daughter?
64. Adopted?
65. Because she's really Aragorn's sister?
66. And the true heir to the throne?
67. But she sacrifices herself and dies tragically so he can become King?

68. Was the character adopted by someone other than Gandalf or did he/she otherwise live with people who were not his/her parents as a child?

69. Does your character have a secret past?
70. Is it tortured?
71. Is Aragorn in it?
72. Is Legolas?
73. Is Boromir?

74. Does your character suffer from guilt about something terrible that s/he did in the past?
75. Do the other characters eventually convince her/him that it was not his/her fault?

76. Do any of the following typos appear in your work?

a) Aragorn Mortenstern
b) Orlando Greenleaf
c) Elijah Baggins

77. Does your character frequently lift the company's spirits with her beautiful singing?
78. Of 20th Century pop tunes?
79. Made popular by Celine Dion? Enya? Loreena McKinnitt? Sarah MacLachlan?
80. Anyone who's ever performed at Lilith Fair?

81. Does everyone in the Fellowship admires/approves of your character?
82. Even Aragorn?
83. Even Gandalf?
84. Even Gimli?

85. Does everyone end up liking the character?
86. Even though she keeps showing them up and correcting them all the time?

87. Is your character the bearer of a hitherto unknown "extra" ring? (You know, "Three for the Elven Kings under the Sky, Seven for the Dwarf Lords in their Halls of Stone, Nine for Mortal Men Doomed to Die, One for the Dark Lord on his Dark Throne, and one left over for Willow Foxblade, half-elven princess of Gondor with ankle-length auburn hair and a spitfire personality"?).

88. Do animals that are usually untamed, such as Shadowfax, like and obey your character?
89. Does your character have a horse?
90. Even though nobody else in the Fellowship does? (It's the Nine Walkers, geddit?)
91. Is it a white horse?
92. That she can talk to?
93. Does it talk back?
94. Only to her?
95. Telepathically?
96. Does she also have a pair of ferrets, an eagle, and a Bengal tiger who follow her around defending her? (If the answer to question 95 is yes, please send me a copy of your story)

97. Does your character fall in love with your favourite canon character?
98. Does your favourite canon character fall in love with your character?
99. Do they end up devoted and deeply in love?

100. Is Aragorn in love with your character?
101. Is Legolas in love with your character?
102. Is Boromir in love with your character?
103. Are Aragorn, Legolas, and Boromir all in love with your character?

If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, please lay down your pen and turn in your test, unless:

104. Your character is in love with Gimli.

105. Does your character have have intimate, loving moments with

a) Aragorn?
b) Legolas?
c) Frodo?
d) Boromir?
e) Gandalf?
f) All of the above?
g) Sequentially?
h) Simultaneously?
(If anyone answered "yes" to "f," please send me a copy of the story)

106. Are their moments together tender and moving?
107. Do they cry?
108. Did you cry?

109. Is your character so good, beautiful and persuasive that s/he can persuade otherwise evil (or misguided) canon characters to change their ways?
110. Does she convince Denethor not to set fire to himself?
111. Does she convince Boromir not to try and take the Ring from Frodo?
112. Does she convince Saruman not to collaborate with Sauron?
113. Does she convince Sauron that world-domination isn't all it's cracked up to be?

114. Do any of Tolkien's other characters act outrageously out-of-character when they're around your original character?
115. Because their love for him/her overwhelms their common sense?
116. Even though they're trying to deny that love to themselves?
117. Thus making them unusually testy around him/her?
118. And it never occurs to anyone they might have a few other reasons to be testy? (Dark Lord of unimaginable power, end of the world, Ring of Doom, Ringwraiths, Orcs, etc?)

119. Can your character shoot better than Legolas?
120. Wield an axe better than Gimli?
121. Do better magic than Gandalf?
122. Take on Aragorn and Boromir simultaneously and beat them at swordplay with one hand tied behind his/her back?
123. Is the character able to hack through a horde of orcs and emerge unscathed?
124. Is the character able to whack Saruman or (gasps) Sauron without breaking a sweat? (That's an analogy. If she/he breaks a sweat or two, this still counts.)
125. Does the character sense/know when there're orcs/Black Rider/etc. nearby for no reason?

126. Is your character the only female of her culture to be trained in fighting?
127. Because she's just so incredibly talented?
128. That Aragorn trained her himself?
129. Until she surpassed him?

130. Does your character have any magical powers not supported in the Tolkien-verse? (Telekinesis, telepathy, transforming into animals, etc.)

131. Does she just "know" things?
132. By "sensing" them?
133. At critical plot points?
(Note: the above three questions do not apply if your character is Galadriel)

134. Do you really like your character?
135. And think everybody else should like her too?
136. And get really defensive when anyone suggests she's a Mary Sue?
137. So defensive that you can't resist making a personal attack on the reviewer?
138. And suggesting that the only reason s/he doesn't like your story is because you're adored by all and s/he isn't?
139. And it doesn't seem strange to you that you count your character's adoration by Legolas/Aragorn/Boromir as you being adored?

140. Do you ever pretend, just to yourself, that you are the character, with the same strengths and abilities?
141. Do you ever pretend to other people that you are the character, with the same strengths and abilities?
142. If the answer to question 141 is "yes," is it your medication time yet?

143. Can your character:

a) Resist the pull of the One Ring?
b) Handle the Ring without any ill-effects, i.e. invisibility?
c) Remind everyone being tempted by the Ring of their duty with just a sorrowful look?
If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, lay down your pen and turn in your tests, unless:
d) Your character is a Ringwraith.

144. Does Boromir die in your fanfic?
145. And stay dead?
146. Really?

147. Is your character able to restore anyone to life by weeping over them?
148. Is it Boromir?
149. Does he sit up and say: "Quiet down, that crying will wake the dead and... Oh." (If yes, please send me a copy of the story.)

150. Does your character save Frodo from

a) the Watcher in the Pool
b) the Ringwraiths
c) single-handedly?

151. Does your character figure out the code to enter Moria?
152. Before anyone else?
153. Because s/he used to know the bouncer and slips him a fifty? (If yes, please send me a copy of the story.)

154. Does your character have rather more changes of clothes than can be justified for someone on a 100-mile trek across the wilderness equipped only with what sh/e can carry?
155. Because s/he uses the Vac N Pac (As Seen On TV!)? (If yes, please send me a copy of the story)

156. Does your character speak Elvish in your story?

a) To Aragorn?
b) To Legolas?
c) To Boromir?
157. Even though Boromir doesn't speak elvish?
158. But he can understand your character because s/he cast a spell of tongues on Boromir?
159. That even Gandalf can't cast, because only those in her bloodline can cast it?

If elvish is spoken in your story:

160. Do YOU speak elvish?

161. If the answer to question 160 is "no," is the elvish in your story:

a) A quote from Tolkien
b) A quote from the movie
c) Via an autotranslator site
d) Some really cool sounds you made up out of your head?

162. If the answer to question 160 is "yes," have you considered getting out more?

163. Does your character die in your fanfic?
164. Really?
165. And stay dead?
166. Even in the sequel?

167. Does she have an identical sister or mysterious lookalike?
168. Who you plan on writing a story about?

169. Are any of the canon characters wounded in your story?
170. Seriously?
171. And nursed back to health?
172. By your character?

173. Is your character wounded in your story?
174. And nursed back to health?
175. By Legolas?
176. By Aragorn?
177. By both?

178. Do any of the canon characters fight over your character's attentions?
179. Is it Aragorn , Boromir and Legolas?

180. Does the character save the day and/or another character's life?
181. Through magical/mystical intervention?
182. Through powers involved with the Ring?
183. Through divine intervention?
184. Through almost dying?
185. Through dying?
186. Does everyone go into mourning?
187. The whole of Middle Earth?
188. More than they mourned Tinuviel?
189. Does a beautiful flower miraculous bloom at you character's gravesite?
190. Only once a year on the anniversary of her/his death?