Haldir Shops for Helm's Deep
by Lithilien Quicksilver
The Scene: Exterior shot of one of the better
mallorn neighborhoods of Lothlórien. By the entrance of an understated flet,
an elegant gilt-edged sign swings gently in the breeze, its mithril letters
glittering. They read:
The Elf Wearhouse: Everything for the Well-Dressed Elf, from Battle to Ballannor
[As the scene opens, we see Haldir gracefully
ascending the stair to the entrance of the flet/store/thang. Let's follow
him inside, shall we?]
A delightful tinkling of unseen bells announces
Haldir's entrance. The Shopkeeper appears and approaches Haldir, arms outspread.
SHOPKEEPER: Ah, mae govannen, Haldir! It has
been too long since you graced my poor establishment with your mithril mastercard!
HALDIR: (stepping back guardedly) You aren't going to hug me, are you? I can't abide being mauled.
SHOPKEEPER: (redirects his arms to sweep the store's merchandise)
Oh, no, of course not! I merely intended to direct your gaze to the marvelous
New Line we are carrying this season! I would not dream of insulting your regal haughtiness with a hug!
SHOPKEEPER: Now, in what way may I be of service to you this evening?
HALDIR: I need some new armor. Elrond and Galadriel
have decided to send a contingent of my archers to aid The World of Men at
some utterly forsaken place called "Helm's Deep", if you can imagine that!
SHOPKEEPER: Indeed? And here I thought they had decided "the time of the Elves is over".
HALDIR: Yes, so did I...confidentially, I think
they had some outside influence. I overheard Galadriel mention someone named
"Peter" to Celeborn just before she telepathed Elrond. None of his business,
if you ask me...I don't think he's even an Elf. [Haldir sniffs disdainfully.] Anyway, if I must go, I shall go in style! What do you have new this season?
SHOPKEEPER: Well, what did you have in mind? We have this lovely leather number...[indicates armor on rack]
HALDIR: Ah, no, no! Too retro! That looks just like what I wore to the Last Alliance. [mutters to self] Tho I suppose we whould start calling it the Next-to-the-Last Alliance now. [raises his eyes and looks sharply at the Shopkeeper] What have you got in mithril? And mind now, I'm not paying an arm and a leg for it!
SHOPKEEPER: Oh, such good timing you have! We
have a terrific sale on mithril armor just now! Buy the armor, choose a
cloak from selected stock for free! [walks to rack in back of store, beckoning Haldir to follow] How about this? [sweeps a suit of armor off rank, angles it into the light so the mithril shines]
HALDIR: Ahhhh!!!!!! Now that's more like it! I love the feather motif! And, as I expect this to be an evening event (we are fighting orcs, you know), the mithril should catch the torchlight in a most remarkable way! Let me try it on!
[The Shopkeeper assists Haldir in donning the
armor, then directs him to a wall mirror (tho how they keep that basin from
spilling when it's hung on the wall I'll never know!) to inspect his reflection.]
SHOPKEEPER: Oh that's you!
HALDIR: [turning this way and that] I do look rather dashing, don't I?
SHOPKEEPER: Indeed you do! Now what else will you be needing? Boots? Helmet?
HALDIR: Oh, boots, absolutely! Some nice understated mithril ones, I should think. (Author's note: Sorry, guys, I just had to throw that in there, you know! hehe) But no helmet...I can't abide my hair getting mussed. Besides, helmets always give me a headache.
SHOPKEEPER: I sooo understand! Nothing worse
than helmet hair! Now how about the cloak? You can select anything from
this rack. [indicates the "Buy armor, get cloak free" selection]
HALDIR: [looking through the selection with a disdainful curl to his lip] No.....no.....not that one....no....ugh!....Don't you have anything that says "Head Elf on the Prowl"? These are awful!
SHOPKEEPER: Well, sir, I was holding this
for your brother Rúmil, but since he hasn't come back for it in over an age,
I suppose it would be alright to let you have it. [retrieves a covered hanger from a rack behind the counter and slowly unveils a glorious crimson cloak. Haldir gasps.]
HALDIR: It's beautiful! Now that's a cloak with which one can make an entrance!
SHOPKEEPER: And it's a one of a kind creation! Try it on! [holds out cloak to Haldir]
HALDIR: [taking cloak and twirling it to watch the flow of the fabric as it settles round his shoulders] Oh, yes! I like it! I like it! [narrows an appraising eye at his reflection and purses his lips] You don't think it's too gaudy, do you?
SHOPKEEPER: No indeed, sir! It makes the outfit!
HALDIR: [nodding and smiling in a very self-satisfied manner at his reflection] Yes....I must agree. It's to die for! I'll take it!