The Skateboards of Middle Earth
Scouring the toyshops for the new Toybiz figures I struck gold with
Merry in Rohan armour and Faramir in Gondor armour. Then I noticed
another figure; 'Skateboarding Legolas'
I studied this with interest. Long ages we argued over the differences
between the book(s) and the films, but what about the difference
between the films and the toybiz figures? for this skateboarding
Legolas had WHEELS on his skateboard.
Now I saw the film about 26 times so I know Legolas used a wheel-less
skateboard, more a kind of surfboard, utilising the rain for
lubrication. If the figures refer neither to the film nor to the book,
in what twilight zone do we wander?
But then I remembered that somewhere in the Appendices it definitely
mentions skateboards. They were banned all over Middle Earth, as they
are banned all over Ireland, and Legolas was sort of hanging with the
guys by using one, even in the middle of a battle.
Skateboards, in fact, abound in all parts of Middle Earth. There is
even a legend that Bilbo did not disappear at the birthday party, just
stepped back onto a young hobbit's skateboard and was instantly borne
away down the road out of the Shire. Gandalf implored him to leave it
along with the Ring, but Bilbo could not be parted from his skateboard
so took it to Rivendell, where it at once took off and became such a
craze among the Elves that rules were made to stop the fad spreading.
If you look closely during the Council of Elrond, you can just see
Elrond's silver and blue mithril-engraved skateboard half hidden behind
him as he tries to hurry up the meeting so he can practice his wheelies
and spins. Under that long shimmering robe he is wearing baggy jeans
with chains. When he and Gandalf are in serious debate over the future
of the Ring, through the window you can just see a cheeky young Elf
skating past on the roof. And when Frodo runs to greet Bilbo you can
just see in the shrubbery behind them a sign;
'No skateboarding, by order of the board'
quite ineffectual, as are all such notices.
But the skateboarding craze in Middle Earth peaked when it reached
Minas Tirith. Not only were the curved steel shields of the Citadel
Guard perfect for skateboarding, but you could zoom down the streets,
do side wheelies on the kerbs, shoot through the gates and actually
skate down the whole seven levels. Or shoot off into the void, as some
unlucky skateboarding Gondorians did.
Over the decades the thirst for bigger and better skateboards was
satisfied by the Dwarves, who made the best. All that planking lying
about in the tomb chamber in Moria was actually skateboards in the
making and it is possible that the last line in Durin's book;
'they are coming....' actually went on '..on their skateboards.'
For of course orcs soon caught on to the craze, although the most
deadly thing of all was a skateboarding troll, a few of which appeared
on the Pelennor fields.
I just thought I would clear that little point up.
The Appendices, passim.