Morning came all too soon. Frodo slowly
pried open his eyes, saw the bright clear beauty of the Elven sunrise
and slammed them shut again, adding a pillow over his head for good
"Sam," he called out in a slightly muffled tone. "When's breakfast? I
hope that council thingy can at least wait until we've gotten some
Sam, who was still trying to wash that
awful spoiled-egg-smell of the Elven perm solution off his hands, and
indeed had been at it most of the night and was terribly sleep deprived
and uncharacteristically crabby as a result, sighed deeply when he
heard his master's request for food.
"Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to work for Bagginses," he
muttered to himself. Aloud he said cheerfully, "No problem at all, Mr.
Frodo. I'll just change the IV solution in my arm, since I've had no
time to put real food in my mouth since we raided the kitchen a few
pages back, an' I'll just go rustle you up some breakfast. We can't
have you going to any council meeting without some yummykins in your
tummykins. Do you want sliced bananas or strawberries on your Elf-ios
Sam looks at us apologetically. "Sorry, me dears, but I just have to
vent every once in a while."
He ducked as a pillow sailed past his head.
Legolas slipped out of his hammock and prepared himself for the
upcoming White Council.
He looked over his wardrobe, somehow miraculously unwrinkled despite
the long journey from Mirkwood in his saddlebags. He chose a nice
neutral grey and tan number, hoping that the 'white' business was just
a colourless metaphor.
Glancing in the mirror as he passed,
he noticed that, even though he had just tumbled out of bed and had not
combed his hair yet, his blonde locks were perfectly arrayed.
Legolas sighed. Just once, he wished he could wake up with
hammock-hair. Sometimes it was a burden, being so pretty all the
He stuck his fingers in his hair and mussed it deliberately, but it all
fell back into place smoothly.
Giving up, he headed to the porch where the meeting was to take place.
He decided to skip breakfast. The idea of watching Dwarves
him lose his appetite.
Where the pillow had been Frodo found a
chocolate truffle wrapped up in shiny foil "compliments of Rivendell"
and tossed it to Sam to cheer him up.
"Look at this! Chocolates on the pillows even. You go ahead and eat
that one Sam, to perk you up. You look like the walking dead. "
He stretched at got up, then opened the wardrobe to choose something to
wear. "Sam! They've a tea pot in here, with little packs of tea.
a mending kit, an ice bucket and cups with little paper doily things on
them. Little bottles of water. No more chocolates though. We
have gotten a room with a kitchenette. Hm."
He rummaged in
the clothing. "Go ahead and get breakfast going - I can wait. How
about some french toast and chicken-fried steak with hashbrowns? Easy
on the ketchup."
Liberated from his pink-chiffon-flet
prison, and hungrier than he'd ever been in his life, Merry came
charging through the doorway of Frodo's room just as Sam was coming out
of it. They collapsed onto the ground with an "oof".
"Fancy runnin' into you here, Mr. Merry," Sam grunted.
Merry sniffed the air, and made a face. "Eww, you smell like spoiled
eggs and chocolate hotel mints! I wanted to see if you wanted to raid
the kitchen with me and Pippin. We're starving! Frodo, you want
"He's hankerin' for French toast an' chicken-fried
steak with light ketchup," Sam said, "an' I'm so hungry myself I could
eat a french-fried Shetland Pony. Though if me Gaffer saw me eatin'
Merry grabbed his arm and jerked him out the door, and Sam called,
"I'll be back in two flips of an Elf's braids, Mr. Frodo!"
"Remember the syrup!" Frodo called back.
Sam was such a wonderful help, it made Frodo feel all warm and fuzzy...
No, wait - that was the fluffy robe that had been draped around
right before Sam shot out the door.
He worked on getting dressed and carefully combed through his newly
restored curls. Perfect!
Gandalf looked about the area again and
pointed his finger as he again counted the chairs. Then he counted off
those fingers listing silently the people invited to the council.
nodded his head in approval and was turning to leave for a break before
the meeting when he heard, from behind him, "You forgot about Boromir."
"What?!" replied the wizard turning about quickly.
"Boromir, he should arrive shortly and must be at this council you
ninnyhammer of a wizard," said Peter Jackson. "Just trust me, I know
how many people are supposed to be here, I helped write the script.
And by the way, here's the latest re-write." He handed him a
packet of chartreuse colored papers. "Now I know you'll have plenty of
time before the council starts to read this through. I need you back
here in about an hour to get in position to greet the council members,
since I can't have this new Elrond do it. Yes I found a replacement,
actually Fran found him, though how she managed it I don't think I even
want to guess at. Anyway he's in make-up now and we're trying to get
him ready in time. So you'll have to do the greeting and the seating;
Elrond will come in after everyone is settled - they won't know the
difference. Anyway, it's all in there." He pointed at the script
re-write and turned away heading to a guy in jeans and a tshirt that
said 'I Love LOTR' on it holding a pole with a light source on it.
"Remember, back here in one hour," he called back over his shoulder.
Boromir woke, wondering why his head
ached so. He caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror overhead
the whole horrible night flashed through his mind.
Who would have thought an Elven maiden would be
so.......so.......lively? What was Miruvor, anyway? Why was
jerkin all mussed up, and where were his boots?
And worst of all, why was Blackie asleep beside him, his great long
horse legs hanging over the edge of the bed?
Boromir groaned in misery and held his hands to his head. What
was it? Egad, it's time for the council and he hasn't even shaved
He needs a bath or shower.....no, no, not going there, look at
happened last time!
Hauling his boots on over bare feet (couldn't find his sox), he slammed
a hat over his stringy hair and headed out the door.
Gandalf was reading the new script. When
the hour was up he was only at page 49 of 187, but he knew what
had to do to get the council started.
He was flipping through some of the back pages while he waited for the
Hobbit-cum-director at the council chamber. Before he knew it, Peter
was there and they went over where the wizard was to seat each of the
members. Elrond knew all this already, but since he was not here Peter
wanted to make sure Gandalf knew where everyone was going to be. The
introductions had to be made, you couldn't have a council where know
one knew the other members, if it was only their names and where in
Middle-earth they came from.
They went over it once,
Gandalf repeated it all back without error and Peter seemed to relax a
little bit. A few last instructions for the men behind the wierd
one-eyed mechanical viewers and then they waited for the first people
Legolas waited for a few of the extra
men to file into the council room before he made his entrance.
was not out of any desire to be 'fashionable' or 'trendy'. It is
merely the way of Elves, which is difficult for Mortals and other
charismatically challenged folk to understand.
When a few men and a some other less aristocratic elves had arrived,
Legolas swept into the room, trying to look inconspicuous, but of
course he merely appeared all the more gracefull and charming. A
collective sigh escaped all present, except Mithrandir.
The Wood Elf glided up to the Wizard and offered him a bow.
"Mithrandir! How's tricks?" he said in a friendly way.
Gimli hoped that this Council-thing
wouldn't take long. Being among all those Elves made him itchy and gave
him the urge to whack something with his axe.
Preferably the nancy blonde in the poncho.
His father probably wouldn't like that though, so he merely graced the
Elves with a genuine Dwarven glare and looked around for a nice tree
that would suffice instead.
The peaceful air that normally pervaded
Rivendell was shattered when, following a loud crashing of pans, pots,
silver and china, two hobbits, one in a yellow vest and the other in a
homespun jacket, raced out of the kitchen with their arms loaded with
food and their faces smeared with syrup and gravy, while two Elven
chefs ran after them yelling something in not-so-musical Elftongue
about that food being meant for the Council buffet and to bring it back
right this second.
"It's your fault, Sam!" Merry accused as they ran. "We would have
gotten away with it if you hadn't gone up to the table and snitched
that croissant for Frodo- they smelledl that perm solution all over
"Mr. Frodo LIKES croissants with his steak!" Sam defended
himself. "But we'd best keep runnin', Merry, because if Mr. Frodo has
to go to a meetin' with an empty stomach he'll be mighty crabby later.
His blood sugar an' all, you know."
They burst into the door of
Frodo's room-just as Sam caught his foot on the carpet and the food in
his arms went sailing right at his master.
Marty Feldman saw Boromir stagger off
toward the Council of Elrond. Going into the room lately vacated
Denethor's Heir, Marty saw a sight to freeze his blood.
Blackie was sitting on the edge of a bed, swigging some colourless
liquid from a bottle. It was hard for him to hold it in his
but he did it, and then he flung the empty bottle across the room where
it crashed into a zillion wee pieces.
A rather tarty
looking Elven girl watched bemused. When Marty remonstrated with
Blackie about the broken glass, she shrugged. "Every horse should
his day," she said. "And that Boromir git wouldn't share with
last night." She patted Blackie's head. "Come on big
said. "Time to mosey on out of here. I hear there's some
pony named Bill down by the stream. You and him could play cards
As she wriggled by Marty, she brushed her hand
down his arm. "Hey, cutie," she said. "Care to join me
later for a
swig of Miruvor?"
"No, thanks, " he shyly replied. "I'm going to the council
meeting. My cousin Legolas is here, or so I'm told."
At the name "Legolas" she frowned. "The son of Thranduil of
Mirkwood?" she asked.
"The very same," Marty replied.
"Oh, well, in that case, forget it. He's not the Legolas I'm
Frodo had just put the finishing touches
on his personal appearance when the door burst open and a shower of
assorted foodstuffs catapulted through the air at him. Being a hobbit
of great resource and quick thinking, he opened his mouth and thus
managed to catch both a croissant and a bit of marmalade before going
down with a metallic crash and a thud under a tray of flapping french
He slowly pulled himself up out of the gravy, dislodged a fried egg
from his collar, considered it for a moment then stuffed it in his
"Mmmf... " he grabbed a steak that had managed to
land atop the overturned tea-kettle and took a bite out of it. " Sam,
you ninnyhammer! I need to get to that meeting and here you barge
and throw food at me! Quick, help me find a change of clothes! Oh, and
clean this mess up... oh, never mind. I see Merry is already
his way across the carpet..."
He peeled off the sodden and
sticky Elven shirt he had donned and grabbed another out of the
wardrobe, ramming dripping french toast into his mouth as he went. He
wiped his fingers off on Merry's back and kept going, buttoning up as
he chewed. Finishing off a huge slice of canteloupe that only had a
little carpet fuzz on it, he struggled into his spare burgundy-colored
jacket and shot out the door towards the meeting-place. Late,
What a travesty!
"Sure hope they'll be serving refreshments..." he muttered as he went.
Gandalf was satisfied, he'd gotten
everyone seated except for 2. Frodo, who was supposed to arrive first,
so as to be the least conspicuous was suspiciously absent and Lord
Elrond, who was to come last. He was starting to get nervous though.
The food hadn't arrived yet. He knew there were 5 hobbits now living in
Rivendell; one was supposed to be here at the council as was the food.
Gandalf tried not to pace and held his hands behind him, clasping and
unclasping them in worry, where they others couldn't see.
Where was Frodo? And Elrond's replacement, where was he?
Frodo ran along the corridors past
various decorative statues, looking for the council. He was
for the low murmuring of voices in the quiet of Rivendell and zeroed in
on the sound like a blind moth seeking the sizzle of a lantern.
finally sailed into the council with his coattails flapping and skidded
to a halt just past the entryway, panting and trying to appear
reasonably dignified. Bilbo raised his eyebrows questioningly at
from where he sat conferring with Strider. Frodo glanced around
roomful of Big People and slipped over to Bilbo's side where he didn't
feel quite so small.
"Sorry I'm late..." he whispered to Bilbo.
"Never mind that. Did you bring any food? There's no refreshments yet,
though they promised some. They know me here and always feed me
There was a flier advertising food here. I meant to wander
halls and see the kitchen one last time... I had a grand breakfast
earlier but am getting a bit peckish."
Frodo grimaced. "I
missed the flier. I spent my morning hoping I could eat like you,
my own breakfast turned out quite differently. I'm not like you,
He pulled two slices of bedraggled French Toast from his pocket and
gave one to his aged relative.
Bilbo got teary eyed as he eagerly bit into the soggy toast. "My dear
Gandalf introduced Frodo to those
already seated and then rang a nearby bell. A short time later an elf
came and spoke to Gandalf, following him were 7 small beings
even than hobbits) who set down 7 little tables in front of the
assembled guests. As they left 7 more beings - they looked like tiny
elves, but dressed more after the fashion of hobbits - entered with
platters full of little cookies and cakes which they placed on the
little tables. Frodo, curious, leaned over to read the card left next
to the tray. It read "Keebler's Katering In a hurry? Don't feel like
cooking? Let us help you. Will go anywhere West of the Misty
Mountains." An address was listed on the back.
While they continued to wait on the missing Elf Lord Gandalf told the
council to help themselves to the snacks and that drinks would be
coming soon. As the members helped themselves Gandalf began to
why they had all been invited to the Council of Rivendell.
Merry sat down on the bench outside Frodo's room and lit his pipe.
"Well, I guess I'll sit here and wait for Pip so we can get into more
trouble while Frodo's at the meeting," he said. "What are you going to
"Why, I'll go hide in the bushes and listen in, Mr. Merry, what else?"
Sam asked. "It's my hobby."
Both hobbits jumped then when a brightly lit doorway opened in thin air
and a middle aged man in a wildly-colored shirt stepped out, then
reached into his pocket and pulled out a little metal object with lots
of flashing lights and that made strange beeping noises.
"Well, Sam, let's see what Ziggy says about your mission this time," he
said, punching the buttons.
Sam frowned. "I think you have the wrong Sam, sir."
The man looked at the hobbits, then at the contraption in his hand.
"Oh. Ahem. Sorry, you're right, wrong Sam. Sorry!" He stepped back
through the doorway, which slammed shut behind him.
"This place just keeps getting weirder and weirder," Merry shook his
Bob was alternately running and
stumbling down the long hallways of Rivendel franticly looking for the
council room. He just couldn't get the hang of these robes. As he ran
he kept running over in his mind the recent events that would change
his fortunes in this movie.....
me..umm..Bob?" Bob looked up from his boredom into one of the sweetest
faces he'd seen. "Yes, miss Fran?" "Bob, it seems that we need to find
a replacement to play Elrond and you look to be about the right height
and build for the costume, would you like to play Elrond?"
Bob could hardly believe his good fortune, but now that it came to it,
he wasn't sure he could pull this off. Sure he had the build and the
height, but could he project the air of an elven Lord? Fran had assured
him that what he couldn't do, they would fix later and not to worry. He
really hoped she was right.
Up ahead he saw small creatures
carrying trays emerging from a doorway, he wondered if this were the
place. As he approached he noticed a barefooted man with unkempt hair
and large glasses, just outside the room.
"Oh good, you're
here, it's about time, now Bob, I know that you haven't had time
learn the lines. That's ok, just let Gandalf do most of the talking"
Pete said as he continued towards the room while checking Bob's
costume. He took one long last look at Bob and remarked "in fact, it's
probably best if you don't say anything at all"
Bob felt a
strange mix of emotions. Relieved that he didn't have to worry about
his elven accent he'd been working on, but strangly miffed that he
wouldn't get to say the really cool line at the end about the
"Fellowship of the Ring"
"Now just go in there and look elven" Pete said as he gave Bob a gentle
shove through the door.
"Ahh and here's Elrond." Gandalf was
trying to not show that there was anything amiss as he greeted the
replacement Lord. "Is that you Bob? he whispered. At his
quailed but tried not to show it to the council and lead him to
He turned and faced the full council again. "So to recap, for
Elrond, we've gotten the introductions out of the way and explained the
reason this council was called. Now as I was saying..." And so Gandalf
spoke for an hour or more, telling of Sauron and the making of and the
losing of the Ring of Power. Until at last he said, "Frodo, bring forth
Frodo woke with a small snort as Bilbo's
elbow, which had been propping up his own elderly dozing head, slipped
and jabbed his snoozing nephew right in the ear.
Bilbo's head, bereft of the arm to support it, slowly drooped down onto
the table where his face splayed out. He mumbled into the
something about cheese and spongecake.
Frodo jerked upright, trying to appear alert. He was sure he had heard
his name. He blinked several times.
Spotting Merry wreathed in smoke rings,
Pippin plonked himself down on the seat next to him and began filling
his pipe from mery's pouch.
"Guess who's just been burgling?"
"Yep," he replied to his cousin's quizzical eyebrow raising
"You remember Princess Pooky mentioned a key, well look at what I found
while she was conditioning her eyebrows, pomading her ears and whatever
else she does after smooching with Strider!"
He proferred a certain key to a certain door that let into the council
"What say we take a wander?"
Frodo slowly got his bearings again. He
was in Rivendell, in a council meeting. Right. To his great
discomfort he realized there was dead silence and everyone in the room
was looking at him
with expectation. He suddenly wanted to crawl off into a corner,
hide in the bushes or something, it was worse than when he'd had to
give that recital of all the types of pipeweed in school and had yawned
and burped at the same time right in front of the whole school...
He looked around at all the Big People, then at Bilbo snoring gently
beside him, then desperately at Gandalf. The wizard raised his
eyebrows questioningly at him, then cleared his throat and repeated
himself with significance. "Bring forth the Ring, Frodo."
Frodo's eyes widened. The Ring? Bring it forth? Here, in front of
everyone? Whatever happened to "keep it secret, keep it safe" and
that? Still, he automatically reached for his pocket, then
it was on a chain around his neck now and reached up to fish it out
from under his shirt. He lifted the chain off and took the Ring
it. It was bright and strangely heavy in his palm. Also it was
vibrating and humming a little Mordor marching tune. It
him and he didn't really want to show it to everyone while it was
behaving like this.
"Shhh!" he hissed at it. It hummed happily back, ignoring him.
Sighing, he reluctantly set it out for all to see.
Legolas watched the halfling squirm with
discomfort before toting out the Ring and hesitantly holding it up in
front of everyone.
The Elf glanced at it, automatically thinking the same thing that every
other Elf in the room was thinking : "Nice ring, but it doesn't go with
anything I am wearing. Maybe something in sterling silver..."
Boromir stared at the Halfling, then at the Ring. He
began to bite his nails, and glanced furtively around.
"Jeez," he thought, "the old man would just LOVE that ring! I
really score points, and teach little old Faramir not to get in my
"Say, buddy," he said, "chuck that thing over here, willya?"
Gimli looked at the Ring in the Hobbit's hand.
Pfff, gold, how incredibly common... His cousin Balin's ring was much
prettier - speaking of which, here was he, anyway?
And was that Ring humming 'O when the Orcs go marching in'? He HATED
that song, and it would surely be stuck in his head for a week now.
This really did not improve either Gimli's temper or his liking for the
Ring, and his hand slowly strayed towards the handle of his axe...
From his hiding place in the bushes, Sam
saw the ring and thought he should have given it a polish before Mr.
Frodo displayed it to the gathered council. The leaves tickled his nose
and a thorn was poking him in the side and he desperately fought back
the urge to sneeze.
Misunderstanding what Boromir was
referring to, Aragorn helpfully chucked a folded cloth napkin over to
the Gondorian, seeing as the Keebler-crumbs were quite evident in his
Having seen the Ring before, he settled for watching the reactions of
the others in the room. It was an interesting variety.
Frodo sat down in his chair again with a sigh.
He looked at all of them expectantly.
"Well, what happens to it now?" he asked, twitching involuntarily as he
tried to not take it back.
Boromir felt suddenly very hot. Sweat
formed on his forehead and he was grateful to Aragorn for having thrown
him the napkin.
But the ring held his attention. Round and gold. A regular
What the heck. These guys seemed to think it was something
and yet it didn't even have a design or a stone!
He made a
mental note to check and see if there was a jewellry store in
Rivendell, one where a guy could get a classy ring. Maybe two.
elven maiden (maiden being used rather loosely, and Boromir smiled),
she'd probably enjoy a nice ring.
And Blackie. A guy
couldn't forget his horse, his best friend! Boromir felt tears
forming. How could he forget Blackie? Maybe a pair of gold
for each side of his bridle.....
Just then Marty Feldman
burst into the council. "I have terrible news!" he shouted.
with a start, he stared across the room. "What the heck are you
here?" he asked, pointing at Legolas.
All eyes turned from the Ring to the Elf in the golden-brown muumuu.
Leaves inexplicably fluttered down, some of them landing in the hair of
the attendees thus ruining the dramatic effect of their poses as they
awaited a pronoucement of Great Importance from Marty.
Legolas stared for a moment, then leapt
up and embraced the wild-eyed fellow. "Marty! How comes you
Rivendell? This is a wonderful surprise!" Legolas took him
shoulder and gestured gracefully to all present. "Everyone, I
to meet my identical cousin Marty! Marty, this is everyone..."
Marty stared around, wiggling his fingers weakly in
Everyone stared back, wondering how a homely man and an elegant elven
princling could be considered 'identical'.
"What am I doing here? I have come to deliver grave news, though
now, I knew not how ill it would be to hear. Sit down in my
dear cousin, and I will tell all."
Legolas pushed the
strange little man onto his seat and faced the council. He
throat and then nodded to the musician (cleverly concealed behind
Legolas begins to sing:
Ain't No Sméagol
Now; He's Gone
tune: Ain't no sunshine when she's
Ain't no Sméagol now; he's gone
Not long with us did he stay
Ain't no Sméagol now; he's gone
The little nip gave us the slip, where he's gone I can't say
Wonder this time where he's gone
He left during an orc assault
Ain't no Sméagol now; he's gone
And I swear it's not my fault
This time, that he got away
And I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know
Hey, I'll offer my excuse
Even though it is no use
Ain't no Sméagol now he's gone
Our kindness he did abuse
His honour he did betray
Ain't no Sméagol now he's gone
And we can't find the little spawn
Anytime he gets away
Anytime he gets away
Anytime he gets away
Anytime he gets away
Legolas bows humbly to the scattered applause, then he turns to
again and says, "What is this terrible news? Aunt
Melessë and Uncle
Feledain aren't in trouble, are they?"
"No," Marty said. "It's worse than that. I
hardly know how to tell you."
He looked at Boromir. Or, if you were standing on his right it
looked like he was looking at Boromir.
If you were standing on his left, you could see that he was looking at
"Legolas....." he began. Then his voice cracked. "Legolas,
a mixup when we were born. You know how we're supposedly
cousins? Well, the wicked old nurse that was our nurse, well, she
switched us. I'm Legolas, and you're Marty Feldman."
Stunned silence met this announcement, but Legolas smiled his usual
calm and beautiful smile.
"Oh, dear," he said. "I can see that you're upset, but I know
something you don't know!"
Boromir rose to his feet. "That's enough of this family stuff
dragged in here! I mean, I could bring up my creepy little
and what a pain in the butt he is, but you don't hear me doing it, do
you?" He gestured at Frodo. "Let's get the scoop on this
Marty held up his hand. "Just a moment, if you don't mind, you
arrogant git from Gondor! I want to know what Legolas knows that
don't know. I mean, what Marty knows that I, Legolas, don't know!"
Marty and Legolas...switched at birth?
Frodo looked back and forth at them all, suddenly very, very grateful
he was an only child.
He looked at Gandalf, who was digesting the news of
Gollum's escape and
it looked like it wasn't settling too well. In fact, he was looking a
Legolas just smiled, and he took his
cousin by the shoulder, saying to Bobrond and Gandalf, "Excuse me, this
will take only a moment...
"Marty, I already know that we were switched at birth. But what
don't know is that before the nurse switched us, the midwife swapped us
for two other children who were born at the same moment to a family of
lesser nobility. This was done to protect us. But the
is that the two changelings brought in had already been exchanged for
two other babes, found abandoned in the woods and appearantly of the
same age as we. To complicate matters more, a spell was cast to
memory of both midwife and nurse, so that none could remember from
where the babies were taken and to which parents they went.
"So it really doesn't matter, if I call you Legolas or Marty, cause you
aren't who you are, and you aren't who I am, and neither of us knows
the difference! Understand?"
Marty sighed. "Well, I'll be
hornswoggled," he said, sadly. "For a while there I had delusions
grandeur! Heir of Thranduil.....jeez. I had quite the
Then he smiled his peculiar smile. "Still, it isn't all bad.
been hanging out with Mr. Boromir son of Denethor over there, and let
me tell you, here is a guy with serious father-son issues! I
makes your-mine-our-your-whoever's father seem quite the nice fellow"
Marty looked around the council and nodded to each one there.
he said. "Lighten up, willya, guys? I mean, the fate of the
world isn't being decided here! Anyway, that's it for me. I
back to Rohan, I told old Theoden I'd check back pretty soon. And
gonna stop at Isengard and see what Mr. White Wizard is up to. I
bought some chlorine bleach from the laundry here, because I thought
Saruman's robe was gettting a little tattle-tale grey...."
Elrond stepped forward and embraced Marty Feldman, kissing him on each
cheek in the European style. "I'd appreciate it," Elrond said in
undervoice, "if you didn't let Saruman know what's going on here?"
Marty laughed. "Oh, no fear, Elrond old boy! I know when to
mouth shut!" He glared at Gimli son of Gloin as he spoke, and at
Frodo. "So long, you guys! See ya around."
Then, with a chirpy little whistle, and a shrug of his shoulders, he
Legolas dabbed his eyes with the corner
of his muumuu. He guestured after the departing man. "I
guy!" he said, choked up. He sniffed, sighed, patted down his
imaculate hair and looked at Frodo.
"Sorry about the interruption. Mr Baggins, but I was wondering, now
that we have all had a gander at your little heirloom, could you maybe
put it back in your pocket or cover it up with a handkerchief or maybe
destroy it in a fiery furnace? All that humming and cheeping is
me the willies!" and the Elf suddered elegantly.
"Destroy it?" Frodo twitched. "Why would
we want to destroy it? It's...soo.....preeetty..." He looked up
the golden Ring to the others who were looking at him strangely.
"What? What'd I say?"
"Frodo," said Aragorn a bit sternly,
"It's EEEVILLLL! Didn't you hear anything Gandalf was saying in
past hour and a half?"
Frodo blushed slightly. "Well....no, not
really. Was it important? I heard something about it being made a
time ago and somebody lost it and then Gollum found it, then Bilbo
found it, and now it's.....MINE...... *ahem* and um... now it's
Oh, and there was Saruman the Many-Colored losing his grip on Elves in
muumuus because Gollum was up a tree and he'd been switched at birth
Aragorn sighed. "Okay, let's sum up
then. Are you listening? Good. The Ring is EVIL and it belonged to a
really bad Eye in Mordor named Sauron. Not to be confused with Saruman,
who was not switched at birth with anyone that we know of.
says it can't be used for good but will always end up making bad things
happen, and he usually knows what he's talking about even if he wears a
funny hat, so we need to get rid of it. We can't throw it away or bury
it because Sauron might still find it and that would be Very Bad: it
would Cover the World In Darkness. (VB:CWID for the technical
So," he said, turning to the Wise. "How do we get rid of the thing?"
Boromir was very impatient, and was
hiding it very badly. Anyone could see his frown, hear his sigh,
his fingers tapping the Devil's tattoo on his knees.
"This ring is all bad, you say? Well, I say, bollocks! Let
that puppy on, and I guarantee you there won't be any badness left in
it! Why, we trusty men of Gondor can never be corrupted!"
A lovely but dishevelled Elven maiden looked at Boromir and shook her
head. "Oh, no? What about......well, you know...."
Boromir blushed. "That wasn't being corrupted," he said,
being sophisticated! Now, let's get back to the ring! I'll
off your hands, and no questions asked."
He waited, but no
one answered. They were all looking at the little guy Frodo, and
Boromir spoke up again. "Why is there marshmallow goop stuck in
Just then Blackie, his fiery steed, came galloping up, all sweaty and
foamy. "Master!" Blackie shouted.
"Holy cats!" Boromir answered. "So it is true! That
spoke sooth! The steeds of Rohan DO know the speech of Men."
Blackie nodded. "Master," he said. "We must leave this
I've been chatting with Bill the Pony, and it seems there is
be Big Trouble in Little China, so to speak."
"China?" Boromir said, puzzled. "What the heck does China
have to say to anything?"
Blackie sighed. "It's a figure of speech only, Master." He
The Wise. "Greetings, The Wise," he said. "I bring tidings
concern from Bill the Pony."
Aragorn looked at the creature, then at Boromir.
"Why is there a talking horse and an elf-maiden here? What other rabble
and riff-raff have you brought in, Boromir of Gondor? Don't you
this is supposed to be a SECRET council, not some dog-and-pony show?
Your councils in Minas Tirith must be
interesting to see. Well, when I'm
K.... I mean, if there's ever a
shift in... plans down that way there might be a few changes coming
down the pipe."
He turned to the silent Elf presiding over them. "Bobrond, I beg your
forgiveness for all of the race of Men - we're not responsible for
occasional weak spots, like that guy, so please don't hold it against
us. It's just bad genes."
"And Frodo, no need to twitch and hover over it like
that. I'm sure our friend here was only kidding
about wanting to wear the
Ring... right, Boromir of Gondor?
"Enough!" Gandalf stood and waved his
arms about for a bit before smacking the butt-end of his staff on the
ground in the middle of the council circle and made all the light in,
around and over the council members go out. He began to speak in
stange language that no one could understand and when he was finished
the light returned.
"Oi!" Gandalf rubbed his jaw and throat which were now sore from trying
to get his mouth around the language of Mordor. "Now all you, don't try
that yourselves, it hurts. But as I was trying to point out earlier and
Elrond agrees with me, that the only choice we have with that evil
jewelry is to smelt it down into regular gold. And if you all don't
want to try to learn that language you'd best listen up. There is only
one place that can melt that ring and that's in Mordor; Mt Doom,
Orodruin where it was made. NOW if we can stop with all the
interruptions let us continue this council and decide what we shall do
with The Ruling Ring."
Gandalf nodded his head forcefully
and had a moment of blindness as his hat fell over his eyes. He fixed
it and returned to his seat.
Bilbo woke up in utter darkness with
what sounded like some horrible creature gargling nearby and about wet
his pants. When the lights came back on he was relieved to see it
just one of Gandalf's little jokes or something.
"What? Take the Ring to Mordor and melt it? Well, if you say so. Here,
Frodo my lad, hand me my Ring - I've got an errand to run with it, it
seems. A bit of a shame too, I was just getting comfortable."
When Gandalf began to yodel and gargle
in the dark, Frodo hadn't known what to do. He was afraid the old
Wizard had suddenly cracked, or that one of the Elven cookies had gone
down the wrong pipe.
When the lights came back on and Bilbo made his declaration, Frodo
didn't move except to block Bilbo's reach.
"Wait a minute. Take it to Mordor? Isn't that where Sauron lives,
this bad guy we're all supposed to be running
? This council makes less sense all the time."
Gimli had been silent long enough - in fact, as his father thought of
it, this could indeed be a new record.
But now he could hold back no longer.
"You Elves, always thinking so darn complicated. As long as it makes
good literature, eh? I agree with Mr. Midget over here, this
chucking-it-into-the-mountain-thing is a really lame idea. Just watch
me, and I'll solve this for ya."
He stood up and walked towards Frodo, raising his axe above his head
while smiling politely at the Hobbit.
"Just hold it up a bit more there, mate, so I can get a good aim."
Divining Gimli's intentions, Legolas was
shocked to silence for one nanosecond, then he leaped to his feet to
prevent the Dwarf from cleaving the halfling in twain.
Just as quickly he fell flat on his fair face, for some naughty person
had tacked the corner of his muumuu to the floor. Legolas went
a graceless heap.
Stunned he sat up, shaking his head.
"Did you see that? I must have looked like a idiot!
happened before... cool!"
Boromir stared at the sky, at the ground, at the trees, then back at
thought. "These guys are so long-winded!"
He watched the dwarfy guy leap at the little guy, lifting his ax high.
"Hmmmmm," he thought. "This might be good. Bloodshed!
Get the old
heart rate up!" He stood, with his hand on the hilt of his sword,
ready to leap to someone's defense.
But he wasn't needed. The crowd settled down once
the dwarf had tried breaking the ring and retired abashed.
Boromir sat down again, and inspected the toes of his boots.
a shine," he mused. "I wonder if there's a shoeshine stand here?"
gazed around and the Elven maiden's eye caught his. He felt a
sort of tingly feeling in his kneecaps.
He leaned closer to
her, so that he could whisper in her pointed but lovely ear. "I
he murmured, "you wouldn't have any shoepolish on you, would you?"
Frodo's eyes grew wide as the dwarf
suddenly came at him with an axe, apparently intending to very politely
behead him. He startled back only to see the blade come down right in
front of him, right on the Ring!
The Ring squawked in protest as it shot out from under the edge of the
axe and richoceted off of Frodo's head.
It fell back onto the table with a small ominous thud
and lay there glinting,
unharmed. Frodo was not so lucky, having just garnered a whopper of a
headache and a funny little pink O
the middle of his forehead.
He rubbed his forehead. "This thing is
Sam, who had dozed off in the bushes,
sat up with a start when he heard the distinct sound of something hard
connecting with Mr. Frodo's body in some way. It wasn't the sort of
of his master
falling on his duff on the soft ground,
or the sound of a particularly large pebble connecting with Mr. Frodo's
toe. It was the sharp krack
of some round metallic object connecting with Frodo's forehead.
Everyone in the Council jumped as a hobbit dressed in homespun, covered
with leaves, and smelling faintly of syrup and perm solution burst into
the circle and shouted, "Don't worry, Mr. Frodo, I'll save you from the
Sam launched himself at his master in slow motion, while
Frodo retreated in slow motion with a drawn out "noooooooooooooo" in a
deep slurred voice.
Merry was writing in his journal.
Frodo is at a council meeting, Sam is hiding in the bushes trying to
listen in, Pippin is going from flet to flet asking if anyone has any
mushrooms, and I'm bored stiff. I'd like to hang out with the dwarf and
the fun Elf, but they're at that same council meeting. I hope Frodo
doesn't drink too much coffee and start singing the alphabet backwards
or something else that might disgrace the Brandybuck name.
I wonder if I'll ever collect the money to give to Estella before we
Talk to you later,
Bilbo never stood a chance. Frodo
grabbed the Ring just as Sam tackled him tumbling them both sideways
into the old hobbit.
"Gack!" he said as he went under.
Frodo clutched the Ring desperately as
Sam launched through the air at him, then all was a slow-motion blur as
they ended up in a tangle on the floor. Bilbo's foot was in his hair
and somewhere under him the elderly hobbit was going "gack gack gaaaaack"
"Sam! Now look what you've done. You've gacked Bilbo!
What are you doing here anyway, this is a Secret Council...!"
Aragorn went to the heap o' hobbits and pulled them all apart. He
addressed the council.
"See what evil this Ring brings to us? Why just in the time it's been
out on the table here a Dwarf has broken an axe, a normally graceful
Elf has fallen like a fool, a horse started talking, a maiden was
corrupted by a Gondorian, a hobbit was injured and another hobbit was
gacked! I agree with Gandalf and Bobrond that we should just walk right
into Mordor and destroy it, without delay."
Sam sat up and meekly brushed off Bilbo's gacked jacket
and recombed Frodo's mussed hair.
"Must've slept through the talkin' horse part," he sighed. "Shouldn't
have had decaf at breakfast, I reckon. If the coffee ain't strong
enough for a hoe to stand up in it straight, it ain't worth drinkin',
as my Gaffer likes to say."
Sam looked around sharply. "Now, who said my Gaffer sayins' are almost
as endless as Bilbo's speeches?"
All the Council members started whistling and twiddling their thumbs in
"Mordor!" Boromir squeaked. "Mordor?
Why, we of Gondor speak not that name ever aloud! We
whisper it, for the Dark Lord hath big ears. Great big ears like
Sam Gamgee's ears perked up at this, and he listened carefully as
Boromir spoke on.
"Mordor. Lissen, guys, we can't go marching into Mordor carrying
jool! Why, the Dark Lord, whose name we seldom speak and then
an undervoice and then only in private in the dark, like in bed or
something, or maybe behind a bush somewhere, the name we never
aloud for the Nameless One knows all, sees all, hears all, it's right
incovenient, I can tell you that, and if we ponce into Mordor with that
ring, why not only will my old Dad be right bent out of shape, but the
Bad Guy will have that Golden Circle off us quicker than that Elf
maiden shed her......" he stopped. "Well, I think it's a
taking it to Mordor, that's all." He sat back, abashed.
felt a gentle, velvety kiss on his left ear and turned. But when
turned, it was not the beauteous and unihibited Elfmaiden who so
nuzzled him, but Blackie, who now spoke and said, "Master, you are more
than just a pretty face! For has not Bill the Pony told me the
same thing, and snaky things in the dark water and everything? He
ESP, Bill does, and he thinks we ought to just stay home."
Boromir frowned. "I have not yet come to taking advice from any
that goes upon four legs! Avast, mateys! No, wait, wrong
maybe are bound upon a quest, Blackie old boy, and Bill the Pony or no
Bill the Pony, I'm up for it! Why, we men of Gondor boast seldom,
I am boasting now!" Boromir stood and waved his sword in the air.
"Come on, you guys! What are we waiting for?"
Aragorn waved his arms above his head to stop the noisy outbursts of
opinions all around.
"Wait a minute! Whoa! Didn't you just say it was a bad idea and
dangerous? Why are you saying we should go there now? Boy, Gondor
really needs a King... or something... if this is what its leadership
is like. Sheesh! Waffle, waffle, waffle... If this Nameless guy's
are really that big, then we need to be sneaky, not boastful. Like
maybe just a few guys, to help out whoever has the ring itself... But
if the ring is, in fact, EVIIIL, who can carry it? Obviously not
Bilbo, he's gacked, and no way am I carrying that thing. Hey
how to we get it there? Can you tote it inside your hat or something?
Tie it onto a big moth?"
Frodo felt the Hand of Fate hovering
over him. It was very disconcerting, especially when the fingers
brushed the edge of his curls and made it feel like something was
tickling up there. He shifted uncomfortably in his seat, since
his feet were dangling anyway.
Legolas sat on his hands. "This task is not for the Elves to do.
Bearer's not Legolas!"
Sam glanced up and frowned when he saw the hand hovering over his
master's head, apparently toying with his curls.
"Oy, is that Cousin Hand with a new upholstery job?" he asked.
"Order!!" Gandalf banged his staff on the floor.
Though is may have looked to the council members that Gandalf had not
been doing anything he had in fact been closely watching everyone
present wondering who would be best to aide the ring to it's
"To answer your question we cannot tie the
ring to a moth, or even an eagle to bring it to the Crack. The Dark
Lord would spot him right quick if something flew near his mountains,
especially one of our allies."
"Now some small person or
persons traveling over the mountains could get past whatever orc or
trolls are guarding the passes. We might even be able to ask Gollum,
that slimy creature that had borne the ring for so many years and Bilbo
met just after finding the ring. In my speech with him it was obvious
that he had been into and come out of the Black Land and may know some
path we might try."
Aragorn was puzzled. "Gollum? But I
thought that Elf over there, no not that one, the one in the muumuu on
the floor, yeah, that one. I thought that Elf lost
Gollum, didn't he? "
"Gandalf is one of the wise, Dunadan," interrupted Bilbo.
"I'm sure he
must have something up his sleeve. Like Gollum or something...."
"Gollum up his sleeve? Now that would make me shudder. Have you ever
seen that slimy little... Oh. Right. I, uh, guess you have."
Bilbo gave a wrinkly smile. "Now Gandalf, you said it needs to be
someone small who doesn't fly. I'm small. Whaddaya say, eh?"
"No!" interjected Frodo to his own surprise. He hadn't meant to be so
vehement about it but...
He stroked the Ring, which squeeped softly at him. "There, there," he
whispered, "Don't worry little fella, no one's gonna be taking you
anywhere but me..."
"Now Uncle Bilbo," he said aloud. "You
know you've been gacked, and easily too. There's no way you could get
through a long and difficult journey all the way to some other country.
Besides, maybe you're just have another senior moment or something but
if I might remind you again
you GAVE it to me, okay? Remember, birthday party...cake, big
The Hand of Fate tapped him on the shoulder. He
looked up at it,
puzzled. It pointed at the Ring with great significance,
He suddenly found himself saying words he truly did not realize the
"I will take it. I will take the Ring to Mordor! Though....I do not
know the way."
The Hand of Fate, lacking another Hand with which to applaud, beat on
the table to make the appropriate noise and then disappeared. He
looked up with his bright blue eyes to see what the reactions of the
Barging into Merry's room Pippin saw the journal with its pink bow
disappear under the pillow.
"Come on cuz, they're doing the meeting thing, and its about to wind
up. The fat hairy bloke wants us on set now, not to bother about the
Princess' secret door but to pop out from behind some pillars by the
door. And he's offering free beer
if we turn up on time!"
Darting back out the door he yelled over his shoulder
"Get a move on! We're on in five minutes!""
Legolas gaped at the halfling who had bravely volunteered to bear IT
. Before he knew what he was
doing, the Elf gathered his muumuu around him and knelt before the
"You have my bow, Frodo Baggins! One elf at least shall accompany
thee. Just keep that shiny, squeeping thing away from me, okay?"
Blushing furiously that Pippin had
caught him with the Official Mary Kay Day Planner that Estella had
given him before they left, Merry said crossly, "All right, all right,
I'm coming, Pippin. I'm ready to go home."
At that moment two Elves passed them, talking excitedly, or at least as
excitedly as Elves ever talked, which meant their voices went from a
hushed whisper to a plain whisper.
Merry paled. "Uh...did I just hear them say that Frodo agreed to carry
the Ring? Oh, nuts
He grabbed Pippin's arm and they ran for the council meeting place.
Feeling his master's eyes upon him, Sam
sighed deeply. '"Guess that means I'm goin' too, as it's in my Official
Gardener-Servant contract, but Rosie won't much like it that I won't be
home to vote for her in the Miss Westfarthing Pageant...an' she was
goin' to wear that pretty flowered frock with matchin' ribbons..."
He buried his head in his arms, and the Hand of Fate moved from Frodo
and gently patted his back in comfort.
Gimli banged his axe on the floor, making a big crack in Elrond's
neatly polished flagstones.
"You have my axe! No one should go into certain death and doom without
taking a Dwarf! I will come and represent my people, but most of all to
protect and help this brave little guy!"
declaring this, he leaned to his father and said in an undertone: "We
can't send the poor midget off to Mordor with this bunch of loonies,
and I don't trust that Elf one bit."
Standing up, he joined
the group of assorted races, glaring at the Hand of Fate hovering above
him. It annoyed him greatly and he swung his axe it at, nearly
relieving some of his new companions of a few bodyparts. The Hand of
Fate only hovered a bit higher and made a rude gesture at him.
The Hand of Fate next turned to point at Merry, who breathlessly burst
into the circle.
"Frodo, what did you just..."
Merry stopped and looked up, because the Hand of Fate was holding a
glowing scroll of paper that read: TAKE THIS MIDGET TOO, BECAUSE HE'S
THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS HOW TO READ A MAP. YOU MIGHT AS WELL TAKE HIS
YOUNGER COUSIN TOO, BECAUSE GANDALF NEEDS SOMEONE TO HOLLER AT TO
Boromir stood up. "I don't know why you
people have to TALK so much. Here, little fellow, here is my
my word that I will never ever try to take that ring from you though I
hear it whispering my name and I feel this strange compulsion to snag
it on the end of this, my sword, and hie off to Gondor and save
everyone and be the big hero and maybe get made King, but Gondor has no
king and Gondor needs no King, currently, although the Tax Situation is
such that we might do better filing our Kingdom Return with the Tax Man
of Mandos if we actually had a king." He paused and bowed to all
Sundry bowed back.
Not to be left out, Strider strode
forward and elbowed Sundry and the mouthy Gondorian out of the way so
he could kneel down before Frodo with his sword, which he personally
thought a heck of a lot better than that thing the other guy had.
"You have my sword," he said, "Or rather, I
have my sword, that is...but you
get to use it. Through me. I'll use it for you that is. You don't
the sword, of
course. In fact, I'd rather you didn't touch it. It's mine. But
, too, in a way
even though I'm keeping it."
Frodo didn't quite know what to make of
all of it at first but by the time the fourth weapon was offered to him
that he apparently wasn't really supposed to touch he began to figure
out that something was afoot.
They were no doubt plotting to frame
him for stealing their weapons.
But then Sam offered him his frying pan, and Bilbo whispered something
in his ear about coming to his room to look at a sword. He looked
Gandalf for aid, half expecting the Wizard to "give" him his staff.
Was this Eye a weapons appraiser, perhaps?
Just as Elrond slowly started directing
his guests to the coffee-table, a very dishevelled Elfmaiden (another
one) burst into the Council Chamber, panting.
There was sawdust in her hair and on her dress and in her hand she held
what looked like the remains of an Elven nail-file.
"Just hold on a minute here!" she snarled at the room in general.
"Those are MY pet periannath and they are mine, and they are my pet
periannath and they are NOT coming! And anyway, there's NO way that my
Gorny-poo is going anywhere without me!"
When the Council
failed to reply, she turned to her father and did a spectacular Lip.
"But Daddyyyyy, I want to go tooooo!" She stamped her foot on the
flagstones, making the crack that was there even bigger.
Suddenly she realised that this was a Council, which had something to
do with politics, which had something to do with getting your way
through convincing the others, or something.
She pulled the nearest person available to her, and firmly put her arm
around him. "Figwit agrees with me, don't you Figgy?"
Aragorn not-so-gently disengaged "Figgy"
from his beloved, tucked her pouting lip back into her face and took
Arwen's manicured hands in his own.
"Now darling, you know the Wild is sooo
messy, and too cold and dirty for your delicacy and refinement. Your
pretty hair would get all tangly, and you might break a nail!
worry, I'll take good care of your pets. I'll bring them back to you
safe and sound when I'm all done taking them for their walk. And you know
I'll be missing my little Elfie-boo every day!" He smiled at her
then nuzzled her nose, making the rest of the Council gag quietly.
Legolas stands straight and tall, his
manly yet svelt chest swelling with pride, and his long blonde hair
flowing in the breeze that just that moment decided to run itself
through his silken locks. This was going to be a great adventure.
This was going to be dangerous and exciting. This was
really going to
annoy his father, when he did not return home (especially without any
cases of Dorwithion Red Wine from Elrond's cellars).
He might even manage to get his face dirty or come home with a scar!
Legolas shivered with anticipation, ducking the groping Hand Of
that was trying to count up all the volunteers, but seemed to keep
getting lost and starting over. Something appeared to be
Frodo tallied up the gathering crowd around him. Eight of them,
altogether, counting himself.
He looked up at the Hand of Fate which kept trying to snatch Gandalf's
hat off of his head.
"Gandalf? Are you coming too?" he asked hopefully. "And does anyone
have a map?"
Gandalf declined to stand up and make a
big fuss. He just sat and answered quietly. "Yes I suppose I shall
come, if only to get out of town for a bit, see the sights. And I have
a map, though I could just give it to you, I doubt any of you would be
able to read it anyway." Gandalf patted a pocket of his robes and
they stopped looking at him nudged El-Bob because as technical leader
of the council he had to say something too.
Pippin who'd been keeping the hovering
'Hand of Fate' away by succesfully hiding behind Boromir, was very
glad it also meant not seeing Aragorn smooching Arwen.
But the pomposity of various comments and proferred weapons had gotten
just a tad too much.
"Oh thank heavens, somebody with intelligence, we'll need that on this
quest, mission, ... thing.
When are we going?"