🧙 The Tolkien Forum 🧝

Welcome to our forum! Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox! Plus you won't see ads ;)

Tolkien's Absurd Idea

Eledhwen

Cumbrian
Joined
May 11, 2002
Messages
3,149
Reaction score
45
Location
Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, England, UK
JRR Tolkien: "Do not laugh! But one upon a time I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and consmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-story - the larger founded on the lesser in contact with the earth, the lesser drawing splendour from the vast backcloths - which I could dedicate simply to: to England; to my country. .... I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama. Absurd." (Letter 131 to Milton Waldman).
Here is the place where the gifted writers of TTF can wield their mighty gifts and fill out those stories that have been placed in the scheme, and sketched, by JRR Tolkien.

Suggested formats: prose, poetry, screenplay/audioplay etc.

I would suggest that the accounts only contain characters that would legitimately enter the story from the existing Legendarium ... No invented Elf leaping to the rescue, or fake antagonist to stir up the trouble. Clearly, though, some stories would need invented characters. For instance, we only know the names of the protagonists in the later battles for Erebor, Esgaroth and Dale, and some invention would be needed if the glamhoth were to be any more than a dark wave of evil beings of whom no detail was given. It is in the skill of writing such characters without upsetting the histories that would be the big challenge.

If this thread is much used, we could have themes or competitions for the writing up of a particular background sketch.
 
Last edited:

Manveru

(former)blue angel of GoT
Joined
Jun 12, 2003
Messages
1,070
Reaction score
1
Location
Edinburgh
is everyone in here reading everyone's mind, i wonder? :rolleyes:
 

Lhunithiliel

Fëanorean
Joined
Jul 26, 2002
Messages
3,138
Reaction score
7
May I be called a "gifted writer"???
I doubt it!
Not beside you, El and you, Angel! :)

But still ... the creative fire is strong within and whether it is here or in the WIG-s, I guess, I'll have to let it out ASAP ... or it will choke me! ;)

El, when you will, give it a start ... show your idea! :)
 

Manveru

(former)blue angel of GoT
Joined
Jun 12, 2003
Messages
1,070
Reaction score
1
Location
Edinburgh
i know one thing: i feel cosy hanging around with you, guys (and you "gifted wraith";)).

maybe i got some "gift", but in what? (that's the question)
 

Eledhwen

Cumbrian
Joined
May 11, 2002
Messages
3,149
Reaction score
45
Location
Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, England, UK
The Breelander

..But there was one swarthy Breelander, who stood looking at them with a knowing and half-mocking expression that made them feel very uncomfortable. Presently he slipped out of the door, followed by the squint-eyed southerner: the two had been whispering together a good deal during the evening. Harry the gatekeeper also went out just behind them.

As they moved out into the dark night, the Breelander whispered through his teeth none too quietly. "Come on, Harry. There's none bar you has the key to the gates. We've got us some news as we can swap for gold . Catch up now, if you like your nose the shape it is, they might be gone by now."

"Well, as long as it's you as goes to talk with them, Bill. Fair froze my blood they did."

"Nothing warms frozen blood like a nice bag of warm gold" answered Bill. "I'll go, but if I'm a going alone, I want the biggest share."

The Southerner had listened in silence, but hissed at Bill's greed. "There will be no biggest share, Bill Ferney. You agreed your share and you'll get no more. You wouldn't get out the gate without Harry Here, and I do not fear to face the Nazgul while I remain useful to them. I will go."

"Not on your own, you won't," Bill Ferney stood in front of the Southerner, threateningly. "You'll take the gold and run, you will. I'm coming too."

The Southerner nodded once, his sallow face unchanged and inscrutable. Bill Ferney stepped aside and the three continued their way to the gate. As he undid the lock that held the gate bar, Harry looked back furtively towards the Prancing Pony. "Maybe we should wait 'til they're all asleep" he cautioned.

"Or tomorrow, or maybe when they're gone." Bill added sarcastically. "Idiot! We have to go now, or they'll want to know why we waited, and that might be a bit painful, see?"

"I see," answered Harry. His hands trembled as he slid the heavy plank back as quietly as he could. "I'll be waiting in the gatehouse when you get back."

"You'll be waiting right here, you snivelling coward!" The Southerner had grabbed Harry's cloak around the neck and was choking him. He let go when Harry began to faint. "There will be no delays. You will listen for a low whistle. When you hear it you will open the gate at once."

"Yes!" Harry croaked. The Southerner gave him one last scowl to keep the instructions fresh in his mind, then he slipped out of the gate with Bill Ferny at his heels. The gate closed softly behind them.

Bill looked left and right along the road. There was no-one in sight. "Now what?" he asked, too loudly for the Southerner's liking, who grabbed Ferney's arm with a strong, painful grip.

"You shut up, that's what." said the Southerner. He released Bill Ferney from his grip and cupped his hands to his mouth. A cry like a tawny owl echoed out into the darkness. A long silence. A second time the Southerner cupped his hands to his mouth, but had barely begun to call when a shape, blacker than the night rose up slowly over the embankment across the road. Slightly taller than man height it was, cloaked in black, but though it faced them, they could discern no features save the dark gleam of a sword as a brief eddy blew the cloak aside. Bill Ferney shook with a terror that he perceived came from the approaching figure. The Southerner seemed unmoved, but unknown to Bill, he too felt the thick dread come upon him, and he had learned, not to master it, but to hide it. The dark figure stopped a sword length from them, and the faceless hood turned towards the Southerner.

“Well?” A thin voice, but thick with evil stood waiting for his answer.

“Shire folk,” answered the Southerner, “Like you told us to look for. Four of them joined the company at the Prancing Pony tonight.”

“For that you want gold?” sneered the stranger.

“No, not just that…” Bill Ferney’s excitement had got the better of him, but as the empty blackness in the cloak turned to look at him, he felt the colour drain from his face. He tried to speak some more, but a short, high pitched squeak came where his voice used to be. The Southerner gave him a sharp, pitiless glance and finished the tale himself.

“One of them, a fool, was singing and dancing on a table. He lost his footing, but when he hit the floor he just disappeared, vanished into nothing.” And though they could not see his face, they perceived that the stranger was keenly interested in the hobbit’s disappearance.

“I require more service of you.” Hissed the stranger. “Then I will pay. Behind him, unnoticed until the last minute, two more figures, clad in darkness and fear as their companion was, loomed out of the night. “Open the gate!”

"I have the signal." said Bill, and gave out a low whistle. Behind the gate, they could hear Harry's laboured breathing as his clumsy, trembling hands took longer than usual to pull the bar back and swing the gate open. The three strangers brushed past the gatekeeper without acknowledging him. His legs buckled beneath him, and he held on to the gate in a vain attempt to hide his fear. By the time he fastened the gate, the other five conspirators were already inside his gatehouse. He followed as far as the door, and stood on the threshold, fearing to enter.

"Make fast the door." hissed the tallest of the visitors. "We will have no prying ears, this is for your hearing only." Reluctantly, the gatekeeper closed his door, pressing himself against it in pretence of being anywhere but in the company of the cloaked strangers with their dark, empty faces. "The streets will be empty tonight," he continued. "We will instill such fear as drives these dull mortals to their beds. Then you will act." Bill Ferney and Harry the Gatekeeper nodded vigorously. The Southerner stood in stony-faced silence. "You must find where the Shirelings sleep. They must be slain."

"I know where they will be sleeping, I heard old Barliman. The windows are small and round..."

The tall stranger hissed impatiently. "You must slay them. Pass their bodies through the window and we will search them. You have swords?"

"Long knives" answered Bill Ferney, his voice dulled by his fear.

"Knives will serve," continued the stranger. "But first you must take the horses from the inn. Lead them through the gate and release them. Be silent. If you are heard, you will fail in your other task and will receive only the wrath of your captors."

"We will not fail." answered the Southerner. "But I shall need somewhere to hide. The blame will certainly fall on me, the only total stranger in the company."

"I have a bolt hole for you," said Bill, growing bolder now the tasks were clear. "Now what's all this worth?"

The stranger opened a black leather purse and held it out to the Southerner, who gazed at the contents, grinning broadly.
 

Manveru

(former)blue angel of GoT
Joined
Jun 12, 2003
Messages
1,070
Reaction score
1
Location
Edinburgh
great... i must admit, El, that only after reading your passage it came to me (in full) what was your idea about... (i'm shallow as PL coastline;))
 

Thread suggestions

Top