June 26, 2003

In the Uttermost West [Revised]

In the Uttermost West

Place: The Uttermost West, Before the Thrones of the Valar, in the Timeless Halls

Time: Between the Fellowship of the Ring and the Two Towers.


Maia 1: Olorin! How have you been! Seems like I haven't seen you for most of an age! What have you been doing?

Olorin: For thirty lives of men I have walked the roads of Middle-Earth till the bleeding cracks on my feet had bleeding cracks on them...

Maia 2: Oh, I remember. The mission. Coordinating the elves and men in that mopping-up operation against what's-his-name, that lieutenant of Morgoth, Gorthaur...

Olorin: He calls himself Sauron now...

Maia 1: What's it like? Living on Middle-Earth? Being incarnated in a mortal, killable fleshly body? Having only a dim shadow of your native powers, intelligence, and memory?

Olorin: I bitterly longed for this place desperately, yet my memory was so fogged that I could not really see what I yearned for in my mind's eye.

Maia 1: You couldn't even be known by your own name...

Olorin: Gandalf, they called me. Mithrandir...

Maia 2: But it's over now. Your task is done! You can kick back and relax. Wait until you see what Yavanna has just finished!

Maia 1: And Earendil has done the most amazing things with comets!

Olorin: Ummm...

Maia 2: Silence! They come.

(Enter Manwe, Varda, and Mandos. They seat themselves on their thrones.)

Varda: Olorin! It is good to see you! I did not expect you back for another year and a half.

Mandos: Indeed, he returns before his fated time.

Varda: But this is good news, no? You have succeeded. Unexpectedly and prematurely. After all, our Eldar King's plan was fated to work, right?

Olorin: Ummm...

Varda: And it was a well thought-out and clever plan plan. The careful breeding and evolution of a race of hnau--Hobbits--unusually resistant to the Ring's evil to serve as Ringbearers without falling into the trap of Isildur. The Blue Wizards to rally the Easterlings and the Haradrim against Mordor. Radagast to teach and summon all of animal and vegetable creation to the fight. You--as Gandalf--to reunite the Dunedain. The armies of the West, East, and South, assisted by the rest of Creation, all coordinated by Saruman the White as Head of the White Council, to converge on Mordor and protect the Hobbit-Ringbearers as the carried the Ring to Mount Doom. It was a well thought-out plan. I am only surprised that it has been accomplished so early. But why are you alone back? Surely Saruman, the first of wizards, should have pride of place in reporting this victory. You, after all, are only third in the hierarchy of the Istari...

Mandos: Not the third...

Olorin: Ummm...I don't quite know how to put this . . .

Eonwe: Oh, by Iluvatar! Something's gone wrong! You should have sent me again! I could have cleaned up this Sauron very very quickly! Why, when Ancalagon the Black emerged...

Varda: Eonwe! Quiet. Olorin has something to tell us!

Manwe: You were saying, Olorin?

Olorin: Ummm...

Varda: Yes?

Olorin: Ummm...

Mandos: Remember: what Olorin is about to tell us has been willed where what is willed must be...

Olorin: Ummm...

Manwe: Spit it out, Olorin. What has gone wrong?

Varda: Are you saying that the ring is not destroyed?

Olorin: Not exactly. Or, rather, not yet.

Varda: WHERE IS THE RING!

Olorin: Right now, I think it is in Lorien.

Eonwe: In the hands of Galadriel? That stuck-up traitoress Elven b...

Varda: No barracks language in the Timeless Hall, please, Eonwe.

Maia #1: Galadriel is going to claim the ring? Become a new Dark Lord? A Dark Queen, terrible as the dawn?

Mandos: That is not her fate. Galadriel has passed the test. She will return to us.

Varda: OLORIN. WHY ARE YOU HERE! WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR WIZARD BODY! IT WAS A GOOD, TOUGH BODY! WHY AREN'T YOU WEARING IT!

Olorin: I had an accident?

Manwe: What sort of accident? What did you run into?

Olorin: Ummm...

Manwe: WHAT DID YOU RUN INTO!!

Olorin: In the Mines of Moria. I ran into a Balrog.

Manwe: And you lost to a Balrog?

Olorin: I didn't have my full strength. Remember, I was incarnated into a body without most of my powers. That was YOUR idea, remember? And I didn't lose. It was a draw.

Varda: Eonwe?

Eonwe: Yes?

Varda: At the end of the First Age, you said that all the Balrogs had been captured and destroyed. I saw your report...

Eonwe: Ummm... well, you see, uh, in a manner of speaking, all the Balrogs were captured and destroyed. At least, that's what Olorin told me!

Olorin: Hey, wait a second!

Varda: Water under the bridge. Eonwe, I want you to restart the Balrog Subcommittee. If there's one, there may be others as well. Olorin, I want you to get over to Mandos's Halls to be measured for another body pronto. And somebody needs to try to contact Saruman the White to get his take on things. It should be easy. Our last message from him... was it 200 years ago?... said that he had recovered a Palantir...

Olorin: Ummm... I don't think that contacting Saruman via Palantir would be the greatest idea..

Varda: Why not? It can't be broken, and we know that he has one of the most powerful Palantirs. Look, I have our Palantir right here, let me just...

Olorin: I really wouldn't...

Varda: [a flash of lightning] Ouch! That stung! A giant eye... lidless... wreathed in flame. [Pause] Back when he used to play the harp at my feet, back when the Two Trees were in flower, he was a lot more handsome...

Mandos: His Doom...

Olorin: Saruman...

Mandos: Saruman's Doom hangs like a knife...

Manwe: You cannot mean...

Mandos: Saruman has Fallen. But he may still get up...

Varda: You mean that no Palantir can see anything except the Eye of Sauron?

Mandos: There is one to whom Iluvatar has given strength...

Manwe: This is getting us nowhere. Olorin: MAKE YOUR REPORT. WHAT HAS HAPPENED? WHERE ARE THE UNITED ARMIES OF LIGHT? WHO IS PROTECTING THE RINGBEARER? HOW HAS SARUMAN FALLEN?

Olorin: Ummm... I guess it started when I took too much of the Halflings' leaf, and it clouded my mind...

Maia #1: Yes?

Olorin: You see, the Great Ring was under my nose all the time, for sixty years. And I did not detect that Saruman had tried to look into the Palantir, and been daunted by the Eye of Sauron...

Varda: That is an uncommonly ugly shape...

Olorin: Nor did I understand that Saruman was breeding a great army of half-orcs and half-men--an army that could stand daylight, cover a great distance at speed, and attack the ringbearer...

Varda: And?

Olorin: And?

Varda: What happened when Saruman's army of half-orcs half-men attacked the ringbearer?

Olorin: I don't know...

Eonwe: You don't know?!

Olorin: I got killed--the balrog, remember? The one you said "didn't exist"?

Eonwe: I did my best. I...

Manwe: ENOUGH!!

Varda: So the ring might be in Saruman's hands right now?

Olorin: Ummm...

Varda: And he might be putting it on?

Olorin: Ummm...

Varda: Combining his own powers as one of the first of the Maiar with all of Sauron's strength, cruelty, and malice that he put into the One Ring?

Olorin: Ummm...

Varda: You have to go back! Now!

Olorin: No.

Varda: No?

Eonwe: No?

Manwe: No?

Olorin: I was not strong enough to face Saruman myself, remember? I was just the third of the wizards. And if he has and is using the ring, he'll turn me into...

Eonwe: Mincemeat?

Maiar #1: Shreds and gobbets, and then eat the gobbets?

Olorin: Exactly...

Varda: Ok. There. (Gestures.) Now you are first of the Istari, first of the wizards, strong enough to compel Saruman, and break his staff. Satisfied?

Olorin: No.

Varda: No?

Eonwe: No?

Manwe: No?

Olorin: Don't send me back!! You don't know what it's like out there!!

Mandos: Too bad. Back you shall go.

Varda: Better think up a plan--a way for you, with few and weak allies, to defeat Saruman, recover the ring, find a suitable ringbearer, and somehow get the ring past the armies of Sauron and into the fires of Mt. Doom.

Olorin: But...

Eonwe: Anyone want to bet? I'll give you two-to-one odds: 1500 quatloos says he's mincemeat within thirty days...

Varda: Eonwe?

Eonwe: Yes?

Varda: You are not helping.

Olorin: But why do you need me? Radagast the Brown is out there; he can do it. And, he's friends with the giant eagles.

Manwe: Wait. Are you suggesting we let Radagast direct the giant eagles to attack Barad-dur and peck out Sauron's one great eye?

Olorin: Works for me.

Eonwe: Three-to-two odds: 1000 quatloos says Sauron gets pecked.

Varda: Eonwe!

Eonwe: Sorry.

Varda: Olorin?

Olorin: Yes.

Varda: I sense a certain... hesitation. You used to be bold. Now it seems that you would rather do anything than go back to Middle Earth. Why? When I used to go there, it was quite... pleasant...

Olorin: Yes. I was bold. [Falls to his knees and begins to sob]

The Maiar look on in puzzled curiosity...

Varda: Olorin?

Olorin: *Sob* You don't know what it's like out there!!! *Sob*

Eonwe: 500 quatloos, even odds, that Olorin has a complete nervous breakdown and has to be taken someplace very, very quiet to recover.

Varda: Eonwe!!

Eonwe: Sorry.

Mandos: Olorin?

Olorin: Yes.

Mandos: Back you shall go.

Olorin: But the armies of Saruman outnumber the horseclans of Rohan five-to-one! And if Saruman gets hold of the Ring, Rohan and Gondor are toast!

Mandos: Back you shall go.

Eonwe: I'll give anyone who wants to take the other side of the bet 3-1 odds!

Olorin: And the armies of Mordor outnumber the combined armies of Gondor by nine-to-one!

Mandos: Back you shall go!

Olorin: And there is no strength in the elves. And the dwarves are greedy gold-diggers. And most of the humans are on Sauron's side. And the Steward of Gondor is insane and jealous of Aragorn. It's hopeless.

Mandos: Then you had better think of a plan, shouldn't you? Back you shall go!!

Eonwe: 10-1 odds! 10-1 odds! 10-1 that Olorin goes to the booby hatch rather than back to Middan-Gearth!!

Olorin: And there is nobody, nobody in Middle-Earth who knows how to enter Mordor, or pass the Black Gate, or find the Mountain of Doom! Even with an army there is nobody to lead it in the right direction! They would all die of the poison fumes!!

Varda: Mandos? Can you tell us anything about what is fated to happen?

Mandos: Back Olorin shall go. And the hobbit ringbearer is remarkably resistant to the Ring's evil. But not resistant enough. He will need a strange kind of "help" to accomplish his task.

Eonwe: Are you suggesting that Olorin will have to throw the ringbearer into the fires of Mount Doom? That would be really mean!

Varda: Eonwe. How would you like to contemplate the next age of the world through a frog's eyes?

Eonwe: 20-1 odds! Okay, I'm going.

Maiar #3: 10-1 odds Eonwe gets turned into a frog by day's end! Posted by DeLong at June 26, 2003 06:11 PM | TrackBack

Comments

Wow. So who hacked Brad's account? Someone *did* hack Brad's account? Right?

Posted by: Keith M Ellis on June 26, 2003 08:33 PM

Oh, I see. I prefer my hacking theory.

Posted by: Keith M Ellis on June 26, 2003 08:34 PM

Truly, a plausible account. But not quite Tolkeinite. Tolkein was a monarchist authoritarian and didn't write about committee meetings, on principle. Decisions were to be made by the man so designated by birth and there was to be no dissent.

Posted by: Brian on June 26, 2003 08:57 PM

"Tolkein was a monarchist authoritarian and didn't write about committee meetings, on principle."

Well, actually, you are foregetting the Council of Elrond, not to mention the earlier doings of the White Council (Galadriel's plans for putting Galdalf in charge of THAT committee miscarried, as I recall). . . There's also a committee meeting in Return of the King, when they decide to attack the Black Gate to distract Sauron's attention from Frodo and Sam.

Posted by: rea on June 27, 2003 06:35 AM

Wizard, god, mortal, supermortal, ordinary mortal it gets very very confusing does it not? Anyway, were any important dragons slain or were the grizzly sentries too too scary?

And remember you must always always mistrust the women, they would use the ring not for evil power but to make you forget yours, because they hold the Mabinogion in their hearts. Even if it would make men happier in this life to obey them, they would not change for the sake of happiness if it means they must lose their immortality.

Posted by: northernLights on June 30, 2003 08:19 AM
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