The Lord of the... whatever, Book II, Chapter 6:


    "I fear we can stay here no longer," said Aragon. Looking at the mountains,
raising high his sword he cried: "Farewell, Gandalf! Why did I not warn 
you: If you pass through Moira, beware!" This produced a suppressed 
snickering and a "yeah right", but silence returned among the partly grief
stricken group when Aragon shot an angry glance in the general direction of
the hobbits. He decided no to vent any more anger and grief at this point as
they were clearly not shared by all.
    The company got up and looked around them. The scenery was as dreary as
could be expected of a ski resort in high season, but still Aragon felt the
need to point out some landmarks. "Over there are the Rimdilstairs. Next to 
those waterfalls is where we should have come down, had fate been kinder to 
    "Or bureacracy and corruption less rampant," added Giggly. "Curse those
greedy bastards, waylaying innocent travelers with outrageous visa
demands!" And he actually looked quite endearing, shaking his cute little
fist, still red from orc blood.
    "Well, enough enjoying the scenery. As I am senior, I will lead you now 
and the next stop is Lorien." Aragon was still annoyed that some in the 
company suspected him of being less than totally sincere in his grieving for
Gandalf, and now wanted to drive the ungrateful scum into the ground by
forced march.
    "Wait up, hoss," said Boromir™. "Who died and made you boss?" For a
second he looked more like a sheep than a 37th generation sheep, coming from
good sheep stock, bred in good sheep country and genetically engineered to
look and feel even more like sheep than your average sheep. He quickly
overcame his embarrasment and said "Well, okay, Gandalf died, but did he make
you boss?"
    "Actually he did," smirked Aragon, "In closed chambers I was
named SiC, in case anything happened to him, like SABOTAGE - " (malicious 
look at the hobbits) " - or a 5TH COLUMN" (more looks-that-could-kill).
    "Oh yeah?! Just 'cause you say so doesn't make it so. Got any proof?"
Boromir™ wasn't about to give up now, his foot was so far in his mouth,
it couldn't possibly get any worse.
    Aragon produced a very official looking document, and the reason it looked
so official was that it was indeed official. It stated that should Gandalf
fall in any cracks anywhere, Aragon, son of Arathon, the guy with the broken-
-reforged sword, was to lead the company in his stead. It carried the 
internationally recognised Veriseal, so it must be OK then.
    They followed Aragon down the mountain, some more willing than others.
Boromir™ was clearly not happy, muttering something about "sly motherf..
always an answer to everything," but the rest of the company ignored him.
As they left the East gate of Moira behind them they started encountering
ruins of sorts, and Giggly overcame some of his grief as he thought he 
recognised the surroundings.
    "That must be Durin's Stone," he exclaimed, "I can't pass it without 
looking at the wonder of the valley."
    "Be quick about it then," said Aragon, thoroughly enjoying his new role, 
and starting to wish Gandalf had departed quite a bit sooner. "We'll be safe
once we're in Lothlorien, and Wednesday is meatloafday. We don't want to
miss that." He didn't add that the last thing he wanted was to get his
mother-in-law's mother angry by being late, and she was known for her
    Giggly jogged towards the stone pillar, and called for Frodo to follow him.
Frodo's upper body was aching from the impact of the orc's stick, but he was
strangely attracted to the silent blue water, and the scent that hung over
the place.
    Together they stood still, for a moment in grave silence, in awe of the
moment, and of the history of the place.
    "This pillar marks the spot where the Dwarves first erected a McDonalds
concession. Cholesterol levels have never been the same, but you just can't
beat that Quarter Pounder cheese, now can you?" Giggly was clearly overcome
with emotion, but Frodo just wished that more of the once proud restaurant
remained than the lingering smell of hamburgers and fries.
    "Oh Ronald McDonald, succulent and juicy," said Giggly. "There it lies, 
the Big Mac, until the Power comes back on," and with a bow he left.
    "What did you see?" Pipsqueak asked Frodo on his return, but Frodo 
couldn't bring himself to torment his companion with descriptions of menus 
and smells, and remained silent.

    Aragon now led the company south, over a steep path down. "I will lead 
you on the road that Gandalf chose," unnecessarily emphasizing himself but
wanting to shut Boromir™ and any other would-be contenders up for good.
"First I hope to get to the woods where the Silverlode flows into the Great
River - " he pointed, " - Over There." He immediately realized this didn't
sound very authorative but it was too late.
    "Hope? Hope? Do you actually have any idea where we're headed?" asked
Boromir™ smugly.
    "Wh- when I said 'Hope', I- I- I- meant to- to arrive safely," stammered
Aragon, experiencing a sinking feeling not felt since a certain luxury
cruiseship thought unsinkable proved not to be. But once again an elf maid
came to his rescue, although this time it was Lego-lass.
    "There lie the plains of Lothlorien, fairest of all dwellings of my people.
There are no trees in that country - at least there didn't used to be, they
were all cut down, for the leaves of the trees were made into a currency and
subsequently its entire population became millionaires overnight. But they
spent the money well and now they run some of the finest, most exquisite
golf courses in Middle Earth. Teeing off is said to induce a state of
euphoria, and putting in Lorien is praised above all else in the songs we
sing in Mirkwood. My heart would be glad to behold a golf bat in Spring, in
    "It's a club, and I'll be glad even if it were winter. But it's still 
quite some distance," (again cursing himself for his indecisiveness) "and we 
have to hurry."
    "Do you have to be a member-" Arwen tried to ask, but she was interrupted.
    "I have to rest," Frodo cried. The jog with Giggly and the gnawing hungry
feeling the hamburger joint had awoken had compounded the pain in his side
from the orc stick, and suddenly his strength was gone. Aragon silently
cursed him for spoiling his planned forced march, but he feinged compassion
and ran to Frodo.
    "I am so sorry, Frodo! In all the confusion I forgot about your ordeal, 
and, well, you seemed all right what with how you rocketed up the mountain 
after Giggly like a decathlon champion on benzedrine. Please forgive my 
insensitivity. Come! A little further up is a place where we can rest, and 
I shall tend to your injuries. Boromir™, carry him."
    Feeling very pleased with himself for that last command, he turned and 
led them to a small clearing. A fire was made, and Aragon examined Frodo. 
Frodo dreaded taking his clothes off. The memory of being taunted mercilessly 
was enough to make him shudder, but even more he feared that all would discover 
his theft of Bilbo's unique and priceless mithril mail coat.
    "I'm all right," he writhed. "All I need is a McChicken and a Coke." His 
squirming came as much from the pain as from the image of being exposed as the 
thieving little sh*t that he now thought himself to be.
    "No," said Aragon. "I'm surprised at all that you're still alive after 
nearly being impaled with that orc twig, and I'd be negligent in my duties as a
responsible leader if I didn't do all that I can to relieve your pain."
That sounded quite sincere, if a little contrived.
    He carefully removed Frodo's jacket, and started laughing uncontrollably.
"No wonder it hurts! Giggly, look at what the little hobbit princeling is
wearing!" Aragon could no longer control his limbs and fell on his knees
with laughter. When Giggly approached and saw what made Aragon suffer fits,
he also burst out laughing. "What is THAT?! What are you wearing??"
Frodo looked at the coat, and saw that it was all rusted, and where the
stick had impacted it had broken, the rings being driven into his flesh and
the wound already infecting.
    "Wait, wait, don't tell me, it's the coat Thorin gave Bilbo when he
supposedly forgave him on his deathbed. I knew Bilbo was thick, but who's
ever heard of a forgiving dwarf, and then one who's been robbed of what he
holds dearest in all the world? Come ON! That thing is cursed worse than
Tinwelint's treasure! Let alone that it's made of tin..."
    "I expected better from you than to accept that as a gift from Bilbo, 
Frodo. All in Rivendell knew that it was an evil thing Thorin gave to Bilbo." 
But Frodo was just relieved that everyone in the company assumed Bilbo had 
given the damn thing to him. He felt better already, and his spirit rose even 
more when Aragon, feeling magnanimous, decided to allow the company a dose of
Vala dust. He could do no wrong after that.

    After coming down from their trip, the company ran out of excuses to 
avoid the forced march Aragon had set his mind on, and so they progressed at
neckbreaking speed through the dark. The country passed them by, until a
golden flickering seemed to envelop them. They came to a halt, and noticed
that a high dense forest was before them. In the pale light of the stars
they saw that it was the leaves that shone the pale light.
    At the edge of the treeline a sign lay on its side, and Aragon stooped 
and picked it up.
    "Lothlorien. Population 23.726 and waning. Galadriel and Dullborn
    Mystery was written on the faces of Aragon, Lego-lass and Arwen. The 
hobbits were as usual out of it, Boromir™ smelled another chance to 
confront Aragon with his (alleged) inadequacies and only Giggly remained 
relaxed, with a patient, almost serene expression on his face. Vala dust 
can do that to a dwarf.
    "It can't be," said Lego-lass. "There haven't been any trees for as long 
as my people can rememer, in fact since the battle in which the last Balrog
squadron, led by the Red Balrog with triple wing configuration, was defeated. 
And where are the fabled golf courses?"
    "Don't start that again! I don't know where your precious golf courses 
are, but I have a feeling we're about to find out," said Aragon. He paused,
then added for effect "But it's quiet here, too -,"
    "Oh come off it, it's quiet because THERE'S NO ONE HERE! Now let's get
packing, I for one want to see this witch!" Boromir's™ rude interruption
made Aragon spasm with anger, and it was all he could do to control himself
and not run Anduril through that upstart Steward's heir. That reminded him,
he could just fire the moron, and his father while he was at it...
    His musings were interrupted by Lego-lass, who with typical Elven delicacy
was blundering into the forest, making a raucous like a herd of oliphaunts.
The company had no choice but to follow, and so they did. After a short while
they came upon a fastflowing river, and Lego-lass recognized it as Nimrodel,
exclaiming, "Any elf would recognize the voice of this water, we made many
songs about it and the golden flowers that floated in her foaming current."
    "Or maybe she knew by the sign here, saying 'Nimrodel'. She's such a 
bimbo." Arwen was clearly getting annoyed at Lego-lass, for reasons as yet 
unclear to the company.
    "Follow me, guys," said Lego-lass. "The water soothes aching feet, and 
it's not very deep!" She climbed off the steep bank and disappeared immediately
in the swirling cauldron. It took the combined efforts of Boromir™ (who
acted before Aragon had a chance to order him), Giggly and Arwen to pull her
from the freezing water. "Per - Haps -We - Should -Try -At -An -Oth - Er -
Cros- Sing," she gulped. Aragon felt his control of the company slipping,
and while cohesion had never been a strong point, now it seemed as if the
group was falling apart. Well, tough.
    Lego-lass regained her composure rapidly, in spite of the incessant back
beating by Arwen, who was pretending to help Lego-lass get rid of the water
in her lungs. "Do you hear the voice of - Arwen, will you stop that?! - The
voice of Nim - Leave me alone will ya?! I can hear the voice of the river,
it reminds me of a song my people sing. I will try to translate it into
    In a soft voice the elf began:

          There once was an old elven-maid
          With nothing to do all day
          Spent time and money on trendy clothes
          Just had to have her way

          Her hair was white, her limbs were gone
          And she was fairly free;
          And in the wind her ribcage whistled
          Like chimes in a linden-tree

          Where now she wanders none can tell
          In Bondstreet or Times Square
          Her creditcards were all revoked
          Her bankaccounts laid bare

          A wind by night in Projects-South
          Arose, and bad it stunk
          Drove shopping trolley thru the street
          And she lost all her spunk

          Amroth beheld his bankuptcy
          And cursed the faithless b*tch
          His debt now stacked too high to see
          His credit blown to bits

          From window high they saw him leap
          a sack of flour from a barn
          plunge to the streets below, so deep
          Ending this sad sad yarn

    "I apologise if the translation is less than perfect, but I'm sure you 
all get the drift of the story. It's very sad, for it tells how greed came 
to Lorien, when the dwarves wakened bureaucracy and corruption in the
    "But the dwarves did not make the bureaucracy and corruption," said 
    "Don't get so defensive, shorty; I never said they did."

    Aragon decided this was the moment to reestablish his leadership, 
and rounded them all up. He led them deeper into the forest, until it became to
dark to see, and it was decided to make camp. Following Lego-lass' advice
they were about to climb the trees, which seemed the safest place to sleep,
when a commanding voice sounded from the trees. Unexpectedly, they had found
elves of Lorien, and they felt safer. As Aragon had a bad case of vertigo,
he had no choice but to deputize Lego-lass to talk to them. She disappeared
up a tree and came back down after half an hour or so.
    "It seems Halfwit, Rummage and Orphan knew we were coming, and anyway, 
they heard me nearly drown and then cough my lungs out back at the river, so 
they let us pass. They'll escort us to Galadriel and Dullborn, but because 
elves hate dwarves - as my dad showed your dad, Giggles - and the Lorien folk 
have not yet been infected with the Political Correctnes virus, Giggly will 
have to be gagged, blindfolded and tied to a pole, after receiving the 
mandatory flogging of course... No, I'm kidding, but a blindfold will be 
    The dwarf made no objections, and aside from some torn ligaments and a
broken nose there followed an uneventful leisurely walk until Halfwit froze,
and the entire company felt the tension.
    "Yrch!" said the elf in a hissing whisper, staring into the darkness, and
they heard him sniffing as well.
    "What is it? Not orcs, I hope," whispered Aragon to Lego-lass.
    "No, he just stepped in some dog doodie. Probably from one of Galadriel's; 
they tell me she lets those mutts run around free all the time, and this is 
what you get."
    The company tried to walk more carefully after that, but it was no use,
sooner or later they all stepped in it, except Giggly, who somehow managed
to use the elf leading him as guide to where not to tread.
    For that night and the next day they walked, and apart from the occasional
rest, which invariably involved a small picnic (these elves were not used to
bingeing Hobbits, and had yet to learn to say No) it was all pretty boring,
so a routine evolved whereby one member would talk to Giggly, and another
(Morrie volunteered for this more than the others) would curl up into a
rock-like position, placing himself in Giggly's path. The dwarf's guide was
happy to cooperate, and they laughed themselves silly as the poor Dwarf
tripped and fell time after time, being warned just a little too late every
time. It made time pass by more quickly for all involved.

    In the afternoon more elves joined the company, and Giggly's blindfold was
removed. "Galadriel has personally ordered this. You are the first dwarf to
behold the Course of the Naith of Lorien since Durin's day!"
    Before them stretched what must have been the only remaining golf course 
in the entire elven realm, but what a beauty it was. Its grass was just
greener, its sand was just - well, you know; it was an elven version of a
perfect golf course.
    "Behold! You are come to Cerin Amroth," said Halfwit. "For this is the 
heart of the acient realm as it was long ago, and here is the mound of Amroth,
where they buried what they managed to scrape off the pavement after his
unfortunate fall."

    The others cast themselves down upon the grass, but Frodo had never played
golf, had never even seen a golf cart, and badly wanted to drive one. He
thought he had managed to sneak away unseen and sat down behind the wheel of
beautifully cream colored cart, when Aragon sat down next to him. He felt
caught, but Aragon put him at ease.
    "This is the best golf course on earth," he said, and added with what can
only be described as a malicious smirk, "and here I scored a hole-in-one for
the first time in my life, and this was before I ever learned to play
golf...You have not scored yet, but your luck may change." And feeling
magnanimous once more, he took Frodo's hand and showed him the way to
Arwen's cousin's dwellings, and came there as healthy men do.

Book II, Chapter Five / Table of Contents / Book II, Chapter Seven
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This chapter of this epic work is presented through the courtesy of Dany Belinfante <danybelinfante.NoSpam-aaaaaaat-zonnet-dawt-nl>. Copyright © 2000 by the author. All rights reserved. Some variance between this e-text and the original printed material by Professor Tolkien is inevitable. Using this as an electronic resource for scholarly or research purposes may lead to a certain degree of academic embarassment. All agree that the printed version of the text, available from respectable publishers such as Houghton Mifflin and Ballantine Books, is to be preferred. Boromir™ is a trademark of Saul Zaentz and Tolkien Enterprises, who hold all merchandising rights to Gondor™ and its subsidiaries. Students of Tolkien's works should be advised that the phrase Nine irons to rule them all does not appear as such in the published work, nor does Aragon led the party to the woods in six under par.