The Lord of the... whatever, Book VI, Chapter 5:

The Queen, Or The King?

  Gondor™ had been experiencing a downturn in business of late.  In the 
weeks since the Rohirrim had left, the gradual flow of cash into the 
coffers of Ariellë's merchandising empire had shrunk dramatically.  The 
Rohirrim had parted rather grumpily, some mourning the death of 
HeyHoDen, others off to help Eowynn prepare her paternity suit, and the 
remainder simply happy to get back to whatever it was they did with 
their horses in peacetime (Pipsqueak hoped it was showjumping, but 
Morrie had told him not to be so naive).
  The flood of customers from Mordor had also subsided a little, due 
mostly to their growing awareness of just how extortionate Ariellë's new 
pricing policy was, even for a family orientated theme park.  However, 
the CEO of Gondor™ Entertainment Inc. still had a trick up her sleeve to 
drag in the punters.  Along with Acting Deputy Executive Vice Presidents 
Morrie and Pipsqueak, she had concocted a plan to alter the face of the 
entertainment industry for years to come.  She had planned a pageant to 
end all pageants - The Crowning of The New Queen of Gondor™!
  Through many long nights of deep thought - although Pipsqueak's mind 
was often elsewhere (I would go into more detail but this is purportedly 
a family e-text and, well...) - they concocted the plans for the most 
spectacular spectacle ever spectated.  Two days of non-stop feasting, 
parades, fireworks and toon-based entertainment were to climax in the 
Crowning ceremony, of which Ariellë herself would be the star.  However, 
much work was needed to iron out a few minor problems, such as parking 
arrangements and the particularly unusual sanitary requirements of the 
  The Crowning was to involve the now much slimmer Aragon, the 
increasingly reclusive Sam (representing the still-slightly-delirious 
Frodo as ringbearer) and Spiegel, who was rapidly becoming something of 
a minor star in her own right and whose first movie was already being 
planned.  Nobody had been able to find Boromir™, but then again, nobody 
seemed to care.

  The festival was a great triumph for manufactured entertainment.
People flocked in from hundreds of miles around to eat drink and be merry
in the streets of the citadel.  Eric the small cat was a huge success, as 
were Spiegel and Her Elvish Dancing Girls - a suggestion of Giggly - 
albeit with a slightly different section of the crowd.  Strangely, 
though, Sam was nowhere to be seen during Spiegel's act, or for a good 
while afterwards - the two of them hadn't been talking too much of late. 
  It was only after a thorough search had been organised that he was 
found, much to Morrie's relief, wandering aimlessly around the streets 
and occasionally being pelted with fruit by Orcish children.

  Ariellë sat atop a tall throne at the centre of the stage, smiling 
sweetly, the focus for the attention of thousands of eagerly watching 
eyes.  To her left stood Aragon, more than an hint of jealousy in his 
eye,  and a slightly ruffled Sam, hastily rushed through make-up, and to 
her right Spiegel, the two hobbits having been carefully placed on 
different sides of the throne to avoid any 'complications'.  A lively, 
badly dressed MC was leaping around, yelling seemingly random phrases 
and still managing to evoke a cheer from the audience.  In the wings, 
between Morrie and Pipsqueak, waited the old and rather befuddled High 
Priest in Charge of Crowning and the Official Whopping Big Crown of Gondor™.
"So, how are all you happy little people?!" yelled the MC to nobody in 
particular, and at once became the recipient of a huge, incoherent roar. 
  "Glad to hear it!!  Well, floks, it's the moment we're all here to 
see - the once in a lifetime event that is... Ttttthhhhhhheeeeee 
Ccccccrrrrooooowwwwnniiinnngggg!!!!!!"  Once again, a mighty cheer went 
up, loud enough to make everyone onstage (including the MC) cringe, but 
yet seemed to have very little effect on Ariellë who sat smiling away 
to herself, apparently unaware of the tumult.
  The MC bounded away into the wings, and in his place appeared the frail, 
rather less hip figure of the High Priest.  He had been persuaded, by 
means unknown to all except Morrie, to shorten the traditionally seven 
hour ceremony to a single line, and seemed a little too eager to get it 
all over with.  He was followed by the two Executive hobbits, carrying 
between them the extravagant, vastly oversized, and really rather gaudy 
Crown of Gondor™, which apparently been made for ancient kings who were 
more of Aragon's original proportions than Ariellë's.
  From somewhere backstage came the blast of a hundred mighty trumpets. 
"All rise for Queen Ariellë!" shouted Morrie and Pipsqueak in unison, and 
a deadly silence fell across the onlookers.  Ariellë, however, seemed 
unmoved by all of this, and sat quietly grinning at nothing in particular.
  "People of this city," muttered the priest regretfully to himself, 
before loudening up a little at a glance from Morrie.  "Friends from 
distant lands and purchasers of kitsch merchandise, I present to you 
Ariellë, the New Queen of The Magic Kingdom of Gondor™!"
  With one disgruntled gesture he snatched the crown from Morrie and 
placed it on top of her head to great cheers from the crowd.  However, 
Ariellë herself did not seem very impressed at all with the performance. 
  She sat in stony silence, her grin now appearing to take on almost 
manic enthusiasm.  The High Priest looked shocked, and hurried down to 
  "We could have a bit of a problem here," he whispered. "She appears
to be dead."
  "Dead?  What do you mean, dead?"
  "Dead.  She's kicked the bucket. Gone.  Popped her clogs.  Vamoosh."
  "If this is some kind of joke, you'll be tomorrow's FairyBurger™ meat." 
Morrie hurried up to the throne, felt Ariellë's neck, and then leant
down and whispered to Pipsqueak, "You know what?  She is dead!"
  "Dead?  DEAD!  How can she be dead!  It's so... so sad..."  He fell
to the floor, wailing.  A loud murmur swept through the crowd.  Spiegel 
looked stunned and Aragon uncertain.  Sam, however, seemed impassive, 
and didn't seem particularly shocked.
  "I know, I know.  She was the star attraction.  But there's no need to 
make all that fuss... we always have Plan B to fall back on."
  "Plan B!  You made a Plan B in case Ariellë died?"
  "Of curse... my past employment has taught me to prepare for everything. 
  Morrie hurried to one side of the stage, gesturing for Aragon and the
Priest to follow him.  They went into a huddle briefly, and then emerged,
Aragon looking surprisingly pleased and the Priest looking bewildered.
Morrie strode to the font of the stage.
  "My good friends, we are sorry to disappoint those of you who came to 
see Queen Ariellë crowned today.  However, we are sad to announce that 
this will not be possible, due to technical difficulties."  He raised 
his voice above the sobbing Pipsqueak.  "However, it is my pleasure to 
announce that in her place, we are all privileged to be able to watch 
the crowning of our new monarch... so can I have a big hand please for 
King Aragon!"
  The crowd cheered.  They had come to see a crowning, and weren't overly 
bothered who got crowned.  The High Priest retrieved the Official 
Whopping Big Crown, and started again with his Ceremony.  "Friends from.."
  "STOP!  Stop the ceremony!"  The crowd emitted a collective gasp, for 
there, emerging onto the stage, was Frodo!  He was tall and skeleton 
thin, but the crazed look in his eyes was enough to strike fear into the 
heart of any grown man (or hobbit).  "You must stop the ceremony! 
Ariellë was murdered!  She was murdered, assassinated by..."  He began 
to raise his hand, to point as someone on the stage, but his screams 
were curtailed as an arrow thudded into his back, and he fell to the 
ground, silenced.

Book VI, Chapter Four / Table of Contents / Book VI, Chapter Six
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This chapter of this epic work is presented through the courtesy of Sir Confused-a-lot <>. Copyright © 2002 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™ and Gondor™ are trademarks of Saul Zaentz and Tolkien Enterprises, who hold all merchandising rights to Gondor™ and its subsidiaries. Ariellë memorial postcards and Ariellë memorial garters are now available in the lobby.