LOTR VII. The Return of the King

A forum for our members to collaborate on scripts adapted from Tolkien's works, patterned on the massive LOTR screenplay authored by ToshoftheWuffingas.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

Thanks again for your kind words Ophelia. I was trying there to lay the groundwork for the final episode and referring back to a poignant moment earlier in the story. I have tried to be sparing with flashbacks bearing in mind how much the Professor loved them.
In this instalment the hobbits reach the Shire at last.

Fade to the travellers approaching the gate at Bree. Gusts of red leaves whirl around. Cut to a suspicious gatekeeper armed with a cudgel holding the gate as they enter.
Cut to the company riding through an empty Bree street. Sam gestures with his thumb.

Sam: ‘That was Bill Ferny’s house back there. It’s all bare and empty now. I wonder what happened to his poor old pony what with all those wolves howling.’
Cut to the sign of the Prancing Pony swinging in the wind as the day ends. The camera drops and we see the hobbits and Gandalf standing by their mounts as Merry rings the bell on the door within the archway. Cut to the door opening slightly and Nob’s wide open eye looking out. The door opens a bit more and his head turns.

Nob: ‘Mr Butterbur, they’re back!’ Cut to the back of Butterbur striding down a hallway, rolling up his sleeves and picking up a cudgel himself.

Butterbur: ‘Oh are they? Then I’ll learn them!’ Cut to Butterbur framed in the doorway by the light inside. He brandishes his club then realises who his visitors are. ‘Nob, you woolly pated ninny! Don’t go scaring me like that. Come in little friends. I never expected to see any of you ever again what with going off into the wilds with that Strider fellow.’
Cut to a table in a panelled room filled with the ruins of a meal. The camera pans to Gandalf and the hobbits puffing contentedly on their pipes round a fire. They look up. Cut to Butterbur by the door twisting his apron. He walks up to the travellers.

Butterbur: ‘Beg pardon. Things have not been well in Bree since you left. Most of the newcomers up from the south are just poor folk running from trouble but some were right bad. We had a set-to when the snows came last winter. We reckon Bill Ferny and a couple of others let them in. It was a bad business and some Bree-folk were killed. Killed dead! We managed to push them out and now they live as robbers out in the wild. Nowhere’s been safe since all the Rangers left.’

Pippin: ‘No one troubled us.’

Butterbur: ‘And no wonder little master. They wouldn’t go for fighting folk with swords and armour and shields and all would they? It put even me aback seeing you like that.’

Gandalf: ‘Cheer up Barliman, better times are coming. The Rangers will return and there is a king again. He will come up here one day and then Bree will see fair folk.’

Butterbur, incredulous : ‘Hah! A king at Bree? He’ll be in his tall castle hundreds of miles from here drinking wine from a golden cup, not drinking a mug of ale in the Prancing Pony.’ Gandalf and the hobbits chuckle.

Sam: ‘Well he does say your beer is good.’

Gandalf: ‘Barliman, my fellow, It is Strider who is the king!’ Butterbur opens and closes his mouth and then sits down.

Butterbur: ‘That is a powerful lot to think over. Now where was I? Let’s see, ah, Ferny. Well that poor old pony of his that you bought off him came back last winter. Shaggy as an old dog and lean as a clothes rail but fine for all that. Nob has looked after him.’

Sam jumps up: ‘Bill? You mean he’s here?’ He runs out. A brief cut to Sam in the stables, a lantern lighting things up. He is hugging Bill’s neck.
Cut to the company riding from the archway in the morning. Cut to them leaving the Bree-gate watched by men with cudgels. Cut to Gandalf and the hobbits pausing on the open road.

Gandalf: ‘I shall turn aside here to see Bombadil. He has been a moss gatherer and until now I have been a stone doomed to rolling. I hope to have such a talk. You do not need my help any longer, you have grown very high, among the great you are now.. Farewell for now but not for the last time, no not yet. Good-bye!’ Gandalf rides off. The hobbits follow him with their eyes. Cut to Gandalf already small in the distance riding towards the barrow-downs. Cut back to the hobbits’

Merry Now we are four again. One by one all the others have left.’

Fade to the hobbits approaching a gate across a bridge as the daylight fails. They are hooded against the rain.

Cut to Merry: ‘What’s this? Someone’s pulled down the Bridge Inn and built a house for Big Folk in its place. What is that great ugly thing doing in our Shire?’ Cut to a dark, thin windowed, prison-like rectangular house near the bridge. A tall figure comes out of it swaying a little. In one hand he holds a lantern, in the other a flagon.

‘Can’t you read the notice? No admittance after dark.’ Cut back to the hobbits. Pippin and Merry clamber over the gate.

Sam: ‘How can we read it in the dark? If I do find it I’ll tear it down!’ Cut to Bill’s head. His ears go back and he shows the whites of his eyes. Cut to Merry and Pippin either side of the man.

He lays his flagon down carefully: ‘Gatebreakers eh? Why I’ll break you little necks!’ Merry and Pippin’s swords flash out.

Merry: ‘It’s Bill Ferny isn’t it? Unlock that gate and leave the Shire or we will set steel to you.’ Cut to Ferny’s face and he licks his lips nervously as he looks from side to side. We hear the snort of a horse and the stamp of a hoof. Cut to Ferny running out of the gate into the dark. Cut to Sam’s pony letting fly with his back legs and we hear a squeal of pain. Sam fondles the pony’s head.

Sam: ‘Nice work Bill.’ Cut to a circle of nervous hobbits around the travellers.

Merry: ‘What’s all this nonsense about?

One hobbit (Hob): ‘It’s orders from the Chief up at Bag End in Hobbiton.’

Frodo: ‘Bag End? You can’t mean Lotho Sackville-Baggins? Then it’s high time the family put him in his place. The very idea! When we left the proper Thain of the Shire was the Took.’ Pippin nods firmly.
Cut to the travellers walking into a spartan dormitory. Cut to a wall covered with notices: ‘Forbidden!’ ’ Read and Obey!’ and ‘Penalties’. Hands rip them down.
Cut to Sam rubbing his hands with cold: ‘No welcome, no fire, no pipeweed, no beer; just rules and orc-talk. I see there’s work ahead in the morning.’
Cut to the travellers setting out from the bleak brick house in the morning watched by a small gathering. Cut to the four of them stopping in the countryside in front of a line of hobbits bearing feathered caps who are blocking the road.

Cut to the leader trying to look important with his arms folded: ‘I have to arrest you Mr Baggins for gate-breaking, tearing up rules, attacking a gate-keeper, trespass, sleeping in an official house and travelling without permission.’
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Post by Primula Baggins »

The Scouring! :love:
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

The what? :scratch:
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Post by Primula Baggins »

Oh, dear. :roll:
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

No idea what you are talking about. :scratch:


Here the episode finishes; again I repeat a few words for smoothness...................

Cut to the leader trying to look important with his arms folded: ‘I have to arrest you Mr Baggins for gate-breaking, tearing up rules, attacking a gate-keeper, trespass, sleeping in an official house and travelling without permission.’ Cut to the travellers and Frodo is smirking.

Sam: ‘You can add calling your chief rude names and thinking you look like a lot of Tom-fools.’

Cut to the leader: ‘Now don’t go making it worse. You don’t want to end up in the Lock-holes do you?’

Cut to the travellers laughing and moving forward through the uneasy band of Shirrifs.

Frodo: ‘We shall go where we please but you may follow us if you wish.’

The Chief Shirrif to their backs: ‘Don’t forget I have arrested you!’

Frodo, over his shoulder: ‘I won’t but I may forgive you.’ There is more laughter.

Cut to the Shirrifs hurrying to keep up with the mounted travellers. Sam slows down and beckons to one hobbit. He looks at the leader fearfully who gives him a hard look back then looks away ostentatiously. The hobbit runs forward up to Sam. Cut to a closer view of the two.

Sam: ‘You’re Robin Smallburrow aren’t you? You’re from Hobbiton and ought to know better. What’s with pulling the Bridge Inn down and all these rules?’

Robin, slightly out of breath from keeping up: ‘All the inns are closed. The Chief doesn’t hold with people drinking beer or moving about without his permission.’

Sam: ‘Then you should be ashamed of yourself. You used to like the inside of an ale-house. If Shirriffing has stopped being a respectable job then give it up.’

Robin: ‘We’re not allowed to.’

Sam, growling slightly: ‘If I hear that once more I will get angry.’

Robin, whispering: ‘If we all got angry together something might get done. As it is, if someone stands up, the Chief’s got men who will drag them off to the Lock-holes. They have started beating them too. There’s hundreds of Shirrifs like us now, all in troops like this and all with new rules and there’s even some who do spy work for the Chief.’ He looks over his shoulder. Sam shakes his head in disgust.
Cuts to the procession passing caved in hobbit holes, lines of tree stumps and clusters of shanty-like sheds. Cut to the horizon and a plume of black smoke rises behind a hill. Cut to the friends.

A grim Pippin: ‘I have seen smokes like that before.’ The hobbits look at each other and kick their ponies into a trot.

Cut to the leader of the Shirrifs as he gets smaller: ‘You’re breaking arrest and I can’t be answerable!’

Cut to a close-up of Pippin with gritted teeth: ‘We’ll break a good many things yet.’ Cut to the four cresting a hill and halting, their faces aghast. Cut to the Bywater pool floating with rubbish, all the trees around it felled and beyond it a massive windowless brick factory with a tall chimney belching out black smoke. Lines of regimented barrack-like sheds cluster around it, all within a smoky haze. Cut to the friends again.

Sam: ‘I’ve got to find my gaffer.’ Merry puts a hand on his reins.

Merry: ‘Hold on Sam. We must keep together. There may be men about. We have to find out how things stand first.’
Cut to the four riding slowly down the Bywater street that we saw in the first episode. The trees are now stumps and hobbit houses are covered in notices or boarded up or fouled by graffiti. Cut to a curtain twitching open in a round window and a frightened eye looking out.
Cut to a half dozen ill dressed men leaning against the walls of a broken windowed Green Dragon inn. They move forward and block the road tapping cudgels into their palms. One who is better dressed steps forward.

‘Your road ends here.’ Cut to the cloaked travellers on their ponies facing the men.

Merry: ‘We are not used to footpads in the Shire but we know how to deal with them.’

The man: ‘Don’t try that. Sharky’s here and he’ll wake you little rats up. None of you can stop us from living in this fat little land from now on.’

Frodo rides forward: ‘I am on my way to see Lotho Sackville-Baggins to see what he thinks of your plans.’ The ruffian starts to laugh and his fellows join in.
Frodo continues: ‘You are behind the times. Much has happened in the South and now your day is over. There is a king again and his messengers will ride up the Greenway from the south, not bullies from Isengard. Your master is now a beggar in the wilderness.’ The ruffian walks forward and pushes his face into Frodo’s. Frodo doesn’t flinch.

The ruffian mocks his words: ‘A beggar in the wilderness? Swagger it, go on swagger it while you can you little cock-a-whoop.’ He spits. ‘That for your king’s messengers. I’ll take notice if ever I see one.’ Cut to Pippin boiling over with anger. He throws back his cloak and hood to show the armour of the Citadel Guard bearing the White Tree and his helmet. The camera pulls back as he rides forward to one side of the ruffian. His sword flickers out. Cut to a close-up of the terrified ruffian with the needle sharp point of the barrow-blade at his throat.
We hear Pippins’s voice: ‘Down on your knees and beg for pardon. I am the King’s messenger and you speak to the most renowned in all the days of the West. This blade is a trollbane and I will set it into you!’
Cut to Merry and Sam but not Frodo drawing swords too. Cut to the ruffians running away up the road. Cut to the four friends.

Frodo: ‘Poor Lotho!’ The other three sheathing their swords look sceptical. Frodo continues: ‘You see he didn’t mean this to happen but he is caught now. They run things as they like in his name. I expect he is a very frightened prisoner in Bag End. We must try to rescue him.’

Pippin: ‘Well, I’m staggered! That’s the last thing I expected to do when I got home; to fight and rescue Lotho Pimple!’

Frodo: ‘If it does have to come to fighting, there must be no slaying of hobbits. Even if they have really gone over to the side of the men instead of obeying orders out of fright. No hobbit has ever been killed on purpose in the Shire and it is not to begin now. Do not even kill these ruffians if it can be helped. Keep your tempers.’

Merry: ‘My dear Frodo, we can’t rescue Lotho just by being shocked and sad. If there are many of these ruffians it will come down to fighting.’

Pippin: ‘Yes, they will be bolder when there’s more of them. We are only four. We ought to take cover for the night.’

Merry: ‘No! That’s what the Shire-folk have been doing since this started. It’s what these men want. If we do that they will just corner us and burn us out. We have to do something at once. We must raise the Shire. Now! Wake all the people! We know they hate all this but they don’t know what to do. All they need is a match.’

Pippin: ‘Right. I’ll raise the Tookland and bring help.’ He kicks his pony into a gallop and rides off.

Sam: ‘And I will go to Tom Cotton’s farm. He’s a stout hearted fellow and all his sons were friends of mine.’ Sam also rides off. Cut to Merry riding back with Frodo to the crossroads. He pushes back his cloak and takes up his circular silver horn.
He grins at Frodo: ‘I shall give them some music they have never heard before.’ He brings the horn up and a thrilling sound comes from it. He pauses then shouts out:
‘Awake Awake! Fear Fire Foes Awake!
Fire Foes Awake!’
He repeats the metre on his horn. Cut to curtains opening and hobbits coming out of their doors.
Cut to Sam bent over Bills head. We hear the sound of the distant horn again over the sound of Bill’s gallop. Sam grins ferociously.
Cut to black.
Closing credits.
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

My personal preference would be to include Sam saying "On, lad! On!" to Bill the pony when they hear Merry's horn and almost turn back. But that is obviously a minor point.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

Yes, although it is explained in the book I thought it might be harder to account for visually when the theme is of long needed decision and action.

Voronwë, may we have a discussion somewhere out of this thread about splitting this account up? Do you have a suggestion where we could discuss it?
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Tosh, either in the "Need to Talk to a Shirriff?" thread in the Grubb forum, or via PM. Or we can do it here and then move those posts as part of the splitting up.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

At last the final episode begins!

A slow pan across Bywater in murky daylight while the tall blank walled mill pours out black smoke. The opening credits start. JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: Episode Thirty One The Grey Havens etc. As the credits run some cuts to unsavoury ruffians leaning up against walls or walking up between low hobbit houses in a street swinging their clubs idly about.
Cut to a hobbit farmyard. Some steps rise up to a round doorway and dogs lie about in the straw outside. Cut to a hobbit woman’s face looking anxiously outside from a round window. Cut to a large farm kitchen and two hobbit women walk in carrying in food. The face of the older one is the one we saw in the window. She sifts some flour into a bowl as the younger one starts to wash vegetables. The young hobbit lass starts to sing a love ballad and the older one comes across and puts her floury hand across her mouth to silence her.

‘Hush Rosie dear or the ruffians will hear you.’

Rose shakes her floury face free and smiles: ‘Let them come! Their time will soon be over. My Sam is coming back.’ She starts to sing again.

Fade to a night scene of the farmyard. The dogs are baying and growling. The door opens and silhouettes of four hobbits come out with axes and pitchforks and lanterns. Cut to the four guarding a farm gate as we hear hoofs.

The broadest and oldest one shouts out: ‘Who are you? The men don’t let hobbits ride nowadays.’

Cut to an armoured Sam walking from Bill: ‘It’s me, Sam Gamgee, I’ve come back.’

Cut to Tom Cotton peering forward: ‘So you are. I should’a passed you in the street in that gear. We all thought you were dead bar Rosie.’ Sam joins them and shakes hands.

Sam: ‘That I aint nor Mr Frodo nor the others. We’re back and we are raising the Shire to clear out all those ruffians.’

Tom claps him on the back and rubs his hand: ‘Good, good, then we must be in it too. We’ve been itching for trouble to start all this year but I’ve had the wife and Rosie to think of. Those Big Folk don’t stop at nothing. Come on lads, let’s go. Bywater is up.’

Sam: ‘Where are Mrs Cotton and Rosie then?’

Tom, grinning: ‘My young Nibs is with them but you can go and help if you’ve a mind to.’ The Cotton boys are already running off.
Cut to a young hobbit at the top of the farmhouse steps holding a shaking pitchfork out.

Cut to Sam running up towards the steps: ‘Don’t try to prod me with that Nibs, I’ve a mail shirt on. It’s me, Sam Gamgee.’ Cut to Rosie and her mother pulling Nibs out of the way. Cut to the two hobbit women facing Sam.
He is suddenly at a loss: ‘Er, good evening Mrs Cotton. Hullo Rosie.’

Rosie: ‘Hello Sam. They said you were dead but I’ve been expecting you since the Spring. You haven’t hurried have you?’

Sam, put on the back foot: ‘No, well, I’m hurrying now. We’re setting about the ruffians in the Shire. I’ve got to get back to Mr Frodo but I wanted to see how you were.’

Rosie puts her hands on her hips: ‘Be off with you then. If you’ve been looking after Mr Frodo all this time, what do you want to leave him for now that things look dangerous?’ Sam opens and closes his mouth at this but cannot answer. He looks at Mrs Cotton for support then nods and turns to go down the steps. Rosie follows him down and touches his shoulder to stop him.

Rosie: ‘You look fine Sam but take care of yourself and come straight back.’ They exchange shy smiles.
Cut to a large bonfire lighting up the night at the crossroads. Tom Cotton is on his own feeding it with sticks. We hear a tramping of boots and he looks up. Cut to a score of men armed with clubs stamping down the road.

Cut to the leader pushing Tom Cotton away from the fire: ‘Oy! What do you think you are doing?’

Cotton: ‘I was going to ask you that. This isn’t your country and you aren’t wanted.’

The man turns: ‘Drag him off to the Lock-holes and give him a few knocks to keep him quiet.’ Cut to the band of men moving forward then stopping suddenly and looking around. Cut to a high view looking down and out of the shadows a hundred or so hobbits emerge with hammers, axes, staves and bows. Cut to a slow track along the determined hobbit faces that include both Robin Smallburrow but also the leader of the Shirrifs..
Cut to Merry stepping into the light from the fire in his Rohan armour.

Merry: ‘I told you before to leave. You stand in the light and archers cover you. Put down your weapons.’ Cut to the leader and he looks contemptuous. He grins, pulls out a heavy knife and breaks into a run. Cut to him collapsing at Merry’s feet with several arrows in him. Cut to the other men throwing down their clubs and knives. Cut to hobbits prodding a roped line of men forward with pitchforks.
Cut to Mrs Cotton and Rosie cutting bread and cheese in their farm kitchen for the travellers and the Cottons who are all sitting down round a long table. Candles are on the table and a large pot is bubbling and steaming on a cooking range.

Tom to Rosie: ‘Sam went off to bring his gaffer back here for safety Rose.’,
then to the others: ‘I reckon there’s not above three hundred of these men in the entire Shire. I expect this lot will have sent word to the ones at Waymeet but they can’t trouble us till morning.’,
then to Frodo: ‘See when you sold Bag End to Lotho and his mother Lobelia it turned out he had been buying mills and inns and farms all over the Shire. Where he got his money, I’ve no idea. First the leaf in the Southfarthing got sent away and that run short then a lot of the food went too; wagon-loads of it, enough to feed an army. That made for a hard winter. Then Lotho brought those men in, felling trees and building these awful houses and shacks everywhere. Old Sandyman’s mill was knocked down and that terrible thing put in its place and now his son Ted just oils the wheels there. They don’t grind corn there no more, it’s all hammering and iron-works. The filth from it fouls the water all the way to the Brandywine. It’s as if they want to turn the Shire into a desert. The men he brought in started lording it about. If a hobbit got angry or spoke out they got dragged off to the tunnels at Michel Delving: the Lock-Holes they started calling them. Now this Sharky is here, it’s even worse. They burn out the hobbit holes or dig them up. Hack and burn and now it’s come to killing.’

One of Tom’s sons joins in: ‘They even took old Lobelia to the Lock-Holes when she went for one of the ruffians with her umbrella.’

Tom: ‘Yes, they took others we miss more but she showed more spirit than most.’
Cut to Sam helping his arthritic old gaffer in the door and across to the fire near the table to warm up.

The Gaffer: ‘Good evening Mr Baggins. I’m glad to see you back but I’ve a bone to pick. While you were traipsing around foreign parts chasing Black Men up mountains, if my boy can be believed, they’ve upped and dug up my home in Bagshot Row and ruined my taters too.’ His voice catches a little.

Frodo rises out of politeness: ‘I am very sorry Mr Gamgee. I will do my best to make amends.’

The Gaffer nods: ‘I trust my Sam has behaved hisself.’

Frodo: ‘Indeed Mr Gamgee. Your Sam is now one of the most famous people in all the lands, even as far as over the Great River.’ Rosie gives Sam a look of admiration and he flashes a quick look of gratitude to Frodo.

The Gaffer gives Sam a look up and down: ‘That takes a lot of believing. I see he’s been mixing in strange company.’ He pokes at Sam. ‘I don’t hold with wearing ironmongery, whether it wears well or no.’ Cut to Frodo smiling.
Cut to morning light at the Bywater crossroads. Sam and Frodo stand with Tom Cotton and his sons. Cut to Pippin riding in front of a large band of hobbit archers. He jumps off his pony. Cut to him joining Frodo, Sam and the Cottons.

Pippin: ‘Here’s a hundred good archers from the Tookland.’ Cut to Merry galloping down another road towards them. He pulls his pony to a halt and jumps off too.

Merry calling out: There’s a big band coming from Waymeet, a hundred strong and more joining them. They are fire-raising as they come.’

Cut to Tom: ‘This lot won’t stay to talk. They’ll kill if they can. There’ll be fighting before it’s settled Mr Frodo.’ Frodo looks around sadly.
Cut to a large band of men carrying smoking torches, clubs, swords and axes. They stamp down a lane shouting and jeering and laughing. Behind them we see drifts of smoke. They pass a hobbit house and light the low thatched roof to laughter and cheers.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

Here is the next part of the episode.....

Cut to the camera following behind them along a sunken lane. Something stops the march and at the back they start jostling and shouting. Cut to the front and just round a bend is an upturned cart. Cut to the lane behind the men and hobbits push out more carts camouflaged with greenery. Cut to the mass of men looking up at the low clipped hedges at the top of the banks and all along them are lines of hobbit archers. Cut to the leader with an old orc helmet and thick curved sword scowling and looking about him. Cut to Merry jumping up on to the cart.

Merry: ‘You are in our trap. Drop your weapons.’
Cut to a group of men at the back bursting past the barricade and striking hobbits down. Some of them fall to arrows. Cut to a dozen running away down the lane. Cut to a hobbit blowing a horn. He hears an answering call in reply and nods grimly. Cut to men climbing the banks or falling back with arrows in them. Cut to a field and men break through the hedge and start to flail about them. Some fall to axe blows to the legs. Cut to Merry jumping down from the cart and joining Pippin to run up the bank. Cut to the men banded together driving back a thin line of hobbits with blows. Some hobbits start to waver and look around to escape. Cut to Merry running across the field and shouting. He stops for a moment and makes a circular arm gesture to Pippin behind him. Cut to Merry looking up at the leader with his orc helmet and broad curved blade. The man looks down on Merry with contempt and brings his weapon down hard on him. Merry raises his shield at a slant to guard his head and the sword slides off it and sticks in the ground. Merry thrusts his sword in the ruffian’s chest and watches him tumble to the ground. He looks back then backs away. Cut to Pippin directing a circle of archers around the remaining group of men. Cut to the men throwing their weapons down. Cut to the men kneeling down as hobbits tie their wrists. Cut to a distressed older hobbit kneeling by a body of a young hobbit then rising in rage and taking an axe. Cut to the roped and kneeling men looking fearful. Cut to Frodo physically restraining the distressed hobbit and shaking his head until the axe is lowered.
Cut to a view of scattered dead bodies in the field. The camera pans to the line of roped men being led away then it pans further to the four friends and Tom Cotton.

Frodo sighs: ‘I suppose we have to deal with Lotho now.’ Cut to the four crossing the bridge by the massive brick mill, already streaked with grime and graffiti. Behind them Tom leads a band of hobbit archers. Cut to severed stumps along the road. Cuts to several outlet pipes discharging coloured muds into the water; to the demolished Grange with lean-to sheds and tarpaulins rigged from the shell of the broken walls. Cut to a gaping quarry below the Bag End hill again full of rough wooden tarred shacks. Cut to the felled Party Tree.

Cut to Sam: ‘They’ve dug up Bagshot Row! My home is gone! And they’ve even cut down the Party Tree.’
Cut to grimy hobbits coming out of the mill and sheds. Cut to narrow passageways between leaning sheds that are full of broken pots and barrels and animal bones. Rats run over them. Cut to Bag End’s door hanging off its hinges and defaced by graffiti. Cut to the four friends looking about them in the parlour of Bag End. It is full of filth and rubbish and broken machinery. The window is broken and the panelling pulled away from the wall. Pippin is covering his mouth and nose. Sam is crying and Frodo is sombre. Cut to the four of them in the hallway. Bilbo’s map lies trodden on the ground and Sam lifts it up.

Sam, sniffing back tears: ‘This is worse than Mordor.’ Frodo puts his arm round Sam’s shoulder.

Frodo: ‘Yes Sam, one of the last works of Mordor. Saruman thought he worked for himself but all the time he was the servant of Sauron.’

We hear a new voice: ‘But how else could I welcome you here properly?’

Frodo looks up with a look of comprehension: ‘Sharky!’

Cut to Saruman framed as he bends and looks inside the door with a self satisfied look on his face. Cut to Saruman seen from outside as the hobbits come to the door.

Saruman: ‘So you have heard the name? My people called me that in Isengard. A sign of affection perhaps? You hobbit lordlings make me laugh. Travelling with all those great people, so secure and pleased with yourselves. You thought you could just amble back home and have a quiet time. My home could be wrecked but no one could touch yours. You thought Gandalf would look after you. Hah! Not he! When his tools have done their task he drops them. Well. I have got ahead of you and taught you a lesson. One ill turn deserves another.’

Cut to Frodo looking up sadly: ‘If that is a pleasure then I pity you but it will be memory only. Go now. You will never return.’
Cut to Tom Cotton and the Tookland archers. By now they are surrounded by a restive crowd of hobbits. They shake their fists.

‘Don’t let him go!’ ‘He’s a murderer!’ ‘Kill him!’
Cut to Saruman turning from Frodo and his friends to face the crowd.

Saruman in a commanding growl: ‘Kill him? Are there enough of you my brave little hobbits? Do you think I have lost all my powers? If any of you even tries to strike me they shall be accursed. If but a drop of my blood touches the Shire it will wither and never be healed. Your stunted little minds have no idea what I am or where I am from.’
Frodo walks past Saruman and puts his arms out to calm the hobbits and to protect him.

Frodo: ‘Do not be frightened of him. He has no power now save his voice. He will try to daunt you or deceive you if you let him. But he is not to be slain. You cannot meet revenge with revenge. It heals nothing. Saruman, you must go.’

Saruman looks around with loathing then whistles with his fingers: ‘Worm!’
Cut to Grima scuttling out of a nearby lop-sided shed with a sack over his back. The camera follows him as he sidles up to Saruman. He looks fearfully at the crowd then at Saruman.

Saruman: ‘These fine lordlings are turning us adrift again. So be it. Follow me Worm.’
Cut to the hobbits opening a passage in their midst for the two to pass through. Cut back to Saruman and as he passes Frodo his hand comes out of his cloak and we see a brief flash of metal and hear a chink as he punches Frodo in the chest. A brief cut to a broken stiletto blade spinning on the ground at Frodo’s feet. Cut to Saruman examining the useless knife hilt in disbelief as Sam and Merry both run up and hook his legs from him and push him to the ground. Sam pulls out his sword but Frodo catches his arm. Other hobbits run up with axes and again Frodo pushes them away. He holds out his arms to shield Saruman as he rises.

Frodo: ‘No. You must not kill him. See, I am unhurt. He was great once, of a noble kind that we should not dare to raise our hands against. His cure is beyond us but I would spare him in the hope he may be healed one day.’

Saruman brushes himself down and stares sourly at Frodo: ‘You have grown, yes grown very much. You are wise and cruel. Now I must go in bitterness and in debt to your mercy. I hate it and you.’ He pauses and looks Frodo up and down. ’Do not expect me to wish you health and a long life for you will have neither. But it will not be my doing, I merely foretell what will come.’ Cut to Frodo’s face.
Cut to Saruman almost at the end of the avenue of hobbit archers. He turns and gestures abruptly. Cut to Wormtongue starting to follow reluctantly. Frodo catches his arm.

Frodo: ‘You need not follow him Grima. I know of no evil you have done to me. You can rest till you are stronger then go your own way.’

Cut to Saruman turning and laughing: ‘No evil you say? Do you know where Lotho is? Will you tell them Worm? No, I expect not. Worm killed your Lotho; stabbed him in his sleep. Did you bury him Worm? He has been very hungry lately you know. No, Worm is not really nice, better to leave him to me.’

Cut to Wormtongue running up and pawing at Saruman’s cloak: ‘You made me do it.’

Saruman: ‘You always do what Sharky says don’t you? Well then, follow me.’ He kicks Wormtongue in the face and turns and walks off. Wormtongue rises and looks at the cold faces of the hobbits then pulls out a knife. Hobbits start to fit arrows to their bowstrings as Wormtongue chases after Saruman, leaps upon his back, pulls back his head and strokes the blade across his throat. He jumps over the falling body but a hail of arrows strike his back and he staggers and pitches forward.
Cut to Frodo and his friends standing around Saruman’s body. A thin grey rope of mist climbs and wavers upwards. The camera follows it up and it stays still for a moment then we hear a sudden gust of wind and it disperses. Cut to the flesh of Saruman’s face crumbling into dust and a cloak is thrown over the spectacle. Cut to Frodo and his friends.

Frodo: ‘To think it should end here.’

Sam, looking around: ‘I shan’t call it the end till we have cleared up all the mess.’
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

At last the very final instalment!
I wrote the first episode in July 2005 and it took me 18 months to write the second episode. It then took me 18 months to write the other 29! I hope you have enjoyed the journey as much as I have.

Cut to several scenes of renewal. First a thinner Fatty Bolger and others come out of a hole to cheers from onlookers. They are dressed in prison clothes and they blink in the light as their shackles are unlocked. Next an aged Lobelia totters out to louder cheers. Frodo meets her and embraces her and she bursts into tears. Frodo smiles and turns to Pippin who produces an umbrella from behind his back. Frodo gives it ceremoniously to Lobelia who brandishes it up in the air to even louder cheers. Cut next to a chain of hobbits taking rubbish from the doorway of Bag End. Cut to the tall chimney of the mill collapsing among the half demolished walls. Cut to a line of holes being dug into the side of the quarry as the gaffer watches. Cut to Sam and Frodo walking past a thicket of tree stumps.

Sam: ‘What about the trees? Not even the children will see the Shire like it used to be.’ Frodo rests his arm on Sam’s shoulder.

Frodo: ‘Have you forgotten the Lady Galadriel so soon?’ Sam’s face lights up.

Sam: ‘Oh, you mean her box.’ He fumbles in his coat and takes out the small box. Cut to a close-up of the open box nestling in his hand. A small nut with a lacy silvery skin lies in a fine grey sand.
We hear Sam’s voice: ‘What shall I do with it?’

Frodo’s voice: ‘Use it sparingly. I expect every grain has a virtue.’
Fade to a well muffled Sam by a row of tree stumps as rain and leaves blow past him. He puts a pinch from his box in a hole then heels in a sapling on top of it. Cut to him pushing a cart laden with saplings up a bare lane as a few flakes of snow drift down. Cut to a close-up of Sam’s grimy fingers lifting the nut from the almost empty box. Cut to Sam kneeling and looking at the nut between his fingers and then pushing it into some freshly dug soft earth near the stump of the Party Tree. He sprinkles a pinch of the dust over the sowing then he stands and looks into the distance. Cut to a snow scene and smokes rising from the roofs of hobbit holes and houses. Cut to the Party Field and the stump of the Party Tree. The camera zooms forward to the small patch of dug earth and in accelerated motion we see a tiny shoot emerge as weather speeds past. Snows come and go and it rises and unfolds its first leaves above frosty grass. Cut to the sapling now about three foot tall and unfolding a modest bunch of golden flowers. Spring daisies and buttercups are sprinkled around the field.
Cut to the camera approaching Bag End and up to a window. Dissolve to Frodo sweating and shaking and wide-eyed in bed, clutching the silver star-burst of the Evenstar in his hand.
Frodo: ‘No, it is gone for ever. All is dark and empty. I can never be healed.’
Cut to Frodo sitting outside in his garden at a table. The birds are singing but he is subdued and covered by a blanket. Sam comes up with two mugs and hands one to Frodo then sits down too.

Sam: ‘I know I have been busy up and down the Shire for a bit Mr Frodo. Have you been all right while I’ve been gone?’ Frodo nods. Sam looks awkward.
Sam: ‘It’s Rosie you see. I hadn’t spoken if you understand because I had to go with you but now I’m back I have spoken and I won’t be able to be here much longer.’

Frodo: That is easy Sam. I have plenty of room here in Bag End for a family. Both of you can move in here with me as soon as you marry.’
Cut to a tracking shot of Sam and Rosie walking up to Bag End with hobbits throwing flowers over them. The tall figures of Merry and Pippin in their exotic uniforms hold their swords up high either side of the Bag End doorway to form a guard of honour. Frodo waits inside the door to welcome them in.
Cut to a few brief scenes of an abundant summer in the Shire with golden harvests and laden fruit trees with some feel of a Samuel Palmer painting.
Cut to Frodo writing in his study with stacks of paper around him. A pregnant Rosie comes in and puts a steaming cup near his hand. She tickles him under the chin and goes out giggling. Frodo smiles and stretches and massages his hands.
Fade to Frodo sitting between Rosie and Sam and holding a little baby.

Sam: ‘She’ll be called Elanor. Do you remember those yellow flowers in Lothlórien?’
Cut to Sam entering the darkened study. Cut to Frodo with his head on his desk and his hand clutching the Evenstar. The stub of the candle on his desk has almost burnt out.

Frodo in a small voice: ‘I am wounded Sam with knife and sting and tooth and weary from carrying a long burden. It will never heal!’ Sam kneels and puts his arm around him.
Fade to scenes of an autumnal Shire. The leaves on the trees are turning to gold and yellow and red. Cut to a deep blue sky and gulls wheel around and call. Cut to a few leaves drifting down.
Cut to the parlour of Bag End. Frodo sits with little Elanor on his lap. Sam stands patiently while Rosie is on her knees adjusting a coat she is making for him.

Frodo: ‘Rose, could you spare Sam for a few days? I know he can’t go far now but I would like him to see me off on a journey. I promise he will come back safe.’
Cut to Rosie on her knees with a mouthful of pins. Sam looks at her for approval. She looks carefully at Frodo then up at Sam and nods. Cut to Sam standing by Frodo’s desk. Frodo stacks several thick volumes up.

Sam: ‘You’ve kept at it then?’

Frodo: ‘I’ve almost finished it Sam. The final pages are for you.’ He passes over the volumes.
Cut to Rosie hugging Frodo tightly at the gate to Bag End as Sam waits upon Bill. Cut to a close-up of them.

Rose, quietly: ‘Thank you for all you have done for my Sam.’ Her eyes show tears.
Cut to Frodo and Sam’s ponies walking along a woodland track as the light fails.
Frodo sings softly to the melody of the final bars of ‘Jerusalem’:
‘And though I oft have passed them by
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.’

Cut to the darkening track ahead and a golden glow lights it up at the end. We hear the soft sounds of Elven instruments and then the song to Elbereth that we heard at the beginning of the adventure. A white horse appears and Gildor once again rides towards them. Several voices join in interweaving melodies. Cut to Elrond and Galadriel halting their horses alongside the small ponies of the two hobbits.

Galadriel: ‘You have used my gift well Sam.’ A small pony rides up bearing a well wrapped up Bilbo.

Bilbo: ‘Hullo Frodo. I am ready for a long journey now. Are you coming?’

Frodo: ‘Yes, the Ring-bearers should go together.’

Cut to Sam, looking about in confusion: ‘I thought you were going to Rivendell.’ Cut back to the hobbits.

Frodo: ‘No Sam, we go to the Grey Havens and then over the Great Sea.’

Sam, biting his lip: ‘And I can’t come?’

Frodo: ‘Not yet, not further than the Grey Havens. You still have so much to enjoy and be and do. You cannot be forever torn in two. But your time may come; for you were a Ring-bearer too.’

Sam: ‘After all you’ve done. I thought you would enjoy the Shire for years.’

Frodo: ‘I have been too deeply hurt. The Shire has been saved but not for me. Have your family Sam and keep alive the memory of the Age that has gone. Come with us now.’
Cut to Sam looking up at the Elf-Lords then looking down and hiding his face.
Fade to a distant view of the procession riding over open downs towards a tall white tower. Cut to another long view of them riding along the side of a long firth as we hear the sound of gulls. Cut to furled sails on swaying masts and the sound of slapping ropes. The camera pulls back to show Gandalf standing by Shadowfax on the quayside. The camera follows him as he walks up to Elrond and Galadriel and the hobbits. Cut to a close-up of their three hands clasping the wrist of the other in a triangular shape. We see clearly the three Elven-Rings on their hands. Cut to Pippin and Merry running from their ponies. Pippin reaches Frodo and hugs him.

Pippin: ‘You tried once before to give us the slip and failed.’ He breaks into crying. Merry and Sam look at each other sorrowfully.

Cut to Gandalf: ‘Now on the shores of the Great Sea comes the end of our fellowship. I will not say do not weep for not all tears are an evil.’
Cut to the hobbits hugging Frodo and crying. Then Galadriel takes Frodo’s hand and leads him to the ship and Gandalf accompanies Bilbo and helps him up. Elrond and other Elves are already on board with Shadowfax. Cut to the masts again and the sails are unfurled and belly out in a breeze. Cut to the ropes being cast off from the quay. Cut to Sam, Merry and Pippin standing by a tall bearded Elf. Cut to a closer view of them and they look out with wet eyes. Cut to the boat leaving the firth into the open sea. Cut to a long shot of the small boat rising and falling on the swell. Cut to Frodo standing by Gandalf and moving with the motions of the craft. Low sunlight catches their faces and the sky behind them is dappled with pink clouds. Frodo looks forward in expectation and a high ethereal singing is heard.
Fade out.
Fade in to Sam, Merry and Pippin riding silently. Cut to the three at a fork in the road. They nod to one another and Sam leaves them to ride down one road. Cut to Sam riding alone up the hill to Bag End. It is dusk and the yellow light spills from the round windows.
Cut to Sam standing by the open door. Rose smiles across at him and places a finger on his lips. He hugs her.
Cut to Sam sitting in a deep chair as Elanor is placed on his lap. He looks up at Rose with an open face, not knowing what to say. He and Rose look at each another silently for a moment. Sam draws a deep breath.

‘Well, I’m back.’

A slow fade from the three to black.

Closing credits.

May 16 2008
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Voronwë the Faithful
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Bravo! :bow: A truly tremendous achievement, Tosh. You should be proud of yourself.

But no epilogue? :P
"Spirits in the shape of hawks and eagles flew ever to and from his halls; and their eyes could see to the depths of the seas, and pierce the hidden caverns beneath the world."
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

You mean Arwen and Aragorn? I don't think so. I thought around it and I think wherever it was placed it would pull the viewer from the story. PJ did it beautifully but at the expense of dragging in a huge amount of extra narrative. I tried to make some fleeting allusions to it in 'The Field of Cormallen'.
I suppose I could write a coda that fitted it in with Pippin and Merry making their final journeys south but it would be close to fan fiction. In all I haven't seen a way it would dramatically work. It will have to be a pleasure reserved for the reader.
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Actually I was thinking of the Epilogue that Tolkien wrote in which Sam is talking to Elanor and his other children, but was eventually convinced to leave out of the book. However, I was at least half-joking.
"Spirits in the shape of hawks and eagles flew ever to and from his halls; and their eyes could see to the depths of the seas, and pierce the hidden caverns beneath the world."
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

Ah, my mistake! Actually I did include something from the Epilogue.
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