LOTR V. The Land of the Mark

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LOTR V. The Land of the Mark

Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

I now start the next episode. There's plenty more in the pipeline; I am starting to rough out episode 18 at the moment.

An eagle wheels in the air gaining height. We hear very faintly Boromir’s horn call. The camera pans down from the eagle and we see the tall spike of Tol Brandir below. Cut to the camera descending the face of Tol Brandir then panning across to show a canopy of trees. The horn sounds louder but still distant. Cut to an indistinct form crashing through bushes and trees. A series of shots of the unidentified runner, back, legs etc or a shaken branch as the opening credits come up; JRR Tolkien'’s Lord of the Rings: Episode Fifteen The Three Hunters etc. Cut to Aragorn appearing from a thicket.
‘Elendil!’ Anduril is drawn and the light flashes on the blade. Cut to Aragorn running past dead orcs. Cut to Boromir, half propped against a tree, dead orcs around him and pierced by arrows. Aragorn runs up to him and kneels by him. Cut to a close-up of Boromir. He tries to concentrate and speak.

Boromir: ‘Forgive me Aragorn. I tried to take the Ring from Frodo. Look, I have paid for it.’ ( he looks up and then tries to focus his eyes again) ‘The orcs took the halflings. They bound them. I don’t think they are dead..’ (He closes his eyes then opens them again and looks at Aragorn.) ‘Farewell. Go to Minas Tirith and save my people. I have failed.’ The camera pulls back from his face and we see Aragorn take his hand.

Aragorn: ‘ No! You have conquered. Be at peace. Minas Tirith shall not fall.’ Boromir smiles weakly as he looks at Aragorn.

Aragorn: ‘Who did they take? Was Frodo one of them?’ Boromir’s smile remains frozen. Aragorn reaches up and holds his face and then closes his eyes. He starts to rise. Cut to Aragorn standing. The camera swings around him on a quadrant. Cut to his face full of self-disgust.

Aragorn: ‘It is I who have failed. Everything I do has gone amiss and now the fellowship is in ruins. I did not deserve Gandalf’s trust. Where is Frodo? How shall I find him and save us from disaster?’
Cut to Aragorn wheeling, his hand on his hilt. Cut to Legolas and Gimli coming warily into the clearing and looking at the dead orcs. They look up and start into a run. Cut to the three looking down at Boromir.

Gimli: ‘This day is ill-fated. Have you taken hurt?

Aragorn: ‘I am unscathed. Boromir fought alone and I came too late. He was the heir of Denethor the Steward and he has met a bitter end. What shall I do now? He laid it on me to go to Minas Tirith but what of the Ring-Bearer? Before he died Boromir said the orcs bound the hobbits but which ones? Was Frodo among them? Do we search for him or follow the orcs? What an evil choice!’

Legolas smooths Boromir’s hair: ‘First we must honour our companion and not leave him here for carrion.’

Gimli, looking impatient and agitated: ‘We must be swift. He would not want us to leave our friends in the hands of orcs.’

Aragorn: ‘Then let us place him in his craft and give him to the Anduin that he guarded so well.’
Cut to Legolas picking up arrows and examining them before filling his quiver. He spies something and calls over Aragorn.

Aragorn: ‘Aha! Merry and Pippin’s swords; the gifts from Bombadil.’ (he holds up two black scabbards and short swords and wipes the blades) ‘ One has shed orc blood too. The orcs must have feared the enchantments on them. Men of Westernesse in the old Northern kingdoms made them when they were assailed by the Witch King of Angmar. I will keep them safe in the hope of returning them.' (he continues to look around) ' I see another mystery. These orcs do not bear the sign of the Eye but there are large man sized orcs here and they wear a white hand, the badge of Saruman the White. What is the role of that traitor in all of this? ’
Cut to the three standing in the shallows around a boat. We can just see Boromir within it and some of the weapons. They push it out and the current catches it. They stand silently as it grows smaller. The camera follows Boromir’s peaceful face within the boat as the banks flow past. The sound of the falls grow louder and the scene fades to dark. Cut to the three on the shore, their packs lie around and one boat is nearby on the grass.

Aragorn: ‘One boat has been taken andFrodo’s and Sam’s packs are missing. They must have taken the boat too and it is Merry and Pippin who have been seized by orcs. I believe something decided Frodo to go but I will say no more of that.’

Gimli, still looking agitated: ‘ Do we follow Frodo across the river or chase the orcs? We have lost precious time already.’

Aragorn: ‘Let me think and may I make a right choice.’ He looks across the river then into the trees. The others watch him. He turns.

Aragorn: ‘If I try to seek Frodo in the barren lands across the river we abandon our friends to torment and death. I deem the fate of the Ring-Bearer is out of my hands. We have played our part. I will follow the orcs and hope to find Merry and Pippin alive. We cannot forsake them.’

Gimli: ‘Then let us begin! They have many hours start on us.’

Aragorn: ‘With hope or without it we will follow them and woe to the orcs if we prove the swifter. We shall make such a chase to make a tale for our kindreds!’ All three clasp hands.
Brief cuts of the three running through woods, down a rocky path and then pausing as they look out over a great grass plain. Legolas shades his eyes.

Legolas: ‘I see great company on foot but it is at least thirty miles away.’

Aragorn: ‘Then they run not to Mordor but to Isengard and the traitor, Saruman.’
Brief fades of the three running in line through grassland. Then Aragorn runs off to one side looking keenly on the ground. He holds his hand up to stop the others following him. He bobs down and picks something up and beckons to the others. Cut to the elf-brooch in his hand. Cut to the three together.

Aragorn: ‘Not idly do the leaves of Lórien fall. Those were hobbit tracks, Pippin’s I think for they were small. He must have cast it aside as a token. It was a brave act.’

Gimli: ‘Then he at least is alive and can use his legs. Our pursuit is not in vain.’

Legolas scowls: ‘The thought of those merry folk driven like cattle burns my heart.’
A couple more brief shots of the three running. Fade to a close up of Legolas at night singing very softly. The camera pulls back and he stands on one leg, one foot balanced on his calf and propped by his bow. Aragorn and Gimli are stretched out asleep behind him.
Cut to the three cresting a grassy hill in daylight. Again Legolas shades his eyes. Cut to a view of distant mountains. Then the camera zooms and zooms until we see a tiny column of mounted riders in the far distance

We hear Legolas’ voice: ‘One hundred and five horsemen ride back down the orc trail towards us. Yellow is their hair and the morning sun shines on their spears.’

Cut to the three, Aragorn sinking wearily to the ground: ‘ Maybe they will bring us news.’

Legolas: ‘I see three empty saddles but no hobbits.’

Aragorn: ‘I did not say we would hear good news.’ Cut to them sitting together hooded and cloaked among tall tussocks.

Gimli: ‘What do you know of these horsemen? Do we wait for sudden death?’

Aragorn: ‘They are fierce but honourable men and settled here from the north many hundred years ago to raise their beloved horses. Once long ago I rode with them under a different name. They are the Rohirrim, the men of King Théoden of Rohan. They have long been friends to Gondor but I do not know what has happened lately.’
Cut to a pounding soundtrack and to a column of mail clad horsemen crossing the camera. The camera tracks along to follow them. Cut to a frontal view of the column riding to camera. The leader has a horse tail adorning his helmet and a banner bearer beside him. Cut to the same view from further away and we see Aragorn stand up to one side in the background and raise his arm and call out. The leader turns in his saddle and gestures with one hand then turns his horse. The riders behind him follow.
Cut to a helicopter shot of the circle of horsemen round the three travellers.
Cut to a view inside the circle as Aragorn stands and the others remain sitting. The riders are halted facing inwards and levelling their spears.

Cut to a close-up of Aragorn’s face: 'What news from the north, Riders of Rohan?’
Last edited by ToshoftheWuffingas on Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

And with a thunder of hooves the Rohirrim enter the story :)

Cut to a view inside the circle as Aragorn stands and the others remain sitting. The riders are halted facing inwards and levelling their spears.

Cut to a close-up of Aragorn's face: What news from the north, Riders of Rohan?' Cut to the leader and a companion riding forward. The camera pulls back to include the three travellers.

Éomer:' Who are you and what is your business in our land?'

Aragorn: 'I am called Strider and I come from the north. We are hunting orcs.'
Cut to Éomer handing his spear to his companion and jumping down from his horse. He draws his sword and the camera pans as he walks up to Aragorn.

Éomer: 'You know little of orcs if you hunt them like this. How did we not see you? Are you Elvish folk?' A quick cut to Gimli snorting.

Aragorn: 'Only one of us is an Elf but we bear Elven cloaks from the Lady of Lothlórien.' A brief cut to mutters among the horsemen.

Éomer: 'So the legend is true. There is a Lady in the Golden Wood. Then you may be sorcerers like her.' (he turns to the other two) 'Why do you stay silent?'

Gimli rises: 'Give me your name horse-master and I will give mine and more.'

Éomer looks disdainfully at Gimli: 'I am Éomer, son of Eomund, the Third Marshal of Riddermark.'

Gimli walks up to him and looking up at him speaks slowly: 'Then Éomer, son of Eomund, Third Marshal of Riddermark, let Gimli, son of Gloin warn you that you speak evil of that which is fair beyond the reach of your thought. Only little wit can excuse you!' Gimli emphasises his words by poking Éomer in the chest with his finger.

There are rumbles from the horsemen and Éomer's eyes blaze: 'If it were a little higher from the ground Master Dwarf, I would cut off your head, beard and all, for your insolence!'

Cut to Legolas rising from the ground, an arrow already to his bent bow: 'You would die before the stroke fell.'

Éomer takes a step forward and Aragorn hurries between them with his palms raised. He looks at Éomer first then turns to Legolas and Gimli and gives them a ferocious look. He turns again to Éomer.

Aragorn: 'Please accept our pardon Éomer. We intend no evil to Rohan. Will you hear our tale first?'

Éomer lowers his sword: 'You would find it wise to be less haughty. What is your real name? Strider is no name for a man. Who commands you to hunt orcs in our land?'

Aragorn: 'I serve no man but I hunt the servants of Mordor wherever they go. Few know more about orcs than I and I do not hunt them like this out of choice. They captured two of my friends and we follow them as best we can. But I am not weaponless.'

Cut to Aragorn alone. Anduril flashes out of its scabbard and up into the air and again it catches the light in a flash that fills the screen. Aragorn's voice goes up a notch in power.

Aragorn: 'Elendil! I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn, called Elessar the Elf-Stone and Dúnadan! I am the heir of Isildur, the son of Elendil of Gondor and Westernesse who threw down Sauron! Here is Anduril, the sword that was broken and is forged again! Will you aid me or thwart me? Choose swiftly!'

Cut to Éomer. He steps back: 'Dreams and legends spring to life out of the grass! What doom do you bring out of the north?'

Cut to Aragorn: 'The doom of choice. Tell Théoden that open war with Sauron lies before him. I myself will come before the King but first I seek tidings of my friends who were carried off by the orc-host.' Cut to Éomer and the three.

Éomer: 'Your pursuit is ended. The orcs are destroyed. We burnt their bodies at the edges of Fangorn.' A brief cut to Gimli and Legolas looking at each other. Cut back

Aragorn, now a little hesitant: 'Did you see any other kind among them? Our friends were small, like children to you.'

Éomer shakes his head firmly: 'We found no children nor dwarves either.'

Gimli: 'No these were hobbits.'

Éomer: 'Hobbits? But that is just an old children's tale about little people.' (He turns and waves off his troops then turns back to the three and speaks a little lower.) 'You have not told all yet.'

Aragorn: 'We set out from Rivendell, an Elf-House in the North. My errand was to go with Boromir of Minas Tirith to help his city against Sauron. Gandalf the Grey was our leader.'

Éomer: 'Gandalf Greyhame is known in the Riddermark but he is not well loved by some. Gandalf Stormcrow he is called for ill-fortune follows on his heels. We saw him last summer and that is when our troubles with Saruman the white wizard began. Théoden would not listen to Gandalf's tales of treachery and told him to leave at once on a horse of his choice. Gandalf took his finest horse, Shadowfax. Though the horse returned, King Théoden will not have the name of Gandalf spoken near him.'

Aragorn: 'Alas, Gandalf will ride no longer. He fell in the Mines of Moria.'

Éomer: 'This is heavy tidings to me at least.'

Aragorn: 'More than you can understand. But when the great fall, the less must lead. I have guided our company from Moria, through the Golden Wood of Lórien and down the Great River. At the Falls of Rauros Boromir was slain by the same orcs that you destroyed.'

Éomer: 'Boromir was slain too? When was this?'

Aragorn: 'Four days ago.'
Éomer: 'But it is more than 130 miles to the Falls! Strider is too poor a name for you. Wingfoot I name you. Would you come with me to King Théoden? I must return in haste to Edoras for I rode here without the king's permission. I took men of my own household for I feared an alliance between Mordor and the white wizard. Saruman is dwimmer-crafty; he walks here and there cloaked like Gandalf and he is a master of shapes and disguises. He has friends within the king's court too. Already there is battle in western Rohan and Theodred, the king's son rode out before I left to defend the Fords of Isen. There is work for your sword, and for the bow of an elf - and the axe of a dwarf if Master Gimli forgives me my rash words about the Lady of the Wood. I spoke only from custom and would gladly learn better.'

Aragorn: 'We cannot desert our friends while hope remains. We had a clear token that one was alive. You say they have not been slain and burned with the orcs? Maybe they were carried off into the forest.'

Éomer: 'No orc broke through our ring.'

Aragorn: 'Yet you passed us in these cloaks in the full light of day. Éomer, I have been in Rohan before and knew your father. Aid us or at least let us go free.'

Éomer pauses and looks around: 'This is my choice. I will lend you horses. At the end of your quest bring them back to the house of Théoden at Edoras. Do not fail in my faith or I may suffer.'

Aragorn: 'We will not.' Cut to Éomer standing by Aragorn on one horse and Legolas and Gimli on another. Gimli looks deeply unhappy.

Gimli: 'I will come back for I have yet to teach you gentle speech on the matter of the Lady Galadriel.'

They ride off and Éomer turns to camera and says to himself, shaking his head: 'This day has been so strange that to learn the praise of a fair lady under the loving strokes of a dwarf's axe will seem no great wonder.'
Last edited by ToshoftheWuffingas on Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Gimli emphasises his words by poking Éomer in the chest with his finger.
I don't think him actually poking Éomer in the chest is necessary or desirable. I think that would cause too much consternation among Éomer and his men. It would also be pretty awkward looking, because Gimli would presumably have to actually reach up to do it. I think the "little wit" comment is enough.

The only other thing is that I miss Éomer's expression of dismay at the news of Boromir's death.

Otherwise, well done as always!
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

I'll respond later Voronwë but haven't much time at the moment.
This instalment has one of the turning points

Fade to an evening and the eaves of a forest. The three hunters on horseback approach a smoking pyre of orcs. An orc head is on a stake. Cut to Legolas and Gimli sitting by a small fire. Their shadows flicker on a tree behind them. Aragorn joins them.

Aragorn: ‘It is too dark to see tracks clearly now. We must search again in the light of morning.’

Gimli: ‘I fear the burned bones of the hobbits lie mingled with the orcs. It will be hard news for the old hobbit who waits in Rivendell and for Frodo too – if he still lives. Elrond was against their coming.’

Aragorn: ‘There are some things that are better to start even though the end is dark. Take a care with this fire and do not take your axe to any tree here. You are on the edges of Fangorn, the oldest forest in Middle-earth and there are secrets within it.’

Gimli, looking behind himself: ‘Then I do not wish to know them. Let nothing here be troubled on my account’
Cut to night-time. Aragorn is stretched out asleep and Legolas is sitting crosslegged staring at the sky in a trance. Gimli is quietly honing his axe. The camera pans around to the shadows beyond the fire. Slowly an indistinct form of a man appears. He gradually moves in closer and we see through the heat haze of the fire a hood and cloak. Cut to Gimli who suddenly looks up and shouts. Cut to a longer view and we see Aragorn and Legolas spring up.

Aragorn holds out an arm: ‘Well old man, come and get warm by our fire if you wish.’ He walks forward. Cut to him walking back.

Aragorn: ‘He has vanished.’ We then hear the sound of the horses neighing and Legolas runs off. Cut to the back of Legolas as we see the horses gallop off into the darkness. He is joined by the other two.

Gimli: ‘What do we do now? We cannot eat our feet and still hope to walk on them.’

Legolas: ‘Already you wish for a horse. You will make a rider yet.’

Gimli: ‘It seems I shall not get the chance. That must have been Saruman and he has made off with our horses.’

Aragorn: ‘We can do nothing till morning.’
Fade to a cold light and mistiness. Gimli is kicking out the fire and flapping his arms to get warm. Aragorn and Legolas are shouldering their packs. Cut to Aragorn stooping low and searching the ground. Cut to him in the mid-distance shouting to the others to come and join him.
Cut to him standing and pointing to the ground while the other two stand a little apart.

Aragorn: ‘First I see some mallorn leaves from Lothlórien and tiny crumbs of lembas upon them. And over there are severed cords and here is an orc dagger.’

Legolas frowns: ‘How do you read this riddle? A bound prisoner escapes from both the orcs and the Rohirrim. Then he stops in the open and cuts his bonds. But if his legs were bound how did he escape? If his arms were bound, how did he use that knife? If neither were bound why cut any cords at all?’ (he sighs) ‘At least we know it was a hobbit. Only one of their kind would sit down in the middle of a battle to have a meal.’ (Gimli laughs) ‘Then he must have grown wings and flown off into the trees like a bird.’

Aragorn laughs: ‘There are more signs. Orc blood was spilt here and a body was dragged away. I guess he was carried here, the orc slain and the hobbit was overlooked in his Elf-cloak. He must have fled into the forest so there we must go too.’ Cut to the three walking through the first scattered tumbled down or heavy-boughed trees.

Legolas: ‘I can feel that this forest is watchful.’

Gimli: ‘It has no cause to watch me. I will do it no harm.’ He looks uneasy.

Legolas, getting animated: ‘ It is so old that I feel young again, as I have not felt since I travelled with you children.’ Gimli looks up then away and mutters to himself.

Gimli: Wood Elves are strange. I will keep my axe ready but not for trees (said more loudly) I do not wish to meet that wizard again without a handy argument ready.’ He pats his axe blade.

Cut to a delighted Aragorn by a river bank: ‘Two clear sets of footprints! Then they are both alive!’ Cut to the three standing on a low ledge of a cliff that has tumbled rocks in front of it. They look around.

Aragorn: ‘Their trail has disappeared.’ Legolas stiffens and points.

Legolas, hissing softly: ‘There! Do you see? Hush, quietly!’
Cut to a thick woodland beyond the scattered rocks. We see the figure of a cloaked man flit between the close growing trees. Cut to the three looking intently. Cut to a cloaked and hooded man walking out from the trees bearing a staff. Cut to the three frozen still. Cut to a side view of the man approaching the cliff.

Cut to Gimli: ‘Your bow Legolas! It is Saruman! Shoot before he puts a spell on us!’ Cut to Legolas pulling back his bow then pausing. We hear Gimli’s voice: ‘Why do you wait?’

Cut to Aragorn: ‘We cannot shoot an old man unawares. Wait!’ Cut to a side view of the hooded man looking up at the three on the ledge.

He calls out and his voice echoes off the cliff: ‘I wish to speak to you. Put that bow down master Elf.’ Cut to the three.

Gimli: ‘Stop him Legolas!’ Legolas lowers his bow.

Aragorn: ‘What might be your name old man?’

The stranger: ‘Have you not guessed it already? Did you seek hobbits? They met something here they did not expect.’ He turns and a white robe is seen underneath the cloak.

Cut to a ferocious Gimli: ‘ The white robe! It is Saruman, the white wizard! Speak, Saruman! Where are our friends? Answer or I will make such a dint in your hat that even a wizard will find it hard to deal with!’ He jumps down from the ledge and whirls his axe around. The old man jumps up on to a rock and throws back his robe and his hood and shows a brilliant white robe and beard. He raises his staff in front of his face.
Cut to Gimli, his axe flies from his hand as he looks open mouthed.
Cut to Aragorn. His sword flashes and glitters.
Cut to Legolas. He aims his arrow up in the air. The camera follows it up and up and it bursts into flames.

Cut back to Legolas: ‘Mithrandir! Mithrandir!’ with intensity.

Cut to Gandalf’s face: ‘Well met Legolas!’ He smiles a deep and happy smile.
Cut to black.
Closing credits.
Last edited by ToshoftheWuffingas on Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

I don't think him actually poking Éomer in the chest is necessary or desirable. I think that would cause too much consternation among Éomer and his men. It would also be pretty awkward looking, because Gimli would presumably have to actually reach up to do it. I think the "little wit" comment is enough.

The only other thing is that I miss Éomer's expression of dismay at the news of Boromir's death.
Well. there are a few factors I kept in mind here. One is the historical antipathy of the Rohirrim and Dwarves, dating back to the quarrel over the treasure of Scatha. It is Gimli who asks if they wait for sudden death. I wanted to show the 'edge' between them a little. But primarily this is the set-up for some minor humour that lasts all the way up to Elessar's wedding and a little chest poking both explains Éomer's irritable reaction and also looks faintly humorous. If he has to stretch up a little, so much the better.
Notice by the way the 'mirror' of Éomer's hot-headed warning of death for a personal insult is Faramir's considered and humane warning to Frodo and Sam of the penalty for being found in Ithilien and his distaste for the task. Both illustrate the different characters eloquently.

As to Éomer's dismay, I wrote:
Éomer: 'Boromir was slain too? When was this?'
I hoped that indicated that Éomer knew of Boromir and wanted to know more. I could expand it a little if you wish, I am always happy for this to be a collaborative venture, but I have Théoden in a later episode refer very briefly to him.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

I'm just back from a minor foray into Flanders (where I met someone from St Helens, Oregon, Prim) and it is time for a new episode to start.

We see the canopy of a forest in darkness, its hollows filled with mists. Then the camera runs along shadowed eaves. The opening credits come up; JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: Episode Sixteen The First Few Stones etc.
Cut to two armoured horsemen sitting quietly on their horses in the dark facing a line of fires and beyond that a small hill.

Cut to Ugluk talking to another smaller orc: ‘The halflings are not to be rescued. If the filthy horsemen break through, cut their throats. Bind their legs tight in case they try to escape.’
Cut to Merry and Pippin, their legs bound, being thrown on the ground. The orc stands guard nearby. Cut to a close-up of Merry and Pippin’s faces close together. Pippin's eye still looks puffy.

Pippin: ‘Where are we?’

Merry, adopting a mock schoolmasterly tone: ‘You should have paid attention in Rivendell, Master Took. We are close to Fangorn Forest in the kingdom of Rohan.’

Pippin: ‘Those horsemen will kill us too won’t they? I hope these vile orcs who killed Boromir get killed but I wish we could escape.’

Merry: ‘That would be a clever trick.’

Pippin: ‘Listen, I….’ He looks up. Cut to Grishnakh’s face and fangs in close-up. Cut to Grishnakh feeling Merry thoroughly all over. In the background is the dead orc-guard.

Pippin, slyly: ‘It’s not easy to find my precious.’ Merry’s face comes alive in understanding.

Grishnakh turns his head sharply: 'Find what?’

Pippin: ‘Nothing, precious. Untie our legs and we can show you, gollum.’

Grishnakh: ‘Sssss! Very dangerous! Everything you have and everything you know will soon be squeezed out of you. Why do you think you were kept alive? I’ll untie every string in your bodies and search you to your bones. You won’t need your legs, oh no!’ (He picks up a hobbit under each arm.) ‘ Keep quiet. If one of you speaks I will bite out the throat of the other as payment.’
Cut to Grishnakh carrying the hobbits past two more dead orcs on the perimeter. He disappears into the darkness towards the fires. Cut to him loping in the dark. Cut to an armoured horseman trotting in the dark. Cut to the horse’s head. It turns to one side and snorts and the rider pats its neck.
Cut to the rider changing direction. Cut to a silhouette of Grishnakh as the horse approaches him. He drops the hobbits who roll themselves away and he draws a curved sword. The horse rears up and treads him down and the rider leans over and stabs down with his spear. He pulls the spear out and looks around and moves on. Cut to Merry wriggling himself closer to Pippin.

Merry: ‘ How can we avoid getting spitted like that?’ Pippin grins and with a flourish frees his hands and dangles the knotted loop in Merry’s face.

Pippin: ‘I was about to tell you. I cut them two days back when that big orc killed a couple of his ugly fellows. Hang on a minute.’ Pippin pulls himself over to Grishnakh’s body and pulls out his dagger. He starts to cut his legs free. Cut to the hobbits eating some lembas and massaging their legs. They toss the mallorn leaves away and pick crumbs off their fronts.
Cut to the two hobbits walking hand in hand into the forest as the night lightens. They look tiny against the trees. Cut to them drinking then washing at a river bank.

Merry: ‘Not bad Master Took. That was worth almost a chapter in Bilbo’s book.’ They pause as first the three horn calls and then the sounds and cries of battle are heard.

Pippin: ‘Lead on Master Brandybuck as you seem to know our whereabouts. The forest ought to be a safer choice than back to a battle.’ Cut to the hobbits disappearing into old lichen-encrusted trees. A brief cut to the smoking pyre of orcs. Cut to the camera tracking the hobbits as they walk between the trees. They look up and around.

Pippin: ‘This is as dim and stuffy as the room of the Old Took in the Smials that just got older and shabbier. All the trees here have beards or whiskers of lichens or last year’s leaves still sticking to them. It all needs a spring clean.’ Cut to the cliff that Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas are later to stop at. The hobbits look up.

Merry: ‘Shall we climb up to get a good view?’ Cut to them climbing on to a broad ledge. At one end is a tree stump with only two branches left sticking up.

Pippin: What a shame the sun has gone in again. I almost felt I liked this shaggy old forest in the sunlight.’

Then they look startled as a deep booming voice says: ‘That’s uncommonly kind of you.’ Two great twiggy hands grasp each of them round the middle and lift them up in the air.
The strange voice continues:’ Let me look at you to see if I dislike you. We mustn’t be hasty.’
Cut to the two hobbits held up in front of a tree stump that is fissured, covered in burls and fuzzy with lichens. Deep within two small hollows intelligent eyes look out. Below the eyes a stubby hollow branch serves as a mouth and beneath that a beard juts out that seems to be made of fine twigs.
The creature inspects them and continues: ‘Hroom! I thought you were a new breed of orc until I heard your voices.’

Merry to Pippin: ‘Not another talking tree! What will this one do to us?’

Pippin: ‘Please, who are you?’

Treebeard: ‘Hrum. The word you have for me is Ent. I suppose I am The Ent. You may call me Treebeard. It would take a long time to tell you my real name for it is the story of my life. Who are you? You don’t appear in the old lists of all living things.’

Merry: ‘Everyone overlooks us though we’ve been around for a long time. We are hobbits from the Shire. His full name is Peregrin Took and mine is Meriadoc Brandybuck.’

Pippin: You can call us Pippin and Merry.’

Treebeard: ‘You are hasty folk, telling me your real names. We are the tree-herds of Fangorn. We keep strangers out and we tend and teach the trees. Some of the trees are actually waking up but many Ents are falling asleep. They need some great thing to rouse them now. ( a brief pause)Forgive me, you little folk look hungry and tired and you have suffered injuries. I will take you to one of my homes. I can give you a drink there that will keep you green and growing for a long time ’
Cut to Treebeard stalking down the ledges of the cliff like a long-legged bird while Merry and Pippin look queasy. Cut to some short scenes of him striding jerkily through the forest with the hobbits perched on his shoulders. Trees move aside or raise their branches as he passes. Cut to a close-up of Treebeard’s head and the hobbits as they travel.

Treebeard: ‘Now do you know what is going on with all these orcs and young Saruman over at Isengard and you and Gandalf?’

Merry: ‘Did you know Gandalf?’

Pippin: ‘He was our great friend and guide until he fell in battle within Moria.’

Treebeard: ‘Was you say? Hroom, hroom, I do not know what to say. You had better tell me your story.’ The scene fades out.

Fade in to Gimli’s astonished face. Cut to Legolas’ face, bright with eagerness.

Cut to Aragorn, his eyes filling with tears: ‘Gandalf? Beyond all hope, have you returned to us?’ Cut to a snowy bearded Gandalf, his robes shining in the sun.
Gandalf: ‘Yes, that was my name, Gandalf.’ (he steps down from the rock) ‘Yes, you may still call me Gandalf. Come now, put your weapons aside. None of you have anything that could hurt me. I am Gandalf the White now. I am Saruman as he should have been. We meet again as a great storm is coming but the tide has turned.’ Cut to the group.

Aragorn: ‘Do you have any news of Frodo?’

Gandalf shakes his head: ‘The Ring has passed beyond my help. It was vey nearly revealed to the Enemy and I had to put my will against him until the danger passed. Then I was very weary. All that I know is that Frodo set out for Mordor.’

Aragorn: ‘But not alone, we think Sam went with him.’

Cut to Gandalf’s face: ‘Did he indeed? You lighten my heart.’ Cut to Gandalf sitting down with the others. ‘Now tell me of your journeys since we parted.’ Fade out. Fade in to a different view of the group. Gandalf and Aragorn are smoking pipes.

Gandalf: ‘Poor Boromir! And Merry and Pippin too. But even as we sit here they are setting off the first few stones of a mighty avalanche.’

Aragorn, laughing: ‘You still speak in riddles, Gandalf.’

Gandalf: ‘Very well. Sauron of course knows the Ring has been found and that a hobbit has borne it. He knows we set out from Rivendell and he guesses we intend to take it to Minas Tirith for that is what he would expect. He fears that some mighty Lord will seize it and use its great power of command to overthrow him. But he does not know our purpose. It has not yet entered his darkest dream that we seek to destroy it. Fearing war from a new Ring-bearer he will strike first and it will be on Minas Tirith that his storm will fall.’

Gimli: ‘Where does Saruman, the traitor, stand in this?’

Gandalf: ‘Ah, we may thank Saruman for thwarting Sauron’s attempt to capture the Ring. Now he is doubly a traitor for he desires the Ring himself and he has cheated his new ally. Soon the Dark Tower will know that two hobbits were captured and taken to Isengard. Already our enemies fall out and before long he must fear the wrath of Sauron.’

Gimli: ‘Was it you or Saruman we saw last night by our fire?’

Gandalf: ‘It was not I. He must have come out to meet his orcs and found them destroyed. Now his mind must be full of doubt. He doesn’t know if they brought back hobbits but he fears that King Théoden may now hold the Ring. Saruman is the captain of a strong army of orcs and men that already threatens the kingdom of Rohan. Now he will unleash war at once.’ (he claps Gimli on the back) ‘If you thought you saw me last night, I forgive your desire to put a dent in my hat. Maybe one day you will see us both together to judge’

Legolas: ‘But where are Merry and Pippin?’

Gandalf: ‘With Treebeard the Ent, the shepherd and guardian of Fangorn forest, whose slow anger is now brimming over. The Ents are about to wake up and I do not think they know yet what they can do. The hobbits are now too far away to follow. Our road is different. We have hope now but it is not victory. War is upon us and all our friends and we still face deadly peril and sorrow.’ (he grasps Aragorn’s shoulder) ‘ Come Aragorn! You chose rightly amid your doubts to follow your friends. Now fulfill your promise to Éomer and go to Théoden at Edoras. There is evil at work there and your sword is needed.’ He starts to rise.

Cut to Legolas: ‘Tell us what happened in Moria. How were you delivered from the Balrog?’

Cut to Gandalf sitting again, we see the pain in his face: ‘If I had a year I would not tell you all that happened. Long I fell……..’ Fade out
Last edited by ToshoftheWuffingas on Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

Time to continue the episode. To the fair comment elsewhere that it is becoming too long to read comfortably I am starting to introduce some spacing between different speakers. I can edit it retrospectively to do it to previous episodes if that would be welcome.
I also wonder if it would benefit from splitting the story into different threads,
eg From the Shire to Rivendell; To the Anduin, To the Crossroads etc.
I am happy to try and make it more readable if people have good suggestions. Given that the intention is to be purist as far as is practical, I can't shorten it much. You are stuck with a lot to read. :P

Cut to Legolas: 'Tell us what happened in Moria. How were you delivered from the Balrog?'

Cut to Gandalf sitting again, we see the pain in his face: 'If I had a year I would not tell you all that happened. Long I fell……..' Fade out

Fade in to the blank stare of the whiteless black eyes of the Balrog, its mouth open in a fierce grimace. Cut to the full form of the Balrog as it spins pale and naked in the chasm surrounded by dull red flame. It pulls in the line of its fiery whip that entangles Gandalf until he is enfolded by curtains of darkness. Gandalf's brightness shines through the enclosing darkness. Cut to a close view of the two struggling. Gandalf slashes at the Balrog with his glowing blade. His robes burst into flame and Gandalf's flesh blackens and it reforms into his features again as he continues to strike. Cut to the two spinning and tumbling in the chasm as they struggle and fall. Cut to a view from above as the two dwindle into a fiery dot. Cut to black and a loud thud then the sound deadens. Cut to a surface of black water with great ripples spreading out. Then a red glow within the centre of the ripples and a great gout of steam erupts upwards.
Gandalf's voice is heard: ' I came at last to the uttermost foundations of stone. His fire was quenched but now he was a thing of slime. He fled into dark tunnels where the world is gnawed by nameless things. Then I hewed at him as he fled up the Endless Stair.' As he speaks we see an incandescent Gandalf underwater struggling with the coils of a leech-like serpent. Cut to the creature wriggling away as Gandalf strikes at its retreating end.
Cut to a snowy mountain peak. It suddenly billows with black smoke and lightning. Cut to a view up a snow-cliff towards the sky. A small figure spins round as it falls towards the camera. Cut to the view of the mountain peak as the figure hits the slopes and bounces down. At each collision the mountain-side explodes. Cut to a snowy slope bearing a petrified monster. It crumbles into dust and the wind blows it across the snow, staining it.
Cut to the mountain top. Snows surround a steaming pool; the camera zooms gently forward to a small figure prostrate by the water. It is the charred body of Gandalf, still clutching a bright sword.

We hear Gandalf's voice again: 'I strayed out of time and thought. I will not tell where I wandered but I was sent back for a while. Naked I returned.'
Fade to the newly healed naked body of Gandalf. Powdery snow blows over it. Cut to his face, his eyes are open and stare upwards without comprehension.
Cut to the friends together in Fangorn forest.

Gandalf: ' Then Gwaihir the Windlord was sent to find me and bear me to Lórien to find healing. The Lady clothed me in white and gave me words for you.' (he turns to Aragorn first) 'Aragorn, she said, "Dark is the path appointed for thee. The Dead watch the road that leads to the sea." To you Legolas, "If thou hearest the cry of the gull on the shore, thy heart shall then rest in the forest no more." Cut to Legolas and Aragorn looking at each other, mystified. Gimli waits expectantly.

Gimli: 'And I? Had she words for me?'

Gandalf: 'Hmm? Oh yes. She bid me say wherever thou goest, her thoughts go with thee.'
Gimli breaks out in a grin and capers about in simple joy and the others smile at his pleasure.

Gandalf, rising: 'Now there is a need for haste.'
Cut to the four emerging from the forest. Gandalf brings up his fingers and whistles. Cut to a fine white horse rearing in the sunlight. Cut to a helicopter shot of the horse leading two others, galloping over green downs. Cut to the horses trotting up to the four friends. Cut to Aragorn and Legolas gazing at the white horse in admiration. Cut to Gandalf whispering to a beautiful white Arabian stallion as it nuzzles in to him.

Gandalf: 'This is Shadowfax, a lord of horses. There is none like him. Now we go to war together. (softly) Come my friend, it is a long way from Rivendell. Lead us now to the hall of your master, King Théoden.'
Fades to the four riding over grasslands, crossing streams, passing mixed herds of grazing horses and stock. Cut to a view from behind of the travellers pausing on a crest. Beyond them is a great mountain range with snowy peaks. Cut to a palisaded town on a low hill at the entrance to a rising valley. Prominent in the centre of the town is a high wooden hall with a yellow ornately thatched roof. Thin ribbons of smoke rise from the roofs of the town.

Cut to Gandalf on Shadowfax: 'Before us is Edoras and Meduseld, the golden hall of Théoden.'
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

And this now finishes off the episode.

Cut to Gandalf on Shadowfax: ‘Before us is Edoras and Meduseld, the golden hall of Théoden.’
Cut to them trotting towards the walls of the town between two lines of barrows dusted with tiny white flowers. Cut to golden haired spearmen standing across a bridge that leads to the gates as the friends approach.

An officer steps forward: ’I am Hama, the doorwarden of Théoden. No strangers are welcome here save our friends from Mundburg, the stone city in Gondor. By what right do you ride our horses?’

Aragorn: ‘Thieves do not ride back to the stable. Éomer lent them to us and we bring them back as we promised. Is Éomer here?’

Hama glances back at his men and becomes evasive: ‘Of him I cannot say. It is a matter for Grima Wormtongue.’

Cut to Gandalf: ‘I have business with King Théoden, not Wormtongue. Tell him that Gandalf returns with Shadowfax and with him are Aragorn and Legolas the Elf, the heirs of kings and Gimli the Dwarf.
Cut to Hama leading the travellers on foot up wide stone steps to a terrace. Cut to them standing by a richly carved and gilded wooden porchway.

Hama: ‘Here you must leave your weapons.’

Legolas: ‘Keep these well for the Lady of the Golden Wood gave them to me.’ As he speaks he hands his knife, great bow and quiver over. Hama avoids touching them and points out a rack within the porch that already has some weapons arrayed on it.

Hama: ‘ I promise you no man here will dare touch them.’

Cut to Aragorn: ‘I will not deliver Anduril into another man’s hands.’

Hama steps back to block the porchway and puts his hand on his sword hilt: ‘This is the house of Théoden . You must follow his command.’

Gandalf puts his hand on Aragorn’s shoulder: ‘ This is idle talk. A king will have his way in his own hall. I will leave my sword here Hama. Glamdring it is called. It was made by the elves long ago and has been the bane of a Balrog.’ He unbuckles his sword belt under his tattered grey cloak and hands it over to Hama who nervously hangs it with Legolas’ weapons then checks his hands. Cut to Aragorn slowly pulling the scabbard from his belt. The camera pans as he walks to the other weapons and places Anduril next to them. He points to his sword.

Aragorn: ‘Death will come to any man who draws it. For this is the sword that was broken; the blade that Telchar himself wrought in the deeps of time. The sword that threw down Sauron and that has been forged again.’ (a brief cut to a wide-eyed Hama) ‘

Cut to Gimli cheerfully pulling out his axe: ‘Then my axe can rest here also without shame.’
Cut to the four who start to move forward towards the camera. Hama still blocks their way.

Hama: ‘Forgive me but your staff should remain here too.’

Gandalf puffs out his cheeks: ‘If Théoden is discourteous enough to forbid an old man to lean on his stick I will have to stay out here until he hobbles out himself.’

Hama: ‘A wizard’s staff may be more than a prop for age.’ (he pauses and looks at each of their faces) ‘I will let you pass for I believe you to be our friends and folk of honour.’ He bows.
Cut to the great carved doors seen from within as they open inwards letting bright light in. We see the silhouettes of the travellers as they enter a dark space. Cut to a view of one side of the dim hall. Carved gilded wooden pillars glint in the darkness. Behind them is a long tapestry barely visible. The camera pans up the pillars to smoky little windows beside an elaborate hammer-beam roof. Cut to the length of the hall. Beyond a smouldering fire-pit with a hanging chain above it is a low stepped platform at the end of the hall. There are figures around the platform. Cut to a closer view. An old white-bearded man sits hunched up on a throne. Sitting lower down on one of the steps is a balding studious looking man working his way through a pile of documents. Behind the throne in the shadows is a tall slender impassive woman.
Cut to Gandalf bowing to camera, followed by the others.

Gandalf: ‘Hail Théoden, son of Thengel. I have returned for now the storm comes. All friends should gather together lest we be destroyed singly.’ Cut to Théoden’s face. He has a large uncut diamond on a circlet upon his brow. He rouses himself from his misery and looks at Gandalf with disdain. His reply is thin at first but grows a little in power.

Théoden: ‘Your welcome is doubtful here Gandalf Stormcrow. I did not mourn overmuch when I heard of your fall in the old dwarf kingdom. Yet here you are again talking of more evils.’

The other man interjects talking over Théoden. He clears his throat and talks in a dry manner: ‘Indeed my lord. It has only been five days since we heard of the death of your son, Theodred at the Fords of Isen. We cannot trust your nephew Éomer ( at this the woman behind stiffens even more) to even carry out the simple task of guarding your walls. Against your express command he abandoned your safety to ride out on false rumours. Your punishment of him is just. Sauron of Mordor is stirring his forces. We need new friends and cannot expect help from the stone city of Gondor. Why should we welcome you Gandalf Stormcrow? Lathspell, I name you. Ill news. Ill news is an ill guest they say.’ He turns to Théoden to smile at his own jest.
Cut to Gandalf and his friends.

Gandalf: ‘Doubtless you are a great support to your master Grima but a man with ill news may come to offer his aid.’

Grima: ‘Or come to pick over another’s sorrows’ (he gestures at the king) ‘carrion-fowl that grow fat on war. It was our aid you sought last time and you took Shadowfax in your insolence. You come to seek aid again rather than offer any. Where are the armies or weapons we need? Or do you offer those ragged travellers at your tail with you the greatest beggar of them all? Go back to that sorceress of the golden wood. Her deceits do not work here.’
Cut to the travellers. Gimli gives a low growl and Gandalf rests a hand on him.

Gandalf: ‘Théoden King, the courtesy of your hall has lessened of late.’ He throws back his ragged grey cloak to show his shining white robes beneath. He straightens up and raps his staff on the tiled floor three times. Cut to a view of the length of the hall from the doorway. The smouldering firepit bursts into flame.

Cut to Grima rising and scattering his parchments: ‘That fool Hama has betrayed us! He still has his staff!’

Cut to Gandalf who speaks in ringing tones: ‘A witless worm have you become, Grima son of Galmod. Be silent and keep your forked tongue behind your teeth.’ He points his staff and a brief cut to Grima scrabbling at his mouth. ‘I have not passed through fire and death to bandy words with a crooked serving man till the lightning falls.’
Gandalf points his staff up to the sky and a flash illuminates the hall.
‘Now Théoden, will you hearken to me? Not all is dark. I cannot give counsel to those who despair but I have words for you. Will you listen? Too long have you sat in shadows. Come outside and look upon your kingdom.’
Cut to Théoden. Grima is on his hands and knees. Very slowly Théoden attempts to rise with the help of a black stick The woman hurries to his side and watches expectantly as he stands. A pool of light appears on the dais and Théoden slowly descends stiffly into its centre. The light catches his white hair.
Cut to the outside of Meduseld with its gilded beams and carvings. Banners gust in the wind. The doors are open and Théoden walks carefully out still supported by the woman. Cut to a close-up of her as she looks back towards the travellers who follow them from the hall. We see clearly her stiff, sad beauty.
Cut to Gandalf, Théoden and Éowyn standing by a low parapet at the edge of the terrace. Beyond are the rolling grasslands.

Cut to a woman carrying a bucket by a timbered house. She shades her eyes as she looks up then turns and calls out: ‘Look! King Théoden! The king walks forth again!’
Cut to Gandalf, Théoden and Éowyn on the terrace.

Gandalf: ‘Look out upon your land and its people and breathe the free air again.’ Théoden has straightened a little and his hair moves in the wind.

Théoden: ‘Dark have been my dreams of late. My son is dead and soon fires will devour Edoras. I fear you have come too late. What is to be done?’ Éowyn looks from Théoden to Gandalf.

Gandalf: ‘First call Éomer. I guess that Grima Wormtongue had him held prisoner.’

Théoden: ‘That is so. He left Edoras against my command and threatened Grima with death.’
Cut to the legs of a man walking over straw covered cobbles towards a low log building with barred windows. A naked sword blade swings loosely at his side. Cut as the half revealed figure with the sword waits as a guard unlocks a small thick door. Cut to Éomer sitting in the dark on a bench. A small beam of light falls on his face. He looks up.

Éomer: ‘Has it come to this?’
Cut to Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and Éowyn waiting on the terrace. Beyond them Gandalf is talking animatedly to Théoden by the parapet. He gestures into the distance. Aragorn watches Gandalf and behind him Éowyn watches Aragorn. Cut to Gandalf and Théoden.

Gandalf, quietly: ‘….. and so our doom hangs on a thread. But we still have hope if we can stay unconquered for a little while.’

Théoden: ‘Alas for Boromir and Theodred. The young perish and the old wither. But now I look out it is not so dark.’ A brief cut to the crowds starting to gather below the steps to Meduseld. Cut back to the king and the wizard. Gandalf looks briefly over his shoulder.

Gandalf: ‘You would remember your strength better were you to hold your sword again .’

Théoden sighs: ‘Grima took it away.’

We hear Éomer’s voice: ‘Take mine dear lord. It was always in your service.’
Cut to Éomer kneeling holding his sword hilt out. Hama stands behind him.
Cut to Théoden, the sunlight haloed around him, standing straight now. Éomer kneels before him

We hear Gandalf’s voice: ‘Will you not take it?’
Théoden slowly reaches out and grips the hilt. Éomer takes his hand away and the blade rests for a moment trembling. A brief cut to Éowyn, her eyes closed and biting her lip. Then back to Théoden. He swings the sword up and around and makes practice cuts from different directions. We hear the sword whistle. Then he swings it up again and faces out over the parapet.

Théoden: ‘Arise now Riders of Rohan! ( a pause)
Dire deeds awake, dark is it eastward.
Let horse be bridled, horn be sounded.
(he pauses again then on a rising note)
Forth Eorlingas!’
We hear a great shout in reply.
Fade to black.
Closing credits.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

The storm approaches.....

Horsemen gallop out from the gates of Edoras and head in different directions. The opening credits start: JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: Episode Seventeen Helm’s Deep etc. As the credits run one horseman reins in by a low thatched farmhouse. Men work by an open barn and Edoras is seen in the distance.

The Rider: ‘King Théoden summons all who can bear arms to Edoras. At the second hour after noon the host rides to war.!’ Cut to a man up a short ladder pulling spears from the thatch and passing them down. Below him men are buckling on swords and donning helmets.
Cut to the terrace of Meduseld at Edoras. Gandalf stands with Théoden and Éomer.

Gandalf: ‘Trust Éomer. Grima had you keep a great force here while your son defended the Fords of Isen. Send Éomer with that force to the aid of Erkenbrand now and lead the people of Edoras to the safety of Dunharrow in the mountains.’

Théoden: ‘You do not know your skill in healing Gandalf. I shall lead the host myself. I will find another to go to Dunharrow.' ’Cut to Grima approaching between two escorts. Cut to Théoden and his companions. Éomer stares with loathing. Cut to Grima and his escort. Hama raises a large sword in an ornate scabbard.’

Hama: ‘Here lord is your sword, Herugrim. It was in Grima’s rooms, well hidden.’

Grima: ‘I kept it safe for you my lord.’

Cut to Théoden: ‘And now I require it again.’ He stretches out and takes it and looks at it carefully.

Cut to Grima: ‘Do not weary yourself my lord, you are frail. Your meal is ready. Let me take care of your guests.’

Cut to Théoden speaking curtly: ‘They eat with me then the host of Edoras rides out to the Isen.’

Cut to Grima looking concerned: ‘I feared this wizard would bewitch you. Who will be left to guard you and your treasure?’

Cut to Théoden: ‘This bewitchment seems more wholesome than your whisperings. You would have had me on all fours like a beast. Fear not Grima, none shall be left here. Even you will ride to battle.’

Cut to the whole group.
Grima: ‘Do not send your faithful servant from your side.’

Théoden: ‘Indeed I do not for I ride at the head of the host myself.’

Grima looks at the circle of hard faces around him: ‘I would expect such bravery from a King of Rohan but there are those here who would not grieve at your death. If you will not think of your own safety, let me protect Edoras for you while I hope for your return. I know your mind and will keep it safe.’

Éomer laughs scornfully: ‘You will be even safer carrying a sack of food up into the mountains with the women.’

Gandald looks directly at Grima while he takes Éomer’s arm: ‘Éomer, you do not yet understand Grima Wormtongue. He plays a game to gain time.’ (he points) ‘How long has it been since Saruman bought you? What was your price? Was it the treasure of Rohan when all were dead? ‘ (Gandalf steps forward and lowers his voice) ‘Or was a woman the price? Was it the Lady Éowyn?’ A very brief medium distance shot of Éowyn standing a little apart from Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, looking down at her hands. She looks up at camera. Cut back to the people around Théoden.

Éomer: ‘I knew it and for that reason I would have slain him before now.’

Gandalf: ‘Now King Théoden, Grima has become a snake worthy of death but once he served you in his fashion before he was corrupted. He deserves some reward for that. Give him a horse and let him choose; Saruman or Rohan.’ Grima looks around . He goes to walk away, stops, turns back and spits at his foes then turns again and hurries into a run. Cut to him trying to get a small horse to hurry out of the gates of Edoras as cabbages are thrown at him by the people.
Cut to Théoden, Éomer and the travellers at table eating hurriedly. Éowyn stands off to one side. A large auroch’s horn capped in silver rests on a stand on the table.

Théoden: ‘Gandalf, you came in time. My eyes were blind and my mind enfeebled. I would give you a gift. Name anything bar my sword.’

Gandalf: ‘Lord of Rohan, Shadowfax was only lent before and now there is a bond of love between us. I shall have need of his speed.’ Théoden, eating, nods and makes a sign to Éowyn . She comes from the side and lifts the great horn before the king.
Éowyn: ‘Ferthu Théoden hal! Health be with you at your going and coming.’ She fills his goblet and then the others. Cut to Aragorn smiling politely as he holds his goblet up. Cut to the goblet in his hand and drops of red wine spill on his wrist. Cut to a close-up of her hands trembling. Cut back to Aragorn’s face and he flashes a curious glance upwards. His smile vanishes and he looks away. Cut to Éowyn closing her eyes.
Cut to Théoden being armed by an esquire, donning first an undercoat of thin leather then a coat of mail. Éowyn stands close by with his sword and shield. A group of older men stand to one side.

Théoden: ‘This seems like to be my last riding. The full council of Rohan is not here but I name before you Éomer, my sister-son to be my heir. If neither of us returns from battle then choose a new lord from among you to defend the Mark.’ He looks around at the silence. ‘I cannot spare Éomer.’

The older men look at one another and one speaks: ‘The Lady Éowyn is fearless and of your house. Let her be lord of Edoras while you are gone.’

Théoden looks at Éowyn who looks cooly back without a word: ‘It shall be so.’
Fade to Théoden mounted and framed through the gates of Edoras. The companions are mounted behind him. Gandalf shines white in his robes. Cut to a close-up of Théoden as he rides out. We hear a great shout. Cut to a thousand horsemen waiting outside bearing a thicket of spears.

Cut to Éomer riding forward: ‘Behold our king and the White Rider! Forth Eorlingas!’ Another great shout.
Cut to the trotting legs of horses. Cut to the column growing smaller as it rides away towards a hazy sun. Cut to a bare room with a small plain bed. Cut to a view from behind of Éowyn looking out of a small window. She bunches up her dress in one fist. A small bowl of flower bulbs near the window is the only decoration in the room. Cut to her face seen through the open shutters of her window. The camera comes in a little slowly and we see tears pour down her still face.
Cut to Treebeard walking up to an alcove cut into a rock-face. Threads of water trickle down the cliff and over him as he carries the hobbits in on his shoulders. Cut to Merry and Pippin swinging their legs from a tall stone table as Treebeard hands them large bowls of bubbling water. They sip them then drink deeply. While they do so the Ent lifts an enormous jug and pours the contents down the hollow stump of his mouth.. When they finish they look at one another and the hobbits start touching their hair.

Merry: ‘We told you our story, what do you think?’

Treebeard: ‘You have not told me all, not by a long way. There is something going on but that is the affair of Wizards and Elves. When the Shadow first came back to Mordor I did not trouble for it is far away. But now the wind blows bitter from the East and the woods will wither and how will we Ents weather that storm? And Saruman too breeds man-like orcs! Once he was polite enough but now his mind is full of metal and wheels.’ (cut to a close-up of Treebeard’s face) ‘ and he fells my trees to feed his furnaces and engines and a foul smoke rises from Isengard these days. Curse him! He has become a traitor, rotten in his heartwood. And Saruman is a neighbour, I cannot overlook him.’
Cut to Treebeard moving to the entrance and looking out. The drops of water sparkle red and green as they fall on his silhouetted form. ‘I have been idle. The Ents must be roused from their sleep. I shall call an Entmoot tomorrow.’
Cut to a lone horseman cresting a low grassy hill in the distance. Brief cuts show him getting closer. Then the camera pulls back to show Éomer, Gandalf and Aragorn riding towards him. Cut to a view of the man from behind as he nears the force from Edoras. His bloody right arm hangs helpless and he guides his horse with his left hand.

Cut to a close view of the man: ‘You have come too late Éomer. Turn back to defend Edoras and the king. Our shieldwall was broken and we were scattered. Erkenbrand was trying to fall back to Helm’s Deep. All Rohan is open to the forces of Isengard now.

Cut to Théoden riding forward: ‘The host of the Eorlingas has ridden forth. It will not return without battle. I am no longer bent like an old tree in Meduseld. A wind from the West has shaken the branches. We ride to the aid of Erkenbrand.’ As the king speaks Gandalf rides forward and away off camera. Cut to Gandalf on the crest of a hill looking around. Cut to him galloping back. Cut to Shadowfax coming to a halt before the king.

Gandalf: ‘A storm out of Mordor approaches. Do not go to the river. The passage has already been lost and Saruman’s forces are too strong. Ride now for the Hornburg and hold it till I come. I must go at once.'’ Shadowfax turns and the camera pans as he gallops off.
Cut to a silhouette of Treebeard on a hill as the sun gets low. We hear a deep warbling bassoon-like call. Cut to the forest canopy and we hear multiple woodpecker-like drummings. Cut to another view and this time the swishings of trees in a wind that we heard in the Old Forest.
Cut to Saruman standing in a black-walled circular room. He covers a large crystal globe with a black cloth, walks over to a window to look at the approaching dark then walks around the room lighting candles. He strikes a small gong delicately. A tall armoured orc enters, bows and stands still.

Saruman: ‘All Rohan lies before us now. Erkenbrand’s forces at the Fords of Isen have just broken and the stragglers flee to Helm’s Deep. Grima Wormtongue has done well to keep men idle in Edoras. Join the forces in the field and throw in all of Isengard’s reserves. I will make an end of this upstart kingdom.’ (the orc bows again and turns to go) ‘Oh, and you will need my powder for Helm’s Deep.’
When the orc has left Saruman sits down in a fine chair, knits his fingers together and smiles smugly. He reaches over to pick up a long pipe and starts to fill it.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

The battle draws closer.....

Cut to Helm's Deep seen in the distance at sunset. Open grassland laps up against a valley in the hills. Beyond are the sunny peaks of snow capped mountains. As the valley narrows and steepens a low wall crosses from the steep cliffs on the left to a rocky spur on the right that bears a tower on it. The tower is circled by its own high wall and a ramp and bridge lead up to a fortified gateway in the wall around the tower.
Cut to a bushy bearded warrior standing in the open gateway before a mounted Théoden. He bows.

Cut to a close-up of him: 'Many have fled here from the battle but Erkenbrand has led no force here. We have perhaps a thousand men fit to fight on foot though many have seen too many years like me or too few.

Cut to Théoden on horseback: 'Erkenbrand cannot join us now; there is a great army on our heels. We had need of his strength too. What of the folk of the Westfold Gamling?'

Cut to Gamling: 'The women and children and the old are safe in the caves beyond the narrows together with as many farm beasts as we could drive here in the time.'

Cut to Éomer: 'That is good. Behind us they burn rick, cot and tree.'

Cut back to Gamling who pats his sword hilt: 'If they come for our goods here they will find the price high.'

Cut to Éomer turning in his saddle: 'Riders! Lead your horses through the Hornburg and up into the valley past the narrows. Return and array yourselves in your companies along the Deeping Wall.'
Cut to brief scenes of a forest canopy in sunshine. Cut to a medium distance view of two hobbits lying on their backs, knees up and hands behind their heads sunning themselves by a glossy-leafed hedge. Cut to a view of their faces from above looking up and seeming a little bored. We hear a rising and falling sound of vibrations, drumming and rustling.

Pippin: 'They've been talking for three days now. Do you think they have got past hello yet?'

Merry: 'If they have they are getting noisier. Your hair is getting very long Pippin.'

Pippin: 'That's strange, so is…' The background noise stops and Pippin pauses to listen. They get up and the camera pans as they get close to the hedge to listen. They jump as a great shout is heard. Then a single drum beat that is joined by others until a massed marching beat is heard.. The camera tracks as they run along the hedge until they reach a gap where they pause. The ground slopes down into a dip and we see Treebeard's head start to emerge coming up the slope. More Ent heads of all sorts appear behind him.

'To Isengard!'
Merry and Pippin run up to Treebeard who sweeps them up on to his shoulders. Cut to the two perched on his shoulders looking back in amazement. Cut to a band of about fifty Ents beating their sides in time to the marching rhythm. Cut to Merry and Pippin's excited faces as we hear the Ent song.

'To Isengard!
Though Isengard be ringed and barred with doors of stone,
Though Isengard be strong and hard, as cold as stone and bare as bone,
We go! We go to war to hew the stone and break the door.'

Cut to the hobbits on Treebeard as the drumming continues.
Merry: 'Will you really break down the doors of Isengard?'

Treebeard: 'We are stronger than trolls. We can split stone like the roots of trees when we are roused. We can crack the walls of Isengard into rubble.'

Merry: 'But Saruman is the chief wizard. He even overmastered Gandalf. What if he uses sorcery and fire against you?'

Treebeard: 'That is so. It is likely that we go to our doom. The last march of the Ents. We have no Ent-wives left. But doom would find us sooner or later if we did nothing.'
Cut to the Ent-band crossing open heathland. Cut to Pippin tugging Merry's sleeve and pointing back. Cut again to the column of Ents and behind them scattered groves of trees appear to move. Gradually the gaps between them fill up.
Cut to Treebeard again: 'Huorns are following us. They are the trees that the Ents have awoken. They are wild and angry and you must keep away from them.'
Cut to a silhouette of Treebeard and the hobbits against a failing light as they look down a ravine. Beyond them in the distance is the black jagged tower of Orthanc.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

And the episode ends with the first great battle of the story. For those who are still following this, I'm sorry for a short delay in posting but my old computer finally went bang and I had to buy another one.

Cut to a view along the Deeping Wall towards the Hornburg. Men stand along it and large bundles of arrows and piles of rocks are stacked behind them. Cut to Legolas looking out over the wall while Gimli leans his back against the parapet.

Gimli: ‘I feel good rock beneath my feet. I feel at home here.’

Legolas: ‘Dwarves are strange folk. For myself I would give much to have a hundred archers from my father’s kingdom in Mirkwood. The men of Rohan have too few.’

Gimli yawns: ‘And I would give much for a sleep after that bouncing on a horse. I will never get used to it. Only a line of orc-necks would wake me or my axe.’

Legolas, grimly: ‘Do not fall asleep yet then. Look!’ Gimli turns but is too short to see over the wall. He walks to a slit. A brief cut to his face narrowly framed by the stone walls. Cut to the dark valley between dim hills. In the blackness scores of specks of flame move forward. Then a protracted flash of sheet lightning lights up the whole valley revealing the orc army filling it. The scene goes black again and a sharp crack of thunder blasts out. Cut to Éomer and Aragorn on the Deeping Wall. Long and short flashes play on them amid a variety of short crackles and long rumbles of thunder.

Aragorn shouts above the din: ‘This is the storm from Mordor that Gandalf saw. Let us hope we weather it. It will not be the last.’ A battering of rain hits them.
Cut to the base of the Deeping Wall.. In alternating flashes and darkness the first orcs run up and stop about thirty feet away. Orc archers push through the throng and shoot up at random. More join them and soon a storm of arrows fly over the wall. Cut to a view along the top of the wall. Arrows fly over in clouds. Men crouch behind the parapet with shields held over them. We start to hear a continuous background of screeches and snarls. As the arrow storm slows the defenders shoot back through the slits. Cut back to the base of the wall. Orcs run up with ladders while others fall to arrows. Cut to a long view of the wall and we see ladders pushed off by the defenders. In the distance a moving mass of shields starts up the ramp to the bridge. The camera zooms to a nearer view as the testudo reaches the bridge. Some men slip and fall from the sides of the bridge. Other men with shields run up from behind to replace them. Cut to the shields at the front as they get close to the gate. The shields move aside and two metal-capped tree-trunks appear. The testudo moves forward and covers the view of the gates.. We hear a shout then a loud thump, followed by another. Like a heartbeat, the rams batter the door.
Cut to Aragorn. Éomer points along the wall. Aragorn claps him on the back.

Aragorn: ‘At last the hour when we draw swords together!’ Cut to the parapet and the camera tracks along it as we see Aragorn’s and Éomer’s helmetted heads run behind it. Arrows bounce off the stonework. Cut to them running up the steps to a small door in the Hornburg wall. Cut to them running across the inner courtyard in front of the tower of the Hornburg as other men start to follow them. Cut to Aragorn and Éomer edging along a narrow ledge between stone walls and the rock-face. Other Rohirrim follow them. Cut to Aragorn peering round a corner . Cut to a sideview of the testudo and the rhythmic double beat of the rams. Stones bounce off the raised shields and at an edge two men fall, exposing the side.

Cut to Aragorn’s ferocious face: ‘Elendil!’ Cut to him running and leaping on to the bridge, cutting low at the legs of the men.

As more tumble Éomer joins him: ‘Guthwine for the Mark!’ More Rohirrim join them and the wielders of the ram are cleared from one side until we see the frame on which the rams swing.. Rohirrim use levers to tip over the structure and the survivors scatter. The Rohirrim slash at the men trapped under the ram. Cut to the ram tumbling from the bridge into the stream below.

Cut to Éomer gulping air and looking up: ‘We have to strengthen the gate from within!’ Cut to the gate, planks broken and bent back at the bottom. Cut to the sortie running back along the bridge, Éomer lingering to cover their retreat. He turns to run too and an orc rises from a pile of bodies and dives across his feet tripping him. The other bodies rise up. Cut to two orcs looking down to camera , their weapons high in the air. First one goes flying off to one side, then the second orc goes off to the other. Gimli appears from behind them and buries his axe to one side of the camera as he calls out:
‘Khazâd ai menu!’
Cut to Éomer rising as Gimli pulls his axe from the third orc.

Gimli pats Éomer on the back: ‘That has shaken the cobwebs from my mind.’
Cut to Legolas shooting arrows through a slit. At one point he moves smoothly back as an arrow comes through then returns to complete his shot. Beyond him Gimli returns along the wall jauntily tossing his axe in the air and catching it.
Gimli: Three.’

Legolas: ‘Ha! My count is twenty at least.’ Dissolve to the outside of the Deeping Wall; orcs swarm along its base. Grappling hooks and ladders are everywhere. Cut to the top of the wall and small combats have broken out where orcs have gained the top only to be swept off again. Cut to a small low arch inside the wall with a thick metal grid across it. The stream flows out through the grid. Thick hooks appear through the grid and tighten and the grid starts to bend and buckle. It breaks and is dragged into the gap. Cut to the outside and dozens of orcs run through the water and bend to enter the culvert.

Cut to Gimli leaping down from the wall and calling up: ‘They have broken through behind us! Come Legolas, there are enough for both of us down here.’ He turns, raises his axe above his head and runs off camera. We hear his call: ‘Khazâd ai menu!’ Cut to Gimli and Gamling and others waist deep in water urgently throwing rocks into the culvert as Legolas runs up. Gimli doesn’t pause as he calls out: ‘Twenty one.’

Legolas: ‘It has been knife-work up there. My count is twenty four.’
Cut to the outside of the Wall again. Heaps of dead lie against the base. The fighting is stilled and silent. The camera pans to the line of the orc army. Even more ladders are held ready but no movement forward is made. Cut to a small group of orcs carrying small casks. The camera follows them as they scurry under the arch.
Cut to Saruman sitting in his candle-lit room smoking a long curved pipe. He takes his pipe out and smiles.
Cut to a long view from above of the Deeping Wall and the Hornburg. Suddenly an explosion of red fire and black smoke blows a breach in the Deeping Wall. Cut to the orc army. They give a roar. Then they rush at the wall. Cut back to the previous view of the whole wall. Ladders are erected along its length and as the smoke thins, a column of orcs rush at the breach. Cut to another high view of the Deeping Vale within the wall. A torrent of orcs push inwards and we see beyond them a mass of Rohirrim. Above all the shouting we hear: ‘Khazâd ai menu!’ then it is lost in the roar.
Cut to men fleeing towards the steps up to the Hornburg. Aragorn is at the foot guarding it while men run up. Orcs approach him in a band and he runs into them, Anduril flying in a figure of eight pattern and they fall or run. Aragorn retreats back to the base of the steps and a circle of orcs form around him but keep their distance.

Cut to Legolas at the top of the steps by a small door, a thick fistful of arrows and his bow bent.
Legolas: ‘Now Aragorn!’ Cut to Aragorn. He looks up and bounds up the steps. As the orcs run after him they fall one by one to arrows. Cut to Aragorn passing Legolas into the doorway.

Legolas catches his arm: ‘Have you seen Gimli?’

Aragorn: ‘Legolas my friend. I heard him fighting against the wall but the enemy swept us apart. I have lost Éomer too.’ Legolas looks stricken and looks out over the turmoil below. The sound deadens. Cut to the whole of the Deep within the cliffs. All of it swarms with orcs. Cut to a shield wall retreating into an ever narrowing cleft.
Cut to an orc on the Deeping Wall, dead Rohirrim all around. It throws back its fanged head and roars.

Fade to black.
Closing credits.
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Congratulations on the new computer, Tosh! (And of course I'm still following this.)
"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 »

More accurately it is a brand new second hand comp. ;)

Time to start Episode 18

Silence. An empty cave full of ornate stalagmite and stalactite formations. The camera wanders around and we see rippled and twisted stone, chandeliers of spikes and undulating hanging screens. The camera moves past mirror-flat pools reflecting the beauty above and the scene fades to fresh caverns as the opening credits come up; JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: Episode Eighteen To Isengard etc.
Cut to the Deeping Dale at night. It is full of orcs. To the sound of screeches and roars we see in the distance they hack at dead bodies. Cut to the shield wall stretched across a narrow cleft in the cliffs, a shallow stream flowing from the centre. Cut to the partially buckled gates of the Hornburg. Small wooden casks are piled up against it.
Cut to caves again and these ones are full of people and flickering torches. Women with blood-stained clothes wash and bandage wounded men. Cut to another cave, this one full of groups of women and children. An elderly man walks around passing small cloth bundles to the women. Cut to a woman with a small toddler on her knee. She grasps the man’s arm and looks up at him earnestly. He shakes his head and looks away. As he goes she looks down at her lap. Cut to a small knife within the opened bundle.
Cut to the walls of the Hornburg within the Deeping Wall, orcs thick around its base. Cut to Aragorn crossing the inner court briskly past stalled horses. The camera pans as he runs up steps to a small door. Cut to Théoden looking out of a slit window out on to the darkness.

Théoden: ‘What news?’

Cut to Aragorn. He inclines his head: ‘The Deeping Wall is taken and the defences swept away.’

Cut to Théoden: ‘And Éomer?’ Cut to the two of them as Aragorn walks close to the king.

Aragorn: ‘Many men retreated to the narrows of Helm’s Deep. He may have escaped with them. In the narrows they can hold back the enemy for a while and protect the caves.’

Théoden: ‘For a while.’ (he looks briefly out of the window again) ‘Éomer is lost and I fret in this prison. I serve little purpose here.’

Aragorn: ‘You are better defended here than at Edoras or Dunharrow in the mountains.’

Théoden: Had I known the strength and malice of Saruman I would not have so rashly followed the counsel of Gandalf.’

Aragorn: ‘Do not judge his counsel till all is over.’

Théoden, sighing: ‘That will not be long now. But I will not be taken like an old badger in a trap’ (he walks over to a table and takes his crested helmet and puts it on) ‘ The horses of my personal company are in the Hornburg. At dawn Helm’s horn will be sounded and I will ride out. I will make an ending worthy of a song if any live to sing it.’

Aragorn grasps Théoden’s arm: ‘You shall not ride out alone. I will ride with you.’
Cut to Aragorn running up steps in the ring-wall of the Hornburg past the gate blocked with stones, spikes and lumber. The sky is lightening. Cut to him standing on the battlements above the arch of the gate, palm outward.
Aragorn, shouting down: ‘A parley!’
Cut to several tall armoured orcs standing on the bridge. Attendants hold grisly tribal tokens on poles. They shout out randomly: ‘Come down!’ We are the fighting Uruk-Hai!’ ‘Bring out your skulking king!’ One tall orc with an elaborate crested helmet pushes through and the others defer to him.

Cut to Aragorn: ‘The king goes at his own will. Get you gone before the sun rises. You do not know your peril.’ Cut to the orcs who look around and laugh. The chieftain orc steps forward.

Orc: ‘What of the dawn? We are the fighting Uruk-Hai. We come to kill by sun or moon. This is no parley: you have nothing to say. Shoot him down!'’ Orcs run up and shoot arrows upwards. Others shoot fire-arrows downwards. Cut to Aragorn running down the steps at the side of the gate. Suddenly the gate explodes in red flames throwing Aragorn off his feet. Cut to a straight view from the courtyard out through the demolished gates. As the smoke drifts away we see a bright sky beyond. Cut to the orcs clustered around their tall leader at the far end of the bridge. They roar and howl in triumph as they move forwards. Then drowning out their roars we hear a deep reverberent horn call. They stop their advance and look around as the call and its echoes get louder. Cut to the empty peaks of the hills with the snowy mountain-tops beyond as the horn call echoes among them. Cut to the shield-wall and to the deep horn call other, higher horns are added. The shields move to the sides of the cliffs to show Éomer mounted in front of the Rohirrim horsemen blowing a chorus of horns.

A brief close-up of Éomer: ‘Forth Eorlingas!’
They level their spears and gallop out.
Cut back to the bridge and the orcs look confused and look behind them. Cut to Théoden and his knights riding forward through the remains of the broken gate. Cut to the orcs on the bridge unable to retreat for the press of the orc army behind falling to Théoden and his guard. Cut to a view within the Deeping Wall and Éomer’s riders have spread out and are driving the orcs up against the Deeping Wall.

Cut to Gimli , head bandaged swinging his axe first with one arm and then the other: ‘Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu!’
Cut to Théoden, Aragorn and Legolas pausing their horses at the foot of the causeway looking out in puzzlement. Cut to the orcs who look behind themselves then forward. Cut to a view from the Deeping Wall down the broadening valley lit by the first morning light. Beyond the still army of the orcs is a dark forest stretching from side to side. Cut back to the puzzled faces of Théoden and the Riders around him. Cut to a low hill on the left side of the forest. At the base the orcs start to run up to escape. The camera zooms a little to the top and a man with a red shield appears. Then behind him a long line of spear-tips rise from the brow of the hill and become a line of marching men that becomes a bristling phalanx. The phalanx starts to move steadily down the hill.

Cut to Théoden: ‘Erkenbrand has come!’ Cut back to the crest of the hill. As the phalanx moves downhill the gleaming figure of Gandalf on Shadowfax appears beside them,
We hear a great shout of ‘The White Rider!’ Shadowfax gallops down the slope. Cut to Théoden and his guard galloping forward spears levelled. Cut to some of the orcs near the edges of the strange new forest wailing and running into the darkness between the trees. Cut to a wide view of the whole area between the wall and the trees. We see Éomer and his riders break through the breach in the Deeping Wall and start to divide the orc mass into two. Caught between Éomer’s riders and Erkenbrand’s spearmen and pushed by Théoden’s guard from the causeway the initial retreat of orcs into the trees becomes a mass flight. Cut to encircled bands of men raising white flags. Cut to a small band of orcs running in deep gloom between trees. One by one they are plucked up and crushed by twiggy limbs.
Cut to Théoden and Éomer on foot embracing, their horses by them.

Théoden: ‘Welcome sister-son. I am glad you are safe.’

Éomer: ‘We had to wait for the light of morning before we could ride.’

Cut to Legolas running up to Gimli; the dwarf’s head is bandaged.
Gimli calls out happily from a distance: ‘Forty two. The last one had an iron collar and has ruined my good axe.’

Cut to Legolas grasping Gimli’s shoulders happily: ‘You beat me by one Gimli.’ Cut back to Éomer and Théoden as Gandalf joins them.

Éomer looks warily towards the forest: ‘You are mighty in wizardry Gandalf.’

Gandalf looks over his shoulder and chuckles: ‘If I am I have not shown it yet. Those trees are no deed of mine. They are older than wizards, elves or dwarves. To answer that riddle you will have to come to Isengard with me.’

Théoden: ‘We have not enough men in the whole of Rohan to assault the stronghold of Saruman.’

Gandalf: ‘Nevertheless to Isengard I go but I shall not stay long. I wish merely to speak to Saruman. Since he has done you great injury it would be fitting if you came too. But rest until nightfall for you have had great labour and from now on, all our journeys should be hidden. Bring only your guard, we go to a parley not a siege.’

Cut to Éomer before a group of unarmoured riders: ‘Tell of our victory in all the valleys of Rohan and summon all who can bear arms to a weapontake at Edoras two days after the full moon.’ They turn and ride off.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

Fade to a small mound casting a long shadow near the causeway to the Hornburg. A solitary spear rises from it. Théoden and his guard are riding down the causeway. Cut to Théoden pausing by the mound, Gandalf at his side.

Théoden: ‘Farewell Hama. Guard the Hornburg in death as you guarded Edoras in life. Great injury has Saruman done and I shall remember it when we meet.’

Cut to the riders pausing before a narrow avenue between the dark trees. Cut to Théoden and Éomer looking cautiously about them.
Éomer: ‘Is this strange wood safe? We Riders love the open plains and not the wood. What of the orcs?’

Gandalf: ‘Keep to the path and do not venture among the trees. I think no one will ever know what happened to the orcs.’ Cut to a brief view of the riders moving into the narrow path.
Cut to Legolas and Gimli behind him on their horse.

Legolas: ‘They are the strangest trees I ever saw and I have watched many an oak grow from acorn to ruinous age. I wish I had the leisure to walk among them.’ Gimli kicks his legs ineffectually against the horse’s flanks.

Gimli: ‘No, no! Leave them alone! I guess their thoughts already; a hatred of all things on two legs. I am grateful but I fear them.’
Cut to the Rohirrim looking left and right uncomfortably as they travel between the branches that brush against them. We hear a soft bustling and rustling and creaking as if there were a wind.
Cut back to Legolas and Gimli and Legolas looks excited. The sounds are louder.

Legolas: ‘Eyes! I see eyes! I never saw such eyes before!.’ He reigns his horse to a halt. Gimli beats on his back.

Gimli: ‘No, no! Do as you please in your madness but let me get down first. I wish to see no eyes.’ Cut to Gandalf and the others travelling along the avenue towards the camera. Three Ents walk across the path and disappear into the trees.

Cut to a startled and wide-eyed Théoden beside Gandalf: ‘What were those?’

Gandalf: ‘The children of Rohan could tell you from their fireside tales. They are Ents, the herdsmen of Fangorn forest. You are not without allies even if you have forgotten them in the concerns of age.’
Cut to the company about a score strong emerging from the wood in the night. Fade to a dim morning as the company approaches a long valley that climbs into the hills. The far end is obscured by mists and they follow a dry river bed.

Cut to Éomer: ‘What sickness is upon the river? Has Saruman in his greed devoured the Isen too?’

Cut to Gandalf faintly smiling: ‘We shall see.’ Cut to Gimli and Legolas.

Gimli: ‘Men are strange They have a wonder of the Northern world and what do they call them? Caves! Holes to hide in or to store fodder for their beasts. We dwarves would make a pilgrimage to gaze upon them and pay good gold for the pleasure too.’

Legolas, laughing: ‘I would pay good gold to be excused and double to be let out.’

Gimli: ‘Hah! You speak as a fool but I forgive your jest. Do you think the halls of your father under the hill in Mirkwood are fair? They are but hovels compared to what I saw on the night of the battle. Pools that play an everlasting music as water flows in. Crystals and precious ores glitter in the walls. Light glows through folded marble. Columns stretch up fluted and twisted in skeins of white and saffron and dawn-rose. Hanging from the domes of the caverns are spears and ropes and pinnacles and curtains as fine as frozen clouds. Then, plink, a silver drop falls into a pool and the mirror of the water bends the towers like weeds in a grotto of the sea. Chamber after chamber Legolas! It made me weep to leave them.’

Legolas: ‘You move me Gimli. I have never heard you speak like this. If we come safe from this war I will take you to Fangorn and then go to the caves with you.’

Gimli: ‘I will endure Fangorn for that.’

Fade to a view across the dry river bed to the company starting to climb up the valley. The water starts to course along the bed. Cut to a bloodstained marble finger pointing to the camera. The camera pulls back to show a giant carved hand perched on a plinth in mists then pulls further back to show the company emerging from the mist to look up at it. Cut to the riders progressing up a broad paved thoroughfare as the mists start breaking. Broad stumps of sawn off trees line the road and piles of broken brushwood are piled between them.
Cut to the arched gateway of Isengard. The iron gates are crumpled like paper and discarded. The roof to the tunnel is open to the sky and the battlements of the walls are shattered into rubble. Behind the destruction the tall black tower and spiked turrets of Orthanc rears up. Cut to the Riders looking mystified though Gandalf looks nonchalant. The Riders look around and then one exclaims and points. Cut to a closer view of the broken gateway. Behind a tumbled block of stone small rings of smoke emerge. The camera pans down a little to show a square of cloth bearing the remains of a meal; jugs, plates, joints of meat and cheeses and fruit and mugs. Cut back to the Riders looking even more mystified except for Gandalf. Cut to Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli; they look at each other and purse their lips. Cut to Gandalf who grins and clears his throat noisily.
Cut back to the block of stone and Merry’s head and shoulders appear above it. He blows a stream of smoke from his mouth and looks down and appears to be delivering a swift kick. Then he jumps on to the block.
Cut to a view of the Riders looking up from behind Merry’s large hairy feet.

We hear Merry’s voice: ‘As the new doorwardens of Isengard, we welcome you. I am Meriadoc son of Saradoc..’ (he pauses and another head pops up beside his feet) …’and my companion who was overcome by weariness is Peregrin son of Paladin of the house of Took.’
Cut to a view from the front of the two hobbits and Pippin smiles cheerfully.
Merry continues: ‘Doubtless Lord Saruman would have greeted you himself but he is in close discussions with someone named Wormtongue.’ (a very brief reaction shot from Théoden) ‘So Treebeard has asked me to greet the King of Rohan with fitting words.’
Cut to Gimli who is close to exploding. He falls clumsily off the horse and the camera pans as he stamps up to the base of the wall. He looks up and sits his fists on his hips.

Gimli: ‘And what about Legolas and me? You rascals! You woolly-footed truants! A fine chase you have led us! Two hundred leagues through fen and forest, battle and death to rescue you. And here we find you idling and feasting! (his voice rises to a squeak) and smoking! Where did you get the leaf you villains? Hammer and tongs! I am so torn between rage and joy I could burst!’ Cut to the Riders laughing.

Legolas calls out: ‘And I would know how you came by the wine.’

Cut to Pippin feigning indignation: ‘Here we sit on the field of victory and you wonder how we came by a few well earned comforts.’

Cut to Gimli: ‘Well-earned? Harumph!’

Cut to Théoden laughing heartily and easily: ‘So these are your lost ones? Yet more characters from our children’s tales spring up before me. Are these holbytlan?’

Cut to Merry: ‘We are hobbits lord and you are the first in all our travels who has ever heard of us.’

Cut to Théoden: ‘No tale told us that you breathed smoke like a dragon.’ Cut to Merry and Pippin.

Merry brandishes his pipe. That is because it was only in the year 1070 in the Shire reckoning that Tobold Hornblower first grew the true pipe-weed….’
Cut to Gandalf: ‘King, you do not know your danger. These hobbits will sit on the edge of ruin and discuss their bellies and the doings of their remoter cousins if you encourage them with patience. Merry! Where is Treebeard?’ Cut back to the hobbits.

Merry: ‘ He has food and drink ready for you on the other side of Isengard; good food, not orc-fare.’

Cut to Théoden, still amused: ‘Farewell little hobbits. One day I hope you may tell of your herb-lore and the deeds of your grand-sires in my hall.’ He spurs his horse forward and the camera pans as the group of horsemen ride through the roofless tunnel.

Cut to Pippin: ‘So that is the King of Rohan. What a fine polite old fellow.’ Merry nods.
Fade to Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli and the hobbits sitting around a meal. All bar Legolas are smoking pipes and Legolas sits a little apart.

Pippin: ‘Strider the Ranger is back.’

Aragorn, stretching out his legs: ‘He has never been away. I belong both to Gondor and the North.’

Gimli: ‘I could swear you two have grown. You are as tall as me now and look how bushy your hair has become.’

Legolas: ‘I would guess they have drunk from the spring of Fangorn. Strange tales are told in Mirkwood of its powers.’

Aragorn reaches in his pack and draws out two small swords in black scabbards and hands them to the hobbits: ‘Here are some treasures you lost at Parth Galen.’

Merry: ‘The big orc threw them down as if they burnt his hands.’

Aragorn: ‘Tom Bombadil picked blades with powerful enchantments against Mordor for you. Here Pippin, I have something else for you.’ Cut to a close-up of the Lórien leaf-brooch in the palm of his hand.

Cut to Pippin, smiling in gratitude: ‘It was my only gift from the Lady Galadriel. It was a wrench to let it go but what else could I do?’ Cut back to the group.

Aragorn: ‘You did rightly. One who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in fetters.’

Gimli: ‘Were you safe with those tree-giants?’

Merry: ‘Once Treebeard knew we weren’t orcs he treated us well. When we told him how Saruman was using orcs he called an Entmoot. Ents are slow to rouse and they talked for three days. Then they blew up like a thunderstorm. You should have heard their marching song. We came down the last ridge into the Wizard’s Vale….’ Fade out slowly
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

And the episode finishes.....

Fade in to the tower of Orthanc in the dark, one window lit high up. The camera pulls back over Isengard’s fumes, back over an encircling wall to a forest bunched up against part of the wall. The forest appears to grow and the margins change shape in the dark. Cut to Treebeard among other Ents, Merry and Pippin still on his shoulders.

An Ent comes up to them with a long-legged stride like a wading bird: ‘An army of men and orcs has left Isengard at the South Gate.’

Treebeard: ‘My business tonight is with Isengard; with rock and stone.’
Cut to the hobbits sitting on the ground among waiting Ents as Treebeard and two other Ents hammer at the iron gates of the arched entrance to Isengard. Cut to men on the battlements shooting arrows downwards. Cut to Treebeard and his two companions stuck full of arrows. They snap them off and call out in a booming voice. Cut to the hobbits sitting on the ground as all the Ents around them move forward. Cut to Ents tearing at the gates, pulling them off and crumpling them like paper. Cut to dozens of Ents at the walls and the booming gets louder. Cut to twiggy fingers creeping into the masonry cracks and splitting the stonework. Cut to Ents tossing great blocks of stone aside like bales of hay. The walls are eaten into and gaps start to appear. Cuts to men throwing down their weapons and the insignia of the White Hand and fleeing between the Ents. Cut to the Ents moving within Isengard between the rising plumes of smoke.
Suddenly jets of flame spout up all over the plain and one Ent catches alight and runs about. Cut to inside a room of Orthanc. Saruman leans out of a window and laughs. Cut back to the Ents outside and the roar becomes louder and higher. A succession of brief shots of paving hurled in the air like leaves in wind. Above the roar we hear the clatter of the slabs against the black tower. Cut to Treebeard calling out like a deep horn. Cut to the Ents ceasing their frenzy and starting to group around Treebeard.

Cut to Treebeard facing Merry and Pippin by the entrance to Isengard: ‘Do not linger here. Find a high dry spot to sit. We Ents are off to do some earth-gnawing.’
Cut to Merry and Pippin sitting upon the ruins of the gateway in the dark looking out towards the tower of Orthanc. We hear galloping hoofs getting nearer. Pippin looks over his shoulder and his look becomes a stare then becomes wide-eyed and then his mouth falls open. He pats Merry on the shoulder who looks round and becomes wide-eyed too.

Cut to Gandalf bringing Shadowfax to a halt: ‘Get up you tom-fool of a Took! Where in the name of wonder is Treebeard? I want him now!’ Cut to the hobbits, Merry still open mouthed.

Pippin: ‘W-where have you been? Have you seen the others?’

Cut to Gandalf: ‘Wherever I have been, I am back and the others are in peril from a great battle. Ah, Treebeard!’

Cut to Treebeard emerging from the ruined tunnel: ‘Gandalf, I need your help. Wood and water, stock and stone I can master but there is a wizard to manage here.’

Cut to Gandalf: ‘And I have ten thousand orcs to manage.’

Cut to Treebeard: ‘We have blocked the flow of the Isen. At midnight we will send its waters through Isengard to quench its fires and furnaces and to wash out all the filth of Saruman. I can send the Huorns, the walking trees, to follow the orcs now. They have a long grievance with them.’ Cut to Gandalf galloping away into the dark. Cut to Merry and Pippin looking at each other speechless.
Cut to the plain of Isengard in the dark. Plumes of flame shoot up at different places. Beyond, the breaches in the walls of Isengard reveal the mountains and valley. The camera zooms steadily to the breaches and in the valley we see a dark trench stretching up towards the hills. Then catching the moonlight we see a torrent of water sweeping down the trench. Cut back to the inside of Isengard and one by one the flames are extinguished with hissings and gouts of steam and mists rise up around the black tower. Cut to Saruman’s face looking out dumbfounded from a narrow window as mists drift past.
Cut to Merry and Pippin in the morning light looking out over the water-filled plain. Detritus bobs around amid scum and oily patches. A clip clop is heard and they both turn around sharply. The camera pans around to show a hooded man riding up on a poor horse that is too small for him. Cut to Grima pushing back his hood and looking around in horror. A very brief cut to Merry and Pippin standing on the wall watching him. Cut back to Grima spotting them and his horror increasing. He turns his horse’s head to ride away. Treebeard appears suddenly behind him and the horse rears and Grima is thrown off to the ground.

Grima, rising and rubbing his elbow: ‘I am Grima, friend and chief counsellor of King Théoden with an important message for Saruman.the White’

Treebeard picks him up in a woody fist: ‘I am the new master of Isengard. Gandalf told me to put all the rats in one trap so off you go. The water is not deep and you should feel at ease in its filth.’ Cut to Grima wading in the distance towards the steps to the tower. Fade out.

Fade in to the reunited companions relaxing over their meal at the gate.

Merry: ‘So that was it. We found the storerooms. We gathered some food and drink together for the men of Rohan and then sat down and had a little to eat ourselves.’ Gimli snorts and Legolas smiles.

Gimli: ‘But the pipeweed. Where did you come by that?’

Merry: ‘That is not the least of the wonders. Saruman had several casks of the finest pipeweed from the Shire; Hornblower no less. We never knew that Saruman had any dealings with hobbits. The Shire is so very far away.’
Cut to the friends meeting inside the debris scattered plain of Isengard with Gandalf and the mounted Rohirrim.

Gandalf: ‘Now I must talk to Saruman. Who wishes to come with me? You must beware of him and do not jest.’ This last remark is accompanied by a sharp glance at the hobbits.

Gimli steps forward: ‘I wish to see if he looks like you.’

Gandalf: ‘He could if it suited his purpose. He has powers you do not guess. He has long been able to control the minds of others.’
Cut to the king’s men mounted before the wide black steps of Orthanc that lead up to a single door. Gandalf climbs the steps and Éomer helps Théoden up behind him. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli follow behind.
Merry and Pippin sit themselves down on the bottom step.
Cut to Gandalf before the door. He raises his staff and beats on the door three times.

Gandalf: ‘Saruman! Come forth!’
Cut to black.
Closing credits.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

I'm sorry there has been a delay in starting the next episode but here it is....

The sea is breaking on rocks. Cut to gulls circling and calling out. Cut to a small fortress perched on a rocky cliff above the sea. The opening credits begin: JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Episode Nineteen: The palantír etc. Cut to a turret flying a flag of a ship and a white swan. Cut to a council room with men sitting around a long table. Cut to a man with an air of authority at the head of the table. Banners of the ship and swan hang behind him.
He speaks: ‘Denethor, Steward of Gondor calls for our aid at Minas Tirith. The knights of Dol Amroth are preparing to ride. What help can I take with me from the men of South Gondor?’

Cut to a stocky dark haired man on one side of the table: ‘Prince Imrahil, we will send what we can but the fleet of Umbar threatens. Fishermen bring word that the war galleys are gathering. We could come back from Minas Tirith to find our homes burning.’ Other men beside him nod in agreement.

Cut to Imrahil: ‘If Minas Tirith falls to Mordor you will be caught between the two and there will be no escape for anyone.’ He pauses for a moment. ’I am bound by oath and kinship to go to the aid of Lord Denethor. I ask you to send what strength you can spare.’
Fade to the sea seen from the cliffs. The camera travels in a helicopter shot over the sea then zooms into the distance until we see a distant line of black ships on the horizon. Cut to a closer view of the fleet of black galleys, black flags flying. The scene contorts into a view seen within a crystal globe. The camera pulls back a little and we see clawed hands grasp the globe and a red slit eye reflected in it. The claws creep around the globe and the image changes to a white walled city rising in terraces then changes again to a tall white tower. Then we see an old man looking fiercely out. He shows signs of wearing armour. We hear a soft mocking laughter.

Sauron: ‘Do you wait for the end, alone in your tower Denethor? Where are Gondor’s friends? Where is your son? You sent him on a vain mission and now he rots in a Northern field. Look now on the doom of the West!’
The fierce old man’s face fades from the globe and we see long lines of mumakil, then endless lines of marching troops then tents stretching across an arid plain with a smoking volcano in the distance then siege towers pulled by strange beasts then black flapping shapes that circle in the air.
Cut to the face of the defiant old man in the globe again and once again we hear the chill mocking laughter and the globe goes blank. The claws scrabble at the globe to turn it.
Sauron: ‘Saruman, Saruman! Come to my Seeing-Stone. Why do you disobey me?’ The globe remains blank except for the reflected red eye.
Cut to a bare black platform and out of swirling clouds a huge black naked vulture-like winged shape appears and lands on a short broad pillar. It folds its wings and a black shape slides off its back and goes down on all fours.
Cut to the back of a tall corpulent figure standing over the prostrate Nazgûl. The edges of the figure shift and blur.
Sauron: ‘You may cross openly over the River for now my plans grow ripe. Fly to Isengard and squeeze out of the Wizard of Orthanc why he hides from me.’
Cut briefly to the winged shape seen through a gap in the dark clouds as it grows smaller flying towards Mount Doom.

Cut to a close-up of a staff striking a door. Thump, thump, thump.
Cut to Gandalf bearing the staff: ‘Saruman! Come forth!’
Cut to a pan around the destruction within Isengard. The camera stops at a group of horsemen near the broad black steps. Cut to Gandalf at the door and the camera tracks down past Éomer and Théoden, then Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli then Merry and Pippin sitting alone at the foot of the steps. A brief cut to the hobbits looking a little uncomfortable and out of place.
Cut back to Gandalf, Théoden and Éomer. A voice is heard and they look up.

Grima: ‘What do you wish?’ Cut to Wormtongue on a small iron balcony.

Cut to Gandalf: ‘Do not waste our time Wormtongue. Go fetch your master.’ He looks testily back at Éomer and Théoden. Then we hear an avuncular kindly voice sound as if it were near at hand or heard in the mind.

Saruman: ‘Why do you disturb my rest? Will you give me no peace by day or night?’ The three look up again. Cut to Saruman at the balcony pulling a thick coat around himself as if against the cold. Cut to Gimli who narrows his eyes and frowns looking up and then down. Cut back to Gandalf, Théoden and Éomer as Saruman’s voice continues softly.
Saruman: ‘I fear Gandalf will not seek my help but King Théoden, Lord of the Mark of Rohan, worthy son of Thengel, why have you not come before and as a friend? I hoped to save you from unwise counsels. It is still not too late.’
(Cut to Saruman on the balcony. His lips move as if he were whispering.)
‘Despite the injuries Rohan has done to me I alone can still deliver you from the ruin that approaches.’
Cut to the three who pause before they answer. Cut to a brief shot that includes the horsemen, the group on the steps and Saruman on his balcony above the door.

Cut to Gimli, indignantly: ‘The words of this wizard stand truth on its head.’

Cut to Saruman’s face and a flicker of anger then his face softens again: ‘You have played a valiant role, Gimli son of Gloin but your home is far away and our troubles are not yours. Allow me to speak to the King who is my neighbour and once my good friend.’
Cut to Théoden and Éomer as Saruman continues: ’Will you have peace again Théoden King? Shall we repair our injuries so we are both stronger when the storm arrives?’ Théoden still does not reply but seems to be finding words for an answer.

Éomer speaks urgently to Théoden: ‘So would the trapped wolf speak if he could. What aid has he to give? Remember Theodred your son. Remember the grave of Hama.’

Cut to Saruman looking down, his anger more open now: ‘Still a poison tongue, young serpent!’ He composes himself again. ‘Come, you won honour with your bravery. Slay those that your King names as his enemies and be content. Do not meddle in policies beyond your understanding for kings must choose their friends with care. You have won a battle not a war and next time the wood-demons may stand outside your doors. They do not love men.’ (a brief cut to Éomer silent and sullen eyed then back to Saruman) ‘But my Lord King, if you go to war then men will be slain. The Eorlingas have fought many wars. Are they then to be called murderers? And afterwards they made peace with their foes. Shall we have peace and friendship Théoden King? You and I; it is ours to command.’

Cut to Théoden choosing his words: ‘Yes, we will have peace.’ Cut briefly to his Riders who react to his words and look at one another. Cut to Gandalf who looks calmly at Théoden.
Cut back to Théoden looking up: ‘We will have peace, yes peace, when you and all your works have perished and the works of your dark master. You are a liar and corrupter of men, Saruman. You hold out your hand in peace and I see only a finger of the claw of Mordor. Were you ten times as wise you have no right to rule my land for your profits. What of the children who lie dead in the Westfold? Hama lay dead before my gates and still your orcs hewed him. I will have peace with you when you hang from a gibbet on your own tower for the sport of your crows. I am a lesser son of the house of Eorl but I do not need to lick your fingers!' He turns muttering dismissively, 'Your voice has lost its charm.’

Cut to Saruman gripping the rail of his balcony and baring his teeth: ‘Gibbets and crows? You old dotard! What is your house of Eorl but a thatched barn full of drunken sots where your brats roll in the straw with the dogs.? The gibbets will come for you. The noose will draw slow at first but tight and hard at the end. I need you not, as swift to gallop away as to advance. I offered you help beyond your wit and you gave me brag and abuse. So be it. Go back to your stinking huts.’
Saruman once more composes himself and softens his voice again: ‘How can you endure this company Gandalf? You have eyes that look deep. I tried to advise you but you would not listen for you are rightly proud of your wisdom. I am afraid I lost patience when you misconstrued my intentions and I deeply regret that. I bear you no ill-will though you come in the company of the ignorant. We are both members of a high order who came here to heal the disorders of Middle-earth. Will you come up to work together with me? We understand one another.’

Cut to Théoden looking uncertainly at Gandalf who stands impassively for a moment. Then Gandalf chuckles and breaks into a deep laugh.
Gandalf: ‘Saruman, Saruman, you missed your path in life. You should have been a jester to earn your bread.’ (cut to a close-up) ‘ Understand? I fear I am beyond your comprehension. Go up? A guest who flees from the roof will think twice before he re-enters the door. When I was last here you were the jailor of Mordor.
Listen to me instead Saruman. Isengard is less strong than you thought. Come down and turn to new things.’

Cut to Saruman: ‘Come down to the mercy of those cut-throats? Down to the wood-demons? I am no fool. I can hear you well enough up here.’

Cut to Gandalf: ‘I do not wish to kill or hurt you and I can protect you. Think. Your servants are destroyed, your neighbours are your enemies and you have tried to cheat your new master. His Eye will soon turn towards you. You have a last chance to leave Orthanc freely, to go where you will, even Mordor if you wish. But first surrender the keys of Orthanc and your staff to me.’

Cut to Saruman looking down as his temper rises again: ‘How modest! I suppose you want the keys of Barad-dûr and the crowns of seven kings and the rods of the Five Wizards and a bigger set of boots! Go away and come back sober and free of those cut-throats and rag-tag that dangle around your coat-tails. I have better things to do,’ He turns and goes inside.
Cut to Gandalf. In a loud commanding voice: ‘Come back Saruman!’
Cut to the balcony and Saruman staggers back looking frail and gripping his staff for support.
Cut to Gandalf: ‘I did not give you leave to go. I have not finished. You have chosen not to help us but to stay and gnaw at your old plots. Stay here then but you will not come out again. I am not Gandalf the Grey whom you betrayed. I am Gandalf the White who has come back from death. I cast you from the order of wizards and from the White Council. Saruman – your staff is broken!’ (Gandalf raises his hand) ‘Go!’
Cut to Saruman still clutching his staff for support. It shatters with a white flash and he falls. Cut to reaction shots from the observers below. Cut to a close-up of Gandalf’s stern implacable face. Cut back to Saruman trying to rise and an immediate pan up the walls of Orthanc to a high window. Grima leans out and casts down a substantial object. A very brief shot of Saruman’s balcony rail shattering. Cut to Gandalf and the others on the steps and the object strikes the steps near him with a shower of sparks and it bounces down. Pippin launches himself upon it at the foot of the steps to catch it. Cut to Gandalf walking swiftly and purposefully down the steps towards Pippin. Cut to a closer view as he snatches the object from Pippin and wraps it in his cloak.
Gandalf: ‘Here my lad, I’ll take that. I didn’t ask you to handle it.’
Pippin looks reluctant to see the object go and follows Gandalf with his eyes.
Gandalf: ‘It is over. Let us go.’
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

I'm still reading, just in case you were wondering.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

:) In the episode I am sketching out at the moment I have a tiny treat for you V. That's a long way off for the moment though.

For those who are persevering with this, here is the second part of the episode.

Fade to everyone mounted outside the ruined gate of Isengard. Treebeard and other Ents walk up and the horses fret. Cut to Legolas and Gimli. Gimli’s eyes narrow while Legolas’s eyes widen with pleasure.
Cut to Gandalf on Shadowfax. Merry and Pippin stand nearby.
Gandalf: ‘I must take your gatekeepers with me now Treebeard. Saruman still has the keys of Orthanc. He must not escape to cause mischief. Fill Isengard with water again to drown all his secret tunnels until you can find and block all the outlets. He can pass his time watching you from his window.’

Cut to Treebeard: ‘ I will fill it with trees again and shall call it the Watchwood. Not a squirrel will leave but I shall know of it.’ Cut to Legolas and Gimli.

Legolas: ‘May I travel one day in Fangorn with my friend?’

Cut to Treebeard:’ Elves are always welcome. You taught us speech in the beginning.’

Cut back to Legolas and Gimli: ‘No, I mean my friend Gimli here.’ Gimli looks ill at ease.

Cut to Treebeard: ‘Hroom. A dwarf and an axebearer. You ask much.’

Cut to Gimli: ‘This axe is for orcs necks only. At Helm’s Deep it hewed forty two.’ He looks to Legolas for reassurance.

Cut to the whole group.
Treebeard: ‘If you return safely we shall see. Farewell little folk. I shall miss your laughter. I have a line to go into the lists of living things:
Hungry as hunters, the Hobbit children,
The laughing folk, the little people.
Come back to see me if happier times come.’
The hobbits run forward and hug his gnarled legs then walk back to Gandalf.
A short cut to the company passing the great carved hand, now shattered around the pillar. Cut to the riders leaving the entrance to the valley and out on to the plain as the sun begins to set.

Cut to the camera tracking Merry riding with Gandalf: ‘Is it far? This rag-tag is tired.’

Gandalf: ‘Ha! You heard that? He called you rag-tag but do not let it rankle. A sneer from him is a compliment. You and Pippin fill his thoughts more than the Ents and the armies of Rohan combined. He does not know if his orcs captured you, how they perished or even if you carried the Ring. He may fear that one who stood on his steps today now bears it. And Sauron will soon be left in doubt too. From now on we must move secretly by dark. We will ride till midnight and in the morning go on to a fortress called Helm’s Deep where your friends fought a grim battle.’
The camera stops tracking and the pair move on past and the scene fades to a camp with the riders dismounted.

Cut to Merry and Pippin preparing their blankets in bracken.
Pippin: ‘What did you learn from Gandalf? Did he talk about that glass ball? It was very heavy. I wondered what it was. Gandalf thought it was important but he never even said thank you.’

Merry: ‘Pippin my lad, do not meddle in the affairs of wizards. Even the Elves say it.’

Pippin: ‘Our whole life for months has been meddling in the affairs of wizards. I’d like another look at it but Gandalf sits on it like a hen on an egg.’

Merry, yawning: ‘Is this the time I ask you? If I yawn any more I shall split at the ears. In the morning I’ll help in any way at wizard wheedling. Now go to sleep.’ He lies down but Pippin sits upright. Cut to Pippin’s face as he lies in the bracken. His eyes are open and he bites his lip. A brief cut of clouds drifting over the moon. Another brief cut to silhouettes of small trees against a sky. Cut to Pippin sitting up and looking around. Cut to him creeping among the sleeping men, pausing to pick up a round boulder. Cut to him behind Gandalf’s head. Cut to Gandalf’s face and the moon catches his half-closed eyes. Cut back and Pippin leans forward and pulls back the cloak from Gandalf’s encircling arm and with both hands lifts a heavy dark object. He replaces it with the boulder and covers it and Gandalf mutters and shifts position.
Cut to Pippin sitting in a quiet spot. He cradles the object on his knees. His face lights up with a red glow
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

ToshoftheWuffingas wrote::) In the episode I am sketching out at the moment I have a tiny treat for you V. That's a long way off for the moment though.
I missed this comment when I read this before, somehow. It's nice to have something to look forward to. :) Hopefully you won't post it while I'm gone (I'll be in Africa for almost all of December) but even if you do, I'll catch up. I saw that you posted a new installment at TORC today, but then I realized that it was actually the last one you posted here. :P
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

I'm only an episode or two ahead of you lot so I won't be finishing in a rush. :) I'm trying to juggle the multi-narrative to provide the best dramatic and psychological effect. Way back at the breaking of the fellowship I listed 23 separate narrative sequences before they started to come together again. This post only brings me up to no.8!
Anyway in this instalment the episode ends.........

Cut to the swirling clouds around Barad-dûr. Black winged shapes glide around the topmost tower. Cut to a crystal globe resting within the jaws of a stylised carved wolf. The globe glows. Cut to the back of a broad black and red robed figure as it moves smoothly, almost gliding, across the open platform. Its outline shimmers and blurs. Cut to the globe and clawed hands seize it. One finger is missing. The red slit eye is reflected in the globe.

A cold sleek voice: ‘So you have come at last. Why have you neglected to report for so long Saruman?’ The globe remains blank. ‘Who are you?’ A claw scratches at the globe and Pippin’s face appears contorted by horror.

Pippin: ‘A hobbit.’
Cut to Pippin in Rohan sitting with the globe, his face lit by red. He shudders and grunts incoherently. Cut to his hands holding the globe. The red slit eye fills it. Cut to the Eye filling almost the entire screen. Around the edges dull shapes with eyes and fangs and claws writhe and swarm. We hear Pippin’s reply again: ‘A hobbit.’
The slit eye suddenly expands to a round black circle rimmed by red. A discordant electronic howling is in the background.

We hear a soft sibilant laugh: ‘We shall meet again soon. Tell Saruman that this dainty is not for him. I will send for it at once. Do you understand? Say just that.’ He laughs again.
The screen goes black and we hear a strangled cry of pain. Cut to Gandalf’s concerned face looking down.
Gandalf: ‘So this is the thief!’ Cut to Gandalf throwing his cloak over the globe in the bracken. Pippin lies shuddering convulsively then sits up in a trance.

Pippin in a high unnatural voice: ‘It is not for you Saruman. I will send for it at once.’

Gandalf rests one hand on Pippin’s shoulder, the other on his forehead: ‘Peregrin Took, come back!’ Pippin sags then awakens and looks around in terror.

Pippin: ‘Gandalf, forgive me!’

Cut to Gandalf’s stern face: ‘First tell me what you have done.’
Cut to the two of them. Pippin closes his eyes and shakes his head. Cut briefly to a circle of people staring. Merry looks then turns his head.

Cut back to Gandalf: ‘That won’t do. Look at me!’ Cut to Pippin, his face between Gandalf’s hands looking up in shame. Cut to Gandalf’s eyes looking deep. Cut back to Gandalf and Pippin and after a moment his hands slip down to Pippin’s shoulders and the tension in him softens. He pulls Pippin forward into a hug.
Gandalf: ‘Say no more. There is no lie in your eyes. You are a fool Peregrin Took but an honest one. He did not speak long to you. Good fortune as it is sometimes called. Think on this. He did not want to talk. He wanted you; you in his tower before him to deal with slowly.’ A brief cut to Pippin looking up. Cut back and Gandalf picks Pippin up gently and walks back to the hobbits’ blankets.
Gandalf: ‘Come my lad, be comforted. If you feel an itch in your palms again, tell me. Such things can be cured.’ Merry follows them and sits down with Pippin and puts a hand on his shoulder.

Cut back to the platform of Barad-dûr. A huge winged vulture-like shape perches on a pillar and a black robed crowned figure is on hands and knees before the bulk of Sauron.
Sauron’s voice: ‘ The wizard of Orthanc in his insolence has a halfling as a captive. He plans to betray me. He may even now hold my One Ring. If I bring forward the war, are you ready?’

The Witch-King, still prone: ‘Yes lord.’

Saron: ‘Divert one army north towards Rohan when I give the word for war.’

Cut to Gandalf and Aragorn alone in the night camp.
Aragorn: ‘How is Pippin?’

Gandalf: ‘He was not held long by the Eye. He will forget it too quickly for his own good. Will you take this Orthanc-stone and guard it? Pippin must not see it again. It is a dangerous thing.’

Aragorn: ‘I will take it for my hour draws near. Indeed I may claim it by right for it is a palantír, one of the Seeing Stones of Westernesse, brought from its destruction by Elendil.’

Gandalf bows and hold out the crystal: ‘Receive it lord, the first of many things that shall be given back. But be wary of it. Do not use it for you will be revealed to Sauron’s Eye.’

Aragorn: ‘When have I been unwary or hasty in all these long years?’

Gandalf: ‘Never so do not stumble then at the end. I might have looked into it and I do not count myself strong enough to face Sauron and his deceits.’ Gandalf pauses a moment in thought. ‘Sauron could not know the stone had been taken. He must have thought Saruman was tormenting a captive hobbit. We must use our time well. I must ride now to Minas Tirith and I will take Pippin with me away from that stone.’ Gandalf turns suddenly and looks up at the night sky.
Cut to men crouching and looking up in fear. Cut to a small winged shape flying across a moonlit sky.
Cut to Gandalf: ‘A Nazgûl! A messenger of Mordor A Nazgûl has crossed the River! The camera pans to follow Gandalf as he runs to rouse Pippin. ‘Get ready Pippin, you must come with me now.’
Cut to Gandalf and Pippin on Shadowfax. Théoden, Éomer and the companions stand by.
Gandalf: ‘The storm is coming. Ride now! Do not wait for the dawn!’

Cut to a close-up of Pippin: ‘Merry!’ Cut back and Shadowfax rears up and neighs and gallops off into the dark. The others watch them disappear and Merry looks up in confusion to Aragorn.

Aragorn rests his hand on Merry’s shoulder: ‘So only four of us remain.’ The camera revolves around Merry who mouths ‘Goodbye Pippin.’ He turns and the camera pulls back.

Merry: ‘What will come of me? I do not want to be in the way and I want to be of some help.’

Aragorn grimly to Merry: ‘Your path lies with King Théoden I think. But do not look for mirth at the ending. Many hopes will wither in this bitter Spring.’ A brief cut of Merry looking forlorn as the others hurry about. Cut to Aragorn lifting Merry on to his horse. Cut to the Riders moving in the night.
Cut to Merry on Aragorn’s horse.

Aragorn to himself:
‘Tall ships and tall kings
Three times three.
What brought they from the foundered land
Over the flowing sea?
Seven stars and seven stones
And one white tree.’

Merry: ‘What is that?’

Aragorn: ‘An ancient rhyme from the Northern kingdom. When Elendil escaped the destruction of Westernesse he brought his banner bearing the seven stars of kingship, a sapling of the White tree from Elvenhome and the seven seeing stones.’

Merry: ‘Then it was not made by Sauron?’

Aragorn: ‘No, and nor by Saruman. They are far beyond the art of either. Nor were they made in Westernesse but far back in time in Elvenhome. Perhaps Fëanor himself made them. The rulers of Gondor used them to see afar and to talk by thought alone. The wise thought that all but one were lost. There is one at the Tower Hills beyond the Shire that the Elves use to look back over the Sundering Sea. Now it seems that two more have survived. One at Orthanc and the other must be the stone of Minas Ithil, the fortress that Sauron captured and gave to the Nazgûl.’

Merry: ‘Did that Nazgûl come for Pippin then?’

Aragorn: ‘No. It is six hundred miles at least between the Dark Tower and Orthanc. Sauron must have sent it long before Pippin looked in the stone. When he hears of the fall of Isengard his Eye will be on Rohan. We must keep it there, away from his own borders where Frodo and Sam walk.’ He pauses for a moment. ‘I will say no more. I still need to find my own road.’
Cut to Théoden and Éomer at the head riding in the dark. A horseman gallops up from the side.

‘My Lord, There are horsemen behind us, riding hard and they will soon overtake us.’ The camera pulls back as Éomer looks behind, makes an arm gesture and rides to the back. The other Riders turn and fan out in an arc covering the King. Cut to Aragorn who rides up to the king, dismounts, lifts Merry down then draws his sword. It catches the moonlight. He stands in front of Théoden’s horse. Cut to Merry on the ground. He looks around himself nervously then draws his own sword and looks at it then looks up again trying to look brave.
Cut to a shadowed band of men approaching in the middle distance. Moonlight catches the tips of their spears and helmets. We hear the thundering of their horses. Cut to Merry’s face. Cut to Théoden waiting impassively as the sound of the hoofs gets louder. Cut to Merry edging closer to the king’s horse and standing near Aragorn to defend the king.
Cut to Éomer on his horse. Cut to a close-up of him.

Éomer: ‘Halt! Who rides in Rohan?’
Cut to black
Closing credits.
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