LOTR VI. A Fool's Hope

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LOTR VI. A Fool's Hope

Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

Once again thank you for your kind words. I hope everyone's holiday was what they wished. I believe it is January now in Australia so that is a good enough excuse to continue.

Low dark hills at dusk. In the far distance a faint red light appears on the horizon. Another appears in the middle distance and then a shower of golden sparks fill the screen and fly upwards. The camera pans down and men with torches stand by a blazing brazier.
Cut to Gandalf riding hard with Pippin in front of him: ‘They are the beacons of Gondor calling for aid.’
The opening credits start: JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings; Episode Twenty One; Minas Tirith etc. As the credits run we see a succession of shots of Gandalf’s ride by day and night; long shots of grasslands, along streams, a tracking shot of Shadowfax’s head straining forward in his gallop.
Cut to a grey dawn light and in the distance they ride up a slope to a fortified gateway in a long wall.
Cut to Pippin: ‘Is this Minas Tirith?’ Cut to men deepening the fosse in front of the wall and hammering in spiked defences. They pause and look up to see Gandalf ride past the guards at the gate, while we hear his reply.
‘Not yet. This is the Rammas, the wall that encircles the Pellenor fields around the city.’ A brief cut to Shadowfax riding up a slope. Cut to Gandalf and Pippin pausing on the crest of a ridge looking into the distance.
Cut to Minas Tirith just catching the first light of the sun. In front of it farmlands, hedgerows and orchards sweep down in shallow terraces to mists. The camera lingers for a moment.
Cut to Pippin looking up to Gandalf: ‘It is beautiful!’ Cut to Shadowfax trotting by a road filled with wagons piled high with farm produce going in one direction; women with children pushing small handcarts going in the other. Cut to the camera tracking a fine cockerel in a cage on a cart as behind it Gandalf and Pippin pass. Cut to Shadowfax on a broad paved avenue flanked by flowering almond trees. It leads to a formidable arched gateway between two black towers. Cut to Pippin looking up open-mouthed. Cut to the base of the great pier of the mountain range that sweeps up vertically from behind the gate. The camera first pans up then lifts up to the small white turret at the top. Two small figures in black uniforms call out on long silver trumpets. The camera swings away from them and the narrow ridge that leads back to a high white tower and then sweeps out and down the white tiers of the city past roads that lead into the steep rock pier.

Cut to Pippin with Gandalf: ‘I thought that a city would be like Bree except larger. I never imagined it could be as beautiful as this.’
Cut to a brief view of the black walls, glossy black like those of Orthanc, stretching into the distance with towers at regular intervals. Cut to Shadowfax riding into the great archway past guards. Cut to the archway from the inside and the silhouette of Gandalf riding in against the morning light. Then a series of brief shots of Shadowfax in the busy streets or riding up broad shallow steps towards white walls and gates. Cut to Gandalf standing and patting Shadowfax’s neck, Pippin at his side, as a man prepares to lead the horse away. The man gives Pippin a curious look.
Cut to Gandalf and Pippin climbing up from a dark passage and the camera tracks back as they walk. Pippin is looking all about him. Cut to a pan of neat lawns that ends at a bulky hollow dead tree beside a small simple fountain. The camera briefly travels over its burrs and cracks and gnarled silvery grey bark. We hear the gentle tinkle of the water. Then the camera pans away to the high slender white tower beyond the lawns.
Cut to Gandalf and Pippin walking along an echoing corridor; the camera tracks back as they speak.

Gandalf: ‘Be careful how you speak to the Lord Denethor. He is not a kindly old man like Théoden. His family has ruled Gondor for far longer though he is not called a king. Do not speak of Frodo’s errand and say little of Aragorn.’

Pippin: ‘Why not? Strider meant to come here.’ Gandalf stops.

Gandalf: ‘See Master Pippin, you have walked all these days with closed eyes and mind asleep. It is time to wake up. Denethor is a mighty lord but when Aragorn comes he will claim the kingship.’

Pippin, not really comprehending: ‘Kingship? Strider?’ Gandalf looks upwards and sighs.
Cut to the two approaching high ornate open doors flanked by two silent black uniformed guards with high silver helmets.
Cut to the camera tracking them from the side as they walk past thick black marble columns and ancients statues and busts on plinths or in niches. Cut to a view of them from behind as they pass between the two long rows of columns. At the far end are shallow steps leading up to a canopied ornate throne and above that on the wall behind is a large stylised mosaic of a white tree in flower. The camera follows to catch up with them and more of the steps become visible. We see at one side on a broad shallow lower step a chair with an old man in it looking down. Cut to Gandalf and Pippin halting. Gandalf’s arm keeps Pippin back a little.

Gandalf: ‘Hail Denethor, son of Ecthelion, Lord and Steward of Gondor. I am come with tidings.’ Cut to the old man looking up with a fierce glint in his eyes. He is the man seen in Sauron’s palantír.

Denethor: ‘You bring with you one who saw my son die. Is this he?’

Cut to Gandalf and Pippin: ‘One of them. The other is with Théoden. He is not the one spoken of in the dream.’

Cut to Denethor: ‘”For Isildur’s Bane shall awaken and the Halfling forth shall stand.” I bear little love for Halflings since those words drew my son to his death. Would that Faramir had gone in his place!’ The camera draws back a little and we see he holds the great horn of Boromir.

Cut to Pippin behind Gandalf: ‘That is Boromir’s horn’

Cut to Denethor: Aye, The River bore it to me. I dreamt I heard it thirteen days ago, calling in the distance.’
Cut back to Pippin who walks forward a little: ‘Thirteen days. Yes that would be so. I stood beside him as he blew upon it but no help came; only more orcs. He was pierced by many arrows then the orcs clubbed me and I saw no more of him. He died to save me and my kinsman and I honour his memory.’
Cut to Denethor looking silently at Pippin.

Cut back to Pippin and he takes another step: ‘Such as it is, I offer my service in payment of my debt.’ Cut to Gandalf looking warily down at Pippin. Cut to Pippin holding out his small sword in its scabbard to Denethor who dismissively reaches out for it. He unsheathes it.

Denethor: ‘How came you by this? It is the work of Westernesse from the deep past.’ Cut to all three.

Pippin: ‘It came from the barrows near the borders of my home in the North. Only evil wights live in them now and I will not say more of them.’

Denethor: ‘You are more than you seem Halfling. I accept your service. Come here and take the hilt.’ (Pippin walks up and reaches out) ‘Repeat after me: ‘ I swear fealty to the Steward of Gondor until my lord release me or death takes me……or the world ends.’ Pippin repeats each phrase softly.
Denethor: ‘I will reward fealty with love, valour with honour…. oathbreaking with vengeance. Now, you are to tell me all you can remember of my son.’
Pippin takes back his sword, steps back a few paces and bows. Denethor signals and servants bring up a table and chairs and a little food. Pippin sits and cautiously nibbles a small cake. Gandalf strides up and down in impatience.

Gandalf: ‘Is it naught to you that Théoden has fought a great battle, that Isengard is overthrown and that I have broken the staff of Saruman?’

Denethor, dismissively: ‘I know enough of these things already.’ He stares at Gandalf and Pippin looks up from one to the other.

Gandalf stops pacing: ‘You use even your grief as a cloak and would question one who knows the least while I stand by.’

Denethor points to the chair: ‘Then sit and if you understand be content. I am not to be made the tool of other men’s purposes, however worthy. I know no purpose higher than the good of Gondor and I alone rule it in the absence of a king.’

Gandalf: ‘The rule of no realm is mine, great or small. My care is for all worthy things in peril. For I also am a Steward. Did you not know? And I pity even his slaves.’
Denethor turns his gaze on Pippin who looks very uncomfortable. Gandalf sits down with poor grace

Denethor: ‘Speak! Who was in your company? The scene fades out
Last edited by ToshoftheWuffingas on Mon May 26, 2008 12:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

And here is another continuation.........

Fade in to a plain room with beds in alcoves on either wall, half curtained. Pippin stands on a chair looking out of a window while Gandalf is puffing on a pipe.

Pippin: ‘Are you angry with me? I did the best I could.’ Gandalf puffs out smoke rings and walks over to look out of the window by Pippin’s side. Cut to the two faces seen from outside the window.

Gandalf: ‘You did indeed.’ He starts to chuckle and then laughs and looks out in a good humour. ‘I hope it will be a long before you find yourself in such a tight corner again between two such terrible old men.’ He laughs again. A clear bell sounds. ‘Now I must go to Denethor’s council and learn what I can.’
Fade to Pippin wandering in a sunlit street looking up at the buildings in wonder and pleasure.

A guard in black and silver walks up to him: ‘Are you Peregrin the Halfling? I am Beregond of the Citadel Guard. I have been sent to teach you the passwords and your duties.’

Pippin: ‘Er, well, er, first, what about breakfast? And where is the dining-room? When we rode up the streets I looked out for inns. Is there a place in this fine city to taste a good ale?’

Beregond cocks his head to one side and grins: ‘An old campaigner I see. This city is now a fortress in a posture of war but do not despair. I will find something for you.’
Cut to an aerial shot of the two walking along the top of the giant spur of rock. Cut to the two on the small battlement and Pippin is selecting things from a small wicker basket.
Beregond: ‘Hobbits you call yourselves. You look like a lad of nine years to us.’
The camera swings out to look down on the gate hundreds of feet below. Cut to the two looking out and Beregond pointing. Cut to the Pelennor farmlands stretching out and the straight avenue leading from the Gate.
We hear Beregond’s voice: ‘That road leads on to the River and the ruins of our old city of Osgiliath. Then on to the land of Ithilien and then beyond our sight the mountain borders of Mordor We finally lost Osgiliath last year and had to destroy the bridges. Riders from the Morgul vale came bringing fear and despair and all but the bravest hearts fled from them.’

Cut to Pippin: ‘The Black Riders? They came on us at Weathertop…..’ He cannot say any more and hugs himself. Cut to the two.

Beregond looks down in surprise: ‘You have encountered the Morgul Riders? Then you have seen more peril than many a brave man.’ (He looks out again), ‘You may think it is calm now but this is the deep breath before the storm. Sauron bears a long hatred of this city and here his hammer-stroke will fall hardest. May Faramir return safely. He is across the River in Ithilien striking a blow against the armies that march into Mordor. He is a great captain and loved by all the city.’ (a clear bell sounds and Beregond starts to pack the basket.) ‘I must go to my duties now. If you are lonely, seek out my son Bergil. He should be with his friends in the lowest circle of the city.’
Fade to Pippin coming down broad shallow steps. Cut to him walking in a street among hay-carts and small flocks of sheep. People stare at him and point at him behind his back. A boy rushes in from the side and collides with him then stands back and tilts his head to one side and looks him up and down.
‘You are a stranger here.’

Pippin: ‘I was but now I am a man of Gondor.’

The boy: ‘A man? Don’t be silly; you are shorter than me and I am ten years old. I wager I could stand you on your head.’

Cut to Pippin who makes a fierce face: ‘Maybe I could do the same to you for we know some tricks in my little country. If it came to it I might even have to kill you. For I am not a soft stranger-lad but a Halfling, hard bold and wicked! Arrrgh!’
Cut to the two as Pippin steps forward hands ready and the boy steps back then he squares up and readies himself. Pippin looks deadpan for a moment then bursts out laughing.
Pippin: ‘Don’t believe what strangers tell you. I am no fighter. You are Bergil, son of Beregond by the look of you and he sent me here to find you. Rather than stand me on my head he said you could show me around.’
Cut to the two near the Great Gate unable to see over a noisy throng of people lining the street. Pippin taps Bergil’s shoulder and leads him to the guards at the gate. He taps the guard’s arm and when the guard bends down he speaks in his ear. The guard straightens and looks surprised but salutes and lets the two pass him. Cut to the two walking through the arched entrance, their giggles echoing. Cut to them standing outside in the sunshine on the back of a stone water trough to get a good view above the noisy crowd below them.
Pippin: ‘What are they calling out? Forlong?’

Bergil: ‘Yes, Forlong the Fat, Forlong of Lossarnach where my grandfather was born. Here he comes! Good old Forlong!’ Bergil waves and claps.
Cut to a bulky armoured man on a thick-limbed horse. A bushy white beard is spread over his chest and he leads a troop of men on foot armed with halberds. The camera pans as they pass in front of Bergil and Pippin.
Cut to Bergil: ‘True heart but only two hundred men. My father thought he would bring ten times that number. Many have stayed behind to face the fleet of Umbar.’
Fades to several short scenes of archers, armoured foot soldiers, poorly dressed and armed farm workers arriving to cheers from the crowds and finally with a jingle of harness Imrahil in full armour, bearing his blue banner with the silver swan and ship and a helmet crested by a swan with outstretched wings. To cheers he is followed by a troop of armoured knights clattering on the stone paving and then by armoured foot soldiers singing lustily.

Cut to Bergil: ‘That is the Prince Imrahil from Dol Amroth on our southern coast. They say hundreds of years ago an elf princess wed one of his ancestors. My mother used to know a sad poem about her.
“Where now she wanders none can tell,
In sunlight or in shade;
For lost of yore was Nimrodel
And in the mountains strayed.’

Pippin: ‘Nimrodel? We passed through a stream called Nimrodel in the Golden Wood. Legolas the Elf sang a song about her when we were there.’

Bergil: 'You've met an Elf?'
Fade to the two following stragglers into the gate in poor light. Bergil looks anxiously over his shoulder. Cut to the sky and it is nearly covered by a broad bank of brown cloud that slowly spreads.
Cut to Pippin entering his room but Gandalf is absent. He climbs up on to the chair to look out of a black window.
Pippin to himself: ‘Like a pool of ink.’ He shrugs and goes to pull back the covers of his bed.
Fade to a flickering light on his face and pillow and he opens his eyes. Cut to Gandalf’s face illuminated in the darkness by a candle, writing furiously. He stops and looks across at Pippin.

Gandalf: ‘The board is set and the pieces are moving yet where is Faramir?’ (A cock crows outside and Gandalf half registers the sound.) ‘It will be sunrise soon when I must take you to the Lord Denethor again. No, not sunrise. The Darkness has begun. There will be no dawn.’

Cut back to Pippin’s wide eyed face: ‘Why did you bring me here?’

Cut back to Gandalf giving him a severe look: ‘You know quite well.’ He seals a roll of parchment with wax.
Cut to Pippin with Beregond on the battlements again. The city is dull and grey brown and the sky a thick murk. Pippin is now in the uniform of the guard with black mail and surcoat emblazoned with the White Tree and he wears a silver helmet with black wings.

Pippin: ‘I have stood by the Lord’s side at council all today Beregond and watched while others ate. That is a sore trial for a hobbit!’ Beregond laughs. The camera pans a short way over the dim fields under the thick pall then comes back to the two.

Beregond: ‘This is no weather of the world. It is a broil of fume from Mount Doom in Mordor sent to darken our hearts.’ He looks out. ‘Where is Faramir? He would not be dismayed by it.’

Pippin, also looking out, points: ‘Look!’
Cut to four riders galloping in the medium distance. One raises a silver trumpet and plays a clear call.

Cut to Beregond, excited: ‘That is Faramir’s call!’

Cut to Gandalf on Shadowfax meeting the men as they ride in the Gate. They look exhausted. Cut to Gandalf supporting a stumbling Faramir up the final steps of the tunnel leading out on to the Citadel. Faramir’s head is bowed. Cut to a line of people and guards cheering him, Pippin and Beregond among them. Cut to a slow tracking shot of the feet and legs of the onlookers as seen by Faramir. When a pair of large bare hairy feet come into view the camera halts and travels up to Pippin’s face. Cut to Faramir and Gandalf. Faramir is suddenly alert and Gandalf notices.
Faramir: ‘A Halfling in the Citadel Guard?’

Gandalf, quietly: ‘He came with me. Say nothing of it yet.’
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

I hoped Mr V enjoyed the brief reappearance of Nimrodel. ;)

Now things move towards darkness.........

Cut to Denethor, Faramir and Gandalf sitting around a small table set with food and a silver ewer and cup in the great hall near the steps to the throne. Torches flicker nearby in the gloom. Pippin in uniform stands behind Denethor. Denethor is in a bad mood and his dark beady eyes flick from Faramir to Gandalf.
Faramir: ‘….. then we fell upon a band of the Haradrim and drove off a single Mumak but we saw the tracks of countless others. I sent my company to strengthen the crossing places at Osgiliath and hastened back when the Darkness began. I trust I did rightly?’ He looks at his father and Gandalf.

Denethor, scornfully: ‘Do you ask my judgement in all your deeds? I see you looking to Mithrandir for his approval.’

Faramir looks down trying to ignore his father’s tone: ‘Now I come to stranger matters.’ (He gestures to Pippin) ‘This is not the first Halfling I have seen.’ Gandalf sits up straight and Pippin takes an involuntary step forward. Gandalf flashes him a stern stare and raises his palm slightly. Denethor looks over his shoulder at Pippin and nods knowingly.

Denethor: ‘Now it comes out.’

Cut to Faramir: ‘We came upon a Halfling and his servant before the battle and when it was finished we took them blindfold to Henneth Annun. He said he was on a venture against Sauron and I judged it right for him to continue. He had as his guide a strange gangrel creature that he trusted despite my warnings. The Halfling believed you were dead, Mithrandir but he knew not of the death of my brother until I told him. He believes now that all his companions have perished but was still resolved to go on. The creature intended to take them to the high pass of Cirith Ungol above the Morgul Tower and Vale.’

Cut to the group and Gandalf stands abruptly, his body taut with tension: ‘Cirith Ungol? Cirith Ungol? No! When Faramir, when?’

Faramir: ‘They left Henneth Annun two days ago. They could not have reached the Morgul Vale until today at least. I see what you fear but the Darkness started even as they left us. It could not be due to their capture.’

Cut to Denethor, bitterly sarcastic: ‘I am old but not a dotard. Little of what you have left unsaid is hidden from me. Now I know the answer to many riddles. Alas for Boromir!’
Now cut to each speaker in turn.

Faramir, quietly: ‘I would have gone but Boromir claimed the task.’

Denethor: ‘Stir not that cup of bitterness. Boromir was no wizard’s pupil. He would have brought me a mighty gift. Would that this thing had come to me.’

Gandalf: ‘Do not deceive yourself. Boromir would have kept it for his own and you would not have known your son on his return.’

Denethor: ‘You found him less apt didn’t you? But to send this thing into the Enemy’s own land in the hands of a witless Halfling as you and my son here have done is madness. Were it mine I would keep it hidden in the deep vaults of the Citadel and not use it unless at the uttermost end of need. If you do not trust me to endure that test, you do not know me.’

Gandalf: ‘I did not trust myself with this thing when it was freely offered. Were it buried under the roots of Mount Mindolluin behind your city, still would it have burned at your mind as the darkness grew.’

Cut to the group. Denethor and Gandalf stare at each other then finally Denethor shrugs: ‘If I had, if you had. Such ifs are vain.’ He looks towards Faramir: ‘Tomorrow after you have rested you must go to Osgiliath to lead the defence against the Enemy’s crossings.’

Faramir: ‘Even if they pay ten times our losses, we will still rue the exchange. If they win across in force the retreat will be perilous.’

Denethor, sharply: ‘Do you still have the courage to do my will?’

Faramir: ‘I have been robbed of a brother as you have been robbed of a son. I will do what I can in his place. If I return, think better of me.’

Denethor rises and beckons Pippin.
Denethor: ‘That depends on the manner of your return.’ He walks off. Faramir looks blankly at the floor and Gandalf rises and speaks softly close to Faramir. The camera closes on them.

Gandalf: ‘Do not throw your life away rashly. Your father loves you and will remember it before the end.’ Fade out.
Fade in to Gandalf peering out into the blackness of his window in the lodgings. Pippin sits on his bed.

Pippin: ‘Is there any hope for Frodo and Sam?’

Gandalf: ‘A fool’s hope in the mind of Denethor. Yet somehow I feel that Sauron has begun sooner than he planned. If it was not Frodo, then why? Was Aragorn tempted to look into the stone of Orthanc? Has he been trapped by the deceits of Sauron as Saruman was? But worst of all, why is Gollum taking Frodo and Sam to Cirith Ungol; that place of utter horror? Do they know what is there? I fear treachery from that miserable creature.’ He looks away from the window with a troubled face. ‘Pippin, I am afraid.’ The camera fades on his face.

Fade to a medium distance view of Frodo and Sam tramping up a steep mountain road. Everything is a drear dun colour. Frodo is visibly more bent over than Sam. Cut to Gollum bounding down the road to camera. There is a faint glow to the road.
Gollum, nervously: ‘Make haste Master, no time to lose. We must hurry, yes.’
Cut to them appearing from behind a shoulder of the mountain: Gollum, then Frodo then Sam. Frodo looks up wearily. Cut to a very long shot of fortifications and a tall tower many miles away, still looking tiny against towering cliffs either side. They glow with a pale green-white light that we saw inside the Barrow. Cut to a close view of a fortified gateway shaped like a gaping mouth. On its doors is a sickly moon bearing a death’s head upon it. The camera rises and behind it is a tower capped by a giant death’s head that slowly turns, as if its blank windows were eyes.
Cut to the three, fear on all their faces. Gollum puts his finger to his lips for silence and beckons them on.
Cut to a close-up of a luminous white lily in the darkness. A bloated maggot wriggles and rolls from it and drops. Cut to a brief view of the ground crawling with maggots. Cut to a field full of the lilies and beyond them a steeply humped bridge and beyond that part of the fortifications of Minas Morgul.
Cut to the three approaching the bridge very carefully. Gollum points them to a gap in the side of the road and Sam follows him but Frodo keeps on walking towards the bridge. Sam sees and hurries over and pulls Frodo’s arm and Gollum follows in terror, now looking at Frodo, now looking up at Minas Morgul, the green light catching his eyes and face.
Gollum, whispering: ‘Not that way, no please, not that way!’

Sam: ‘Come back. Gollum says not and for once I agree with him.’
Gollum scuttles on hands and knees across the pale white road and disappears and Sam drags Frodo after him. Cut to them disappearing off the side of the road.
Cut to Frodo tottering and collapsing on to a flat rock that overlooks the Morgul walls across the valley. Sam stops with him.

Frodo: ‘I must rest a while. I cannot carry on. It has grown heavy, so heavy on me Sam-lad. Very heavy And it talks to me you know, all the time.’ Sam nods in sympathy but Gollum comes back terrified and tries to pull Frodo up as he points across to Minas Morgul.

Gollum: ‘Not here! Not here! Eyes can see us!’ A slow, very deep rumbling sound starts and small stones start to shower down on to the ledge. Then they turn their heads as the greenish light in the valley changes to a red glare from above. They drop flat on the ground and after a moment a violent crack of thunder echoes around the valley. Cut to a view of Minas Morgul and the jagged mountains behind, now silhouetted by a red sky then jagged lines of blue lightning streak up into the sky from the tower. Above the last rumbles of thunder and the crackles of lightning we hear the call of beasts and horses and men then a terrible long drawn out shriek that gets louder and louder. Cut to the three cowering on the rock, covering their ears. The shriek fades to a sad wail of despair and dies away. Cut to Frodo’s face as he raises it to look up. Cut to a view that looks down on the bridge and the gaping hell-mouth of Morgul, now open and black. Cut to a close-up of the black entrance from a low angle and two fiery red spots grow larger and become red flames within the eye-sockets of a skeletal horse’s head. Then the towering black figure riding the horse appears bearing a high sharply pointed crown. Cut to a view from further back and following the solitary figure a wide column of other smaller horsemen appear bearing lances with heads dangling from them. The sound of the hoofs gets louder and louder.

Cut to Frodo staring: ‘The King of the Nine Riders has come!’
Cut to a vignetted view of the Witch-King, knife in hand, walking in slow motion towards camera on Weathertop as seen with the Ring-vision.
Cut to the Nazgûl King riding over the hump-back bridge, already a great troop of horse behind him. He stops his horse and halts the army with a raised arm. Cut to his black shrouded head and shoulders. His head turns one way then the other and we hear a sniffing.
Cut to Frodo. He slowly slides his hand into his shirt at his neck. Cut to the Witch-King on the bridge, his head turning this way and that. He raises his arm again and rides on. Cut to Frodo’s hand grasping something on a chain. He moves his hand a little and we see through chinks of his fingers a clear white light.
Several fades follow of different parts of the Morgul-force crossing the bridge; orcs clamouring, men with torches, wagons and finally the last remnants leaving the gates. Cut to the gates closing with a dull thump and the death’s head moon on them is visible again. Lights start to go out along the walls. Cut to an aerial shot of the army strung along the road down the valley that helps to convey its size.
Cut to Frodo sitting with his back up against a rock between Sam and Gollum.

Frodo:’ The storm has burst. They are going to Osgiliath. How can Faramir hope to hold the crossing against that army? And more armies will come out of the Black Gates. We saw them. I am too late.’ (He looks at Sam.)’ I tarried on the way and now all is lost. Sam. All our fellowship is dead save us and now all that is beautiful in Gondor will fall too. I must still do my task if I can but no one will be left to know.’ With a look of great sadness he rises and allows Gollum to pull him into the darkness. Finally Sam is swallowed too.
The screen blackens.
Closing credits.
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Voronwë the Faithful
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

ToshoftheWuffingas wrote:I hoped Mr V enjoyed the brief reappearance of Nimrodel. ;)
Indeed I did! I think little touches like that connecting the different parts of the story are very important, and I applaud you for including them.

*goes to read about the impending darkness*
"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 »

Yes, I don't want to overdo it but I have a few connecting ideas scattered throughout. Many have not born fruit yet.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

The next episode starts. I think I will post this episode in only two installments; the first one is brief.

The walls and tiers of Minas Tirith dulled in brown gloom, the mountains behind lost above a pall. No lights shine. Cut to the Gate opening. A troop of men ride out. Cut to Faramir at their head. The camera stays still as one sombre face after another rides past. Cut to the troop riding into the darkness. As these scenes run the opening credits come up: JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings Episode Twenty Two: Shelob etc. As the credits run cut to Pippin standing silently and glumly near Denethor who sits looking at Boromir’s horn on his lap. Cut to Denethor climbing a winding stair alone. Cut to him in a small round chamber with narrow windows. A plinth in the centre is covered by a draped cloth. Cut to Denethor pulling the cloth away and for a split second we see a palantír. Cut to Pippin eating a frugal meal alone in his lodgings, a tiny stub of a candle lighting his face. He looks up at the dark window. Cut to Pippin in his uniform with Beregond and other guards out on the battlements peering out into the darkness. Cut to the dark and in the distance in a long line tiny flashes of red flare and fade. Soft booms echo around the walls of the city.
Cut to Pippin’s face looking out as we hear different voices: ‘They are taking the outer wall.’ ‘They are blasting breaches all along it.’ ‘How will our men on the wall escape? They are trapped.’
Cut to Gandalf on Shadowfax coming into Minas Tirith with wagons. Cut to brief shots of men sitting or laying in the wagons, bloodied or maimed. Cut to Imrahil standing by the mounted Gandalf.

Imrahil: ‘The Lord Denethor has called a council. I will take these men up to the Houses of Healing then join you.’
Cut to a long table; around it Denethor, Imrahil, Gandalf, Forlong and other commanders.

Gandalf: ‘Though the wall is broken in many places Faramir has stayed behind to keep the rearguard together. And the foe that I feared has come.’

Cut to Pippin behind Denethor: ‘Sauron?’

Cut to the others turning to look in surprise at his interjection.
Cut to Denethor rolling his eyes in scorn out of Pippin’s sight: ‘Nay Master Peregrin, not yet. He will only come in triumph, when all is won. He uses others as all lords do; as I do, sitting here spending even my sons.’
Cut to Gandalf: ‘The captain of war who has already taken the outer walls of the Pelennor fields is he who was King of Angmar long ago.’ (As he talks Gandalf’s face is overlaid by a ghostly image that gradually strengthens of the Witch-King riding out of the hell-mouth gates of Minas Morgul. The skeletal skull of the horse he rides bears red fires within its eye sockets. The image fades again) ‘…Sorcerer, Ringwraith, the Lord of the Nine Nazgûl. Sauron has given him demonic power for this war and he is now a spear of terror, a shadow of despair.’

Cut to Denethor: ‘Then you have a foe to match you. I knew that already. Is that all you came to tell me or did you return because you were overmatched?’ He shows his contempt.

Cut to Gandalf who pauses to consider: ‘It might be so. Our trial of strength is yet to come. The Wise have long foretold that he cannot fall to the hand of man. I came back to say we need to save the men escaping from the walls. As yet the enemy has few horsemen. I came also to say the Nazgûl Lord has been strengthened by a mighty army from the Black Gates. Another great force from the Black Gates has crossed the Anduin to enter Rohan. The Rohirrim are too late. Théoden will meet a great army from Mordor before he reaches us.’ There is a murmur of alarm as the others hear this news.

Cut to Denethor: ‘This too I knew many hours ago.’
Cut to the gate open as wounded men and small groups stumble or run in under torchlight. Cut to a body of marching men in the gloom outside singing as they march. Cut to a thin line of horsemen shielding the marching men from a chaotic crowd of orcs and men who follow them. Brief cuts of howling orcs with burning torches and men with round shields and curved swords. They look up as we hear the high-pitched shrieks of the Nazgûl, one after another. Cut to a death’s head in a black hood tilted at an angle coming into extreme close-up. Cut to five winged shapes that swoop down and stall just above the heads of the marching men. The men cry out and start to scatter. Cut to a Nazgûl on a huge vulture like beast, casting down small javelins.
Cut to heavily armoured horseman thundering out of the City Gate; the banner of Dol Amroth scarcely seen in the darkness. Cut to Gandalf on Shadowfax, shining white in the dark. As Shadowfax gallops Gandalf lifts a dome of light above him with his staff until it covers the cowering men.

Cut to Pippin on the walls, his face shining with excitement: ‘Gandalf! Gandalf!’
Cut to a Nazgûl flying up to the wall of light and flapping and flying off. Cut briefly to the men regrouping. Cut to the last of the men marching together into the City from the Gate archway. Cut to Pippin and Beregond watching anxiously.

Beregond: ‘Where is Faramir?’
Cut to a swan helmeted horseman riding under the arch of the Gate. Torchlight from the walls flicker on him. A body lies across his horse. Cut to a close-up of the body’s head and shoulders. The head of Faramir lolls loosely to the movement of the horse. A black broken javelin hangs from his upper back.
Cut to black.
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Post by Primula Baggins »

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

Indeed! One of the best episodes, and that is saying an awful lot!
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Post by BrianIsSmilingAtYou »

I haven't kept up with this thread as well as I could, but what I have read is quite good.

I too liked the use of alliterative verse on the previous page, and I like the way that the last post concluded: "Where is Faramir?" and the cut to the gate. Wonderful!

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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

Thanks Brian. I know it's awfully long. Perhaps dipping in to an episode here or there will give you enough of a taste. Sometimes in the past I opened the book at random and read with pleasure from that spot.

Anyway, sorry for the length of the next post but I can't see how I could shorten it.

A moment of blackness then we hear deep rumbles. A red flicker barely relieves the black. Cut to black jagged peaks against a dull brown sky. Faint pulses of dull red light up the sky then fade again. We start to hear the sound of a bitter wind that does not cease through the following scenes.
Cut to a steep cliff that slopes back cut by a near vertical crack from top to bottom. Cut to a worn narrow step and fingers suddenly grasp it. Frodo’s face comes into view, utterly weary. The camera stays still as he climbs slowly past and Sam’s face appears next. His eyes are shut and he is biting his lips.
Cut to Gollum squatting on the edge of the cliff. He looks over the edge for a moment then wraps his arms around his legs. Cut to a close-up of his face.

Gollum: ‘We’ll see, oh yes precious we’ll see. When she throws their bones away, we shall get it oh yes. Get the Precious again. Then we’ll pay her back; pay everyone back.’ He stops and looks up. Cut to Frodo clambering over the edge and rolling flat in exhaustion. Sam appears next.
Cut to Gollum, his cold face alters: ‘Clever hobbitses to climb so high. Not long now; just one more stair and that’s all.’

Cut to Sam, sitting up and massaging his fingers: ‘Another one?’

Cut to Gollum, still encouraging: ’Yes, but not as difficult. Hobbits rest when we get to the top; not yet.’ Cut to Sam wearily getting up and holding out a hand for Frodo to grasp.

Sam: ‘What then?’

Cut to Gollum moving away and whispering to himself: ‘We shall see; oh yes, we shall see!’ Cut to a distant view of the three figures on a steep winding path. Cut to the three in a steep rocky gully in a grey brown light. The wind is even louder.

Sam: My Master has to rest out of this bitter cold wind. How much further is it?’

Gollum: ‘Very nearly at the top now. Nice master rest for a while.’ Sam points to a shallow gap between some rocks and shepherds Frodo into it. Cut to the hobbits sitting close together for warmth while Gollum squats outside hugging himself. Frodo leans forward and hands Gollum his water flask.

Sam: ‘There’s a queer kind of stuffy smell up here. I don’t like it.’

Frodo, fastening his flask and shaking it to check the contents: ‘I like nothing here; step or stone, breath or bone. Earth, air and water all seem accursed but so our path is laid.’

Sam looks at Frodo, judging his mood: ‘I used to think that the folk in adventures went out and looked for them because life was a bit dull. Now I see that they just landed in them. I expect they had lots of chances to turn back but they didn’t; they just went on ….’ He pauses and pulls a wry face. ‘…. and not all to a good end mind you.’

Frodo: ‘That’s the way with a real tale. The people in them don’t know if their ending will be sad or happy.’

Sam: ‘Take Beren. He never thought he would end up taking the Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth, yet he did and that was a far darker place than this. And the Silmaril went on to Eärendil.’ (He looks up.) ‘and then up into the sky. Why, I’ve just thought; you’ve got some of that starlight in your glass from the Lady Galadriel. We are in the same story! Do they ever end?’

Frodo: ‘No, but the people in them do.’

Sam: ‘When this is over we can have some proper rest and sleep. All I’ve been hoping for is to wake up to a morning’s work in the garden back in the Shire…… Do you think our story will be put into fireside songs or read out of a big book? Perhaps they’ll say,’ (he puts on a silly piping child’s voice) ‘Let’s hear about Frodo and the Ring, that’s my favourite, the famousest of all the hobbits.’ Frodo relaxes and throws his head back and laughs naturally. Cut to a sweep of the jagged rocks and the laugh echoing around. Cut back to the two and Frodo is smiling now.

Frodo: ‘Why, Sam, you have left out the chief character; Samwise the Stouthearted. They’ll say, “Why didn’t they put in more of his talk dad? It makes me laugh. Frodo wouldn’t have got far without his Sam, would he dad?”’

Sam: ‘Now Mr Frodo, you shouldn’t make fun.’

Frodo puts his hand over Sam’s: ‘No Sam, I was serious. But we are still stuck in the worst part of the story. They may say, “Shut the book now dad, we don’t want to hear the next bit.”’ They pause and think.

Sam, still trying to keep Frodo’s spirits up: ‘Gollum used to like the old tales once. Perhaps even he might be good in one.’ He leans forward. ‘Gollum! Do you want to be the hero? Where’s he gone? He’s sneaked off again. There’s no food for him up here. I don’t trust him.’

Frodo: ‘If he’s false then he is false. After all he doesn’t want the Ring captured either.’ Frodo’s eyes droop.

Sam: ‘You need some sleep. I’ll keep watch. Lay your head in my lap and I’ll try to keep you warm.’ Frodo rolls over and Sam lays one arm across him and rests his other hand on his sword-hilt. He stays vigilant.
Fade to Gollum’s malevolent eyes. Cut to him creeping down the windswept gully with a cruel smile on him. Cut to him squatting down again outside the shelter. Cut to Frodo and Sam asleep, their arms around each other, their faces tranquil in sleep. The camera lingers on them for a moment. Cut to Gollum’s face. The malevolence fades to weariness then he looks up the gully as if in doubt. Some sort of compassion grows on his face. Cut to Gollum stretching his hand out cautiously to rest it on Frodo’s. Cut back and he again looks up the gully. Cut to a close-up of his face and a tear grows in his eyes. Cut to Sam’s face and his eyes flicker open and then he wakes with a start. Cut to him pushing Gollum away in the chest.

Sam: ‘What are you up to?’

Cut to Gollum sadly: ‘Nothing. Nice master.’

Cut to Sam: ‘Sneaking again? You old villain.’

Cut to Gollum’s face as the compassion and weariness fades away and his face goes blank. He pulls back.

Gollum: ‘Hobbitses always so polite, oh yes. Nice hobbits. Sméagol brings them up secret ways. Tired and thirsty he is and they call him a sneak. Very nice friends my precious.’

Cut back to the hobbits as Sam rubs his face: ‘Sorry, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have been sleeping and that made me a bit sharp.’ Frodo starts to wake and Sam smooths his hair.

Frodo: ‘It’s still dark.’

Sam: ‘It’s always dark now, remember? Gollum’s back so I guess it’s time to go on. It’s the last lap now.’ Frodo sits up.

Frodo: ‘Have you had any rest Sméagol?’

Cut to Gollum looking coldly at them: ‘No rest, no food for Sméagol. He’s a sneak. So Master Samwise says.’ Cut to the hobbits and Frodo looks from one to the other. Sam rolls his eyes and tuts.

Sam: ‘I did but I said I was sorry.’

Frodo: ‘Then let it pass. Tell me Sméagol, are we close now? You have done as you promised and you are free. Free to go back wherever you wish except to the Enemy. One day I…’ He pauses.’… or those that remember me may reward you.’

Cut to Gollum. He looks up the gully then back: ‘No! Oh no! Not yet. There’s still the tunnel. We must go on. No rest, not yet.’ His eyelids lower.
Fade to the three standing by a small opening at the base of a cliff. We have seen it already in the episode at Henneth Annnun. Gollum stands by the entrance while the two hobbits stand back.

Gollum: ‘We must go this way now. Come on.’

Sam, his hand over his face and nose: ‘What is that stench? It’s like a hundred years of orc-filth in there. Do you mean you have been through this before? Perhaps you don’t mind this smell.’

Cut to a close-up of Gollum’s face, quietly: ‘He doesn’t know what we minds does he precious? Sméagol can bear things.’ Then more briskly, ‘Come on, follow Sméagol!’ Cut back to the three and Gollum scuttles into the black entrance leaving Frodo and Sam looking at each other unhappily. They walk up to the entrance and pause again. Sam shifts his stick to his left hand and they clasp hands, wait a second then walk in. The darkness swallows them too.
Cut to a completely black screen. From now on we hear only sound. The sound of the wind has gone but other sounds are magnified. We hear the padding of their feet, the click of their sticks and the sound of their breathing. When they speak it is in whispers.

After a moment or so, Frodo: ‘I can’t hear Sméagol. We have to catch up. Try to follow the walls with your hand. If this is an orc-den there may be different paths.’ We hear more sound of their walking.

Sam: ‘Yes, I just felt an opening in the side. This seems the straight way though.’ As he speaks his voice trails away as if he is moving away.

Frodo’s voice swells as if he is approaching: ‘I’ve lost track of time in here Sam. Oh no! Now there is nothing on my side at all. There is a great gap here. It sounds like an open space. Aughph! The stench is worst here.This is where it all comes from.’ We hear Sam choke and gag.

Sam, almost crying like a child: ‘There is something here. I can feel it watching me. It’s worse than Gollum.’ Then we hear a drawn out disgusting bubbling sound then a hiss then the sound of something big being dragged.
Sam is whimpering now: ‘It’s a trap. That stink is getting even worse and we can’t see a thing. Oh help us someone!’ The sound grows louder. We hear the hobbits’ feet break into a run.
Softly we hear Galadriel’s voice from afar: ‘For you, Ringbearer, a light when all other lights go out.’

Sam’s voice from close-up: ‘Master! The Lady’s gift! The starglass!’
We hear a fumbling and the faint chink of a chain. Then a tiny spark of intense white light shows, lighting up a hand. It grows in brilliant whiteness but not in size as if mists were clearing from it. Frodo is revealed holding it in a narrow passageway.

Frodo: ‘Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima!’ The light grows brighter still until we see Sam’s face full of horror. Cut to the tunnel illuminated by the light. Far down it is some moving mass with waving legs in front of it and clustered eyes reflecting some of the light. Cut back to Frodo and Sam lit by the starglass, their faces full of horror as they back away. Cut back to the indistinct moving mass, still far down the passage but starting to move forward. Cut to Frodo and Sam turning and running. Cut back to the creature moving faster but still a distance away. Cut to Frodo and Sam running round a bend. Frodo pulls at Sam’s arm and they stop.

Frodo: ‘Stand! It knows these tunnels. Running is no use.’ He turns and draws Sting and holding the bright speck up he walks back around the bend. We see his shadow against the wall and Sam looks fearfully over his shoulder and then follows him. Cut to the eyes and waving legs and hairy palyps now much closer. Cut to Frodo as Sam comes up behind him. Frodo collects himself, squares his shoulders and holds Sting up.
Frodo advances one step at a time to camera and the light swells even more, blinding out most of the scene. Frodo and the light passes and we see Sam still frozen with horror behind him.
Cut to the creature blocking the tunnel. It stops moving forward. The legs wave and then it pulls back and disappears in the darkness.

Cut to Sam’s face ablaze in admiration and excitement: ‘Stars and Glory! Oh but the Elves would make a song about that! May I live to tell them! Don’t go on Master. Let’s get out of this foul hole now!’
Cut to Frodo and Sam running and stumbling along the tunnel as the camera tracks back. The camera stops and they run past and we see their long shadows ripple on the tunnel floor.

Cut to Frodo, running: ‘I can smell fresh air!’
Cut to the two running into strands and sheets of grey web and beyond the webs a form of light entering the darkness. They try to free themselves and by now Sam is almost hysterical.

Sam: ‘It stings!’ He slashes frantically at the web but his sword bounces back. He looks desperately over his shoulder: ‘Trapped in the end! Oh no! Have the eyes come back?’

Frodo is calm. He looks back: ‘Not yet. Here, Sam, let me try with Sting. The Elves made it in Beleriand. The stories said there were webs of horror there too. Take the starglass and hold back the eyes if they come again. Don’t be afraid.’
Frodo passes the bright speck of light to Sam. Still wide-eyed, Sam holds the light up but his hand shakes. Frodo runs the edge of Sting along the sheets of web and they start to peel away.

Finally Frodo calls out: ‘Come on Sam, we’re through!’
Cut to the outside of the tunnel; we hear the sound of the wind again. The severed webs wave in the wind and Frodo bursts out into the dull brown light. He runs off camera. Sam appears next, more slowly and walking out backwards, still looking into the tunnel. Cut to a closer view of him as he puts the light inside his clothes; his stick still swinging from his wrist by its strap.

He turns and calls out softly: ‘Not so fast Mr Frodo. There may be orcs about.’ Then again his eyes open in horror and he opens his mouth to shout just as Gollum’s hand covers it and he is pulled back out of view.
Cut to Frodo running up a slope of a gully. As he passes a crack a monstrous spider shape squeezes out of it behind him, scuttles after him and leaps on him with frightening speed.
Cut to Gollum on top of Sam. One hand is on his throat, the other holds Sam’s sword hand by the wrist.

Cut to a close-up of Gollum’s face: ‘At last my precious we’ve got him, yes the nassty hobbit.’ Gollums spits downwards. ‘We’ll take this one. Sméagol promised he wouldn’t hurt the master so Shelob can have him to play with.’ Cut to Sam’s sword hand bent back by Gollum until he drops his sword with a cry. Cut back to the two on the ground and Sam suddenly bucks violently and rolls from under Gollum. Getting to his knees he twists his left hand and wrist around until he grasps his staff that still hangs from its thong. He brings it down first on Gollum’s arm and then again and again on his head and back until the staff snaps and he dives for his sword. Gollum wails and covering his head he runs back into the tunnel. For an instant Sam goes to follow him then checks himself and turns and cries out heartrendingly and runs up the gully.
Cut to a vast horrific spider shape, its legs crooked high above its bulbous body. We see glimpses of a white bundle being twisted beneath its legs. It starts to drag the bundle away. Cut to Sam running as hard as he can. He stops to pick up Frodo’s sword and exchanges the two swords in his hands then runs on. He roars out in rage. Cut to Sam arriving at the spider bulk and he slashes at a leg and severs part of it. The spider spins around to face him and Sam reaches up and slashes at the eyes with both swords as he grunts out: ‘Take that and that!’
The spider rears up away from the swords and Sam ducks underneath to straddle Frodo. Cut to a longer view and the spider straightens its legs to raise itself high. Cut to Sam standing athwart the white bundle. He closes his eyes and bows his head and holds Sting up with both hands above his head.
Cut back to the longer view and the spider violently slams her body hard down on Sam. Cut to Sam crumpling under the weight. Cut back again and with a bubbling hiss the spider leaps back and curls up and twitches convulsively. Sting clatters down in the foreground. Cut to Sam staggering to get to his feet. Cut to Shelob scrabbling to get upright again. Cut to Sam grim-faced picking up Sting and walking forward. Cut to Shelob advancing, stopping then tightening her legs as if getting ready to spring. Cut to Sam; he looks ready to die. His hand fumbles at his neck then he pulls out the speck of light.
Cut to a close-up of Sam looking down at it, the light catching his face as he whispers: ‘Galadriel.’ He raises it to his lips and kisses it. It swells in light. Sam looks up and we see overlaid on his face the scene of Gildor and his company of Elves in the Shire.
Sam starts whispering but his voice grows in strength and the light grows into brilliance.
‘A Elbereth Gilthoniel
O menel palandiriel
Le nallon si dingurothos!
A tiro nin, Fanuilos!’
As he speaks the verse the Elvish singers are tracked with his.
Cut to show all of Sam.
He raises Sting and speaks through gritted teeth: ’Now you filth. You’ve hurt my master and you’ll pay for it. We’re going on but we’ll settle with you first. Come on and taste this again.’
Cut to Shelob twisting this way and that to avoid the brilliant light, trying to cover her oozing eye stalks with her front legs. Sam comes into shot and slashes at whatever he can. Shelob turns and limps away as Sam follows relentlessly slashing at the back of her abdomen until she squeezes into a crack in the side of the gully.
Cut to Sam outside the hole as the last sign of her legs disappear. He falls on his hands and knees gasping and gradually the light in his fist dims to a glow. Then he looks up and back and cries out and staggers up and reels unsteadily off camera.
Cut to him kneeling above the web-covered body of Frodo, cutting the sticky web off.

Sam: ‘Master Frodo, Mr Frodo.’ Sam strokes his face then shakes him gently. Cut to Frodo’s livid white face. Tears fall on it. Cut to Sam’s face, tears dropping off his cheeks.

Sam: ‘Don’t leave me here alone. It’s your Sam calling. Don’t go where I can’t follow.’
Sam looks up and bites his lip and looks down again.
‘Wake up Mr Frodo me dear, me dear. Oh no!’
He looks off to one side and draws in a shuddering breath.
‘He’s not asleep. I saw him in Galadriel’s mirror and thought he was asleep. But he’s not asleep.’
His voice softens to a whisper: ’He’s dead.’

The camera pulls back and the two figures shrink until they are tiny against the rocks and there is a slow fade to black.

Closing credits.
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

"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 Crucifer »

Oh Tosh, I wish I had the time to sit and read all of this through... it's marvellous. Really it is...
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Post by Ophelia »

Beautiful; absolutely beautiful. By far the best instalment yet (although I'm biased towards this scene, admittedly).

I heard William Nighy's voice as I read this.

Uton herian Tosh of the Wuffingas. ;)
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

Um, thanks. :oops: I feel that you may be referring to the power of the professor's narrative more than mine.
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Post by Ophelia »

Well, maybe in part.

(Removes bowing smiley to allay Tosh's embarrassment).
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

But of course the most important skill in adapting a work to a different medium is the ability to capture the power of the original, while still adhering to the needs of the new medium. You accomplish that admirably.

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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

Time to carry on with the start of a new episode. Before long I shall include a small PJ-style 'haunted house' moment but it won't be where you think it is. ;)

A distant view of woods stretched below hills, dull in a brown gloom. We hear the soft sounds and replies of rolling drums. Cut to a line of horses picketed among trees and the camera tracks briefly over their backs. The opening credits start; JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: Episode Twenty Three The Siege of Gondor etc. As the credits run cut to a bush and beyond it in a clearing a soldier of Rohan fastens his helmet and gives orders to others. The camera pulls back and we see the back of a head watching the scene from the cover of the bush. The soldier walks off. Cut to the camera tracking him from behind as he walks between trees. He trips and falls forward but rolls nimbly upright.
Cut to a close-up of his scowling face: ‘Cursed tree-roots. If I survive this war I’ll not enter a cursed wood ever again.’

Cut to Merry kneeling up and rubbing his side: ‘I’m not a root Captain Elfhelm but just a hobbit trying to get some sleep.’

Cut back to Elfhelm putting a finger to his lips and looking around: ‘Not so loud Master Holbytlan. You are not supposed to be here. Did I hurt you?’

Cut to Merry walking up to Elfhelm: ‘No. People find it hard to see me in this elf-cloak and we hobbits are easily overlooked. Why are we in these woods?’

Elfhelm: ‘An army from Mordor has entered Rohan and seized the road to Mundburg. It is now blocked by trenches and barriers. If we try to fight our way through it will slow us too much. King Théoden hopes to find a way through these woods but they look impassable to me.’ Another rolling of drums is heard and Merry looks around.

Merry: ‘Is that the sound of orcs?’

Elfhelm: ‘No. Wild men live in these woods though you will never see them.’ He too looks around. ’They carry poisoned darts and arrows.’ He pauses. ‘Where is your rider, er, Dernhelm?’

Merry pulls a face: ‘He never speaks a word to me and will not have me with him when we halt. I think he sees his death at the end of this ride.’

Elfhelm: ‘It may be so Master Tree-root. Unlike your elf friends we all come to an end one day. All we can hope is to make it a good one.’
Elfhelm walks off leaving Merry looking dejected. He too walks off camera and in the background a hump rises and a camouflaged man slips into the dark.
Cut to Théoden, Éomer and a few others riding cautiously between trees. Quick cuts to ropes and nets lifted suddenly all round them and scores of half naked men armed with bows and blowpipes emerge from cover. A brief cut to Éomer looking at Théoden in alarm. Cut to a short, round-bellied man pushing his way through the others. He is heavily tattooed, wears a kilt of foliage and bears a necklace of curved tusks. He puts his hands on his hips and scowls.

Cut to a distant view of Mount Doom. An intense red glow at the summit lights up a column of black smoke and the brown clouds above. The camera pans around to a tower rising in tiers against cliffs. The camera rises up the tower to the top then moves left to a small cleft. Cut to a distant view of Sam halfway down a steep gully kneeling by Frodo’s body. Cut to a close-up of Sam holding his face between his hands. Once again we hear the whining wind. Cut to a close-up of his face, his eyes wet. He looks up.
Sam, softly: ‘What shall I do? Do I go on and leave Mr Frodo here alone and unburied?’ Cut back and he starts to exchange his sword and scabbard for Frodo’s and to tidy his body, crossing his hands on his breast.
As he does so he talks more loudly as if Frodo could hear: ‘If I am to go on I’ll need Sting. Mr Bilbo would understand. And I know she gave it to you but may I keep the Lady’s starglass for a while? I shall be in the dark now.’ Sam stands and looks around. ‘What shall I do?’ He draws Sting and it glows faintly blue. He swings it around and makes stabbing motions.
Through his teeth: ‘I’ll hunt Gollum down, that’s what. I’ll hunt him down and he will die in a corner. Yes!’ He stops in mid-motion and lets the sword hang down. ‘No. That won’t do. That won’t bring my master back.’ He looks down at the point of Sting then over at Frodo. He brings the point up to his breast. ‘I can go on the same lonely journey as you master.’ He rests it there for a moment then tenses himself then relaxes. ‘No. That won’t do either. We set out to do something and I have to see it through like I told Gildor. All the way to the Crack of Doom.’ He drops the point. ’I’m the last of the Company. There’s no one else left.’ He shakes his head. ‘Oh I wish old Gandalf was here to help. I’m sure to go wrong. That’ll be Sam Gamgee all over. Ah well, I suppose Mr Frodo and Mr Bilbo didn’t choose themselves either. If I don’t go on it’s the end of all of us; Lothlórien and Rivendell and the Shire. The war has started and like as not it’s going his way. I can’t go back to ask permission.’
Cut to a close-up as he kneels and takes Frodo’s hand.
Sam, tenderly: ‘Forgive your Sam. He’ll come back if he can. Rest you quiet till I come and may no foul creature come anigh you.’ He bends over and kisses Frodo’s forehead. There is a moment of quiet then he looks up suddenly and we hear orc shouts in the distance. Sam looks one way then the other. Cut to the entrance to Shelob’s tunnels with the webs blowing. First torchlight is seen then orcs appear through the severed webs. Cut to the crest of the gully. Torchlight is seen reflected on the rock walls then silhouettes of orcs appear, outlined by torchlight.

Cut to a distant view of Minas Tirith in the dark, the walls flickering from the fires in the surrounding trenches. Cut to a distant view of the river and the ruined bridges. A dozen or so barges filled with torchlight cross the river in both directions. We can hear a distant massed howling. The sound increases in volume suddenly as it cuts to the river-bank filled with orcs stamping, jumping, clashing their weapons and howling. A barge bumps into the bank and they swarm on to it. Cut to the barge leaving and more orcs rush up to fill their place. Cut to orcs scrambling over the debris from a breach in the Rammas wall. Cut to a broad road leading from a turreted gateway. A wide column of orcs bearing grisly totems on poles crowd along it to camera. Cut to a section of the wall crumbling to an explosion. The camera pans across to a broad squat tower. Motionless upon it, lit by all the flames is a great black-robed and high crowned rider. Cut to a closer view and red flames burn within the sockets of the horse’s skeletal head. Cut to the road from a different viewpoint and high in the background we see the figure of the Lord of the Nazgûl. Trebuchets and behind them siege towers are seen being dragged up the road to camera by mumakil. Cut to an orchard in flames and orcs setting the farmhouse next to it to the torch.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

Poisons work in different ways.........

Cut to Denethor’s face now weeping and vulnerable. The camera pulls back and we see he leans over the body of Faramir on a low bed. Cut to Faramir’s face drenched in sweat. He shakes, his eyes flicker half open and his lips mutter. Cut to a heavily blurred view of Denethor looking down towards camera. The shape of his head darkens and changes to a death’s head. Cut to Faramir staggering along a dark passageway towards a door at the end that has light gleaming from under it. The sound is muffled. Cut to him falling upon the door and tugging vainly at the handle. He turns. Cut to Boromir walking up the passageway towards him then turning to walk into a side-door. Cut to Faramir running in slow motion up the passage. Cut and we see Faramir from behind as he enters the door. The camera follows him in and we see Boromir facing away, looking out of a window.

Faramir, in muffled tones: ‘Help us Boromir or Gondor and the West will fall.’ He catches Boromir’s arm and Boromir turns to show a death’s head.
Cut to Faramir shivering and unconscious on his bed.

Cut to Pippin: ‘Do not weep lord.’

Cut to Denethor speaking through his tears. ‘I sent my son forth, unthanked, unblessed into needless peril. Now he lies here with poison in his veins.’

Cut to the gully on the border of Mordor. Two groups of orcs in different uniforms half circle each other growling and snapping. Two better armed and larger orcs try to control each group and push them back. They part enough to see Frodo’s body between them.
Cut to one large orc with the Red Eye upon his chest standing and laughing.
Shagrat: ‘Here’s the spy by the look of it. He met his match with Shelob.’

Cut to another large orc dressed in black with the death’s head of Morgul upon him kneeling by Frodo’s body. Cut to his claw pulling back Frodo’s shirt to reveal a glimpse of his mithril coat. The claw hooks the shirt back over it. Cut back to the kneeling orc.

Gorbag: ‘We were sent up from Morgul to check for spies. The Head Shrieker was supposed to have sniffed something yesterday when he set off. Do you want to share any valuables? When this is all over we can slip away and start up on our own away from all the big bosses. You don’t know what it’s like down there. Those Nazgûl have got a place, they strip the skin from your body and leave you there in the dark, not alive, not dead.’

Cut to Shagrat: ‘You want to loot him? No chance! It’s more than my belly’s worth. A list of all clothes, weapons, letters, trinkets and rings has to be sent to Barad-dûr straight away or we’re all as good as dead.’

Cut to Gorbag standing up: ‘Pity there’s no game to be had with him. Our lads found him first and we could have been in on it.’

Cut to Shagrat: ‘Nor that either. I’m in charge up here. Any prisoner has to be kept safe until he goes to Barad-dûr for proper questioning. That’s when the real fun starts. They have some good tricks there.’

Cut to Gorbag looking down. He chuckles and kicks Frodo’s body.
Gorbag: ‘Safe? A bit late now isn’t it after Shelob has had her way with him? He’s only fit for the pot now.’

Cut to Shagrat: ‘Is that all you know of her? Shelob doesn’t suck cold blood. She eats ‘em alive. She just gives them a dab on the neck to keep them quiet. Then it’s off to hang them up and dine from at her pleasure. The Big Boss in Barad-dûr sometimes sends prisoners here for her to play with.’ He looks around. ‘Time we went in case she comes back in a bad mood. Hoist him up lads. If your gang from Morgul come back with us and try to rob him there’ll be trouble. I don’t trust you and I’ll have him put right at the top out of your way.’
Cut to orcs lifting Frodo up in the air and running off. The other orcs follow in an untidy crowd. Gorbag pulls some of his orcs back.

Cut to a close-up of Gorbag whispering: ‘That spy had a mithril coat. It is worth the price of a kingdom! Follow Shagrat’s lot back and tell our lads to look for a chance to grab it. We have to look out for number one. Don’t worry if you have to stick a few of them to get it. Serves them right for dodging all the fighting up here. Eh, and watch out. That fool Shagrat thinks he knows everything but that spy was not alone. Someone cut the webs off him. One of those filthy elf-warriors I expect. As I said, watch out.’
Cut back and we see Gorbag and his fellow orcs follow the main band at a loping run up the gully. The camera pans back to where they had stood. Sam becomes visible, holding the Ring in his fingers. He loops the chain over his head and tucks the Ring in then steps towards the camera.

Sam: ‘I knew I would get it wrong. I knew I would! He’s alive still and that filth have got him! Never leave your master: never! I knew it in my heart. I have to get him back somehow.’
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Voronwë the Faithful
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Awful lot of "cuts" in this episode.
"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 »

Excisions or switching from one shot to another?
I try to pace the cuts to match the speed of the narrative (successfully or otherwise :blackeye: ) and it may make it tedious to read I'm afraid.
Things are reaching a climax and moreover I want to relate the different storylines to each other which means switching from one storyline to another at shorter intervals. If anything the cuts will speed up.
I'll look back at it though.
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