LOTR VI. A Fool's Hope

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

The cuts mostly look like switches from one shot to another within a scene. You don't always mention those, if I'm not mistaken. It makes reading more choppy, but it does give a better idea of the fast pace you want for the scene.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

I try to mention most cuts Prim though of course I might miss some. Sometimes I will put something like, 'a succession of brief cuts..', or 'cut to each character as they speak...' to make it easier to read.

I try to balance the cutting in each episode. In the first part of this last episode there are two scenes in Druadan and Cirith Ungol with fewer cuts and then as the attack is launched over the river the cuts speed up.

In the second part I could have had Gorbag and Shagrat within the same shot talking to each other as I did in Druadan but the effect would have been more static. Cutting between them both emphasised their individuality and brought out their antagonism better. But I know it makes it a pain to read. I think it probably only works if you try and visualise it.

I will follow this post with the final part of the episode.
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Primula Baggins
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Post by Primula Baggins »

Well, that's the fault my "camera eye"—in some of your scenes with few cuts I imagine more as I read through, so I'm left with the impression you didn't describe them all—even though it's just my own mind's-eye DP disagreeing with yours now and then.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

In an artificial construct like this the 'viewer's' internal eye and ear is very important and happily different for each person. I don't use cutting just for pace, it has other uses too.
Anyway, things get even worse.........

Cut to a brief establishing shot of Minas Tirith. Cut to a long view along the street in the first circle of the City. White buildings are lit by small fires burning in many places. A line of men pass buckets to put out fires. Pitchers of oil fall from above and shatter and ignite only to be put out with sand and blankets. The camera zooms past the activity to an empty part of the street. In the distance small clusters of balls land and bounce and roll. Another cluster lands nearer then close to camera a dozen heads land and roll around. Two roll together in the gutter and the camera gently moves towards them to show the faces of Mablung and Damrod from Ithilien touching.
Cut to a burning siege tower close to the walls of the City. Figures too small to see clearly, some burning, fall from it. A mumak runs past in the foreground screaming then slowly collapses to the ground. Cut to another siege-tower hauled by mumakil up the broad road.
Cut to a line of archers on the broad black City wall. Further along some men use a ballistra to fire heavy darts. One man is directing its aim. The archers are firing downwards constantly. At one point they take padded arrows and light them from a brazier and shoot them high in the air. We see the trajectories meet against the dark sky. Above the background roars and shouts and drumming the howl of a Nazgûl swells and the men crouch and cover their ears.
The camera pans a short way to Imrahil and then Gandalf coming up steps. They cross to the men who get to their feet.
Archer, pointing outwards: ‘We burn their siege engines as soon as they get close but still more come. They will take our city within the day. I know it.’

Imrahil claps him on the shoulder: ‘These walls have never been taken in three thousand years. You do not know your strength. You are making such a stand as will be sung of in the West for the next Age.’

Gandalf: ‘The wizard’s tower of Orthanc was built by the same men who raised these walls. The tree-giants of Fangorn could not make a mark on it. These walls will not break while you defend them. Take heart. I am here and I do not despair yet.’
The two walk on and the camera tracks backwards to keep with them.

Imrahil, quietly: ‘Even the highest walls cannot keep out fear.’ The howl of the Nazgûl returns.

Cut back to the archers.
One looks up: ‘The walls may not break but still the gate may fall.’ They resume shooting arrows.
Cut to the motionless figure of the mounted Lord of the Nazgûl on the low tower. Cut again to the road overlooked by the figure of the Witch-King high in the background. This time a broad column of mounted men with spiked helmets and round shields bearing a black snake clatter in. Cut back to the Witch-King. We hear a rhythmic chant that resolves into ‘Grond! Grond!’
Cut to two mumakil straining to camera. They separate enough to see they head two lines of mumakil hauling massive chains. ‘Grond! Grond!’ gets louder. We start to see within the shadows at the end an enormous gaping wolf’s maw, all sharply angular in black steel. The mumakil pass the camera and the head gets closer. Cut to the Witch-King and he raises his arm. Cut to the view of the wolf’s head within the double line of great beasts and they stop their straining and the chains slacken. The chant stops. Cut to the Witch-King again with his arm still raised.
Cut to Denethor, his head resting on Faramir’s breast. Pippin stands behind in silent distress. We hear a pounding on the door. Looking at the silent Denethor, Pippin crosses to the door and opens it.

A Citadel guard stands there, his voice high in urgency: ‘The first circle of the city is burning lord. What are your commands?’ Pippin looks back.
Cut to Denethor raising his head. His voice has altered and weakened.

Denethor: ‘Go, do as you will. Follow the Grey Fool if you will. I must stay by my son. The house of the Stewards has failed.’ Cut to Pippin and the guard exchanging looks and the guard runs off.

Cut to Denethor standing: ‘Call my servants to me Halfling then wait here.’ He walks over to a small door. Cut to Denethor climbing dark steps with a lantern. Cut to the small round room with the cloth-covered plinth. Denethor’s arm reaches out and strips the cloth from the palantír. Cut to Denethor’s face lit by a bright light. Cut to the palantír between his hands. Distorted within it a line of black galleys stretch down a twisting river, their oars rising and dropping. Cut to Denethor’s face. Cut back to the palantír and the image blurs and changes to a view of the wolf-headed ram. The scene blurs again and we see a group of orcs carrying the body of Frodo. Cut to Denethor covering the globe up. His face crumples and his whole body sags.
Cut to Denethor entering his chamber again. The camera pulls back to show Pippin and Faramir and a line of servants behind him.

Denethor: ‘The West has failed. The Enemy has found it.’ He gestures to his servants. ‘Carry my son to the Silent Street.’ Cut to a close-up of Faramir shivering and unconscious as he is lifted. Cut to the servants carrying him through the door followed by Denethor and finally Pippin. Cut to the procession passing the White Tree by the fountain. Cut to the group passing a guard and entering a small doorway in a wall. Cut to them descending a narrow empty street.

Cut to Denethor in front of a columned portico: ‘Take my son inside and lay him on the tomb prepared for me. There will be no slow embalmed sleep for us. We will burn like the heathen kings of old. Peregrin son of Paladin, I release you from your service. Go and die in whatever way seems best to you; even with that fool who brought you to this end. The City will burn. There is no escape. I will go now to my own bonfire.’ He turns to his servants. ‘Bring wood and oil and fire for me and my son’
Cut to Pippin looking up to Denethor then across to Faramir. Cut to Faramir still shaking and murmuring.

Cut back to Pippin. He kneels: ‘I will not say farewell lord.’ He stands and talks to Denethor as an equal. ‘I want to see Gandalf very much indeed. He is no fool and I will not think of dying until he despairs of life. If the Enemy comes at last to the Citadel I will be here and stand beside you and earn the arms you gave me.’

Cut to Denethor: ‘As you will. My life is broken. Cannot you see? All hope has gone.’
Cut to the Witch-King, arm raised. He brings it down swiftly and the chant resumes, ‘Grond! Grond!’
Cut to the mumakil. They lean forward. The chains tauten. ‘Grond! Grond!’ The wolf’s head comes forward. Cut to an aerial view of an immensely long ram, still near the river, pulled by a team of mumakil towards the fires of the city. Cut to the Witch-King moving down from the low tower, the fearsome horse picking its way down through rubble.
Cut to the defenders on the walls. They pause, looking daunted. Cut to the mumakil dragging Grond towards the camera, the wolf’s head swinging. Cut to the Witch-King following the ram at a distance. A company of trolls walk close behind the ram.
Cut to a soldier in the armour seen in Ithilien leading a line of mumakil away from the walls and fires. Cut to the wolf’s head, its stylised angular head seen from the side up close to the Gate. It moves backwards. Cut to a view from further back and stones and fire arrows bounce off its housing. Cut to the trolls at the back pulling the ram back on its chains and pausing.
Cut to a mound of twisted corpses, the fires fitfully lighting them. Behind it the sharp points of the black crown appear and the Witch-King rides slowly up the corpse-hill into view. All the sounds of the battle cease. Cut to the men on the battlements. One by one they let their weapons sag down and they bow their heads or close their eyes in resignation. Cut to the Witch-King. He draws a long thin sword and holds it up. Cut back to the trolls and they fling the shaft of the ram forward. Cut to the wolf-head striking the Gate. A deep reverberation sounds. Cut back briefly to the Witch-King. Cut back to Grond striking the Gate again and debris starts to fall from it. Cut to another strike.
Cut to the Witch-King again. He slowly rises in his stirrups. He gives out a terrible shriek that breaks up into articulated sounds. Red flames emerge and flicker up the blade of his sword and he brings it down and points it. Cut to Grond striking the gate again and there is a flash of red flame and the action changes to slow motion. The Gate splinters apart and the broken pieces slowly scatter and fly up and fall.
Cut to black.
Closing credits.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

Something to take your mind off the primaries. :D
The following episode is one of the pivotal ones. Though it will make the posts long, I think I have to use only two instalments rather than the usual three in order to make sense of the narrative. I hope it catches something of what Tolkien wrote. It may be that the second part, still to be posted, needs to be seen to fully appreciate the first half.

A silhouette of Sam from behind against a dull red night sky. He is staggering from side to side up a narrow rock gully. He stops and supports himself against a rock. Cut to a close-up of his face, filthy and haggard.
Sam: ‘My master’s alive and I let orcs take hold of him. Now I have to rescue him or perish. Hah! The perishing is more likely….. and easier.’ Cut to the narrow cleft outlined against the red sky as Sam’s voice continues: ‘Up there, at the top I’ll see Mordor at last.’ Cut to the silhouette again as Sam starts moving: ‘Hold on Mr Frodo, I’m coming!’
Cut to Sam standing within the cleft looking out and around. He and the rocks are lit with a blood-red light that pulses. The opening credits start; JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: Episode Twenty Four The Witch-King of Angmar etc. As the credits run, cut to the dimly lit plain of Gorgoroth and the distant volcano. Its smoke is subdued but it still glows bright enough to light up the pall of cloud above and the surrounding lands.
Cut to Sam looking to his left. Cut to the tower of Cirith Ungol seen from the side, sweeping downwards. In the distance is a long thin bridge that sweeps out from the cliffs. The camera pans downwards a short way to show steps that wend down the steep slope beside the tower. Everything is a dull red from the volcano.
Cut to a close-up of Sam’s head and shoulders. He appears to be listening. His hand creeps to his neck. Cut to a close-up of his hand pulling the chain and then the Ring from within his shirt. The Ring nestles in his palm and Sam’s eyes stare at it.
Sam: ‘Mr Frodo was right. You do talk. Put me on you say. Put you on and I’ll be Samwise the Strong, Hero of the Age. Armies will fall down and obey me and I can throw down Sauron. Turn this barren waste into a garden full of trees and flowers and fruit. Put you on and call you mine. Easy, just like that.’
The focus changes to his eyes and he looks out. Cut to a high view of the tiny Sam from behind within the cleft and the shadows and red fissured landscape of Mordor. Cut back to the close-up of Sam looking at the Ring in his hand. His fingers curl over it and he looks out again.
Sam: ‘No. I’m not big enough. He’d spot me right away and soon cow me. Anyway I’ve no call to command others. A garden big enough for my own hands is all I need.’ Cut to Sam stuffing the Ring back into his shirt. Cut to a close-up of the cone of Mount Doom and a gout of lava is thrown out.
Cut back to Sam: ‘Hah! Just when this Ring would help out and make me invisible is when I can’t use it! Oh well, here goes.’
Cut to Sam starting his way awkwardly down the steps.
Cut to an orc in black Morgul uniform. He clutches the mithril coat in his fist.
Cut to him running to camera out of the gateway of Cirith Ungol surrounded by several of his fellows. Arrows start to zip past the camera then one by one the Morgul orcs fall, struck from behind. Other orcs bearing the Red Eye come out of the gate carrying bows. As they bend and knife each body a tall heavily armoured orc comes out. He walks up and picks up the mithril coat. He is already carrying under his arm the elf cloak bundled up, its brooch visible, wrapped around Sam’s sword.
He turns to the others: ‘These must reach Barad-dûr or it’s the Black Pits for us. Follow me and watch out for the rest of those thieving scum from Morgul.’
He and the others run off and a moment later more black clad orcs look cautiously from the gate. Cut to a closer view.
One orc: ‘Don’t let them get away with that mithril coat. Get after them and then we can pay them back for what they did to Gorbag.’ They too run off.
The camera moves to the left of the tower until the steep steps at the side are seen. High up we see Sam trying to creep down without being seen.
Cut to him splayed flat against the wall near the gateway looking terrified.
Cut to a close-up: ‘Come on you sluggard! Now for it.’ Cut to Sam entering the dark arched gateway. Cut to Sam’s head, low in shot, passing the large carved figure of a grotesque three-headed vulture inside a niche in the wall. Cut to a close-up of the eyes on one head following him.
Cut to Sam, small in comparison, emerging from the archway. A bell clangs twice.
Cut to a closer view of Sam: ‘That’s done it! Now I’ve rung the door-bell. Well come on somebody! Tell Captain Shagrat that a great Elf warrior has called!’ He looks around. Cut to the courtyard and small piles of orc bodies lie about. Cut to a corner and dead orcs bearing the Red Eye lie clustered as if they were trapped. Cut to Shagrat sitting slumped against a wall, head bent forward and a spear in his belly. Cut to Gorbag stretched out on the ground, his hands around a knife hilt in his throat. Cut to Sam stepping over a body and scratching his head. Cut to a door ajar at the foot of the tower. Cut to Sam carefully entering. Cut to a dark passageway with flickering torches along the walls. Cut to Sam’s wary face looking from side to side as he passes along. Then we hear the sounds of clattering feet and Sam freezes. He fumbles at his neck and a tiny speck of white light appears.
Cut to an orc running down a wide twisting staircase to camera. Cut to the orc landing at the bottom of the steps and coming to a sudden stop. It looks up and squeals. Cut to the dark figure of Sam silhouetted by the torchlight bearing in one hand a sharply pointed blade glowing blue and a piercing white light at his throat.
Cut to the orc that stares in fright then with another squeak turns and runs up the steps again.
Cut to Sam grinning. He calls up: ‘Watch out! A great Elf warrior is coming up to skin you!’ Cut to Sam running up steps. Cut to him pausing at a landing to recover. Some orc bodies lie nearby.
Sam, through his panting: ‘Right at the top he said.’ He looks up the next flight of stairs and staggers on up.
Cut to a view from outside that covers much of the upper part of the tower. The camera zooms to a window near the top. Through the window we see Sam dragging himself slowly up.
Cut to a small room lit by torches. The camera looks across the room through a wide archway in a dividing wall towards a window on the far side. Sam’s head appears from the floor below the window and looks around. He comes up into view cautiously. The camera follows him around as he checks all the walls, looking out of the windows then frantically patting then drumming the walls.
He turns to face the centre: ‘That orc said take him to the top but he’s not here. There’s nothing.’ He still looks around. ‘What do I do now? I’ve nothing left to give any more.’ He walks to a window to the left. The glow reddens his face. ’Is it over then?’ Cut to the view from the window and we see the distant volcano still casting a dull red glare. Cut to Sam sinking down, his back sliding down the dividing wall. Fade to a longer view of Sam still sitting in the corner of the room. Dissolve over it a torch starting to gutter and smoke. Cut to Sam sitting in the corner, his face a pool of red from the window. Cut to the torch going out.
Cut back to Sam’s face: ‘This is where it ends then. I tried my best. I really did. I knew I’d go wrong. That’s Sam Gamgee for you. Now it’s the end of the Shire; the end of everything. I’ll not see Mr Frodo again.’
Fade to a distant view of Grond being pulled away from the shattered gate of Minas Tirith. Fade to Denethor laying brushwood around the body of Faramir on a slab.
Cut back to Sam: ‘I might have saved the Shire but it was too much for me. Those dear old hobbits in the Green Dragon back in Bywater.’ He wraps his arms round himself for comfort and smiles at the memory. He hums tunelessly then starts to sing softly the song we heard crossing the Marish:
‘Ho ho ho to the bottle I go
To heal my heart and drown my woe.’
He gives a wry laugh and shakes his head.
Fade to a scene from the second episode. We see Sam’s feet as he pats neatly into shape a ridge of emerging potato plants. Fade to him wheeling a barrow down the hill from Bag End in the soft twilight towards yellow windows. He is whistling a tune.
Fade back to Sam sitting against the wall and he starts to hum that tune. With a voice dry and cracked he starts to sing softly. He has to stop and swallow at one point.
‘In Western lands beneath the Sun
The flowers may rise in Spring,
The trees may bud, the waters run,
The merry finches sing.
Or there maybe ‘tis cloudless night
And swaying beeches bear
The Elven-stars as jewels white
Amid their branching hair.’

After the first two lines, fade briefly to a short fat tattooed man wearing only a kilt of foliage. He stops walking among trees and looks up and sniffs the air. Cut to a side view of a great black galley in the dark, two banks of oars pull against the water. We hear the mewing of gulls. The sails flutter and fill and foam starts at the prow of the ship. The oars rise from the water and the camera pans back to show a long line of galleys stretched out along the curves of the river.
Fade back to Sam. He is standing now and looking out of the window.
Now he sings strongly:
‘Though here at journey’s end I lie
In darkness buried deep,
Beyond all towers strong and high,
Beyond all mountains steep,
Above all shadows rides the Sun
And Stars forever dwell:
I will not say the Day is done,
Nor bid the Stars farewell.’
Again after the first two lines, fade to jagged red peaks against dark brown clouds. The clouds split for a moment and a solitary bright star is seen briefly then the clouds cover it. Cut to Pippin running down broad steps in an empty street.
Fade back to Sam’s face as he finishes the last two lines.

Cut to a view from inside the Gate of Minas Tirith along the causeway road filled with fires and heaps of corpses. Tiny in the distance the Witch-King approaches. Fades bring him closer to camera. The demonic horse picks its way over smaller and larger heaps of bodies, not quite taking a straight path. All is silent. Cut to a medium distance view from behind him, off to one side somewhat as he progresses to the broken Gate. Everything is still silent. He halts outside the Gate.
Cut to a white horse’s head and a hand bearing a ruby ring strokes between his ears.
Cut to Gandalf’s impassive face, lit by the motionless flames of torches set along the sides of the Gateway entrance.
Cut to a view from behind the towering black cloaked figure of the Witch-King and we see the smaller figure of Gandalf on Shadowfax alone within the Gateway.
Cut to a closer view of Gandalf on Shadowfax.
Gandalf, in a commanding and echoing voice: ‘You cannot enter here. Go back to the abyss prepared for you. Go back to the nothingness that awaits you and your Master.’

Cut to a low angled shot looking up at the flaming eyes of the horse-skull and above it the bulk of the Witch-King. He raises an arm and pulls back his hood. Between the bulky shoulders and the sharp pointed crown only dull red flames lick.
The Witch-King in deep sepulchral tones: ‘Old fool, old fool. This is my hour. Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain.’
He draws his thin bladed sword and lifts it up and red flames flicker up the blade.
Cut to Gandalf’s face. We hear the sound of a small gust of wind and the torches flicker. Cut to a snowy mountain peak; suddenly a beam of pink lights up one face of it. Cut to a view over the dark landscape and a tiny break of pink and gold appears on the horizon below the pall of cloud.
Cut to the cockerel in its cage that we saw on the journey into Minas Tirith. It moves and stretches up and crows. Cut to an empty street of Minas Tirith and the cock-crow echoes.
Cut back to Gandalf’s face and we hear it more softly. Gandalf tilts his head as if he is listening then looks back at the Witch-King quizzically. There is a pause. Silence. Then a faint horn call. Then another, then another then a chorus of distant horn-calls. Cut to the Witch-king. He lowers his sword and turns his horse suddenly away from the Gate. He rides off rapidly. Cut to Gandalf’s still face. Cut to black.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

As that first part of the episode was so long, I will split the rest of it into two posts..................

Cut to thick woodland and to the pot-bellied man in a kilt of leaves, surrounded by others men bearing blowpipes and bows.

Ghân-buri-Ghân: Horse-man, have you come into our woods to hunt us?’

Cut to Théoden: ‘We hunt only orcs and we must reach Mundburg before it burns.’

Cut to Ghân-buri-Ghân: ‘Fires burn already in the Stone-City but your horse-road has many orcs upon it; many more than horse=men.’

Cut to Éomer: ‘How do you know that?’

Cut to Ghân, he narrows his eyes and scowls: ‘We are not children. I count many things. You have a score of scores counted ten times and five. They have more.’ Brief cut to Éomer frowning and moving his lips as he counts silently.
Ghân: ‘Many more orcs stand before the Stone-City. We can help you kill orcs. We know all paths. We were here before the men of the Stone-City came from the sea. Then they carved a road in these hills but now it lies forgotten. I can show you that road.’

Cut to Théoden: ‘You will have great reward for this and our friendship forever.’

Cut to Ghân giving a surly look: ‘We need no gift. Kill orcs with your bright iron. If you live, leave us and do not hunt us like beasts any more. Follow me!’ He turns.
Cut to the Rohirrim riding in file through woods. Cut to a mass of horsemen spreading out from dark woods on to an open hillside. Cut to Ghân standing before the mounted Théoden and Éomer.

Ghân: ‘Orcs shake down the stone walls with thunder. They are still busy. They will not watch for enemies behind them.’ He turns to go. Cut to the scene during Sam’s song where he pauses and sniffs. Cut to the tip of a slender fir tree bending against the dull white of the mountain tops.

Cut back to Ghân: ’I smell the sea. The wind changes.’ Cut to Ghân and the others disappearing into bushes.
Cut to Merry behind his rider in a long troop of horsemen. His rider guides his horse to ride slowly away from the troop towards the smaller company around the King’s banner.
Cut to Théoden, Éomer, Elfhelm and Grimbold.

Théoden: ‘We will soon pass the outer wall. Grimbold, take your eored to the left towards the River to stop fresh strength arriving on the field. Elfhelm, lead your eored to the right to trap the enemy against the walls where there is no escape for them. Éomer, sister-son, your eored will ride behind my banner, the White Horse of the Eorlingas. All of you, strike wherever the enemy gathers and seek out and destroy any horsemen they have. We cannot make more plans yet till we see the field.’
Then Théoden rides between his marshals to face his Riders and in a loud voice: ‘Now is the hour Riders of the Mark, sons of Eorl! Foes are before you and your homes far behind. Oaths you have taken. Now fulfil them all!’
Cut to Merry pounding up and down behind his rider. He has an arm hooked through his rider’s sword belt. Cut to a crescent of orcs watching as a stretch of wall explodes. They roar and caper then look round in sudden fright. Cut to a line of horsemen with levelled spears. The horses ride over camera to a thundering of hoofs.
Cut to Théoden and his standard-bearer cresting a ridge. He rides alone down a short way and halts as he is joined by Éomer. Behind him a long line of horsemen appear on the crest, stretching into the dark. The camera tracks along the line of riders to show the size of Théoden’s force.
Cut to Théoden’s face in close-up. Cut to the City and the fiery trenches around it. Fires burn in the first circle of the city and spots of red flame dot the rest of the blackness around the city into the distance. Cut back to Théoden. For a moment his face shows the magnitude of the task.

Théoden, softly to himself: ‘So this is where it will be.’
Cut to a view behind the line of horsemen on the ridge and again Merry’s rider moves towards the King’s banner.
Cut to the King’s banner. It stirs and flaps. Cut to the City and the fields around it and on the horizon a pink and yellow gleam is seen. Then a sharp red flash by the City walls. Cut to Théoden’s face now dimly lit by a morning’s light as a deep boom echoes. His face becomes alert and determined and alive.
Cut back to see him mounted on his horse. He draws his sword and holds it high and the new light catches it.

Théoden: ‘Arise, arise Riders of Théoden!
Fell deeds awake: fire and slaughter!
Spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered,
a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!
Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!’

He holds the last words on a long rising note. Guthlaf, his standard bearer rides down with a spear as Théoden sheathes his sword, takes up a spiral silver horn and blows a series of notes on it. His horse rears and Théoden takes the spear from Guthlaf then gallops down the hill.
Cut to Éomer. He points his sword: ‘Follow the King!’
Cut to the line of Riders on the crest and it starts to move down the slope and hundreds of horns blend into a single chorus.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

And the final part of the episode. More than others I feel that this episode needs to be read as one sequence rather than three instalments but that makes it a bit of a challenge to read.

Cut to Merry. The camera tracks with him; he looks terrified and unstable, trying to keep hold of his rider’s sword belt. He tries to look around his rider to see where they are headed. A flurry of brief shots follow where the Rohirrim in separate groups ride down groups of orcs and men, either couching their spears or stabbing down with them; driving them into fire trenches or trapping them against the high city walls to the sound of thundering hoofs. All the while the light grows. Cut to Éomer at a halt pointing with his sword to give orders. Cut to a broad open field and in the middle distance Théoden and a dozen of his guard approach at a gallop. The sun catches his golden shield and his banner streams out.
Cut to an important and richly dressed mounted Haradrim chieftain. Near him a rider bears a standard of a black snake on a red ground. A horseman near him points his arm. The camera pulls back to show a line of mounted Haradrim drawing curved swords and breaking into a trot. Cut to Théoden still riding hard in front of his men. He lowers his lance and couches it. Cut to the camera tracking the lance-head, the background blurred with speed. A sudden crash and a confused impression of a body swept away. Cut to the chieftain on the ground, the broken spear in him. Cut to Théoden casting the broken butt down and sweeping his sword out. As the rest of his guard fall upon the Haradrim he pushes his horse through the melee.
Cut to the standard bearer of the Haradrim turning his horse as Théoden rides up behind him. He lifts the staff up to block Théoden’s sword blow but it cuts through the staff to his neck and he falls. Cut to the snake standard trampled under the horses’ hoofs in the melee.
Cut to a high shot looking down at Théoden resting and panting and regal, ringed by his guards. Were we to look hard we would see Merry and his rider at the outside of the circle. One guard is on foot walking up to Théoden and bearing aloft the banner of the Haradrim to cheers from the others. Théoden looks around him and holds up his sword in triumph to more cheers then he lowers it. One man looks up and then others do and then a grey pallor blocks out the sunlight. The men scream and their horses buck and rear up and fall or gallop off riderless. Cut to the men staggering or falling to their knees. Cut to Théoden’s face looking up in disbelief. Cut to the sky and the screen is filled with a great black winged shape and the terrible shriek of a Nazgûl. Cut to Théoden trying to control his horse.

Théoden: ‘To me! To me! Fear no darkness!’ His horse rears and a black javelin strikes its flank and it tumbles over and Théoden vanishes from view.
Cut to a view of the collapsed horse with Théoden caught under it. Two great scaly talons descend and dig into the horse’s body. Then either side leathery wings drop to shade it and a horrible vulture head comes down and rips at the horse’s neck.
Cut to a view from further back and the black bulk and sharply pointed crown of the Witch-King is seen in the centre of the quivering black wings. He slides from the creatures' back and turns to face the camera. Within the dull red flames that divide the crown from the shoulders are two bright red eyes. He walks slowly around in a wide circle about the black winged beast clubbing the dazed guards one by one with a sharp tined mace.
Cut to the legs of the Witch-King as he finishes his last killing and turns to the body of Théoden, now more visible below the folded wings of the beast.
Cut to a full view of the Witch-King standing by the horse.
Cut to Merry on all fours beside the body of a horse. Cut to his face. He gags and almost vomits.
Merry, whispering: ‘King’s man! King’s man! You must stay by him. As a father you shall be to me, I told him.’ He shakes his head and squeezes his eyes shut.
Cut back to Merry on all fours and he tries to crouch out of sight. Some yards beyond him and the cover of the horse the back of the Witch-King towers up.
Cut back to Merry’s face still facing down to the ground. He is shaking his head and weeping quietly and tears drop off his face. As he hears a voice he stops and opens his eyes.

A sharp piercing voice: ‘Begone foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!’
Merry turns his head to look towards the back of the Witch-King: ‘Dernhelm?’
Cut to a view from behind of a single Rohirrim warrior looking up at the Witch-King. His sword is drawn, his helmet is lost and above the shield slung on his back we see his golden head. The fell beast stretches out its neck and watches him beadily.

The Witch-King in a deep slow sepulchral voice: ‘Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey or he will not slay you in your turn but bear you away to the houses of Lamentation, beyond all darkness; where thy flesh will be devoured and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye.’

The warrior takes a step forward: ‘Do what you will but I will hinder it if I may.’

With-King: ‘Hinder me? Thou fool! No man may hinder me.’

Cut to a close-up of Merry again still facing the ground. We hear a musical laughter of amusement and Merry opens his eyes wide in shock. He kneels upright to look.
Cut to the warrior looking up to camera, laughing as if at a joke then turning grim. In an action like the Witch-King pulling back his cowl when he confronted Gandalf, Éowyn raises her arm and pulls out her long golden hair and shakes it about her shoulders.
Éowyn: ‘No living man am I! You look upon a woman, Éowyn, Eomund’s daughter.’ A rasp enters her voice. She levels her sword .’You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone if you be not deathless.’ She steps forward again. ’For living or dark undead I will smite you if you touch him!’
Cut to Merry kneeling upright, tears in his eyes and shaking his head. He draws his sword and looks down at it. For a brief moment we see overlaid a vision of Tom Bombadil listening to the sword. Then it fades and the camera comes up to Merry’s face and he whispers: ‘I cannot let her die alone.’ The camera pulls back and he rises into a crouch.
Cut to the vast black naked monstrous vulture. It screeches, spreads its wings and launches itself at camera, talons outstretched.
Cut to Éowyn sidestepping and delivering a two handed cut to the neck and severing the head. She steps back as the creature convulses and spouts black blood. Cut to Éowyn as she slides her shield round from her back and she raises her blade again. Cut to the Witch-King still looming and motionless and dwarfing Éowyn. Then with a scream he rushes forward and beats down ferociously on to Éowyn’s upheld shield with his mace. The shield splinters into pieces and Éowyn is crushed to the ground. She looks up at him, helpless but defiant. The Witch-King pauses a moment then slowly raises his mace as Éowyn looks up at him.
Cut to Merry running in slow motion. The camera pans to follow him. He reaches the back of the Nazgûl, lifts the bottom of the black mail shirt with one hand and stabs upwards as hard as he can. There is a red flash and Merry screams and clutches his sword arm and falls back. The camera travels slowly up the Witch-King’s body up to the mace held high in the air. Then it follows the mace-head down, still in slow motion as it misses Éowyn on her knees. Cut to the Witch-King sprawled on one knee but still dwarfing Éowyn.
Cut to Merry in real time, clutching his arm: ‘Éowyn! Éowyn! Now!’
Cut to Éowyn, dazed and on her knees, supporting herself with her sword arm on the ground. She staggers up to her feet and sways, looking at the tumbled Nazgûl, then with a final twist of her body she thrusts into the empty space beneath the crown. She too screams with pain. She sways again then tumbles forward on to the black body and it collapses to the ground and we see Merry revealed behind. A moment of silence and stillness and then a low moaning starts and gets louder, a cry full of fear. The camera pans upwards into the sky as the moan continues then it fades to silence.
Cut to a view from above of Éowyn stretched out motionless upon the black cloak. The camera pulls back to show the corpse of the black beast and next to it the white horse then it pulls further back to show the circle of scattered bodies of the King’s guard.
Cut to Merry, holding his arm, kneeling down beside Théoden who is still trapped under his horse.
Cut to a close-up of Théoden. Merry’s hand is stroking the king's hair and his eyes open.
Théoden: ‘You can do nothing Master Holbytla, my body is broken. Is Éomer here? He must be King next…..... No longer will I be ashamed to meet my fathers for I felled the Black Serpent. A grim morn and a glad day and a golden sunset.’ His eyes close and tears drop on to him.
He opens his eyes again: ‘Now I shall never sit in Meduseld and hear your herb-lore.’ He smiles. We hear a thundering of hoofs. Cut to a troop of riders halting and Éomer jumping down from his horse. Cut to Éomer and another rider kneeling by Théoden. Merry backs away from everyone until he is out of the scene.
Cut again to Théoden’s face: ‘Éomer? Is that you? My eyes darken. Hail King of the Mark. Ride to victory!’ Then softer, ‘Bid your sister farewell.’ His face slows down and his eyes glaze.
Cut to Éomer straightening and his men stand around him. He bows his head for a moment then looks up.
He holds his hand up: ‘Mighty was the fallen; meet was his ending!
Bear him with honour from the field before it is ridden over. Yea and all his brave knights too.’ He walks over and picks up the banner of the Eorlingas. ‘Guthlaf, his banner bearer.’ Éomer walks to a body. ’Deorwine, chief of his guard.’ Éomer goes to lift the body from the black cloak. Cut to Éowyn rolling on to her back, her golden hair spreading out.
Cut to Éomer standing up swiftly in horror with an involuntary cry.
He kneels again: ’Éowyn? What madness and devilry is this? How came you here?’ He stands again and gives a heart rending cry upwards.
The camera pans as he runs to his horse and leaps upon it.
Cut to a close-up as he looks from one side to the other frantically and bellows: ‘Death! Death take us all! Death!’ He gallops forward and the camera is filled with horses passing. A chorus of cries thunder out. ‘Death!’
Cut to Merry on his own watching the Rohirrim ride away. He sways and still clutches his arm. He wipes his eyes with his left arm. The camera pulls away until he is small in the wreckage of battle.
The scene fades to black.
Closing credits.
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Voronwë the Faithful
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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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for splitting

Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

I'm sorry there has been a delay in continuing the story, partly because my daughter visited us for a week but mainly because the interweaving of many themes becomes complex at this point and I want to do proper justice to the battle scenes and to Mordor. I also need to write well ahead to get the balance and timings right. I hope you haven't lost the thread during the interval.

A dark mausoleum filled with rows of stone tables and effigies. In the foreground the body of Faramir rests on a stone table packed around with bundles of wood. Denethor kneels by the side. Cut to Pippin running up the narrow empty street. The opening credits start, JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings Episode Twenty Five: The Battle of the Pelennor Fields etc. The credits pause as Pippin speaks to the guard by the small door in the wall.
Pippin, breathlessly: ‘The Lord Denethor is not himself. Allow no fire through this door.’

The guard: ‘Are you the master of this city, Halfling? I follow only the Lord Denethor’s commands.’
The credits resume as Pippin runs past the ancient dead tree in the Court of the Citadel. They pause again as he passes another guard and Beregond calls out.

Beregond: ‘Master Peregrin. I heard Faramir lies in the Silent Street. He is dead then.’

Pippin halts suddenly: ‘Oh Beregond! I am glad it’s you. Faramir still lives but his father will burn him. Can you stop it?’

Beregond: ‘I may not leave my post.’

Pippin: ‘You have to choose between orders and the life of Faramir. I think Denethor has turned mad in his grief. I have to find Gandalf.’ He runs on.
Any remaining credits play as Pippin runs down the slopes and steps of the City. Cut to him running along a burning street when a sudden boom makes him stagger and catch himself against a wall. Cut to Pippin from behind at the end of a dark street; an open square beyond him. Another great boom and the buildings in the square light up with a red flash. Cut to Pippin peering around a wall.
Cut to Gandalf from behind on Shadowfax, still within the archway of the Gate. Beyond him we see the tall figure of the Witch-King turn his demonic horse and gallop away down the corpse strewn road. We hear the faint horn-calls of the Rohirrim. Gandalf moves Shadowfax forward then stops him and looks back over his shoulder. Cut to a close-up of his face.

Gandalf: ‘Who is there? Come forward.’
Cut to Pippin emerging from the shadows behind a wall.
Cut to Gandalf, fiercely: ‘Why are you here? You are not permitted to
leave the Citadel.’
Cut to Pippin running up to Gandalf’s horse and looking outwards past him, his face shining.

Pippin: ‘The horns of Rohan! They have come after all.’ His face turns to urgency and he looks up. ‘Gandalf, Denethor is out of his mind. He will burn Faramir alive if he is not stopped. Can you help?’

Cut to Gandalf looking ou towards the Pelennor: ‘I have no time. The Lord of the Nazgûl is out there and may yet bring ruin on us.’

Cut to Pippin reaching up to Gandalf’s leg: ‘No one else can save him.’

Gandalf: ‘If I try then others will die. How can the Enemy do his work in the very heart of our stronghold? Very well, up you come.’ Gandalf reaches his hand down.
Cut to Shadowfax galloping along a street. Cut to Gandalf meeting a mounted Imrahil.
Gandalf, shouting: ‘Rohan has come! Take command of the forces of the City!’ They gallop past each other.
Cut to Shadowfax riding past the dead tree in the Court. Cut to the open gate in the wall and the body of the guard stretched on the ground. A brief cut to Gandalf and Pippin hurrying down the narrow street to sounds of shouts and clashing blades.
Cut to Beregond defending the door of the mausoleum against men with swords and torches. We hear shouts of ‘Traitor!’ and ‘Outlaw!’
The door behind Beregond opens and Denethor comes out bearing a sword.

Denethor: ‘Must I slay this renegade myself?’ He raises his sword. The camera pulls back to show Gandalf hurrying in from one side. He stretches out his arm and with a small white flash Denethor’s sword flies from his hand. Gandalf turns and sweeps his arm towards the assailants. A brief cut to them sprawling backwards across the street.

Cut back to Gandalf in fury: ‘Is there not war enough outside these walls? Where is your son?’

Cut to a distracted Denethor pointing inside: ‘He lies within burning. We shall all burn soon.’ Gandalf appears and pushes him aside and enters.
Cut to Faramir on the stone table, faggots piled around him. Cut to a close-up of his face, still shivering.
Fade to Faramir back in the dark passageway, pulling vainly on the handle of the door that is rimmed by golden light. Again he turns. Down the passageway a stately woman in a blue gown approaches, pauses then turns to enter a side door.

Cut to Faramir, muffled: ‘Mother, help me!’ Cut to Faramir running in slow motion down the passageway. Again the camera follows him into the room. The woman in the blue gown faces away. Faramir’s hand goes up to her long golden tresses.
Faramir: ‘Help me Mother, I am lost!’ The tresses pull away in his hand revealing a death’s head.
Cut to Gandalf lifting Faramir down in his arms. Faramir calls out weakly, ‘Mother!’

Cut to Denethor, his hand to his mouth: ‘He still remembers her! Do not take him from me.’

Cut to Gandalf, still holding Faramir: ‘He must seek healing first and maybe not find it. Your duty is to go out to the battle for your City. You know this in your heart. Would you be a heathen king who murders his family to ease his own death?’
Cut to Gandalf laying Faramir down outside. Denethor follows him out. Cut to a close-up of Denethor wavering then he shakes his head. The camera pulls back a bit.

Denethor: ‘Did you think me blind? Your hope is mere ignorance. The Enemy has found it! You may win that battle outside for an hour or so but you have seen but one finger of the strength of Sauron. All the East is moving against us.’ He pulls back his cloak and takes the palantír from a satchel at his hip. He brandishes it. ’I have seen it! Even this new wind from the south speeds the Black Fleet of Umbar up the river to the battlefield. I know your mind Mithrandir. You would rule behind a ragged usurper from the north. You left that Halfling by my side as your spy but I will be no man’s fool. If I cannot be Lord of this City I will have naught; nether life diminished nor love halved nor honour abated!’
The camera follows him as he darts forward and picks up a brand guttering on the cobbles. He turns and swiftly goes back in the mausoleum. Cut to Denethor inside and he tosses the torch on to the slab and it blazes up immediately. Cut to Denethor walking grimly to camera, the flames lighting up his body as he gets nearer. He holds the palantír in both hands. He walks until his face and eyes fill the screen. Cut to Pippin looking up to Gandalf as a great cry is heard inside the mausoleum. A very brief cut to Denethor in flames standing upright on the slab, the palantír held up above his head. Cut to the palantír held between two hands, the flames reflected on its surface. The globe slips down between the hands and falls.

Cut to Gandalf on the steps outside. He looks down to Faramir, Beregond is kneeling by him.
Gandalf: ‘Beregond, but for your treason, Faramir, Captain of the White Tower would also lie burning inside there. Take these men and carry your Captain to the Houses of Healing.’
Cut to the group passing the fountain and the dead tree. They halt as the long drawn out moan of the dying Witch-King is heard. The sun comes out and lights up all the white stonework. Cut to Gandalf walking to a vantage point and looking out. The sun and wind catch his robes and light him up. Cut to a close-up of his eyes searching this way and that.
Last edited by ToshoftheWuffingas on Mon May 26, 2008 12:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

And here is the middle part of the episode...........

Cut to Merry by himself among the dead horses and men. A fence of spears has been erected in a circle. Merry looks around and walks over and picks up his small shield and slings it over his back. He has to use his left hand and his right hangs down. He picks up his sword. Cut to the blade in his hand. It melts into holes like a thin slab of ice.
Cut to Merry’s face, deadened and blank: ‘Thank you Tom.’, he whispers.
Cut to Merry walking behind a small horse-drawn cart that is surrounded by warriors and banners. The City is in the distance uphill. Merry can’t keep up and he stops to ease himself as the cart gets further away.
Cut to Imrahil leading a large troop of horsemen to camera. Cut to Imrahil halting by the bier. He dismounts to honour the king but looks up. Cut to the two bodies of Théoden and Éowyn in their armour.

Cut back to Imrahil: ‘Have even the women of the Rohirrim ridden out to our aid?’ He bends over her and listens then puts the vambrace on his arm close to her lips. He turns and points to his arm. ‘Look closely! She is not dead. Bear her to the City swiftly!’ Cut to Imrahil mounted again and waving his force forward. The cavalry start moving and fill the screen.
Fade to Merry trudging on his own. A gust of wind catches his cloak then rain starts to fall. (There will be no hackneyed cracks of thunder!!)
The camera sweeps up from him and over the fields to horsemen in the distance. Cut to a succession of brief shots of the Rohirrim attacking men and orcs. We see lines of orcs run between troops of horsemen or in front of camera to give a sense of chaos. We see a Rohan warrior surrounded by foes. His horse rises and kicks out with all four legs. Cut to a column of infantry marching with speed out of the City Gate. Cut to the bulky mounted figure of Forlong with his great white beard leading out his cheering halberdiers.
Cut to barges landing at the River bank and more orcs pouring out. Cut to a tall, grotesquely armoured and helmeted figure bearing the Death’s Head sign of Minas Morgul on his surcoat stepping ashore and looking about. Others follow him off the barge and he gives them orders and they go off in different directions.
Cut to a platform being hauled up on to the back of a mumak. Cut to an armoured mumak thundering through lines of men. Cut to green clad archers running up and shooting arrows up at the mumak’s head. One is lifted up and thrown down and stamped upon.
Cut to Grimbold and Rohirrim near the River held back by a line of pikes. A scaled troll walks through the ranks of pikemen and clubs Grimbold from his horse. Arrows and javelins bounce off it as it bends down to bite at Grimbold’s throat. It stands up again with a bloody maw and roars.
Cut to Forlong on his horse surrounded by axemen in Eastern looking armour. We see him tumble from his horse.
Cut to Éomer and Elfhelm on horseback by the banner of Eorl.

Elfhelm: ‘Grimbold has fallen and we have not won the River crossings. The Enemy’s strength still comes on to the field.’

Éomer looks about him: ‘We can ride no further for the quays of the Harlond are close.’(A brief cut to the jetties and wharves along the River bank and beyond them the River stretching away.)
Éomer turns to his standard bearer: ‘Make the call for a shield wall and get the horses inside it. I will make a last stand on this hill.’
Fade to Imrahil and his cavalry pushing against a mass of the enemy. The camera rises and far beyond, over the dense throng of Mordor we see the long line of the shields of the Rohirrim and above them their banners. The camera zooms steadily towards them. Cut to the double-ranked shields. Javelins, stones, arrows and hatchets bounce off or stick in them. Cut to Éomer again and his banner flying behind him. He looks around at his men and smiles grimly.
‘Out of doubt, out of the dark to the day’s rising.
(Cut for this line to the White Horse banner of Eorl rippling in the wind)
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing. (Cut back to Éomer’s grim face)
To hope’s end I rode and to heart’s breaking (he turns his gaze)
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall.’
A pause then the camera follows his stare to the land falling down to the jetties of the Harlond. Stretching along the line of the River are scores of high black galleys.
Fade to black.

Fade in to a small round dim room. The camera travels around scattered debris and ordure on the floor till it reaches a pile of rags. We realise a small pale naked body is visible in the gloom. Cut to a closer view and we see the figure has covered his head with his arms as if to block out everything. We hear the sound of bolts being slid. Cut to a trap-door rising and an ugly orc face appears lit from below. He rises up with a lantern. Cut to the backs of his bandy legs. Beyond them we see the unmoving naked figure. By the side of the legs an arm hangs down with a whip in its hand, the thong coiling in the mess. We hear the orc’s voice.
Snaga: ‘I heard you squeaking just now. What have you got to sing about? You haven’t long to live in peace. It’s off to Barad-dûr for you before soon. Now keep your trap shut!’
The whip is raised out of sight then lands on Frodo’s back. Frodo cries out, jerks and rolls into a ball.
Two hobbit legs appear behind the orc. The whip is jerked back out of sight for a second blow then a severed arm drops bloodily to the floor still bearing the whip. Cut to the maimed orc spinning around screeching to face a terrible Sam with a shining blue blade. It runs and stumbles around the chamber away from Sam. Cut to Sam from behind as he delivers a thrust downwards twice then he turns.
Cut to Frodo still rolled up as Sam falls to his knees next to him and embraces him.

Sam: ‘Mr Frodo my dear. It’s Sam. I’ve come.’
Cut to Frodo’s face over Sam’s shoulder. He unclenches his eyes.

Frodo: ‘There was an orc with a whip and it turns into Sam. I have had horrible dreams. Was that you singing Sam or was that a dream?’
Cut to Sam looking down on Frodo’s naked back. A purulent yellow circle on his neck is ringed with deep red. The camera travels down to the weals across his flank and back. Cut to Sam squeezing his eyes tight.

Sam: ‘Yes Mr Frodo, that was me. I’d given up hope. Almost.’
Cut to a side view of the two as Sam pulls away to look into Frodo’s face.

Frodo: ‘I fell into foul dreams but when I awoke it was worse. Orcs were all around me. They stripped me and questioned me till I thought I’d go mad. I can never forget it.’ Sam puts his finger gently on Frodo’s lips

Sam: ‘You won’t if you talk about it. Now we’d better get away from here before we see some more.. Do you think you can walk?’
Cut to Frodo rising carefully, his arm over Sam’s shoulder. Cut again to the livid yellow and red wound on his neck and the whip marks criss-crossing his back and buttocks and legs.

Frodo: ‘I think I can walk though something has hurt my neck badly. Are we safe?’
Cut to Sam walking Frodo slowly around the chamber: ‘I think the orcs quarrelled about your things Mr Frodo and took to killing each other for them. All I found were bodies. I expect more will turn up soon so we’d better find some clothes for you. You can’t walk through Mordor in nobbut your skin.’ Sam attempts a little laugh.
Cut to Frodo reaching out and grabbing Sam’s shoulders.

Frodo: ‘They took everything Sam! Do you understand? Everything!’
Frodo releases his hold and clutches his own arms and looks away from Sam’s face.
‘I failed Sam. Do you realise? Sauron will get the Ring soon. Even if we leave here we can’t escape. No one can escape. Even if all the Elves cross over the Sea it will not be wide enough to keep him out.’

Cut to Sam smiling with satisfaction: ‘No, they didn’t take everything Mr Frodo. Our quest hasn’t failed – not yet. I took it, begging your pardon, to keep it safe.’ Sam starts to pull the chain out from inside his shirt.

Cut to Frodo turning back to Sam: ‘You’ve got it? Sam, you are a marvel!’ Frodo stretches his hand out and snaps his fingers.’Here, give it to me! You can’t have it. Give it to me at once!’

Cut to Sam staring at the Ring swinging in front of his face: ‘Alright Mr Frodo. But you are in Mordor now and soon you’ll see the Fiery Mountain and all. You’ll find the Ring very heavy and hard to bear. I will help you carry if you like.’

Cut to Frodo baring his teeth and snarling: ‘How dare you! You thief!’
He steps forward arm stretched out and comes back with the Ring and chain in his fist. He looks at it triumphantly. The camera pulls in to his face and eyes. Then he looks across and he blinks and the camera pulls back to show his awareness.
Cut to Sam on his knees sobbing his heart out. Cut back to Frodo’s face and tears come into his eyes. Cut to Frodo kneeling with his arm around Sam.
Frodo: ‘What have I said? After all you have done! Forgive me Sam. It is the terrible power of this Ring. I wish it had never been found. Please don’t mind me. I have to carry this to the end. It cannot be altered.’
Sam looks up trying to control himself and wiping his eyes with his sleeve.

Sam, talking through sniffs: ‘I understand Mr Frodo. I know what it feels like now.’ He looks around. ‘I can still help. If we are in Mordor we have to dress up in Mordor fashion. Look, put my cloak around you for now while I try to find something for us to wear.’
Fade to Frodo in the cloak sitting with his knees drawn up and looking at the Ring. As the trapdoor rises and Sam comes up to scatter orc gear on the floor, Frodo hides the Ring again.
Cut to Frodo and Sam both in orc armour and grinning to each other.

Sam: ‘A perfect little orc if I may be so bold.’

Frodo laughs: ‘Have you enquired about inns on the way?’

Sam: ‘Bless me sir, I forgot about food and drink. That could be a bad business.’

Frodo: ‘I have been picking up the lembas that the orcs threw down. They could not stand the smell of it. But they slashed open my water flask to search it. We shall have to be sparing with water.’
Cut to the two hobbits with small shields on their backs at the Gateway. Sam starts to walk into the dark archway when with several shrieks six vulture heads dart out and snap at him. Sam jumps backwards in shock. Cut to the heads moving like cobras. Cut to the two hobbits looking at each other in fright.
Frodo: ‘Do you still have the starglass Sam?’ Sam pulls out the spark of light.

Sam: Gilthoniel! A Elbereth!’

Frodo by his side: ‘Aiya elenion ancalima!’ The spark swells in light.
Cut to the writhing heads and they freeze in mid motion and the two hobbits run, ducking under them. Cut to the hobbits running out of the Gateway as a bell starts clanging.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

It's time to finish the episode. Frodo and Sam begin their trek through Mordor.....

Cut to a narrow bridge spanning a small valley. We see in the gloom the tiny figures of the hobbits start to run across it.
Cut to a near shot of the two upon the bridge. Beyond them in the distance are the dots of red torches.

Cut to Frodo’s face: ‘Real orcs would be running to the tower, not away from it. We have to get off this bridge.’ Cut to the torches closer.

Cut to Sam: ‘We’ll need wings then.’ Cut to the torches. Cut to two sets of knuckles on the parapet. They vanish. Cut to the side view of the bridge again as torches bob along in the opposite direction amid a clamour.
Cut to Frodo and Sam among arching brambles. Sam is sucking the back of his hand and Frodo is trying to disentangle himself.
Sam: ‘These thorns must be a foot long. Even orc mail doesn’t keep them out. Just what I’d expect to grow in Mordor.’
Cut to them free of the thorns and looking about.
Sam: ‘Where to now Mr Frodo?’

Frodo: ‘I was shown a map of Mordor in Rivendell. We must get away from this road quickly. North up this valley leads eventually to the Black Gates. It’s the way they’ll least expect us to take.’
Brief cuts of the two scrambling and tumbling down a slope scattered with dead trees. Cut to the two in a broad dry river bed. Frodo is lagging behind Sam who stops and waits.

Frodo, panting: ‘It’s no good. I can’t manage it with this mail shirt on.’

Sam: ‘But you need something to stop a stab in the dark. Gollum is still about somewhere for one thing.’

Cut to Frodo’s face. He shakes his head wearily: ‘Sam dear lad. I am tired, weary and I haven’t a hope left but I have to go on trying. This extra weight is killing me. Please don’t think I am ungrateful for your foul work among those bodies. Ah Sam. This Ring is so heavy.’ (Frodo looks upwards) ‘I see it in my mind all the time like a great wheel of fire.’

Cut to Sam: ‘Why bless you, I’d carry you on my own back if I could.’
Cut to Frodo discarding his mail shirt. They walk on. Cut to the two as they walk side by side.

Frodo: ‘This blind dark has got into my heart. As I lay in prison I tried to remember the Brandywine River and Woody End and the water running through the mill at Hobbiton but I can’t see them now.’

Sam: ‘You talking of water sir. If Shagrat himself was to offer me a glass of water I’d shake his hand. We are going to be in a bad way without it. It’s a long way to Lórien but if the Lady Galadriel could hear us I’d ask her for clean water and plain daylight, better than any jewels, begging her pardon.’ Sam sighs and they carry on, heads down. Fade out.
Fade in to the orc armour among the stones. A thin bare arm reaches out and pulls it. The camera moves to the side and Gollum turns his malicious face to camera. Fade to black, his luminous eyes fading last.
The burning spinning wheel appears in the darkness filling the screen.

Fade in to a jagged skyline of bleak peaks. Above them swirling clouds break to show clear sky. Cut to Frodo and Sam sheltering. The only colours are shades of grey. Sam stands up enthusiastically.
Sam: ‘Look at it! The wind has changed. Something’s happening and his darkness is breaking up. Sauron is not having it all his own way. Does that give you some hope Mr Frodo? ‘

Frodo: ‘No, not much Sam.’
Cut to them walking along the river bed in drear light. Stumps of dead trees line the bank. Sam looks to one side taps Frodo’s arm and points. Cut to a narrow crack in the rocky bank and a trickle of water runs off a mat of moss. Cut to Frodo drinking from the flask as Sam washes his face and hands in the meagre flow.

Sam: ‘First light and then water. If ever I see the Lady again I will tell her.’
Cut to two orcs, one a large bulky armoured orc, the other smaller one, a small bow on his back is bent to the ground sniffing. They stop.

The sniffing orc whines: ‘I’ve worn my nose out on these stones and lost the trail.’

Soldier orc: ‘Your snotty nose is not much use. What are we looking for? First the bosses say it’s a big Elf in bright armour, then it’s a sort of small dwarf-man, then it’s a pack of rebel orcs.’

Small orc: ‘Small wonder there’s bad news from the battles the way you soldiers carry on. Your tower’s been raided, the garrison killed or run away scared and a prisoner’s missing.’ He spits.

Soldier orc: ‘I’ll stick you if you don’t shut your mouth. That’s filthy rebel talk.’

Small orc: ‘I’ll just think it then. It’s no use. I can’t find the trail because that skinny sneaking creature dragged that mail shirt all over the place. I’ve had enough, I’m going back to my pack.’ He starts to walk off.

Soldier orc: ‘If you desert I’ll give your number to the Nazgûl.’

The small orc turns and screeches: ‘You can’t do your job or even stick by your own people. Go to your filthy Shriekers. They’ll freeze the flesh off you if the enemy doesn’t get them first. I hear their number one got done in.’
The soldier orc snarls and gets to throw his spear but takes an arrow in his throat. Cut to the small orc scampering away.
Fade to a long column of small orcs marching briskly on a road beside a cliff face.
Cut to Frodo and Sam picking their way over rough ground as the light fades again.

Sam: ’Captain Faramir’s food is almost gone. The water won’t last long neither. We’ve got to eat less or move a bit quicker.’

Frodo: ‘I’ll try and be a bit quicker Sam.’

Sam points: ‘There’s a road up there of sorts. I reckon we should take it and chance our luck, if there is any luck in Mordor. The speed we are going the food won’t last out. Up there we could make more of a dash.’

Frodo: ‘All right Sam, you’ll have to lead me. But I can’t dash. I’ll plod along after you.’

Cut to the back of the orc column now carrying torches in the failing light. Large orcs at the back roar and flick whips.
‘You’re late! Hurry you slugs!’
Cut to Frodo and Sam clambering up on to the road. They look up and down it cautiously then start to walk. A brief fade of them walking along; the road now is skirted by a precipice. Cut to the orc troop and the torches and the sound of their trampling and panting. Cut back to Frodo and Sam looking back then looking around for escape.
Frodo: Trapped at last!’

Fade to black and the burning circle appears again and remains as the closing credits run.
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