LOTR II. Concerning Hobbits

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LOTR II. Concerning Hobbits

Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

I started this in a thread on B77, hoping to paint a word-picture of a possible TV purist rendition and after getting bogged down for a while I am getting more work done on it again. It is purely for people's amusement - it is in no way professional. I am posting it on TORC but wondered if people here wanted to have a chance to comment. I won't mind if people don't; they may feel they have had chances to comment on some of what I have written already. If there is interest I will post it in chunks. Too much at one time would be indigestible. So far I am up as far as Crickhollow and working to polish up as far as the Barrow Downs. If people are willing I will post the work from the beginning here, I have made a few minor changes to what I first wrote anyway. I will be happy to listen to people's ideas and make amendments.
What do people think?
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

I would definitely be interested in having you post it here, Tosh. And I know that there are at least a few people here who don't go to either TORC or b77 who would probably be interested, too.
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Post by Primula Baggins »

That would be great, Tosh. I enjoyed that thread on b77.
“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 »

Alright, I will post the first episode in a couple of chunks to start the story off but I know some people have already commented on it. After a little while for it to be digested I will continue with further sections. All criticisms and comments are always welcome, I have a sturdy hide; I might even incorporate them! :P

We see first of all the sky with grey breaking clouds. A distant eagle wheels above. The soundtrack is of a desolate wind.
The camera drops to show a road winding away in the distance, seen from high above in an empty landscape. It pans a little and we see we are on a hill with black ruined walls gaping like teeth on the top. A flurry of rain hits the stonework.
A helicopter shot then follows the road tracking it over moorlands and other empty wastelands. There are several fades to help convey the size of the landscape. A slow elegaic English folk tune starts up softly and after a while a voice sadly sings Bilbo's walking song. (I am no musician, the nearest tune in scansion and mood I could come up with was 'Jerusalem'.)
The credits appear, JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Episode One: A Long –Expected Party etc.
As the camera travels above the road we see lonely groups of two or three dwarves travelling towards the camera. When crossroads appear the camera slows as if indecisive then as the choice is made it speeds up again.
We reach a bridge over a river and suddenly we are among farmlands, tilled fields everywhere, sheep, haystacks, wheatsheaves in stooks. Perhaps the sun comes out. We pass first a solitary cart then further along two covered wagons travelling in the same direction as camera. There is little sign of houses though perhaps a few mounds that could be turved hobbit holes. The camera stops at a sign that points right up a narrow track towards Bywater. We travel up the track and find a cluster of hobbit houses, Bywater Pool, the Grange, the watermill and the Ivy Bush. The camera goes up to the tavern window.
The next scene is the interior of the Ivy Bush.

(The purpose is to show the Shire as an oasis hidden in a vast wasteland, far from anywhere. Little of hobbit habitation should be visible from the Great East road. The vehicles are of course Gandalf and the dwarves arriving for the party and we will see them later. The hill is Weathertop, the eagle is to set up echoes for later. The next scene should break the mood of melancholy.)

Cut to interior of The Ivy Bush.
It is dark and noisy with chatter and clattering dishes. Sunbeams shining through the round windows catch the drifting pipesmoke. Hobbits come and go and we catch brief glimpses of their feet.
Cut to a table stretching away from a window, hobbits sitting on benches either side. The camera switches from one side to the other as they speak.
There's a jug on the table to fill up the mugs and plates of sliced pies and cheeses that are sampled by everyone in turn during the scene. In the centre of one bench is an old hobbit, string holding up his breeches, a shapeless bag of a hat and a stubby pipe that he stabs the air with while talking. There is a young hobbit by his side.
The young hobbit starts to speak but is talked over by the old one. The accents are English South Western rural.

Hamfast:(for it is he)' A nice well-spoken gentlehobbit is Mr Bilbo Baggins.'

Another hobbit (Noakes): ' But what about this Frodo from the Buckland? Very queer folk that live there.'
Much nodding. Sam starts but is silenced again.

Ham: ' Poor Mr Frodo's parents were boating on the Brandywine River and they upped and drownded. Mr Bilbo never did a kinder deed than when he brought poor Mr Frodo back to Bag End, him being related like.'
A flour-covered hobbit cuffs a youngster off the end of the bench and bangs his mug down. Dirty glares from the Gamgees.

Sandyman: 'I hear tell she pushed him in and fell in herself. (drinks) All the same it's a nasty knock for the Sackville Baggins, him choosing an heir for Bag End like that. Lobelia and Otho were itching to get their hands on it. (laughs) Specially as I hear tell there's gold and jools in those tunnels.' More dirty looks from Ham.

Ham: 'I've no idea about jools and I've known Mr Bilbo since I were a lad 60 year ago. Sam, my boy here (pats him) knows that too. He's always in and out there, learning his letters and all ( He scowls at his son again) Sam tries again and is interrupted.
Ham to Sam: 'Elves and Dragons - Don't go getting mixed up in the affairs of your betters or you'll be in trouble too big for you.’ Much nodding of heads and looking into mugs.

Noakes: 'But look at the outlandish folk he sees- dwarves and that conjuror and such like. That ain't natural.'
Sam is waved down once more.

Ham: 'That may be but it's his and Mr Frodo's birthday soon and I hear there'll be invitations a plenty.'
The tavern door opens and sunlight streams in. A dwarf comes in, taller and broader than hobbits with a long beard. He has a small axe at his belt. The chatter stops. He bows and then speaks with a heavy Scandinavian accent.

Dwarf: 'Good fortune on this house. Is Bag End nearby?
More silence.
Dwarf: 'We seek a Mr Bilbo Baggins. We come from beyond the Mountains with many things for his birthday party.'
Sam is the only one whose face lights up to see the dwarf. Now he jumps up and follows the dwarf out to the two covered wagons. He points up a wooded lane that goes uphill then walks alongside the wagon. A hand reaches down and hauls him up. One or two nosy hobbits open their front doors to watch.
Final brief shot in The Ivy Bush. The hobbits look at each other lost for words and return to drinking.

Late afternoon sun; dwarf wagons arrive up the hill to Bag End. Sam (looking about 13) jumps down and runs to the door and knocks excitedly. Bilbo appears, his face lights up. A young Frodo's face appears behind him craning his head to look. Bilbo ruffles Sam's hair and gives him a coin from his waistcoat pocket. Sam goes off to watch open mouthed as the dwarves jump down and go up to Bilbo and bow formally. They hand over a scroll then go back and start unloading sacks and looking very organised. Fade to dusk as the last sacks get taken through the front door. Fade to sunrise. A young well-dressed Frodo is by the gate. Bilbo emerges yawning in his dressing gown and tosses a rolled sign over to Frodo who starts nailing the 'No admittance except on Party business' to the gate. The dwarves file out of Bag End and start unloading canvas rolls from the wagons and taking them to the Party Field.
We see the pavilion start to be erected around the Party Tree with plenty of pulleys and winches. There's a bit of the feeling of the barn raising from Witness. As the work progresses some lively music plays, perhaps Vaughan Williams 'The Wasps' overture. Stalls are laid out and the food deliveries start. The camera cutting gets faster to emphasize the excitement and activity.
Cut to slower shots of a queue of chattering hobbits waiting to get into the field. Bilbo and Frodo stand by the gate by a huge pile of wrapped presents and hand them out. The camera starts to slowly track around the field taking in the various activities. There is a huge queue by the barbecues, several stacks of beer barrels dotted about strategically, throwing games like darts and quoit throwing and skittles, perhaps some wrestling and staff fighting, dancing and pipe playing.
It is dusk again. A donkey's head appears going up Bagshot Row. We hear the noisy crowd in the background. The camera pulls back to show an old man on a small cart.
Cut to faces of two young girls of about 10 years. One has been crying and both are staring out looking wide eyed and worried. Behind them is the cool shade of trees. The camera pulls back a little and we see an older boy holding some clothes over his arm. He has a tolerant smile on his face. Back further and we see Sam concentrating with a worried look biting his lip; back further and we see he is waist deep in the Bywater Pool with a fishing rod stretched out before him. The camera goes back again and we see from the centre of the pool a pretty bonnet floating among the water lilies. Sam hooks and lifts it and carefully gets out looking very insecure. His legs are muddied. He gives it to the girl who was crying.

Sam: ‘There you are Rosie, dry your tears now.’ Three little boys run up and one cries out:

The tiniest, Nibs: 'Tom, there's a Big Person!'

Jolly: ' We've seen one of the Big People with a beard as big as a dwarf's (gestures the size). He's going up to Bag End in a cart!'

Sam: 'There's no call to be frightened. I reckon that will be Mr Gandalf come to do the fireworks. He's not like most Big People; he helped Mr Bilbo steal the dragon's gold. Come on Marigold, (extends hand) I'll have to slip back home first to change into some dry things.’ (Sam goes off holding Marigold's hand.)

Tom: 'Come on Rose, lets get back to the Party Field with the youngsters. (he takes Rose's hand)
Rose walks behind Sam who is oblivious to the admiring look she gives his back.
Cut to Gandalf going into the Party Field and Bilbo greeting him. It is the first time we see the disparity in sizes. Bilbo hands him a tobacco pouch and Gandalf starts fiddling with a pipe.

Gandalf: 'When do you want me to start?'

Bilbo: 'As soon as you are ready Gandalf.' Gandalf wanders off playing little conjuring tricks with the children, puffs of pink smoke, green rabbits and suchlike. Dwarves follow him shouldering casks of fireworks. Cut to Gandalf in the middle of the firework layout pointing at each one in turn to set it off like a conductor.
(The fireworks are as good as PJ's. )
At one point there is a shot of a sea of upturned faces in the dark, wide eyed and open mouthed, changing colour with each explosion.
The music should be bright perhaps Handel's 'Royal Fireworks' or something full of trumpeting by Rameau.

(Revised to take out some clumsy asides and extrapolations and to improve the punctuation and layout)
Last edited by ToshoftheWuffingas on Sun May 25, 2008 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

Anyway, on to the Speech scene......

Cut from the field to a close-up of a hand fumbling in a pocket. The camera tracks upwards still in close-up past bright gold waistcoat buttons that reflect lamplight, stopping at Bilbo's face. He looks as if he is coming to a decision. The camera pulls back and we see Bilbo sitting at a table inside the tent with the Party Tree behind him festooned with lamps. Bilbo stands up fidgeting and looking nervous; there is a hum of voices and the clatter of cutlery on plates. He looks towards Frodo at his side for reassurance who nods in encouragement. Bilbo clears his throat, starts to speak too softly and then raises his voice. The tent falls silent. Cut to a shot from behind Bilbo where we see the tables stretching back full of hobbits.
Bilbo: ' My dear Bagginses and Boffins, and my dear Tooks and Brandybucks, and Grubbs, and Chubbs, and Burrowses, and Hornblowers, and Bolgers, Bracegirdles, Goodbodies, Brockhouses and Proudfoots....'
Cut to close-up of two large soles on a table from behind which we hear the protest 'Proudfeet!' The soles part to reveal an amused face.
Bilbo: 'Proudfoots. Also my good Sackville-Bagginses that I welcome back at last to Bag End.
(Quick reaction shot of Lobelia, Otho and a young wan Lotho looking suspicious)
'Today is my one hundred and eleventh birthday: I am eleventy-one today!'

Slow pan of hobbits cheering, clumping mugs on the table and starting to talk together again, thinking the Speech is over.
Back to Bilbo who looks as if he wants to continue but the noise is too great. A youngster (it could be Merry) runs up, blows a toy silver horn to summon some friends who race around the tree. As he reappears, Bilbo stops him, gestures for his horn, takes it and settles his face. He blows once, blows a second time for longer then blows longest a third time, the sound stretches and echoes and the tent falls silent again.
Bilbo: ' I have called you here for a PURPOSE!'
He pauses and the silence continues.
'Indeed for three purposes. First of all to tell you that I am immensely fond of you all and that eleventy-one years is too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable hobbits.'
Quick reaction shot of happy responses.
' I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.'
Reaction shot of a hobbit looking puzzled.
'Secondly to celebrate our birthday. For it is also the birthday of my heir and nephew, Frodo.'
Reaction shots of young hobbits waving plates and blowing bugles at Frodo's name and the Sackville-Baggineses scowling while we hear Bilbo continue ' He comes of age and into his inheritance today.'
'Together we score one hundred and forty-four. Your numbers were chosen to fit this remarkable total: One Gross!'
The camera continues along the line of hobbits frowning and exchanging glances and tapping fingers on the table.
Cut back to Bilbo hesitating and breathing heavily. Frodo nods to him again. Bilbo's hand is back in his pocket.
'Thirdly I am leaving NOW! GOODBYE!'
He vanishes. Cut to Gandalf who narrows his eyes and flicks his fingers. Cut to a flash and a puff of smoke in front of the tree and Gandalf moves into frame making ostentatious passes with his arms. An elderly hobbit marches up, glares at Gandalf, pulls on his hat and stomps out of the tent followed by a line of others.
Cut to Frodo sitting thinking to himself. Sadly he lifts his glass in a toast and drinks his glass.

Fade from Frodo in the tent to the dimly lit interior of Bag End, the first time we have seen it inside. The details around the room are shadowed. A table with a bowl of autumnal flowers is close to a flickering fire. There is an open envelope on the table, the camera moves to it and we see written on it, 'To Frodo Baggins Esq: From his uncle Bilbo with great love'
We hear a door latch and the camera pans to see through an open door to a well lit hallway. The door closes. In close-up we see a finger suddenly materialise with a ring just having been pulled off it. A fraction of a second later Bilbo's silk waistcoat appears behind it. The hand tosses the ring in the air then clasps it tightly.
A medium shot of Bilbo going to the table. He picks up the envelope, his hand hovers over it then goes into his pocket instead. He goes to the fire and lights a taper then lights some half burnt candles around the room. We see clearly for the first time the comfortable surroundings. Bilbo takes a key from his waistcoat, unlocks a padlocked chest and places on the table a massive book, a bundle wrapped in cloth, some faded clothes and finally a sword in a black scabbard and a wide belt. He starts to take off his waistcoat.
Fade to Bilbo dressed in his faded cloak and a full travel pack on the table. He looks over his shoulder. The camera switches to Gandalf stooping through the doorway. As he greets Bilbo he sits on the floor to be at Bilbo's level. The camera switches as they talk.

Gandalf: 'I'm glad to see you visible. Is it wise to keep using that magic ring? You really ought to keep it secret you know. I came back here to have a few final words - you mean to go on with your plan then?'

Bilbo: 'Yes Gandalf. I feel like a holiday, a very long one. In fact I don't mean to return. I am old, Gandalf. I don't look it but I feel thin and somehow stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread. That can't be right? (asked questioningly)

Gandalf tilts his head back and inspects Bilbo gravely. He pauses: 'No.'

Bilbo:'I want to see mountains again, and get some peace where I can finish my book. I have an ending already, "and he lived happily ever after to the end of his days." '

Gandalf (laughing): 'I hope so indeed. Has Frodo read any of it?'

Bilbo: 'Some of it. He would come with me of course but he still is in love with the Shire. I am leaving everything to him of course (sweeps hand around) apart from these few oddments. (he points to the table) It is time he was his own master.' Gandalf leans sideways to the table and touches the envelope.

Gandalf: 'The ring as well? You agreed to that too.'

Bilbo: 'Er, yes, I suppose so.' (Gandalf peers into the envelope.) 'Er, no, that's odd. It's in my pocket again.' (he starts talking to himself) 'After all, why not?'

Gandalf stares at Bilbo.
Gandalf, slowly and judiciously: 'I think, Bilbo you should leave it behind. Don't you want to?'

Bilbo: (starting to walk around and look flustered) ' Yes,....well, no! Now it comes to it I don't like parting with it and don't see why I should.' (he turns to face Gandalf) 'Why do you want me to? Why badger me about this ring and not the rest of the treasure?'

Gandalf: 'You may say that as a wizard I am professionally interested. Magic rings are rare nowadays and can be dangerous. I would like to know it is safe if you go on your travels. And I think you have had it long enough.'

Bilbo gets angry: 'What business is it of yours? It is mine! It came to me!'

Gandalf (calmly): 'Yes but there is no need for anger,'

Bilbo: 'If I am it is your fault. It is mine, my precious and I shall keep it!'

Gandalf: 'That is what the creature Gollum called it. Each word of yours makes it clearer that it has a hold on you. Let it go my friend, then you can be yourself and be free of it.'

Bilbo: 'Well if you want it yourself, say so but you won't get it.' (he grasps his sword hilt)

Gandalf rises to his feet and towers over Bilbo to the sound of a roaring wind. The candles and fire burn brighter. There is a light shimmering around Gandalf’s outline.
Gandalf (in a commanding voice): 'Do you wish to see Gandalf the Grey uncloaked and angry?'

Bilbo backs towards a wall and they stare at each other then he falters.
Bilbo: You have never been like this before, Gandalf. I did find it, and without it Gollum would have killed me. Whatever he said, I am not a thief.'

Gandalf (walking over and stooping to hold his shoulder): 'I have never called you one, and I am not one either. I wish to help you not to rob you.' (He turns and sinks again stiffly to the floor saying sadly) 'I wish you could trust me as you once did.'

Bilbo comes over from the wall and stands before Gandalf, wringing his hands.
Bilbo: ' I'm sorry Gandalf. It would be a relief in a way not to be bothered with it. Sometimes I have felt it is looking at me and I am always wanting to use it or wondering if it is safe. I can't make up my mind.'

Gandalf: ' Trust mine then. Stop possessing it. Give it to Frodo and I will look after him.'

Bilbo pauses, settles his shoulders and turns to the table: 'All right then. This was the reason for the party after all - to make giving it away easier. It goes to Frodo with all the rest.' He shoulders his pack and starts towards the door.

Gandalf: 'Bilbo, you still have the ring.'

Bilbo (laughs): ' So I have. Can you deliver it to him?'

Gandalf: 'No that is not wise.'
He hands the empty envelope to Bilbo who reads the message on it again and smiles. Still smiling he drops the ring in the envelope which falls through his fingers with the new weight. Gandalf quickly picks it up’ seals it and puts it on the table. As he does so the camera shows Bilbo grimacing at his back and striking his hands against his sides in anger, clenching his fists.
Gandalf turns to him again and smiles kindly to him, reaching out and touching him. Bilbo opens his mouth a couple of times then visibly relaxes and unwinds. A look of contentment and relief crosses his face. He laughs to himself.

Bilbo: 'Well that's that. Now I can go off!'
The theme to the Road song starts to gently play (oboe possibly?) gradually getting stronger.
He goes out to the hallway, picks a dragon headed staff from a rack of umbrellas and sticks and balances it in his hand. He looks up at a map in the hallway of his travels to the Lonely Mountain.
He whistles with his fingers and doors open up further down the hall. Three dwarves come out wiping their mouths. Gandalf looks out from the door to the hallway.

Bilbo: 'What fun to be on the road with dwarves again.' (He looks around Bag End) 'Goodbye to you Gandalf, and to Bag End, and to the Shire. I am as happy now as I have ever been. I am to be swept off my feet again at last.'
As he goes out of the door followed by the dwarves his voice joins the melody, softly at first then more sturdily, the one we heard introducing the beginning as he sings the Road song.
Cut to the outside of Bag End. Bilbo and the dwarves go down the path and slip through the hedge into the night. The song gets gradually softer. The last shot is of Gandalf sitting by an open window looking out and fiddling with a pipe as the closing credits for the first episode come up.

(Revised to take out asides and extrapolations and to improve the punctuation and layout)
Last edited by ToshoftheWuffingas on Sun May 25, 2008 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

Here is the opening of the second episode.

A bright blue sky with puffy white clouds, a skylark’s song is heard.. The camera pans down to rolling downland then starts to travel above the countryside. The melody of Bilbo’s Road Song starts on a flute and the opening credits start to come up. Eventually we see three small figures at a distance in the landscape.
Fade to a shot where the three are silhouetted on the top of a rise against the afternoon sunlight, still at a distance: the credits continue to run and the melody fades out and we start to hear a voice speaking.
Cut to a medium shot of two hobbits from behind, small packs on their backs, staffs in their hands, ambling leisurely, the sun casting long shadows before them. The voice continues:

Merry : ‘ That was the furthest west you have ever taken me Frodo. Those downs between the Shire and the Tower Hills would make good hobbit holes. If ever hobbits moved there it could thrive as well as the Buckland.’ A small figure darts from left to right behind them, thumbing his nose at Merry. He is noticeably smaller and younger than the other two.

Pippin: ‘ You mean as well as the Tookland, Merry Brandybuck.’
Merry ruffles the boy’s hair and boots him up the rear as he runs off again. Cut to see them from the front, long lens so as Pippin at times runs across them he appears out of focus.

Merry: (calling). ‘ No Pippin I don’t’. (normal voice) ‘But any further Frodo, and we would have fallen into the Sea.’.

Frodo: (smiling and shaking his head) ‘No Merry, the Sea is more than thirty more leagues further on, beyond the Tower Hills.’

Merry: ‘Do Elves still travel to those old towers just to look out over the Sea?’

Frodo: (nodding) ‘They still go to look out towards Elvenhome. Over the long years of their exile they have never forgotten their Undying Lands.’

Pippin: (running up again) ‘And when have you ever spoken to Elves?’

Frodo: ‘Sometimes when I walk at night in the woods around Hobbiton. Bilbo taught me a little Elvish and unlike you Pippin Took, I attended to my lessons.’ A raspberry is heard in reply.

Merry: (raising his eyebrows) ‘Walking at night?’ They walk for a bit.

Merry: ‘Don’t tell Sam Gamgee you’ve spoken to Elves.
Cut as Merry is talking to a spade patting an immaculate mounded up row of young potato shoots in a darkening garden. Sam straightens up and carefully cleans the spade which joins a watering can and tools in a wheelbarrow, over the sound of Merry and Frodo’s voices.
Merry: ‘ He’d turn green with envy.

Frodo: ‘ Sam loved hearing Bilbo tell his tales of Gandalf and the Elves.’
Sam finishes in the garden and goes out of the gate and down the hill. As Frodo finishes speaking we hear Sam whistling a folk tune skilfully. (The melody will later appear in the tower of Cirith Ungol)
As Sam disappears into the evening, still whistling the tune the shadow of a figure in the foreground is seen watching him. The tall figure moves swiftly into the garden of Bag End as we hear voices chattering and laughing in the distance. Cut to the three hobbits, Pippin capering in front, his arms in the air and making whooshing noises.

Pippin: ‘I never saw Gandalf and his fireworks.’

Frodo: ‘It’s been nearly 10 years since I last saw Gandalf. I have missed him.’ Cut to the three outside Bag End.

Pippin: ‘The Tookland is not so far now Merry. Then I can show you that Pippin Took’s hospitality is a match for the Brandybucks. Farewell Frodo.’
Frodo waves and affectionately watches them leave then turns and goes up his path. He pauses at his door, turns and his eyes widen, move upwards and a grin spreads over his face.

Frodo: ‘ Gandalf! Gandalf! It’s been so long! What brings you here at long last? Come in, come in.’
Cut to inside of Bag End. Frodo is bustling around, putting his pack down, lighting candles from a smouldering fire, putting bottles on the table. As he does so we hear Gandalf’s reply as he stoops into the rooms, getting a bench to sit on and getting a mug.

Gandalf: ‘It is good to see you again Frodo but come now, I have travelled long and hard. (he drinks) Spare me your questions for a little while. And the story I have to tell needs sunlight. It is not a tale to tell in darkness.’
Slow fade
Last edited by ToshoftheWuffingas on Mon May 26, 2008 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Tosh, I just wanted to make it clear that I am reading this with interest even though I don't really have any specific comments (other then "it's very good :)").
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Post by Primula Baggins »

Me, too. I may have more lucid comments later, but I'm so short of board time right now I can barely read, let alone post anything of interest.
“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 am glad it is being enjoyed. Here is a bit more.

Slow fade to sunbeams slanting into the parlour of Bag End through an open window, pipesmoke caught in the sunbeams. The camera pans down to a table cluttered with the remnants of breakfast and Frodo pouring a cup of tea for Gandalf. The camera pans back to the window and zooms slowly out of it to view the Spring garden, bulbs in flower, and the fruit trees in blossom. We hear a blackbird singing and see Sam at the far side of the lawn on his knees snipping the grass with shears. The click-click can be faintly heard. As this scene is ending we hear Frodo’s voice.
Frodo:’ No story can be too dark on a morning such as this…..’
Cut to Gandalf’s impassive face.
‘…….. I hoped a good breakfast would have loosened your tongue. Why have you been away from the Shire for so long for starters? ‘

Gandalf: (casually) ‘ First things first Frodo. Could you find Bilbo’s old ring? You, er, do still have it I hope?’

Frodo: (the camera still on Gandalf’s face) ‘Er, yes of course. It must be somewhere at the back of the cupboard.’ Cut to Frodo rooting through a cupboard stuffed with junk as Gandalf speaks.

Gandalf: ‘I have spent many years solving a puzzle Frodo. One that has taken me to many far corners of Middle-earth. At first it was to settle my unease but then the search grew darker. (Frodo drags out a sack) Do you know how Bilbo gained the Ring?’

Frodo: (looking up from fudging about in the sack ) ‘ The true story? How he discovered it in the orc tunnels beneath the Misty Mountains and took it from the Gollum-creature……..’
In the background we hear Gollum’s voice distantly screaming, “Thief! Thief!, Baggins, we hates it forever.!’ The voice echoes away.
‘…….Ah, here it is.’ He puts an envelope on the table. Cut to a faded envelope with the handwritten words of Bilbo visible. Cut to a close up of Gandalf’s face looking intently.

Gandalf: (slowly and carefully) ‘Have you ever felt drawn to use it Frodo?’

Frodo's voice : (mildly surprised) ‘No, not really.’ Gandalf’s eyes widen imperceptibly in surprise. Cut to medium shot of Gandalf.

Gandalf: ‘ The night Bilbo left I felt a shadow grow in my heart. He was no longer his old self and I could only think this Ring was to blame. Back then I knew little of magic rings except that they often had dangerous powers for the unwise. Saruman the White, the wizard who is chief of my order knew much about rings especially those of the Elves but he lives far to the south and anyway is impatient with impertinent questions. So I set out to discover how Gollum had come by this thing.’

Cut to Frodo.
Frodo: ‘ But Gollum lived deep beneath the Misty Mountains.’

Gandalf: ‘’What do you know of the origins of hobbits?’

Frodo: ‘ All our records tell us is that we wandered from the banks of the Great River, away from strife and troubles and crossed the Misty Mountains over the southern passes. It was then we settled the King’s lands here in the Shire. But that was many hundred years ago.’ Cut to Gandalf.

Gandalf: (puffing on his pipe) ‘ Go back then 500 years. Picture a hobbit named Déagol, living by the banks of the Great River Anduin, going back home one day with a fine gold ring he had found in the reed beds. On his way home he meets his friend Sméagol. When he sees the Ring Sméagol asks for it as his birthday present. And when he is refused a murderous greed comes upon him and he strangles his friend and takes his fine precious present for himself. ( Again a soundtrack runs distantly of a voice shouting together with grunts and scuffles, ” It might have been mind! It should have been mine! Give – it – to – me!”)
Sméagol hid his friend’s body and for a brief while he enjoyed his new possession. When he discovered it could render him invisible he set about listening, spying, sneaking and catching small creatures to feed his hunger. Soon his family wearied of him and the Sun burnt him and even the Moon seemed to spy on him. He crept up far into the Mountains and deep into orc tunnels and time stopped for him as he festered with spite and bitterness, no will left to cast the Ring aside and bound by equal hate and desire for it..’ Cut to Frodo rising and walk about in agitation.

Frodo: ‘That loathsome Gollum-creature could never have been a hobbit! That is abominable!’

Cut to Gandalf: ‘Even so Frodo.’

Cut to Frodo: ‘ ‘But how could this Ring have appeared in the River?’

Cut to Gandalf: ‘Ah! Now my tale grows even darker. Now we must look far back into a distant Age, nigh on 5,000 years ago. The Lord of Mordor, Sauron was a mighty prince with a high and pleasing manner then, deep in skill and knowledge. He it was who taught the Elven Smiths of the arts of ring-making.. Rings that could capture and focus like a lens the innate power and spirit. Many lesser rings were tried but as their skill grew both Sauron and the Elven Smiths made Great Rings of Power, each holding its proper gemstone. Three the Elves made for themselves, seven Sauron made for the dwarf lords and nine he made for kings of men. These he gave as tokens of friendship. (Gandalf’s voice drops) But secretly in his distant realm of Mordor, at the molten furnaces of the Fiery Mountain (in the background the distant chant of the Ring verse in the Black Speech is heard) he laboured to make a single ring that ruled all rings, for dominion and control was all he craved. In that one ring he bound up the greater part of his own power. But the Elves had looked deep into Sauron’s heart and the three Elven-Rings which he had never touched were hidden from him and remained untainted free of his will. Of them, no more may I say.’

Cut to Frodo (looking nervously at the envelope) ‘ Where are these rings that Sauron gave away?’

Cut to Gandalf: ‘The dwarves lost some to dragons and the rest were taken back by Sauron. They are not a people who suffer mastery. The kings of men took theirs, vainly hoping to cheat death. But their lives stretched out and they faded into the spirit world to become Sauron’s most feared servants, the Ringwraiths, lords of despair. But it is long since they troubled the world. Yet now Sauron’s power grows once more in Mordor and he needs the Ring he lost.’ Cut to Frodo, confused.

Frodo:’ Lost? How do you mean? How could he lose such a thing with all his power?' Cut to Gandalf.

Gandalf: ‘Once the power of Men and Elves was greater and they were not estranged from each other. Then it was that the Elven-king Gilgalad and Elendil from the lost realm of Westernesse marched with great force against Sauron and threw him down though they perished doing do. (Again we hear distantly the clashing of arms and trumpets sounding and a clamour of voices ) Isildur, Elendil’s son cut the Ring from Sauron’s hand and then Sauron’s spirit fled shapeless for an Age. Yet it grew again for Isildur should have destroyed the Ring then in the fires of Mount Doom but didn’t. Instead he took it for his own yet it betrayed him. As he marched north from the battle he was ambushed by orcs (we hear the sounds of arrows and shouts) and was slain by the banks of Anduin, the Great River and Sauron’s Ring was lost to all knowledge. Until one day a hobbit named Déagol found it’. Cut to Frodo.

Frodo: (sceptically) ‘ But how can you know these things from so long ago? Are these not just guesses?’

Cut to Gandalf: ‘I have spoken to Gollum and much is now clear. I have but one last proof to make.’

Cut to Frodo: ‘You have seen him?

Cut to Gandalf: with a look of distaste: ‘ Yes. The lure of the Ring at last overcame his fear and he ventured out to try and find Bilbo’s trail in the North. It was in Mirkwood I questioned him. He had already travelled far and was only found by the skill and hardiness of the greatest tracker of our time and delivered into the care of the Wood Elves.’

Cut to Frodo grasping at straws: ‘But still it may be a lesser ring, you said there were many.’ Cut to Gandalf who while he stares grimly at Frodo sweeps the envelope off the table into the fire.

‘WAIT’ he commands. He rises and crosses to the window and breathes the outside air deeply. We hear the sound of shears clipping. He closes the shutters and in the dimmed room crosses to the fire and lifts the Ring from the embers with tongs.
‘Hold out your hand!’ Frodo obeys gingerly, 'It is quite cool.' and the Ring is dropped into his cupped hand.
Gandalf: ‘What do you see?’

Cut to Frodo: ‘Fine letters of fire but I cannot read them.’

Cut to Gandalf gazing into the fire: ‘It is part of an ancient verse, known only now to few.’
The camera zooms slowly towards the Ring in Frodo’s hand and we see fiery letters revolving around the Ring gradually going faster. In the background we hear distantly the Ring-verse in the Black Speech again. An ominous music is heard, softly at first.

‘Three Rings for the Elven-Kings under the sky
Seven for the Dwarf-Lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne.
In the land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

Cut to Frodo as the verse ends looking mortified.
Gandalf: (gravely and solemnly) ‘ This, Frodo, is the Master Ring; the One Ring to rule them all, that he lost many years ago to the weakening of his power. He greatly desires it. He must never have it.’
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

Here is the final part of the second episode. Comments on this or earlier parts are as always, welcome.

Silence as Frodo digests this. We no longer hear the shears.

Frodo: ‘But he, Sauron I mean, still believes it to be lost doesn’t he?’
Gandalf kneels before Frodo speaking gently and putting a hand on his shoulder.

Gandalf: ‘Frodo, Gollum before he was found by us was captured in Mordor, tormented and taken before the dark throne. Through Gollum, Sauron knows the Ring was not destroyed. Through Gollum Sauron knows it has been discovered. …. (The camera cuts to the Ring and its spinning inscription and as Gandalf finishes, in its centre a red cat's eye appears and opens) ….He knows it to be the One Ring and now he knows of hobbits and Baggins.’
The red eye swells to fill the screen.

Cut to Frodo distraught: ‘Oh this is terrible, far worse than I ever imagined! Oh Gandalf, what am I to do? What a pity Bilbo did not slay that vile creature.’

Cut to Gandalf suddenly intense: ‘Pity? Frodo! Listen! (He pauses to get Frodo’s attention) Pity and Mercy stayed his hand, not to kill without cause. You may be sure that Bilbo took so little hurt from this evil Ring because he started his ownership with Pity. And were you to see Gollum as I have, you would pity him.’

Cut to Frodo, indignant: ‘But he is worse than an orc. He deserves death.’

Cut to Gandalf: ‘Oh that may be so. Many deserve death. Many more deserve life but do not get it. Can you give it to them? Be not so eager then to deal death in judgement. We cannot see all ends and my heart tells me that Gollum is part of the fate of this Ring, for good or ill. The pity of Bilbo may still decide the fate of many.’

Cut to Frodo holding himself in distress: ‘ I wish Bilbo had not kept the Ring. I wish you had made me cast it away or made me destroy it.’

Cut to Gandalf: ‘Made you? I could not make you give up this thing without breaking your mind. Think of this: perhaps instead of an orc, Bilbo was meant to find this Ring, and perhaps you were meant to have it in turn. I find that an encouraging thought. (Gandalf rises and walks about) Nor can you unmake the Ring , not in the hottest dwarf forge nor by any dragon left in Middle-earth. Only in the Dark Lord’s own furnaces at the Cracks of Doom, at the Fiery Mountain in the heart of his realm could it be unmade.’

Cut to Frodo still distraught: ‘But why me?’

Cut to Gandalf pulling a wry face: ‘ Hah! Not for any power or wisdom that others do not have! ( he pats Frodo) But you have been chosen so you must use what strength and heart and wit that you do have.’

Frodo: ‘Would you take it Gandalf?’

Gandalf: ‘ NO! Do not tempt me! The way to my heart is by pity for weakness and desire to do good. Yet if I took it I would become like Sauron himself. Oh, I have enough need of its strength in the tasks ahead. I cannot bear this burden for you but I may still help you. But we must do something quickly. The Enemy is moving. (turning towards Frodo) What do you choose to do?’

Cut to Frodo who thinks in silence. He squares his shoulders and straightens himself: ‘ I suppose I must keep it then and guard it till you find someone better. But in the meantime…(he pauses)…I am a danger to everyone here. I will have to leave the Shire. I have to save it though sometimes I have thought the Shire folk too dull and stupid for words. (he grins) and an earthquake or invasion of dragons would do them good. Not now though. As long as the Shire stays safe and comfortable though my feet may never stand here again my travels will be bearable. (Cut to Gandalf’s face open mouthed) I once imagined adventures to be a sort of holiday but this is exile, flying from danger into danger. I must go alone but I feel very small and the Enemy is so strong and terrible.’

Gandalf: ‘Bless me! Even after a hundred years hobbits never cease to amaze me! But you are right; you must go.…..'
He pauses and listens and marches to the window and reaches outside and pulls Sam Gamgee through the window on to the floor in a huddle. Sam who looks much older than he did at the beginning looks up scared.
From now on the camera shows all three of them.

Sam: ‘Lor bless you Mr Gandalf sir! I was only trimming the grass.' He waves his shears.

Gandalf: ‘Some time has passed since I last heard those shears. Were you eavesdropping?’

Sam: ‘ Begging your pardon sir, there’s no eaves here at Bag End.’

Gandalf: (roaring) ‘ Do not be a fool! What did you hear?’

Sam: ‘ Mr Frodo sir, Don’t let him hurt me or turn me into something unnatural like. My old dad would take on so.’

Frodo: ‘He won’t hurt you Sam, but up and tell him.’

Sam: (prevaricating a little) ‘Well, er, well I heard a deal of talk about enemies and fiery mountains and rings and Mr Bilbo and elves (he fastens on elves) Oh I love talk of elves sir. Could you take me to see some when you go?’

Gandalf: ‘ See elves you say? So you heard Mr Frodo is leaving?’

Sam; looking vulnerable ‘Yes, that is why I choked. It burst out of me because I was so upset.’

Frodo: ‘It can’t be helped Sam but if you care about me it has to be a dead secret. Do you see? If you breathe a word to anyone I shall have to ask Gandalf to turn you into a spotted toad and fill the garden with grass snakes.’ Frodo rolls his eyes ominously and Sam, still sitting on the floor looks from one to the other trying to judge if Gandalf can do it. Gandalf holds his beard and looks deeply into Sam.

Gandalf: ‘Get up Sam, I have thought of something better to punish you. I shall send you away with Mr Frodo.’

Sam doesn’t understand for a brief moment then jumps up and claps his hands.: ‘Me sir? Go and see Elves and all?' His voice chokes a little; Frodo clasps his hands and Sam suddenly hugs Frodo as Gandalf smiles behind.

Fade slowly to a medium shot of Frodo and Gandalf with cloak, staff and hat at the front of Bag End.
Frodo: ‘When I leave I have no idea where to go.’

Gandalf: ’The safest place to set out for at first is the house of Elrond at Rivendell. It is to the east, well beyond Bree, at the foot of the Misty Mountains. At least Sam should be delighted. And when we leave the Shire, the name of Baggins might prove perilous, better I think to use a name like…Underhill.’

Frodo: ‘Gandalf, when I come to leave the Shire I may never return. Could it wait until my birthday in September – it might help to cover my departure?’

Gandalf (starting to shake his head then looking compassionate): ‘Very well then Frodo but no later! Now, there are many things not right with the world and I must travel out of the Shire briefly to seek news but I should not be away for more than a few weeks. I will certainly be back before your birthday, besides you will need me with you when you set out. Take heart Frodo! The Shire is better guarded than you know and few people in Middle-earth know of it. But now I must be off! (He bends forward to Frodo’s ear) Remember, keep it secret. Never use it!’
Pulling his hat down he strides down the hill to the episode’s closing credits and a fade away.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

Here is the start of the third episode. I have finished Bree and am working on Weathertop at the moment so there is plenty to come if people are enjoying it.

Close-up of a ‘Sold’ notice, the camera drawing back to show a hobbit purposefully hammering it in inside the garden of Bag End. Opening credits start; JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Episode Three: The Black Riders. As the credits continue, cut to see an old hobbit hobbling with a stick into the Ivy Bush. Cut inside a smoky, noisy inn, the Gaffer entering and grabbing a mug to bang it on a table to the owner’s indignation.

Gaffer Gamgee: ‘ Mr Frodo Baggins is selling up. He has sold Bag End to Lobelia Sackville-Baggins of all people!' The place quietens as this news is digested.
A voice pipes up: ‘Is he out of his mind?’

Cut to Ted Sandyman with a sardonic sneer: ‘Out of Bilbo’s treasure more like.’

Another voice: ‘Where’s he going then?’

Cut to the Gaffer:’ Back to his kinfolk where he grew up in the Buckland; and as far from Lobelia as possible I don’t guess. My boy Sam is going along as well to work for him. He said it was better than staying behind to work for Lobelia and her boy Lotho.’
The camera pans across several hobbits digesting this information and nodding and the scene fades out slowly. It fades slowly to scenes of cutting the hay. Fade to a near shot of Frodo looking anxiously down the hill from Bag End. Fade to the corn harvest and wheat-sheaves being stacked. Cut to a wagon outside Bag End with Merry, Pippin and a plump hobbit carrying out furniture from the door and loading it. Frodo comes out looking distracted and again from time to time looks anxiously down the hill.
Cut to a night scene in the parlour with Frodo, Merry, Pippin and Fatty at the end of a meal, candles, wine-glasses and bottles on the table.

Frodo: ‘ I am anxious about Gandalf. He has not returned all summer, not even now for my birthday party.(He looks down at the table sadly) Still, at least Lobelia and Lotho won’t get these (grasping a bottle and filling everyone’s glasses with red wine). To Bilbo!’ They drain their glasses
Fade to a daylight scene outside the front gate of Bag End, Merry and Fatty are sitting on the wagon looking down at Frodo and Pippin.

Merry: ‘ Fatty and I will go on to Crickhollow now to warm the place up for you. We’ll expect you in about two days time. Pippin, look after Frodo will you and make certain he’s not rude to Lobelia. Enjoy your walk Frodo, you look as if you could lose some weight. Oh watch out! Let’s get away now’. Merry flicks the reins and the cart moves off. Lobelia is seen tottering up dragging Lotho who looks unhealthy and quiet behind her.

Lobelia: ’77 years too late but Bag End is ours at last. (She gets out a long list) There’d better be nothing missing. Where are my keys?’

Frodo: ‘They are not yours until tomorrow morning Lobelia. Get them from Hamfast Gamgee in Bagshot Row down the hill.’

Lobelia: ‘ But he might come up and take something during the night!’ Frodo turns and rolls his eyes at Pippin.
Fade to the parlour in candlelight again, this time with just Frodo and Pippin and the remains of a meal but with three places set. Three packs are ready on the floor. Pippin pushes himself back from the table and pats his belly.

Pippin: ‘ Lobelia can have our washing up as a parting present.’

Frodo: (calling out) ‘ Sam, are you ready?’ Sam appears wiping his mouth.

Sam: ‘I was just saying goodbye to the beer cellar. I’ll last for a bit now sir.’
Cut to the Gaffer in a sparse room plaiting onions in ropes by lamplight and puffing on his pipe. A sudden loud banging on the door startles him and he shuffles to the door and opens it to the night-time. We see only his back in the doorway.

Gaffer: ‘Who’s that? I can’t see you properly. Baggins? Mr Baggins went off this morning. Sold up and gone he has. Why do you want to know? Where? Off over Buckland way (he waves an arm vaguely) Don’t know, never been there myself; too far. No I can’t take a message, be off with you!’( he slams the door) Pah!’
Cut to Frodo and Pippin , packs on their backs, starting down the hill in the dusk. Frodo turns and looks back at Bag End.
‘Goodbye’ he whispers.
Cut to a medium shot of the two slipping through a small gap in a hedge.
Cut to medium shot of the two walking through a dark meadow as Sam joins them. Cut to a closer view. They speak in whispers.

Frodo: ‘ I didn’t wish to be seen leaving so that is why I avoided the village. Did your Gaffer get the keys Sam?’

Sam: ‘ Yes but he said one of the Big People had come to his door and was asking after you. A queer sounding fellow he said.’

Frodo: ‘That settles it, from now on I will avoid all prying eyes.’
Cut to a similar scene of the hobbits walking through fields. They still whisper.

Frodo: ‘I must have all of the heaviest things.’

Sam: ‘ I could take some more sir, I’m sure.’

Pippin: ‘ No fear Sam, it’s good for him. He’ll feel it less when he has walked off some of his own weight.’

Frodo: ‘ Be kind to me, I shall look like a willow wand before I reach Crickhollow. But in truth Sam, you have more than your fair share. Now let us enjoy our night walk and put some miles in before we sleep.’ They walk for a bit and as Pippin gets ahead Frodo asks Sam quietly: ‘Did you say goodbye to Rosie?’

Sam: ‘Not really sir. I couldn’t talk about , you know, and besides we don’t rightly know when we might get back. It didn’t seem fair if you understand.’ Frodo looks at him but says nothing.
A succession of brief shots of them walking past coppices, banks and hedges in the dark, the soundtrack silent. They climb a slope and at the top look back and down. We see scattered yellow lights from hobbit houses in the valley, perhaps a gleam of water from the Bywater pool or the river in the moonlight.

Frodo (whispering to himself) ‘I wonder if I shall look down into that valley ever again?’
Cut to a longish shot of the hobbits walking along a skyline between fir trees. We hear their voices as if they are nearby.
Frodo: ‘Bilbo used to say the Road is like a River with its springs at every front door. It’s a dangerous thing, he said, step out and you’ll never know where you will end. I did, he said, and I found myself in Mirkwood and then I ended up in front of a dragon inside the Lonely Mountain.’
As Frodo speaks Pippin starts to hum the Road melody and Sam joins in to softly sing it As Frodo finishes speaking he too joins in. The song becomes a quiet instrumental and the scene fades.
Fade in as the melody gently finishes to the hobbits asleep under a tree wrapped in blankets. Cut to a bush and a soft rustling and a fox’s head pokes out. It stares for a moment, blinks and moves on.
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

I wish someone would pick this up and actually produce it. Tosh, when you are done, maybe you should seriously think about trying to get someone to do that. Maybe it's a pipedream and I know there are legal obstacles, but there is also money to be made and that has a way of sweeping obstacles out of the way. If there is a solid script already in existence, that might be enough to get someone to jump on it. Marketed as a "purist" rendition of the beloved masterpiece, not to replace PJ's films but to supplement them, I think it would have definite financial viability. After all, PJ's vision was a pipedream, too, and look what happen there?

I love the image of the fox poking his head out and staring for a moment. A lesser screenwriter going for a "purist" take on the work would have a cheesy voiceover of him thinking “Hobbits! Well, what next? I have heard of strange doings in this land, but I have seldom heard of a hobbit sleeping out of doors under a tree. Three of them! There’s something mighty queer behind this.” Some things would simply be too puristy. This way is perfect; those of us who have obsessively read the books would "hear" the fox's thoughts in our head, just from seeing him "staring for a moment". Well done!
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

Thanks Voronwë. This isn't meant to be a professional job and I may not have the stamina to finish it anyway. I am presenting it for mutual enjoyment.
I find I tread an interesting line over purism and I'm not analysing it too much, rather I am relying on instinct. I am trying to get the spirit of the story. Above all, I am trying to make it feel cinematic. Where I make changes will be instructive for an onlooker. I am trying to maintain a build up of uncertainty and suspense. Notice for example that I only talk of a singular Black Rider to start with. That there are more is a gradual discovery for the hobbits and the viewer. I try to get all the 'good' lines in. It was a real wrench to edit out Frodo declining to carry water in his pockets for instance. I am certainly inventing dialogue and I hope I get the tone right. I rely on you lot to tell me when I go wrong. I am not above making egregious errors either. Feel free to embarrass me.

Wait for the next episode to hear the thoughts of the fox! 8)
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

I haven't really seen anything that has leapt out at me as being out of place (such as "let's hunt some orc!" :roll:).
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Post by Athrabeth »

Aw.......the fox!


<is smitten by what she has read so far>

Tosh, I really am in awe of what you have undertaken. I would never be able to adapt the tale so successfully. I really love the way you've used so much of Tolkien's original language in the dialogue, but with subtle tweaking that trims it down to better accomodate the medium. It feels very right to me so far.

I am definitely hooked, and looking forward to the next episode......sans cognitive fox reflections, of course. 8)

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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

My Internet service provider went bust so I haven't up-dated this for a while but as soon as I am on-line again I will continue. I am currently starting episode eight!
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Post by Alatar »

I promise to participate as soon as I have time Tosh! We were discussing your efforts on this at the moot. You might be surprised how many are actually interested even if not posting.
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Thanks for the update, Tosh. I was beginning to wonder. Looking forward to the next installments.
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Post by ToshoftheWuffingas »

Thank you for your patience. I have been without proper Internet access since March 15.
Here is the next part of episode three.

Cut to a close-up in sun light of Pippin's closed eye just above the blanket. His eye opens and looks around. The camera travels back to show Sam sleeping close by.
Pippin: 'Hey up! Breakfast, Sam for half past nine if you please! Is the bathwater hot yet?'

Sam rouses himself, confused, trying to rise: 'No sir, sorry!' Pippin's blanket is grasped and pulled away, rolling Pippin over.

Cut to Frodo, holding the blanket: 'Ignore him Sam.'
Fade to the hobbits walking together singing lustily and in harmony 'Upon the fire the hearth is red etc' One verse might be sufficient. One tune that would fit is known in the US as 'O Tannenbaum' and in the UK as 'The Red Flag'.
Fade to late afternoon, they are walking more slowly and meditatively, each in their own thoughts, the tune of that walking song now playing slowly and gently. Sam is at the back. He pauses and looks back then hurries forward, his pack swinging, and speaks in a low voice to Frodo.

Sam: ' I think I can hear horse's hoofs a way back behind us Mr Frodo. Do you think it might be Gandalf at last?'

Frodo, calling out quietly: 'Pippin. There may be a rider behind us. For my own reasons I do not want my business known. (Pippin nods in understanding) Follow us quietly off the road and if it does prove to be Gandalf then he deserves a surprise for being late!'
Grinning they slip silently off the road and disappear smoothly into distant bushes. Close up of Frodo's eyes watching through the leaves.
Cut to a long shot of the road stretching back straight to a bend. We hear the distant sound of muffled hoofs. Then a rider in black is seen in the distance. It gets gradually closer, stopping twice to allow the hooded rider to look around. Cut to a side shot of the road as the figure draws level. The hooded head tilts up and little twitches are seen consistent with sniffing.
Cut to a shot of the rider as seen from behind Frodo's flank. We see the chain from Frodo's belt to his pocket and the bulge of the Ring. Frodo's hand hovers over the bulge and then moves away. As he does so the Rider spurs the horse into a trot forward.
Cut to Frodo emerging from the bushes followed as he gives the all clear by the others.

Frodo: 'The rider has gone now. It was one of the Big People from outside the Shire dressed in black. When he stopped his horse he seemed to be sniffing. And also there was some power hidden within him.'

Sam: ' A bit like Gandalf?'

Frodo: 'I don't know. Perhaps not like Gandalf.'

Pippin: 'Could he have followed us here? Not many people come this way normally. Do you know something about this rider Frodo?'

Frodo: 'No and I would rather not guess. At least we escaped being seen but I would be happier if we walked off the road for a while.' Cut to them walking among the trees, the shadows getting deeper.

Frodo: 'Oh no! I can hear it again! Hide quickly!'
Cut to a side view of the road again and the rider comes into frame from the other direction. He turns his head suddenly to camera and stops his horse. Cut to Frodo flat on the ground behind tussocks of grass, openly afraid.
Cut to the rider dismounted sniffing the ground. We can hear an animal-like snuffling. We hear a loud fast heartbeat. The figure drops to a kneel then starts crawling towards the camera. Cut again to Frodo's face full of anguish .Cut back to the rider crawling, nearer now.
Suddenly we hear the faint sound of harps and then faint voices singing. As the sound is first heard the rider looks down the road then rises and hurries to his horse, mounts and rides off in the direction the hobbits were travelling in
Cut to a long shot of the straight road again, now dark. Trees rise up to frame it and a single bright star is in the darkening sky above the trees. Gradually we see a glimmer of light as the sounds become clearer and we hear laughter. Then in the distance a party of about a dozen Elves appear glowing faintly with light.
As the sound becomes clearer the first verse of the Song to Elbereth is heard. (suggestions for a tune to this song are welcome, from Donald Swann's to a classical melody)
Cut to Frodo still looking scared then turning his head to one side. His face lights up from the elf-light. He breaks out in a smile.
Cut to medium shot and Frodo is standing looking down the road. Sam comes up from behind and grabs Frodo's shoulder.

Sam: ' Is it Elves sir? Is it really Elves?' He goes to run but Frodo catches his clothes.

Frodo: 'Yes Sam and I think they scared off that rider. I do think he was coming towards us.'

Sam, not listening: 'Can we go and see them Mr Frodo?' He bends and straightens his legs in excitement.

Frodo: ' Come with me then. Pippin, you too.' While they speak, the song to Elbereth continues to be heard getting clearer. It finishes. Cut to Frodo leading the other two on to the road in front of the Elves who halt and fall silent. The leading Elf inclines his head courteously to the hobbits.

Gildor: ' Three hobbits walking at night on an Elf-road. What can it mean? Greetings Frodo.'

Frodo: ' I too like to walk under the stars but on this night I would welcome your company.'

Gildor: ' It is not our custom to walk with others and besides hobbits are such dull company. ( He bends down) But Frodo, there is some shadow of fear on you.'

Pippin, pushing forward and bowing: 'Wise people, who was that Black Rider?' The Elves all look at him and then at each other.

Gildor: 'What do you mean?'

Pippin: 'We have just seen two Black Riders or the same one twice but he went away when we heard you.' The Elves talk urgently among themselves, one goes up the road and examines it closely.

Gildor: 'I am Gildor Inglorion of the house of Finrod. I think tonight you had better journey with us.' Pippin bows again, Sam just gapes, looking upwards, Frodo looks up to the sky.

Frodo: 'A star shines on the hour of our meeting. Elen sila lumenn omentielvo.'
Cut briefly to a nearer view of the star alone above the trees.

Cut to Gildor raising a finger to his lips: ' Speak no secrets, we have a scholar in the Ancient Tongue. (He holds out his hand) Come with us now, there is still a distance for your small legs before you can sleep.'
Cut to Elves walking in two files, Frodo and Sam between them. The Elves look vigilant. Pippin is held by the arms on the back of one of the Elves, smiling in his sleep. (a scene later echoed grimly in the flight of the Uruk Hai). Sam is walking as if in an ecstatic trance. Frodo is talking earnestly to Gildor.
Cut to the night-camp. Pippin is fast asleep, Frodo is still talking to Gildor. A group of elves look out from the edge of the camp towards the night sky singing softly polyphonically in the style of Tallis or Byrd.. Sam is sitting open mouthed looking from side to side as the sound fades away.
Cut to Frodo and Gildor talking privately, Sam stretched out asleep at Frodo's feet.

Gildor: '…..Yes I have seen Bilbo. But you too are leaving the Shire thinking that you may never return. I see that you have a secret and that the Enemy pursues you.'

Frodo: 'Was that Black Rider an enemy then? What is he?'

Gildor: 'If Gandalf told you nothing then nor should I but I will say that the Shire is no protection for you now.'

Frodo: 'Your hints only scare me more. Gandalf was meant to come with me. He should have returned to the Shire by this summer but he hasn't appeared yet, not even for my birthday.'

Gildor, silent at first: ' I do not like this news.' He is silent again. 'My company will split up to spread news of this Rider, to look for Gandalf and to bring you help. Frodo, son of Drogo, I name you Elf-friend and will counsel you this - do not go alone - take such friends as you can trust and are willing. As for the Black Rider - flee him, he is deadly! I believe that before long you will know more of this fell thing than Gildor Inglorion. (He stands and looks up to the sky) May Elbereth protect you. Now, come, you must sleep. When you wake we will already be gone.'

Cut to Frodo, heavy eyed, covering himself with a blanket and whispering to himself: 'It is courage for myself that I need to find first.'
Fade to a sunrise glinting through trees and mist. Cut to Frodo stowing the packs. He pauses and straightens up. He talks softly to himself: 'I cannot take my friends where weariness and hunger have no cure. No, this inheritance is mine alone.' (he sees Sam nearby) '…Sam, I am going to leave the Shire altogether and not spend a single day at Crickhollow.'

Sam, moving into frame: 'Very good sir.'

Frodo: 'But you can't mean to still come with me. It will be dangerous and very likely I may never come back.'

Sam: ' "Don't you leave him" they said, "Leave him?" I said, " not if he climbs to the moon and if a Black Rider tries to stop him he'll have Sam Gamgee to reckon with." Oh, they laughed; the Elves I mean last night. I don't rightly know what I want, not Elves, nor dragons or mountains now but I have to do something now before the end. I hope to see it through if you understand me.'

Frodo: 'No, but I understand that Gandalf picked me a good companion. (he raises his voice) Pippin! I plan to cut straight across the Marish to the Bucklebury Ferry (Pippin comes into frame too) to miss the long loop of the road altogether. It will save us miles.'

Pippin and Sam together: 'We'll miss the Golden Perch! It has the best ale in the East Farthing.'
They pout as Frodo replies: ' That settles it! We'll not reach the ferry by dark past the open door of an inn.'
Cut to a few brief shots of the hobbits wading through muddy streams and over rough tangled ground. Cut to the hobbits sitting under an alder tree with reeds nearby , finishing the last lines of 'Ho ho ho, to the bottle I go.' As the song finishes a distant wailing cry of a Black Rider is heard. They freeze as it stretches on and on. As it stops they relax and stretch out for food when a second cry is heard. All their heads turn in the same direction.

Frodo, grimly: 'So, there are two of them. There were words in those calls too.'
Soberly, they don their packs and move on.
Last edited by ToshoftheWuffingas on Mon May 26, 2008 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Pearly Di
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Post by Pearly Di »

Tosh, I'm loving your Frodo. :love:

Sam and Pippin are also very good. Perhaps Sam could exclaim "Stars and glory!" or something equally Sam-like when he gets sooooo excited about seeing the Elves, bless him.

Absolutely no Donald Swann for the Song of Elbereth, by the way.
:P Me no like. :rofl:

Tolkien sang the Hymn to Elbereth in an old plainchant tune. Stephen Oliver composed it as an Elizabethan madrigal for the BBC LOTR. Personally I favour something more Celtic and mystical-sounding. I love Howard Shore's scoring of it. :love:

This is a great scene: full of tension and foreboding!
"Frodo undertook his quest out of love - to save the world he knew from disaster at his own expense, if he could ... "
Letter no. 246, The Collected Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
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