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The Stone Giants - A Possible History

thursday_next
The Shire


Apr 7 2013, 12:46pm


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The Stone Giants - A Possible History Can't Post

Mae Govannen, all you Ring people.....

The stone giants get half a page in 'The Hobbit' (considerably expanded upon in the film), yet where they come from and what they in fact are remains a mystery. You'd expect them to have their own biography, or at the very least to turn up in the Appendices. But they don't. Nobody talks about them, which is kind of weird. Here's my own particular view:

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“ ‘Well, if you know of anywhere better, take us there!’, said Gandalf, who was feeling very grumpy, and was far from happy about the giants himself….’ "

Readers of ‘The Hobbit’ are used to this. ‘Oh no. Tolkien whimsy alert! On guard! I wish he had knocked the pipeweed on the head for a bit, and wouldn’t write this stuff quite so late at night. Tolkien doesn’t have a sense of humour. Not really. That’s why we like him. If we wanted someone with a sense of humour we would read Henry James’

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‘Oh, dear me! What have you done?’ thought Gandalf. ‘Sentient mountains! It’s like being stuck inside one of Michael Bay’s dreams. How did I not know about this? (Assumes Elrond’s accent – ‘This, Gandalf, was Glamdring, Foehammer that the king of Gondolin once wore….’) ‘Well, Elrond, what do you think of this? Had the king of Gondolin any trouble with huge mountains that were attacking his lands? No, I thought not…..’

Gandalf was forced to duck an enormous boulder that a screaming rock giant had launched at his head. ‘What if the Necromancer should become aware of this? With his dark arts and his malice, he could get them to do……well, basically, just what they are doing now……Owwwww, that was close! AAAARRRRGH!!!!!!!’

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About three days later, Gandalf woke up with concussion, a set of minor injuries and a sense of relief. ‘Thank the Valar for that! It was all a fantasy! The mountain giants, falling down 10 miles twice, the extremely strange Great Goblin, Azog unexpectedly coming back from the dead , and Radagast’s ridiculous rabbit sled doing chase routines. What was that all about? He’s got a horse, Tolkien says so, quite clearly and unequivocally. A horse. What’s wrong with that?’

He turned round to Thorin Oakenshield, who had also escaped with minor injuries, and said ‘For a moment there I believed that the pass was festooned with mountains throwing rocks at one another….’

‘Oh, no’ said Thorin. ‘We’re dwarves. We know all about mountains. We’d know about that. Ridiculous idea’. He sat up and nursed his ribs. ‘My goodness! I could have done without falling down 10 miles twice! Mind you, that wizard friend of yours with the bird poo in this hair got it right with the rabbit sled – that was seriously good! Fili and Kili tried it with kittens once, but it was a complete shambles.…’

Gandalf stared at Thorin in a thoughtful way.

‘What?’ said Thorin.

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This morning’s meeting of the White Council had not gone as well as it could have done. It had been nice to see Galadriel once again, but her tendency to break down into fits of giggles whenever Gandalf tried to bring up the subject of the stone giants was putting him into a foul mood. Galadriel had gone for over three thousand years without giggling, as far as Gandalf was aware.

‘So, Gandalf, what else do you think the Necromancer is planning to use?’ said Saruman. ‘We have had the dragon and the living mountains. What next, a Balrog? Fell beasts of the air? The giant centipede of Hilgrim?’

‘Do not mock! I saw them, clear as day’, said Gandalf.

‘But none of your companions saw them’, said Elrond. ‘Gandalf, you need a rest!’

Saruman sighed, impatiently. ‘Is this meeting of the White Council going to agree that we need to eject the Necromancer from Dol Guldur?’

‘Yes’ said Galadriel, Elrond and Gandalf.

‘We will need armies, that is unless he is prepared to eject himself. I can supply eight of my small goblin-type creatures who look exactly like goblins but are not. Galadriel, are you happy to provide archers?

Galadriel thought for a moment and did some adding-up gestures with her fingers. ‘I can supply 36 Galadhrim, maybe 37. But they are good. Well, most of them, anyway. Some of them can’t hit a barn door from 20 feet, but they do look amazing, as long as they don’t have to do anything that doesn’t involve interior design or cookery. Elrond?’

‘I have a lot of my elves composing the ‘Lay Of Finrod Felagund’ at the moment, but I suppose I can spare 15’

‘That’s nearly 60. That should be enough. We are simply going to oust him, not kill him. Hopefully this will act as a lesson to him to cease necromancy, and to take up……some other interest. I have no idea what ex-Necromancers do, to be quite honest, but he can go away to some other part of Middle-Earth and do it there. Any further business?’ said Saruman.

Gandalf drew Elrond to one side, and said ‘Elrond, I must use your library. Have you got a search function that can cross-reference mountains and forgetfulness spells?’

‘No, not as such’ said Elrond. ‘My only search function consists of things from the First Age in one room, things from the Second Age in another, and things from…..’

‘Yes, yes, I get the point. Do you have any coffee?’

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After a week of this Gandalf felt overwhelmed by all the stupendous quantities of lore – a lot of it was plain nonsense, and none of it was very exciting. He was also developing rune blindness, also known as ‘Celembrimbor’s Bane’, a condition whereby you could see runes everywhere out of the corners of your eyes, but not on the particular page you happened to be looking at.

He was just about to give up, when suddenly a particular volume caught his eye. ‘How did Elrond get hold of this…..this cannot be…..surely…..’ For five hours he carried on reading, and then he called out ‘Elrond….Elrond……ELROND!!!’

‘I don’t believe it’, said Elrond.

‘Take a look at the seal’, said Gandalf.

‘That’s remarkable!’

‘Yes, isn’t it? How did you come to own it, anyway?’ said Gandalf.

‘Ummm…..I’m not sure. I used to buy job lots of parchments out of the Wain Boot Sale down at Tharbad, but that hasn’t been going for quite a while’
.
‘How did the diary of Morgoth find its way into the Wain Boot Sale at Tharbad?’

‘Well, I would guess that the world was changed and then…..I really don’t know what happened then. I haven’t got a clue. Maybe being one of the Valar was some help in waterproofing his diary…… I don’t know how that would work, to be quite honest….. and then it floated down the Great Sea…..I’m thinking on my feet here, Gandalf, don’t look like that….’

‘Maybe we will never know. But, to put political correctness to one side for a minute, it is a cracking read. The bit about Beren and Luthien in his dungeon differs wildly from the cleaned-up version the Noldor put out. But take a look at this…..’ said Gandalf.

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Part of 'The Melkor Chronicles'


This afternoon I stood on the reeking battlements of Thangorodrim and gazed out, thoughtfully.

‘Sauron?’ I said.

‘I do not allow my name to be spelt or spoken………’ he said. There was a silence.

‘Unless it is by you, of course, my lord’, he added.

‘Where are the four mountains directly to the east?’

‘Umm…..I hadn’t noticed there were four mountains directly to the east’

‘Don’t be obtuse, Sauron. We had an entire mountain range to our east. Now we’ve only got part of one’

‘I cannot tell a lie….’

‘Yes, you can. You’re probably the biggest liar in the whole of Middle-Earth’

‘It was my fault’, he confessed, sounding hurt. ‘Or I think it was. It could be a massive coincidence here, but I think the mountains are gone because of the spells I put on them…’

‘……...’

‘I was trying to make trolls, and it went a bit pear-shaped, OK? We can all have hindsight, and say you shouldn’t have done this, and you shouldn’t have done that. Everyone’s a critic….’

‘………………’

‘Consider your basic common or garden troll. The two most important facts about trolls are that they are simple-minded, and they can’t go out after sunrise because they turn to stone. This leads us to a 96% mortality rate among trolls through sun-related incidents. They are a waste of time and money, in my opinion. So, my idea is that we cut out the middle man and make the trolls out of stone in the first place’ said Sauron.

‘Have you any idea of how completely stupid that plan sounds?’

‘I’m well aware of how stupid it sounds…..but in other ways it’s not…..look, it turned out to look a little stupid, but only because I panicked when the mountains weren’t doing anything and piled on spell after spell in desperation. In the end I gave up and went off to bed. In the morning the mountains were gone. They were only playing at being dead, in my estimation’

‘Which they would have been anyway, were it not for your meddling. But above all else, there is the giant finger…..’

‘I was hoping you wouldn’t notice that, to be quite honest’

‘It’s probably visible from space. It’s three thousand feet high’

‘I must admit, the detailing is remarkable. Especially around the nail’

‘I used to really enjoy those mountains. I don’t even know what their names were. Given that Tolkien is involved here, they probably had four or five names each. They gave me a sense of quiet tranquillity amid the repulsiveness of my average day. And now they’ve insulted me, and I’m forced to hunt them down like dogs, torture them and then kill them. That’s what hurts’

‘I…..’

‘Do not speak. Equip a hundred and fifty thousand orcs, and have them ready to leave by tomorrow. Do you think you can manage that without going inexplicably off message?’

‘Yes, my lord’

‘These battlements are really reeking, aren’t they? Can’t something be done?’

‘It’s the wolf. He likes to drag orcs up here and then devour them. He is something of a messy eater’

‘And you’ve done nothing about it?’

‘Let’s face it, he’s mental. He took a bite out of a Balrog yesterday. I generally try to avoid him when at all possible’

‘Fair enough. That’s my approach, as well’

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‘Oh, Gandalf, stop it. There’s no point in dancing and punching the air. Those mountains would have had to survive at least six thousand years in Middle-Earth without anybody noticing them. That’s rather a tall order’ said Elrond.

‘I don’t know about that, Master Elrond. If you read on, the orc chase seems like the most appalling slaughter. 150,000 orcs set out, 7 returned’

‘The mountains created this bloodshed?’

‘No, they never caught sight of the mountains. The orcs got two days into their quest, and they had no memory of what it was that they were looking for. The fact that the mountains were leaving a whole swathe of death and destruction in their wake that could have been followed by a short-sighted orc with learning difficulties made no avail. There were those in favour of returning to Thangorodrim and seeking more counsel, and those who were so terrified of Morgoth’s wrath that they’d rather have their liver feasted on by rats. I am uncertain as to which was the better option. They decided, rather predictably, to fight each other’

‘I wouldn’t want to be the one that told Morgoth that’, said Elrond.

‘There is quite a lot of unsuitable language at that point, yes. He had the seven survivors tortured and then killed, a bit unfairly in my view, but that’s Morgoth for you. Sauron came out of hiding about four weeks later, and the relationship between them was rather testy for some time after that. I have a feeling that the mountains decided to get as far away from Angband as possible. Take a look at this map here…..’

‘That’s nothing like Middle-Earth in the first age!’

‘I know. It’s drawn by Christopher Tolkien, so one has to make allowances. My best guess is that their route takes them between the Unconvincing Mountains and the Off White Mountains, and then they’re in the Second Age. The story becomes legend. Legend becomes myth. And myth goes more or less straight through into nonsense. Unless you’re one of the people of Cirith Talan, Bragol Girith or Malmlad, according to this lore here’

‘I’ve never heard of any of those places’, said Elrond.

‘It would be a wonder if you had’, said Gandalf. ‘The bright thing is that none of the few survivors seem to be at all put out to have their city flattened with no obvious cause. I quote Angathuiros from Cirith Talan – “Middle-Earth, eh? It’s full of surprises. You’ve got to love it…..” ’


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'Childless lords sat in aged halls musing on heraldry; in secret chambers withered men compounded strong elixirs, or in high cold towers asked questions of the stars'

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The Stone Giants - A Possible History thursday_next Send a private message to thursday_next Apr 7 2013, 12:46pm

 
 
 

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