LOTR fanfiction: Treatise on FF in ME by Mori|
Summary: A perfect summer day in Imladris is disturbed by a strange visitor from a galaxy far, far away. She brings a warning in a plastic, loose leaf notebook.
Disclaimer: They are not mine. Tolkien is a genius. But since he said he wanted to create a world that readers wanted to expand on, I enjoy doing so. With gusto.
Aragorn laughed and rolled onto his side, throwing his half-eaten apple at Legolas' head. The elf ducked out of the way and ran towards the lake. Arwen, Elladan and Elrohir were floating in the shallows, enjoying the lazy summer day in Imladris. Elrond was propped up against a tree on the far side of the picnic blanket, reading a book. The Elf Lord occasionally looked up over the top of his book and smiled fondly at his children, both the true ones and those he'd adopted over the past several decades. It was a peaceful day, one of many this particular year and Elrond was pleased. That was until he noticed the stranger walking out of the woods towards the happy family gathering.
Obviously dressed for travel, the character wore a long green cloak, hood up, and carried what looked to be a black leather satchel. The leather looked odd to his sharp Elven eyes, but he didn't dwell on it. What he could see of the figure's clothes under that cloak puzzled him more than the satchel. There were thick, blue pants and a short tunic stripped in bright orange and green. The soft, white shoes on the stranger's feet were laced with bright green strings that matched the tunic. No wonder the stranger needed the long, hooded cloak. Without it, they would attract the attention of anything in the forest with eyes.
"Halt. You are walking in Elven woods, my good fellow. It is not wise to do so without an Elven guide," Elrond said sharply, laying his book aside and standing gracefully to his feet. Aragorn was immediately by his side and the younger elves were quickly making their way back towards their weapons. The stranger stopped and threw back her hood. Elrond was surprised to find himself faced by a human girl, looking about the same age as Aragorn. That in itself could be deceiving, considering Estel's Numenorean blood, but Elrond guessed her to be well past her teens.
"Greetings, Loving Elven family! I promise you, I am not armed and I mean you no ill will. Pardon my intrusion, but I come with an important message, a warning really, to the people of Middle Earth," the woman said with a bow and flourish. That made them all pause.
"A message from whom, my lady," Elrond asked in concern. The woman shook her head and pulled her satchel around, pulling the flap that held it closed. It made a horrible ripping sound and Legolas visibly winced. She smiled and flipped the cloth flap back, completely intact.
“Velcro. Marvelous invention. But I digress. I’m here to give you this,” she said, pulling out a thick manuscript with slick, shiny blue binding. About this time, the other people in the meadow registered her strange clothes.
“Who are you?” asked Elladan
“No one of consequence. I’m just a messenger,” she said cheerfully.
“I must know,” Elladan said pleadingly.
“Get used to disappointment,” the woman said, a particularly pleased smile on her face. Elladan looked at her in shock but his brother broke in before he could say anything else.
“At least tell us where you come from?” the younger twin asked.
“A galaxy far, far away,” the woman said with another pleased grin. When she was greeted by blank stares, she rolled her eyes.
“Wrong genre, go figure. Anyway, I digress again. I was sent just to give you this book and to answer any questions you might have about the subject matter,” she said, tossing the manuscript in Elrond’s general direction. The elf’s reflexes served him well and he caught it out of the air with ease. He almost dropped it, however, upon feeling the cool material it was made of. He examined it, eyes wide in awe. The woman sighed.
“I told them not to send the cheap version. Another marvelous invention called a plastic loose-leaf notebook, my lord Elrond. Pay it no mind. Its what is on the pages inside that concerns you and the lives of all those in Middle Earth,” she said seriously. The elf lord nodded distractedly and opened the notebook to peer inside. Legolas perked up then, his curiosity getting the better of him.
“What does ‘loose-leaf’ mean?” he asked. The woman wriggled her eyebrows at him and winked.
“Depends on the translation and context, my dear Legolas Greenleaf,” she said. The Mirkwood elf looked extremely bemused until Aragorn leaned over and whispered in his ear. The blond elf gaped for a moment and then blushed, avoiding the strange woman’s eyes. She let him off the hook, however.
“Loose leaf, in this case, simply means the pages are loose and they have holes in them so that they can be placed on rings inside the notebook. I only have four copies. You’ll have to share,” she said, pulling three other notebooks from the satchel and tossing one to Aragorn and another to Elrohir. She kept one for herself and flipped it open as the others all huddled around separate notebooks.
“Follow along, if you will,” she said and this is what they saw.
Title: A Treatise on Middle-Earth Inspired Fan Fiction
Herein lies the answer to many questions you might have had (and others that you might not have dreamed of asking) about fan fiction based in Middle-Earth. To those of you coming across fan fiction for the first time, this book should be a guide to understanding the different genres within the writing style. We are focusing only on the fan fiction of Middle Earth, but please be aware that fan fiction exists for almost every famous person in history, popular novels and movies (Middle Earthlings, a movie is something like a stage play in a box. Don’t ask, it’s complicated). I believe fan fiction would fall under the category of 'Cult Following' in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. There is no reason to be alarmed unless you are personally the subject of such fan fiction and find yourself caught up in a story that you cannot get yourself out of. This book is written to help you recognize such situations so that you may get yourself out of them with grace if you wish, or so that you may hunt down the author and demand recompense for pain and suffering. The choice is yours. Now, on with the show.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Please note: Each section has at least one example of said type. The names of the authors have been changed to protect the very naive from embarrassment and the very evil from retaliation. Please note that only fan-fiction written in the English language (or ‘common’ for you Middle Earthlings) is being used for examples.
A Comedy of Errors: The Grammatical Horror
This chapter is full of examples of fan-fiction written by those with little or no concept of ‘English Grammar’. All authors are subject to the occasional error and some authors do not speak English as a primary language. Such things are excused from the following examination.
Mary-Sue Greenleaf: Romance in Mirkwood
Define Mary-Sue (n.) - a character written into a fan fiction work for the sole purpose of falling into love (or lust) with one or more of the lead subjects. These stories are often unoriginal and many times include the usage of the author’s own personage as the character. Some ‘Mary-Sue’ style stories do have a fairly original plot and a well developed original character. Selections include the bad, the merely unoriginal and the well written.
Tolkien Revisited: Rehashed and Retrofitted
These fan fictions are simply forays into the world of Middle Earth without adding to the cast of characters or the general plot written by the Creator, herein named J.R.R. Tolkien. For you Middle Earthlings, think of Tolkien as Illuvitar. It will save astronomical sums on psychiatric counseling in the future. Often included in this writing style are the ‘Missing Scene’ type fan fictions. These stories can be tastefully done or so horribly mutilated that Tolkien himself could not mend them. Be on your guard as you read over both types.
The Elfing's Romp Room: Toddler Tales
Here lie the tales of young Middle Earth. Stories about elflings and baby Edain abound in this section, often delightful though sometimes a little on the dark side. Here you will find the stories of Legolas and his first bow, Aragorn begging Elrond to allow him to go hunting with his Elven brothers, Glorfindel’s rebirth and many others. A few of the more cheerful examples are included here.
Aragorn and Legolas, Sittin' in a Tree: Slash in Focus
Slash fan fiction is an interesting (for some) redefinition of the relationships in Tolkien’s works. Herein defined as a fan fiction that deals with male/male or female/female relationships in either love or lust. All types of fan fiction are subject to a slash sub-style. No doubt all the slash categories are not listed here, but we will cover a fair number of them. Examples of both a tasteful and a mistreated version are included in each category.
The Slash categories are:
-Here Comes Leggy with the Baby Carriage: Strange Elven Anatomy
Wherein some male character manages to become pregnant, called Mpreg fiction.
-Elf Envy: A Gimli and Legolas Story
Elves and Dwarves learn to compromise their differences. Love (or lust) blooms.
-Consider the Hobbit: All the Small Things
The all you can eat Hobbitty buffet. Anyone disturbed yet?
-The Eldar Days: Elrond and Gil-Galad
Was there love before Celebrien? Breaking news at 11.
-The Odd Couple: That Twin to Twin Connection
Is there a polite way to say ‘incest’?
-Band of Sisters: Women of Tolkien
Women of Tolkien unite and their men are shocked (and often beg to watch).
Alice in Wonderland: The Imladris Invasion
These stories are written to drop someone not of Middle Earth into…well, Middle Earth. Authors from many different walks of life fantasize about being able to visit and get to know their most beloved characters from Tolkien’s works. Some are purely fantastical in their views of how someone from the author’s world could be thrust into Arda. Gandalf or Galadriel are usually involved and more often than not some villain from the author’s world (that only someone ELSE from author’s world could possibly understand or catch) has come to destroy all that is good and green. Other stories are quite scientific about the process and usual involve some rift in the space-time continuum (i.e. a black hole). Avoid large flashes of light and giant swirling portals at all costs.
Fellowship Team Walk-On: Ten Heads are Better than Nine
Tenth Walker fan fictions include any and all stories where a tenth character is written into the Fellowship of the Ring. Many of these stories also fall within the scope of one or more of the other fan fiction styles. Mary-Sue and Alice in Wonderland fan fictions are two very prominent styles that use the Tenth Walker theme as part of their plot. We will highlight one of each.
A Gondorian in King Arthur's Court: Alternate Universe
Take the Alice in Wonderland style and reverse it. Someone from Middle Earth is thrust into the author’s world (or into some world other than Tolkien’s, herein identified as a Crossover style of fan fiction) and all hell breaks loose. That or some lovely Mary-Sue finds them and teaches them all they need to know about life outside of Arda. Trust me, Middle Earthlings, planes, trains and automobiles are NOT as awesome as they seem. Again, avoid large flashes of light and giant swirling portals at all costs. Do not, under any circumstances, touch the water in Galadriel’s mirror. Oh, and Lord Elrond, do not under any circumstances try to recreate Velcro or plastic.
Trauma: Life in the EER (Elrond's Emergency Room)
Drama is part of life, as is angst and pain. The authors that tend to write in this style love to kick their characters while they’re down, putting them through the worst (pretty bad at the very least), cleverly (if you’re lucky) ‘orc’hestrated hell on Middle Earth. Some end happily, some sadly and others just don’t seem to end at all. The range of good to bad writing in this style is enormous. We will try to give you a good idea, through examples, of what to look out for to avoid falling into some of these literary traps. Unless you happen to be a masochist. Then by all means, enjoy the journey.
Trauma Categories Are:
-Death Becomes You: The Eulogy
Who’s bringing the tissues, because I’m going to cry for hours.
-Elven Heartbreak: Neck Deep in Angst
Elves can only die in battle or from a broken heart. Love sucks, don’t it?
-Mellon Chronicles: They Really Should Make a Timex Ad
*waves little pom-poms* Who takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’? Legolas and Aragorn. Who patches them up every time they get banged up? Lord Elrond. Who has the friendship that survives any obstacle? Aragorn and Legolas. How do they manage to make it to the Fourth Age? Eru only knows.
The woman looked up from her notebook and smiled tiredly. The sun was nearly set and all her students had been quiet for a long time. They were all reading some example or another.
“I’m not done with that page yet, Dan,” Elrohir complained when Elladan turned a page prematurely. The elder twin sighed and flipped the page back again.
"What do you find so fascinating about this, Ro? Its…quite frankly…disturbing,” Elladan said with a frown. Elrohir grinned.
“I think its rather interesting,” he said. Elladan rolled his eyes.
“I died and you think it’s interesting?”
On the other side of the blanket, Legolas and Aragorn were both flipping through the end of the book. Legolas sighed softly.
“Now that is true friendship,” he said. Aragorn cut him a sideways glance and grinned.
“Does that mean if I charge into battle with two dozen orcs and get captured and tortured and poisoned until I can’t stand up anymore, you’ll come rescue me without thought of life or limb?” the man asked. Legolas snorted.
“I said *that* is true friendship.”
Aragorn shoved the blonde elf and they ended up in a wrestling match, knocking over several containers of food. This left Arwen alone with their notebook and she grabbed it, flipping back several pages with a frown of bemusement on her face. She muttered something about Eowyn and shook her head. Elrond was just holding his notebook, staring at his children with an unreadable expression. After a moment he put the book down and looked back at the strange woman. She raised on eyebrow at him in question.
“This is…very disturbing. You say these fan fictions have the power to affect us?” he asked. The woman nodded.
“To a certain extent. Which I way I’ve brought you these notebooks. Just be on your guard and you’ll never end up in a situation you can’t get out of. It you really want to get out of it,” she said with a chuckle. Elrond grimaced and nodded.
"You’ve given us quite a bit to think about, my lady. You’ve obviously traveled far. Can I offer you a warm meal and a place to stay for the night? I must say it might be good to have you around in case we can think of more questions,” he said, his eyes flicking to her satchel for a split second. The lady laughed.
“Not a chance, my good Lord Peredhil. I have a date with one of those giant swirling portals in a little while,” she said with a wink. The elf lord looked very disappointed as she stood up and shook out her cloak, which she had at some point pulled off and used as a blanket of her own. She pulled her hood back up and picked up her satchel. She glanced at the others in the meadow again but they all seemed not to notice her movement. She smiled wryly and stepped closer to Elrond, holding out the satchel.
“A parting gift, I think,” she said softly. The Elf Lord perked up and took the satchel with trembling hands, immediately touching the strange and wondrous ‘Velcro’ as the strange woman slipped away with a quiet laugh.
"Goodbye, Alice,” Elrond murmured as she went, never lifting his head from the examination of his new toy.