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For these there was no excuse....
Context: Sewage in Middle-Earth
The moon was shining brightly as Aragorn woke with a start, his sharp ranger's awareness searching for the slight sound or motion that had woken him. But he could sense nothing amiss, and all seemed peaceful in the wood about him.
The guards of Lórien, at least, were too well-trained to let aught evil through. He stretched slowly, preparing to return to sleep, but the slight motion brought to his attention the fullness of his bladder, which was starting to get rather uncomfortable.
He stood up, looking about him, realising for the first time that nobody had in fact told them where the garderobes were, or indeed whether they had garderobes. Still, it ought to be easy to find somewhere - there were plenty of large trees, after all.
A moments reflection told Aragorn that this would not be a good idea. The Galadhrim had funny ideas about their trees, as he well knew4, and using one as a urinal, even in the wee hours, would surely go amiss. He grimaced, and looked around, but no sign of any suitable facilities could he see.
He paused a moment, listening to the rustling of leaves, the owls hooting far above, the running water in the distance...
Damn. The sound of running water was in fact doing something very funny to his psyche, and what had originally been a faint discomfort was now an urgent need. He set off in the direction of the stream quickly. There at least he would be able to relieve himself without offending his hosts.
He drew nearer to the stream, mentally crossing his legs as its suggestive tricklings and gurglings became louder.
He reached it, and unlaced his breeches quickly, grateful at last for the relief-
He halted. It took an *immense* effort of will.
It was Haldir. And Rumil. And Orophin. And there were now three arrows pointing up his nostrils from the other bank of the stream. "Know you not that this stream is Nimrodel, who is sacred to us?" Haldir asked angrily.
"What? Oh, shi-?"
He made an immediate, and very penitent, sincere apology. They accepted it graciously, though he could tell that his esteem in their eyes had fallen considerably.
"Could you not tell me where-?" he begged, and Haldir smiled.
"We will take you there straightway."
It was a long journey, but not for nothing was Aragorn the Heir of Elendil; and he endured it without complaint. Or at least without audible complaint.
The buildings to which he was led were old, wooden structures, sited on top of what appeared to be a well-used midden. He raced inside and locked the door, trying earnestly not to inhale as he did so. He relieved himself, very quickly, and left the hut at the double. The three Elven brothers had gone, for which he was most grateful.
The gratitude quickly evaporated. He looked round, confused, and then again, somewhat alarmed. He had, he realised, no idea of the way back.
Next time, he decided, he'd simply find a tree.
Author: Little My
Context: How could Bilbo ‘smell' the Elves in The Hobbit?
Rereading "The Hobbit" this morning, I discovered an astonishing passage that may explain all about this elf smell. Amazing that I've never seen it before... I will transcibe it here:
"Hmmm! It smells like elves!" thought Bilbo, and he looked up at the stars. They were burning bright and blue. Just then there came a burst of song like laughter in the trees.
O! What are you doing,
And where are you going?
Your ponies need shoeing!
The river is flowing!
Here down in the valley!
O! What are you seeking,
And where are you making?
The faggots are reeking,
The bannocks are baking!
The valley is jolly,
So they laughed and sang in the trees; and pretty fair nonsense I daresay you think it. Not that they would care; they would only laugh all the more if you told them so. They were elves of course. Soon Bilbo caught glimpses of them as the darkness deepened, and the indefinable smell of the elves grew stronger.
At last one, a tall young fellow, came out from the trees to greet them.
"Welcome to the valley!" he said, bowing low to Gandalf and Thorin.
Suddenly, with a clink and a clatter, an astonishing assortment of bottles spilled out of his pockets. The elf reddened visibly, even in the growing dusk.
"Ooops!" he said brightly, and scooping up the bottles, made off into the trees at high speed.
Something glimmered faintly on the ground, and overcome by curiosity, Bilbo hopped off his pony and stooped to investigate. The elf had forgotten one bottle, and as Bilbo picked it up, he could see it was filled with a clear brownish liquid. There was a black label on the side, depicting a large man in a baggy white suit, leaping into the air, one leg stretched out in front of him in a vicious looking kick. Over this image were the words `Hai Karate'.
Wondering, Bilbo unscrewed the cap, and was suddenly overwhelmed by an incredibly strong odour, the same one that he had noticed upon entering the valley. But now it was strong enough to make his eyes water and the inside of his nose shrivel. So this was the mysterious scent that was always associated with the elves.
Sensing movement beside him, Bilbo looked up into Balin's dark laughing eyes. There was a faint grin on the dwarf's face as he said: "Cheap drugstore cologne. Makes `em act all crazy."
And whistling a jaunty tune, Balin moved to follow the others, leaving Bilbo kneeling on the ground in astonishment, still clutching the bottle.
Author: Little My
Context: How could Bilbo ‘smell' the Elves in The Hobbit?
Commercial from Middle Earth TV:
Fade in to Celeborn, sitting by a window in a talan. He turns to the camera with a toothy grin.
Celeborn: "When I want to get noticed by the ladies, I use Aqualonde Velva!"
He holds up a very large bottle filled with bright blue liquid. The label is gaudily decorated with waves, swans and ships. He pours a liberal amount into his hands and slaps it vigorously onto his face.
Celeborn: "Aaahhhh! The tang of the sea, with a delicate undertone of kinslaying and just a hint of burning ships! Invigorating!"
He strides from the talan, slightly hindered by the fact that his eyes are watering profusely. At the base of the tree he encounters Galadriel and sweeps her into his arms. She gasps for air.
Galadriel: "Why? Why did I not see this coming in my mirror?? Oh, cruel fate! Eeeeeeeeeee!"
She passes out, eyes streaming, overcome by the fumes.
Celeborn lookes up at the camera with a wink.
Celeborn: "It never fails! Thanks, Aqualonde Velva!"
Context: How could Bilbo ‘smell' the Elves in The Hobbit? (Revenge for the preceding)
Gandalf stood at Frodo's side and looked out under his hand. "We have done well," he said. "We have reached the borders of the country that Men call Hollin."
The company continued down the low ridge, picking their way single-file along an old animal trail which wound through the ancient holly trees. The air was chill and they could see their breath hang in front of them. They were tired and dirty and ready for a rest, but Aragorn and Gandalf pressed them on.
Gimli stomped behind Aragorn, his eyes on the ground. It had been a long march that day and the dwarf could feel the stiffness in his legs, the creeping weariness, and a generous trickle of sweat streamed down his back from the nape of his neck. He would have to launder his clothes at the next available stream, he supposed. Yup, it had been a long march, but they had made good time and covered a great distance and that was satisfying. Satisfying that they had put some many more miles between themselves and that abode of elves in the mountains. Rivendell was fair enough, he supposed, to some eyes, but not his. Perhaps if it stood empty and abandoned by those flighty, full-of-themselves creatures who dwelt there, it's value as real estate might go up....
Gimli paused in mid-step and mid-thought. He cast his eyes upward at the grey sky. Overcast, as it had been the past day or so, but it was not raining. He thought he had felt the patter of raindrops upon his shoulder.
He shrugged and continued forward, walking a little faster to catch up with Aragorn. Damn the man and his long stride! Given the frugality of a Ranger's life, one had to wonder exactly how it was Aragorn had gotten to be so tall. Elvish influence in his upbringing, Gimli supposed. Elvish draughts and all kinds of unnatural...
Drip drip drip.
Gimli jerked his head around. That was definitely something there! Something wet on his back. Had the horse sneezed? No. Sam and Frodo and Bill were some ways back. Pippin and Merry were near, but neither of them were rubbing their noses or looking teary-eyed, so it couldn't have been a hobbit sneeze. A hobbit sneeze could be heard across mountains over the sound of a raging blizzard, anyhow. Pippin was making a concerted effort to examine something on the ground, but Gimli could not see quite what had captured his attention. The elf was... well, who cared really what he was doing? but Legolas was merely walking complacently alongside the hobbits, marking with interest the leaves and branches of the holly trees ridging the path.
Gimli made a noise in his throat and reached around to wipe the whatever-it-was from between his shoulder blades, but couldn't quite reach. He frowned and gave up.
He placed one booted foot in front of the other, kicking up little clouds of dust as planted his feet firmly to the ground with each step, and he trudged on.
He couldn't quite figure out the fascination that the Elves had for trees. Perhaps they had chipmunks for ancestors. With those ears and eyes and the way they liked to climb and chatter, it seemed not unlikely. He wondered about the capacity of Legolas's cheeks for storing acorns. He certainly had a big enough mouth at times.
Well, in any case, these trees didn't really inspire much interest from the dwarf. Simply holly trees with dark leaves and berries, and a smell that was a little peculiar, but they *were* pretty old trees and of a kind Gimli had not seen before. A really peculiar smell, actually, and it seemed to be growing stronger even though the trees were thinning out as they reached the bottom of the ridge. Really quite strong, actually. An odd thing that they should....
THAT did it. Gimli whirled to see Pippin succumb to some kind of coughing fit and Merry run back to help Sam with Bill, even though the pony was plodding dutifully along without complaint. The dwarf had been quick enough this time to catch Legolas spin on his heel and swiftly tuck a blue bottle into his shirt.
Gimli leapt forward with a speed that belied appearances and grabbed the elf's wrist.
"HEY!," Legolas protested. "I'll thank you to keep your hands to yourself, Master Dwarf!"
"And I'll thank you to keep THIS to YOURSELF, Master Elf!," Gimli cried. He plucked the blue bottle from Legolas's hand.
Aragorn and Gandalf drew nigh, drawn back by the raised voices of the elf and the dwarf.
"What's going on?" Aragorn demanded. Pippin had collapsed in the dirt behind Legolas, but no one paid any attention to him except Bill, who dipped his head and lipped at Pippin's hair as the hobbit convulsed with laughter.
"The ELF was trying to POISON me!" Gimli bellowed. "With this... this...." The dwarf's brow furrowed as he looked at the bottle in his hand. It was a word he did not recognize. Four letters etched into the glass. Brut? What in the name of Aule was Brut? Something foul and toxic, no doubt.
Aragorn rolled his eyes. "Look, I don't care what you two do to each other when we stop to make camp, but don't...." The man stopped and he looked quizzically at Gimli, and to Gimli's alarm, there was a strange interest in his eyes.
"What?" the dwarf asked testily.
"You smell like an elf," the Ranger said.
Gimli's eyes widened. He yanked out the stopper from Legolas's bottle and inhaled. A little too deeply, unfortunately, and the scent of the liquid inside knocked the sturdy dwarf flat on his back.
He was quickly on his feet again, however, and he charged. With a yelp, Legolas dove behind the hobbits for protection.
Gimli cared not. He steamrolled Pippin and grabbed for the scrambling elf.
"ACK! GIMLI! Your HANDS are cold....!" Legolas's scream echoed down the hill.
Long had the stones of Hollin lamented the passing of the elves who had once lived there, and long should their voices have done so and the memory of the elves would have been preserved, had a group of travellers not passed there one bleak winter's day. Now the stones soft lament had been altered, and they carried now a more passionate imprint of emotion. From then on, an astute traveller would blush red and feel his ears burn as he passed through the land and would not tarry there, for as he walked he could hear the stones repeating endlessly the caustic (and quite personal) tirade of an angered, perfumed dwarf against the elf who was really only trying to help, after all.
Context: The Illegitimate!Legolas theory
> Now we not only need a duly attested marriage certificate, we also
> need a paternity test.
Oh thank you. I tried, but marriage certificates are apparently not customary in Middle-earth. (Nor prenuptual agreements, but that's a different story. Someday I'll tell you about the time I sat down to chat with Eol about Aredhel.)
As for the Greenleaf paternity test, I couldn't very well tell Legolas people suspected he was a bastard, could I? So I stealthily approached Thranduil and Legolas a few times trying to do it discreetly, but that didn't exactly work out....
Thranduil: "Why did you three times try to assault me and my son?"
Nimue: "I wasn't trying to assault you, O king. I was trying to swab you, because I needed your DNA."
Thranduil: "What is DNA and what does that have to do with your assault upon us?"
Nimue: "I WASN'T trying to assault you! This is a SWAB, you Elvish git, and I...."
About that time the guards jumped me. Thranduil narrowed his eyes at me, told me not to be so impudent and made me stay in his dungeons all morning until I had learned sense and manners.
If you've ever seen Thranduil mad, you'd know that even Beorn Beornsonsonson would have known better than to lay a paw on his wife. Having witnessed Thranduil's stubborness firsthand, I doubt anyone but the poor lady who was bound to him could have put up with him, never mind sleep with him, so while I pity Legolas his gene pool, I have concluded he must be legitimate.
Ah ha, prove he's NOT!
I don't know if they have moles in Middle-earth, but they have RATS in the palace dungeons. Big ones, and I'm feeling feverish, itchy, and these red spots I thought were only a rash from those thongs the elves used to tie me up (which isn't HALF as much fun as it sounds) don't seem to be going away. If I catch the Mirkwood plague, I'm holding Lisa and Morrighan responsible.
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Issue No.: 2.6
Site Last Updated: 11 May 2003