HASA 2005 Birthday Challenge

Cold Be Heart - A Hobbit Ghost Story

2. Author's Notes

"What is this, some weird kind of AU?

Not really. There are some discrepancies with canon, but these are not "what if"s in the strictest sense.

This piece is intended as a hobbit ghost story first told several generations after the Ring War. It's a source document pulling on the same events described in the Red Book (in this case, the hobbits' misadventures in the barrows). But since the genre is different I have taken some small liberties with the shape (such as having Frodo unconscious immediately instead of seeing the black shape hovering above him) to better fit the form. Other changes (such as Frodo thinking Bilbo killed Smaug) come from the fact that, if you tell a story often enough, it will grow in the telling. Bilbo left the Shire and returned with a fortune, and a dragon died as part of his adventure. It's not beyond believability that hobbits telling this story around the Green Dragon might attribute all the heroic deeds to Bilbo, whether he actually did them or not.

I have quoted four canonical passages in the course of this story. First, the song the hand sings when it approaches Frodo. The first verse is my own invention; the second is nearly identical to the incantation written by Tolkien; I have made some minor changes to make the metre flow more naturally. The second quote is the song Frodo sings to summon Tom Bombadil, and the third is Tom's answering song. All three come from "Fog on the Barrow-downs".

I also used the "Roast Mutton" chapter in The Hobbit when Frodo is thinking about Bilbo's earlier adventures. The first two quotes are direct quotes said by the trolls; the third is a synthesis of two separate comments. My wording is rather similar to Tolkien's, but I had to make some small changes when joining the two.

You'll notice several phrases in languages other than English throughout the story. If the person being spoken to understood the language I tried to make sure you (the reader) could guess what was meant by the context. But here are some translations for those interested:

* "Sen ú-nâ ôl, perian" --> "This is not a dream, halfling." (Sindarin)
* "Dú sen, hain a le gwannathar" --> "They will die, and you, this night." (Sindarin)
* "Urukî" --> "Horrors!" (roughly; Black Speech)

Halimath is of course a month on the hobbit's calendar. It corresponds roughly to our modern month of September.

I hope you enjoyed this little piece! Please don't tell me I'm the only person who has read this passage and thought it begged to be changed to a ghost story?

--- Marta

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.


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Story Information

Author: Marta

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Rating: General

Last Updated: 07/06/04

Original Post: 10/19/03

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