The Fanfic Lounge: LotR – OUTTAKES
Early Act 2, as Elijah and Orlando are sitting on the couch talking:
ELIJAH: Wait... do you hear something?
ORLANDO: [puzzled] What?
ELIJAH: [just a bit panicky] Please tell me you can hear that.
ORLANDO: [hears it too] Wait a second. Something beeping? Like an alarm?
And sure enough, the sound is audible; a faint, persistent noise like a stopwatch going off. The Fellowship begins to hear it, and a few of them take one or two steps across the room, trying to figure out what it is.
ELIJAH: It sounds like it's coming from....
He gets up, listens for a moment, and crouches down to look under the couch. Seeing something, he lies flat on his stomach and sweeps his arm in. After a moment or two of straining, he pulls something out, sits back on his heels, and holds the object up. It's a Star Trek tricorder – not a prop but a real one, displays flashing and chirping away. Elijah and Orlando stare at it blankly. Elijah closes it; the beeping stops.
Elijah looks rather spooked. Handling the device as if it might explode, he gets up, walks over to put it on the coffee table, and gets the crap scared out of him when Samwise, who was looking under the table for the noise, pops his head back out.
In an instant, Legolas has an arrow to the string. Orlando leaps to his feet.
ORLANDO: Down, boy!
SAMWISE: I'm sorry! I'm sorry!
ELIJAH: That's okay! You're fine!
Legolas lowers his bow and struggles to calm himself – and Orlando, under stress as it is, proceeds to go off on him.
ORLANDO: What is it with you and shooting at people?!
LEGOLAS: [tightly] I'm... sorry.
ORLANDO: Did I play you to be such a psychopath?! I mean, bloody hell!
I toyed around with this part for a while; it's a fun little scene. The tricorder bit was a reference to the original Fanfic Lounge story I wrote for Star Trek: DS9. While this LotR version is by far the biggest and most intricate of the two, the DS9 one was the birth of the idea and I'm still fond of it. I ended up leaving this part out because I just couldn't figure out how to fit it in without messing up the flow of the story. While Elijah and Samwise scaring each other and Legolas going for his bow made me giggle, I decided that we already had Psycho Legolas and Bloody Hell Orlando in the previous act. This part would have been redundant; plus it would have made it much harder to have Orlando and Legolas striking up a friendship by the end of the act, and I definitely didn't want to lose that. Still, "down boy"... hee hee.
Different version of the "I'm not a pothead!" exchange:
ELIJAH: Whoa, whoa, pothead? I'm not a pothead!
SAMWISE: [obviously thinking cooking gear] What's a pot head?
ORLANDO: [gleefully] Pipeweed. Elijah smokes the pipeweed.
ELIJAH: [you suck] Thank you, Orlando.
The hobbits begin to fill their pipes.
MERRY: [to Elijah] Want s— ?
ORLANDO: He's trying to quit. Makes him right grouchy, dun'it?
MERRY: I daresay!
Heh heh. I really didn't want to let this one go. See, I knew I wanted Elijah to say "I'm not a pothead!" and I also knew I wanted him to say "At least they let me keep my shirt on, 'Orli'" so the main objective was getting from one line to the other. I started down this path and really had fun with it, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't direct it toward Orlando teasing Elijah for being adorable while brooding, at least not without overshooting the punch line and hammering the joke into the ground. And then I started thinking, you know, I don't know Elijah Wood at all; considering his liking for Indonesian clove cigarettes, he very well might have responded to Merry's offer with "Wow, really? Hook me up!" I still can't decide, so in the end I just dropped it and tried a different tack. Seemed to work pretty well, I'd say.
At some point in Act 2:
SAMWISE: [sputtering] But that's just... that's....
ELIJAH: [only here to help] Lame-ass?
Frodo considers it and nods slowly.
FRODO: "Lame-ass." Yes. That's it.
Mwa-ha! Okay, you really want to know what happened with this one? I was absolutely tickled with the idea of Frodo going back to Middle-Earth with "lame-ass" in his vocabulary (e.g. "The Ring weighs heavily upon me. Lame- ass Ring."). So I wrote up this line and tried really really hard to find a place to put it. All the scenes where the characters find out the kinds of stories they're getting and complain were filling up and taking their own directions, but right up to the end I was on the lookout for an appropriate spot.
I came very close to going into the Frodo/Sam slash idea and using it there. Then, as I sat there pondering, I thought "Welllll, just because I think all F/S stories should rounded up and flung into a deep pit doesn't mean that I should alienate my slash-loving readers. And would Elijah really consider the idea of Frodo and Sam being gay a lame-ass idea? He might disagree, but he might not insult it, either. Is calling Frodo/Sam a stupid idea insulting gay people in general?"
"Sir Ian McKellen is gay, isn't he?"
I think that's what clinched it. An image of Sir Ian glowering at me for inadvertently calling gay people stupid made me so self-conscious that I ditched the "lame-ass" idea completely. The good thing that came out of this inner debate was the subtle line "Gandalf, of course, seems rather unfazed by the whole [slash] thing." I think Sir Ian would approve. ;o)
Other ideas that didn't make the cut:
Act 3 - Aragorn decides to discourage people from writing stories about him by constantly speaking in archaic English dialects (e.g. "Alas! thou wouldst I slayeth the blah blah blah....). I discussed this with a friend and we both laughed at the thought; it was mainly inspired by stories where an author tries to mimic Aragorn's kingly speech, makes him sound like a nerd at a Renaissance fair, and eventually gives up. It's also a gentle jab at Tolkien; I mean, if you read some of Théoden's dialogue in The Two Towers and then immediately jump to one of Pippin's speeches, you can give yourself whiplash; it's like reading two different books. I dropped the idea because I don't know diddly about archaic English and would have had to do some major research to get it right. I mean, sheesh, Legolas's lines in Elvish were hard enough to look up, so doing proper justice to the roots of the English language would have taken forever. And if Act 3 had taken any longer, I was worried you guys would mob me. ;o)
Same idea for Legolas – discouraging the Mary Sues by always speaking in Elvish. Almost put it in, then realized that most of the Mary Sues speak fluent Elvish if they aren't Elves themselves, and an author can easily get around the obstacle of the language by simply saying "Legolas said in Elvish...." and proceed to write the dialogue in English. Crap – won't work.
Arwen shows up dressed as Xena in order to show Aragorn the "benefits" of expanding her character. Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm growing fond of Arwen's portrayal in the movie, purist though I am. Doesn't mean I'm above making fun of it. Still, bringing in Arwen for a cameo made things too confusing and detracted from the satirical aspect of the story.
Legolas, Aragorn, and Arwen getting into a Jerry Springer-esque argument over the topic of A/L slash. Same idea as above; too confusing, less satirical, and by this point I was starting to feel sorry for Aragorn, so I left it out.
Gimli gets a girlfriend. Now, I really do feel sorry for the poor guy in that he never ever gets romance stories written about him. But how would it help the crippling Mary Sue overpopulation if we encourage Dwarvish Mary Sues to be written up on top of all the rest? And you KNOW that the Dwarf Mary Sues would be going around bitch-slapping the Elf Mary Sues, and that would have wreaked unimaginable havoc, or at least driven the Secretary insane.
Frodo going with the "be rude to Sam" idea and actually enjoying it – or, conversely, Sam getting rather angry with Frodo after Orlando's speech about social equality. I tried several times to have them really arguing with each other, but I just... couldn't... do it! I love their friendship; as the Secretary pointed out, it's "the most touching, well-known friendship in literary history." You just can't mess with a thing like that.
Orlando and Elijah coming up with a few ways to make themselves less appealing, e.g. spreading rumors like "I still live with my mother" or "I leave the toilet seat up." This one crashed and burned when I found out that Elijah DOES still live with his mother and it's obviously not working. ;o)
The Uruk-hai in the Mary Sue Room idea. Came close to having that really happen. I mean, imagine – the dazzling light bursts into being on the other side of the door, and instead of Legolas clones there are dozens of snarling drooling goblin men with cruel scimitars. Sounds of hacking, slashing, girly voices screaming, Uruk-hai bellowing in triumph, death, mutilation, dieyoustupidannoyingcharactersDIEDIEDIEDIEDIE....
I think I dropped that idea because it kept raising my blood pressure.
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.