Gandalf’s No Good, Rotten, Really Bad Day: 1. Gandalf’s No Good, Rotten, Really Bad Day

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1. Gandalf’s No Good, Rotten, Really Bad Day

Manwë sat on his throne, a deep frown entrenched on his celestial face, his fingers drumming the carven wood handle. His unhappy stare moved across the three figures before him: the miserable, cringing wizard, the coldly wrathful elf-lord, and his bereft daughter, quietly weeping in the back.

"Well?" he said. "Am I to hear at least some excuses for this catastrophe?"

"It was like this, my lord," Gandalf said humbly. "Radagast said I had to get there right away. Saruman summoned me on a most urgent matter."

"Ah," Manwë said. "And you had no clue he had turned."

"Not really, my lord," Gandalf said, flushing.

"You never noticed the Orcs crawling all over Isengard."

"I wanted to think the best of him, my lord. You can understand…"

"I'm trying," Manwë snapped. "What else did Radagast say?"

"He said…" Gandalf's voice sunk to an abashed whisper. "The Nine were abroad, my lord."

"Merely a small piece of gossip," said Manwë bitingly. "And what did you do with this information fit for the society column?"

"I wrote Frodo a letter, warning him to leave the Shire right away."

"And you found a Ranger to take it to him immediately, of course. What any dimwit would do, since Dúnedain litter the landscape guarding the silly place. So naturally…"

"…I left it with Barliman Butterbur," Gandalf said, his face scarlet.

"An unusual choice," said Manwë, his voice crackling with sarcasm. "But you could trust him to keep it safe, even if he forgot to send it on."

"Well," Gandalf said. "I didn't realize there were so many spies in Bree."

"No, of course not," Manwë said. "They've only been moving in and out of the town in droves for years, while Rangers risk their lives keeping the Enemy out."

"One of the spies apparently got his hands on the letter."

"But since it was a model of discretion, it was of no use to him, right?" said Manwë, his eyes piercing the wilting wizard.

"Well," said Gandalf again, trembling. "I slipped a little. I'm afraid I put Aragorn's name in there."

"A small matter," Manwë said with a curl of his lip.

"But Frodo had to meet up with him."

"So true! Therefore you got this message to Aragorn, too."

"I didn't have time."

Manwë cast his eyes up to the heavens, silently calling on Iluvatar to give him strength. He sighed. "But besides the name, which would tip anyone with a knowledge of the history of the Northern Kingdom just who this man was, you didn't give anything else away."

"Just the verses, my lord."

"You mean the poem that says he has Elendil's sword and that he'll be crowned king one day?"

"Yes, my lord," said Gandalf in a barely audible whisper.

Elrond let out a sharp curse. Manwë quelled him with a wilting stare.

"But it wouldn't have mattered, really," Gandalf protested. "If only he had had a whole sword and a knife or two, he could have fought them off. Why in Middle-earth was he running around Eriador with only a broken sword?"

"Why indeed," agreed Manwë. "But since he's not around to tell us, we'll never know."

Arwen's muted snuffling rose to noisy wails of wild grief.

"And then," said Gandalf, warming to his story, "he tried to sneak into the hobbits' parlor and knocked himself out cold against the low ceiling."

"Well," said Manwë, trying not to laugh, "that was unfortunate."

"Yes," said Gandalf, and he raised his extraordinary eyebrows, hoping to recoup some grandeur. "He really should have been more careful."

Manwë let the silence endure for a rather long interval, while he stared unblinking at the wizard's eager face.

"I didn't mean to blame it all on him," said Gandalf sheepishly.

"Good," Manwë said. "What happened then?"

"After Saruman's men—ah—finished Aragorn off, they got the Ring."

"Of course!" Manwë agreed. "Since there was no one else around to help, due to your excellent foresight in warning the Rangers about the danger."

"And that's how Saruman got it."

The silence stretched on. Manwë glared at his fingernails.

Gandalf made one last attempt to save himself. "But at least he got rid of Sauron!"

"Humph," Manwë said. "At least one of my servants could carry out the mandate. Now, get the hell out of here."

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.

Story Information

Author: Gandalfs apprentice

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Humor

Rating: General

Last Updated: 10/13/07

Original Post: 09/08/05

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WARNING! Comments may contain spoilers for a chapter or story. Read with caution.

Gandalf’s No Good, Rotten, Really Bad Day

Werecat - 26 Dec 05 - 8:23 AM

Ch. 1: Gandalf’s No Good, Rotten, Really Bad Day

I approved this a couple of weeks ago, and it delighted me to see it accepted into the archive. Thanks for the chuckles - funniest story I read in quite some time.

~ Werecat

Gandalf’s No Good, Rotten, Really Bad Day

Gandalfs apprentice - 26 Dec 05 - 2:40 PM

Ch. 1: Gandalf’s No Good, Rotten, Really Bad Day

Hey, Werecat

Thanks for your good words and your vote. I wrote this originally for the Bookverse Improbabilities Challenge. Leaving that letter with Butterbur really doesn't make much sense, does it? Kind of too hard to believe for a wizard as wise and far-seeing as Gandalf. I just followed the incident to its logical conclusion. As for the broken sword, well, what can I say? If anyone can come up with a good explanation for why Aragorn was armed only with such a thing, I'd like to hear it.

Gandalfs apprentice 

Gandalf’s No Good, Rotten, Really Bad Day

Alassante - 13 Apr 07 - 1:42 PM

Ch. 1: Gandalf’s No Good, Rotten, Really Bad Day

I forgot to mention that this part made me laugh out loud at work and get curious looks Laugh out loud

"If only he had had a whole sword and a knife or two, he could have fought them off. Why in Middle-earth was he running around Eriador with only a broken sword?"

Gandalf’s No Good, Rotten, Really Bad Day

AFriedman - 17 Oct 07 - 11:09 AM

Ch. 1: Gandalf’s No Good, Rotten, Really Bad Day

Congratulations!  I was really happy to see that your awesome story got the awards it deserved.  The tone was just perfect.  I love to read fic about Saruman and his servants.  More!  More!

(who might have been made into "A Fried Man" by some very happy Uruk-hai)

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Playlists Featuring the Story

My Aragorn Stories - 8 stories - Owner: Gandalfs apprentice
Here you will find Aragorn as written by Gandalfs apprentice: drama, adventure, comedy. The list begins with a collection of short pieces spanning Aragorn's life, and continues with stories more focused on one slice of time. It ends with a few AU tales on the lighter side. Please note that while characters and themes in these tales are interlocked, some contradict others in timing and events. It's more fun that way.
Included because: A glimpse of events if things hadn't quite worked out at the Prancing Pony. So AU it's in the next galaxy.

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