Oliphaunt Pen

Follow My Leader

Challenge Details

There are lots of "leaders" in Tolkien's works who have acquired their positions through birth - but how do they actually prove to the people they are supposed to be leading that they are worthy of that position? There are other "leaders" who acquire their leadership positions even though they don't appear "qualified" by the customs or prejudices of that community. How do these characters convince people to follow them into difficult situations, such as into certain death in battle or a new life in a different place?

How does "simple gardener" Sam get to be Mayor of the Shire? Why does everyone just accept Merry's leadership in the battles in Scouring of the Shire? What did the Shirefolk make of Merry becoming Master of Buckland and Pippin becoming Thain after they had been off doing un-Hobbit-like "adventuring"?

Boromir and Faramir were undoubtedly named as High Warden of the White Tower/Captain-General and Captain of the Ithilien Rangers in part because they were the Steward's sons. How did they convince the troops they deserved the positions over other capable men who were not the Steward's sons?

How does Thorongil obtain his position of respect and trust in first Rohan and then Gondor? And what makes Theoden and Eomer accept a rather scruffy looking ranger as the Heir of Isildur and someone worthy to order people around in the Battle of Helm's Deep?

When the Wizards first turned up in Middle-earth, how did they convince people to listen to them and take their counsel - and that they were more than just a bunch of mad old men who could do a few conjuring tricks?

How did Legolas persuade some of Thranduil's people to leave Eryn Lasgalen for Ithilien; and what did Gimli (without the benefit of being a son of a ruler) do to persuade dwarves from the Lonely Mountain to settle at Aglarond.

In the Hobbit, Bard clearly has to work hard to look after the homeless people from Lake-town after Smaug's attack. What did they make of this descendant of the Lord of Dale trying to organise them (shooting Smaug was a start, but doesn't tend to cut much ice when you're tired, hungry and cold)?

In The Silmarillion, Turin repeatedly convinces different groups to take him in and accept him as a leader. Elros has to persuade the remains of the Edain to sail to Numenor (and there are hints in LotR that he doesn't convince all of them). Just how did the Noldor Galadriel and Sindar/Teleri Celeborn get the Silvan elves of Lorien to accept them as Lord and Lady (and Oropher do the same with the Silvan elves of Greenwood the Great)? And why did so many elves follow Feanor when the sane response would probably have been "you must be joking!"

And, for the evil-lovers amongst you, don't forget that Morgoth gathers a following to him and, later, Sauron worms his way into power with both the Elves of Hollin and the Numenoreans, while the ever-so-charming Grima captures Theoden's ear....

Write one of these stories or any number of others where a leader convinces people that he or she is indeed worthy of being followed.

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Aria
Entry Date: 23 Aug 06

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Challenge Info

Created: June 11, 2005

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Entries: 1

Originator: Tanaqui

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