2. But, Master Elrond
(Elrond has just said, “One of you must do this,” and the utter silence has fallen over the Council. Crickets chirp. Finally...)
Gandalf: Master Elrond, I say you should do it. To your leadership and knowledge we defer.
Elrond: Is that so? Well, if I’m the one to take it, the Ring will never make it. I’m pretentious and much-watched, you know that, sir.
Gandalf: Yes, I do.
Elrond: So I say you should take it, Gandalf, you.
Gandalf: I really don’t–
Elrond: Yes, you Gandalf Mithrandir, you.
Gandalf: But...Master Elrond, but, Master Elrond
I’m just an old man with a stick, I do not know the part.
For what you need is some young hero with a lion’s heart.
Perhaps a ranger from your own house would know where to start.
(Gandalf gives Aragorn a sly smirk. Merry and Pippin jump out from nowhere.)
Merry and Pippin: Where to start! Where to start! Rangers have lions’ parts!
(Everyone looks at them strangely, only some of them seeming to get it. Glorfindel and Figwit go over to silence the hobbits, but the little ones are too quick for them and disappear before they get there.)
Elrond: Master Aragorn, it seems you should do it. You are noble and a fighter, through and through.
Aragorn: You really think?
Elrond: Whereas if I’m the one to take it, the Ring will never make it. I’m pretentious and much-watched, you know it’s true.
Aragorn: All too well.
Elrond: So I say you should take it, Aragorn, you.
Aragorn: Really, no.
Elrond: Yes, you, son of Arathorn, you!
Aragorn: But...Master Elrond, but, Master Elrond
I’m not yet eighty-eight, I don’t have much experience.
And you know men, we all are reeking of incompetence.
Don’t choose my feeble race in whom to place your confidence.
(Merry and Pippin pop out again, from the bushes on the other side of the meeting.)
Merry and Pippin: Confidence! Confidence! Don’t put it in men!
(Glorfindel and Figwit, getting increasingly agitated, walk to them as quickly as they can while still looking cool. But, once again, their quarry is lost.)
Elrond: Master Greenleaf, I think you should do it. You’re a princeling of the highest caliber.
Legolas: Am I now?
Elrond: Whereas if I’m the one to take it, the Ring will never make it. I’m pretentious and much-watched, you know that, sir.
Legolas: I suppose...
Elrond: So I say you should take it, Legolas, you.
Legolas: Are you sure?
Elrond: Yes, you, Prince Legolas, you!
Legolas: But...Master Elrond, but Master Elrond.
I’m almost perfect, that is true. It cannot be denied.
But if I told you I had no flaws, then I would have lied.
(He looks around, thinking of an excuse as the words leave his mouth, gaining confidence in them as they form an argument.)
Legolas: For if I’m chased into a cave I’d be too tall to hide.
(Merry and Pippin pop out of the bushes directly behind him, making him flinch.)
Merry and Pippin: Tall to hide! Tall to hide! You’re really digging now.
(Legolas sits down, utterly embarrassed at his extreme reaction and discomposure. Glorfindel and Figwit nearly trample him as they try to reach the hobbits, but only succeed in creating an elf-pile as the hobbits skip away. Elrond ignores them.)
Elrond: Master Gimli, maybe you should do it. Dwarves are sturdy and no cowards, that’s a fact.
Gimli: Yes, it is.
Elrond: Whereas if I’m the one to take it, the Ring will never make it. I’m pretentious and much-watched, we both know that.
Gimli: Well, I’ve heard...
Elrond: So I say you should take it, Gimli, you.
Gimli: But I don’t–
Elrond: Yes, you, Master Gimli, you!
Gimli: But...Master Elrond, but Master Elrond,
You know my people, we don’t care to mess in politics.
The troubles of you other races are not ours to fix.
Besides, we tromp so loud, I’d soon become like apteryx.
(Merry and Pippin magically pop out from under Elrond’s chair.)
Merry and Pippin: Apteryx! Apteryx! Gimli’s a flightless bird!
(Glorfindel and Figwit dive for them, but only run into the chair, which fortunately Elrond was not sitting in. The Lord of Imladris eyes Frodo and takes a step toward him.)
Elrond: Master Baggins–
(Frodo jumps up, looking panicked.)
Frodo: Master Elrond, leave me alone!
Elrond: Master Baggins–
Frodo: Master Elrond, I beg you, I have not been home in four weeks.
Elrond: Master Baggins, you have carried the Ring for over a month and showed no sign of its influence. Not to mention living with it in your home for many years before that. You are the only one with the purity of heart to make it all the way to Mordor. Besides, it’s your fate. For the good of all Middle-Earth, you must do it, Frodo. Now, will you be a hero, or a hobbit?
Frodo: A hobbit.
Frodo: But I’m scared, Master E.!
Elrond: So am I, Master B.!
Gandalf: Really, Elrond?
Elrond: Master Baggins, dear Master Baggins,
I have not lived this long by signing on to hopeless quests.
You could not get me there for fifty-thousand treasure chests.
I never was much one for breaking into hornets’ nests.
(Merry and Pippin jump out from on either side of Elrond.)
Merry and Pippin: Hornets’ nests! Hornets’ nests! Elrond’s scared of bees!
(He smacks the hobbits in the face and they fall back, into the bushes.)
Elrond: Now, you’ll take it, Master B.
Frodo: Who will make me, Master E.?
Elrond: By physical force, if necessary. It’s your duty. It’s your fate, Frodo!
(Frodo sighs, knowing he’s lost.)
Frodo: Master Elrond, well then, Master Elrond,
You cannot send me out alone, it would be suicide.
Won’t you please send at least eight others to go by my side?
(He pauses, then smirks.)
Frodo: Perhaps there should be an ambassador from every tribe.
(He looks at the rest of the Council with a sly smile. Elrond looks around, quite pleased. Several people groan or look afraid. Some glare at Frodo. Merry and Pippin pop out from opposite sides of the Council circle.)
Merry and Pippin: Every tribe! Every tribe! Looks like you’re all gonna die!
(Simultaneously, Glorfindel grabs Merry and Figwit grabs Pippin, they toss them into the center of the circle.)
Elrond: Welcome to the Fellowship, boys.
(And the elves laugh gleefully.)
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.