1. Cast it into the Fire
What really happened in the Cracks of Doom? Elrond's half-mortal brain may be faulty… Movie-verse!
"…He has chosen exile," Elrond concluded and there followed a cavernous silence broken by Gandalf chomping his pipe and Elrond slurping his wine.
"It is curious, Master Elrond," said Gandalf at last. "Your story, of yourself and Isildur in the Cracks of Doom."
Elrond's brows quivered.
"Well," Gandalf continued. "It does not agree with the scroll of Isildur in the library of Minas Tirith."
"Does not… agree?" Storm clouds gathered on Elrond's forehead.
"I do not say that you lie. But it is, namely, that Isildur's tale is different."
"Different," Elrond repeated.
"Quite," said the wizard.
If lightning could shoot from elven brows… But Gandalf heeded not the signs and told:
"Should I cast it into the fire?" said the man, a belch of heat and ash ripping at his cloak. He peaked over the precipice. "You know, destroy it?"
He held the ring aloft, up to his nose. The ring was shiny indeed, but still, he had shinier things.
Elrond leaned on the doorframe and panted. "No," he said and spun on his heels. "Who knows what might happen! Coming, Isildur?"
Isildur followed, after flinging the Crack a final back glance.
"It should have ended that day," said Gandalf, still quoting Isildur, "but evil was allowed to endure. I will carry the Ring to Elrond in Imladris and seek his advice once more."
"He was mortal," said Elrond. "Númenórean or not, their memories suffer fits and lapses."
The wizard and the Peredhil started at a sneeze. Someone else was in the room. They exchanged raised brows and peaked around the shelves, to find the intruder pouring himself a glass of Elrond's wine.
"That's extraordinary," said Galdor of the Havens. "Both accounts neglect Lord Círdan's presence. And neither matches the one he gave me."
Receiving no immediate objection from Gandalf or Elrond, Galdor drained his glass and told:
"Just cast it into the fire!" said the bearded elf, a belch of heat and ash ripping at his cloak.
Isildur stood in the doorframe and to his nose held the ring aloft, admiring its shininess. His father had had a shiny sword… Gil-galad a shiny spear… they all were limpid tar to this Band of Living Luster.
"Destroy it!" cried Círdan with an accompanying officious dance.
"No," said Isildur. He spun on his heels and strode to the door.
"Have some respect," said Elrond. "The guy just lost his father."
Isildur gave Elrond's shoulder a grateful pat.
"It should have ended that day." Galdor sighed and pried into a second bottle. "But evil was allowed to endure."
"Hold!" The Lord of Imladris rubbed his jaw. "I do remember Círdan."
"Cast it into the fire!" said Elrond, a belch of heat and ash ripping at his cloak."Destroy it!"
From behind a rock a bearded elf popped. He flipped two thumbs up and slid back out of sight.
"It should have ended that day," said Elrond. "But evil." He locked the wine in a cabinet. "Was allowed to endure." He flicked the key out the window.
On the balcony below, the key flew unnoticed over the heads of Bilbo and Frodo, tied together in a deep discussion about the S-Bs' silver eating utensils. The Ring, however, was listening not to the hobbits, but rather to the Wise above. He clicked his non-existent tongue.
"Queer," he said, "that is not the way I remember it…"