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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:34 pm 
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Back in the heady excitement (for some) following the announcement that Peter Jackson would indeed be making a film version of "The Hobbit", many fans signed up to the New Line messageboard "The Hobbit Blog.com" as it was then, eagerly putting up their thoughts on the prospects of a live action dramatization of this beloved book Some months later, when GDT was announced as director, he and PJ revealed that the project would be taking the form of 2 films - THE HOBBIT, and a "bridge film" connecting events of TH with LotR.

A large group of regulars on the site, from all over the world, who had enjoyed sharing our hopes and suggestions for TH, decided to put our heads together for how such a bridge film might work. There is, naturally enough, the consideration to be made that simply filming events from the LotR Appendices in chronological order doth not a good film make. There needs to be an overall story arc of some sort, etc.

Well, we came up with an outline script for a film lasting 3 1/2 to 4 hours which focuses primarily on the years 2941-2980, and Aragorn's journeys accross M-e that hopefully has a sense of completion while also leading seamlessly towards the events of FotR. We nicknamed our 'bridge' film "LotR - The Appendices Years!"

The script is not as developed as that of our SILMARILLION screenplay, and as before there are a variety of styles as many different members posted their contributions, but I thought that members here might enjoy seeing what we produced, and that it might be of more interest to those who aren't so familiar with the SIL. Perhaps more discussion will be generated also!

We opted to kick off the film with a Prologue that is a flashback of Gandalf's recce to Dol Guldur in 2850. In our mind's eye, this would actually be a recap of the scene that Jackson might use in TH, with ours expanding on what the audience sees in the first film. After the Prologue, we jump into events of 2941 that are occuring in the wider world of M-e at the same time as the Quest of Erebor.


FILM 2: 2941-2980

Prologue: 2850

[The black screen slowly lightens to a greyish colour, The Hobbit theme music seems to be playing, but it is somehow off...slightly dissonant somehow, it is wrong...as the film "clears" enough for the audience to see, the setting is clearly Mirkwood, as we remember it in The Hobbit but again we subtly realize it's not right. The camera could rise away above the Forest to give a view of Dol Guldur:-

"The hill is reasonably steep, all charred and rocky and full of cracks and ravines.
it rises out of not total forest, but more rocky land, also full or larger ravines and rocky valleys full or tangled black forest. As you get further away from the hill the land slopes down and the forest begins to cover more and more land until it becomes like the rest of Mirkwood. On the hill there is a great wall like that completely encircles the top of the hill. The gate is built at a point where there is a ravine, so it is built over the ravine, making the walls naturally higher. On the other side of the wall the hilltop looks kind of like Isengard; the plateau slopes up inwards until the huge pinnacle of rock in the middle, where the actual fortress is. The pinnacle is covered in orc dens and cracks with smoke and fire pouring out. There is an unnatural rolling fog or gloom around the hill”

The camera sinks back again into the shadows where we hear/see Legolas speaking to an ugly Wildman, fanged teeth and all. It is Gandalf:-]


Gandalf: It is a place of total evil.
Legolas: Which is why I must go with you Gandalf, To enter the fortress of Dol Guldur all alone is a risk we cannot take.
Gandalf: This has already been decided Legolas. Your father, King Thranduil made it clear that you would await me safely away from DG. I will go inside and confirm our suspicions about the Lord of Dol Guldur and why so many Elves have disappeared in these woods. I will not tarry longer than is necessary.
Legolas: And if you should need help Gandalf? How can I aid you so far away and not within bowshot?
Gandalf: It would take hundreds of Elves all with your skills to attack DG and even then the outcome would be unknown. Either I do this myself - one solitary merchant - wandering along the corridors - or it must be an all out assault. And its too soon and too much is unknown for that right now. Promise me Legolas, you will wait here for my return. If I do not return in two days time, make your way to Lórien and alert King Thranduil that the worst has happened. But have faith in an old man Legolas, I am not without my skills and devices.

[He leaves Legolas and joins a group of Wildmen and travels with them through the hideously tortured forest to Dol Guldur. They are taken to the forge areas near the dungeons which look something like Piranesi’s “carceri” drawings. He discovers Thrain as seen in The Hobbit:-

Looking in the darkness, he sees an old, pinched Dwarf. Surprised to see a Dwarf in Mirkwood, he approaches.]


Gandalf (with pity): "My poor old dwarf.. .they have not treated you kindly…
Thrain (whispering): "The ring... the ring..."
Gandalf (alarmed): "The Ring? Which Ring are you talking about?" (He kneels down near the Dwarf)
Thrain: "He took it... he took it back"
Gandalf (almost in panic, he grabs the old Dwarf and shakes him): "Speak! Which Ring? What are you talking about?"
Thrain: "He took back the Ring... the last of the Seven..."
Gandalf (with just a little relief): "Did you have one of the Seven? Who are you?"
Thrain: "I could not save the Ring... He was looking for it. (giving Gandalf a key and a map) But he did not find these... There is no more time for me... Give them to my son..."
Gandalf (talking to himself): "He was looking for the Ring? Who? The Necromancer? But why would he go chasing the Rings...? (getting in panic again) He cannot be... No, it's impossible... It MUST be impossible!"

[Gandalf puts his hand to the dwarf’s forehead and reads his memories of his torture, the identity of the Necromancer is revealed to be Sauron . Gandalf gasps in horror… and the dwarf dies.

A noise is heard from the outside of the dungeon. Gandalf takes the key and the map, giving a last look to the dead Dwarf.]

Gandalf: "I will keep these, my poor friend, until I find your son... whoever he is".

[He leaves the dungeon. Then CUT, and we move to the courtyard with Gandalf joining the crowd and leaving DG through the Main Door.
Gandalf is outside DG, just at the edge of the trees. He looks back toward the keep, then turns and heads into the forest. He's moving fast, mulling over what he has seen in the tower, what he believes but cannot prove, and what he can do to convince the White Council to take action.

We shift to an overhead perspective, where we can still see Gandalf moving through the trees. Branches shift on both sides of him and behind him. We see glimpses of spider legs, bulky bodies, closing in on Gandalf.

Back to Gandalf level. He stops and turns. The movement he's looking at freezes, but rustling grows louder behind and around him. He turns back. A small spider (about half the size of his head) dangles from a thread about nose level. Gandalf swats it away. Looking past Gandalf we see glittering spider eyes in the brush. The spiders close in. Gandalf quickly turns and puts his back to a tree. He raises his staff and hits one of the spiders. Two more rush him. Arrows fly from the trees slightly to one side of Gandalf. Spiders drop, squeeling. Legolas appears, shoots one more spider, and lays about him with knives. Gandalf smacks what appears to be the last spider, and we get the satisfying splat. He turns and his eyes widen.

Legolas balances one of his knives in his fingers and hurls it at Gandalf's head. The Wizard ducks nimbly, and the knife skewers a huge spider with particularly vicious looking fangs that was dropping from the trees. Gandalf stands and surveys the carnage.]


Gandalf: I told you to wait where I leaved you, and not to risk your own life!
Legolas (winks): Do not worry, old man. Elves are not without their skills and devices. (more soberly) What did you discover?
Gandalf: It is as I feared...the Enemy has returned. You must inform Thranduil of our discovery immediately. I shall hasten to summon a meeting of the White Council. [Fade.]

Film Credits roll


Opening scenes: Rivendell, 2941
The inhabitants are going about their business. Camera pans over the valley, then goes on a porch and we see a lady looking down in the courtyard where a young boy of 10 is training with a big sword.
Elrond approaches: "Estel is growing up well. You can be proud of him, my lady".
"The more he's growing up, the more he looks like his father" she replies with a sad glance, "and I see dark clouds upon his head... even here, my lord, in this blessed refuge".
Elrond is going to answer, but a message arrives by one of Radagast’s birds. Elrond reads it quickly. "The Council" he says. "Summoned again after 90 years... I hope Saruman will see fit to follow Mithrandir's counsel this time. I have to leave". The lady looks worried. "Do not worry, Gilraen, my lady. Here you and your son are safe. And now we have a chance to defeat our Enemy, I guess". He goes down to the courtyard, young Estel runs to him proud of his sword skills. Elrond smiles at the boy. Gilraen looks at them with a little smile, but she looks really worried. Then she glances up, remembering when she arrived at Rivendell with her baby.


[Fade into short flashback montage of Arathorn out riding escorted by Elrond's sons Elladan and Elrohir, when they are attacked by a band of orcs, and Arathorn is pierced by an orc-arrow in the eye and dies. The twins are devastated and carry his body back to Gilraen and her two year-old son. They tell her that she is no longer safe with the Dúnedain Rangers, and that their father will give her protection. The scene changes to Gilraen and son entering Rivendell and being welcomed by Elrond, who says that the Heirs of Isildur have long been fostered in secret at his house. He announces that the boy will be known as "Estel" because he is the Hope of his people..

We return to the present to see Estel asking the twins if he can go with them to Lothlórien. Cut.]


Scene: Western Edge of Mirkwood
[We see a replay of a scene from ”The Hobbit”, where Gandalf leaves Bilbo and the Dwarves at the entrance to the path through Mirkwood, on their way to the Lonely Mountain:]
Gandalf: Well, here is Mirkwood! The greatest of the forests of the Northern world. I hope you like the look of it. Now you must send back those excellent ponies you have borrowed.
[Dwarves mutter and grumble…]

Gandalf: Beorn is not as far off as you seem to think, and if you are foolish enough to believe you can break your promises you will find him a bad enemy. Mr Baggins’ sharp eyes have seen him following us from a distance, keeping guard over our camps and also keeping an eye on his ponies. He loves his animals as his children.
Thorin: What about the horse, then? You don’t mention sending that back.
Gandalf: I don’t, because I am not sending it back. I am riding it! [General mutters of surprise/consternation.] Now, we had all this out before. It is no use arguing. I have, as I told you, some pressing business away south with the Wise; and I am already late through bothering with you people. We may meet again before it is all over, and then again we may not, depending on your luck and courage and sense.[looks at Bilbo] I am sending Mr Baggins with you – he has more about him than you guess and I’m sure you will find that out before long.

[Dwarves and Bilbo unpack the ponies, and distribute packages fairly. They set the ponies free, turning their heads for home. Gandalf mounts up.]Gandalf: Goodbye to you all, good-bye! Straight through the forest is your way now. Don’t stray off the track!
Bilbo: [groans] Do we really have to go through?
Gandalf: Yes, you do! If you want to get to the other side. You must either go through or give up your quest. And I am not going to allow that! You have got to look after all these dwarves for me [he laughs]Bilbo: No! no! I didn’t mean that. I meant, is there no way round?

Gandalf: There is, if you care to go two hundred miles or so out of your way north, and twice that south. But you wouldn’t get a safe path even then. There are no safe paths in this part of the world.
Thorin: Very comforting you are to be sure. Good-bye! If you won’t come with us you had better get off without anymore talk!
Gandalf: Good-bye then. [turns his horse and rides down westwards. Before he gets out of earshot he turns and calls over his shoulder:] Good-bye! Be good; take care of yourselves- and DON’T LEAVE THE PATH!

[Camera focuses on Company’s glum faces, then returns to show Gandalf disappearing out of sight. Fade.]

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


Last edited by Elentári on Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:11 am 
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Scene: the White Council meeting of 2941

[In attendance: Galadriel, Celeborn, Gandalf, Saruman, Elrond, Glorfindel, Erestor, Círdan, Thranduil, Elladan & Elrohir.
The 2851 meeting is referenced by Gandalf -
Scene opens with Gandalf speaking. He leans forward in his chair. His voice carries urgency.]


Gandalf: The time for watching and waiting is past, my lords! The danger posed by the Dark Lord is too great for us to ignore any longer! We can master the Enemy, if we gather our strength and act now.
Saruman: We have heard this song from you before, my old friend. What new urgency have you to demand actions that may exacerbate the problem and will certainly cost many lives?

Celeborn: Inaction may cost lives, too, my lords. We have now only to decide whose lives we wish to risk.
Saruman: (raises a hand in a calming gesture) The Dark Lord is well contained, as he has been for many long years. If we now rouse his anger, we will no doubt bring death and destruction to innocents who now sleep safely at night. They will curse our names, my lords, and the Valar will no longer smile upon our efforts.
Thranduil: (stands, clearly angry) These are the lives of my people you speak of, my lords! Each year more of us disappear into that darkness, never again to be seen. Talk not to me of containment and watchful peace!
Galadriel: Patience, Thranduil Oropherion. Now is the time for deliberation.

Gandalf: The lord of Greenwood the Great is correct in this: His people suffer most from this evil. Ninety years ago I journeyed into the fortress of the Necromancer in Dol Guldur. Through the witness of that poor Dwarf I confirmed our suspicions that the Necromancer was indeed The Dark Lord Sauron risen again and taking shape once more. We should have acted then, wihile the Enemy was weak. Now it is not necessary that the Ring is found, for while it is still in Middle Earth and is not unmade, still the power that it holds will live, and Sauron will grow and have hope. The might of the Elves their allies is diminishing. Soon Sauron will be too strong for you, even without the Great Ring; for He rules the Nine, and of the Seven he has recovered three. We must strike now and disrupt his plans.

Saruman: I remember how you pressed us at the time to move against Dol Guldur. At the time I believed there was not enough danger or evidence to justify war after so long a peace. War is not a step that should be taken without clear confirmation of the need, for it is far easier to loose violence than to call it back.
Gandalf: If more evidence is needed to move you to action, Saruman the Wise, I have brought it. (he waves a hand. two Elves escort a tall, dark haired, weathered looking man into the group. the man is clean and wearing well made but simple clothing, but his bearing suggests he spends much time in the wild and little in civilized company.)

Gandalf: This is Halbarad, Ranger of the North. He and his people have lent their eyes and ears to watch the developments around Dol Guldur in the past years.
Celeborn: Welcome, Halbarad. Please feel free to speak your mind.
Halbarad: (bows) Thank you, my lords. I am a man of plain words, and know not the flowery speech that may convince you of the danger you face. I have seen Orcs in numbers greater than any have known since before my grandfather's time gathering in that dark tower. Men go to work within those walls, men with skills to make machines of war. Iron and coal come into those walls, and I would wager my own sword that they will emerge as Orc scimitars. Only fools would wait for the threat in that tower to mature and emerge in its own time.

[Most of the Council shift uncomfortably at his words. Brief shots of the Elf lords. Some look at the ground, meeting no one's eyes. Some purse their lips grimly, already resolved. Galadriel takes Celeborn's hand. The Twins look at each other, then look toward Elrond to gauge his reaction.]

Galadriel: Thank you, Halbarad, for your honest words.
Halbarad: (bows) Lady. (he leaves without being dismissed)
Gandalf: Let us not debate past actions. Events are taking place to the North that could deliver the Necromancer his greatest weapon to use against us. Now we must act without delay or risk the loss of Middle-earth.

Saruman: If you speak of the dragon, Smaug has remained in place for many lives of men. He is no threat to any save those foolish enough to enter his lair.
Glorfindel: Not all here have forgotten the smoke that rose from Gondolin's walls. I know of no safety where dragons are involved.
Thranduil: (rises) We do not speak of dragons nor of distant threats. Elves are dying within those hellish walls! If the Wise will not stir themselves to give me their aid, then I will defend my people with all the strength I call mine! The Halls of Mandos will make me most welcome. Let your halls ring with songs in praise of our valor, if you will do nothing else! (he turns to leave)

Glorfindel: (also stands) I will stand with you, lord king, even if no other here will act.
Elrond: You will not be alone. (also stands. the Twins rise with him)
Celeborn: (stands, along with Galadriel) Need you ask?

[Camera pans slowly around the group. Every Elf nods, stands, and/or lays a hand over his heart to show support for Thranduil. ]

Saruman: (nods reluctantly) I am loathe to raise the cloud of battle, my lords. Here I see my desire for peace may have been mistaken. My own agents in the field have reported that Sauron is actively searching for the Ring and he is building an army which will soon attack. I believe now that the Wise must act against the Necromancer. (to Thranduil) You will have our support. I volunteer to take up arms and lead a force to the walls of Dol Guldur. I would not ask anyone to do what I myself would not do.
Thranduil: Then let it be swift.
Celeborn: Because you have already begun your attack?
Thranduil: Yes.
Celeborn: I would have done the same. [Fade.]

* * *

Scene: Attack on Dol Guldur
[Camera focus on Men moving through dark forest. They look weathered, and are heavily armed. One carries two swords strapped to his back, Elf style. Another has at least nine throwing knives visible in addition to a sword. The largest Man has a War Hammer stuck in his belt. All have longbows, and many carry two full quivers. These are Rangers, but we cannot tell if they are allies or enemy at first. Camera shift left screen. Arrows poke through the leaves. Focus on Elves, led by Legolas, watching the Men. Elves look grim.

Camera focus on Man 1. He freezes, holds up one hand. His other hand drops to his sword. All Men draw weapons.
Legolas steps out of cover. He holds a drawn bow on Man 1. ]


Legolas: It has been many years since your kind have ventured here.
Man 1: We have come to aid you.
Legolas: That is for our king to decide. You will come with us.

[Cut to Elf Camp: Elves prepare for war. Siege Engines are being assembled. Some Elves check blades. Sparks fly from sharpening stones. Others pile ammunition for catapults.

Focus on Main Tent. Gandalf, Saruman, Thranduil, Elrond, Glorfindel and Celeborn stand around a large table spread with maps and diagrams of the fortress. All Elves are in armor.


Glorfindel: We will place our main forces along these walls (points). The defense seems strongest there.
Elrond: With luck, our engines can bring down the walls without endangering our forces.
Thranduil: And what will be the fate of my people held in the prisons beneath the ground?
Celeborn: (kindly) For that also we must trust to luck and the Grace of the Valar.
Thranduil: When has luck been with us?

[Legolas enters and bows to Elf Lords.]
Legolas: (to Thranduil) We found some Men attempting to sneak past our camp.
[Elf Lords look worried and confused. ]
Gandalf: Bring the leaders to us.
[Legolas opens the tent flap. Three of the Men enter, flanked by Elf guards. The Men have been disarmed.
Men throw back their cloaks. Gandalf and Elrond immediately relax. Celeborn, Glorfindel, Saruman and Thranduil recognize the youngest of the Men is Halbarad, whom they have already met.]

Elrond: (to Men) My friends. It is good to see you, but why are you here?
Halbarad: Some years past our Chieftain was killed through malice of the Enemy. We are here to bring our curses home to him in the sharpest way possible.
Saruman: How many of you are there?
halbarad: Two score stand with me, but all are warriors bloodied in battle.
Saruman: A drop in a very large ocean.
Elrond: (turns to Maps) Forty, you say? This might turn the wheel for us. (points to Maps) See.
Thranduil: (intrigued) There is a way, if one is a rat.
Celeborn: Our timing would have to be perfect.
Elrond: But if it could be managed, our enemy would have to fight a foe inside their walls as well as outside.
Glorfindel: (to Thranduil) And you thought luck would not be with us.
Halbarad: (moves to Table, examines Map) You think to send us through a drain? To what purpose?
Thranduil: Many of my people are held beneath the great tower.
Man 1: You would have us free prisoners?
Thranduil: (proud) They are my people. I will see them safe, if I can.
Halbarad: (nods) Then I take a dozen with me. A small force will move more quickly, and be more silent.
Glorfindel: How quickly can you get there? We are nearly ready to begin our assault.
Man 1: We can be inside by dawn, if we can have our weapons back.
Thranduil: (to Elf 1) Give them whatever they require.
Men and Legolas leave.
Elrond: If we move too quickly, or they too slowly, their deaths will be upon our heads.
Glorfindel: We will not move too quickly. We Elves are disciplined warriors, not an armed rabble. [cut]

*

[Cut to Camp. Rangers check weapons and ropes. Twins and Legolas stand with them, along with several Elves.
Elrond stands near Twins, clearly unhappy.]
Elladan: Did you think we would not wish to go?
Elrond: I had hoped --
Elrohir: (holds helmet) Father, they are prisoners in there.
Elrond: And you are my sons. I would have you by my side.
Halbarad: (approaches and hesitates) We are leaving.
Elrond: (embraces both Twins) Return safely.
Elladan: And covered with glory.
[Rangers and Elves file into woods. ]

*

[Cut to Walls. Light tells us Dawn is near. Rangers and Elves pause outside a narrow drain too small to enter except on hands and knees. Murky water trickles out.]

Elrohir: (grimaces) Very inviting, that.
Legolas: Noldor whining. [holds a long knife in his teeth. crawls into drain. Others follow, similarly armed.]

[Cut to Treeline. Dawn breaks. We see armored Elves standing near siege engines, prepared for battle.
Camera shift to Walls. Orcs stand ready. We hear grunting, slobbering.
Cut to Treeline. ]


Glorfindel: (disgusted) I swear I can smell them from here.
Thranduil: How will we know when to attack?
Celeborn: Give them a bit longer. We should see some sign --

[Cut to Walls. Orcs laugh. We hear screams. Battered Elves are hauled up, chained, and tossed over the walls. Some Elves scream or whimper.]
Orc 1: (shouting) Now do your worst!
Orc 2: (jerks chains. Elf hanging cries in pain) Like the decorations?

*

[Cut to Dungeon. Orc guards walk past an open drain hole in the wall. Legolas emerges from the hole as soon as they pass, the knife still in his teeth. He draws his bow and steps aside as Rangers and Elves emerge. They move quietly. We see Halbarad break Orc Guard's neck and remove a ring of keys. ]Elrohir: How do we find the prisoners?
Man 3: I do not think that will be difficult. [points down corridor. we see cells in dim light.

Cut to Treeline. Elves restless, enraged.]

Elrond: (loud and commanding) Hold the line!
Gandalf: (firmly) Hold!

[Orcs begin shooting at Elves. Most of their arrows fall short. One hits a Siege Engine and sticks. Two hit Elves, who fall. One Orc shoots at an Elf hanging on the walls. The arrow misses, but comes close. Orcs laugh]

Celeborn: (holds up hand) Hold!
[Some Elves run forward. Orcs shoot at them. More Elves charge.]

Glorfindel: (untranslated curse. joins charge.)
[Camera pans to Elves rushing over open ground to walls. Some throw ropes. Most just climb the walls. Orcs shoot down at them.]


*

[Cut to Dungeon. Rangers and Elves open cells. Some prisoners are unable to walk without aid. Others look more fit.
Legolas and Elrohir turn a corner. They are now on a catwalk above a large forge. We see guards, Orc and Men, forcing Elves to work metal. One Guard strikes an Elf. The Elf looks rebellious, and the Guard knocks him flat.
Legolas shoots the Guard. Guards look up, see Rangers and Elves on catwalk. Orcs roar and charge toward stairs.

Cut to Walls. Elves swarm over battlements, fight hand to hand with Orcs. We see Glorfindel, Thranduil, Celeborn and Elrond kill several. Elves pull up hanging prisoners. Some prisoners are fit enough to fight, using chains as weapons.

Cut to Dungeon. The interior of the dungeons looks like Piranesi's Prisons - with lots of catwalks, chains, columns, pillars, bridges, gaurd towers, statues, cauldrons, forges, iron gratings, and insturments of torture on a grand scale. Legolas high above on a catwalk or ledge sees an Elf lord being taken by several Orcs below... they are getting him away from the rescue effort... Legolas’ keen eyesight recognizes him as a Lord of his people .... But the archway they are headed for is seconds away and he can never get their in time ... The orcs are hurrying across a bowed bridge leading to a very large and heavy grated gate which is slowly being raised to give them access to the main building.....the area around the stone bridge is already bathed in flame as the fire comes from below them...so he leaps out into the air like a man jumping off the Olympic high dive board - maybe sixty or seventy feet in the air - and halfway down grabs a swinging chain - the chain takes him about 90% of the way then he has to fly from it like a rock fired from a slingshot then swoops right through the flames into the Orc escort bowling them over like bowling pins[during the leap and swing on the chain the camera can track him until he hits the flames then we cut to the face of an Orc who sees him as Legolas emerges through the flames and the Orcs face goes complete shocked....].he polishes off the one or two still conscious and turns to the Elf Lord, bows and calls him by name ....]


Elf Lord: Have our people learned to fly during my long years of captivity?'

[Legolas smiles and then cut back to the fire and carnage. Fight is joined, bloody hand-to-hand. Elladan and Elrohir fight back to back. Halbarad slips on bloody floor, slides between two Orcs and kills both. The Elf Lord grabs a weapon from a dead guard and klls another Orc, sweet revenge for his years of captivity. The Orc falls back into the forge. Screams echo. The flailing Orc knocks over kettle of molten metal, which spreads over the floor. Wooden braces blaze.]

Man 1: Out!
Legolas: Out now!
Halbarad: No --- (kills Orc)

*

[Cut to Interior. Gandalf and Saruman move through corridors resolutely, not running but firm steps. They are surrounded by polished black stone with gold and silver inlay. Glimpses of fine artwork show. We see a shadow dart ahead of them. It might be the form of a Wizard, but it might be just smoke.
They turn a corner and find three Nazgûl. Both Wizards raise staffs. Nazgûl brace for a fight.]


Voice of Sauron: (black speech) Leave them to me. Escape now, my loyal servants.
[Nazgûl flee. Wizards resume pursuit. Camera focus on Gandalf. ]

Voice of Sauron: (whisper) You are valiant, Mithrandir. Loyal. Steadfast. Yet ever those who have been foolish enough to put their trust in you meet their fates awaiting your help.
Gandalf: (look of emotional pain)
Voice of Sauron: Remember? [We see images of Arathorn's death, Dwarves lost in Mirkwood, Gilraen and Aragorn in woods, Rangers surrounded in Dungeon.]

Saruman: Mithrandir?
Gandalf: (resolute) I am well. (raises staff)
Voice of Sauron: (laughter then silence. There is no further sign of his presence.)
[We hear a crash of stone and rush of flame. Saruman and Gandalf look out a window. The tower over the Dungeon has fallen in. Saruman looks thoughtful. Gandalf is clearly worried.]

*

[Cut to Dungeon. Rangers and Prisoners fight up the stairs. Guards pursue. More Orcs block the top of the stairs.]

Halbarad: Where are they all comming from?
Elladan and Legolas: (unison) You do not wish to know. [We hear stone grate, flames rush and wood splinter.]
Man 1: It's falling! (dies)

[Halbarad: (commanding) We are going to die anyway! Die standing up! [swings sword, kills Orc. Ranger with War Hammer and Ranger with Two Swords follow him, followed by rest of Prisoners, Rangers, and Elves. Stone and burning wood fall all around them. Camera focus on top of stairs. Daylight beckons.]

*

[Cut to Courtyard. Battle is dying down.]
Celeborn: Victory!
[2l Nazgûl ride from Stable. Glorfindel tries to stop them, but one knocks him down.]
Elrond: (rush to Glorfindel) My friend?
Glorfindel: I am unhurt. They were not stopping.
Elrond: That was brave.
Glorfindel: Or stupid.
Thranduil: My son?
[Camera shift to Legolas, sooty and bloody, pushing an Orc off his sword. Thranduil runs to him. Other Elf Lords follow.]
Thranduil: Are you well?
Legolas: Well enough.
Elrond: (urgent) Did you see Elladan or Elrohir?
Legolas: (looks back) They were with me, but we got separated.

[Cut to Dungeon Tower. Flames shoot out the roof. The tower rumbles, then collapses.]
Elrond: NO!

[Focus on settling dust. Rangers, Elves, and Prisoners stumble out of Stairway. All look bloody, smoky, and battered. Camera focus on Twins, side by side, walking with Halbarad. Elrond and Celeborn embrace Twins.]

Thranduil: (to Halbarad) If ever Isildur's people stand in need, my people will stand beside you. This day have you proven that the old alliances live yet.
Halbarad: (bows) My lord.
[Thranduil offers his hand. Halbarad takes it. Camera focus on clasped hands. Camera fades.]

* * *

Scene: Sauron’s Lair

[Dismayed by the fact that Sauron has evaded their clutches, Saruman and Gandalf enter Sauron's lair. Shots of the beautiful, twisted art work and polished obsidian walls. One of the Wizards pauses to look in a gilt-framed mirror. The mirror has been smashed, as if someone threw something at the center. We look farther, and see several large statues of evil images, large sculpture of Morgoth slaying Fingolfin. Something three times the height of Saruman and Gandalf. We could see either wizard walking in and out of the figures looking up and seeing Grond the hammer of Morgoth poised overhead as if it would strike him at any second (a possible effective touch would be actual fire and smoke which emerges from the openings in the ground caused by previous blows of the hammer Grond. ) The statues could be all black and stone or metallic and the ground area around it also black and stone or metallic but with subtle openings so that the area is underlit with actual fire and smoke.... almost a living scuplture.

An entire room could be held up by two massive tall pillars which upon closer examination are reproductions of the Two Trees. One would be carved with Ungoliant sucking the life from it and on the other Morgoth commanding her. One could be gold and the other silver. One wall could be made up of a recreation of the throne room of Morgoth in Utumno with open pits of fire casting eerie lighting on Morgoth on his throne and a Balrog on his right and left hand sides. Sauron would be proud of Morgoth's triumphs that he was involved in, but would probably put more emphasis on his own personal victories, such as the conquering of Tol Sirion, or the ruination of Eregion. These would be represented on huge murals. There might also be a large map of Middle Earth on one wall, with various markings scrawled on it. Sauron invented the "Black Speech", so he would have manuscripts lying around with this on.

Saruman reassures everyone that Sauron will be gone a long time again, and there will be another "watchful peace", although Gandalf is not so sure.....Radagast's birds arrive with news of Smaug's death at Laketown, and of Thranduil's mobilization. Gandalf fears for his friends on the Quest of Erebor and departs quickly with Legolas to catch up with them.

This leaves Saruman to find the "goodies": the amazing volume that Saruman later used to refer to the Balrog as well as the ring of Barahir would be a great find. Sauron would have scrolls or books following the Numenoreans or at least show his interest in searching for an Heir of Isildur. A previously violent skewering of a scroll by Sauron could lead Saruman to believe the line of Isildur had been broken. Maybe a record of where he's looked for the Ring.

There is scientific equipment that even Saruman and Gandalf do not understand. Weird looking stuff that seems to be almost alien or other worldly. Maybe among their discoveries could be the stone crystals that Saruman later reveals as explosives at Helms Deep.


Saruman: (takes control ) I will have all this packed up and brought to me where it can be studied closely. This could prove valuable in discovering the secrets of our enemy.

Saruman could perhaps find orc breeding pits and in it are the big black uruks from Cirith Ungol, ie sauron was just starting to produce them, and they first appear at the battle of dol guldor. this gives saruman all his ideas. The finding of dead orcs and/or elves buried in mud would be enough to infer hideous experiments of some kind.]

* * *

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:23 pm 
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Location: Green Hill Country
Scene: The Misty Mountains/Mirkwood/Dale

[Camera pans over bits of landscape between DG and the Misty Mountains.
We see Gollum: he spends a long time sitting at the entrance to the caves/tunnels, arguing with himself, trying to pluck up courage to face the hated sun; Sméagol not wanting to leave the safety of the darkness, and Gollum driven by the power of the Ring. A chance here for a great schizoid dialogue scene like TTT; finally he slips out of the caves into the twilight. The hidden elves on duty spot him and send one of their number with a message to "Tell Mithrandir the creature he is seeking has come forth";

Gollum picks up Bilbo's trail at the edge of Mirkwood. We need the audience to somehow realize that he is following a very cold trail, years old, left from the Quest of Erebor. He reaches Dale and overhears (perhaps from King Bard, even), news of Bilbo and the Shire. He realizes he has gone in the wrong direction.]


* * *

Short Scene: Mordor

[Sauron declares himself in Mordor and starts to rebuild Barad-dûr. Shots of construction work. Witch King brings Sauron the palantír of Minas Morgul.]

* * *

Scene: Mirkwood

[We return to Gollum, wandering aimlessly in Mirkwood, and realizing that he is being drawn towards Mordor. He mutters to himself: "It calls to us, Precious . . . The Dark One calls to us . . . But we doesn't want to go to him! No! No! we doesn't. We won't go there . . . But we can't help ourselves. . . Our feet goes wandering where we doesn't want them to go, Precious. Precious. Must find Baggins, but we doesn't want to go there . . ." Or something like that, anyway.
He finally gives in and turns South....the scene changes to Mount Doom suddenly erupting, and we see Gollum's head and eyes appear slowly over the top of a ridge in the Emyn Muil, only to cower down again in the force of eruptions. Following this we can have Gondor Rangers organizing the evacuation of Ithilien.]


* * *

Scene: Frozen River Hoarwell, close to edges of Ettenmoors

[Scene opens to snowy forest in gathering darkness. Estel and the Twins enter a small village on the bank of a river, maybe four or five houses and a barn. Greetings are exchanged. Obviously these are friends. They are invited into a house. The adults are finishing a meal. Older men light pipes.]

Elladan: Has the boy-man taken up pipeweed yet?
Estel: (wrinkling his nose to show his distaste) That is one bad habit I do not need
Elrohir: Things change Estel. there was a time you did not like girls either.
Elladan: And we know how that has changed. (general laughter)

[The laughter is interrupted by howling wolves near the house. There is a second of frozen silence, then we hear wood splinter and the screams of animals accompanied by growling. The men in the house grab weapons and race out, joining the rest of the men in the village. The Twins and Estel join them.

The firelight from open doorways illuminates the scene. Blood on snow, huge white wolves pulling down cattle/sheep/horses. A dog rushes a wolf and goes down in a spray of blood. There are 20 or more wolves.

Elrohir shoots a wolf. Now the pack notices the humans and the wolves attack. One latches into Elrohir before the Elf can fire again. Elladan throws the wolf through the air. We see one man go down, screaming.

Estel shoots his bow. We hear a yelp. Over his shoulder we see a pair of wolves enter a house through the still open door. One rushes out, a bundle in its teeth. A woman tries to follow, but other wolves pull her down. Estel shoots at the wolf and hits its thigh, but the wolf doesn't stop. Estel gives chase onto the river.

The wolf turns on the ice to face Estel. The bundle is crying -- it's a baby. Estel throws down his bow and draws sword. Growls behind him, and the sound of soft ice cracking. He is surrounded by at least nine wolves. One bloody brute moves beside the one holding the infant. This is the lead pair.

The Twins run onto the ice and begin shooting wolves. The ice cracks beneath Elladan's feet. ]


Elladan: Estel! Get out of there!
Estel: There is a child...
Elrohir: (untranslated elvish curse) This ice is breaking!

[Estel jumps for the baby. The male goes for him and dies on the sword. The female leaps for her mate, dropping the child. The ice breaks with a sick crack. Estel winds up on a chunk of ice, the baby in one arm, his sword gone. He's riding the ice down the river.

One of the Twins dashes down the bank and leaps up a tree with a large limb that sticks out over the water. He catches Estel with one arm and flings him onto the bank. He lands hard in a splat of wet snow, the baby held safely against his chest.

(Following this there would be some comment about the fine line between courage and stupidity, but Elrond could deliver that later.) Fade.]


* * *

Scene: Approaching Rivendell

[Twilight. There is snow on the ground, but much less than in the previous scene and shoots of grass are poking up through it. The Twins and Estel ride down the pass (the same path Legolas takes to reach Rivendell in FotR). Estel is wearing a white wolf pelt on his shoulders. Cut]

* * *

Scene: Hall in Rivendell

[A meal is in progress. Elrond, Gilraen, and Glorfindel, are sitting together at the High Table. Our Heroes enter, talking and laughing. They haven't taken the time to clean up.

Elladan: Food!
Estel: Hot food!
Elrohir: Decent food!
Gilraen: (gives them all a stern look) What you mean is 'food you have not had to cook yourselves'.
Elladan: You might put it that way...

[Servants bring more plates. Our Heroes join the table. Estel sits next to Gilraen and concentrates on the food, while the Twins flank Elrond and Glorfindel and spend as much time talking as eating.]

Elrohir: You were right, Ada. The power of the Enemy reaches out farther than before.
Elladan: The Orcs are multiplying in Eriador
Elrohir: And the White Wolves crossed into the lands of Men again.
Elrond: (looking at Estel, who is still wearing the wolf pelt) So I see. You met them?
Elrohir: In a small village near the Hoarwell.
Elladan: (grinning) Estel ran --
Estel: (with his mouth full) I did not!
Elladan: Straight toward their chief. Over the breaking ice, if you can believe it. (leans toward Glorfindel) I knew I could get him with that. (Glorfindel smiles. Estel wipes his mouth and pushes back from the table.]
Estel: I think will go and clean up now.
Gilraen: Of course. We will talk later. [Estel leaves.]

Gilraen [with a little sigh]: He has grown....
Elrond: Yes. He's a man now. Soon the time will come to find him a wife. [Gilraen and the twins look at him in astonishment: Elrond bears their look] Isildur's line must be secured.
[They're interrupted by people murmuring; camera turns toward the door. Arwen enters, greets Elrond with a kiss and joins him at the table, taking Estel's place]
Elrohir [winks at Elladan]: Our father is right, we must find him....a wife.
Elladan: [grins at his brother.]

[Glorfindel, Elrond, and Gilraen draw together.]


Glorfindel: They are right, you know. Young Estel has grown over the winter.
Elrond: I realize that. Still, he seems too young for all this. Things are moving faster than I had hoped. If I had more time to prepare him --
Glorfindel: He is his father's son more than he is Isildur's heir. And if you are going to send him into the wild, is he not safer if he knows the danger? The Enemy is seeking for any hint of Elendil's line, and how long can the secret be kept even here?
Elrond: (nods reluctantly) I know you are right, old friend. Tonight may be the best chance to explain things to him. (to Gilraen) Will you help smooth this for me?
Gilraen: Of course. [Fade out]

* * *

Scene: Gallery in Rivendell

[Gilraen and Estel, who has now bathed and changed into something more fit for Elrond's house, are standing before the mural of Sauron's fall. Gilraen hugs Estel. Elrond and Glorfindel join them.]

Elrond: I had hoped I would find you here.
Estel: (bows) Ada
Glorfindel: (bows) Aragorn Arathornion.
Estel: (confused) Your pardon, my Lord?
Elrond: You have become a man over the winter, Estel.
Gilraen: I see your father in your face.
Elrond: Which brings me to my point.
Estel: What ever you are dancing around, I wish you would just spit it out.
Elrond: I suppose I am dancing the point.
Glorfindel: You are. Tell him or I will.
Elrond: Aragorn... I told you more than once that your father was a good friend to me. He was all that, but there is more to the story. You never seemed interested in the rest...
Estel: (gives a half smile) And if I did you redirected me quickly.
Elrond: Yes, we did. There was reason.
Glorfindel: A secret is the one thing that is best guarded by fewest hands.

Estel: But my father was a Dúnedain.
Elrond: Your father was my nephew. Several times great-nephew, true, but kin nevertheless. Now you are no longer a child, and you have come to your inheritance. (Takes the ring of Barahir from Narsil’s display stand and places it in Estel's hand) Here is the ring of Barahir, heirloom of Beren, the token of our kinship from long ago. The shards of Narsil (gestures towards the broken sword) are also yours.

Gilraen: If you prove worthy of them, your life shall prove great indeed.
Elrond: When you prove yourself worthy of them. I have great faith in you, but the road will prove hard.

Estel: (takes the hilt of Narsil in his hand) Why do you tell me now? If you hid my father's name for all these years--
Glorfindel: Because the Enemy is seeking for the remnants of Elendil's line. There is no more safety in keeping your secret from you. You must know the danger if you will protect yourself.
Estel: Who else knows who I am?
Elrond: Glorfindel, my sons, the lord and lady of the Golden Wood. And Mithrandir, whom I trust beyond all others.
Gilraen: And anyone who knew Arathorn will see him in you.
Elrond: Within a few days you will leave us and join your people. It is time you took your place as their Chieftain. I will keep the other relics of our house, the marks of kingship, until such time as they are needed.
Estel: A crown and sceptre will be of no use in the wild… (he replaces the hilt of Narsil on the tray) Neither will a broken sword.
Glorfindel: We need to remedy that. (he bows to Estel) My lord Aragorn. (they leave together)
Elrond: (to Gilraen) He is a fine man. You have done well.
Gilraen: You have played no small part, my Lord [smiles sadly. Fade.]

* * *

Scene: Garden in Rivendell

[Scene opens on the little grassy patch where Arwen confronted Elrond in RotK. New grass blankets the ground, and the new leaves on the birch trees give the scene a soft green haze. We focus on Aragorn, who is swinging a new sword (the one he had in FotR, only not at all battered) through basic exercises to get the feel of it. His jerkin is off, his shirt is loose, and he is grinning like a kid at Christmas.

Aragorn sheaths the sword and wipes the sweat out of his eyes. He leans his back against a tree and examines the Ring of Barahir. He twists the ring on his finger. Light catches the stone. He begins to sing the Lay of Lúthien softly, still staring at the ring.

Arwen steps out of the trees. She pauses and smiles as she studies the handsome, virile Aragorn. After a moment, she deliberately steps on a twig. It snaps. Aragorn jumps, then freezes, staring at Arwen. Arwen laughs softly and turns back into the trees. We hear her skirt rustle on the soft grass.]


Aragorn: By Elbereth . . . Wait! [Arwen does not stop.

Aragorn: Tinúviel? (he starts after her) Tinúviel!
Arwen: (turns once in the trees) Why do you call me by that name?
Aragorn: Because I was singing of her when I saw you. If you are not she, then you walk in her likeness.
Arwen: (laughs softly) So many have said. But who are you? I have not seen you here before.
Aragorn: (stands more proudly) I am Aragorn, Arathorn's son, Lord of the Dúnedain. (Arwen raises an eyebrow. Aragorn's shoulders relax) But most in this place would call me 'Estel', for until yester-eve that was my only name. (hopeful) Might I know your name now, lady, as you have all of mine?

Arwen: I am Arwen, Elrond's daughter.
Aragorn: Your brothers have never mentioned they have a sister. I know these are dangerous times, and men may hide their chief treasure dearly. Surely they did not lock you in a coffer.
Arwen: I have been visiting my grandparents, and only returned last night. As for my brothers, they probably forgot I existed. I think as a child I was a terrible pest to them.
Aragorn: Even as a child, you must have been a wonder and never a pest [He speaks this line at first looking downward and meeting here eyes with the last words. A bell sounds. Aragorn and Arwen turn toward the noise, ]
Arwen: Walk with me then, a while?
[They turn and walk off together in the twilight.

Camera shifts to the side. Elladan and Elrohir stand concealed by trees. They have been watching Aragorn and Arwen.

Elladan: Think you this is a good idea?
Elrohir: shrugs] He is a good man. . . you were not worried earlier.
Elladan:. No…but Ada is going to kill us.
Elrohir: No, though he will make us suffer so that we will wish he would… [Fade.]

*

[We see a montage of scenes of Aragorn and Arwen over the next few days. He tries to spend time alone with her, but she is always in company. He watches her from across a crowded room, or from a window; sometimes she acknowledges him with a nod or a smile.

On one occasion Aragorn finds an excuse to follow Arwen – perhaps he is given a message or errand to run, and he catches up with her breathlessly on the bridge. They exchange some pleasantries, walking a little and then Arwen moves off. The camera shifts from them to a balcony. Gilraen looks up from her embroidery and sees Aragorn gazing wistfully after the departing Arwen. She shakes her head, gives a deep sigh and smiles sadly.

Camera shifts to Elrond's library window. Elrond stands at the window, watching the pair on the bridge. His expression is grim. Cut.]


* * *

Scenes: Gilraen’s Chamber and Rivendell Library

[Gilraen’s rooms are in a separate wing from the main hall and more enclosed (rather like Bilbo’s). There might be some of Aragorn's things around, things she's kept from his childhood like a small bow, toys, drawings. Probably a spinning wheel or an embroidery frame with a tapestry on the go. Some sort of a rug, either fur or a woven rug, solid but brightly painted shutters over the windows. A hanging with some bright Elven scene on the wall. Candles in varied lengths. Elven furniture, well cared for but some scarred in places from a child's mischief or adventures.
Gilraen and Aragorn sit before the fire. Aragorn's hands are locked around his knees, knuckles white. Gilraen puts a hand on his.


Gilraen: Even for a descendant of kings, you aim too high in this.
Aragorn: Yet, from what you have told me, we bear the same kinship at least in part.
Gilraen: That is true, though only on her father's side. Through her mother, the lady is descended through long and noble lines that none of mortal race could hope to match. She is not bound to this world as you are. To one of her years, you must seem no more than a pretty child.
Aragorn: (not angry, but unhappy) Why are you telling me this now?

Gilraen: You know little of the ways of this world, Estel. You will need Lord Elrond's friendship in the years to come, and he will not so easily release his dearest child to mortal death even were her heart to lean toward you. I would not see you set your longing where there is no hope.
Aragorn: (sighs) I think your warning may come to late, Mother. My heart is already won. Without her my days will be bitter indeed, and lonely will be my path.

Gilraen: (hesitates. her hands twist in her skirts) Never give up hope, Estel. The Valar may yet have some plan for your life, some love that you have yet to meet. Unless you keep your eyes open and your heart alive you may miss her when she comes to you, whomever she may be. (Gilraen hugs Aragorn) Now go along. You will leave early tomorrow, and no doubt you still have much to do.

[Aragorn leaves the room. Elrond is waiting in the hall. Elrond motions for Aragorn to follow him. They go to the library.]

Elrond: In the morning you will leave here for many long years. The days are turning darker even as we speak of it, and great doom awaits you.
Aragorn: (uncertain) My lord?
Elrond: (rests both hands on a table. his shoulders slump) Events are moving quickly, and there are many things even I cannot see now. The truth of your father's bloodline will be tested in you, and if you cannot pass this test there will be no future for any of the free peoples of Arda.
Aragorn: What have you seen?

Elrond: Nothing. It is what I feel, an apprehension that I can put no name to yet. (he straightens) But this doom I lay upon you also, son of Arathorn. You shall have no wife, nor bind any woman to you in troth, until your time comes and you are found worthy of it!
Aragorn: (becoming defensive) Has my mother spoken of this to you?
Elrond: (shakes his head, kindly but sadly) I have eyes. But I do not speak only of my daughter, who is beyond your reach in any case. You shall be betrothed to no man's daughter as yet. As for Arwen, you can be nothing but a child to her.

Aragorn: (resentful) So I have recently been told.
Elrond: Even if she did turn her heart toward you naught could come of it. She will go with me into the West when I depart for the Undying Lands. I will not relinquish her. Of all my children, and I count you among these, she alone I can keep from peril.
Aragorn: My mother tells me not to give up hope. None can know what the future may bring us.
Elrond: Your mother has more sense than many counted among the wise. The years will bring us what they will, and we will speak no more until many have passed. Or so my heart forewarns me. Fare you well in the tasks that lie ahead of you.

[Aragorn bows stiffly, turns and leaves the room. Fade.]

* * *

Scene: Aragorn’s Chamber, early morning

[Aragorn is dressed for a long journey and is fastening a pack. The Twins arrive and stand still in the doorway, watching him in silence for a while

Elladan: So, you are really going to take charge of your people at last? [Aragorn remains silent, without looking at him, still fastening his pack]
Elrohir: You know our father loves you, and your journey has been pre-ordained since the day of your birth...
Aragorn [still without looking at them]: I know it is necessary. It is just... I would have preferred not to be ordered.
[The Twins share a look. Elrohir remains in the doorway, Elladan moves nearer Aragorn, and fiddles with some of Aragorn’s equipment.

Elrohir: The time will come, my friend, and sooner than you might desire, when you will be responsible for the people you care about. It is not an easy burden to bear. [Aragorn doesn't reply]
Elladan: Did you take your leave of your mother?
Aragorn [looks at him for the very first time]: Yes.
Elladan: And did you take your leave of our sister?
Aragorn [ blushes and looks away replying in a very low voice] No, it would not be proper....
Elrohir: She will no doubt be in the courtyard to see us off.
[Aragorn looks at the twins, then goes out the room without any other word. He looks just like a young man deeply in love. The twins share a little smile and follow after. Cut]

* * *

Scene: Rivendell Courtyard

[Arwen is standing with her father, watching from a distance Aragorn and the Twins preparations in the courtyard (saddling horses, etc.) He gives his Mother a farewell embrace. Camera cut to Arwen.]

Arwen: You are sending him away?
Elrond: He has been following you around like a puppy. Whilst I care for him, nothing can come of his infatuation with you.
Arwen: Surely that is for me to decide?
Elrond: I would not have him come between us, dearest......you would be forced to make the choice of Lúthien...and He does not yet know what he asks of you.
Arwen: I am aware of that, Father...yet in my heart I begin to feel my fate may well be not unlike hers....I should go and bid them farewell.
[she hurries down the steps, hugging her brothers, and turns slightly awkwardly to Aragorn:]

Arwen: Estel, it may be that long years will pass till we meet again. May Varda watch over you and protect you in all your endeavours and trials...Remember me.......
[she hugs him, and gives him a chaste kiss on the cheek, then turns away to stand back with Elrond. Aragorn puts his hand to his cheek in sudden wonder. The three mount, bow towards Elrond & Arwen, and leave Rivendell. Fade.]

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:41 am 
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Location: Green Hill Country
Scene: The Gladden Fields

[Saruman is searching the waters of the Anduin close to the banks, in the area where Isildur was known to have been slain.. He is wading, knee-deep in the muddy waters, without regard for his fine robes which are becoming stained and discoloured. Suddenly he hears a sound, and he hurriedly drags himself up out of the river, and takes cover in the trees and bushes. He sees and overhears a small group of orcs who have been sent by Sauron to search the same spot. He realizes that Sauron too has learnt of Isildur’s final resting place.]

* * *

Scene: Environs of Dol Guldur

[Open on forest in twilight, same area as our prologue opening. Three Elves, one of them Legolas, move through the brush. Legolas is walking ahead. He looks up to see the first stars glittering overhead.
Note: all the dialogues between Elves are in Elvish - with subtitles]


Elf 2 [to Legolas]: Elbereth smiles on us tonight, my prince.
Elf 1: It will be a fine night to sleep out.

[Legolas doesn't reply, in fact he seems to be really worried. He holds up a hand when they reach the edge of the trees. The walls of Dol Guldur look dark, no movement can be seen. Despite this, the Elves feel even more concerned. There is a light glowing in a window of the ruined fortress. As the elves stare we get the tunnel effect used in FotRwhen Frodo sense the Black Rider on the East Road. As the viewer is “sucked into” the shot they are drawn closer and closer to the window, and a dark shadow can be seen inside.]

Elf 1: What is it?
Elf 2: I never felt such an unjustified fear before.

Legolas is staring intently at the walls. He shivers.
Elf 1: Horrible!
Legolas: We must be certain before we spread tales. I will climb the wall and look over, just to be safe.
Elf 1: I would not call that safe!

[Legolas leaves his bow and arrows at the edge of the trees. Elf 2 does the same. Elf 1 begins to put down his quiver but Legolas stops him.]

Legolas [to Elf 1]: No. Stay here and cover us.
[Legolas and Elf 2 bend low and dart through the tall grass. Faint light catches their golden hair and pale skin occasionally.]

Camera shifts to the stars above. One, just a bit brighter and whiter than the rest, seems to flare more brightly yet. Camera pans down to the Elves, who have now reached the walls.
Legolas and Elf 2 free-climb the walls. Shots of their faces pressed against the stone, slender hands dig into the cracked blocks. As they near the top they begin to hear the sounds of Orcs, Black Speech, the clatter of metal, and squeek of machinery.
Legolas reaches up and grabs one of the iron cuffs that we saw in the battle used to hang prisoners from the walls. He flinches, and the rusted links clatter. The Elves freeze for a moment, but nothing happens.

The Elves reach the battlements and look over. Pan to courtyard full of Orcs, all busy with rebuilding. Legolas glances along the wall and sees two Orc sentries posted near a torch in an ugly iron holder. The Orcs are looking out, apparently thoroughly bored.
We see Legolas shudder for no apparent reason. Elf 2 makes a small gasp of terror. Legolas looks back to the courtyard. Two Nazgûl walk out of the tower and are met by an Orc. [they converse in the Black Speech]


Nazgûl 1: The repairs will be completed.
Orc: The damage is too great. We need more Orcs to finish on time, Lord Khamul.
Nazgûl 2: No more Orcs. The cursed Elves must not notice our presence here... until the right time. [On the wall, Legolas and Elf 2 glance at each other]
Khamul: Our Lord and Master's plans cannot be delayed. Beat the slaves until they drop. Finish your task. [The Orc bows and scuttles off.]

[Legolas silently signals that it is time to leave, perhaps with a nod down the wall. Elf 2 nods.
They move down the wall. Elf 2 hits one of the dangling chains, one he missed on the way up. He slips and catches the chain to keep from falling. There is a loud clatter.
Legolas shrinks into a dark shadow. Elf 2 clings to the wall. The Orc sentries lumber over, carrying the torch.
Torchlight flashes over the wall as the Orcs peer down. We see Legolas and Elf 2 illuminated by the flickering light. Elf 2 draws a long knife. Legolas does the same.]


Orc 1: Nothing there.
Orc 2: Probably another of those noisy birds.
[The Orcs return to their posts. The Elves relax visibly. We see them run across the field to the trees. Elf 1 resheaths his arrow as they gather their bows and rearm.]

Elf 1: My prince?
Elf 2 [to Legolas] The King needs to be immediately alerted of this.
Legolas [nods]: And the White Council. I will leave at once.
Elf 1: But what did you see? Maybe...
Legolas: This should be the worst of our fears. May the Valar protect all us. [Fade.]

* * *

Scene: Isengard (2953)

[Scene Opens: The tower of Orthanc, as it was in the beginning of FotR. Sunlight gleams off the black stone. Trees grow close to the path. Fangorn Forest rises majestically to the southwest.

Focus on the top of the tower. Saruman stands there, surrounded by crebain that sit quietly at his feet, small scrolls fastened to their legs. Saruman fastens a last scroll onto a bird in his hand, then gestures with his staff. The birds fly up, then spread out and head in different directions.

Saruman watches the departing birds. He smiles slowly.]


Saruman: (to himself) So an age ends. Old foes slip beyond threat, as new wisdom washes away old fears. As a child's toy we put away what has no more use and move on.
[Scene fades]

*

[ Fade in to inside Orthanc: The place is neater than we saw it in FotR. Books sit on shelves except for one or two that lie open on a table. Scrolls are neatly confined in large boxes. There is a sense of order. Light streams in from the windows, illuminating the needlework on Saruman's robes.

Saruman pauses before a doorway. Through the doorway we see the covered palantír, as in FotR. Saruman advances through the doorway. His robe sparkles in the sunlight, but a shadow falls over the palantír. ]


Saruman: (voicing his thoughts aloud) So we are secure. Still, so many questions unanswered. Could the answers be found here? It would be so simple. (he reaches toward the cloth covering the palantír. then, with apparent reluctance, he clenches his fingers and slowly pulls back from the stone.)

Cut to the path approaching Orthanc. We see the individual members of the Council approaching. Thranduil arrives on horseback, with a few Elves but lightly armed. Glorfindel arrives with Elrond. The Twins are not present. Gandalf comes on foot. Celeborn and Galadriel are shining and splendid. Cirdain sails a boat up the Isen.

Saruman comes to the top of the steps to greet his guests. Camera goes black.

We see the Wise gathered inside Orthanc. They are surrounded by books and paraphernalia. The chairs and table in the meeting room are heavy style, very Numenorian. The table is rectangular, and Saruman sits at the head of it. The Elves are arranged around both sides, and Gandalf takes the foot of the table.

Shots of Gandalf, Elrond, Galadriel, Celeborn, Glorfindel, and Círdan looking nervous. ]


Círdan: Curunir, why are we summoned after so long a silence?
Celeborn: Has the Enemy found what he seeks?
Elrond: If he had, we would not be sitting here now. He would not wait for us to prepare our defences.
Celeborn: Than why have we gathered?
Saruman: (stands) Peace, my lords. I call you to my home not to rouse defence but to at last relieve you of the burdens you have carried for too many years. I would assure you now that Arda is forever safe from the danger the Dark Lord once posed to us.

Glorfindel: (suspicious) How can you be certain? Long have we faced this threat, and an enemy well known does not so suddenly turn from his malice.
Saruman: I never meant that Sauron felt more friendly toward the free peoples of this world. Long have I studied the lore of our Enemy, seeking new ways to thwart his dark purposes. I now know him as well as he knows himself. Nay, better! for I tell you he has placed himself into a trap far stronger than any we could have devised through guile.
Galadriel: (interested) What trap would that be?

Saruman: (seeming satisfied) The trap of false hopes, my lady. The promise that what is now unreachable may yet be regained.
Gandalf: (leaning forward) You speak again of the One Ring.
Saruman: (nods) I do. The Enemy searches for it even as we speak. He directs all his efforts to reclaiming his great treasure. So long as he remains fixed upon regaining his Ring, the power he would otherwise have turned against us must be dedicated to his fruitless quest.
Glorfindel: (worried) And when his efforts are successful? Will we not then face a foe as powerful as he ever was?
Elrond: I would not repeat the battle of Dagorlad today. Our strength is not now what it once was, and our Enemy still has great power at his command.

Saruman: Without the One his power is greatly diminished. He spends his strength, and exhausts the Nine, searching for what cannot be found again. I tell you so long as he remains as he is, we are safe. The Free Peoples of this world can at last focus their efforts toward the rebuilding of what has been destroyed in this fruitless, endless struggle.
Thranduil: And what will happen should we relax our vigilance?
Saruman: At the worst, our Enemy knows that we have it not, and that it still is lost. But what was lost may yet be found, he thinks. Fear not! His hope will cheat him. And while he allows himself to be deceived, his hope serves now as his jailer.

[The Elves consider this. We see nods, slow smiles. Shoulders relax. They are allowing themselves to be convinced.]

Gandalf: (leans forward in his chair) You are certain of this, Saruman? The Ring of Power is forever beyond reach?
Saruman: (nods firmly) Have I not earnestly studied this matter? Into Anduin the Great it fell; and long ago, while Sauron slept, it was roled down the River to the sea. There let it lie until the End.

[Elrond looks to Gandalf, gauging his response. Gandalf frowns for some time, twisting his staff between his fingers. At last he grunts and nods. Elrond visibly relaxes.]

Gandalf: You are sure of this?
Saruman: Beyond any doubt.
Cirdain: Then at last our long vigil is over. We are truly free.

[Cut to the lawn outside the tower. Gandalf, Celeborn, Galadriel and Elrond are walking on the grass.]

Celeborn: Our worst fear was truly for naught. The Rings of the Elves have lost none of their strength with the passing of the One.
Elrond: But, my lord, the One is not destroyed. It is merely lost beyond the recovery of any here. Including, fortunately, its Dark Master.
Galadriel: Yet he still has the Nine at his command. And he has three of the Seven. With these hands to do his bidding he has great power, and fearful allies.
Celeborn: He has been quiet these long years.

Gandalf: (leans his head back to look up through the leaves of a huge tree) Saruman has more knowledge of Ring-lore than any of us. He has spent long years studying the Dark Lord and knows his mind as if it were his own. If Saruman says we have naught to fear, I for one shall enjoy a good night's sleep.

*

[Cut to Orthanc: In the room with the palantír. Saruman stands facing the covered stone. Light streams in through the distant window, sparkling on his robe. The light is lower now. Through the window we see the trees are beginning to change colour.
We hear a whispering voice, although we cannot understand the words. Saruman reaches for the cloth. He stops just before his fingers touch it]


Saruman: (to himself) There is much to risk, but the reward would be great. If I could hold the Ring, then the ruling power would pass to me. I could order all to my will, make straight the ways that have become tangled. All would be for the good. Only a moment of risk -- just enough to see where the thing lies. A moment of danger and it is mine. All my work comes to its fruition . . . and truly, what is there to fear? A broken Maiar, imprisoned in his hole. If I just . . .

[Saruman uncovers the palantír. His face is reflected in the stone. The stone is dark at first, then we see images of the green Gladden Fields and the flowing river. The sun slides lower, turning the light in the room from gold to red. Then it goes dark.

In the palantír we see a faint image of a flaming, lidless eye. Sauron's voice whispers, but we cannot understand the words. Fade to darkness]


* * *

Scene: Edge of Mirkwood

[Scene opens with shot of the edge of Mirkwood looking West. Legolas rides out of the forest. He is bareback, but dressed for travel, well armned, and moving fast. Closeup on his worried and grim expression.

Clips of Legolas riding, stopping to rest the horse, riding again. He takes more care of the horse than he does of himself; we don't see him pause for a meal. Eventually, near the Great River at twilight the horse stumbles. Legolas dismounts and checks the rear hoof. A large stone has lamed his horse.]


Legolas: (to himself) That is no good.

[Legolas freezes, lifts his head as if he hears something we cannot, then whirls around drawing his knife. Camera shifts to two cloaked and mounted figures, dark silouettes against the dying light. ]

Legolas: (relaxes) Where did you two come from?
Elrohir: (dismounts, along with Elladan) The ford upstream. Fare you well?
Elladan: You are looking concerned. What has happened?
Legolas: A bad stone. I think she will be lame for a while yet. (pats the mare's rump) You startled me, ’tis all.
Elladan: Do not pay so much attention to where you are going that you forget where you are.
Legolas: (frowning at Elladan) I will have to watch that. I realize it is a specialty of the Noldor. (all three chuckle)

Elrohir: (serious again) Where were you headed in such haste?
Legolas: I carry a message to the White Council. It is most urgent that I reach them without delay. Already I fear I may have left my own land too long, while danger grows.
Elladan: What danger?

Elrohir: Give us your message. We are going to meet Father, and can carry your words with us.
Legolas: (looks relieved) Then tell them that the tower at Dol Guldur has been rebuilt. I myself climbed the walls and saw two of the Nine overseeing the Orcs that strengthened the walls. The Dark Lord reaches out again toward our lands.
Elrohir: (glances at Elladan) Father feared something was coming
Elladan: Now we know what. (to Legolas)We will give him your words, Thrandulion.
Legolas: I beg you, go with all speed.
Elrohir: (mild surprise) This frightened you?
Legolas: I am not ashamed of my fear. It should frighten you too.

[The Twins mount and ride away. Legolas takes his horse's bridle and turns back the way he came. Cut.]

[Cut to daylight: We see Legolas leading his lame horse. Thranduil's company rides up from the South.]


Legolas: (obviously relieved) Father. I did not expect you so quickly.
Thranduil: We would have been home sooner, had we not paused in Lórien to enjoy Celeborn's hospitality.
Legolas: Then the Council is no longer meeting?
Thranduil: The Council may never meet again. (worried now) Has something happened?
Legolas: Much. (he mounts behind an Elf) Let us be quickly back in our own land. I will tell you on the way.
[Scene fades.]

* * *

[Fade in to clip of the Twins in Lórien, speaking with Galadriel and Celeborn. All look worried. Cut.]

*

[Clip of Galadriel and her mirror. Elrond's face shows in the water, with Glorfindel behind him.

Galadriel: So our time of peace ends before it began. The world is yet in peril.
Elrond: (closes his eyes briefly) I feared before I knew what to fear. The Valar grant that this is no worse than the last time.
Glorfindel: Now is the hour when we must find our own strength, and face this as best we may.
Galadriel: And yet perhaps the time long hoped for draws close. We will watch for what comes.
[Scene ends.]

* * *

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:19 pm 
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Location: Green Hill Country
Scene: A road near the lower Baranduin River.

[A group of merchants drive wagons along the road. The wagons are loaded with barrels. There are outriders, and it's apparent that the merchants expect trouble.

Mounted thieves appear on hills on both sides of the road. The lead wagon halts. The lead Merchant looks back, obviously frightened. More Thieves come up behind the wagons. The outriders draw blades, but they are outnumbered.
Thieves laugh as they close on the wagons. Merchants scream. Some try to fight, but they are quickly thrown down.
Arrows fly from behind the Thieves. Eight cloaked Rangers rise out of the tall, dry grass, bows drawn. Remaining Thieves scatter, leaving their prize.

Some Rangers push back their hoods. The one in the lead is Aragorn, flanked by Halbarad and another, older man (Radorn). Aragorn gestures toward the wounded. Three of the Rangers immediately assist the wounded. The lead Merchant hugs Halbarad. Halbarad looks embarrassed.]


Merchant: May the Valar bless you! We would have been ruined if we had lost this cargo.
Aragorn: This road is dangerous.
Merchant: It is the fastest path to the sea, and to our markets. (to Halbarad) Let us repay your trouble.
Aragorn: That is not necessary --
Halbarad: Thank you. (to Aragorn) Not so hasty!
Radorn: You are not in Imladris now.

Merchant motions toward the wagons. Two of the unwounded outriders bring a large barrel. Camera focuses on the barrel. It's Old Toby Pipeweed. The Rangers grin at each other. Aragorn looks uncertain]

* * *

Scene: Evening, a small campfire in a wooded glen near a rocky cliff.

[Rangers sit smoking. Radorn passes his pipe to Aragorn, who takes it hesitantly, sniffs it, grimaces, and hands it back. General laughter. Cut.]

*

[Clip: A wooded part of the Greenway. We see a group of High Elves moving through the trees. Orcs emerge from the brush, grinning.
Lead Orc: If we can make prisoners of these Elves, the Master will be pleased.
Second Orc: If we can get them back safely. Elves are tricky.
Lead Orc: (laughing) There’ll be no tricks left in them when we’ve finished with them. And if there are, we'll soon teach them respect.
Second Orc: Too long since we've had that pleasure!

[The Orcs close on the Elves. The fight is intense, the Elves are outnumbered and the situation is looking desperate….
Suddenly a knife flies out of the trees and strikes the lead orc in one eye. Aragorn emerges from the brush, two more throwing knives in his hands. Rangers appear on all sides. Aragorn throws the knives, then draws his sword and charges.

The fight is brief and brutal. We see a Ranger dodge an Orc blade and gut the Orc. An Elf drops to trip an Orc; the Orc falls onto a blade. Aragorn beheads an Orc with a long sword stroke.

The fight ends. Rangers greet the Elves, who look healthy but worse for wear. Aragorn bends to clean his sword on a dead Orc. When he stands, he receives a bone crushing hug from a pair of the Elves. More laughter as Aragorn looks both pleased and embarrassed.]


Lead Elf (Gildor): Thank you. Our fate might have been dire indeed had you not come.
Aragorn: We found the Orcs' trail some miles back and followed them. It is fortunate that they returned by the same road.
Gildor: We were traveling to visit our kin in the Golden Wood. We still mean to go there.
Aragorn: The road is not less dangerous.
Gildor: True, but we will continue on none the less. (puts hand on Aragorn's shoulder) I see your father reborn in you… [Fade]

* * *

[Clip: The Dark Tower. Sauron's eye narrows. We hear Black Speech but cannot understand it. Fade.]

* * *

Scene: The Ford at Tharbad.
[It is winter, snow is deep. We see a large group of Orcs move through the snow. Cut to Halbarad and Radorn, buried in snow, glance at each other. ]

Halbarad: Even Orcs cannot be that stupid. Aragorn emerges from the snow across the River from the Orcs.] Radorn: Neither is he, I hope.
[Aragorn lifts his sword hand. The blade flashes in the winter sunlight. The Orcs howl and charge.]

Halbarad and Radorn: (unison) They are that stupid!
[The Orcs hit the frozen river. The ice breaks, and the Orcs are now knee deep in icy water and mud. Rangers rise out of the snow and begin shooting the Orcs, who are now trapped.]

*

[We see series of brief clips:
Clip: Sauron's Eye blazes. Black speech, clearly furious.
Clip: Wounded Orcs crawl out of bloody mud and snow at Tharbad. They make for Mordor.
Clip: Sauron's eye narrows. A beam points toward Eriador.
Clip: Nazgûl ride. Men and Orcs quick-march along a road. ]


* * *

Scene: The Prancing Pony, Bree

[Camera focus on dark bedroom, lit only by fire. Gandalf's staff rests against the headboard. We hear sleepy mumbling and ropes creaking over the sound of rain on the glass window.

Shift to Gandalf, asleep in the bed, clearly having a nightmare. In the firelight we see he is sweating.


Gandalf: (mumbling) Precious. . . Birthday present. . . Riddle game. . . No sense. . .Rivers flow together. . . Couldn't be. . .Rising. . .
[the screen dissolves into his nightmare..... we see Bilbo and Gollum in the role of attorneys in front of a magistrate in a temporary court set up in the Prancing Pony...... a tiny pair of spectacles are perched on Gollums nose ..... Bilbo is arguing his revised version of the Riddle Game and why the Ring is his, Bilbo wears the ring on his neck but the ring is at least a foot wide and the chain is heavy and rusted....... Gollum keeps butting in screaming about his precious and "you cheated" ... drunken observers of both sexes are boozing it up, pawing each other and guffawing at the spectacle..... Gandalf himself sits on the bench as magistrate but he cannot seem to get a word in and is impotent to do anything ...... it is loud and noisy and smoky.

Dissolve into a scene in Orthanc. Galadriel rests with the cold and almost violent elegance of a dark queen on a récamier sofa and her hair looks like something out of a pre-Raphelite painting... it is five times too long and thick and is blowing like a heavy wind is whipping it behind her..... Standing just off to the side is Saruman dressed in a very shiny, almost metallic robe of a score of blinding colors ... he approaches Galadriel with a lecherous look on his face and she smiles up at him .... he stops in his tracks as he sees the blinding light coming from her ring finger... he begins to lick his lips, wring his hands and his eyes light up ...... Gandalf stands watching from a corner but is powerless to do anything.

Dissolve into a sixty foot high Sauron in full armor but it is cracked and leaking smoke and steam in reds, clacks and purples as he walks through the Shire..... He periodically picks up the thatched roofs of the little hobbit holes and peers inside moving everything about with gauntleted hands.... a few hobbits get violently shoved aside and some even crushed by his onslaught screaming "Gandalf" as they die.... Gandalf again watches but is powerless to intervene. (a blast of wind rattles the window loudly. Gandalf sits up, startled.)]


Gandalf: (wipes the sweat from his face with one hand This is too simple to be true! Yet if it is, how many simple lives does my hesitation endanger? he swings his legs out of bed and sits staring into the fire) If I investigate, The Enemy will surely suspect. Then, even if I am wrong, I endanger those who call me friend. Still, I must know where that Ring came from before true damage can be done. I wonder . . .

*

Cut to: The Pony main room. It is better lit, though smoky, and the atmosphere is friendlier.
Gandalf walks to the bar and motions to Daisy Heathertoes, the Proprietress


Daisy: (with a handful of foaming mugs) Mister Gandalf! Rested up, I see. It's a mean day for travelling, and a mean night, too. Still, it's good for me. I'm run off my feet. What can I get ye? A hot meal and a mug o' the best, I'd wager.
Gandalf: Deliver those before you break both arms and come back to me, Mistress Heathertoes.
Daisy: Right. (She disappears, chuckling) [Gandalf makes show of filling his pipe.apparently minding his own business.

Camera pans around the inn, focuses on a large table behind a makeshift partition, with ten or twelve men who look like they have lived in the weather for some time. There is a pot of stew and a large loaf in the centre of the table, and they are eating, drinking, and talking happily, clearly relaxed. Camera focuses on some faces. We see Halbarad, Radorn, and finally Aragorn near the head of the table.
A young Barmaid saunters to the table with a pitcher of ale. She refills mugs, giving the men a good look at her bosom. When she gets to Aragorn she takes particular care. He shakes his head, laughing. Another of the Rangers leans toward her. We hear feminine giggles.]


Daisy: (returns a moment later) So, what'll it be?
Gandalf: Information. I need to find someone who can do a bit in the wild for me.
Daisy: (wiping cups) Well, I don't know . . . There's a party o' them Ranger folk came in a couple of hours ago. Heard they're good people, but ye never can say . . . (points to Aragorn's group with an empty mug) That's them there.
Gandalf: Thank you, my friend. Now I will take a mug of that ale. (lays coin on the counter)

Gandalf takes the mug and walks to the Rangers. Halbarad sees him first and gestures for a couple of the younger Rangers to make room. Gandalf slides onto a bench. One of the Rangers gives him a bowl of stew. Randon passes him the bread.


Halbarad: (wipes his mouth) It has been too long, Gandalf. You are looking well.
Gandalf: Not as well as you. But then, I haven't been fattening up on Daisy’s excellent food. (takes a bit of stew) Although from what I have heard you have been too busy to spend much time in comfort.
Halbarad: You are not far wrong. Let me introduce you to someone you have not met. (leans over the table) Lord Aragorn.
Gandalf: I have heard rumours of your bravery. (Drinks; gives a fatherly smile) Your deeds spread far these days, Dúnedain, even as far as the Elven halls of Imladris and Lothlórien.
Aragorn: It is good to be appreciated.

Halbarad: Lord Aragorn, Gandalf is also known as Mithrandir. He is friend to Elrond, and one of the Wise.
Aragorn: (looks startled, and impressed) Your pardon. I had taken you for a simple traveller.
Gandalf: No insult taken. I often prefer to travel simply. Many times it is better to be overlooked than looked over. Might I have a word with you, Dúnedain? I believe I need your help.
Aragorn: Ask. We will do whatever is needed. (other Rangers nod)
Gandalf: There is a matter that troubles me; there are spies of many sorts, even beasts and birds, gathering around the Shire. I must call upon the help of the Dúnedain – can your Rangers keep watch over the Shire? The Halflings are dear to my heart, for I foresee that one day the hands of the weak may bring help when the Wise falter.
Aragorn: Of course. That is easily done.
Gandalf: There is more that is not so easy to accomplish. I would speak with you privately, son of Arathorn.

Aragorn motions to Halbarad. Halbarad gets up, the rest of the Rangers do the same. They leave the common room, except for one who seeks out the Barmaid. Gandalf leaves the table and goes to an alcove near the fire. Aragorn follows.

Aragorn: Mithrandir, often has my foster-father talked of your wisdom, and I would be glad to learn more from you. I could perchance be of some use to you in your travels. My heart tells me that my path will be long and hazardous before I can restore my forefather’s inheritance. I do not believe that I am meant to remain in the North Kingdom for the rest of my days.
Gandalf: Use I will make of you and your folk, if you are willing once you hear the full of it. There is another matter which concerns me greatly at the present. It all started with the Halflings, you know, which is one reason I have asked you to protect the Shire, until I have fathomed the mystery here. (Gandalf and Aragorn lean closer to each other. Gandalf lowers his voice) Some years ago, you were a child in Rivendell then, I believe, I sent one of these Halflings with a party of Dwarves on a bit of an adventure . . . (conversation fades into the sounds of the tavern)

[Camera shifts around the room. Bearded men smoke and drink. Some at one table play cards. Daisy bustles through with food and drink. Two dark men draw more thoughtfully on their pipes and appear to strain to listen to Aragorn and Gandalf's conversation. Camera focus on Aragorn and Gandalf. ]


Aragorn: You do not trust the council of the leader of your order?
Gandalf: (waves the notion aside with his hand, draws on his pipe thoughtfully) I am troubled….I was lulled by the words of Saruman, but some deep foreboding tells me I must seek for the truth about how Gollum came by this ring – for I believe it to be a ring of power at the very least. My heart misgives me against all reason.
Aragorn: (sneezes softly as smoke reaches him) Have you word of the creature called Gollum?

Gandalf: (puts down his pipe) A bad habit of old age, I fear. As to Gollum, I set a watch for him many years ago, after I first learnt the truth from Bilbo. I guessed Gollum would come forth from his darkness ere long, when his longing for the Ring proved stronger than his fear of the orcs, or even of the light. He wandered far, following Bilbo’s trail, and eventually came to the streets of Dale, where he heard talk of Bilbo and learnt where he came from…The Shire.

Aragorn: So the creature has tracked your Halfling friend back?
Gandalf: He tried, I think. He set out and came back westward. The Wood-elves tracked him first, when his trail was still fresh. Their wood was full of the rumour of him….but at the western edge of Mirkwood the trail turned away. It wandered off southwards and passed out of the Wood-elves knowledge, and has been lost. I let the matter be, for I have had much to think of, and Saruman has counselled the Wise to forget concern for the Ring.

Aragorn: (looks serious) I fear now you have made a great mistake…the trail is long cold now, but we should hunt for this Gollum creature, late though it may seem. And since it seems fit the Isildur’s heir should labour to repair Isildur’s fault, I will help you search, long and hopeless though it might be.

Gandalf: My thanks, Dúnadan, your skills will be of great use to me. It will do you good, also, to learn something of the people you might one day rule. Let us go South and see what fate may bring us. [Fade.]

* * *

Scene: The Rangers walking through thick woods.

There is a path, and the Rangers walk two by two. Everything drips, the woods are soaking wet. The Rangers move easily, as if they sense no danger near them. Camera shifts to head of the column. Aragorn walks with Halbarad, Radorn, and Gandalf.]

Aragorn: It is as I told you last night. I will be learning from Mithrandir for a while, probably no more than a couple of years. During that time Halbarad will speak for me in all things, as he did during my fostering.
Radorn: If you think you can learn everything Mithrandir has to teach you in a couple of years you haven't grown up much.
Halbarad: Where will you be, my lord? Just by the chance we need to find you.
Aragorn: East of the mountains. (looks to Gandalf) That is where you said, right?
Gandalf: Yes. Our task will begin in Rovanion, but from there I cannot guess where we will finish.
Radorn: So you take this pup into Thranduil's realm? (laughs) That will be an education indeed, --
Halbarad: (raises a hand. draws a blade) Quiet!

[All freeze. Camera focuses on Aragorn, who draws throwing knives, and Gandalf, who leans on his staff and smiles. ]
Gandalf: (looks toward a thick patch of brush) (in Quenya, subtitled) Good Day, young Lords. Elladan and Elrohir emerge from the brush.
Elladan: We thought you might come this way.
Elrohir: (to Halbarad) How is it you noticed us so easily?
Halbarad: Iwas paying attention…
[Camera fades]

* * *

[Scene opens on the group, still walking through trees. Shift in sunlight shows time has passed. The Twins now walk with Aragorn, while Halbarad, Gandalf, and Radorn have dropped back.]

Elrohir: You do much to draw attention to yourself, Estel.
Aragorn: (smiles) I do what I can.
Elrohir: Father hears often of your efforts against the Dark Lord.
Elladan: And your mother asked us to give you her love.
Elrohir: She is proud of you…as are we.
Elladan: And that is the closest thing to love you are going to get from us.
Aragorn: The Valar be thanked for that!
Elladan: (leans close to Aragorn) Our sister hears of you, too.
Aragorn: (hesitates) She listens to the tales?
Elrohir: As does everyone with ears.
Elladan: Everyone.
Aragorn: Of course.
Elladan: Do not tell me you are still smitten with Arwen! She's --
Elrohir: (freezes) Quiet! (sniffs) Do you smell that?
Aragorn: (deep breath) I do not smell --
Elladan: (nods) Burning thatch. Scorched flesh.

[Both Twins begin to run down the path. Aragorn, Rangers, and Gandalf follow. All run through woods. Twins pause.

Elladan: Blood has been spilled
Aragorn: (breathing hard) Now I smell it too.

[They run again. Aragorn and Twins leave woods first to an open field. Camera pans to the burned remains of a village. Several huts smoulder. Dead livestock lay where they fell. Camera focuses on bodies hung from trees in the village, bodies laying on the ground, some burned, all twisted in agony as they died. A few people, men, women, some children pick their way through the ruins. All run to the village. Camera follows Aragorn. He is devastated by the destruction.]

Aragorn: (voice choked) These are my people!
Elrohir: (catches a survivor) What happened here?
Woman carrying Child: Orcs! (cries) Orcs. They never come this far. My husband . . . (kneels by a charred corpse)
Man: They wanted information.
Aragorn: (tightly controlled) What information?
Gandalf: You do not want to know.
Man: They sought Isildur's Heir. They wanted a name. (lays a hand on a burned tree. stares at the body lashed to it.) They would not believe we did not know.
Halbarad: (angry) How is it you escaped?
Woman: Some of us were foraging after berries. (wipes at a stain on Child's face, sobs)
Man: They surrounded the village. None that were here live yet. (rests head against charred corpse lashed to tree) My son . . . gone! (Woman 2 embraces him, crying)

[Camera follows Aragorn walking slowly through the carnage. Aragorn examines the body of a girl child. The body is unburned, still clutching a rag doll. The eyes are open, staring at Aragorn.
Elladan lays a hand on Aragorn's shoulder.]


Elladan: (gently) What are you thinking, Estel?
Aragorn: (voice choked) This is my fault. My arrogance . . .
Elladan: No. (firmly) This was the work of Orcs.
Aragorn: Brought here because of me! (stands, clenches his fist) Because of what I am!
Elrohir: (joins them) Did you think this would have no cost?
Aragorn: (picks up rag doll. thrusts doll at Elrohir) This price is too great!
Elladan: Then what do you mean to do?
Aragorn: (drops doll. pulls off Ring of Barahir) What I should have done from the first!

[Camera pans up to Rangers gathering around Aragorn and Twins. Gandalf shakes his head slowly, not looking at Aragorn. Focus on Aragorn.]

Aragorn: (firmly) Isildur's line is ended. I am no more. I never was. (drops Ring of Barahir. turns, pushes through crowd and strides off into the forest)

Elrohir: (picks up Ring of Barahir. looks to Gandalf) And now, Mithrandir?
Gandalf: (shakes head) Too young. Too much. Too quickly. I should have warned him . . . I should have seen it.
Halbarad: (shaken but resolved) I will do as my lord commanded. I will take his place, and guard the Shire until he returns.
Radorn: You believe he will come back to us?
Halbarad: He must. And our people must be ready when he returns. We WILL be ready. I vow it to all those here. (raises sword, saluted dead. Rangers follow suit) They will not have died in vain.

Gandalf: (straightens) I will find the youngster and see if I cannot correct his direction. He should not be that hard to trace. Not for a Wizard. [color=green] (heads for forest, following Aragorn)
Elrohir: (looks to the ring in his palm) We will return this to Father, for the present.
Elladan: Then we will be back. This is not over.
Halbarad: (urging in a whisper) Our Chieftain was your foster brother. Perhaps your wisdom could shorten his time away from us.
Elladan: (shakes his head) I think Estel will be found when he wants to be. Until then, I believe Mithrandir will have a long, lonely walk in the trees.
[Scene fades.]

* * *

[Camera focuses on Aragorn moving through thick woods. He moves very quietly. We hear heavy steps, metal and leather creaking, Orcs grunting. Aragorn parts the branches with one hand.

Four Orcs are moving along a road toward Aragorn at a quick trot. Aragorn draws his bow, nocks an arrow, and shoots. Four arrows fly rapidly. The Orcs fall. Camera fades.]


*

[Camera focuses on Gandalf kneeling on the same road, examining disturbed stones and blood. He rises, leaning on his staff and looks all around at the woods.

Gandalf: (whisper) Where are you, boy?
Camera fades

*

[Camera rise on Rivendell. Twins ride in quickly. Elrond comes to meet them. Focus on one Twin's hand passing the Ring of Barahir to Elrond's hand. Elrond's face shows distress. Both Twins nod.

We hear a soft gasp behind Elrond. All Elves turn. Gilraen stands at the top of the steps, obviously distressed, her fists in her mouth. She turns and runs inside. Elrohir and Elladan follow after her hurriedly. They find her leaning against a pillar for support, sobbing]


Elladan: My Lady, you misunderstand…he has not truly left us, but seeks solitude and time to come to terms with his destiny.

Elrohir: We shall not look for him. He will return when we least expect him. [Scene fades.]


*

[Camera rises on mountains. Focus on Aragorn moving over rocks, climbing mountains. This Aragorn is older, more weathered. His clothing and equipment show hard use. He looks to the top of the ridge, shifts his pack, and moves on. Fade.

Camera focus on Aragorn, now moving down the other side of mountains. Wind whips cold rain. Aragorn pulls his cloak closer around him, shivers, and moves on. Cut to next clip.]


* * *

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:47 am 
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Location: Green Hill Country
Camera rises on mountains. Focus on Aragorn moving over rocks, climbing mountains. This Aragorn is older, more weathered. His clothing and equipment show hard use. He looks to the top of the ridge, shifts his pack, and moves on. Fade.

Camera focus on Aragorn, now moving down the other side of mountains. Wind whips cold rain. Aragorn pulls his cloak closer around him, shivers, and moves on. Cut to next clip.

[We see glimpses of Aragorn moving quietly through thick woods at daylight.
Then, in the next scene it is night time. We see a few Dunlendings in a heated debate. In the background we can see a glimpse of the Fords of Isen. The only words that stands out from the angry murmur is "...their horses..." All these short glimpses or shots are accompanied with music that sounds especially balefully when the tower of Orthanc appears in the background. ]


* * *

Scene: Plains of Rohan

[On the following early morning, it may still be only half-light, we now see a minor attack of the Dunlendings stealing a group of horses from the Plains of Rohan. Quick images of horses being whipped and scared with torches and the sounds of the horses' screams.]

* * *

Scene: Edoras

[It is morning in Edoras. Maybe a rooster crows in the background. Not many people are up yet. Everything looks peacefully. Then we see a messenger riding up to Meduseld in a great hurry. An old man looks puzzled at this messenger's early disturbance and shakes his head. Seconds later the focus is on the big front doors of Meduseld, suddenly they are pushed open. Thengel appears; he looks extremely angry. While he nervously walks up and down on the platform in front of the Great Hall he shouts to his few consultants who are discontentedly following him: ]

Thengel: This is the fourth attack in ten days! Where is this coming from?! We HAVE to do something! I want to see these thieves being brought here!
[Out of the group of consultants appears now a Rohirrim Marshall, he steps in front of Thengel, nods and then disappears.]

* * *

Scene: The Plains of Rohan/Edge of Fangorn

[We see a group of about 20 Rohirrim riding out across the plains of Rohan,
Suddenly, we see that a 9 year old boy follows these riders. He rides a black and slightly delicate mare. From his clothing we can tell that this boy must be of royal descent. He looks around nervously as if he were not supposed to be out on the Plains of Rohan following these Rohirrim. In a short close-up we can see that this boy is not out for some random adventure, but that the same furious anger builds up on his face that we've just seen before on Thengel's face.
Because the boy tries to keep a distance to the Rohirrim and also because his mare cannot ride as fast as the cavalry horses, he soon falls back and loses sight of the riders. He has been following them for quite a while, and now we see the outskirts of a huge forest appearing on the horizon. The boy stops his mare, he wonders if the stolen horses were maybe taken into this forest and if the Rohirrim might have followed them into this forest, too.


Boy: Could this be Fangorn Forest? [ he speaks to himself in slight astonishment because the trees seem to be taller than any tree he has ever heard of. His mare begins to feel uneasy and wants to draw away from these trees, but the boy feels a sudden fascination and great curiosity for these trees. And so he slowly but steadily pushes his horse closer and closer towards the forest. Although it is just midday yet, these ancient trees create an almost magical twilight. Now, the boy is convinced that the horses must be in the forest and that he is the only one who can bring back his father's stolen horses. As soon as he is just a few feet into the forest, there is a sudden very deep groan. His mare is very scared now, she rears, the boy falls off, hits a rock and seems to lie unconsciously on the ground while his mare runs off .]

* * *

Scene: Plains of Rohan

[We see the Rohirrim catching up with the Dunlendings on their way to west with the stolen horses. There is a small battle, but because the Dunlendings are just poorly equipped and didn't expect to be caught so soon, they are easily overrun. The Rohirrim take the horses back to Edoras.]

* * *

Scene: Fangorn

[It is becoming afternoon on the same day. Aragorn is sitting by a small river in an ancient forest. The leaves rustle. Does he already know how to listen to the oldest voices of Middle Earth? Maybe the trees are telling him where to go next... He gets up and seems to follow a path. Suddenly, he enters a small clearance, the dim light falls on a 9 year old boy who seems to be lying on the ground unconsciously. Aragorn now rushes towards the boy, kneels down besides him and takes the boy's head in his hands. He recognizes blood on the boy's bright blond hair. Suddenly the boy breathes deeply and groans, he slowly opens his eyes and when he sees Aragorn kneeling beside him, he abruptly draws back from this stranger. With fearfully wide eyes the boy stares at the stranger, nervously he calls for his horse (Vaena), but he soon has to realize that his mare must have run off. Awkward silence….

Aragorn: I am Thorongil. I will help you, lad. What is your name? [tries to calm the boy.] This moss can stop the bleeding on the back of your head there,
[pointing at the boy's head he offers him a piece of the plant. Slowly the boy takes the moss, but still stares at the stranger. After a while the boy regains his voice.]

Boy: [slowly] My name is Théoden, Thengel's son.
Aragorn: And what are you doing out here in the ancient forest of Fangorn, Théoden?
[At the mentioning of the forest's name the boy looks around even more nervously.]

Théoden: I was following horse thieves, but I have lost their tracks... [he looks down.]
Aragorn: Well, I am sure your mother will be worried, if you do not return home soon,
[Aragorn helps the boy to get up. They walk towards the edge of Fangorn forest and as they leave these dark woods behind, they see a black mare trotting towards them.]

Théoden: [shouts in relief] Vaena! [But as he quickly walks towards his horse, he seems to stumble, and Aragorn is convinced that the boy must have hurt himself more seriously.]
Aragorn: I will help you to get home
[The boy, who is somewhat impressed by this stranger's kindness and finds great comfort in the stranger's soothing voice, just nods slowly.

On the early evening of a long day we can see Aragorn riding on Théoden's mare with the boy sitting in front of him. They are riding across the darkening Plains of Rohan, in the background we see a beautiful sunset. Fade.]


* * *

Scene: Edoras

[As they enter Edoras and then approach Meduseld, we see how the big front doors are suddenly pushed open (again) and a tall and slender woman rushes out. She is about 35 years old; "My boy!" she screams when she spots Théoden. She rushes down the steps and hugs the boy.]

Morwen: Where have you been all day?! [she recognizes the blood on the back of his head and some scratches on his face: her eyes widen worriedly,] What has happened to you?!
[It is then that she notices Aragorn. She stands up. From her appearance he instantly realizes that she must be a member of the royal household.]
Aragorn: [bows politely] my name is Thorongil. I brought your boy back home.
Morwen: [nods, covering her astonishment] My thanks, Lord. Be our guest tonight. Maybe you can tell us what happened today.
[Aragorn nods politely.]

*

[In the next scene we see now the interior of Meduseld. A big fire in the middle of the Golden Hall blazes and spreads a cosy warmth. On a large table we see Thengel and his wife Morwen. To Morwen's left side is Théoden seated (he wears now a small bandage around his head). With Théoden are sitting his older sister, Theodysle, and his younger sister. The girls both look at the dark-clothed stranger, who sits to Thengel's right side at the table, with big curious eyes. Further down the table we see some of Thengel's consultants again, who don't seem to be too happy about the kind stranger Thorongil and how he easily found his way into the royal family because these suspicious guys are possibly the remains of Fengel's tyrannical court... Anyway, the night is filled with joy and relief about the safely returned "little prince" as well as the saved horses. To honour the mysterious guest who doesn't seem to tell too much about himself except that he has been wandering through the woods for quite some time in the past now, the Rohirric poem "The Wanderer" is being recited:]

"Often the solitary one
finds grace for himself
the mercy of the Lord,
Although he, sorry-hearted,
must for a long time
move by hand
along the waterways,
(along) the ice-cold sea,
tread the paths of exile.
Events always go as they must!

So spoke the wanderer,
mindful of hardships,
of fierce slaughters
and the downfall of kinsmen..."


[And so the evening goes on. Despite the harmonic atmosphere we also see Thorongil and Thengel being more and more wrapped up in a discussion about horse thieves and their possible motives….

*

…Camera focus on inside of Meduseld later in the evening. Fires burn to glowing coals, men sleep on the floor wrapped in cloaks. Aragorn sits with his back to the wall, his cloak around him, staring at the fire. Aragorn looks toward the back of he hall. Camera rises to Théoden, in a nightshirt, picking his way around sleeping men. Théoden approaches Aragorn, then hesitates.]

Aragorn: (nods respectfully) Prince Théoden?
Théoden: I did not want to wake you.
Aragorn: You did not. (sits straighter) Is it not rather late for you to be about?
Théoden: (nods) I never thanked you for saving me today.
Aragorn: (smiles) You are welcome, young Thengling. Now off to bed with you.
Théoden:Yes, Sir. (turns, then turns back) My lord?
Aragorn: Yes?
Théoden: You will stay with father, won't you? He has much need of strong swords.
Aragorn: I will think about it… (leans back against the wall) …in the morning.
[Camera follows Théoden out of the hall. Fades.]

* * *

Scene: Edoras a few years later….(2963?)

Camera focus on Edoras. Now snow is falling on bare ground and time has obviously passed. We see an older Théoden in the courtyard sparring with Aragorn, while several Rohan guardsmen watch.

Théoden blocks Aragorn's attack well, but continually retreats until he nearly bumps one of the guards. ]


Aragorn: (lowers his sword) Well done. But still you retreat when you should advance.
Théoden: (exaspirated) But if I advance you will spit me like a capon. (Guards laugh)
Aragorn: I would never spit you, my lord. Now come, centre up and we will start again.

[Théoden walks to the center of the open area. His eyes flick to the surrounding Guards. Camera follows, focuses on his sister, Theodysle, a few years older than Théoden, dressed in a white wool gown with long sleeves bound from elbow to wrist with leather bracers. A brown bodice covers the upper part of the dress. Her hair is plaited in two long braids and wrapped with white ribbons. She moves between the Guards, who shift to give her room.
Camera drops down her right arm. She holds a sword relaxed, partly hidden by her skirts. Her eyes challenge Théoden.]


Théoden: (returns a defiant glare. positions himself on guard) All right.
Aragorn: (raises his sword) I attack high!
Théoden: (blocks and steps back)
Aragorn: No! Step to the side.
Theodysle: (snickers)
Théoden: That is mad.
Aragorn: Yes, it is. Now try it. (raises sword) I attack and ---
Théoden: (blocks and steps to Aragorn's unarmed side, raises sword, smiling at his success) I have you! (triumphant grin at Theodysle)
Aragorn: Well done indeed! Never retreat unless you know where you are going. (follows Théoden's attention. lifts sword to salute Theodysle)
Théoden: (to Sister) What? Do you think you could beat him?
Theodysle: Of course. (steps into open space, salutes Aragorn with sword) Unless you do not fight women?
Aragorn: As my lady wishes. (glances at Théoden)
Théoden: (nods, grins, shrugs, steps out of the circle)

[Aragorn sets guard and swings slowly, testing Theodysle's ability. She blocks three or four blows with apparent awkwardness, then suddenly attacks with skill. Aragorn is forced back three steps, then parries and gains two. Guards cheer. Théoden claps.

A horn sounds from the gate. Theodysle glances toward the sound. Camera cuts to Gate when Gondorian Riders are entering, then back to fight. Aragorn catches her blade with his and disarms her before she can recover. Guards, Aragorn, Théoden, and Theodysle look to Gondorian Riders entering Edoras in a hurry. One Gondorian Rider hands a leather scroll case to a Guard. Guard dashes into Meduseld.]


Aragorn: (retrieves Theodysle's sword and returns it) Well done, my lady. Never take your attention from your opponent. (glances at Théoden) Remember that.

Théoden: (to Aragorn) What has happened?
[Thengel steps to the edge of the platform]
Thengel: Thorongil. Attend me.
Aragorn: (nods to Thengel, turns to Théoden) We will continue the lesson another time. (turns and enters the hall)

[Inside the Hall we see a glimpse of Morwen holding a very new baby, and Théoden runs over to pet the baby briefly...


Thengel: (holds scroll, unrolled) I have a message from Ecthelion of Gondor. Men from Harad and Orcs from the Dark Land gnaw at his borders. He asks for aid.
Aragorn: Then we must aid him, my lord.
Thengel: (nods) So I thought myself. Take two companies of the Rohirrim and do what you can. The men of Gondor are valiant, but none can match our riders for speed.
Aragorn: (bows) As you command. (turns to leave) [/color]
Thengel: Thorongil.
Aragorn: (turns back)
Thengel: Ecthelion is my friend, as was his Father, Turgon. If you think you can do more good in his service than in mine, I give you leave to remain in Gondor.
Aragorn: As you will, my lord. (hesitates) Théoden will be disappointed.
Thengel: A king must often put the needs of others before his own. Théoden will have to learn that.
Aragorn: (bows and leaves)
[Camera cut to Gondorian Riders leaving with Rohirrim. Focus on Aragorn in Rohan armour, in the lead. Camera pans over plain and follows Riders out of sight.]


* * *

[Cut to lightly wooded hills. Sounds of metal on metal, screams, Orc chatter. Camera focus on Gondorian soldiers fighting Orcs. The fight seems about even, neither side giving ground. The snow is less, indicating the setting is further south. ]

* * *

Scene: Edoras

[Camera focus on hill leading up to Edoras. Gandalf walks up the hill, leaning on his staff. The snow is quickly melting. Only near the walls and on the shady side of hills are there still snowbanks.

Shift to Inside Meduseld. Thengel walks the length of the hall to greet Gandalf, who is just entering.]


Thengel: Welcome, Gandalf. You choose a hard time to travel. (waves hand. a Servant brings a cup)
Gandalf: (drinks) My thanks for your courtesy, Thengel, King. But it is not so hard to travel on two feet as on four hooves.
Thengel: What brings you to my hall?
Gandalf: (settles onto a bench) I seek for a young man. Tall, dark haired, with rough clothing and the polished speech of an Elf lord. It is most important that I find him.
Thengel: (raises eyebrows) It seems a time for men to show poor clothing and wise speech. Save for age, you could yourself fit your description. I know of such a one as you seek, but he is not here.
Gandalf: My search has been long indeed. Tell me, what know you of your man's past? I cannot afford to waste time chasing the wrong trail.
Thengel: He gave us nothing of his parentage. Among us he is Thorongil, and that name has great worth because of his courage and skill.
Gandalf: (nods) I have heard tell of your Captain Thorongil. He may well be the one I seek. I would speak with him when he returns.
Thengel: It will be long, I think, ere he sits again in my hall. Gondor called for aid and I sent the best I could spare to their assistance. (hesitates) Tell me true, is Thorongil a man of great worth?
Gandalf: (nods. gathers cloak around him) He is, but I will say no more at present. The time will come to reveal all, but least said is often quickest done. You sent him to Minis Tirith?
Thengel: I did.
Gandalf: I would ask the loan of a horse.
Thengel: There are several in the stable that might suit your needs. My stable master will aid you.
[Camera shift to flickering fire. Voices and footsteps fade. Camera fades. ]

* * *

Scene: Gondorian lands

[Aragorn has left Edoras with the Gondorian messenger, the few Gondorian soldiers (who have accompanied the messenger) and a Rohirrim Marshall with another few Rohirrim for support.
Gondorian Riders and Rohirrim pause at the top of a hill.]


Gondorian Sergeant: Our Captain seems to have found some intruders.
Aragorn: (shifts in saddle. draws and raises sword) Eorlingas! Forth to battle! (points sword at fight)

All Riders gallop down on the Orcs. Brief battle, swinging blades, Orcs falling.


Denethor: (cleans sword on fallen Gondorian's cloak) Sergeant. You come in good time.
Sergeant: Lord Denethor. (bows) King Thengel sends the aid your father asked for.
Denethor: (brief nod. Turns to Rohirrim) In my father's name I thank your king for his generosity. (glances at dead) We will burn the bodies before we retire from the field.
Aragorn: (dismounts. Glances at Denethor)
Denethor: (notices Aragorn) You are not a man of Rohan.
Aragorn: (bows) I serve their lord as I am needed.
Rohan Rider: Captain Thorongil is well trusted. Many times has he proved his worth in battle.
Aragorn: (nods to Rohirrim and turns back Denethor)
Both men stare at each other for about three seconds. Then Denethor steps aside. Aragorn joins soldiers in gathering bodies for burning. Camera fades.


* * *

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:03 pm
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Location: Green Hill Country
Scene: Entry into Minas Tirith

[During the group's 2 days ride it has slowly turned warmer the farther they ride south. When they reach a hill before Pelennor Fields, they pause and look down over the vast area of Pelennor Fields which is covered with small Spring flowers. They go on and ride across the plains to Minas Tirith which lies as a white jewel in the afternoon sunshine of a warm spring day.

The doors of the main gate are open and many merchants with their carts are moving in and out of the city because it is market day. The picture is that of a busy but peaceful city. The Gondorian riders greet the guards at the gate. As soon as they have entered the city, the group has to slow down because there are people literally everywhere.
The Gondorian riders lead the group, Aragorn in Rohirrim armour, the Rohirrim Marshall and the riders follow. From time to time they have to stop due to the crowds in the streets. But this gives Aragorn some time to look around because although he has heard many stories of the beautiful white city, he has never seen it before.

The group enters a wider street that leads them uphill. To both sides the buildings have arcades now on the ground floor. Behind those arcades Aragorn can see various shops with all kind of things he might never have seen before, only heard of. First, to his right side, he sees a small shop from which seems to come a foul scent. He sees various white and yellowish pieces through the small shop window that opens towards the arcades. It takes him a while to understand that this is a cheese shop or a "Fromagerie". As the scent gets stronger he turns his head to the left side and notices a small bakery that sells bread in the shape of long sticks. Through the big door of the bakery he can see that this little shop also sells all kinds of bread and cake. Maybe there are even some Panetone cakes sitting on a small table for sale.

These are just quick glimpses during the group's slow ride through the crowded streets of Minas Tirith. While they are still riding through the same street, which might be one of the main streets of Minas Tirith's lower areas, Aragorn recognizes now another shop to his right side again. Because at that time it was difficult and expansive to produce glass, especially for large shop windows, these shops don't have big windows, but maybe two or three smaller windows side by side that are all facing the arcades, of course. And because it is a very warm and sunny spring afternoon most of the shop doors and windows are open.

The shop that Aragorn recognizes now has shelves filled with all kinds of linen and cotton on big rolls. There are shelves on all the walls of this shop. In the shelf at the back of this shop we can see colourful velvets and brocade. In the corner of one of the windows Aragorn notices a blue velvet cushion with an embroidered silver tree. In the centre of the store he sees now a man, obviously the shop owner and a tailor, with a measuring tape dangling from his neck. The man is wildly discussing with a customer.

Close to a street corner ahead we see the last shop in the street. Although it is the last one in the row of shops at the back of the arcades, this little shop seems very remote somehow. It is a very quiet place. Through the open door and windows we see one or two shelves filled with some valuable books, but these shelves are not crammed with books as in a modern bookstore, but rather lovingly decorated. On some small tables we see colourful writing paper and some quills maybe. Close by one of the shop windows sits a small, elderly man with white hair and a white beard at a big desk and writes very busily on some beautiful paper. Maybe he is not only a bookseller but also a poet?

(All these small shots should not take more that a few minutes and are inter-cut with close ups of Aragorn who looks curiously from side to side while following the Gondorian riders through Minas Tirith.)

At the next street crossing the group comes to yet another halt because the street is blocked by one of those merchants' carts. A merchant is wildly gesticulating towards the first Gondorian riders of the group. "You helping me here, or not?!" The first rider gets off his horse and walks rather slow and annoyed towards the merchant. Aragorn wants to get off his horse, too, and help, but another Gondorian rider by his side with a bit of a tired and annoyed look on his face just waves aside and says "not worth the bother". Aragorn is irritated at the un-neighbourly attitude . Then, he notices a small group of children standing not far from him. They all carry a wooden sword. The oldest of them is a boy who is wearing a leather bodice that has the White Tree painted on it. The kids all stare at Aragorn and the Rohirrim in their foreign armour. When Aragorn politely nods at them, they don't move but still stare. Then he quickly squints at them, and now they all start giggling and run away.

The street is still blocked, and the group waits. Now, Aragorn hears some music from above. As he looks up he sees a small balcony with a few potted plants and a lazy cat sleeping in the sun. He hears a singer practicing; her song might sound a bit like the melody after Gandalf's fall in Moria, but less sad. Aragorn seems to be lost in thought for a short moment.

Suddenly, the problem with the merchant's cart is solved. The group can ride on. The streets are now less crowded. They pass by some more shops, pubs and many residential houses. They pass gate after gate and when they reach the top level of Minas Tirith, Aragorn and the Rohirrim are brought to the guesthouse. Maybe they are accommodated in the same house as Gandalf and Pippin will be many years later...]


* * *

Scene: Guest Lodgings

[An elderly, very motherly lady guides Aragorn to his room in the guest house. She carries linen and blankets. While they are walking along the small hallways of the house she tells him that she is giving him the best room in the whole house and goes on asking him what he would like to eat for breakfast, but most of her voice is muffled by the big pile of blankets and linen she carries. When they get to the room, she lets Aragorn in, piles the blankets and linen on the bed, goes to the windows and opens the windows and the shutters. ]

Housekeeper: Well, my lad, I'm downstairs in the kitchen, if you need me, [she gently pats Aragorns hand. Then she leaves the room.

This motherly lady makes Aragorn think of his mother, and his thoughts wander off to Rivendell. He recognizes the scent of flowers coming in from the windows. When he goes over to one of the windows and looks out, he sees that his room really is the nicest because it is overlooking a small courtyard garden with rose bushes and a small fountain. In some stone pots he sees golden blossoms.. Again, he is lost in thoughts of Rivendell. He looks up to the sky and because his windows are facing East he can see the early evening sky above Minas Tirith. He notices the bright light of the evening star and still lost in thoughts he mumbles in a very low voice the name "Undómiel". (it might be nice to have here the beginning of the Aníron theme or the Evenstar theme from the FOTR and TTT film score in the background).

Suddenly someone knocks at the door. Aragorn abruptly turns around to the door.]


Squire: My lord Thorongil, the lord Ecthelion awaits you now.
Aragorn: I am coming, [he leaves the room.]

[He and the Rohirrim Marshall follow a Gondorian guards across the citadel where they see the White Tree of Gondor; there is just one small leaf bud then that starts to open when Aragorn enters the White City. On his way to meet Ecthelion he, and maybe only he, sees this after he has passed by the statue with the inscription "to hold rod and rule in the name of the king, until he shall return." He then sighs and looks really tired, not just from the long ride to Minas Tirith. He follows the guard into the great hall where Ecthelion, Denethor and a few Advisers await the guests from Rohan...]


* * *

Scene: The Hall of Kings

[The Guard leads Thorongil/Aragorn and the Marshall into the hall where we first saw Denethor in RotK. Uniformed Servants and Guards line the wall. At the far end of the hall we see Ecthelion II and Denethor, surrounded by seven or eight Councillors, standing around a table. The table bears several tall candles, maps laid over each other, cups, ewers of wine, and plates with the remnants of food. We hear Ecthelion, Denethor, and the Councillors arguing as the Camera approaches. ]

Denethor: (firmly) The power of the Dark Land grows daily, Father! We cannot remain as we are, waiting for the end to come at the Enemy's leisure.
Ecthelion: Think you I do not know this? The fortifications of Rammas Echor will soon be complete, strengthening our defences.
Young Councillor: (pounds maps with his hand) Walls are weak things without the strength of men to reinforce them. We need more men, My Lord, not more stone to defend this city.
Denethor: This is what I have said all along, Father.
Ecthelion: I will not conscript men when their hearts do not lead them to serve. Cowards are useless in armour.
Denethor: A good sword in their hands will soon find their courage.
Councillor 2: Our enemies ever gain strength through advancing against us.
Old Councillor: Constant warfare is more wearing than any great assault. We cannot be constantly on guard on all borders.
Guard: (bowing) The Allies from Rohan, My Lord.
Ecthelion: At last! (waves Aragorn and Marshall closer) You come in good time, my lords.
Marshall: (bows, with Aragorn) By your leave, Lord Ecthelion
Ecthelion: (gestures toward maps) As you see, threats grow daily around our borders. Saruman has claimed Orthanc for his great base, while the power of the Enemy grows daily in his old strongholds.

Old Councillor: Saruman the White has ever been a wise and true friend. (murmurs of agreement)
Denethor: I put no trust in any Wizards. (murmurs of agreement from other voices)
Thorongil: Rohan stands with you.
Councillor: True. But few others do.
Ecthelion: (drinks from a goblet. turns to Marshall and Thorongil) At the least we can count on our allies from Rohan. When the King comes again we will hold his land for him.
Guard: (enters and runs the length of the hall with a scroll) A message, My Lord!
Ecthelion: (reads scroll) Raiders along the Anduin. (to Denethor) You will lead the men?
Denethor: I will.
Ecthelion: Good. to Aragorn) Thengel tells me you are a man of worth. Take some of Gondor’s Light Rangers and patrol the land across the river. Tell me what the Enemy is about.
Aragorn salutes. Camera fades.

* * *

Scene: Banks of River Anduin in Ithilien

[ Denethor and Guards ride along the river. Camera shifts to town burning. Denethor raises sword, kicks horse to a gallop. His men follow under the Steward’s banner.]

*

[Cut to: Aragorn and rough dressed Gondorian Rangers in Ithilien. The men move along the same path that Frodo and Sam take in RotK, with the vandalized statue at the Crossroads. Aragorn pauses to look up at the statue. Camera focus on his face. His expression is thoughtful.]

Madril: Come on, lad. The king won’t come again while you stand there.

*

[Cut to: Orcs in an open hollow. They are building siege towers. Camera shift to trees, where Aragorn and Madril stand together. Aragorn nocks an arrow.
Cut to Orcs working on tower. We hear arrows fired, Orcs fall. Gondorian Rangers examine dead Orcs.]

Aragorn: (kicks over a dead Orc) These Orcs had a purpose.
Madril: (resigned) They always do.
Gondorian: (lifts a knife from an Orc) This is not crafted in the Black Land.
Madril: They trade with the Harad.
Aragorn: That is a dangerous union.
Camera fades.

* * *

[Clip of Black ships sailing up Anduin. Camera pans to towns along west shore. Music sets ominous mood. Fade.]

* * *

Scene: Streets/Citadel of Minas Tirith
[Camera on Gates. Denethor and Soldiers ride through streets. They look grim and weary. Denethor rides to Citadel. Ecthelion comes to meet him, with Council. Denethor and Ecthelion clasp an arm in greeting. ]

Ecthelion: The Raiders?
Denethor: (pulls off helmet) They were Corsairs, Father. We could not catch their ships on land. (throws helmet in frustration) They move like ghosts. I intercepted them in one village, but they never let us close.
Councillors: (murmuring and gesturing)
Ecthelion: (to Councillors) Peace! I must think. (to Denethor) Think you the Corsairs are in league with The Enemy?
Denethor: (dismissively) They are outlaws and raiders. Why would they ally with anyone?
Ecthelion: That is a mercy. We stand surrounded by foes. Pray they do not unite. (walks toward wall. Denethor follows) I need wisdom more than counsel now. All I hear is the bickering of old men whose minds are rotted by age and despair. Would that Thengel were here yet.
Denethor: Then hear me, Father.

Ecthelion: (ignores Denethor) Perhaps Saruman would offer me his wisdom. It might not be a bad thing to have such a friend. .
Denethor: Put no trust in Wizards. He is too great a power on our borders. You said so yourself.
Servant: (approaches at a run. bows, panting) My lord! Gandalf the Gray has come and seeks word with you.
Ecthelion: (glances at Denethor)
Denethor: Put no trust in Wizards!
[All exit to Hall. Camera follows Gandalf moving quickly around the White Tree.]

* * *

Scene: Hall of Kings

[Gandalf enters Hall.]

Gandalf: (raises staff in salute) Hail, Ecthelion, Steward of Gondor.
[Cut to Ecthelion seated below throne. Denethor stands at his shoulder.]

Ecthelion: Welcome, Gandalf the Gray. Long years have passed since last you were in our city.
Gandalf: (stops in front of Ecthelion I go as I am needed, Lord Steward. Now I bring tidings and counsel.
Denethor: The tidings of a Wizard are never good, and such counsel is not to be trusted.
Ecthelion: (glances at Denethor) My son. A fine captain for Gondor’s legions.
Guard: (approaches and bows)
Ecthelion: (to Guard)[/i Speak.
Guard: Lord Thorongil returns with news, My Lord.
Ecthelion: Another of my captains. [i](to Servant)
Bring wine and food. Servant bows and exits quickly)
Doors open with a sound of metal over stone. Aragorn enters, dusty from travel. Ecthelion, Denethor and Gandalf turn toward him.]


Aragorn: (freezes) Mithrandir? What has happened?
Gandalf: (smiles) I have travelled over half of Middle-earth looking for a wayward sprout of a Dúnedain, that is what. You seem to have filled out since last I saw you, boy.
Ecthelion: (to Aragorn) Lord Thorongil, you know Gandalf?
Aragorn: (nods) I do. He is wise, and worthy of your trust. (glances at Gandalf while speaking to Ecthelion) My lord, I bring grave tidings. I have evidence The Enemy has allied with the Harad, and probably with the Corsairs as well.
Denethor: [put out] Surely you are mistaken?
Aragorn: brings out knife] The orc weaponry we recovered gives proof of trade with Harad.
Ecthelion: This is what I most feared. We cannot fight on all fronts, yet our enemies rally together and we will be crushed between them before we can strengthen ourselves.
Denethor: We will stand valiantly, Father. Yet, if we strike now we may prevail. If we can throw our might at our foe we may take him unawares.
Ecthelion: I fear such a bold move would cost our best chance to no purpose. It is incautious –
Aragorn: It is bold, yes. But the bold stroke has a good chance of victory if it is unlooked-for.

Ecthelion: (attentive now) What would you counsel, Thorongil?
Denethor: (glares)
Aragorn: We cannot hope to prevail against the power of the Black Land, or against the might of the Harad. But the Black Ships are vulnerable at anchor. We strike here (strikes the map) at Umbar.
Gandalf: Bold indeed.
Denethor: Pointless. You would never get to the Corsair stronghold, not if you must cross so much land held by our foes.
Aragorn: And if we travel by water? Gondor has good ships.
Ecthelion: You would challenge the Corsairs at sea? There they dominate all.

Aragorn: Only because no one has dared meet them on the water in living memory. We should test their pride, and meet them on their own ground. (traces a route on the map) Our ships sail this way, disguised as ships allied and friendly with Umbar. Have them arrive in the dead of night- say 3 or 4 am and slip in without challenge or notice. Have several smaller boats go out from there and set fire to other enemy ships and even some buildings on the shore all at a timed signal. trapping them in the harbour.
Gandalf: (nods) It could work.
Councillor: It has the advantage of surprise.
Councillor 2: A bold plan. Worthy of song, if it works.
Ecthelion: (nods slowly) Any plan is better than waiting for the end to come here, trapped like a rat in a hole.
Denethor: Then let me lead them, Father. Give me the command of our ships.
Ecthelion: (looks at Denethor. nods.) Yes. Let the last of the house of Húrin of Emyn Arnen lead our forces. (turns to Aragorn) And you, Thorongil, will you lead a smaller unit to fire the enemy ships?
Aragorn: (bows) I will, My Lord.
Ecthelion: Then go as quickly as you may. May the Valar watch over you both, and all that follow you.
[Camera focus on Denethor, glaring at Aragorn, and Aragorn, who returns Denethor’s stare without blinking. Both men bow and exit by separate paths.]

Ecthelion: (to Councillors) Leave me now. (to Gandalf) I would have your wisdom, if you are willing.
Gandalf: (nods. Councillors bow and exit) what would you ask of me?
Ecthelion: A wise voice rarely comes unasked-for. (pours a cup of wine and hands it to Gandalf. Gandalf accepts with a nod of thanks) What truly brings you to Minis Tirith?
Gandalf: And a wise Steward questions all men’s hearts. You are correct; I did not come to give aid though you need it, and I offer it willingly when asked.
Ecthelion: So? Why are you here?

[Camera cut to far side of doors nearest Ecthelion and Gandalf. Denethor stands with his ear pressed to the crack between door and frame. The sound of Ecthelion’s and Gandalf’s voices carries clearly.]
Gandalf: (voice overheard) I come seeking one who’s fate is entwined with that of this land, and much of the land beyond.
Ecthelion: (pause) You mean young Thorongil?
Denethor: (eyes narrow. lips thin)
[Camera cut back to Hall ]


Gandalf: Yes, but I will say no more at present. It is provident that I have found him, and that his path has drawn him here.
[Camera cut to Denethor. Denethor steps away from the door and walks to window. Looks down on courtyard, and White Tree. Focus on Denethor’s face, which looks grim and angry.
Cut to White Tree. Another small leaf appears on twigs. Fade.]


* * *

Scene: Landings at Harlond

[Scene opens on docks. Men work to ready two large ships. Focus on Aragorn, who is loading wooden crates of unglazed clay pots. Old Sailor, also loading crates of pots, grins at him.
Ecthelion and Gandalf approach Aragorn. Denethor walks a step behind Ecthelion and wears a black cloak embroidered with the white tree and stars. Ecthelion and Gandalf look concerned. Denethor's face is grim.]


Denethor: It will take four days to reach the Havens of Umbar, barring contrary winds.
Aragorn: (turns to face them) If the Valar are with us we will return within the fortnight. We travel light and swift.
Gandalf: And quietly, above all.
Ecthelion: Above all. With so many of our best men gone, Minas Tirith will be hopelessly undermanned should you fail. We cannot hold the city against serious attack with the force we have left.
Aragorn: Then we must not fail. (picks up several small iron kettles) Should I not return, My Lord Steward, I commend the advice of Gandalf to your ears. His voice will serve you well.
Ecthelion: I value your counsel, Lord Thorongil. May Elbereth guard your path.
Camera focus on Denethor, who turns and motions to one of the Captains

Captain: (bows) My Lord Denethor.
Denethor: Is all ready to sail on the tide?
Captain: As you commanded, my lord.
Denethor: That is well. Lord Thorongil and I will travel in the first ship. I will trust you to follow my lead in all things, as a loyal man.
Captain: (bows) I am honoured, my lord. (leaves)

Denethor: (looks at ships. camera focuses on a slowly spreading smile, Mutters to himself) So, my lord Thorongil. You call yourself "Eagle of the Star", but I have guessed your true lineage. If you believe that my father will be swayed from me by the last son of a dying, impoverished house whose ancestors bear the blood of betrayal you are mistaken. I will end this threat to the City of the Kings, and you will be forgotten.
Camera fades.

*

[Camera focuses on ships sailing down the Anduin. Every sail is extended, and they move fast. Focus on Denethor standing at the bow of the lead ship, wind in his hair, cloak flapping. Fade.]

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:35 am 
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Location: Green Hill Country
Clips: Coast of Harad:

Disguised Gondorian ships sail between two points of land into a sheltered harbour. We see the Haven of Umbar at the far end of the bay. Umbar looks like the equivalent of, say, Casablanca, a typical Moroccan fortified town. The environment in that area is pretty arid, largely a desert. This is one of the largest and most powerful and ancient cities in middle earth, its influence extending far further than Minas Tirith, from Harad to Far Harad and Khand, and into the distant south. Umbar is a third world merchant city, much larger than any cities in Gondor, filled with decaying slums and ancient Númenórean mansions, and terrible temples dedicated to Morgoth. A city and fortress to rival Minas Tirith. packed to the rafters with slaves and warriors…

* * *

Scene: Hold of Flagship

[Aragorn, Old Sailor, and Marines stand around crates of clay pots. Marines are in uniform black tunics emblazoned with White Tree and Stars, but are bareheaded.]

Aragorn: (turns to look at Old Sailor)
Old Sailor: (lifts one clay pot. opens the lid. several Marines wrinkle their noses) I’d not be in your boots for all the mithril in all the Dwarf mines ever dug. This mess in here takes fire and burns like a dragon’s heart. It’ll fire ships in harbour sure enough.
Marine: And ourselves too, if we are not careful.
Aragorn: We will need luck with us in this. We will take coals with us, light the fire pots and throw them onto the Corsair ships. If the Valar smile on us, we should be able to escape before we are seen.
Marine: Against the Corsair fleet? We would stand no chance in a fight.
Marine 2: Do you want to remain here?
Marine: I am no coward. Just a realist.
Aragorn: He is right. If it comes to battle, we cannot win. At best we may take the Corsair fleet down with us. Any man who wants no part of this say so now, and none will think the less of him. [Camera pans the group. Marines look nervous, glance at each other. Some nod firmly.]
Marine 2: Lord Thorongil, I am with you.
Other Marines: And I.
[Camera focus on Aragorn. He has a tight smile, looks determined.]

* * *

Cut to clip of Gandalf standing in the courtyard of Minas Tirith looking out over the river. He lights his pipe and blows a smoke ring. Focus on his face, which looks thoughtful and anxious.

* * *

Clip: cut to Ships hug coast in darkness.

*

Scene: On deck of Flagship

[Aragorn and Marines black their faces with soot as Sailors load clay pots and iron kettles full of glowing coals into longboats. Lids hide the glow of the coals. Denethor intends to also lead some of the smaller rowboats. He is supervising the loading of the Greek fire into a rowboat when one of the men slips and spills some of the liquid; it slops over Denethor’s sleeve and burns his arm through the fabric. Denethor reacts angrily, proclaiming his near death and now all is ruined since he cannot lead the raid himself due to these serious wounds. Several of the crewmen exchange glances, since the wounds are not overly severe! The careless sailor is reprimanded (punished?) and Denethor has to have his arm treated by the Ship’s surgeon. He summons Thorongil to him.]

Denethor: Lord Thorongil.
Aragorn: My Lord Denethor?
Denethor: Since I can no longer accompany you on this mission I will order the ships forward to retrieve you as soon as we see the flames take hold.
Aragorn: That will help. We have a lot of open water to cover.
Denethor: And every one of our men is important for the security of Minas Tirith. Do not risk yourselves needlessly.
Aragorn: (nods)
Denethor: (raises his voice to carry to listening men) Remember, you serve the city of the Kings of Númenor. Your courage this night reflects well upon the honour of the White City.
Marines: (cheer)
[Longboats are lowered. Marines slide down ropes into longboats. Aragorn slides down and takes his place at the front of one boat. He picks up an oar and all boats move into the dark water.
Camera pans to longboats moving over the water. Shift to lights on the far shore and Corsair ships silhouetted against the lights. Focus on men moving on decks of ships. ]


*

Scene: Onboard Corsair Flagship on open water.

[Corsair Captain stands on prow with spyglass. He wears a scarlet cloak embroidered with a large gold star over one shoulder and set with jewels/ Beneath it is a corselet of bronzed plates. His dark hair is plaited with gold thread. They speak in Harradic, which is subtitled]

Corsair Officer: (approaches) My Lord? Shall we take them now?
Corsair Captain: Not yet. I want their warships trapped with them.
Corsair Officer: Our ships may burn if we wait.
Corsair Captain: We can rebuild easily enough. I doubt they will recover as well. And once we have sent their ships to the bottom of the bay, we will sail up the Anduin and take the White City for our own. We will remind them that we bear the blood of the Kings of the Sea, and they will fear us. (turns) Make ready!
Corsair Officer: (bows and exits)

* * *

Scene: Longboats attack Corsair Fleet

[Cut to Longboats moving close to Corsair Ships in harbour.]

Aragorn: (raises his hand, whispers) Quiet!
[Oars are lifted. Longboats drift closer to hulls. Camera shifts to deck of Ship. Men walk along rail. One man hesitates, glances down. Aragorn draws knife, holds it close to his side.
Cut to man on Ship, moves along.
Aragorn blows out a long breath. Longboats are now between ships.
Cut to lids drawn off kettles of coals and dropped into water. Aragorn lights first pot. Fire flares. He throws pot against side of Ship. Pot bursts, fire flares.
More pots fly. Flames explode on all Ships. Men scream, some catch fire and fall into water.]


Aragorn: (motions) Back!
[Arrows begin to fly from ships. Some Marines fall, others return fire. Aragorn takes a bow and shoots an archer standing on the rail of a burning ship. The longboats are not far from the dockside now, some of the Rangers fire pots at the warehouses alongside the harbour front and they catch light quickly. Suddenly screams can be heard from one of the warehouse, which turns out to be the holding cells for the galley slaves.]

Aragorn: No! We must rescue them…..

[He steers the longboat over and he land on the quayside, the other Rangers/marines follow him The marines dispatch the guard and release the slaves from the burning building. The slaves flee in all directions, adding to the general confusion Suddenly the slave master appears, a huge muscular man wielding a whip. He dispatches one or two marines quickly with a whip lashing to the face that takes them down and then he eyes up Aragorn, who simply picks up a near-by pike or spear and silently lets it fly rather than repeat the mistakes of the first two marines.]

Aragorn: Back to the longboats, we must get back to the Fleet! [The remaining marines follow him over the edge of the quay and into the boats.]

*

[Cut to Gondorian ships. Denethor stands at prow observing burning Corsair ships. Camera pans to Corsair Flagship moving into the harbour. The Captain approaches.]

Captain: My Lord Denethor, The first longboat has returned safely but Lord Thorongil and his men are not in sight….
Denethor: No. We will not endanger these men.
[Camera pans to deck. Sailors have gathered, grumbling.]
Captain: My Lord! They will be lost without our aid!
Denethor: And their courage will be toasted at every hearth in Minas Tirith. We dare not risk more men in a hopeless gesture.
Old Sailor: That’s only one ship! We’ve two here!
Denethor: That ship can easily sink both of ours. I will not throw more lives away. [Sailors murmur in consternation, Denethor silences them with a glare.]

*

[Cut to Longboats. Aragorn lowers bow and turns to see Corsair Flagship bearing down on them.
Cut to Flagship. Corsair Captain gestures forward. Archers step to rail, begin shooting fire arrows at Longboats.
Cut to Longboats. ]


Marine: We are lost.
Aragorn: No! We take that ship!
Marine 2: What?
Aragorn: (gestures toward Flagship) Take it!

Longboats shift toward Flagship. Marine Archers return fire, Corsair Archers fall. Longboat reaches Flagship, Aragorn climbs side of Flagship with knife in his teeth. Marines swarm Flagship. Corsairs and Marines fight on the deck. Firelight flashes off blades, men fall. Corsair Captain cuts through Marines, laughing. He is an excellent swordsman.
Fire breaks out on Corsair Flagship. Flames lick up rigging. ]


*

[Cut to Gondorian ships. Denethor stands watching fight on Corsair Flagship.]

Sailor: My Lord!
Sailor 2: They burn!
Denethor: (reluctantly) Forward. Let us rescue our men.

*

[Cut to Corsair Flagship. Aragorn fighting, camera rises to Corsair Captain approaching behind him. Captain raises his sword. Aragorn cuts down his opponent. Captain’s sword flashes, the flash is reflected on the spilled blood on deck. Aragorn turns at the last minute to block the blow. Captain and Aragorn fight. This is fast, deadly, and the Captain is better than Aragorn. Aragorn is backed to the rail. Corsair Captain strikes with hilt. Aragorn’s sword falls into the water.]

Corsair Captain: You fool! Know that I am a Prince of Númenor! (raises sword for kill)
Aragorn: (draws dagger from boot. stabs Corsair Leader) …and so am I!
[Corsair Leader dies, shocked. Aragorn takes his cloak, picks up sword. Gondorian ships pull alongside. Corsair Flagship is fully burning, and Marines quickly board Gondorian ships.

Denethor: (dourly) You came in good time, My Lord Thorongil. I am glad to see you return safely.
Men: (cheer)
Aragorn: (extends a hand) The victory is not the work of one man, Lord Denethor. This is a triumph that belongs to all. Let us sail home, and relieve Minas Tirith of worry. I have had enough adventure for one night.
[Camera pans over shore. Burning ships have set more of the town on fire]

* * *

Scene: Denethor’s Cabin

Aragorn has been summoned to Denethor’s cabin. Denethor pours 2 goblets of wine and hands one to Aragorn.]

Denethor: (begrudgingly) You emerge alive from the jaws of death, My Lord Thorongil.
[Aragorn inclines head, takes goblet and drains it.]

Denethor: So you will return to Minas Tirith with your reputation enhanced further and the adoration of the men, My Lord, but do not look to undermine me before my Father when we return … [he pauses, turns his back on Aragorn, and stares out of one of the portholes]
Aragorn: My Lord, I would never-
Denethor: [cutting him short] -Who are you, really, Thorongil?
Aragorn: My Lord?
Denethor: Surely you have noticed how the people talk amongst themselves? They say you must surely be of Numenorian descent. Your complexion, your hair. those eyes… [turns back to face Aragorn] I say again, Thorongil, who are you?
Aragorn: A servant of Gondor, my lord, as I have said
Denethor [slams his hand down on the table with a thump.] I am no fool. I know, though most of my people do not, that somewhere in the North the remnants of the Northern line settled. I do not believe that line died out, not completely. You know your history. You speak Quenya, and Sindarin, Westron and Rohirric with equal ease. You came to us from Rohan, but you are not a Rohirrim. You have woodcraft, and you use a sword better than any man in Gondor.
Aragorn: That is all true, but…
Denethor: Spare me your lies…I know that you and the grey wizard are seeking to supplant me and claim the throne of Gondor. But you can tell your mentor, Gandalf Mithrandir, I will not be his tool! I will be Steward of the House of Anárion after my father. I will not step down to be the mere chamberlain of an upstart. Even were your claim proved to me, still I will not bow to such a one, last of a ragged house long bereft of lordship and dignity. If you depart this kingdom then I will say no more of this to anyone.

Aragorn, visibly shaken, bows and leaves the cabin. Ships sail out of the mouth of harbour. Camera fades.

* * *

Scene: Pelargir

[The architecture of Pelargir is very similar to Minas Tirith, maybe less white and more rustic, or "coastal". Maybe a bit more "Roman", like Pompeii. Camera scans the crowds on the quayside welcoming the Fleet. Focuses on. Findulas, holding the hand of a small Boromir. Findulas waves to Denethor, then lifts Boromir.]

Finduilas: (to Boromir) There is your Papa!
Boromir: (waves)
[Denethor jumps from the rail and lands on the dock before the ships can tie up. Denethor hugs his family, kisses Findulas. Aragorn looks on wistfully from the ship.]

Findulas: How was it?
Denethor: (smiling) Oh, you know. Not much to talk about: a swift and decisive victory…. (takes Boromir) He has grown!

[Gandalf the Grey is bustling along the quayside, looking for Thorongil. He sees the victorious Captain surrounded by his men who are cheering as he disembarks. Gandalf greets him warmly, and draws him to one side for a quiet word. Aragorn tells him of his encounter with Denethor. ]

Gandalf: My friend, there may be a real danger to you.
Aragorn: [shakes his head] I do not think so. He will not touch me. He cannot break my influence with my men or Ecthelion, and he knows perfectly well that any ruffians or assassins he might send against me would meet a swift end. I am not an easy mark, and I often now have a personal guard as well. He would find it very difficult to find anyone at all who would be willing to try. [He is silent for a while, then laughs bitterly.] We are quite a pair, Denethor and I. In a better time, we could have been friends, sworn brothers, perhaps. He is an extremely intelligent and capable man, such as I would have wanted for a friend. Instead, we end up enemies—at least, he thinks of me that way, although I do not feel the same—each envying the other for having what he cannot get for himself.

Gandalf. Well, I know what it is you have that he wants, but not the contrary. Can you enlighten me?
Aragorn [looks at the wizard, an eyebrow raised]: I think that you sometimes forget that I am but a man like any other. I long for a loving wife and a small son.
Gandalf: You will have these things, Aragorn. Some day…..
Aragorn: Gandalf, this land is where I belong; it is more my home than even Rivendell was in my childhood. I love this country with all my heart. It will be hard to leave, knowing that I may never return.
Gandalf: Nevertheless, Aragorn is who you are, and you have responsibilities in the Northern Kingdom too. Who knows what the years will bring? Many pieces are in play. And ever we wait and watch for the next threat from the Dark Lord. I would remind you of the task I spoke of to you before you took this path South…

[Some of Thorongil’s men spot their captain and mob him again, dragging him off with them towards a hostelry.]

Soldier: Come, Lord Thorongil, let us drink a toast to your success, there is still time before we sail up river. No doubt there’ll be some big promotion for you when you get back to the City, I'll be bound. And you've earned it.
[Aragorn extricates himself from them and holds a hand up for quiet.]

Aragorn: My friends, I am not going back. [men call out in dismay] I have left a job well done. You are well trained and I leave behind a good captain in my stead. The Steward has given his permission. I have other places to be, my friends. You must know the feeling of being trapped, of needing to move? Other tasks now call me, and much time and many perils must pass, ere I come again to Gondor, if that be my fate.
Soldier: Don’t leave us because of Lord Denethor, Captain, he is already far too jealous of you. If he tries to get his revenge on you showing him up, we’ll all stand by you, Sir.
Aragorn: Lord Denethor is the son of your liege lord; I wish that nobody in my company speaks of him in that manner. The truth is, I have other tasks to do, and cannot remain here - though I love the White City dearly. I swore an oath to the Steward, and do not wish to be released from it. I would put Gondor before my own life, and will do so until the day I die.

Aragorn salutes his men, and walks away along the quay. Cut to Aragorn in a small boat, and crossing the river. Gandalf watches from a distance then turns and heads towards one of the ships docked alongside.

Camera focus on Aragorn crossing the Anduin in a small boat. Pan to wide shot of the Anduin and the dark mountains beyond. Focus on Aragorn pulling the boat onto the far shore. Aragorn adjusts his pack, looks back across the river at the distant town, turns and looks toward the dark mountains. Aragorn shakes his head as if to dismiss both, and begins to walk north along the river.]


* * *

Scene: Minas Tirith Docks (Harlond)

[Cut to Minis Tirith docks. The ships arrive, all banners flying. Denethor stands at the rail, eagerly scanning the shoreline. Boromir jumps beside him, trying to see his Grandpa.

Cut to Ecthelion, waiting for the fleet to return, with his council at his back.
Ships dock. Gandalf walks down gangway. Ecthelion goes to meet him, leaving Council standing where they were.]


Ecthelion: Welcome. Welcome all. You return in triumph, of course. (scans the disembarking soldiers. looks to Gandalf) Lord Thorongil?
Gandalf: He is well, but other duties have called him away.

[Denethor joins Ecthelion and Gandalf, Findulas and Boromir behind him.]
Denethor: Father . . . (offers a hand to Ectheion, who does not turn to see him)
Ecthelion: (shoulders slump) Well. He was a great captain to have defending the White City. (to Gandalf) You will stay, of course.
Denethor: (warning) Father . . .
Gandalf: (shakes his head) No. I feel I should see old friends. I will return, should you need me. As for now, your city is safe enough with good management and a bit of luck. (straightens, settles hat firmly on head) Keep this city well, Lord Steward. (to Denethor) And you -- have a care where your desires lead you. (turns and walks away energetically)
Finduilas: What did he mean by that? [Denethor purses lips but does not answer. Camera fades]

* * *

[Clip of Gandalf crossing Emyn Muil. He pauses, lights his pipe, and blows a smoke ring. He looks into the smoke ring thoughtfully. Camera focus on smoke ring, then moves through it.]

* * *

[Cut to Aragorn making camp in grassland. He draws a pipe from a pouch, fills it, and lights it from his small fire. He leans against a rock and draws smoke thoughtfully. Fade.]

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:14 pm 
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Location: Green Hill Country
Scene: Near Woodmen’s Village [2980]

[Cut to Aragorn walking through Wilderland. He looks weary and grm. He lifts his head. We hear distant screams, clash of steel. Aragorn runs toward sounds. Rough Men and Wood-Elves fight in a Woodmen's Village. Focus on Legolas slashing with knives, other Elves swing swords or shoot arrows. Men and Elves fall. Several Men surround two Elves who fight together. Both Elves are cloaked. Aragorn charges the group, screaming. Men turn. Aragorn slashes two. Elves take the rest. Brief shots of fight, then Rough Men flee. (dialogue in Sindarin) Elladan and Elrohir push back hoods, barely recognizing the stern warrior.] ][/i]

Elladan: Aragorn? Well met, brother!
Legolas: (to Aragorn) You came in good time.
Elladan: He usually does.
Elrohir: If we are not looking for him.
Aragorn: What happened here?
Legolas: The Dark Tower sends out men, at times. We try to intercept them. (sighs) Some slip past us.
Elf 1: (calls over) This one is still alive.

[Legolas, Aragorn, and Twins approach. Camera focus on a youth, bloody and obviously tortured, lying on and Elf's cloak.]
Aragorn: (kneels, speaking in Common now) Why?
Youth: (gasping) They sought Isildur's Heir. I told them . . . the line was broken . . . years ago. They . . . did not believe . . . (dies) [/color]
Aragorn: (looks up. Twins look grim)
Legolas: They die for no reason. My father says the Enemy is chasing a myth.
Aragorn: They do not die for no reason. (folds youth's hands over his chest. Twins lay hands on Aragorn's shoulders.)
Elrohir: Come. There is naught more we can do for them here. [Camera fades]

* * *

Scene: Elf Campsite in the shadow of Mirkwood.

[Elves sharpen blades, mend fletching. One plucks a harp. Legolas, Aragorn, and Twins sit around a fire with other Elves. ]
Aragorn: (lights pipe, turns to Twins) So,what brought you here?
Elladan: We travel.
Elrohir: Visit kin and friends.
Elladan: Escape our elders.
Elrohir: And keep an eye on that Dark Tower so Father does not worry himself bald about the spread of the darkness.
Elladan: When did you take up bad habits?
Aragorn: (looks at pipe) Picked them up here and there.
Legolas: You are Lord Elrond's fosterling? You fight as one of our own.
Aragorn: I had good teachers.
Twins: (grin. raise bottle that is being passed around, salute Legolas, and drink)
Aragorn: (to Legolas) This camp is too large to keep an eye on a tower.
Legolas: (to Twins) He is observant. (to Aragorn) We also intercept what we can. And we keep watch for a crawling darkness that has been seen at times. A creature none can name. A fear that comes at night to empty cradles.
Elladan: The Woodmen speak of such a thing, but it has not been here in some time.
Elrohir: (passes bottle to Aragorn) So tell us, Estel. Where have you been?
Aragorn: To the ends of the earth. (drinks) I am tired now. I want to go home, be with friends for a bit.
Elrohir: That is good. Your people need you. [Cut.]

* * *

[Cut to Gollum crawling over rocks. He hesitates, then looks over a large rock. Camera pans to landscape of Mordor, dark and lit only by fires.]
Gollum: (hisses. eyes gleam) [Fade.]

* * *

Scene: Elf Campsite
[Cut to Aragorn, Twins, and Legolas at edge of Mirkwood. It is morning, by the light.]

Legolas: (to Twins) Come again soon, my friends. I get tired of being the youngest in the group by a couple of millienia.
Twins: (laugh. embrace him warmly)
Legolas: (to Aragorn) Friend of Elves, you are always welcome. I hope we will meet again.
Aragorn: Who can tell what the next day may bring? Be safe.
[Aragorn and Twins walk west. Camera pans over grassland to Anduin, then rises to distant woods of Lórien. Fade.]

* * *

[Clip of Gandalf approaching Dale. He is greeted by Dwarves, who are obviously glad to see him. Dwarf offers Gandalf a foaming mug. Gandalf drinks deeply, laughs, and raises the mug to salute the Dwarves.]

* * *

Scene: Lothlórien

[Aragorn and the Twins approach deep woodland, the trees green and golden and the floor carpeted in late blooms. Under the branches, it is quiet, and there is a sensation of peace. Aragorn walks as if in a dream, listening to the birdsong around him, and aware of nothing else.

Suddenly. from the trees around them, five tall Elves in green drop to the ground. Each carries a long, elegant bow in pale wood. The leader, blond-haired and proud of glance, greets the Twins and then looks askance at Aragorn. ]


Haldir: Who is your companion, my friends? You know no mortal is permitted to wander in these woods. [He speak in Sindarin, not expecting Aragorn to understand.]

Aragorn: [replies fluently] I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn, Chieftain of the Dúnedain of Arnor, Foster-son of Lord Elrond of Rivendell…
Elladan: …And he is as a brother to us. We are weary, and would beg some respite here with the blessing of your Lord and Lady.
[The Elves exchange glances,]
Haldir: Indeed, we will escort you swiftly, although I am sure you at least, [gestures to Twins] know the way.

[They walk on into the heart of Lothlórien. Aragorn looks around him in awe and wonder, drinking in the sights and sounds, soft music, gentle voices speaking and singing. They arrive at Caras Galadhon and their escort bids them farewell. Elrohir gestures to Aragorn to climb the Great Tree.]

*

[Cut to the “audience room” of Galadriel & Celeborn. They are seated on two beautifully carved chairs. The Twins come forward, bow, and greet their grandparents affectionately. Celeborn looks over at Aragorn who is hovering still in the entrance way.]
Celeborn: A mortal?
Galadriel: No mere mortal… Nay, my lord, we are honoured to welcome him to Lothlórien. [She smiles at Aragorn.] Long it is since we spoke with one of your line, Heir of Isildur, too long.
Aragorn: My lady, you do me too much honour.
Galadriel: It has been a long journey and you are weary. I will order a chamber to be prepared for you, Aragorn, and water, clean clothes, and refreshment. There you may rest. In the Golden Wood, under the protection of Celeborn and Galadriel, you have naught to fear. [She nods at an Elf standing nearby, who disappears silently.]
Aragorn: [bows his head] I am deeply grateful, my lady.
Galadrie: [rises from her chair and takes his hand.] Retire now, son of Arathorn, and take some rest.

[Aragorn is led out of the chamber by a silent Elf to a new room close by; there is a soft bed and a bath filled with steaming, fragrant water. On a table next to the bed a platter has been laid, covered with a cloth. Cut.]

*

[Cut to next morning: Aragorn wakes as the dawn breaks and the birds outside the windows begin to sing. An attendant brings more food and drink and he thanks him. As he eats, another Elf enters bearing clothes - a tunic and trousers of delicate white material trimmed with silver, and a long grey cloak. On top of the pile there is a silver circlet with a single white gem.]

Elf: The Lady Galadriel bids you wear this raiment, my lord, and she adds that you might wish to walk towards the hill of Cerin Amroth, from which there are good views of the city. It lies due north of here.
Aragorn: I thank you [Elf bows and leaves]

*

[Cut to Aragorn dressed in his finery wandering through the Mallorn trees. The sun is high in the sky above the trees, filtering down to create intricate patterns in golden light on the forest floor. Aragorn walks slowly and at peace. At length the path begins to climb, and eventually it comes out in a clearing. Ahead of Aragorn is a green hill crowned with trees, and on the grass grew golden and white flowers. He pauses, breathing in their scent, and then began to climb the hill.

As he comes to the summit of the mound, he sees a figure in white before him. She is walking barefoot through the grass underneath the trees, the golden blossoms falling in her dark hair, and singing softly to herself. Aragorn catches his breath, and pauses; the figure turns and we see it is Arwen; for a moment she is uncertain who she is seeing, then she smiles at Aragorn: “Estel?…” she breathes softly. He crosses the lawn to her, and takes her hands in his. Staring into each other’s eyes, time seems to stand still… there is a mixture of wonder and amazement on her face as she takes in his handsome features and new found maturity.]


Arwen: [softly] ‘Tis as I foresaw…in this hour my choice is made and my doom appointed… [They kiss, in a pose reminiscent of the bridge scene in FotR.]

[We have a montage of clips of the couple spending time together, wandering through Lothlórien, falling deeply in love…]


*

[Cut to evening, the couple stand facing the East and the Shadow; Aragorn is standing behind Arwen with his arms wrapped around her.]

Arwen: Dark is the Shadow, and yet my heart rejoices; for you, Estel shall be among the great whose valour will destroy it. I foretell that one day you will be called to take up the mantel of kingship again.
Aragorn: I wish I could see it through your eyes, but how it may come to pass is hidden from me…
Arwen: You will recognize the sign when it comes…your path has been laid before you since your birth… (this references the Rivendell dream sequence from TTT). She turns so that they are facing each other, his arms still around her; she places her hands upon his chest. ]

Aragorn: I believe that with you I will find hope, and the Shadow I utterly reject. But neither, my love, is the Twilight for me; you know who I am and what I am and you know I am not worthy of you, If you would have me, a mere mortal, you know what you would be giving up. Your people have been given a great gift, Arwen, and I could never steal that from you.
[Tears begin to pool in Arwens eyes - not tears of sadness but tears of happiness that she is loved so selflessly and so deeply......She turns to hide her reaction....without realizing it Arwen has turned towards the West.......]

Arwen: The Valar were indeed great to bestow the gift of the West upon my people Estel. [she turns back to Aragorn, turning her back upon the West] And I thank the Valar for their wisdom for today the greatest gift they have ever bestowed upon an Elf is right here in front of me; I will bind myself to you, Dúnadan, and foresake the immortal life of my people, though I love my family dearly….
[Aragorn caresses her face and they kiss as the camera pulls out and the scene “shrinks” and we realize that we are viewing the couple in Galadriel’s mirror…]

Scene: Galadriel’s Mirror

[Camera lifts up to focus on Galadriel’s serenely smiling face. Pull back to a longer shot of Galadriel and Celeborn standing together, viewing the scene in the mirror. Galadriel’s hand is resting on the top of the pedestal supporting the basin. Celeborn puts his hand over hers; she turns to face him and he puts one arm around her waist, the other clasps her hand and lifts it to his lips. Camera drops down to the surface of the mirror which shimmers and clears to show Elrond’s face; he is visibly distressed and shaking his head.]

Elrond: Arwen…. my daughter, what have you done……?
Galadriel: Elrond, you know that the time of the Elves is nearly over, and soon your children must chose to part either with you or with Middle-earth.
Elrond: You speak truly, but there would be no choice for my beloved Arwen, if Aragorn had not come between us…
Galadriel: Years are approaching when hope will fade, and beyond them little is clear to me. Maybe, it has been foreordained that by your loss the kingship of Men will be restored.
Celeborn: My Son, I know how you feel. When our daughter Celebrian chose you for her soulmate I feared the worst. But my Lady said I should give you a chance and we have gained a most worthy and loving son-in-law. We grieve with you for the suffering her loss has caused, and know that losing Arwen will be a second blow…
Elrond: Ada, you and I have the comfort of knowing we will be reunited with Celebrian one day soon, but for Arwen, and I, Aragorn’s victory can bring only sorrow and parting. I fear the Doom of Men may seem hard to her at the ending: there will be nothing left for my daughter but death too.…

Galadriel: The years will bring what they will, the days darken and much evil is to come. Let us allow the children some happiness before the Shadow lengthens.
Elrond: [Sighs heavily] We will talk no more for now. [disappears from Mirror]
Galadriel: [arms around Celeborn] He will come round eventually…
Celeborn: I hope so.
Galadriel: The stars are beautiful tonight.
Celeborn: Should we leave them to the children?
Galadriel: [laughs softly. Camera fades.]
* * *

Scene: Leaving Lórien

[Camera focus on Lórien, sun and leaves. Camera pans down to Aragorn and Arwen walking hand in hand.]
Arwen: I am loath to be parted from you so soon.
Aragorn: (kisses her fingers) It is only for a little while.
Arwen: I could ride with you. There is no reason --
Aragorn: Do not even think about it. The passes are dangerous.
Arwen: With you and my brothers, what danger could there be?
Aragorn: No. We will ride ahead to make certain the road is clear. You follow with an escort. (turns to face her.) If anything happened to you my life would be over in an instant. I will not risk your safety just to have you with me for a few days. [She moves toward him. They kiss passionately, unaware the Twins are approaching.]

Arwen: (softly) If you would just relent . . .
Elladan: We would kill him if he even suggested it.
Aragorn: [mutters under breath]
Elrohir: (puts hand on Aragorn's shoulder) Welcome to the family.
Elladan: Even though you have been a part of this family for years now!
Elrohir: More the pity for you. (looks to Arwen) Grandmother wants to see you both.
Arwen: How long were you two standing there?
Elladan: Long enough, sister. If we had been Orcs, you would both be dead.
Elrohir: Which is why you are not riding with us. [cut.]

*

[Cut to Edge of Trees. Elves ready horses with packs and saddles. Celeborn and Galadriel smile.]

Celeborn: Which path will you take through the mountains?
Elrohir: We thought the road through Redhorn Gate would be easy enough this time of year.
Celeborn: (frowns) Then may the Grace of the Valar be with you.
Galadriel: (draws Aragorn and Arwen aside. hugs Arwen) I am happy for you both. (to Arwen) You have chosen well, though my heart is heavy with the thought that we shall eventually be parted.
Arwen: We need not be. You could choose to stay forever, if you wished.
Galadriel: (shakes her head) No. I hope to go into the West, if the Valar permit, for it is where much of my heart lies. But not yet. There are many years still to pass before I take that final journey. (to Aragorn) Welcome to our family, Aragorn, Elfstone.
Aragorn: (touches hand to his heart, bows head)
Celeborn: The horses are ready. It is time they were going. (embraces Arwen, then Twins. finally, after hesitation, Aragorn)
Elladan: Do not fret, sister. We will not let anything happen to him.
Elrohir: (laughs.)

[Aragorn and Twins ride toward horizon. Other Elves mount. Celeborn lifts Arwen into her saddle.]


Arwen: You have not set me on a horse since I was a child, Grandfather.
Celeborn: Do not stay away too long.
Elves and Arwen ride toward horizon.
Camera shifts to Celeborn and Galadriel, standing close together. A tear slides down Celeborn's cheek. Galadriel brushes it away. Fade.]


* * *

Scene: Redhorn Gate.

[Twins and Aragorn ride carefully up steep, rocky path.]

Elrohir: This pass holds an evil name.
Elladan: That is what worries me. If there are no Orcs here, where are they?
Aragorn: (grin) Bathing?
Elrohir: Optimist.
Elladan: He will have to be. Our sister is a handful.
Aragorn: (chuckle)
Elrohir: (to Elladan) There is one thing that worries me, brother. [color=green] (Elladan gives a curious look) It has been an age since we have seen Ada in a temper.
Aragorn: What do you mean?
Elladan: You think he has been angry in the time you have known him?
Elrohir: (shakes his head) Mere whispers…
Elladan: Shadows of his true fury.
Aragorn: (uncertain) What . . . think you he will be upset on my return?
Elladan: (chuckle) Upset?
Elrohir: That is one way to put it.
Aragorn: I realize Lord Elrond loves Arwen dearly, but surely he did not expect to keep her in his household forever?
Elrohir: Of course not…but neither did he expect her to choose a mortal mate. (seriously) But since Mother left, he has kept her closer than he used to.
Elladan: Just remember, Estel, we are with you. Do not lose courage.
Elrohir: We will stand beside you when you face him.
Elladan: Through the brunt of it.
Elrohir: Until he starts to shout. Then I am leaving. (to Elladan) You, brother?
Elladan: I will race you for the door. (Twins laugh. Aragorn looks uncertain and nervous) Seriously, Estel, there is one thing you should know about Arwen.
Elrohir: One very important thing.
Aragorn: (serious look) What is that?
Elrohir: If you hurt her --
Elladan: Or even think about hurting her --
Elrohir: The Shadow in the East will be the least of your problems…
Elladan: (cheerful) If you are fortunate, Father and Grandfather will get to you first!

[Camera pulls back as Aragorn and Twins leave the Mountains. The trail is still steep, but the slopes are thick with trees. Pan out over countryside until the roofs of Rivendell are visible. Fade.]

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:13 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:03 pm
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Location: Green Hill Country
Scene: Rivendell

[Elrond stands at a window overlooking the Courtyard at Rivendell. He watches Aragorn and his sons ride in, and dismount. He clenches his hands together in anger, initially, but then seems to relax a little. He turns to an Elf who is waiting on him :]

Elrond: Tell the Lord Aragorn I would speak to him after he has recovered from his journey. [Elf bows and leaves room.]

[Elrond walks into the Gallery in a clearly agitated state. He passes some paintings in a long hall and stops in front of one. It is his wife Celebrian, looking angelic and glorious in a silver gown surrounded by lush foliage and sunlight. He looks up at the painting and gently runs his hand over the wooden frame ….

Dissolve into a flashback…

Celebrian and a small escort is riding through the Redhorn Pall of the Misty Mountains. Suddenly they are attacked on several sides by many more orcs. The fighting is seen only in flashes and fragments but in the end, her escort is slain or left for dead and she is backed up against a large rock. We see the commander of the Orc unit raise an outstretched arm towards her saying “take the pretty one, she will be…. useful” and the last thing we see is the harsh and nearly obscene laughter of her captors as they close in on her…

Dissolve into another scene of Elladan and Elrohir and others fighting at night in an Orc camp. They fight as possessed and orcs fall like wheat at harvest time. They burst into a stone hut and find their mother. Her once-beautiful clothes are torn to shreds; she is chained to a wall by her ankles, she bears bruises and cuts and is in a terribly weakened condition. They rush to her…

Dissolve into another scene of Elrond healing Celebrian and watching over her in bed ….

Dissolve into the final scene where Celebrian is about to board the ship to go West at the Grey Havens ….
She appears as if death in middle-earth is the only real alternative to getting on the boat West, a completely broken woman…]


Elrond: Stay with us, my love… time will heal your mind … our love will heal your heart.
Celebrian: I have stayed for a year, my husband. My body is restored but my spirit is broken and poisoned beyond anything that you or Middle-earth can do. If I remain here any longer, the evil memories will eventually overtake my mind and I will be a sad thing that only merits your pity and not your true love.
Elrond: Love is all that matters, Celebrian.
[She takes two steps on the plank but then turns back and looks at Elrond;]

Elrond: (repeats) Love is all that matters… [She gestures farewell to him in the Elven manner, touching her forehead, then turns and continues boarding the ship. He reaches for her in desperation as she walks onto the ship, head lowered and resolved to her fate…..

Elrond sees himself on the shore, his words ringing over and over in his head…

“Love is all that matters….”

[The flashbacks end and Elrond is still before the painting in Rivendell. As he touches the painting every so gently, he whispers…. “love is all that matters, his own words playing over in his head. There is a sound of footsteps behind him, and he turns to see Aragorn approaching. Their eyes meet and Aragorn stops, and bows his head, right hand on his heart in formal greeting.]

Aragorn: My Lord Elrond
Elrond: Aragorn……I am glad to see you return to us safely, you have been gone from those who care for you for too long……but I fear a shadow lies between us….
Aragorn: You have heard our news? That Arwen has chosen me as her betrothed?
Elrond: If you choose to come between us, you will bring Arwen and myself to a bitter parting for eternity. Do you realize what you are asking of us?
Aragorn: I know that I am asking for no less a treasure than that of Thingol which Beren once desired.
Elrond: My son, do you think that you can win happiness for my daughter with love alone? [He walks towards the shards of Narsil, and picks up the hilt.] No, you must triumph through strength of arms as well….My daughter will not give up her immortality for a few brief years of happiness as a Ranger’s wife, only to be swallowed by the Shadow which grows daily. My son, even though I love you, I say to you that Arwen shall be the wife of no Man less than the King of both Gondor and Arnor. Only then might there be some hope of a bright and lasting future for you both.

Aragorn: [Takes the hilt of Narsil and replaces it on the stand.] Ada, you are asking much of me –
Elrond: You are Isildur’s Heir – if you do not wish to be bound to his fate then you must complete his partial victory and free Middle-earth from evil for ever.
Aragorn: I do not know how to accomplish this yet, my path is hidden from me.
Elrond: One thing is certain; you must return to your people and take up the mantle of responsibility for them. You may yet do great deeds; for I foretell that your life span shall be greater than other men, unless evil befalls you or you fail at the test. But the test will be hard and long.
Aragorn: Isildur failed at the test, and I may too, the same blood flows through my veins – the same weakness.

Elrond: History does not have to repeat itself. You must believe yourself worthy of this challenge. When the sign comes for action against Sauron, you will recognize it and be ready ...And you will be needing back this other treasure of Beren… [hands him the Ring of Barahir] Wear it to remind you of a great hero who faced Morgoth in his own halls and triumphed.
Aragorn: [shamed-faced] I am honoured you see fit to return it to me.....and it will remind me that the treasure I have set my heart on is attainable yet.... [he bows]
Elrond: Go with the blessings and love of all in this House, my Son. [They embrace] But first you should see your Mother. She has missed you sorely.
[Aragorn leaves the room. Fade.]

* * *

Scene: Gilraen’s chamber, Rivendell

[Gilraen is packing her belonging, readying to return to her family in the North. Aragorn enters, and she looks up.]

Aragorn: Mother?
Gilraen: [hugs him] You have been gone so long. [looks him over] You are thinner than you were.
Aragorn: Most probably. [sits on the hearth] Mother, I have some news for you. [smiles]

Gilraen: You are blushing. [indulgent smile] What has happened?
Aragorn: It is not like that . . . Lady Arwen --
Gilraen: [nods, takes his hands in hers] I know already. Lord Elrond included me in his counsel as soon as he knew of the Lady Evenstar's decision. I could not be more pleased that she has at last returned your love.

Aragorn: Then you know also of the conditions laid upon us...? Ah, Mother, can you show me now my path as you have so clearly in the past? As the darkness spreads outside the Elven realms, my times of refuge here seem more than ever a dream.
Gilraen: [smiles sadly] You can never escape your fate, My Son. You are the last of the Bloodline. Return to our people...protect and inspire them, but such a choice is yours to make alone. I wish to return to my kin in the North without worry, knowing that your life will reach its full potential .
Aragorn: [frowning] But you will return here, surely. You are not so old yet.
Gilraen: This is our last parting, Estel, my son. I am aged by care, even as one of those not of Númenórean blood; and now it draws near I cannot face the darkness of our time that gathers upon Middle-earth. I shall leave soon.
Aragorn: [tries to comfort her] Mother, there yet may be a light beyond the darkness; and if so, I would have you see it and be glad.
Gilraen: [shakes her head sadly]
Onen i-Estel Edain, ú-chebin estel amin, (subtitled: I gave hope to the Dúnedain, I have kept no hope for myself.)

[Gilraen draws Aragorn to her and bids him rest his head in her lap as she strokes his hair. She sings to him:]



("Gilraen's song" from the FotR soundtrack by Howard Shore, text by Philippa Boyens)

Little boy, little one
Night is falling.
Come into my arms,
Let me hold you safe
But still you run
Through the twilight,
Lost in your play
Slaying demons in the shadows.
Little boy, little one,
Full of grace full of joy,
Oh, my heart will break,
For I see in your eyes:
You are your father’s son,
Not your mother’s child.

[Camera focus on Gilraen's face – there are tears in her eyes]

Gilraen: I am delighted that you have finally found the one to make your life complete, Estel. I have been too long separated from your father. Now I look forward to our reunion.
[Camera fade]


* * *

Scene: Somewhere in the Angle

[Aragorn and the Twins are riding through woodland in search of the Ranger settlements.]


Elrohir: (looks up, alert)
Elladan: (tense) [Rangers, cloaked, step from the trees. Halbarad pushes back his hood. ]

Halbarad: (to Twins) It has been too long since last we met.
Elladan: Perhaps you should be easier to find…
Elrohir: We are always where we are supposed to be.
Halbarad: You will share our fire tonight? All are welcome. (turns to look at Aragorn who pushes back his hood. Halbarad has shock clear on his face)
My Lord?!
Aragorn: (nods)


* * *

[Cut to Campsite. Firelight flickers over Elves and Rangers. Aragorn' sits wrapped in a cloak. Twins share a mug of something.]


Halbarad: (to Aragorn)
We have kept the passes and the lands to the West as best we could, but the Enemy grows stronger every year. Gandalf asked that we watch the land of the Halflings with special care, and that we have done. But we could not prevent the Wights from reinfesting the Barrows.
Aragorn: That may be as well. Wights hold little loyalty and choose their prey where they will. Evil things have no more safety from them than we do.
Elladan: A guard dog that will bite its master as quickly as anyone else.
Halbarad: So what do you intend, My Lord?
Aragorn: I will gather what strength remains of our people and husband it until the moment comes. A small force may strike a decisive blow, but only if it comes unlooked-for. Time will show our moment.
Halbarad: And until then?
Aragorn: We guard the Shire and the people who cannot see their own danger as best we can. You have done well in my absence, my friend. Now I think it is time our people knew that their Chief has returned to them. [Camera fades]


* * *
Clip: Aragorn and a group of Rangers enter a village. Halbarad walks beside Aragorn, about a pace behind. Several men greet them. Halbarad speaks to one, and this man kneels before Aragorn. Music covers whatever they might have said. Fade. ]


* * *

Clip: Gilraen's body is returned to Rivendell for burial. Aragorn, Halbarad and other Rangers carry her on a litter. Elves take the litter from the pallbearers. Elrond and Arwen observe, both look serious. [Fade.]


* * *

Elrond: (voiceover over clip of Rangers standing on a hill above the Brandywine River.)
And so time passed. Small milestones were marked almost without notice. Those among the Wise kept watch while the Dark Lord planned behind his gates… [Camera pans round to focus on road to Bag End. It is Autumn, and the sun is bright. Gandalf and Balin enter right and walk down the road to the bridge. Hobbits working in fields stop and wave.]


* * *

Scene: Bag End

[Cut to Bag End. Bilbo is trimming his garden. He looks up, sees his visitors, and lays down his cuttings.]

Bilbo: Gandalf! It's been too long. (looks at Dwarf)
And . . . Balin? Can that be you?
Balin: (nods)
Yes, it can. (shakes hands with Bilbo)
The years have certainly treated you well, Bilbo, unless Hobbits age very slowly indeed!
Gandalf: (hugs Bilbo)
Did you think Wizards have no more pressing business than visiting Hobbits on sunny afternoons?
Bilbo: (laughs)
No, of course not. Come sit down for a bit. The garden is truly lovely, and I've a nice keg of beer that needs tapping. Seed cakes, too. A whole plate of them.

[Cut to Garden. Bilbo, Gandalf, and Balin sit comfortably, mugs of beer and a large plate of cakes in front of them. Bilbo is smoking, Balin lights his pipe. Gandalf takes his pipe out but does not light it.]


Balin: The whole of Dale is quite changed since you saw it. Bard did a grand job of rebuilding the town, and ruled his people wisely. His son Bain is now king of the restored land. (drinks)
You know his ancestor, Girion, was the king of that land that Smaug destroyed as a young dragon?
Bilbo: I did not. But then Bard had the look of kings about him, so it should not be a surprise. It's good to see old lines restored, when they are worthy. And I am pleased that I had some small hand in the matter. (blows a smoke ring)

Balin: Your garden is very pleasant, Mr. Baggins. It seems you have done well for yourself in the years since we parted.
Gandalf: (fingers pipe thoughtfully)

Bilbo: Yes, I'm most fond of it. And (gestures with his pipe)
I see you look particularly magnificent yourself. Aren't those rubies in your belt?
Balin: They are. And unless I miss my guess, you have replaced brass buttons with gold.
Bilbo: (laughs warmly. strokes his waistcoat. sunlight flashes off the buttons.)

Gandalf: It seems we are all quite comfortable, now that the adventures are over. (drinks)
That is excellent.

Balin: Adventure over? I think not. (takes a seed cake) These are excellent. Now that Dain is well restored to the Mountain Kingdom, I see no reason why we should not reclaim our ancient holdings in Khazad-dûm. Our strength is now greater than it has been in many long years, and we hear little of Goblins anywhere.
Bilbo: [wistfully] That sounds most exciting.
Balin: (shakes his head) No, no, Mr. Baggins. This will be a task for warriors, not thieves. No matter how skilled they may be. But as soon as we are restored to our place I will invite you to feast in my hall. The great realm and city of the Dwarrowdelf, full of light and splendour, is still remembered in our songs… [ He begins to chant a song of Durin’s Halls whilst camera fades into brief images of Moria at the height of its former glory]

“The world was young, the mountains green,
No stain yet on the Moon was seen,
No words were laid on stream or stone
When Durin woke and walked alone.

A king he was on carven throne
In many-pillared halls of stone
With golden roof and silver floor,
And runes of power upon the door.
The light of sun and star and moon
In shining lamps of crystal hewn
Undimmed by cloud or shade of night
There shone for ever fair and bright.”

[screen fades back to scene outside Bag End]
Balin: Ah, Moria! Moria! Wonder of the Northern world!

Gandalf: (drinks thoughtfully.)
Bilbo: Fair enough. It's very comforting to know the world is put right, the dark powers are no more. All the old songs have come true after a fashion. (leans back in his chair)

[Camera focus on Bilbo's pocket. Bilbo's hand strays to a gold chain and pulls the Ring out. He fingers it.]



Gandalf: (fingers pipe. watches Bilbo, frowns slightly.)
Why should they not prove true? You don't really suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit? You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all! (holds out pipe)

Bilbo: (hands Gandalf the tobacco jar) Thank goodness!

[we see the three of them sitting on the bench, smoking their pipes, and Gandalf blowing smoke rings, rather like in FotR. The camera follows one of the Rings up high above the countryside of the Shire, where it could dissolves gently against a clear blue sky. Fade to Credits.]

THE END

****************************************************

Postscript:

Our screenplay features the period from the end of Bilbo’s journey (2941) up to 2980, when Aragorn and Arwen are betrothed; it seemed a good point to break off, without bringing the story too close to events in FotR, and basically gave us Aragorn’s back story as the main focus for the film alongside Gandalf’s ongoing mission in M-e and his misgivings about the fate of the One Ring continue to plague him.

When sketching the outline for this screenplay we all agreed from the start that the film should end in Hobbiton, with Bilbo. We also thought that the visit of Gandalf and Balin was the ideal scene to draw all the threads together and tie them off…except that of course, Tolkien wrote that the visit took place in 2949, only a few years after the events of “The Hobbit”. So for our purposes we decided that we should postpone this visit – or it perhaps could even be a second visit – until much later, after the events we wanted to cover in our screenplay. 2989 was the year of Balin’s expedition to re-establish a Dwarf realm in Moria, and also the year that Bilbo adopted Frodo. So, our final scene at Bag End has to occur before that year, but a little after 2980. Perhaps 2987?

The brief scene of Gilraen’s death is also out of place in the timeline, since she actually lived until 3007, passing away at the age of 100, but we felt it would bring a sense of closure to the character’s storyline to show her death.

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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