If LotR Had Been Written By Someone Else!?

…What would it look like?

Ernest Hemingway

*It was very late and everyone had left the hall except an old man who sat in the shadows the leaves of the old Mallorn made against the moonlight. The two elves inside the hall knew that the old man was a little drunk, and while he usually was quiet and kept to himself they knew that if he became too drunk he would start setting things on fire, so they kept watch on him.
“He’s drunk,” one elf said.

“What do you care?”

“He’s muttering about the secret fire.”

“Leave him alone. He used to carry a ring.”

“He’ll stay all night. He should never have been rebodied.”

The old man rapped on the table with his goblet. The younger elf went over to him.

“What do you want?”

The old man looked at him. “Another miruvor.”

“You’ll be drunk,” the elf said. The old man looked at him. The elf went away.

“Look at his bushy eyebrows,” he said to his colleague. “There is nothing as nasty as an old Man. He’ll stay all night and I’ll never get any sleep.”

The elf took the bottle of miruvor from the counter inside the hall and marched to the old man’s table. He poured the goblet full.

“You should never have been rebodied,” he said to the old man.*

Mark Twain


Persons attempting to resolve the question of Balrog wings by means of this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to define the nature of Tom Bombadil will be banished; persons attempting to find allegory in it will be shot.
Per G.G., Chief of Ordnance.


In this book a number of dialects are used, to wit: the Quenya Elvish dialect; the extremest form of the Rhovanion dialect; the ordinary Sindarin dialect; and four modified varieties of this last. The shadings have not been done in a haphazard fashion, or by guesswork; but painstakingly, and with the trustworthy guidance and support of personal familiarity with these several forms of speech.

I make this explanation for the reason that without it many readers would suppose that all these characters were trying to talk alike and not succeeding.


You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Red Book of Westmarch; but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by Mr. Frodo Baggins and his Uncle Bilbo, and they told the truth, mainly. There was things which they stretched, but mostly they told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another, without it was the Lady Galadriel, or Elrond, or maybe Gandalf. The Lady Galadriel – the Lady of Lothlorien, she is – and Elrond, and the wizard Gandalf is all told about in that book, which is mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before.*
Heh, anybody have any others?


If I were to tell you the true story behind the unmaking of that ring…that ring!…you would think me mad. Horrors such as are scribed in ancient tomes of eldritch evil cannot compare to the terror…the cruel, cold, braincrushing terror!..that we felt in the lair of that foul spirit which raimed itself in arachnid form, that vile scavenger, that horrid arcane leech lingering at the border’s of Sauron’s Black Land…

-The Ring-Journal of an Anonymous Hobbit, by H.P. Lovecraft

If it was written by Robert Jordan it would be 10 books long.


LOTR by Mickey Spillane:

I was sitting by the fire, puffing on a pipe, still nursing a hangover from the ale-fest the night before, when HE walked in.

He had a long white beard, a magical staff, and legs that youd like to eat on toast.

“Are you Frodo Baggins,” he intoned.

“I might be,” I said. “Who’s asking?”

“My name is Gandalf, Mr. Baggins. And I need your help.”

I looked him over. “Lots of people need my help. What makes YOU special?”

“Well, Mr. Baggins… there is a certain piece of jewelry. If it fell into the wrong hands, it could prove… troublesome. I need someone to take this ring to Mount Doom, where it can be destroyed.”

I stuck some more weed in my pipe, and said, “Look, doll, let’s get one thing straight- you can’t come into my hole, tell me a fairy-tale about a magic ring, bat those pretty eyelids, and have me fall at your feet. I stick my neck out for nobody.”

Strangely enough, I had this exact same thought at almost exactly the time you posted this.

And I’d do a Terry Brooks version, but that would require no more effort than going to get my copy of The Sword of Shannara and copying off a few paragraphs…

Eowyn felt her heart flutter when she saw him. His raven hair flew in the breeze off the plain, and his piercing eyes caught her gaze as if by magic. He bore a kingly attitude; surely he was a prince. Her mind turned to forbidden things, things which would be forbidden to the King’s niece, but surely allowed for a free shieldmaiden. She knew that she was made to love this ranger.
-Mark of the King, Danielle Steele

Smeagol writhed in corruption, his lifelong attempts to collectivize the Hobbit economy had twisted his soul and body and brought ruin to the Shire. “Precious,” he muttered. “Precious colective good giving according to need.” He shuddered at the thought of the unbroken individual standing proudly over a conquered plain with the Ring, and felt jealous that the wholesome power could not be his.

-Lord of the Rings, by Ayn Rand.

“Gandalf, Gandalf! Take the ring!
I am too small to carry this thing!”

“I can not, will not hold the One.
You have a slim chance, but I have none.
I will not take it on a boat,
I will not take it across a moat.
I cannot take it under Moria,
that’s one thing I can’t do for ya.
I would not bring it into Mordor,
I would not make it to the border.”

-excerpt from Dr. Suess’s FOTR.

LotR by Terry Brooks

Never gets written.

No source material.

Ah, I see we are off to a great start! Keep them coming…
Ray Bradbury

*In which Gandalf gains a new perspective on his heretofore unexamined mission:

It was a pleasure to burn.

It was a special pleasure to see Hobbits eaten, to see them blackened and changed. With the wooden staff in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous pitch upon the Shire, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history. With his pointed hat on his wizened head, and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he mumbled a Word of Command and the Great Smials jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black. He strode in a swarm of fireflies. He wanted above all, like the old joke, to shove a haunch of mutton on a spit in the furnace, while the flapping, ridiculous Hobbits died on the porch and lawn of the great Hobbit-hole. While the Hobbits went up in greasy, sparkling whirls that blew away on a wind turned dark with burning.

Gandalf grinned the fierce grin of all men singed and driven back by flame. Fools of Tooks! he thought with an inward chuckle, as the smell of burnt foot-hair filled his nostrils, as welcome as the smell of a fresh-baked apple pie cooling on the sill.

He knew that when he returned to Lothlórien, he might wink at himself, a minstrel man, burnt-corked, in the Mirror of Galadriel. Later, going to sleep, he would feel the fiery smile still gripped by his face muscles, in the dark. It never went away, that smile, it never ever went away, as long as he remembered.*

What a great thread idea. I only wish I knew this scene to participate. Great work so far stylistically though - Kudos to all.

The Lord of the Rings
or The Land of Middle-earth

by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

SCENE. – Front yard of Bag End in Hobbiton, the Shire. Various hobbits discovered standing and sitting in various attitudes suggested by Rankin-Bass films and trippy illustrations from the 1970s.


If you want to know who we are,
We are gentlemen of the Shire;
In many an inn and bar,
By many an alehouse fire,
We dine on six meals a day;
Our attitude’s bright and gay;
But we don’t mean it that way, oh!
If you think we are cutesy-poo,
Like an Ewok or Jar-Jar Binks,
You don’t know what we do:
When we don’t smokes, we drinks!
Our dwelling is Hobbiton;
We only stand three foot one;
We use evil rings for fun, oh, oh!
We use evil rings for fun!
If you want to know who we are,
We are gentlemen of the Shire;
In inn and bar, by alehouse fire;
In many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many a bar, oh, oh, oh, oh!
In inn and bar, by alehouse fire!

Enter Gandalf in great excitement. He carries a pack of fireworks on his back and a staff in his hand.


Gentlemen, I pray you tell me
Where a gentle hobbit dwelleth, named Frodo,
The ward of Bilbo?
In pity speak, oh speak, I pray you!

TED SANDYMAN. Why, who are you who ask this question?
GANDALF. Come gather round me, and I’ll tell you!


A wand’ring wizard I,
A thing of spells and magic,
Of stories dark and tragic,
Of counsel I’ll prophesy…

That’s where inspiration flagged. Although I could post the touching “Departure from Rivendell” scene…

LOTR by “Cesil”

Dear Cesil: Is it true that Frodo lost the ring to Gollum? We were arguing about it during a study session at the local brewery, when these guys dressed like orcs let it slip that Frodo bit his own finger off, and pushed Gollum in Mount Doom so there was no evidence. Is Frodo the next Dark Lord? Anxious in Hobbiton

Dear Anxious,

You think if I knew the whereabouts of the ring I’d tell a puling college student? There have been crackpot doom theories (get it?) about the ring ever since it was lost in the last age. It’s been a magnet for PBS loons when anyone disappears in a birthday party or a black rider is seen astride a flying saucer.

Let’s set the record straight with a few facts: After Frodo was exhumed in the Grey Havens following the suspicious circumstances of his “fading,” particular attention was paid to the manner in which his finger had been severed. It was the opinions of “experts” that the tooth scrapes on the joint were consistent with teeth like Gollum’s–worn by gnawing and grinding on bones. However the elves, having ignored the valuable lessons on interrogation taught by the Numenoreans, failed to follow up with questions regarding similar markings on various of Frodo’s toes. Hence the persisting rumors.

No doubt you’re hoping that the ring was finally put to bed in the flames of Mordor–lo those many years ago–but that’s not certain. There are unsubstantiated rumors that the nursery rhyme from the Middle Ages “Ring around the Rosie” is about the destruction caused by Sam Gamgee’s wife Rosie when entrusted with care of the ring while Sam was off fighting wiccans and environmentalists who had risen in the ruins of the witch kingdom Angmar.

Wagner’s famous “Ring Cycle” is held by certain cultists to be a covert reference to the growing power of the one ring–soon to be passed to the Kaiser, and subsequently Adolf Hitler. Music lovers claim the evil influence of Isildur’s Bane pervades Wagner’s music, but between you and me, Anxious, it doesn’t take much miscalculation to make opera sound like crud.

Finally, those whacky New Age pranksters claim that the metal from the one ring flowed into the magma of Mount Doom, and is now present in minute quantities in every volcanic eruption—thereby gradually turning the whole of humankind into dark lords. This goes a long way toward explaining prime time TV.

But in conclusion we’ll have to admit that unless it’s hidden in a yet another unfound Nazi stash, part of the crown jewels, or that talisman the Dalai Lama keeps around his neck, the one ring of power will just remain a happy memory.


LoTR written by shudder Piers Anthony.

Forget it, that’s for stronger stomachs than mine.

a la “Doc” Smith

“QX, Sam!” Cried Frodo. “That zwilnik Gollum had just enough jets to cut me free from that blasted ring!”

Meanwhile Sam’s steely gaze followed the form of Gollum into the cracks of doom. The kinetic energy of its wretched body’s translation into one with the magma became heat. Heat added to heat. It piled up ragingly, frantically, equilibrating, then turning hotter. Hotter! HOTTER! “By Ulmo’s carballoy bowels, ringman Frodo! We gotta get to clear ether!”

“Udun’s jingling bells, Sam! Its covered. I phialed a message to Galadriel to alert our boys in Aeries we’d be needing them! They’ll be here in 3.3 minutes, Eriador standard time.”

And as the Grand Fleet of the Eagle Patrol blasted away from Mordor airspace with the two second-stage ringmen firmly in their grip, Frodo wondered when he would next be called upon to pull the chestnuts of the Valar out of the fire again.

By Neal Stephenson (heavily borrowed, and eerily appropriate)

Frodo, the Deliverator, belongs to an elite order, a Fellowship of nine members only. He’s got esprit up to here. Right now, he is preparing to carry out his only mission that matters. His armor is silver like the light of the full moon, jangling only slightly with its decorative gems. An arrow will bounce off its dwarvenmesh weave like a hammer off an anvil, but excess perspiration wafts through it like the winds over the charred plains of Gorgoroth. All the arrows of all the hunters in the world couldn’t cut it against this one.

When they gave him the job, they gave him a sword. The Deliverator never looks for trouble, but some Orc might come after him anyway—might want his armor, or his cargo. The sword is tiny, aero-styled, lightweight, the kind of sword a Hobbit would carry; it cuts quickly into load-bearing beams without visible effort, and when you get done using it around evil, you have to sheathe it, because it glows in the dark.

The King of the Nazgul (KotN) fingered the safety buckle that secured the shortsword in it’s scabbard. It was modeled after the Gladius design, making it wholly inadequate for going up against Elven armour, but it was perfectly suited for being jammed in the collarbone of a Hobbit 'merc, without calling too much attention to it’s owner. His XO, “Camel” Khamul had used a similar weapon in numerous CoIN missions in North Gondor, where he had been sent to disrupt “Elrond’s” supply fellowships sneaking down the Is-ild-ur trail.
The KotN smiled, even without a head. This mission was almost going to be a mead-run. Taking out a squad of sleeping halflings was going to be easier than slaying Wyvyrns sitting on a tarmac…

-Hunt for the Ring, Tom Clancy

LOL! Great stuff guys!

partly_warmer: LotR by Cecil!? Hehe, that was good!
A Lost Short Story by J.R.R. Tolkien

The chicken, sunlight coruscating off its radiant yellow-white coat of feathers, approached the dark, sullen asphalt road and scrutinized it intently with its obsidian-black eyes. Every detail of the thoroughfare leapt into blinding focus: the rough texture of the surface, over which countless tires had worked their relentless tread through the ages; the innumerable fragments of stone embedded within the lugubrious mass, perhaps quarried from the great pits where the Sons of Man labored not far from here; the dull black asphalt itself, exuding those waves of heat which distort the sight and bring weakness to the body; the other attributes of the great highway too numerous to give name. And then it crossed it.



Frodo looked blankly at the garden. “Sam, is there a reason you pulled up all the flowers?”

“Oh yes sir, Mr. Frodo, sir. Cause a them wassits, the bugs gottem. Aye. Yessir.”

Frodo turned his questioning stare back to Sam, "And I’m sure this has nothign to do with the fact that Farmer Maggot has been buying them for ten-pence a dozen, either?

“Errrr…Oh no, not a bit of it, Mr. Frodo.”

About that time, the visiting Archprocurer of Old and Mostly Unwanted Documents to Stick on a Dark Shelf in the Library, Gandalf of the More-or-less-seen tower of Isenguard showed up at the Inn of the Prancing Pony. The rough and tumble Eastern men eyed him supiciously. WHich was not unusual, they eyed everyone suspiciously. Including themselves, when they were about a mirror. “Hello there, Barliman. Could you get me a pot of Ale? On my credit, if you please.”

“You’ve been running up a good tab lately, Mr. Gandalf, sir. You sure you’re good for it?”

Oh, of course, Butterbur. 'Sides, the same law goes all down to Mordor. The night watch’d have my hide if I tried to cheat you. And its not like I expect some horrible fiend from beyond the pale of mortal ken to fight me in a gigantic duel above an ancient Dwarven City, leading to both our deaths, after all.

Barliman stared at Gandalf. "Errr… that wouldn’t be a Balrog you’re a speakin’ of, right?

“Exactly sir. I cannot possibly be speaking of a Balrog since they don’t exist. Hence I must be good for my debt. Haha.”

~Terry Pratchet, though he would have done a much better job than I, surely.

LotR Z
“This foe is beyond any of you… his power Level has reached at least 30,000 after fighting every Dwarf in Moria. Ki Fhy to the gate Aragorn, you must lead them on!” The muscles beneath Gandalf’sGrey Cloak strained in anticipation of the coming battle.

Soon after, when they were nearly at the gate, the Balrog launched a surprise Ki attack, knocking down Borrmir and stunning Blazing Fist Gimli.

Gandfalf turned to face him. “Fool!” said he, I don’t have time for this nonsense… “Pure Flame of Arnor Shield Wall Strike!” The massive energy wall sstreaked off towards the Balrog, who was knocked flying… though no-one was sure whether or not he had wings.

"Raaaaauuuugggg! Gandalf, I have not shown you my true power!


five minutes later


Now I am a Super Balrog 2!!! My power level has gone up to 3 million!"

Gandalf just smirked. "I probably shoud have told you, after you left the service of Eru, we figured out a few new tricks. Here’s a good one:


-The Balrog laughed in anticipation of Gndalf’s feeble attack-


The resulting explosion threw the Balrog back agaoinst the walls of Moria. His expression turned to one of complete disbelief. “Urrrghhh… Ahhh… Ugghhhhh… That’s…not possible…”

The rest of the Fellowship of the Z Ring stared, twitching slightly and grunting in awe at Gandalf!

Gandalf grinned, “another one of those tricks I learned… I learned how to Hide my POWER level!”

Somebody write a Gene Roddenberry version. I can’t get up the willpower to subject myself to the Horror.