Of a Frustrated Fanfic Author
Disclaimer: All the characters – except the main heroine – belong to Professor Tolkien. I’m just borrowing them for a while to play.
Rating: teens, for serious character bashing. Movie character bashing, to be more accurate. If you like them, you should hit the Back button. Now.
These independent little chapters have very little to do with my regular stories, except the fact that the Tolkien-characters appearing here will behave the way they do in my other writings. None of this is supposed to be taken seriously. :)
Dedication: To Gemma again, as nobody else voted for Aragorn.
Five: Aragorn of the Many Names
After more than a week, or Frustrated Fanfiction Author (still dubbed as FFA) still hadn’t got her computer screen back. She tried to sneak into the study of various Real Life friends, to be at least able to type up one or two of the nine chapters to the seven different stories she’d written by hand out of sheer frustration. But one of those friends was moving, the other had her computer in pieces, too, an uncle (FFA’s last, best hope) was out of town, together with his laptop, and the only cousin with a working computer stubbornly refused to get the not-so-subtle hints she tried to get over.
By the way, this particular cousin (a jerk of extraordinary proportions) looked stunningly like Hugo Weaving, which was one of the reasons FFA hated movie-Elrond so much. Aside from the depressions and the balding thing, of course.
So, not seeing any way out of her misery, our FFA lay down on her bed and decided to watch an old Japanese Godzilla-movie on German TV. She always found these naively charming and utterly pointless pieces of filmography very relaxing.
Before the adorably clumsy radioactive monster of the week could set off to destroy Tokyo as was their wont, however, the image of some agitated Japanese scientists and their ridiculous robot faded away, giving room to the pale face of a noble, dark-haired Man.
The age of the Man would have been hard to determine – he could well be of any age between 30 and 60 – and though he was somewhat grim to look upon, there was gentle wisdom in his clear, grey eyes… and a great deal of sorrow.
“Why do you hate me so much?” he asked in a troubled voice.
FFA grabbed the remote control, believing that she might have switched channels accidentally, but to no effect. In fact, the dark-haired Man stepped down from the now dark TV-screen and sat down into the very armchair where Lord Elrond had been sitting only a week earlier. He was very tall, more than six feet, wearing some rough green garb and knee-high boots of supple leather – the latter ones making her irritated, for she had wall-to-wall carpet in her rooms and didn’t like people walking in with their shoes still on. She kept several pairs of slippers for her visitor’s use for a reason!
“I don’t know who you are,” she said, highly annoyed, “but in case you don’t know, I was watching ‘Godzilla vs. Megalon’, and I haven’t invited anyone to drop by. Especially not in dirty boots.”
“Strange,” the Man shook his shaggy head. “You recognized the others at once. Is that because you have a strong image about them but none about me? Or is it because you hate me so much?”
She glared at him, frowning, recognizing the silver star upon his tunic, and the ugly truth began to dawn on her.
“Aragorn?” she asked uncertainly. The Man nodded.
“In the flesh… well, not exactly. In the flesh, I would look like Viggo Mortensen, I deem.”
She closed her eyes. “Please. Spare me. That’s not the mental image I needed right now. What do you want of me anyway?”
“I want to know why you hate me,” Aragorn replied. “You used to like me; actually, you had liked me twenty-plus years ago. A lot.”
“That,” she answered grimly, “was before Viggo Mortensen.”
“And you used to dislike Boromir,” Aragorn pointed out mercilessly.
“That,” she replied calmly, “was before Sean Bean.”
Aragorn looked at her in surprise. “Are you telling me that you have changed your preferences just because of the people who portrayed the two of us in that… what do you call it…?”
“It’s called a movie. And no, it’s not all about the actors. I’m not that shallow, you know.”
“What is it about, then?” Aragorn insisted. She shot him an annoyed look. She hated bullies.
“Does it matter?”
Aragorn rolled his eyes. “Of course it matters! You have gotten me killed in your tales twice so far. And I want to know why!”
“Why does it bother you so much?” she asked, curious now, for it was obvious that it did bother Aragorn a great deal. “I’m but a fanfic writer, and not even a big star as they go. You have your own groupies…”
“My… what?” Poor Aragorn seemed utterly confused.
“Writers who are devoted to you and keep writing about you endlessly. You are either the saviour of Middle-earth or the big stud of Arnor and Gondor, every after character worships at your feet – or wants to get into your pants – what do you need me for?”
She run out of breath. Aragorn looked at her gloomily. “You want the truth?” he asked. She nodded. “All right, the truth. The truth is, I am envious.”
“Of what? Or whom?”
“Of the others you write about.”
“Why is that? You do have hundreds of tales written about you.”
“Nay,” Aragorn corrected sadly. “Most of these tales are written about that whiny person who wants to escape his destiny, wants to send his betrothed to Valinor (though I tend to understand that part, seeing the Arwen of those… movies), who falls into rivers for no apparent reason, and,” he shuddered, “even has an intimate relationship with his horse. The person you call Viggogorn.”
“I have not created that name!”
“But you keep using it. Frequently. And I will have you know that I am not that… person. I was never intimate with Legolas. Or Boromir. Or Faramir. Or,” and here he actually shivered, “ with Elrond. Not to mention that the mere idea of approaching a hobbit that way makes me gag. Just like that name.”
“And when, exactly, have I written anything like that about you?” she demanded indignantly. “Actually, I’ve kept you pretty much in-canon, except in the Mary Sue parody, but everyone was embarrassingly OOC in that one. So, I don’t understand why are you complaining.”
“You always make me look bad, just to let your precious Boromir shine,” Aragorn replied in a tone that was dangerously close to whining. Obviously, his movie alter ego had rubbed off on him, after all.
She shrugged. “So I like Boromir better. Big deal. After the numerous times he had been portrayed as a monster, he needed his own story. And I feel for him and his father whom you put out of their jobs.”
“When you first read the Books – or for the second, third or fourth times, for that – you were on my side,” said Aragorn. She nodded.
“True. But I am much older now. I’ve lost interest in perfect heroes. And I’ve grown to dislike people who get everything dropped onto their laps, just because they happened to be born in the right bed. Or because they managed to creep into the right bed. So, I don’t buy the Great Maker’s values blindly any longer. Life experiences can do that to a person.”
“The Valar know how far I am from being perfect,” muttered Aragorn. She looked at him without sympathy.
“The Valar aren’t the only ones. But you do have a lot of writers on your side. Good ones, too, who write you according to the Books. Some of them, unlike me, are even celebrities as Third Age stories go, getting hundreds of gushing reviews. Why does it bother you that I’m not one of your groupies?”
Aragorn hesitated. “You have made the other so interesting,” he finally answered. “People who had but a few lines in the Books: Gildor… Erestor... Radagast… even Lindir. I am tired of being the spotless hero – or the Big Stud.”
“You are interesting enough in Isabeau’s book,” she said. “Or in Altariel’s tales. And I could name a dozen other stories.”
“Aye, but your heroes become part of an intricate network of tales that spans over all Ages of Middle-earth,” replied Aragorn. “I would like to be part of it, too.”
She gave him a suspicious look. “Are you sure that’s not just so that you hate being left out?”
“That, too,” Aragorn admitted. “Being the King is lonely business, and one has very little fun. But in your tales people can escape for a while, to other stories or songs. I liked it when you let me make gingerbread cakes in ‘Winter Solstice’. Even though I was only five.”
“You see? I do write nice things about you,” she said. “I even intend to have you in ‘Innocence’.”
Aragorn arched an eyebrow. Having grown up in Elrond’s house was not without certain consequences, it seemed. “That is not what I am talking about, and you know that.”
“I know,” she admitted, “but I can’t promise you anything. Look… let’s talk about this again, say, in six years.”
“Six years? What do you need six years for?”
“For getting Viggogorn out of my system,” she explained grimly. “And several other things, born from a certain director’s ‘creativity’. If I survive the third movie, that is. The second one made me hate just about everyone, except Gollum.”
“Gollum?” Aragorn repeated in shocked disbelief. She shrugged.
“He was cool. But aside of him, I was pretty much sick of that movie. I’m surprised that bloodthirsty packs of enraged Wargs haven’t invaded New Zealand yet, trying to prove that they are actually wolves, not some weird hybrids between cave bear and wild boar.”
Aragorn looked at her intently. “You are petty, do you know that? A lot of people loved those… movies. Even the ones who had grown up with the Books.”
“Fine,” she riposted spitefully. “Maybe I am petty. Maybe I want to be petty. So what? People have every right to love those movies, just as I have every right to hate them. And I do hate them: that balding Elrond with his mental problems, that girlie Arwen with her overbite, that fat, ugly and utterly idiotic Gimli, Legolas the blonde bimbo, Éowyn the anorexic wallflower, Saruman with his bad hairdo and uncut fingernails, the possessed Théoden, who miraculously got forty years younger after that ridiculous exorcism, Gríma the cheap creep who could never have mislead Théoden in the first place, Frodo who was constantly on drugs, if his rolled-up eyes and endless whining is any indication, Merry and Pippin as the token clowns, the blond and evil Faramir, Háma who was not guarding Théoden’s doors at all, the Elves at Helm’s deep, Éomer with his three-day-stubble… now, have I forgotten anyone?”
Aragorn was speechless from the shock of seeing so much venom in one person (and a rather small one at that). She took a deep breath.
“Obviously not, though I neglected to mention the radioactive Galadriel, the miscast Celeborn, the arrogant and genderless Haldir, and no, I didn’t like Gil-galad either. Now, begone! I want to watch this ridiculous movie, and then I want to sulk some more!”
Aragorn fled in apparent panic, which filled her with evil satisfaction. She fetched some junk food, got seated in front of the TV again, and watched Godzilla stomping Megalon into the soil with a broad grin. Life was a little more endurable now, that she had the chance to spoke her mind once again, without drooling fans of Lego-lass and Viggogorn screaming bloody murder.
Now if she could get her computer screen back, soon!
The end – for now.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Again, my apologies to those who liked the movies. I found the first one, well, acceptable, even though it butchered some of my formerly beloved characters in my eyes. However, I was completely enraged by the plot violations of the second movie, and was looking forward to the third one with utter dread at the time this story was written.