They Were In Other Places Too! - The Champions of the War of the Ring Reflect

The elf and the dwarf sat together in a tavern in the second circle of the White City of Minas Tirith, and the latter was slumped over his tankard with a giddy look on his bearded face, while the former calmly sharpened his long knife on the heel of his shoe. The other tavern patrons kept a fair distance from the two, for though the dwarf's axe rested in its back-carrier, and the elf seemed relaxed, they knew that these two were just back from the biggest battle they had ever been in, and to rile them would be, well, perilous. Their names were already well-known in the city: the dwarf was from Erebor, and he was called Gimli, known to be a tough axe-swinger; the elf, named Legolas, hailed from Mirkwood, and the best shot with a bow that anybody in the city had ever seen. They were said to be friends of the King, and had run with him before he came to Minas Tirith.
But now, Gimli raised his head and looked about with drink-bleary eyes, then let out a loud belch and leaned back in his chair.
The dwarf began talking in a slow, cheery tone, "Well, Elf, that was some crownin' ceremony yesterday, wasn't it? Laddie looked like a proper king even before that crown was on his head, now he's even more of a walkin'-tall guy. And then, after he sings that little ditty, this elf-girl comes out from hidin', next to a kind of sinister-lookin' guy, and she ran into his arms."
Legolas' face changed to a sullen frown, as he said, "You know what, Dwarf, even though Aragorn is a great friend, sometimes I feel a little jealous. For one, he is the only man in this whole story who gets to kiss a girl in full view. Us, we do not even get to run home to a girl waiting for us."
Gimli's face twisted into that gloating grin of his, as he said, "Yeah, but I get kissed by Marion Ravenwood in "Raiders of the Lost Ark", and you smooch with some girl called Elisabeth in some swashbuckler flick."
Legolas' face lit up as he said, "Quite true, Dwarf. You know what, though? I got to do something I never did here: sail a ship on the ocean instead of on a river with no crew."
The dwarf scowled, saying, "How low can you go? Here you're a pointy-eared Elven princling, then in somethin' else you're some kid who turns into a pirate and steals a girl. Now me, I can at least ride a horse in another story, instead of bouncing myself bowlegged on the back of yours."
The elf narrowed his eyes and countered, "But I get to fight some god-cursed undead again when I'm a pirate, whereas you only get some `very dangerous asps' that can be kept at bay with fire."
Gimli lept up with a roar and growled, "Maybe, but as an acting persona, I'm actually a few decades older and a few inches taller than you. And I still hold the record for the most enemies dead, despite attempts to depose me with foul means."
Legolas kept his knife in his hand as he replied coolly, "That just means that you can never single-handedly take out a mumâk with a full crew of Haradrim."
The dwarf warrior reached for his axe as he bellowed, "At least I got to swear and curse with those samurai's in Japan, while you never hear a dirty word from us here. You, on the other hand, don't get to mouth off even when you're a pirate. So there!"
Just before the two started to brawl, a man who was sitting in a shadowy corner of the tavern called out, "Ah, you two, why not just admit that you are both colorful?"
Gimli turned toward the voice and growled, "Who says? Come on out so I can see the man I'm goin' to cleave."
The stranger stood and walked to the bar, throwing his hood back as he did. Legolas gasped, "Aragorn? What are you doing here?"
The King of Gondor leaned against the bar, and replied, "Oh, I still have to get adjusted to being King, you know. Those times as the `dark man in the corner' have taught me to know every part of the city I live in."
Gimli put his axe away, and said, "A pint on me?"
Aragorn nodded, "Sure."
As he began to drink his beer, Legolas queried, "How did it turn out that Elrond let you marry his daughter? I thought that old grump would never soften."
Aragorn looked down the bar at the tender, and replied, "Why not ask him yourself?"
Just as Legolas and Gimli turned to look, the form of the bartender rippled like water and turned into Elrond, except he was wearing a brown business suit and sunglasses, and had a widow's peak instead of long, black hair.
He walked down toward where the man, elf and dwarf were, and said, "First thing, Blondie: I'm not grumpy; I'm just me. Second, I knew that I could never live it down to see my poor daughter heartbroken for the rest of eternity."
Aragorn said, "Hey, Agent Elrond, why not just go home and leave the rest of us in peace."
Elrond replied, "But I can't do that, Mr. Aragorn. I have been subverted by an artificial intelligence program from an imaginary construct. Now, I am going to take over this world as well, so that everybody can look just like me!"
Gimli said, "Sure thing Smith, but wait just a minute before you stick your finger into Aragorn. I want to say something to him."
The dwarf turned to the King of Gondor and said, "You know, Laddie, you've done well, acted in the biggest blockbuster of the century. But I have to tell you what I think: This whole story has elevated you pretty good, but I still can't keep from choking when I watch you win a several-thousand-mile desert race on a horse with a bad leg. Mustang or not, there was no way you could have done it."
Aragorn scowled and drew Andúril from under his cloak, saying, "How dare you slander my acting ability? So what I played a cheap cowboy character in a low-quality flick where I almost lost the family gemstones. In this world I am the King of Gondor, risen from a lowly backwoodsman. There are none more noble, more able to be what I have become."
At that moment, a teenager rushed into the tavern and right up to the bar where Legolas was sitting. Breathless, she said, "Could I get your autograph?"
Gimli snorted, "Humph, why are you the only one girls want autographs from?"
Legolas smirked as he wrote his name on the kid's paper, saying, "Because I am the hottest, the most athletic, and the youngest."
Gimli was quiet for a moment, then looked up with a fierce grin on his face, "But the little kids like me the most; they always laugh at Uncle John. And it takes more skill and determination to find a good wife, because dwarf-women are in short supply!"
Just then, Elrond began to head for the door, but Gimli called after him, "And where do you think you're off too?"
The elflord looked back over his shoulder through his brown sunglasses, and answered, "I just sensed someone intrude on my world called the Matrix. I have to go beat him up, but you can watch me from here if you like."
Legolas questioned, "How would we do that?"
Elrond answered, "Well you have two choices: the Plantar or the Mirror of Galadriel. You already have the first, Mr. Aragorn, but you might want to take the travel time to Lorien: the signal's better."
The three friends said, "Alright, either way, we'll see you there, Smith!"
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