Script for The Fellowship of the Ring
Scene 1: prologue – “one Ring to rule them all”
(Darkness) Galadriel: (off-screen in alternate Elvish/English) The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. In English: Much that once was, is now lost, for people have really bad memories and don’t tend to live that long anyway …
It all started, as these things do, with the forging of these tacky rings. The elves got off lightly, `cause they only bought three of reasonably good quality, but the dwarves were frankly ripped off with seven and I swear the Nine were plastic. But you know, men were never the best shoppers.
It probably comes as a surprise to no-one that said men fell under the dominion of the Dark Lord Sauron, self-styled ruler/protractor/compass of Middle Earth and part-time jewellery salesman, and he used them to basically terrorize the heck out of anyone who opposed him. But, as always in these cases, a few head-cases decided to pit about five men and elves against a few million orcs. Whose idea was that again? Anyway, things were going surprisingly well till Sauron decided to come out and started waving a mace about. The king of the men was a brave bloke and he tried to fight Sauron, but got maced and killed, the poor bloke. His kid Isildur nicked his sword, gave Sauron a rather nasty foot wound, and with one wild sweep hacked off half the Dark Lord’s fingers.
Sauron blew up about that point, and everyone decided to have a little nap. But fortunately the blast that knocked out and possibly killed a tonne of orcs, elves and men for miles around failed to even lightly stun Isildur – what luck! – who took up the Ring. Against all common sense he kept it for himself, was attacked by orcs, and suddenly found himself dead in the river with an arrow in his back. The Ring ran off.
Until, that is, yet another guy picked it up. There’s one born every minute.
Gollum: (raspy) me lovely ring-a-ding-ding …
Galadriel: the Ring was picked up by a little froggy schizophrenic guy by the name of Gollum. He hid away in the hills, and it twisted him round its little finger and had him for lunch.
Gollum: Me ring-a-ding … have a fishessss …
Galadriel: But the Ring got kind of pissed off with Gollum, so it packed its bags and took the next finger to Hobbiton. Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit of the Shire, happened to be having a little afternoon ramble in the Misty Mountains, and the Ring hitched a lift.
Gollum: (anguished) Ring-a-ding! Me lovely ring-a-ding-ding … we’s lost it, our collector’s piece!
Galadriel: for the time would come when hobbits would go on long journeys to rid the world of evil in a suitably heroic and chivalric way …
Scene 2: “The Shire”
(Frodo is in field, reading the script, possibly for the first time. He looks up. Zoom in, banana grin, runs out of camera. Cut to Gandalf, driving cart and singing to himself. Cut to wide-angle view, Frodo about as tall as Gandalf’s knees despite standing on hill.)
Frodo: you’re late.
Gandalf: a wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. And anyone who says otherwise can spend the rest of this movie as a small toad.
(Cue laughing gas. Frodo hurls himself at Gandalf.)
Frodo: It’s wonderful to see you again, Gandalf … please don’t turn me into a toad …
(They ride together in cart.)
Gandalf: how’s Bilbo Baggins, your uncle, doing?
Frodo: You know Bilbo. He’s doing one of his famous Insult-A-Thons for the party entertainment. He’s got the whole town out. He’s up to something.
Gandalf: (mumbling secretively through pipe) oh, yes?
Frodo: all right, keep your secrets! I’m sure I’ll find out soon, anyway. In other news, you’ve developed quite a bad reputation round here.
Gandalf: if you’re talking about the dragon, about whom no more is said as of The Two Towers, all I did was drop-kick your uncle out of the door.
Frodo: whatever you did, you’ve been officially labelled a Disturber of the Peace. Knowing people, you’ll be a popular hero no-one really believes in before the year is out.
(A rather fat hobbit gives Gandalf the evil eye, then grins at him. Gandalf lets off some fireworks for the heck of it, completely disregarding the safety rules on the packet, and Frodo jumps off the cart and wanders off. Cut to Bilbo’s hole, reminiscent of something from Teletubbies, with sign on gate in curly writing saying “no admittance except on party business”.)
Scene 3: “very old friends”
Gandalf: (raps on door with staff, badly denting paintwork) come out, come out or I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll bash your door in.
Bilbo: (from inside) no thank you! I just gave that door a paint job, and I was up all last night sorting through polite variations on the party reply “thanks we can come”! I don’t need any more well-wishers, postmen or distant relations today!
Gandalf: (who has been fighting to get a word in edgeways) what about very old friends?
Bilbo: is that Odo Proudfoot? `Cause I said I’d pay you back Monday –
Gandalf: it’s me, you fool of a Baggins!
Bilbo: (opening door) Gandalf? Gandalf! (hugs Gandalf’s ankles) It’s wonderful to see you again! Come in! Come in! Cheese? Tea? Hot chocolate?
Gandalf: (bumps head repeatedly on ceiling) just tea, thank you.
Bilbo: I could make you something stronger, eh? Eh?
Gandalf: (completely mystified by “eh”ing) just tea, thank you.
Bilbo: I could make you some eggs!
Gandalf: tea, you silly little hobbit! Or you shall be a toad!
Bilbo: okay, okay. I’m not in much more of this movie, anyway.
(someone knocks on the door. Bilbo hides.)
Bilbo: despite all the evidence, I’m not at home! I’m sick of these well-wishers breaking down the door at all hours …
Gandalf: you mean to go on with your plan, then?
Bilbo: of course! (longingly) I want to see mountains again, Gandalf, and Rivendell, and a decent old folks home. I’m just going to wander across the room, fiddling suspiciously with something in my pocket … I feel like marmalade, Gandalf. Marmalade that’s been scraped over too much crumpet … I’m gonna go on holiday to Majorca or some such place for a very long time.
(Cut to Bilbo and Gandalf on hillside, smoking. Bilbo blows a smoke-ring, Gandalf blows a smoke-red-arrow-fighter-jet which loops the loop and flies through smoke-ring.)
Bilbo: Gandalf, me old messmate, this is gonna be a night to remember.
Scene 4: “a long-expected party”
(Fireworks exploding. Kiddie hobbits playing. Adult hobbits drinking and eating and drinking and eating and drinking and eating and drinking and eating and dancing. Massive cake like forest fire. Bilbo scaring the pee out of a load of Cute Gasping Hobbit Kids. Sam is picked up and hurled bodily at Rosie by Frodo. Cue more laughing gas. Cut to Merry and Pippin, obviously about to be very naughty boys.)
Pippin: (grabs firework from Gandalf’s cart)
Merry: no, no, the big one!
Pippin: (hauls and staggers under the weight of a dragon-shaped firework at least as big as an oliphaunt)
Merry: yeah! (steals apple and tries to look surreptitious)
(cut to Merry and Pippin in tent, with firework oh-so-slightly too far out of the ground. Stupid Hobbitses are standing right on either side of it. I hope there’s a fire brigade in Hobbiton.)
Merry: it’s meant to be in the ground!
Pippin: it IS in the ground!
Pippin: this was all your idea …
(Firework soars into the air, setting the hobbits’ heads on fire, and flies at the guests in the shape of a dragon. Frodo knocks Bilbo to the ground just as the firework dragon swoops over head and blows up. A gazebo catches fire, and everyone cheers for some reason. Maybe it wasn’t a nice gazebo.)
Merry: that was bloody brilliant.
Pippin: let’s do it again.
Gandalf: (comes up behind them and grabs their ears) Meriadoc Brandybuck. And Perigrin Took. You have the right to remain silent, anything you do say may be taken down and used as evidence …
(Cut to Party Field. Guests cry, “Speech, Bilbo! Speech!” and Bilbo climbs up on a beer barrel to address them.)
Bilbo: (cheers from crowd at each name) my dear Bagginses and Boffins! Tooks and Brandybucks! Grubbs, Chubbs, Burrowses, Hornblowers, Bolgers, Bracegirdles, Goodbodies, Brockhouses and Proudfoots. Today is my onehundredandeleventh birthday – I am eleventy-one today! (Hobbits cheer and clank tankards.) Alas, eleventy-one years is far too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable hobbits. (The crowd cheer and wait for the Insult-A-Thong to begin. Bilbo waves his hands in circles.) I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve! (The crowd cheer [again]. The fun has begun. Bilbo sticks his hand in his pocket and takes something golden and ring-shaped out. What could it be? He is obviously not a good public speaker as he now starts mumbling to himself.) I … I have things to do. I’ve put this off way too long. I regret to announce that today’s entertainment will be cut short as I shall disappear shortly. Smell ya later!
(He disappears. Everyone is mildly shocked, Gandalf mouths something. Cut to Bilbo’s hole. Gate opens, footsteps up path, door opens and closes. Bilbo appears as he takes the Ring off. We get the first clear look at it since Isildur died for it, as Bilbo flips it into the air, catches it and slips it back in his pocket. He walks round the corner and bumps into Gandalf’s ankles.)
Scene 5: “farewell dear Bilbo”
Gandalf: I suppose you think that was the best joke since sliced bread.
Bilbo: oh, come on. Did you see their faces?
Gandalf: Bilbo, Middle-earth is practically a jewellers’ production line and superstore for Rings of Power. None of them should be used lightly, or even in semi-darkness.
Bilbo: but it was fun!
Gandalf: yeah, whatever. Can we turn this conversation to the ever-cute Frodo?
Bilbo: I’m leaving everything to him.
Gandalf: and the ring?
Bilbo: what? Oh, it’s in an envelope on the mantelpiece … oh wait … it’s the thing I was suspiciously fiddling with in my pocket. Isn’t that odd, now?
Gandalf: not really. The audience made the connection hours ago.
Bilbo: now it comes to it, I’ve had a little change of mind. I don’t really feel like giving it to Frodo. (Unnecessarily crossly) It’s mine! I nicked it! It hitched a lift on ME!
Gandalf: keep your bum on, I only said –
Bilbo: if my bum’s falling off it’s your fault! (To himself) It’s mine. My collector’s piece. My … ring-a-ding.
Gandalf: I think you’ve had that ring quite long enough.
Bilbo: (balls fists) you want it for yourself!
Gandalf: (grows, fills room, voice becomes loud and deep) Bilbo Baggins! I am to cheap conjurors what Harry Houdini is to David Blaine! I am not trying to rob you! (he returns to normal) I am, against all the evidence, trying to help you. Arrg … do you have any idea how painful stretching like that is?
(Bilbo bursts into tears and hugs Gandalf’s ankles. Gandalf ruffles his hair.)
Gandalf: all your long years we’ve been bestest mates. Trust me, okay?
Bilbo: I feel a deep sense of dread whenever anyone says “trust me”. But yeah, okay. (He pulls away and marches to door.) Well, it’s late, I really must be going –
Gandalf: Bilbo …
(Bilbo stops, but does not look round.)
Gandalf: you still have the Ring in your pocket.
(Bilbo s-l-o-w-l-y chucks the Ring on the floor and goes off.)
Bilbo: I feel much better now. (He leaves.)
Gandalf: see ya! (He turns to camera.) Tune in next time for another exciting episode of The Lord of the Rings!!