The Adventures of Henry the Balrog – Part 1

by Jun 5, 2001Other News

Like most of the Valaraukar, Henry began his life as a Maiar of Aule. He was rather high up in that Valar’s pecking order, put in charge of making sure all the different kinds of rocks were nice and heavy. By comparison, Curumo was responsible for making mud, and Horace, who would eventually become Gorthaur, and later Sauron, was Grand High Arbiter of Worms (he invented the title himself). Horace had been demoted to that position after screwing up his assignment of designing the right look for strata. After weeks of self-deliberation, he had decided on polka-dots over stripes. Aule had simply frowned, reversed the decision, and knocked Horace down to worms, a liaison office with his wife Yavanna.

Henry was present for the creation of the Dwarves, but did not help too much. When Aule was just finishing, Henry tried to be constructively critical, by commenting that they “smelled awful bad”. Following this advise, Aule was teaching the Dwarves to make soap when he was interrupted by Iluvatar. Afterwards, it simply slipped his mind. Henry wasn’t there to remind him, because by that time, Melkor had begun corrupting the Maiar.

Melkor quickly found allies in both Horace and Henry, who both had gripes with management. He originally didn’t want Horace, but had a great idea, that would eventually become the Uruloki, and needed Horace’s expertise in the worm department. Henry he wanted because he saw great potential there, and because of his dislike of Dwarves.
Melkor then began looking for recruits among the Maiar of other Valar, and found a promising young fellow, named Jerry, working under Nessa. Jerry was a very enthusiastic underling, but couldn’t dance worth a wit, so he was relegated down to making sure all the other happy dancing Maiar were properly hydrated. Yes, Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs, began his career as a waterboy. By making him think the dancers were teasing him, Melkor quickly converted Jerry to his cause. It was rather easy, especially when Nessa put him on hiatus for delivering a flying tackle to a dancer in the middle of a pirouette.

With these three, Melkor sent off for Arda, to begin construction of Utumno. The evening following the ground-breaking ceremony, they had a little party, and began an enthusiastic discussion of their new status as evil beings.
“You know,” said Melkor, “You guys are going to have to drop those sissy named and forms if you’re going to work for me.”
“I never liked Horace,” said Horace. “I want something good, something scary.” Horace loved designing things, a trait which had already and would later work to his detriment.
“How about…. Gorthog?”
“Ooo, that’s a good one boss!” said Jerry. “I want something like that, maybe…Gothmog!” Jerry was not very creative.
“That’s no good. They’re too similar.” Henry broke in. “You’ve got to change one.”
They all deferred to Melkor’s judgement. Unfortunately, Melkor wasn’t really paying attention. “Which one did I pick?”
Ever some argument and a round of Batwing-Rock-Wolfjaws, it was decided that Horace would need to pick something other than ‘Gorthog’. They all began to shout off ideas.
“How ‘bout we just call him Gorey?”
“Shut up, Henry.”
“Oo, wait, go back one.”
“Yeah, that’s good.” Horace stood up and struck a pose. “I am… Gorthaur!”
“Gorthaur the what?” asked Henry.
“Gorthaur the Mighty!”
“Gorthaur the Viscous!”
“Gorthaur the Punctual!”
“Shut up, Henry!”
“Gorthaur the Destroyer!”
“Gorthaur the Merciless!”
“Gorthaur the Scourge!”
“Wait, I got it! Gorthaur the Untitled!”
“Oh, that’s Cruel, Henry,” said Jerry.
“That’s perfect,” said Melkor. “The Cruel.” He stood up and poked Horace in the nose. “You are… Gorthaur, the Cruel!” Then he poked Jerry. “You are… Gothmog!” He turned to Henry. “You are… what did we decide for you?”
Henry shrugged. “I’m fine with Henry.”
“That’s no good,” said Melkor. “”How do you expect those whatever-they-were’s in the Third Theme to fear you with a name like Henry?”
Henry pondered this for a moment. “I don’t plan to know any of them long enough to tell them my name. Or maybe I’ll let them make up their own name for me.”
“Okay, fine. Now, we need some new forms for you. I want something uniform. Letting my subordinates be original just led to some serious freaks, like Mavis and Patty,” Melkor said, referring to Thuringwethil and Ungoliant by their real names.
Gorthaur began whining. “Aw, I was hoping to be special!”
Melkor was already getting tired of Gorthaur’s whining. He made a mental note to move him out to a “secondary fortress” as soon as possible. “Fine, ‘Gorey’, you can be special. But the rest of you are going to be the same.”
He then laid out his basic design for the Valaraukar. “That’s pretty good, boss,” said Gothmog. “But can we have wings?”
“I don’t know. Wings would kind of mess up the design I’m going for. On the other hand, they might help in a pinch. I’ll tell you what, how about this:
(this portion of the narrative has been removed in the interests of continuing a pointless and time-consuming debate)
“That’s a great idea!”
“So it’s settled. Now who wants to be in charge?” Melkor pointed back and forth between Henry and Gothmog.
In an effort to avoid the unimaginable headaches that would come from raising the armies of Evil, Henry poked Gothmog in the kidney with a firebrand.
“Fine. Gothmog, you’re my new General.”
“Wait, I didn’t… General? Really?” Gothmog was elated.
“Yes, General Gothmog. So that’s it. Let’s get to work.”


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