Saturday, November 30, 2013

MEC Participants Recap

Here I am with the list of people who joined us during this past month for the 30 Day Middle Earth Challenge.  Again, thank you all for joining in.  I hope you had as much fun as Kiri and I did.

Speaking of Kiri, THANKS SO MUCH, GIRL, FOR THIS AWESOME MONTH!!!!  It has been a wonderful journey.

Kiri's blog

My blog

On Blogger:


The Keller Girls

Jessa Bri. Doofus and Teddy

Tom Wild Rose


Nessima Tavariel

On Pinterest:

Maria Elisabeth

Michaela Martin

These people participated via comments on mine and Kiri's blogs:
ButterflyBailey (my blog)  (she also happens to be my younger sister. :D)

Elizabeth Dannenbrink (Kiri's blog)

Christina L (Kiri's blog)

NOTE: if you participated in this challenge but your name is not on this list, please leave a comment and I will add you to the list.

Clicking on each person's name will you take you to their blog or Pinterest board where you can see their answers to the challenge questions.  Enjoy reading!

Miss Melody Muffin

NaNo Week Four: This, My Friends is the End

The end of all the craziness, the fanatic drive to put in enough words each day so add up to the total needed by the end of the month, the end of sitting down to write and having 2000 words completely change the direction of your story each day....

For me, it isn't completely over yet.  I finished 50, 000 words on Sunday, November 24th, but I still have somewhere between 5, 000 and 10, 000 words to put in on Oath of Loyalty.  I hope to finish it by the end of next week, but we'll see.

My stats for this week:
Word Count At The Beginning of This Week:  53, 353
Total Word Count As Of Now: 63, 891
Final Word Count Goal:  54, 796
Daily Word Count Goal:  2,000 words
Average Daily Word Count: 1,969
Words Remaining:  NONE  :D

 My favorite snippets:
    "No!" Kaduna cried.  She stood and now her eyes flashed as she faced her daughter.  "That is manipulation!  It's a back and forth game!  It's playing with fire.  That is no way to run a kingdom."
    "It is a game in which we hold the upper hand," Johari retorted.  "It's no more manipulation than diplomats use all the time.  Isn't it father?" she appealed to Kishi.
    "Diplomats do often employ similar tactics," he said carefully, "But I have never agreed with them and have done my utmost to avoid using them."
    Johari threw up her hands, "What he has done is wrong!  We are simply letting the world know, so that he can be punished!  What is so awful about that?  You say if you give a man enough rope he'll hang himself.  Well, he can't hang himself if you don't even give him the rope!"

    "Threats don't move me, Matera," Johari's emphasis on the last word was bitter but Nathaja did not flinch.
    "Do you think it is just a threat?  Push me.  You'll find out."
    Johari narrowed her eyes, "Need I remind you I am the crown princess?
    "Need I remind you that I am your Matera?  I have certain delegated authority powers by law, and if you force this issue, I will use them.
    "Go ahead," Johari dared.  "I'll speak when I'm ready and to whom I wish."

Miss Melody Muffin

MEC Day Thirty: This is the End, Sam

Galadriel: The power of the Three Rings is ended. The time has come...for the dominion of Men.
Elrond: [in Elvish] The Sea calls us home.
Bilbo Baggins: I think... I'm quite ready for another adventure!
[Bilbo climbs on board with Elrond. Galadriel follows with Celeborn]
Gandalf the White: Farewell, my brave Hobbits. My work is now finished. Here at last, on the shores of the sea... comes the end of our Fellowship. I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are an evil. [heads to the ship, then turns around, waiting] It is time, Frodo.
Samwise Gamgee: What does he mean?
Frodo Baggins: We set out to save the Shire, Sam. And it has been saved... But not for me.
Samwise Gamgee: [crying] You don't mean that. You can't leave.
Frodo Baggins: [hands Sam the Red Book] The last pages are for you, Sam.


Oh. My. Stars.  There is no way I can choose just one or even two for this one.  I'm going to give you half a dozen of my favorites.  :D

This one perfectly sums up my feelings about Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit:

And, just because it is the last day and I'm not quite ready to leave Middle Earth yet, and because The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug comes out in 13 days, here is one of my favorite TV spots for DoS:

ELVEN ARCHERS, people.  Including the one and only Legolas.  LEGOLAS, people!!!!!!!!

And so, my dear readers, this is the end.  The last post of the 30 Day Middle Earth Challenge.

It has been a wonderful journey and I want to personally thank every single one of you who participated.  Without you, this challenge would not have been nearly as much fun.  Because I was also doing NaNo this month, I did not have time to read all of your posts, but I hope to do that next month.

Kiri and I will post a list of all the participants with links to their month's posts soon.

And now, Namarie for this month, my readers!!!!!  May your December be wonderful and merry!!!!

Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, November 29, 2013

MEC Day Twenty Nine: My Collection

Gandalf: Does it not worry you that the last of the Dwarf-rings should simply vanish along with its bearer? Of the Seven Dwarf-rings, four were consumed by dragons, two were taken by Sauron before he fell in Mordor. The fate of the last Dwarf-ring remains unknown. The ring that was borne by Thrain.

Saruman: Without the Ruling Ring of Power, the Seven are no value to the Enemy. To control the other Rings, he needs the One. And that Ring was lost long, long ago. It was swept out to sea by the waters of the Anduin.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (extended edition)


Ummmm, it's pretty small.   At the moment, I have The Hobbit and The Two Towers books and the extended edition of Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring movie.

And yes, of course, I plan on adding to that woefully small collection in the years to come.  :D

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Thursday, November 28, 2013

MEC Day Twenty Eight: I Will Take It!

Gandalf the White: Frodo has passed beyond my sight. The darkness is deepening.
Aragorn: If Sauron had the Ring, we would know it.
Gandalf the White: It's only a matter of time. He's suffered a defeat, yes, but... behind the walls of Mordor, our enemy is regrouping.
Gimli: Let him stay there. Let him rot! Why should we care?
Gandalf the White: Because ten thousand Orcs now stand between Frodo and Mount Doom. I've sent him to his death.
Aragorn: No. There is still hope for Frodo. He needs time... and safe passage across the plains of Gorgoroth. We can give him that.
Gimli: How?
Aragorn: Draw out Sauron's armies. Empty his lands. Then we gather our full strength and march on the Black Gate.
Éomer: We cannot achieve victory through strength of arms.
Aragorn: Not for ourselves. But we can give Frodo his chance if we keep Sauron's Eye fixed upon us. Keep him blind to all else that moves.
Legolas: A diversion.
Gimli: Certainty of death, small chance of success... What are we waiting for?
Gandalf the White: Sauron will suspect a trap, he will not take the bait.
Aragorn: [smiles] Oh, I think he will.


The moment at the Council of Elrond when Frodo volunteers to take the ring to Mordor.
"I will take it!  I will take the ring to Mordor.. though, I do not know the way."

Here he is, just a hobbit, smallest of all Middle Earth races, already having passed through more trials and pain than he ever even dreamed of in his worst nightmares, ready to just go back to the Shire and resume his peaceful life... and yet he volunteers to take this cause of trouble and contention through worse horrors and pain, to destroy it.  Because he understands that someone has to – for the peace of the Shire and for the good of all of Middle Earth.

And then the way other members of the Council step up and volunteer to go with him, to protect and guide him.  That whole last half of the Council scene is wonderfully inspirational to me every time I watch it.

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

MEC Day Twenty Seven: The Wonders of CGI

Bilbo: Excuse me? Sorry, I hate to interrupt, but the thing is I'm not entirely sure you're in the right house. It's not that I don't like visitors. I like visitors as much as the next hobbit, but I do like to know them before they come visiting. The thing is, uh, the thing is I don't know either of you, not in the slightest. I don't mean to be blunt, but I had to speak my mind. I'm sorry.
Balin: Apology accepted.


Hmmmmm. *puts on thinking cap*

I think I would have to say, the Olifaunts.  They were absolutely amazing and to bring those to 'life' required a lot of time and effort.  The result was worth it though because they are just stunning.

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

MEC Day Twenty Six: What Did You Call Me?

Sméagol: Oh! We knows! We knows safe paths for hobbitses! Safe paths in the dark-
Gollum: Shut up!
Bilbo: I didn't say anything.
Gollum: Wasn't talking to you!
Sméagol: Well, yes, we was, precious. We was.


Gollum, formerly known as Smeagol

I know there are a lot of people who jut plain can't stand Gollum (like my younger sister Butterfly).  And I understand why and certainly don't blame them.

But, personally, I've always felt sorry for him.  Yes, he does turn completely evil in TheTwo Towers and Return of the King.  He leads them to Shelob, tries to take the ring numerous times and causes no end of trouble.

And, yes, he wasn't the nicest creature before the Ring came to him.  Hello, he was a thief.  He stole and murdered just to get the Ring.

But, after he took the Ring, and became bound to it, his life was pitiful.  He was chased from the only home he'd ever known, he buried himself deep in the Misty Mountains and lived there alone with his growing obsession for 500 years.  When Bilbo took the Ring, his life became even more horrible.  Constantly he was haunted by the power of the Ring, the burning need to have it back.  He finally left his beloved cave and crept far and wide, always searching for the one thing that he could never forget – the Ring.

Then he caught up to Sam and Frodo on their way to Mordor, and Frodo, remembering Gandalf's words about Gollum, took pity on him and took him along as guide.  The kindness Frodo showed him made an impression on Gollum and for a while, he became Smeagol again– just a poor pitiful creature who was destined to travel on and on, until he once more had the Ring in his possession. 

But, eventually the power of the Ring became too strong for him.  He betrayed Frodo and Sam, and then dogged their footsteps all the way through Mordor.

And yet, in the end, it was Gollum who helped Frodo complete the Quest.  When Frodo claimed the Ring for himself in the heart of Mount Doom, Gollum caught up to him and fought him for it, eventually falling to his death, and the Ring's. 

Were it not for Gollum, the Quest would have been for nothing.  As Gandalf told Frodo, "Gollum is bound up with the fate of the Ring. My heart tells me that he has some part to play yet."

I pity him, and his lonely, miserable existence.  His slavery to the Ring, his two-fold nature– sometimes Gollum, sometimes Smeagol. 

It seems somehow fitting that he died with his beloved Precious.

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Monday, November 25, 2013


My dear friend Jessica of the amazing Safire Designs has been offering a discount on book cover designs for the month of November.  To find out more, check out THIS POST.

There are still five more days for you to take advantage of this offer!!!

Jessica has a real talent for gorgeous cover designs.  HERE are some of her past designs.

Safire Designs

Miss Melody Muffin

MEC Day Twenty Five: Behind the Scenes

Sam: It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it’s only a passing thing, this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something…. That there’s some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.


There is no star in Lord of the Rings. The Fellowship is a union.
Viggo Mortensen

Other favorites:

"He [Viggo Mortensen] was standing behind the camera throwing the apples … And I’ve never seen him so happy."  Billy Boyd  (second breakfast scene- FOTR)

"Billy Boyd's a unique guy.  I'm so blessed to have met him."   Dominic Monaghan
"Dom's an idiot."  Billy Boyd

"Elves can be very fragile, particularly the Mirkwood strain."  Viggo Mortensen teasing Orlando Bloom

"Sean Bean and I made fun of the elves, and they made fun of us. They said we were dirty and smelly and less intelligent and graceful, all of which is probably true. We commented on their vanity: ‘Well, when you are done with your nails, we are being attacked." Viggo Mortensen

"We actually trained 4 million ants, dressed them all in Uruk Hai uniforms and got them all to march in time.  Billy Boyd (on one of the scenes with the marching Uruks in Mordor)

"She became our princess.  We looked out for her, you know.  It was a boys movie and she came in and sort of gave us that element, that female touch, and it was great to have her around."  Orlando Bloom on Liv Tyler.

The end of the challenge is in sight!!!  Only five more days!

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Sunday, November 24, 2013

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I REACHED THE 50, 000 WORD MARK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just wrote wrote my 50, 755th word.

I have successfully completed the NaNo goal!!!!  I can hardly believe it!!!!!

I am on such a high.  I'll admit, there were a few times I wasn't sure I could do it.  But, TADA!!!!!

Now, I shall take a break, and return to writing tomorrow.  Even though I've reached the goal, the story is not finished.  I don't know if I'll be able to finish it this month or not, but I'll certainly try!

Miss Melody Muffin

MEC Day Twenty Four: One Does Not....

Gandalf: (to Pippin) They guard it because they have hope. Faith and fading hope that one day it will flower. That a king will come and this city will be as it once was before it fell into decay. The old wisdom that was borne out of the West was forsaken. Kings made tombs more splendid than the houses of the living and counted the names of their descent dearer than the names of their sons. Childless lords sat in aged halls musing on heraldry or in high, cold towers asking questions of the stars. And so the people of Gondor fell into ruin. The line of Kings failed, the White Tree withered, and the rule of Gondor was given over to lesser men.


The first time I saw this one, I couldn't stop laughing for five minutes.  Seriously.  And then... I told my family about it – at the table.  Yes.  At. The. Table.  During a meal.  I can't remember if anyone actually choked because of laughing too hard, but yeah.

Don't get me wrong!  Walmart is a most necessary place sometimes.  But, it is also a blamed frustrating place most of the time.  I prefer to regard going to Wal-Mart as a necessary evil.

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Saturday, November 23, 2013

NaNo 2013: Week Three

Aaand here we are at the end of Week Three!!!

I had a few big breakthroughs this week, and also had my story take a few twists and turns that I did not expect.  It seems to have forgotten that I had an outline and is going down it's own path.  *sigh*  They always do that, don't they?  So far, although I am feeling ready to be done working on this for a while, I'm not bored with it, or sick and tired of it.  So, here's hoping I'll make the last 1, 000 + words tomorrow!!

Although I'll reach the 50, 000 goal pretty soon, the story itself looks like it will run to at least 65, 000 words, maybe more.

My stats for the week:
Word Count At The Beginning of This Week:  37, 283
Total Word Count As Of Now:  53, 353
Final Word Count Goal:  54, 796
Daily Word Count Goal:  2,000 words
Average Daily Word Count:  2, 111
Words Remaining:  1, 443

My favorite snippets:

    "What are the other results?" Miridi asked.  "What kind of poison was it?"
    "Flaesan." Johari said simply.
    The Companions gasped.
    "Blood flower?" Raydah's face was horror stricken.  "There is no antidote for that...." her voice trailed off.

    "Mataro!!!  What are you doing out of the infirmary?!"
    He grinned, his old shy grin, "I'm feeling very well, Luno."
    "I don't recall being informed that you were well enough to be out of the infirmary," Johari put her hands on her hips.
    "Maybe they neglected to tell you?" Jamsu said innocently, "I know it has been pretty busy over there and the doctor isn't there today.  Some nurse probably forgot to send the release order to you.  Careless of them."

As we head into the final week of NaNo, how are all of you doing?

Miss Melody Muffin

MEC Day Twenty Three: A Promise Lives Within You Now

Aragorn: This day does not belong to one man but to all. Let us together rebuild this world that we may share in the days of peace.


May it Be – Enya

I fell in love with the song the first time I heard it and to this day it remains on my list of top favorite songs ever.

Honorable mentions go to The Edge of Night/Pippin's Song, Aniron, Song of the Lonely Mountain, Far Over the Misty Mountains, Blunt the Knives, Into the West, The Green Dragon and Aragorn's song at his coronation.

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, November 22, 2013

MEC Day Twenty Two: An Elven Maid There Was of Old

Gandalf: The world is not in your books and maps. It's out there.
Bilbo: I can't just go running off into the blue! I am a Baggins of Bag End!
Gandalf: You are also a Took. Did you know that your great-great-great-great Uncle Bullroarer Took was so large he could ride a real horse?
Bilbo: Yes.
Gandalf: Well he could! At the Battle of Greenfields, he charged the Goblin ranks. He swung his club so hard, it knocked the Goblin King's head clean off and it sailed a hundred yards through the air and went down a rabbit hole. And thus the battle was won, and the game of golf invented at the same time.
Bilbo: I do believe you made that up.
Gandalf: Well, all good stories deserve embellishment. You'll have a tale or two to tell of your own when you come back.
Bilbo: Can you promise that I will come back?
Gandalf: No. And if you do... you will not be the same.


I love the Lament for Boromir that Legolas and Aragorn sing in the beginning of The Two Towers, but today I'm going to choose the Song of Nimrodel.  Legolas sings it to the Fellowship when they are traveling in Lothlorien.  It tells of the tragic deaths of Nimrodel and of Amroth who loved her.

Song of Nimrodel

Lament for Boromir

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Thursday, November 21, 2013

MEC Day Twenty-One: So Much Death....

Gandalf: Sauron's wrath will be terrible, his retribution swift. The battle for Helm's Deep is over. The battle for Middle Earth is about to begin. All our hopes now lie with two little hobbits, somewhere in the wilderness.


Once more it's a tie for me- between Haldir's death in The Two Towers and Boromir's death in The Fellowship of the Ring.

I've already posted about how annoyed I am over Haldir's death and how senseless I consider it to have been.  But, since Haldir does die, I thought it very fitting that he die in Aragorn's arms - his friend and ally.

And Boromir's death... I would have followed you... my brother... my captain... my king.  I personally find it very interesting the order in which he said that.  'My brother' first – acknowledging Aragorn as a fellow man of the same blood as well as a brother in arms and fellowship.  'My Captain' next – he would have followed Aragorn into battle and wherever he lead, though he did argue with him at times.  Then, 'My King' – signifying that he does believe Aragorn is the heir of Isildur and the rightful King of Gondor, thus also Boromir's king and overlord.  That part is especially poignant considering Boromir's words and the Council of Elrond: 'Gondor has no king.  Gondor needs no king.'

And some quotes... just because.  :D

The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater. 
The Fellowship of the Ring (spoken by Haldir in the book and Galadriel in the movie)

Faramir: You are a friend of Boromir?
Frodo Baggins: Yes, for my part.
Faramir: It would grieve you then to learn that he is dead.
Frodo Baggins: [shocked] Dead? How? When?
Faramir: As one of his companions, I had hope you would tell me. He was my brother.
The Two Towers (movie)

Théoden: So much death... what can Men do against such reckless hate?
The Two Towers (movie)

From the Gate of the Kings the North Wind rides, and past the roaring falls,
And clear and cold about the tower its loud horn calls.
‘What news from the North, O mighty wind, do you bring to me today?
What news of Boromir the bold? For he is long away.’
‘Beneath Amon Hen I heard his cry. There many foes he fought,
His cloven shield, his broken sword, they to the water brought.
His head so proud, his face so fair, his limbs they laid to rest,
And Rauros, golden Rauros-falls, bore him upon its breast.
‘O Boromir! The Tower of Guard shall ever northward gaze,
To Rauros, golden Rauros-falls, until the end of days.
Lament for Boromir; The Two Towers (book)

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

MEC Day Twenty: Would It All Be For Nothing?

Samwise Gamgee: Then let us be rid of it! Once and for all! Come on, Mr. Frodo. I can't carry it for you... but I can carry you! Come on!  [Slings Frodo over his shoulders.]


Frodo at the Crack of Doom – when he claimed the Ring for himself.  It is so scary because at that moment in time, in just a few seconds, is the possible overthrow of everything everyone has suffered, fought for and even died for, in the six months leading up to that moment.  In those few seconds, it is all about to come crashing down in the ruin of every hope and every prayer, as Frodo claims the Ring.

Frodo: I'm here, Sam.
Sam: Destroy it!
[Frodo holds the ring on its chain over the edge of the pit]
Sam: Go on! Now! Throw it in the fire!
[Frodo stares at the ring, the ring whispers to him]
Sam: What are you waiting for? Just let it go!
[Frodo turns and looks at Sam]
Frodo: The ring is mine.
[He snaps the chain and approaches the ring to his finger]
Sam: No... no...
[Frodo slips the ring on and vanishes]
Sam: NO!

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

MEC Day Nineteen: Different Kinds of Evil?

Gríma Wormtonge: [finds Éowyn crying over Théodred's body] Oh, he... he must have died sometime in the night. What a tragedy for the king to lose his only son and heir. I understand his passing is hard to accept, especially now that your brother has deserted you.
Éowyn: Leave me alone, snake!
Gríma Wormtonge: Oh, but you are alone! Who knows what you've spoken to the darkness? In bitter watches of the night, when all your life seems to shrink, the walls of your bower closing in about you, like a hutch to trammel some wild thing in! [putting a hand to her cheek] So fair, so cold, like a morning of pale spring still clinging to winter's chill...
Éowyn: Your words are poison! [pulls away and leaves]


Well, of course all of the villains are my least favorite characters.  But, I would say out of all of them, the one I like the least... is Grima Wormtongue.

Why?  He isn't as evil as Saruman or Sauron.  In fact, he is really only a tool of Saruman.  Some of his wickedness is of himself, but much of it is due to Saruman's influence.

I like him the least because he is so much like a snake.  And I. HATE. SNAKES.  But, beyond that, I personally find Saruman and Sauron's blatant, black evil, easier to handle than Grima's creepy, sly, sneaking evil.  I think it is because you know what you're dealing with the the other two.  They are very powerful and they will use everything in their reach to achieve their ends.  With Grima, you never know what he'll do next.  The good thing is that he isn't as powerful as Saruman or Sauron, though, so his creepy evil is limited in what he can accomplish.

And I don't know if that even makes any sense.  *shakes head*  I'm sorry if it doesn't.  I can't seem to put my thoughts into the right words today.

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Monday, November 18, 2013

MEC Day Eighteen: Through Fire and Water

Aragorn: You fell.
Gandalf: Through fire and water. From the lowest dungeon to the highest peak, I fought with the Balrog of Morgoth. Until at last, I threw down my enemy and smote his ruin upon the mountainside. Darkness took me. And I strayed out of thought and time. Stars wheeled overhead and everyday was as long as a life-age of the earth. But it was not the end. I felt life in me again. I've been sent back until my task is done.


Keeping to the same way I chose favorites yesterday, here are my favorite female characters from each Middle Earth race:

Eowyn- daughter of Eomund, shieldmaiden of Rohan, later Princess of Ithilien.  Of course.  :)

If I were to choose a second favorite, I'd probably say Lothiriel, the daughter of Prince Imrahil and later the wife of Eomer.  She intrigues me, because we don't know anything about her- except that she was Imrahil's daughter, had four brothers, was cousin to Faramir and Boromir, married Eomer and bore him at least one son.  I wish Tolkien had told us more about her personality- was she spunky or quiet, shy or bold, a model lady or a rebel, or something in-between all of those?

Rosie Cotton.  She is spunky and sweet.  I really like her portrayal in the movies.

Arwen Undomiel, the Evenstar   Of course, you knew I would choose her, too.  :D

The only dwarf woman that is ever mentioned by name is Dis, the daughter of Thrain II, sister of Thorin and the mother of Fili and Kili.  She had to have been a pretty good mother to have raised those two rascals, so she's my favorite female dwarf.

There were no female Istari.

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Sunday, November 17, 2013

MEC Day Seventeen: Not Even Going To Try

Radagast: I'll draw them off!
Gandalf: These are Gundabad Wargs. They will outrun you.
Radgast: These are Rhosgobel rabbits!  I'd like to see them try!!


I'm not even going to try to choose only one favorite for this day's challenge.  My excuse is that I have a headache and trying to choose only one favorite would worsen the headache.  Actually, do I even need an excuse?  :D

Instead, I shall attempt to choose only one favorite male character from each race.  *rubs forehead*  That will be hard enough.  :)

Aragorn- son of Arathorn, Estel, King Elessar Telcontar, Strider, Longshanks, Thorongil, Wingfoot, the Dunadan, Envinyatar.  And yes, I do believe that is all of his names.  :)

Eomer and Faramir tie for second place.

Frodo Baggins- son of Drogo, the Ringbearer, Elf-friend, adopted heir of Bilbo Baggins.

Sam and Bilbo are my second favorites.

Legolas Thranduilion- also called Greenleaf, Prince of Mirkwood,.

Elrond Halfeleven, Lord of Rivendell, is an extremely close second (the Elrond of the books, not of the movies).

Thorin Oakenshield- son of Thrain- son of Thror.

Gimli- son of Gloin, and Balin are very close seconds.  (This was actually the hardest choice, because I like all three of these almost evenly.)

Istari (Wizards)
Gandalf, most definitely.

Radagast is my second favorite.

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Saturday, November 16, 2013

NaNo 2013 Week Two

We are at the end of our second full week in NaNo.  I've heard a lot about the second week doldrums, but happily, they haven't hit me.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they don't turn into third week doldrums and hit me next week.  :)

What were my stats for this week?

Word Count At The Beginning of This Week:  18, 518
Total Word Count As Of Now:  37, 283
Final Word Count Goal:  54, 796
Daily Word Count Goal:  2,000 words
Average Daily Word Count:  2, 030
Words Remaining:  17, 513

 My favorite snippets this week:
"Jarjis Landison here.  We have arrived, your highness.  And your humble servant and brother Jyder craves permission to accompany us.  He has, I believe he called it an 'undying curiosity', to be inducted into the secrets of your meeting room."

Without warning she was suddenly jerked backwards by Jorda and pushed to the ground.  Just before she landed, Jorda and Kalema throwing themselves on top of her, two gunshots rang out and the crowd began screaming.

How is NaNo coming for all of you??

Miss Melody Muffin

MEC Day Sixteen: There is Only One Lord of the Ring

Gimli: Where do you think you're going?
Aragorn: Not this time, Gimli. This time you must stay.
[Legolas walks up to them, leading Arod]
Legolas: Have you learned nothing of the stubbornness of Dwarves?
Gimli: You may as well accept it. We're going with you, laddie. 


Definitely and unquestionably, I consider Sauron to the best antagonist.  He's big and black, he has unlimited power when he puts on his Ring, he has crushed entire peoples and nations, and he has his own special spies whose scream is enough to make the boldest shiver.  *nods*  Pretty impressive, even for a villain, wouldn't you agree?

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, November 15, 2013

MEC Day Fifteen: Run, Shadowfax. Show us the meaning of haste.

Legolas: That is one of the Mearas, unless my eyes are cheated by some spell.
Gandalf: Shadowfax. He is the lord of all horses and has been my friend through many dangers.


I personally think Shadowfax is the best steed in Middle Earth.  He is the chief of the Mearas- a breed of horses who lived as long as Men and who had extraordinary strength and intelligence.  (I think Theoden's horse Snowmane may have been a Meara as well, but I'm not sure.)

My favorite steed in Middle Earth (tying with Shadowfax) is the elven mount Asfaloth.  In the books, he is the horse of the elven warrior Glorfindel.  In the movies, he is Arwen's horse.  In both, he is the horse that carries Frodo to safety across the Ford of Bruinen when he is pursued by the Nazgul.

My second favorite is Brego- a horse that only appears in the movies.  He was Theodred's horse and becomes uncontrollable after his master's death.  Aragorn is able to calm him down, speaing Elvish, and then says, "Turn this fellow loose.  He has seen enough of war."  In gratitude, Brego later rescues Aragorn when he washes ashore after nearly drowning when he fell off a cliff.   He is a gorgeous horse, and Viggo Mortensen formed such a bond with the stallion that played him, that he bought him after the film shoot.  (He also bought the horse that played Asfaloth and gave him to Arwen's stunt double, because she had grown very fond of the horse, but did not have the money to buy him herself.  Is that neat, or what?)

And I simply must mention some of the other awesome horses in The Lord of the Rings: Arod- the horse that was loaned to Legolas by Eomer and upon which he and Gimli rode, Eomer's horse Firefoot, Theoden's Snowmane- Master's Bane, Frodo's pony Strider, and Eowyn's horse Windfola.  Also, Aragorn's Ranger mount Roheryn- who one source says was given to Aragron by Arwen.  And, of course, who could forget Sam's pony Bill? 

Yes, there are others, but I'd better stop there.  :D

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Abolished Impraticality Cover Reveal!!!!

Dear readers,

It's time for another cover reveal!!!

This time it is for my dear friend Miss Jack Lewis Baillot.  She will soon be publishing the sequel to her debut novel Haphazardly Implausible.  The sequel is called Abolished Impracticality.

Here is the synopsis.  (True to my tradition, you have to wait until the end of the post to see the cover.  :D)

Peter Jones has been betrayed by the man he trusted as his own father. Now he is forced to question everything he has ever been told, and learn the truth of his past. Isidore Thaddeus Reichmann has finally found the person he has hunted all over England for. Yet, not all is as it seems and he begins to fear he might be on the wrong side. Singur faces down his worst fear and comes out a victor, but the price of his triumph may put the last member of his family in grave danger.
Choices now stand before all three young men and the paths they take will not only change their lives, but the whole world.

Battles are coming. Enemies are made. Friendships are questioned. When the only world you've ever known is a lie, where do you go?

Doesn't it sound exciting??!!!!!

The author bio:
Jack Lewis Baillot is Spartacus! She also likes to believe she's an author. She likes to write books, while drinking tea, and likes to read while eating cookies, but she doesn't like to do Math, even while drinking tea and eating cookies.
You can find more about Jack and her books on her website.

(I sympathize with you about Math, Jack.  It's awful stuff.)

Aaaaaaaaaaaand now, the cover!!!!!!  *trumpet fanfare*

Be sure to visit Jack's blog to find out more about the book, it's release date and her other books!!

Miss Melody Muffin

MEC Day Fourteen: Sadness

Théoden: Simbelmynë. Ever has it grown on the tombs of my forebears. Now it shall cover the grave of my son. Alas that these evil days should be mine! The young perish, and the old linger. That I should live to see the last days of my house.


From the scene in the book Return of the King, when the Hobbits and Gandalf are on their way home, they have left Rivendell and are heading for the Shire.  Frodo's shoulder wound from the Morgul blade is troubling him.

"Alas!  There are some wounds that cannot be wholly cured," said Gandalf.

"I fear it may be so with mine," said Frodo.  "There is no real going back.  Though I may come to the Shire it will not seem the same; for I shall not be the same.  I am wounded with knife, sting, and tooth, and a long burden.  Where shall I find rest?"

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

MEC Day Thirteen: A Hard Day's Work?

Bilbo: 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 Fellowship of the Ring (movie)


Oh, goodness, the funniest quote?  One of the best things about Middle Earth is that Tolkien flavored these grand, epic stories with just the right amount of humor.  There are many funny moments in the books and movies.

Here is one of my favorite funny scenes.  The quote at the top of the page is another of my favorites.

Pippin: I feel like I'm back at the Green Dragon.
Merry: [through a mouthful of food] Mm. Green Dragon.
Pippin: A mug of ale in my hand, putting my feet up on a settle after a hard day's work.
Merry: Only, you've never done a hard day's work, Pip.
[They laugh; Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli ride up. Merry stands and gives an exaggerated bow]
Merry: Welcome, my lords, to Isengard!
Gimli: You young rascals! A merry hunt you've led us on, and now we find you... feasting and... and smoking!
Pippin: We are sitting on a field of victory enjoying a few well-earned comforts.
[Merry blows a smoke ring]
Pippin: The salted pork is particularly good.
Gimli: [eagerly] Salted pork?
Gandalf: [exasperated] Hobbits.
The Two Towers (movie)

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

MEC Day Twelve: Waterfalls and Elves

Gandalf: The Valley of Imladris.  In the Common Tongue, it's known by another name.
Bilbo: Rivendell
Gandalf: Here lies the Last Homely House east of the Sea.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey


Ooooh, let me see....  I love Gondor- it is so majestic; Rohan is fantastic because it is the land of the Horse Lords (I LOVE horses).  Lothlorien is gorgeous and I've always wanted to live in trees, the Lonely Mountain and the Mines of Moria are astounding in their sheer grandeur, Hobbiton is fun and cheerful... but I think my top favorite location in Middle Earth is Rivendell, also known as Imladris.

It is the home of Lord Elrond and his family, including his daughter Arwen, sons Elladan and Elrohir, elven warrior Glorfindel and Councilor Erestor.  Aragorn was raised there and it had a special place in his heart. 

It has an 'old' feel- as though it is full of history, but it also has an uplifting atmosphere- when you enter the Valley your cares seem less and your heart lighter.  And it has waterfalls!!!

Of all the places in Middle Earth, it would be my first choice of place to live.

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Monday, November 11, 2013

MEC Day Eleven: The Clash of Swords and the Ring of Armor

Gimli: Oh come on, we can take 'em.
Aragorn: It's a long way.
Gimli: Toss me.
Aragorn: What?
Gimli: I cannot jump the distance, you'll have to toss me.
[pauses, looks up at Aragorn]
Gimli: Don't tell the elf.
Aragorn: Not a word.


As with all of the other challenge questions, this was HARD to answer.  I have two top favorite battles.  The Battle of Helm's Deep, and the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

*thinks for a long time*  *deep sigh*  I just can't choose between the two!!!  So, I shall have to declare a tie.  Again.  :D

My favorite moments of the two battles:

Helm's Deep:
The scene with Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli preparing for the battle.  And Legolas- "That is no orc horn."

Haldir bringing his army of elves 'to fight alongside men once more'.  Yes, I know it isn't in the books.  But, it is so epic and wonderful that I don't mind the deviation.  What I do mind is Haldir's death later on.  Don't even get me started on how senseless that was.  Or how ridiculous it is that none of the elves- who are the most skilled warriors in Middle Earth- survived the battle.  Anyway, I don't think I can describe the thrill that goes through my blood when I hear the elven horn and see the army of elves marching up the ramp to the gate.  It just... *chills- the good kind*.

Aragorn moving along the wall and speaking orders to the elves- in Elvish.  It always reminds me that he grew up in Rivendell and would have spoken Elvish as his main language for years.

Aragorn's leading of the elves, period.

The, "Would you like me to find you a box?" scene.

Aragorn drawing Anduril, particularly the look on his face.

The EPIC music.

The fluid motion of the elves firing arrows.

"Did they hit anything?"  These are elven archers... does the sun rise in the east, Gimli?  :)

Legolas and Gimli's famous orc slaying contest.  :D

Theoden yelling, "Brace the gates!"

Aragorn and Gimli saving each other.

Legolas sliding down the stairs on the shield.  :)

Legolas unsheathing his knives.

Legolas and an elf dragging Gimli back to the keep.  :D

Aragorn screaming Haldir's name as he rushes to his aid.

Random insertion: I know I've said it before- but I HATE Haldir's death.  It is tragic, senseless, stupid,  and yes- very sad and beautiful that it is Aragorn who holds him as he breathes his last- but... It. Should. Not. Have. Happened.  Period.  :D

Aragorn riding the ladder down.

Thoeden- "To the gate.   Draw your swords."

Aragorn and Gimli's assault on the ramp (see the quote at the top of the page).  Hilarious and fantastic.

Legolas hauling Aragorn and Gimli up after the assault on the ramp.

Aragorn taking charge of the last defenders and ordering the women and children to safety.

"Ride out with me.  Ride out and meet them head on.  For Rohan.  For your people."

"The Horn of Helm Hammerhand shall sound in the Deep, one last time."  And Gimli's face, "YES."

The charge down the ramp.  (Thrilling and inspiring.)

Shadowfax rearing on the hilltop... and then Eomer and his Rohirrim appearing. 

Theoden's look when he sees Eomer. 

"Rohirrim.  For the King!"  And the magnificent charge down the hill.

And yes, I do realize I practically just described the entire battle.  I suppose it would have been better to simply say I love every single moment of the battle (except for Haldir's death), right?  *sigh*  See why I'm having such a hard time choosing favorites??

Pelennor Fields:
The arrival of the Rohirrim, Theoden giving the battle plan and then the cheer the Riders give. 

The look on Merry's face as the Riders charge.

The EPIC music.  :)

The look on Gothmog's face when he realizes he will probably be trampled.  Heehee!!!

Eomer's battle yell.

The appearance of the Olifaunts through the smoke.

Theoden- "Reform the lines!  Sound the charge!"

The epic scale of these comparatively small horses charging the giant Olifaunts.

Eomer taking down two Olifaunts with one spear blow.

Eowyn and Merry waving in and out, hamstringing an Olifaunt- killing it.

Random thought: I think it is funny how Legolas' Olifaunt killing scene receives so much attention but not many people even realizee that Eowyn and Merry kill at least one Olifaunt, and Eomer kills two- with one spear!  Don't get me wrong, I love Legolas' scene too, but I think Eomer, Eowyn and Merry deserve more attention for their parts in the Olifaunt battle.

The entire scene with Eowyn, Merry and the Witch King.  Especially the moment when she removes her helmet, "I am no man."

Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas leaping from the Black Ships.  (This one is another one that thrills me beyond my power to tell.)  Especially Aragorn's face- a king returning to his kingdom.  And Gimli's, "There's plenty for the both of us!  May the best dwarf win!"

Legolas and Gimli counting their kills.

Legolas' famous orc killing scene.

"I hold your oaths fulfilled.  Go.  Be at peace."

What are your favorite moments from these battles?

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Sunday, November 10, 2013

NaNo (Full) Week One Check In

I was going to post this yesterday and then forgot....  Oops.

The first full week of NaNo is over!!!  Yay!!!!  *cheers and throws confetti*  Here are my stats for the first nine days of NaNo:

Word Count When This Piece of Craziness Began: 4, 796
Total Word Count As Of Now: 18, 518
Final Word Count Goal: 54, 796
Daily Word Count Goal: 2,000 words
Average Daily Word Count: 2, 065
Words Remaining: 36, 278

My favorite snippets from this week:

    "I refuse.  I don't care how important it is, I'm NOT going shoe shopping," Jyder set his chin the way he always did when he had made up his mind about something.
    "You will, if you need them," Judi said firmly.
    "Will not."
    "Then you'll be in trouble."
    "I don't care if I'm grounded for a month.  I already have to go shopping for a stupid new suit.  I'm not going shoe shopping on top of that."
    "You are pigheaded."

    "Rise, Alejan." she said softly.
    He did so, and for the first time his eyes met those of his liege princess.  Their eyes locked.
    In that moment, Johari Landison, newly ascended Crown Princess of Denzli, met another piece of her destiny.

To all of my readers who are also doing NaNo... how is it going for you?

Miss Melody Muffin

MEC Day Ten: Armor

Aragorn: Let the Lord of the Black Land come forth! Let justice be done upon him!


Aragorn's armor in the final battle at the Black Gate.  It always gives me a thrill to finally see him wearing the White Tree of Gondor - his kingdom.

Pictures HERE and HERE.

A close runner up for me is the armor he wears at his coronation.  Front view and side view.

And I'd like to give honorable mentions to Eowyn's Dernhelm armor, Haldir's armor at the battle of Helm's Deep, Legolas' woodland armor, Elrond's armor at the Battle of the Last Alliance and in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Saturday, November 9, 2013

MEC Day Nine: One of My Passions

Arwen: Noro lim, Asfaloth!  Noro lim!




Costumes are one of my passions.  I absolutely love watching movies with lots of beautiful costumes.  I'll spend hours and hours at a time looking up costumes online, reading costume books, or planning and sketching costumes.  I plan out, in detail, the costumes for all of my stories (though I don't always load the story itself down with all those details).

That said, the costumes, especially the dresses, in the Lord of the Rings movies are a costume fan's dream come true.  Ngila Dickson, the costume designer, did an absolutely magnificent job.

I simply cannot choose only one, so I will choose one dress for each of the three main female characters of LOTR and The Hobbit.

The gorgeous gray coat and dress she is wearing when the White Coucil meets in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  All of Galadriel's gowns have this ethereal feel that adds to the aura of otherworldliness and wisdom that surrounds her.

And a close up of the bodice:

The dress she wears to Aragorn's coronation.  It is a beautiful shade of pale yellow and the design and embellishment has a very regal feel to it, while keeping the atmosphere of Rohan.
HERE  (a very good picture)

Choosing my favorite/the prettiest of Arwen's dresses was the hardest choice for me.  Galadriel and Eowyn were somewhat easier- while I love all of their costumes, I have a few top favorites.  But, practically all of Arwen's dresses are top favorites of mine.  :D

I mentioned yesterday that I personally don't consider Arwen's riding outfit one of her dresses, but rather simply a costume.  (I adore the outfit and would love to make one like it someday.)  To me, it just doesn't have the same feel that all of her majestic dresses do.  I think, as far as Arwen's gowns go, I consider her prettiest dress to be a tie between what is known as her 'blood red' dress and her coronation gown.


Blood Red:

Another top favorite is a dress that was from a deleted scene in Fellowship of the Ring.  The scene was Arwen meeting Aragorn in Rivendell, while Frodo watched them from a balcony (I do wish they had put it into the extended edition!)  Anyway, she wears this STUNNING red velvet dress and cloak over a paler underdress.
And the concept art for the gown:

Doesn't it look AMAZING?

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, November 8, 2013

MEC Day Eight: Favorite Amazing Costume

Gimli: [to Éowyn] It’s true you don't see many Dwarf women. In fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they're often mistaken for Dwarf men.
Aragorn: [whispers] It’s the beards.
Gimli: This in turn has lead to the belief that there are no women. And that Dwarves just spring out of holes in the ground! Which is of course ridiculous.


Oooooh, this one was tough!!!  On of my favorite things about the movies is the all of those GORGEOUS costumes!!!!

In the end, I think I have to go with Arwen's riding costume– when she takes Frodo to Rivendell on the magnificent elven steed Asfaloth.  (I personally don't classify her riding costume as one of her dresses- which you'll hear more about tomorrow.)

Pictures HERE
HERE and

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Thursday, November 7, 2013

MEC Day Seven: Of All the Weapons in Middle Earth....

Boromir: The Shards of Narsil!  The blade that cut the ring from Sauron's hand.
(He runs his finger up the blade, and cuts himself.)  Still sharp!



Oh, boy, this will be super hard!!!  The amazing weapons are one of my favorite things about Middle Earth and I think they did a wonderful job with them in the movies.  I like them all- Legolas' bow, the various swords and axes, but at the very top, I will always love Aragron's sword Anduril.  Reforged by the elves from the shards of his ancestor Elendil's sword Narsil, it is a symbol of Aragorn's lineage and his rightful heritage as King of Gondor and Arnor.

My favorite quotes about Anduril and Narsil:

Galadriel (Prologue): It was in this moment, when all hope had faded, that Isildur, son of the king, took up his father's sword.   The Fellowship of the Ring (movie)

Aragorn: Anduril!  Anduril for the Dunedain!   The Two Towers (book)

Elrond: Anduril, Flame of the West, forged from the shards of Narsil.   Return of the King (movie)

Renewed shall be blade that was broken...   (from the Riddle of Strider)

Very bright was that sword when it was made whole again; the light of the sun shone redly in it, and the light of the moon shone cold, its edge was hard and keen. And Aragorn gave it a new name and called it Andúril, Flame of the West.   The Fellowship of the Ring (book)

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

MEC Day Six: Thorin's Company

Dori: Was that an earthquake?
Balin: That, my lad, was a dragon.



Hmmm.  Again, I find it difficult to choose who was the best in Thorin's company.  Each had their own strengths and each followed Thorin for one reason– to reclaim their home.  As Thorin himself says: "I would take each and every one of these Dwarves over an army from the Iron Hills.  For when I called upon them, they answered.  Loyalty.  Honor.  A willing heart.... I can ask no more than that."

My favorite member of Thorin's company is a tie between Thorin himself and Balin.

Thorin has not had an easy life.  At the time The Hobbit opens, his father and grandfather are both dead and he is one of the last of the Royal Dwarven line of Durin (the other two being his nephews Fili and Kili).  He is well aware that retaking the Lonely Mountain and his kingdom is a well-nigh impossible task.  Yet, he does not falter.  He refuses to give up and determines that come what may, he will make every attempt in his power to reclaim his homeland.

But, he certainly had his faults.  I was rereading The Hobbit a few days ago and realized how arrogant he becomes.  The lust for gold and the Arkenstone drives him to do some stupid and frankly, wrong, things.  In spite of that, he does come through when it really counts.

Balin is one of the first dwarves to warm up to Bilbo and treat him as an equal.  In the movie, Balin is sort of a grandfather type, the counselor, the one Thorin turns to when he needs support or a second opinion.  He is kindly and considerate when others aren't.  But, don't think for a moment that his age has dulled his prowess in battle or his wits!

And, now, for something exciting, fellow Tolkien geeks!  We're all waiting eagerly for the second installment in the Hobbit trilogy, the Desolation of Smaug, due out next month.  Just yesterday, Peter Jackson uploaded a new sneak peek at the movie!!!!!!!!!!!  I first saw it today, and I've already watched it five times.  At least.  :D  Many of the clips are ones also seen in the trailers, but there are some new scenes with Bard and the dwarves.  Enjoy!!

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

MEC Day Five: Best Member vs. Favorite Member

Gimli: Well, here's one Dwarf she won't ensnare so easily. I have the eyes of a hawk and the ears of a fox!
[Haldir and a group of elves appear, holding Gimli and the others at arrow point]
Haldir: A Dwarf breathes so loud, we could have shot him in the dark.



The best of the fellowship???  That is an interesting question.  It is different from asking, "Who is your favorite member of the fellowship?"

I'm trying to decide how to answer this.  The fellowship was formed for the purpose of aiding Frodo's quest to destroy the ring.  Nine people brought together by one common purpose.  Each of the Nine Walkers played an individual role in the Fellowship.  For example, Legolas was the scout, Aragorn was the one with the most varied knowledge– including healing, Gandalf had the supernatural power and knew dozens of the old passwords, etc; but they operated as a single unit.  Nine individual parts making up one whole.

So, personally, I don't think I can say one was any better than another.

Now, some people might argue that some members were definitely better than others.  They might say, "Well, but look at Boromir.  He tried to take the ring."  Yes, he did.  But, do you know what?  He realized his mistake and apologized for it.  And when he died, it wasn't because he had given in to the Ring's power and tried to take it.  No, he fell valiantly defending two young hobbits against an enemy they did not have the strength or training to take on themselves.  In the end, his weakness did not prevail.  The brotherhood of the Fellowship prevailed.

Therefore, I personally don't think any member of the Fellowship was better than any of the others.  Each had their strengths and their weaknesses.   Each used their unique strengths for the good of the Fellowship, and in the end, that is what made the Fellowship so strong.  The strength of that bond helped each one even when they had split up into the various groups after Boromir's death.

Now, if someone were to ask me who my favorite member of the fellowship is, after much hemming and hawing and protesting that I like them all, I would have to say Aragorn.


Ever since I was little, my favorite type of literary hero has been the crownless exile with his own unique sword who fights his way through the darkness to reclaim his kingdom and win his queen.  Aragorn fits that mold perfectly.

He had roved over most of Middle Earth, fought in the armies of Gondor and Rohan, spoke several languages, was a healer, skilled in the use of a dagger and a bow (not as good as Legolas of course, but still pretty good), and his swordsmanship is brilliant.  He is an excellent leader who exudes an air of quiet authority and leads by example- he doesn't ask his followers to go anywhere or do anything he himself won't.  He knew when to bide his time and wait, and when was the time for action.

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Monday, November 4, 2013

MEC Day Four: One Scene?

"Not alone.  Rohirrim!  TO THE KING!"


Waaahhhh, how to choose???

Lord of the Rings is chock full of EPIC scenes.  But, it also has its share of quieter, poignant or somber scenes that are just as important as the bigger, grander scenes.

If I absolutely had to choose one from among my favorite scenes, one of the scenes I watch and/or read more than others, is the Council of Elrond.

I've seen the movie version of this scene at least 50 times (I might be approaching 75 now).  It is one of the scenes that combines epic, grand, sweeping, poignant, and amusing into one.

What I love about this scene is how it is made up of smaller moments- important in and of themselves- that then combine to make the overall, bigger scene.

For example, the scene within a scene when Legolas tells Boromir of Aragorn's identity.  I think it beautifully illustrates the relationship between Aragorn and Legolas.  When Boromir scornfully asks, "And what would a Ranger know of such a matter?"  Legolas comes instantly to his feet, "This is no mere ranger.  He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn.  You owe him your allegiance."  In that moment, Legolas is not only defending his friend, he is declaring to the world Aragorn's lineage and his rightful heritage, and his own support of Aragorn.

Someday I will write an entire post on Aragorn and Legolas' friendship.  But, right now, I have not the time.   *sigh*  That, people, is what happens when you overload your metaphorical plate the way I do mine.  :D

Here is the whole scene of the Council from the movie:
Elrond: Strangers from distant lands, friends of old, you have been summoned here to answer the threat of Mordor. Middle Earth stands upon the brink of destruction; none can escape it. You will unite or you will fall. Each race is bound to this fate, this one doom. Bring forth the Ring, Frodo.
[Frodo puts the Ring on a stand for all to see]
Boromir: So it is true. [Stands and walks towards the Ring] In a dream, I saw the Eastern sky grow dark. But in the West, a pale light lingered. A voice was crying, "The doom is near at hand, Isildur's Bane is found." [Reaches for the Ring] Isildur's Bane...
Elrond: Boromir!
Gandalf: [Speaking the words engraved on the Ring] Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulûk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul!
[The light darkens and the air rumbles; Boromir backs away from the Ring]
Elrond: Never before has anyone dared utter words of that tongue here, in Imladris.
Gandalf: I do not ask for pardon, Master Elrond, for the Black Speech of Mordor may yet be heard in every corner of the West! The Ring is altogether evil.
Boromir: But it is a gift. A gift to the foes of Mordor. Why not use this Ring? Long has my father, the Steward of Gondor, kept the forces of Mordor at bay. By the blood of our people are your lands kept safe! Give Gondor the weapon of the enemy! Let us use it against him!
Strider: You cannot wield it. None of us can. The One Ring answers to Sauron alone. It has no other master.
Boromir: And what would a Ranger know of this matter?
Legolas: This is no mere Ranger. He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. You owe him your allegiance.
Boromir: Aragorn? This is Isildur's heir?
Legolas: And heir to the throne of Gondor.
Strider: [in Elvish] "Sit down, Legolas."
Boromir: Gondor has no King. Gondor needs no King.
Gandalf: Aragorn is right. We cannot use it.
Elrond: You have only one choice. The Ring must be destroyed.
Gimli: Then what are we waiting for?
[He roars and strikes the Ring with his axe; the axe breaks, leaving the Ring perfectly intact]
Elrond: The Ring cannot be destroyed, Gimli, son of Gloin, by any craft that we here possess. The Ring was made in the fires of Mount Doom. Only there can it be unmade. It must be taken deep into Mordor and cast back into the fiery chasm from whence it came! One of you... must do this.
Boromir: One does not simply walk into Mordor. Its black gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep. The Great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire, ash, and dust. The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. Not with ten thousand men could you do this. It is folly!
Legolas: Have you heard nothing Lord Elrond has said? The Ring must be destroyed!
Gimli: And I suppose you think you're the one to do it?!
Boromir: And if we fail, what then?! What happens when Sauron takes back what is his?!
Gimli: I will be dead before I see the Ring in the hands of an Elf! [The council argue amongst themselves] Never trust an Elf!
Gandalf: Do you not understand?! While you bicker amongst yourselves, Sauron's power grows! None will escape it! You'll all be destroyed!
[As Frodo focuses on the Ring, everyone's arguing voices are drowned out by Sauron's voice reciting the Ring's inscription. Frodo gets to his feet]
Frodo: I will take it! [All continue to argue] I will take it! [All fall silent] I will take the Ring to Mordor. Though... I do not know the way.
Gandalf: I will help you bear this burden, Frodo Baggins, for as long as it is yours to bear.
Aragorn: If by my life or death I can protect you, I will. You have my sword...
Legolas: And you have my bow.
Gimli: And my axe.
Boromir: You carry the fate of us all, little one. If this is indeed the will of the Council, then Gondor will see it done.
[Sam rushes in]
Sam: Hey! Mr. Frodo's not going anywhere without me!
Elrond: No, indeed. It is hardly possible to separate you, even when he is summoned to a secret council and you are not.
Merry: We're coming, too! [Elrond looks astounded] You'd have to send us home tied up in a sack to stop us!
Pippin: Anyway, you need people of intelligence on this sort of mission... quest... thing.
Merry: That rules you out, Pippin.
Elrond: Nine companions. So be it. You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring.
Pippin: Great! Where are we going?

This challenge is hard, because it forces me to choose from among my many favorites, but I am LOVING it.  Are you all enjoying it so far?

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Sunday, November 3, 2013

MEC Day Three: More Quotes, Precioussssss!!!

"Certainty of death.  Small chance of success.  What are we waiting for?" 


Seriously, who has only ONE favorite quote from Lord of the Rings, either the books or the movies????

In view of that, I'm going to post several of my favorite quotes.  One from each book and movie.  This will be a quote heavy post.  You've been warned.  :D

WARNING: There may be spoilers here for people who have not read all of the books or seen all of the movies.

This quote is technically my answer to the challenge (the others are all extras :D).  It is the one I quote the most often from the movies and it is just plain AWESOMELY AMAZING.

(Return of the King)
Aragorn: "Hold your ground, hold your ground! Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!

And now, one of my favorite quotes from each book and movie.

The Hobbit:
"No," said Thorin.  "There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West.  Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure.  If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.  But sad or merry, I must leave it now.  Farewell!"

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:
Gandalf: Remember this: true courage is about knowing not when to take a life, but when to spare one.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug:  (this quote is from one of the trailers)
Bilbo: Truly songs and tales fall utterly short of the reality, O Smaug the Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities...

The Fellowship of the Ring: (book)
"At least for a while," said Elrond.  "The road must be trod, but it will be very hard.  And neither strength nor wisdom will carry us far upon it.  This quest may be attempted by the weak with as much hope as the strong.  Yet such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere."

The Fellowship of the Ring: (movie)
Gandalf: "Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo's hand. Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many."

The Two Towers: (book)
Faramir: "We are truth-speakers, we men of Gondor.  We boast seldom, and then perform, or die in the attempt.  'Not if I found it on the highway would I take it,' I said.  Even if I were such a man to desire this thing, and even though I knew not clearly what this thing was when I spoke, still I should take those words as a vow, and be held by them."

The Two Towers: (movie)
Haldir: I bring word from Lord Elrond of Rivendell. An Alliance once existed between Elves and Men. Long ago we fought and died together. We come to honor that allegiance.... We are proud to fight alongside Men once more.

The Return of the King: (book)
Eowyn: "But no living man am I!  You look upon a woman.  Eowyn am I, Eomund's daughter.  You stand between me and my lord and kin.  Begone, if you be not deathless!  For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him."

The Return of the King: (movie)
Elrond: "They will answer to the king of Gondor!  Anduril, Flame of the West, forged from the shards of Narsil.... The man who can wield the power of this sword can summon to him an army more deadly than any that walks this earth. Put aside the Ranger. Become who you were born to be. Take the Dimholt Road."

Did you read through the entire post?  I applaud you!!!!

For more information about the Middle Earth Challenge, including how to join in, go HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin