The Daily Beacon
‘Occupy Mordor’ Mourns Death
of King Elessar
The Occupy Mordor movement entered a new age today with the passing of King Elessar, Aragorn, son of Arathorn of the House of Valandil, Isildur's Heir, Wielder of the Sword of Elendil, Elfstone of his people. The king's death was marked by observances in every corner of Middle Earth, including, surprisingly, the makeshift encampment formed by the “New Last Alliance” of Elves and Men that has stood outside the Black Gate of Mordor for almost the entire span of Aragorn's reign.
Legolas Greenleaf, an Occupation organizer who was once a close confidant of the king, spoke movingly of his former friend's passing.
“He rose out of the green grass of legend to bring us hope, and though he failed of his promise (as Men will) we yet believe that the seed of his best intentions will some day spring forth in earnest to bear that fruit we hunger for: Change we can believe in.”
The Occupy Mordor movement began over a hundred years ago as a protest against the king's executive order, at the end of the war that left him the sole ruler of Middle Earth, that the One Ring of Power not be destroyed after all. That surprising turnabout, combined with the strategem through which he achieved his victory - a secret treaty with the cruel Haradrim - alienated almost all his allies at the time, and led to the breaking of the fellowship of close companions that had played such a key role in his rise to the throne.
“Traitor to the Cause!” was the only response Gimli, son of Gloin and former member of the Fellowship, would ever give when asked to comment on the king's change of heart. Yet, he himself served for many years as lord over the small army of dwarves brought in to take over the management of Mordor. Neither he nor any dwarf under his authority ever explained the reasoning behind this stunning acquiescence.
“I grieve for Gimli and his people more even than I do for Aragorn,” said Legolas Greenleaf in an interview conducted a few years before the great dwarf's untimely death in a mining accident. “The Ring offers many temptations besides raw Power. Simple wealth to begin with, but beyond that: the allure of a craft with endless depths to explore, if you will only ignore the consequences. I have seen instruments that multiplied wealth while creating no value, that raised entire cities on bubbles of greed. The dwarves have had their faith broken by betrayal; now they assuage their grief in the blind pursuit of these arcane arts.”
Other members of the Fellowship were less understanding.
“Gimli's gone gaga!” was the verdict of Peregrin Took, one of four hobbits that originally constituted the nine-member Fellowship. Peregrin and his longtime companion Meriadoc Brandybuck resigned their commissions with the City and the Mark soon after the war was over and the new direction of Aragorn's administration began to become clear. The two dashing figures have since divided their time between the Mordor occupation and wide ranging efforts to hold back the logging of old growth forests such as the Forest of Druadan and the Entwood.
“I don't know what Strider was thinking,” Peregrin continued, calling the king by his old guerrilla alias. “The whole point of the war was to destroy the Ring, but not only does he not do that, he actually bails out Mordor!”
Public opinion polls at the time showed that while few wanted to see the Ring destroyed, an overwhelming majority expected to see punishment - or at least reparation costs - imposed on the Black Tower, and there was widespread outrage when, instead, their taxes were used to rebuild it, and to swell the personal fortunes of its leaders.
“There are hobbits without holes in the Shire, and we send tribute to the Mouth of Sauron!” concluded Peregrin in a huff. “Who won the war, anyway?”
Not every member of the Fellowship felt that way, however. Boromir, the late Steward of Minas Tirith, is believed to have been instrumental in changing the king's mind about the proper disposition of the Ring. Though he refused to speak of his days in the Fellowship during his life, his daughter Eowyn II, the first female Steward of the City, addressed the subject with reporters during today's memorial services for the king.
“My father believed that to destroy the Ring would have been folly, as it offered too much power to simply be thrown away. If it had been destroyed, all that had been wrought by the lesser rings, the rings of the Elves, would have been destroyed as well, and that would have been too great a loss to allow. Mordor, with its mighty towers, its pits and forges, was too great an enterprise to let fail.”
Though her father lobbied hard to be lent the Ring for postwar use in restoring Minas Tirith to its former glory, his daughter views the mighty heirloom with a more cautious eye.
“The Ring is now buried beneath the roots of Mount Mindolluin, where it can corrupt no more hearts, and the city of Minas Tirith stands guard as it ever did upon the marches of Mordor. We believe that Mordor can still contribute much to our world, provided it is carefully regulated.”
Many long for the return of Gandalf the White, a great mover of the deeds that led to victory in the war, believing that he could resolve many of the debates that now grip Middle Earth, but he has not been seen since he and Aragorn retreated into the deserted mountain heights outside the city for a final summit concerning the administration of the Fourth Age. Arguments on both sides are often phrased in terms of “what Gandalf intended,” but it seems the old wizard has finally departed for the Blessed Realm, his work in Middle Earth completed.
Meanwhile, the other great wizard of Middle Earth, Saruman of Many Colors, has remained present and active in the affairs of Men, forming an opposition party that has attacked the king from the other side of the Mordor question. While Aragorn's allies and former companions criticized him for being too soft on Mordor, the party of the Invisible Hand portrayed him as still being at war with it despite his many concessions to its agenda, and has uncompromisingly fought for ever larger transfers of gold and slave labor to feed the forges of job creation they claim are based there and there alone.
The cunning former head of the White Council has even argued that the Ring should be freed from governmental oversight entirely, asserting -- against all past history, critics complain -- that any hand that wielded it would in fact be controlled in turn by a magical force that could ultimately serve only the common good.
Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee, the two hobbits who bore the Ring to the very Crack of Doom before being stopped by an Eagles special forces unit, quickly vanished from the public eye and have refused all requests for interviews or appearances. Many suspected in the early years of Aragorn's reign that they were in fact under secret house arrest, but such concerns were quickly dispelled by then Hobbiton mayor and later Thain of the Shire, Lotho Sackville-Baggins.
“This is a ridiculous allegation,” Lotho declared at the time, “founded on nothing more than partisan politicking, and I will not dignify it with a reply. These fine hobbits are War Heroes, and the mere mention of their names in connection with something as vile as the suppression of free speech is an insult to their brave service in the cause of Liberty.”
Blessed with extended life due to their brief ownership of the Ring, the two have outlived both Lotho and their former companion, the king, but even on this day, are maintaining their public silence. Rumor has it, however, that Frodo is at work on a book documenting the long history of Numenorean imperialism in Middle Earth, but is having trouble finding a publisher.
I'm a poet, author, and Google software engineer who has read The Lord of the Rings all the way through at least twenty times and watched the first movie in the theaters thirteen times. This piece is based much more on the books than on the movies. If you haven't read the books, read them now! Then come back and read this piece again.
You can find more of my writing and other creative ventures at www.FreemanNg.net.