DM of the Rings LXII:
Everything But the Girl

By Shamus
on Feb 9, 2007
Filed under:
DM of the Rings

Gimli, Legolas, and Aragorn in Rohan.  Eowyn as quest reward.

“Plot” is what the DM does to amuse himself when the players aren’t talking.

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20209Feeling chatty? There are 49 comments.

From the Archives:

  1. Charles says:

    Ah, that’s the spirit!

  2. Steve says:

    Yes, let the Forces of Darkness conspire to cover the world in More Darkness. ‘Tis a consumation devoutly to be wished, and like that.

    Steve.

  3. -Chipper says:

    Nice reinterpretation of Aragorn & Eowyn’s first meeting. We’ve all been anticipating it, and you delivered, Shamus.

    Also loved your comment about Plot.

    Cheers.

  4. Jperk says:

    Why is Gimli concerned with gold anyway. He’s the heir to the most powerful Dwarven Clan around. Legolas is a lord in his own county. And Aragon is the king in hidding… I think Gandolf should off then Political alliance with the King of Gondor and see if Aaragon read his character sheet. LMOA

  5. Teague says:

    Read the character sheet? Wha….? Oh, you mean all that background story crap? ;)

  6. Turnabout’s fair play, you know.

    So, the world’s in mortal danger and everybody is about to die (or worse!) unless I and my team of intrepid adventurers prevent it by beating the snot out of somebody. I walk into a shop, expecting that the shopkeeper who is, you know, facing immanent death unless I personally save them, do you think he might give me his best stuff for free, along with his best wishes and blessings?

    Ha!

    Look, you NPCs, you reap what you sow. If I can’t have the Sword of +23 Might Smiting (Holy) for free to save your precious bum, then you’d darn well better expect that I’m not going to retrieve your kid’s precious Stuffed Binky (Rabbit) for cheap (let alone free), even if it’s sitting right in front of me.

  7. Why is Gimli concerned with gold!? He is a frickin dwarf! Come on now.

  8. Rebecca says:

    And Gandalf, meanwhile, is still trying to exorcise Saruman from Theoden.

  9. This was great.

    You know, I was always amazed in Diablo, here the world is in ruins, demons walk the streets and the various NPCs are all intent on making a buck first, foremost and last. Wirt, he made sense in a twisted way, especially when dead, but the rest of them? Ok ….

    On the otherhand, World of Warcraft has it just right.

  10. Jurrubin says:

    Typical Ranger. Barely a moment out of the field, and he’s going for a babe.

    Oorah!

  11. Ishmael says:

    That last panel is absolutely priceless.

  12. -Chipper says:

    It suddenly occurs to me what fun was missed in Lothlorien – Aragorn would have tried to hit on Galadriel, and then found out she is his grandmother-in-law to be!

  13. Mordaedil says:

    The real question now is, does this mean Aragorn’s player is pulling the DM off to the side to do some “side-questing”?

  14. Thank the Light I actually have players who give a damn about the plot. I’d have stopped running for these guys eons ago and taken up MMOGS.

    Of course, you have to hide the rails much better, as well. ;-)

    Seriously, one of the things I learned a long time ago was to take financial issues off the table. The groups almost always start with adequate resources and get rewards and special things as warranted by the story. I never make resource management or money or gear a concern.

    So they find themselves seeking “story relevance” as the key reward for their actions.

    It actually works rather well. At least with players over 30…

  15. Pete Zaitcev says:

    Miranda Otto was hawt. Ugly, yes, but hawt. That’s what we call high-class acting in cinema.

  16. ChristianTheDane says:

    Aha, finally he gets a chance :D

    Also, i have feeling they are going to make an Exorcist gag soon… :p

  17. Fickle says:

    XD Wow, he didn’t wait for Eowyn to throw herself at him. Nice work.

  18. Yahzi says:

    This time, the funniest line was the comment: “Plot is what the DM does…”

    :D

    Wait, actually, “You guys keep doing what your doing.” That’s pretty dang funny, too.

    :D

  19. Darkenna says:

    My error; it was indeed F. Murray Abraham. It’s a quite excellent film. Yes I did. I did know that; in fact, David Prowse was the one on the set who suggested it, as he is a rather large man and not a particularly good fencer. Originally the setup was done so that Prowse could have someone of equal size switch off with him during practices to help Hamill get the hang of certain maneuvers and so that Prowse could see where it was he and his weapon were supposed to wind up after each move; and it would up with them just switching out for the fight scenes.

    At least!!! A Ranger who uses his Keen Ranger Senses for something useful!!! : D

  20. Phoenix says:

    We got the extended version boxed set for Christmas, and just started watching them tonight. I kept having little inappropriate giggle moments (like when the innkeeper at the Prancing Pony first appears, or when they camped on top of the hill).

    I think I’m going to have to let these accumulate until after I’ve watched the rest of it (1 disk down, 5 to go…).

    It’s worlds better in the extended version, btw. The theatrical release felt to me like a slideshow of scenes from the book; this feels like a story.

  21. Carl the Bold says:

    lol on the Keen Ranger Senses line. (no, you didn’t)

  22. Darkenna says:

    I’m sorry, was this the 5 minute argument or the full half hour?

    Well, all those ranks in Survival gotta be worth something

  23. Nazgul says:

    I agree with Ishmael: the selection of that last panel was a thing of beauty. It really does look like he’s trying to herd her off into the nearest side room. Hilarious!

  24. damien walder says:

    Geez, how did a nerd get so fussy as to claim Miranda Otto was ugly??!
    Yes, Pete Zaitcev, I’m looking at you!

    Sheesh. Next thing you’ll be saying Lily Tyler was a so-so actress but Oscar-worthy to watch.

    Still funny Shamus (and apologies for my other spelling of your name)

    DW

  25. Bugz says:

    The only better thing would be for Aragorn to drop a Firefly reference.

    “Ok, if you guys need me, I’ll be in my bunk…”

  26. Jillzmom says:

    Wait a minute! Didn’t Aragorn grow up in Lothlorien? He would have known perfectly well what relation Galadriel was to Arwen.
    The walking sticks lines are going to be quoted in our house for years, since we have lots of archery equipment … and swords … and an axe … and a collection of actual walking sticks.

  27. Jillzmom says:

    And it’s Liv Tyler, not Lily.
    Jillzdad wants the automatic walking stick that fires 40 rounds a second.

  28. LithiumDoll says:

    These are just kinda beautiful, thank you for doing them! I don’t even ST in the genre and they’re still so very hauntingly familiar o_0

  29. Deoxy says:

    “Didn’t Aragorn grow up in Lothlorien?”

    Rivendell.

  30. Dithat says:

    …In the care of Galadriel’s son-in-law. He’d still know.

    In-character, that is. The player’s eyes were probably long-glazed-over by that point.

  31. sturmhauke says:

    Miranda Otto isn’t a classic, timeless beauty, maybe, but she’s still pretty. And I would totally go for Eowyn over Arwen. Arwen’s too distant and kinda boring.

  32. Last Hussar says:

    Don’t railroad characters. Point out the big puffa-engine with the carriage doors open. If they refuse to board, see who cracks first…

  33. splorp! says:

    Miranda Otto isn’t attractive? On what planet?

  34. Toil3T says:

    “Why is Gimli concerned with gold anyway. He’s the heir to the most powerful Dwarven Clan around. Legolas is a lord in his own county. And Aragon is the king in hidding”

    So? Treasure is treasure. They’re adventurers, after all.

  35. Seve says:

    I actually consider characters who think saving world for no other reason than saving world not worth playing. Antiheroes are always the best and funniest characters to play.

    And I do agree that Miranda Otto was bad casting choise for Eowyn and I never thought that giving Arwen more bigger role was good thing for the movie. Yes Im purist and that is the only way for lotr. Long live Tom Bombadil!

    • WJS says:

      Heh. I’m reminded of Spike in S2 of Buffy. A change of government is one thing, but if it gets to the “End of the World” scale, everyone but total lunatics should be motivated.

  36. Morambar says:

    Actually, the longer the films went on, the angrier I, as someone who’s read the Trilogy double digit times, got. I almost got up and stormed out at “Go HOME, Sam!” (on the plus side, I was at least 90 seconds ahead of the dash for the bathrooms and parking lot when I heard “Well, I’m back. ” )

    But… Eowyn and Aragorn… first of all, regarding Arwen, Jacksons Hollywood desire to play up the Love interest edited out the only Elf ever to return from the freakin’ DEAD, as well as inserting “elf magic” at the Bruinen instead of Elronds Ring of Power (if you REALLY pay attention, all the magic in the Trilogy can be traced to either miraculous holy power in the West, ultimately derived from Eru, or the malevolent power of Sauron that conceived the Rings…. )

    But when Eowyn entered the picture the film version of Aragorn became a lot less like the noble and devoted Uncrowned King of Gondor from the books, the man who Loved from a distance knowing his chances of regaining his throne (and incidentally saving the world) were remote. In fact, he became much closer to, well, the Aragorn in DM of the Rings

    “Oh, hey there, hot blonde princess chick… I know I plighted my troth to the elven maid before you were born, but… she’s in Rivendell, we’re here and you don’t know a thing about her unless I’m stupid enough to tell you…. ”

    On the other hand, with the inexplicable appearance of ranks of Elven archers at movie Helms Deep, and movie Elrond conveniently forgetting his wife died as the result of capture by Orcs so he’s willing to allow his only daughter to face near half a dozen Nazgul, maybe that’s small potatoes, but not to me. About thirty minutes into “movie Two Towers” Aragorn turns into a total cad, and he doesn’t even have the excuse of amnesia from being knocked over a cliff and nearly killed by ONE Warg, because that happened later (remembered Arwen THEN, didn’t you, Spucky…?)

    Oh, and I can’t get past Liv Tyler eruditely telling Conan she knew “Elvish” (never heard of that; is it related to Quenya or Sindarin…?) and the fact every time I look in her eyes I remember her father was nearly comatose for most of the ’70s.

    • Vexing says:

      “as someone who’s read the Trilogy double digit times,” If you read it so many times you would know it is six books sold as three volumes. Sorry to nitpick, and I hope I did not come off as mean.

  37. Ah, Morambar? It was Luthien, from the First Age, who was the only Elf to come back from the dead. And even she wasn’t a FULL Elf, since she was half-Maiar from her mom, Melian.

    And Celebrain, Daughter of Galadriel and wife of Elrond, mother of Arwen Evenstar, was only tortured. She got rescued by a force with her two sons before the Mordor boys got to offing her.

    Tolkien never really described the torture of Celebrain in detail, but it was enough for her to “take ship”, that is to leave Middle Earth for Valinor for good.

    But, yeah, I hated the way they treated in the movie the relationship between Aragorn, Arwen and Eowyn. Especially Arwen. It was like, Jackson needed a romantic tension and simply “tweaked” the muted tension in the books between Aragorn and Eowyn just to have that love triangle angle.

    And the Elves in Helm’s Deep… *groan*

    Did someone remind Jackson why the Last Alliance was called as such? If he wanted Elves doing battle with Orcs, there were plenty of places to do that in the battles at Lorien and Legolas’ homeland.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      If you watch the commentaries, they were well aware of that while filming. They didn’t have time to show the battle on all its fronts so they deliberately chose to put Elves at Helm’s Deep as a stand in for that. You have to have some economy in film making and as it was, Jackson was already giving disproportionate weight to the action in his adaptation.

  38. Kati says:

    I think Mormabar might have been referring to Glorfindel there. It’s been quite awhile since I read any of the books so I might be mistaken, but as far as I remember Glorfindel went and got killed fighting a Balrog somewhere around Gondolin and the elf that shows up to rescue them from those nasty nazghul and takes Frodo to Rivendell happens to be named Glorfindel. Now nowhere is it acutaly confirmed that this is the same Glorfindel that died way back… but Tolkien seemed to give his elves rather unique names so one could assume that he wouldn’t give two elves the same name, especially since Frodo saw Glorfindel doing that whole glowy thing that indicated that he’d been in Aman before those trees got chopped down and was really rather old and that means at some point there would have been two Glorfindels running around at the same time, which seems like something that just wouldn’t happen. Then again why exactly he’d suddenly return from the dead I’ve no idea… I mean Tolkien surely couldn’t have just made a mistake by using the same name? Especially since he never meant for those earlier stories to be published?

    Oh… and I should also say, since it’s the first time I ever comment here that this is amazingly funny. Makes me want to play again.

  39. GarfunkeL says:

    It’s frightening that I know this, but:

    Tolkien wrote 2 Glorfindel’s. One was Captain of the Guard in Gondol and got killed by the Balrog Commander, after having single-handedly slain several of the rank-and-file Balrog, enabling bunch of Gondolin elves to flee. Second was the Glorfindel who lived in Rivendell and saved Frodo. It’s easy to confuse them since both are Noldor and in LOTR Elrond mentions that Glorfindel “is filled with the ancient light” or something like that. Only Luthien and Gandalf ever came from death and both were either Maia or half-Maia and on both cases it was a really big deal, so it’s kinda hard to believe that Tolkien would NOT have made anything else about it, if Glorfindel was returned to life.

    Most likely, it’s a mixup in his part, using a name in Silmarillion that he had already used in LOTR. Or then it’s just two guys with the same name.

  40. Trae says:

    Could always follow The Bard’s path in life: coin and cleavage.

  41. Trick says:

    I nearly went back and checked the movie to see if you’d photoshopped Aragorn holding her… But then I remembered what happens. You always find the funniest parts.

  42. Serenitybane says:

    Awesome. The expressions in the last frame were the best ^.^

  43. Ciryandor says:

    @ GarfunkeL and the Glorfindel issue

    If you think the information you have on Glorfindel is scary, this might just be worse. The later papers of Tolkien (can’t exactly recall whether it’s on HoME or on one of his later unreleased papers transcribed on the Vinyar Tengwar) explicitly state that Glorfindel of the Fountain and Glorfindel of Imladris are one and the same. This is with regards to the discussion on the topic of reincarnation of Elves from the Halls of Mandos, if it ever occured and for what reasons would it do so. Evidently, Glorfindel was sent to Ennorath around the start of the return of the Numenorians on the coasts to Gil-Glad, sent back as a gift for his heroism during the battle of Gondolin. As for any refutation of that argument, it is also explicitly stated that only Feanor’s spirit among Elves would be held back by Mandos until the Breaking, and that those who choose to return among those given the boon to do so would have to wait for at least an age for them to do so. The depth of probing to this issue is just as deep as that spent in argument about Celeborn’s true ancestry and origin.

  44. joesolo says:

    this is pretty much there mindset
    end of the world? who cares, i want some loot already!

  45. Kaliam says:

    That last picture where Aragorn is grabbing on to the princess, PRICELESS! Absolutley priceless. There are no other words to describe how perfectly priceless it was.

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