New version of this opus posted January 27, 2003. The older version is available here.
THE ONE AND THREE QUARTER TOWERS, being AN ABRIDGED VERSION of THE TWO TOWERS, by Randolph Carter An homage to Peter Jackson's grand vision of J.R.R. Tolkien. Version 0.2.4 FOREWORD As many fellow Tolkien fans will agree, the recently released movie by Mr. Jackson is not precisely the "Two Towers" we expected. It's more like "One and One Quarter Towers" or perhaps at best "One and One Half Towers". Even if approached very charitably, it's no more than 1 3/4, but definitely not 2. The movie is clearly lacking something, despite it brilliant photography, acting and the amazing achievement of the artists John Howe and Alan Lee. We maintain that it is further development of various gratuitous story and character changes, which at first seem like random atrocities against Tolkien's original text. It is our humble purpose to provide the same. No offence is implied or intended against the Author or his Book. ------------------- PLAINS of ROHAN. ARAGORN, LEGOLAS and GIMLI follow the Uruk-hai band. EOMER and his COMPANY ride up. EOMER Spare horses! Get your free spare horses! Fine pre-owned horses! ARAGORN Have you seen our friends the hobbits? They are just about as tall as the dwarf here, but much less annoying. GIMLI We dwarfs are very dangerous over SHORT distances. Short. Get it? Bwa-hah-ha. EOMER You travelled with this dwarf for three days? Your deed will be sung in many a hall! ARAGORN That's OK, we kept ahead out of hearing range most of the time. So what about our friends? They were kidnapped by orcs. EOMER Well, we just killed some orcs. They did not want our fine horses. (Looks pointedly at Aragorn) ARAGORN Did you kill our friends too? EOMER What would you want us to do - count the bodies or maybe look for some emblem? We Riders of Rohan aren't that smart. In fact, we can't even count. We just kill everyone and burn every corpse. Sorry, dude. Aragorn stands speechless. EOMER We have our own business to mind these days. Theoden exiled me from Edoras, so I took away all of his army as well, bwahaha! Oh, by the way, we have two spare horses, take them. And now, if you'll excuse me, I have 300 leagues to ride so that Gandalf has some fun catching up with us later. Don't you have anything of value to give us for our fine horses? ARAGORN No, but you can take the dwarf as a collateral. The horses are thrust upon Aragorn and Legolas, and the Riders of Rohan ride away at full speed. GIMLI Well, these guys sure have SHORT tempers. ARAGORN and LEGOLAS roll their eyes. They are joined by the AUDIENCE. ------------------- EOWYN's CHAMBER in EDORAS. GRIMA WORMTONGUE is here, sweet talking to EOWYN, and almost getting to stroke her cheek. EOWYN You certainly know how to turn a girl's head. In fact, you say the nicest things a man said to a woman in this movie so far. But you stole them from Gandalf and from the Author too. EOWYN shoves GRIMA away just when he is about to touch her chin. EOWYN Therefore: Your words are poison, and I'd rather date a Nazgul! She storms out and lets her handkerchief fly into the wind. GRIMA Man, I hate it when people learn the books by heart! PETER JACKSON Those rabid fans will soon feel my wrath! I won't let them stand in the way of my creative vision. Let us seek the counsel of the mightiest wizard of Middle-earth. ------------------- The following scene was later cut from the film. But this is the extended DVD edition, right? The RING of ISENGARD. Before the great doors of ORTHANC are THEODEN's PARTY, PETER JACKSON and HIS SCRIPTWRITERS. SARUMAN addresses them from the balcony, using his VOICE. VOICE of SARUMAN ...I say, Theoden King: shall we have peace and friendship, you and I? It is ours to command. THEODEN We will have peace. Yes, we will have peace -- Yeah, that sounds GREAT. I'm sure we'll have a GREAT time. Bye now. SARUMAN Sure thing, pal. Be seeing you. THEODEN leaves with his PARTY. VOICE of SARUMAN Dotard! What is the house of Eorl but a thatched barn where peasants drink beer and smoke weed? I know not why I have had the patience to speak to him. For I need him not, nor his little band of gallopers, as swift to fly as to advance. PETER JACKSON Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. You definitely got the right angle here. Thanks for the insight, man. Could you do me a favour and repeat that for my scriptwriters? SCRIPTWRITERS start jotting down SARUMAN's dictation. SARUMAN's VOICE ...thatched barn... peasants... little band of gallopers... swift to fly... SCRIPTWRITERS scribble away. SARUMAN Yes, and the Ents are stupid and can't see things right under their noses. PETER JACKSON Yeah, this sounds just RIGHT. You got it, man! SCRIPTWRITERS scribble away. ------------------- GOLDEN HALL in Edoras. It looks somewhat like a thatched barn. THEODEN sits on his throne, his face covered in cobwebs and layers of plastic. GRIMA WORMTONGUE and his GANG hover nearby. GANDALF, ARAGORN, LEGOLAS and GIMLI approach, unchallenged. The assembled PEASANTS stare at them. ARAGORN You find more cheer in a graveyard. Look, this place used to have a golden roof. HAMA Please leave your weapons in that dusty corner. ARAGORN Sure, no big deal. Have my sword, it's only the Blade of Elendil That Was Broken and Reforged Again. You probably never heard about it. HAMA Oh, we get to see plenty of those around here. And that badass-looking staff too, please, Sir. GANDALF (winks at Aragorn) Come, these are not the droids.. er.. would you deprive an old man of his walking stick? HAMA These are not.. er.. Come on in then. They enter into the formerly golden HALL. There is strange smoke wafting in the air, and GIMLI starts sniffing suspiciously right away. GRIMA WORMTONGUE and his GANG Go away! We don't want you warmongering types here! Say no to war! WORMTONGUE'S GANG (chants) SAY ... NO ... TO ... WAR ... SAY ... NO ... GIMLI Shut up you hippie! I hate f** peacenik hippies! GIMLI kicks WORMTONGUE's ass, while LEGOLAS and ARAGORN take on the GANG. PEASANTS continue looking on. GANDALF The size of your hall has somewhat lessened of late, Theoden, son of Thengel! It used to be much larger. I also notice that the tapestries are gone from the walls, and gold from the roof, too. Has Saruman stopped around here lately with his store of hobbit weed? THEODEN's eyes are glazed over. He mutters something. SARUMAN's voice Bwa-hah-ha! GANDALF Saruman, go away! You are supposed to be in Orthanc, raising an army. This is the Two Towers, not Exorcist IV! And you are supposed to speak in demonic basso when you are possessing. SARUMAN Well, they used it all up for Galadriel's Temptation scene. Banish me, and I'll spew green puke all over your brand new white robes, just like in that movie! Bwa-hah-ha! GANDALF Oh no you won't! Take that! and that! and that! VINGARDIUM LEVIOSA! THEODEN flies out of this throne and crashes on the floor. We see another demonstration of what wizard's wands are REALLY good for. Cobwebs and plastic fall off THEODEN's face. We see that he is actually middle-aged and has red hair and a red beard. PEASANTS stare on. ARAGORN Would someone please open a window? This place hasn't been aired for weeks! GIMLI opens his mouth to speak, but is interrupted by the AUDIENCE. AUDIENCE No, for the love of Tolkien, not another short joke, please! PETER JACKSON Ha-ha, wait until we get to the battle of the Hornburg! THEODEN Gandalf? Where is Saruman? Wasn't he here just a moment ago? He sure grows some serious weed in that tower of his. GANDALF Lo! Now that I cured you, we can all go to war, and you can lead your glorious eoreds to battle! THEODEN Why would I do that? War sucks! We will all go to Helms Deep and hide there instead. Besides, I haven't got any eoreds, Eomer took the only one I had 300 leagues north with him or something. There are only peasants here. PEASANTS keep staring. GANDALF Sh*t! I am off after Eomer. Aragorn, you take over. Try not to fall over any cliffs. Look for me on the dawn of the third.. er.. fifth day! GANDALF rides off. GIMLI Looks like we are a little SHORT of warriors here, heh-heh! Is there any of that Halfling leaf left? THEODEN Nay, master dwarf, there's only beer. GIMLI drinks beer and burps loudly. PEASANTS erupt into cheer. The AUDIENCE groans. ------------------- Meanwhile MERRY and PIPPIN follow a path into FANGORN FOREST. MERRY Do you think we lost them? PIPPIN Do you mean the orcs or the audience? Not quite yet, in both cases, but Treebeard will soon help with both. ORC Bleh-bleh-bleh-bleh! MERRY AND PIPPIN AYEEE! MERRY and PIPPIN clamber onto a tree, which turns out to be TREEBEARD, who is apparently not very fond of having his nose grabbed by anybody. He squishes the ORC, and regards the hobbits suspiciously. TREEBEARD Who might you be? The WHITE WIZARD will tell me that! AUDIENCE What suspense! Who might this be? Oh, do tell. We see the back of SOMEONE's white robes, then cut right away to some other scene. AUDIENCE Dammit, who was that? Saruman? Galdalf? Or just some guy dressed up like a ghost? PETER JACKSON Behold the mysteries of Middle-earth! ------------------- Later, in FANGORN FOREST, the ENTS are Mooting. MERRY and PIPPIN walk nearby, awaiting their decision. TREEBEARD Congratulations, Merry! You are already a winner! We have finally decided that you are not, in fact, an orc. MERRY What? Didn't the White Wizard tell you that already? TREEBEARD Let us not be hasty now. There is a reason why this meeting is called a "moot"! What if you could have *become* an orc since I last talked to him? And besides, what do you think our brains are made of? PIPPIN Wood? TREEBEARD Exactly. It takes us time to wrap them around simple ideas. They are not very bendable, you know. And now we must decide if Pippin here is an orc. MERRY When do you get to decide whether to attack Isengard? TREEBEARD Oh, I am afraid that is quite out of the question yet. First, we must elect a Praesidium, and then decide our positions with respect to the lumber industry, strip mining and Hollywood moviemaking that is based on the premise that all important decisions have to be made spectacularly on the spur of the moment when it is almost too late. Hours of Mooting pass. PIPPIN delivers one of the most poignant, moving and mature orations in the entire film, and no one seems to notice. MERRY I give up. Why don't you guys just send us home? PIPPIN Yeah, and bring us to Isengard, which is in exactly the opposite direction, so that we can slip by it totally unseen, being so small and all? TREEBEARD OK, that makes sense, I suppose. I am not very good at geography or logic, you know. Which way is Isengard, then? PIPPIN Go south. Actually, it's South-west, but who cares? No one pays attention to maps or distances here anyway. TREEBEARD approaches Isengard. The camera looks on lots of charred treestumps, coal pits etc. MERRY Do you see anything out of the ordinary? TREEBEARD You mean, that the entire Ent Moot has followed us here? PIPPIN No, that's just fine. I mean, do you notice anything out of order *right in front of your nose?* TREEBEARD No, why? There is Orthanc, and the stone walls, and ironworks, and coal pits, and... O MY GOD! SARUMAN, YOU BASTARD! TREEBEARD emits a very loud trumpeting sound, and all the other Ents join in. PIPPIN vainly tries to get his attention. PIPPIN Are you going to confer and lay down some careful plans for attack now? TREEBEARD What? Plans? Bother plans! LET'S KICK SOME WIZARD ASS! Ents hum and trumpet very briefly in general consent, then descend on Isengard and tear it to pieces, breaking a conveniently located nearby dam in the process. The entire Ring of Isengard is immediately flooded, and they hardly seem to notice. SARUMAN Damn! I would have gotten away with this, if it wasn't for those meddling hobbits! ------------------- PINNACLE of ZIRAK-ZIGIL. Near the ruins of broken DURIN's TOWER lies GANDALF, apparently lifeless. Stars wheel above in what faintly resembles a STAR TREK wormhole effect. A HORSE approaches GANDALF, and nuzzles his face gently. GANDALF stirs and moves his lips. Apparently, he is having a very pleasant dream. AUDIENCE What the hell? Where the heck did the horse come from? SCRIPWRITERS Horses are found in unlikely places. Remember Bill the Pony? He did not set out from Rivendell but had to be set free at the gates of Moria. That's not the last mystery wandering horse either, you just wait. A huge EAGLE swoops down. We expect him to take GANDALF to Lorien, but instead he picks up the HORSE and disappears due South-east (well, that's actually South-west. My bad.). Another MAJOR CHARACTER is in need of a sultry luscious dream following a near-fatal tumble off a cliff. GANDALF's eyes are still closed, his expression serene and happy. AUDIENCE Awww, that's so sweet and funny! (Pelts ME with rotten fruit) ------------------- The citadel of HORNBURG. Elvish horns sound, and a company of Elves in gear of war passes through the gates. Their leader is HALDIR. ARAGORN comes out to greet them. HALDIR of LORIEN We've come to honour the ancient treaty. Elrond of Rivendell sent us here. I am Haldir of Lorien. ARAGORN Greetings, Haldir of Lorien. You come to us in an hour of dire need. Where did you say your company comes from? HALDIR My company marched from Lorien, day and night. ARAGORN Yet Elrond of Rivendell sent you here? Does he dwell in Lorien now? HALDIR Elrond tarries yet in Rivendell, he comes not to Lorien. ARAGORN But it was not from Rivendell that you set out to our aid? HALDIR Indeed not. From Lorien I came, drawn by your need. ARAGORN What news of Elrond's house then? Fain I am to hear news of it, as doubtless you know. HALDIR No news of Elrond's house I bring, for I had not been there in many a year. Long and perilous are the roads that lead over the mountains, between the Golden Wood and the Last Homely House. ARAGORN Yet Elrond's counsel brings you here? Is that not strange? HALDIR Well, actually it was Galadriel all along, but since she is universally misunderstood and feared here in Rohan, we say it was Elrond and hope that they will be none the wiser. Have you noticed that geography is not exactly their strongest point? ARAGORN I see. Blessed is the hour of our meeting. ------------------- Walls of the Hornburg. The ORCS are mustered in the coomb below. The burg's DEFENDERS are taking up positions, preparing for the assault, except, of course, the ROHAN PEASANTS, who just continue being useless. GIMLI is examining the battlements, much annoyed. GIMLI Lousy human workmanship! Have they ever heard of the Numenorean Burg Building Code? "Sheltered by a parapet over which only a tall man could look", not "just a little taller than a stately dwarf warrior"! And where are "clefts in the stone through which men could shoot", and a dwarf warrior might peek, I ask you? Does anyone happen to have a box around here? LEGOLAS Here, friend. It's a box with Tolkien's books ordered for the scriptwriters. It is unopened. GIMLI (with feeling) Bless you, laddie! EVERYONE turns and looks at GIMLI with surprise. GIMLI What? So I am a Scottish dwarf, what's the big deal? Don't you people have a battle to fight? AUDIENCE Yes, can we have a battle scene, please, and have a break from witty dialogue for a while? Pretty please, nice Master? ------------------- The thick of the battle of the HORNBURG. The ORCS are yelling, shooting arrows and trying to scale the walls. The ELVES of LORIEN are busy fighting them off, while a small group of ROHIRRRIM PEASANTS is looking on, not knowing what to do. URUK CAPTAIN Attack! You will taste man-flesh! URUKS Yeah, right! This battle SUCKS! There is hardly one of them for each 20 of us, and they promised at least one for each three! And what do we get instead? Totally inedible and m**ing mean elves! This is a f** bait-and-switch! URUK CAPTAIN Well, you should have read the fine print when you signed up. Next time you deal with them wizards, you better watch out, ha-ha! Now march! A piece of wall blows up, the blast hurls huge blocks of stone into the air. They fall mainly on the attackers, inflicting large casualties. We see URUK CAPTAIN getting squashed by one. URUKS F**ing smart-ass wizards! Waste of good meat! ------------------- A lull in the battle. ORCS are preparing to attack the great gates. ARAGORN stands above the gates, his empty hand raised palm outward in token of parley. GIMLI, in full armour, stands close to him, but he is almost completely hidden behind the broken remains of the parapet. ORCS Booo! Booo-hooo! Show us the king, not this pathetic vascillating skirt-chasing heir-in-denial! ARAGORN Don't you Uruks understand character development? Anyway, I have this to say: No enemy has yet taken the Hornburg. Depart, or not one of you will be spared. Not one will be left alive to take back tidings to the North. You do not know your peril. ORCS roar with laughter. ARAGORN raises GIMLI above the parapet. ARAGORN Behold, I have a Dwarf here, and I am not afraid to toss him! GIMLI Baruk Khazad! Khazad ai-menu! The ORCS exchange confused looks. ARAGORN whispers in GIMLI's ear. GIMLI Oops, sorry. SHORT time no see, you orcish bastards! Want SHORTER acquaintaince with my axe? The ORCS are taken aback, and start edging away from the gates. GIMLI Just don't tell the Elf, it will SHORT him right out. The ORCS turn and run, tumbling off the causeway. The gates are safe for the moment. ------------------- Inner chamber of the burg. THEODEN and ARAGORN are here, talking. Some HORSES stand in the background. THEODEN I serve little purpose here. In fact, all of my Eorlings appear completely irrelevant. With a thousand on horseback, and two thousand of Gamling's and Erkenbrand's swordsmen on foot we could have had a fighting chance, but with 300 untrained peasants against ten thousand? THEODEN bows his head in despair. THEODEN Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? Where the heck are they when I need them? ARAGORN My words exactly. But you are forgetting the Elves from.. uh.. that Elvish place of theirs, and also Gandalf promised to show up on the morning of the fifth day. Normally he doesn't name the hour, nor foretells the manner of his coming, so this time he must have REALLY meant it. THEODEN What good is this counsel to me? Don't you remember that I can't count? When would that be? ARAGORN counts on his fingers, then looks out of the window. ARAGORN That would be just about now. By the way, you must still have the Horn of Helm. Let us sound it! THEODEN Have you seen it? It's HUGE. No man can wind it. ARAGORN Let the dwarf try. He is full of hot air. That might even deflate him a bit. ------------------- GIMLI blows into the HORN. The HORN is obviously a stationary model of a long forgotten technology, a veritable mainframe of a horn that came built-in with the burg itself. The great HORN sounds. Everyone is momentarily deafened, except the PEASANTS who keep staring from the walls with uninterrupted intensity. ARAGORN Behold the White Rider! He has brought us the.. umm.. a hundred used horse salesmen? GIMLI What did you expect? A bunch of trees out of Fangorn? ARAGORN Uh, actually -- yes. EOMER's CAVALRY, all 100 of them, charge down a steep (at least 45 degrees) slope down onto the spears of the orcs. GANDALF leads them. It looks like the horses are just about to impale themselves on the URUKS' spears. AN URUK Dude, this is pretty fucked right here. Not even a wolf can gallop down a hill this steep. ANOTHER URUK They must be tilting the camera or something. THIRD URUK Who is that crazy bloke in white? Not another wizard!? FAT URUK F*ck this, guys. I am going ho--oo--me! OTHER URUKS Yeah, f*ck this! Even sitting in a vat in that lab made more sense. URUKS throw down their spears and walk away as RIDERS of ROHAN and their steeds tumble in heaps down the hill. The battle of the Hornburg is won! But the battle for Middle-earth is just beginning. Duh. The PEASANTS look baffled and start fretting. Finally, one of them turns and addresss the AUDIENCE. PEASANT Um, excuse me, we were given to understand that a company of walking trees was to perform here? AUDIENCE Well, tough. They only did one show, and that was at Isengard. Come back next year, or wait for a DVD release! ------------------- The REFUGE of HENNETH ANNUN. It doesn't look like much, really. Funny, it used to be one of my most favorite places in the book. FARAMIR And so the Ring will go to Minas Tirith as a birthday present for my father. And you thought I would let you go on your silly quest? They didn't call me Boromir's Evil Twin for nothing. CAPTAIN of GONDOR Faramir, our homes in Osgiliath are under attack! SAMWISE GAMGEE But I thought that Osgiliath was deserted and in its ruins only shadows walked, even before Rohan was founded! CAPTAIN of GONDOR Well, think again, buster. Look at this supposedly millitary map that doesn't even have major roads marked. See, here is Osgiliath. SAMWISE GAMGEE Well, at least Osgiliath is more than half-way to Minas Morgul. If Merry and Pin got a lift across Rohan with orcs, why shouldn't we get a lift with Men of Gondor through Ithilien? ------------------- RUINS of OSGILIATH. FRODO, SAM, FARAMIR and FARAMIR's MEN are hiding amount the ruins. The NAZGUL are flying overhead, their FLYING BEASTs kick major ass. NAZGUL KING I love ruined cities. All these wind tunnels and rising air currents! My beast can hover on them just like a 'thopter. What fun! I love this job! SECOND NAZGUL You thought that horses were fun, too. "She's just a chick, no Elf-lord from beyond the Seas, what can she do to us?" NAZGUL KING Well, I am not making that mistake again. Luckily, our sources say that she left for the West. SECOND NAZGUL Dude, next time you see a weird chick with a sword -- you do what we do -- you run. Or fly. You fly your ass off! The NAZGUL KING is apparently unconcerned. He goes back to practicing his hovering routine. FRODO It's all wrong. We shouldn't be here. But wait and see what I am going to do next! FRODO climbs on top of a ruined building, and offers the RING to the hovering NAZGUL KING. FRODO Here, take the Ring! NAZGUL KING Frodo is offering me the Ring. What should I do? I will follow the general direction of this movie, and NOT take the Ring, and THEN change my mind when it's almost too late. NAZGUL KING banks and takes off. SAMWISE GAMGEE Aha! Tricked you! SAM pulls FRODO down, and almost gets skewered for his trouble by the sword that was supposed to be taken from Frodo a few scenes ago. FARAMIR appears from behind the rubble. FARAMIR I see now that you are really serious about your quest, Frodo. I will let you proceed to the Mount Doom. It sure beats having that winged Nazgul on my ass all the way home. CAPTAIN of GONDOR But then your life will be forfeit when your father finds out. FARAMIR Well, which one would you rather deal with: the Nazgul or your father? CAPTAIN Good point. Good luck, Ring-bearer! ------------------- TO BE CONTINUED
© Randolph Carter, 2002 - firstname.lastname@example.org