(Here’s a fun one from December 2003, written with fond memories of The Gathering in Toronto and seeing Return of the King with friends and fans for the first time.)
‘Twas the Night of the Movie …
‘Twas the night of the movie and all through the house,
Many creatures were stirring – not even one a mouse.
Elves, Dwarves and Hobbits were all preened with care,
In the hopes to see Gandalf with his gleaming, white hair.
All these, like children, were nestled snug in their seats,
While visions of Elessar rode to Rohan’s hoof beats,
And Papa in his woven cloak and I in my gown,
Settled ourselves hoping PJ wouldn’t let us down.
When up on the screen came such an unholy clatter,
I sprang from my seat wondering what was the matter.
Away to the projector, we all stared in concern,
But a voice calmly said, “This guy’s new. He will learn.”
Light shone on the screen, a commercial with snow,
And I sighed in relief – not far now to go.
Then to our wondering eyes it appeared.
The opening credit! We all clapped and cheered.
There before me was Smeagol, so deadly and quick,
The Ring making him evil, decrepit and sick.
A rapid progression of images then came,
Yet I remember so well, the beacons of flame.
Minas Tirith! Min Rimmon! They went speeding west!
Through the mountains to Rohan – calling them to the test.
Riding hard on the road, they answered the call,
And sped to the White City, beleaguered and tall.
But there, like a hurricane, Denethor’s anger did fly,
And poor Faramir withstood it, with tears in his eyes.
To Pip’s gentle song, the fatal charge sped through,
Knowing death was in wait as above Nazgûl flew
And then in a twinkling to a sickly green gleam,
Frodo and Sam hiding – the Witch King’s harsh scream.
Smeagol’s evil leer as he’s turning around,
Sam’s heartbreak and courage – to duty he’s bound.
A gigantic horror – terror from head to foot,
Victory and defeat midst blood, ashes and soot.
Whisked away yet again to the one leading this pack,
As he marshals a city, we are given hope back.
I can still see his eyes twinkling at Pippin and Merry.
Ah, that Gandalf the White! He’s magnificent. Yes, very.
Legolas and Gimli, fearsome with axe and bow.
But, alas! We’ve not seen how their friendship did grow.
The black smoke of Mordor encircles all like a wreath,
As Grond rolls to the gates, with fire in his teeth.
But poor Frodo and Sam – tired, dirty and smelly,
With the Ring eating up Frodo’s mind just like jelly.
Andúril, sword of the king, borne by a great Elf,
And I smiled when I saw him, in spite of myself.
Aragorn leads us through the Paths of the Dead,
The king I remember, defeating both fear and dread.
Now Arwen is dying – the book has no such quirk,
Yet, I weep for her vision and it all seems to work.
The end of the world, the end of Smeagol’s woes,
Frodo seemed beyond pain when above the ruin he rose.
Parting at the Grey Havens, a loving, hopeful epistle,
The screen faded to black and we all wept and whistled.
We were left with good feelings as our friends drove out of sight,
Peace reigns in Middle Earth. Be blessed. And good night.