The children of Hobbiton are telling tales of the War of the Ring. Sam's children retell their father's story.
As the giggles that followed Faramir’s story died down to the occasional snicker, the voice of Elanor’s nine-year-old brother Pippin (named after Faramir’s father) piped up beside her.
“Tell them Daddy’s story!” Pippin urged his sister. He and Faramir considered each other both friend and rival, so he couldn’t let Faramir get away with telling the best story. “Tell them about Daddy travelling with Frodo and fighting the giant spider and saving the world!” The surrounding children voiced their agreement. They had all heard stories of the War of the Ring before, but they never tired of them. Elanor, who was herself quite competitive, gathered her thoughts then began speaking.
“Daddy was Frodo Baggins’ friend for ages before they left the Shire. When Gandalf the wizard sent Frodo to Rivendell with the One Ring, which the evil lord Sauron wanted so that he could rule the world, Daddy was chosen to go with Frodo and help him. They travelled together through the Old Forest-”
“With my Daddy and Merry!” Faramir interjected. Elanor nodded, attempting to act as if she had been planning to mention them when Faramir interrupted her. She continued her tale.
“Yes, they travelled together through the Old Forest with Pippin and his cousin Merry. When they stopped to rest, Pippin and Merry got stuck inside an old tree that was alive, and Daddy and Frodo had to save them.” Pippin shot a triumphant look at Faramir.
“Yeah, and then they met lots of evil monsters (Daddy defeated them all and saved everyone, of course) until they reached Bree!” As he finished speaking, Pippin grinned at Faramir. Seeing that her brother was preoccupied, Elanor continued their story.
“At Bree, they met a man called Strider, who said that he’d help them get to Rivendell because he knew a lot about the way there. On the way there, they met a Dark Rider, who stabbed Frodo in the shoulder. Daddy and Strider took care of him while they tried to get to Rivendell quickly so that he could get healed.
“When Frodo woke up, he and Daddy were invited to a special meeting where they decided to get rid of Frodo’s Ring so that Sauron could never use it. But the Ring was special – the only way you could destroy it was to drop it in Mount Doom (which was actually a volcano), where Sauron made it. The only problem was that Mount Doom was in Mordor, where Sauron lived, so it would be very dangerous to get there.
“Frodo said that he’d take the Ring, and Daddy was sent to help him, along with two men, Boromir and Strider (whose real name was actually Aragorn, and people call him King Elessar now), a dwarf named Gimli, an elf named Legolas and Gandalf. Merry and Pippin snuck into the meeting and were sent with them as a punishment.”
“It was not a punishment!” Faramir glared at Elanor. “And Sam snuck in first!” A clever response to these words eluded Elanor, so she decided to ignore Faramir’s comment.
“Well anyway, the group was named the Fellowship of the Ring, and they travelled together through Moria, where Gandalf had to stay behind to fight a monster, until they reached a special waterfall (I can’t remember what it’s called). While they stopped there, the Ring made Boromir try to steal it off Frodo. Frodo tried to run away alone, but Daddy didn’t want him to go alone, so he went with Frodo. When Frodo had gone, taking the ring with him, Boromir turned good again, and died while saving Merry and Pippin.
“After a while, Daddy and Frodo met Gollum, who had owned the Ring before and wanted it back. Frodo made Gollum promise to help them get to Mount Doom because he’d been into Mordor before, but Daddy never trusted him. Gollum took them over the Marshes of the Dead safely, though. Before they got to Mordor, Daddy and Frodo met Boromir’s brother Faramir (who our Faramir is named after)” Faramir puffed his chest out proudly at these words. “Faramir wasn’t tempted by the Ring like Boromir was when he found out about it. As Daddy, Frodo and Gollum left to go into Mordor, Faramir warned them that Gollum might be tricking them because he had heard that the way Gollum wanted to take them to get into Mordor was very dangerous. Frodo knew that every way into Mordor was very dangerous though, and decided to trust Gollum.
“Gollum was trying to trick them, though (as Daddy guessed that he would all along). He took them to a tunnel where a huge, evil spider named Shelob lived.” Several of the young Hobbits listening shuddered at the thought. “Shelob stung Frodo and made it look like he was dead. Daddy took out his sword and ran at Shelob. Before Shelob knew what was happening, Daddy had stabbed her in the belly!” Elanor, who was now standing, mimed the thrust of a sword as she started acting out Sam’s part in her story.
“Shelob got really angry when Daddy hurt her. She started trying to sting him, but Daddy was too quick. He jumped up onto her back and started stabbing her near her head! He hit her again and again until she fell to the ground dead!” Elanor swung her arm forwards, fending off her imaginary enemy. She had become drawn into her own story; her imagination had taken over, replacing the Shire and Hobbits surrounding her with the dark, rank-smelling lair of the evil spider, and the epic battle she was now fighting. Young Faramir’s voice shattered her fantasy, leaving her blinking and feeling drained, as if she’d just woken from a dream, as her mind returned to the Shire.
“But I heard that your Daddy just hurt Shelob once and then she ran away!” Elanor and Pippin scowled at Faramir.
“Well… he was still the first person ever to hurt Shelob! And she ran away ‘cause she knew Daddy was strong enough to kill her!” It was Pippin who spoke now. Deciding that his sister had spoken long enough, he continued the story.
"Daddy knew that the Ring still had to be destroyed, so he took it from Frodo. He decided that it was his job to destroy it now that Frodo couldn’t. But before he’d gone far, he heard some orcs saying that Frodo was really alive! He ran back to Frodo, but the orcs had taken him! He followed them, but couldn’t get through the door to the Tower of Cirith Ungol, where the orcs had taken Frodo, so he went around to the front door instead. He managed to sneak in and defeated the Two Watchers, monsters with three bodies and three heads, who were guarding the way in. In the tower, two different groups of orcs were fighting each other, so Daddy went in while they were distracted. One of the orcs saw him but since he was in the shadows and had Frodo’s Elven sword Sting, the orc thought that Daddy was a great Elf-warrior! The orc ran away screaming!
“When Daddy finally found Frodo at the top of the tower, there was an orc there trying to whip him. This made Daddy really angry, so he beat the orc and saved Frodo. Daddy went back to some dead orcs and found some clothes for them to wear so that they’d blend in better, then they started walking towards Mount Doom.
“When they got close to Mount Doom, carrying the ring made Frodo so weak that he couldn’t walk, so Daddy carried him for a while. They were so tired that didn’t notice that Gollum had found them again and was following them until he attacked them and tried to get the Ring from Frodo. Frodo and Daddy beat Gollum, and Daddy got a chance to kill him but decided not to because he felt sorry for him. Daddy threatened Gollum until he ran away, and they walked on until they got to Mount Doom.
“But when they tried to get rid of the Ring, Frodo couldn’t. He’d been carrying the Ring for so long that it could control him enough to stop him. Before Daddy could do anything, Gollum attacked Frodo again and stole the Ring from him. Gollum was so happy that he had the Ring again that he started jumping around. But he wasn’t watching where he was going and he fell into Mount Doom and destroyed the Ring.”
Pippin sat back as his tale drew to a close. Both he and Elanor grinned triumphantly as their friends applauded. Pippin stood and bowed, causing an outbreak of giggles in the youngest of the group.
“So, can anyone beat that story?” Elanor asked, looking straight at Faramir.