One does not simply walk into Mordor: Guest editorial from Run-DMStevomir

Posted: January 18, 2015 in Miscellaneous, music, Record reviews
Tags: , , , , ,

To end the old year and start the new one, Éowyn and I re-watched The Lord of the Rings. (We did plenty of non-Middle-earth activities, too, so Shut. Up.) In watching all three movies I developed a theory about Sauron. This theory goes as follows and begins now.

Here’s the situation: Sauron must conquer his powerful neighbor, Gondor, if he’s ever going to achieve his world-domination goals. To ensure his success, he orders his stooge, Saruman, to march against Rohan, Gondor’s most likely ally. Saruman has a whole new army to play with. The Riders of Rohan haven’t been doing much riding lately, though they still have perfect hair. The upcoming battle looks like a mismatch, but in the ninth inning Rohan calls in some timely relief help and Saruman’s army falls apart like the Red Sox over the Labor Day weekend.

At this point, Sauron knows all of the following:

  1. Gandalf is back.
  2. Aragorn has doubled his supply of girlfriends.
  3. The Elves said they were leaving, but they didn’t say when.
  4. Saruman is useless. He’s like the ex-husband who keeps reminding you why he’s your ex-husband.
  5. By now, Sauron’s ravens should have reported that the eagles and the butterflies have turned against him, which means that Audubon is against him, too.
  6. Sauron’s shock troops, the Nazgûl, have failed at every task they’ve been given. They were totally fooled by four pillows masquerading as Hobbits, a trick I pulled on my parents when I was 7.
  7. The Nazgûl can’t even kill a pillow on the first try.
  8. Sauron’s advanced surveillance technology cannot locate one Hobbit and one Ring, even though both are heading straight at him.

I think most of us, in Sauron’s place, would reconsider this situation and turn to Plan B. Sauron sticks with Plan A. This is how you get to be the CEO of Mordor. He moves forward with his hostile takeover of Gondor, and nevermind the threat from Rohan, Gandalf, Aragorn, Audubon, etc.

(Naturally, Sauron assigns his go-to guys to the Gondor project. Good call. The Nazgûl team leader tries to impress the blonde shield maiden with the news that he’s invincible. She immediately slices him into fettuccine. The Nazgûl were geniuses with women. His co-workers control the skies and yet somehow miss the approach of the fluorescent-green Army of the Dead until it storms ashore and slaughters everybody. If the Nazgûl worked for Chase Bank, they’d all get bonuses. Oh wait, the Nazgûl do work for Chase Bank.)

Finally: When Frodo and Samwise stagger to the top of Mount Doom, what do they find? The cave that leads to the lava swimming pool is not guarded by a locked door or armed guards or a Nazgûl who’s been placed on administrative leave. Even an idiot blogger could waltz right in and kerplunk toss the Ring into the fire.

And so my theory, which I invite you to vote on. Sauron is either:

  • Blinded by hubris, or
  • Blindingly stupid.

I’ll eventually reread the books to gain a more nuanced view of Sauron’s foreign-policy blunders. Until then, remember that Hobbits eat a lot, but they’ll still roll you for a nickel and stick you for the extra dime.

Random Pick of the Day
Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
Led Zep IV is today’s Pick because Robert, Jimmy, John, and John may have been the first rock stars who had read Lord of the Rings. Ringwraiths and Mordor pepper their songs, though I don’t know if that helped them get girls.

Led Zeppelin doesn’t get any heavier than Led Zep IV. Led Zeps I and II are wilder and stupider, but IV has “Stairway to Heaven” so IV wins. I’ve been listening to “Stairway” since I was in high school (that’s right, halflings, I was born into a world that knew not of this song), and yet every time I hear the guitar accelerate, my pulse does, too. When the drums enter at 4:18 I start playing along, even when I’m driving, unless there’s a shield maiden riding beside me.

Random Pan of the Day
Led Zeppelin, just about everything
It’s fashionable for today’s rock critics to praise Led Zeppelin as innovators and condemn the critics of the 1970s, who hated Led Zep, as double dumb asses.

Bullshit. The critics of the ’70s got it right: This band did not make music for adults. You don’t need them once you’re old enough to vote, though they may be an evolutionary stage in adolescence (they were in mine).

Random Thought for My Fellow Nerds
Éowyn declaring “I am no man!” before skewering the misogynist Witch-king of Angmar is the high point of the movies and the books.

So say we all.

  1. Barb says:

    I can’t categorically sweep away Led Zeppelin. Whole Lotta Love is still a total turn on. Just sayin’.

  2. Keep those hands on the wheel, Fan Boy!

  3. Number 9 says:

    We read this post out loud during dinner preparations and have had to sit down to recover from our delight, amusement, and awe.

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