Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Council of Elrond: An Adapted Play

(My apologies for the lack of content. I have been absolutely buried with:
  • Administration
  • The editing and then proofing of Tolkien Studies volume 6
  • The production of the cumulative index for Tolkien Studies volumes 1-5
  • Expansions, correction and revision for the new edition of Beowulf and the Critics
  • Prepping our Lexomics presentation for Kalamazoo
  • Writing a book chapter, "The Medieval Author in Memetic Terms" for an April 17 deadline
  • Prepping to give a lecture at Amherst
  • My son's 5th birthday
  • My daughter having two weeks off from school and a violin recital
  • Easter
  • My son's birthday party (which involves knights, princesses and ponies))

So in lieu of new content, I offer you something I wrote 31 years ago (how's that for recycling?)

Back in 1978, in Mrs. Hamer's 5th grade class in Ocean Township School, my best friend Chipper Stoll and I decided to adapt part of The Lord of the Rings for a play. Mrs. Hamer, being a brilliant teacher, let us sit in the book corner in the back of the room and do this for several days.

So with the whole Lord of the Rings to draw from, what did Chipper and I choose? Well, "The Council of Elrond" Why not? We had many choices: battles, stirring speeches, deep emotional struggles, beauty and terror. Of course we chose a faculty meeting with Elves.

"The Council of Elrond" is perhaps the most infamous chapter in the book: in 2005 I did a radio show in which one caller, who ran a bookstore, said "I just tell everyone to skip that chapter, and then they enjoy The Lord of the Rings (I'm afraid I took umbrage). And I have heard the same idea from many people, which I why I'm writing a chapter for a Tolkien book (assuming the chapter and the book are accepted) called "The Council of Elrond, all those poems, and the famous F-ing Elves: Teaching the Hard Parts of Tolkien."

Recently I found Chipper's and my script of The Council of Elrond, and, after reading it over, I have to be snotty and say that we did a better job (on this particular chapter) than Philippa Boyens. Our version is not all fighty-fighty, and we managed to use a lot of Tolkien's own words. I'm also extremely amused that my pedantic, academic self manifested itself even in fifth grade: Sez Elrond: "The Rings of Power were forged by the Elves of Eregion in S.A. 1590. The One Ring was forged in S.A. 1600, by Sauron."

So, for your amusement, over the next few days I will post The Council of Elrond, adapted by Michael D.C. Drout and August G. Stoll, III.

More to come...

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I'm looking forward to meeting you on Thursday! Thanks for making the drive out to Amherst.