Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Christmas Special

I was watching Lord of the Rings again a few days ago, and I came up with what I think is a great, holiday-themed short movie. I wish I had the resources to film it, but here it is, in a nutshell.

Jolly old Saint Nick sits in his study. He smokes a pipe while consulting lists of naughty and nice kids. There's a knock at the door.

SANTA: Come in.

ELF: Santa, we're having a problem with the replacements.

Note, this elf is like Hermie, short, pointy ears, wearing red-and-white striped stockings. The classic image of Santa's elves.

SANTA: Replacements?

HERMIE: Yes, sir. You remember, we had to replace our usual work force. Everyone came down with Swine flu a few weeks ago -- prime toy-making season -- and we were falling behind. And you insisted on elves....


HERMIE (apologetic): Well, they're not our sort of... elf, sir. If you take my meaning. They're a bit, well, dodgy.

SANTA (annoyed): What do you mean? They're not working well? They came highly recommended....

HERMIE: Perhaps you should take a look....

SANTA and HERMIE exit the office and walk down a long, ginger-bread-like hallway. Past pillars of giant candy canes festooned with holly garlands, and portraits framed by wreaths. It's all very Christmasy. ELF opens a door to what sounds like a busy workshop.


We can see long work benches, with workers toiling away. Just under the sounds of hammering and sawing, we can hear etherial music.

SANTA: What's the problem? All I see are elves, working.

HERMIE: Just a moment, sir. I'll show you. You there... What's your name? Elbereth, isn't it? Come over here and show Santa what you're making.

A tall, willowy elf stands from his bench. He's dressed in gauzy, shimmering robes. His long, flowing blonde hair cascades past his shoulders. We walks, slowly, purposefully, towards Saint Nick.

HERMIE: Well, get on with it, show Santa what you're making for....

ELBERETH: Timmy Johnson.

HERMIE: Timmy Johnson.

ELBERETH produces a ring of incredible delicacy and beauty. He presents it to Santa.

SANTA (Looking at HERMIE): What is it?

ELBERETH: I call it the Ring of Dreadful Retribution, Alambion in the Old Tongue.

SANTA (Looking confused): What's it do?

ELBERETH: It shoots balls of fire.

SANTA (really confused): Balls... of... fire...

HERMIE: Go back to work Elbereth.

ELBERETH leaves.

HERMIE: You there, what's your name?

ELF: I am known as Gloriandra.

GLORIANDRA is also an elf of towering beauty, dressed in Middle Earth's finest.

HERMIE: So, what are you making?

Gloriandra whips up a sword wrapped in the folds of his robe and presents it with both hands to Santa.

GLORIANDRA: It is a sword that can never dull, never break. It shall remain whole until the unmaking of the world. It shall sever the hand of the Sorcerer King of Tol Amun, thus freeing the peoples from his evil, as forespoken by Galadriel. It also glows blue when orcs are about.

SANTA (dubious): Right. And who's this for?

GLORIANDRA: Betsy Williams. She's been an especially good girl, I'm told. Also, she's going to slay a dragon with this sword, according to the scrying pool....

HERMIE: See? These elves don't seem.... Well, sir, they don't seem to have the "Christmas" spirit at heart....

SANTA: Hermie? Where are the Chrismas songs? I don't hear any Deck the Halls or Rudolf the Rednosed Reindeer. (And you know how much he loves that song...)

HERMIE: I was coming to that.

SANTA: What is that they're singing?!

GLORIANDRA: It is a lament for the death of Obereth at the hands of Melkath the Unwise during the Final Battle of Four Realms.

HERMIE: See what I mean?

SANTA is dumb founded.

HERMIE: At last count, these elves...

GLORIANDRA: We prefer to call ourselves Silvenni.

HERMIE: ...Silvenni have made 142 magic rings, 347 enchanted cloaks, 233 ensorcelled daggers, 712 magic swords, 14 charmed mirrors, 3,488 cursed belts...

GLORIANDRA: We felt those would be more effective than coal.

HERMIE: ...482 magic hats, 1,015 suits of enchanted armor, and an assortment of what these "elves" call Artifacts of Power.

GLORIANDRA: Ah, those will be the "must have" presents of the season. We are particularly proud of the Starstone...

SANTA: Enough (shaking his head).

SANTA sits down heavily in a nearby chair.

SANTA: Let me get this straight. You want me to hand out, to the children of the world, a bunch of magic swords, knives, cloaks, armor, and assorted enchanted what-have-you. To children.

GLORIANDRA: We believe the blood of Numinor is all but spent. We hope that by gifting the children of Earth with our magic, they'll be prepared for the coming battle with Ultimate Evil, and...

SANTA: Enough!

Everyone in the workshop stops working. The singing ends.

SANTA: Look. Do you think you guys could make some toys? You know: dolls, rocking horses, train sets, sleds, baseball bats and gloves... Toys.

GLORIANDRA: Can the toys be magical? The glove idea sounds particularly interesting, though we do not know what "baseball" is...

SANTA: No. No magic. Ordinary, every day, non-magical TOYS!

The elves in the room look at each other, back and forth, confused. They begin to murmer to each other.

SANTA: Perhaps it's time we get us some Chinese, Hermie....


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