Sunday, March 18, 2012

J.R.R. Tolkien's THE HOBBIT (1990, 97)



J.R.R. Tolkien's THE HOBBIT


In spring, 1990, The Children's Theatre Company tackled one of the more challenging projects in its history, a new theatrical adaptation of Tolkien's masterwork of fantasy THE HOBBIT.  By special arrangement with the Saul Zaentz Company, the novel was adapted for the stage by resident playwright Thomas W. Olson (his last script as a member of the company -- he would later write several more works for CTC as a free lance playwright), with original music composed and orchestrated by resident composer/artistic associate Alan Shorter (including songs set to Tolkien's own lyrics) (also Alan's last score for the Company), the play was directed by CTC's artistic director Jon Cranney.  Music direction by Victor Zupanc, scenic design by Tom Butsch, costume design by William Schroder, lighting design by Duane Schuler, sound design by Scott Edwards, stage management by Donna Bachman.  
Beyond the daunting task of attempting to do justice to the journey of adventurer Bilbo Baggins through Middle-Earth, with all its extraordinary creatures (dwarves, trolls, goblins, wargs, elves, dragons ...not to mention a most strange subterranean creature called Gollum), the Theatre was also at the time involved in an unprecedented cultural exchange with the Peoples' Republic of China.  As part of this exchange, the role of the wizard Gandalf was portrayed by Chinese actor Jiang Xi Reng (aka Henry O) who had recently appeared opposite Peter O'Toole as the Lord Chamberlain in the Academy Award-winning Best Picture of 1987, Bertolucci's "The Last Emperor" and would, later, appear in featured roles in film and television, including Snow Falling on Cedars, the epic 2012, Romeo Must Die, Shanghai Noon and HBO's The Sopranos, The West Wing, and ER.











The production was revived for a second production, with script alterations, in 1997 under the direction of Wendy Lehr and featuring Mark Povinelli (Film: Water for Elephants; Mirror, Mirror; The Polar Express; Television: Boardwalk Empire; Modern Family; Are You There, Chelsea?) as Bilbo Baggins. 















Music Excerpts, composed by Alan Shorter, conducted by Victor Zupanc.


Far Over the Misty Mountains

http://www.mediafire.com/listen/9m0615clxawbbg8/Far_Over_the_Misty_Mountains.mp3




Far over the Misty Mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale, enchanted gold.


The dwarves of yore made mighty spells
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep where dark things sleep
In hollow halls beneath the fells


The pines were roaring on the height
The winds were moaning in the night
Smaug's fire was red
And flaming spread
The trees like torches blazed with light!


The mountains smoked beneath the moon.
The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom
Then fled their hall
To dying fall
'Neath dragon's feet beneath the moon.


Far over the Misty Mountains grim
To dungeons deep and caverns dim
We must away ere break of day
To win our treasure back from him!



Trolls' Campfire



http://www.mediafire.com/listen/r5cwdw1xm5cbyoe/Trolls.mp3

Sneak, sneak, take a little peek.
Duck, nab -- Pluck 'em up and grab!
Dwarves in a bunch make a late-night lunch.
Mince 'em, dice 'em, thinly slice 'em.
Broil, baste -- How they gonna taste?
Beware!  Dinner in the air.
Stew 'em in a pot.
Then we eats 'em hot!




Down, Down to Goblin Town



http://www.mediafire.com/listen/72e6zn9fvsvh0t6/Down_Down_to_Goblin_Town.mp3

Clap!  Snap!  Let mountain crack!
Grip, grab!  Pinch, nab!
And down, down to Goblin Town we go, my lads!


Clash, crash, crush, mash!
Batter and beat, yammer and bleat!
And pound, pound far underground below, poor lads!




Roads Go Ever On (Finale)



http://www.mediafire.com/listen/gcjcfj7bgifg62q/Roads_Go_Ever_On.mp3

(Bilbo shakes hands and embraces the Dwarves as music and song begins.)


CHORUS.
Roads go ever, ever on.  Over rock and under tree.
By cave where never sun has shone
By streams that never find the sea.
Through the snow by winter sown,
Over fields of gentle June.
Over grass and over stone
And under mountains 'neath the moon.


(Dwarves begin to settle into a tableau and freeze as Bilbo steps downstage, gazing at the scene.)


GANDALF.
I took the Hobbit by the hand, headed back towards the Shire gleaming green in the west.  Though not the Hobbit I'd first met.  In many ways a richer fellow -- not from treasure, but by adventure.  Now nobler, more knowing, much wiser and -- truly -- heroic.  Yes, this adventure was at an end, but more would follow.  More must follow.


BILBO.
Why, Gandalf?  Why must there be more adventures?


GANDALF.
Well, Bilbo, it has to do with that ring...


BILBO.
Stop.  Don't tell me.  I do not wish to know.


GANDALF.
But, you see, the ring has a destiny...


BILBO.
Perhaps another time.  Home, Gandalf.  Guide me home.


CHORUS.
Roads go ever, ever on.
Under cloud and under star
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Must turn at last to home afar.


Eyes the fire and sword have seen
And dragons in the halls of stone
May look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.

Video Clips:

Trolls





Goblins





Smaug's Lair




J.R.R. Tolkien's The HOBBIT


Prologue.

            (Preset: An Act Curtain/Scrim of Thorin Oakenshield’s [Thror’s] map of Lonely Mountain.  Shifting patterns of light on curtain.

            (Sound of Music.  House lights fade.  Wisps of smoke in the light. 

            (GANDALF is revealed, on a ledge of the proscenium arch, high above the stage.  He        wears ceremonial wizard robes and carries a magic staff.  During his speech, he gestures to the map as well as to the images which are dimly revealed now and then through the scrim.)

                        GANDALF
Middle-earth: lost and distant, although near as one’s dreams.
Middle-earth: home to heroes and questings and schemes.
World of warriors and monsters of strange shape and size,
Land of legends and lessons and wizards most wise.
‘Pon a time now long past (though not yet full forgotten)
east of Mirkwood, near Laketown, doth stand Lonely Mountain.
            (Behind scrim: upstage: full moon, profile of mountain; downstage: by dim lanternlight BILBO the Hobbit, gazing at map held by BIFUR as THORIN, over BILBO’s shoulder, gestures at map.  Other DWARVES surround.)
Therein Dwarves carved a realm of great wealth beyond measure:
silver, diamonds and crystals and gold was their treasure.
In time riches brought fame, but then after, anon,
with a rushing of wings the Dwarves’ doomsday was spawned.
            (Silhouette of dragon in flight begins to appear before the full moon.)
From the Withered Heath Grey swooped a dragon to slay
ev’ry dwarf, ev’ry foe -- man or child -- in his way.
Evil greed drove this monster to murder and maim
or force fleeing the Dwarves while their treasure was claimed.
Dragon Smaug, demon Smaug, wicked Smaug was his name
breathing brimstone from hell, spewing fiery flame...!
            (A rush of smoke from the dragon silhouette before the moon.  A low bestial roar
            begins to rise and fill the theatre, in concert with the music.)

                        BILBO.
Wh-wh-what?!  “A m-m-monster” you s-say?  A d-d-demon?   A d-d-

                        DWARVES.  (In unison.)
Dragon!
                        BILBO.
...dragon?! 
            (BILBO emits a low whistle rising to teakettle shriek, joining the dragon’s roar before the Hobbit faints back into the arms of FILI and KILI.  Curtain rises with end of  music.  GANDALF is no longer in view.  Dragon and mountain profile are gone.)

Act I, Scene i.

            (Continuous with the preceding.  Interior of Bilbo’s home.  Late night.  While THORIN, disgusted, grabs the map from BILBO’s hands and steps away, DWALIN [the aged doctor among the Dwarves] checks BILBO’s pulse.)

                        THORIN.
Hopeless!  Utterly hopeless! 

                        DWALIN.
Not at all, Thorin -- I’m quite confident Mr. Baggins will recover momentarily.  Only just a mild case of nerves.
                        THORIN.  (Gesturing at BILBO, still fainted in FILI and KILI’s arms.)
You call that “nerves?” 

                        DWALIN.
I do -- although you must understand that my knowledge of Hobbits is somewhat scant.

                        THORIN.
And shall, it appears, remain as such.  Come along, lads -- we’re off.  Seems Gandalf wasted our time, summoning us to interview this sorry little creature.

                        BOMBUR.
Not entirely wasted.  Mr. Baggins provided us a most ample tea.  Think he’d mind if I took a few more seedcakes “for the road?”
            (GANDALF enters, no longer in his ceremonial robes, carrying a tray of cakes.)

                        GANDALF. (Offering cakes to BOMBUR.)
I’m sure Mr. Baggins would be honored, Mr. Bombur.  Are not Hobbits renowned throughout Middle-earth for their hospitality, their fondness for fine food? 
            (BOMBUR grabs a few and stuffs one in his mouth; several in his pockets.)

                        THORIN.
Certainly not known for their courage.

                        GANDALF.  (Presents the tray to THORIN.)
And you, Thorin Oakenshield?  Leaving so soon -- and with nothing?  Fresh from the oven -- piping hot -- hot as the dragon’s breath...

                        THORIN.
Come, come Gandalf -- only just look at the little creature: the mere mention of the dragon and the Hobbit fainted away like some flegling fairy.  
            (As THORIN continues to grouse, GANDALF hands tray off to BOMBUR and
            indicates for FILI and KILI to move BILBO into an easy chair.)
You can’t be serious -- thinking him brave enough to join my Dwarves in waging battle against...?

                        GANDALF. 
Oh, but indeed I am, Thorin Oakenshield; I am deadly serious.  
            (GANDALF waves a hand over BILBO in a healing gesture.  BILBO starts to stir .) 
Perhaps somewhat excitable, I’ll grant you -- as is a Hobbit’s nature.  But I’ll wager this Bilbo Baggins, in a pinch, would prove every bit as fierce as your dragon foe.  

                        BILBO.  (Coming to.)
Demons...hellfire and brimstone....dragons...?!

                        DWARVES.  (A grumble, nodding, in unison.)
Smaug.
                        BILBO. (A whimper.)
Smaug.
                        GANDALF.
There!  Only hear how taken he is with the notion of adventure?!

                        BILBO.  (Leaping out of the chair.)
“Adventure?!”  Me, Gandalf?

                        GANDALF.
But of course!
                        BILBO.
Oh, but no!  Dear me -- the idea.  Thanks all the same, but I’ve no use at all for adventures.  Nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable things they are.  Why, adventures are known to  make one late for dinner.

                        THORIN.
I rest my case.
            (THORIN turns to leave.)
Soon as we come here and clapped eyes on the pipsqueak, didn’t I have my doubts.

                        DWARVES.
Aye!
                        BIFUR.
What can this Hobbit know of dragons?

                        BOFUR
Of lost treasure?

                        DWARVES.
Nothing!
                        BILBO.
Just so -- nothing!

                        BALIN.
What does he know of murder?

                        FILI & KILI.
Of sorrow?
                        ORI, NORI, DORI.
Of war?
                        OIN, GLOIN.
Of hunger?
                         BOMBUR.
Hunger!
                        DWALIN.
Of death?
                        THORIN.
Of revenge?!
                        DWARVES.
Aye!  Revenge!
                        BILBO.
I know nothing!

                        DWARVES.
Nothing!
                        BILBO.  (Shaking hands and indicating exit.)
Nor do I care to know.  Oh, yes, I’m afraid Gandalf guided you to the wrong house entirely.  Got yourself the wrong Hobbit, and no mistake.  Pleasure to have made your acquaintance, do stop by again one day, but no adventures for me, thanks just the same.

                        BOMBUR.
Indeed!  Seems more like a grocer than a burglar!

                        GANDALF.  (Waving his staff at the group; all halt, frozen.)
Never mind what Bilbo Baggins seems!

                        BILBO.  (To BOMBUR.)
What’s that, sir?  Did you say “burglar?”

                        GANDALF.  (To THORIN.)
You asked me, Thorin Oakenshield, to seek out a fourteenth fellow for your expedition.  You requested, quite specifically, a burglar.

                        BILBO.
“A burglar?!”  Who, me?

                        GANDALF.  (Ignoring BILBO, still to THORIN.)
Someone who could sneak, without a sound, into the secret passage leading deep into the heart of Lonely Mountain, into the very chamber where the dragon Smaug has made himself a bed upon your stolen treasure...made a pillow of your throne... made a carpet of the bones of your slain ancestors.   Now, it’s common knowledge that there is no creature in all Middle-earth quite so silent and cunning as a Hobbit -- you must agree.
                         THORIN.
We must succeed!

                        GANDALF.
Then heed my council, trust my wisdom and -- with good luck -- you will.  But if you think I chose the wrong burglar, then you can leave  -- fare thee well   -- begone  with your band of thirteen ...              

                        DWARVES.  (Quiet grumble, shaking their heads.)
Thirteen.
                        GANDALF.
... and continue to suffer all the bad luck you’ve no doubt become so accustomed to.

                        THORIN. 
Gandalf! 
                        GANDALF.
Or why not just forget the dragon -- forget your lost kingdom and treasure altogether -- go back to a simpler life -- apply your dwarvish skill at digging coal.     

                        DWARVES.  (Grumble of great protest.)
Coal?!  Never!  Never again!

                        GANDALF.
But whatever your decision, remember that you have my wizard’s word on this: as Hobbits go, Bilbo Baggins is the best.
                        BILBO.
Absolutely right!  None better!  Now I don’t pretend to understand why you came to my home uninvited tonight, nor all this mention of burgling, but you’ve done me cruel injustice in presuming I’m no good.  Well, you’re wrong!  You just tell me what you want done and I will do my best to try it, even if I have to trek east of East and do battle with wild Were-worms!          
            (DWARVES regard BILBO with surprise.  BILBO suddenly realizes what he said and also opens his mouth and eyes wide, then claps his hands over his mouth.  GANDALF chuckles and seizes the opportunity to close the deal.)

                        GANDALF.  
Well, then -- that’s settled, yes?  Mr. Baggins shall be your burglar after all, just as I said he would.  Now it’s grown rather late -- quite dark, isn’t it?

                        THORIN.
Dark for dark business.

                        GANDALF.  (As BILBO takes up a candle.)
Never mind freshening the candles, Bilbo -- let’s show your new traveling companions to their beds, shall we?

                        BILBO.
But...
                        GANDALF.
Oh, but I’m sure they can find them on their own.  Sleep well, fellows.  You’ll want to make an early start of it tomorrow, won’t you?

                        BILBO.
But... 
                        THORIN.
Right!  Dwarves?  To bed and then away at morning!
                       
                        DWARVES.  (Singing.)
FAR OVER THE MISTY MOUNTAINS COLD
TO DUNGEONS DEEP AND CAVERNS OLD
WE MUST AWAY ERE BREAK OF DAY
TO SEEK THE PALE ENCHANTED GOLD
            (DWARVES start to exit into interior of Bilbo’s home.)

                        THORIN.  (Over continued underscore.)
And as for breakfast, Burglar Baggins: I’ll have six eggs with my ham -- fried, not poached -- and mind the yolks, won’t you: don’t break ‘em.

                        DWARVES.  (As indicated, exiting.)
BIFUR:  Bacon!   Don’t suppose you have any bacon, eh?
BOFUR:  How about sausage?
GLOIN:  Scrambled eggs...
OIN:  ...with cheese!
FILI & KILI:  Porridge and honey!
NORI:  Oatmeal muffins...
ORI:  ...and butter...
DORI:  ...and jam!
BOMBUR:  I’ll take six porkchops, please!
BALIN:  Same as Bombur!
DWALIN:  Might you have prunes?

(Again they sing in unison.)

THE DWARVES OF YORE MADE MIGHTY SPELLS
WHILE HAMMERS FELL LIKE RINGING BELLS
IN PLACES DEEP WHERE DARK THINGS SLEEP
IN HOLLOW HALLS BENEATH THE FELLS

THE PINES WERE ROARING ON THE HEIGHT
THE WINDS WERE MOANING IN THE NIGHT
SMAUG’S FIRE WAS RED, AND FLAMING SPREAD
THE TREES LIKE TORCHES BLAZED WITH LIGHT!
            (DWARVES have exited.  BILBO, holding the candle, looks for GANDALF.)

                        BILBO.
Gandalf?!  A word, please -- I really must insist!
            (GANDALF raises his arms and conjures a rush of wind.  He disappears as BILBO’s candle flame is blown out.  BILBO sinks into the easy chair, illumined only by a shaft of light from the moon.)

                        DWARVES.
THE  MOUNTAINS SMOKED BENEATH THE MOON
THE DWARVES, THEY HEARD THE TRAMP OF DOOM
THEN FLED THEIR HALL TO DYING FALL
‘NEATH DRAGON’S FEET, BENEATH THE MOON

            (Moon fades.  Streak of morning sidelight upstage reveals DWARVES trekking, laden with packs and miscellaneous gear.)

                        DWARVES.
FAR OVER THE MISTY MOUNTAINS GRIM
TO DUNGEONS DEEP AND CAVERNS DIM
WE MUST AWAY, ERE BREAK OF DAY,
TO WIN OUR TREASURE BACK FROM HIM!


Act I, Scene ii.

  
            (Continuous with the preceding.  Interior of Bilbo’s home.  Morning.  Birds’ song. BILBO is wriggling fitfully, uncomfortably asleep in the easy chair, snoring.)
                        GANDALF. (Entering)
 Bilbo?  Bilbo Baggins?

                         BILBO.  (Awakening with a start.)
 Hullo!  What?  Ho!
             (Focusing on GANDALF -- slightly displeased.)
 Oh.     
                         GANDALF.
 And a “Ho” and “oh,” to you too.  But Mr. Baggins, my dear fellow, whatever is the matter with you?

                        BILBO.
 Gandalf?
                         GANDALF.
 Great elephants! -- haven’t you any idea of the hour?  Look at you: still in bed!
  
                        BILBO.
 This is not my bed.
  
                        GANDALF.
 Bilbo Baggins, it’s already half past ten!
  
                        BILBO.  (Peering cautiously about his home.)
 Indeed?  Say, Gandalf -- about that pack of dwarves from last night?
  
                        GANDALF
 Long since up and out and about their business.
  
                        BILBO.  (A yawn and a smile.)
 Delighted to hear it.
             (Correcting himself.)
 No, I meant, “what a pity.”  It seems I shall be unable to go adventuring with them after all.
             (He exits to return almost immediately with toothbrush and cup.)

                        GANDALF.  (Referring to a note he takes from the side table by chair.)
 Thorin Oakenshield was obliged to leave a message for you, since they certainly couldn’t be expected to wait.
                         BILBO.  (Brushing his teeth.)
 A little “thank you” for my generous hospitality, I shouldn’t wonder.
  
                        GANDALF.  (Gruffly clears his throat.  Reads.)
 “To Burglar Baggins:  For your hospitality, our sincerest thanks...”
  
                        BILBO.
 Just as I thought.
                         GANDALF. (Still reading.)
 “...and for your offer of professional assistance in our quest, our grateful acceptance.  Terms: cash on delivery, up to and not exceeding one-fourteenth of total profits; all travelling expenses guaranteed, as well as funeral expenses...”

                        BILBO.  (Spewing toothpowder foam into his cup.)
“Funeral expenses?!”
                        GANDALF.  (Still reading.)
“...if such occasion should arise.”

                        BILBO.  (Snatching note from GANDALF’s hand; reading.)
“Thinking it unnecessary to disturb your esteemed repose, we have proceeded in advance to make requisite preparations for the journey and shall await your respected person at the eastern pass of Hobbiton Hill, Bywater, at precisely 11 a.m. sharp.”
            (BILBO hands note back to GANDALF then again snuggles up in the easy chair.)
                        GANDALF.  (Reading.)
“Trusting that you will be punctual, we have the honour to remain, Yours deeply, Thorin Oakenshield, Dwarf King in Exile, along with Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dwalin, Balin, Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin, Dori, Ori and Nori.” 
            (A pause.)
Bilbo?
                         BILBO.  (Falling asleep.)
Hmmm?
                         GANDALF.
11 a.m. sharp.
                         BILBO.
What about it?
                         GANDALF.
That gives you only just about ten minutes.  If you run.
             (With his staff, GANDALF raps the base of the chair, causing BILBO to leap to his feet.)

                        BILBO.
But...!
                         GANDALF.  (Thrusting BILBO into his jacket.)
 No time for it.
                         BILBO.
 ...Gandalf...!
                         GANDALF.  (Handing BILBO a pipe and tobacco pouch.)
 No time for that either.

                         BILBO.
 But...!
                         GANDALF.  (Steering BILBO toward the exit.)
 Not to worry; I’ll lock up.
  
                         BILBO. (Exiting.)
 But...!
                         GANDALF. 
 Now hurry!
             (Gesture of staff, sound of door slam and a little shriek from BILBO, offstage.)
 Be off!
             (Accompanied by music underscore, GANDALF waves his staff over the setting and
             scene shift begins.  GANDALF addresses the audience.)
And that, (more or less), is how Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, at the young age of fifty and one-half years, came to leave his comfortable home at Bag-End, Hobbiton, The Shire -- and embark upon his very first adventure...
             (The shift now complete, GANDALF withdraws.)   



Act I, Scene iii.


      (Continuous with the preceding.  A montage of the expedition into the wild lands
      beyond the Shire. 

      (DWARVES process, hiking up a moderately-sloping trail.  Sunset.  The morning
      twittering of birds from the scene previous now gives way to sound of hawk’s
      cries and intermittent hollow breeze.)

            DWARVES.  (Singing as they trek.)
FAR OVER THE MISTY MOUNTAINS’ FOG
THROUGH MARSHY MARSH AND BOGGY BOG
WE’LL MARCH TO FIGHT FROM DAWN ‘TIL NIGHT
AND WIN OUR TREASURE BACK FROM SMAUG!

            BILBO.  (Running to catch up.)
Mr. Oakenshield?!  Mr. Oakenshield!

            THORIN.
What is it, Baggins?

            BILBO.
Mightn’t we please just rest here -- just for a moment?

            THORIN.
Rest?  Why, we’ve only been trekking barely five hours.

            BILBO.
Please, sir.  I’d like to... I wish to...

            THORIN.
Out with it!

            BILBO.
I want only a brief moment so I can bid farewell to the Shire.

            THORIN.
“The Shire?”

            BILBO. 
My home.  I don’t know when I’ll ever see the Shire again.  Or even  if  I’ll ever...    

            THORIN. (A grumble.)
Well, aren’t you a sentimental little...
      (A gruff nod.)
If you must.  But no more than one -- one minute to say your goodbyes.  And then, no more whining for the remainder of the journey -- agreed?
      (BILBO nods, not really listening, as his eyes gaze over the distant Shire, bathed in       the last rose-tinted rays of sunset.  He heaves a great sigh.)

            GANDALF.  (Appearing behind BILBO, unnoticed by the Hobbit.)
And thus, the first day was not unlike the days -- indeed weeks -- to follow.  The Dwarves trundled on, seldom turning about to take any notice of the little Hobbit scrambling after.
      (BILBO rises and runs off.  GANDALF begins to move opposite.  DWARVES reappear.)
In time, our adventurers found themselves deep within the Lone-lands, where there were no people ... only an endless horizon of dreary hills and heaths and scraggled, sun-starved trees.  Even the weather began to take a turn for the worse.
      (GANDALF withdraws.  A chilly wind.  Grey day.)

            BILBO.  (Bringing up the rear, huffing and puffing.)
Oh, drat, bother and confustication!

            BOMBUR
Who’s that dratting now?

            BALIN.
Three guesses.

            DWARVES.
The Hobbit.

            THORIN.
Baggins?!  I thought we’d agreed there was to be no whining?

            BILBO.
Well, yes, but...

            THORIN.
But what?!  What’s the matter this time?

            BILBO.
“This time?!” This time?  Well, I’ll tell you Mr. Oakenshield:  for three weeks now, we’ve done nothing but tramp, tramp, tramp over hill and dale (at a most relentless, unhealthy pace for a hobbit unused to exercise, I might add), therefore causing me to perspire absolute buckets so that this bitter wind is bound to give me the most frightful cold and then -- adding insult to injury -- I was forced to leave my home in such a rush that I haven’t so much as a single pocket-handkerchief!
      (DWARVES all gasp in mock horror; with a snicker they continue moving off.)

            THORIN.
Now isn’t that a pity.  Too bad you Hobbits have no beards -- every bit as useful as a handkerchief -- and handier to boot.

            KILI.
I believe Bifur’s got a handkerchief, Bilbo.

            FILI.
That’s right.  Bifur’s come down with one doozy of a spring sniffle.

            KILI & FILI
Ho, Bifur!

            KILI.
Lend friend Bilbo here your handkerchief, will you?

            BIFUR.  (Blowing and wiping.)
Well -- I suppose -- but only for a while, mind you.

            BILBO.
Much obliged, Mr. Bifur -- but I wouldn’t dream of inconveniencing you.

            BIFUR.
No?
            BILBO.
Thanks just the same.
      (BIFUR, FILI and KILI shrug and continue on their way.)

            THORIN.
I had hoped, Mr. Baggins, that by now you’d have learned to do without such luxuries.

            BILBO.
On the contrary, sir!  Whatever hardships I may suffer, I still  intend to remain a gentleman -- to the last.

            THORIN.
Do you indeed?  Well, we’ll just see about that, Bilbo Baggins.  We’ll see...
      (Scene shift.  GANDALF appears.)

            GANDALF.
Ever onward they trudged, until soon there was no road at all to lead or comfort them.  Fully a month now had passed without encountering any people: Dwarf, Hobbit, Man or otherwise.  The hills and trees grew higher and wilder and the air was often filled with the strangest moans and flutterings -- sounds Mr. Baggins had never heard before -- and the hobbit could not help but tremble....
      (GANDALF exits.  DWARVES set pile of supplies down beside pit and busy themselves sorting pack and taking inventory.  Sound of a flowing stream.)

            THORIN.
Baggins?!  Burglar Baggins?! 
      (BILBO stumbles on, bone-weary.)
Look alive there, Hobbit -- night is falling fast and we’d best be quick about making camp.  Shouldn’t want any trouble.
      (BILBO suddenly tenses.  THORIN moves to DWALIN.)
Dwalin?  How’s about testing the water down there -- see if it’s poison or no.

            DWALIN.
What?  Me?

            THORIN.
Well -- you’re the doctor.

            BILBO.  (Tugging at THORIN’s sleeve; THORIN ignores him.)
“Trouble?”

            DWALIN.  (Peering over edge of pit.)
You’re asking me -- a gnarly old dwarf such as me -- to climb down that cliff  and...?!
     
            BILBO.
Mr. Oakenshield?

            THORIN.
No, we’ll let your brother Balin fetch the water up.  I only just want you to take a taste and...

            BILBO.
Thorin Oakenshield, sir?!

            THORIN.  (Whirling on BILBO.)
What?!  What’s your trouble?! 

            BILBO.
You said.

            THORIN.
Said what?

            BILBO.
“Trouble.” 

            THORIN.
Your middle name, it seems.

            BILBO.
No.  Before.  You said you shouldn’t want trouble.  I’m wondering what sort of trouble... precisely.

            THORIN.
We’re in the middle of the Lone-lands now, Baggins.

            BILBO.
Yes?  And...?

            THORIN.
You mean to say you’ve never in your little Hobbit life looked at a map of Middle-Earth, never read any thrilling tales of exploration...?

            BILBO.  (A weak smile and a shrug.)
I hardly even knew the western edge of the Shire.

            THORIN.
Well, Baggins -- to put it in the simplest terms I know: it’s pretty much wild country from here on in.

            BILBO.
Yes?  And...?

            THORIN.
And wild means wild.
           
            BILBO.
How wild?

            THORIN.  (A growl of impatience.)
Wild enough for Wargs.

            BILBO.  (A screech.)
“Wargs?!”

            OTHERS.  (A wary look into the falling night.)
Shhh!
            THORIN.  (A whisper.)
Aye!  Wargs.  Or worse.

            BILBO.
W...w...worse?

            THORIN.
Trolls.    
            BILBO.
“Trolls?!”
            DWARVES.  (Ominous.)
Trolls.
            BILBO.
You mean here? 

            DWARVES.  (Collective nod upstage.)
There.
            BILBO.
Now?
            THORIN.  (Almost relishing tormenting BILBO.)
Not quite yet.  But soon.  Maybe. 
      (He gives BILBO a look before turning away.  BILBO is quaking.)

            DWALIN.
Night is the only time for trolls.

            BIFUR.
Trolls can’t never prowl about in the daytime.

            BALIN.
The sunlight is certain death to ‘em.

            FILI & KILI.
Sun’ll make a troll turn to stone.

            BILBO.  (Backing up toward pit in fear.)
Only look!  Oh, dear!  The sun!  It’s setting!
      (BILBO whirls to run, knocks DWARVES who topple and lose their packs into
      the stream below.  An enormous splash.  DWARVES look over the edge of the pit
      and utter a collective moan.)

            DWALIN.
What happened?

            THORIN.  (A rising growl.)
Oh, bother, you... you... Hobbit!
      (He picks up BILBO by the collar.)

            BIFUR.
Our food -- swept downstream -- gone!

            BOMBUR.
Our food?  Gone?!

            BALIN.
Our tents!

            DWALIN.
Our lanterns!

            FILI & KILI.
Our weapons!

            BOMBUR.
Our food?!!

            THORIN.  (Swinging BILBO out over the pit.)
Baggins -- can Hobbits swim?

            BILBO.
No!  No, sir, I’m afraid not...!

            THORIN.
High time you learned!

            BILBO.
No, no -- please, Mr, Oakenshield -- I’m sorry, aren’t I?    I’ll ... I’ll make amends...

            THORIN.  (Setting him down.)
Oh, you will, will you?  How?

            DWARVES.  (Sitting, defeated.)
Our supplies.  Swept away.

            BOMBUR.  (Quiet sobs.)
Our food.

            BILBO.
I don’t suppose we can manage without ... just for a while.

            THORIN.
No!  But I’m quite certain we could manage without you !

            BILBO.
What about the others who’ve gone ahead  ... Nori, Dori, Bofur ... ?

            THORIN.
Barely three days’ short rations.

            BILBO.
Why, that sounds rather meager, I must say!

            THORIN.
One doesn’t burden down a scouting party -- but then, you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you, worthless, ill-read, Shire-lovin’...

            BILBO.
Yes!  The Shire!  We can all just go back to Hobbiton and I’ll gladly pay for replacement supplies.

            THORIN.
And lose more than two months’ time in the process?  Can’t be done, Baggins!  We’ve got a rigid schedule to follow, if we’re ever going to succeed in this quest.  Though I’m sorely tempted, mind you -- tempted indeed to take you back to your little Hobbit-hole and forget that old greybeard Gandalf ever introduced us!

            BILBO.
Gandalf!  That’s it --  he’s a wizard -- he should be able to help us.  But where’s he been these past days?  
      (A call.)
Gandalf?!  Gandalf!

            BALIN.  (Looking intently upstage and off.)
Hush!  Bilbo!  Thorin!

            THORIN.
Balin?  What is it?

            BALIN.  (Pointing.)
Look!  See?  A light!  There!  Deep in the woods!

            THORIN.
A campfire!

            FILI & KILI.
And smell!
      (DWARVES inhale in unison.)

            BOMBUR.  (In bliss.)
Mutton!  Fresh roasted mutton!

            DWARVES.  (A sigh.)
Food!
            BOMBUR.
Food!
            BILBO.
Food!           
            THORIN.
Baggins?!
            BILBO.
Oh-oh. 
            THORIN.
My dear Mr. Baggins...

            BILBO.
Please, no, don’t ask me...

            THORIN.
You’ve been wanting to apologize...

            BILBO.
... but the woods... the dark...

            THORIN.
... to make amends for the gear you lost us...

            BILBO.
... I’ll be lost...
            THORIN.
...to prove you’re not worthless... to prove that you are indeed the brilliant burglar you profess to be...

            BILBO.
I  never professed; it was Gandalf who...

            THORIN.
Gandalf isn’t here to help us now.  You, Bilbo -- you’re our only hope.  Look at us -- your dear friends -- starving, defenseless, cold.  And not half a league away -- a fire and food.  All we want is for you to find out about it.  Show us why you Hobbits are renowned the world over for your skills in silent, hushy, burgly ways.  Just a little peek is all we’re asking of you, Bilbo -- just find out for us if that fire harbours friends or foes...

           BILBO.
And if ..if...if ...

            THORIN.
...they be friends?  Why then scuttle back here quick and we’ll go back as a group and beg ourselves a bite.

            BILBO.
And if...if...if...

            THORIN.
...if they be foes?  Why, scurry back then, too -- assuming, of course, that you can.
      (BILBO starts the teakettle sound.  THORIN clasps his hand over BILBO’s mouth.)
There’s a good Hobbit.  You know, we’re counting on you, Baggins -- aren’t we, lads?
      (DWARVES grin insincerely and nod.)
Off with you then... go on ... show us the stuff you’re made of ... go and make us proud!

      (A shove and BILBO is off.  DWARVES follow THORIN  to edge of stage, snickering and grumbling.  Light focuses on BILBO.  Dim, flickering orange light on his face.)

            BILBO.
Easy, Bilbo.  Easy.  First one step.  Now the other....
      (A flapping of wings and scream of an owl.  BILBO screeches, then slaps his hands over his mouth, regains his breath.)
Only just an owl.  Nothing to fear...yet. 
      (He resumes approaching fire.)
That’s it.  Closer.  There’s the fire.  Just a quick peek.  Are they friends or foes?  Friends or foes?  Friends or...
      (A deep, earthshaking growl begins.  BILBO turns to us in wide-eyed terror as DWARVES stir and stand attentive.)
...f-f-f-f-f-FOES!   T-t-t-t-t-...

      (Three huge growls. BILBO looks straight up as light blacks out on him; simultaneous with a great shadow passing over the DWARVES who are also looking up in terror.)

            BILBO & DWARVES.  (In unison.)
TROLLS!
     (Blackout.  Music.  Scene shift, during which we hear TROLLS singing.)

            TROLLS.
SNEAK, SNEAK, TAKE A LITTLE PEEK
DUCK, NAB!  PLUCK ‘EM UP AND GRAB!
DWARVES IN A BUNCH MAKE A LATE-NIGHT LUNCH!
MINCE ‘EM, DICE ‘EM, THINLY SLICE ‘EM!
BROIL!  BASTE!  HOW THEY GONNA TASTE?
BEWARE!  DINNER IN THE AIR!
STEW ‘EM IN A POT!
THEN WE EATS ‘EM HOT!



Act I, Scene iv.


      (Trolls’ camp.  Middle of night.  The Trolls: TOM, BERT and WILL sit side-by-side on a stone “bench” around a campfire: the carcass of a roasted sheep has been displaced by a simmering cauldron in which BILBO is being cooked; occasionally the Hobbit removes the cauldron lid and appears from within. DWARVES are nearby, tied together with rope, jostling, grumbling, cursing.)

            TOM. (At song’s end.)
Finally!  Somethin’ besides mutton, fer a change!

            BERT.
Right!  Only what is it, exactly, I’m wonderin’!

            WILL.  (Rapping cauldron lid with spoon.)
Hey, you!
            BILBO.  (Poking head up.)
M...m...me, sirs?

            TROLLS.  (In unison.)
Yeah, you!
            BILBO.
Wha...wha...what, sirs?

            WILL.
“Wha...wha...what” exactly are you, anyways?

            BERT.
It ain’t no dwarf, that’s sure an’ certain.

            THORIN.
Indeed he is not!
           
            TOM.  (A growl toward DWARVES.)
An’ who asked you?!
      (To BERT and WILL.)
Lumme, don’t I just hate dwarves!

            BERT.
Hateful -- ‘specially when they ain’t cooked yet.

            WILL.  (Regarding BILBO.)
Wonder how this little creetur’s gonna cook up, though. 

            BERT.
A nice, slow simmerin’s how we wants to go ‘bout it -- since we don’t know how tough he’s gonna be.

            TOM.
What, him?  “Tough?”  Hardly!
      (TROLLS and DWARVES laugh at BILBO.  BILBO is offended.)

            BERT.
Wished we had some vegetables to put in though.

            TOM.
Mmmm -- onions -- to cover up the flavor.

            WILL.
Add a dash more pepper anyways, why don’t you, Tom?

            TOM.
Wha’ for?
            WILL.
In case he don’t taste no good.

            TOM.
But Will -- you know how I hates pepper.

            WILL.
Salt, then!
            TOM.
Don’t care for salt much, neither.

            WILL.
Well, what would you care for, then?

            TOM.
I’d care to taste ‘im first, afore we goes puttin’ in too much salt and too much pepper!

            WILL.
Fine! Fine!  Fine!

            BERT.
Tom! Will!
      (TOM and WILL stop bickering a moment.)
Now that you two’s got the salt and pepper settled, any ideas ‘bout the dwarves?

            TOM.
Ohh, I dunno -- what do you think, Will?

            WILL.
I says roast ‘em.

            BERT.
Naw -- roastin’d take the whole night long.

            WILL.
Then why’d you ask me for?

            BERT.
I never asked you -- Tom there asked you.

            TOM.
I’m with Bert -- so I says we squash ‘em.  Squash them dwarves into jelly.  Squashin’s quick, ain’t it?

            BERT.
Oh, but I weren’t thinkin’ jelly, Tom.

            TOM.
No?
            BERT.
No, I were thinkin’ we could just chop ‘em up real nice like.

            WILL.
For a nice chutney then, what?

            BERT, TOM & DWARVES.
No, not chutney!
           
            BERT.
No, we mean to boil ‘em all, o’ course!  Why, the water’s already warmin’ up, ain’t it?
      (Rapping on the cauldron lid.)
Hey, you!  You what ain’t a dwarf!
      (BILBO cautiously peers up.)
Water hot yet?

            BILBO.
Oh, my, I should say it is -- quite hot!

            BERT.
Good!  Now keep the lid on!
      (BILBO ducks back down.  To TOM and WILL.)
We’re all agreed, then?  Chop up the dwarves an’ boil ‘em?

            WILL.
Whatever you say, Bert.  Whatever’s quickest.

            TOM.  (A gasp.)
That’s right!  It’ll be mornin’ afore we knows it.

            WILL.
And we don’t want to turn into stone, now do we?

            TRIO.
Nooooo!
            BERT.
All right, then, lads -- best we start a-choppin’...
      (DWARVES cringe.  GANDALF appears, hidden from TROLLS.)

            GANDALF.  (Voice mimics TOM.)
Wait!
        WILL & BERT.  (A surprised look at TOM.)
Eh?
            TOM.  (To WILL & BERT.)
“Eh” what?
            WILL.  (To TOM.)
That’s right.  What?

            TOM.
“What” what?
            BERT.
You just said “Wait!”

            TOM.
Didn’t.
            WILL & BERT.
Did.
            TOM.
I never said a word.

            BERT.
Who, then?
      (TROLLS all look at cauldron, threatening.)

            BILBO.  (From within; lid quakes.)
Not I!
            WILL.
Ohh, let’s just get on with it, eh?

            GANDALF.  (Mimics TOM again.)
Can’t chop ‘em now, it’ll take all night.

            BERT.
Now, Tom! -- don’t you start in arguin’ again or it will take all night.
            TOM.
Who’s arguin’?!

            BERT.
You are! 
            WILL.
Again!
            TOM.
Never!  It were Will!

            WILL.
Were not!  Were you!

            TOM.
Liar!
            WILL.
Booby!
            TOM.
Booby yerself!

            BERT.
Will!  Tom!  We’re wastin’ time!

            TOM & WILL.  (A growl.  A sigh.)
All right.
            BERT.
Oh, never mind the food now.  Best we get ourselves into the cave. 

            WILL.
Listen -- already the birds are startin’ in to wake. 

            TOM.
Summer dawn comes early.

            GANDALF.  (Stepping out of the dark and raising his staff to the sky.)
Yes!  Then let the dawn come!  May the sun strike you all and make stone of you!
      (A ray of sunlight.  Twitter of birds.  Music.  TROLLS tremble and emanate smoke before turning to stone.  GANDALF quickly rushes to the cauldron and taps upon the lid.)

            BILBO.  (From within the cauldron.)
No!  Don’t eat me!  Don’t eat me!  I’m not done yet!

            GANDALF.
Oh, yes you are!

            BILBO.  (Peeking out.)
Gandalf?!
            GANDALF.
Your hand, my dear Mr. Baggins!

            BILBO.  (As GANDALF lifts him out of the cauldron.)
With the greatest pleasure!
      (DWARVES impatiently clamor for attention: “Gandalf!  Here!  Help us!”.)
            THORIN.
Gandalf!  What about us?
      (GANDALF points his staff and the rope falls, releasing DWARVES.  BILBO takes a step toward them, then sees that THORIN is striding towards him angrily, so BILBO halts, pivots and races off.  THORIN inspects the TROLLS.)
“Jelly,” indeed!

            GANDALF.
What else could one expect from Trolls?

            THORIN.
I’ll tell you this much: we didn’t expect to be captured.

            GANDALF.
No?  Then how came you to be?

            DWARVES.  (In unison.)
Bilbo Baggins!

            THORIN.
He’s been nothing but trouble since you first hired him on!

            GANDALF.
I beg to differ, Thorin Oakenshield -- you offered him the situation.
            THORIN.
At your recommendation.

            GANDALF.
That’s correct.  I recommended Mr. Baggins as a most particular burglar for a most particular task having to do with a most particular treasure guarded by a most particular dragon.  I don’t recollect discussing a single thing having to do with Trolls.

            BOMBUR.   (Munching on the mutton.)
But that Baggins made us lose our food!  We needed food!

            BIFUR.
And fire!
            KILI & FILI.
Weapons!
            BILBO.  (Appearing, dragging an enormous burlap sack.)
Then have it all and more -- and leave me be!
      (BILBO leaves the sack and exits again, angrily.)

            THORIN.
What’s this?
      (DWARVES pounce on the sack.)

            GANDALF.
Loot, I shouldn’t wonder.  Trolls’ plunder.  It would appear that, while you Dwarves stood here grousing, Mr. Baggins has made himself of some great good use after all.

            DWALIN.
Bacon!
            BALIN.
Bread!
            BOMBUR.
And cheese!
            KILI.
A tinderbox!
            FILI.
And flint!
            KILI & FILI
For fire!
            BIFUR.
And look here!  Gold!

            THORIN.  (Eyes flash with greed.)
Gold?!
      (THORIN rushes to join the DWARVES as they argue and grab.  BILBO reappears and stands at GANDALF’s side, carrying another, smaller sack.)

            BILBO.
Perhaps now I’ll be forgiven.

            GANDALF.
Perhaps.
            BILBO.
At least the gold seems to make them happy.

            GANDALF.
And you?
            BILBO.
I’m just happy to be alive -- and most grateful to you for that.  Only Gandalf , where were you -- where did you go?

            GANDALF.
To look ahead.

            BILBO.
And what brought you back here in the nick of time?

            GANDALF.
Looking behind.

            THORIN.  (Frenzied.)
More!  There must be more!
      (Seeing BILBO.)
Baggins!  Where did you find...
      (Noticing the sack in BILBO’s hands.)
What’s that?  There in the bag, Baggins?  More gold?  Keeping it for yourself, are you?!

            BILBO.
No -- only weapons, is all.

            THORIN.
I don’t believe you!  Show, then!  Share!  Everyone gets a share!
      (He shoves BILBO aside and thrusts his hand into the sack.  He screams and pulls his hand out, wounded.  DWALIN immediately steps forward to tend to THORIN’s bleeding palm.)

            GANDALF.
Bilbo did warn you, Thorin.

            BILBO.
No gold -- just a dagger and some rusty swords.

            BIFUR.  (Pulling a sword out of the sack.)
Only Thorin -- see here!

            BOMBUR.
Most extraordinary!
      (BOMBUR also pulls out a sword.  Both have silvered, jewelled scabbards and hilts.)

            THORIN.
Silver!  Jewels!  Give me!

            GANDALF.  (Stepping between BIFUR and BOMBUR and THORIN.)
Ah-ah-ah.  “Everyone gets a share.”  You Dwarves have divided the gold amongst yourselves; Bilbo Baggins and I shall settle for the swords.
      (BIFUR and BOMBUR offer swords to GANDALF and BILBO.)

            THORIN.  (To BILBO.)
You can’t be serious.  That sword’s as big as you.

            BILBO.
True.  There is another blade.
      (Sets sword on ground; pulls dagger out of the sack.)
A dagger.  This suits me better, Gandalf, don’t you think?
     
            GANDALF.  (A shrug, a nod.)
Only mind the blood.

            THORIN.
My blood.
      (As BILBO wipes the blade with sack, grabbing BILBO’s discarded sword.)
And so this...?

            GANDALF.
Quite suitable for a king, I should think.
      (THORIN chuckles in delight and boastfully displays his new sword to all.)
You’ll notice there are words engraved on our weapons -- ancient runes carved into the metal.  I’ll wager these blades are Elvin-make -- and maybe magical.

            BILBO.  (Looking in awe at his dagger.)
“Magical?!”
            GANDALF.
I said “maybe.”  We’ll want to ask Elrond.

            BILBO.
Elrond?
            GANDALF.
A dreadfully dear friend of mine.  Elrond is the Elf-lord of Rivendell.
            BILBO.
“Elf-lord of” what?

            GANDALF.
Of Rivendell.  Our next destination.
      (Music.  Scene shift.  GANDALF and BILBO turn and follow the DWARVES who have started off behind THORIN, who proudly holds high his new weapon.)




Act I, Scene v.

      (Rivendell.  A perfect midsummer’s night.  A moon shines clear over the valley, fireflies twinkle in the glade, stars glisten above.  ELVES welcome the “lesser” DWARVES -- once the scene is established, ELROND will enter, followed by GANDALF, THORIN, BILBO and Elrond’s daughter ARWEN.)

            ELVES.  (Singing.)
O!  WHERE ARE YOU GOING, AND WHAT ARE YOU AFTER?
THE RIVER IS FLOWING!  COME JOIN IN THE LAUGHTER!
O!  TRA-LA-LA-LALLY, HERE DOWN IN THE VALLEY!

O!  WHERE ARE GOING WITH BEARDS ALL A-WAGGIN’?
NO KNOWING, NO KNOWING WHAT BRINGS MISTER BAGGINS
AND BALIN AND DWALIN DOWN INTO THE VALLEY IN JUNE.

O!  WILL YOU BE STAYING OR WILL YOU BE FLYING?
NO NEED TO GO STRAYING!  THE DAYLIGHT IS DYING!
TO FLY WOULD BE FOLLY, TO STAY SHOULD BE JOLLY
SO REST HERE AND HARK TILL THE END OF THE DARK TO OUR TUNE.

            ELROND.  (Examining GANDALF’s sword.)
Wonderful!
            ARWEN.
Most astonishing!
           
            ELROND.
And wonderful!

            THORIN.
Yes?  And...?

            ELROND.
And very old.

            THORIN.  (A grunt.)
I could have told you as much.

            GANDALF.  (Admonishing.)
Mr. Oakenshield!  We are guests here in Rivendell.  Patience -- yes?
      (THORIN mutters and drinks from a tankard.)
Pray continue, Elrond.

            ELROND.
These weapons were fashioned by my ancestors for battle in the great Goblin-wars of long ago yesteryears.

            BILBO.
Goblins?!
            ARWEN.
Yes, Mr. Baggins.  Goblins -- and dragons, too -- destroyed the fabled kingdom of our Elven forefathers, many long ages past.  And my mother, but a mere four hundred years ago, she too fell victim to the goblins’ treachery. 

            ELROND.  (Handing sword to GANDALF.)
Your sword, Gandalf, was renowned far and wide as “Glamdring” -- to the goblins: “Foe- hammer.”  It was carried in battle by none other than the Elvenking himself!
      (Taking THORIN’s sword.)
And yours, Mr. Oakenshield, bears the runes which, in the ancient tongue, name it “Orcrist” -- or “Goblin-cleaver.”

            ARWEN.
Also a weapon of no small fame among our people.

            ELROND.  (Returning sword to THORIN.)
May it serve you well.

            THORIN.
And cleave goblins again!

            ELROND.
A wish all-too-likely to be granted as you journey through the mountains just ahead.

            THORIN.  (Pivoting to join his kinsman.)
Bah!  I’ve no great fear of goblins!

            ELROND.  (Ominous, out of Thorin’s hearing.)
Oh, but you should have.
      (To ARWEN.)
Arwen, my daughter -- please see that our guests’ desires are well met? 
            ARWEN.
With pleasure, father.  Mr. Baggins -- might I tempt you with some cakes and honeymead?

            BILBO.
Oh, yes, miss!  I mean, my lady .... Princess ... your Highness ... 
            ARWEN.
“Arwen.”  Please.
      (She offers her hand.  BILBO is enchanted.)

            BILBO.
And I’m Bil...Bil...

            GANDALF.
Bilbo Baggins?

            BILBO.  (Bedazzled, not taking his eyes of ARWEN.)
Uh-huh?
            GANDALF.
Haven’t you a dagger you’d like Elrond to see?

            BILBO.
What?  Oh... oh, yes ...my dagger. 

            ARWEN.  (A pat of BILBO’s hand, before releasing it.)
Please don’t tarry too long. 
      (ARWEN withdraws.  BILBO stands gazing after her.  GANDALF
      clears his throat.)

            BILBO.  (Finally turning, blushing.  Offers dagger to ELROND.)
Forgive me.  It’s all -- everything, everyone is so... sweet ...here. 
            ELROND.
Yes.  Our valley is a place where, thankfully, weapons have no use or meaning.

            BILBO.
Still -- has my dagger got a famous name like the others?

            ELROND.
I’m afraid not, Bilbo.  It appears you may have to provide its name and fame yourself.  Nevertheless, it is not without its magic. 
            BILBO.
Magic?  What?

            ELROND.
Much like Glamdring and Orcrist, your dagger shall warn you whenever and wherever danger is near.

            BILBO.
Warn me?  How?  Can it speak?

            ELROND.
No, rather it can glow.  Much like the moon, your blade has the power to reflect the murky, hell-tormented light of any souls sinister.

            BILBO.  (A bit afraid to take it back from ELROND.)
Oh?!  But, indeed, I have no wish to ever meet such people.

            ELROND.
Of course you don’t.  But for tonight, you’ve naught to fear.   Put the blade away, Bilbo Baggins --  it shall not glimmer here.  Go now and refresh yourself; see? my daughter awaits.
      (BILBO tucks his dagger in his belt and sees ARWEN amidst the DWARVES and ELVES, listening to THORIN.  BILBO joins ARWEN.  Focus shifts.)

            THORIN.  (In the middle of a story.)
...and on the dreadful day the Dragon came, I was not inside the Lonely Mountain, but my grandfather King Thror and father Thrain, they were -- deep inside the treasure chamber.  It is said that at first there was only a sound -- a far-off flapping of wings.  Soon it grew to a rushing noise and a roaring wind like a hurricane, and the pine trees creaked and cracked.  Then, with Smaug’s breath came a blaze over the Mountain and the river at its base boiled and rushed up in a steam and a fog of cindered smoke which lingers even still, even to the shores of Laketown.  I never saw my father or grandfather again -- we all of us Dwarves -- those of us who survived -- scattered throughout Middle-Earth.  But we received word that the King my grandfather and his son my father had, indeed, escaped with their lives.  Only how?  There must have been a secret door.   And so, with Gandalf’s arrival just this year, providing me my Grandfather’s long-lost map, and my father’s key... 
      (The map in one hand; THORIN pulls out a necklace from his throat upon which hangs a silver key.  Music.)
... at last I may have the means to reclaim my treasure...my crown... my revenge!

            DWARVES.  (Singing.)
THE KING BENEATH THE MOUNTAIN, THE KING OF CARVEN STONE,
THE LORD OF SILVER FOUNTAINS SHALL COME INTO HIS OWN!
HIS CROWN SHALL BE UPHOLDEN, HIS HARP SHALL BE RESTRUNG,
HIS HALLS SHALL ECHO GOLDEN TO SONGS OF YORE RE-SUNG.
      (Focus shifts to ELROND and GANDALF.)

            ELROND.
Only why, Gandalf, old friend -- why not let sleeping dragons lie?  Why risk more sorrow and bloodshed for mere trinkets of gold and gemstones?

            GANDALF.
We must remember, this Dragon Smaug has collected tokens of wealth from far and wide.  But it is also common knowledge that dragons have no sense of a treasure’s true value; diamonds or glass -- it’s all the same to them, so long as it sparkles.  No, Elrond, within that mountain may lie a treasure far, far beyond that which the Dwarves ever accrued.

            ELROND.
Are you saying?  Do you think...?

            GANDALF.
Indeed, Elrond, I seek the Ring.

            ELROND.
Not the magic Ring of the Necromancer?!  Of the Dark Lord of Mordor?!

            GANDALF.
Yes.  The most devastatingly-powerful, long-lost Ring of He that is Most Sinister.  As has our foe, I have searched hither and yon, roamed far and wide, but have failed to perceive any trace of the Ring’s ill emanations.  It’s only logical:  the Ring is buried -- somewhere -- perhaps beneath the sea.  But why not deep within a dragon’s mountain lair?

            ELROND.
I pray you may be right, Gandalf.  That Ring must be found before the Necromancer.  Else all the Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits and Men...

            GANDALF.               
...all the good and peaceful peoples of Middle-Earth will be finally and for ever doomed.
      (ARWEN approaches.)    
            ARWEN.
Pardon me, father; good Gandalf.

            ELROND.
What is it, Arwen?

            ARWEN.
In but a moment, the midsummer moon will reach its zenith.
      (With a nod, she indicates for THORIN and BILBO to approach.)

            GANDALF.
But of course -- the very reason we’ve come to visit.  Thorin -- your grandfather’s map.
      (THORIN passes map to GANDALF, who hands it to ELROND.)
Are there any moon runes yet visible, Elrond?

            BILBO.
“Moon runes?”

            ELROND.
Markings most magical -- runes which can be seen only when the moon shines through them, and only a moon of the same shape and season as when they were first written.
      (He holds the map up against the sky; runes appear.)

            THORIN.
Hurrah!  Tell me -- quick -- what do they say?

            ELROND.
“By the grey stone, on the western ledge of Lonely Mountain,
the setting sun on Durin’s Day, a key-hole will reveal.”

            THORIN.
Yes!  We were right!  There is a secret door!

            BILBO.
But when is this “Durin’s Day?”

            THORIN.
The first day of the last moon of autumn, on the threshold of winter, when the setting sun and rising moon are in the sky together. 
            GANDALF.
Then we had best make haste.

            BILBO.
But that’s months and months until...

            GANDALF.
And there is no knowing how many months and months’ journey lies ahead, nor how many snares and setbacks we may suffer. 
     
      (GANDALF  ushers THORIN toward DWARVES and ELVES, who at a signal,start assembling their traveling gear.  BILBO remains a moment with ELROND and ARWEN.)
                 
            GANDALF.   (Continued; to THORIN.)
Thorin, the map is in your keeping.  You have the key?  Keep them safe.
            BILBO.  (To his hosts.)
I do so wish we might stay a while longer.

            ELROND.
As do we.
            BILBO.
You have been terribly kind.  Rivendell has reminded me a bit of the Shire.
            ARWEN.
Perhaps you’ll tell us of the Shire upon your safe return home.

            ELROND.
But henceforth, until then and for ever -- please consider us your friends.
      (He shakes BILBO’s hand.)
Farewell, Bilbo Baggins.
      (ELROND steps away to say farewell to GANDALF.)

            ARWEN.  (Kneeling to kiss BILBO’s forehead.)
Be brave.
      (Music.  THORIN leads DWARVES off as scene shift begins.  GANDALF takes a once-again bedazzled BILBO by the hand and guides him after the DWARVES.)
Take great good care, dear Gandalf!

            ELROND.
Good speed to you! 

            ELROND, ARWEN and ELVES.
Good speed! 



Act I, Scene vi.


            (Mountainside.  Slate grey morning.  DWARVES trekking with GANDALF and
BILBO bringing up the rear.  A wailing wind will rapidly transform into a terrifying        lightning/thunderstorm.)

                        DWARVES.  (Singing.)
FAR OVER THE MISTY MOUNTAINS COLD
TO DUNGEONS DEEP AND CAVERNS OLD
WE TREK AWAY THROUGH NIGHT AND DAY
TO CLAIM OUR TREASURE: GEMS AND GOLD!

                        BILBO.  (Weary.)
Gandalf?  Are we there yet?

                        GANDALF.
Afraid not, Bilbo.

                        BILBO.  (Pointing.)
Yonder!  There!  Isn’t that Lonely Mountain?

                        GANDALF.
Hardly.  We’re only just into the foothills of the Misty Mountains, Bilbo.  And beyond these lie the forests of Mirkwood, and then...
            (GANDALF’s voice trails off under the Elven song reprise.  BILBO sighs and sits.)

                        CHORUS.  (Recorded.)
O!  WHY ARE YOU MARCHING AND WHOM DO YOU FOLLOW?
THE QUESTING, THE TREASURE, THE FAME SEEMS SO HOLLOW
IF PEACE BE YOUR PLEASURE, WHY SEEK GREATER TREASURE?
WHEN SWEET WERE THE HEARTH AND THE FIRE, COZY HOME, HAPPY SHIRE.
COZY HOME, HAPPY SHIRE....

                        GANDALF. (A moment’s pause.  The wind rises.)
Tired, are you?
                        BILBO.
Not really.  Homesick, I suppose.  Summer’s nearly ended, isn’t it, Gandalf?  My poor flower garden must be positively choking with weeds -- and my vegetables, too.  Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a meal of freshly-picked summer vegetables and fruit!

                        GANDALF.  (Crouching beside him; pulling forth a pipe.)
Bilbo?  It isn’t too late, you know.

                        BILBO.
“Too late?”  What do you mean? 

                        GANDALF.
I mean: if you truly do wish to return to the Shire, then you may.  I could take you back to Rivendell;  from there Elrond could provide a guide back to Hobbiton...

                       
                        BILBO.
Could he?  Would you?  After all, now that Thorin knows for certain that there really is a secret passage into the mountain, and how and when to get in, I mean -- the element of surprise will be theirs -- what need have they of me?  The Dwarves don’t even like me, Gandalf.  Certainly not Thorin, anyway.

                        GANDALF.
Well, now, I can’t say I’m convinced...

                        BILBO.
And furthermore, about this dagger.

                        GANDALF.
What about it?
                        BILBO.
What in Middle-Earth am I doing carrying a dagger?  Why, I get nervous holding a butter knife.  Granted, the notion of adventure did hold some appeal to me at first.  At least in theory.  But Trolls?  And talk of wargs and goblins and heaven knows what horrors?  Gandalf,  these things are not mere “adventure” -- now we’re talking “life and death.”  Of course, I fully understand an agreement is an agreement and I did  -- (for some reason I can’t quite fathom)  -- I did choose to join these Dwarves.

                        GANDALF.
And there’s still a chance you might discover the reason why you chose to adventure.  Isn’t there?
                        BILBO.
Perhaps.  But there’s another choice I doubt I’d ever understand.

                        GANDALF.
The choice being...?

                        BILBO.
Yours, Gandalf.  Why did you choose me?

                        GANDALF.
Why, I’m on an expedition seeking buried treasure -- aren’t I?  Aren’t we?
            (Rumble of thunder.  GANDALF leaps up and evaluates the sky.)

                        BILBO.
Oh, my!
                        GANDALF.  (Urgent call up the path.)
Thorin!  Thorin Oakenshield!  Come back!  All of you -- and quickly!  We must take shelter!

                        BILBO.
Such a thunderstorm!
                       
                        GANDALF.
Much more than a thunderstorm, Bilbo -- a thunder-battle!  It seems the Stone Giants are met and now at war!

                        BILBO.
Stone giants?  Where?
            (A flash of lightning sends BILBO scampering for cover.  A few DWARVES appear
            in view.)
                        BOMBUR.
Well, I suppose it’s an early luncheon, then supper and then some shut-eye, what?    

                        BALIN.
You had your breakfast less than two hours ago, Bombur.  Nap a while if you can, but no food -- not yet.
                        BIFUR.  (Sneezing.)
This won’t do!  This won’t...ah-choo!...do at all!  I’ll catch my...ah-choo!...death if we stay here!
                        DWALIN.
I prescribe a cup of hot tea.

                        KILI.
Too wet.
                        FILI.
Too wet for a fire.

                        THORIN.
Bifur’s right.  This won’t do.

                        GANDALF.
What other choice is there?

                        THORIN.
Why can’t we trek a bit further?  Might happen upon a cave.

                        GANDALF.
No!  No caves!
                        THORIN.
But if we stay here, we’re likely to be blown right off the side of the mountain.

                        BIFUR.
Or drowned.
                        BALIN.
Struck by lightning.

                        DWALIN.
Or worse.
                        BILBO.
Worse?!
                        FILI.  (To THORIN.)
Shall we go on ahead, Uncle?

                        KILI.
...Ahead and find a cave?

                        GANDALF.
I said “no!”  No caves!
            (Pulling THORIN aside, confidentially.)
Are you out of your mind, Thorin?  You know these hills are filled with goblins!  Any cave could be a portal straight into the throne room of the Goblin King himself!

                        THORIN.  (A growl, then a curt command to the DWARVES.)
We’re staying here, lads.  Try and get some rest.
            (THORIN and DWARVES settle themselves against the face of the mountain,
            pull their hoods over their heads and fall asleep.  BILBO peers out at the fireworks
            in the sky with fascination and dread.)

                        GANDALF.
Frightened, Bilbo?

                        BILBO.
Stone Giants -- lightning-battles.  It’s not so awfully scary if I just try to think of it as a common, everyday thundershower.
            (GANDALF chuckles and pats BILBO on the head.  He steps away, crouches,
            and dozes like the others.  BILBO remains awake, observing the storm.  A series
            of brilliant lightning flashes.)
Goodness me!  How awfully spectacular!  Gandalf -- did you see?  Gandalf?
            (He realizes the wizard is asleep.)
So dark it’s become.  I doubt I’ll be able to see a Stone Giant after all.
            (Looking about, BILBO notices a faint glow sourced within the sleeping huddle of
            Dwarves -- it’s THORIN’s sword.)
But there is some light -- coming from...
            (A gasp.)
...from Thorin!  From his sword Orcrist!
            (Pulling his dagger from his own belt.)
And my dagger, too!  Oh, no -- Elrond said -- a warning -- "the hell-tormented light of all souls sinister"...
            (A flash of lightning.  GOBLIN GENERAL is revealed.  BILBO shrieks.)
Gandalf!  Thorin!  Ambush!   Go-Go-Go...
            (BILBO is shaking the DWARVES and GANDALF to awaken.)

                        THORIN.  (A grumble.)
What is it now...?
            (Another series of lightning flashes reveal several more GOBLINS surrounding
            the TRAVELLERS.)

                        BILBO & DWARVES.
...Go...Goblins!
                        GANDALF.  (To THORIN as THORIN begins to draw his sword.)
No, Thorin!  Stay your weapons, all of you!

                        THORIN.  (Incredulous.)
What?!

                        GANDALF.
Obey!  Keep your magic sword well-hid!  Let the goblins take us!
            (GANDALF steps forward to GOBLIN GENERAL.  A hypnotic suggestion.)
We shall be taken before your King?

                        GOBLIN GENERAL.
The King?
            (A command.  Music.)
Yes!  Take them to the King!

                        GOBLINS.  (Stamping their feet in a frenzy.)
To the King!
            (GOBLINS jostle TRAVELLERS into formation as GENERAL leads a march.
            Scene shift reveals Goblin Throne Room.  GOBLINS sing.)
CLAP!  SNAP!  LET MOUNTAIN CRACK!
GRIP, GRAB!  PINCH, NAB!
AND DOWN, DOWN TO GOBLIN-TOWN WE GO, MY LADS!

CLASH, CRASH!  CRUSH, MASH!
BATTER AND BEAT!  YAMMER AND BLEAT!
AND POUND, POUND, FAR UNDERGROUND BELOW, POOR LADS!

                      

No comments:

Post a Comment