Scene 14: The End of the Beginning

Narrator: With the dragon Smaug dead and the goblin horde defeated, all that remained for the survivors to do was bury the dead and clean up the mess. As the towns of Dale and Esgaroth began the first stages of reconstruction, the dwarves had a particularly hard time of it clearing Erebor of the worm's foul reek--
Gandalf: No one ever bothers to write about that part of story, so skip ahead a bit.
Narrator: Right. Well, after a brief time of rest and a few meals of something other than cram to eat--
Men of Dale: (chanting) Cram cram cram cram...
Narrator: Stop that! Really, now-- as I was saying... eventually Bilbo Baggins, accompanied by Gandalf the Grey, start out upon the long journey back into the west towards the Shire.

(the lonely mountain behind them, Gandalf rides on a large white horse while Bilbo rides beside him on a small dappled pony)
Gandalf: Now, my dear friend and luck-blessed hobbit, we just need to figure out a way to end this glorious tale.
Bilbo: Splendid! What ending options have we got?
Gandalf: Well... there's the standard long slow pull-out, you know...
(as Gandalf speaks, the scene pulls out and passes through the nearby forests and mountains... past a great northern eagle gliding on an updraft... we mix through to an even wider zoom over the Shire before eventually ending up with a suborbital view of Middle-earth that slowly coalesces into an old hand-drawn map in the Red Book of Westmarch-- abruptly we cut back to Gandalf and Bilbo)
Bilbo: (shaking his head) No. Have we got anything more, I don't know... exciting?
Gandalf: How about a chase?
(the creature Gollum suddenly jumps out from the bushes near the road)
Gollum: Thief! The precious-- we wantss it!!! Thief, Baggins!
[exciting chase music]
(Bilbo's pony goes into a panicked sprint as Gollum chases after him-- suddenly cut back to Gandalf and Bilbo calmly riding along again)
Bilbo: Oh-- no... no, no!
Gandalf: Riding off into the sunset?
Bilbo: What's that one like?
(dramatic view of the sun going down behind the Misty Mountains... we can just see the backs of Gandalf and Bilbo as they ride together towards the setting sun)
Gandalf: You know... two lone figures silhouetted against the last lingering rays in the evening sky... the quest complete, the mood music swells... you've got a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye--
(cut back to Gandalf and Bilbo still riding along at midday)
Bilbo: No, that won't do either.
Gandalf: Oh, pity... I rather liked that one.
Bilbo: They all seem a bit off for ending this epic adventure.
Gandalf: Well, there is one that involves you arriving home to find all your worldly possessions being auctioned off.
Bilbo: What?!
Gandalf: I daresay your cousins, the Sackville-Bagginses, are making arrangements to move into Bag End at this very moment.
Bilbo: Bugger! Those bloody wanking-- Okay, look... I would very much like to skip all of that if possible.
Gandalf: So will the studio, producers, director... and anyone else that has never bothered to actually read the book, I wager. All right... how about a happy ending?
(an elven lady of enchantingly seductive beauty rushes up to Bilbo and throws her arms around him)
Serailian: Oh, Bilbo-- thank the Valar you're safe!
Gandalf: No, I'm sorry. You wouldn't want that.
(Serailian Linnod'aduial disappears)
Bilbo: Wha-- Why wouldn't I want that?!
Gandalf: It will confuse all your fans that have long assumed you to be gay.
(long pause)
Bilbo: You-- Ummm... you mean happy, right?
Gandalf: Nevermind... what about summing up from the panel? That's always good. You know, have a couple of expert commentators--
(cut to Kieran Forester and Guv Ronjar sitting at a large desk on the side of Erebor... a large painting depicting a jubilant team of dwarves, elves, and humans holding up a football trophy with Bolg's head mounted on it is in the background)
Kieran Forester: Yes, it was rather a good story... quite thrilling. Though I think that the musical numbers may have been a little overdone.
Guv Ronjar: I don't agree with that at all, Kieran! Quite frankly, the only bits I liked were the ones with me in them.
(cut back to Gandalf and Bilbo)
Bilbo: Absolutely not!
Gandalf: No? Slow fade?
(the scene begins to fade out)
Bilbo: Nnnn... no.
(the scene snaps back into bright focus)
Gandalf: Well, how about a sudden ending?
Bilbo: A what?

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