Scene 5: Gandalf Returns

Narrator: Following the faint trail of Merry and Pippin, Aragron, Legolas, and Gimli enter the Forest of Fangorn.

Legolas: Look-- there! Darting from tree to tree following us... there is an old man robed in white.
Gimli: In white? It must be that treacherous snake Saruman, let's get him!
Aragorn: Wait, Gimli, let us prepare an ambush for our "friend" instead.

(the white robbed figure draws near)

Gandalf: Pardon me, gentlemen, do any of you have a light? My pipe has gone out and I--
Legolas: Mithrandir!
Aragorn: Gandalf!

Gimli: Wanker! I nearly split your head with my axe, you git!
Gandalf: Gandalf? Hmmm... Gandalf...
(Gandalf repeats the name as if recalling from old memory a long disused word)
Gandalf: Gandalf... yes, that was my name. I am Gandalf! I have passed through fire and deep water since we parted ways. I have forgotten much that I thought I knew, and learned again much that I had forgotten. I can see many things far off, but many things that are close at hand I cannot see.
Legolas: Truly you have been reforged by the sacred Valar in reward of your ordeal!
Gimli: Oy, that, or he's suffering from serious head trauma.
Aragorn: As it may be, but please tell us, Gandalf, do you know what has befallen our comrades Pippin and Merry whom we track through this forest?
Gandalf: Oh, yes indeed. Treebeard left me a note on that hill over there. It says that he found them and has taken them to a meeting of trees.
Aragorn: A meeting of "trees" you say? Hmmm... there may be something to Gimli's head trauma theory--
Gandalf: I meant what I said! Now then, it is enough for you to know that they are safe and that our path lies upon a different road. Our next journey is marked by your given word Aragorn. We go to Meduseld to see King Theoden.
Legolas: Amazing, you now know all that was and what yet shall be!
Gandalf: Well... actually, I ran into Eomer on the way here and was dazed enough to make the same stupid promise you did.
Aragorn: Indeed, then may our paths be together from this point on. But still, we would know what befell you after your fall from the bridge in Khazad-dum.
Gimli: Yes, we would hear how you gave a right-good pasting to that Balrog!
Gandalf: Name him not!
(for a moment it seems that a cloud of pain and sorrow passes over Gandalf's face)
Gandalf: For a long time I fell. Long I fell, and the Black Beast of Udun fell with me. By luck, I caught up with my dropped sword and was able to use it to keep the foul creature away from me--

Legolas: Long he fell, hewing the Bane of Durin all the while!
(Gandalf takes a long side-ways look at Legolas)
Gandalf: Rriiiigggghhhttt... anyway, we eventually landed in a vast underground lake of cold water--
Legolas: Cold was the water deep beyond light and knowledge, cold as the tide of death that would freeze the living heart!
Gandalf: Okay then, well... his fire quenched, he was now a creature of slime that tried to get away from me like a toothless snake--
Legolas: Fighting far below where time is trackless, Gandalf gained the advantage against the now slimy creature, stronger than a strangling snake!
Gandalf: Not having a clue where I was or how to get out, naturally I followed the brute--
Legolas: In his dark despair with his enemy his only hope, Gandalf drove the monster along passages gnawed by nameless things far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves of old!
Gandalf: Eventually he brought me back to the Mines of Moria, ever up we went along an endless stair--
Legolas: To the secret ways of Khazad-dum, known all to well by the foul Flame of Udun, Gandalf pursued his foe up the legendary Endless Stair carved in the living rock of Zirakzigil, the pinnacle of the Silvertine!
(Gandalf takes another long side-ways look at Legolas)
Gandalf: Anyway, we finally issued out atop the mountain, onto a narrow ledge--
Legolas: After unknown ages spent underground, they burst forth from Durin's Tower!
Gandalf: I suppose we were both blinded by the noon-day sun--
Legolas: The sun shone fiercely as Durin's Bane burst forth into new flame and fury!
Gandalf: And then I bumped into him and knocked the tottering mongrel over the ledge--
Legolas: Woe is it that there was none to witness the Battle of the Peak and commit to song the combat that did ensue for coming ages!
Gandalf: So, losing his balance and all, the great dumb behemoth fell down the side of the mountain and snuffed it--
Legolas: At the end of their epic struggle, crowning the mountain with supernatural energies as if in storm, Gandalf threw down his enemy... who fell from the high place and broke the mountain-side where he smote it in his ruin!
(Gandalf yet again takes a long side-ways look at Legolas)
Gandalf: Rightly so... I then got a ride with an eagle, a northern eagle mind you-- not a southern eagle, and made my way to Lothlorien to see Galadriel--
Legolas: Sent by Galadriel of wondrous Lothlorien, Gwaihir the Windlord found our shattered hero and bore him on to the elven sanctuary of healing!
Gandalf: Once there, I had time to rest up, find out how you all had faired on "Who wants to be an elven-heir?!" and sent my laundry out for dry cleaning--
Legolas: Thus it was that Gandalf came to Caras Galadon and found us but lately gone. There did he tarry in the ageless time of that land where days bring healing without decay!
Gandalf: Yes, quite true of course. Well, there was a mix-up with the laundry regarding the difference between "extra-starch" and "extra-bleach" which is why I'm wearing all white now. Though you can rest assured I gave them a hard time about it--
Legolas: And so, reborn as Gandalf the White, counsel did he give and counsel did he then receive!
Gandalf: From there, it was a simple job of going down the river and then following the stampede of orc footprints and uruk-cow patties until I arrived here--
Legolas: Thence by strange roads he did come, at the turn of the tide, to lead us forth to victory!
Gandalf: When it ever comes time to write my autobiography, I just want you to know that the job is yours Legolas Greenleaf! Indeed, where did you learn to paraphrase in such a manner?!
Legolas: Oh, thank you Gandalf! As you know, I spent a long time waiting in Rivendell before the big meeting. While there I managed to take a night-course at the Bilbo Baggins School of Creative Epic Writing.
Gandalf: Well, that certainly explains a LOT...
Gimli: Explains what?
Gandalf: It explains, my dear dwarf, how the comic misadventures of a band of hobbits someday becomes the greatest movie trilogy of all time!
(very long pause)
Legolas: Errr... a movie trilogy, you say?
Gandalf: Enough questions! We have spent all the time that is allowed a meeting of parted friends. Let us be off to the golden halls of Edoras!
Aragorn: And so we must! This I would also say... you are our captain and our banner. The Dark Lord has nine, but we have one who is mightier than they. The White Rider. He has passed through the fire and the abyss... and they shall fear him!
Legolas: Yes, we will go where he leads!
Gandalf: Right! Time presses. Let us ride north to King Theoden!
Aragorn: Ummm... Gandalf? Meduseld is due south from here.
Gandalf: Of course it is. Let us ride south to King Theoden!

Gimli: So... what do you really make of all that?
Aragorn: Definitely head trauma.

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