Work Header

Variations on the Destruction of the Ring

Work Text:

Setting: Mount Doom, Sammath Naur. Frodo and Sam stand at the brink of the Crack of Doom; a little scuffed, but not in particularly bad shape.

SAM: Well, we’re here.

FRODO: Yes we are.

SAM: Now what do we do?

FRODO: Throw it in, I guess.

SAM: That’s you, then.

FRODO: Oh, right. Okay, here goes.

He takes the Ring off the chain and pitches it over the edge. In a moment, there’s a little sizzling noise. A curl of smoke wafts up. Nothing else happens.


SAM: Soooo….

FRODO: That’s it. We did it.

SAM: Hooray!

FRODO: Yes, this is good! I think.


SAM: You know, not that I’m complaining or anything, but I kind of thought it would be more dramatic.


Frodo, ragged, filthy, and exhausted, stands at the brink of the Crack of Doom. He speaks powerfully, in a menacing voice:

FRODO: I have come. But I do not choose now to do what I came to do. I will not do this deed! The Ring is mine!

SAM: No!

Frodo puts on the Ring and disappears.

INVISIBLE FRODO: There, are you happy now?

SAM: Oh yes, this is much better.



FRODO: I will not do this deed!

SAM: Why not?!

FRODO: Because I don’t want to!

SAM: But you have to destroy it! That’s what we came all this way to do!

FRODO: [sigh] No no, that’s not the point. You see, Sam, by succumbing to the power of the Ring at this point in the plot, not only do I increase the suspense of the climax, but I also set the stage for an interesting paradox in which the villain succeeds in defeating darkness while the hero fails, thereby portraying a simple yet elegant representation of the dual natures of “good” and “evil.”

SAM: Ohhhhhh, so you’re saying it’s a symbolic role-reversal sort of thing.

FRODO: Yes, exactly.

SAM: Well goodness, why didn’t you say so? Go right ahead, Mr. Frodo.

FRODO: I will, thanks. (Ahem.) The Ring is mine!


FRODO: I will not do this deed! The Ring is mi— Whoops….

He fumbles the Ring and drops it. It bounces off the edge of the precipice and falls in.

FRODO: … well that was pointless.


FRODO: I will not do this deed! The Ring is mine!

SAM: You know, you’re awfully cute when you’re possessed by the spirit of the Dark Lord.

FRODO: Sam, that’s hardly appropriate.

SAM: Well you are.


(I deserve to be beaten for this, I really do.)

Mordor, the Black Gate. Aragorn and his army challenge Sauron to battle.

ARAGORN: Let the Lord of the Black Land come forth! Let justice be done upon him!

A guard pokes his head above the gate.

GUARD: [in heavy French accent] You do not frahten us, Gondor peeg-dogs! Go and boil your bottoms, sons of a silly person! Ah blow mah nose at you, so-called Aragorn-king, you and all your silly Gondor k-nnnnniggets! Pthththtbt! Pthbt! Pthbt!

ÉOMER: What a strange person.


Aragorn and his army battle the Orcs at the Black Gate. Suddenly the earth begins to tremble. Smoke gathers at the centre of the battlefield.

GANDALF: Oh no! It’s Sauron! He’s taking physical form!

Lightning flashes. The smoke clears. Sauron stands before the Captains of the West. He’s dark. He’s menacing. He’s about six inches tall.

SAURON: [teeny squeaky voice] Rargh!


The Captains of the West kill themselves laughing.

(Okay, so I blatantly stole that from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Shoot me.)


Frodo puts on the Ring and becomes visible to the Eye of Sauron.

SAURON: Ha HA! Now I have y—what the feck?

FRODO: Um … excuse me?

SAURON: Who are you supposed to be? Where’d the king bloke go?

FRODO: What king bloke? You mean Aragorn?

SAURON: Waaaaait a minute. You mean you’re the one who has my Ring?

FRODO: Well, yes, I –

SAURON: But the whole challenge at the Black Gate with – with the – ohhhhh. Aww, man. You’ve got to be kidding.

FRODO: What?!

SAURON: I am such an idiot! You’re telling me that I’ve been gathering my greatest armies and bending all the strength of my will against Gondor, and all this time I’ve been getting suckered by a halfling?

FRODO: Yes, but –

SAURON: Do you have any idea how embarrassing this is? I mean, look at you! You’re a lawn ornament!


SAURON: Arrgh, I can’t believe I fell for that! If I had friends, they’d be rolling on the floor right now!


SAURON: Ha HA! Now I have y—AAAAAGH! Not the eyes! My one weakness! Curse you! Nooooooo…!


SAURON: Give up the Ring!

FRODO: Never!

Sauron starts crying like a three-year-old.

SAURON: But it’s my Ring! Give it back!

FRODO: Err … no.

SAURON: No fair! I had it first! Gimme!

FRODO: I’d rather not.

SAURON: Aw, come on, pleeeeeeeze?

FRODO: Sorry.

SAURON: Waaaahhh! You’re mean!


SAURON: Give up the Ring!

FRODO: Never!

SAURON: Fool! Wilt thou contend with the might of Sauron?

FRODO: Do what you will! The Ring has come to me!

SAURON: So be it! Thou shalt be born away to my deepest dungeons, where thou shalt be forced to watch my collection of Jennifer Lopez movies!!!



SAURON: Give up the Ring!

FRODO: Never!

SAURON: It’s mine!

FRODO: It is not!

SAURON: It is too!

FRODO: Is not!

SAURON: Is too!

FRODO: Is not!

SAURON: Is too!

FRODO: Is too!

SAURON: Is n—! Aw, crap.


Frodo has put on the Ring and is now invisible. Sam looks on in dismay. Suddenly Gollum appears. He knocks Sam over and charges toward the precipice.

Then he trips on something and falls flat on his face.



Gollum knocks Sam over and charges toward the precipice. Then he spends about fifteen seconds whapping at the air like a blindfolded kid after a piñata.

INVISIBLE FRODO: I’m over heee-eeere….


Gollum knocks Sam over and charges toward the precipice. Frodo then proceeds to irritate the shite out of him by poking him, knocking him down, tickling him, reappearing momentarily in random places, etc.

INVISIBLE FRODO: Oh, did I …? Oops! Wow, you just fell right over, didn’t you? Sorry about that, I – oh, there I go again! Clumsy me.

GOLLUM: Rrrrrgh! Stupid Masster!

INVISIBLE FRODO: I love this thing!


By popular demand.

GOLLUM: Marco!


GOLLUM: [groping] Marco!


GOLLUM: Marco!


GOLLUM: [nabs him] Got you, I got you!

FRODO: [reappearing] Ha ha! What a fun game. Okay, your turn….


Gollum knocks Sam over, charges, misses Frodo entirely, runs over the edge, hangs in the air, looks dejected, hold up a little sign that reads “OH NO!” and plummets downward like Wile E. Coyote.


Gollum fights with the invisible Frodo at the edge of the chasm. Suddenly his hands draw up toward his mouth; his white fangs gleam, then snap as they bite.

FRODO: [still invisible] Ow!

Oops – wrong finger. Gollum shifts his grip a bit and tries again.


Gollum searches for the other hand. Chomp. (Ptooie.)

FRODO: That’s my foot, you wanker!


MINSTREL: Lo! lords and knights and men of valour unashamed, kings and princes, and fair people of Gondor, and Riders of Rohan, and ye sons of Elrond, and Dúnadain of the North, and Elf and Dwarf, and greathearts of the Shire, and all free folk of the West, now listen to my lay! For I will sing to you of Frodo of the Three Fingers and Seven Toes!

FRODO: Stop laughing! Stoppit!


Gollum dances madly on the edge of the chasm, holding up the Ring. Then he slips and falls into the fire.

Frodo and Sam peer over the edge, deliberate a moment, and hold up judges’ placards. Frodo gives him 8.5/10. Sam, 6/10.

FRODO: Only six?

SAM: Oh, come on, he completely botched the double somersault.


Gollum has fallen into the chasm. Frodo clings to the edge by one hand, hanging over the fire. Sam is reaching for him.

SAM: Don’t you let go! Never let go! Promise me!

FRODO: I promise! I will never let go, Sam! I’ll – oh dear, we’re quoting Titanic.

SAM: Ugh, we are! Sorry, I didn’t mean to. Now take my hand!

FRODO: I can’t….

SAM: Come on, Mr. Frodo! If you jump, I’ll ju—

FRODO: You’re doing it again!

SAM: [horrified] Sorry! I’m sorry!


Sam pulls Frodo back from the edge. They turn toward the doorway, and there before them is Sauron himself, all big and evil-looking.

SAURON: So! You’ve destroyed my Ring, have you? Well, too bad that wasn’t nearly as powerful as this extra-secret other One Ring that I made when nobody was looking!

FRODO: Oh, for crying out loud!

SAURON: Behold, I bear a token of Ultimate Evil! Pure unadulterated 100% Power of Darkness! FEAR ME!

FRODO: I don’t have time for this. Sam, we’re leaving.

SAM: Right behind you, Mr. Frodo.

SAURON: [brandishing Extra-Secret Other One Ring] MWAAAAA-HAHAHAHAAAAAAA!


Gandalf stands before Gwaihir the Windlord.

GANDALF: Twice you have borne me, Gwaihir my friend. Thrice shall pay for all, if you are willing.

GWAIHIR: Oh, suuuuuure! Because I’m just your personal taxi service, aren’t I?


GWAIHIR: Don’t play innocent with me! For years I’m completely ignored by you fine people, and then when you’re in a tight spot it’s all “Ooh, let’s summon the Eagles at half a moment’s notice and make them carry people all over the place!” How bloody convenient for you!

GANDALF: But – I – you – !

GWAIHIR: Well, from now on I want a little more respect. And, by the way, you’re going to compensate me for that shoulder muscle I pulled during your little pine tree stunt a while back.

GANDALF: [frantic] Enough of this quibbling! The life of the Ring-bearer is at stake, you feather-brain!

GWAIHIR: Oh, so now you’re throwing racial slurs at me?!


Sam carries Frodo to the doorway of Sammath Naur and gazes out over the ruin of Mordor. Frodo opens his eyes.

FRODO: Well, this is the end, Sam Gamgee.

Sam falls to his knees and clutches Frodo, joyfully and a little too hard.

SAM: Master!

FRODO: … gak … choking….

SAM: Oh, sorry.


Frodo and Sam sit together, reminiscing about their home.

FRODO: I can see the Shire – the Brandywine River … Bag End … Gandalf’s fireworks … the lights on the Party Tree.

SAM: Do you remember picking apples at harvest? And the bonfires?

FRODO: I remember. Do you remember pie?

SAM: Ooh, I liked pie! Do you remember the Yule celebrations at the Green Dragon?

FRODO: Oh yes! … Wait a minute, didn’t you get sick at the last one?

SAM: [less nostalgic] Oh, that’s right, I did. And wasn’t that the time when Ted Sandyman drank about six pints of ale and started dancing around on the counter?

FRODO: Yes, and then he somehow managed to set his hair on fire.


SAM: On second thought, let’s not remember that part.

FRODO: Yeah, it was pretty annoying.


FRODO: I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.

SAM: Yes, I am with you, Master. And you’re with me. And the journey’s finished….

FRODO: Well, glad is the wrong word. Grateful in a tragic sort of way, I mean.

SAM: Oh, I know.

FRODO: Not that I want you consumed alive in a volcanic eruption, you understand.

SAM: Of course.

FRODO: Really, I’d be gladder if you were somewhere else with me.

SAM: You’re ruining the mood, sir.


FRODO: I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.

Sam kisses him smack on the mouth.

FRODO: Blagh! Sam!

SAM: What?

FRODO: That’s not what – I wasn’t – ewww!

SAM: [miffed] Well, sorry! It’s a perfectly justifiable interpretation, you know.

FRODO: Well, I consider this to be a platonic master-servant relationship, so … so there!

SAM: Fine! See if I care!

FRODO: Fine!

SAM: Glad you’re happy!

FRODO: You should be!

Sulky pause.

SAM: We may as well go down the path.

FRODO: Whatever.

SAM: Well, hurry up, if you’re coming.

FRODO: Carry me.

SAM: No.


Gwaihir circles above Mount Doom. Gandalf rides on his back.

GANDALF: Gwaihir! You have the keen eyesight of your people! Can you see the hobbits?

GWAIHIR: Hang on, I’m looking! No … no … wait, there they are!


GWAIHIR: Right there on that rock!

GANDALF: So fly down there and get them!

GWAIHIR: Awww, look, they’re cuddling! That’s so sweet!

GANDALF: Would you go already?!

GWAIHIR: You know, that dark-haired one is awfully cute when he’s dying of smoke inhala—

GANDALF: Cut that out!


Frodo wakes up in the Houses of Healing. He sits up and finds Gandalf and all the rest of his friends standing around his bed.

FRODO: Gandalf? Oh, Gandalf! I had the most amazing dream! And you were there, and you were there, and you were there….


Frodo wakes up in Ithilien and finds himself lying close to Sam. He blinks drowsily, and then his eyes pop open wide.


SAM: Hmm?

FRODO: Where’s your hand?

SAM: Between two pillows….

FRODO: Those aren’t pillows!

(To J.R.R. Tolkien, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, John Candy, and Steve Martin. I’m sorry. Forgive me. I’m so sorry.)