Thursday, December 6, 2012


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A Long-expected Party

Hobbiton, 60 years after Bilbo has found the Ring

Frodo is sitting against a tree, reading. He hears someone singing and runs to the road. Gandalf, wearing his grey robes and pointy hat, is driving a cart filled with fireworks and party necessities.

G (singing) The Road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began.

F Youre late!

Gandalf doesnt look at Frodo at first.

G A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.

Gandalf and Frodo try to keep a straight face as long as possible, but then start laughing. Frodo gets in the cart and hugs Gandalf.

Frodo Its wonderful to see you, Gandalf!

G You didn’t think I’d miss your Uncle Bilbos birthday?

Frodo sits next to Gandalf as he drives the cart to Bag End.

F What news of the outside world? Tell me everything.

Gandalf Everything? Youre far too eager and curious for a Hobbit. Most unnatural.

The cart passes through Hobbiton.

G Well what can I tell you? Life in the wide world goes on much as it has this past Age, full of its own comings and goings. Scarcely aware of the existence of Hobbits. For which I am very thankful.

Ht Look its Gandalf! Its Gandalf!

They pass by Hobbits who are setting up the party. A banner reads Happy Birthday Bilbo Baggins.

G Ooh! The long-expected party! So how is the old rascal? I hear there’s going to be a party of special magnificence.

F You know Bilbo. Hes got the whole place in an uproar.

G Now, well that should please him.

F Half the Shires been invited.

G Goodness gracious me!

F Hes up to something.

Gandalf looks as if its the first hes heard of it.

G Oh, really?

F All right then, keep your secrets.

Gandalf laughs.

F Before you came along, we Bagginses were very well thought of.

G Indeed?

F Never had any adventures, or did anything unexpected.

G If you’re referring to the incident with the dragon, I was barely involved. All I did was give your uncle a little nudge out of the door.

F Whatever you did, you’ve been officially labeled a disturber of the peace.

G Really?

They drive past one of the Proudfeet, who looks grim. Some Hobbit children follow the cart.

Ht Gandalf! Gandalf! Fireworks? Gandalf?

Gandalf waits awhile, but just when the children are disappointed that nothing happened, fireworks go off behind the cart and they cheer. Gandalf laughs and the Hobbit he passed earlier grins, until his wife shoots him a dirty look.

F Gandalf, Im glad youre back.

Frodo jumps off the cart.

G So am I, dear boy! So am I.

Bag End

Gandalf goes through Bilbos gate, upon which is affixed a plaque stating No admittance except on party business. He knocks on the door with the end of his staff. Bilbo doesnt open the door, but shouts from inside.

Bilbo No thank you! We dont want any more visitors, well-wishers or distant relations!

Gandalf And what about very old friends?

The door swings open. Bilbo stares in amazement.

Bilbo Gandalf?

Gandalf Bilbo Baggins!

Bilbo My dear Gandalf!

Gandalf kneels down and the two friends hug.

Gandalf Good to see you! One hundred and eleven years old --who would believe it?

He looks at Bilbo, amazed.

G You havent aged a day.

Bilbo laughs, then Gandalf too.

B Come on, come in! Welcome, welcome!

They go inside.

B There we are. Well now. Tea? Or maybe something a little stronger? Ive got a few bottles of the old Winyard left. Twelve hundred ninety-six. Very good year. Almost as old as I am! Hahaha! It was laid down by my father. What say we open one, eh?

G Just tea, thank you.

Gandalf steps back but knocks his head against the chandelier. He steadies it and turns to Bilbos study, but then hits his forehead against a beam. He walks up to the desk and sees a map drawn by Bilbo, of the Lonely Mountain. Bilbo talks to him from the kitchen.

B I was expecting you here last week! Not that it matters, you come and go as you please. Always have done and always will. You caught me a bit unprepared, Im afraid. We have some old chicken and pickles... Heres some cheese - oh no it wont do. There we got (...) Not much for afterlunch, oh no! Were all right. I have some cake. I can make you some eggs if you like...Gandalf?

G Just tea, thank you.

Bilbo turns round to Gandalf, who was standing right behind him.

B Oh, right!

Bilbo stuffs some food in his mouth.

B You dont mind if I eat, do you?

G Oh no, not at all.

Theres a knock on the door.

Ho Bilbo!

Bilbo hides.

Ho Bilbo Baggins!

B (hisses) Im not at home!

He continues to set up the kitchen table.

B Ive got to get away from these confounded relatives hanging on the bell! They never give me a moments peace! I want to see mountains again! Mountains, Gandalf! And then find somewhere quiet where I can finish my book. Oh, tea!

G So, you mean to go through with your plan, then?

B Yes, yes. Its all in hand. All the arrangements are made.

Bilbo starts to pour water into the tea pot, Gandalf opens the lid.

B Oh, thank you.

G Frodo suspects something.

B ‘Course he does! Hes a Baggins. Not some block-headed Bracegirdle from Hardbottle.

G You will tell him, wont you?

B Yes, yes.

G Hes very fond of you.

B I know. Hed probably come with me if I asked him. I think in his heart Frodo is still in love with the Shire. The woods, the fields, the two rivers.

Bilbo has been looking outside, but now he turns to Gandalf, looking quite serious. While he talks, he fingers the Ring in his pocket, which Gandalf notices.

B Im old Gandalf. I know I dont look it but Im beginning to feel it in my heart. I feel thin. Sort of stretched. Like butter scraped over too much bread. I need a holiday, a very long holiday. And I dont expect I shall return. In fact, I mean not to.


Gandalf and Bilbo are sitting on a bench, smoking pipe while they overlook Hobbiton.

Bilbo Old Toby. The finest weed in the Southfarthing.

Bilbo puffs a ring of smoke and Gandalf follows with a ship that sails through it.

Bilbo Gandalf, my old friend...This will be a night to remember!

Bilbos party

The party is well underway and Gandalfs fireworks work their magic. Bilbo is working through a line of party-goers.

Bilbo Hello. Hello. Lovely to see you! Welcome. Welcome!

Frodo is also at the party. He sees Sam sitting on a bench, looking at Rosie Cotton, who is dancing. Frodo walks up to him.

F Go on, Sam. Ask Rosie for a dance.

S I think I’ll just have another ale.

Sam looks away from Rosie, but Frodo turns him round again.

F Oh no, you don’t. Go on.

Frodo pushes Sam to Rosie and laughs as she pulls him into a dance. Gandalf meanwhile has outdone himself.

Gandalf Whoa!

Huge fireworks go off. Meanwhile Bilbo has got an audience of Hobbit children in rapt attention.

Bilbo There I was, at the mercy of three monstrous trolls! And they were all arguing amongst themselves about how they were going to cook us. Whether it be turned on a spit, or whether they should sit on us one by one and squash us into jelly!

The children look afraid.

Bilbo They spent so much time arguing the whether tos and why fors, that when the sun’s first light cracked over the top of the trees...poof!

The children start and gasp.

Bilbo It turned them all to stone!

Gandalf is at the top of his game, laughing as he gathers fireworks probably even more terrific. When hes left the cart, Merry appears, eating an apple. He signals Pippin to get onto Gandalf’s cart.

M Quickly!

Merry helps Pippin get in the cart. He crashes into the fireworks. Gandalf meanwhile is setting off more of them, spiraling past Hobbit children.

G Whoa! Off they go.

Pippin is grabbing one of the fireworks.

M No, no! The big one! The big one!

P Done.

They hurry inside a tent. The dragon-shaped firework is sticking into the ground.

M You’re supposed to stick it in the ground!

P It is in the ground!

M Outside!

P It was your idea!

The firework goes up, the sheer force of it throwing Merry and Pippin onto the ground. It turns into a huge golden dragon, which flies straight up in the sky, maw open. The dragon then swerves round and heads right for the Hobbits. They see it and run, or throw themselves to the ground. Frodo also sees it. He looks at Bilbo, who hasnt.

F Bilbo? Bilbo! Look out for the dragon!

B Dragon? Nonsense! There hasn’t been a dragon in these parts for a thousand years--

Frodo pulls Bilbo to the ground, just in time. The dragon flies overhead, then to the horizon, where it bursts into a beautiful firework. The Hobbits smile and applaud. Merry and Pippin appear, both with torched hair and covered in soot.

M That was good. Let’s get another one!

Gandalf comes behind and grabs their ears. Pippin and Merry look up at him, wincing.

G Meriadoc Brandybuck. And Peregrin Took. I might have known.

Merry and Pippin are washing the dishes as punishment, with Gandalf keeping a keen eye on them. Other Hobbits are sitting or standing in front of a platform, upon which stands Bilbo.

Ht Speech, Bilbo! Speech!

F Speech!

B My dear Bagginses and Boffins! Tooks and Brandybucks! Grubbs, Chubbs, Hornblowers, Bolgers, Bracegirdles and Proudfoots!

Ho Proudfeet!

Bilbo dismisses the remark with a wave of his hand.

B Today is my one hundred and eleventh birthday!

Ht Happy birthday!

B Alas, eleventy-one years is far too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable Hobbits.

The Hobbits cheer.

B I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

There is silence as the Hobbits look at each other, most of them not getting what Bilbo meant, which was of course the idea.

Bilbo I...uh...I h-have things to do.

Bilbos expression has changed. Frodo notices and begins to realize something unusual is going on.

B (whispers) I’ve put this off for far too long. (louder) I regret to announce, this is the end! Im going now. I bid you all a very fond farewell.

Bilbo looks at Frodo.

B (whispers) Goodbye.

Bilbo puts on the ring and vanishes. Frodo looks surprised, Gandalf too, but starting to put two and two together.

Ht Ooh!

Bilbo, invisible, leaves the party and returns to Bag End.

Bag End

Bilbo is laughing when he reappears again, satifisfied with himself. He flips the Ring and puts it in his pocket.

G I suppose you think that was terribly clever?

Bilbo starts, not having seen Gandalf. He dismisses the reproach and starts packing.

B Come on Gandalf! Did you see their faces?

G There are many magic rings in this world, Bilbo Baggins, and none of them should be used lightly.

B It was just a bit of fun.

He looks at Gandalf, who remains somewhat stern.

B Oh, you’re probably right, as usual. You will keep an eye on Frodo, won’t you?

G Two eyes. As often as I can spare them.

B I’m leaving everything to him.

G What about this ring of yours? Is that staying too?

B Yes, yes. It’s in an envelope over there on the mantelpiece.

Bilbo is facing away from the fireplace when he stops short and pats his coat pocket.

B No, wait, in my pocket.

Gandalf, who was about to take the envelope, turns. Bilbo takes out the Ring and looks at it.

B Heh, Isn’t that, isn’t that odd though?

Bilbos expression changes.

B Yet, after all...why not? Why shouldn’t I keep it?

G I think you should leave the ring behind, Bilbo. Is that so hard?

B Well no...

As Bilbo speaks, his face and voice change, as if a madness seems to possess him.

B ...and yes! Now it comes to it, I don’t feel like parting with it. Its mine, I found it. It came to me!

G There’s no need to get angry.

Bilbo turns on Gandalf.

B Well, if I’m angry, it’s your fault!

Bilbo looks away again, caressing the Ring.

B Its mine. My own. My precious.

G Precious? Its been called that before, but not by you.

B What business is it of yours what I do with my own things!

G I think you’ve had that ring quite long enough.

B You want it for yourself!

Gandalf suddenly becomes angry.

G Bilbo Baggins!

Bilbo snaps out of it, scared by Gandalfs thundering voice. The ceiling of Bag End behind him changes to a dark sky.

G Do not take me for some conjurer of cheap tricks!

Gandalf returns to normal again.

G I am not trying to rob you. I’m trying to help you.

Bilbo cries and hugs Gandalf. Gandalf kneels down and holds Bilbos shoulders.

Gandalf All your long years we’ve been friends. Trust me as you once did. Let it go.

Bilbo You’re right, Gandalf. The ring must go to Frodo.

Bilbo goes to the door, holding his walking stick.

B Its late, the road is long. Yes, it is time.

Bilbo opens the door.

Gandalf Bilbo?

Bilbo Hmm?

Gandalf The ring is still in your pocket.

Bilbo Oh, yes...

Bilbo pulls out the ring from his pocket. He stares at it on his palm, struggling with with the power of the Ring, even though hes not aware of it. But it hasnt gotten a strong enough hold on him yet and he lets it to slip out of his hand. It lands with a loud thud. Bilbo hurries out the door. He turns on the road and looks at Gandalf, who stands in the doorway.

B I’ve thought of an ending for my book. And he lived happily ever after, to the end of his days.

G And I’m sure you will, my dear friend.

B Goodbye, Gandalf.

G Goodbye, dear Bilbo.

B (singing) The Road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began.

G Until our next meeting.

Gandalf goes back in. He stands in front of the Ring and looks down at it. He reaches down to pick it up, but right before his fingers touch the Ring, he sees in a flash the Eye of Sauron.

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