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'A Journey in the Dark' Chapter 4

Book II Chapters
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'It was evening, and the grey light was again waning fast, when they halted for the night.'

Remember the end of the snow battle scene from 'The Empire Strikes Back'? When we finally see Luke's ship take off and all we see is space? I don't know about you, but my eyes just seem to go 'phew! no more snow!' and it's a great effect on the big screen. The stunning contrast of the snow , then this sudden turn to darkness of space. This is the same effect the party coming down from the snowy mountain should have on your eyes, after the 'white out' on the mountain tops, to be brought back down the mountain, and in the dark no less should give your eyes that same 'Phew!' effect, simply marvelous.

The defeated party makes their way down into safety and now must face the terrible decision, return to Rivendell or face the terror or Moria. Moria, this name should strike chill into the hearts of us all, we should hear little mentions of it throughout the film, a Hobbit mother telling her children 'get yourself inside before I ship you to Moria!' or some Breelander using it as a curse 'To Moria with you!'. It should be unnoticeable and subtle, but apparent. Moria should be feared by all in the party, save Gimli. The party has to choose, Boromir refuses to go <SPOILER>one of the first signs of his disharmony with the party, the other is at the council of Elrond, he wished to use the ring, this will, obviously be picked up later on<SPOILER ENDS> They decide to sleep on it. I'd like this scene to end with Boromir saying 'The name of Moria is Black' and the sound of howling wolves would be heard in the distance.

That night, around a fire, the company sleeps, Gandalf and Aragron keep watch as the howling gets closer and closer, green eyes can be seen blinking in the distance, some advance closer....Gandlalf stands and in a booming voice yells


Listen, Hound of Sauron! Gandalf is here!
Fly! If you value you fouled skin!

The howling stops, Gandalf looks about the blackness as the rest of the party awakens and sit up in alert. A long silence looms over the camp, Gandalf, still looking outwards, listening....he finally turns around to face the group when a wolf leaps opon him snarling and foaming. Gandalf hits the ground with a hard, and turns over, the wolf leaps at his throat, it suddenly flies off to the right with a sharp howl and a moan, Gandalf looks to his left, and then we see Legolas reading another arrow. 'quick! arm yoursleves!' Aragorn would scream, they all leap up from their slumber and form a circle. Another tense filled quiet moment...suddenly wolves attack them from all sides! Aragorn and Boromir fend off the attack, Gimli stands firm and beheads a few.

Gandalf turns towards the small fire and reaches for a burning stick, turning with a whoosh! of his long robes, he'd throw the burning stick into the air, and with a deep resounding voice he'd yell;


Naur an edraith amman! Naur dan i ngaurhoth!

The trees around the camp would suddenly combust and burn bright orange. We'd see a high crane shot, with the ring of fire forming around the camp. The wolves would howl in pain and run off. The ring of fire would burn out almost as soon as it came into being.

The last shot would be of Sam looking over to Frodo, as Frodo reaches into his shirt to feel for the ring. Smoke lingers in the darkness.

The Next morning the party would be off yet again, in earnest. Some time for exposition here, they must reach for the Doors of Moria. Some more dialogue with Gimli taking a bit more of the center stage here, we are about to enter the area of his kindred, and he is very egar to go.

Personally I love the Gimli casting, I think Rhys-Davies can pull off this character very well. Can you not hear him tell Balin's tale in that deep resonating voice of his? I love it.

The party reaches the secret doors, this is a bit of the set I'd love to see, Tolkien describes them perfectly and, as you all know, there is a drawing of the design in 'The Fellowship of the Ring'. So I picture this, a large flat mountain side, grey walls, two Mallorn trees growing out through the rocks, with small cracks to show the roots. facing the doors, a swamp, with no visible shoreline, simply a flooded area. the water is murky and has moss and broken trees in it.

I'd have the scene begin this way, the party is walking the next day after the wolf attack, with Gimli leading and Gandalf behind, Frodo by his side. Gandalf tells him that they must reach these doors and find a way to open them, Frodo asks what is so special about them. Gandalf begins to tell a short tale of the history of Moria and the doors themselves, he describes them, as Gandalf is doing so, the camera cuts to an extreme close up of a grey rockface, it pulls back slowly, revealing a hammer, carved into the stone itself, as the camera continues to pull back (along with Gandalf talking mind you) we see the anvil and the Mallorn trees, as well as the ancient writing, Gandalf finishes his tale with the words 'Speak Friend and Enter'. His voice fades out as we see Gandalf, now before the doors, flailing his arms about yelling different words at the rock wall.

The rest of the party is standing behind him, except Frodo, who is looking out at the water, in fear. Merry would ask about the words 'Speak friend and enter' and Gimli would tell him about the magic used to seal doors. Pippin would then ask 'What are we to do now!' and the all time favorite Gandalf quip


Knock on the doors with your head

Peregrin Took!

As Gandalf continues to try to open the doors, Sam would wander over next to Frodo, Frodo would tell him that he feels danger nearby, Sam would quietly place his arms around Frodo, and lead him away from the water.

Gandalf, meanwhile, is yelling everything he knows at the doors, not giving up. Meanwhile the rest of the party is taking the time to relax, Pippin and Merry are chatting among themselves, Boromir and Legolas are doing the same, Gilmi is standing patiently, focus on the wizard, Aragorn is checking his supplies and Sam is tending to Bill. The last shot would be of the back of Frodo's head, he's facing Gandalf, but the urge to go back to the water grips him again. He turns his head slowly and quietly makes his way back to the water edge. I'd have this shot, from out in the middle of the water, as if the camera was lying right on top of the water, and we're looking at Frodo, fairly far off, staring out at the water. The camera slowly moves up high, passing mist and fog. Another close up shot of Frodo, all is quiet, Frodo is mesmerized at the lake. Suddenly Gandalf would shout


OF Course! I've got it! MELLON!!!

Suddenly out from the water would rise this monstrous creature with many tentacles, it would burst out of the water and lunge toward Frodo. In a flury of action Frodo would fall to the ground, Aragorn would lunge at the creature with his sword and try to hack off a tentacle or 2. Bill the pony would be scared off and whinny (or whatever it is horses do) and run off, Sam would scream and try to catch him.

From the doors, the engraved designs would glow a bright red and a crack in the doors would appear, right down the middle. The crack would brighten and burst forth, growing brighter and brighter. The Party, meanwhile are still trying to fend off the creature. Gandalf urges everyone to step back, Gimli stand firms trying to protect everyone, Aragorn screams at Frodo to run towards them, Frodo, in shock would turn over and try to crawl away, the creature wraps one of it's tentacles around his ankle, and attempts to drag him in. The Door continues to open, slowly.

Aragorn and Gimli are helpless, the tentacles are blocking their path to save the Hobbit. Suddenly with a yell Sam leaps on the tentacle and jabs at it with his blade. It lets go of Frodo, Sam helps him up into the doorway, fully opened now.

The party would scramble up the darkened wooden steps, breathing hard, the only light available, would be from the doorway, now totally blocked by the creature. Gandalf tells them to stay where they are, and heads downstairs. Before he can fully make it back down, the doors would close with a sound of two boulders hitting eachother head to head. The stairway becomes total darkness.

With light glowing steadily from his staff, Gandalf urges the party to walk a little more into the darkness. After a while they would rest. This is where a few things would be explained, Gandalf knowing the secret word for the door 'Mellon' (Friend)


It should have read 'Say Friend, and enter'

Also Sam's terrible sadness at losing Bill the pony, Sam would be crying, but he would then understand that the pony could not have survived Moria. The party moves on, with the help of the old wizards glowing staff.

The Mines of Moria would be just that, mines, with all the equipment and tools still aging in the darkness, of course everything in ancient, and broken some way or another. There would be darkened doorways, and great halls. Some of the tunnels they'd enter would be large and cavernous, and yet others would be barely accessible. There would be stairs and twists and turns. The walls would be mage of a dark rock, with the occasional wooden supports (it is very old after all and most of the wood would have rotted away long ago). There would also be a constant breeze hitting the travelers from the east, a warm breeze that does no more that move their hair at times. In the more open areas, I'd have the wind make a slight whistling noise, to make it really seem like you were in a large space.

The party rests at what looks like old guard's quarters. I'd include the seen where Pippin throws the pebble down the shaft, and Gandalf berates him. Then the sound of mysterious hammering would fill the darkened room, very creepy.

They would travel some more, and enter one of these large, 'whistling wind' halls. The scene from the book has the party resting, where Gimli would tell his tale of Durin, weather in song or speaking. I would change the scene to have them continue on their way, but have the Dwarf tell his tale.

The party would seek some place to rest. They'd come to another guard room, and Aragorn and Boromir would then force the metal door open. As they enter, they realize this is more than a simply guard room. t has books and a back door, and one more thing, a single oblong block, about 2 feet high, onto of the block was a slab of white stone, covered with debris and dust, Gandalf blows the dust way and the words are revealed:



Gimli hangs his head in sadness.

Next Chapter
The Bridge of Khazad-dum Chap 5

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