Guessing Game: ‘The Lord of the Rings’ as Written by Other Famous Authors


We’re of the firm belief that J.R.R. Tolkien’s much-beloved fantasy epic couldn’t have been written by anyone else — but, well, what if it had been? This week, Metafilter pointed us towards Alison Brooks’s Alternative Authors’ Versions of Lord of the Rings, wherein Brooks rewrites sections of Tolkien’s classic as it might have come out in the hands of other famous writers. But can you guess which ones? Click through to read five of Brooks’s passages and see if you can detect which writer she is embodying, and then head on over to Changing the Times to see the entire set.

Aragorn placed his hand on the cool, ivory hilt of his 6.38 Anduril sword, half-holding it in as casual manner as possible. His eyes swept the room of the Prancing Pony, eyeing up the potential threats. He took out his pipe, made from the warmed heartwood of a mature oak. In the palm of his left hand, he unwrapped his leather tobacco pouch filled, as he preferred, with Gondorian Silk Cut. Aragorn preferred it to the harsher, stronger Numenorian blend…

Ian Fleming (Highlight or double-click to view)

“Sam, I’ve decided to go and overthrow the Dark Lord by tossing his jewellery into a volcano.”

“Very good, sir. Should I lay out your crazy adventure garb? I presume that this will pose a delay to tea-time. I would remind your Hobbitship that your Great Aunt Lobellia Sackville-Baggins is expected for tea.”

“Blast! I say, bother! How can a chap overthrow the Dark Lord? I suppose I will have to delay my campaign.”

“Very good, sir. I believe you will be free in about a decade.”

“I’ll do it then. Make a note, Sam.”

PG Wodehouse (Highlight or double-click to view)

“He bested me in a riddle contest.”

“A riddle contest?”

“It was so. And he cheated.”

“To cheat in a riddle contest is a riddle in itself, and is therefore not cheating, but just another riddle.”

“He cheated and asked me what he had in his pockets.”

“He picked and pocketed a pretty prize, performing perfidious behaviour. How very noble, so like our own Lords and Masters”….

Oscar Wilde (Highlight or double-click to view)

Old man willow, whistling like a tea pot, shining like a star, oh so brilliant in the dreaming and smoke and by the river, Goldberry’s river, dancing like a vision, Bombadil, Bombadil, Bombadillo. Rock of ages, youg and ageless, naked before my eyes like Rivendell Rock, sweet and hard and trusting….

James Joyce (Highlight or double-click to view)

Frodo Baggins looked at the ring. The ring was round. It was a good ring. The hole at the heart of the ring was also round. The hole was clean and pure. The hole at the heart of the ring had an emptiness in it that made Frodo Baggins remember the big skies of the Shire when his father had taken him out and taught him to tear the heads off the small, furred things that walked there, even though he hated blood in those days and the stink of the blood was always part of the emptiness for him then and ever after.

Frodo Baggins could put the ring on his finger now. The stink of the blood and the hole and the emptiness could never leave him now. Frodo Baggins looked at the ash-heap slopes of Mordor and remembered the Cuban orc who had kept the ash on his cigar all the way to the end. The orc just drew on the cigar and smoked the cigar calmly and kept the ash in a long gray finger, a hard finger, right to the moment that the Rangers beat hit to death with clubs. He was mucho orco, the Cuban.

Frodo Baggins looked at the ring and the hole and smelled the sulfur smell that came from the vent in the mountain. There were scorched black bushes round the vent. The vent was like the cleft of the old whore at the Prancing Pony on the night that the Black Riders came. Frodo Baggins reached in his pouch and took out the flask of good grappa there and filled his mouth and swallowed the grappa. She was mucha puta, the old whore.

Frodo Baggins could spit again so he spat hard, once. He took the ring and threw it into the vent.

The earth moved.

Ernest Hemingway (Highlight or double-click to view)