Monday, May 18, 2020

Back Jacket Hack Job: The Lord of the Rings, As Told by The Bad Guys

Oh look, it’s my turn to do a back jacket hack job! The idea here is to rewrite the back-cover description of a book, and do it badly.

One thing that strikes me lately is the significant number of people who seem to be unable to determine who the bad guy of a story is. Trump campaign staff have recently compared the reelection effort to the Death Star, and earlier, unironically posted this:

Putting aside the issue of identifying with the losing side of a conflict, the Galactic Empire and Thanos killed entire planets full of people. I’m personally inclined to identify more with the people who didn’t kill entire planets full of people.

But who am I to judge? The most interesting bad guys, in fiction and in modern history, always think they’re the good guys. They may snuff out a life or a billion here and there, but in their little brains, they have reasons.

With that in mind, here’s the back jacket of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as told by someone who identifies with the bad guys.

The Fellowship of the Ring

The small, loathsome hobbits have stolen the ring of power. The misunderstood Ringwraiths must find Frodo Baggins, the most deceitful of the hobbits. Frodo seeks to wield the fires of Mount Doom to destroy the ring. If the merry band of Ringwraiths can seize the ring of power from the hobbit and his fellowship of evil, then Sauron, the Lord of the Rings, will return to make Middle Earth great again.

The Two Towers

The evil fellowship has been scattered, but the hobbit lives. With the help of his friends Saruman and Grima Wormtongue, the Lord of the Rings wages war on the forces of darkness. Unfortunately, the enemy has a shitload of a horses and an impenetrable stronghold. But there is hope. A mysterious figure stalks the hobbit. Gollum knows the ring well, and desires to kill the thieving hobbit, but the ring’s power has corrupted him—a dark temptation compels him to help Frodo in his quest to destroy the ring. Will he make the right choice?

The Return of the King

The Lord of the Rings has suffered a crushing defeat at Helm’s Deep. The enemy is gathering allies and planning a deceitful attack on his own front door. An undead wizard spreads fake news. The hobbit creeps ever closer. The situation looks dire, but even the smallest person can change the course of the future, and all hope now lies with one of the smallest: Gollum. All he needs to do is defeat the hobbit, take back the ring, then stay upright and not plummet into a volcano. If he succeeds, Middle Earth will once again bask in a thriving economy and traditional orc values as Sauron reclaims his throne. RETURN OF THE KING!

Edit: ATB's own Stephen Kozeniewski has pointed out that a Russian author has sort of already done this as a full-length novel called The Last Ringbearer. Those Russians meddle in everything!

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