On the Straight Dope, someone started a thread imagining what the Lord of the Rings would be like if written by another author. I made a small contribution late in the game, but I reproduce it here in case the thread gets archived or my post is taken down. Also, they won't allow me to edit posts there, and I have corrected a couple of minor mistakes.
Strider scanned the Pony quicksville, figuring the players and slotting
conclusions. First conclusion: the shitstorm in the West was stirring up
business for Butterbur. Foregone conclusion: Big man Butterbur was into
rackets up to his eyeballs. Pipeweed, dice, renting rooms by the half-hour
for farmers' sons digging halfling cooze. BIG conclusion: too much
curiousity by some of the customers. BIGGER conclusion: Black Riders
sniffing around. BIGGEST: Four shit-kicking hobbits from the Shire renting
He lit up his own pipe, took two quick hits and scanned more carefully this
time, riding the 'weed tingle behind his eyes. Spies in the corner: too
many eyes in here to take them out. Midget voices, loud: THEM, bullshitting
about the Shire--THEIR home. TOO loud: eyeball men slipping out the door.
Strider crooked a finger at THEIR leader: HIM. He cracked his knuckles,
making fists and motioning HIM to sit down.
"I'm Strider." Hushed voice--sotto fucking voce. "Mr.
Underhill"--crooked smile. The smile says "I know YOU." The smile
says "I know who YOU are." The smile says "I know YOU have IT." His eyes:
not smiling. Frodo's eyes: look away, can't take the heat.
"Your friends have big mouths." Strider leaned back, cracked his knuckles.
"Blotto and talking is not a good combination." Frodo nodded and looked over
at Sam and Pippin: one blabbing--slurred-speech stories bullshit
begging for the next drink. The other one looked back at Frodo.
Strider NEW conclusion: Sam fruit-hinky on Frodo--a complication.
Babysitting four midgets a BIG THING now, Strider reconsidering his deal:
Gandalf, mover, shaker, shakedown artist--you bring the four halflings to
Rivendell or I snitch you to Elrond for Arwen. Gandalf: big time Elf
juice, one of the Wise--no way out. Arwen images floated in behind the
pipeweed: forbidden fruit BIG TIME. More conclusions: Elves do not like Men
getting Elf trim. Second conclusion: Elrond ran the Elf operation in the
North, he ESPECIALLY does not like Men getting Elf trim. Make it three:
Gandalf makes the call, two days later he is nailed to a tree with Elf
arrows through his ball sack.
Three options: grab Arwen and split. No go: Elrond is Outfit, he has juice
everywhere. Gandalf has juice everywhere. Second option: do
as Gandalf says, hand-hold hapless homo halflings to Rivendell. Third
option, VERY TEMPTING: snitch the Ring to Sauron in return for Arwen,
Sauron brings the black curtain down over the West; Elrond neutralized;
Gandalf neutralized; Elves neutralized. Brain jump: Sauron would promise
ANYTHING for Ring. Brain jump: Arwen and Strider living the squarejohn
life in Sauron territory--FUNNY.
Dig: Pippin talking too much. Dig: Frodo jumps up on the table and starts
singing. Strider takes a loooooong hit. Feeling goooooood. He goofs on the
dancing midget. Watch him dance! Watch him sing! Watch him FUCKING
DISAPPEAR! Too stupid: Option three and a half coming into focus--Black
Riders/Weathertop/Four dead midgets.
Funnily enough, since I wrote this there has been some competition.
You can decide which is better. And another, of better quality.