Now sit.” Fumble did, loudly crunching on a bag of Halfling Chow. Bumble gazed up above Fumble’s head toward the movie audience. “Did you go to the bathroom yet? You probably should. We’re gonna be here a while.”
A Preposterous Portfolio of Parodies
Free Selections from Spoofs of The Hobbit, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Star Trek and More
Valerie Estelle Frankel
Copyright 2014 Valerie Estelle Frankel
Henry Potty and the Pet Rock
Henry Potty and the Deathly Paper Shortage
An Unexpected Parody: The Unauthorized Spoof of The Hobbit
An Unexpected Parody: The Unauthorized Spoof of The Hobbit
How Game of Thrones Will End: The Influences Driving the Show and All the Paths It May Take
Henry Potty and the Man in the Iron Pants: A Star Trek: TNG Crossover
The Terrifying Castle of Terror: An Original Generic Fantasy
And Introducing…The Farce-ians of the Galaxy, Coming 2015
What’s the only thing better than parodies? Free parodies! Along with plenty of commentary on pop culture (usually serious, unfortunately) I’m the author of roughly four parodies (sorry about the confusion on the count, but I parodied Harry Potter Book 1, then book 7, then 2-6 – published separately and also in the Harry Potter Special Edition as they’re quite short so it’s somewhat messy). Following this came my parody of the first Hobbit movie – much more straightforward, though to this day there’s no part 2. I’m publishing Harry Potter excerpts in a separate free volume, but included in this is one of them (killing two flying chickens with one stone, as it’s a Star Trek crossover). I’m also including the first chapter of An Unexpected Parody, along with its painful four prologues. There’s the silly bits from the published ebook
How Game of Thrones Will End: The Influences Driving the Show and All the Paths It May Take (Thought Catalog 2014) and an original story parodying all manner of generic fantasy. In “The Terrifying Castle of Terror,” our heroes quest for a solid gold statue, having already obtained the prefect turkey sandwich. This finishes with a small preview from my Guardians spoof: The Farce-ians of the Galaxy, Coming 2015. Happy reading!
An Unexpected Parody: The Unauthorized Spoof of The Hobbit
Prologue the First: Fandom Rising
It began with the writing of the great book. In the Beginning, the Dawn of Time, round about 1936, the Great Creator set about to make a marvelous work that would last throughout all the generations. And lo! He wrote a children’s novel and it was beloved. Twenty years passed. And the seeds of his planting grew into a mighty trilogy.
Three books were given to the Fans, with many appendices to boot, and from them sprang a mighty genre. Bookstore shelves sagged with the weight of many fantasy series and brave heroes toiled to the ends of the earth and beyond seeking signed first editions. Then the Trekkies came. And lo! Their society lasted long and prospered. The great franchises followed on: the might of the Force rose, and begat a cult of followers in hooded robes. And the two tribes mingled and begat a race of Monty-Python-quoting, sneaker-wearing folk who spent their days designing humorous t-shirt slogans. They loathed the fresh air and hid from the sun in their parents’ basements where the big screen was anyway. United they built a mighty empire and named themselves the Geeks. Their realm thrived. Throve? Thrived. The wise among them gathered to meet in cities across the earth, and held mighty debates and sometimes swapmeets.
Many years passed.
Decades later, during the Second Rising of the Force, the Boy Wizard rose up. Marked by a lightning scar and wise in an odd tongue of Latin, Greek, and random additions of Hawaiian, he taught his followers to spend their gold freely, and consumerism swelled under his reign. With him came the midnight releases, and wide-eyed children, cranky from the late hour, uttered the sacred words “Have you read my fanfic?” and thus were converted. Their conferences swelled with screaming fangirls, and many other heroes followed, riding dragons and Greek-speaking pegasi and magical polar bears. Mighty temples of glory soared into the heavens, with amusement park rides, lunchboxes, and trading cards.
But the doom of men is their greed, and movie producers have it worst of all. In their dark halls, deep in the heart of Hollywood, they schemed. For, they reasoned, if a trilogy could control the world, how much more might seven movies, or eight, or nine!
Eight films were offered to the Boy Wizard, and many of his followers lost their way through the tangle and were cast aside. Three additional films were given to the followers of the Force, and lo! they were a letdown. Then another film franchise came, and it was not good, for as fans protesteth, vampires are not meant to sparkle. Then the power of the Force was given to the King of Mice, and many fans did tremble with sorrow. One by one, the free lands fell into despair.
But then a light shined anon from the skinny isle of New Zealand, and the halflings strode forth, in twelve hours of Extended Edition glory, yea, even with bonus features and cast interviews. The saga was quoted on every screen and the seedling of a series, long sacred to the Geeks but unknown to many others, ascended into the gloried halls of pop culture. Elves crowded the renaissance fairs and joy was heard throughout the land.
But the hearts of Men are easily corrupted. Another franchise had grown too powerful, too rich. A further duology was proposed and deep in the dark heart of Hollywood, it began to form. But they were all of them deceived.
It swelled into a trilogy and nine hours were given unto the Geeks, to say nothing of the DVD extras. The halflings’ town in New Zealand was rebuilt, sturdier than before, so the creators might make of it a theme park, and the sheep were driven off. And the Geeks were divided: some clutched the new offering as a treasure and vowed to give it all their devotion as they had its parents, even to the buying of Denny’s meals to get the trading cards. And other Geeks spoke against the first of the films and complained that the rock giants and hedgehogs did not delight them–for it was that they stopped the movie dead.
And thus the fandom was sundered. Among the unsatisfied was a smaller tribe called the Nitpickers, and they were the most dismayed. For, they reasoned, no great creator had the right to fashion rabbit-sledges and elf salads, which were a perversion of the Great Source of All. And thus the sundered fandom did battle in the land of Cyberspace, with the Nitpickers the loudest combatants, for they knew their cause was just.
This is a book for all of them.
Prologue the Second: Bumble and Fumble Tell All
“My dear Fumble, it’s time I told you a story,” Bumble Baglunch said. He was seated by a roaring fire deep in his halfling hole which had the dual purpose of warming his outstretched furry toes and burning the last of his yellowed trading cards.
His young nephew Fumble Baglunch bounced on his rocking troll. “Ooh, ooh, I wanna hear about Aladdin!” The two were halflings, about which more will be revealed soon enough, so let it suffice to say that both were no taller than three feet, and were dressed in tacky red and green like Christmas elves, from their waistcoats to their pantaloons, as halflings need no shoes on their furry feet, though they get very annoyed when someone smashes a glass. Both halflings were hanging out on the set of the other trilogy, waiting for the new story to start.
“No, Fumble, not that kind of story. This one is important because it is true.” Bumble hesitated. “Mostly.”
“Oh.” Fumble’s face fell. “Can we do this later? I have homework.”
After an embarrassing interval, he began. “Once, in a land so rural not even a halfling would want to visit it, stood the Kingdom of Ared’dôr, so named for the tall gray doors, for you see the dwarves were colorblind. Their wealth was not in fabric dying (and lucky for them!) but instead in the treasure of the earth: gems, gold, and fossil fuels. Thristathiklethorrth, He Whose Name Makes the Tongue Twist, was their king, and Torn, his grandson, bore the title Hot Prince of the Dwarves, though his heart was ever divided between his duty to his people and an acting career.
“The dwarves grew wealthy selling barrels of oil to greedy, polluted countries at a high markup, and were known far and wide for their snap-on charm bracelets. Great towers were built and strip malls opened and their kingdom prospered. They treated with the elves and sold them a full brass band of instruments, all of them finely crafted. But the elves discovered that tubas made them sound foolish and the dwarves refused to give them even a base refund. The dwarves built ever larger SUV’s and drove them even to the supermarket just across the street, regardless of consequences to the ever-browning air. They turned the thermostat way up and threw away towers of Styrofoam and plastic bags each day. Still, the dwarves flourished and grew ever richer under the mountain.
“All this is what brought their great doom.”
“They ran from a dragon puppet?”
“Then why are you waving it about?”
“I’m using puppetry to enhance my story. It’s an ancient and noble art.”
“Some of the popsicle sticks are still gummy!”
“Nonetheless. May I resume my tale?”
Fumble made a rude noise. “I’m not stopping you.”
“The pines on the mountain exploded into kindling, and only a few forward-thinking dwarves gathered up the splinters for an alternate fuel source. The dragon known in the old tongue as Erpolushun, or in the common tongue, Smog, had arrived from the wintery north where men huddled in their snowbound huts and spoke Old German. With his terrible breath, like old sauerbraten and burned schnitzel, he flamed the city of Snail, curled helplessly below the Lame Old Mountain. The dwarves blew their tubas with all their might, but this only enraged the creature further and blocked roads with landslides. He laid waste the town and turned toward the Lame Old Mountain, for he knew the dwarves were hoarding the fossil fuels. These the dragon craved above all, for they offered a pleasant laxative effect.
“As he strode into the towering halls–”
“Wait, why do little dwarves need incredibly high ceilings like that?”
“Because the hiho song sounds best with an echo.”
“As I was saying, he strode into the dwarves’ fair halls, and breathed his ferocious breath upon the folk who dwelt there. The stink of sauerbraten, delivered at about 800 Celsius, was too much, and many dwarves melted on the spot. Only smoking boots remained, as is traditional on these occasions. The dwarves fled, for they knew that their strip malls and SUV’s were lost.
“Run! Run for your lives!” Prince Torn cried. Around him, dwarf men and even the dwarf women, usually too ugly to be seen in daylight, were racing to safety. “Look!” one cried. “It’s Director Jack Peterson, and he’s running too. Even he knows we cannot survive!” And all of them wept with despair.
“The elves looked down from the hillside, where their king was riding a moose who looked so embarrassed to be ridden by stately elves that there was, frankly, nothing to parody.
“‘Help us!’ Torn cried. ‘Help us,’ cried the Hot Prince of the Dwarves a second time and a third. He considered a fourth, but decided the heck with that–he had some pride left. But the elves were offended by the tuba incident and by the SUV pollution the dwarves had been churning up. The elves turned their backs (and one moose butt) and rode away.
“The young dwarf prince found work where he could, as a ditch digger and street sweeper, then after he was discovered, in a dwarf cabaret. But he never forgave, especially for the pink sequined tights. Was he the destined hero chosen by fate to reclaim his lands one day? The odds looked slim.
“Of course, years later, fate decided I would take part in their adventure…”
“Fate? Isn’t that just what lazy writers use to pave over plotholes?”
Bumble flung a dishtowel at his errant nephew, who was already halfway to the round door of their shared burrow.
“Great story, Uncle Bumble,” Fumble called.
“Wait, aren’t you gonna stay and be in the movie?”
“Thanks, no. I think I’ll go find a better one.” And Fumble was gone.
The readers squirmed with discontent. Thicker and faster the prologues kept pouring over them, like sludgy custard on the fires of their enthusiasm, delaying the moments before the story might actually commence.
Had the original book begun with the plot? Well, that seemed a silly, old-fashioned contrivance, the author reasoned. Surely more prologues were better. Think how delighted fans would be when to their amazement, something actually happened! And when one got a chilly reception, it could, of course, be split with a dwarf battle axe and thrown on the fire. Thus, the prologues, like a road, went ever on.