Disclaimer: The Lord of the Rings belongs to the Trustees of the J.R.R. Tolkien Settlement. This is nonprofit fan fiction. No copyright infringement intended.

Notes: This is a comedy piece that uses the names of the characters, places, and events from The Fellowship of the Ring. That's about all there is left from the original book and movie. Thus, the characters' characters are out of character, if you follow my meaning.

Introduction: The Fellowship of the Ring consists of fearless warriors and bold hobbits, of that I have no doubt. However, deep down even these brave men have their fears. Takes place in the Golden Woods of Lothlórien.

What They Fear

by Salysha

Part 1 of 2: The Fellowship Goes Round the Bend

"Aaargh! Get it off me, get it off me!"

A terrible shriek echoed in the Golden Woods of Lothlórien, where the Company had set camp. Everyone turned to Frodo, who was screaming like someone being eaten alive. He seemed to be waving his arms at nothingness, but Sam, who stood the closest, saw the reason for the sudden outburst: a huge spider was hanging from its delicate cobweb mere inches from Frodo's face. Sighing, Sam grabbed the offensive animal and tossed it away. The Company stared at Frodo with varying degrees of disbelief.

Frodo looked away and muttered angrily, "I don't like spiders. Let's leave it at that."

"Certainly," came the less convinced replies from different directions.

Occasional stifled giggles and sudden coughs aggravated Frodo, who gazed at the others sternly and continued, "Everyone has his phobias. It is perfectly natural." He intensified his message with a slight nod.

It was, of course, Sam who felt obliged to answer. "But of course, Mr. Frodo. Perfectly natural, as you say. It is just that, after all we've been through, a spider doesn't seem much of a threat to me, if you take my meaning." Sam quickly turned away from Frodo's withering gaze.

The sudden desire to take his anger on someone overcame Frodo's normally good-natured character, and he said in honeyed tone, "You are right, Sam. That was just a bug and nothing more. Say, is that little beetle over there one of those that ate your whole crop last year?" He pointed at a random spot on the ground.

"Insectus Catastrophus? In here? I'll teach that little bug!" With that, Sam drew his sword and began slashing the pointed spot with all his strength. The Company watched in horror as Sam made it through the outer vegetation and stopped only upon reaching solid rock.

"That blueberry bush will never bother us again!" commented Legolas and burst out in joyful laughter, along with the others. Sam's face shifted from pink to beetroot, and he fled from the scene.

"Aren't you and good old Sam just something?" giggled Merry from the bottom of his heart. "That was a dirty trick you played on him, but there is nothing as fun as having fun on Sam's expense. He takes everything so seriously, if you take my meaning," he said, giving a fair imitation of Sam's favorite line. That evoked hearty snickering all around, and especially from Pippin.

Boromir shook his head and decided not to waste a delicious opportunity to tease the hobbits just a peak further. "Merry, Pippin. You seem unoccupied at the moment. We have to collect firewood and carry water here. How about you come with me so we can get some work done?" The hobbits' faces fell at the mention of the w-word, and Boromir continued with mischief that wasn't lost on anyone except Merry and Pippin.

"Not to worry. I spotted a river just a few miles away, right on the other side of those little hills." Boromir pointed at a peak that would have put the Misty Mountains to shame. "It should not take too many hours. I am certain we will make it back before nightfall."

Merry and Pippin looked at each other, with sheer terror written all over their faces. They got up and Pippin blurted out, "We've got to go check up on Bill." They made a hasty and not so dignified retreat. From behind them, they heard almost hysterical roams of laughter, but decided to ignore them and flee until they were barely within earshot.

Back at the camp:

"If I'm not sorely mistaken, we parted ways with Bill days ago," grumbled Gimli, trying to keep a straight face.

"We have practically pitched camp in the river, for heaven's sake. You just couldn't resist, now could you, Boromir?" That was Aragorn. He scowled reproachfully at Boromir and glanced at the clear current running fifty yards away.

"I know we have, but they don't. That's the idea."

"There is no need for more firewood, either, since some stranger has left behind more than a month's supply," Legolas added, pointing lazily at the nearby pile of firewood.

Frodo kept quiet, but was inwardly relieved, since no one seemed to mind his earlier mishap. He looked at Boromir thankfully and was rewarded with a conspiratorial wink.

Not even Aragorn had the heart to stay angry for long. Instead, he took note of the suddenly lightened atmosphere and decided it was best to let the jesting continue. Far away, he saw a small dust cloud rise into the air, and an idea entered his head. He turned to Legolas with hopes of conveying nothing but sincerity.

"Oh, my..."

"What is it?" Legolas asked with a sudden concern.

"Oh, my..."

"What? What is the matter?"

"Can you see that cloud of dust over there? They are coming. The first ones must be very near, for I can hear their voices."

"What are you talking about?"

"Fan girls. Lots of them."

Legolas started to look very anxious, provided that the Elves were capable of looking such.

"Why don't I sense anything? Why cannot I sense the utter evil approaching?"

"You do not sense because you don't want to. They are very close now; I can make out their words." Aragorn paused to take a breath and continued, "They are screaming, 'Legolas, Legolas,' and then something else that sounds like 'Leggy.' Legolas, do you have any idea— Legolas? Legolas?"

The elf had vanished into thin air; there was no trace left of him. Of the present company, only the ranger had a keen enough hearing to make out a few brushing noises from the tallest tree in the area. The brushing noises were, undoubtedly, produced as the result of someone climbing up, someone who was not afraid of falling or painful scratches.

The Company had now been reduced to Frodo, Aragorn, Boromir, and Gimli, who was laughing his head off. "Those Elves!" he cried heartily. "It is amazing what you can feed them, and still they believe your every word. Master Aragorn, you seem to have developed a taste for jesting!"

"Thank you very much, Master Dwarf," Aragorn replied, bowing lightly. He grew suddenly serious. "There is something I wanted to discuss with you, Gimli. I thought it would be best not to mention this at the presence of Legolas, since the Elves can be rather sensitive about certain things."

"You can say anything to me, Aragorn. The Dwarves are known for their rationality."

"Now, you see, Gimli: we lost some of the more personal gear at the last camping site. I am afraid that you and Legolas are going to have to share the comb and the toothbrush from now on. Do not worry; you can have both to yourselves, since the rest of us have no need for such things."

The expression on Gimli's face was priceless: it was that of shock and disbelief, mixed with more shock and disbelief. "Nooooo! Not with the Elf!" he cried out loud and clear. That gave our position away to those few in Middle-earth who didn't know it already, thought Aragorn grimly. He could have sworn that the tree nearby shuddered from repulsion. Cursed elves and their sensitive hearing, Aragorn swore. Now we'll never get him to come down.

"Now, Gimli, I am certain that you and Legolas find it in yourselves to behave like allies and gentlemen—" He was cut off short.

"Never! I will go and kill a porcupine and make a new comb of its spines for myself. Never mind my teeth, but by Balin's grave, I will not return before I have a comb not touched by an Elf!"

With that, Gimli strode off with a raised axe and a murderous look in his eyes. Good thinking, Gimli, go hunt with an axe, congratulated both Aragorn and Boromir silently.

Frodo was too astonished to think, least of all to commend Gimli's tactical decisions. All three remaining members came to the silent conclusion that the Fellowship was breaking. Aragorn was thinking about arranging a betting pool on the probability of Gimli succeeding versus Legolas coming down someday in the next few decades, but gave up on the thought. No reason betting almost impossibility against most unlike possibility, he decided.

Boromir, however, was lost in quite different thoughts. He was certain that he would be Aragorn's next victim and wondered what the ranger might try to do to him. Boromir was not so much as worried as uneasy and decided boldly that attack was the best defense.

"You have given quite a start to this Fellowship, Aragorn. I wonder what you have in store for me." Aragorn merely shot him a strange glance and continued his own musings.


Boromir looked around startled, but found no signs of the woman who had just called his name. The ranger and the hobbit had not even noticed, since they were too lost in their own thoughts. My mind is playing tricks on me, he decided, unconvinced.


There it was again, that same female voice calling him. The others still had not noticed. "What kind of witchcraft is this? Come out and show yourself," Boromir hissed barely audibly.

Aragorn heard that and peered curiously at Boromir, but then shrugged it off. If Boromir wants to talk to himself, then let him. Hopefully he has an interesting conversation, Aragorn mused dryly.

Boromir, listen to my words. I am only in your mind, where the others cannot hear you.

What are you and what do you want from me?

I am Galadriel the Lady of Lórien. You have entered my realm and are obliged to listen, Boromir son of Denethor.

I am listening, Milady.

I have seen the future, Boromir son of Denethor—

Will you quit saying that! It's Boromir.

Icy silence.


As I was saying, I have seen the future, Boromir. I fear it will not be bright for you, for this quest will claim your life.

I have sworn to protect the Ring-bearer. If it is my destiny to fall, so be it. Why have you come to warn me, Milady?

The future is grim, man of Gondor, yet hope remains. I have foreseen that before your death, Aragorn son of Arathorn kisses you.

"What?" Boromir cried out. Aragorn and Frodo gave him startled glances.

That I have seen to take place. That will be all, Boromir son of Denethor son of—

"Enough!" yelled Boromir.

Now there's a man who likes his own company, Aragorn mused. Aloud he said, "Had an interesting conversation, Boromir? Care to share it with the rest of us?" He leaned in slightly.

"Stay away from me, Aragorn!" shouted Boromir, alarmed. "Stay away, I say!" With that, he took off running screaming something incoherent about preferring Ringwraiths and plague to that son of—

Aragorn was taken aback and turned to Frodo. The hobbit gave a shrug and went on with his business. On second thought, let the man be, decided Aragorn. Maybe I should offer him brotherly compassion and concern afterward. Satisfied with himself, Aragorn went on his way to lend Gimli a hand or, more precisely, a bow, in some serious porcupine-hunting.

To Be Continued...

Many thanks to everyone who has reviewed the story over the years! Special thanks to Ganheim for the detailed corrections. While the story remains modernized in tone, I hope that time has not completely killed the humor.

Layout updated and grammar revised lightly July 5, 2008. Revised 2010.
Published August 31, 2002.