Ho! Ho! Ho! To the bottle I go
To heal my heart and drown my woe..
-J.R.R.Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
December is a month of celebrations, be it Christmas, Chanukah, New Year or some
other holiday in the different parts of the world. It belongs to the
celebrations just like delicious food and good mood. Yes, we are speaking about
our December topic - Alcohol.
In Middle-earth you can get drunk just like anywhere else. Just take a look at
our beverage list: we have wine for Elves, and those who feel noble enough to
drink it, and no Hobbit or Dwarf would refuse a pint of our ale. You say you
want something special? What about miruvor, the mead of Valinor? Or take a cup
of our spirits, but be warned - it's really strong!
Who said Elves can't get drunk? Don't get fooled by Legolas' drinking contest
with Gimli! He had centuries of training with the strongest Dorwinion wine in
Mirkwood... Oh yes, Thranduil's parties... The dwarves would never be able to
escape his palace in empty barrels of... wine (and other things), if the guards
wouldn't get drunk!
Alcohol can have also a symbolic meaning, especially wine, red like blood, heady
and bittersweet. It is used for toasts, drunk at weddings, funerals and other
important occasions. Before Théoden and Aragorn ride to Helm's deep, Ìowyn
brings them a cup of wine as a blessing and parting.
You can write about the celebrations in Mirkwood, Rivendell, or Minas Tirith,
and I'm sure Rangers found some reasons to celebrate as well. What do you think
was Legolas' or Aragorn's first experience with alcohol? Did they get drunk? You
can write about drinking contests and following hangovers. But celebrations are
not the only reason to reach for the bottle. Sometimes, the grief or pain is so
intense that it wants to be drowned in a glass of something strong. In what
situation would our heroes have such a desire, and would they succumb to it?
Aragorn or Legolas don't even have to touch a drop of alcohol in your story.
Somebody else can get drunk, and they can face the consequences... Or, it
doesn't even have to be applied internally: alcohol has also other uses, like
dissinfection of a wound (ouch...). It's only up to you how you will use it.
We wish you happy writing, and merry celebrations in December. Have fun, but the
right measure with alcohol - instead of getting drunk with it, pour it rather
into a story! ;)
The deadline for this challenge is December 25th. Please send your stories and
questions to: <teitho.contest@...>
nautika, StarLight, and Mirach