Those Tolkien geeks among you may be interested in hearing how my reading of The Lord of the Rings to the eldest gel is progressing.

Well, now.

You may recall my recent post about how I planned to adopt Mako’s “Sorcerer” from the Conan movies as my model for rendering the voice of Ghan-buri-Ghan?  I was really quite excited about the prospect, thinking I had some solid material from which to work.

Alas, it didn’t turn out the way I had hoped.  I couldn’t get the gravelly quality right.  In the end, Ghan-buri-Ghan came out sounding like Tonto.

Oh, well.

On the other hand, last evening we got to the Houses of Healing in Minas Tirith.  I had not given any thought at all to how I was going to deal with the Master of the place, except that I wanted to capture his qualities of ineptitude and chattiness.

andydevineImagine my surprise, then, when as I started reading him I realized that the voice I was gradually adopting was that of Andy Devine’s Marshall Appleyard from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

All I can say is that it worked.  By the time I got through his bumblings about the liguistic history of kingsfoil and athelas, like Gandalf and Aragorn I was ready to strangle him myself!

I suppose that the moral here is not to try and plan too far ahead of time but just to go with the natural flow and rhythms of the characters.

Which leads me to another observation:  Either I have just utterly muffed my rendition of him, or else Aragorn doesn’t sound anywhere near as well as he reads.   I was looking forward to trying out his teasing of Merry about his pack, but it came out both flat and pompous and I was completely unable to convey his subsequent confession that he had been joking.