2019 Silmaril Award Nominations: Most Magnificent Dragon (CLOSED)

In 2017, when I first participated in the Silmaril Awards, I handled the competition for Least Competent Henchman.

In 2018, I moved up to Most Nefarious Villain.

The next step is obvious. All my training has prepared me for this moment.

It is time for me to take on the most coveted–and dangerous–of Silmarils…

THE MOST MAGNIFICENT DRAGON AWARD!!!

In case you haven't noticed, I'm very excited about this. And humbled, as well–I felt very honored when Jenelle Schmidt assigned this category to me. I intend to treat this role with all the honor and respect it is due, and to try my level best not to let anybody get immolated.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Or rather, I know it's one of two things. If you're new to the Silmaril Awards, you're probably wondering, “What the heck are they?”

Behold, the Official Explanation from the Official Website:

The Silmaril Awards are all about celebrating fantasy fiction. But whereas most awards go to authors or books, these awards go to the characters themselves! Sound like fun? Read on.

Started in 2016, these awards are a four week online celebration of all that’s best in fantasy literature. There are ten awards given every year. The characters who receive them have to be from books generally considered to be in the fantasy genre. And a given character cannot receive an award more than once. These are lifetime awards.

Nominations are submitted on the websites of each of the presenters for that year. Anyone can submit a nomination and you can second (and third and fourth, etc.) any number of nominations besides your own.

After the nomination period (lasting one week) ends, the five characters receiving the most nominations will make it onto the ballot and you’ll have one week to vote. After the votes are tallied, the winners will be announced, one per day, over the final two weeks of the awards.

 

On the other hand, if you already know what's going on, then you may be wondering something else. I've already hosted a bunch of rowdy henchmen and deranged villains in my house, and it didn't go particularly well for me either time. How in the world am I going to manage a bunch of magnificent-but-volatile dragons?

Simple. I'm letting Malcolm handle it. He can put them up in his cave.

WHAT?

Shush, Malcolm. Anyhoo, let's go over the rules:

  1. All characters created by J.R.R. Tolkien are ineligible to be nominated. With regard to these awards, Tolkien characters are considered the ultimate standards for their respective categories already. As such, they will present the awards at the end of this event.
  2. These awards are for fantasy characters only, so no science fiction characters are eligible. That said, we are willing to consider characters from a sciencey book if it has enough magicey stuff going on to warrant admission. For example, characters from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer are admissible due to the presence of some magical elements in that series. If you're not sure whether a character is eligible, let me know and I'll discuss it with the other Silmaril folks.
  3. When you nominate a character, you must mention the book that the character comes from. I've read a lot, but I haven't read everything, so you may have to help me out.
  4. Feel free to nominate as many characters as you wish and “second” as many characters as you wish. The top 5 MOST seconded characters will go on to the final voting round.
  5. If you are an author, you are welcome to participate, but you can't nominate your own characters; sorry. That said, feel free to direct your fans to this event!
  6. Characters who have won in a particular category in a previous year are ineligible to be nominated for the same award again. The Silmarils are Lifetime Awards. For a list of the previous winners in each category, please check out our Hall of Fame.
  7. Please remember that these are Fantasy BOOK Awards. A movie character is only eligible for nomination if they were in a book first. Novelizations, tie-in books, etc. after the fact do not count.
  8. We're doing something new this year–we have a special Facebook group for the people voting in the awards to get together and discuss them! Click here to find out more and to join.
  9. Finally, don't forget to visit the other blogs and nominate characters for all ten awards! You can find a full list of the other blogs below:

Jennette Mbewe – Most Epic Heroine

Christine Smith – Least Competent Henchman

Deborah O'Carroll – Most Silver Tongue

E.E. Rawls – Most Faithful Friend

Zachary Totah – Most Nefarious Villain

Tracey Dyck – Strangest Character

DJ Edwardson – Most Epic Hero

Madeline J. Rose – Most Mischievous Imp

Jenelle Schmidt – Wisest Counsellor

One last thing: the two previous winners of the Magnificent Dragon award were Eustace Scrubb from The Chronicles of Narnia (in 2017) and Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon (in 2018). So neither of them are eligible. Aside from them–and, of course, Smaug–you can have at it. Nominate away in the comments. Those who make it to the next round will be housed in Malcolm's very spacious and treasure-filled cave.

NO, THEY MOST CERTAINLY WILL NOT!

Nominations will close on the evening of Friday September 6th, so don't delay! And now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to prop my feet up and enjoy what promises to be the most trouble-free Silmaril Awards year I have yet experienced.

SHULTZ!

Did you hear something? Hmm. Probably not important.

The 2018 Silmaril Awards: Announcing the Most Nefarious Villain!

You know, I'm beginning to understand why Jenelle was laughing so hard when she passed this award category on to me. She said it would be easy. HA! I mean, seriously, what was I thinking, getting myself into this…what? I'm on? WHY DO YOU ALWAYS MUMBLE WHEN YOU SAY “ACTION”, STEVE??? You know how I hate the mumbling!

Hello, everyone! Welcome back to the 2018 Silmaril Awards, where are about to unveil the winner of our darkest category…The Most Nefarious Villain! But before we reveal the lucky villain's name, let's give a round of applause to our presenters this year. We have a dark trio on the stage today…Saruman the White; Gollum, formerly Sméagol; and the Dark Lord himself….SAURON!!!

Oh. Hold on. I'm being told that Sauron can't actually be here personally, due to matters in the land of Mordor that require his attention. One does not simply reschedule Mordor. But, to supervise the proceedings, he has sent his…eye.

Uh-huh. So…that big glowy eyeball is just gonna…float around up there over the stage and watch us, huh? Right. That's not creepy at all.

Good luck, Saruman. Knock 'em dead.

Saruman: Why, thank you. I shall be most happy to…

Kyle: NOT literally.

Saruman: Oh.

Kyle: And Gollum, get AWAY from that Silmaril! It is NOT your precious! BAD Gollum! Don't make me get the spray bottle!

Gollum: PRECIOUSSSSSSS…

Kyle: I thought you got turned to stone by the White Witch back in 2016!

Gollum: I gots better!

Kyle: Hrrrrgh. Get this over with, Saruman; I can feel an evil migraine coming on.

Saruman: Certainly.

Kyle: Oh, and just to be clear, there will be none of that teaming-up-to-take-over-the-world stuff that Shift tried to get going last year. Nor will there be any brawling amongst villains. Understood?

Saruman: *sigh* As you wish. Greetings, ladies, gentlemen, and orcs. There are many who aspire to be evil. Countless black-hearted scoundrels who unleash forbidden magic, amass armies of monsters, and murder fan-favorite characters, all to achieve the coveted status of Villain. But in the end, only one master of darkness is eligible to be considered the greatest fantastical villain of all time. And that person is…

Gollum: MEEE!!!

Saruman: SILENCE, GIBBERING CRETIN! The greatest villain is clearly me!

Sauron directs the Side-Eye of Doom at Saruman.

Saruman: Ha ha ha ha ha ha, of course, I misspoke, my lord. You are the greatest villain. You are the Dark Lord, after all. A mere slip of the tongue. Our names are somewhat similar.

The great eye continues to appear suspicious, but seems to accept this expalantion.

Saruman: Be that as it may, there are others, besides the great Sauron, who deserve recognition for their despicable exploits. Five of them have summoned their ever-loyal minions from across the worlds to vote for them, so that they may discover which one deserves the Dark Silmaril of Villainy this year. It was a hard-fought contest, but by a slim margin, a winner emerged at last. Ladies, gentlemen, and various and sundry thralls of darkness, please welcome this year's winner…

Queen Levana from The Lunar Chronicles, with 26% of the vote!

Saruman drapes the dark and foreboding Silmaril around Levana's neck.

Levana: My thanks, Saruman. I accept this acknowledgment of my superiority–though of course, it is not required to prove that I am, in fact, the most powerful and feared person in this room.

Saruman: Always excepting the Dark Lord, of course.

Levana meets the gaze of the Eye of Sauron. A hush falls over the crowd. Clearly, the Queen is attempting to bring her Lunar abilities to bear upon this manifestation of the Dark Lord's strength. The lidless Eye never wavers…which is more than can be said for Levana's glamour. It flickers, briefly revealing the hideously scarred visage beneath, before she tears her gaze away and composes herself with some difficulty. Her impossibly beautiful visage is back in place, though she appears greatly shaken.

Levana: A debate for another time, perhaps.

Saruman: I should make it clear that the Lunar Queen's magic was not employed to achieve her victory. The other contestants ranked as follows:

In second place, Veed from The Tale of the Fallen with 23% of the vote.

Third, Captain Hook from Peter Pan with 21%.

Fourth, Lord Whitlock from Beaumont and Beasley with 15%.

And fifth, Death-in-Life/The Dragon from Goldstone Wood with 15% (one less vote than Lord Whitlock).

And now, my friends, let us make merry and…

An extremely old woman, scary beyond all reason, suddenly rushes onto the stage, panting for breath.

Gollum: AAAAAAGH! He attempts to snatch the Silmaril from Levana. Protect the precioussss!

Levana: Get back, you hideous little creature.

Yzma: Seriously? This is who they've got presenting the award? A leftover hippie with a disco ball and…what is that thing, one of those hairless cats?

Gollum hisses at her.

Saruman: What is the meaning of this? You are not an authorized contender! If you intend to challenge the rules of this contest, witch…

Yzma: Oh, calm down, Beardy. I'm not trying to take over the ceremony. I was hired to handle security at this event. Not exactly how I planned to spend the prime of my life, but I got fired from my job as adviser to the emperor over a trifling little misunderstanding, and then I spent some time as a cat, and then…

Saruman: Explain yourself before I smite you.

Yzma: Shut up and listen. We need to evacuate this place. Now.

Saruman: Whatever for?

Yzma: Because there's a whole bunch of powerful villains who didn't get enough nominations to make the top five…and they're NOT. HAPPY. Even worse, they're storming the gates right now.

Levana: I was under the impression that you could transform people into llamas. Why haven't you done that to these other villains?

Yzma: Oh, what a brilliant idea! Why the heck didn't I think of that? I TRIED. My potions don't work on them.

Saruman: It is of no consequence. Sauron and I can easily defeat this army of upstarts.

Yzma: Whatever. I'm out of here. This isn't worth minimum wage.

Gollum hisses at her again as she passes by. Yzma flinches, produces a small vial of potion, and dumps it on him. In a puff of pink smoke, he transforms into an adorable little kitten.

Yzma: What do you know? At least they work on somebody.

Gollum the Kitty: I GETS BETTER! YOU WATCH OUTS, SCARY VERY OLD LADY!

The wall of the banquet hall collapses in a fiery explosion, and dozens of villains shove their way inside, shouting and screeching.

Saruman: Ladies and gentlemen, out of respect for our master of ceremonies, who has asked that we keep wanting carnage to a minimum this year, let us attempt to resolve our differences with these interlopers peacefully. We shall examine their eligibility for the awards on a case by case basis. Starting with you there, at the front. Yes, the one without a nose.

Voldemort: Pay no attention to that large, unsettling eyeball! I am the Dark Lord!

The Eye's pupil dilates ominously.

Saruman: Oh, really? And what is your villanous quest!

Voldemort: To destroy Harry Potter!

Saruman: Is he a hobbit?

Voldemort: … Not quite.

Saruman: I am rapidly losing interest. Do you have any other villainous goals?

Voldemort: To become immortal!

Saruman: Most of us figured out that bit on the first day of being evil. Your application is denied. Next! You, the green one. No, the other green one, on the broom. Yes, come right up here. What is your goal?

The Wicked Witch of the West: To destroy Dorothy!

Saruman: Let me guess– she's not a hobbit.

WWW: Er…no, but I also want to retrieve the Silver Shoes!

Saruman: Do they grant the wearer dominion over all the realms?

WWW: No, but they let you instantly travel anywhere in the multiverse!

Saruman: Teleportation? Seriously? That's all you want, and you call yourself an iconic villain? Application denied. Next! The large, red-faced woman in the back.

The Queen of Hearts: OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!!

Saruman: Ah. Yes. Quite. So, what's your–

QoH: OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!!

Saruman: So, reading between the lines, it would seem that your goal is for people to not have heads.

QoH: OFF WITH THEIR–

Saruman: Oh, never mind! All your applications are denied! We will have no more of this foolishness! Get out, and take your one-dimensional motivations with you!

Gollum the Kitty: Why doesn't we just join other evilnesses? Giving preciouses away no fun. TAKING preciouses, very very wonderfulness!

Saruman: Why Gollum…what a delightful idea. Of course, I did promise our host that no legions of evil would be formed at this ceremony…but we are villains, after all. Of what value are our promises? My friends! You desire Silmarils? Then let us march across that mysterious realm which is called the Internet, and seize each and every Silmaril that has been granted to every hero, every supporting character, and every villain across all time and space! The Silmaril Awards shall be the plaything of Sauron for all of eternity…and darkness shall spread through each and every reality!

A loud and hearty cheer arises from the horde as they rush at the stage. Levana holds her own Silmaril aloft, a cruel glint in her glamour-enhanced eyes.

Lord Whitlock: All right, I think that's quite enough.

Saruman: Who dares challenge the will of Saruman? Pompous fool! Your universe is nothing more than a tiny infant compared to ancient and hallowed realms like Middle-Earth or the Potterverse!

Whitlock: Perhaps. But it's my world, and I won't have any of you grubby old maniacs trampling all over it. So I'm stopping this multiversal invasion before it can get started.

Whitlock snaps his fingers, and long chains of glowing red runes stream from his hand into every corner of the banquet hall. The ground begins to shake.

Saruman: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

Whitlock: Oh, did Mr. Shultz neglect to mention that this little pocket dimension is upheld by magic from the Afterverse? Spells which I designed myself? All I need to do is apply the proper sequence of runes, and it all comes tumbling down. Every last villain will be sent back to his or her proper domain–including the Underworld, if they're supposed to be dead.

Saruman: WHAT? You…y-you wouldn't dare!

Whitlock: I already have. Bye-bye, Mr. Saruman. Perhaps I'll see you again next year.

All the villainous voices rise in a time-honored, traditional chorus of defeat.

“NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!”

Then, in a blink of red light, they're all gone. Whitlock smiles briefly and indulges in a sinister chuckle before vanishing himself.

And so, yet another Most Nefarious Villain Award ceremony comes to an end.

*********

Hooo. Okay. It's over. Try to ignore the evil migraine and just keep telling yourself that, Kyle. It could have been worse. At least you survived.

Excuse me? Am I late?

You? Oh, wow…um…you know, you're not actually eligible, I'm afraid…

I'm not? You do understand that I'm the actual, card-carrying Queen of Evil, right?

Yeah…sorry. You're very, very not eligible, given that you're not from a book or from the fantasy genre. But all the same, it's awesome to meet you. Could I get an autograph, maybe?

I'll do you one better, dear. How about a selfie?

Awesome! Let's just stand over here…wow, that's, uh…an interesting phone…

Mm, yes, it is, isn't it? Now…say something nice.

Uh-oh.

*DZZZZZT*

The 2018 Silmaril Awards: Vote for the Most Nefarious Villain!

Look, I don't care what the UPS regulations are, I'm not signing for these live great white sharks until you put them where they're supposed to be. They obviously belong down there, under the glass floor, where all the water is! Not up here on the stage with me! And hurry, I think those giant styrofoam cartons are starting to leak. The salt-water might make these decorative evil contraptions go haywire. We don't want that Laser of Doom going off…

*DZZZZZZT* *Wilhelm scream*

See? Now move the sharks!!

Oh, am I on? Whoops.

Aaaaand we're back with the 2018 Silmaril Awards! Welcome, all, to the Most Nefarious Villain Voting Round…OF DOOM!!!

Okay, that last part wasn't real; nobody is going to be doomed. So long as they stay away from that laser, at least.

As you can see…I mean, read…we are already gearing up for the big awards ceremony. No point in leaving it until the last minute! And you'll be happy to hear that I've hired a much better Head of Security for this year, who is already doing a marvelous job turning away potential gate-crashers.

It is no concern of mine that you weren't popular enough to get nominated! You really should have thought of that before you became a D-list villain. NEXT!

*ahem* Moving swiftly on…you came up with some wonderfully nefarious nominations for this award. So many, that I had to make an enormous Spreadsheet of Evil just to keep track of them. I was forced to delete it when I was done to prevent it from taking over my computer and launching a new Age of Ultron. I think I managed to fully destroy it, though.

I'VE GOT NO STRINGS…

AAAAAHHHH!!! *DZZZZT*

Whew. Sorry about that. Anyway, only the top five villains could go on to the voting round…and here they are!

(I would recommend clapping, if you value your lives.)

First, we have…Queen Levana from the Lunar Chronicles! A powerful mind-controller with a heart of ice, Levana will stop at nothing to secure her rule over Luna and to extend her empire to Earth. Her preternatural glamour hides the secret of what set her on a dark and bloody path. No one is safe from her ambition and cruelty.

Yes, Your Majesty, just stand right there….and may I say, you are looking lovely today. Is that a new glamour? No, I'm not going to just hand over the award and skip the rest of the ceremonies. No, don't bother controlling my mind. I'm an author. I'm immune to that sort of thing. Stop it. Thank you.

Next up…Veed from The Tale of the Fallen! His most menacing quality isn't his supernatural power, it's his ruthless determination to win. He styles himself a hero in a land beset by an invasion of demons, but all he truly cares about is his dark agenda. He'll assure you he's on your side, but trust him at your peril.

Wow, man, I have to say…the folks on Goodreads LOATHE you. I've rarely encountered such visceral hatred for a villain. Care to comment on that? No? Anything at all to say? … Stop smiling at me like that. You're freaking me out.

Third…The Dragon (also known as Death-in-Life) from the Tales of Goldstone Wood series! A truly despicable creature who lives to spread corruption and sorrow. He rules the twisted and vile dragons of his realm, and creates more by burning away the humanity of his victims with poisonous magic. The Dragon will not rest until he has snuffed out all light with his darkness.

Just…stand back, okay? Way, wayyyy back. I imagine you'll take this as a compliment, but you are super, SUPER creepy. What's that? Uhhh, no thanks. Actually, I'd be fine with turning into a dragon…but your way of doing it sounds painful and gross, so I'm gonna say no.

Fourth…Lord Whitlock from the Beaumont and Beasley series! He's evil, and he loves it. Though heroism beckoned in his youth, he turned his back on it to pursue power and vengeance. His chief goal in life is to be feared, not just as a powerful enchanter, but as a true monster of legend. He's willing to sacrifice anyone to achieve this transformation, even his own daughter.

I most certainly will NOT give you the award just because you're one of my characters. Besides, after what you've done to some of my other characters, I've half a mind to kill you off for good. Don't you threaten me with your magic! I INVENTED your magic! One more word out of you, and I'll arrange for you to be eaten by Neverwolves.

Our fifth and final nominee is Captain Hook from Peter Pan! This iconic pirate is the embodiment of vengefulness and spite. He's determined to destroy Peter and his comrades over the loss of his hand to the crocodile…though he'd probably want to do it even if he didn't have a reason. The telltale tick of a clock may be his Achilles heel, but even so, he is not to be underestimated.

Oh, quit glaring at me, Hook. Just because I replaced you with a woman in my fictional universe is no reason to get huffy. That happens to fictional characters all the time these days. Grow up.

On to the voting! Enter your choice for Most Nefarious Villain, as well as your picks for our other categories, using the handy form below.

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Here are links to the other voting posts, so you can hear more about the nominees in other categories:

Wisest Councillor – Deborah O’Carroll

Least Competent Henchman – Jenelle Schmidt

Most Silver Tongued – D.J. Edwardson

Most Epic Hero – E.E. Rawls

Strangest Character – Zachary Totah

Most Epic Heroine – Madeline Rose

Most Mischievous Imp – Abbey Stellingwerff

Most Magnificent Dragon – Tracey Dyck

Most Loyal Friend – Savannah Grace

Voting closes at midnight on September 14, so don't delay!

All right, nominees, our Head of Security will show you to your rooms. Just don't take any drinks from her. We don't want this to become the Most Nefarious Llama Award. (Though that could be fun.)

I certainly hope she keeps any uninvited guests from showing up this year…

*ominous distant thunder*

The 2018 Silmaril Award Nominations: Most Nefarious Villain (CLOSED)

UPDATE: Nominations are now closed! Thanks for your great choices, everyone!


It's that time of year again, everyone! … Well, actually it's not, because we decided to do it at a different time of year than we did last time, so it's a new time, so never mind.

That got away from me. Let's try again.

It's time…for the 2018 Silmaril Awards!

Yes, the ever-popular blog event is back (with a slightly tweaked name), and once again, my fellow bloggers and I are calling on YOU to nominate your favorite fictional characters for a variety of award categories. (You can read more about the awards on the brand new official website!)

Last year, I was assigned the Least Competent Henchman category. The award ceremony went off without a hitch. Absolutely no problems whatsoever.

*ahem*

Anyway, here are some very important rules about who you can nominate. Failure to comply with these rules will result in unstable rifts in the multiverse, so don't blame me if you end up getting kissed by a Dementor or something.

Here, then, are the official rules, as written by Galadriel herself* centuries ago.

*OK, maybe not, but they're still important, so pay attention.

RULE THE FIRSTETH: Verily and forsooth, authors canst not nominate their own characters. Ye slingers of ink are, however, welcome—nay, encouragedeth—to telleth thine fans about the awards.

RULE THE SECONDETH: Mark ye well—only characters from FANTASY BOOKS canst be nominated for awards! [Kronk's unauthorized intrusion upon last year's Henchman ceremony notwithstandingeth.] Those characters who haileth from the silver screen art not eligible, unlesseth the BOOK came FIRST, before dark and forbidden sorcery was used to transmuteth it into a “movie”.

ADDENDUMETH TO RULE THE SECONDETH: Verily, we doth alloweth some lee-way as doth regard the blurry line between fantasy and science fiction. If thou canst make a meritorious argument for whysoever a book which doth technicallyeth be science fiction counteth as fantasy, thine nomination may yet be eligible.

RULE THE THIRDETH: Characters who hath wonneth a Silmaril before, in ye olden days of yore and auld lang syne, doth be part of the “lifetime” Hall of Fame for aforementionedeth award and shalt not be nominated for an award they hast already wonneth. Also, characters who hast been created by J.R.R. Tolkien, the One Fantasy Author to Rule Them All, doth be archetypes of all the categories and art therefore not eligible for nominations.

RULE THE FOURTHETH: Whosomever shalt violateth these rules shalt be devouredeth by a balrog, eftsoons and right speedily. Eth.

Iffeth *AHEM* If you have any questions about these rules or about a potential nomination, give me a shout-out in the comments! I will be happy to pass it on to The Powers That Be.

As for the category, this year, I will be managing the award for…

THE MOST NEFARIOUS VILLAIN!

YES! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! *EVIL THUNDER* REJOICE WITH ME, MY EVIL MINIONS! ALL SHALL LOVE ME AND DESPAIR!

(Just to be clear, my role as Master of Ceremonies sadly prevents me from being personally eligible for this award.)

So, who do you think is the Most Nefarious Villain in fantasy fiction? Based on the rules above, enter your nominations in the comments! Once we've gathered enough names, I will follow up with a voting post on September 10th.

Nominations close on September 7 at midnight, so get yours in now!

Here are links to the other participating blogs so you can nominate characters for the rest of the categories:

Wisest Councillor – Deborah O'Carroll

Least Competent Henchman – Jenelle Schmidt

Most Silver Tongued – D.J. Edwardson

Most Epic Hero – E.E. Rawls

Strangest Character – Zachary Totah

Most Epic Heroine – Madeline Rose

Most Mischievous Imp – Abbey Stellingwerff

Most Magnificent Dragon – Tracey Dyck

Most Loyal Friend – Savannah Grace

Thanks for participating in the Silmarillion Awards! MWAHAHAHAHAHA cough cough cough What do you mean, “mad with power”? I'm fine!

The Silmarillion Awards 2017: Least Competent Henchman Award Ceremony!

This is going to go very badly. I can already tell.

What? What do you mean, my mike is on? It's not… *tap tap* Aw, man… *ahem*

Sorry about that, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Award Presentation Ceremony for the Least Competent Henchman Silmaril! If you have no idea what's going on here, check out this description of the Awards on Jenelle Schmidt's blog. You can also read more about our nominees for Least Competent Henchman in this post.

Here's the Silmaril we'll be presenting today.

It looked a lot nicer originally, but got damaged in the mail. You know how unreliable the interdimensional postal service is these days. This Silmaril's light has gone out, but somehow it seemed appropriate for the category.

And now, without further ado, let me introduce the presenter of this Silmaril, the standard by which all incompetent henchmen must be measured…Ugluk the Uruk-hai!

Did I pronounce that correctly?

UGLUK: You're still alive, aren't you?

KYLE: … All righty, then. Good luck.

Our very handsome and eloquent master of ceremonies departs. The massive, hideous orc thunders across the stage, his armor rattling, his heavy footsteps shaking the floor. He snarls in irritation as he approaches the podium and snatches up the envelope holding the name of our winner. He casts a warning look at the audience and brandishes a sword in his free hand, daring anyone to test his patience further. A huge palantir rests on the podium.

UGLUK: Thank you for that introduction, Puny Blond Human.

KYLE, from backstage: That's not my name!

UGLUK: Thank you, Kyall R'barrt Shlltz. I am Ugluk, servant of Saruman the Wise, the White Hand who gives me and my warriors man-flesh to eat.

KYLE: Uh, maybe you could avoid mentioning the whole man-flesh thing? It kinda freaks people out.

UGLUK: Shut up.

KYLE: Right. Sorry.

UGLUK: I am very annoyed to be here, taking time away from my busy career as a henchman, to give this stupid-looking Silmaril to some idiot from another reality. This envelope apparently contains the name of the winner, who I assume fought the other nominees to the death so he could win. How many others were there? Four? I guess that's slightly impressive. Let's see what his name is…

Mr. Smee from Peter Pan, at 39% of the vote.

The other candidates received the following percentages of the vote:

Puzzle from The Chronicles of Narnia: 33%
Fezzik from The Princess Bride: 24%
Antorell from The Enchanted Forest Chronicles: 2%
Drawlight from Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell: 1%

UGLUK: Rise, Miss-tar-Smee of P-tarr Pann, to receive your pathetic award.

A short, plump, middle-aged man in pirate costume nervously mounts the stage, fidgeting as he tiptoes toward the ferocious orc. He keeps a safe distance of five feet or so between himself and Ugluk, and speaks in a quavering Irish brogue.

SMEE: Y-yes, sir. Th-thank you, sir.

He reaches out a trembling hand for the Silmaril.

UGLUK: Wait a minute. How in the world could you have bested four warriors? You're a dwarf.

SMEE: N-not a dwarf, sir, no.

UGLUK: A hobbit, then.

SMEE: No.

UGLUK: Then how…

SMEE: I didn't fight anyone, Mr. Ugg…Mr. Oog…sir. I wanted to, but the master of ceremonies took away my knife.

UGLUK: A knife? Bah. A knife is for weaklings. You need a sword! Like mine! See?

Ugluk shakes his sword in front of Smee, the stage lights glinting off its keen blade. Smee pales.

SMEE: Ah. Yes. Very large. Very sharp. I can see how that would be effective. Would you mind, er, pointing it over there instead? What I was trying to say was, while I do stab people, I'm sort of polite about it. And children like me for some reason. And I secretly long to have a mother. So I didn't quite measure up as a henchman to Captain Hook. Which is why I won the award.

The palantir on the podium begins to glow, and a voice echoes through the auditorium.

“One could mention many lovable traits in Smee. For instance, after killing, it was his spectacles he wiped instead of his weapon.”

“I know not why he was so infinitely pathetic, unless it were because he was so pathetically unaware of it; but even strong men had to turn hastily from looking at him, and more than once on summer evenings he had touched the fount of Hook’s tears and made it flow.”

“Feared him! Feared Smee! There was not a child on board the brig that night who did not already love him. He had said horrid things to them and hit them with the palm of his hand, because he could not hit with his fist, but they had only clung to him the more. Michael had tried on his spectacles.”

The palantir fades and falls silent. Smee blushes.

UGLUK. Bah. Whatever. Here, take it.

Ugluk extends the cracked Silmaril to Smee, but at this moment, a trap door opens up in the floor between the two henchman. A long-haired, broad-shouldered man in the costume of an Inca warrior pops out of it and leaps onto the stage, his attitude triumphant. He flashes a big goofy grin at the audience. The trap door swings shut behind him.

KRONK: What are the odds that trap door would lead me out here?

UGLUK: What is the meaning of this? Who are you?

KRONK: I asked you first.

UGLUK: No, you did not!

KRONK: Oh.

UGLUK: I am Ugluk, Henchman of Saruman the Wise!

KRONK: Cool, dude. I am Kronk, Henchman of Yzma the Scary Beyond All Reason. Put ‘er there, buddy.

UGLUK: I will put her nowhere!

KRONK: Right. Anyhoo, Ugly–

UGLUK: UGLUK!!!

KRONK: –here's the thing. I don't mean any offense to this…little Scottish pirate guy over here.

SMEE: I'm Irish!

KRONK: But it's pretty clear that I'm the one who deserves the rock.

UGLUK: It is not a rock! It is a Silmaril!

KRONK. … Sil–Silly–you just made that word up, didn't you? I mean, that's not actually a thing, right? … Whatevs. All I'm trying to say is that I should have been the winner. I mean, let's face it. When it comes to being incompetent, nobody else is even in my league. Even my shoulder angel and shoulder devil agree on that.

He jerks his thumbs toward his shoulders. Ugluk and Smee stare at him, bewildered.

SMEE: I think he's doo-lally. Begging your pardon, Mr. Kronk, but you're not eligible for this award. You're a cinematic character, not a literary one.

KRONK: Eh, potayto, potahto.

UGLUK: Do not attempt to distract me with vegetables, Man of Cartoonish Proportions! SECURITY! Attack, my warriors!!

KRONK: Oh, you mean those other ugly guys outside? Yeah, they're llamas now. And a few other animals. Also, they quit.

UGLUK: WHAT?! What is a llama?!

KRONK: I kinda borrowed some of Yzma's potions.

UGLUK: GRRRR. Begone, fool, before I relieve you of your head! Get out of here the same way you came in!

KRONK: So that's a no on the rock, then?

UGLUK and SMEE, in unison: GET OUT!

KRONK: Right.

Kronk stomps on the trap door, but it refuses to budge.

KRONK: Huh. Weird. I'm just gonna mosy over there and see if I can find a lever or something to get this open with. Toodles.

He saunters off the stage, beatboxing his own theme music. Ugluk takes a deep breath, regaining his composure with some difficulty. He shoves the Silmaril into Smee's face.

UGLUK: Enough of this brainless prattling. Take your award, fool.

SMEE: Thank you, Mr. Ugly, sir.

UGLUK: Ug. Luk. Why is that so difficult? The ceremony is over! Everyone leave!

Two additional trap doors suddenly pop open beneath Ugluk and Smee. The henchmen drop out of sight somewhere beneath the stage.

UGLUK: WRONG LEVEEEEErrrrrrr…

There is a distant splash. Kronk peeks out from the wings.

KRONK: Oops.

The Silmarillion Awards–Vote for the Least Competent Henchman!

*tap tap* Is this thing on? Good.

Welcome back to the 2nd Annual Silmarillion Awards! Time to pick which lucky incompetent henchman is going to win one of those big shiny magical rocks that were fashioned before the advent of men. If you're late to the party and have no idea what I'm talking about, check out the official description of the awards on Jenelle Schmidt's blog and read the nominations post from last week.

To start off, congratulations to Grace T on her win of the Least Competent Henchman Giveaway! Grace will be receiving an ebook copy of Cry of the Sea by Donna Getzinger Driver, a signed paperback copy of The Beast of Talesend (by me ????), and a custom notebook based on Beast's cover design.

And now for our lucky Henchman candidates! There were many awesome nominations, but ultimately, only five are allowed to go on to the voting round. And here they are!

What? No, I don't care which one of you goes first, just HURRY UP. *ahem* Sorry.

Presenting…

Fezzik from The Princess Bride! It really isn't his fault that he's the biggest and the strongest. You'd never know it to look at him, but this giant really is gentle. He never wanted to hurt anybody, and only learned to fight because his parents wanted him to learn to defend himself from unkind classmates. This henchman with a deep passion for rhyming is wholly unsuited to carry out nefarious deeds, his sense of being sporstmanlike is too strong. Nevertheless, he finds himself working for a villain out of necessity. Vizzinni might not be the most honorable employer, but he pays well and provides company…which is important, as Fezzik's deepest fear is being left all alone.

You can go now, Fezzik. Yes. Yes, the door right over there. *crash* ???? Ouch. Try ducking lower next time. Uh, could somebody please shift Fezzik's unconscious body off the stage? Thanks.

Next up, give a warm welcome to…

Mr. Smee from Peter Pan! The non-conformist pirate, the man who stabs without offence, and one who, according to his late employer Captain James Hook, may quite possibly have good form without knowing it. Despite many admirable qualities, Smee ultimately proved a failure as a henchman due to insufferable geniality, a tendency to be liked by children, and late-onset maternal abandonment issues. Infinitely pathetic, Smee is, without a doubt, a worthy contender for this Silmaril.

What's that? No, you can NOT win by stabbing the other nominees. No, not even if you do it politely. Give me that knife. GIVE IT. Thank you.

Next…

Drawlight from Jonathan Strange & Mr. NorrellThis consummate fop and lickspittle is an expert at social networking. Not in the 21st-century sense, of course. He's particularly good at sucking up to influential men via flattery and the shrewd use of gossip. Drawlight could be described as a professional henchman, one who actively seeks every opportunity to make himself indispensable to powerful magicians. His failure as a minion was certainly not for lack of trying–though wiser management of his money might possibly have prevented his downfall.

No, I'm not a magician myself. No, I'm not hiring henchmen at the moment. No, I won't lend you money. Get out of here. 

Moving on to…

Antorell from Dealing with DragonsAntorell is not a very good wizard. Which wouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that his father is the High Wizard. That's kind of a lot of pressure. Especially since his father is always hatching nefarious schemes and expecting Antorell to help carry them to fruition. The problem is, Antorell is happy to be a villain, he's just always messing up in some way… or getting melted, which is the ultimate embarrassment. It's bad enough getting melted, but by a Princess with a bucket of soapy lemon water? Life just doesn't get much more unfair than that!

Melted, huh? I really need to read your book. What? Of course you're not going to get melted if you lose, don't be ridiculous!

And finally…

Puzzle the Donkey from The Last Battle! He was the partner-in-crime to Shift the Ape, but he wants it made very clear that this was not his fault and that he is not clever. Puzzle possesses that quality which all the best villains look for in their henchmen–the willingness to let other, smarter people do their thinking for them. For a time, Puzzle successfully impersonated the Great Lion Aslan…primarily with the aid of a lion-skin costume and very poor lighting. This stint came to an abrupt end when he was rescued by the heroes–a definite no-no in villainous circles–putting Puzzle in the running for this Silmaril.

Wait, where'd he go? Excuse me a moment. Puzzle! Get out of the refrigerator! Hrrgh. No one told me I'd have to put these characters up in my house until after the awards ceremony…

And that about wraps it up for now! We did have one popular nominee who sadly had to be disqualified, given that he is a cinematic rather than a literary figure. My apologies to the many disappointed folks who voted for–

*brrring!*

*sigh* Hang on. I have to take this call. *beep* WHAT? … No, Kronk, the powers that be were very clear. You're not eligible. … I already told you, I don't CARE about the novelization! … Or the coloring books! Stop calling me! And don't you DARE show up at the awards ceremony! *beep*

I do apologize.

Time to cast your vote, folks! Use the form below, and feel free to tell us who you picked and why in the comments!

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The Silmarillion Awards: Least Competent Henchman Nominations (CLOSED)

EDIT: Nominations now closed. Thanks, everyone! Voting will open soon!

Welcome to the 2nd Annual Silmarillion Awards! I'm very excited to be participating in this fun blogging event, which gives you a chance to vote on your favorite fantasy book characters in a variety of categories. You can find out more about the Awards on Jenelle Schmidt's website. Here's a full list of the categories and their corresponding blogs:

Wisest Councillor Silmaril – Tracey @ Adventure Awaits

Silver Tongue Silmaril – Madeline @ Short and Snappy

Most Epic Hero Silmaril – Abbey @Regarding Reading and Writing

Strangest Character Silmaril – Savannah @Scattered Scribblings

Most Epic Heroine Silmaril – Deborah @Road of a Writer

Most Mischievous Imp Silmaril – Elise @Author E.E. Rawls

Most Magnificent Dragon Silmaril – DJ @DJ Edwardson

Most Loyal Friend Silmaril – Zac @Zachary Totah

Most Nefarious Villain Silmaril – Jenelle @Jenelle Schmidt

And last but not least, there's my category, which is…

Least Competent Henchman Silmaril

Okay, so in a way, it kinda IS least. ???? Oh well.

Let's face it–good henchmen are hard to find these days. Just when you think you've got all the snags worked out of your evil plan, one of your minions forgets to lock the drawbridge, or blurts out some crucial piece of information to the hero, or improperly transcribes a spell so that you accidentally transform yourself into a cute little bunny rabbit instead of a mighty dragon.

This Silmaril is for henchman characters who royally screwed up in the execution of their nefarious duties, and will be presented by an infamous underling from The Lord of the Rings. Post your nominees in the comments below.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. These awards are for fantasy characters only. So no sci-fi characters, or anyone from other genres. That being said, given the hazy boundaries of speculative fiction, if you can make a case for an unusual nominee being eligible, go ahead and the awards committee will consider the submission.
  2. You can pick any fantasy book character EXCEPT for characters from your own works or any Tolkien characters (since they are considered the standard for these awards.)
  3. These are lifetime awards, so you can't nominate last year's winner…however, the Least Competent Henchman category is new this year, so you don't have to worry about that issue in this case.
  4. There is no limit on how many characters a single person can nominate.
  5. You can't second your own nominations, but you can second those of other commenters.
  6. Make sure you specify which book your nominee is from. And feel free to tell us your reason for nominating them, as well!
  7. Spread the word! Use the hashtag #SilmAwards2017 on social media to invite other people to join in the fun.

Also, there's a giveaway for you to enter! If you didn't win the Rafflecopter I ran last month, here's your chance to try again. The prizes are a signed paperback copy of The Beast of Talesend, a custom notebook based on Beast's cover design, and an ebook copy of Cry of the Sea by D.G. Driver.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There will also be a special Grand Prize giveaway during the Award Presentations week; stay tuned for further details on that! In the meantime, you can buy commemorative mugs and t-shirts for the Awards at these links:

https://inlovewithimagination.com/products/2017-simarillion-awards-commemorative-fellowship-t-shirt
https://inlovewithimagination.com/collections/special-limited-time-offer-collections/products/the-2017-silmarillion-award-ceremony-commenorative-mug

Go to it! And if you've got any questions about the Awards, feel free to ask in the comments!