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!