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.