Broken Bones, Murdered Fish, and Mom’s Stellar Painting Suggestions

Lately, I’ve been feeling the insatiable urge to paint a masterpiece. Which is great, if you know what to do it of.

Which I didn’t.

As usual.

So I did what any self-respecting teenager would do—I turned to my mother for help. WHY, I don’t know, since she never suggests anything decent (AKA anything I like), but there it is.

I said, “Mom, what should I paint?”

And promptly regretted it.

What follows is the real, unaltered version of our conversation. I was taking notes.

My dear mother scrunched her face up and thought very long and very hard. In fact, she thought so long and hard, I actually began to wonder if a semi-decent idea was going to come forth from her brain. Then her face lit up. I scooted forward in anticipation, hanging onto the words she had yet to utter. She turned to me, looking monstrously pleased with her grand creativity, and let forth what is probably the most awe-inspiring suggestion the 21st century has ever heard.

“You should draw the pile of dead orcs ร‰omer burned on the edge of Fangorn!”


She was completely serious.


I said no in every language I can speak. (Which is one.) So she went back to thinking.

“How about Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli running across the plains of Rohan with broken toes, broken ribs, and a dislocated knee?”

I politely inquired why she couldn’t have simply left it at “Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli,” and received a vague answer that only furthered my conviction to not draw it. So she went back to thinking.

“Paint Gollum smacking a fish to death in the… what’s it called, the Banned River thing?”


For your information, it’s the Forbidden Pool, and no, I am not painting that.


(Except she couldn’t remember that his name was Balin, so it came out as more of a, “DRAW THAT ONE GUY—*insert random hand flapping*—you know, the one with like, the thing, and the… *more hand flapping and some vague gestures at her face* Oh, you know, he was always really pessimistic—DRAW HIS TOMB!!!”)

I hope you all remember what’s in Balin’s tomb, because the contents of that place were permanently scarring to my delicate fourteen year old self.


Yeah. I’m not painting that either.

“Paint the green dead people!”


It will never cease to amaze me how many times we’ve seen Lord of the Rings, and she STILL doesn’t know that they are the Men of Dunharrow. Sheesh. Get it right, mom.

“Hey, you should draw the mouth of Sauron!”


I actually briefly considered this.


“Well I don’t know!” she huffed when I dismissed yet another of her ideas. “Paint what you want. Paint a tree.”

So basically, we go from every grisly aspect of Middle-Earth, be it broken bones, murdered fish, or decomposed dwarf, to…



I painted Arwen instead.



Yes, she’s blue, and yes, that was semi-intentional. It’s… art. *cough* Yeah. It invokes emotion. So there.

Moral of the Story: If you want to know every horrible aspect of Lord of the Rings, ask my mother, because she remembers them all—and is quite gleeful about it, too.


PS. I apologize to any and all personages who haven’t read or watched LotR, because this obviously hasn’t made a whole lot of sense to you. Oops.

41 thoughts on “Broken Bones, Murdered Fish, and Mom’s Stellar Painting Suggestions

  1. I think I’m going to be choking for the rest of the day. Your MoP gives me life. XD *stumbles off wiping tears of laughter from her eyes*

    Oh yes, lovely painting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *thumps you heartily on the back* Shall I call a paramedic?
      (I’m pretty sure Mop gives herself life as well. You should have heard her reading through this and laughing herself silly.)


      1. *best automated Baymax voice* My hands are equipped with defibrillators. *holds out glowing hands and rubs them stiffly together*


  2. Umm, I want to have a conversation with your mom. Arwen is beautiful, Sarah! Maybe the art class is actually teaching you something even while it’s trying to kill you ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Legend has it that if you insult me in the comments, my mother will pop in to add an insult of her own. It’s worth a try. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      (And just so you are aware, the only thing art class has taught me this year is how to replicate Paul Klee’s style. Look up Paul Klee’s artwork. Everything you need to know about how much I’ve learned begins and ends with what you find.)
      (*cough* Basically, there’s been more killing and less learning. But anyway. ๐Ÿ˜€ )

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow. I read this aloud to my brother, and we were both laughing like crazy. I love it! And yes, that sums up the worst parts of LOTR. Your mother is most amusing. And your painting is amazing. I’m glad you decided to with Arwen, instead of a pile of dead orcs, or Balin’s tomb. Haha. That was quite enjoyable.


  4. WELL. Some people just have NO sense of…something…whatever…*random hand flapping and vague gestures *.

    In defense of myself, I would like to point out that, after all of the above STELLAR suggestions (if I do say so) were very unceremoniously rejected with NO thought whatever for the feelings of OTHERS, I then mentioned the idea of doing an Elf Portrait Gallery. I believe, or would LIKE to, although I’m sure I’ll never get credit for it (I’m looking at YOU Walmart pants! ), that the Arwen masterpiece was born from my brilliant proposal. So there.

    Wait a minute. How about Gandalf hanging off the edge of …wherever he was…?! Or that big dwarf hall with all the …whatever they were… stuck to the walls?! I know! Frodo after Gollum bit off his finger! ๐Ÿ˜˜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For your information, dear heart, you only had that grand idea AFTER I painted Arwen. So no, you don’t get the credit for her. And I’d been planning on doing an elf gallery for a while now anyway, so you don’t get the credit for that, either. Sorrah.


  5. The titles alone of your blog posts would make it impossible for the random Internet surfer to pass by without clicking.

    Well HEY, Mop, isn’t it encouraging that you can remember SOME THINGS quite well? ๐Ÿ˜‚ All those various dead beings would appreciate your devotion.
    I think.

    That’s a lovely painting.


    1. Well, as it appears that appreciation from “various dead beings” is all the appreciation I’m going to get for my pains…*disdainful sniff*…I’ll have to be satisfied. Thank you for pointing that out. It bears up my inner snowflake. ๐Ÿ˜

      Liked by 3 people

  6. *chokes on tea* I still haven’t learned my lesson to not drink tea and read things on your blog because I always inevitably start smirking, which leads to laughing, which leads to choking, which leads to coughing/laughing, which leads to my parents looking at me, shaking their heads, and wondering what they did wrong when raising me.

    Right. Anywho. I loved this. My mom and your mom would get along very well (my mom also does the vague hand flapping thing). And the painting of Arwen was incredible (just watched LotR a couple weeks ago).


  7. I should really not read your blog while my mother’s in the room, because then I start laughing, and she wants to know why, and at times like these if she reads it she’ll probably take your mother’s side and then everyone will be offended. So all I can do is not give away the joke, and she ends up annoyed anyway. *Sigh* Mothers can be so unreasonable.

    I’m very glad that in the book the Fellowship left well enough alone and didn’t open Balin’s tomb! Good grief, that’s so uncalled-for. Not only had he died recently enough that a simple skeleton like that would /not/ be what you’d see, but it would take away the pathos of the scene and make it simply creepy.

    Arwen looks very cold in that painting. I’d offer her some tea if she looked in any state to receive it.


    1. I offer my apologies to your mother. And mothers everywhere. I didn’t mean to turn their children against them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      (It was rather creepy, eh? Especially for them having died so recently. Then in the Hobbit, we get Dwarves who have been dead for fifty, sixty years, and they look as fresh as yesterday. *shakes head sternly* Filmmakers…)


  8. *chokes on laughter* I loved this post. One, I love LotR, so it made my evening to read a post mentioning all sorts of Middle-earth wonderfulness, even if most of it included random hand flapping and vague gestures. Two, your Mop sounds awesome! And actually a lot like my mom. My mom remembers things from the movies, but can’t always remember what they’re called. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Three, that Legolas gif is great and very fitting for that moment in the post. *thumbs up*
    Lastly, your painting is AMAZING. Beautiful. PERFECT. In that scene, the lighting is rather blue, so it makes sense that her pale skin would be tinted with blue.
    I love it. *struggles to find the perfect words* *fails*
    Anyway, thanks so much for sharing!!!


    1. 1. If you love LotR, you’ll DEFINITELY fit in around here. *gazes lovingly at her three copies of LotR*
      2. Mop IS awesome. We’re best fwiends.
      3. Heh, that’s actually one of my favorite gifs… I was quite glad to finally use it.
      4. THANK YOOOOU!!! Yeah, the blueness isn’t so bad with the lighting and everything. She looked a lot weirder before I had the background and her hair done, believe me… *shivers* Frostbite Arwen.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 1. I am VERY glad about that!!!
        2. That’s awesome! Me and my mom are good friends too. ๐Ÿ™‚
        3. Legolas is very intense right then. As he usually is. XD
        5. LOL; Poor Arwen. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Sarah,
    How about Smeagol? I would love to see you do a nice portrait of Smeagol. That would be far more worthy of your talents than modern art. Just sayin’


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