Fanfic: The Games of the Gods
In The Games of the Gods
, something kills two girls in Australia, changes them into elves, and transports them to another world. Rachel and Kari awaken in Middle-earth, the setting of The Lord of the Rings
, and quickly find a welcome in Rivendell, where they begin to admire sexy male elves...
...until chapter 12, when Rachel notices that she is a Mary Sue
, just like in bad fan fiction. Rachel doesn't want to be what she hates. Rachel runs away from Rivendell and tries to evade her fate; but she remains trapped in a Mary-Sue story.
There are now two parts, because the author Crimson Starlight decided to begin a sequel.
Book One provides examples of:
- Affectionate Nickname: In chapter 11, Rachel shortens Glorfindel to "Glory". Rachel also takes credit for shortening Alkarisil to "Kari", though that is not the true story.
- Aura Vision: One character can see auras, but this is a secret.
- Author Powers:
- In the disclaimer gag for chapter 13 "Leaving", Crimson Starlight rejects a compliment from Glorfindel.
CS: Because you're a fictional character who I am currently controlling. Ergo, any compliment you give me is basically like me complimenting myself, and I am quite sure that isn't too good for ones [sic] mental health.
- In the gags for chapters 36 and 37, CS can make Bewitched Amphibians.
- In the gag for chapter 40, CS says "Balrog" and accidentally summons one. Even worse, saying "No Balrog" fails to banish it.
- Bewitched Amphibians: In the Couch Gags for chapter 36 "Preparing", Crimson Starlight uses Author Powers to transform Rachel into a frog, until the frog gets a kiss. For chapter 37 "Silence", Crimson Starlight threatens to repeat the transformation.
- Bonus Material: Chapter 80, "The Extra Goodies", contains deleted and unused scenes.
- Continuity Nod: Chapter 71 explains why Dior, Steward of Gondor, never married. This is a nod to The Peoples Of Middle Earth, which established that Dior had no son.
- Conveniently an Orphan: Invoked by Rachel in chapter 5, "Lunch". As part of the cover story, Rachel pretends that her parents and Kari's parents are all dead. It helps that Rachel and Kari claim to be from Eregion, the site of a war.
- Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story: Kari invents a cover story, and Rachel plays along. The story hides their origin as humans from Australia. Kari and Rachel pretend to be elves from Hollin, who wandered in the wilderness and visited a few human villages, but never met any other elves who might verify the story.
It is also convenient that the elves of Rivendell are curious, but not suspicious. They just accept the story, even as they deduce some facts that surprise Kari and Rachel. First, there is a Plot Hole because Fangorn is nowhere near Rivendell. Second, the math requires that Kari and Rachel have wandered for more than four thousand years.
- Couch Gag: Every chapter opens with a disclaimer that Crimson Starlight doesn't own Tolkien's world. Crimson Starlight rotates in different characters to make the disclaimers. Most disclaimers are silly, and sometimes, the characters almost forget to include the actual disclaiming part.
- Cursed with Awesome: Rachel is a Mary Sue but doesn't want to be one. Her "Mary-Sue Factor" includes the power to become an elf (with beauty and immortality and also an excellent singing voice), to have an "internal translator" for Sindarin and Westron, to find easy acceptance, to command horses, to attract and befriend one's favourite characters, and to romance important elves. She hates all this, because it seems too much like bad fan fiction. In chapter 18 "Trouble", Rachel becomes most angry, blaming her Mary-Sue Factor when the death of a Red Shirt triggers a Plot Twist.
- Damsel in Distress: Discussed in chapter 18. Orcs might kidnap a Mary Sue (so that her Love Interest can rescue her, or "to create the in-the-past Orc-rape plot twist"), and Rachel does not want this role.
- Death by Despair: This threatens Rachel in chapter 67, "Revelation". This is possible because Rachel is an elf, and elves can die of grief. The other characters devise a Sueful way to save Rachel.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Happens to Rachel by chapter 5, while practicing archery.
Didn't really occur to him, I suppose, that it's because I never really try to improve my aim, and I was getting very easily distracted by all the other incredibly hot Elves that were also practicing.
- Duck Season, Rabbit Season: In chapter 54, Kari tries this trick and Rachel inverts her. Kari says "No" and Rachel says "Yes". When Kari switches to "Yes", Rachel wins by not switching to "No".
- Easily Forgiven: Rachel. When Glorfindel gets angry at Rachel, the anger fades and they have a friendly conversation.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Happens between Kari and Elrohir in chapter 8, "Mush".
...both were lost in just looking at each other.
- The End of the World as We Know It: In chapter 19, Rachel argues that a Mary Sue can "cause the collapse of your entire universe". In chapter 79 "Finale", the universe collapses, because the Suethor completed the story.
- Everyone Can See It: Chapter 28 "Wine" declares, "Elladan and Mírëría were the only ones that couldn't see how much the two of them were falling for each other."
- Everything's Better with Penguins: The gag for chapter 8 "Mush" has a gratuitous "Canadian penguin". It talks.
- Faking the Dead: When Rachel flees Rivendell (in chapter 13), she pretends to jump off a cliff and kill herself. Kari, Elrond, and everyone believe that Rachel is dead.
- Fictionary: Rachel and Kari, working in universe, created a language with its own runes and words. We never see the runes, but this language appears in chapter 13 "Leaving", and uses English grammar.
Faw shi mai, sayza baek dafum. Paerrul Ssao
Forget me not, friend of mine. Night Star
- Fix Fic: Some fixes are discussed but averted. Kari fails to save Celebrían, and Rachel fails to save Boromir. Rachel teaches Boromir to always carry a shield, and hopes that Boromir will save his own life. Yet Boromir dies on schedule.
- Friend to All Living Things: Rachel is this, not to all living things, but to all horses. She can command any horse, even if the horse would disobey any other elf.
- Genre Savvy: Rachel knows much about The Lord of the Rings, and has memorized much of the timeline. She knows the dates of many important events. She also knows enough about bad fan fiction to identify herself as a Mary Sue. This causes her to fear Sueish problems, such as orcs kidnapping her.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All 79 chapters have one-word titles. "Rain", "Discovery", "Waking", "Lunch" and so on.
- I Do Not Own: These disclaimers make the Couch Gag at the beginning of each chapter.
- I Have Many Names: Rachel uses many aliases when she hides among humans. Melira, Enita, Laesa, Asira, and more. Rachel is an immortal elf, but these name changes hide her long lifespan.
- In-Series Nickname: Rachel and Kari take Elvish names: Rachel becomes Elenlómë and Kari becomes Alkarisil. In the cover story, "Rachel" and "Kari" are nicknames. The truth is that "Rachel" and "Kari" are their names from Australia, and Rachel invented the Elvish names. Rachel prefers to be "Rachel", but "Kari" becomes Alkarisil to all but a few friends.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Galadriel can block memories, if one wishes to forget something. Certain triggers may restore those memories.
- Like a Fish Takes to Water: Exaggerated, as Rachel and Kari easily adapt to life in Rivendell. Lampshaded in the important chapter 12, "Realization", when Rachel notices that the elves of Rivendell are far too accepting, and have even ignored flaws in the cover story that Rachel and Kari used to hide their origin.
- The Nicknamer: Rachel shortens names. Glorfindel is "Glory", Haldir is "Hal" then "Dad", Galadriel is "Gally", and Celeborn is "Kel". For one moment in chapter 36, Boromir is "Mir". Rachel also names the tips of swords: they are Bob, George and Fred. Rachel also many aliases for herself; see I Have Many Names.
- Non-Indicative Name: The title of The Games of the Gods has this problem, as the author admits in a note under chapter 39. The bonus chapter lampshades the problem.
Mandos: This is the end of the special feature for 'The Games of the Gods', in which no games were ever actually played by gods.
- Parody Sue: This would have been a straight Mary-Sue story, but Rachel flags herself as a Mary Sue. This doesn't change the fact that she is stuck inside a Mary-Sue story. Rachel fails to convince anyone else that she is a Mary Sue. The story works against Rachel by maintaining her "Mary-Sue Factor" and supplying excuses to justify her Sue powers. By chapter 38, Rachel drops her belief in Mary Sue.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Rachel, as Asira, becomes a tutor in chapter 18, though she admits that she never does any tutoring. Her employers like Asira too much.
- Pointy Ears: This story uses pointy ears to distinguish elves from mortal men. Rachel covers her elf ears and passes as a mortal woman. Most people suspect nothing, and accept Rachel as an uncommonly beautiful human. Rachel's elven voice raises no suspicion unless she sings too much.
- The Power of Love: In chapter 19, Rachel discusses how Mary Sue has the power to destroy the world. "Mary-Sues aren't TECHNICALLY evil. What they do, they do out of love...no, scratch that, they do it out of lust, as well as admiration, and are completely unaware that they are doing it."
- Sailor Earth: Defied Trope. Rachel says no when Elrond tries to recruit Rachel into the Fellowship of the Ring. There is no reason for Elrond to do this, except that Rachel is a Mary Sue, and Mary Sues often become Tenth Walkers.
- Self-Insert Fic: The author denies that Rachel is a self-insert. In a note above chapter 25 "Focus", Crimson Starlight acknowledges that Rachel "is based on my own humble personality" but has "some major differences", and that Rachel's opinions may not agree with the author's.
- The Stations of the Canon: Chapter 18 "Trouble" finds Rachel trying to keep the plot of The Lord of the Rings on its rails. The Sueniverse would derail the story unless Rachel involves herself in events.
- Take That:
- Kari and Rachel prefer the books of The Lord of the Rings and find fault with Peter Jackson's movies. Kari does not like Arwen, because in the movies, Arwen stole a scene from Glorfindel.
- In chapter 32, "Cheerfulness", Rachel insists that Frodo and Sam only have "platonic brotherly love", and all those Slash Fics are wrong.
- Chapter 44, "Evening", discusses how in the movies, Haldir went to Helm's Deep. This makes no sense to the characters. In the books, Haldir never went there.
- Translator Microbes: Rachel and Kari failed to notice that English and Sindarin are different languages, until chapter 12, "Realization", when Rachel discovers her "internal translator". She eventually learns to toggle it on and off. The translator also knows Westron and Quenya.
- Trapped in Another World: Girls fall into Middle-earth.
- Trapped in the Past: Discussed. Rachel isn't sure if she is trapped in The Age Of Myths, or in Another Dimension.
"Yeah. It's either another world, in another universe, or a long ways in the future." I replied. "I don't want to be bothered to figure out which. All I know is there's no magic - or any thinking creature other than humans - on Earth, unlike here."
- Understatement: Lampshaded in chapter 33, before the War of the Ring.
"As I'm sure you know, Rachel, some dangerous times have come upon Middle-Earth." Elrond started.
"Understatement!" I muttered, and Elrond gave me a Look before continuing.
Book Two provides examples of:
- Plot Hole: Lampshaded when the author uses a "plot-hole patch" to undo something that happened at the end of Book One.
- Sequel: Probably an unplanned sequel. The author had to undo the end of Part One to write this sequel.
- The Slow Path: After thousands of years, Kari and Rachel (being immortal elves) return to their original time, the twenty-first century. This proves that they had been Trapped in the Past, not in another world.