The two gods, Morgoth and Varda, play a game. Morgoth creates Mary Sues and inserts them into Middle-earth. Varda imposes reality, logic, canon. Varda wins if the Sue dies. Yes, she dies, trapped by her own stupidity or impossible existence. Sometimes, other gods and great heroes from The Silmarillion take Varda's place as Morgoth's opponent. There is eventually a silly plot where Silmarillion characters scheme against Morgoth, and someone steals two Sues from Morgoth.
The Game of the Gods features thirty-three Sues, and hits many of the Mary Sue traits in this fandom. It will amuse fans of Middle-earth who hate bad fan fiction. Part of the fun is understanding how Varda uses details of Middle-earth canon to take down Sues. Readers who don't know Middle-earth may find less amusement.
For tropes about individual Sues, see our spoiler-heavy character sheet.
The Game of the Gods provides examples of:
- Alliterative Title: The chapter titles use alliteration: "Anjara's Agony", "Mirrililli's Misery" and so on.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Obviously Morgoth is one of the villains, but the main antagonist of the side plot appears to be Feanor, who's busy freeing many characters who want Morgoth dead in order to get the Silmarils back. Varda notes that a loose Feanor is probably more dangerous than almost all of Morgoth's Sues.
- Butt-Monkey: In The Silmarillion, Morgoth was too dangerous to approach. In The Game of the Gods, Morgoth is helpless, and several of his past opponents use this opportunity to annoy or attack Morgoth. Some of them steal his diary and do dramatic readings.
- Call-Back: One can slay a Sue by referencing canon from The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, or The Lord of the Rings.
- Canon Defilement: Morgoth tries to defile canon In-Universe, but his Sues often meet characters who remember canon details about themselves, and use canon against the Sues.
- Character Derailment: Happens in some of Morgoth's attempts. For example, in the Bellatrona chapter, Boromir is suddenly a Straw Misogynist.
- Cosmic Chess Game: Morgoth versus Varda. The board is Middle-earth. Morgoth's game pieces are Mary Sues.
- Crossover: Morgoth does crossovers with Left Behind, Harry Potter, Forgotten Realms, and Dragonlance. In each case, Morgoth brings a Sue from the other fandom into The Lord of the Rings. In most cases, the Sue loses her powers or traps herself because Middle-earth does not follow the same rules as her home canon.
- The Devil Is a Loser: Morgoth repeatedly loses the game by getting his Mary Sues killed through a loose grasp of the lore, the cleverness of his opponents, and sheer lack of common sense. Additionally, he is mocked by just about every other character.
- The Dog Bites Back: Morgoth's Christian Sue is taken out by a Balrog as payback for not getting a raise for millions of years.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Morgoth is horrified and outraged that Fëanor would actually use the ridiculously overpowered Vala Sue Morgoth cooked up when he was feeling particularly vengeful, confessing that even he never seriously intended to use it.
- Fate Worse than Death: Morgoth's punishment for refusing Eru's offer of redemption is to be trapped in the Void with his Vala Sue for all eternity.
- Foreshadowing: At the beginning of the Gweniwen chapter, Morgoth thinks his opponent for this round is Turgon. One of the things his opponent mentions is "staring down dragons". This not only foreshadows what's going to happen with that particular Sue, in that her end will come after staring down Glaurung and trying to get into BrotherSister Incest with Éomer, but even that's just more foreshadowing: Morgoth's opponent this round is not Turgon, but instead Túrin Turambar, someone who in the source material had a lot of experience with the topics in question.
- God Karting with Beelzebub: Varda playing a game with Morgoth, Satan of Ea.
- Half-Human Hybrid or Nonhuman Humanoid Hybrid: Most of the Mary Sues are elves: if not all elf, then half elf and half something else. The part-Elvish Sue can enjoy her elven advantages (beauty, strength, and so on) and still count humans, hobbits or dragons among her relatives.
- Ignored Epiphany: Morgoth refuses Eru's offer to redeem himself at the end, instead letting the Sues loose to cause more havoc.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Morgoth becomes this by the end of the story, after losing so many games.
- Kick the Dog: Morgoth actually kicks a small dog—oddly justified in that he was being attacked by it.
- Mary-Sue Hunter: Varda and the other opponents of Morgoth.
- Parody Sue: Morgoth creates Mary Sues, but they don't succeed in Middle-earth.
- Possession Sue: A literal case with the fifth chapter, "Arwen's Artistry". It fails to take into account Galadriel's ability to see into hearts; she drives the darkness from Arwen in seconds.
- Rapunzel Hair: At least three of the Sues have hair down to their ankles.
- Reality Ensues: In this story, Reality Ends Sues.
- Rightful King Returns: Morgoth invents backstories to establish that some Sues are the legitimate rulers of various realms in Middle-earth. These Sues end up too stupid or too ignorant to take their crowns.
- Show Within a Show: Each game is a story. Morgoth is always losing, so we go through 30 stories, each centered on some Mary Sue.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: Námo and Vairë. Varda says they're so in love it's disgusting.
- Skunk Stripe: At least four of the Sues have colored streaks in their hair. These are usually lighter streaks on darker colors, but one character has black streaks on blonde hair.
- Summon Bigger Fish: Fëanor's end game. By unleashing Morgoth's omnipotent Vala Sue, he forces the Valar to summon Eru Himself. He then gives the Silmarils back in order to display his redemption, and to ask Eru to make his working model of the universe real so that he and his family could live there.
- Too Dumb to Live: Many of Morgoth's Sues only die because they act so stupid.
- You Didn't Ask: Shelob's explanation for why she's Suddenly Speaking.
- You Need to Get Laid: Tulkas tells Morgoth this after his turn at the game.