First of all, I'd like to thank the Gondor Academy for extending its invitation for me to speak at this, ah, gathering of the minds. Is that the correct term for a quasi-militaristic endeavour? Perhaps; for does not every military action require a substantial amount of forethought if it is to succeed? But I digress: All of you are aware of the purpose of this Conference of Interested Peoples. The purpose, of course, is for a preemptive attack on the nation of Mordor, and the ease with which that may be undertaken. As I am aware, the leaders of this Conference have certain intelligence in their possession of a ways to the end we all seek. By which I mean, the destruction of the Dark Lord, Sauron.

For those of you who are unaware of my credentials, I am a scholar of such things, and have been since the age of twelve when a party of Orcs raided my home and village, not two hours' travel from here. I have spent my years learning of the History and Religion of the Dark Lord and his creations and minions, and have, by doing so, established myself as the foremost scholar on Mordor Studies. [chuckles] Despite that, the highest number students to enrol in my courses have been three. I guess I'm just a bit dull.

[audience gently laughs]

Right, levity aside, my conclusion, summarised in a snappy, easy-to-remember slogan to be printed upon pamphlets and distributed to troops, is simple: One does not simply walk into Mordor.


[murmur of conversation from the audience]

Yes, I know, this is not the sort of advice one does not wish to hear on the eve of battle, but as a professor of my school of knowledge, I would be amiss if I were to state anything but the truth. I will, in the light of this talk's closeness to the lunch hour, keep my discussion short. Mordor is an exceedingly well-defended nation, as I am sure you all know, and is patrolled and controlled by several legions' worth of zealous followers of the Dark Lord. Imagine, if you will, if a single Orc were to stumble through the gates of Minas Tirith. We may assume that it would end badly for that Orc, just as it would for an army at the gates of Mordor.

Though information is stiff [at this, what we may assume is a Rohirrim, shouts, "That's what she said;" the speaker continues unabated], we may suppose that the religion of Sauron holds no room for questioning the Dark Lord's whims. Further, we may assume that the religion is a militaristic-first sort, in other words, a warrior religion. All of this combines with the belief that all those in Mordor are employed in its military in one way or another. In short, we have a populace which is dedicated, by both physical and psychological coercion, to the Dark Lord Sauron.

Aside from the zealotry and fierceness of its populace, and thus military, a potential invader would be faced with the perils of Mordor's natural defences. Mountains, haunted bogs, and rumors of giant arachnids combine to put forward a quite intimidating portrait. And then, continuing to be blunt, there is, in the words of one of my research assistants, "a big fucking iron gate and Sauron's unblinking goddamn eye staring out across Middle-Earth."

And that, ladies and gentlemen, dwarves and elves, is the extent of my research into the susceptibility of Mordor. I will not be open to questions.

Q: Are we fucked?
A: In the sense that 'we' refers to a conventional army, yes. We are fucked.

Q: Is there any hope?
A: I suppose there is always hope. After all, Sauron was cast into Mordor in the first place, wasn't he?

Q: In your position, what would you do?
A: As I understand it, Gandalf the Grey is on good diplomatic terms with the eagles, yes? Simply have them drop the Ring into Mount Doom.

Q: That's for pussies.
A: That is not a question, Boromir.

No more questions? Very good. Ah, before I go, I modestly suggest you all purchase my new scroll: Everything We Shall Do Is For Naught; Or, Life Under The Dark Lord. Now, let's adjourn for some lunch, shall we?