Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Tale of Jobina and Kay

Long ages ago, ere the dawn of Digital, a band of players made their way across the South lands to meet at a place called the White City. They were many and varied and represented all kinds of folk from bard to troubadour.

First they talked at length about the task they had been set. Each must play an arduous role that would require great stamina and adaptability. Far into the night discussions ranged until, at last, they agreed to meet in a dark and hidden cave where they would begin their work. Many hard hours it took until their mission was complete, and they passed their gem on to gnomish smiths to be wrought into 13 silver discs that bore strange sigils in black. And the discs were gathered in a hand-crafted box for safe keeping.

The box passed through many hands and many wondrous places until it came into the possession of a Princess of the East, Jobina, whose name meant ‘Morning’ in the old tongue. She kept the box a long while and played with it often, taking out the discs and cleaning them and passing them one by one through the Gate of Wires, that revealed their true beauty.

All was well until one day she opened her treasure box and found one of the discs was gone. She let out a cry that would waken the dragons of the West: “Argh my disc. My precious disc is gone!” and she continued to wail and weep until at last the pain of her tears reached the Knight Kay in the Middle Lands.

The bold and brave prince rushed at once to Jobina’s aid, and when he beheld her he knew instant love and fell to his knee and said: “Beautiful Princess. Until now I have perceived you only in my dreams, but now I see you are real and as beautiful and wonderful as I had imagined. I will find you a new disc as good as the one you have lost. Perhaps even better, if it is within my power.”

The Princess replied: “Then Sir Kay, if you are as good as your word, you shall be rewarded. You shall have my hand and henceforth your life will be a magical one. Go, find me a new disc, and I promise you happiness forever.”

And so Sir Kay searched through the mystic lands of Webbe; in the Forest of Pixil and the Mire of Bitz until he heard word of where such a disc could be found. There he travelled, and he struggled with the Wizard of Load Down until, after great toil, he wrenched the disc from the magician’s hand and bore it back in triumph to be placed in honour in the Treasure Box in the princess’s palace.

Jobina was overjoyed, and put her arms around Sir Kay and kissed him long, for he was handsome, and clever, and brave, and she knew he would be her champion for life. And the pair lived happy ever after.


Back in 1981 the BBC broadcast a dramatisation of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings in 13 episodes and some years later it was released, first on cassette and then on CD, both of which I bought. When I got the CDs I passed on the cassettes because I didn't think I'd ever need it again.  Sadly, I later lost one of the CDs (episode 13, where everything is sorted out at the end) and I've not been able to listen to it since.

Until now. Thanks to my darling K (who really is brave and handsome and clever) I now have a copy of episode 13 again (albeit on a normal CD) and I have been listening to the series this week as I've driven to and from work. It's a measure of my journey times that I'm currently nearing the end of episode nine!

You might ask why I didn't just buy a replacement box set. Well, the version I bought isn't actually available any more and the replacement is retailing at £60 at the moment (that's about $100) with £20 off.  I think I paid about £40 when I bought it back in the early 90s.


snafu said...

I drove over an hour and a bit each way every day to work, plus business trips all over the UK for several years and amongst many other audiobooks and plays, also listened to the Beeb's LOTR, first on Cassette until one cassette died horribly and thereafter on CD. I am glad Sir K was able to get you a replacement.

snafu said...

PS, the Beeb did a better job of following the books than those three strangely incomplete movies.

MorningAJ said...

I agree. In spite of missing out poor old Tom Bombadil completely!

I'm amazed that 30 years on (30 years!) it's still a spellbinding production.

It was the first time I encountered the wonderful Bill Nighy (then known as William) in the role of Sam. Wonderful actor.