Hobbits and Men have been left stunned after yesterday’s vicious attack on a defenceless old man in the village of Hobbiton.
The man, who The Times of Arda can reveal was none other than the revered wizard Saruman the White, had been living peaceably in Bag End for some time, having moved to the Shire in search of a quiet retirement spot.
Saruman formed a close friendship with Lotho Sackville-Baggins, and endeared himself to the Shire folk by building new public facilities, improving infrastructure, and setting the area on a path to prosperity through small-scale industrialisation.
However, it seems that his greasy sidekick Gríma Wormtongue betrayed Saruman at the last, stabbing him in the back in an incident which onlookers have called ‘unprovoked’ and ‘cowardly’.
Grieving hobbits gave Saruman a moving memorial ceremony, and scattered his ashes to the winds in memory of the good he had done for all corners of the Shire.
One local resident, Ted Sandyman, had the following to say about the departed wizard:
There’s those as’ll try to tell you Sharkey [Saruman] was a bad egg, but I’ll tell you straight – ‘ee was a Good Thing for the Shire. ‘Ee did what ‘ad to be done, and promoted the best Hobbits to help him do it.
I, for one, will miss the grand old chap. And may I just point out that none of this trouble didn’t start until those four bejewelled, becloaked and beweaponed hobbits turned up out of the blue! There’s some folks as don’t know when they’re not welcome and it don’t help when they’re barking mad, babbling about rings and elves and I don’t know what!
Condolences may be sent care of Ted Sandyman, The Old Mill, Hobbiton HB12 8FN.
Editor’s note – check this for accuracy before going to press, please. Article tone seems unbalanced. In particular want to make sure that Saruman isn’t influencing journalists from beyond the grave in last-ditch PR intervention.