Númenórean News Agency
Ruling Steward Press Conference: “Making Gondor Great Again”
Lótessë 20, 3017 Third Age
The Steward of the Kingdom of Gondor (@SOTKOG) held an hour-long press conference earlier today. Denethor II dealt with four key topics. He first defended his foreign and immigration policies. He then rejected collusion charges. Finally, Denethor denounced “Elven social media discrimination.”
The ruling Steward dismissed critics of his Easterling policy. He acknowledged the Easterlings’ military build-up. But he went on to say “no matter how many battle wagons they build, Gondor’s technology will win out, if war comes. It matters not if they can make their wains run on time.” A journalist from Gondor Defence Weekly pointed out that many of the Kingdom’s weapons systems were centuries old. Númenórean steel bows, in fact, are Second Age technology. Denethor replied that his “huge” military increases would soon fix that. Furthermore, he continued, “we stand by our alliance with the people of Dorwinion, disputing Easterling territorial claims on the Sea of Rhûn.” As for Gondor’s trade imbalance with the Easterlings, and their tariffs on Western products, the Steward vowed to respond in kind. “Easterlings exploit cheap Balchoth labor to undercut our Gondorian workers. This must stop.”
Denethor then fielded questions about his opposition to undocumented workers from the southern border. “Stop with the euphemisms,” he thundered. “They’re illegal immigrants, many of whom are bad people. All Haradrim are not saints.” The Steward noted that, in fact, the rulers of Umbar were doing nothing to stop caravans of ‘refugees’ from Far Harad coming to Gondor’s borders. Also, the “Black Númenórean” Party, headquartered in Umbar, has been trying to “reclaim” southern Gondor for many years, claiming we “Northerners” stole their land. (He also reminded the press corps that “Black Númenóreans” refers to their ancestors’ alliance with Sauron, not any racial slur.) This group is pushing a virtual invasion, claimed Denthor. He also quoted Madril, advisor to his son Faramir, that “some thousands more come every day.” “If that’s not a crisis on our southern border, then I don’t know what is.” Also, new migration laws are before the Gondorian Council. “Chain migration, especially by invaders wearing chain mail, will no longer be tolerated,” said the Steward.
When asked whether his total ban on Orc immigration was racist, or at least speciesist, Denethor replied “Have you not seen those guys? They’re bad hombres. If we let them in, we’ll soon have the same problem as Rohan: Orcs roaming freely across our lands—unchecked, unchallenged, killing at will. Plus, in case you hadn’t noticed, they’re not even human.” My policies are “making Gondor great again,” said Denethor. “You in the media just won’t admit it.”
Did he still expect allies to increase defense spending? Denethor’s elder son Boromir stepped forward to field that question. “Yes!” Why? Because “by the blood of your people are their lands kept safe.” Boromir revealed that he would soon be leaving for a top secret NATO (Northern Arda Treaty Organization) meeting in Rivendell, assuming he could find the place. “One does not simply walk into Imladris,” he reminded the press corps. At that Council, called by Master Elrond, Boromir planned to press the Elves to “pull their own weight” and “stop free-loading on Gondor’s back.” “It’s time the Eldar spent as much of their wealth on defense as on hair products and harps,” the Steward groused. Key human ally Rohan, with its large commitment to heavy cavalry, remains immune to the same criticism. And Denethor brushed off questions about King Théoden’s alleged infirmity, noting that “by all accounts his chief advisor, Gríma Wormtongue, is an able man and working with our ally Saruman the White—or, as I still like to call him, Gunpowder Man.”
Haradrim “undocumented workers,” along with oliphaunt beasts of burden, moving into Gondorian territory.
Veteran Minas Tirith Palace pool reporter Fomentor, son of Fulminatrix, badgered the Steward to answer charges of collusion with Mordor. He replied “I don’t care what MSNBC [Mouth of Sauron National Broadcasting Company] claims. That never happened. Yes, I am well apprised of the Enemy’s forces and their movements. But counsels may be found that are neither the webs of wizards nor the haste of fools. I have in this matter more lore and wisdom than you deem.” When pressed to explain the source of this amazing intelligence, the Steward replied “Do you think the eyes of the White Tower are blind? I have seen more than you know. I didn’t need Sauron’s help to become Steward. And my policies have been tougher on him than any other leader’s in Middle-earth. “ Denethor also pointed out that the Mithrandir Report, which the White Council had commissioned, had cleared him of any wrong-doing—although he was still unhappy with his younger son, Faramir, for his attachment to Gandalf the Grey making him, in effect, a “wizard’s pupil.”
In the last few minutes of his press conference, the Steward denounced what he called “Elven discrimination” against Men using the palantíri (the crystal balls given to Númenor by the Elves in the Second Age) Although denying that he had access to a functioning one, Denethor noted he suspected that both Sauron and Saruman, as well as the Elves of the North, had been using such in recent years. And in his long study in the library of Minas Tirith, he had found records indicating these Elvish devices were incredibly biased against Men in terms of usage and types of information sent and received on them. In particular, traditionalists of both Gondor and the lost northern kingdom of Arnor had been singled out for exclusion, unable to post messages of which the Elvish censors disapproved. Denethor said he would thus propose a magical device conference to examine this question. Men and Elves would be invited; but also Dwarves, whose “never trust an Elf” attitude might prove useful.
Just as he was about to exit, Denethor fielded one last question. This was about rumors of the finding of Sauron’s One Ring and its being hidden in a northern region known as “the Shire.” The Steward scoffed at this idea. Should the Ruling Ring ever resurface, sending it for safekeeping into the hands of a “witless halfling” would be folly. Rather, it should be “kept hidden dark and deep and not used unless at the uttermost of need.” But this was all conjecture, Denethor stated—in fact, a pipe dream. “Leave that sort of delusion to Gandalf, whose love of the halfings’ leaf has clearly slowed his mind.” And with that, the Steward stalked out.