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DMotR Special 4:
Let’s Go Crazy

By Shamus
on Friday Aug 24, 2007
Filed under:
DM of the Rings


Today is my birthday. I’m skipping regular DMotR. There is a reason for this.

Denethor, you are one crazy steward.

The first pic is not a photoshop. I was stepping through the movie looking for suitable screencaps, and this frame just jumped out at me. Gandalf just rode by these guys, but here is this moment where it looks like he stopped to drop a few coppers on the doorward.

The second shot is a notorious moment from the movies, where aging Denethor jumps up, runs upstairs, and then sprints the length of a football field while on fire.

Comments (135)

1 2 3

  1. Tuck says:

    “Evocative”. That was the word I was looking for.

    That scene is very evocative. ;)

  2. Matthias says:

    If this comic ever makes it to publication, I nominate comment 17 to be included. That is some funny stuff right there.

  3. Lycoris says:

    Happy birthday!!

  4. Jim says:

    Comment 17: best comment from a reader! Truly in the spirit of the comic!

  5. Happy birthday! And thank you for making and sharing this wonderful comic!

    (I remember when I first found it, reading through all the episodes put up with much merriment, and then thinking “oh no! now I have to wait days for each new episode!” Now I’m thinking “oh no! soon there won’t be any more new episodes to wait for!” Sometimes there’s no satisfying people :-)

    Again, thanks, and happy birthday!

  6. Attorney At Chaos says:

    Maverick says:
    Dm: Ok, roll on the Age chart
    Shamus: *Rolls*
    Dm: Your now one year older, your birthday is today.
    Shmaus: Sweet! New armour and weapons off the teammates!
    Dm: *Rolls* A cake apears out of no-where.
    Shamus: I love dice on my Birthday.

    I propose a slight revision. Instead of “A cake appears out of nowhere” it becomes “Elrond shows up and hands you a cake, saying ‘Here’s your cake.’ “

  7. gyfrmabrd says:

    I stumbled upon DMotR via some crazy metalinkage a couple of weeks back, immediately fell in love, read the archive in one big leery gulp, and since the check for updates more often than is humanely reasonable, and I just wanted to chime in with everybody in how excellent this comic is. I totally endorse the meta-humor in here, and I even LIKE D&D, beiing more of an SR person, but DMotR is just a very intelligent comic with a very clever premise, which is also brilliantly executed.
    Quality stuff, Mr. Young, thank you. And also, happy birthday, apparently.

  8. gyfrmabrd says:

    “and I even LIKE D&D”

    Shouldn’t post at 4am after a good night out to boozetown.
    It’s [i]don’t LIKE D&D[/i].

    Just not the stuff for me.

    /incoherent rambling.

  9. oldschoolGM says:

    Happy Birthday!

    And the even funnier thing is, if they had gotten the scale correct according to the books, Denethor would have had to run several miles to make that jump. At least I think so. If I remember correctly. I might not be. It’s Friday night and I’ve had a few in prep for going out to the bars. Anyway… yeah.. Happy birthday Shamus! I’ll have one in your name!

  10. fruitbane says:

    So Happy Birthday it is! But don’t feel bad about the gray hairs. I turned 30 a few days ago and I’ve had at least a couple gray hairs about for the past 5+ years.

  11. Luke (Thrythlind) says:

    My younger brother started going bald around 18 and was pretty much there by 20…

  12. Dave says:

    You’re older than you were before.. and now you’re even older.. and now your even older…. HFBD!

  13. Joe says:

    happy birthday. read from the start. silent as long. just playing my first few steps of d&d. love it. this strip makes more sense every time.

  14. Obfuscato says:

    Many Happy Returns!

    Watch out for falling stewards.

  15. Teria says:

    Happy birthday, Shamus!

  16. Aries says:

    omg can you just feel the love here shamus? feel the loyalty? ….feeling scared yet?

    heres to the next “DM of the” because at this point you just KNOW we aint going anywhere…

    The internet where we put the “fanatic” back in “fanboy”

  17. Uriel says:

    I’m probably late already, but happy birthday to thee, Shamus !

  18. Chadhulhu says:

    Happy belated Birthday, great strip btw. How I long for d20

  19. Angharad says:


    So, i’m an old hand at the reading of the DMotR. But i’ve been out of touch for a month or so. And, since i have a game on sunday and was thinking about it, i decided to come in and re-read some. So i started after i got home from the bar (2:30, for the non-drinkers amongst us), and here it is 6 am. For three and a half hours (i went back a ways) i have been sitting at the computer, giggling like a madwoman. Shamus, you put most webcomics to shame. Go you.

    Oh, and happy birthday.

    I LOVE DMOTR!!!!!!

  20. DiscountNinja says:

    Happy Birthday!

  21. Matis says:

    Feliz cumpleanos….me gusta tu comica.

  22. Valley says:

    Toll Guard: One copper please.
    Gandalf: I don’t carry coins. I’m a wizard.
    Toll Guard: Sorry, sir. No payment, no passing.
    Gandalf: Blast it!
    Pippin: Don’t look at me. I paid at the last gate.
    Gandalf: Look, I’m a friend of the returning King.
    Toll Guard: Riiiiight…

  23. Margaret says:

    You know, we were watching this the other day and I commented, “Denethor gets up while on fire, runs, runs, runs, runs, turns right, runs runs, turns right again, runs, runs, you get the picture, HOLY CRAP! AAAARGHH I’M FALLING!!!!”

  24. superfluousk says:

    Happy Birthday, Shamus! As a present, I gift you another wanky comment about Denethor!

    Seriously, though, running while on fire? Is not that unbelievable. It’s a natural panic response, and if it’s your upper half that’s on fire, your running muscles will keep working for quite a while. There’s a reason they have to *teach* people the stop, drop, & roll response to being on fire; natural panic response is to run about screaming and flailing and trying to beat out the flames.

    Whether he would have run all that distance in a straight line, or ignored the pool of water in his flight, is less likely, but cinematic. But seriously guys, don’t underestimate how irrational *being on fire* can make you.

    • WJS says:

      Don’t underestimate how being on fire makes it impossible to breathe. And I do mean impossible. The fire uses up the air around you, and if you breathe in the fire it will instantly destroy your lungs. You’ll keel over from lack of air long before you’re fully burned through, which can indeed take several minutes.

  25. Rakel says:

    I can’t believe no-one said this before…

    * Grats on Ding *


  26. General Karthos says:

    Actually, isn’t 36 the age of accountability for a hobbit, like 18 is for humans? I seem to recall that being so, but I can’t actually go to the book, seeing as I don’t know where it is.

    Can someone confirm this for me?

  27. Ambidexter says:

    Happy birthday.

    BTW, I’d had the same thought about Denethor running around while on fire. “Make up your bloody mind, how do you want to die!”

  28. Dantekrad says:

    Happy Birthday!

    Cumpleaños Feliz!, te deseamos a ti!.

    I really enjoy this comic.
    you’re a master.

    Felicidades, espero que lo pases muy bien.

  29. M says:

    Re 91: I think it’s 33 that you’re thinking of. From 33-50 or so is “young adult”, though, sort of like human 20’s nowadays.

  30. alogen says:

    Woot..! Happy birthday! :)

  31. Doug Williams says:

    I always wonder when I see the movie why Denethor didn’t drop his heavy fur coat when it started burning, and then roll around a little instead of running. I mean, didn’t he learn as a kid to “Stop, Drop, and Roll” like the rest of us. There’s a similar scene in the film “Branded to Kill” where some idiot does the 100 yard dash while aflame.

    Sure, Denethor was covered in oil, and still would have been badly burned, but sheesh…

  32. Tola says:

    I mean, didn't he learn as a kid to “Stop, Drop, and Roll” like the rest of us.

    Actually, he likely wouldn’t have. That’s a very recent thing. It’s not like being set on fire is common, even now.

    What I do like is that he gets a LITTLE closure. He saw his son was ALIVE, before the end.

  33. tafka says:

    Happy Birthday sweetie!

  34. Happy Birthday by the way man. Keep on rockin and rollin.

  35. Vanima says:

    I stumbled onto this comic last night and have just now caught up. I swear I haven’t laughed this hard at a comic in a long time. I bet my upstairs neighbors thought I had lost my mind. I’ll be sad to see it end but it will have been worth the read. And who knows maybe you’ll have something sneaky up your sleeve. Keep up all the great work.

  36. Phlodur says:

    Happy Birthday Shamus!!

    and another great comic..

  37. Deadpool says:

    Thanks for such great work, Shamus. Happy birthday!

  38. standgale says:

    hee hee – I like these little single frames too. Gives you the chance for a quick joke you might not be able to work in otherwise – and there’s no way I want to be missing out on good jokes! I’ve been reading this for ages, and appreciate it immensely.

    Happy birthday, hope it’s a good one :)

  39. Raved Thrad says:

    Happy Birthday! Long live Shamus and DMoTR!

  40. Mejo says:

    Happy Birthday!

    1)Denethor’s refusal to call for aid from Gondor or Rohan yet another inexplicable alteration to the plot.

    What are the anyone else in any authority in Minas Tirith doing? Denethor had to have army commanders and domestic advisors, you can’t run a city/army without them. And if you’re one of the the city’s commanders, you’re clearly about to be invaded by a superiour force, and your C-in-C refuses to call for any reinforcements, but instead sends his troops on a defend-the-impossible mission, that’s the point you decide your C-in-C has gone batshit crazy and you need a new commander. In the book the city is surrounded and in the middle of a battle before Denethor cracks completely.

    2)Cinematically, the horrible Denethor meal scene intercut with the battle at Osgiliath made a lot of sense. Unfortunately it’s part of the whole “Denethor is a batshit crazy idiot who enjoys eating from a horse-trough while sending his son to his death” plot change, which I didn’t like.

    3) Miranda Otto is way hotter than Cate Blanchett, who is hotter than Liv Tyler. But I just don’t go for the whole pointy ear thing.

    4) Obvious choice for next film/d20 game – we move to Dave’s group who have started playing the Star Wars trilogy. Four hobbit characters become: DM, Luke, R2D2, C3PO (I can just imagine the complaints of the guy who gets R2D2…) with Obi Wan as the high level NPC. When this group turn up, they get to be Han, Chewbacca, Leia, and Lando as a late arrival.

    5) Now, about sun-tzu….

  41. Chris says:

    Um, Gandalf is reaching to take the spear from the guard, so that he can whack Denethor with it.

  42. Tony says:

    I don’t see the problem. Gandalf has obviously cast some sort of resist fire spell on Denethor to try and save him. When Denethor realises that the fire just won’t cut it, he moves on to plan B. Or maybe its that ring or resist fire he had all these years and had forgotten about.

  43. Me says:

    >The second shot is a notorious moment from the movies, where aging Denethor jumps up, runs upstairs, and then sprints the length of a football field while on fire.

    It seemed he was running a half marathon whilst on fire. Even funnier is everyone else just standing there and watching him.

    Callous bastards.

  44. Joran says:

    You rock Shamus!

    Happy b-day, and keep the good stuff coming :D

  45. Medium Dave says:

    You must be a hobbit, because you gave us this on your birthday!

  46. Yensid the Sorceror says:

    Happy birthday?
    What is your age in Roman Numerals?

  47. Lukelightning says:

    The Denethor situation shows the problem with suicide in D&D. He’s a high-level character, so the 1d6/round damage from being on fire will take a long time to do him in. So he decides to add in the 20d6 damage for falling.

  48. -Chipper says:

    Being well past Friday, I have to wish you a very merry UNbirthday – hey! Today is MY unbirthday too!

  49. txknight says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Shamus!

  50. Colin says:

    Happy Birthday… pimp!

  51. John Wright says:

    A death as sad and solemn as the passing of Socrates, and as tragic in its quiet yet moving dignity!

    Burning Denethor, last Steward of Gondor, sprints while yodeling all through the citadel of the White Tower of Ecthalion, and plunges down the cliff, a ragged torch of screaming.

    From that sad day, the Men of the West still call this cliff, Philmosuxitatum, after the Adunic Tongue, which means: this film sucketh.

    In the High Elvish, the cliff is called Laurelalindruin, which means, I was laughing so hard it totally broke my suspension of disbelief. In Sindarin: Morgulyaletur, which means, after this point in the film, I was rooting for the Dark Lord, and wishing the doofus characters would all die (who had NOTHING in common with the beloved characters in the beloved books).

    In their secret tongue, the Dwarves called this leap: Zazbek-Zura-Balthzakhor-Filmsuxxizmor, which means, if you think this scene sucks like a lemon in explosive decompression, just wait until the scene where Sam is ordered by Frodo to leave him along in the Black Land with Gollum.

    Woe unto the Free peoples of the West. Jackson, the Mouth of Sauron, just made them look stoopid.

  52. superfluousk says:

    #118: *applause*

  53. Cynder says:

    Very funny!! It’s amazing what funny stuff you can find if you just go though a film fame by frame. Hope you had a good birthday by the way (I know it’s a bit late, but hey… :P

  54. Aragorn says:

    happy B day!!!

  55. TainInfernus says:

    Sry, just have to mention this, and I didn’t read any of the comments. Gandalf is taking a spear from the guard at the moment to knock Denethor on his ass. Still, great screencap.

  56. Tatooine92 says:

    Two words to explain Denethor: Asbestos. Diapers.

  57. jubuttib says:

    Reminds me of Dr. McNinja. They can’t catch you if you’re on fire!

  58. redwall_hp says:

    You forgot to put Smeagol saying “It’s my birthday…” :)

  59. Dukemax says:

    …Am i the only one who thought “boatmurdered anyone?”

  60. yadayadayada says:

    so, are you eleventy-one today???? sorry, couldnt resist even tho there are like 4 comments that say some variation of that.

  61. Nacata says:

    Happy Birthday!!!! :)

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