It’s that time of year again.
Or it was that time of year again. That time when snow falls, families come together to celebrate their respective holidays and when myself and my weary friends postpone our drinking long enough to cobble together another candy creation so high in dork factor that it’s almost crippling to behold. If somehow this is the first time you’re seeing anything like this feel free to bone up on a little history:
Also a disclaimer: this will be, unfortunately, the last year that we will be making a candy art diorama castle sculpture thing from the source material of J.R.R. Tolkien. It is the the collective feeling of our group that we have scraped the depths of the hobbity barrel for recognizable scenes that are both large enough and sufficiently grand so as to be worthy of my tirelessly trying to convince my friends and family give up a vacation weekend to such a decidedly silly pursuit. As much as I’d love to get all Sillmarrillion all over the place, it’d be a little harder to sell.
Worry not, we’re simply going to be using another, equally dorky source for next year’s.
But enough prattle about plans for the future, on to the dragon!
Smaug the Magnificent
Long before the fellowship was created, before the Deeping Wall was breached and the Hornburg was stormed, before the mighty Grond assaulted the white gates of Minas Tirith, before Gandalf faced Durin’s Bane on the bridge in the depths of Khazad Dun, before any of the stories were written that would spur millions upon millions of manchildren to move to their parents’ basements and spend their days creating Ravenloft campaigns for their stale milk-smelling compatriots, before all of that there was The Hobbit.
This ageless tale follows the journey of perpetual homebody, Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and his Dwarven companions as they travel through mountains, forests, swamps and other various land types hoping to raid the treasure hoard of an ancient Dragon who’d taken control of an ancestral Dwarven hold. Long story short, they break in, steal something and piss him the fuck off.
This year we chose to make two scenes around the aforementioned mountainous lair.
Awesome. I know.
Before I get into the obviously awesome parts I’ll start with the less awesome. To the left you can see the bustling village of Lake-Town which sits in the shadow of the Lonely Mountain and to the right is a gummy representation of the Battle of the Five Armies. Clearly you can tell that the Hobbit was written well before the Lord of the Rings as Tolkien’s proclivity to make up ridiculous names for literally everything simply wasn’t developed yet. There’s a town on a lake, Lake-Town. A mountain all by itself in the middle of nowhere, that’s the Lonely mountain. Five armies fight in a battle? The battle of five armies. This guy made up names for every pebble in a river bed and their entire family histories in LOTR and The Hobbit‘s got a scene at Lake-Town.
Again I digress. Let’s take a look at Lake Town before it gets all burnt to a sugary crisp.
Magical, am I right? These people were basically just chilling in their awesomely decorated houses sandwiched between a beautiful blue lake and the greenest meadow that food coloring and frosting can make and then this hobbit and his friends come along and steal from a gigantic fire breathing dragon who takes it all out on their homes.
Which brings us to the centerpiece of this year’s construction. The dragon himself, standing a whopping thirty six inches and weighing in at just under fifteen pounds of diabetic coma inducing sugar products… I give you Smaug:
If you haven’t noticed, he’s pissed. Beneath that leathery fruit roll-up skin and several pounds of licorice rope muscle is beating a heart that’s only demand is vengeance. As he soars above the masterfully constructed mountain that houses his lair you can almost see the rage in his jellybean eyes. It’s palpable. Like a Spike Lee movie.
Also in this shot you can see that over the many years that Smaug has lain on top of his treasure he has armored his soft underbelly against attack with the sweetest Jelly Belly brand gems and jewels. He’s kind of like one of those weird kids that pierces odd parts of their bodies. Smaug’s an emo dragon.
The prevailing winds must have been blowing in the wrong direction because by the time Smaug makes it to Lake Town, he’s even more pissed. He starts huffing and puffing and blowing white hot fire down on all those candy houses. It’s only right now that I realized that I should have taken a blowtorch to the village and just melted the shit out of those houses, but no, I had to settle for this:
Shabbas candles. For some inexplicable reason my family always has a completely full box of Shabbas candles in the pantry, behind the soup. What bizarre rituals are being conducted there when I am away? Animal sacrifice? Are they used in creating the soft lighting required for the teen star of a CW melodrama to lose her virginity? Whatever the answer, it cannot be weirder than my using them as faux dragon fire on mini gingerbread houses (except maybe the animal sacrifice thing, what is this, Burma?).
Remember when I said that Smaug had armored his belly against all attacks by slowly embedding gems and gold and stuff into his fleshy underside? Well apparently he missed a spot and Bilbo totally scoped it when he was in there stealing shit. But when the dragon took off to go reduce Lake Town to a smoldering crisp, Bilbo was miles (in our scale one foot) away and his iPhone wasn’t getting service because AT&T has shitty coverage in Middle Earth, especially around Thranduil. He of course does the only logical thing and tells a bird to go tell someone else to shoot the dragon in the chest.
Boo yah! Right in the heart!
I’ve tried to use all kinds of birds to tell other people things. I actually tried to break up with this one girl by telling every pigeon I came across to fly to her apartment and break the news gently. I assumed the message got through but no, I wake up with a knife pointed at me and all my text messages inscribed in lipstick on my walls. Not cool, pigeons.
Since Bilbo had a Thrush or Sparrow or a Raven or something to rely on, his message gets through and Smaug goes down like San Francisco on Pride weekend.
There was much rejoicing (not pictured, it’s hard to make candy look like it’s rejoicing) until everyone and their mother within five hundred miles realizes that with the dragon dead all that treasure in that immaculately crafted and frosted mountain was now unguarded.
At first is was just a battle of three armies. Dwarves, Elves and Men, which as it turns out is a sub genre of porn. They were about to go at it in a very non-porn sort of manner when the fourth army showed up. Goblins. Lots of Goblins. Some of them even riding on big ass dogs called Wargs.
Oh the carnage! As you can see the green and red goblins are totally kicking ass at this point. The meager armies of Men, Dwarves and Elves are being slowly whittled down by the gelatinous horde. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the Goblins brought giant vampire bats with them! Oh the demi-humanity.
It was at this point that Bilbo spotted the arrival of the fifth army, the Eagles (not to be confused with the entirely incapable Philadelphia variety).
And lo with the aid of the Wind Lord Gwaihir (that’s one of the big eagles, not an 80’s synth pop band) the armies of good triumphed and there was again much (not pictured) rejoicing.
That’s our candy creation for 2009! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed making it. So long Tolkien and thanks for all the ridiculous memories. An even bigger thanks to the following people for helping put this mess together: Sunny, Brendan, Chase, Colleen, Lis, Katie, Becca and Ben. You guys rock.
See you all next year when we’ll be going back a long long time ago and visiting a galaxy far, far away!