The Lord Of The Rings features tons of epic battles that feature the heroic deeds of the dwarf Gimli. However, the truth is that most of Gimli’s feats weren’t originally in the books and were only added later, as at the time of the battles Gimli was off trying to complete his doctoral thesis. Here are 5 epic Lord Of The Rings battles that Gimli had to sit out because he had to go defend his dissertation that day.
1. The Battle Of Helm’s Deep
As Saruman’s bloodthirsty army of orcs and Uruk-hai advanced on the Dwarves’ mountain stronghold of Helm’s Deep, Legolas turned to Gimli and said, “Gimli my friend, take up your ax and let us march into battle together. It will be an honor to fight by your side.”
Gimli grasped Legoloas’s arm in friendship and replied, “Legolas, my elven companion, my brother in arms, I’d love nothing more than to stand and fight with you on this day, but I must journey to Mirkwood University to defend my dissertation. As you know, I’m a graduate student in Gollum Studies, and my thesis is on what kind of shirt Gollum would wear if he wore clothes. I think he would wear a T-shirt with a picture of Gandalf on it.” Gimli then jogged out of Helm’s Deep and disappeared down the road, leaving Legolas and the rest of his companions to fight the Battle Of Helm’s Deep alone.
Later, when Gimli was writing The Lord Of The Rings, he added himself to the description of the battle, and even had the audacity to claim that he killed more orcs than Legolas. However, Gandalf and Aragorn both agree that in reality Gimli was nowhere to be found when the fighting began.
2. The Battle Of Osgiliath
As the War Of The Ring raged on, Sauron’s fearsome legion of orcs advanced on Gondor’s capital, Osgiliath. Legolas turned to Gimli and said, “Well, my dwarvish friend, let us charge against the foe side-by-side, to triumph or die in the name of all that is good and right.”
Gimli looked Aragorn in the eye and said solemnly, “My dear companion, how I wish I could stand and fight with you this day, but I failed my dissertation defense last time and so I need to travel to Mirkwood University and defend it once again. The reason I failed was that I forgot Gollum’s name and accidentally referred to him as ‘Glumbert’ like 50 times during my oral presentation. This is a huge oversight for a scholar of Gollum studies, so the Supervisory Committee could not award me my doctorate. I’m now trying again, and this time my research is about what Gollum would order at McDonald’s if he lived in a world where McDonald’s existed. I argue based on extensive research and interviews with some of Gollum’s ex-wives that he would order a chicken parm and then kill himself when the cashier informed him that McDonald’s does not sell chicken parms. Farewell, Aragorn, and may fortune smile on you in this battle.”
Gimli then jogged down the road and disappeared. The orcs conquered Osgiliath and many good men died. Later, when Gimli was writing Lord Of The Rings, he added a line of dialogue where Aragorn says, “We would probably win if Gimli were here, but he’s off getting his PhD, and so we will lose and it’s not Gimli’s fault in any way.”
3. The Battle Of Gandalf’s Birthday
Shortly after the Battle Of Osgiliath, Gandalf approached Gimli in his tent and said, “Gimli, your face is a welcome sight in such blighted times. I have good news! Today is my birthday, and Sauron’s just standing on a metal folding chair in the middle of a meadow right now. His army consists of nothing but two orcs, a coyote, and an 93-year-old woman whose name is also Sauron, but who is not related to the other Sauron and just met him three days ago. This is the perfect moment for us to attack the Dark Lord and end his evil reign once and for all. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate my birthday!”
Unfortunately, instead of joining Gandalf in an incredibly easy battle on his birthday, Gimli responded by telling him, “Learned Wizard, I’d love to help out with this battle and celebrate your birthday, but today’s the day I’m defending my dissertation. The last time I defended it, I accidentally called Gollum ‘Glumbert’ again, so I was not awarded my PhD. My new research is focused on what Gollum would taste like if you cooked him in the oven. I argue that he would taste like a sour hamburger. Farewell.” Gimli then jogged down the road to Mirkwood University.
Later, when Gimli was writing Lord Of The Rings, he left out the Battle Of Gandalf’s Birthday entirely, an oversight which caused a falling out between the wizard and the dwarf and led to them refusing to speak to each other when they saw each other at Treebeard’s wedding many years later.
4. The Battle Of Pelennor Fields
The famed Battle Of Pelennor Fields was the largest battle in the War Of The Ring. The armies of Mordor, led by Witch-king Of Angmar, leader of the dreaded Nazgûl, marched against the brave men of Gondor. Aragorn and Legolas said to Gimli, “Gimli this is a huge and important battle. Do not fuck this up.” And Gimli said, “Sorry friends, I’m in the middle of lacing up my sneakers so that I can jog to Mirkwood University to defend my dissertation once again. Last time I defended it, I accidentally ran over Gollum in the parking lot, which you’re not supposed to do if you’re a professor of Gollum Studies, so the university once again refused to grant me my PhD. Wish me luck! My new dissertation is about whether or not Gollum’s done growing, or if he’s going to get tall. Based on extensive interviews with Frodo and several of Gollum’s friends and professors from medical school, I have concluded that Gollum is going to grow to be 6-foot-9 by next year.” Gimli then jogged away toward Mirkwood University.
Later, when he was writing Lord Of The Rings, Gimli wrote extensively about his brave deeds at the Battle Of Pelennor Fields, but both Aragorn and Legolas, as well as other sources such as Treebeard and Elrond, have all confirmed that these are complete fabrications largely based on things that Aragorn did that Gimli then took credit for.
5. The Battle Of Morannon
The Battle Of Morannon was the final battle of the War Of The Ring, the ultimate showdown between Sauron’s army of darkness and Aragorn’s army of light. Aragorn turned to Gimli and said, “Here we are my friend, at the battle for the fate of the world. It will be an honor to fight and die with you for this glorious cause.”
Gimli replied to Aragorn, “My noble comrade in arms, I fear I cannot fight with you, for I must leave you and defend my dissertation once again. I failed my dissertation defense last time because I plagiarized most of my research from the book Introduction To Gollum And His Weird Body, which was written by Treebeard. My new dissertation is about whether or not Gollum should get Lasik or buy glasses. I argue that he should do both.” Gimli then jogged away, leaving Aragorn, Legolas, Gandalf, and all his other companions to fight the forces of Sauron alone. He later made up a bunch of lies about his exploits at Pelennor Fields and put them into Lord Of The Rings.
Gimli passed his dissertation defense and was awarded a PhD in Gollum Studies from Mirkwood University. He wrote one book called Glumbert: His Height And Weight. He worked as a professor of Gollum Studies for 15 years before writing Lord Of The Rings, which became a bestseller and allowed Gimli to retire from teaching forever. He no longer speaks to any of his friends from the Fellowship Of The Ring.