Apocalypse World moves in the Fellowship of the Ring

This time I’m going to look at the Lord of the Rings through lens of the Apocalypse World moves. (Yes, Lord of the Rings might be better for Dungeon World and Empire Strikes Back might make more sense for Apocalypse World, but what’s done is done.)

Apocalypse World Moves

Separate Them

Frodo Breaking the Fellowship

Frodo chooses to leave the Fellowship, thus separating the group. Later, Frodo is left for dead by Samwise.

Capture Someone

Merry and Pippin are Captured by Orcs

The Uruk-Hai capture Merry and Pippin.

In the above Master of Ceremonies (MoC 📖) move of “Separate Them”, a follow-up move made by Tokien is the Orcs capturing Frodo.

Put Someone in a Spot

The hobbits first encounter a Nazgûl

Who and what is this black rider about? What do the hobbits do?

Trade Harm for Harm

Boromir’s Last Stand

Borimir fights valiantly attempting to save the hobbits, but in the end, the enemy is too much for him (i.e. a single person is in deep shit if they take on a gang).

Announce Off-Screen Badness

Get off the Road!

In the movie, other off-screen badness includes Gandalf riding into Minas Tirath and seeing Mount Doom erupting; The black riders traveling from Mordor through the free lands.

Turn Their Move Back

Seeking Shelter and Lookout at Weathertop

Weathertop may have been a good place to seek shelter, but lighting the campfire was a bad move on the hobbits’ part. Lighting the campfire summons the Ringwraiths.

Inflict Harm

Frodo attacked by the Ringwraiths at Weathertop

In this sequence, Inflict Harm builds quite nicely from the campfire on Weathertop.

Take Away Their Stuff

"Fly you Fools"

In most Lord of the Rings games, Gandalf is viewed more as an item than a character.

Make Them Buy

Pippin blowing Mr. Underhill’s Cover

The currency most precious to the hobbits is remaining inconspicuous. Throughout the movie, buying something represents giving up inconspicuousness for other gains. (i.e. seeking shelter at the inn, take the high pass)

Activate Their Stuff’s Downside

Frodo putting on the Ring at the Prancing Pony

The ring comes with tremendous power, but a horrific downside. Likewise, Pippin’s curiosity could be construed as a downside.

Offer Opportunity With or Without Cost

Strider at the Prancing Pony

Strider was an unknown agent whom the hobbits’ need not have trusted.

Make a Threat Move

Nazgûl Riding out From Minas Morgul

Not everything can occur on camera; Advance a countdown clock.