1. “I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it’s very American.”
Although Shelob, the giant spider from The Lord of the Rings, is carnivorous and would probably enjoy a good burger now and then, this line was actually spoken by Andrew Puzder, the CEO of the company that owns Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. who is also President-Elect Trump’s selection for Secretary of Labor. In fact, Shelob would never express this opinion, because since the early days of the Second Age of Middle-earth, she has been a staunch opponent of misogyny, a position she makes clear by eating all of her mates.
2. “Click click click, sss, sss, click.”
If you guessed that this sound of snapping chelicerae came from Shelob, the huge arachnid described as “bloated and grown fat with endless brooding on her feasts, weaving webs of shadow,” then you are correct! This quote comes from the classic scene in Return of the King when the gigantic spider turns to Frodo and explains, through a translator, “I may devour all the prisoners that Sauron brings to my lair, but nonetheless I believe that it is time we overhauled our broken mass incarceration system.”
3. “Global warming has inspired one of the major policy debates of our time. That debate is far from settled.”
This quote comes from an article co-written by Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Shelob, the massive monster who leers at her prey with dozens of eyes before paralyzing it with her venom, accepts the reality of climate change. And after poring over the voluminous academic literature on the subject under the distant, smoky light of the Tower of Barad-dûr, she has come to conclude, along with the vast majority of scientists, that global warming is caused by humans.
4. “Scratch click click scratch, click click sss.” [A pause, interrupted by the sounds of eight hate-filled legs scurrying over wet stones.]
Yep, you got it — it’s Shelob, the last surviving offspring of the ancient being Ungoliant, who devoured light itself! Who can forget the passage from The Two Towers when Shelob utters this timeless phrase and leaves Middle-earth, traveling to Indiana to stand guard outside Planned Parenthood clinics? If there’s one thing that Shelob believes in besides her own gluttonous hunger for flesh, it’s a woman’s right to choose.
Although it certainly seems possible that Shelob, J.R.R. Tolkien’s manifestation of insatiable greed and evil, would have said the word “boy” at least once in her eons of existence, there is no recorded instance of her doing so. Thankfully, Donald Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, Alabama senator Jeff Sessions, has used this word multiple times, usually when talking to African-American attorneys! It should be noted that although she never resided in the United States for long, Shelob has watched every film about the Civil Rights Movement, so she is very conscious of the racial dynamics that are wrapped up in language.
6. [A ghostly, shadowy silence spreading over the land and seeping into every corner.]
This is a quote from Ben Carson, discussing his policy proposals if he were to be confirmed as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
7. “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL.”
At first glance, it may seem that this would be the view of a gigantic agoraphobic spider that has dwelt for millennia in a cave in the Mountains of Shadow near the pass of Cirith Ungol. However, this is actually a tweet by Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s choice for National Security Advisor. Shelob recognizes that this presidential appointment is not a Cabinet post, yet she believes that all those in positions of power should value the cultural and ethnic diversity that make countries like Middle-earth and the United States such vibrant melting pots. She has also never felt fear of an essentially peaceful population without reason, partly because she is a humongous poison-wielding spider, but also because is wary of blanket statements that promote discrimination against an entire religious tradition.
8. [A bloodcurdling shriek that echoes through the mountains in a manner that can never be reproduced by Man’s simplistic script.]
Righto! This was uttered by Shelob as she was stabbed by Frodo’s comrade Samwise Gamgee with the sword Sting. With this succinct sentence the tremendous, ravenous spider simultaneously expressed her pain upon being impaled by the Elven blade and her dismay at the increasing likelihood that all of the social and political progress we have made since the 1960s will be reversed in four years.