Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

You Take My Heart

Author: Aeärwen
Nominator: elliska
2009 Award Category: Genres: Drama: Later Age Elves - Second Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: With time growing short, Thranduil summons Gimli to answer some very important questions.


Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 10

I wanted to nominate this story myself, but I was beaten to the punch. This is one of the best characterizations of Gimli and Thranduil that I've ever seen. In Aeärwen's capable hands, the two works as perfect foils for one another. In some ways, it's even better than foiling Gimli against Legolas, because Thranduil brings out qualities in the dwarf that Legolas doesn't. There's calculation and mind games constantly played between the two. Even in the end, they are still taking one another's measure. The animosity has long since gone, but the need to maintain face before the other is very present. And the need to always answer a perceived challenge is also there. But they've grown close enough that they can speak frankly of the one thing they have in common: Legolas. I thoroughly love the line about his building a "[glorified wooden bathtub]." Trust Gimli to describe a ship that way. And I love the way that Gimli hints of Galadriel but never says anything openly, and also the way that Thranduil doesn't press him on that issue. But most of all, I love the aching and the longing that spread itself throughout this story. It's the impetus behind Thranduil asking Gimli to Greenwood and the impetus behind Thranduil asking Gimli to tell him of the War. Legolas's decision to take Gimli over the Sea is discussed with a delicacy and a gravitas that gives it even more weight than usual, and I think the tone hit home to me at the very end when Thranduil reflects that Gimli is going on a journey that he himself will probably never take. It's a sobering, saddening thought, and it achieves that bittersweet tone that is crucial when dealing with Tolkien's elves. A beautiful and wistful tale that really does feel as though it comes at the close of an era.

Reviewed by: elliska -- Score: 6

My favorite characters are Thranduil and Legolas, so naturally I expected to enjoy this story. I absolutely loved it! Thranduil's characterization was so perfect in it--right down to details like satisfying Gimli's opinion of the quality of his hospitality. And his interaction with Gimli--both the implied earlier interactions, and the present interaction--was absolutely priceless. And of course, I love the topic of their discussion, which allows them to come together despite all odds. I was surprised to see how much I loved Gimli in this, as he is portrayed through Thranduil's eyes (his methods of showing appreciation, for example) and as his wors characterize him (his unwillingness to see Legolas divided for still longer, for example). No many people write Gimli well and I think you did a great job here. Great story and well written!

Reviewed by: Nieriel Raina -- Score: 3

A moving look at what some may find surprising, but I think can clearly be expected of the Elvenking. A father above all, I think it very likely that Thranduil could have had exactly this sort of conversation with the dwarf before Legolas sailed. Vivid imagery and moving emotions make this story a sad but fulfilling read.

Reviewed by: Lamiel -- Score: 3

This is a lovely tale, with an unusual meeting of protagonists. It's one of those stories that fills in a gap I didn't even realize needed filling until I read it, and now LOTR seems incomplete without it. Very well done, and an excellent characterization of both Gimli and Thranduil.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 3

This is a conversation that Thranduil could well have had with Gimli not long before he and Legolas took ship to the West. Excellent characterization of both; with perhaps a slightly more convincing delineation of the Elvenking - but that is just splitting hairs.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 3

At least Thranduil did not leave this interview until it was indeed too late to come to appreciate the true quality of his son's friend. A wonderful look at the last interview between the King of Eryn Lasgalen and the Lord of Aglarond as Thranduil would hear from Gimli's lips the tale of the quest and his son's part in it. A bit heavy on the drink, but well done.

Reviewed by: sindarelleth -- Score: 3

My favorite characters are Elves and I especially love Thranduil, so when I saw this story, I definitely wanted to read it. But I am most amazed, since Elves are my favorites, how much I liked Gimli. I loved your Thranduil as well--don't get me wrong. He's great. But Gimli was so cool too. Great job!

Reviewed by: picara -- Score: 3

Thranduil and Gimli are both great in this--very well characterized. Thranduil is cool with his desire to be sure to one-up the dwarf. And I love the caring that they both show for Legolas. Really good story and really well written.

Reviewed by: Robinka -- Score: 2

An interesting, captivating story that provides very well drawn characterizations of Thranduil and Gimli. Extremely well told. Thank you.

Reviewed by: MedeaSmyke -- Score: 2

This is a bittersweet and well-written story, Aearwen. Wonderful job pulling these two together.

Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel -- Score: 1

That noise from Maine is me standing and applauding. This was beautifully told.