Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

I must go down to the sea again

Author: curiouswombat
Nominator: Azalais
2011 Award Category: Drabble: Post-Ring War - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Drabble : Length: True Drabble
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: 100 words - written for the Good Earth challenge – ‘Coastlands', at Tolkien Weekly. Gimli's thoughts as he and Legolas stand together on the sea shore. One of a series of drabbles looking at the friendship between the two.


Reviewed by: Levade -- Score: 6

There are a lot of themes in Tolkien's works, and Wombat explores one of them here, very effectively. With victory, as with loss, there is a price, and she shows that here deftly, with only one hundred words. She paints a very evocative picture of Legolas standing at the shore, now longing for what is left behind. I have to wonder if he was ever reconciled to being one instead of forever divided, longing for what was elsewhere. But it's very true to the character who was both young and old, confident and hesitant. I think it's true to Tolkien also in that war changes a person and they can never go back to the life they had before. It's good he had Gimli with him, the voice that can speak in anger for his friend, and hopefully (for a little while at least) anchor him in the present. All in all a drabble that leaves you a little melancholy and hoping Legolas eventually found some peace.

-- Thank you - I'm so glad that you enjoyed it, with the sense of being forever divided, forever longing for what was elsewhere. I have to admit that, of all the drabbles I've written, it is one my own favourites.

Reviewed by: Azalais -- Score: 6

Legolas and his Sea-longing are one of my favourite themes for fanfic, so this drabble hits the spot perfectly for me - and does so in such an evocative way. The description of Legolas on the sea-shore tugs at my heart-strings, [hair wind-whipped, boots salt encrusted from standing at the edge of the tide, gazing out to sea.] Gimli too is nicely in character, gruff and practical, and in no way in awe of reputations, not even the Valar's (except of course his own particular Vala!). But it's the last line which makes the piece; like a lot of good drabbles, this one has been playing with our expectations all the way through to the twist at the end, which brings a whole extra dimension to the drabble as we realise that even in Valinor, poor Legolas is still torn between two worlds separated by the Great Sea... Beautifully crafted to pack a hefty emotional and descriptive punch in a small space.

-- Thank you. I have to admit I really like this one myself - and hopefully all the plotting going on in 'Dust' will bear fruit and he will not have this reversed sea-longing for too very long!

Reviewed by: Virtuella -- Score: 5

Dear curioswombat, a little rebellion against the gods never comes amiss. : ) This is especially true where the conduct of the gods would have to be seen as careless and arbitrary at the least, malicious at the worst. I’ve never quite bought into the idea that sailing across the sea can be a fix for all manners of tribulations, but in this case, the trouble only started anyway when the desire to sail was awakened. And yes, I can see that the longing would continue, that now the desire would be turned towards the old home and to those left behind. No wonder a friend feels indignant. A well thought-out and thought provoking drabble.

-- Thank you Virtuella - I've never bought into that idea either! I am starting to explore it in my long fic series - but this drabble helped me to focus the ideas in my head when I wrote it and so I was very pleased that others, like yourself, agree with me.

Reviewed by: Elleth -- Score: 3

It's bitter to read that crossing the sea hasn't brought Legolas peace, but then he is one of the Sindar who never made it to Aman. With his roots in Middle-earth and, presumably, his family remaining, his reverse longing becomes understandable. Nice work!

-- Thank you - I feel I was rather cruel to him here - and yet it seems it could well be like this for him, to me.

Reviewed by: Nieriel Raina -- Score: 3

OH my. Well done! What a twist on what I was expecting. Gimli must indeed have felt some ire at Legolas' plight. A cruel fate for such a brave elf. Lovely drabble. It fits both of them well.

-- Thank you - I always think he must have missed his family - and Gimli would have positively bristled about it whenever Legolas seemed sad and lost.

Reviewed by: Darkover -- Score: 3

This tale has skillfully-written imagery, and the bond between Elf and Dwarf is well portrayed in Gimli's concern and indignation on behalf of his friend. Also, the end is different from what the reader might expect. A story worth reading.

-- Thank you for your review of "I must go down to the sea again" - I am really glad that that ending works for you.

Reviewed by: ziggy -- Score: 3

This little drabble absolutely captures the dreadful irony that Legolas will inevitably endure. And as Gimli points out, it is unfair. Beautifully written and conceived, pointing out the subtle cruelty of Galadriel's prohesy for Legolas, her warning. The image is perfectly written and Gimli's voice is audible in this.

-- Hi Ziggy - thank you for reviewing this in the MEFAs; and for agreeing with Gimli and I that Tolkien was rather unfair to poor Legolas. I'm so glad that you think Gimli's voice works.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel -- Score: 2

Gimli is quite well-written here. His protective instincts for his friend are charming in all their gruffness. What an excellent look at the friendship between these two!

-- Thank you - I am so pleased that you like it.

Reviewed by: Tanaqui -- Score: 2

An unusual twist on Elven sea-longing, and I very much liked seeing Gimli's indignation with the Valar on the part of his friend.

-- Thank you for taking time to review this drabble - I'm pleased that you think Gimli has a point!