Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Broken

Author: Fiondil
Nominator: Eärillë (Virodeil)
2011 Award Category: Drama: General - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Mending a broken toy is one thing. Mending a broken dream is something else, as Legolas learns during a stay in Minas Tirith. First place in the Teitho contest ‘Five Ingredients: Your Recipe’, in which the following items were to be included in the story: a lame horse, a knocked-over candle, a person with a disability, a missing toy, and a broken musical instrument.


Reviewed by: Eärillë (Virodeil) -- Score: 9

A touching, moving tale told in a somewhat indifferent point of view that somehow makes it realer, more tangible, and thus more enjoyable. Fiondil began with a glimpse into the life of the royal family of the Reunited Realms, recounting Aragorn’s plan to mend an old rocking horse to later be given as a birthday gift for the then three-year-old Eldarion, and introducing Legolas as the person tasked to repare the toy. Another ‘ingredient’ of this story was then introduced: a person with disability; done seamlessly and inobtrusively, fitted into Legolas’ point of view. And here we would see how Legolas thought of disabled Secondborn, something that would set (and set it well!) the tone of the encounter with detachment that nonetheless gave rise to empathy. The author set the character of Almiel the deaf young woman quite well, true and real; said by this reviewer, at least, who became blind just 12 years ago and went through a process quite similar to what she did. This story is touching and moving without being sappy and soapy; not a light achievement, by far. – Highly recommended!

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 9

Fiondil tackles a tough subject: the loss of a sense and with it, of identity and livelihood. Pairing up his unhappy original character with Legolas helps to highlight the loss, given that Legolas as an Elf can suffer accidental injury, but not illness. I think Fiondil made the right decision in avoiding making Almiel's disability the result of a war injury, which Elves are familiar with. However, the story isn't about putting distances between people for the sake of showing that they are different, but in trying to find ways to restore dignity to someone who has had it denied as a consequence of illness that she could not have helped. Legolas has his own personal preferences and culturally-inculcated blinders to overcome when dealing with Almiel, but he eventually does find a way and even can enlist his own native sensitivity to music and beauty to do it. Elven aptitudes and attitudes, which help in the beginning to put Almiel at a distance, help in the end to overcome that distance and begin the process of reintegrating Almiel into the society she feels abandoned by. A very sweet story, Fiondil, and thank you for putting Legolas to good use!

Reviewed by: Kaylee Arafinwiel -- Score: 4

It's not often I see stories about disabled or "different" characters, and normally I attribute those to Larner. This one comes from Fiondil, and it's a brilliant stroke of storytelling - how would Legolas deal with a Mortal with such an affliction? Well enough, it'd seem, after some initial struggle. Well done, as ever, and I enjoyed it from start to finish. =) Kaylee Arafinwiel

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 4

Toys are really easier to repair than broken dreams. Almiel's case is difficult, but I'm reminded of Beethoven who also was deaf. Although, he had the advantage that it happened when he was already an established musician. Almiel has a long way to go, but with the King's and Legolas patronage, she should be able to follow her passion. I loved the picture of the King himself carrying the dusty, sorry, broken rocking horse through the palace and the courtiers trying to keep a straight face.

Reviewed by: Liadan -- Score: 3

This is a great story that shows how things may seem broken at first but they still have much value. Set after the Ring War, it focuses on the every day life of the people in Gondor, from the royal family to one of the more humble inhabitants.

Reviewed by: Darkover -- Score: 3

In "Broken," it isn't just a toy that needs fixing. Legolas helps a mortal woman of Minas Tirith understand that her life has changed, but it isn't over. While I don't believe adapting to her problem would be quite as easy as he implies, it is a well-written and touching story.

Reviewed by: ziggy -- Score: 3

This is such a delight. The story begins with an unlikely proposition and I confess I was alarmed that it would be an obvious romance but nothing so corny or cliched. Instead there is a gentle tale of more than one thing mended by a different art than the usual Legolas magic. Delicate story telling that avoids being overly sweet.

Reviewed by: Sandra S -- Score: 2

A fine balance between sadness and hope. Though I have to admit I just grinned at your image of the servants watching their king making his hands dirty.

Reviewed by: Ellynn -- Score: 2

One of the most touching, poignant stories I've ever read. I love how Legolas helps one special lady and mends her broken dream. Highly recommended!