Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Fallen Star

Author: Tanaqui
Nominator: Tanaqui
2011 Award Category: Drama: General

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: Teen -- Reason for Rating: Disturbing Imagery/Themes,Violence
Summary: In Gondor, two young boys pester a visiting wizard for a story. The “tale within a tale” is meant to be a pastiche of the style used for the fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm.


Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 10

Tanaqui does a fantastic retelling of Túrin's story, in a style that seems fitting for Gandalf in his guise as wandering and mysterious wizard. The repeated verse works very well, and I think does accomplish the author's aim of trying to make Túrn's tale feel like a fairy tale being told. Gandalf is handled very well, too, I think, which is a feat, since I, at least, find him to be a difficult character to write well. More than the style of the piece (although the style contributes enormously), I love the way that Tanaqui parallels the seduction of Anglachel, with its fair exterior and usefulness hiding its evil, and the seduction of the Ring. Given the audience for this story, one can only wish that Boromir had learned to be warier of fair and useful exteriors at this young age. I also love the way that the name Finduilas is made to play a role - it helps bind the Steward's House of Gondor to Túrin's tragic tale more tightly, making the two Houses of Húrin parallel each other in various ways across the Ages. It makes the tragedy of Túrin feel like the tragedy of the Steward's family. Anyone who enjoys stories about the last of the Ruling Stewards should enjoy this fic, and I think Silm fans, too, might enjoy seeing how Tanaqui weaves Túrin's story into the fate of the Third Age all over again. Well done, Tanaqui!

Reviewed by: Altariel -- Score: 6

I'm a sucker for Gandalf and Faramir stories, and this one presses all my buttons. Gandalf is kindly, and isn't yet the distracted old man of the Ring War, with time to stop and tell a tale or two to a young boy. Faramir of course is delightful (his scornful [Girl!] a particular treat), but Boromir all but steals the show here: pretending not to be interested in the tale, but sticking around to listen nonetheless (and listen carefully). Gandalf judges him perfectly, telling a story not just about men, but about swords - and judges rightly too that the name "Finduilas" is perhaps better not mentioned to these two boys. The tale within the tale is beautifully done. A very well-written and characterised piece with interesting and subtle layers.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 6

A really fascinating tale-within-a-tale; as Gandalf unfolds the tragedy of Turin in fairy-tale style to the children of another House of Hurin millenia later, in Minas Tirith. Unspoken parallels resonate between Turin and Boromir and Denethor, all three caught in a web of pride and enchanted objects in a way that looms but does not pound the reader over the head. Gandalf is trying to entertain two young boys as well as tell a somewhat cautionary tale here. His knowledge of the Steward's family is obvious; as is his care; he does not inject the name of Finduilas into the story even though it was the name of the elven-maid who loved Turin; he knows that there is enough sorrow on the young shoulders of the sons of Finduilas of Dol Amroth. Beautifully and skillfully written.

Reviewed by: Darkover -- Score: 4

Taking a page from the histories of Elves and Men, Gandalf tells young Boromir and Faramir a story. It is interesting how the boys, with their different personalities, derive different things from the same tale. Their father the Steward, overhearing Gandalf's storytelling, seems to draw his own conclusions as well. An interesting approach to fan fiction. Gandalf's "voice" is well done.

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 3

This is a lovely story. Gandar is a really good story teller. He has the boys spellbound. You might have done violence to Tolkiens words, but this story within a story fit this format perfectly. I especially liked the song of the sword. It really made me feel like I was listening to one of Grimm's fairy tales.

Reviewed by: Liadan -- Score: 2

While visiting Minas Tirith, Gandalf tells the tale of Túrin Turambar to Boromir and Faramir, and sees the fundamental difference in the brothers' characters.