Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Firelight

Author: annmarwalk
Nominator: Branwyn
2005 Award Category: Books/Time: The Lord of The Rings: Drabble - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Drabble : Length: N/A
Rating: G -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Truths are revealed by the light of a campfire as the Fellowship journeys south.


Reviewed by: Marta -- Score: 10

This piece has a very nice symmetry to it. In the first half we see the comfort that a fire can provide: companionship, warmth, a cooked dinner. All of the Fellowship members (except perhaps the hobbits) are used to long journeys through the wilderness, and i'm sure by now those words "tonight we shall venture a fire" bring a special joy to their hearts. So the first paragraph certainly touches on that common joy. But the second uses the same symbolism of the fire, but to very different effects. The sparks are short-lived calling mortality to mind. That made me think of Legolas, who seems like he hasn't journeyed beyond Mirkwood much. He is seeing the aches and pains and perhaps injuries or even dangerous near-death experiences on this frist leg of a journey. And it also reminded me of Boromir, who is struggling with his temptation with the Ring. In true Numenorean fashion this seems to be a struggle with the weakness of Men brought on by their mortality: great captain he may be, but Boromir knows he and Gondor will not live forever. And the fact that light draws attention to both the good and the bad (symbolised here by the Ring) was well-told as well. Light might bring hope when surrounded by dark, but only if hope is there to be illuminated. Otherwise it draws your mind to baser feelings. And now that I have written more than twice again as many words as the drabble, I think I should stop. :^) You packed a lot inot this one. Keep up the good work, Ann.

Reviewed by: Aliana -- Score: 4

"Sometimes the firelight shoots sparks heavenward where, like mortal lives, they blaze dazzlingly for a moment, then disappear." A lovely little flash of illumination of a few of Fellowship's quieter, more reflective moments. I love the contrast in the second paragraph between specific aspects of the characters (Frodo's burden, Boromir's temptation) and that final sentence that seems to pull everything together.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 4

That last line is what really does it for me, and pulls the whole drabble together. Obviously, it can serve to remind us that Boromir is mortal and will soon fade out of the story; but it also, I think, moves us back towards that first paragraph. The briefness of those sparks, compared with mortality, is also the brevity of comfort for the Fellowship, but also the brevity of this intense yet crucial time in their lives, when they are together in this one moment in history.

Reviewed by: Branwyn -- Score: 4

This drabble evokes such a strong feeling of uneasy truce. The bond of companionship is able to "...hold the wintry dark at bay, for a little while." [reviewer's italics] The elements of the struggle, though almost hidden, are all present--the allure of the Ring, Boromir's struggle with temptation, and his redemption through a heroic death ("like mortal lives, they blaze dazzlingly for a moment"). How does this writer say so much in only a hundred words?

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 3

Some of my fondest memories of camping trips are staring at the fire, watching the logs pop and the sparks fly up. I love the way this firelight is used to illuminate things that in the dark that might not otherwise be seen. Such as the Ring. Or Boromir's growing interest in it. Or the fragility of mortal life. Good drabble and good exploration.

Reviewed by: Rabidsamfan -- Score: 2

This ficlet has excellent fire imagery, as well as being a wonderful glimpse into the Fellowship. I particularly liked the way it touches on both Frodo and Boromir.

Reviewed by: Naresha -- Score: 2

You really captured the light and the gleam of a fire - however small - and the whole scene was just so perfectly reminiscent of the time in the book. It is so easy to imagine it really taking place!

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 1

The imagery in this drabble is vivid, the feeling intense, and the ending has a punch.