Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Mourning Cloak

Author: annmarwalk
Nominator: Branwyn
2005 Award Category: Genres: Drama (includes Angst): Gondor - First Place

Story Type: Drabble : Length: Ficlet
Rating: G -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Denethor's chamberlain is ever mindful of the dignity of his master's office.


Reviewed by: Marta -- Score: 6

Anyone who has ever lost a loved ones knows how painful it can be to come across reminders of that loved one when you don't expect them. If Denethor did not wear many colours at all before he met Finduilas (an idea I can easily accept), even sombre ones would only remind him of her. I particularly liked the thoughts you gave us about her mantle, how he wanted to give her the stars but recognised he couldn't. It seems to be an idea that he would have thought. (In fact I worked it into my story "Pride and Despair", though I hadn't read this drabble at the time.) This drabble conveyed a lot more than what was literally written in it. Perhaps I am reading what isn't there but something about it prompted those thoughts. Very well done.

Reviewed by: Branwyn -- Score: 6

The writer, through the unlikely device of the lord steward's wardrobe, explores his grief at his wife's death. I liked that, under Finduilas' influence, he had begun to wear brighter colors--but not too bright as this is still Denethor! But after her death, he dresses only in black. He can bear no reminder of her or the softness and color that she had brought into his life. The writer shows how Denethor reacts to grief with anger and tries to stifle his own emotions (he tosses the soft fur aside instead of letting himself weep). In "Return of the King," his grief for Boromir (and, later, Faramir) is mixed with a great deal of anger and denial, so this short piece is an very apt character study.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 4

Poor Denethor. I like the way his decline is shown through his choice in clothing. It's something I hadn't thought about much before, but it makes sense and it explains his costuming in the movies. Finduilas's death is often used as a trigger, but the contrast in colors (Finduilas's midnight blue and burgundy versus Denethor's black) makes it seem more real and profound. Nice use of what might otherwise be seen as a simple change in wardrobe.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 3

Outstanding short piece evoking the joy that Finduilas brought into Denethor's life with the use of color; and his absolute misery at her loss, expressed by his rejection of the colors she favored in favor of simple black. His life darkened in every way; and that's what the piece expresses. Very nice work from an accomplished drabbler!

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 3

There's something refreshing about writing from irritation! I like this portrait of Denethor, and the turning point in his life. You're right, a Steward, as a public figure, wears the clothes that fit his office, but his personal life seeps through in pigmentation.

Reviewed by: nerwen_calaelen -- Score: 2

An interesting view of Denethor. I like the way you focus on something unusual and through it tell a lot about Denethor's character.

Reviewed by: Elen Kortirion -- Score: 2

Very touching - Denethor would never be a man to wear his heart on his sleeve, but to disguise his emotions in black? Aah, that's another matter - you've caught his character very nicely I think.