Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Surprises of Yule

Author: Ainu Laire
Nominator: Cairistiona
2010 Award Category: Races: Cross-Cultural: Friendship

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Pippin has always celebrated Yuletide, and yet with the Fellowship leaving Rivendell days before Yule, it looks as if he will have to miss this year. That is, of course, before the others hear about the tradition...


Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 7

This story has such charm to it! The characters are all in fine form, and it seems everyone gets a chance to shine in the spotlight. More so, perhaps, than Pippin himself, who is the reason behind all the preparations. His curiosity about Boromir's Yuletide celebrations felt very natural, and then it snowballed as Merry and Boromir began planning. That's something I really enjoyed about this story: it was all snowball. A few simple words lead to questions, to plans, and ultimately to actions far eclipsing what Boromir initially set out to do. No good deed goes unpunished, I suppose, but in this case, it looks like the fruits of all their labors were well worth it. Beyond the plotting and the snowball effect of Boromir's good intentions, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Pippin and Merry parrot each other in speaking to Boromir. It gives a hint of customs and greetings in the Shire and expands the story beyond the borders of Rivendell. All in all, an engaging and enticing little piece.

Reviewed by: annmarwalk -- Score: 7

I'm reading this story on July 24, and it's 96 degrees at 8:53 pm. I'm sorely in need of cool refreshment, and this fills the bill perfectly! I'm a great fan of Boromir-and-the-Hobbits stories, and I love that it's Boromir who is so touched by Pippin's homesickness that he decides to organize a Yule celebration. The participation of the other members of the Fellowship, with the help of the residents of Imladris, bonds them into a cohesive group even before they leave on their quest. The descriptive details here are very lovely - I can almost smell the smoky Yule log and the holiday greenery. Nice reminders that this interminable summer, with its record-breaking heat, won't last forever! Yule will come, in its own good time, and after that I'll soon be complaining again about the snow. Good thing was have wonderful stories like this to entertain us, no matter what the weather is like outside. *happy sigh*

Reviewed by: Linaewen -- Score: 4

This is an excellent tale! I loved the bits of information we get about how various members of the Fellowship celebrate Yule. Aside from that, of course, it is a sweet tale about encouraging young Pippin with a Yule celebration that will lift his spirits. This is definitely a special tale to be reading at this appropriate time of year -- or any time of the year, for that matter!

Reviewed by: Cairistiona -- Score: 3

Such a sweet tale of the Fellowship coming together to cheer one of their own. It's also a great example of making a holiday work for you instead of you working for the holiday, if that makes sense! All the characters were spot on, and I could almost smell the boar roasting.

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 3

What a lovely story to read on this dreary day. Pippin's sadness and then joy is palpable. His moods are infectious. This is a good way to get the Fellowship started. Let them all work together for some fun before the dark days.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 3

When he learns Pippin is upset to learn they will not be able to celebrate Yule as they will be spending the turning of the year in the wild, Boromir conspires with all of Rivendell to give the young Hobbit a celebration to remember. Lovely and heartening!

Reviewed by: Antane -- Score: 2

What a sweet, loving gift given to Pippin and to all the others. Indeed such joy, light and happiness would be needed as a very merry memory for them all.

Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke -- Score: 2

It would be so easy for this story to be treacly, or too cute, or too sentimental, but the author nicely avoids all the traps and still produces a warm comfortable tale. Nicely done.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 2

A gently charming story about an unforeseen seasonal celebration in Rivendell. Ainu Laire wields a deft cyber-pen here, and adds fitting touches of warmth and humor.