Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

It's the Thought

Author: annmarwalk
Nominator: Branwyn
2006 Award Category: Races: Men: Fixed-Length Ficlets With Children - First Place

Story Type: Fixed-Length Ficlet : Length: True Drabble
Rating: G -- Reason for Rating: n/a
Summary: After their parents' deaths, Prince Theodred seeks to comfort his young cousins with items from his own childhood.


Reviewed by: Branwyn -- Score: 6

It easy to forget (especially after seeing the young Theodred of the films) that Theodred was much older than Eomer and Eowyn. In this bittersweet glimpse of their homecoming to Edoras after their father's death, Theodred is their adult guardian and caretaker. He puts aside his own grief (and no doubt anger) and thinks of what he can do to help the young orphans adjust to their new home. The old nurse is the other hero of this piece; she had wisely saved his old toys for future children. (And, of course, that toy pony shows up in "Heirlooms" and the other Pony!verse stories.) It is amusing that Theodred later looks back and sees that Eowyn already had the makings of a shieldmaiden! Theodred's rather matter-of-fact narrative voice keeps this moving piece from ever becoming maudlin (which is no small feat given the subject.) Very well done!

Reviewed by: Madeleine -- Score: 5

Although it was initially not Théodred’s own idea to give his old toys to his cousins, nonetheless is was a lovely gesture. I know how hard it can be if one suddenly is expected to part with childhood keepsakes even though one hasn’t paid any attention to them in years. I’m just wondering if Éowyn’s preference for more belligerent activities had always been high in gear or if it wasn’t rather a response to her later confinement at her uncle’s court. And as a true descendant of Eorl you need not just a sword but - even more importantly - a horse to be able to fight properly.

Reviewed by: EdorasLass -- Score: 5

I love Theodred's compassion and concern for his young cousins. He knows they need comfort, and is bent on helping in any way he can, though it seems he's not quite sure what to do. He's probably not had much interactions with bereaved little ones before this, has he? Thank goodness for his nurse and her wise advice! I like how the act of Theodred giving Eomer and Eowyn his old possessions will create a bond between them - and though he realizes later that Eowyn would have likely been happier with the sword, I like to think that he makes it up to her by encouraging her in her Shieldmaiden training. Very warm and snuggly, even with the sad undercurrent of loss at the beginning.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 4

Eomund was slain by orcs, and his widow died soon after, leaving their children orphaned. So it was that Theodred brought them to Edoras and Meduseld, and comforted them with those playthings that had meant the most to him when he himself was small, realizing Eowyn coveted the wooden sword given to her brother. A wonderful expression of how the two children even then were both prepared to enter the Warrior's Way, and a marvelous character sketch of each.

Reviewed by: Mechtild -- Score: 4

This story perplexed me at first, but, having read “Heirlooms”, as soon as I saw that stuffed pony, I knew what was going on. Tears welled in my eyes. Again, there is that theme of how actions taken in the moment, as if by destiny, carry great weight in the future. Those old toys of Theodred’s were ‘hushpuppies’ to the children who turned out to be his cousins. But, like the legacy he would give them in the form of his own life and example, the toys carried far more meaning for their recipients than Theodred was conscious of.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 4

Good foreshadowing in that last line of the drabble--last lines often make or break these short fics, so I'm always delighted when I find one that ends strongly. In this case, Ann shows us a brief glimpse of Théodred's efforts to make his young cousins welcome, but then opens a few gifts, given simply to distract and comfort them, out onto the future when Éowyn would come to covet the freedom and honor of a warrior.

Reviewed by: Marta -- Score: 4

First off, olet me say how nice it is to see the origin of the pony! I hadn't thought of that when I read the other story, but this works so well. A little gift for someone in their time of need, and probably [tattered] from too much love from Theodred. That's the image, I like anyway. It's sad that she feels envious of her brother's gift. I wish that she could see that the horse is freedom in its own way, and not to be scorned so easily. It's telling of the journey she has to go on before she has her own child to give it to.

Reviewed by: Rhapsody -- Score: 3

A cute drabble and I just love the description of Éowyn's watching Éomer playing with the sword. It feels as if at that very moment she decides to become just as him and avenge her parents. Théodred characerisationis beautifully done here, the thought that he would take care of him is a most satisfying one!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 3

A bit of warmth in what must have been a rather dark time for the young, orphaned Eomer and Eowyn - Theodred's kind regard for his little cousins shows the perception that would have helped make him a good king. And a glimpse of Eowyn's warrior tendancies, even as a little girl. Lovely drabble!

Reviewed by: Acacea -- Score: 3

I really liked the sense of foreshadowing in this! And I love the way it links with Heirlooms and the way in so few words, you capture so much. It gives a fine glimpse into the future - of Eowyn's desires and her frustrations, and of how much Eomer and deowyn love and respect Theodred, and will miss him. It is a beautiful piece.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 3

Beautifully spare. I love the characterization of Theodred, and how he cares for his bereaved young cousins--and the sudden and subtle characterizations of both Eomer and Eowyn at the end.

Reviewed by: Elen Kortirion -- Score: 3

This is such a charming and understanding characterization of Theodred. He realises he has to do something to encourage the young orphans that this is a new home that will love and welcome them - even if he doea have to be prompted by his nurse's advice - and it is a lovely little piece of foreshadowing that Eowyn is envious of her brother's sword!

Reviewed by: Lindelea -- Score: 2

"It's the thought that counts." That's the idea, isn't it? This well-crafted fic had me all misty-eyed at the start, but ended with a grin.

Reviewed by: Tanaqui -- Score: 2

A sweet drabble about Theodred finding a way to comfort his bereaved cousins, with a nice character moment for Eowyn.

Reviewed by: Bodkin -- Score: 2

I loved this - Theodred is such a good big cousin and the stuffed pony is close to my heart. But I can understand why Eowyn envied her brother the sword.

Reviewed by: Marigold -- Score: 2

This was a wonderful glimpse of Theodred, but an even better one of Éowyn. Just that brief mention at the end was enough to show that she had the makings of a shield maiden even then.