A Conversation With The Dead

Author: Fiondil

Nominator: Ellie

2011 Award Category: Post-Ring War and Beyond: Elves or Dwarves - Third Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Now living on Tol Eressea, Legolas converses with an absent Gimli unaware that others are keeping watch. Second place in the Teitho contest ‘One Voice’.

Read the Story  ✧  Backup Story Link

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale  ✧  Score: 6

After Gimli's death Legolas returns to his grave on a regular basis, to the displeasure of old friends like Elrond and Gandalf, who find his attendance on the grave disturbing. It's odd that these particular characters should display such a lack of forbearance or understanding: after all, unlike the native Ainur and Elves of Valinor, they have certainly lost and grieved mortal friends and family of their own. Nonetheless, they are not alone in desiring that Legolas go on about the business of living. Dead Gimli says much the same. What I liked about this story was its not-so-ambiguous ambiguity. There is a sense of mystery that cannot be penetrated by the Ainur, although Irmo shows rather more perception than Gandalf does. And I loved that final reference to the dell's [single inhabitant still calmly sitting]. Definitely one of the most comforting "death of Gimli" stories I have yet read.

Reviewed by: Kara's Aunty  ✧  Score: 6

I actually teared up and had to swallow the lump in my throat (several times) while reading this moving tribute to Legolas and Gimli's friendship. Oh, poor. poor Legolas, bereft without Gimli! Unable to face the vacuum that is his future without Gimli, Legolas tries desperately to cling onto the past with his four-weekly visits to the dwarf's gravesite, which causes his friends no end of worry and leads to them trying to distract him with social gatherings and nubile maidens. Poor immortals. They just can't fathom that Legolas needs to work through his grief in his own way, and that he will be perfectly all right if they would just let him get on with it. I loved the actual graveyard scenes with the elf and 'spirit' Gimli - I could almost sense the dwarf telling Legolas to buck up & get on with it. So vey Gimli ... Excellent work.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 5

I have read a few stories in which Legolas attempts to come to terms with his grief over Gimli's death, but this one is the most light-hearted and straight-forward version I have seen, taking fully into account the banter and humor that the two experienced during Gimli's lifetime. If I have a quibble, it could be that it's hard to imagine Gandalf and Elrond not understanding his need to grieve, to mourn and to honor his friend. I think that the two of them must have experienced enough grief in their own lives to understand. Still the visits Legolas makes are quite in character, and the responses of Gimli (who may or may not actually be there in spirit-- I like the ambiguity) seem also very much in character.

Reviewed by: Levade  ✧  Score: 4

Grief is a journey every person takes in their own time and their own way. There's no rushing it. Legolas has little luck in explaining that to his friends, but what could have been a very angsty story was lightened by Gimli's spirit (or was it?) telling Legolas to get back in and enjoy life. Their visit is the best part of the story! Life moves very slowly for Elves, and a year is nothing (you'd think his friends would realize that), but overall this is a gentle tale of loss and the process of grieving.

Reviewed by: curiouswombat  ✧  Score: 4

I really enjoyed reading this. It is sad to think that Gimli lasted such a short time after arriving in the West, and I am not surprised at all that Legolas felt the need to visit his friend's last resting place regularly to converse with him, especially so soon after Gimli's death. Pity the two watchers couldn't see what Legolas saw - or hear what he heard...! Well written.

Reviewed by: Kaylee Arafinwiel  ✧  Score: 4

This is a wonderful tale, poignant and sad - I'll never quite figure out if Legolas was talking to himself or not, though I like to think not. It bears questioning whether spirits might 'return' from Mandos briefly to communicate with their loved ones; perhaps on the anniversaries of their deaths or on festivals to honor the dead, some such things. I wonder...Well, in any case, this is a wonderful story, as I said already =) Well worth the read!

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 4

Grief is a curious thing. Everyone has their own path to work through it. And a year is not too much to grieve. But the elves with the promise of being reborn are unused to the finality that death has for Mortals. So, it is not surprising that they don't know how to properly grieve for the dead. The attempts at convincing Legolas to come back to the living are amusing, and I can understand that Legolas can't appreciate them.

Reviewed by: Ellie  ✧  Score: 4

This is a beautiful story of mourning and remembrance, of sorrow and joy and of finding peace. THe memories of Gimli still haunt Legolas. Legolas' way of coping is i think good for him even if others can't see it that way. in Time Legolas will seek out friend less often, but that will only happen when Legolas is ready. Even then he will forever carry Gimli in his heart. If the sea could not part them, then why should death?

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 3

An intriguing idea, although IMHO the Elves in this tale behave a little too much like mortals. But the dialogue is very good, as is the portrayal of the friendship between Legolas and Gimli.

Reviewed by: Mysterious Jedi  ✧  Score: 2

This is a very unique little story. It shows Legolas working through his grief, and his friends trying to help him.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 2

Here Fiondil has shown readers the continuation of a friendship that knew no limits, not even the limits of death. Well written and wonderfully thought out.

Reviewed by: Liadan  ✧  Score: 1

In the Undying Lands, Legolas slowly comes to terms with the loss of his friend Gimli.