Eärendil's Tale

Author: Bodkin

Nominator: elliska

2005 Award Category: Books/Time: The Silmarillion - Third Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Novella

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: n/a

Summary: After Elrond's arrival in the Blessed Realm, he meets the parents he cannot remember. Eärendil and Elwing share their stories with the son they barely knew. From the Fall of Gondolin to the rise of Gil-Estel, Elrond learns more of the parents who abandoned him and his brother in the hope of bringing help to a world on the verge of destruction.

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Reviewed by: elliska  ✧  Score: 10

This story may be the very best 'gap-filler' type story that I have ever read. I knew really very little about Earendil when I first read this. I had read those chapters of the Silmarillion and thought the story of Earendil and Elwing was more tragic than romantic but that was about all. This story captures the tragedy of the events surrounding Earendil's journey to Valinor and Elwing's loss of her children and 'rescue' of the Silmaril so well that I literally cried in a good many parts. The emotional challenges that faced these two characters and the sacrifice they made was very well portrayed. That was done very well simply within the telling of their story--but added onto that the fact that they are telling their story to Elrond and Celebrian Ages later in Valinor and the emotional impact is doubled. That was a great 'technique' for lack of a better word. I loved seeing Elrond's reactions to his father and mother's decisions. Also wonderful in this story are the little details that the author adds to explain or debate (when there is not one simple explanation) canon events that don't otherwise make sense or that are simply very interesting--things like: Did Earendil give up the Silmaril? and hints at how Elrond felt about being cared for by Maglor and Maedhros. The absolutely detailed attention to / explaoration of canon in this story is one of its strongest points. But my favorite thing about this story is the language. It is poetic--flowing, vibrant descriptions; energetic dialogue--not a word out of place even once throughout the whole story. I felt like I could see everything playing out in my mind. This is an absolutely wonderful story that I would recommend to both people who already know and love Earendil and Elwing’s story or those who have never read the Silmarillion but just love Tolkien. It is a 'must read.'

Reviewed by: picara  ✧  Score: 6

I loved this! The writing was fantastic. The descriptions were poetic and beautiful and I could picture every scene in my mind. And the characters were wonderfully done. Except for Elrond, of course, these characters were left fairly undeveloped by Tolkien in my mind anyway but the way the author presents them here seems to fit very well with what I would expect, given their deeds. And this story does a great job filling in gaps in the Silmarillion canon. The story of Eärendil and Elwing always seemed tragic to me, and this fleshed it out into something that made me cry at times and that warmed my heart at times. Great job!

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 6

I've read several stories about the reunion between Elrond and Earendil, but never have I come across anything quite this comprehensive. Everything is there, the flashbacks, the uncertainty, the changing emotions, the misunderstanding, everything! I very much enjoyed watching the final events of the First Age play out through Earendil's memory, and I love the thought that he tried to defy Ulmo when he learned of the third kinslaying. It sounds as though that was something Elrond needed to hear. And the final chapters, bittersweet at the thought that Elros and now Arwen are lost to them, held some wonderful resolution. Great tale!

Reviewed by: sulriel  ✧  Score: 5

I do believe Earendil to be the single greatest hero of JRRTolkien's entire epic and I especially enjoyed your tale of him. " ... And you came out of the West, blazing with white flame, the host of Eagles accompanying you ..." This one line, from early in your first chapter summarizes for me who and what he is - a son of kings and queens and heroes, the father of the same, he gave -all- even his family- for the chance to bring help to them, and to this day sails the night skies with the bright Silmaril on his brow.

Reviewed by: lainien  ✧  Score: 5

I really loved the characterizations in this and the explorations of some parts of canon that Tolkien only mentioned in the Silmarillion or other sources. In fact, I think this was one of the most thorough explorations of Earendil as a character that I have ever seen and since I love the Silmarillion, I really enjoyed seeing more on this relatively minor, but important character. And I like how it is told as sort of flashbacks so you can see Elrond's perspective on his father too. A very enjoyable story on a very unique topic.