Enter the Fourth Age, Hastily

Author: Dwimordene

Nominator: Imhiriel

2007 Award Category: Times: Fourth Age and Beyond: Drabble - First Place

Story Type: Fixed-Length Ficlet  ✧  Length: True Drabble

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: An Entish musing on the dawn of the Fourth Age.(I swear there are only 100 words in here accordig to Word - and about 99 dashes)

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Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 10

This drabble has so much to offer, and its premise, structure and content are all interwoven to a unit that is even greater than its parts. It takes Treebeard's character, his manner of speaking and his attitudes, adds to it other information known in canon about Ents, and combines it all to a highly original and creative idea, realised consistently and to great effect. The definition here found for ["peace"] is very moving, intricate, sweeping, and so very accurate, and it is particularly appropriate that a creature so close in touch with nature like Treebeard would try to describe it in this manner. It also paints a very evocative picture. Furthermore, the definition contains in itself even the opposite of the term it describes, and so brings ["peace"] out in even sharper relief against this backdrop of agitated nature. I also like the perplexity and wonder at Hobbits and their peculiar customs that seem to be inherent in Treebeard's last words and echoes his attitude towards Merry & Pippin in the books. Entish, as Tolkien tells us, is ["slow, sonorous, agglomerated, repetitive, indeed longwinded; formed of a multiplicity of vowel-shades and distinctions of tone and quantity"], and nobody was able to learn it, not even even the Elves. But if someone would use only words in their own language, without the complications of variable shadings and tones, this drabble would be a good example to explain the basis mechanisms.

Reviewed by: dkpalaska  ✧  Score: 10

This is an absolutely magical drabble, from the title to the style. It catches the Entish way of speaking so perfectly, and the irony of the title is well-placed and made me smile. I love the construction of the drabble, with the emphatically offset final word. The images called forth by Treebeard's litany are precise and evocative, and vividly painted with excellent descriptions; each is carefully chosen specifically for the universal response that each of us has towards such quiet and calming scenes. Every time I read this drabble, I can feel a sense of peacefulness and contentment steal over me. I liked the brief reference to Merry and Pippin (and their possible influence on "hastifying" Treebeard a bit?). They had such a strong effect on one another, and a powerful influence on the results of the Ring War; I enjoy believing their connection lasted the rest of their lives, whether or not their acquaintance was ever renewed after the hobbits left Gondor. The effects of time are so well-explored in relation to Elves, and I imagine that there's much of that same feeling with Ents: The growing impacts of Men, the feeling of an end to their primary time and influence in Middle-earth. The coming of the Fourth Age must have seemed quite sudden indeed to an ancient like Treebeard.

Reviewed by: Rhapsody  ✧  Score: 4

I think that this drabbles conveys the deep and true longing of Treebeard. It shows suffering, wondering and pondering, but his final word shows the release from his burden as he seemingly settles down in well [peace] and hopefully with the entwifes. I simply love the mentioning of the Hobbits, the simply musing on how they would see life simply adds to the beauty and unique drabble as it is. Masterfully done!

Reviewed by: Inkling  ✧  Score: 4

A lovely exercise in Entish, in which Treebeard demonstrates the beauty and precision possible when giving a word its full due--for those who have time to indulge in it. In contrast the hobbits' "hasty" speech does seem a bit terse, if expedient...and yet it has a power of its own, which Treebeard seems to acknowledge as the new order. The title provides a deeper context for this meditation on peace, as Middle-earth calms like the forest after a storm and its creatures [no longer cower]. A pensive, poetic drabble.

Reviewed by: Aranel Took  ✧  Score: 4

This drabble uses a very clever way to present the speech of the Ents. The form -- using the dashes as pauses -- works very well to give us a sense of the slowness of the language. The speech meanders to the ending and shows the reader the difference between Ents and Hobbits (and everyone else). And it may take a long time to get there, but it's a nice way to say 'peace'. Very nicely done!

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 4

There's something about Treebeard that always fascinates the author in me, and perhaps in true Entish fashion I should not try to simplify that something into hasty words. But you hit it on the head in this drabble. Funny that a piece about the lon-winded Ents told in just 100 words could do that, but there is an almost Zenish quality that seems to fit Treebeard's character very well here. It really "worked" for me. And the ending of that single word, [peace], seemed to sum up the drabble perfectly. Excellent character writing here!

Reviewed by: Marigold  ✧  Score: 4

I loved the way that the inclusion of the dashes forces the reader to read the piece in Treebeard's voice - slow and stately and giving each word proper importance and deep meaning. The final word [peace] immediately brought the hobbits to mind; quick and to the point. But it is also obvious that both races treasure peace, never mind their differences in expressing it, and both know the other race feels the same. I really enjoyed this - it was different and cleverly done.

Reviewed by: Llinos  ✧  Score: 4

I really appreciate the way the author has constructed this drabble and the irony of the title of is most appropriate. The reader is forced to take in the words as if Treebeard is actually speaking and the device works well. The language is beautiful and very in character; as stately and placid as Treebeard himself. Treebeard is certainly a very difficult character to capture and the author has done a wonderful job. This is an excellent and evocative drabble!

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

If the Ents' name for orcs is as long as years of torment, then what is their word for this new state of affairs after the fall of Sauron? Marvelous (although I think that the Hobbit word for it is elegant in its simplicity!).

Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke  ✧  Score: 2

This is a lovely idea, but the form - the extraneous dashes and the painfully run-on sentence - made it almost impossible for me to read.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 2

Excellent evocation of Treebeard and his slow, but accurate, observations of the changing world.

Reviewed by: Altariel  ✧  Score: 2

Ah, beautiful. A brilliant idea, and so well executed. I read it out loud, which I think suited it best.

Reviewed by: trikywun  ✧  Score: 2

This is a really cool drabble! It sounds exactly like Treebeard. I loved the way that he mentions the hobbits here; he sums up the hasty natures that are so foreign to him very well.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 2

How very Entish! I love the use of the dashes to evoke the language of the Ents. All of that, to convey one word--both clever and well done!