All That Remained

Author: Allee

Nominator: obsidianj

2008 Award Category: Genres: Drama: Featuring the Noldor - Third Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Dark themes, character suicide attempt

Summary: After Arathorn’s death, Gilraen is left to pick up the pieces of her shattered life, but the young widow learns that grief is no stranger to the House of Elrond. Will pain destroy the inhabitants of the Last Homely House, or will it bind them together?

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Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 10

I love this story because Gilraen's grief about Arathorn's death is portrayed here so different than in the few other stories I have read about this topic. The story is very dark in places and as a reader with a clear rational mind you ask yourself how can she not see what is right in front of her? But grief is a strange thing and can take on many faces. Gilraen's grief brings to the surface another grief in Elrond's household which has not been dealt with in a long time. I love it how Gilraen and the twins help each other in their different ways of coping with grief one breath at a time. Gilraen in this story becomes a person in her own right with flaws and strengths she has to discover in herself. She is allowed to grieve or she just does it, no matter what anyone else expects from her. Elrond seems to be the only one able to understand her. I like the description of the reaction of the visitors to her behavior, since I think this is typical for people not really close to the person grieving. I like it that the twins are each their own person, too. They might look alike, but their personality is very different from each other and therefore their ways of coping with grief. The pain will not go away immediately, but at the end of the story there is a ray of hope on the horizon.

Reviewed by: Amarok  ✧  Score: 8

Interesting story. And I do not think that either Gilraen or Elladan behaved unrealistic, even if I had not read the comments at the beginning. But perhaps that comes from having had a mother who one day came to her little girl to say 'farewell'. My father caught her before she went through with her plan, but I know enough to understand what this story is about. Anyway, what I really like is that Elladan and Elrohir are not 'identical' here. Happy-ending-lover that I am I am glad they find their old trust and connection back in the end (or at least it seemed to me that way), but to see them struggle and cope differently for a change is good. The only thing I missed is Elrond in the end (meaning in the last scene). He still seems on the outside, but he has lost as well, and as Elrohir commented, has hidden behind a facade. He has his way of coping, yes, but will it be changed by Estel’s and Gilraen’s time there? Or by Elladan’s final acceptance of what happened? That Estel has a minor role here - merely as catalyst - is realistic I think, and I like it. He is very young still. His time will come later.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 5

This is a beautifully written and very moving story.Poor Aragorn and poor Gilraen.Grief does indeed make people add oddly.It is brave to draw on your own experiences,but in so doing,makes your work richer and maybe you will help others who read this excellent story. The depiction of Poor Gilraen, is heartrending, but all too true to life.and well writtenYou portray the different personalities of the Elladan and Elrohir well here. They remind me a little of the brothers in "Supernatural"!Thank Goodness they found Gilraen before she could harm herself.I liked the way that Gilraen and Elladan helped each other. The ending is both beautiful and uplifting.

Reviewed by: crowdaughter  ✧  Score: 5

This is a most compelling tale, and very unusual, as well. Normally, we do not see Gilraen portrayed as anything but wise and graceful, and the idea that she could have had a hard time dealing with the death of her husband, even could have given in to despair at some point, seems ill-fitting with the mother of him who was called Hope and grew up to be Aragorn Elessar. However, this tale gives us that possible alternative view in a very convincing way. The fact that in the end, Gilraen does not seem the poorer or less likable or strong for this different view, and also, that her behavior in the end make something change for the family of her host, as well, is another great point of this tale. Very well done, indeed!

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 4

Grief wanes at last, and hope--and Hope--remain as Gilraen comes to terms with her husband's death, and Elladan at last does the same with his mother's absence. A beautifully written look at the destructive side of grief drawn from familial experience, poignant and delicately written. An honor to reread this, and to again see the healing at last begin for the young widow and the son of Celebrian, and to see this blended family come to acceptance of what is--for today, at least. And I love Elrohir's advice; ["Take a deep breath. Repeat."] So apt!

Reviewed by: nancylea  ✧  Score: 3

good description of how sometimes people bounce when they hit the bottom of the barrell and you need to wait until they come to a 'rest' and be there with a pro-offered hand. healing elves and humans and not a lesson to his name yet.