Seven Deadly Sins

Author: Azalais

Nominator: Dwimordene

2011 Award Category: Drabble Series: Character Study - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Drabble  ✧  Length: Drabble Series

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Disturbing Imagery/Themes

Summary: The Ring seeks to tempt each member of the Fellowship where It suspects they are weakest. A set of true drabbles, originally written for the Livejournal tolkien_weekly drabble community's Seven Deadly Sins challenge.(8x100)

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Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 8

I think everyone is fascinated by the prospect of an alternate Ring-lord or Ring-lady, of what would induce someone else of the main cast of characters (or of the dozens of minor ones to varying degrees of minority) to claim the Ring. Azalais gives us a Fellowship whose companionship conceals different points of weakness and vulnerability to the Ring's lure. Her match-up of the Nine Walkers with the tradition of the seven deadly sins is interesting, not least for the fact that Gimli and Legolas are both threatened by the same weak point. The only other instance of this is Merry and Pippin, where that similarity is made explicit and shared between them in a brilliant confirmation of their suspicions. Gandalf's temptation was, I thought, inspired, as was its resolution - fantastic use of the text, which ends up giving it a new meaning. Her Frodo I could definitely identify with - perhaps thanks to having had to write Frodo through an AU version of exactly this sin. It's a nicely drawn drabble series of well-written, compact and punchy character studies. Good work, Az, thank you!

Author response: Thank you for the review and all the positive feedback! I did enjoy writing these - unlike a lot of the tolkien_weekly challenges, it was obvious from the start how many prompts there would be and what they were, so I could plan the series fairly confidently. I was very pleased myself when I went back to the text and realised how well Wrath would fit Gandalf just in that moment - and of course I can never resist putting Legolas together with Gimli! (even if I did then commit the sin of treating Merry and Pippin as Indistinguishable!BackupHobbits). And given how well you know Frodo in despair/discouragement mode, I'm glad that worked for you too.

Reviewed by: Altariel  ✧  Score: 6

A very clever response to a challenge to write drabbles about the Seven Deadly Sins. I like the insight given through little-seen encounters between members of the Fellowship, for example, Legolas and Boromir in the second and third pieces: both princes of realms under attack from the Shadow, without the aid of any Ring - but with one to hand. Aragorn's battle with desire (and the memory of Arwen which cools him down again) is particularly good; the Ring's attempt to snare Merry and Pippin via their stomachs very funny. But the cleverest - and saddest - is the interpretation of sloth, for Frodo, as a weariness and discouragement of both body and spirit. And, as ever, Azalais shows herself expert in titling her pieces.

Author response: Once I'd had the idea of turning the prompts into tiny!AU Ring-temptation fics I really enjoyed coming up with these. I have a bit of a thing about the similarities between Legolas' and Boromir's situations, and pairing up Merry and Pippin was obvious (if perhaps a bit *too* IndistinguishableBackUp!Hobbit obvious). I'm glad you liked the Frodo one, since until I thought of the "acedia" link I couldn't quite work out how to make his Sloth plausible...

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 5

These were brilliantly done! A well-written drabble is like a finely-crafted jewel, and each of these were perfect. You did a fine job of keeping each member of the Fellowship in-character while developing the "sin" prompt. The one about Boromir almost broke my heart, and I believe the drabbles featuring Gandalf and Frodo, respectively, were the most frightening. Each character was tempted by the Ring in the insidious form that was most likely to appeal to his character. All were very emotional, very realistic, and very satisfying to read. Great job of writing!

Author response: Thank you so much for such a glowing review, Darkover! I do enjoy the crafting of drabbles, where I can try to make sure every word is the right one , so it's very gratifying to read that these worked so well for you and moved you.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 5

A well-written explanation of the temptation that the Ring would offer not just Frodo, Sam and Boromir, but all members of the Fellowship. Azalais comes up with a plausible lure for each of the Nine Walkers. I liked all of the drabbles; but the strongest, to me, were those of Sam and his yearning to be a hero, and poor Frodo who is drooping with weariness as he and Sam stumble towards Mount Doom. And Legolas' anger and resentment, on learning that the Havens, Imladris and Lothlorien were all shielded by Rings of Power while his father's kingdom struggled unveiled against the rising strength of Dol Guldur, is quite credible. Nicely done, Azalais!

Author response: Thank you, Raksha! I enjoyed working out how to fit Nine Walkers to seven deadly sins; and it's been fascinating to see through the MEFA reviews which drabbles have appealed to which readers. That theory about Legolas' reaction to finding out/working out where the Three Rings are is a bit of a pet idea of mine, so I couldn't resist getting it out for an airing here since it fitted so well. Glad you enjoyed them.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 4

An interesting look at how the Ring might have tempted the members of the Fellowship. I wondered at first, how would Seven Deadly Sins play out among Nine Walkers, but it seemed only apt that Legolas and Gimli would share the same sin, as do Merry and Pippin. I especially liked the look inside Gandalf's head at the one moment when we know in fact that he was being tempted!

Author response: Thank you, Dreamflower. I too started off wondering how to get seven to divide by nine - I'm glad the solutions I found seemed workable! and that you enjoyed the result.

Reviewed by: cairistiona  ✧  Score: 4

What a chilling set of drabbles! They show wonderfully how the Ring might have worked on each member of the Fellowship. For some reason, the one about Legolas struck me the hardest, I suppose because I had never really thought about the Ring tempting him at all. But that drabble shows very well how it might have preyed on his mind. Each drabble gives us a deeper look at every character, and into the Ring itself. These were fascinating to read.

Author response: I'm glad you enjoyed them (with chills!) - they were a fun set to write and it was a good challenge to work out plausible temptations for each of the Fellowship (as well as fitting seven into nine!) Legolas' feeling about finding out that each of the major Elven realms except Mirkwood has been protected for an Age by one of the Three Rings is a pet theory of mine, so I'm pleased that worked for you.

Reviewed by: Malinornë  ✧  Score: 4

The word count puzzles me somewhat, but I guess it may be due to some characteristics of the site that each of these drabbles are of different length and sometimes considerably longer than what I understand to be the definition of a true drabble. That detail aside (which I dwell on mainly to make this a little longer), I found this cleverly done and the sins well matched with the members of the fellowship.

Author response: If you were reading the drabbles on the HASA website, then yes, that site counts everything in a given "chapter" in the word count, including for example the prompts or the notes. I generally hand-count drabbles and all of these are true 100-word drabbles if counted that way. I'm glad you enjoyed the series, and thanks for reviewing!

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 3

I recall taking part in this challenge to write about the Seven Deadly Sins myself and how hard it was to think of sins in relation to the noble folk in Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings". I just love the way Azalais has used the Ring and how it would tempt each member of the Fellowship in a different way in this beautifully written series of drabbles.

Author response: Thank you, Linda! The thing I liked about this challenge was that, quite unusually for TW challenges, I knew at the outset exactly how many prompts there were and what they would be - so it was easy to plan a series, and I did enjoy coming up with them.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 3

All of the drabbles in this series are hauntingly beautiful. I love the way Azalais has incorporated the seven deadly sins into scenes that already exist (or probably existed), rather than creating new ones altogether.

Author response: Thank you! I'm very pleased you found them beautiful, and that you felt the sins worked in plausibly to canon.

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 2

Very interesting descriptions of how the Ring would try to corrupt the hearts of the Fellowship. Well done!

Author response: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed them.

Reviewed by: Kara's Aunty  ✧  Score: 2

Beautifully executed set of drabbles. And very interesting to see what the author proposes may have tempted Legolas and Gimli, as one does not often read of that!

Author response: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed them - they were fun to write.