Racing Down the Mindon

Author: Himring

Nominator: Angelica

2011 Award Category: Character Study: House of Finwë - Third Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: As tensions are rising between the factions of Feanor and Fingolfin among the Noldor in Valinor, Feanor's son Celegorm comes to see his brother Maedhros at the palace in Tirion. Occasional use of expletive language by one character.

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Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 10

Celegorm is not a character I can claim ever to have really understood, nor particularly wanted to. He's there, he's vain, he has a dog. Okay. Himring gives him a charm and verve that make you wish you knew him better, although quite possibly only from a safe distance. In this story, he has the feel of a very young man, more boy than anything else: high-spirited, self-centered, irrepressible, immensely physical, and with all the uncertainties and capacity to feel slights that I associate with adolescents on the verge of adulthood. The first-person perspective works very well with him, here, and I love the race down Mindon that lets these characters tumble right out, some years later, onto Losgar, where everything is going straight down the drain before Celegorm can really process it. The brotherly relationship between Maedhros and Celegorm seems to be one that is constantly teetering on the edge of disaster, with Celegorm always relying on Maedhros to prevent the fall. He's never had to process real disaster before that his older brother could not in some sense affect, which is why Losgar is such a shock at the end, I think, and perhaps the point where this younger Celegorm becomes more the dangerous person we catch glimpses of in the Silm. It's a great character portrait - Himring knows how to write them and make you believe what you read. Give this story a try, maybe especially if you don't particularly care about Celegorm.

Reviewed by: Angelica  ✧  Score: 10

Celegorm (or Tyelkormo as he was known in his youth in Valinor) is usually the "bad guy" in the stories that explore his later career. But what about his young self? Was there something fundamentally wrong with him from the very start to end up in the Nargothrond betrayal and the Doriath massacre? Himring illuminates the young Tyelkormo showing him as a -admittedly wild- prince who doesn't like cities, politics or court life but who definitely loves his elder brother despite giving him repeated headaches. He comes to Tirion to fetch Maitimo despite his dislike for the people and the life style at the Noldorin court and his belief that trying to build bridges between the Feanorians and the other Noldorin nobles is a waste of time and effort which keeps his elder brother away from his family where he really belongs. They end up racing down the Mindon and crashing, both the hunter and the politician, in a very unprincely but very satisfying manner in the market near the place where they would [swear away] their [lives some time after]. This wonderful sentence brings a chilling perspective to the whole story as it seems to prove Tyelkormo right after all. As it is the usual case in Himring's stories, she provides brief but very enjoyable glimpses of the society beyond the royal family's troubles (like the servants and their opinions about their lords).

Author response: Thank you very much for nominating this story, Angelica, and for your sympathetic and perceptive account of my interpretation of Celegorm's character! I love that sentence about the "very unprincely but very satisfying manner", which is exactly what I meant to convey!

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 5

Most of the sons of Feanor seem rather one-dimensional, as canon gives us little to go on. This author has portrayed Celegorm as an individual, and explores both his character and his relationship with his oldest brother Maedhros. Especially intriguing is his early "memory" of how, when Celegorm was a toddler, Feanor let go of his hand, abandoned him, and Maedhros came up from behind Celegorm and caught the younger child before he could come to harm. Since then, Celegorm has taken it for granted that his big brother will always be there. A thoughtful as well as emotional story.

Reviewed by: grey_gazania  ✧  Score: 4

I love the characterization of Maedhros and Celegorm in this piece, and in particular how distinctive and believable Celegorm's voice is and how perfectly shown his feelings for his oldest brother are. (The image of the pair of them tumbling down the stairs is wonderful.) Himring has also painted a clear picture of the tensions in Tirion just before Feanor’s exile and the effect that they have on Finwe’s family.

Author response: Thank you very much! I'm very glad you find Celegorm's voice believable--and also that the image of the brothers tumbling down the stairs works for you!

Reviewed by: Ellie  ✧  Score: 3

Racing Down the Mindon is an interesting story full of insight and contemplation. It reminds me of one or two of Dawn Felegund's works in the feel and character insight in the story. This is an interesting read.

Author response: Thank you very much, Ellie! I'm happy to hear that this reminded you of Dawn's stories. I love her work and she is one of my major influences!

Reviewed by: Liadan  ✧  Score: 2

Celegorm visits Maedhros in Tirion and slowly discovers that they have much more in common with their cousins than he originally thought.

Author response: Thank you for your review!