Nominator: Gandalfs apprentice
2006 Award Category: Times: Late Third Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet - First Place
Story Type: Fixed-Length Ficlet ✧ Length: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet
Rating: G ✧ Reason for Rating: n/a
Summary: Double drabble. Everyone has one of those days. Gandalf and Aragorn end a long day on the hunt for Gollum.
Reviewed by: dkpalaska ✧ Score: 8
I really like this glimpse into the relationship between Gandalf and Aragorn. The quotes at the end highlight something very important for me: That having an inherent sense of joy is a necessary part of enduring long toils, and even being able to make right choices. Otherwise, it is too easy for hardships to push one into despair and hopelessness. Gandalf, once Olorin, would surely have an intimate understanding of the healing properties of laughter. I took the title as a reflection of its "magical power" of providing relief, and that Gandalf (as the one who begins laughing first) has access to "wizardry" beyond his more obvious wizard's powers. I also think that it says something important about their respective qualities as leaders in Middle-earth, that they can laugh at themselves in the midst of failure, and see the absurdity of the situation they are in. That they are able to do this together cements my impression of how deep and supportive their friendship was. Dwimordene has fit much into a very well-crafted double-drabble!
Reviewed by: Gandalfs apprentice ✧ Score: 6
Of course, I can't possibly be objective about this piece, since it was so graciously written for my birthday. But why be objective? It's simply splendid! A word-perfect portrait of both men (for Gandalf is in man's form, after all, and feels the same aches and pains) at a particularly excruciating moment in their toils. And breaking into laughter is so characteristic of them both, as is shown by the two lovely quotations that the author has included as footnotes. Reading between the lines, one might think that Gollum knew they were on his trail by this point. It's not clear from the way Tolkien tells the story whether in fact he was locked up in Sauron's dungeons all those years they searched to no avail. Thanks again, Dwim!
Reviewed by: Rhapsody ✧ Score: 5
This is such a wonderful short piece. It is cleverly constructed, making good use of Tolkiens characters. The first [Well] is the opening punch for a moment mixed with frustration, humour, and relief. After both took a moment of rest and let humour lift their spirits, which I could so imagine how they sat there, twinkles in their eyes and a lingering smile bursting in into a full laugh. In that sense, the author did a great job in picturing that moment! The last [Well] heralds the moment of decision and action and I cannot help to think I would love to read what will follow next. A delightful piece Dwimordene! Thanks for sharing.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 4
A fascinating peek into a day in the life of MIddle-earth's most dogged and determined hunters. Unfortunately, the Grey Pilgrim and Isildur's Heir are stymied by scrawny little Gollum - the irony is deftly sketched, and attention is well-paid to Gandalf and Aragorn's shared sense of humor. The ficlet's beginning and ending with the same word is a very nice touch.
Reviewed by: Súlriel ✧ Score: 3
I found this to be delightful. I've always remembered reading the descriptions both of Gandalf and Aragorn and thought that Tolkien intended both of them to have a good humor, and I like the way you have portrayed that quality in this double drabble.
Reviewed by: obsidianj ✧ Score: 3
I think "Well" is an apt description. Gandalf is right in his mirth. The situation is funny. But it takes some doing to see the comic after the days of frustration. It is nice to see that Aragorn and Gandalf can laugh together and not be only grim and stern. Although I think they would prefer to strangle Gollum ;-)
Reviewed by: Imhiriel ✧ Score: 3
The scene is well-depicted, sparkling with vivid details. I love how laconic both Aragorn and Gandalf are characterised - I think it shows in a very subtle yet clear way their relationship and their attitude towards hardship and reversals.
Reviewed by: Isabeau of Greenlea ✧ Score: 3
I love Dwimordene's Aragorn, and here he is in my favorite incarnation, in full Strider mode. Despite the brevity of the piece, you get a good feel for the friendship and humor in Middle-earth's most important partnership.
Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland ✧ Score: 3
I enjoyed this very much as I find the long friendship between Gandalf and Aragorn interesting and wish Tolkien had told us more about it.I just loved the image of these two laughing about their predicament in being unable to find Gollum.It is amazing that the slippery creature evaded the greatest in Middle- earth for so long !
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 3
Yes, the true magic: to find the humor in such an uncomfortable situation. It must have been quite ironic to the Istari, to realize that his power was powerless in this instance. And I love that Aragorn could appreciate it as well.
Reviewed by: Inkling ✧ Score: 3
Gandalf and Aragorn may not laugh often, but it's nice when it happens! A well-imagined moment between these two hunters, and an interesting parallel to Frodo's and Sam's later frustration in those same labyrinthine hills.
Reviewed by: Marigold ✧ Score: 3
I loved the way that this double drabble began and ended with the same word. For all that they can laugh about it, they are still right back where they started - stuck. You conveyed their great friendship wonderfully here. Excellent!
Reviewed by: meckinock ✧ Score: 3
This is a really nice snapshot of Gandalf and Aragorn's friendship, and a keen observation on their commonalities - both frequently grim but subject to outbreaks of mirth. Well done!
Reviewed by: Llinos ✧ Score: 3
I really liked this! The characterisations were spot-on, as always with Dwim, and both Gandalf and Aragorn were captured wonderfully. Knowing that someday Frodo and Sam will be wandering this same path, only then with Gollum pursuing them, added another layer of enjoyment.
Reviewed by: Bodkin ✧ Score: 2
Sometimes you just have to laugh - but there's a pretty grim edge to it. Not a lot of frivolity about either of these. The laughter that knows the dark side and laughs anyway.