Elanor of Westmarch: Still There
2008 Award Category: Genres: Drama: Final Partings
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Elanor's last meeting with Sam before he leaves Middle-earth.
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 10
This is a lovely, quiet piece of familial drama, and uses Elanor's perspective beautifully. The tenderness of the father-daughter relationship, the details of Sam's arrival at Elanor's home - after midnight, keeping the moment of meeting and parting between him and his beloved daughter - the discussion of the hat, and the sense of Sam's steady paring away of the things that tie him to Middle-earth are well-portrayed. Elanor's relationship with the three towers was also fantastic, one of my favorite moments of the book. The watchtowers become persons in their own right, and sisters to Elanor, sisters whose personification draws out a whimsical aspect of Elanor's nature that suggests a certain prolonging of the magical in her mind. Very well done! The moment of temptation, to follow her father, and the sense of her hanging there in the balance, fits well: she is a hobbit born in later times, the daughter of legends, with an unearthly flower name - she straddles the division between the legendary and the mundane from the side of mundane time. Like her father and Frodo, she, too, is torn, but where Sam and Frodo, and in a way, Merry, Pippin, and Aragorn, must seek a final healing beyond Middle-earth, Elanor's healing has to come within it, through her family. That fits the theme of the Fourth Age beautifully in my opinion. Well done!
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 4
I haven't read too many stories about Elanor as an adult. This one is quite a nice read. The farewell between her and Sam is gentle, filled with melancholy but also having a hobbit cheerfulness and sense of the inevitable about it. I found Elanor's desire to accompany her father, her longing to share in the wonders he was going to experience, quite credible and poignant. And her eventual decision made definite sense in the context of all we know about Elanor and the mature, loving hobbit that the story shows her to be.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 4
There are so many little things that tie us to the lives we have chosen; and for Elanor it is a quilt, one that had once covered the bed of Frodo Baggins. After taking leave of her father one last time she finds comfort in it. A sweet tale, filled with the longing such partings bring and the tearing ache as we think of the choice between loves departed and loves remaining.
Reviewed by: Imhiriel ✧ Score: 4
The relationship between Elanor and her father was very well drawn, there was always an underlying, subtle sense of the care they both have for each other without the need to spell it out or speak much about it. The emotions, though subtle, were well-drawn, particularly the wistfulness of Elanor. The theme of cherishing mementos, inheriting them or passing them on to others who would herish them, was woven resonantly throughout the story.
Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel ✧ Score: 4
I love, love, love Baranduin's Elanor. This particular story looks at her final farewell with Sam, and her emotions following that. The image of her sitting on the floor with a quilt that once belonged to Frodo is a gorgeous one, and you can really feel how torn she is by whether she should follow her father or stay with her family. Her ultimate decision feels really gut-level honest. Gorgeously done, and I loved this story very much.
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 2
This was just beautiful, showing just how much Elanor loved her father--I think that she now will understand more than ever the years he spent torn in two.