No Way You Can Fall

Author: Himring

Nominator: Lyra

2011 Award Category: Romance: General

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Disturbing Imagery/Themes,Mature Language/Themes,Sexual Content,Violence

Summary: Fingon braces himself to defy Namo for the sake of his love of Maedhros, but it turns out to be strangely unnecessary. Ages later in Tirion, there is a rather more dramatic confrontation, when Fingolfin finally suspects the reason why Fingon has immured himself in his house with the cousin he has recently retrieved from Lorien. (Maedhros is gradually regaining his sanity under Fingon's care.)

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Reviewed by: Oshun  ✧  Score: 10

I enjoy Himring in general so much as a writer largely because she tends to write my own favorite couple within the canon of the Silmarillion (obviously, I believe that Fingon and Maedhros are canon! I don't even want to consider any other possibility!). Anyway, she picks a painful point in their history and handles it from an different angle that I would ever consider approaching it when I get around to writing that section of their story. But, because of her sincerity and strength of the portrayals she convinces to me completely accept her logic. I love the big heart of her Fingon and his impulsiveness which supports his canon bravery. He is willing to storm the Halls of Mandos for the sake of his love of Maedhros. Later she writes of a shocked Fingolfin finding his son is living with his friend Maedhros recently released by Namo. It is an interesting dynamic and different from a lot of people's fanfic approach to the question. Only part of Maedhros's healing takes place in Namo's halls. The rest apparently must be accomplished by living day to day in the real world (if one can ever call Aman a real world). It's a satisfying story and seamlessly fits into her growing collection of vignettes and incidents which make up her personal biography of Fingon and Maedhros. I enjoyed the story very much and would recommend it.

Author response: Thank you very much indeed for this generous review! You've already written that short piece about the ruins of Formenos, of course, and I can guess how different your angle on this period in Maedhros and Fingon's life must be. I am very grateful indeed that you still manage to suspend your disbelief and immerse yourself in my 'verse and find it convincing on its own terms!

Reviewed by: Lyra  ✧  Score: 10

I tend to avoid fan fiction written about Sons-of-Fëanor-released-from-Mandos: Too often they are excuses to wallow in angst and drama without contributing to my understanding of the characters or the settings they move in. I usually find such stories highly frustrating, even enfuriating, as they go against my understanding of Mandos and the process of "returning" from there. So I generally make it a rule to ignore them. This year there were two exceptions from this rule - this story is one of them. True, there is angst, self-loathing and drama here as well - the genre invites it, of course. But Himring actively tackles the question why someone might be released from Mandos in a still-damaged state, something that other writers of that theme do not. The idea that such a powerful and, at the same time, emotionally (and, formerly, physically) crippled character as Maedhros is too much for Mandos to heal is interesting, and it is reasonable to assume that Fingon would have a different (and more successful) kind of access to Maedhros' sanity - not to mention a higher personal investment. If a healed and competent Maedhros is indeed needed for something, as Fingon suspects (and the History of Middle-earth implies), returning him to the only person who may accomplish this task makes sense. Moreover, despite the dark and difficult subject matter, there are some light-hearted elements in this story - the discussion of idolatry, the idea that Finarfin has been trying all along to subtly alert Fingolfin to Maedhros' and Fingon's special relationship, the image of Maedhros practicing to scream and run for an hour each day - that prevent the angst from becoming overwhelming. Other moments - particularly the moment of near-violence when Fingolfin confronts Maedhros about his love for Fingon - are heart-stopping and deeply dramatic, but without going over the top. In short, Himring manages to balance tension and relief in a way that makes me glad to have broken my rule for this story.

Author response: Thank you very much for breaking your rule for me! In fact, I broke a couple of rules to write it as well, but I've been breaking more and more of those as I go along, anyway. By now, I seem to have managed to write a good number of stories that I was never going to write! I didn't really have a general theory of what happens in Mandos, until I had to figure out what happens to Maedhros. At first, I couldn't really see Mandos as a successful psychoanalyst, so I thought what he did might have a bit of the effect like old-fashioned electro-shock therapy, which did sort of work on some types of psychic disorders, but had severe side-effects. It would then be up to Fingon to deal with the fall-out. In the meantime, I've written "In Time, Stronger than Silima", and although I still don't know exactly what Mandos really does, I've got a somewhat different angle on him...

Reviewed by: Erulisse  ✧  Score: 6

Himring writes some of the most perceptive stories of Fingon and Maedhros that I have ever read, and her love for the characters and their interpersonal relationships comes through in blinding colors through the words of this and others of her stories. I don't remember if this was the first story of hers with these characters that so caught me. But I do remember that this is one that I read and read again and again and always want more. The characterizations are perfect, the loving defensiveness of Fingon, the hesitant uncertainty of Maedhros simply couldn't be written any better. I will read anything she writes about these two. She had her pulse on them and you deserve the treat of reading this and others of her stories.

Author response: Thank you so much--both for your generous praise of this story and for the general recommendation! I do love both these characters, and I'm so glad that you share my love for them.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 5

In this story, Himring presents an interesting scenario from Fingolfin's point of view. The characters presented are intriguing, and their motives and goals sufficiently veiled so as to keep the story from being redundant. Of course, the ultimate appeal of this was the author's fantastic characterization of Fingolfin. The writing, the thought processes, and the denouement all lead to one inevitable thing, and it's a breathtaking journey. In addition, Himring offers the most beautifully worded, succinct character self-analysis I've read to date: [Suddenly, I am very frightened of myself.] Wonderful!

Author response: I am very glad that the characterization of Fingolfin in this story works so well for you! It is essential for the story, I think, that the reader should not lose sympathy with Fingolfin, but still believe that he has reason to be frightened of himself, that there is a real crisis looming. Thank you very much for your review!

Reviewed by: Liadan  ✧  Score: 2

Fingolfin finally realizes -- and belatedly accepts -- the genuine love between Fingon and Maedhros.

Author response: Thank you for reviewing!