Good King Elessar

Author: Dreamflower

Nominator: Linda Hoyland

2008 Award Category: Races: Cross-Cultural: Friendship - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Medium Length

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Young Frodo Gamgee is serving as a page to King Elessar, while the King is holding court in his northern capital. A visit to the King's nearby hunting lodge turns into quite an adventure. Resemblance to a certain well-known holiday song is entirely intentional.

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Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 8

What a heartwarming yule tale! I loved the way this tale fell into synch with the traditional Good King Wenceslas carol, and I loved the whimsical tone taken up by the narrative. It made this story feel like a carol itself. Or at the least, a fleshed out version of the carol if this carol were made to fit into Tolkien's canon. The tone also felt very appropriate given who held the story's perspective, namely Frodo Gamgee. And in the spirit of his very hobbity look on things, his interactions with Aragorn (who was in superb form) and Mr. Appledore were delightful. As an added bonus, characterization was top notch for all involved, which is something I've come to expect from Dreamflower. And this characterization applies not only to those with major roles but also to those who never appear until the epilogue (like Merry). But perhaps what I loved most about this story was the dialog. It was clever and light, serious when needed but able to turn a quick phrase in the next beat that had me smiling. A cheering tale, all around, that took its cues from a carol and then firmly rooted itself in Middle-earth.

Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 6

Wonderful characterisations all around, especially of the Hobbits. Dreamflower's take on Frodo-lad is absolutely convincing, you can see both his parents in him, and yet he is his own person, shaped by being heir to extraordinary events yet not being a direct part of it. I also liked how he was described as being on the cusp between adolescence and adult responsibility, with the adventurous spirit of adolescence often winning over. It was heart-warming to witness the intimate relationship here between Aragorn and Frodo-lad, and how this episode offers them the opportunity to get to know each other better. The story has a lovely seasonal feel to it, just right for the premise and the themes of the carol woven through it. There is a warmth there and good winter cheer right from the start. And goodwill to all men!

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 5

This is a truly delightful story based on a popular Christmas carol. I loved the idea of Aragorn,with young Frodo Gamgee as his page ,taking winter fuel to a poor man.Naturally things to not go exactly as expected when the journey becomes quite hazardous. I can just picture Aragorn eager for adventure during a visit to the North.He shows himself a great King here in his compassion and care for others. I also enjoyed the hint of mystery in the story as we ponder why the man gathering fuel is in such dire circumstances. This is a most enjoyable story which should be required CHristmas reading for devoted Tolkien fans!

Reviewed by: Fiondil  ✧  Score: 5

“Good King Wenceslas” has always been one of my favorite Christmas carols, and I love how you interpreted it for Middle-earth, especially with Elessar as the king. And Frodo-lad was just perfect as his page. Aragorn is indeed the consummate Servant-King and we can all learn from his example. I liked how Elessar is just looking for an excuse to play “Strider” when he decides to do a good deed for someone whom he thinks is in need. Tom Appledore’s story is very sad but there’s a happy ending to the tale. The use of phrases from the carol as the basis for the various chapters is excellent and help to illustrate the tale quite well.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 5

Blessings on Dreamflower for bringing "Good King Wenceslaus" into Middle Earth. Perhaps Hobbits don't celebrate St. Stephen's Day, but they do know the service of a good King; and when King Elessar sees a ragged Man near the hunting lodge Merry and Pippin had built for his use that they might freely spend time with him just outside the Shire he decides to make a cold winter night a bit warmer for him. A wonderful tale of caring and trust as King and page Frodo Gamgee seek out the Man's small dwelling to bring him what comfort they can; and young Frodo realized just what a wonderful one he's pledged himself to serve for the next year. Filled with charm, comfort, and delight.

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 3

This is a charming little Yule story which gave me a fuzzy warm feeling. Strider and Frodo-lad on a mission to bring gifts to a lonely man in the woods. I loved the moments when Frodo had the feeling his king looked like Pippin or one of his siblings just before they do some mischief.

Reviewed by: PipMer  ✧  Score: 3

This was such a heartwarming tale. The good-heartedness of hobbits, as well as of a certain Man, shine through here. I've always believed that most people deserve a second chance to make their lives right again, and this story shows that in a very tender way.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 3

A charming story of Fourth Age King Elessar and young Frodo Gamgee; very seasonal, catching the flavor of both Fourth Age northern Middle-earth and the Yule season. Dreamflower proves again why she is one of the best hobbit fanfiction writers.

Reviewed by: Claudia  ✧  Score: 2

This is a delightful interaction between hobbits and men in teh future. I love these gaps being filled in about what it must have been like in the north kingdom! :)

Reviewed by: nancylea  ✧  Score: 1

you remind us to sometimes look into the shadows because good can hide as well as evil.