Lobelia's List

Author: annmarwalk

Nominator: EdorasLass

2006 Award Category: Races: Hobbits: General Fixed-Length Ficlet - First Place

Story Type: Fixed-Length Ficlet  ✧  Length: True Drabble

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: n/a

Summary: The highly-organized Lobelia Sackville-Baggins prepares for the auction at Bag End.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Branwyn  ✧  Score: 7

In a tale dominated by male characters, Lobelia Sackville-Baggins stands out as one of the few strong females, a hobbit as tenacious and lovable as an old tree root. In this drabble, annmarwalk gives us Lobelia's hilarious "To Do" list of tasks to be done before the auction at BagEnd. True to form, Lobelia comes across as a ruthlessly efficient organizer and a merciless critic of human behavior. She is resignedly realistic about her own son-- [4. How to keep lollygaggers away from beer barrel? Station Otho at cellar door? Who to watch Otho?] Of course, subsequent events will prove that he is even weaker than she had suspected. Her avariciousness and her snobbery toward those who she sees as her inferiors are right in character. The line about the missing spoons made me laugh out loud! Still, Lobelia is unapologetically her own master and she does win our respect at the end of LOTR when she hobbles out of prison, so it is a pleasure to read this delightful piece about one of Tolkien's fiestiest characters.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 5

Oh what a wonderful glimpse of Lobelia's resentful little heart! Those Gamgees have usurped her place in her cousin's affections (and pocketbook) and it shows in her insistence on blaming them for possible thefts (as yet undiscovered), in her refusal to give them anything out of Bilbo's belongings (save a pair of battered boots that are [good enough for Gamgee senior]--like hobbits wear shoes that often!), and general possessiveness of the garden tools. Nice crossing out of desire, there. The problem of preventing the wine cellar from being emptied is a problem of infinite iteration--who'll watch any watchers she puts on them? And of course, the spoons... Quite amusing, Ann!

Reviewed by: EdorasLass  ✧  Score: 4

This is so perfectly Lobelia! I love her obvious disdain for the Gamgees, and I can just see her, watching Sam like a hawk to make sure he hasn't snuck off with anything valuable. Her self-serving worries about how to get her hands on key items are wonderful - even Lotho isn't beyond suspicion. She's probably been waiting and watching for years, making notes in her head about what possessions of Bilbo's should "rightfully" be hers. Oh, how disappointed and angry she must be when Bilbo shows up, alive and wanting his things back!

Reviewed by: Súlriel  ✧  Score: 3

I found this to be a delightful use of 100 words and wonderfully in-character. It's always fun to find something like this, where the strength of characterization (in Lobelia's case: Attitude!) comes so clearly from the under-currents through the specific word choices. Well done!

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

Yes, I can certainly see Lobelia Sackville-Baggins writing this list as she prepares to sell off Bilbo's possessions. And she wonders if a few spoons might be missed? Well, apparently they were! A wonderful look at one of our favorite characters to shake our heads at.

Reviewed by: Mechtild  ✧  Score: 3

Number 4 on Lobelia’s list was a crack-up! -- That she would decide to use Otho as a guard, but then have second thoughts - who would check up on HIM, then? It just goes to show just how savvy Lobelia was. Too bad she couldn’t put her intelligence to better use! Very witty, Ann.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 3

Cute, but quite in-character and appropriate list of things to do before a particular auction, written by Lobelia Sackville-Baggins. This takes the reader quickly into Lobelia's brightly acquisitive mind. Fun to read.

Reviewed by: Elen Kortirion  ✧  Score: 3

Such a beautifully realised and amazingly economic look into Lobelia's mind that reveals so much! All her little tics and concerns are shown, who is worthy of what, who can be trusted [in her opinion] and who is suspect. It's a lovely little piece of characterization that rings so true.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 3

[How to keep lollygaggers away from beer barrel? Station Otho at cellar door? Who to watch Otho?] That line sums up perfectly what I love so much about this drabble. There is a great sense of inanity through it all, tongue-in-cheek jokes both on Lobelia's part and directed toward her. Of course those spoons won't be missed... *giggles*

Reviewed by: GamgeeFest  ✧  Score: 3

This is funny! So perfectly in Lobelia's voice, I could hear it as I read and imagine her sneers and leers as she wrote it. Her obverastion on the Gamgees are so accurately haughty. My favorite list item has to be: ["4. How to keep lollygaggers away from beer barrel? Station Otho at cellar door? Who to watch Otho?"]

Reviewed by: Rhapsody  ✧  Score: 3

Giggles aplenty when I read this piece, but the mentioning of spoons was simply the icing on the cake! This is a delightfully drabbled work; I could so imagine her sitting at the table writing the list, which gives the reader the feeling that they would be peeking just over her shoulder. Very in character and the idea masterfully executed.

Reviewed by: Nesta  ✧  Score: 2

A delicious glimpse of this delicious character! Fits in very well with the Lobelia who 'had brought a complete inventory with her and went right through it'.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 2

Very humorous and very much like the Lobelia we know and dread. So very methodical. I am reminded of her visit to Bag End, inventory in hand, the day Frodo left. Good job!

Reviewed by: Gandalfs apprentice  ✧  Score: 2

You've captured about all there is to say about Lobelia in 100 words. Although I was always glad Tolkien allowed her a little glory with her imprisonment in the Smials.

Reviewed by: Bodkin  ✧  Score: 2

Mean-spirited besom! Shame she didn't last long enough to see Sam as the Master of Bag End. How she would have hated that!

Reviewed by: Tanaqui  ✧  Score: 2

This drabble perfectly captures Lobelia's character, both in its form as a to-do list and the order and nature of the items (and notes). Very clever.

Reviewed by: Llinos  ✧  Score: 2

An excellent and very insightful character study of Lobelia, impressively achieved in just 100 words. Well done!

Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 1

Very funny; and you captured Lobelia's character very well.

Reviewed by: Marigold  ✧  Score: 1

What a perfect list! I laughed out loud at this!