Love Began Here

Author: Adonnen Estenniel

Nominator: Ellynn

2010 Award Category: Genres: Romance: Dunedain - Third Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Short, non-graphic description of romantic kissing.

Summary: Under the clear stars on Midsummers Day, Aragorn and Arwen pledge their troth. Years later, under the bright sun of January, Aragorn returns to the hill where he and the Evenstar promised themselves.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Oshun  ✧  Score: 7

Wow! That was lovely. If you were writing in my area of specialization, I might say, there can never be too many stories about Fingon rescuing Maedhros, or Feanor swearing his dreadful oath. But the LotR portion of the Tolkien fandom is so much wider and bigger and the part devoted to Aragorn/Arwen stories alone larger by far than all of the space devoted to The Silmarillion, so I could not honestly say there will never be enough stories about Cerin Amroth. I have read some good ones over the years. I was not looking for another. I stumbled onto this one quite by accident. It is fresh, delightfully laid out. The device of switching back and forth from the past to the present really works here. The ficlet is simple and straight forward, it does not, like some, try to be terribly clever or obscure or different, but only to be sympathetic and emotionally honest and to touch the reader with the personalities, problems, scents, and ambience of that world. It succeeded for me. I enjoyed it very much and recommend it.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 6

A beautiful, sensual tale of the visit the Fellowship to the mound that once held Amroth's home, when he dwelt in Lothlorien. We see the mound now from two points of view--both of them belonging to Aragorn: once as the new leader of the Fellowship in the wake of the loss of Gandalf, and once as the wanderer on his way back north from his sojourns within Rohan and Gondor, Rhun and Harad, and his first assays upon the true bounds of Mordor, when he was welcomed by Galadriel and dressed by her as a veritable prince, leading to a most fortuitous second meeting with the woman who had stolen his heart. Delicately told and portrayed, this is an excellent look at both visits made by the man to Cerin Amroth, and why it was Frodo saw him as he did when it came time for the Fellowship to press on toward the heart of the Golden Wood. Beautiful.

Reviewed by: StarSpray  ✧  Score: 5

The past and present are woven together beautifully in this story as Aragorn walks through Lothlórien. The imagery is vivid, and the use of present and past tense is extremely effective in this piece. I really enjoyed this glimpse into Aragorn’s mind as he visits one of the most important places in his life. Also, the use of present tense during the flashbacks is very effective, and helps along with the italics in separating those scenes from the present. And the two quotations from The Fellowship of the Ring really make the piece. Well done!

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale  ✧  Score: 5

Adonnen Esteniel gives due attention to a fleeting moment in LOTR, when Aragorn stands at the foot of Cerin Amroth. This moment is one of lovely enigma in the book (at this point Arwen is barely a blip on most readers’ radar.) Vivid details and an absence of dialogue ramp up the intensity as, in a steady alternation between present and past, Aragorn reflects on their first meeting with a cinematic attention to detail. The flashbacks are cleverly handled, written in the present tense, while it is the “Now” of the Fellowship that is past tense. The vignette ends with a quote from the book: [He left the hill of Cerin Amroth and came there never again as a living man.] But the power with which Aragorn lives the moment takes some of the sting out of “never.” Clearly it is a memory to last a lifetime.

Reviewed by: Ainu Laire  ✧  Score: 5

This was a wonderful one shot, Adonnen Estenniel. I think that you really captured the spirit and essence of what Tolkien only briefly wrote about, and it was a delight to see into Aragorn's mind about what happened when he first came to Lorien and when he came back with the Fellowship. Technically speaking, good use of formatting with the italics indicating the past. I especially loved the passion that Aragorn remembered in their kiss and embrace; as a reader, I was convinced that he truly loved her. A great expansion of one of the many small stories in Tolkien's world.

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 3

This is such a lovely story. I love how Adonnen Estenniel intertwines the real, present time - the arrival of the Fellowship to Lorien - with the past and Aragorn's memories. The atmosphere in the story is excellent - melancholic, yet sweet, gentle and full of love. Wonderfully done!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 3

Adonnen Estenniel pens a lovely tribute to the power of Aragorn & Arwen's summer of love in Lorien, looking back at it through Aragorn's memory as he returns to Cerin Amroth with the Fellowship is an excellent way to approach that magical time in their lives.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 3

This is almost like poetry, shifting from the present to the past in languid and lyrical language, as Aragorn once more finds himself on Cerin Amroth. The contrast between then and now is sharp, but in his own mind the now fades and the then predominates. I love these two sections in particular: The past--*["Dirty, travel-stained garments are cast aside. In their place he dons shining robes of silver and white. As he walks sedately through the trees, his tall form looks more akin to that of an Elf-lord than a Ranger. A gem hangs suspended over his brow. It gleams brightly in the dusky air and those who observe him watch as he assumes the majesty of a king."] Followed by the present-- ["A soft wind rippled through the wood, causing Aragorn's hair to ruffle against his cheek. It tickled gently at the stubble that covered his face. He looked down at his hands, marred with dirt and scars. They were clutching tightly at his pack, as if everything he held dear was contained within its ripping seams. But it was not so – for everything that mattered was gone, far away from Lothlórien. There were only memories."] Beautiful.