Laurië Lassi – Golden Leaves

Author: Esteliel

Nominator: Spiced Wine

2011 Award Category: First Age and Prior: General

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet Series

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Mature Language/Themes

Summary: Glorfindel's past, from his youth in Aman to his death at Cristhorn and his eventual return to Middle-earth. A life of friendship, love and grief. A collection of drabbles and ficlets written for Back to Middle-earth Month 2011.

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Reviewed by: Spiced Wine  ✧  Score: 10

In these series of drabbles we see a younger Glorfindel than the arrogant golden Elf-lord of Esteliel's later works, but wonderfully, although this is not a novel, Esteliel shows us Glorfindel so richly in glimpses. We see what he was, and that he was always a dominant and proud man, and an intrepid and courageous child. (I loved the story when he climbed onto a stallion; it was so sweet, yet one could see the bravery at that young age.) I really love this, because being so engrossed in Cuil Eden and now Fael Amrun, I have always been curious as to Glorfindel's earlier life, both his first and after his rebirth. He came to be the man who did not balk at raping a youthful Legolas, but although he was always dominant, he truly stepped over the line there, and I want to know why -- what happened to darken him from the warrior who faced the Balrog? Reading about him in these drabbles and ficlets does make me feel that I know him better, not the whole, for he is a complicated character, but I also see how he truly longed for a child, and how that thread encompassed both lives. By the time he met Legolas, he must have long come to accept it would never happen, for he was too honest to marry a woman when he desired men. This collection meshes beautifully with Esteliel's later stories and each one is a vivid and beautiful glimpse.

Reviewed by: Liadan  ✧  Score: 6

The scenes with young Glorfindel are simply wonderful. From the precocious child who rode his father's wildest prize stallion in order to prove he had outgrown his pony, to his unexpected admission to his parents about what *really* happened one night while out partying with his cousins, Glorfindel manages to be one of the most charming and infuriating youths ever. It is a wonder that his parents did not have their hair turn grey, or perhaps lose it or have heart failure -- even though elves do not normally suffer from such things. As Glorfindel matures into full adulthood, he continues to thoroughly explore his sexuality and he discovers what his limitations are. Finally, he makes the decision to leave his family and follow Fingolfin's people. He lives through great triumphs and great tragedies. And in the end, he will face some of his greatest tests.

Reviewed by: Himring  ✧  Score: 5

My favourite piece in this series is the description of Glorfindel's first engagement in battle with Morgoth's troops in Beleriand. It shows so clearly how at this point those who were with Fingolfin were unaccustomed to act as leaders in a military situation, despite the courage and determination they had already shown in crossing the Ice, and that how to handle actual warfare was a difficult lesson they were only just learning. Another one I really like is the one about the strangeness and even shock reborn Glorfindel experiences on first seeing his parents' house in Valinor in the sunshine--before his first departure for Middle-earth of course he had only seen it in the light of the Trees!

Reviewed by: Oshun  ✧  Score: 3

This one is recommended at the First Age backstory for Esteliel's epic novels of the Third Age. I like it very much when Third Age storytellers remember their roots. Tolkien never forgot the foundation upon which his entire world is build. Stands alone as an interesting variation on two well-known canon characters and what their real story might have been.

Reviewed by: goldleaves  ✧  Score: 2

a brilliant collection of ficlets that detail the character development of Glorfindel perfectly. I love it!