Heirs of Isildur

Author: Dwimordene

Nominator: Marta

2005 Award Category: Races/Places: Men: Eriador - Second Place

Story Type: Vignette  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: PG  ✧  Reason for Rating: adult themes

Summary: A humorous story about the marriage market pressures that Aragorn would experience as the uncrowned (and very much in the way of danger) king of Arnor and Gondor. There is humour here, but there's also some serious talk about the place of romance in Dúnedain relationships.

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Reviewed by: Rhapsody  ✧  Score: 10

Light-hearted and yet not: the Heirs of Isildur portrays both drama and humour, besides that, Dwimordene gives the reader insight about the friendship between Aragorn and Halbarad. What a burden for Aragorn to have, loving Arwen there already, Halbarad tries to sell the Dunedain women to him in a very humorous manner (I mean. How on earth can he remember all those names!). How often did I not think: tell him Aragorn, tell him how much you love Arwen. But I do understand why Aragorn doesn’t tell Halbarad, it makes me wonder if an elven bride would be so easily accepted. What I like about this story is how Dwimordene pictures the Dunedan society with all it’s advantages and disadvantages. But the pressure on providing an heir combined with the Dunedan ranger life style, the ‘marriage-market’ specifically… The manner how Halbarad keeps on insisting he’s been careful is just brilliantly written. Also, what you can feel in this story is how different Aragorn feels by being raised differently and has lived so long amongst elves. His view on love and being bonded to a woman (this especially compared to his parents and Elrond) is very touching. Dwimordene pictures very successfully him as an outsider where Halbarad explains how it works in the angle. This all in a very active style and good characterisation in a well-balanced vignette. Very clever and subtle written, Dwimordene gives us a lovely vignette. I enjoyed it a lot!

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 8

The balance between humor and drama is sometimes hard to find, but I think Dwimordene nails it in this story. It starts hilariously, and I had trouble holding back my laughter. But then it becomes a bit more serious, and the frank discussion between Halbarad and Aragorn on the need to produce heirs and the differences between the way Elves see love and the way Men see it was fascinating. It ultimately resolved again into a much lighter tone, though perhaps not as light as it had begun. It's a loaded story, for as teasing as it might be in the beginning, and I love sifting the layers. But most of all, I think I love the characterization of Aragorn and Halbarad. The dialogue between them is fast, as one would expect between two friends, and they respond to changes in mood or tone very quickly. And it's a very good depiction of a relatively young Aragorn and Halbarad. You can see the roots of their later personalities, but there's still an innocence about them that is both refreshing and bittersweet. Great story.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 6

This piece is hilarious, very enjoyable -- at least at the beginning and at the end. But that light-hearted humour bookmarks a very serious discussion of the troubles Aragorn would have faced as the (how did Dwim put it? something like) "the uncrowned and very much in the way of danger chieftain). And that discussion was well carried out, very insightful both to the situation and to Halbarad's and Aragorn's character. I wonder, though... Halbarad says that he too loves someone other than Thiriel. Having read Dwim's other pieces (specifically "Not In Our Stars"), is Halbarad speaking of Aragorn himself here? If so, it's wonderfully angsty and daring for Halbarad to say it to his beloved's face. I'm not sure I could have pulled it off without giving myself away.

Reviewed by: annmarwalk  ✧  Score: 5

I had never thought to consider the pressures placed on Aragorn, as chieftain of the Dunedain and Heir of Isildur, to marry (or not) and continue the line. Dwimodene’s tale presents this conundrum in a humorous manner, focusing subltley on the affection between Aragorn and his kinsman Halbarad as they discuss this thorny issue. Aragorn is perhaps not quite as forthright as his cousin, but the slight evasiveness of his comments are quite in character for a man who is used to keeping his own counsel. A very well done interpretation of somewhat neglected aspect of Aragorn’s life.

Reviewed by: Bodkin  ✧  Score: 4

It is surprising that Aragorn was allowed to go so long without marrying to produce that next generation heir. Despite Elrond's prophesying. I daresay that is what kept the future king wading through the wilderness with such dedication. Nothing to do with Sauron and the war against the encroaching Shadow. All about avoiding matchmaking mamas and their darling daughters. Very entertaining.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 4

An interesting look at the pressures exerted upon the young Aragorn - not as the Chieftain of the Dunedain or the true King of the West but as the most eligible bachelor in Arnor. I like the deft exposition of how Aragorn's having been raised by Elves affected his view of love and marriage. We don't see enough stories of Aragorn as a young man, hanging out with the Dunedain, specifically Halbarad; and this one is a charming slice of the life of our favorite many-named Ranger-King.

Reviewed by: nerwen_calaelen  ✧  Score: 3

An interesting take on life amoung the rangers. Your views on the subjects discussed are interesting and clever. The tale seems to be well thought out and raises interesting points, although it does leave many of them unanswered, it it intreaging to read.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 2

Poor Aragorn, most eligible bachelor among the Dunadain. I can imagine the hearts breaking all over the North, when he plights his troth to Arwen.