Author: Dawn Felagund

Nominator: Oshun

2008 Award Category: Races: Elves: House of Finwe

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: How Maglor devised the Noldolantë.

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Reviewed by: Oshun  ✧  Score: 10

I am always reading reviews where people say, “I cried when I read your story.” And I’ll think, “They cry a lot more easily than I do.” Or sometimes, “What is the matter with me? Do I have a heart of stone.” I have read stories of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad and not cried. I have read about or looked at pictures of Fingon’s death (as you know my very favorite character—for his big heart and reckless courage). So wrong and so unfair I have thought that someone like that couldn’t have a happy ending, and yet I haven’t cried. Fëanor’s terrible fate in light of all his incredible promise and indescribable achievements, his capacity for such love despite his catastrophic pride, hurt me deeply but I didn’t cry. I think the second time that I read the passage relating to the burning of ships at Losgar and Maedhros’s words and his turning away from his father and brothers, I closed the book and put it aside for that day, I could read no further until I had recovered, but I did not cry. The Noldor, for all their mistakes and the wrongs they wrought, will never be anything less for me than the biggest, larger-than-life and yet always believable to me, without comparison or any close seconds (and whether the author intended them to be or not), the greatest heroes of Tolkien’s works. To watch victories turn into defeats and their numbers decimated page-by-page when reading The Silmarillion, never fails to move me deeply, but I have never actually let it all go and had a great cry. It’s a standing joke between my daughter and that, when we see films together, she will weep buckets not only at the tragic outcomes of great love affairs and the deaths of much loved heroes, but at sappy, clichéd close-ups of a child’s face or even the wide trusting eyes of a dog. Meanwhile, I sit there dry-eyed and rational, squeezing her hand and patting her on the shoulder. Point is all that rambling is I am not an easy crier. Well, you got me with this story about the Noldolantë. I cried when I read the first 700+ words: a simple scene of childhood, so familiar and right to me. Yet, within it, you managed to describe Maglor’s intense sensitivity to sound and his capacity for strong emotion, and give the reader a palpable sense of his incomparable genius. In segment, when Maedhros holds his little brother and comforts him, you completely touched upon the nobility and tragedy of Maedhros and foreshadowed for me the inevitability of his final outcome. Like Maglor doubtless intended with the Noldolantë, you summed it all up and brought it together: the honor that the Noldor, particularly Feanor and his sons, deserved, the dishonor they brought upon themselves, their tremendous beauty and its destruction, their heroism, and the injustice of the price they paid for their mistakes. You unleashed what I had held back for years when reading the grand, sad and beautiful stories of the Noldor and I cried.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 7

"Noldolante," despite its dreary name, is a rather charming set of stories about Maglor's relationships with his brothers and father, and how those relationships relate to his art as a musician. Although they are for the most part carefree, each has an element of pain or tension to it. Which of course most stories do; but it is very interesting to look at just what is causing that tension. In the beginning they are fairly simple, though no doubt traumatic to young Maglor ;-) - a scraped knee, jealousy oer a new younger brother. Yet as the story escalates the tensions in each scene grow more and more serious, and for Maglor it becomes harder to find "the music." As an artist (both writer and musician) I can relate to this, and Dawn captures this theme very well without ever explicitly saying what she's doing. When the tension of the last part hits, it swept this reader off her feet; I had no trouble imagining that Maglor would be mute for so many years.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 7

What went into the crafting of Maglor's Noldolante, his magnum opus? All of the love of family that can come from a life where seven sons share the love of their father and mother, where the loss of the father of their father has led to the greatest tragedy and atrocity in all of Aman.... For all it is composed of vignettes and does not truly look at Maglor crafting the words and music himself, yet this is indeed a powerful examination of what led to the Noldolante and how it came to be. Love and sibling rivalry and mutual envy and love again; finding and losing; grief and joy; and the loss of the coherence of all of these, the pain of fury and exile and pride brought low--all of these manage yet to be reflected. A beautiful series, full of intimate details and the constant surprise Macalaure knows at being separated from the rest of his family as well as that equally surprising joy of the constant reassurance he is nevertheless at the heart of it.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 4

A very unusual and innovative take on the composion of Maglor's famous opus. It does make sense, given the way that a musician's own life and experiences can ibe woven into his work, that the Noldolante was composed of various smaller themes, broadened and linked by Feanor's second son. The device of separate chapters, each focussing on a different member of Maglor's family, to show where each motif originated, works quite well.