Midsummer in the Year of the Fall of Sauron
Nominator: Lady Roisin
2009 Award Category: Genres: Romance: Gondor or Rohan - Third Place
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: Mature ✧ Reason for Rating: Rated for description of Aragorn and Arwen's wedding night. There is nothing explicit--"fade to black" is used in lieu of explicit description--but there is mention of nudity and the story deals with mature themes of a couple on their wedding night.
Summary: A short story of the love between King Elessar and his Queen, of how unconditional love can sweep away the deepest doubt.
Reviewed by: Dreamdeer ✧ Score: 10
What a priceless piece of humor this is! And it all seems quite real, too, as our eighty-eight year old virgin prepares to finally meet his match! Oh, have no fears--Cairistiona handles everything with complete taste and discretion, nor does anything besmirch Aragorn's manliness. Yet her attention to detail in the hours between public ritual and private consummation will keep you quite comfortably entertained. She makes Aragorn's behavior utterly believable. Nor does she slight on the sensuality of the moment, without crossing over into coarseness. I think Tolkien would have gotten a chuckle out of it for sure, and appreciated every word. Yet a note of melancholy underlies evreything. Like the shadows deep in an intricate piece of goldwork, it makes the high points glint all the brighter. This balance that Cairistiona achieves is one of her signatures as a writer: every humorous piece has its melancholy undercurrent, and every grim piece contains sparkles of humor and warmth. Because of the poignancy, even the tension, of this combination, this story ends with a triumph more exalted than victory upon a battlefield. Little details add up to more than the sum of the parts, such as Bilbo's wedding-gift or the matter of the petals (if I may say so without giving too much away.) The author knows how important such individualized touches, barely brushed in passing, lend verisimilitude to the work as a whole.
Reviewed by: Lady Roisin ✧ Score: 6
While we do not often get to write romance from Cairistiona, this story is a true treat to read. Not only is this story one I would highly reccomend for all fans of Aragorn and Arwen, but I would advise all to read this beautifully woven tale of love and forgieness. This is a story of new beginnings and accepting oneself as well as their love for another. Arwen's words of wisdom to Aragorn ring true and are heartrendering. Aragorn shares the anxieties of many newlyweds. The majority of us are not gifted with perfect bodies and all of us bear our own scars. Arwen's unconditional love speaks to the heart of what keeps a marriage alive and healthy. I was pleased to see that this story also contains some moments of humor that made me laugh aloud. I enjoyed this story very muh and it will always remain dear to me.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 6
Who knew that the new King of Gondor, hero of battles, slayer of enemies, healer of the ill and injured, friend of Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits, Wizards, and Men of many realms, could find himself so nervous? Nervous to the point of indecision and simple twitching? And his worries as to reactions to his scars prove meaningless as they are interpreted aright by the one whose judgment he honors most at the moment. And there is no question that he is in the right place, the proper relationship, blessed, his long sacrifices accepted and blessed and now fulfilled! A lovely, gentle tale in which we see the emotional effects of this marriage. Having written something similar for Sam at his wedding to Rosie, I love this! A wonderful tale, Cairistiona!
Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland ✧ Score: 5
I loved this story as it felt very real to me.I have read stories in which Aragorn and Arwen could hardly wait for the wedding feast to be over to consummate their marriage, but this scenario of the rather nervous bridegroom awaiting his bride strikes me as far more plausible. I also liked the way that Aragorn wonders if his battle scarred body is good enough for a flawless Elf maiden.. I also liked the fact this story was tastefully written. Aragorn and Arwen's love for one another is deep and true and goes way beyond desire.Their long wait,during which I believed they remained chaste and faithful is a wonderful example of constancy and true love. A must read story for all lovers of romance or Aragorn and Arwen or both.
Reviewed by: Imhiriel ✧ Score: 5
This might be an odd term to describe the first half of the story, but in addition to finding it moving, I found it cute. Aragorn's nervousness and self-consciousness are a very private side to an otherwise so confident man (although his uncertainty regarding PTSD seemed not in-character for a warrior and healer of his long experience). I loved the details of the history of the scars and what they say about Aragorn's hard and eventful life. Once Arwen enters the room, I couldn't stop silly smiles and sighs at the romance of it all, how Aragorn almost surrenders into the love and Arwen shows her full acceptance and appreciation of *all* he is.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 5
One of the loveliest wedding night stories I have ever read; tender and sensual and searingly romantic, with a gently comic streak as well. Aragorn's nervousness as he is about to consummate his marriage with the lady he has hungered for all these years is believable and amusing. His varied thoughts also show the awkwardness of his first weeks as King, not in his right to it, but to the physical details, the adjustment from war-leader to master of a rich southern kingdom as well as his northern homeland. I loved the bit about his getting lost in his new home... A lovely reading experience!
Reviewed by: Inzilbeth ✧ Score: 5
This story confirms without any doubt that Cairistiona is as at home and comfortable writing humour as she is writing angst. This is a delightful version of Aragorn and Arwen's wedding night with the bridegroom suitably nervous but never excessively so. This is the mighty King of the Reunighted realms after all, but you do have to smile at his mounting anxiety as the moment his bride is due to arrive draws near. Finally though, Aragorn's love for Arwen overcomes all doubts and some lovely moments ensue. This is another delightful story from a very talented writer.
Reviewed by: Virtuella ✧ Score: 4
What a beautiful story this is! Aragon's doubts and fears are very understandable, though of course, scars can be dead sexy. ;-) I liked the way his nervous waiting was portrayed, the little details like his rejection of the slippers and his wondering about the sides of the bed and looking for the perfect rose. The touches of humour were very sweet. Faramir has some nerve, though, to send a maid to their door on their wedding night!
Reviewed by: obsidianj ✧ Score: 4
This is a beautiful story about Aragorn's wedding night. Although the night gets short shrift. Playful Arwen gives Aragorn way too much time to think. I love the description of how he spent the hour he had to wait for Arwen. I could feel his nervousness and self-consciousness. Aragorn feel real in this story and Arwen is just the woman he needs. But we knew that already. I had to laugh at the recalcitrant bathrobe.
Reviewed by: WendWriter ✧ Score: 3
A beautiful, intimate look at what it must have been like for any man on his wedding night, much less a king. Beautiful work, and very sensitively done. The parts about the scars and the self-consciousness - and self-doubt, are marvellously rendered, and a great joy to read. This is how a wedding night scene should be done, IMHO.
Reviewed by: Sevilodorf ✧ Score: 2
Sigh. Very romantic. Maybe a bit too nervous, but the ending was excellent. Arwen's understanding is indeed what he needed.