The Scribe and the Heir

Author: Dawn Felagund

Nominator: Oshun

2008 Award Category: Genres: Drama: Featuring the Noldor - Second Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: n/a

Summary: Young Maedhros has recently been appointed as a King's scribe, and young Fingon is just coming of age. As each chooses his road in life, Maedhros is forced to consider his role as his father's heir and how his decisions might worsen the disintegrating relationship between Fëanor and Fingolfin.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Oshun  ✧  Score: 10

Oh, Dawn, this is just such a thoughtful, lovely, and utterly compelling--and incredibly frustrating and maddening--rendition of the two of them (well, the four of them actually)—the relationship between Fingolfin/Nolofinwë and Fëanaro AND Maitimo and Findekáno as well. Love seeing Fingon shown as the rebellious son drawn to the Fëanárians. Well, he just had to have been to have nurtured the well-documented, life-long canon friendship between himself and Fëanor’s eldest son. I absolutely cracked up when I read the line of dialogue referring to the entire House of Feanor as being ["locked away with all those other nutters"]. I can so perfectly hear Nolofinwë saying just exactly that kind of thing (and with some degree of provocation I will admit, as much as I love the Fëanárians). The really big bonus in the entire story is your characterization of Finarfin/Arafinwë. He is wonderfully developed and absolutely adorable--so charming and feckless on the surface, but with such almost, but not quite, hidden depths of strength and character. (That is canon to me.) We hear so little of him, until he turns back to Valinor to take upon himself the responsibility that his elder brothers have abandoned. I love him as you portray him and I’ve probably told you at least a dozen times, that I did not really care for him until I had seen your interpretation. I did notice that that although this story is written from your long and careful consideration of all the children and grandchildren of Finwe that makes up your canon, but it fits so very neatly into my personal canon for that family as well...not surprising, I suppose, since I have stolen so much from your take on them.

Reviewed by: whitewave  ✧  Score: 9

This story gives a very good view of the House of Finwe before the Oath and does an excellent job of setting up the stage for that event. It also provides interesting insight into two of the leading and influential characters in that house--Feanor and Fingolfin. It makes me wonder how different events could have turned out if their relationship with each other had not been so negative--it offers a lot of promise that Melkor would not have had the chance to prevail (but then, the events of the book would have been greatly altered). I've always been of the opinion that the root cause of their feud is something that either of them would have had control anyway, except on how they choose to act towards its effects. Their barely disguised hate towards each other eventually finds its way to their children, especially their eldest son--Maitimo and Findekano, and this makes it so real and close-to-home, at least for me: how selfish one could be when one is hurt that one often disregards how much we hurt those around us. And I'm going down from my soap box now and finish the review. The fact that Maitimo and Findekano were able to still maintain a close friendship speaks volumes.

Reviewed by: Rhapsody  ✧  Score: 7

This story is such a rich vignette, for parents it is hard to let go of their children even when they have come of age. Fingolfin has a hard time understanding his sons nature and as to why he rather wants to spent time elsewhere but home, whereas Fëanor fears loosing his son all the same to those in Tirion. You can just see how both struggle with the thought of failure to their elder sons where as their heirs simply do as they must. Finarfin is the diplomatic mediator here as he holds up a mask of frivolity, yet he knows and tries to soothe the deeper hurts that creates such a rift in the House of Finwë. Dawn’s portrayal of such a matter also gives us as a reader a reason how Melkor could have used this to create a feud between these Elven lords and it leaves me with the impression that Finarfin might have been aware of where such risks these small quarrels might lead to. Very thought provoking Dawn, you just shed some light on the conflict between Finwë's eldest I have not thought of before!

Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 6

An interesting set-up: We see the main subject matter only indirectly: once through Maedhros overhearing the conversation between his two half-uncles, once through his recollection of his encounter with his father and another overheard coversation between his parents. This could have "dampened" the emotions by being "filtered", but in this case, Maedhros' own emotions - frustration, defiance, pity, exasperation - only add to the intensity, and emphasise the cost of this quarrel. The contrast between the two "sides" - Fëanor vs. Fingolfin, Formenos vs. Tirion - are played out very well with telling details. Also the irony, that as much as there are big differences, there is so much that is alike. And the painful realisation that these similarities will not lead to finding common ground, that everything that happens will seen only through the respective personal lenses.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 5

I'm not familiar with the longer stories into which this vignette will fit or perhaps does already fit, but it's a lovely depiction of the cost to children when they become the fulcrum of their parents' quarrels. Granted, Maedhros is not a child, but the weight of being a father's beloved son, the one who bears the burden of being an extension of his father's sense of self, is palpable. The unconscious, undesired kinship of Feanor and Fingolfin in their jealousy, in the way in which they reduce their sons' desires for friendship to a reflection on themselves and their half-feared failings and anger, is telling and well-portrayed. Nicely done, Dawn!

Reviewed by: crowdaughter  ✧  Score: 4

Good description of the way the conflict between those two parts of family builds an d haunts the two sons who do not fit in the pattern. Dawn takes the few words about the growing estrangements between Feanor and his brothers, and their respective families, and shows the process here in one simple side, as well as the conflicting feelings of those who get caught in it. Very well done!

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 4

Ah, in this I felt as if I were standing by Maitimos's shoulder as he overheard the discussion between his uncles. To realize that there is far more similarity between the two older sons of Finwe than he'd dreamed must indeed have been a shock! No wonder he is frustrated with the rivalry he's seen between the two of them! Excellent feelings for the place and mood, and I certainly empathise with Maedhros! Yes, let's retreat to the scriptorium!