En Route

Author: Aeärwen

Nominator: Lissa

2009 Award Category: Races: Elves: Elrond and Family - Third Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Elrond and Galadriel have a discussion while traveling to the Undying Lands.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Jael  ✧  Score: 10

This lovely story covers a time and place passed over in the book, between the time Sam announces to Rosie that he is 'back' and the time the grey rain-curtain parts for Frodo, revealing a far green country. Of course, no happy ending is reached without a little travail. Aearwen's story takes us to the decks of the white ship as it bears the Ring-bearers along the Straight Road, and we are privy to a conversation between two of them. Deftly, the author shows us the toll that such a burden takes, even on immortals. I have always found the character of Elrond to be a very complex and interesting one. His life has been a series of losses and partings -- father and mother; care-givers in his abductors, of whom he later grew fond; the brother who chose mortality; his kinsman, mentor and friend, Gil-galad; and his own wife. And at the end of his long guardianship he has to endure the separation from his children -- at least one of them forever. Aearwen shows us his deep weariness as he sails toward Elvenhome at last. In her handling of Galadriel, Aearwen does not disappoint either. Even as she retains her indomitable pride and strength, Galadriel is, for lack of a better term, appealingly human. In her grief and uncertainty over her parting from her husband -- a step of which she only now appreciates the magnitude -- she still can muster the wisdom to offer words of hope to her son-in-law. After a moment of suspense, the story ends on a hopeful note. We, the readers, are left hoping as well that these two will find the healing they need. I definitely recommend this story.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 10

I should probably begin by saying that Galadriel is not my favorite elf. I am very fond of Elrond, but Galadriel and I never quite saw eye-to-eye. So it takes either a very talented author or a very good story to get me to understand and appreciate Galadriel. I'm delighted to say that both happened here. I love the way the scene is set with rather vague, bland surroundings. There's a vividness to the way it's all described, but that vivid imagery comes through descriptions of the those on the ship rather than descriptions of the area through which the ship travels. It sets the tone for a very character-driven piece, and that tone matches perfectly with the conversation Galadriel and Elrond have. Both cover a lot of ground during the course of this conversation, and both have strong arguments and perceptive insights. But it's Galadriel's introspection that really caught my interest. The way she explains her actions fit so snugly into canon, and I loved seeing such insights from her perspective. Many of her actions took on new meaning for me, and I appreciated the credit she gave to Celeborn as her strength. That's something Elrond can surely relate to. And so these two wise elves do a lot of settling before they come to the end of their journey and the end of the story. Brilliantly drawn!

Reviewed by: Ignoble Bard  ✧  Score: 6

This is a both a good character study and a good gapfiller of the voyage of Elrond and Galadriel to Elvenhome at the end of the Ring War. The length of the sailing gives both Elves the opportunity to reflect on their time in Middle-earth, to mull over their triumphs and regrets. Both have their wounds that they hope to heal and both must face their actions and choices in the use of their rings of power. While looking out over the never changing view of the silver sea they discuss and offer comfort and solace to each other regarding those choices. Galadriel mourns the separation from her husband even as Elrond, who has mourned so many losses in his long life, looks forward to the reunion with his beloved Celebrian, lost to him so many years ago. It is a study in contrasts that offers the reader a glimpse into the minds and hearts of these two beloved characters. I'm glad I checked this one out.

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 6

This is a very thoughtful story about the voyage to the Undying Lands. It centers on a conversation between Elrond and Galadriel, and on what they left behind in Middle-earth, and what they hope for in Valinor. It is touching to read about Galadriel's doubts and her despair in contrast to Elrond's need for healing. They both leave loved ones behind. But while Galadriel can be sure that Celeborn will follow, Elrond leaves Arwen forever and does not know what his sons will decide. Galadriel becomes more understandable as a character during this conversation. She is no longer the remote elven queen. Elrond seems to see no end of his suffering, and I just hope his reunion with Celebrian will make up for all the other losses he had to endure.

Reviewed by: Lissa  ✧  Score: 5

This is a lovely written, and very insightful, portrait of the enigmatic Galadriel, who - in your interpretation - suddenly seems not so very strange after all. And Aearwen, to make Galadriel make sense is quite an accomplishment! Also, the description of the duty bound Elrond with his deep hurts touches me every time I read this story (oh yes, I have read it several times!). The Peredhel has given so much, has been a pinion in the most important events of the Third Age - and what was his reward? It hardly bears thinking about. All in all a thought-provoking story - one that stays with the reader.

Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel  ✧  Score: 5

An emotion-heavy conversation between Galadriel and Elrond as they sail from Middle earth to the Undying lands. Elrond's exhaustion and need for spiritual healing comes across as an almost palpable thing. I really liked Galadriel's seeming need to impose punishment for herself for a rebellion that is now millennia old. Another nice detail, in my opinion, was the sense that although both of these people hope for healing, neither one seems quite certain of exactly what their reception will be. Both of these characters really felt real to me.

Reviewed by: White Wolf  ✧  Score: 5

What a beautifully written story. I found myself being caught up in the conversation between Elrond and Galadriel. You deftly exposed their inner feelings in a way that both enriched the characters and gave us a glimpse into their innermost feelings of love, loss and hope. It is natural to assume that they both carried heavy burdens and suffered far more than we might have suspected. I loved your imagery of the journey itself, as well as the prospect of a healing in Valinor. I love to think of the reunion of Elrond with Celebrian and Galadriel with Celeborn. It was good to see that Bilbo and Frodo had a bright future in the Blessed Realm, as well.

Reviewed by: curiouswombat  ✧  Score: 4

Aeärwen is, I must admit, a favourite author of mine, and this short piece of hers does not disappoint. It is a glimpse at the emotions of Elrond and Galadriel as they are in that place between places, that time between time, that is the journey from Ennor to Valinor. The insight into Galadriel's thoughts is particularly moving, I find; as is Elrond's understanding of how Celeborn must surely feel, standing behind at The Havens. An excellent piece of writing.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 3

Interesting conversation between the two Elven Ring-bearers, Elrond and Galadriel, during their voyage to Valinor. I liked the contrast between their attitudes; Elrond is more forgiving and hopeful despite his sorrow at being sundered from his children; and Galadriel is diamond-hard in her self-condemnation. I would like to see a sequel to the tale.

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 3

This is such a beautiful story! I really like the descriptions of the ship, mist, sounds and everything, especially of the elves travelling and their condition. The conversation between Elrond and Galadriel is very interesting; the way they comfort each other is touching. And the last paragraph is simply perfect. Great story!

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

As the grey ship upon which they sail traverses the Straight Path, Elrond and Galadriel contemplate all they have left behind, and what the end of their voyage will bring them. The thoughtful tone is well suited to the tale being told. Mood is well caught amd communicated. Definitely a tale I recommend.

Reviewed by: lainien  ✧  Score: 3

I like this story. I like seeing Galadriel portrayed in a way that is honest--she did start out seeking power and many authors gloss over that entirely. She changed, true enough. But like seeing a story that acknowledges all aspects of her.