Butterbur and the King
2005 Award Category: Books/Time: Post-Ring War: Vignette - First Place
Story Type: Vignette ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: G ✧ Reason for Rating: n/a
Summary: Barliman Butterbur welcomes some rather special guests to the Prancing Pony.
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: 6
Two things really stood out to me in this story, though there are a host of amazing things I could comment on. But first and foremost, the narrative: Butterbur's voice was perfect. It had that rambling, bumpkin feel to it, but when it came to his inn and manning his staff, he was all business. It's an odd sort of combination, and it was pulled off very effectively here. Brilliant mirror to canon. The second thing I loved about this story was the humor. It's a wry humor for the most part that seems to lurk in the background and then pop up for a moment before fading away again. The question of Arnor's location and Butterbur's return to this question in the end were good examples, and it added a quirky, simple feel to the whole thing. Very skillfully crafted.
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 5
Another lovely story about Aragorn's return to Bree as King of the newly resurrected Arnor. Eledhwen caught Butterbur's voice well, I thoughta bit rambly, but fundamentally cheerful, and not without a certain eye for the irony of having, on past occasions, put Strider the Ranger up in the stables rather than an actual room. That Butterbur doesn't even know where Arnor is just makes the story betterwhy should he? And I found the unnamed Ranger who ended up as Aragorn's and Arwen's dinner companion a most delightful 'prop'. An enjoyable sketch.
Reviewed by: Leaward ✧ Score: 5
This is a wonderful story told from a character we rarely hear from -- Barliman Butterbur. Eledhwen has captured Butterbur's speech patterns wonderful, as well as offering his unique perspective of seeing the people of Bree welcoming their new King. Little details like Butterbur wondering where Arnor was and that they drank three barrels dry allowed the reader to crawl inside the innkeeper's head and remember that while the war went on south, life went on as usual for our beloved Bree Barkeep.
Reviewed by: ErinRua ✧ Score: 5
Now this is just plain charming. I can't think of a better word, so charming it will remain. Butterbur's voice is captured to perfection from the very first word, and it is through his plain, unassuming countryman's eyes that we see the whole amazing cavalcade of the King coming to Bree. LOL, and his befuddlement at recognising Strider, of all people, and then being fuddled all over again by the merest glance of Arwen's lovely eyes - and she drinks ale, no less! - is simply adorable. A fun, warming, marvelous little tale - and yes, Barli, somewhere there is a land called Arnor. LOL!
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 4
Eledhwen does a very good job in this piece of capturing Butterbur's indomitable (if somewhat slow) spirit. His embarrassment over how he treated Aragorn when he was Strider was particularly well-handled, and I really liked the fact that Arwen could roll up her sleeves and drink ale. Eledhwen also did a good jobof incorporating hints from canon, such as the pronouncement that big folk couldn't travel to the Shire and Gandalf's laying words on Butterbur's ale.
Reviewed by: obsidianj ✧ Score: 3
This was cute and so Barliman Butterbur. Poor Barliman, his embarrassment as he recognized Strider. But practical man he is, he enjoyed the opportunity to make good business. I could see him trying to work out where Arnor is and constantly forgetting about it.
Reviewed by: nerwen_calaelen ✧ Score: 2
You capture the character and tone of voice of Butterbur wonderfully. I love the way you hae characterised him in this, you stick to canon and yet weave in enough extra to make it an intersting scene.
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 1
I love Barliman's "voice" in this story, and the way he is utterly taken by Arwen, and his amazement at it all. Very nice!