Fairy Tales of Middle-Earth

Author: DrummerWench

Nominator: Gandalfs apprentice

2006 Award Category: Genres: Drama - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Other Fiction  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Fairy tales of various races. Each chapter is one complete tale. How a Bear and a Human made history. An Elf crafts marvelous things from the spiderwebs of Mirkwood. A Rohirric knight-errant in the Golden Wood. Friendship, Orcs, and Elf-magic in the Misty Mountains. A Wild Wose confronts the dangers of Druadan Forest. A Hobbit braves difficulties and heartache to rescue her friend.

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Reviewed by: Gandalfs apprentice  ✧  Score: 10

The only problem I have with these enchanting tales is deciding which one I like best. Perhaps it's the Lady in the Golden Wood, which shows the sinister side of Lorien--perilous in its beauty, very much "Faerie." But on the other hand, the heart warming happy ending of the Wooden Boy is delightful. And how could I leave out the Swan? Each tale captures the reality of the race(s) in it, from the Druadan to the Elves of Mirkwood and the Men of Dol Amroth, incorporating Tolkien mythology in a truly original way. It's not often you can say that in fanfic. The tone is reminiscent of many folktales, giving a simultaneous familiar and exotic feel to the tales. Sometimes the author answers a long-standing question in canon (what happened to Nimrodel?), sometimes she makes up new adventures for our favorite characters (Goldberry), sometimes she creates new characters who fit seamlessly into Middle-earth. The author keeps to a remarkably simple, clear language, and conveys such a wide variety of mood and feeling, from deeply sad (as in the King's son who mourned forever the loss of both his family and the Wood) to joyful, to scary (the Dwarf in Moria). The prologue, setting the context of a book created by Sam to read to his children, works perfectly.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 6

These are delightful vignettes that captures the reader and pulls him or her into a displaced Middle-earth: the background stories that must surely have floated about in the oral histories of the fictional inhabitants now have their own life. DrummerWench covers Men of Rohan, of Gondor, the Drúedain, hobbits, elves of Rivendell and Mirkwood. Sometimes the fairy tale empties out into an unwritten history: Thranduil's marriage, the waking of the Balrog in Khazad-dûm, the tale of Beorn's family and unusual shape-shifting abilities. Other times, although we recognize characters, the story remains speculative: Goldberry might have acted thus and so and so played a part in a tale like "Lady in the Water." As in Tolkien's corpus, so within it: legends and history meet and blur. Nicely done, highly enjoyable!

Reviewed by: Perelleth  ✧  Score: 6

We know that Tolkien drank on existent sources of north european fairy tales and folk lore and mythology in his attempt at creating a mythology for England, so it is no surprise that well known fairy tales ( which do exist as well in more distant cultures) fit so perfectly in Middle-earth settings. The idea is wondrous, and the result is perfect. The tone is absolutely fairy tale-esque. The language and the characters are perfectly chosen. I love them all, from the loving Druedain couple in cloak ties, to the origin of the Beornids or the Wooden boy. I also loved particularly The Golden Wood, and of course Spiderweb. It seems to me that you have managed to undercover the actual substance of Tolkien's work, in a way that makes it even closer to me. Very good job.

Reviewed by: Súlriel  ✧  Score: 3

I haven't read this before, but saw them on the list here and was intrigued. What a fun idea and you handle it in a wonderful way. The tales themselves are good, but I especially like how you weave the traditional tone and style of the fairy tales into something so totally middle-earthian.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

Oh, such a wonderful collection of stories from across the free lands of Middle Earth, so fit to entertain small Hobbits, young children of Men, curious Elflings, and even bright-eyed Dwarves and Beornings. Each story is complete in itself, is reminiscent of our traditional fairy tales, and is delightful. Everyone needs to enjoy this one, I think!

Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 3

Inventive, charming idea. The blend of traditional fairy-tale conventions and Middle-earth history works well, especially in conjunction with Elves (with reminiscences of Fairies and their magic and mischief). ["The Swans"] and ["The Wooden Boy"] are my favourites.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 3

What would stories would the youngsters of Middle-earth have as fairy tales? This is a well-written batch of such tales; covering several of the diverse species/cultures of Middle-earth. I particularly enjoyed The Swans and The Wooden Boy, but all are rewarding to read, with neat twists and occasionally characters that we have already met.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 3

These are all fantastic. They really seem to create a culture in Middle-earth bybuilding canonical hints into full-grown folk stories. It's a really interesting way of gap-filling.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 3

These are excellent stories, each one capturing the real feel of a genuine fairy-tale. It's not hard to place the real-world stories inspiring them, but the author puts a distinctly Middle-earth twist to each little tale. My favorite one so far is ["The Wooden Boy"].