Author: Ainu Laire

Nominator: meckinock

2006 Award Category: Genres: Drama: Featuring Frodo or Sam - Second Place

Story Type: Other Fiction  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Aragorn told Frodo not to lay aside the mithril coat “even in sleep, unless fortune brings you where you are safe for a while”. After dwelling in Lothlorien for some days, Frodo begins to wonder whether here, at last, is a land safe enough for him to take off the mithril mail. A ficlet for one of shirebound's little shirebunnies.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: meckinock  ✧  Score: 10

The definition of safety is the central question here. Aragorn told Frodo not to take the mithril vest off until he reached a place of safety, and yet after all Frodo has been through, he is no longer sure he knows what "safe" is. Even in Lothlorien, which seems so lovely and tranquil, is there evil lurking somewhere? Is it safe to take off the mithril vest? Disoriented and overwhelmed by his experiences, as well as by the the horrible responsibility that he wears around his neck, Frodo goes in search of Aragorn for counsel. Unfortunately Aragorn, having fallen peacefully asleep in the one place in Middle-earth where he must ordinarily feel safe, is emerging from the throes of an uncharacteristic and nasty nightmare that features hints of drowned Numenor. He rouses himself from it just in time to answer Frodo's question - where is safety? The answer, it seems unhappily, is nowhere, as long as Sauron still rules in Barad-dur. If evil can invade even the dreams of a sleeper in Lorien, and presumably hearts therein, then nowhere will be safe until Sauron is cast down and the fate of Middle-earth that hangs on a chain from Frodo's neck (lovely image) is decided. A short but very powerful and thought-provoking story.

Reviewed by: Rhapsody  ✧  Score: 8

This was a chilling read. First, we follow Frodo's already slippery mind when he wonders where he is truly safe. With grace, the story continues into Aragorn's haunting nightmare, which leads to the sage advise at the end of it. Besides that this is an excellent gap filler, this short story has incredibly intense angst. Frodo’s almost paranoid state of mind while he is worried about who will take the ring from him, but the nightmare of Aragorn that was just scary. And yes, his doubts of failing will follow him still: magnificently done. Just as Aragorn was relieved that the nightmare ended, I felt the same pressing feeling slipping away too. And this is just superb writing. The narrative is incredibly vivid and evocative, with efficient word use the author shows you Lothlorien, and the characters feel spot on. Specifically I love the different perceptions of the Elven realms by both characters. The story flows and the style is very engaging: it simply gains your attention immediately and the end is well timed with a very fitting conclusion. This story is a great read!

Reviewed by: Nienor Niniel  ✧  Score: 8

I am quite glad that I found this story through MEFAwards. It is unusual, but very gripping. The story begins with Frodo pondering a seemingly easy question: is he safe? Can he even be safe with the Ring? Then we are taken to Aragorn, who is experiencing a nightmare. I do not exaggerate when I say that reading the description of it scared me quite a lot. I find it interesting that Aragorn experiences blackness and a flood of water. The similarities to Faramir's (and Tolkien's) returning nightmare probably are intended. It is notable that Lorien has a very different effect on both Frodo and Aragorn, which may in Aragorn's case (as I guess) have to do with the evil of the ring. So it is not surprising that the conclusion of the story is that not even Lorien is a safe place anymore. But still the story ends on a somewhat optimistic note, which we, who know the ending, know to be true. As mentioned before: a somewhat unusual fic that explores an aspect of the story that I have rarely seen in writing and does so in a very gripping way.

Reviewed by: Súlriel  ✧  Score: 4

I like the switching viewpoints between Frodo and Aragorn, their questions and thoughts and how they each see and feel about Lorien. Aragorn's dream was well done, slipping smoothly into the dream world so that at first the reader questions but then comes to realize we are in a nightmare and the shocking awakening. and I like your resolution a lot. it's hard to think of Lorien not being completely safe, but I think you (and Aragorn) were right - in those days, there was no place that could be considered completely safe.

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 3

Yes, for the quest Frodo is probably nowhere safe. After Aragorn's nightmare, which gave me chills - I hope I never have one of that kind - I can understand that he advises Frodo to keep the Mithril shirt on until the quest is over. Even in Lothlorien it seems evil is lurking around the corner.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 3

Frodo has an important question for Aragorn: is Lothlorien safe enough to lay aside his mithril coat. Aragorn's answer is influenced by a very disturbing and evocative dream...a very nice gap-filler.

Reviewed by: Bodkin  ✧  Score: 3

Poor Frodo - it's tempting to say that if he's not safe in Lothlorien, then he's safe nowhere. But then ... he's safe nowhere, really. If Aragorn is haunted by nightmares and thoughts of the Wave even there - well. Then, Aragorn understands that there is a big difference between 'if' and 'when'. Aragorn is a good man - showing his - I hate to say it - quality.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 2

Danger has a way of slipping into many places, and its possible presence disturbs the rest of both Frodo and Aragorn. A gentle tale.