Author: Liek

Nominator: Darkover

2011 Award Category: Cross-Cultural: General

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: In Thranduil's dungeon a friendship forms between an elf and an odd creature

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 4

This story is simultaneously sad and sweet: very moving. By implication, it warns of the danger of "over-kindliness," but also by implication, one can only try one's best to do the right thing--none of us can see into the future. As Gandalf reminds us, even the Wise cannot see all ends. This story is also thought-provoking. Did the kindness of the guard have a positive effect on the character of the prisoner? Or on the character of the guard himself? Well worth pondering, and the tale itself is a delight to read.

Reviewed by: Malinornë  ✧  Score: 4

It took me some time to understand who the prisoner was, and my first idea was actually a hobbit or dwarf, although that didn't seem to fit. As soon as I understood it, everything made perfect sense, and I ended up enjoying this story very much. I like how it explains something we know happened, although Tolkien didn't provide the details, and also Legolas role and the allusion to future results of the friendship offered.

Reviewed by: Liadan  ✧  Score: 3

An excellent story that give further clues into why Gollum's guards were taken by surprise at his escape, despite their efforts. And just maybe, the guard(s) who allowed his escape were destined to do so, in order to serve a greater good.

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale  ✧  Score: 3

Others pitied Gollum before Frodo did - [Not through lack of watchfulness, but perhaps through over-kindliness] did he escape Mirkwood. This story depicts the highly plausible sympathy of one young guard, as we see the allowances set in place that will later allow Gollum his chance. I know I should not have been (the story is clearly marked both on the MEFA site and at FFN), but I was genuinely surprised by the revelation at the end.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 2

What an emotional tale! I quite feel the guard's feelings of sympathy for the creature, even though I know I should not. Quite the moral dilemma, stage beautifully.