Tangible Memories

Author: Nieriel Raina

Nominator: Maethril

2011 Award Category: Character Study: General

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Legolas must make the difficult decision of what to take with him when he sails into the West.

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Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 7

A lovely story that on the surface deals with Legolas sorting through over a hundred years of clutter as he prepares to take ship for the West. There is a deeper theme; that of adjusting to change and mortality; which Elves, historically, have never really been very good at doing. Gimli himself is the most difficult of all that Legolas cherishes; he cannot leave him behind but the dwarf's aging is forcing the elf to confront a huge change. Legolas can leave the world of inconvenient and messy mortals; but he cannot leave the pain of the bonds he forged behind, since Gimli, who is growing old, will travel with him, therefore bringing the pain and love and mortal/immortal bond to Valinor with Legolas. We may wish to travel to new places, and into new phases of our lives, with little to no baggage from earlier times; but life doesn't work that way, for mortals or elves. A thoughtful and thought-provoking story.

Reviewed by: cairistiona  ✧  Score: 4

I cannot imagine how hard it would be for Elves who've befriended mortals to see them die, but this story gives me a good glimpse into how at least one Elf coped. You always write Legolas and Gimli so well, with the perfect amount of humor and seriousness and this ficlet is no exception. Legolas' heartache makes my own heart hurt, and as I read him struggling to decide which [tangible memory] to leave behind, my throat got tighter and tighter. Hooray for Gimli coming in with his wise counsel! This was a very lovely, poignant story.

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 3

I can understand Legolas so well. It is always difficult to leave precious treasures behind, but Gimli is very wise. Once you enter your new life, a lot of the treasures are not needed anymore. I like the characterization of these two. Legolas is the same, but Gimli aged appropriately.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 3

Tangible Memories is an emotional scene, and rightly so. Legolas's feelings of connection to Middle-earth are greater because of his mortal friends. I liked the interaction between the Elf and Gimli as well; it's so rare to see stories that feature the two of them in later years.

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 3

Beautiful, poignant, touching story. Small things and memories have much more value than even the most expensive jewelry, and this is what Legolas realizes as he sails to Valinor. I love Gimli's wise advice.

Reviewed by: Liadan  ✧  Score: 3

Legolas tries to determine the very fine line between what he perceives as hoarding and keeping treasured memories when he gets ready to sail. Luckily for him, Gimli is there to explain the difference.

Reviewed by: Sandra S  ✧  Score: 2

Ah, Gimli, as always a foundation of wisdom. Legolas needs to listen to him more often indeed. A sad story with a smile, it was a pleasure reading this.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 2

I think many readers will be able to identify with Legolas here as he tries to decide what to keep and what to leave behind. I loved Gimli's supportive and sensible advice.