Middle-earth Moments - Sacrifice

Author: Linda Hoyland

Nominator: cairistiona

2011 Award Category: Drabble Series: General

Story Type: Drabble  ✧  Length: Drabble Series

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Three characters reach decisions which require great sacrifices during the War of the Ring.(Set of 3 drabbles of 100 words each written for the Back to M-e 2009)

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Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 10

One of Tolkien's most heroic themes in LOTR is that of sacrifice. It is inevitable in a war, that men sacrifice their lives, knowingly or because they have been ordered to; but Tolkien's most poignant sacrifices are made by people who know that they will probably perish doing something that must be done. Faramir's mission to the Outwalls comes to mind; as does the Rohirrim's ride to save the besieged city of Minas Tirith. Here, Linda Hoyland has written three drabbles that speak most eloquently of those who hazarded their lives to bring down the greatest Enemy that the peoples of Middle-earth have known for two Ages of the Sun: Frodo, accepting the Quest of the Ring at Elrond's Council; Halbarad, bearing the standard of the Returned King into battle, and Aragorn, preparing to lead the armies of the West into Mordor to distract Sauron from the Ringbearer's mission. Each drabble conveys pathos of a different sort. Frodo really does not understand how hard his road is going to be, how the Ring will weigh on him, how physically terrible the journey into Mordor is going to be; but he knows that it is a huge and life-threatening journey that perhaps no hobbit but a 'mad Baggins' might undertake. He also knows, from his understanding of the Enemy's agents and the words of the Wise, just how necessary this mission is. Linda shows that Frodo volunteers for the sacrifice of his well-being and very possibly his life out of a sense of duty and necessity and something more, a leap of faith. In contrast, Halbarad takes up the dangerous role of general's standard-bearer in a battle with Dunedain foresight of his own death, but armed with great pride and a sense of duty mingled with his concept of honor. Aragorn's drabble illuminates his own knowledge of the sacrifices that have been made for their cause, and his own great weariness; making his own determination to sacrifice his own safety to give two hobbits a chance to travel through Mordor and throw the Ring of Power into the fires that spawned it. Aragorn's drabble ends on a note of grim courage as he voices his own challenge to Sauron. A fascinating drabbled exploration of various aspects of sacrifice.

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 7

Dear Linda, here we find a series of three vignettes that focus on the personal cost of the quest and the Ring war for three different characters. Each case is different. For Aragorn, the responsibility is great, perhaps the greatest carried by any man of his age, and it is not of his choosing, though it includes the promise of great reward. Halbarad, whose task is smaller, is equally bound by birth and status to make the sacrifice required. He can think of a reward – seeing his king crowned – but accepts that he will not receive it. Frodo’s case is the most interesting. No outward factors compel him to take on the Ring, but an inner sense of responsibility. He has no reward to look forward to, even though honours will later be heaped on him, and little will he care for them. This is an interesting series, and I would like to see it extended to include, perhaps, Theoden, Sam, Gandalf, Galadriel or Elrond.

Reviewed by: cairistiona  ✧  Score: 4

A very effective trilogy of drabbles exploring the theme of responsibility and the sacrifices one must make to live up to one's duty. Each effectively shares the thoughts of three characters during crucial moments: Frodo at the Council of Elrond, Halbarad as they take to the field of battle at Pelennor, and Aragorn as he chooses to offer himself up to Sauron as a diversion to better Frodo and Sam's chances at destroying the Ring. The emotions of each character ring true and poignant and catch at the heartstrings. Really well done!

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 3

Three brief tales of sacrifice featuring Frodo, Halbarad, and Aragorn respectively. The characterization is true in each one. Frodo unwillingly realizes he is the only one for the task, and so accepts it as his duty; Halbarad is motivated by love and loyalty; and Aragorn by courage, anger, and a determination to do right. Well written.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 2

Three separate scenes, not connected in any obvious way, yet they all together manage to show an accurate reading on the thinking of all three characters depicted.