Washed Clean

Author: Larner

Nominator: Antane

2011 Award Category: Drabble Series: Character Study

Story Type: Drabble  ✧  Length: Drabble Series

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Bilbo Baggins watches his beloved Frodo come alive again on Tol Eressëa. A drabble series inspired by the Tolkien Weekly "Water" prompts. Cues: rain, ice and snow, puddle, fountain, river, lake, tears, the sea, drink.(A series of nine drabbles.)

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Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 6

Dear Larner, The question just how Frodo was healed in Valinor remains and interesting one, no matter how often it has been tackled by fanfiction writers. Here you give us another perspective on this theme, making Bilbo the witness of the healing process. Initially, it is little things that lift Frodo’s spirit, little things which surely would have been found in the Shire as well, but which have more potency on this holy ground: a kitten, puddles, birds, but gradually we approach grander subjects: waterfalls, rivers and eventually an encounter with the Valar themselves. But even these are surpassed by the power of the sea. The water imagery is delightfully woven into all the drabbles, and I liked how you used the Biblical motif of the full cup that overflows. This is a gentle and insightful series which I enjoyed.

Reviewed by: Rivergift  ✧  Score: 4

Very sweet and gentle! I loved the quietness that shrouded all these drabbles, a peace that cannot be found east of the Sea, and the only thing that can bring Frodo's healing to him. I loved Bilbo's point of view and his joy over Frodo's gradual lightening of spirit, and how, in the end, Frodo took over the story and took into keeping Sam's healing - a natural handover and a proof of his complete healing. A lovely piece!

Author response: Again, thank you so, Rivergift, for this response to my drabble series "Washed Clean." I've found that by writing a clear series involving each theme offered on Tolkien Weekly helps to make them more deliberate; and no two characters seemed to better embody the "water" theme than Bilbo and Frodo as Frodo finds himself healing once they reach Elvenhome. I'm so glad that you feel as I do that it ended properly with Frodo rejoicing that Sam's healing is coming for him as Frodo's happened under Bilbo's watch. These three Hobbits deserved so much!

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 4

What a beautiful uplifting series of drabbles! Tolkien tells us nothing about what happened after Bilbo and Frodo sailed, but I imagine it would have been just like this. I shared Bilbo's joy at seeing Frodo gradually recovering and his sorrow, yet hope when Bilbo moves on to an even higher destination. I loved the ending that Frodo's joy and healing were completed when Sam arrived.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 4

A gentle, sensitively written series of drabbles showing the gradual healing of Frodo - physically, spiritually, and emotionally, in the 'Blessed Lands'. Larner has long experience in exploring the damage done to Frodo by the various horrors he endured; and is no less accomplished at revealing his recovery from them. I especially loved the drabble where Frodo wistfully remembers the snow he misses; and then gets a unique reminder.

Reviewed by: Antane  ✧  Score: 3

Sweet little vignettes of Frodo and Bilbo in the West as healing comes. I love especially Tears of Healing one for the power of the reverential love the Valar showed him and the awe to receive that and to be able to let go of the pain at last. I love such tales as that.

Author response: And I love to imagine how, perhaps slowly, Frodo again found himself freed from his burden of pain and fear, learning to accept each day as it came, rejoicing to know pleasure and Joy once more, with the regrets and self-centered pride washed away by both external and internal baptism. Thank you so, Antane.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 3

This is a beautiful series. Here Larner has wonderfully illustrated her own thoughts on the healing of Frodo, and they are poignant and renewing. Bilbo's perspective on this topic seems only natural, and reflects his own devotion to his nephew. Excellent!

Reviewed by: Kara's Aunty  ✧  Score: 3

More beautifully-written drabbles from the mistress herself. At they are first wistful, then hopeful, and finally joyful as Bilbo travels with his beloved nephew on those twin journeys from Middle-earth to Valinor, and from pain to healing. Lovely work as always. *sniffles*

Reviewed by: Swiftsong  ✧  Score: 2

Very sweet and gentle set of drabbles! I loved seeing Frodo's well-deserved peace and Bilbo's tender love. Thank you for this!