Of Shape and Hue and Home

Author: Thundera Tiger

Nominator: Dreamflower

2011 Award Category: Humor: Comedy/Drama - First Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Medium Length

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Take a master of shape and hue. Stir in a troubled wizard and four hobbits. Add a dash of surprising Ranger. Mix thoroughly until shape and hue begin to blend...

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Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 10

*grin* This story makes me smile so much. Thundera Tiger took a very difficult and unusual request and made it into a delightful story filled with humor but also with warmth and friendship. The story was written for a Yule exchange, and the recipient asked for an identity-switch story featuring Gandalf and Pippin. This could have been something very crack-y, but it wasn't. The addition of Radagast to the number of the visitors to Rivendell in the days after the Council made it possible for her to fill the request in a very clever way that actually seems plausible! There is the usual humor to be found in the idea of two such different beings adjusting to the differences in their bodies. Gandalf's shocked reaction to realizing just *how* hungry a tween-aged hobbit can be is very amusing, as is Pippin's futile attempt to navigate around on the wizard's unnaturally (to a hobbit) long legs. I think though, my favorite person reacting to all this is Aragorn. He's able to find a certain amount of amusement in their plight, but he remains sympathetic as well. And we see a very wicked sense of mischief in his thought that some Elves deserve to have their ears jerked. I also loved Elrond in this. I could just imagine his expression as he deals with this unexpected emergency! This story is truly a fun read!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 10

This is a delightful story, with a premise that seems difficult to write credibly - Radagast accidentally switches the bodies of Gandalf and Pippin, when all three gentlemen are staying in Rivendell. The story could have degenerated into buffoonery, but Thundera keeps the humor visible but enough in check that it flows naturally from the characters and situation rather than being a huge escalating guffaw. I loved the little touches, such as transformed-Gandalf suddenly realizing that a hobbit's feet can itch and the other hobbits revealing that this itch is not something they like to discuss; or transformed-Pippin's being able to hear the Song of Arda. I really found the characterization of Radagast to be quite well done; the character feels like a fleshed-out version of Tolkien's barely referred to brown wizard. Of course, the situation does not last for very long; and not long enough to affect the Quest of the Ring. But wizard and hobbit learn a thing or two about each other. And I loved the interaction between transformed-Pippin and the Elves who mistake him for Gandalf and get some rather fractured history lessons from him... Quite an unusual comedy-drama from Thundera Tiger.

Reviewed by: cairistiona  ✧  Score: 5

This is a fun, lighthearted tale of a comic accident in Rivendell that nonetheless touches enough on the darker things going on at the time the hobbits sojourned in Imladris to give it more weight than one might expect. Without giving any spoilers, I'll simply say that Thundera Tiger shows her great knowledge of canon and the natures of hobbits and Maia alike, but the handling of canon details is deft. This story never bogs down in weighty canon exposition that some fic writers fall prey to... instead, the story's the thing, and quite a humorous tale it is, with every character given a chance to provide a chuckle, and several giving very wise insights indeed. One of my favorite stories to come back to time and again.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 5

This is one of the most unusual stories I have read in a long time and I’m so glad I discovered it here at MEFA. Radagast is visiting Imladris to apologise to Gandalf and when he entertains the hobbits with a demonstration of his powers, the wizard and the hobbit somehow are switched into one another’s bodies. What could so easily not have worked proves a most enjoyable read as the two struggle to cope with their new bodies, Aragorn has to help Pippin walk around on his strange new legs, Pippin has fun at the expense of the solemn Elves and strawberry tarts help provide a solution! A delightful way to spend a cold hour in winter reading this enjoyable story.

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 4

This story is hilarious. Having Gandalf and Pippin exchange form. What an idea! But it is made plausible in this tale. I love the experience of Pippin as Gandalf of hearing all the music of people and places, and on the other side, Gandalf experiencing the hunger of hobbits. I loved the description of the hobbits in the kitchen and the trouble they have with the furniture. Hobbits will be hobbits if in wizard form or in their normal form.

Reviewed by: Rivergift  ✧  Score: 4

What can I say? Your writing never fails to impress. It's an interesting concept, this mixing of shape and hue, and Radagast's powers are an inventive tool to use. I enjoyed each and every character, I can almost imagine the looks on their faces as they observe these two! Drawing in to a poignant, rather touching conclusion, this is a clever, unconventional tale.

Reviewed by: Nath  ✧  Score: 3

It was a joy to reread this for this year’s MEFA, and just like the first time I read it, I quietly giggled all the way through this clever and funny story of shape-shifting gone awry. The usual elements of Thundera Tiger's writing, a solid story and just as solid characterisations, are there to enjoy. Don't hesitate if you haven't read it yet!