Of Hearth and Home

Author: Marta

Nominator: Marta

2011 Award Category: Humor: General

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: A little kindness can go a long way. A moment from the Prancing Pony in the years before the War of the Ring.

Read the Story  ✧  Backup Story Link

Reviewed by: cairistiona  ✧  Score: 7

This is an absolutely lovely three-fold glimpse into Aragorn's life: we see his life as a Ranger, his friendship with Halbarad, and also the comfortable familiarity if not deep friendship with Nob. I'm a soft touch when it comes to stories that relate Aragorn's life in and around Bree, and especially tales that include Halbarad, and this thoroughly satisfied me on every level. Marta brings the setting to life but more importantly brings depth to all the characters involved, shown through the gentle banter between two tired old friends to the kind heart hidden behind the solicitude of Nob, Butterbur's hobbit helper. I love the idea of Nob having a family and children and love still more that we get a glimpse of that here, for it also gives us opportunity for a glimpse into Strider's thoughts on home and family, which is always a good thing. A thoroughly enjoyable story to warm the heart, this one.

Reviewed by: Malinornë  ✧  Score: 5

I very much enjoyed reading this short story and it was a pleasant surprise to find out where it would lead, what notion of hearth and home would appeal to these worn and tired travellers. I was happy to see them find some comfort, and was glad to see Strider being well received at the Prancing Pony. I also liked the mention of a hobbit in Rivendell, a nice nod to canon. Being the mother of young children I found it was easy to relate to the little girl's gift and the importance of it, and I loved seeing how Strider and Halbarad reacted to Nob's daughter's efforts. Thank you for an entertaining and heart-warming story!

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 4

This tale is a delight to read, not just because it is well-written, although it is--the dialogue at the beginning is especially good, and the characterization well crafted--but because it is heartwarming without being sentimental. The author explores the hobbit custom of giving small gifts on one's birthday, as well as receiving them. The results are quite touching, especially for a certain Ranger. Well done!

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 4

Marta's Of Hearth and Home was a surprising and thoughtful piece. The tale was simple and sweet, but important all the same, showing a side of a Ranger's duty and its compensations that is unique from any other. I very much enjoyed Marta's way of showing the relationship between Aragorn and Halbarad--they were mature and pragmatic, even while they traded jokes. It was a nice departure from the norm.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 4

This is a truly delightful heart-warming story in which a weary Aragorn comes across unexpected kindnesses.First Halbarad helps me remove his boots and socks when he is too stiff to move and next Nob brings a Hobbit birthday gift from his little daughter to Aragorn as the little girl fears Rangers might feel lonely. Who could fail to be touched by such a gift? Certainly not Aragorn, nor this reader! A must read story for anyone who loves Aragorn and the Rangers.