The Gift-giving of Celeborn

Author: Dwimordene

Nominator: Dwimordene

2009 Award Category: Races: Cross-Cultural: Elves and Mortals - Third Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: n/a

Summary: Even the wise must make amends.

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Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 10

I have occasionally read essays trying to excuse Celeborn's treatment of Gimli when the Fellowship first reaches Lothlórien, appealing to ancient (from Gimli's perspective) events like the theft of the Nauglimir or the relationship between the death of Celeborn's son Amroth and the balrog in Moria. And Gimli as a dwarf makes an easy target, so Celeborn's snappishness is understandable if not excusable. It's an interesting moment, to say the leaast. So of course I was excited when I realized that not only had Dwim set her sites on Celeborn and Gimli in the same piece (both favorite characters of mine), but that she was going to take on just this particular beat in the story. If I may be allowed some psychological language, both Gimli and Celeborn are the "other" -- both to each other (for they represent what history has taught them to fear), but in the sense that as Sindar and non-Eruhini, they are on the fringes of the canonical tales. That they would be brought together by Galadriel, the preeminent Noldorin elf left in Middle-earth (and so in some sense the vortex of their worlds), is noteworthy. My one complaint about this story is that it's too short. I wish Dwim had written more, but I suspect that's partly why it works so well. It's very much like Celeborn's swift departure, in a way -- a flash in the night that leaves you with more answers than questions, but is still beautiful and worthwhile. It's definitely left me thinking about the story arc of Celeborn, Galadriel, and gimli -- and that treat in itself is worth a few points.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 9

There is something aching and timeless about this story. I'm absolutely thrilled that Dwimordene chose to write about two of my all-time favorite characters, and certainly it's a highlight to read about them in this fic, but more than that, I'm drawn up in the tone. It's as though the story longs for something that it can only brush against and never fully grasp. There's a wistful feeling, especially on Celeborn's part, and it all lends itself to a bittersweet ending. I wish I could explain myself better. But moving on from the tone, I love the idea that Celeborn decided to call Galadriel out on her gift to Gimli. I can only imagine how that conversation must have gone. And I'm fairly amazed that Celeborn didn't call Gimli out back in Lothlorien. Certainly he has a great deal of restraint. I also very much enjoyed Gimli's restraint in the conversation. It reminded me of his behavior in Lothlorien, where he was slow to speak and careful in his words. Not that I blame him. I wouldn't want to meet Celeborn this way, either. All in all, a fantastic peak at two of my favorite characters, and a beautiful tone that seems to touch on the fading of both elves and dwarves.

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 7

I enjoyed this gapfiller very much. This is a beautifully written and very touching story. Although it is based almost entirely on dialogue, it nevertheless holds the tension and doesn't falter for a moment. You have captured the voices of both speakers very well and there is nothing that jarrs or stains the atmosphere you've created. There motives and feelings of both characters are quite clear, and still there is just enough left to the reader's imagination. The misunderstanding, and then the understanding, flow logically and naturally from the premise. Celeborn's gift is very fitting, and one can well imagine his desire to keep alive the memory of his lady after her departure. As a gapfiller, it fits in so seamlessly, with regard both to language and content, that it could well be part of canon. It's hard to write a long review on a short story, but let me just say again that I liked it very much indeed.

Reviewed by: Isabeau of Greenlea  ✧  Score: 5

I don't think I ever read this, which is amazing, because I've sought out Dwim's stuff for years. As someone whom Gimli occasionally hijacks, I was surprised to see her write about him, but unsurprised when she did it with such competence and surety. Celeborn, a personal favorite of mine, was also handled deftly. Their conversation is a triumph in a way, a triumph over all the differences that had plagued these two races for ages. And Celeborn's gift was a truly lovely idea, and absolutely the perfect choice for the surly yet sensitive Dwarf.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 5

There has been bare tolerance, and that often forced, between most Dwarves and most Elves for most of the ages of the Sun, and Celeborn has reason to remember the betrayal of his people so long ago. Yet although Galadriel saw the same treachery, yet she has refused to lay blame for certain incidents on all Elves, sharing much of their interests due to a mutual honoring of Aule/Mahal. Now, however, he feels he shares an understanding of Gimli, to whom he offers a last precious gift. Very gentle and well told. Certainly a story I freely recommend to others.

Reviewed by: Fiondil  ✧  Score: 4

We rarely see Celeborn in fanfiction so this was a welcome treat. Dwimordene paints a vivid picture of a conversation between Celeborn and Gimli and the Elf-lord shines. Elf and Dwarf may never see eye-to-eye about many things, but both worship Galadriel, each in their own way, and this one thing creates a bond between them. I liked that we see Celeborn using the powers that he must have had for Gimli’s benefit, bestowing upon the Dwarf a gift no less priceless than the one Galadriel gave him. Well done!

Reviewed by: Starlight  ✧  Score: 4

It is a very interesting situation that is set up here: a besotted dwarf, confronted by his lady's husband! And an ages-long enmity that is overcome because, and through, love. It would be impossible to, so quickly, put aside such differences as do exist between Gimli and Celeborn but, in the capable hands--and words--of Dwimordene, I begin to see a little of why Tolkien himself set up this situation between them. Thanks for another great story, Dwim!

Reviewed by: Ignoble Bard  ✧  Score: 4

What a sweet, sweet story. It’s not often Gimli or Celeborn are given their due in fanfiction but they both shine in this story with their mutual love of Galadriel and the understanding this forges between them. Their exchange is heartfelt and their respective characters are well handled. But it’s the ending that really drives home the point that as long as one is remembered, one is never really gone, and the remembering can bring its own comfort.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 4

What a wonderful encounter between Celeborn and Gimli, and what a wonderful gift he gave. You can see in his words to Gimli how deeply he loves his Lady, and how important she is to him. And Gimli's response is very like him as well. The tone is both melancholy and hopeful, and the reader realizes, though neither Celeborn nor Gimli does, what else is foreshadowed by this.

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 3

This is a heartwarming encounter between Celeborn and Gimli. I can understand that millenia of living is inducive to holding a grudge. Especially elves who supposedly have not the advantage of time dimming the memory. But Celeborn is rising to the occasion and his gift for Gimli is priceless.

Reviewed by: Clodia  ✧  Score: 3

A lovely little piece, Celeborn recognising and accepting the hold of Galadriel over Gimli’s memory and imagination. And the Tolkienesque language is well controlled throughout this piece, which is not the easiest thing in the world to get right. Thank you!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 3

Dwimordene tackles one of the most enigmatic of Tolkien's Elves - and links him with Gimli in a parable about obligation and memory. I like the unsentimental but very credible interaction between the Elf and Dwarf, and the different ways the love of Galadriel comes through in both of them.