Love's Persistence

Author: Ignoble Bard

Nominator: Olorime

2011 Award Category: Elves: Wilderland - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Mature Language/Themes

Summary: In the dead of winter, Haldir awaits a special visitor.

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Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 10

Dear Ignoble Bard, I really enjoyed this story with the philosophical questions it raises. The Valar do indeed seem somewhat complacent and detached and making unfair demands of people which inevitably provoke rebellion. Feanor brings up some pressing questions about the condition of the world he lives in, about the origin of evil and the purpose on sentient life. There is something terribly unfair in the way the Tolkien characters are lumbered with fate and then blamed for their responses to it. The absurdity of their existence and the lack of a loving and forgiving God is very painfully felt in this story. In some ways, I am reminded of Albert Camus’ Sisyphus essay – Feanor’s creation of the wonderful snowflake gem is not only an act of love, but an act of defiance, and in a way the choice to love whom we will is perhaps the most effective rebellion we can muster against the arbitrariness of life. Both Feanor and Haldir, symbolically speaking, have reached the summit (even though, ironically, this is the winter, not the summer solstice) and now they face the renewed struggle of pushing the rock up the mountain, and yet they accept this lot as theirs and claim it with pride. This is wonderfully rendered with much insight and warmth. I also enjoyed the lovely descriptions of the winter landscape, of how the sun was struggling to rise as if it couldn’t get itself to leave a warm bed – a feeling that, I am sure, rings true with many! It is a heart-warming, thought-provoking story which brilliantly showcases your very fine writing skills.

Reviewed by: Oshun  ✧  Score: 10

This was a big surprise when I read it. It was hard for me to imagine Haldir alive in the First Age. For no reason apparent in canon I had decided he was born in the late Second or early Third Age (probably because I found him brash and undiplomatic in LotR). There is plenty of reason and means for Feanor to have encountered and needed the services of a Sindarin guide after the crossing at Losgar (nevermind that I also always assumed that Haldir was at least half of the Nandor--just nevermind!). There is no canon one way or the other. Also I might have questioned that in the brief interlude between landing on the mainland of Middle-earth and getting himself killed that Feanor would have had time and inclination for hanky panky much less the capacity to form a lasting emotional attachment. But hey. That is just me. I have two friends who met and fell in love at particularly contentious, upsetting and stressful political convention and are still together decades later. So it could and does happen in real life. It's a fairy story and an emotional release/fantasy designed for the recipient, which is both the virtue and the draw back of writing for a fic swap. I love the poetry of locking part of the Spirit of Fire within a snow crystal. It is beautifully written and consoling on a tragic level. I do love that it sympathizes with Feanor. It absolutely lives up to your usual standards of excellence. Lovely work as always!

Reviewed by: Olorime  ✧  Score: 6

Las year, right before the end of the year, I got this gem as a belated Christmas gift. I was floored. This is not an easy pairing, and the whole story has th at slight philosophical questioning throughout that makes it a really interesting read. Fëanor was ocmpletely in character here, defiant and willful and Haldir's characterization was very pleasant as well. The setting, the subtle references of winter and the gem of the Noldor's rebellious sprit kept me glued to the screen from beginning to end. I am very grateful to be able to review this awesome fiction here and show my appreciton for one of the most thoughtful Christmas presents I have ever gotten. I hope you continue writing such magnificent fiction, both in the fandoms we love as well as original fiction.

Reviewed by: Malinornë  ✧  Score: 5

A special visitor indeed! In fact, the description of what he looked like when he came riding towards Haldir turned out to be my favourite little part of this story; his energy and urgency and the sharp contrast between the calm wintry forest and the rider's dramatic arrival. His identity surprised me - Fëanor isn't the first person I expect to find in Lorien - but it made sense when the deal was explained further down. I won't pity him, but Haldir! He show not only love's persistence, but also that of loyalty, duty and honour. I enjoyed reading this. Thank you.

Reviewed by: Erulisse  ✧  Score: 4

Elves are immortal. I remember reading that when I was a child and thinking that the immortality would be wonderful. But would it be so great if you were only able to see the one who holds your heart once a year? And that this schedule would continue for yeni...maybe immortality isn't everything it's cut out to be. IB's wonderfully firm hand crafted a story of love that transcends time and distance here and brings the reader on an emotional ride that was worth doing. Read this - you won't regret it.

Author response: Thanks so much for your review Erulisse. Sorry I'm so late in expressing my thanks but I'm late doing my reviewing too this year, well, every year. lol I'm so glad you enjoyed this story, and I can't thank you enough for this lovely review. I've never written Feanor before so this was quite different and fun to imagine his relationship with Haldir. :-)