Vengeance is Mine

Author: Linda Hoyland

Nominator: Raksha the Demon

2011 Award Category: Drabble: Drama - Third Place

Story Type: Drabble  ✧  Length: True Drabble

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Aragorn on the Pelennor, after Halbarad's slaying.(Written for the Tolkien Weekly "Wrath" Challenge. 100 words as counted in MS Word)

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Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 10

It is a sad fact that for every gloriously courageous act during battles and war, someone dies, someone who had family and friends, someone who deserved to live rather than perish with a sword-stroke or bullet strike. Tolkien writes many deaths into the Battle of the Pelennor, the most significent losses, in terms of LOTR readers' sympathies, are usually the deaths of Theoden and Halbarad. Halbarad in particular appears in many fanfiction stories, he is one of the more enigmatic and yet beloved of Tolkien's huge supporting cast. Aragorn's faithful scribe Linda Hoyland chooses Halbarad as a catalyst for Aragorn's battle-fire in this intense drabble. She shows Aragorn's sorrow as his kinsman dies, with good use of the verb 'cradle', as one might hold a beloved child; to convey Aragorn's love for his comrade. Linda turns Aragorn's sorrow to rage, with appropriate fiery imagery - [red], [flashing], [fire], etc. Aragorn is usually a grim fellow with a fair amount of self-control; here, in Linda's hands he transforms into an engine wreaking some hellacious vengeance on whichever Haradrim are unlucky to cross his path first. One gets the feeling that those poor Southrons will barely have time to know what, or who, hit them. A strong drabble that evokes the sorrows of war and the ferocity of vengeance.

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 6

Dear Linda, we can hear the hissing of the scimitar in the first sentence courtesy of the onomatopoeic alliterations. It’s an impressive opening for a drabble that shows a side to Aragorn which you rarely tackle. I do wonder about these feelings of vengeance. Are they a natural reaction or is it something that cultures instil in men to keep them going in battle despite of grief? Fast paced and full of movement, this drabble throws such questions at the reader without proposing to know any answers. The Biblical title suggests that Aragorn’s reaction should be seen critically, though one may ask what choices he had in the situation. Nevertheless, had he continued in that vein, the later peace with Harad would have been impossible. This is an intense, thought-provoking drabble that fits well into the series of deadly sins.

Reviewed by: cairistiona  ✧  Score: 4

I was struck by this drabble's power the first time I read it, and no less now that I've read it again to review it hear. Halbarad's death has been handled by many writers in many ways, but this has to be one of the more wrenching versions, as we see the grief and rage in Aragorn as he witnesses his kinsman's death. I almost feel myself baring my own teeth in a snarl as I cheer Aragorn on. 100 very powerful words in this drabble.

Reviewed by: Levade  ✧  Score: 3

This is powerfully written. You can easily feel Aragorn's loss and rage. The loss of Halbarad after everything they had been through is one of the saddest moments in the books. Great job, Linda.

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 3

This is a very powerfully-written drabble that skillfully conveys both Aragorn's affection Halbarad, and the great and understandable anger he felt at his kinsman's death. The author packs a lot of emotion and good writing into just one hundred words!

Reviewed by: curiouswombat  ✧  Score: 3

Linda Hoyland writes Aragorn so well. Here her image of him, as he sees Halbarad slain whilst bearing that newly acquired standard, rings very true. First sorrow - then the burning fury of revenge....

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 2

I love Aragorn's righteous indignation/fury as it's written here. His emotion is believable and very present throughout the short scene.