Divided Loyalties

Author: Darkover

Nominator: cairistiona

2011 Award Category: Cross-Cultural: The Fellowship - Second Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Gimli has a problem, and Aragorn offers some much-needed counsel. Friendship only, no slash.

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Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 6

I love the way that Tolkien shows people of different races, or indeed species learning to get along together, which makes the differences between humans seem very trivial indeed. I love the way that Gimli's dilemma is presented here as he realises that he likes Legolas, but fears that by so doing he is being less than loyal to his kin. I feel that is something we can all identify with at some time or other in our lives as we all have loyalties to family, friends, faith, country and other groups beside.We can be very apprehensive if we step outside those groups in our friendships and wonder if we will still be accepted if we befriend the "enemy". I love the way Aragorn advises without being heavy handed and gives Gimli good reasons why he could befriend Legolas. A very well written and enjoyable story.

Author response: Dear Linda: I'm glad you understood Gimli's situation, and believe that I did a good job of portraying it. It just seemed so obvious to me that Gimli would feel, as the title indicated, "divided loyalties." I also deliberately chose Aragorn to give the dwarf counsel, as I wanted to show yet another way the Man had the skill to be a great king. I'm glad you appreciated the story, as I greatly appreciate your taking the time to write such an in-depth review. Thanks!

Reviewed by: Nieriel Raina  ✧  Score: 5

OH I like this, that I do! This is a very plausible conversation! I think the author really grasped well the dwarf mindset. Gimli's denial at first to there being anything troubling him to his worries that a growing fondness for an elf, and the son of Thranduil even moreso, could be perceived as disloyal to his kin makes a lot of sense. A very good look into the mind of Gimli. Great job on characterization of him. Aragorn is also well portrayed, and his response was indeed well said! The [wisdom of a dwarf] indeed. And my favorite line of all simply made me cackle aloud! [Why, I might even become known as 'Gimli, Elf-friend] Oh the horror, Gimli! Indeed, it would be terrible if you were called Elvellon. I just love that. This is a lovely gem of a tale!

Author response: Dear Nieriel Raina: I am so pleased and humbled by your kind words about this story. It is most gratifying to know that you believe I portrayed Gimli's mindset and character appropriately, and that you also liked how I portrayed Aragorn. I am touched by all your kind comments. I'm so glad you enjoyed the story, and I appreciate your taking the time to read and review.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 4

A sympathetically written Gimli-centric story. Darkover writes his interaction with Aragorn particularly well, weaving their mutual respect and love of tobacco easily into the narrative. I loved the bit where Gimli fears that one day he might be called an [elf-friend]; since of course, that is exactly what does eventually transpire. Good ending, too; with Legolas needing Gimli's sharper cave-vision.

Author response: Dear Raksha: Thank you for taking the trouble to review no fewer than three of my stories. I'm glad you enjoyed them, and I greatly appreciate your thoughtful comments. Sincerely, Darkover

Reviewed by: Striderette  ✧  Score: 4

Lovely, heartfelt vignette between Aragorn and Gimli. This story truly highlights the way the members of the Fellowship overcame cultural differences and mutual suspicion to forge lifelong bonds of friendship and affection. I love the picture of Aragorn wisely drawing out the reticent Dwarf over a shared pipe smoke in the dark of Moria. A warm, feel-good ficlet that made me smile.

Author response: Dear Striderette: When I write a story, I figure that if I have made someone smile, or think, or read more, or want to write a story of their own, then I believe I have done my job. Your thoughtful comments make it clear that you not only liked this tale, but you understood what I was trying to do, and that makes me very happy indeed! Thank you for taking time to read and review!

Reviewed by: cairistiona  ✧  Score: 4

A lovely moment of friendship between Aragorn and Gimli, something we don't see much of in fanfic. Aragorn offers his wisdom in the same friendly manner as he offers his pipeweed--it's a good glimpse of humble heart of the man who will be King. And Gimli is suitably gruff and humorous without coming across as cartoonish. And Legolas in his own brief appearance reads just as he should. Perfect characterizations, all!

Author response: Dear Cairistiona: I'm so glad you enjoyed this story, and that you believe I did an appropriate job of characterization. The reasons for Gimli's attitude towards Elves, especially Legolas, just seemed so obvious to me that I was amazed that apparently no one had ever written of his motives before. Thank you for taking the time to read and review.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 3

Would Gimli have felt conflicted about his growing friendship with Legolas? Would he have thought it a possible betrayal of his father and his own people? It seems likely. I like Aragorn's sensible advice to the Dwarf in this; it too seems very plausible!

Author response: Dear Dreamflower: Thank you for your thoughtful review about this story. I'm pleased that you understood what I was saying, and that you thought Aragorn's advice was sensible. Thank you very much for taking the time to read and review.

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 3

This is short, but wonderful story in which Aragorn helps Gimli see his developing friendship with Legolas in a different view. Gimli is troubled by the past, wondering if he will be considered disloyal to his father if he makes friendship with an elf, but Aragorn's wise words help him realize that his doubts are wrong. Beautifully done.

Author response: Dear Ellyn: I greatly appreciate your insightful comments to this story. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and that you clearly understood what I was trying to do. Thank you for taking the time to read and review!