Author: Ainu Laire
Nominator: Lady Roisin
2009 Award Category: Genres: Romance: Imladris Elves - Second Place
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: After Celebrían's departure, Arwen wanders alone in her grief and comes upon a stranger.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 6
To date the most grievous event in the life of Arwen Undomiel is the loss of her mother to the Undying Lands. Having had her fill of clumsy attempts at consolation, she flees to the beech forest to avoid the arrival of Lord Arahad and those of the northern Dunedain who will accompany him. That she will meet a single Dunadan in the forest is nothing she had thought to experience, not this one who names himself by a name she knows was that of a different chieftain. And he gives her another name as well--an Elvish name that somehow comforts her by the incongruity of the situation. This ramble through the wooded portions of Imladris is comforting to us as well as to Undomiel. Imagery is that perfect blend between sharp as a blade and yet etherial. A wonderful story as we see a special intimacy offered and received, restoring the light to our beloved Evenstar.
Reviewed by: Fiondil ✧ Score: 6
Her mother has sailed and Arwen is still grieving. Hoping to avoid a delegation of Dunedain who have come to offer Elrond and his family their condolences, she escapes into the nearby woods. One of the Dunedain, however, wanders away from the delegation and finds her in the woods. The Man both irritates and intrigues her for he is not like other Men that she has known and the conversation between them is decidedly odd at times. The reader, of course, knows who the Dunadan is even if Arwen does not and there is much head-scratching as to how he happens to be there at that time, but that just makes this little tale all the more interesting. Only at the end do we understand what has happened. A most intriguing premise and a satisfying read.
Reviewed by: obsidianj ✧ Score: 4
This is a lovely vignette. The reader knows something is not quite right with Arwen's visitor. But he is too charming to ask too closely where he came from. I love it that the truth is not revealed until the end. Although, I was curious what the explanation would be, none of the usual clues for stories like this stood out. I loved the matter-of-fact approach that didn't try to explain why or what happened throughout the story. Arwen's reaction is priceless. A very enjoyable read.
Reviewed by: Dreamdeer ✧ Score: 4
A pleasant story, intriguing, that kept pulling my attention back even when the passive voice made it start to wander. Like the main character, I had to linger with it until I could solve the puzzle. I received a reward at the end, when what seemed AU turned out to be canon after all, after a very Middle-Earth fashion. The dialogue moved along gracefully and believably. I see here a talent that could well develop with a little more active voice and imagery, but which sees true to the heart. I found this an enjoyable read.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 4
A tantalizing tale that begs the question of just how many boundaries did the love of Aragorn for Arwen cross? Here, Arwen, grieving for the loss of her mother, meets a mortal stranger who is just a bit too knowing, but very engaging. The ending fits the rest of the story perfectly, and leaves the reader with a sense of both mystery and romance. The last two lines are marvelous...Nicely done!
Reviewed by: Inzilbeth ✧ Score: 4
This was a most interesting and original idea for a story. It is sometimes easy to forget that Arwen had lived quite so many years herself before she met the second Aragorn and of course it is intriguing to imagine how an encounter with the first Aragorn might have gone. Ainu Laire provides an extremely plausible scenerio in her extremely well written short story.
Reviewed by: Cairistiona ✧ Score: 3
To sleep, perchance to dream... and such a nice dream Arwen had! This is one of those fics that has you scratching your head, wondering if the author has completely lost their reckoning of the timeline, but as you read on, you get the sneaking suspicion that it's all a dream... and a lovely one at that. Fun read!
Reviewed by: White Wolf ✧ Score: 3
What a lovely vignette. At first, I couldnt imagine how Aragorn and Arwen could meet over four hundred years before he was born, but you made the explanation plausible. It was fitting that she didnt remember the dream, so it wouldn't affect their real meeting. I'm glad the dream gave her comfort.
Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland ✧ Score: 3
An interesting and intruiging story full of surprises.I loved the idea that Arwen should first meet Aragorn in a dream at a time when she was badly in need of hope. A unique story, which is very well told and well worth reading.
Reviewed by: Ellynn ✧ Score: 3
It is a very original idea - putting Aragorn in Arwen's dream long before he was born. Their conversation is intriguing and very well writen. I love the end - her waking up with a smile and hope.
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 3
Such a strange encounter! The author does not tell us how it happens, nor why, nor indeed if it did really happen or was not somehow a confluence of dreams...it doesn't really matter, for the entire conversation is perfectly in character for them both.