In that hour Finarfin forsook the march... but his sons were not with him
2011 Award Category: Drabble: Drama - Second Place
Story Type: Drabble ✧ Length: True Drabble
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Some bans simply are not to be believed. Finarfin and his sons part ways at Araman.(100 words, written for B2MEM 2011. See notes within.)
Reviewed by: Himring ✧ Score: 7
An interesting piece, both in its message and in the way it is influenced by Jewish (Chassidic?) ways of thinking and telling. In some fan-ficcish treatments, it seems to be elided or ignored that the Noldor were not only comprehensively doomed but had also been told that their fate was inescapable once they had set foot beyond Aman and apparently by the most reliable of sources--in fact Tolkien does allow and even encourage readers to forget this, at least intermittently. This piece actively engages with the Prophecy of the North--and it is, perhaps surprisingly for some readers, Finrod who turns out to be the sceptic, for well-considered reasons. Tolkien himself, I think, did not intend the prophecy to be questionable, but never quite addressed some of the inherent contradictions in his account. He has left just enough loopholes for Dwimordene to insert this ficlet. It forms a pair with another, in which Finrod fails to convince Maedhros of his position.
Reviewed by: Elleth ✧ Score: 6
Dwimordene does it again, displaying her almost-uncanny knack for taking an often-overlooked canonical moment and spinning it into a fantastic drabble. Not only does she avoid the trapdoor of marking Finarfin's decision to return as the actions of a whimpy coward, but instead portrays him in a very human and touching way, while also validating the decision of his sons to continue onward through Finrod's words. Great writing with a touch of lush, canonical diction condensed to drabble form that sharply focuses on the equal validity of all options available to Finarfin and his sons after the Prophecy of the North and the divide that threatens. My only criticism is that I would have loved to see more of all this (perhaps followup drabbles from either perspective), but this obviously doesn't reflect negatively on the story itself.
Reviewed by: Starlight ✧ Score: 5
I am thoroughly fascinated by this moment. The grief, the rawness of all these emotions (on both parties) is so palpable, as is the gulf that divides them. It has to be the hardest thing about parenting to have to let your child make his/her own decisions even when you don't understand them, even when you believe them wrong, and even when the consequences are inescapable and will tear you apart for ever. I am captivated by Finrod's scepticism, and the reasons he gives for going, as much as I am by his wish to part reconciled to his father. All in all, a great, thought-provoking, fascinating Drabble.
Reviewed by: Levade ✧ Score: 4
This is a powerful piece, Dwim. You create such emotion in just a few lines. Finarfin's horror is clear in parting with his beloved children, and so is Finrod's calm logic. It's a point in Finrod's story I've often wondered about, and while most children do break away at some point, they don't do so quite in such a dramatic fashion. Poignant and heartbreaking, I can't help but admire Finrod's answer. Well done.
Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel ✧ Score: 4
This is a unique drabble. The idea behind it is truly innovative, and I found that it provided quite a bit of food for thought. What I like so much about this piece is how the author's themes can be applied to life in a nonfictional sense--that is, they are relatable. Finrod's outlook on the Doom is certainly very interesting, and I found it to be a plausible explanation for his actions.
Reviewed by: Darkover ✧ Score: 3
One of the saddest things is what occurs when two parties both want to do right, but have diametrically-opposing ideas about what is right, and there is no way they can compromise. Sorrow becomes tragedy when the two parties in question love each other and are tied by blood, as is the case in this story. A very powerful, emotional, and heartbreaking tale.
Reviewed by: Liadan ✧ Score: 2
In spite of the Prophecy of the North, there is at least one person who believes that forgiveness is infinite.