Author: Tevildo

Nominator: mirach

2011 Award Category: Other Beings: General

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Medium Length

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

Summary: After winning the War of Wrath, Eönwë encounters someone from his past. But no victory against Melkor is complete, unless at the End; and not in every case is there a rift in the armour of Fate. Eönwë/Sauron. Originally written before we found out that Sauron's "real" name was Mairon. Warnings: action violence, reported torture. 13865 words.

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Reviewed by: The Lauderdale  ✧  Score: 10

This story has a tag for "Ridiculously Convoluted Prose," but I found it both consistent and artful. It didn't get in the way of the story. On the contrary, it helped drive the story by accentuating the emotions of the characters, making me feel all that was at stake, and the terrible inevitability of it: both at the personal level, for Sauron and Eönwë, and at a more universal level, for the Men and Elves that Eönwë pities, and a world enmeshed in Morgoth's Ring. Tevildo also succeeded in making Eönwë interesting to me. Others have treated him as a character, but I think this may be the first time I have really found him personally engrossing. Here is this person so bound to the Law (as might be expected of the Valar's mouthpiece), yet capable of sympathy, sparing Kin-slayers and trying in vein to coax Sauron to return West. He also carries an interesting nostalgia for battle. In one telling instance, Gil-Galad explains why he maintains such a light rule over his people - he fears he would provoke a civil war - and [For an instant Eönwë suffered himself to see a forest of brave banners waving in the wind, and to hear his trumpets calling over the main.] This is an interesting temptation in someone trying to usher in an era of peace. Sauron knows and preys upon both Eönwë's passion, and his pity, predicting that Elves and Men may expect little help from the Valar in times to come. Yet Eönwë trusts, and is sorely abused of that trust when Manwë forbids him to return to help the peoples of Middle-earth or to expend any further effort on Sauron: [At the last Manwë cast over Eönwë's bounden gaze a hood plumed all in blue, and stroked his feathers for a long time in silence.] Alternating depictions of Eönwë as a bird of prey, captive or otherwise, or some unchecked force of nature (during a volcanic encounter with Sauron, for instance), and other transformations, bring home that this is no mere human. Still, godlike and alien though Eönwë may be, his bootless love and pity hold him within reach of our own pity. Sauron's depiction also demands mention. He is hopelessly flawed: traumatized by his time with Morgoth, and tragically prescient, but also cowardly and self-righteous. He seems honestly to love Eönwë, yet seeks endlessly to seduce him into an existence like his own: one that will pit the Valar forever against him, and finally corrupt him. Nowhere is Sauron's warped perspective better illustrated than in a defensive speech on the subject of Orcs (keep in mind that they had just watched those Orcs brutally slaughter and despoil a city - though I suppose Sauron could easily point out that this same city had just been victimized by an earlier army of Men): ["I shall breed them fairer, if you will have it so. The Orcs I made for Melkor; you they will not please. Yet even these, whom you name 'abomination', are not without virtue. They love the simple pleasures of food and drink and good company, and their delight is to obey a greater will, whereby they are inwardly at peace. And more: for they find joy in song, and they have great love and courage, and in vengeance they begrudge neither toil, nor pain, nor death. If for Melkor I made even these, think what our children will be!"] Considering the personalities of the two people involved, there is no way their love could play out anything other than tragically. Still, because it would kill me not to say it: Manwë is a pompous ass and this story does nothing whatsoever to make me like him.

Reviewed by: mirach  ✧  Score: 10

This is one of the great stories that stay with a reader long after reading the last words, tragically beautiful like so many tales of Middle-earth. It explores the relationship of two characters, two Maiar who chose a different path. The characters of Eönwë and Sauron are portrayed very vividly, so the reader can really understand them and their motives, and see them in a new perspective – a very intriguing one. The “otherworldly” nature of the Maiar and their sensual experiences are clearly different from what we are able to experience with our senses, and yet we are able to imagine it through the wonderful descriptions, sometimes really more sensual than visual. The pictures are really powerful. The use of language is truly masterful in this story. The style is noble and high like the Ainur themselves, and shows their minds in a way that makes it easy to comprehend, although they differ from the ways of thinking of the Chidren. The story is very intriguing not only with the setting and characters, but also questions that it brings. The nature of Valar is one of these questions. To my mind the Valar are kinder, but I can imagine them also like they are described here. It makes the tales of Arda even more tragic. To me, “Envoi” is one of the best stories in the big Middle-earth fandom I have ever read. It is a sad story, but it forces to reader to think and comprehend, and at the end, leaves him with the feeling of a masterfully spun tale, lingering bitterness and beauty.

Reviewed by: Liadan  ✧  Score: 2

An intriguing dialog between Eönwë and Sauron (Mairon) continues through several Ages.