Author: Dreamflower

Nominator: Cathleen

2011 Award Category: Cross-Cultural: Eriador

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Disturbing Imagery/Themes

Summary: Gandalf has a momentous meeting. "2758-9: The Long Winter follows. Great suffering and loss of life in Eriador and Rohan. Gandalf comes to the aid of the Shire-folk." (Appendix B: Tale of Years)" (Written for the B2MEM March 18 Challenge)

Read the Story  ✧  Backup Story Link

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 6

Dear Dreamflower, I really enjoyed this story of Gandalf’s first (proper) encounter with Hobbits. Three of the Shirefolk stranded in a dilapidated cottage in the grim snow. They were bound to be Tooks, or otherwise Brandybucks, to dare such a journey in such conditions, and they behave very much like hobbits. Gandalf is spot on here, with little details like the quick grab for the hat before it blows away, and it is entirely appropriate that he cannot save the young hobbit, since healing is indeed not his art. You make it very believable how this first encounter has impressed Gandalf with the merits of the hobbitfolk and has laid the foundations for their friendship in years to come. This is a neat and insightful story well worth a read.

Author response: I had this image of Gandalf in the snow with three desparate hobbits for several years, and knew this was his first real meeting with the hobbit race. It took me a while to figure it all out, but I was glad for the prompt that gave me the impetus to write of it. No, healing is not his art. If the only thing had been the effects of the cold, he might have saved Hammie, but since the illness had progressed so far, there was nothing he could have done. Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed the story.

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 4

This emotional and heartening story provides some background. Gandalf meets three young hobbits on the road, at a time when things were hard indeed. But he is impressed and touched by how much these hobbits are willing to help each other and offer hospitality to him--a complete stranger to them--as well. The descriptions and dialogue are exceedingly well-written. The reader, like the wizard, will realize that hobbits are remarkable people, indeed. A nicely-crafted, feel-good story.

Author response: Ever since I read in UT about how Gandalf first encountered hobbits and was attracted by their Pity, I wanted to explore how that came about. I'm glad you liked my take on that particular event.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 4

Interesting account of Gandalf's first encounter with Shire-hobbits; in a very bad time for all concerned. I love how the courage and pluck of the hobbits endears them to the wandering wizard, as well as their compassion, which is something that they share with him. Nicely done. I wouldn't mind seeing more stories dealing with Gandalf's early relationship/interactions with the Shire and its people.

Author response: I had originally intended this to be a much longer multi-chapter story, but it had languished on my hard drive for a long time, so I finally decided to post what would have been a prologue as a separate story. Perhaps Gandalf will someday deign to tell me the rest of the story!

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 3

This really is a momentous meeting, although it comes along as a chance meeting of strangers in bad weather. Young Hammie might have died, but he didn't die in vain. Because of him the hobbits were in the right place at the right time. I like change of point of view between Gandalf and the hobbits throughout the story.

Author response: Thank you very much! I've often envisioned Gandalf coming across hobbits in some such fashion, from his description in Unfinished Tales. And I enjoy using dual POVs, so I'm glad you liked that, too!

Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel  ✧  Score: 2

This was a sad but lovely look at how Gandalf came to help at least some of the Shire-folk during the Long Winter.

Author response: Thank you so much, SS!