A Golden Flower

Author: Celeritas

Nominator: Larner

2009 Award Category: Genres: Character Study - Second Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: A movie-verse tale designed to fix some of the many problems for post-quest Frodo. How did he manage to survive four years of distress in the Shire without Arwen's jewel, and how did he decide to sail knowing that this was the Last Ship and Sam could not follow him?

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 10

In spite of how much we loved the movies, most of those of us who have always been book-firsters still find some of the changes strange and leave great holes in the plot, and so from time to time we look for ways to add TO or change the movies to keep them more in keeping with the books, or to add back what we see as important elements that were skipped over, missed, or trimmed away in the transition. So, if Movie-Frodo didn't receive the Evenstar gem (and WHY did Aragorn receive that rather than the Elessar stone? Never figured that out!), then what could have helped sustain him through not two but four years of waiting before sailing to the Undying Lands? And if he is to sail on the Last Ship, then how could Sam possibly follow him? And how would Sam become aware of that fact? A wonderful resolution to these dilemmas is offered in this story, one that went right to the top of my nominations list the moment I read it, in spite of the fact several others have lived on the list for months. If in the movies Arwen has taken the place of Glorfindel, then cannot Glorfindel do the same for her in gifting Frodo with a talisman to help ease his growing spiritual discomfort? But then, how to see it passed on to the one who will need it next? Celeritas may be best known for her Kira Proudfoot stories, but this is proof she has a deep knowledge of the books and appreciation for what OUGHT to have been there for the movies and was left out. A must for those who wish the books had been followed a good deal more thoroughly.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 10

Elanor Gamgee in the right hands can become an amazing character. Celeritas writes her very well: the relationship with Frodo is beautifully drawn. I cannot recall a story in which a relationship between Frodo and Elanor is given so much importance or attention. Elanor sounds like a child, with all the emotional perceptiveness of that state, and just that touch of something more that to me marks her as a child of two Ages - the maturity of the old, and the youthful innocence of the new. Their friendship revolves around flowers and their symbolism, and allows for a nice link to Glorfindel. The interpolation of Glorfindel and his gift is a terrific invention that makes good use of him and his potential for unique insight into Frodo's condition. The structure of the piece - short poignant passages that go from the present to the past and back again - gives it impulse and movement, and break up the angst a bit. It is very well paced, Frodo's need for escape mounting until two possibilities, removed in time from each other, but close within the narrative, present him with hope, if with a cost. Sad, sweet, and hopeful - give this story a try! Especially if you like Frodo or enjoy stories with Elanor, or if you're a fan of Glorfindel, you should take a look. Those with an interest in the movies should also enjoy the advantage taken of it here to create a beautiful, canon-compatible AU about one of the great turning points in Frodo's life. Great work, Celeritas!

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 10

In this movieverse story, Celeritas explores how it was Frodo came to sail west - and indeed how he survived the hurt of the Ring for as long as he did, when the Evenstar had been destroyed (at least in the extended version 'verse). So many ponderables explained, if not definitively (because fanfic can't do that) then at least in a convincing ways. It's a neat story if just for that reason. But not *just* for that reason. Given the subject matter, it could have easily descended into angst, possibly even maudlin sentimentalism - but there's really not an ounce of that. Elanor is precocious but believable. Forod is weighed down but believable. Glorfindel is... well, he's as effing ineffable as he needs to be in order to give a glimpse of the impermeability of Iluvatar's wisdom that really falls into the same category where the Undying Lands are concerned. But he's still believable, too. I found this to be a very realistic portrayal of how these events might have happened, which allowed me to get lost in the story. There wasn't a moment that I was pulled out. And that's remarkable. Celeritas's is a nuanced and well-executed Shire, and this story is proof positive that canon can be well used without shackling a story to predictability. Nice work, Celeritas - I really mean that.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 10

Absolutely enchanting. There's almost a mystical quality about this story. It's definitely due in part to the presence of Glorfindel, who is every inch the warrior of Gondolin, but it's also due in part to a startling characterization of Elanor. I don't think I've ever seen her portrayed quite this way, and having now read this version of her, I'm having trouble imagining her otherwise. She fits her name in every way possible, and she understands Frodo with an unnerving but childlike perception that startles and confounds. The combination of the Glorfindel and Elanor and their impact on Frodo's life makes for a powerful tale that weaves in and around time as it relates segments of Frodo's life. That's another thing that adds a mystical aspect to the story. It's not bound by a rigid forward progression through the years. It moves fluidly, much like Glorfindel and Elanor who understand and see further than one might expect. Beautiful and captivating tale! I gained a new perspective on everyone involved. And I have to add that if Arwen can borrow Glorfindel's horse and usurp his role in the Quest, I think it very fitting and appropriate that Glorfindel can do the same with Arwen's gem and Frodo's journey over the Sea (to say nothing of Sam's).

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 9

I am very impressed with this story. You have accomplished a lot more than just "fixing the movies." The way you illuminate Frodo's relationship with Sam and his family is deeply moving and very insightful. Linking Elanor and Glorfindiel via the golden/yellow flowers was a stroke of genius! I enjoyed the way both the ancient and the very young have a wisdom to share that helps Frodo. Your Elanor is pure delight, a very special child indeed, and it is almost as if in her the merits of all the different races and people involved in the quest came together in condensed form. Maybe Galadriel had her hand in there, with some special kind of charm? There are some very effective images in this story that I'm sure will stay with me, especially the wild flowers in their vase and the gem hidden in the puzzle boxes. Your prose is, as usual, very beautiful and effortless to read. I liked the way the scenes were so loosely woven together, it was a bit like looking into a caleidoscope, but then each scene was so simple and straightforward that is was very easy to follow the whole thing. Thank you for a touching and edifying story.

Reviewed by: Antane  ✧  Score: 6

An interesting little story. I love that Elanor went on walks with her uncle Frodo and how very perceptive she was of him in things. I think it was good that he was able to see her grow up a little in the films and to have seen his namesake also but I do wonder too how he was able to bear staying so long. And I think possibly he did tell Sam that he would be able to come during that long, last embrace. I love though your solution to it and what Glorfindel said about how the gem could be used to find the West. It would be terrible indeed if Frodo had to leave without the hope of seeing his Sam again or Sam had to be left behind without the hope of seeing his Frodo again. I hope Sam opens that gift soon so he knows, at the proper time, he can be with his brother again.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 6

This story was part of a challenge to "fix the movies". The "flaw" that Celeritas chose was that Frodo stayed in Middle-earth not merely two years, but *four*, and deprived of the comfort of Arwen's gem. Her solution to the problem is elegant and touching. In the process, we see Frodo develop a deeply loving relationship with little Elanor, who is wise and precocious beyond her years. The substitute that Celeritas finds for the missing gem seems perfectly appropriate, and it seems like a lovely bit of irony, as well. After all, if Arwen can take Glorfindel's place in saving Frodo, it seems only fair that he take hers, and saves Frodo in the way that she did: by giving him solace in his sorrow. Celeritas also has a way with prose-- her language in this story is eloquent and insightful. All in all a more than successful answer to the challenge!

Reviewed by: Clodia  ✧  Score: 5

Frodo’s weariness is very well done and excellently connected with the wilting celandine. It’s lovely to see him with little Elanor and her concern for him. Frodo’s melancholy and his feeling of being old are a constant presence; the place of Glorfindel in the story is excellently handled; and the introduction of the jewel as one more little gift from a stranger to help him on the way to the very end of his story is a lovely idea. Hiding it away in a puzzle box seems very Hobbitish, somehow. This really is a beautiful tale. Thank you for sharing it!

Reviewed by: Inkling  ✧  Score: 3

A fine instance of getting the most out of movieverse--in this case, using Frodo's extended stay in the Shire to develop a relationship with little Elanor that is poignant and believable. Nice, too, to see Glorfindel taking Arwen's role in the gift of the gem. Turnabout is fair play!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 3

A lovely story that enriches the movie-verse and paints a fair picture of the relationship between Frodo and little Elanor. Excellent characterisation of Frodo and Glorfindel and Elanor herself.

Reviewed by: NeumeIndil  ✧  Score: 3

Wow. I like your use of the reincarnation theory of the Glorfindel legend, and the relationship between Eleanor and Frodo is wonderful. This bridges the gaps between movie and book canon very well. Thanks for writing it.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 2

I loved this story of Frodo and young.It is just beautiful to see Frodo's nobility and goodness and bond with Sam's young daughter!