The Eleventh Hour
2004 Award Category: Races: Númenor - Second Place
Story Type: Other Fiction ✧ Length: unknown
Rating: G ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Why did Tar-Miriel not board one of the nine ships and escape Numenor with the other Faithful?
Review scores are not available for 2004.
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: N/A
Wonderful story about sacrifice and devotion. I love the reasons Tar-Miriel gives for her decision to stay in Númenor, and I love that she sends her youngest maiden in her place, a maiden that had apparently been thought lost by the Elendili. Sauron was at his best, sly and almost coy in his words, only giving hints of his ultimate plans. Elendil and Isildur were surprisingly complete characters in their small roles, and their acceptance of Tar-Miriel's decision as well as their sorrow was heartfelt. A good reminder that the lords of a land are by necessity not lords of themselves.
Reviewed by: Viv ✧ Score: N/A
There is plot here, of course, but the characterizations are really what set this piece apart. All the characters, even the loathsome Karbû, are carefully etched, easily recognizable. Sauron chilled me, from his slither of dialogue, to his play on names, to his veiled insults. And I never would have thought an ingenue character would hold my interest beyond a paragraph or two, but Zaira did. Of course, I can't say enough about the nobility of Elendil, either. However, despite all these stellar examples of characterization, Miriel is the centerpiece in this story. Italicized inner thoughts show her soul within the shell, her necessary facade, and her deep and hopeless desire for a different life. If she became a little bitter there at the end, I can't really blame her for it. In fact, I can only admire her and thank Elendil for giving her that poetic end in the telling. She deserved it.
Reviewed by: Elanor ✧ Score: N/A
Machinations of Sauron as an explanation why Tar-Miriel did not leave with Elendil. I could follow you. But for me this queen felt very human, there was for me no feeling of Numenorean ancestry.
Reviewed by: Ainaechoiriel ✧ Score: N/A
The Eleventh Hour was an adoption of my own Nuzgul, which later became a challenge at HASA. Zimraphel did a fantastic job with it, writing about Tar Miriel's tragic life and last days. This was well-written and very well fleshed out the skimpy story that Tolkien teased us with. Here Miriel gets all the angst she deserves and yet she's noble still. She sacrifices herself to save a child and the rest of the Faithful by not going with them and not drawing unwanted attention to them.