Only a Woman II

Author: Marta

Nominator: Marta

2011 Award Category: Character Study: Gondorians

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

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

Summary: A series of four vignettes inspired by the symbolism of the Advent wreath, each symbolizing on Gondor's and Rohan's most famous noble-women. 1. In the Depths of Winter [hope, ft. Arwen + racism] 2. Those Who Cannot [preparation, ft. Finduilas + class inequality] 3. When Winter First Begins to Bite [joy, ft. Eowyn + sexism] 4. Strange Fates [love, ft. Lothiriel + homophobia]

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Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 7

The underwritten women of Middle-earth get a series of their own: Marta takes up four of our favorite Third Age heroines, and adds a few who were never graced with that title, and in a kalaidescopic tour of inequity, looks at different ways in which they would have faced certain forms of injustice. Sometimes the men in their lives help them to confront it; other times they are largely invisible. Sometimes, the scenario Marta comes up with defies general expectations of what it is to be, say, an Elf; in other cases, the ingratitude of the state is on display. I think my favorite is the encounter between Eowyn and Ioreth, just because the Ioreth-fangirl in me loves to see her as someone other than the old chatterbox in need of a male interpreter to make sense. But I also liked the Lóthiriel piece, because it's very rare to get a Middle-earth coming-out story that involves a son and his mother. An interesting and thought-provoking series - definitely recommended!

Reviewed by: grey_gazania  ✧  Score: 3

One of the great things about fanfiction is getting to see Tolkien's women finally get some real time in the spotlight. Marta does it magnificently here, while simultaneously tackling issues of inequality in Middle-earth.