Stealing A Silmaril

Author: Military History

Nominator: Jael

2011 Award Category: First Age and Prior: General

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

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

Summary: A slightly more detailed version of how Beren and Luthien stole the Silmaril from Morgoth's crown.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 6

Dear Military History, I am glad to see that you have taken the plunge and are competing at MEFA this year. I liked this story best of all yours which I’ve read, so I’m pleased that it has been nominated. You have succeeded in creating a very good tone here, formal enough to suit the Silmarillion, yet more detailed and evocative. I think it is worth doing this with scenes from the Silmarillion, which are usually so sketchy. The description of Morgoth’s throne hall was particularly good, and I could picture the light of the torches being reflected on the blades of the weapons. The rendition of Luthien’s dance is also very convincing and conveys the power it must have possessed. This is a well rounded-gapfiller which I enjoyed reading.

Author response: Thank you for your review and your kind words. They are both much appreciated. I'm also glad you liked it.

Reviewed by: Jael  ✧  Score: 6

It is always a pleasure to discover a talented young writer, and Military History is just such a find, attentive to canon but with a fresh perspective nonetheless. I have read several other versions of Luthien's dance for Morgoth, and the assumption was that she bewitched him by appealing to his carnal lust. Although such a possibility is given a discreet nod in this story, Luthien instead entrances Morgoth and his minions with a vision of the grace they have lost, in a scene of beautifully rendered detail that is both sad and affecting. Interestingly, it is Beren who breaks the spell by getting a little to greedy, a little too overconfident. This story is classic, yet different -- something you don't see every day. I expect more good things from this author.

Author response: Thank you for the review, and the nomination. I'm glad you liked it.

Reviewed by: Clodia  ✧  Score: 6

It's been said before and will no doubt be said again that given their prominent role in the Silmarillion and their success in doing something that eluded all the sons of Feanor, that is, stealing a Silmaril from Morgoth, there are surprisingly few stories out there about Lúthien and Beren. Military History here contributes to the good cause with an excellent gap-filler that not only illuminates that very achievement but, in the lovely, lyrical description of Lúthien's dance, provides a neat encapsulation of Ilúvatar's activities and the whole pre-history of Middle-earth. It strikes me as a very Elvish idea, to dance such dances, and it fits perfectly here. Military History imitates the Silmarillion's archaising tone with elegant precision too, which is not easy to do. A great piece!

Author response: And let me take the opportunity to once again thank you for your beta work in addition to the review. I'm glad you enjoyed the reading of it.

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale  ✧  Score: 5

An interesting take on Beren and Luthien's recovery of the Silmaril, written in an elevated style of which Tolkien would likely have approved. It is portrayed from the POV of Beren, who is much more directive than I usually see in fanfic. Most fanfiction authors tend to portray Luthien as the initiative-taker in this scenario. Here she looks to Beren for her directions and guidance, although she ultimately arrives at her own decision about the kind of dance she will perform (surprising Beren in the process - I guess he didn't really know the kind of woman he was marrying!) In the end, Beren's machismo is the instrument of their undoing when he tries to up the ante against Luthien's father.

Author response: Thank you for the review. I'm glad you liked the tale.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 4

A quite intriguing elaboration of Luthien's famous meeting with Morgoth. The author pays good attention to the sheer power of Luthien, she is not just another pretty Elven-face; and how that power is unleashed in dance and song, reprising the very Song of Arda, the nature of time and creation and love, to Morgoth and his minions. There's a nice contrast between the might of Morgoth and the might of Luthien, Morgoth being barren of life and hope and love, and Luthien being a product and voice for all three...

Author response: Thank you for reviewing. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 3

A wonderful description of Luthien's song and dance that enchanted Morgoth to sleep, enabling Beren to take a Silmaril. I really like the images and emotions interwoven in her song. Beautifully done.

Author response: Thank you. I'm glad you liked it.