2008 Award Category: Times: Late Third Age: Gondor Drabbles - First Place
Story Type: Fixed-Length Ficlet ✧ Length: True Drabble
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: n/a
Summary: Beneath the shield, there is a maiden - and it takes a woman to know the truth of her. Ioreth and Éowyn, for the 2006 Advent Calendar prompt: "Éowyn."(100 words)
Reviewed by: dkpalaska ✧ Score: 10
The prejudices and idiosyncrasies of the male-dominated society receive an airing in ["Recognition"], where it's plain that lack of understanding and cruel judgements prevail when a woman doesn't fit within the established roles. (Although Ioreth notes differently, I've always found it ridiculous that some of the worst behaviour can come from other *women*, irrational as it is.) I agree that Eowyn must have seen this: not only a stranger to Gondor, but one of the Twilight People and... and... a *warrior*? What femininity is inherent in a destroyer of Nazgul? (Good heavens! She's not going to give Gondorian women any fanciful ideas, is she?) It takes someone older and wiser, someone who doesn't get a particularly favorable portrayal in LotR but whom Dwimordene has always handled masterfully and to great effect: Ioreth can see beyond Eowyn's coldness to know that it springs from a wounded soul, and that a woman's strength manifests in many ways. The structure and language of this drabble is just awesome - so much emotion and tone conveyed in so few words - but I think one of my favorite parts is what is barely, briefly mentioned: what Faramir's character must have been, he who could see into the hearts of Men. He looked within Eowyn's heart and saw ["every beat a woman's"], and loved woman and warrior both. Few, I think, could have made Eowyn feel as whole as Faramir evidently did.
Reviewed by: nancylea ✧ Score: 10
drabbles make it very hard to babble one thousand characters of review. since this is not truly a drabble shall i try? yes she is an easily misread person but so much of that comes from the fact is is not your average damsel in distress, she was never told that as a victim of emotional abuse she is supposed to suffer oh so tragically so that the hero can swoop in and save her, she has found herself to be a survivor and not even a delicate little flower of a girl she is a full blown heroine and has no desire to be saved. and then we get to your main character, the blonde from rohan... twin sisters seperated by forty or so years of age? at this point i hit the spoilers button i don't know how else to stretch this out but to get right to the story.there are those who say that tolkien short-changed woman by not writing more females into his stories, i don't see that that is true, he wrote very few women into the tale but those that he did were all very strong, very admirable leaders of our sex. most anywhere in the world you can find women tending their men, children and houses; in very few societies even in these years are women valued as highly as leaders as the are in other roles. we tell ourselves that women have made great strides to equlity but have we really. how often do we see women actually in charge and in control of high pressure situations. including my rant i made it hope you win.
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 6
There's something in the distinction between "feminine" (or ["womanly"] in the language of this drabble) and "skilled" that I found really interesting. I know that in academia too often we are asked to choose between the two; and I suspect the same would be true of most other professions -- perhaps never moreso than within Middle-earth. Ioreth, as a fellow woman-artisan, would be in a unique position to recognize this in Eowyn. there is an interesting tension in the fact that Eowyn is about to sacrifice her art for (as she says, she'll ["be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great Riders."]) Even without these intriguing and deep thoughts, I found this a vvery soothing character moment, and a nice gapfiller for Eowyn's healing process so that she could accept Faramir's love. Beautiful writing throughout, and a thoroughly worthwhile read.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 4
Dwimordene presents an unusual snapshot of the fabled Faramir/Eowyn courtship - that of one woman recognizing another woman's greatness, and the loneliness that great deeds and great valour can bring a woman in the male-dominated kingdoms of the West. That Ioreth can credibly recognize such distinctions, and also equate a woman's perception with that of [the right man] is a novel and worthy approach to Tolkien's world, which, though not devoid of strong women, usually views them through a male viewpoint.
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: 4
Ioreth is often ignored, demeaned, or belittled in fanfiction. When she does appear, she is usually one of Tolkien's more maligned characters. But Dwim proves that there's much more to a character than a seemingly inexhaustible capacity for talk. Behind the battle, there's also wisdom of a kind and a protective nature that undoubtedly serves Ioreth well in the Houses of Healing. As far as Eowyn's concerned, Ioreth reads her as shrewdly as does Faramir. Lovely bit of characterization work!
Reviewed by: Isabeau of Greenlea ✧ Score: 3
Ioreth is insightful in this Dwimordene drabble. (Perhaps it's because her mouth isn't running!) In any event, she sees the White Lady of Rohan more truly than many accounted Wise. And she likes her well enough to be happy for her, when it seems Eowyn has found a kindred spirit at last.
Reviewed by: stefaniab ✧ Score: 3
In the few words allotted to a drabble, Dwimordene succintly covers the issue of Eowyn's alleged coldness--all from the point of view of Ioreth, a distinctly "warmer" person, as fanon would have it. Nicely done.
Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke ✧ Score: 3
I particularly appreciate that you put the 'recognition' of the title into Ioreth's eyes. Showing her as something of a career woman, a woman who might have been succeeding in a man's world, throws a new and clearer light on her as well as on Eowyn.
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 3
A very nice exploration of the theme of Eowyn's femininity. To have the POV be that of Ioreth was a masterful stroke: Ioreth speaks with the authority of the Wise Woman, and sees more than most.
Reviewed by: Tanaqui ✧ Score: 3
Dwimordene has created a nicely expressed and subtle exploration of how Eowyn's deeds must have been perceived in Gondor and how Eowyn must have felt about her reception. Hooray for Ioreth's perceptives (and Faramir's too, of course)! Most enjoyable.
Reviewed by: Robinka ✧ Score: 3
This is a very interesting glimpse at Eowyn, during the time of her recovery in the Houses of Healing, from Ioreth's viewpoint. It offers a deep insight into the mind of a very observant, wise woman who sees way more than other people. Great job!
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 2
Ooh! Another Ioreth drabble! Wonderful images here, and love Ioreth's recognition of her patient's true state!
Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland ✧ Score: 2
I enjoyed this drabble in which Ioreth perceives the womanly heart beneath Eowyn's cold exterior and rejoices when she finds Faramir.A wise woman of Gondor indeed!