I Have a Little Shadow

Author: jan-u-wine

Nominator: Antane

2011 Award Category: Poetry: General

Story Type: Poetry  ✧  Length: N/A (Non-Fiction or Poetry)

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: June 30, 2003. Elijah Wood, as Frodo Baggins, completes the Red Book, thereby finishing his work in "The Lord of the Rings". After four incredible years, what might have been his thoughts as the final scene was shot? (note: this poem is a companion piece to Mechtild's screen-caps for "Frodo Finishes the Red Book", an entry meant specifically to illuminate Wood's last take for LOTR)

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Reviewed by: Mechtild  ✧  Score: 10

If it were not for the behind-the-scenes extras that came with the extended edition DVD 's of the LOTR films, I would not have given much consideration to the thoughts and feelings of the people who played the characters I already loved so well. That would include the actor who played my favourite character, Elijah Wood. But watching those extras brought me into their experiences in a way that truly engaged me. This poem brings me into their experience even more, at least as it pertains to the actor for Frodo, even though it is only speculation -- if well-founded speculation. When I sit and read this piece, more than ever am I aware of the length of time -- years! -- over which Frodo was portrayed by the actor. It occurred to me that even actors in long-running hit Broadway plays seldom play a role for this amount of time. How could this experience, playing such a role, in such a hit, and for so long, and especially at the time of life the young actor played it, not leave an indelible mark? Beyond that, it is not just the content of the poem that engages, it's the telling. Perhaps my favourite touch is the way the author, in describing the writing of Frodo's name in the Red Book for the last time, lets the mere look of the letters, even their accent marks, be acute if subtle agents for the revelation of character.

Author response: Dear Linda.....you are the only person who has ever mentioned the writing of Frodo's name in the Red Book, with the accompanying description of the dots and the 'eye-brow' (like Frodo's own oft-quirk'd ones) and the (deliberately?) lower-case (or seemingly lower-case) 'f'. This is my favorite part of the whole piece. The poem was easy to write at first, then beccame increasingly difficult as I neared what i knew to be the end. How to end it? Why, with the Red Book, of course...but how to write that moment? I couldn't just say, "and he wrote of Sam, this being the last thing, ever, he might say in Middle Earth, and closed the page". After many tries, suddenly the idea came about the writing. Almost as important, i should think, to a writer as the words themselves is how they appear on the page. And surely the precision with which Elijah was taught to write Frodo's words was as important as getting the accent 'right'...and in, the end, just as dear. (you notice that for many years, after, he bore that accent, and I think it must have, after a time, been a 'choice', a holding on to that which is dear, for just a moment more. "As a father you shall be to me", said Merry to Theoden. "For a little while". That is all we have, those "little whiles", and they are the true precious. Thank you again, dear Linda. I love that you saw that detail which is beloved to me.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 7

We often speculate on the thoughts of those we read about in Tolkien’s works—of course, where would fanfiction without those speculations, after all? But in this Jan-u-wine speculates on the actual thoughts of Elijah Woods as he completed his last scene from the movies, inspired by the footage shot and Woods’s own comments on how he might come to be always identified with this as perhaps his most remembered role. How poignant these lines are, and how most likely true! A perfect image of the actor grieving perhaps that he is now divorced from the role, wishing he might always truly be what he has portrayed over the past two years or better! The writer’s writing is always evocative, and how perfectly it captures my own feelings as I consider how my own relationship with Frodo Baggins has evolved since I began writing fanfiction. Definitely a poem I recommend!

Author response: Dear Larner, thank you so much for the wonderful review. Frodo is such a strong and resonant character to me, so imbued with all that humans might be, if they love enough to *try*, that I can't help but think and hope that Mr. Wood might feel such things at the *doffing* of the cloak. And now he has been 'there' (and back, again), once more showing a keen desire to inhabit, as nearly as he can, those places which were dear to Frodo's heart. I intended this poem to be a tribute to the both of them, so seemingly wonderfully matched in spirit, and am very happy if you feel that I have succeeded. Thank you!

Reviewed by: Antane  ✧  Score: 2

Sweet poem of how Elijah viewed being Frodo. Bravo both of you, poetess and the one who became Frodo for this age.

Author response: thank you, dear Antane. I so loved writing this poem.