White Flame

Author: Adlanth

Nominator: Elleth

2011 Award Category: Drabble: Character Study - Second Place

Story Type: Drabble  ✧  Length: True Drabble

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: After the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Maglor considers Fingon and Maedhros.(100)

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Reviewed by: Elleth  ✧  Score: 10

Adlanth's [White Flame] is offering an approach to a scene that has appeared frequently in fanfic - Fingon's end in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad at the hands of Gothmog. Where the author differs from many approaches that I have encountered is mainly in the choice of the POV character - here it is Maglor, and who would be better suited than a minstrel for looking at the gritty reality behind Fingon's heroic death? - and the lovely characterization that not only sheds light on Fingon himself and the Feanorians, but also on the origin of the titular white flame that sprang from his helmet at his death. Considering that - if you believe Maglor's words - it originated from Maedhros not only serves to add wholly new dynamics to his and Fingon's relationship (the author tagged it as slash, but if platonic love is your preferred reading, there is nothing in this drabble itself to contradict it), perhaps even touching on the unhealthy, if it indeed was Maedhros who (rather literally) lost a part of himself at Fingon's death. The emotional impact, no matter the direction I explore the story in, at any rate continues to hit me like a punch in the gut whenever I reread this piece of writing. With a touch of the supernatural that defines Tolkien's elves for me, and something darkly romantic (if that is even the right word), this is a definite favourite that I will keep returning to.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 7

Adlanth's White Flame is an extremely good drabble. The author did everything right in this piece. By choosing Maglor's point of view to look at this scene, a somewhat unbiased outside view was given, which gives the reader the impression that s/he is on the outside looking in, and with such an intimate topic, that was definitely the best choice. Furthermore, Maglor's assessment of his cousin Fingon is brilliantly written and staged; it brought about certain topics that I had never considered before, all with wonderful lyric depth and quality. Comparing Fingon to a rock is probably one of the better analogies I've read--it seems so right, even though I've personally never seen it before. And the last line, was splendid. Often, with drabbles, I've noticed that the author focuses so much on the buildup that the resolution of the 100 words is a little lacking in weight; not so here. Overall, this is a thought-provoking drabble, elegantly written and perfectly delivered.

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale  ✧  Score: 7

It's true. I checked [The Silmarillion] afterward, which says of Fingon's death, [Then Gothmog hewed him with his black axe, and a white flame sprang up from the helm of Fingon as it was cloven.] But whence came that white flame? Fire has never been Fingon's element: it is more closely and more appropriately associated with Feanor and his seven sons. Maglor is perceptive enough to recognize the incongruity, and that perception soon leads him to divine an answer. As a general rule, a good drabble hinges on revelation: a surprise, a joke, an unexpected slant... This drabble finds its end in a revelation so simple yet so plain that it does not need to be put into words. And it is well that it is not, because the answer is a sad one, just a brief sentence conveying the companion tragedy to Fingon's death. In a bare hundred words Adlanth has produced a masterpiece of understatement, using Tolkien's stray reference to a white flame - a line that many readers have probably never noticed - to create a small but poignantly illuminating mystery.

Reviewed by: Oshun  ✧  Score: 5

Nice use of a drabble format. I like the way that it contrasts the completely different strengths of Maedhros and Fingon. The setting, narrator, subjects and theme, all come together to tell the reader something and convey a mood of heartwrenching poignancy and a lovely tribute to the canon itself (Feanorian fire and the solidity of Fingon the Valiant). Very fitting tribute of the last of the great warrior/exile High Kings of the Noldor and this classic First Age exposition. I count Feanor and Maedhros in my count. Of course, Gil-galad was not an exile and Turgon was the absentee King.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

A wonderful characterization of Fingon from Maglor's point of view, thoughtful and pithy, with a most appropriate look at the special relationship Fingon had shared with Maedhros. Well done with such a true economy of words.

Reviewed by: Phyncke  ✧  Score: 2

I like the way that Fingon is likened to earth in this. I enjoyed the musings and meanderings of the mind here and ponderings of death that one might make.

Reviewed by: grey_gazania  ✧  Score: 2

This drabble packs quite a punch, and the way Adlaneth describes Fingon's nature is really well-done. A sad and lovely piece.

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 1

This was very descriptive and touching, with also a bit of an O. Henry ending. Good work.