1st March, TA 3019

Author: cairistiona

Nominator: Inzilbeth

2011 Award Category: Drabble: General

Story Type: Drabble  ✧  Length: True Drabble

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: A drabble, in honor of one of the more memorable of Aragorn's birthdays. Not a tale of the Dúnedain of the North, but of a Dúnadan of the North who traveled far to the South...(100 words; part of a collection of loosely related ficlets and drabbles.)

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Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 6

Until I read this drabble I'd not tied the day on which the Three Hunters entered the eaves of Fangorn in search of Merry and Pippin with Aragorn's birthday. Indeed, what a birthday gift the unexpected encounter they experienced there proved to be for the King-in-the-making! How joyful a day it was for the three of them as they realized that the horrible loss they'd known in Moria was now redressed, and that Gandalf had been returned to Middle Earth where his presence was so deeply needed! Cairistiona has presented a perfect drabble that well captures the excitement and joy known by Aragorn in the surprise of that moment, the awe that this time Death was not final, and that the hope for a victory against Sauron was now renewed with this return! Definitely a drabble to be treasured and savored. Just the way a drabble was meant to be!

Author response: Thank you, Larner! Such a kind review! I too didn't realize, until seeing it on a "Today in Middle-earth" post on tORN that this occurred on Aragorn's birthday. It's such a terrific moment in the story and that bit of trivia made it even more special to my mind. :)

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 3

I just love it that Tolkien has Gandalf reappear to his friends on Aragorn's birthday. What must have seemed an especially grim birthday for Aragorn, becomes a very special one when the tide begins to turn. This excellent drabble brilliantly captures Aragorn's emotions, from fear and disbelief to utter joy at the return of his old friend from the dead.

Author response: Thanks, Linda! I can't imagine a better gift for Aragorn at that time of his life, can you? The tide turning indeed!

Reviewed by: Striderette  ✧  Score: 3

This drabble is a brilliantly succinct picture of a singular instance of "hope unlooked for" in Aragorn's life. In a few well chosen words, Cairistiona has beautifully brought to life an event upon which the future success of the War of the Ring hangs. A true birthday gift indeed for the Ranger of the North!!!

Author response: Thank you, Striderette! Can you imagine having such a birthday gift??? Aragorn really did have a banner birthday, that year, despite the dark times.

Reviewed by: Elleth  ✧  Score: 2

What a lovely birthday gift for Aragorn, and a great catch in terms of Middle-earth chronology and storytelling. I really enjoyed this drabble.

Author response: Thank you, Elleth! So glad you enjoyed this, and very grateful for the review!

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 2

This was delightful to read! A very important moment in both Aragorn's life and in the history of the Ring War. Read it and see. This is a most well-crafted drabble.

Author response: Thank you, Darkover! So glad you enjoyed it!

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 2

What a surprising and welcome birthday present! I liked the way the author built up to the reveal.

Author response: Thank you! I don't know how many times I'd read that passage not realizing it took place on Aragorn's birthday, until seeing that day listed on tORN's "Today in Middle-earth". I thought it deserved pointing out. :)

Reviewed by: Inzilbeth  ✧  Score: 2

Oh what a joyous moment that must have been! Tolkien doesn't really use the emotional impact to full effect but Cairistiona in few words has given it that extra punch.

Author response: Thanks, Liz! No, that little detail was rather glossed over by the Professor... I suppose he had a bigger picture to paint! But it's fun to go back in and add a detail to enjoy.

Reviewed by: Phyncke  ✧  Score: 2

This really does encapsulate that joyous moment. I can feel his shock and awe revealed. Lovely.

Author response: Thank you! That's exactly what I wanted to show... the joy and shock of seeing his friend come back to life. What a birthday present!