Behind Every Great Man...

Author: annmarwalk

Nominator: Branwyn

2007 Award Category: Times: Mid Third Age: 2851 - 3017 TA: Drabble - Third Place

Story Type: Fixed-Length Ficlet  ✧  Length: True Drabble

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Behind every great man, there's usually someone else keeping track of the details. For Lord Denethor, that someone was his "gentleman's gentleman", Mormegil, taking great pains to make sure that his master's wedding night is as perfect as possible.(100 words)

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Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 6

Great use of the dialogue-only form. The discussion between Denethor and his servant was pitched perfectly, and the readers could very well imagine their respective voices. The dialogue itself flowed completely naturally and captured perfectly the rhythms of speech, with trailing off, stammers, awkward noises etc. Denethor is quite obviously rather nervous at the prospect of his wedding (and his wedding night *g*), and is also quite flustered at the amount of detail his servant went to to prepare the bridal chamber. I rather think his question elicited much more information than he was expecting as answer! I liked the character of the servant: he was solicitous without being servile, I imagine his tone as quite calm, perhaps even elaborating on his answers so as to soothe his master.

Reviewed by: EdorasLass  ✧  Score: 6

Ah, while I don't envy Mormegil or his position, he seems to have it all well in hand. What I like best is that in every piece you've written about Denethor's gentleman's gentleman, Mormegil never seems in any way intimidated or cowed by Denethor, as I suspect many other men would be. It's very clear that he takes his job seriously, does it very well, and, more than that, both enjoys the work and feels honoured to be performing such duties. I love how skittish Denethor - *Denethor!* - seems here, nervous about his wedding night, wanting everything to be absolutely perfect, utterly clueless as to the different varieties of flowers, and he comes across as wholly aware how lucky he is to have such a diligent manservant. I really like the dynamic between the two, very different men, and I would greatly enjoy hearing more about Mormegil in the future.

Reviewed by: Elen Kortirion  ✧  Score: 5

The real secret of this drabble is how it rings so very true with us, the readers. How many times have we come across 'powerful men' who without the right entourage would be nowhere near as successful as they are perceived to be. I very much enjoyed this portrayal of a perfect manservant... and one who Ann has tailored so accurately to fit Denethor's needs... He is professional, has an eye for tiny details, yet makes himself invisible to nearly everyone but his master. And the last line makes me giggle and shake my head, but it's going to be oh so true of a man who will rule a country at war, and has probably spent most of his adult life training to that end to the exclusion of all else - A very nice double portrait here!

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 4

Oh dear! I can sympathize with Denethor in his floral confusion – telling flowers apart has never been a strong point, I'm mostly content just to look at them and admire. But Mormegil makes such an effort to make Denethor look good, even to the extent of signing Denethor's name to the inquiry as to Finduilas's favorite flowers, that now the poor bridegroom will have to keep track of flower names when clearly he's already somewhat flustered. An amusing ficlet!

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 4

["Which are which?"] *sporfles* There is just something so laugh-out-loud hilarious about that last line. I love that! As well as the blush I can just imagine in Denethor's cheeks when he asks to make sure everything is ["ah, ready"]. This is a perfect way to bring out Denethor's lighter side. And having just the dialog was the perfect way to go, because I can imagine all sorts of reactions, intonations, and so forth. Nice work, Ann!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 3

Oh, I love this! Perfect characterisation of Denethor, the perfectionist bridegroom! The last line is perfect - hey, I have something in common with the future 26th Steward of Gondor! Mormegil is a delightful addition to the OC's of Gondor - a quietly competent, gracious but not obsequious valet to Denethor.

Reviewed by: Marigold  ✧  Score: 3

I really enjoyed that this was all in dialogue - very fitting for this piece. I thought the characterisations were very good and actually liked Denthor here! His servant was the perfect gentleman's gentleman!

Reviewed by: Tanaqui  ✧  Score: 3

This is a cute and funny drabble. With only perfectly pitched dialogue and no description, we still get a perfect sense of tone of voice. Mormegil's slightly creepy attentiveness and Denethor's mild befuddlement are clearly shown.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

How can one NOT like Mormegil, the perfect Gentleman's gentleman? And we see just how well he manages the Lord Steward Denethor. A perfect look at this wonderfully British arrangement settled in the Citadel of Minas Tirith. Exquisite!

Reviewed by: Bodkin  ✧  Score: 3

Goodness - Denethor is in serious need of Mormegil - to play Bunter to his Lord Peter. You can't help but wonder how much of what is achieved in the world is a direct result of the hired help!

Reviewed by: agape4gondor  ✧  Score: 2

Very nice, indeed! I'm glad Denethor had someone looking out for him at least at some time. Mormegil must have died sometime before 3019!

Reviewed by: Lindelea  ✧  Score: 2

Very funny! I am quite fond of extremely competent personal servants. (Need one, actually.)

Reviewed by: Llinos  ✧  Score: 2

This drabble works very well written completely in dialogue. Mormegil is an excellent servant and I found myself wondering what had become of him in later years.

Reviewed by: Mechtild  ✧  Score: 2

Where is *my* Mormegil? As Pippin said, [“I’m getting one!”] Fortunate is the steward who has such a man in his service!

Reviewed by: phyloxena  ✧  Score: 2

Ann manages to make Denethor human, even a bit comic, but no less formidable than he should be. Unfortunately, by the time we see Denethor in the book, he has no use for such details.