Author: ErinRua

Nominator: unknown

2004 Award Category: Times: The Lord of the Rings - First Place

Story Type: Other Fiction  ✧  Length: unknown

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: A dwarf, a cave and a claustrophobic elf. Wherein Gimli and Legolas venture into the Crystal Caves of Aglarond at the war's end, and Legolas is lost for words. NO slash.

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Review scores are not available for 2004.

Reviewed by: Larian Elensar  ✧  Score: N/A

Oh, that I could describe anything as well as you did the Glittering Caves. And I loved the relationship between Gimli and Legolas as you showed it.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: N/A

ErinRua has a clear handle on Legolas and Gimli both in this story. What I find truly remarkable about it, actually, is that I never realized it was told from the first person perspective until recently, and I only realized it was told in present tense when I reread it for these awards. I'm normally not a fan of either, and the fact that I didn't even notice them until now should say something about how well the narrative and the style fit the story. This is a beautiful capstone to the friendship that has developed between Legolas and Gimli, and it's almost as though any lingering doubts or misgivings are laid to rest in this story. It's a powerful piece that lets us experience the majesty of the caves even as Legolas experiences it by using a slow, wonderful build to the moment when Gimli finally lets the elf open his eyes. Beautiful descriptive work and a very quiet, poignant take on this moment in their friendship.

Reviewed by: Ainaechoiriel  ✧  Score: N/A

Beautiful. Absolutely striking. ErinRua's desriptions were powerful, which is something I am weak at myself. I could see these caves as I read. I'd still love to see a companion story, from Legolas's point of view taking Gimli to Fangorn.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: N/A

Oh, simply beautiful! I especially liked the line "How can enmities or grievances remain, where beauty has been shared?" It was nice to see a Legolas and Gimli friendship piece that was so rich, and that stayed in character - but most of all, it was wonderful to see it from Gimli's perspective! So many of these friendship pieces come from Legolas's perspective. (Never could guess why ... ;-) ) And this is certainly Gimli's voice. But my favourite part of all was probably the descriptions of the caverns. Beautiful! If I could write like that, I might just be able to do my own Aglarond plot-bunny justice.

Reviewed by: ElenaTiriel  ✧  Score: N/A

I have said before of this and (very few) other stories that it is one of my all-time favorite stories, and I have probably read over a thousand Tolkien fan fictions. Well, I've changed my mind: This is my all-time favorite Tolkien fan fiction. I weep in joy for the beauty of your words and the beauty of your images and the beauty of Legolas and Gimli's mutual friendship every single time I read this story (and I have done so many dozens of times). The detailed descriptions of the cave are astounding and awe-inspiring; I almost feel like I'm watching a fabulous National Geographic special in color on television while I read them. Every detail, like how the sound is magnified and intensified, is not only accurate but serves to enhance the atmosphere. I feel so empathetic for Legolas; you don't overplay his claustrophobia, but you imbue his actions and words with just enough unease to make me feel his discomfort (not to mention, I'm claustrophobic myself -- but you don't give me a full-fledged attack, thank goodness!). Gimli is such a sympathetic character in his concern for his friend and his recognition, and acceptance, of the differences between him. (I like the touch of Gimli admiring the shape of Legolas' face -- like any artist would -- and deciding that only marble would do it justice, but was saddened when he decided not to sculpt it because the other Dwarves wouldn't understand...) I was very touched by both Legolas' willingness to trust Gimli by staying put and keeping his eyes closed, and Gimli's attempts to make a bit more noise to reassure his friend that he had not been abandoned. It is extremely difficult for someone to whom a skill (like being comfortable underground) comes naturally to have that gut-level understanding of and empathy for another person to whom that skill does not come naturally or, worse yet, has fears around that skill (claustrophobia); Gimli really has the ability to put himself into Legolas' shoes, despite their differences. And then the grand unveiling: I was very moved by Legolas' reaction, especially his tears, his thanks, and Gimli's realization of their similarities in being able to share an appreciation for extraordinary beauty. Like I said, this is my all-time favorite story, and I have never said that about any other story. I thank you for sharing this extraordinary beauty with your readers.