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.
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.