A Rose By Any Other Name
2011 Award Category: Humor: General - First Place
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Medium Length
Rating: Teen ✧ Reason for Rating: Sexual Content
Summary: In this sequel to Flame of the Desert, Glorfindel visits Elrond at his estate in Kortirion Province of Tol EressÃ«a and brings invitations from Gilfanon to a party at the House of the Hundred Chimneys. There Elrond experiences a night to remember as he encounters men in kilts, an invigorating battle of the sward, roses, and an indignant Vanyarin ambassador.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 10
In this sequel to her outstanding story [Flame of the Desert], Pandemonium once more addresses the issue of what the various and very different tribes of Elvenkind do in the Blessed Lands of the West, where there are no great Enemies or even orc-raids to give them common cause, and everyone can live, if not forever, then for at least several millenia. Elrond answers an invitation to a gala event at the home of Gilfanon, the eccentric and ancient elf who beguiled him and Glorfindel on one heckuva trip in the previous story. The party mixes stuffy Vanyarin elves, an impudently named new rose, a troop of monkey musicians, a game of Elven hurling, and the most overdone, outrageous wigs west of the court of Louis XVI. Gilfanon seems to live to puncture expectations, expand the notions of the acceptable, and irritate Elrond after our kind-as-summer Peredhel indulges in various wild escapades. I personally loved the description of the hurling game, Elrond living up to his long-ago sporting nickname of [the Dragon] and battling Mablung of the Heavy Hand in some pretty heavy sports fury. And Elrond's memory of Maedhros and Maglor acting as doting Elven soccer moms to him and Elros is a lovely bit. Pandemonium's theme of Elven atavism, at least temporary atavism, being a necessary part of their lives, and something that is often stifled in the more mannered air of Aman, is humorously and intelligently expressed in this unique story. Not to be missed.
Reviewed by: Russandol ✧ Score: 10
This is a real Laugh Out Loud piece, without doubt, but crammed with detailed insight into the life of the elves in Aman after all the battles have been won and all the foes defeated. What would life in paradise be without a little spark of joy, without people ready to challenge and provoke? The extremes Gilfanon goes to in order to entertain and shock people who, as immortals, must have seen most things, are just hilarious and must surely threaten the peace of Valinor. The kilt fashion, the Vanyarin hairstyles (I'll never ever forget the model of Taniquetil with wired eagles on Gilfanon's head), the hurling match, the rudely named rose bush variety, Glorfindel's hairy knees, they are all a giant riot framing the deep conflict between two very different groups of people: the ones that lived a sheltered, immutable life after the Darkening (and therefore never changed or, worse still, became entrenched and intolerant in their customs) and those who had to adapt to the harshness of Middle-earth and recurring war to ensure their own survival. As imaginative as "Flame of the Desert" (of which "A Rose" is loosely a sequel), this story is what watching a colourful Valinor through a shattered distorting glass must feel like.
Reviewed by: Himring ✧ Score: 10
This is a thoroughly delightful sequel to Flame of the Desert! Here again is Pandemonium's absolutely delightful Elrond struggling to cope with the pitfalls of living the good life in Valinor and the fall-out from the delightfully zany ideas and plans of his good friends Glorfindel and Gilfanon, some of which, this time, turn out to be not nearly as zany as they look. In the process, Elrond reveals a few delightful and endearing eccentricities of his own: instincts known to himself as the "demon-imp". There seems to be no limit to the delights Pandemonium's imagination has in store; there's something for everyone: exciting sports and high politics and the vagaries of fashion (or, in places, the distinct lack of it) and some delightfully rude botany! Who has not dreamed of seeing Elrond fall of a surf-board--and that is only the beginning! I'm also charmed to meet Pandemonium's Erestor again, who is--need I mention it--truly delightful, also, if not always quite as tactful as Elrond. And, as perhaps is only too noticeable, I was really taken with Pandemonium's original female character, Lady Tarazme of the Vanyar, whose sterling character is only very slightly impaired by her rather monotonous predilection for a certain adjective...
Reviewed by: curiouswombat ✧ Score: 10
I do love Pandemonium's version of Tolkien's world - and this tale, set on Tol EressÃ«a and starring Elrond and Glorfindel/Laurefin, is certainly no exception. There are some serious moments and threads (Laurefin's loneliness, the flashback to MÃ©lamÃrÃ«'s time in Barad-dur...) interspersed with so much that is gloriously ridiculous; for example the mental image of Elrond attempting to surf... kilted elves... the celebration of the beauties of Yavanno Tussa (Yavanna's Bush)... a house not unlike Hampton Court... and those are all in the first chapter or two! This mixture is enough in itself to make this a story to devour. There are so many wonderful touches that I feel I ought to mention - Elrond's worries about the shortness of his kilt, Laurefin's hair style, a possibly component of Melian's girdle, etc. etc. - and how thrilled was I, being Manx, to see cammag-playing elves? I really did laugh out loud at the Elton John-like mental image I got from the description of their host when he made his appearance. All that I can really suggest is that you go and read it - and keep your beverages away from the keyboard at all times - or at least until you reach the satisfyingly thoughtful last few pages.
Reviewed by: elfscribe ✧ Score: 10
This sequel to Pandemonium's fantastic "Flame of the Desert," is a marvelous tongue-in-cheek romp of a story in which Gilfanon of the House of One Hundred Chimneys once again combats the ennui of living in paradise by throwing an outrageous party, as only Pande could imagine it. So many fun details here: fashionable lays about violets,["Elrond had not imagined that one hundred and forty-four lengthy lays could be written about a single type of flower, but there it was."]a display of hairy knees,[ââ¬Åleave it to Laurefin to have good leg hair,ââ¬Â]not to mention discovering what elves wear under their kilts, a wild game of ohta paliso - rather like a vicious game of field hockey, pompous Vanyarin ambassadors with mile-high wigs, musical monkeys, bagpipes [ââ¬Åan invention of Melkorââ¬Â] and a lewdly named rose, not to mention Gilfanonââ¬â¢s unforgettable entrance that causes a veritable donnybrook. PandÃ« employs such vivid details that reading one of her stories is like a feast for the senses. In "A Rose" she entertains us with gilded carriages and fanciful chimneys, fragrant flowers and pungent athletes, effervescent punch, plates of delectable delicacies, gaudy blouses, and wild wigs. I quite enjoyed Gilfanonââ¬â¢s skewering of the pretentious and snobbish Lord Rilyazin, blessed be his dooms, and his entourage of Vanyarins. I certainly recommend this story for its wit, creativity, and Elrond and Glorfindel in kilts. Who could ask for more?
Reviewed by: Oshun ✧ Score: 10
I have been stalling on writing this one. It stands head and shoulders above the usual fanfic fare that is offered. The purposes of these awards (at least in my head) is to honor exceptional work. It would, therefore, be really inappropriate for me not to review this one. It is a wild ride. If you read her [Flame of the Desert] and enjoyed it, then you will almost certainly enjoy this story. I have to warn that, at least for me, it goes even further in the use of a whimsical shock system to keep the reader awake and snorting at it. There are times when the hilarity almost leaves me running to catch up. A little like arriving late at a party and finding everyone else a little tipsy already. But the level of imagination, its basis in canon (real canon!), its willingness to push the envelopes and, perhaps, push some buttons also, make it a treat to read. The use of the House of One Hundred Chimneys, the other fabulous details, Elves in kilts, that sort of thing, are fairly unique. Details such as Glorfindel's exposure of wonderful leg hair and the ultimate question which never gets old, of 'what do they wear under their kilts' make it a hoot and a half to read. I object to bagpipes as the "invention of Melkorââ¬Â--everyone knows that only badly played bagpipes sound like the invention of the Dark Vala. I supposed one could argue that most bagpipes one hears in the course of daily life are not played perfectly. But this is not the place to draft a polemic about bagpipes--maybe in a future review where they are more central to the storyline. Bottom line is that this one is a treat and a romp.
Reviewed by: Elleth ✧ Score: 10
Pandemonium_213 has successfully established herself as a heretic when it comes to fanfiction, and this story is no exception from that tradition. It is, however, exceptionally hilarious. To say 'I laughed' would be a gross understatement considering the romp she takes us on. An innocuous-sounding invitation (or is it? Considering Pandemonium's Gilfanon, the answer can only be a resounding 'no!') for a party at the House of the Hundred Chimneys awakens Elrond's inner demon-imp, leading to Elves in Kilts (which I can't help hearing to the melody of 'Men in Tights' every time), complete with a discussion of leg hair and lack of smallclothes, an unfortunately-named rose (I was sniggering about 'Yavanno Tussa' for days after reading the story) and a game of hurling even before the high point of the story. Though, no, it probably is hard to pinpoint just one climatic event here, rather it is a series of hilariously executed highlights and punchlines interspersed with rich and fascinating detail (such as the effects of Maiarin inheritance) not only from Pande's own envisioning of Tolkien's world, but some that hearkens back directly to Tolkien's early writing for added depth. It makes the whole story a treat that shouldn't be missed - unless you mean to miss out on foppish Vanyar, literal mountains of hair, and an orchestra of monkeys, that is. Last but not least, a beverage warning is definitely in order for this fic; anything you'll consume reading this will end up either on the computer screen or stuck in your throat because it's hard to stop laughing long enough to swallow. (I'm talking from experience, here.)
Reviewed by: grey_gazania ✧ Score: 7
When I first read this story, I had no previous knowledge of Pandemoniumââ¬â¢s wonderfully detailed personal fic-universe, but that didnââ¬â¢t prevent it from being one of the most gloriously funny short stories Iââ¬â¢ve ever had the pleasure of reading. From the moment Elrond and Glorfindel don their kilts, events careen out of control, and the story pulls the reader (and poor Elrond!) off on a wonderfully wild ride worthy of Mr. Toad. Highlights include a bawdily-named rose bush, musings on the source of the Girdle of Melian, a minor kilt catastrophe, [ââ¬Åghastlyââ¬Â] poetry, a rousing ball match between Elrond and Mablung, the entrance of a wig-bedecked Gilfanon that is more than a little reminiscent of Mel Brooks, outraged Vanyar, fiery fiddles and bagpipes, and, of course, Pandemoniumââ¬â¢s vividly-drawn characters and descriptive, witty prose. [ââ¬ÅA Rose By Any Other Nameââ¬Â] is more than deserving of its nomination, and I would recommend it to anyone!
Reviewed by: Erulisse ✧ Score: 6
I had a great deal of difficulty deciding which of Pande's excellent stories to review, but "A Rose" just had to be the one because it left me laughing so hard that I couldn't stop until tears were falling down my face. The descriptions, from the kilts through the ridiculous hairstyles, ring through. The wonderful game of ohta paliso and Elrond's reputation within the players of the game was sterling. The insipid poetry and vapid thoughts of the Vanyar were priceless. The rose bush itself - OMG. And what are people wearing beneath those kilts? If you're having a bad day, if you need a good laugh, treat yourself to a read-through of this. Of course it is magnificently written, from this author I would expect nothing less, but more than that, it is magnificently conceived and beautifully realized.
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 5
This was such a hilarious farce! In places I nearly laughed myself sick, especially at the descriptions of clothing and hairstyles! I loved the glimpse into the politics and social snobbery of Aman, and of course I *especially* delighted in certain revelations in Chapter 6! But I think the main lesson to be learned from this story is for those who do not appear in it: Celebrian and Melamire should NEVER leave their husbands to their own devices! *grin* It appears Glorfindel's main joy in life is landing Elrond in trouble, and Elrond is not nearly reluctant enough...
Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel ✧ Score: 4
There are so many things to love about this story. The references to precisely how the Girdle of Melian might have been created made me laugh out loud. The cultural details (Vanyarin men apparently shaving while Noldorin men don't) add richness and depth to the world. The hurling match was fantastic - as was the somewhat poetic description of the nitty-gritty of the inflammatory process. Loved the description of Gilfanon and his forbidden hairstyle and the Vanyar's reaction. A hilarious romp, well worth a read, and a re-read!
Reviewed by: Liadan ✧ Score: 4
In Valinor, the best parties are well-planned, catered affairs where something always fails to go quite according to plan. The result? An unforgettable party that will be talked and gossiped about for many Ages to come. One is certain that the so-called little details will surely only get better in the retelling. And a good time was had by all -- even if some don't want to admit it.