The Omen

Author: Ellynn

Nominator: Ellynn

2011 Award Category: Ficlet: General

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Disturbing Imagery/Themes

Summary: Standing on Taniquetil, Varda and Manwë see an ill omen in the sky. Written for LJ LotR Community October challenge: Believe it or not (story should contain something supernatural or unbelievable). (Ficlet of about 630 words)

Read the Story  ✧  Backup Story Link

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 6

Dear Ellyn, I found this an impressive ficlet in which you make excellent use of your interest in astronomy – without flaunting expert knowledge, you use the images of stars and comets to create an effective, haunting atmosphere. The apocalyptic scenario is gradually developed through the elements of coldness, darkness, obscurity and, eventually, the sinister omen of the bleeding red star, which has, of course, historically been perceived as just such a sign of the end of the world. The Valar appear quite appropriately as calm, almost indifferent observers, which fits in well with the role they seem to play throughout most of Tolkien’s work. Varda’s feelings, her fear and compassion, are restrained in a way that behoved a goddess. I think that you hit a very good tone in this story, which I really enjoyed.

Author response: Aww, thanks so much. You put a big smile on my face with your review. :)

Reviewed by: Kara's Aunty  ✧  Score: 5

Chilling and (if you're superstitious) rather alarming. This beautifully worded prophetic ficlet of the Last Battle may also be unsettling to those who believe that the coming year of 2012 spells our doom (something that I don't personally subscribe to). Still, such is the power of the author's penmanship that I can't help myself from taking a peek out the window ... Crikey, there IS something red in the sky! Aargh! Oh, wait a minute, it's only the 19:51 BA Glasgow to Malaga flight. Hopefully. A truly exquisite, thought-provoking and quite scary ficlet, actually. Well done!

Author response: Aww, thank you so much for the compliments, your review means a lot to me. ;)

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 4

I admit I've always found the Valar a cold and distant group of Tolkien characters, but maybe that is because I don't know "The Simarillion" all that well. I think Ellynn deserves great credit for bringing Varda so vividly to life in this haunting unsettling story in which a comet foretells the final battle. It is beautifully written with a haunting sense of melancholy and foreboding.

Author response: I do know Silmarillion quite well, but I also see the Valar as somewhat cold beings, so our perception is not so different. Thanks for your compliments. :)

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 3

A tasty hint of coming apocalypse, Valar-style. Varda and Manwe realize that the Last Battle is coming, and draw upon their love and strength to face it. Beautiful descriptions, excellent use of the meaning of the greek word from which [comet] is derived. The sense of impending doom threatening Arda and even the powerful Valar is written well.

Author response: Thanks for your kind review. :)

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 2

A very descriptive tale that reminds us that even the Valar have hopes, fears, and duties. An interesting idea, well developed.

Author response: Thank you, dear! :)

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 2

The Omen is a nice glimpse into the inter-relationships of the Valar. I like how these two draw strength from one another in a way that was sweet and touching.

Author response: Thanks, dear. Yep, I tried to show how Manwe and Varda find strength in each other and I'm glad I succeeded. :)

Reviewed by: Liadan  ✧  Score: 2

This is an excellent story with very vivid imagery. A comet heralds Morgoth's return from the Void, and the beginning of the Last Battle.

Author response: Thanks for your kind review. :)