A Last Reckoning

Author: Nol

Nominator: unknown

2004 Award Category: Times: The Silmarillion: Second Age - First Place

Story Type: Other Fiction  ✧  Length: unknown

Rating: PG  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Ereinion Gil-galad remembers the lessons of his father, and challenges the Enemy to a final combat above Dagorlad. Based on a verse by Herbert Read.

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Review scores are not available for 2004.

Reviewed by: Larian Elensar  ✧  Score: N/A

I really liked this line "But something--a little more space within the circle of light against the darkness." Great image, you can feel Gil-Galad's desperation. well done.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: N/A

I was completely unprepared for the power of this little fic, and as a result, it blew me away. I'm still reeling, which is going to make writing this review difficult, so forgive me if I ramble more than usual. First of all, I like how this fic sets itself up. It touches on those fighting beside Gil-galad, it gives us a description of their surroundings (I love the small touch about Gil-galad's burning eyes in the midst of Mordor) and it even places itself within time. Or outside of time, depending upon how it was viewed, because Gil-galad is right. At this point, time is for other people in places where there are beginnings and ends. And having set both the scene and the stakes, the story dives right into Gil-galad's mind. I loved the imagery used in the narrative, and it became even more powerful as the story went on and Gil-galad seemed to adopt his father's philosophy that the stronger force wins and that despair can sometimes be strong enough, which is an idea that really struck me. I could definitely use most of this story for profound quotes if I wanted to. Whether despair is strong enough to triumph over darkness, over hope, or over both, I still haven't decided, but whatever the answer, this sets up perfectly for the final charge against Sauron when the forces on both sides are weary and faltering. This is really something you have to read for yourself. My meager words could never do it justice.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: N/A

You know, the more I think about this, the more I find myself wanting to slate this in with "Iliad or the Poem of Force"-a book the author would doubtless enjoy, given her interests, if she hasn't already. What is it that tips the scale in an endeavor, particularly the desperate one of war? We open "A Last Reckoning" with the telling lines: "There were elves in his army who had seen the War of Wrath, and still came to fight again. It was out of sheer vengeance." Vengeance, force, violence-nobility it is not, whatever it is that lends these elves the will to fight another year and yet that isn't the point, as it is in so many other stories. We see in the flashbacks to the arguments with Fingon the fundamental tenet: it is the strongest force which wins, whether base or noble. Despair can be strong enough to yield victory, and so may paradoxically give birth to hope-the relationship of hope and despair is unstable, undermines itself logically, but it is not logic that counts: the sheer, numbing, feeling of being possessed by despair, of being dispossessed of hope is what matters. Force is brute; it is purely quantitative here; its quality does not matter-it's whether it is enough to effect transformation, to give Gil-galad mastery of himself and others for the necessary moment. Let force claim him, and then claim its due from him, even as it did with Achilles-submit to what is strongest, and his end may be delivered, if for a price. And as we know from pseudo-history, and borrowing from another character who ought to know: "[it, strength, force, despair, pick one] was enough-barely."

Reviewed by: Ainaechoiriel  ✧  Score: N/A

A dark story and yet a good one. Seven years is a long time in Mordor, even for Elves. You feel the weariness in this story, and yet, the compunction to keep on fighting. And you feel the end is near.