Gold Like Tears

Author: Zimraphel

Nominator: unknown

2004 Award Category: Times: The Silmarillion - First Place

Story Type: Other Fiction  ✧  Length: unknown

Rating: PG-13  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Spanning three Ages, the story of an ill-starred golden bead as it passes from one hand to the next.

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Review scores are not available for 2004.

Reviewed by: Viv  ✧  Score: N/A

"It was like embracing the moon." Gah. Nothing I can say in a review will do this story justice, so I'll just ramble on here a while until I can collect coherent thoughts. First, the physical doohickie of the bead: thank you, thank you for choosing something so unique and unassuming. Not a ring. Not a sword. Not a jewel. In fact, it's such a simple yet representative thing, Tolkien would probably approve. Like Tolkien's simple golden ring, this bit of gold grows more sinister as the story progresses, and by the end, it seemed to spell certain doom, even if it were given in love. Definitely both unsettling and touching.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: N/A

Wonderful and chilling little tale. Tolkien has made a few references to the Morgoth element in various works, and while I'm not sure this is an example of that phenomenon, it certainly brought it to mind along with all its implications. And that's what really makes this story work, I think. One little token (in this case, a bead) holds so much meaning and history and grief. It shows up and the entire scene darkens. It becomes a character in its own right, and it holds its own in scenes that include the likes of Elrond, Elros, Glorfindel, Aragorn, and Arwen.

Reviewed by: Ainaechoiriel  ✧  Score: N/A

Oh what sad little beads. I didn't recognize Glorfindel in the first chapter, though I suspected, and I was very glad to see Voronwe in the second though sad to once again see Glorfindel dead. Ondello went with us to the next chapter, passing the remaining bead to Elros, who carries it to the next chapter and passes it to Elrond back to Glorfindel and then to Arminas, unknowingly. And still unknowingly, Arminas recasts it into a brooch which Aragorn delivers to Arwen. I like that not only the bead passes from one chapter to the next, but a person does as well. Form follows plot. Very cool. And perhaps Glorfindel was right. Sadness followed that little bead.

Reviewed by: ElenaTiriel  ✧  Score: N/A

Ah, Zimraphel, I loved this story the first time I read it, and I still love it. The golden bead is so full of portents and sadness, yet is such a thing of beauty and craftsmanship (craftsElfship?) to delight all who see it. The line of griefs that follows it throughout the years tug at my heart: Glorfindel losing his brother, then his own life; the loyalty and devotion of Ondollo, who comforts Glorfindel and later dies protecting Elrond and Elros; and the separations of Elrond and Elros, Elrond and Celebrían, Elrond and Arwen and Estel. This tale, like the Silmarillion, is too fraught with grief to read, yet too involving to stay away...