Overheard in the Dark

Author: Dreamflower

Nominator: Virtuella

2010 Award Category: Genres: Character Study: Gapfiller

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Poor Pippin has first watch-- in the dark-- in Moria. Merry is sympathetic.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 10

Dreamflower shows us a delightful double perspective in this short story, with both Merry and Boromir lying awake in the dark in Moria while Pippin has first watch. Both characters reflect on the concrete situation - Gandalf giving Pippin a row after he threw the stone into the well - and on the wider context in ways that are entirely appropriate for their personalities and throw a light on tehir relationships with others. Merry is, as usual, responsible and level-headed, Boromir grave and brooding and yet compassionate. We see what unites them: the feeling of responsiblity for a younger sibling/cousin, and the awareness that they will need to give these young ones the space to make their own decisions. We also see how the members of the Fellowship show care and consideration for each other in small ways; something one cannot help but feel would become crucial for the overall success of the quest. Finally, Pippin's willingness to forgive shows a greatness of character that is both inspiring and endearing. All musings and interactions appear very natural and convincing and bear witness to Dreamflower's deep understanding of these characters and their story. Very well done indeed.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 8

I'd never before made the connection between Pippin's stone in the guardroom well and Boromir's stone in the lake outside the Hollin-gate. It's got my head spinning now, and while reading this story, I actually had to pause before I could go on. The parallel Dreamflower draws is so natural and so obvious that it's a wonder someone hasn't done something with it before. Beyond the subtle-but-obvious stone parallel, Dreamflower also manages to keep almost half the Fellowship awake as a result of Pippin's actions. Possibly more than half, though if Sam, Frodo, Gimli, Legolas, and Aragorn are up, they're staying quiet about it. But four out of the five is remarkable. Tolkien gives us Gandalf's reasons, but Merry's reasons came as something of a surprise. He is certainly a caretaker for Pippin and also for Frodo, as evidenced by the Conspiracy, but Dreamflower shows us that his duty to this calling goes deeper than expected. He simply cannot rest until Pippin does. A wonderful little snapshot in the dark. Well done!

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 4

For Merry and Boromir sleep will not come easily as they both find their minds fixing on Pippin, in disgrace as he is in the wake of dropping that stone down the well in Moria. We share their thoughts in the wake of Gandalf's scolding of the young Took, and their relief when at last Gandalf sends him to sleep. Wonderful expansion of the book-scene, and a warm moment of reassurance for both Man and Hobbit. Dreamflower has given us a lovely glimpse into their minds and hearts, and helps strengthen the love we have for the original text.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 4

An excellent gapfiller which manages two quite different points of view with utter ease - those of Boromir and Merry as they worry about Pippin when the Fellowship lies very uneasily in Moria. I like the contrast between Boromir's POV as a commander and Merry as a cousin who is as close as a brother to Pippin; Dreamflower brings out the common ground between the Captain-General and the Brandybuck heir by Boromir's memories of his own concerns for Faramir in past years. Nicely done!

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 3

Dreamflower nicely weaves her story between and around Tolkien's words, fitting in little moments between the ones Tolkien wrote and giving us a glimpse of the night-watch in Moria through Boromir and Merry. Very sweet, despite the fact that it's Moria!

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 3

Very lovely description of friendship between hobbits, as well as Boromir's protective thoughts for them. I like that you compare a part of this situation with Boromir's protectiveness for Faramir. Well done!

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 3

A delightfully warm hearted story concerning Pippin's punishment in being made take the first watch in Moria. The young Hobbit is far from alone as both Boromir and Merry watch over him concerned and Boromir thinks of his brother. A most enjoyable read.

Reviewed by: Cathleen  ✧  Score: 3

I really enjoyed "overhearing" the thoughts of Boromir and Merry in this delightful gapfiller. It was enjoyable to follow the canon parts mixed in with the author's words. How sweet to see the warm feelings Boromir has for the hobbits and his desire to comfort the youthful Pippin.