For This Relief Much Thanks

Author: Azalais

Nominator: Marta

2010 Award Category: Genres: Ficlet: Gondor - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: For Altariel's birthday: what happened when Eldarion received a rather special third-birthday present from Harad. In which Aragorn has a nasty moment, and Eldarion is insufferably cute.

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Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 6

Eldarion is to turn three years of age next week, and the Haradri ambassador wishes to mark that occasion with a princely gift. On hearing the nature of the gift, however, the young prince's father has a nightmare vision as to what he's going to do with such a thing! It is said that in old Siam, when offended by a particularly important official, the King would exact revenge by sending one of these (white, of course) to the official, allegedly as a mark of respect. The upkeep for the gift would in a fairly short time financially destroy the man! I can imagine King Elessar entertaining similar thoughts of financial ruin for the combined realm--until he realizes the true scope of the gift. Well done, and delightfully written. Nice to see even the great Elessar Envinyatar Telcontar can be wrongfooted from time to time! Heh!

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 6

Azalais is spot-on in describing that moment of sheer dread and parental horror over the inappropriate, yet undeclinable, gift that some person - of either naive or malicious nature - has conspired to bestow upon precocious, but still innocent, offspring. The middle section, which does a great job of showing Aragorn's racing thoughts as he quickly tries to decide what to do with said gift, and whether it's really a gift or something far more sinister, though cloaked in courtesy, is hysterical. It gives that ending paragraph its punch, as Arwen gets to have a laugh on her husband. This is a great little snapshot of life within the royal family, which is never exactly private, but manages, still, to make time and space away from prying eyes for its own little jokes. Read this, especially if you're looking for a good-humored laugh.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 5

Anyone who has kids (or nephews, as in my case) has to know that stomach-dropping family when the child is given an inappropriate gift. How much worse must that be for royalty? Aragorn's horror at the thought that his son has received and oliphaunt as a gift -- difficult to care for and impossible to refuse -- seems completely appropriate to me, and it is very well-portrayed, as is Arwen's gentle amusement. Eldarion's struggle pronouncing words was touching, too; it made me smile, something rarely accomplished in "kid" stories. That in itself should serve as high recommendation. A charming everyday moment from Gondor's first family; I highly recommend it.

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale  ✧  Score: 4

Others have said it and I must agree, this is a priceless piece of humor, as rich and opulent an offering as the Haradrim ambassador's...THOUGHTFUL present. Wonderful to see Aragorn in a state of shock and Arwen's sneaky amusement. I can only imagine how funny it would be if the ambassador were to have witnessed this scene. "Hmm, so this is how to topple Gondor..."

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 3

Ah, this is priceless. Of all the unwanted-pet scenarios, this must be the worst. Just imagine! And there's me telling my daughter that she can't have a rabbit. For This Bit Grin Much Thanks.

Reviewed by: Cairistiona  ✧  Score: 3

This little tale made me giggle, and is proof that good stories need not be the length of novels to be very entertaining. Eldarian is adorable, yet not cloyingly so, and Elessar is... well, he's adorable as well. And every inch the king, even if he is inwardly panicking. Excellent tale!

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 3

What a delightful ficlet! I just loved Aragorn's horrified thoughts when for one dreadful moment he thought the Ambassador from Harad had given little Eldarion a pet mumak! This made me laugh out loud.