No Living Man

Author: Kara's Aunty

Nominator: Kara's Aunty

2011 Award Category: Drama: General

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

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

Summary: Summary: The Witchking of Angmar meets his match(es) on the Pelennor Fields.

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Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 5

Kara's Aunty serves up a dose of undead hubris as the Witch-king lords it over the battlefield, only to meet his long-prophesied nemesis in a form he did not anticipate and with even more unlikely assistance. She writes the Wraith-lord with all the power and panache as one would expect; but then, in his final moments, he is filled with terror at the thought of the final death that awaits him - for what, considering the peculiarity of his existence and the horrors he has committed, will become of him beyond the last threshold - and that's a nice and credible touch. Even if he sooooooo had it coming!

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 4

This story is a careful insertion of the Witch-king's perspective into the scenes Tolkien wrote for the Battle of Pelennor. I liked best the hints of the origins of the Witch-king's fury and violence. For example, as the Nazgûl looks at Théoden, he thinks: [The fool! He need not sorrow for long: his people would follow him into death’s cold embrace soon enough - and count themselves blessed for the honour of it. There were worse things in life than death, were there not? He was an immortal testament to that.] That tag line suggests more than simple allegiance to cruelty and evil, but something far worse and potentially pitiable. It adds a pleasing layer of complexity.

Author response: Hello Dwimordene, thanks for the lovely review. Writing from the Witch-king's pov was certainly a novel experience; it was difficult to try and view as enemies characters I'd always admired hugely (Théoden, Éowyn), and to imagine the hatred the Witch-king must have harboured for them and all that they represented. I think he might have been a little envious of them - or at least envious of the fact that they enjoyed mortality when he did not. Perhaps that's what fuelled his rage of them (in this fic anyway): he wanted to take from them what he no longer had. Life. Love. Hope. Perhaps that does make him pitiable, after all, even if only a little! Thanks for R & R-ing. I'm really happy you enjoyed this, Kara's Aunty ;)

Reviewed by: Antane  ✧  Score: 4

An interesting look at the Witch-king's last moments, similar to what Gollum begged Sam for - a miserable life was better than no life, they both thought. Also that he could testify that there were worse than death since he was living it himself. He knew well what and where the houses of lamentation were about - he was never outside them no matter where he went. Interesting to that he feared what was beyond the existence he had had for so very long and feared it because of who he had been.

Reviewed by: DrummerWench  ✧  Score: 4

Kara's Aunty has created a sad and chilling account from the POV of the Witch King during the battle outside Minas Tirith. We see his arrogance and self-satisfaction in what begins as just another in a long line of encounters from which he will certainly emerge victorious. His anger, and then, growing fear as the foretold doom swiftly comes upon him are shown believably and with compassion. We can almost find it in ourselves to feel sorry for this wreckage of a man ... or former man.

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 3

This is certainly among the best stories I've read about Eowyn killing the Witch King. I like the descriptions and thoughts of the nazgul, and I especially love the paragraph [All the many chills of fear that he had ever spread in all the years of his dark existence seemed to return to him in that very moment, consuming him, holding him fast in their merciless, icy grip. Disbelief swept him as he watched fair, silken locks tumble to rest on her shoulders. Pale cheeks glistened with the dew of her tears, yet her eyes were as hard and unforgiving as a sea-bound storm.] It's perfect!

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 3

Not the first time I have seen this done, sometimes seriously, sometimes for humor. This is a really good treatment of the Witch-king of Angmar's POV at this point in time, and his fury and confusion are very well-conveyed! It all goes to show that prophecy can be a chancy thing.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 2

Quite an enlightening look into the bad-guy's last moments. I like how this expands on a much-celebrated scene in canon, giving it a new perspective.