Till the World is Mended

Author: Azalais

Nominator: Branwyn (Lady Branwyn)

2011 Award Category: Drabble: General - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Drabble  ✧  Length: True Drabble

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: A conversation Tom and Goldberry might have had if the Hobbits did indeed visit them again after the Ring War. For the LiveJournal tolkien_weekly "Water: River" challenge.(100 words.)

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Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 5

Firstly, kudos to you, Az, for taking on Tom Bombadil and Goldberry. These are some of the hardest characters to write well, I find, because they're just so whimsical, rhymey, and odd, as well as being outside the action not just by chance (as Bree-landers might see their own geographic isolation) but by total apathy for the events of Middle-earth. But if there were any pair of characters who would immediately recognize the way Frodo has been injured, and what his final fate in Arda will be, it would be these two. Nice touch, having Goldberry bring that up - give the girl something to do other than be pretty! This is a lovely little gap-filler that I think many, especially fans of Frodo, will find satisfying.

Author response: I'm glad you enjoyed it, and that Tom and Goldberry rang true for you. I can only cope with Bombadil in small doses, so drabbling is just about ideal, and I enjoyed re-reading the "House of Tom Bombadil" chapter of FoTR to try to get the feel right.

Reviewed by: Starlight  ✧  Score: 5

Lovely! You have perfectly caprured how sharp these two are despite their whimsy, and also how beyond all of this they really are (I am probably not explaining myself well here-- I don't mean to say that they are prideful and feel themselves above it all; there is just a feeling one gets when reading Tom and Goldberry that all that seems so troubling to everybody is just a passing thing to them. They have lived so much longer than everybody else, probably... They know Middle-earth will just go on. The rapidity with which Tom moves on to more interesting business is astonishing and, oh, so lovely and amusing! You have just so captured their essence for me. Great job!)

Author response: I know exactly what you mean - Tom and Goldberry *are* somewhat outside all the trials and tribulations of the Ring War. (Rather like your Radagast in "Missing the Forest for the Trees"...). I'm delighted you liked this so much and that you felt I caught both Tom and the (rarely-written) Goldberry.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 4

This is a fantastic drabble. Azalais managed to completely capture Tom Bombadil's essence in this short piece, a great accomplishment in my mind, for Bombadil is probably the most enigmatic character Tolkien presented in Lord of the Rings. Even so, his character is wonderfully written here. Speech, diction, even way of thinking are all as they were in the book, even with an added bit of author-given flavor that makes his appearance all the better to readers.

Author response: Thank you! It's awfully easy for the writing of Tom B to tip over into parody, so I'm pleased I avoided that for you and that he feels like an authentic Tom.

Reviewed by: Elleth  ✧  Score: 4

A lovely drabble that expands canonical notions about Tom Bombadil and Goldberry. The author has done a fabulous job conveying Goldberry's insight into the hearts and minds as others, and Tom Bombadil's droll, whimsy language shines through both in diction and the rhythm that has made him so (in)famous in canon. The importance and lack of concern that he devotes to both Frodo and the owl is a particularly lovely touch. Wonderful work, brief, concise and to the point. Very much a drabble worth reading.

Author response: Thank you so much for such a glowing review! I did enjoy writing this, and trying to catch Tom without driving everybody barmy, and giving Goldberry a bit more space - as well as getting the balance between the events of the Ring War and Bombadil's more immediate concerns. I'm glad you liked it so much.

Reviewed by: Altariel  ✧  Score: 4

Ho now, my merry Az! Who is this you're writing?! Love, love, love this. You conjure up my second-favourite Middle-earth couple perfectly. From Tom's speech patterns, to Goldberry's quick movements ["drawing up her bare feet under her"], to effective and evocative descriptions ["the sweet-scented fire"; "the once-merry Elf-friend is scoured"], to the sense of lives being lived fully amidst all the living beings of Middle-earth ["Hear old tawny Owl there! He wants his mate, for certain."] - it's all gorgeous and ever-so Tolkien. Happy Tom-fan, happy reader.

Author response: Bombadil and Goldberry, the oddest pair in Arda; once I've started writing Tom, stopping is much harder! (Aargh! See?) There was far more about foxes and owls and breeze over the heather I would have liked to get in, but the tyranny of the word-count made me keep even Iarwain ruthlessly succinct (who'd have thought it possible?) I'm glad you like it;-)

Reviewed by: Inkling  ✧  Score: 4

Happy to see this nod to one of the many scenes I wish Tolkien had written! Tom’s speech patterns are well done, the rhyming natural and unobtrusive. And the perspectives of the two are very much in character—Goldberry’s special affinity with Frodo, and Tom’s interest in the Huorns’ part in the battle. Well done!

Author response: I did enjoy filling this particular little gap - I'm glad you like the result, and that both Bombadil and Goldberry ring true for you.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 3

This was charming and oh so Tom, to be so easily distracted. It was nice to imagine this pair's take on the great events (which, from their timeless perspective, would naturally seem not so great after all).

Author response: Thanks! Yes, indeed, Tom is just as concerned about the owl as he is about the saving of Middle-earth, exasperating as that may be to the rest of us...

Reviewed by: cairistiona  ✧  Score: 3

What a lovely, gentle drabble. It isn't easy to write Tom Bombadil but he feels exactly right in this, compassionate toward the hobbits surely, but more interested in whether that owl finds his mate than in the greater things of the world! And that of course is exactly Tom. I very much enjoyed this.

Author response: I'm glad you liked it. I'm always chary of writing Tom because once I do get into his metre I find it hard to stop!

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 2

A nice drabble about Tom Bombadil and Goldberry that is almost poetic in its imagery. Well written and worth reading.

Author response: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the imagery.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 2

Such a perfect drabble! She really captures the cadence of Tom's speech-- not an easy thing to do and still have it sound natural! Yet it does sound very natural.

Author response: Thank you! I'm glad you feel I got Tom right, because it's so easy to slip over into parody of him, and I didn't want to do that.