Object Lessons

Author: Aliana

Nominator: Aliana

2005 Award Category: Books/Time: Post-Ring War: Gap-Filler - Second Place

Story Type: Vignette  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: n/a

Summary: Éowyn, Frodo, and a moment in Minas Tirith.

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Reviewed by: Beethoven's 7th  ✧  Score: 10

That was FANTASTIC. I almost didn't read it, wary to read another badly done frodo story. But this was NOT one of those. The insites into Frodo's feelings about his part in the quest and the state of the world were perfectly done. Not overly stated, nor under. Almost poetic. Quite beautiful really! I'm gushing I know. "That burden. . " This part so clearly spoke of his feelings of failure. He succumbed to the ring's call and was not truly the one who threw it in. We know of course that this fact does not lessen his accomplishment. Your Eowyn knows this as well, when she speaks of it holding so many in its thrall. The fact that you made this encounter the only Eowyn and Frodo have just adds to the perfection of it. Makes it all the more beautiful and precious, if i may use that word (wink). I love the way she hordes the memory to herself, afraid to cheapen it by the retelling. A paragraph that truly made my jaw drop with it's fantastic poetry is the one that includes "Look long and well, he seems to say to her, " So sad and wonderful. How many in the excitement of of the winning of the war saw the cost of that win so truly as your frodo has. The elves I"m sure, but what of Men? Do they know that with the worst, they have also lost the best? I just can't seem to gush enough over this wonderful piece. You were SO right to nominate yourself for it. It deserves it's chance in the sun. Oh and WOW, the "receding" imagry at the very end! Perfect! I will be recommending this story to others and I look forward to reading more of your works.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 10

In her story "A Proper Course of Action" I admired Aliana's Eowyn for her spunk. She was perfect as a comic figure, and I really enjoyed her in that role. But in the end comedy is not my favourite genre, and this story shows that Aliana is more than capable of writing Eowyn in a more serious role. I loved how Eowyn still had a hint of Dernhelm in her. I think there always will be (and here I'm sure I reveal myself as more of an essentialist than an existentialist) because I don't think those personality traits that Tolkien labelled as Dernhelm were unique to that situation, and I don't think they would disappear after she is "tamed" in the Houses of Healing sequence with Faramir. But even more than that I think you really, REALLY nailed Frodo's character. The comparison with Merry was just too perfect, and exactly how I see those two. The ring of course played a role, but I think some of that is inherent in their characters. Merry is not only much younger than Frodo but he is also a Brandybuck, which I think would make him more adventurous and less serious. He could be responsible when he needed to but would prefer to let others take the lead in that area. Anyway, you captured all of this very well in a short space. The omniscient style to the very beginning and end was not quite to my liking, but I suppose that is probably my personal preference, and not any fault of the author's.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 8

Ah, very well done! We usually see the fading of Middle-earth from an elvish perspective; but here we see it played out in this short conversation between Frodo and Éowyn. I particularly appreciate Aliana's bringing out the fact that with the worst of evils, the grandest of goods is also lost, and that for Éowyn, this means that that thread of Dernhelm within her will grow ever more unsatisfying. For the great deeds of the next Age will one and all have a certain pettiness to them—they will come in the service of politics, of ordinary, if messy and tragic, failures among Men, not from the absolute opposition of all that is good against the very incarnation of evil. Thus the Ring itself serves as the passing point between two worlds: on the one hand, it was the product of a higher power in all its perversion, that bent such power into an innocuous seeming Ring; on the other hand, the very unassuming, mundane form it took heralds the sort of mundane, banal evils that Éowyn will face in the new Age. An object lesson, indeed.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 8

I got the sense while reading this story that it was building to something. Little did I know that, in actuallity, it was fading away. I guess it was doing both, but that ending line was a perfect close to the story, haunting and foreboding. And that's what the story was aiming for. It certainly achieved its goal, too. When I finished, I sat back, thought about it, and then found myself reading it again, only this time I had a slightly different perspective. Eowyn is a keen observer, but there is such a thing as seeing too much. And the second time through, I was able to sift a little better and see what she and I only realized toward the end: that this was, in fact, an end. The glory days of both darkness and light were over, and things like the Ring and demon-slaying-shieldmaidens were passing and fading. And the idea of Eowyn protecting her memory of Frodo feels like an effort to cling to some of that, despite the passage of time. Very haunting and moving little vignette.

Reviewed by: Marigold  ✧  Score: 3

This tale is told in such lovely words, precise and yet flowing, a bit like Eowyn herself. I liked very much that Eowyn wished to keep her meeting with Frodo as something precious. They were both written very well, and the thoughts and dialogue were very good. Her thought at the end, that Frodo had already been receding was so very sad!

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 2

A very melancholy and bittersweet encounter between Eowyn and Frodo, from Eowyn's POV. The author has captured a very strong voice for Eowyn, and her observations of Frodo are sharp and on target.

Reviewed by: nerwen_calaelen  ✧  Score: 1

An interesting view of the these two characters.