Author: Aeärwen

Nominator: Elena Tiriel

2010 Award Category: Genres: Drama: Later Age Elves - First Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: A late autumn visit to a home long abandoned brings surprises.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Ignoble Bard  ✧  Score: 10

I love a good ghost story and this one, though not a tale in a chilling or scary vein, is certainly unusual and intriguing. Elrond is written here just as I like to imagine him, a content family man in Aman, reunited with his wife and enjoying his “retirement” after so many centuries of fighting against evil. But the heart of this story is the return of Elrond to an empty Imladris and what he encounters there. The descriptions of an overgrown, dilapidated Imladris are beautifully and movingly wrought. Especially enchanting is the description of a statue of Celebrian in Elrond’s private garden sanctuary and what it means to him. Though Elrond has let go of this part of his past, he is seeing the Last Homely House as more than just an observer, and it is what he experiences there that is the heart of this story. What Elrond discovers during his wanderings leads to an event which I’m reluctant to discuss within this review because it’s such a pleasure for a reader to discover on his/her own. The final moments here I truly enjoyed because it fits so neatly into what I like to believe about these characters in the ages following the familiar events of “The Lord of the Rings”. I like stories with a supernatural element, and this is one of the best I’ve read in the Tolkien fandom. The fact that it was written for my birthday is, no pun intended, the icing on the cake.

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 8

The ending of this story surprised me, it seemed far fetched in a way, but yet very convincing and appropriate. Elrond, having spent time he no longer cares to measure in Aman, returns to Imladris in a lucid dream. Here we come across Aearwen's wonderful descriptions of the dilapidated place, evoking both the faded splendour of the Last Homely Home as we know it from the book and the reality of similarly abandoned places most of us have probably seen at one point. The encounter with the mortal family seems not that remarkable initially, one can easily imagine that later Dunedain would occasionally use Imladris as a refuge during travels. It is only on the last section that we realise that much, much more time has passsed and that the family were modern day archeologists with their children. That remains of Imladris should have survived for so long seems a miracle. We are left with the melancholy certainty that at the time of Emma telling the story, all traces are irretrivable lost in the waters of a reservoir. This is, in the best sense, a haunting story.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 5

When Elrond dreams of Imladris for the first time in yeni, he finds it slowly fading back into the nature that surrounds it, and the statue of his wife commissioned after she sailed from Mithlond almost featureless. But the Last Homely House wasn't quite empty of folk--he sees first children, and then obviously their parents. And he seeks to share with the children toys once played with by a small boy who grew up within his halls.... When such a dream is shared, and leaves behind toys once so well beloved, what is the daughter of an archaeologist to think? And it appears that the House of the Peredhil continues to prosper on both sides of the Sundering Sea. Sweet!

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale  ✧  Score: 5

It is a lovely idea, that the Elves of Valinor (or at least Elrond, who had such a profound connection to Imladris) should be able to visit their old "haunts" in Middle-earth in dreams. Elrond's moment with as statue of his wife (Celebrian, who is of course asleep beside him in Valinor) is touching as he remembers the old days of his grief and the comfort that her statue gave him. As we discover from Emma toward the end of the story, this would have been the last time Elrond would be able to visit Imladris in such a fashion, so it is a kind of grace that he is able to do so.

Reviewed by: Ainu Laire  ✧  Score: 5

I have to admit that I have a bit of a weakness for stories that cross the modern with the old. I enjoy well-written girl-ends-up-in-Middle-earth, or elves-still-living-in-the-world, or stories like this, where two branches are crossed by dreams and the like. When well-written, they can be incredibly inspiring, and this one is. The story of what happened with Elrond's story was always a bit sad, what with Aragorn and Arwen dying and whatnot, but when you see their descendants in modern Earth, it makes the story less bitter. Life continued, and life went on. The magic went away, sure, but Earth isn't too bad a place, and it was meant for Men to inherit it.

Reviewed by: Beruthiel's Cat  ✧  Score: 4

Incredible detail frames this exquisite tale, leading into an utterly charming and elegant 'what if' scenario. What a marvelous and willing suspension of disbelief this is, tying the old world and the new together with style and grace. Every once in awhile we all find a story we wish we'd written, and this lovely tale definitely belongs in that category for me. I don't mind admitting goosebumps from the reading! Definitely not to be missed. VERY well done!

Reviewed by: Fiondil  ✧  Score: 4

Centuries, or more likely millennia, after Imladris has been abandoned, Elrond dreams of the Last Homely House and wanders its ruins, never expecting to find the one thing he finds there. Aearwen gives us a glimpse of the fate of Imladris (and perhaps the fate of some of Elrond’s mortal descedents) long after the Elves have departed from Middle-earth. Her imagery of the ruins and Elrond’s feelings about it are evocative and one can actually see Imladris as Elrond sees it. A good read!

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 3

A happy haunting! It's a rare twist on the ghost story, but a nice one. I liked that the perspective for so long presented itself as a dream. The reveal at the end answers Elrond's question nicely enough and makes one feel the distance between Valinor and the adventures of Lúthien's line in Middle-earth.

Reviewed by: Vanime  ✧  Score: 3

This is one of my absolute favorite storys by Aearwen! It has my favorite elf (Elrond), and a character that I wish I was at the moment! As ever, it is well written and poignantly conveyed in its feelings and musings. Don't miss this one!

Reviewed by: Liadan  ✧  Score: 1

An intriguing but somewhat bittersweet version of the fate of Imladris in modern times.