Cloaked with Love

Author: Linda Hoyland

Nominator: Raksha the Demon

2011 Award Category: Drabble: Character Study - Third Place

Story Type: Drabble  ✧  Length: True Drabble

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Memories are often our most valuable possessions.(Written for the Tolkien Weekly "Weave" Challenge. 100 words as counted in MS Word)

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Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 10

Dear Linda, I think this is a wonderful drabble, because it contrasts so clearly two different attitudes towards clothing: the attitude of status and fashion and the attitude of affection and attachment. As someone who tends to become rather attached to clothes, to the point of finding it difficult to throw them out when they are really past wearing, I completely sympathise with the latter attitude. Our clothes are a part of our lives, a part of our history and a part of our personality. This is, of course, amplified when the garment in question has been made by someone we love and even more so when that person is no longer with us. It is heart-warming to think that through this cloak, Eldarion can share in the love of his deceased grandmother and that Aragorn can relive the memory of his childhood. Arwen obviously doesn’t take long to understand this, though we can assume that, given her lifespan, she has worn out so many clothes that they have become meaningless to her. As so often in your drabbles, you have grasped an idea very firmly and transformed it into a crisp, clear and immediately impressive scene. This is a very well done drabble indeed, with a very snappy and appropriate title.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 10

One of Tolkien's ongoing themes is that material things, luxuries, finery, do not define the character of their owner. [All that is gold does not glitter]; Aragorn is Isildur's heir and the true King of Arnor and Gondor while wandering the wilds in worn Ranger leathers. The proud Dunedain of the North, distant sons of Numenor, bear no other ornament besides the stars on their cloaks. Linda Hoyland reprises that theme to excellent effect in this touching drabble. Little Eldarion wears a cloak that is worn and old rather than a new, rich garment befitting his princely status. And he wears it by his father's wish, which troubles Arwen. The truth is a reminder of the power of love and memory; it is the same cloak that Gilraen made for the young Aragorn, that he recalls with love. Love and self-worth are intertwined in this drabble. I very much appreciated the interplay of both - where does one derive one's self-worth, from the clothes that one wears or from the love that went into the giving of those clothes, or both. For Aragorn and his son, love, like gold, does not glitter, but is quietly, truly given. It is also a lesson that Arwen, who has never needed to wear shabby clothing but, like her husband, feels the loss of a mother gone before her time; is willing to learn.

Reviewed by: Barra the Bard (aka Barrabard)  ✧  Score: 4

This brief piece is like a sudden light in a dim room. Not only did it tell me something about Aragorn's childhood, and his wishes for his son, but also his affection for his mother, but it also reminded me why I have kept certain objects belonging to loved ones that others might see as shabby or of little worth. Perhaps I need to explain why they are treasures to me! Nicely done!

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 3

Even a story as brief as a drabble can move the reader if it is well written, and this one is. I found it very touching that King Elessar wanted to share something of his, something that carried fond and abiding memories, with his young son. It is equally moving that Arwen came to understand and appreciate this. Very well written, and a pleasure to read!

Reviewed by: cairistiona  ✧  Score: 3

Absolutely lovely and poignant. What appears to be shabby on first glance sometimes has a deeper value, and you've shown beautifully how Arwen comes to learn this important lesson.

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 3

It's just like the summary says - memories are often our most valuable possessions, and in this particular case, it is Aragorn's memory of his mother weaving the cloak for him. Now, his son wears that same cloak, which makes Aragorn (and Arwen too, after she hears the whole story) so happy. Beautifully written.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 1

What a sentimental side of Aragorn's personality! I love this unique glimpse at him.