A Frodo Returns to Bag End

Author: Larner

Nominator: Raksha the Demon

2011 Award Category: Hobbits: Family

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Sam has been awaiting the arrival of this Frodo for quite some time....

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Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 10

I always enjoy fanfiction about the birth of various children; and this one is no exception. Larner's hobbit stories usually resonate with warmth and sensitivity; but this one added just the right dollop of charm and 'awwww' factor to make the short story a memorable one. I liked the way Larner skillfully invokes the reader's memory of Sam's expectation of having his firstborn be a little Frodo, named for his beloved friend and master, in this tale. Here, the existence of the no less beloved (and possibly more) Elanor as Sam's first child is acknowledged, but the story focusses on the birth of Sam's second child. I enjoyed Sam's not being there to start, but having to hurry home, due to the labor's starting earlier than expected, and Sam's arriving seemingly moments before his first son. The details of the birth, the attention of Sam's family members, the glimpses of the weary Rosie and in particular Sam's father, are all well-written. And Sam himself is beautifully written. The ending is gentle and lovely; the image of Sam settling into the chair where Frodo used to sit, holding the new little Frodo who will one day inherit Bag End, is delightful. Larner sneaks a wonderful and unexpected cameo into the story's last lines, which also works well.

Author response: In spite of being physically separated by the Sundering Sea and a different plane of existence, still I think that Sam Gamgee and Frodo Baggins were never further than a heartbeat from one another in many ways. Of course Frodo would be proud of his name-son and his beloved heart's brother's primary heir. And I'm so glad you feel I managed to properly balance the "aww factor" and the anticipation of this so desired living memorial to the relationship Frodo and Sam had forged between them in the fires of shared experience. I thank you so very much!

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 7

Dear Larner, I very much enjoyed this story in which you captured the excitement and the thrill of childbirth as well as the gently glowing flow of tenderness with which a new child is welcomed to the world by a loving parent. There is a very good contrast between the hasty pace of the opening paragraphs with all the frantic movement of tearing off the cloak and throwing it at the peg (I bet he missed...) and the calm of the ending with the irresistible charm of a sleeping baby curled up against Sam’s chest. I remember those moments well from when my own children were babies, the peace and contentment they seem to spread almost magically. How apt to imply that it would give Frodo peace, too, however far away he might be (and he, lucky for him, won't have to get up at night when the baby is hungry...). The name, I would think, is not as important as Sam believes. This is a lovely story, beautifully presented.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 2

It was only right that Sam name his first son after his dearest friend and Master. Larner captures beautifully the emotions that would have been involved on that joyous occasion!

Author response: And how glad and filled with wonder that birth must have held for Sam, Barbara. Thank you so for this gentle review.