Footnote to the Akallabêth
2009 Award Category: Genres: Ficlets: Elven Lands - Third Place
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Ficlet
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: The aftermath of the Downfall of Númenor from the point of view of the Noldor in Aman. Semi-serious.
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: 8
The summary claims that this story is semi-serious, and certainly there a gems of reflection (Finarfin has quite a few toward the end) that lend to a more sober perspective. Such as what the Noldor who didn't follow Fëanor had to put up with by remaining behind. Or questions regarding where and when the Valar decided to swamp the Númenórean hosts. Or the fact that the rebuilding efforts will be hampered because so many Noldor are still stuck in Mandos. All of this definitely lends itself toward a serious air that demands contemplation. And yet... All throughout, there's a background tone of irreverent wit. The fact that this particular group of elves stands around and surveys the destruction while all the while critiquing the Valar (I especially loved the note that, [At present Finarfin was feeling more sympathy for his half-brother Fëanor than he had in two ages.]) is...well, it's funny. In a subtle, dry kind of humor. And there's a lot of that in this story, whether they're talking about distant relations amongst the Númenóreans or constantly second-guessing the Valar. All in all, a story that manages to be both understated and solemn. Well done!
Reviewed by: Angelica ✧ Score: 7
My reaction when I read this very original vignette for the first time was that I should read the texts more carefully and pay more attention to the details that make all the difference: Why didnt the Noldor fight the Numenoreans when Ar-Pharazon arrived as far as Tirion? What happened to the lands that were obviously wrecked to bury him and his army? The Valar of course are not at their best: their timing (or lack thereof), their dislike of criticism (as Finarfin seems to know out of his own experience), their lack of consideration for Olwe who will have another clean-up operation in his hands. And Aule who stills bears a grudge after two ages. All the irritated Noldorin characters are true to what one would expect in these circumstances: Finarfin, belatedly following -in his way- his brothers' path and abandoning the old site of Tirion, Indis with her Vanyarin detatchment, Finrod who doesnt want to get involved in any operation against mortals. A very enjoyable vignette.
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 6
Semi-serious is right! "Tongue in cheek" is probably better - Clotho gives us humor and politics and massive destruction all in one short go. Far be it from mere mortals to say that Elves can whine, but this is basically what's going on here. City destroyed, landscape turned over, eternally entombed men now a permanent feature of Tirion's scenery... and what we find is that the Noldor are basically *annoyed* by this turn of events. Annoyed, and as it turns out, feeling perhaps just a little of what led the great part of their people out to Middle-earth. There's a certain whiff of potentially serious consequences by the end of this story, though it never loses its humor. Silmarillion lovers and fans of the First Ages and prior should very much enjoy this, but really, it's accessible to anyone who wants a laugh. Good work, Clotho!
Reviewed by: Fiondil ✧ Score: 5
A humorous look at the reactions of the Noldorin royal family as they gather to survey the damage done to Tirion when Ar-Pharazons army is destroyed. None of them are too happy with the way the Valar handled the situation and who can blame them? My one quibble is that several of the characters are referred to by the Sindarin version of their names, but since they are in Aman, it would have been nice to have seen them being referred to by their Quenya names. But beyond that, I enjoyed this little vignette and seeing the Akallabeth from the point of view of some of the Elves that were affected by the arrogance of the last King of Numenor.
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 4
I must admit, I do find it hard to work up sympathy by those more peripherally affected by the Akallabeth. There's just so much suffering at this time. But the elves of Aman would have been affected, and I can easily see it unfolding this way. It's good to see, too, how Finarfin & co. are finally putting the events of the Silmarillion proper behind them. This is a very creative idea for a story, and has broadened my thoughts on all these events -- always a treat.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 2
An all too likely conversation for there to have been, I suspect. And I can understand Finarfin's reasons for wanting to build anew! Nicely thought out.