Fourth Age, Year 13

Author: Dwimordene

Nominator: dkpalaska

2007 Award Category: Times: Fourth Age and Beyond: Gondor or Rohan - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: 'And they lived happily ever after.' And had children. In the 13th year of the Fourth Age, Aragorn pauses in the long, breathless adventure of parenting to take stock of the situation to date.

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Reviewed by: dkpalaska  ✧  Score: 10

Perhaps I am influenced by my own thus-far six-year journey along the pot-holed road of parenthood, but I simply love this short look into Aragorn's perspective on the matter. Wonderful PoV, and the brief exchanges between he and Arwen are nice illuminating glimpses into their relationship with each other and with their children. The entire story is told in just the right style of slightly-harried, semi-rushed experience, which is exactly life with children ("Wait! How could she be thirteen already?"), and nails perfectly so many of the landmarks of childhood and pre-teenagerhood. I can personally testify to the endless questions and the worries about death at that specific age, and I love the Mary Sue half-elven princess that makes an appearance. As an aside, yes, I imagine that Arwen and Aragorn did have an army of servants to help with taking care of their children, but I still think that they would be heavily involved with *raising* them, as time allowed, especially with their Elven heritage. Who would want to miss any of this, anyway? The ending still gets me choked up and teary-eyed, for all the *hope* that rings out from it. Every parent wants this sense of the bountiful and joyous future to await their child, but how much more so in Gondor, having come into peace off of a war thought unwinnable. It's just wonderful, and captured so well; the phrasing and word choice are excellent throughout, but it really moves me powerfully here. And next you can explore Liriel's feelings about her family picking up and moving north for a while. Well, at least one assumes that Aragorn took his teenager with him to Lake Evendim, although I imagine the temptation was sometimes very strong to do otherwise...

Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 6

A fast-paced story that captures well the concern and rush parents might often feel seeing their children grow up, a time that seems in hindsight to fly by so fast. The wistful tone of the narrative is particularly apt. The moments chosen to highlight each stage of growing up are meaningful and vivid, at once universal and at the same time highly personal and individual for Aragorn and his daughter. And then - oh horror! - puberty has come, and everything that worked wonderful until now between parents and child is suddenly wrong and stupid. I also like the brief allusions to events in the wider world, showing that nobody grows up in a vacuum, and that in this New Age, children are far more likely to be *allowed* to grow up in peace (in all senses of the word), rather than be forced into adulthood and adult concerns all too soon.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 5

A delightful trip down the road of fatherhood; specifically fatherhood of girl-children, for Aragorn, as Dwimordene takes the King through his oldest daughter's first thirteen years. The story is effervescent, charming, and very poignant; also beautiful in language. The bit about Aragorn's younger daughter being nervous of her barely known father when he returns home from the war strikes me as particularly credible. It's a rollicking road for Elessar; who has faced many foes but is rather nervous himself as his oldest daughter stands on the brink of adolescence. One of the best LOTR-characters-and-their-kids stories I've read.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 4

This story gives a really spectacular look into the joys of parenthood, and I can easily see Aragorn thinking these thoughts. His OC daughter has all of the charms of youth, and the fact that she is so carefree in comparison to our canonical favorites a generation ago (who would be squires or at least seriously thinking about it) does a nice job of characterizing the new age.

Reviewed by: Bodkin  ✧  Score: 4

Well, Aragorn needs a challenge to make up for the monotony of monarchy. And, by goodness, he seems to have acquired a challenge in his firstborn child. At least he has the sense to know he needs to cherish every minute - for none of it will last long and he needs to store up the memories. A delightful gallop through Aragorn's early years as king, husband and - most tellingly - father.

Reviewed by: Radbooks  ✧  Score: 3

A wonderful look at Aragorn as a father. It was a nice way to write this story and seeing all of his thoughts as he watched his daughter growing up. I can't wait to see how he reacts to the young men that are going to start circling around her very, very soon. :) Nicely done!

Reviewed by: Altariel  ✧  Score: 3

Oh how delightful! With just a faint bittersweet hue behind: he is managing to savour every year, but how quickly they are passing by and, behind it all, questions about the fates of Men and Elves.

Reviewed by: Linda hoyland  ✧  Score: 3

A delightful ficlet in which Aragorn contemplates the joys of fatherhood on his daughter's thirteenth birthday.I loved the touchs of humour which shows that the King is a father like any other. A story sure to please anyone who has watched children grow up.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

Ah, the joys of watching our children grow and reach adolescence.... So true of girls of that age, having been one myself and watched my classmates and sister through it and dealt with students that age.... A wonderful examination from Aragorn's POV of his first daughter's life.

Reviewed by: phyloxena  ✧  Score: 2

I particularly liked ["beautiful half-elven princess"] replacing heroes of stories. It is very age appropriate, but also incredibly funny being both in Forth Age of Middle Earth and in the realm of fanfiction.