Love Me and Despair

Author: EdorasLass

Nominator: jillian baade

2005 Award Category: Genres: Alternate Universe: Elves - First Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: PG-13  ✧  Reason for Rating: Horror and adult themes.

Summary: What if Galadriel had accepted the Ring when Frodo offered it?

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 9

This reminds me of Kate Bolin's stellar AU, in which Galadriel claims the Ring. As in Kate's story, EdorasLass finds the moment where something other could reasonably have happened and exploits it. I think she rightly paints the image of a Dark Queen who uses her very radiance as a weapon, who invades the minds that trusted her and twists them when she can, appealing to their own desires in such a way that they undermine their very strengths and twist them. Those who retain enough of themselves to try to resist are brutally eliminated. Sam, in the "real" world of LOTR, once said that Galadriel was like the rock in the river that you could break yourself against, though she'd not be to blame for it. Here we see that adamantine quality turned to blameworthy purposes; she shines like a diamond, and is as hard as one as well, as Merry and Pippin perceive. In the last verse, as we see Galadriel from the inside, EdorasLass leaves us with the deliciously ironic last line that I think shows the real perversion and opportunity of that temptation before the Mirror: "If not for Frodo, she would have diminished, and gone into the West. She would still be Galadriel." Dead on, EdorasLass! Brilliant!

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 8

The first thing I thought of when reading this story was Galadriel's line from the books as she considers taking the Ring: "Beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night." And the section with Merry and Pippin seemed to really emphasize this because they appeared to be caught in the between both sides. At night, they saw (or at least wondered about) the beauty, but in the morning, they saw the terror. And leave it to hobbits to be able to recognize both. Everyone else seemed to be caught in one extreme or the other. And kudos for a very creepy portrayal of events, too. The story began with an almost mystical and dreamlike quality. Then we hit Legolas's section, and after that, the dream became a nightmare which was made worse by the flashes of happier visions that were clearly tainted. Wonderful mood pacing. The contrasts played off one another beautifully. I wonder if the last part wasn't a bit too extreme, but considering the build and Galadriel's latent power, I can see it happening. Well done.

Reviewed by: riverotter7  ✧  Score: 7

When I first read this, I think it was in beta on HASA. It was creepily good then but as the story progressed (and when I read it for review) it became even more eerie. By the time I was done with it, I had chills, and the wind rattling at the windows certainly didn't help. Needless to say I bookmarked this story for future reading and have read and reread it multiple times since. The story is good in that it's not very graphic. That's not neccessary to get the point across. Just the menace to each of the Fellowship and to the Races of Middle Earth is obvious without a lot of blood spattering across the pages, graphic torture, gnashing and wailing et al. I'm not much of a suspense or horror reader. I have too graphic of an imagination for that; but this story moves that imagination without the need for too many words. It's short duration leaves the essential cold chill and the nasty taste of "what could have been..." Marvelous. Molly Littlefoot

Reviewed by: quirky_orthodox  ✧  Score: 6

Massive congratulations to EdorasLass for being the first person to pick up on the potential that a 'Galadriel takes the ring' A/U could have. I love the clear way in which she differenciates all of the victims of this disaster and explains how each is burdened by thier own particular demon in consequence.It is truly brilliant how she has managed, in so few words, to paint such a sombre and yet possible picture of life for all the characters after Galadriel had committed her break of faith. Like the best of art, whether literary or visual, she leaves us wanting to just peer a little harder around the hidden corners implied by the narrative picture she paints. Great effort.

Reviewed by: annmarwalk  ✧  Score: 4

A powerful and terrifying vision of what might have happened had Galadriel accepted Frodo's offer of the Ring, setting herself up as the Dark Queen and implementing a ruthless plan for the domination of Middle-earth. Original, inventive, and shocking in its cool and straightforward depiction of the fate of the members of the Fellowship; terror, subservience, oblivion, blind loyalty, brutal death. An unforgettable introduction to one of our most promising new authors!

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 4

Oh, this was sad; each of these about broke my heart, because in each case they sold ultimate happiness for a quick reward. Aragorn's section, who objectively is the happiest, even he has lost the contentment that would come from knowing someone wilfully chose you. And Legolas and Gimli's brought a tear from my eye. But the truly amazing thing is the understated way that the complete destruction of everything good in Middle-earth. How sad!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 2

A chilling look at the road I'm very glad that Galadriel didn't take. Excellent depiction of the glamor she's put on most of our heroes, and the torment and death she's unleashed upon the world.

Reviewed by: nerwen_calaelen  ✧  Score: 1

An odd but dark au. Somehow you make it seem less believable by making it seem so suddern.