On the Way Home

Author: Citrine

Nominator: Inkling

2006 Award Category: Races: Hobbits: Post-Grey Havens - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Other Fiction  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Camping on the Downs on the way home from the Havens, Merry and Sam talk about Frodo and come to an understanding.

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Reviewed by: Inkling  ✧  Score: 7

The beauty of this story lies both in the sentiments expressed and in the simple, graceful way Citrine expresses them. I love the small touches, like Sam's embroidered handkerchief and the reference to the Hunter constellation, followed by Sam's plaintive question ["Do you...do you think the stars are the same, where Master Frodo is going?"]. This is the rare fanfic that deserves the label "Tolkienesque"--not so much for the content, as I'm not sure Tolkien's Sam and Merry would be quite so free with each other, even post-Quest--but rather for the style and spirit of the story. The style is not a slavish imitation of Tolkien's, but very much in the same vein. Short, simple words, understated and carefully chosen, can be far more moving and effective than elaborate prose, as the opening line demonstrates so well: [The three travelers, bereft of the one they all loved best, camped on the downs, knowing that the next sunset would see them home again.] Most importantly, the "soul" of the story is true to Tolkien...the conclusion, in particular, captures not just the letter, but the spirit of the master, in its ineffable mix of joy, sorrow, and wonder.

Reviewed by: Bodkin  ✧  Score: 4

Imagine Pippin being tactful and keeping out of the conversation for so long! His maturity levels have gone up hugely since he set off on the quest in Frodo's wake. (Unsurprisingly, really, considering what he has seen and done in the meanwhile.) It is good to see Sam and Merry really accepting their friendship and overcoming the son-of-the-Master/son-of-the-gardener divide. In some ways Merry really needs Sam's friendship. Sam's qualities of loyalty and solid reliability and staunchness will do him good.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 4

The sorrow of those left behind after Frodo sailed from the Grey Havens has often been explored, and I never tire of reading it. This gentle story in which Merry and Sam commiserate together, and comfort one another is just a beautiful example. As usual, Pippin finds the right thing to say to lighten the mood--yet at the same time, their sorrow remains--but somewhat consoled by the knowledge of their own friendships with one another. Beautiful job, but this author always does angst beautifully without ever going over the top.

Reviewed by: Marigold  ✧  Score: 3

This is beautiful story, and it struck me as a very hobbity one, with the three of them talking and taking comfort in one another. Each one able to rely on the others who understand will help their sadness eventually fade at least a little.

Reviewed by: elliska  ✧  Score: 2

A really powerfully emotional moment for the hobbits that made a really wonderful story. I really enjoyed reading it.