Cold Feet

Author: Aeärwen

Nominator: Elleth

2011 Award Category: Fixed-Length Ficlets: Immortals - Second Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Maglor has second thoughts about going home.(200 words exactly (not including intro))

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Reviewed by: Elleth  ✧  Score: 10

I very much enjoy stories about Maglor at any point in his life, but reading a story that sees him come full circle (or at least working toward that as he does here) is a delight. The notion of him ending his wanderings is an ultimately hopeful prospect for someone who sees the loss of his complete family and whom the source narrative does not even allow a return home. In light of that, I found [Cold Feet] very satisfying, in terms of Maglor's decision to return home in the first place, his emotional, if somewhat hesitant, response (surely understandable considering his history), and the assessment of his chances. He is a character writers love to throw into excessive throes of passive angst (I'm frequently guilty of this myself), so it was good to see a story that offered a more sympathetic and balanced treatment even in a difficult situation. The open-ended nature of the story was a nice touch as well, considering that it both allows the reader to spin the story further in her mind, and the unknown threat in the future is frequently more frightening than the known. All in all, an excellent treatment of many people's favourite Feanorian minstrel, and a dealing with a difficult topic in a mature and interesting way.

Reviewed by: KyMahalei  ✧  Score: 10

I have always loved your drabbles, Aearwen, and this one is no exception. This one does an admirable job of revealing your skill and adeptness in crafting whole stories in a confined set of words. In Tolkien, what became of Maglor is sorely underwritten, begging for conjecture and rumination as to his final outcome. This piece goes far in exploring one possible resolution. The time of the setting is left a little ambiguous, serving as a nice contrast for the clarity of Maglor's ruminations as to his fate, once the ship has come to port. You did a lovely job of bringing the reader into the point of conjecture that Maglor was dwelling on. As important as his fate was, it remained subsumed to the real issue, responding to the call to come home. The point of the story that intrigued me the most was the feeling that Maglor got that grew within him until he had to respond. I had to wonder if it was more than the hassle of continuously hiding his true identity. I like to think that perhaps there was that feeling that all of us would like to feel at some time, the inexorable call to return to that place we know as home. Even without knowing the outcome of his welcome, Maglor felt the need to recover for himself that ballast, stability and sense of self that could only be achieved by returning to the place of his childhood. This story had quite a bit mixed into a very little space. An excellent piece.

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 6

Dear Aeärwen, I enjoyed this poignant ficlet that illuminates so clearly the conflict of hope and fear. Starvation and exhaustion are well-chosen words to express what in German would be called the “Leidensdruck” – the pressure of suffering which has reached a point where a person has to act, no matter what. The simple and straightforward structure of the piece illustrates well the clear-cut dilemma Maglor is facing. I like how the sentence [It mattered not. ] stands on its own and it remains open where it has come from – whether this is Maglor’s own thought or a spark of inspiration sent to him by the Valar. The ending is hopeful – readiness to face the consequences is probably the most crucial condition for foregiveness.

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 4

You have done a fine job of portraying the world-weariness that surely must burden an Elf who is millenia old. I sympathized with how Maglor doesn't know what to expect--if he is sailing to forgiveness, or to his doom--but he is willing to take the chance anyway. This story is well-written, a reminder of why Maglor is one of the more sympathetic characters among Feanor's sons. Well done.

Reviewed by: Nieriel Raina  ✧  Score: 4

Aearwen has once again shown great talent for her characterization and story telling skills, this time in a double drabble. One can feel Maglor's internal wrestling, the inner doubt, the pull of the waves and the call to return home. Maglor's tale is such a sad one and the reader can feel it in this short tale. I was left wishing that he does indeed find forgiveness and peace and yet wondering if the elves of Aman can ever forgive the kinslayers. But in the end, there is no choice to make and at least there is closure. Great job!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 3

Aearwen captures a singular moment of uncertainty in the long and tragic life of Maglor, as he finally sails towards the shores of Aman. Good characterization, and excellent literary photograph of an emotional culmination of untold millenia in this Feanorian's life. And I loved the ending.

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 2

This is one of the nicest post-Fourth-Age-Maglor-stories I've read. There's a little bit of angst, but hope too. Well done.

Reviewed by: Liadan  ✧  Score: 2

It's interesting how often we have so many doubts and fears and yet seem unable to move on. But once we take that risk to move on, the resolution may not be what we expected.

Reviewed by: Independence1776 (Crystal113)  ✧  Score: 2

A moving, succinct, and believable look at how Maglor would have felt on his return journey to Valinor.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 2

A lovely look into Maglor's time. Aeäewen captured the turmoil of his emotions beautifully, and the piece's ultimate effect was touching.