In Darkness

Author: Celandine Brandybuck

Nominator: Marta

2005 Award Category: Races/Places: Dwarves

Story Type: Vignette  ✧  Length: N/A

Rating: PG  ✧  Reason for Rating: character death

Summary: Balin, musing and muttering on his deathbed.

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Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 6

I love the territory covered with this glimpse into Balin's mind. It's definitely a wandering mind, though given the circumstances, I think we can forgive him for that. My favorite part were his musings on just how absurd Bilbo's waistcoats were. That made me laugh, but the tone sobered quickly, and I was definitely not laughing in the end when Balin thinks about admitting his failure and then closes on "I tried. I tried..." That was powerful. The imagery in the beginning, too, when he thinks about reaching to touch hot metal on an anvil was great and gave me a very vivid picture of just how Balin perceives his actions.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 3

Balin seems remarkably lucid on his deathbed! But really, the loose arrangement of his musings suits the setting, and I liked particularly the last line: "The halls of my fathers call to me. Perhaps I shall see there Dúrin himself, and have to admit my failure. I tried. I tried…" There's something poignant about that sense of failed striving.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 3

Great little vignette, Cel. I think my favourite parts were the almost love-hate memories that Balin has for Bilbo (I laughed out loud at having him called rascal), and also the gentle irony in the fact that someone would read the diary. I wonder whether it would have mattered to Balin to know that Oin did not keep his diary in vain.