Victim of the Unlight

Author: Alassante

Nominator: Súlriel

2009 Award Category: Races: Elves: House of Finwë - Second Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: violence, character death

Summary: Finwe was the first elf killed in Valinor. This is about his final moments.

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Reviewed by: Súlriel  ✧  Score: 10

Alassante. You know I liked the first version of this, but I'm so glad you were challenged to rework it because I love this version . I find it absolutely amazing. You have really outdone yourself with this one, it's one of the best portrayals of this scene that I've read. From the first line, you hook the reader in a viscerally emotional way that tears into them and drags them viciously through the tale of Finwe's death. That so-horrific first death in Aman. I don't know if you know, but Finwe is, IMO, one of the all-time greats, the father of so many who where key in all the great deeds that were later done in Middle-earth - and so, maybe somewhat secretly, I'm a huge Finwe fan-gurl. It's hard to get such a rise out of me because I don't always feel authors have done him justice. You certainly have here. The epic tragedy that haunted this great family is well-shown here in your writing as Finwe faces and falls to Melkor, showing us the strength and drive he passes to his sons and grandsons and all the generations that follow. So many times, I question the gritty and/or gory detail that's given to readers, but, again, you have found a perfect balance in showing the details of the struggle as Finwe's strength fails against the might vala he faces. We feel his anger and rage through his impossible struggle and finally his remorse as he fails and fades. Kudos also to the last paragraph. "Well done" with the tricky technical task of moving outside of Finwe as he dies to finish with an omniscient point of view. Again, something that's hard to pull off, yet you do it brilliantly.

Reviewed by: viv  ✧  Score: 6

This is a tough, tough scene to write -- the last stand of Finwe in Formenos -- but you've done it justice. Point of view is tight and strained, desperate and sparse. Finwe doesn't have time to regret in multiple paragraphs, after all, and I think it's very appropriate -- if a little sad -- that his last thoughts are of Miriel and her offspring rather than Indis and hers. That is, I think, very true to the implied canon depiction of Finwe and his favorite. Despite all that, I think my favorite part of this ficlet is the dialogue and action of Morgoth. Man, he's a nasty. It's difficult to portray a villian as, well, villanous, without overstating or making him kind of laughable, but I think you've done a great job here, Alassante. Nice treatment of a difficult theme/subject.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 5

We don't see enough of Finwe, the influential patriarch of a great House, not to mention King of the Noldor, in fanfiction. This tragic and gritty vignette makes me really, really, really want to personally grab Melkor by the neck and lob him into Taniquetil, or something equally painful. He Who Arises In Might, in Alassante's skilled hands, shows his truly evil colors here, not content to let a mortally wounded foe die, but to torment him with words while he kills him. Finwe's sorrow on realizing that his people will be divided after his death, and his blaming himself because he let the Silmarils be stolen, are credibly written. He lives and dies a king.

Reviewed by: Elleth  ✧  Score: 4

The subject of the story itself, of course, is terrible - and you bring it across convincingly and managed to turn it into a gripping story in which I found myself routing for Finwe despite knowing the outcome. Your observations of Morgoth's cruelty, especially mentioning him being [a master at tempered violence], and the fact that he did not even have to lie to Finwe (although of course the words remain twisted) to inflict even more damage make the story even more convincing and heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing this.

Reviewed by: elliska  ✧  Score: 4

This is one of those moments in Tolkien's universe that, when you read the story, you think, "Wow! Inspired!" What an intense moment to capture and Alassante really doesn't miss a single opportunity for angst either in this short ficlet. I especially like Finwe's last words and the reference to the fact he would soon be joined by the Teleri. But how horrified Finwe must have been when he remembered, upon the arrival of the Teleri, that he himself had been so certain Feanor would avenge him. Very powerful. Truly some of your best writing!

Reviewed by: Robinka  ✧  Score: 3

Chilling and heart-breaking fiction that shows the moment of Finwe's death at the hands of Melkor. A tragic history of his house begins, and this short look at the patriarch does him justice. Brava!

Reviewed by: whitewave  ✧  Score: 3

The most touching part here is Finwe's obvious preference for his First-Born son and first wife. Alassante manages to focus on this little bit of family drama while at the same time brilliantly giving us a glimpse of the pivotal event that triggered the Noldorin rebellion.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

If Melkor wished discord, he certainly succeeded when he killed Finwe and stole the Silmarils. This description of Finwe's death from his own point of view is very dramatic and tragic, seeing the desperate courage of an Elf who knows his time has come and who shows defiance to the Enemy throughout it all. Well told.