2008 Award Category: Times: Mid Third Age: Eriador - Honorable Mention
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: n/a
Summary: It may not be wise to meddle in the affairs of wizards, but sometimes it is necessary. Gandalf finds himself in question after Aragorn's departure for Rohan.
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: 9
Dwimordene notes in the summary that meddling in the affairs of wizards can be perilous, but she shows through this story that the same might be said of meddling in the affairs of Rangers. I love this look at a younger Halbarad, who clearly isn't afraid to take matters into his own hands. But really, the mood of the entire piece is set by the Gandalf. The piece starts off with an almost wry tone in the narrative, which seems to culminate in the one line paragraph describing the contents of Gandalf's room: [There was a Ranger in it.] Love the humor. After this, the story takes on a more serious tone as Gandalf probes Halbarad for both his purpose and his resolve. And having assured himself of both, it's all wizard in the end, complete with words that both comfort and disturb. I love the idea of wizard sense telling Gandalf what is necessary but not always what is pleasant or desired. That single notion explains much of what happened in canon, from Gandalf's choice of Ring-bearer to his own sacrifice. Brilliant examination of two great characters as only Dwimordene can do, and additional kudos are awarded for giving this piece such far-reaching canon impacts.
Reviewed by: Isabeau of Greenlea ✧ Score: 6
Dwimordene has explored many different possibilities in her stories about Halbarad and Aragorn, different glimpses of how their friendship might have developed and the directions it might have taken. But in all of them, the friendship is a constant. In this charming vignette, a young and somewhat surly Halabarad, dismayed by Aragorn's leaving to take service in Rohan, blames Gandalf for his friend's decision and courageously (or foolishly!) decides to confront the wizard about it when the two of them meet in Bree. Their conversation touches upon the thankless job Gandalf's "meddling" over the years has been-Halbarad is wanting a reassurance that is difficult for the wizard to give. These are two characters that are not often shown together, but they work well here, their interaction giving new insights about both.
Reviewed by: Ignoble Bard ✧ Score: 6
Its interesting to read a story of Gandalf in Bree, visiting the Prancing Pony inn as part of his travels. Seeing the wizard this setting, his easy familiarity with the inn and its denizens, is amusing but also nice foreshadowing of events to come. Gandalf notices a group of rangers and hopes to speak with them but gets more than he bargained for when confronted by a truculent Halbarad. This is a nice little character piece showing Halbarads bravery and loyalty and Gandalfs wisdom and benevolence. I enjoyed their interaction but especially liked Gandalf seeing in Halbarad a person who will be as instrumental to Aragorns later success as Aragorn himself will be. None of us, not even the greatest among us do it alone. So true, so true.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 5
Dwimordene writesof two rarely paired LOTR characters - Gandalf and Halbarad. She's right on the mark with the characterisation and speech patterns of Gandalf; who is as wise as he is in LOTR, and tempers his mission with compassion when he can. I loved the conversation between the two - the old, world-worn wizard and the Ranger who is still in his youth, angry and yet not lacking respect nor forbearance. Gandalf's conviction that Aragorn needed to leave, that he was fated for a higher purpose than to be the Dunedain's chieftain is conveyed in just the right wizardly style.
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 4
How *would* Aragorn's kin among the Dunedain have taken his departure to Rohan? And who would they blame? I really like this little encounter in Bree which could easily have taken place, and not only for the conversation which was the aim of the story, but all the little things that led up to it beforehand. I don't think I've ever read a fic in which Gandalf takes a bath before.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 3
When their young chieftain made the unanticipated decision to go south to learn more of Gondor and Rohan, not all the Rangers were happy. And one decided to confront Gandalf to learn what hand the wizard had in the matter.... A nice use of the warning Gildor was to later give Frodo about meddling with wizards! And Halbarad's concern is very real.
Reviewed by: obsidianj ✧ Score: 3
A story with my second favorite ranger Halbarad. I love your characterization of him and of Gandalf in this piece. Halbarad is very brave (or foolish) to confront Gandalf. But I think he instinctively knew that Gandalf would do him no harm. I like the vivid picture of the Prancing Pony you painted with a few words. It gave the right setting for this little piece.
Reviewed by: NeumeIndil ✧ Score: 3
I like the loyalty in Halbarad, and the courage it took to do what he did. As for Gandalf, your portrayal of him is wonderful: grandfatherly and wise, but not too stodgy. This was an enjoyable read.
Reviewed by: nancylea ✧ Score: 1
always fun to find someone with a bit of brass between his front pockets.