A New Year

Author: Bodkin

Nominator: Larner

2006 Award Category: Times: Fourth Age and Beyond - Second Place

Story Type: Other Fiction  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: In the Blessed Realm, there are those who do not want the events that ended the Third Age to be forgotten. They are determined to ensure that the Elves are aware of the sacrifices made to save Arda - even if they have to be devious to get their message across.

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Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 10

Bodkin's stories of the Blessed Realm and the experiences of Elladan, Elrohir, Legolas, and their families are always well worth the read. However, this is one story I will always feel very moved by. Herein the three young (relatively speaking, of course) Elves decide it is time that those who live in Aman should realize just what happened in the War of the Ring, and how greatly beloved the Ringbearers and particularly Frodo Baggins were. Therefore they set out to start a new tradition in which the destruction of the Ring and the start of the New Year on March 25th is celebrated in Valinor. The discussions leading up to the first celebration are alternately poignant and humorous and thoughtful; and when it comes they find themselves commenting on the reactions they see about them and how they predict things will go in coming years. The story is beautifully detailed, and the celebration is marvelously crafted. What truly moves me when I read and reread it, however, is the firework display Gandalf provides. The firework denoting Frodo's sacrifice and final acceptance of the Gift is among the most beautiful descriptions I've read anywhere. That it coincides with my own idea of how Frodo chose to leave Arda in the end perhaps adds to the emotional appeal to me, at least. A most moving story.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 7

I love this story. In it, Legolas, in company with Elladan, Elrohir, Gandalf (and he is Gandalf once more in this tale) and others who have returned to the Blessed Realm from Middle-earth, seeks to pay tribute to his friends of the Fellowship, and to make the sheltered Elves of Aman understand just what went on in the battle against the Shadow. I love seeing Olorin transform himself once more into Gandalf, and indulge himself in fireworks, and I love the byplay and teasing between the twins and Legolas, and the politics that are so much a part of Bodkin's universe. But most of all, I was touched by the moment when the High King toasts Frodo and Samwise, and by Legolas' wistful addition to that toast. It's so clear that he will forever miss the mortal friends from whom he is sundered until the end of days--Merry and Pippin, and Aragorn and Gimli and Boromir, as well as Frodo and Sam. Very beautiful and moving moment.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 6

An intricate vignette that explores the attitudes of the folk of the Blessed Realm toward the War of the Ring, hundreds of years after Sauron's defeat. It is the younger Elves (well, they're Elves, so relatively younger) Legolas and Elladan and Elrohir, and the impossibly old Olorin-recast-in-his-Gandalf-form for the occasion, who feel that the complacent Elves of Aman, who sat out the Ring War in safety, must be reminded of the heroism and sacrifice of the free rolk of Third Age Middle-earth, as well as the young Elves' own children, who were born after the Third Age ended. The cynicism of some of the Elves is a bit sad, but it is a wonderful moment when the Fellowship of the Ring is remembered, and the names of Legolas and Gandalf's long gone comrades proudly spoken in everlasting honor and love.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 5

An interesting set of tensions building in this story. The isolation of the Elves even in Middle-earth is a major theme, and a sign of their fading. The turn inward and away from the affairs of the other peoples of the world marks the disappearance and self-absorbance of the Eldar, and Bodkin brings this self-regarding attitude to the fore. The choice of actors for this story--all of them participants in the Ring War, and major players in the defense of various parts of Middle-earth against Sauron--makes sense, as does their desire to see that struggle given its due weight in Elven history.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 5

This is a very nice look at how the elves who had moved to Valinor before the War of the Ring (or had never left) might have viewed the straggler's trials in Middle-earth. It reminds me in a way of how society at large reacts to any localized tragedy: the affected are being melodramatic. Or it's their own fault. Or whatever. This story was very true to life in those regards. I was also tickled to see the return of Miriwen! I have not read all of Bodkin's stories but recently read "Awaiting the Thaw" and loved her there; here, their relationship is on a bit more equal terms, and both her and Elrohir shine. And Olorin becoming more Gandalf-y! Really some well-told characterizations throughout this piece.

Reviewed by: elliska  ✧  Score: 4

I love the idea of the elves that came from Middle Earth celebrating the anniversary of Sauron's defeat and I love the form the festival took. I particularly loved the inclusion of Mithrandir and his fires works. That would certainly get everyone's attention and leave an impression no one would forget. And as always, the various interactions between the elves in this story make for wonderfully enjoyable tension and amusement. I lve the way you capture these characters.

Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 3

An important subject, embedded in an entertaining story. The big cast of characters helps to presents the different attitudes towards the reason for the celebration (although I had the feeling that a few of the characters suffered from lack of "stage-time"). I particularly liked the transformation of Olórin to his persona as grumpy old Gandalf

Reviewed by: Marigold  ✧  Score: 3

I loved the idea that Legolas (and others) were determined that those who helped to defeat Sauron in Middle-earth should not ever be forgotten - especially the Ring-bearers. Gandalf was wonderful in this story, and though the cast of characters is extensive, each one is written as an individual. Terrific detail and dialogue. I enjoyed this!

Reviewed by: Llinos  ✧  Score: 3

Though the many elves in this story are wonderfully fleshed out and varied I liked Gandalf here the best. Clearly his Stewardship over Middle-earth will never end, even down to making sure that those far away in both distance and time do not forget the sacrifices made by those who helped to defeat the Dark Lord.