Author: Marta

Nominator: elliska

2011 Award Category: Villains: General - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Disturbing Imagery/Themes,Violence

Summary: It is good that war is so horrible, or we might grow to like it. One of the Nazgul thinks on the choices circumstance has allowed him.

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Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 7

Dear Marta, like you I have speculated about the exact nature of evil in Tolkien’s work and the moral questions implied. I feel that Tolkien has too easily – though of course in keeping with the mythologies on which he modelled his work – chosen to project the notion of evil into the Abominable Other. You do well in this ficlet to remind us that this is something we are all prone to doing when you show that the elves do just that – forget or disregard their kinship with the servants of Sauron, give them a new name and thus make them creatures that can be killed without remorse. It is a disturbing thought (though logical from the point of view of genetics) that orcs would continue to be born as elves and that each generation anew would have to be twisted into hatred. One can well imagine that this even haunts Khamul. This is a well-considered and thought-provoking ficlet which I enjoyed very much.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 6

Another thought-provoking ficlet by Marta as she explores the nature of Khamul, the Ring-wraith who held Dol Guldur for Sauron after the Eye’s return to Mordor. Could he have indeed regretted what he’d been turning Elves (and perhaps other sentient creatures as well) for the past centuries into? Could he have seen Dol Guldur as an escape of sorts from the company of his Master and his fellows, and could he have ineffective nostalgic thoughts of what he’d once been, before he accepted Sauron’s ring? Definitely not your every-day idea of the nature of the Nazgul, but one can see how the manner in which his nature has been twisted by his own Ring holds him from perhaps acting on his more merciful(?) thoughts. Very interesting take on this particular Black Rider!

Reviewed by: Elfique  ✧  Score: 4

Reading this piece I was impressed, and then reading the after-note and finding where the idea had come from had me more impressed. An very 'human' look at a character and a horrible situation that I've not seen much written about makes this all the more intriguing. The ideas about creating the orcs are chilling but well considered, and somehow, you still manage to feel for Khamûl - which for me means that this succeeds in its aim of showing some good still left in him.

Reviewed by: Sevilodorf  ✧  Score: 3

["Nothing is evil in the beginning. Even Sauron was not so."] Exactly what fanfic is for -- to delve into the possibilities of things that were never fully explained by the original author, yet remain true to the author's concepts and purposes.

Author response: Thanks, Sevilodorf. I quite agree on the purpose of fanfic and I'm glad you think this lived up.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 3

An interesting look at one of Tolkien's villains. The idea that such a person could perhaps reawaken their conscience, is worth considering. Not enough of an awakening to make any practical difference, as the author said, but still it could be something.