Children of Lindórinand
Author: Darth Fingon
Nominator: Nieriel Raina
2009 Award Category: Races: Elves - First Place
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Medium Length
Rating: Teen ✧ Reason for Rating: Teen rating applied for some minor language and mature themes.
Summary: "Galadriel saw that Lórien would be a stronghold and point of power to prevent the Shadow from crossing the Anduin ... but that it needed a rule of greater strength and wisdom than the Silvan folk possessed." (Unfinished Tales, p 317) But what is to say the Silvan folk wanted such rule? And to what lengths would those rulers go to make their realm great?
Reviewed by: Nieriel Raina ✧ Score: 10
What a moving look at a possible way the Sindar may have assimilated the Silvan folk into their own. Dark and foreboding and told from the point of view of a father whose sons have been taken from him, Darth Fingon has weaved a masterful, if sad, tale of the people of the Golden Wood. Gripping from the first paragraph, we follow one family and the loss of their sons to those who take them to train them for the 'own good' in the ways of the Grey Elves. Told with such gripping emotion the reader cannot help but feel disgust for Celeborn and Galadriel for such arrogance, nor can they help but feel pity for the family whose sons have been taken, only to have one return so vastly different. Darth Fingon has once again managed to write a politically gripping take on the different kindreds of the Elves, showing the possible differences in their thought processes and cultures through wonderfully crafted visuals as we see one son returned to his home village and the lengths he would go to make a point. Most definitely a different look at the brothers Haldir, Orophin and Rumil and how they might have been raised to become wardens for the Galadhrim, and one that leaves the reader in doubt about the true motives of those Western Elves. Most moving was the final quote by Haldir's father, his hope that one day the orcs would burn the Golden Wood to the ground is somewhat foretelling. Sad, but well worth reading.
Reviewed by: pandemonium_213 ✧ Score: 10
Among the great draws as a fan fiction writer in Tolkien's mythopoiea are the many things left unsaid, the sub-text beneath the lines which allow deep exploration. These delvings sometimes unearth uncomfortable questions about the dark underbelly of JRRT's created world, and that darkness is not necessarily in Mordor. In [Children of Lindórinand], Darth addresses this in a poignant and heart-wrenching story from the perspective of indigenous people -- the Silvan Elves -- whose youth are conscripted to strengthen the growing realm of nearby Lindórinand. Darth creates a society which is being absorbed by an "advanced" culture led by Sindarin immigrants and one particularly well know Noldorin icon (OK, for the pedantic, Galadriel has Telerin heritage, too), an outcome all too familiar in our primary world. The richly drawn characters are characteristic of Darth's compendium of work, and are created with clean precise prose. The details he imparts -- almost as if the reader is an anthropologist looking in on the scenes -- provide a fascinating glimpse at the stark cultural distinctions between the Silvans and the "greys." The voice of Targol (the narrator) is compelling -- very real -- and pulls the reader right into what he experiences when reunited with the son who was taken away, and the painful chasm that now exists between them. Darth has written this in first person present tense, a style of fiction unfortunately eschewed by some, and demonstrates that in the hands of an impeccable writer like Darth (he's one of those writers whom I wish I could emulate), this style can be extremely effective and easy to read. From my standpoint, the premise of the story is a logical extrapolation from so-called canon. An examination of languages (for example see Angelica's essay [Name Calling: Group Identity and the Other among First Age Elves] on the Silmarillion Writers' Guild) among other writings (cf. [The Silmarillion]) illuminates that uneasy divisions existed among the tribes of elves. If we buy into Tolkien's conceit that his legendarium is written by various historians of Middle-earth, then what we see in canon is the conquerer or victor's perspective. Therefore, Galadriel et al. may very well feel justified and even righteous for what they do in Darth's story. They do not have bad intentions. But here we have the perspective of the "lesser" elves, and Darth pulls this off in a powerful manner that sticks with the reader, resonating with cultural absorption all too familiar in our primary world.
Reviewed by: Scarlet10 ✧ Score: 9
This is a realistic, unsettling story about the conquering of a civilization. Realistic, because this is how things were (tried to be) done in recent history, both to the native American Indians and the native Australians. Unsettling, because it is told from the point of view of the conquered side. It shows the deeds, thoughts and emotions of the teller, the main character, (Haldir's father). We only see glimpses of the other side's point of view, through the defiant of Haldir. The story swept me as a reader and made me feel strongly about each scene described. The story also provokes the reader to look realistically into how political agendas may have been actually achieved in Tolkien's world. Topics which Tolkien did not described in details (as far as I know). Personally, I am not sure if the silvan in the story would have taken such actions without some reaction, or if the methods implemented justify the title "wise" which was granted to Celeborn in LOTR. (The story attributes these actions to both Celeborn and Galadriel), but that is a part of a political debate which cannot take place in this review.
Reviewed by: Lissa ✧ Score: 7
Darth, thank you for setting the spotlight on the Silvan Elves, this - mostly overlooked - group of 'inferior' Elves, rumoured to have been afraid of crossing the mountains. Your story is very dark and takes an extremely negative view on the interaction between the Elven races in Lothlórien. It is depressing and horrifying, but imposible to disregard, for does not Tolkien himself hint more than once at a discord between those who followed the Valar's calling and those who refused it? (Nimrodel of Lothlórien, to name the best known of these Moriquendi, clearly resented the Noldor and Sindar, blaming them for many of the evils that befell her people.) Also, Tolkien usually tells his stories from the view point of the Noldor (although mostly seen through the eyes of mortals). The Silvan Elves, he says, had no written language; in other words, their story is told by their rulers. The Silvan subjects themselves might indeed have told a very different tale. A fascinating read!
Reviewed by: Oshun ✧ Score: 7
This is an excellent story and I found it compelling. I think this history, although it is not in all its details exactly how I might have imagined it, to be entirely possible, especially if one bases one's imaginative reconstructive on the entirety of Tolkien's work instead of the more cursory history of the Elves that can be gained from focusing on LotR alone. The story of the establishment and extension of realms like Lothlórien, Oropher/Thranduil's Greenwood/Mirkwood or even Rivendell is not covered in minute detail but can only be inferred. LotR focuses on the last days of the Elves in Middle-earth and there is not a lot of detailed information in it on their history. I think although this might not necessarily be a popular view, this version turns cliches and commonly accepted fanon on its head and gives a well-thought out, logical, and plausible account of of one way in which entirely different Elven cultures might have interacted in Lothlorien.
Reviewed by: Esteliel ✧ Score: 6
This is one of those stories that sticks with you a long time - I read it a few months ago, but still I remember exactly what kind of impact it had. I think this story illustrates very well just how much worth the often derided genre of fanfiction can have, as it enables us to explore important, sometimes even abstract questions and concepts through the eyes of well-loved characters. The theme of the story, the re-education of the children of a suppressed people, is something everyone is aware of, though often only on a theoretical level, from the reading of history books. Yet to see it affect Haldir and his family makes it suddenly into something very personal and chilling, and the horror of it stuck with me for a long time. Very definitely recommended as a great post-colonial retelling of Galadriel's coming to Lórien and its impact on Silvan culture.
Reviewed by: crowdaughter ✧ Score: 6
This is a compelling and very frightening look at how Galadriel and Celeborn might have brought about that amalgamation of the Elves of Lothlorien to one people when they dwelt there, and it is all the more poignant and powerful because it shows us both points of view in a way - the one of the Silvan elves who see their culture, language and skills slowly exterminated by the enforced education, and the view of the other side, through the voice of Haldir, whith whom that enforced education has taken hold all too well. I too have my doubts if the Silvan elves would have simply accepted that education program without any resistance, but the way it is told in this story, it works very well, and might just have done. The end of the story is all the more intense for the bitterness of the leaving (and deprived) father. A very powerful tale, and very well written, too. thank you for writing and sharing!
Reviewed by: Jael ✧ Score: 6
This story provides a refreshing contrast to all those tales in which Galadriel and Celeborn are the epitome of wisdom and kindness, yadda-yadda, lather, rinse, repeat. And of course, the Silvans count themselves blessed and fortunate to have such wise folk come among them and impose order. Not here. This story echoes a shameful incident in the real history of the United States -- all done with the best of intentions. Not all wisdom is wise, and not all kindness is kind from the point of view of the recipient. As usual with this author, the prose is flawless and the story told with the consummate skill of a professional. Darth Fingon's stories always make me think, and this one is no exception. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Reviewed by: Kenaz ✧ Score: 6
Darth Fingon has a knack for finding the shadows in Tolkien's canon and dragging them mercilessly into the light. Children of Lindórinand is a dark, gripping-- and frighteningly plausible-- examination of Noldor colonialism. Tolkien's work tends to take for granted that the Silvans welcomed the leadership of the Noldor-- but what if they didn't? There's enough of a hint in the canonical tale of Nimrodel, and the Silvans who withdrew deep into the forest to avoid contact with the Noldor, who they held responsible for bringing them in contact with war and strife, to suggest that the stewardship of the Noldor wasn't universally celebrated. This is one of those uncomfortable yet compelling stories that has really stuck with me.
Reviewed by: Lethe ✧ Score: 5
I don't think I have read anything about how the native Elves felt of the incoming of the Sindar or Noldor; of Amdir or Oropher, of Celeborn and Galadriel. In this story, there is something very chilling and col-blooded in their method of taking young children. Well treated or no, they lost more than their families, they lost their very roots. Darth Fingon has granted us a fascinating glimpse into these 'lost' Elves, whose lives and culture are ignored because so little is known about it. Wonderfully written, one can feel the emotions of the Silvans in this and I also love the fact that Darth Fingon tackles these issues with a believability that does not angelize the Elves.
Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel ✧ Score: 3
An intriguing look at one way in which the Noldor and Sindar might have taken over the rule of Lorien from the Silvan elves. There are interesting parallels to the 'Indian schools' which attempted to 'civilize' Native American tribes in the not-too-distant past. I found this to be thought-provoking and a thoroughly good read.
Reviewed by: NeumeIndil ✧ Score: 2
I like the element of bitterness toward family that your story adds to Haldir. It seems to balance the movie Haldir with the book version, which I appreciate.