The Journal of Alatáriel, Missionary

Author: Clodia

Nominator: Virtuella

2010 Award Category: Times: First Age and Prior: Noldorin Elves - Third Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Medium Length

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Non-graphic violence.

Summary: Being a fantastical account of the Lady Galadriel’s journey to Middle-earth by an unknown author; edited and with critical comments by Erestor and Melinna of Ered Luin; preface by the Lord Celeborn of Lórinand, formerly of Doriath, Sirion and Eregion. Or, in other words, a reconciliation of the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales versions of Galadriel's flight from the Blessed Realm.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 10

I hardly know how to approach this review, because I've never read anything quite like this story, and yet it is not enough to simply call it unique. Clodia makes use of a field which she is intimately familiar with, that of academic writing on historical sources. She creates a spoof document and embellishes it with fictional annotations, editor's notes and a foreword by an Eminently Prominent Personality Who Should Know and who Does Not Have And Never Had A Very Ridiculous Name. Clodia can talk the academic talk perfectly and applies it in fabulously inconcruent ways. The result is very funny in a beautifully understated way. I thoroughly enjoyed the subtle irony that the apparent author, in an attempt to glorify Galadriel and her role in the history of Middle-earth, actually makes her look like an arrogant and self-indulgent, um, not-very-pleasant-female. Of course, the double irony is one that does not manifest within the limits of this tale, but which Clodia has elaborated on in one of her other stories. The journal, to put it in a nutshell, is in fact the result of Absolutely Incredible Cheek, but the fictional authors' personalities are such that one cannot be truly cross with them. As for Clodia, what else can we do but applaud?

Reviewed by: crowdaughter  ✧  Score: 8

I've first read this story shortly after it was written, and I enjoyed it very much, even then. Not only is this story a lovely alternative universe (although the notes telling the cover story may almost make it fit to be fitted into canon) - it also plays fiendishly and deligtfully with some of Tolkien's later ideas about rewriting the story of Galadriel and Celeborn, which he luckily never managed to finish. In addition, the unconscious sheer arrogance and idealism of this "missionary" in this tale is so completely to the point for similar missionary scriptures of the nineteenth century, that it fits completely. And I could just see the Noldorin Exiles believing in their mission to teach the "lesser" Sindar and other "Dark Elves" in that way. Needless to say, I laughed almost through the whole story. This is a delightful read, and a great parody, and also a wonderfully disrespectful addition to the tales of the history of Galadriel and Celeborn. A big Thank You to the Clodia for writing this, and Applause! ;D

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 6

This is hilarious! Even to one with only a rudimentary knowledge of the First and Second Ages like me, the beatification of Galadriel in the document purporting to be her biography accompanied by a number of extremely snarky and equally hilarious footnotes, is enough to make me ROTFL! Clodia takes advantage of all of the conflicting accounts of Galadriel found in the varying versions of her background to be found not only in the Silm, but in other accounts, to create a completely bogus biography of a smug, saintly (by certain definitions of that word) know-it-all, with a definite martyr complex and a complete lack of judgement. Rounding out the humor is the epilogue, dealing with the provenance of said "biography". A very funny bit of meta!

Reviewed by: curiouswombat  ✧  Score: 5

I loved this story so much when I first read it, and just as much now that I have gone back to it for the MEFAs. Clodia is a young lady with a wonderful command of language and a distinctive, and somewhat impish, sense of humour. She has clearly read some of those wonderful books written about intrepid lady explorers of the nineteenth and early twentieth century (which always make me think of Ronni Ancona...), and she puts this knowledge to good use as she tells us the story of Alatáriel and Teleporno setting out to civilise and enlighten Middle Earth. Of course Galadriel would deny it all... This story should, really, carry a 'liquids warning' to protect the keyboards of the innocent!

Reviewed by: Jael  ✧  Score: 4

Leave it to Clodia to catch the perfect Polly Prissy-Pants flavor of the missionary lady bringing civilized ways to the benighted savages. This is why Tolkien should really have left well enough alone and not attempted to rehabilitate the motivations of Galadriel. Thank goodness it never got officially published. But Clodia has certainly taken those lemons (the fruit, not the erotic genre)and served us up a tasty treat of lemonade. This story is hilarious. And that's after you've stopped giggling about 'Teleporno'.

Reviewed by: Celeritas  ✧  Score: 4

This has to be one of the most original fics I've encountered in this past year, using all of the tools available to an academic to create a (rather snarkily) annotated text that explains, once and for all, why Tolkien encountered so many variant texts on Celeborn and Galadriel. The satire of the Victorian missionary genre is perfect, as is the extrapolation of what happens when the rumor mill meets with immortal eyewitness accounts, and the final hints as to who wrote this thing and why are icing on the proverbial cake.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 4

The oh, so prim and proper depiction of the protagonists, the exaggerated mannerisms, the nonstandard eponyms used, and the self-righteous voice in which the tale is written make it a quintessential morality tale that must have embarrassed the Lady Galadriel and her beloved husband! It certainly makes me cringe at times, even as I'm shaking my head with delight at the sly humor of it.