Recalled To Life - Alqualonde
2006 Award Category: Races: Elves: Feanorians - First Place
Story Type: Other Fiction ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: G ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Maedhros, son of Feanor, reborn, returns to Alqualonde to apologise.
Reviewed by: dkpalaska ✧ Score: 10
This story drew me in immediately. Seeing events unfold through Maedhros' eyes brings out the many changes from before the first Kinslaying to four Ages later during the time of the story. The descriptions of the city, its people and the landscape are full and clear without being overdone, and they never overwhelm the central themes of repentance and forgiveness. I thought it an excellent touch that the King and Queen bring the matter before all their people (without warning Maedhros, mind you) - from those killed during the Kinslaying and reborn, to those born since, and those who came from over sea during the intervening ages. Maedhros' rather dutiful request for forgiveness is judged by the entire community and not by the rulers alone. Although I have read this story several times, I am still very moved by (and dearly love) the final scene: the connection that the Silmarillion/Earendil's Star provides, the singing that swells up from the gathered people, and Maedhros' grieving for his family and all they have done. The ability to forgive even (or perhaps especially) the worst crimes brings the beginnings of healing and hope to both sides, and I thought AWing portrayed this believably and beautifully without making it overly sentimental. Her writing is lyrical and flowing, and I think this is a wonderful and creative story.
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 10
Another brilliant portrait of Maedhros, this time returned to life in Valinor, but with the memory of all his deeds and those of his kindred upon his head. Nevertheless, it is clearly a different Maedhros from the deadened, burnt-out, hopelessly cynical creature we saw in [Before Thangorodrim: The Last Fall of Himring Hill]. Knowledge does not cripple; enough time has passed for him to have learned something from the horror that has been many centuries of his life. The description of Alqualondë, with its foundation of friendship between the Noldor and the Teleri, and then the rift between them that built the walls, and the slow spread of Telerin styles--wandering, meandering, haphazard as the sea, and yet somehow bound together in a whole--is beautifully written. Maedhros' meditation in the garden, and then his appearance before the multitude of Alqualondë, Telerin Ages old as well as Maedhros' more recent victims (Sindar and Falathrim of Beleriand), are well matched. I liked the question that eventually led to judgment, and which suggests that the younger among the Eldar are more fitted to judge the need for forgiveness and for reconciliation than those old enough to remember the crimes, and can lead others towards healing. Well done, Awing!
Reviewed by: Bodkin ✧ Score: 7
I find this a very moving story. The very nature of the Blessed Realm must require that its inhabitants come to terms with and learn to live with returned kinslayers - yet Maedhros, of all the sons of Feanor, must have found it almost impossible to find acceptance, particularly in Alqualonde, but also among those Noldor who chose not to follow him. And yet - to return must mean that he had earned the right to do so. Riding to Alqualonde must still have required enormous courage - I can understand the reluctance of those who met him there - and yet they too must have learned to release their bitterness. I like this Maedhros - he is courageous and patient and accepting. Cleansed of the passion and desperate need to please his father. I'm glad the rising of the remaining Silmaril finally convinced the Teleri that his return deserved no less acceptance than anyone else's. Beautiful descriptions too. And a lovely tone.
Reviewed by: Imhiriel ✧ Score: 5
The story is told in a quiet tone that seems fitting to the subject. Beautifully detailed description of Alqualondë that brings the city vividly to life, and the flashes of the past in their contrasting images add poignancy. All the different, conflicting emotions felt by all of the characters concerned are sketched and given due weight, without getting sentimental. I particularly appreciate the fact that forgiveness comes not immediately, not easily, and when it does, it is because of the highly symbolic Silmaril up in the Heaven for all to see - here once again "Gil-Estel" - and through a song in whose creation both kindreds had their part.
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 4
What I love most about this piece is the way that the long history of the strife between the different Elvish clans is woven so subtly into the events. I have only read the Silm a few times and so the characters were not as vivid as they might be for some - but even so, this story was really poignant. Forgiving for something that seems as unforgiveable as a kinslaying is definitely a hard thing to do, and I was glad to see that honoured.
Reviewed by: Erynhith ✧ Score: 4
This is a beautiful lyrical story, choosing as its subject a moment of grief and tragedy and the hope of forgiveness after long suffering. Maitimo I think is one of Tolkien's most fascinating characters, and the writer catches his noble bearing and the way experience has changed him as well as the pride and unyielding character of one of the sons of Feanor. I also loved the description of Alqualonde itself, its wonderful architecture and the three rings of walls with their open gate.
Reviewed by: Rhapsody ✧ Score: 3
A very nicely told story on how Maedhros apologises for his house to the Telerin King. It takes a while before the story picks up on the pace and I nearly put it down, but the ending feels authentic.
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 2
Very beautiful prose, lyrical and poetical in itself, this is an account of reconciliation. I am not well-versed in the Silm, but I do know of the sons of Feanor, and this is lovely.