Pastures Green

Author: curiouswombat

Nominator: Linda Hoyland

2009 Award Category: Races: Men: Gondor Drabbles - First Place

Story Type: Drabble  ✧  Length: True Drabble

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Theoden's last moments in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.(True drabble written for the Tolkien Weekly group challenge 'Green'.)

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Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 7

I very much enjoyed the way that this drabble seems to reverse the crushing grief that followed Theoden's passing. When told from his view, it's a fade more than anything else. Curioswombat achieves this feeling nicely by giving the start of the drabble a short, choppy feel. The chaos of battle is described in one-word sentences that give the feeling of clamor and turmoil. Then the words turn to phrases and the phrases turn to longer sentences, and the drabble settles into a steady flow as the narrative describes how things around Theoden are starting to fade. It's a beautiful marriage of form and imagery, and it really adds to the atmosphere that this drabble creates. The final words of the drabble, with everything peaceful and calm (a stark contrast to the beginning) maintain a distant feel. Even the voice calling Theoden does so from a distance, and there are fields around him devoid of death and despair. Beautifully done!

Reviewed by: Tanaqui  ✧  Score: 6

Oh! This is a beautiful and moving exploration of Theoden's death on Pelennor fields, which is not an ending but merely passing into an afterlife in which Theoden can, indeed, hold his head high in the welcoming company of those who have gone before. I particularly enjoyed the way curiouswombat has so vividly conjured up the physical sensations in the scene. Not just his narrowing vision but also and especially the ebbing and flowing sounds Theoden experiences, from the loud racket of battle to his (unsuccessful) attempt to speak and through to the silence as he makes the transition. And then, finally, the loud and joyful greeting of the one waiting for him. The power--and challenge--of a drabble is to deliver this kind of punch in one hundred words. Here, curiouswombat has succeeded admirably, using the economy of form to concentrate our minds on this moment. Excellent work--bravo!

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 5

I think this might well be one of the most moving drabbles I have ever read.I cannot read it without dabbing my eyes. I love the way Curious Wombat shows Theoden's tragic yet heroic death and all that must have passed through his mind. There is light and hope at the end of this outstanding drabble, which is both moving and uplifting.I loved it! We are left with a beautiful image of Theoden and his beloved Snowmane healed and restored in green pastures.Long may they wander there! I loved the way the drabble moved from pain and confusion to joy and certainty.

Reviewed by: Elleth  ✧  Score: 4

A stunning snapshot of Theoden's final passing and a beautiful glimpse into a vision of Rohirric afterlife. The author uses the wonderfully effective imagery of a peaceful homecoming after the battle, and death as a gradual transition rather than an ultimate end on the Pelennor Fields to a very poignant effect. This is one drabble guaranteed to stay in your head and make you wonder for a while. It certainly did stay with me.

Reviewed by: MedeaSmyke  ✧  Score: 3

This gave me shivers. Theoden fades from one life into another and is greeted by, I would guess, one of his heroes - his own father. The green meadow and his horse beside him was very clear and fresh. A lot is accomplished in a very small space. Well done!

Reviewed by: Robinka  ✧  Score: 3

Most certainly, Theoden fought and died like a king. This drabble presents the moment of his death in a touching and metaphoric way. Very skilfully written and poignant little story, in which no word is wasted. Well done!

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

What more could anyone wish than this--to be restored to health and honor, then to find such an end, and such a perfect new beginning! This look at Theoden's death from his own point of view has taken me by surprise--surprise and delight! CuriousWombat has truly constructed a masterpiece here! Thank you!

Reviewed by: Elen Kortirion  ✧  Score: 3

The transition from pain to peace is beautifully handled here, from the staccatto stabs of the battle in progress, to the lyrical passing and what he discovers is there for him after is gloriously described in puposefully clipped prose that needs no extraneous ornament.

Reviewed by: Phyncke  ✧  Score: 3

This takes us right through to the beyond with the King of Rohan and one can visual his final place. I even imagine the sound of the greeting voice here, boisterous in tone. Just a great story. Surprisingly, I did not feel sad. I felt really happy for him to be united with his father. Oddly enough.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 3

Really a wonderful drabble! CuriousWombat captures not only the essence of the Eorling spirit, but of Theoden's spirit as well, in his moments of transition. And the ending is heartbreakingly lovely, an ending we would all wish for the mighty Thengling and his faithful steed...

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 2

And this is another really good one. The slightly disjointed prose fits the theme perfectly. And then the green pasture - would that it were so!