Sporting Woods

Author: Ignoble Bard

Nominator: Dwimordene

2009 Award Category: Genres: Humor - First Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Mild language, reference to obese derrieres, and inferred potential tree violence.

Summary: Namo tries to relax in Lorien.(Written for the Back to Middle Earth Challenge on The Silmarillion Writer's Guild)

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Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 7

Ignoble Bard has a delightful eye for irreverent humor, with Námo bringing in the laughs two years running now. Which is just what you'd expect from the lord of, um, departed souls and the halls of the dead and of all that is heavy and serious and rather gloomy - it's a great juxtaposition, in fact. Ignoble Bard manages to juggle outrageously direct dialogue with understated narration, which I think suits the story well. As an examplel: [“Your throne is my cousin Ernie,” the first tree replied. “Gossip is pretty much all there is to do around here.” ... Námo shook his head at their antics, making a mental note that Vairë needed a new dining room suite.] Hysterical! Middle-earth sports its own canonical talking trees, and though Tolkien mentions trees with black hearts, he somehow fails to entertain the possibility that trees might be gossipy, catty creatures. Or that water could be insulting. Ignoble Bard, fortunately, exploits these possibilities with style and the result is highly entertaining. If you are in need of a laugh, or just love quirky humor, give this story a try. Thanks for another fine comic vignette, Ignoble Bard!

Reviewed by: Oshun  ✧  Score: 7

This is such a very, very funny piece. One of your best humor pieces and you have a real talent for humor. There are just some characters in The Silmarillion that I personally find utterly irresistible when I find people poking fun at them and I am afraid that Námo—the Doomsman of the Valar—tops the list (with a name like that how could he not!). I must heartily recommend that people should read this story more than once, however. Every time I look at it I spot a new double entendre (and I am not even counting the ones you pointing out to me that I missed because of my lack of savvy with the right pop cultural references). I'll refrain from listing my favorites here in this review so as not to spoil the joy of finding them for others—I usually do not put much stock in spoilers, but in this case, it was the heart of the story for me to find each additional little funny on my own and think: OMG! I cannot believe he really wrote that. What a clever man! The title itself is an absolute killer.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 5

I think what I love best about this story is how completely irreverent it is. This is fun purely for the sake of fun, and as it's all at Namo's expense, it's even more entertaining. Poor guy. If he wasn't the Doomsman of the Valar, I don't think he'd be nearly as much fun to tease. The dry, almost casual humor that Ignoble Bard injects into this piece is the perfect ingredient for many giggles and a loud guffaw or two. I love how matter-of-fact it all is. At the first offense, Namo has it narrowed down to a few culprits, and he doesn't seem surprised at all that it's the trees doing the bad-mouthing. The insults surprise him, not the source. And this complete acceptance of a bizarre situation makes for even more hilarity!

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 4

Hehehe, this was delightfully ridiculous and very giggle-inducing. I could actually imagine it like a cartoon. And the trees blaming each other is almost like a reversal of the story of Adam and Eve. And I liked how he made this little remark about bedroom furniture - sure to set any tree trembling, especially if their counsin is already part of the fittings... Thanks for giving me a laugh.

Reviewed by: Scarlet10   ✧  Score: 4

Hick, Hick, *Spraying tea from the nose*. You should have put a warning there. I just can't stop laughing. And poor Namo. At long last he is taking a much needed vacation, and all these no good gossipers just can't keep to their own business. And to think this is what they do all year around.... ("Your throne is my cousin Ernie,” the first tree replied. “Gossip is pretty much all there is to do around here.") Even the serving hand takes part. Really. This is a very funny, sweet story. I just love it.

Reviewed by: Esteliel  ✧  Score: 4

[And thus there occurred the first, though sadly unrecorded, spit- take.] LOL - and the same almost happened to me when I read this story. This is really hilarious - the gossipping trees, Namo admiring the flowers, and the revelation at the end really made me laugh. So this is how the ents came to be! I'm always a bit wary when it comes to humour fic, but this was really so well done and made me grin through the entire story. I really like your Namo too, and the inspired way in which he deals with the trees. I wonder if he found a similar punishment for the fountain...

Reviewed by: Moreth  ✧  Score: 3

A wonderful and delightfully irreverent view of the Valar and talking trees. When you've read it, I'm sure you'll be just as glad as I am that trees don't comment on our life! It's a hoot! Most amusing :)

Reviewed by: Rhapsody  ✧  Score: 3

Tries to relax is an understatement in this summary. Such cheeky and naughty trees, no wonder he barely gets out his halls with all that commentary! [The trees all stood silent, waving their branches nonchalantly. Then he noticed one branch seemed to be pointing at the tree next to it. He stood in front of the tree, glowering. ] *giggle snort* Simply brilliant and such great fun!

Reviewed by: Robinka  ✧  Score: 3

This is one of the funniest stories about the Doomsman of the Valar I have ever read and at the same time one of the most comical pieces in the Silmarillion fan fiction in general. I remember how I howled with laughter when I read about the new dining room suite, and this time round is no different. Great job!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 3

A wonderful take on the Lord of the Dead being razzed by some impudent trees - somehow, it is very Tolkienish; JRRT was a champion of trees after all. Ignoble Bard applies his customary irreverance to great effect here.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

And just what does a Vala have to do to get some respect? Between sarcastic trees and murmuring water, it appears that Namo isn't getting any this day! Maybe that new dining room suite isn't so difficult to imagine getting for Vaire after all! A lovely laugh!

Reviewed by: Jael  ✧  Score: 3

I had forgotten how funny this story was. No one, but no one, does humor like Ignoble Bard, and this tale of impudent trees and other things of nature is no exception. Sometimes a Vala just gets no respect. Yes -- I think Vaire needs that new dining room suite! Hilarious, Bard!

Reviewed by: Klose  ✧  Score: 3

Heehee! This story is densley packed with laughs, and I love the irreverent way the author has portrayed the Vala (and trees, and fountains). I especially enjoyed the idea of one tree ratting the other out (and the verbal attack it gets as a result!), and the subtle hints about their prospective futures as a Vala's home furniture were great. Poor Namo!

Reviewed by: Nieriel Raina  ✧  Score: 2

Few authors have the ability to pull something like this off, but Ignoblebard is one of them. Hilarious, outrageous and snort worthy.

Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel  ✧  Score: 2

Trees in a seemingly peaceful forest comment on the Doomsman of the Valar's appearance with hilarious results. This fic should definitely carry a beverage warning!

Reviewed by: crowdaughter  ✧  Score: 2

Pretty funny, and with a wicked sense of humor. I like the idea of Namo being conscious of his, looks. And the part about Vairë's dining room was especially wicked! Well done! ;)