Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

No One Rembers

Author: Canafinwe
Nominator: Cairistiona
2010 Award Category: Genres: Character Study: Angst - Second Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: Teen -- Reason for Rating: This story is rated "Teen" for psychological distress and allusions to the methods of the Nazgűl.
Summary: After victory there comes the time for healing, and the memories of those who fell for freedom. King Elessar is haunted by recollections of those whom all others forgot: the men of Sarn Ford.


Reviewed by: Cairistiona -- Score: 7

This story is stunningly intense. Very few authors have tackled the events of the attack on Sarn Ford, and Canafinwe's short tale of Aragorn looking back, with regret and anguish, at how he handled the situation, is both wrenching and poignant. How like Aragorn to agonize over what he might have done better, how he might have prepared his men better. It's left to us to imagine that dreadful incident, and the glimpses of it given in this tale, through Aragorn's memories, drive home the fact that it would have been a horrible thing to have gone through. The ending especially was so touching... just a small line or two about one of the Rangers opens up an entire vista of the Rangers as individuals with their own quirks and skills and families, and not simply unnamed shadowy figures in the woods of the North. One of the best short stories I've ever come across and one I find myself reading again and again.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 7

I love the stories about the forgotten characters, and they don't get much more forgotten than the Rangers. Sarn Ford, in particular, seems to be left out of all the tales and songs, and of course this would rankle on someone like Aragorn. He would understand the adherence to duty that made these men give their lives on a lonely outpost where none would know of or remember their sacrifice, but Aragorn knows and he remembers. Arwen is particularly well characterized in this fic, and I love the way she comes in, listens, and then cajoles an explanation out of Aragorn after searching her mind for some significance to the date of September 22. Her advice is beautifully phrased and gives Aragorn a clear starting point. Eldarion is the one who first gets a reaction out of Aragorn on this somber day, and it is Eldarion who is first told the story of the Rangers who sacrificed at Sarn Ford. Solid characterizations, great atmosphere, and a wonderful frame for the story of the Rangers who gave so much.

Reviewed by: Fiondil -- Score: 7

I was sitting in a restaurant one day where an old man wearing a cap the had “Omaha Beach” embroidered on it was asking the young waiters and waitresses if they knew where Omaha Beach was. Sadly, they did not, and the old man left the restaurant discouraged that an important piece of history, history that he experienced and lived through was already being lost. So, reading this story, I was reminded of how many small battles and skirmishes have gone unnoticed by history and historians, battles where men sacrificed their hopes and dreams and very lives so that we could live today. The need to remember the fallen whom history has forgotten and to honor, not only their sacrifices, but their lives, is brought out very poignantly as Aragorn remembers those who fell at Sarn Ford on the very night Frodo was seeking to leave the Shire with the Ring. It was, in the greater scheme of things, a minor skirmish, but it was important nonetheless and I am grateful for Canafinwe for reminding us of it.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 6

The folk of Gondor know and honor the stories of those who died upon the Pelennor, within Ithilien, and before the Black Gate; but now it is time for another group to be remembered, those who served and died at Sarn Ford when the Black Riders entered the Shire in search of Baggins and the Ring. And it is proper, I think, that the first within Gondor to hear the stories of those Rangers is Aragorn's son Eldarion, who was frightened to find his usually loving father grieving on the anniversary of their deaths. To hear their lives now celebrated, to see the men who died there as his father remembers them in the years they served together, guarding the scattered peoples of Eriador.... A bit melodramatic, but nevertheless effective. Well worth the read!

Reviewed by: RS -- Score: 5

A heart-wrenching story that rings true to our unsung heroes that have survived and who have fallen. Such a poignant tale for those who have experienced horrific events; you truly feel Aragorn's guilt and his suffering and pain for his fallen comrades and his inability to deal with this memory. The author provides a glimpse of Aragorn's beautiful and trusting relationship with Arwen. This is a true tribute to those who were overlooked during our times of need..who sacrificed their lives. The author has a true ability to touch all emotions. I was a mess at the end. A wonderful, touching, and beautiful story. A story that I will reread again and again.

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 4

This is a touching story. The contrast between Aragorn having lived and a long and eventful life with a lot of decisions that not always had the intended consequences and young, innocent Eldarion makes the story more poignant. I like the characterization of Aragorn and wise Arwen. I think telling Eldarion the story of the forgotten heroes was a great suggestion.

Reviewed by: Gandalfs apprentice -- Score: 4

I have just recently discovered Canafinwe's remarkable stories. This is one of the short ones, a beautifully realized, moving tale of grief in the Fourth Age. Being myself a great admirer of the Northern Rangers, this one touched my heart in more ways than one. Their courageous stand at Sarn Ford is indeed one of the great unsung events of the War of the Ring. The author captures that terror at the same time as she draws a delightful picture of the family of Telcontar in its early years.

Reviewed by: Inzilbeth -- Score: 4

This is another excellent story from Canafinwe who is a master of finding those small moments in canon that require a closer look. This one is after the War of the Ring when Aragorn has all that he desires. He is however haunted by the deaths of his men at Sarn Ford. This is one of those episodes glossed over in canon and yet one which must have taken a heavy toll on the man who had to decide between finding Frodo and going to the aid of his rangers. Canafinwe fills that episode beautifully.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 4

I really like the relationship of Aragorn and little Eldarion as written here; Aragorn can react impatiently when the youngster pesters him, and realize that he has gone too far, and seek to make amends in a meaningful way. And of course, the reprise of the deaths of the Rangers at Sarn Ford is a heartbreaking reminder of all the sacrifices made to insure Sauron's defeat and Aragorn's ultimate triumph.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 3

["No One Remembers"] save Aragorn himself, about those brave Rangers whom we know only from the Tale of Years. And their sacrifice burdens him. But Arwen's advice is wise. A very touching tribute to the fallen at Sarn Ford.

Reviewed by: Ellynn -- Score: 2

Wonderful story about unsung heroes and about how wonderful person Aragorn is. Beautifully written.