Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Seven Deadly Drabbles, or The Fosterling

Author: curiouswombat
Nominator: Robinka
2011 Award Category: Drabble Series: Character Study - Third Place

Story Type: Drabble : Length: Drabble Series
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: 7x100 - written for the Tolkien Weekly 'Seven Deadly Sins' challenge. Seven drabbles featuring Aragorn and his family, from his infancy to his marriage, these were originally written for the 'Seven Deadly Sins' challenge at Tolkien Weekly.


Reviewed by: ziggy -- Score: 10

This is a complete delight. In the true Drabble style, Curiouswombat picks out key moments and just shines a light into those corners. And in doing so, she tells us something more about the characters that we almost knew, that lurked there on the edges but perhaps we had not quite thought of-certainly Tolkien does not elucidate upon. For example, the wrath that Erestor speaks of and Elrohir and Elladan overhear and quietly congratulate themselves that they now control. But the final congratulatory words are completely chilling, recognising really the coldness they wreak vengeance now rather than hot wrath simply makes them more effective and the reader is required to question if wrath really has destroyed them, or is destroying part of them at least. The last Drabble is warm is every sense and evokes a sense of everything achieved in a simple image of the warmth of a bed. It represents safety in the comparison with the life of a Ranger, completion in that Aragorn lies next to Arwen and there is no sense of loss as that has already been dealt with. I like the fact that Aragorn does not feel remorse or guilt in this last one, just pleasure in every sense that he is enjoying the simple pleasures of a man lying in a warm bed next to his wife.

-- Thank you, Ziggy, for the wonderful review for Seven Deadly Drabbles - I am really pleased that you both enjoyed them, and took the time to review so kindly, too.

Reviewed by: Inzilbeth -- Score: 8

Oh I did enjoy these! Curiouswombat writes a mean drabble at the best of times but stick seven of them together and you have a rare treat. These drabbles collectively cover the seven deadly sins but the subtle, and at times not so subtle, strand running through them is Aragorn's love for Arwen. At first this is only implied as Elladan imagines Aragorn's infant son running amok among the maidens of Imladris. Elladan's chilling assessment of his 'effectiveness' now he has learnt to curb his wrath is the subject of the next drabble while this is followed by a delightful moment as Estel proudly becomes a warrior. Emotions are once again turned upside down as Gilraen dreads losing her daughter and wishes she had instead given birth to a daughter. But this is counter balanced by Aragorn's youthful intoxication of Arwen in the next scene. Elrond's despair as he must part with his daughter for ever is another about turn but the series ends on a high note with Aragorn about to miss his breakfast because of the distraction in bed beside him! A beautifully done series. Very well done.

-- Thank you so much - I'm glad that you liked them. Glad, especially, that you liked that moment when Elladan meets the infant Aragorn - I have to admit to it being one of my favourites of this set, but usually no-one seems to notice that moment of unexpected foresight!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 5

Excellent use of the Seven Deadly Sins as triggers for a drabble series. Curious Wombat follows Aragorn from infancy through marriage, first viewed by others and then by himself. My favorites of this series are the two associated with greed/gluttony, with the youthful Aragorn panting after every aspect of Arwen's self- words, perfume, etc.; and the tragic [greed] of Elrond for more time with the daughter that he is soon going to lose forever. I am always in awe of drabblists' skill; and it takes special writers' chops to make a series of 100-word pieces. CuriousWombat handles this interesting prompt with skill and pathos.

-- Thank you - I must admit drabble writing has become something of a favourite pastime over the past couple of years. I am never sure which of these is my favourite and it is so interesting to find out which ones other people prefer.

Reviewed by: Clodia -- Score: 5

This is a charming collection of drabbles that presents moments from Aragorn's long life, from his birth to his wedding, from both Aragorn's own perspective and the perspectives those around him - his foster-brothers Elladan and Elrohir, his mother Gilraen and his foster-father Elrond. There is a wealth of thoughtful, well-observed detail here. I particularly liked the contrast between Gilraen's drabble and Elrond's: whereas Gilraen envies Elrond his daughter, because a son is a temporary blessing but daughters are [a comfort to their parents for the whole of their lives], Elrond will eventually come to be [greedy for any extra hour, any extra minute, in which to keep his daughter still beside him], Arwen having come to return Aragorn's love. A poignant touch!

-- Thank you for the review. I'm really pleased that you like that contrast between Gilraen's thoughts on having a daughter and Elrond's experience of the same thing - I was kind of pleased to be able to get those thoughts in!

Reviewed by: cairistiona -- Score: 4

An excellent series of drabbles that provides insight into every character involved, from Elladan and Elrohir to Elrond and of cours to the titular fosterling, Aragorn. There's even a little Erestor thrown in as well. Each drabble covers a different aspect of Aragorn's life with his Rivendell family and each is thoughtfully woven to elicit tears, a gentle smile, or delighted laughter, especially in the case of that last one. Definitely a must read, this collection.

-- Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review of The Fosterling. I remember what fun, but what a challenge, it was every week to write about Aragorn et al positively when the prompt was so negative!

Reviewed by: Striderette -- Score: 4

Wonderful series of drabbles that give glimpses both of Estel's youth and his transformation into the man he is destined to become. Cleverly interwoven are snapshots of how Gilraen, Elrond, and Aragorn himself view Arwen......For Gilraen, a craving for a daughter who could have been a comfort to her for many years; for Elrond, the daughter he can't bear to lose; for Aragorn, the treasure that captivates him. A pleasure to read!

-- Thank you for the lovely review of 'Seven Deadly Drabbles, or The Fosterling' - I am rather fond of these drabbles I have to say, so it is always so nice when someone else likes them too.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland -- Score: 4

These drabbles written the "Seven Deadly Sins" Challenge at "Tolkien Weekly" are a captivating series about Aragorn is seen through the eyes of his Elven mentors as he grows and matures. Curious Wombat is a true mistress of the art of the drabble and each of these seven drabbles is a miniature masterpiece which deserves to be read and savoured.

-- Thank you for reviewing The Fosterling - It is always such a compliment to find that you like anything I write with Aragorn in it as I tend to think of him very much as 'yours'.

Reviewed by: Darkover -- Score: 3

"A son is a son..." is my favorite, for the irony. "Greed of the Heart" was perhaps the saddest. All were well written and packed a lot of emotion into just 100 words. You have done an entertaining and fitting job of writing a series of drabbles based on the seven deadly sins: well done.

-- Thank you for your review - it was a very interesting series of prompts, I found; and it's always good to know that others enjoyed them, too.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel -- Score: 3

The Fosterling is a wonderful series, focusing on different times in Aragorn's life. They're all unique and different from what is normally written, and I liked this alternate view.

-- Thank you - I don't often write Aragorn and so am very pleased that people think these work.

Reviewed by: Azalais -- Score: 3

These are a lovely set of glimpses into the experiences of the folk of Rivendell in fostering Estel/Aragorn as he grows up, and later comes into his kingdom. The dramatic ironies are sometimes wryly funny, sometimes very poignant; always enjoyable.

-- They were a really good set of prompts weren't they?