Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

A Question of Duty

Author: daw the minstrel
Nominator: elliska
2005 Award Category: Books/Time: The Lord of The Rings: Elves - First Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Novella
Rating: PG -- Reason for Rating: Violence
Summary: The decision to accompany Frodo must have been difficult for Legolas, given that he was needed in Mirkwood.


Reviewed by: Karenator -- Score: 10

This is one of the first stories written by you that I read. It's as delightful this time as it was the first. I love how you've taken canon and woven it so seamlessly into a plausible gap-filler for what went on before the Fellowship actually left Imladris on the Quest.. In our first introduction to Beliond, we get a wonderful glimpse of how his and Legolas's relationship developed through the many years that Beliond was Legolas's keeper. He's still a bit wary of letting Thranduil's youngest son take off on his own, but in the end, he sees the wisdom of Legolas going on the Quest. This is not just a young elf's desire for adventure, but an undertaking that will affect all the people of Middle-earth. That must have been a hard decision for him to come to, but it was time. Legolas was ready to go. I particularly loved the part where he tells Legolas that he can withstand Thranduil's fury. Now that we all know Beliond better, we know this to be a fact. Beliond is perfect for Legolas as a keeper and perfect for a worried father to know his son is well looked after. Your portrayal of Aragorn, Elrond, Mithrandir, the sons of Elrond, the dwarves...well, the whole cast...was wonderful. I enjoyed seeing the budding of the friendship of Aragorn and Legolas that will only strengthen and last until Aragorn's death. And beyond, I suppose. Beautifully done, daw. And such a pleasure to read again.

Reviewed by: elliska -- Score: 9

This is another one of those stories of yours that is one of my favorites if not my absolute favorite. I love that it is Amdir that is with Legolas and Annael (naturally it is Annael) going to Imladris. It is fun to see this characters that Legolas has known since childhood doing absolutely no better on such an important mission than he has done on all the rest. The conflict with the dwarves was well done and amusing in a perverse sort of way. I love that Legolas and crew had to disarm in the dining hall (I like seeing the differences between the realms) and I like Aragorn's little stab about the knives in their boots. I also liked Legolas's conversation with Mithrandir (decadent! it would seem). But of course the part of this that I liked best is watching Legolas and Aragorn get to know each other as the elves stayed to help investigate the presence of the Nine. Their actions there really do show why Elrond chose Legolas and why Legolas was a valuable addition to the Fellowship. And naturally I loved the interaction between Legolas and Beliond. Beliond's letter (rightfully) set Legolas off and then his change in attitude really underscores how important the quest was. I liked the 'people have many motivations' part. Your stories bring Legolas to this moment--and in this story he is perfect. Love it!

Reviewed by: jastaelf -- Score: 8

There is always just something refreshing and brilliant about this story for me. I have gone back and read, then re-read, this tale many times. And yes, I will say this about many of the stories that have been nominated this year. The characterizations here are brilliant. daw has a great eye for such details, and she uses language so beautifully... there are no dull thunks in my head when I read her works, no "this doesn't ring true", because she takes (in my mind anyway!) a great deal of time and hard work to craft her stories. Elves are proper Elves, Men are proper Men, Hobbitses are Hobbity, Dwarves are Dwarven... and it all comes together as a lovely whole. I could go on forever. There are so many sparkling examples. But the part that sticks out is the confrontation in the final chapter, between Beliond and Legolas over the letter to Thranduil and whether Legolas should go. SO well written... and my thanks for creating a suite of OCs that I love as much as Tolkien's originals, for their own sake as well as for the simple fact that they are true to Tolkien! (grin) Thank you, daw, for this lovely piece of work!

Reviewed by: picara -- Score: 7

Another incredible gap-filler! I think I like A Tangled Web slightly better but this is very close. I love Legolas's reaction to Rivendell and I particularly liked the line about "woodelves likely have knives in their boots too." That was funny. But most of all I liked seeing what Legolas did in Rivendell, namely going scouting with Aragorn, getting to know him a little and that leading to Aragorn recognizing his value and recommending him for the Quest. I think you did a very good job of showing why Elrond might have chosen Legolas when there were other elves with more experience and more knowledge of working with Aragorn. But most of all I loved seeing Legolas's struggle over the decision to go and Beliond's line, "there are many motivations" for our actions. This was another terrific story!

Reviewed by: Larian Elensar -- Score: 5

Wow, Beliond always has to surprise Legolas, doesn't he? Who would have ever thought he'd back Legolas going on the quest? And if anyone could take the brunt of Thranduil's anger, I have a feeling it's him. And give it back as good as he gets too. I can't even imagine how betrayed the Greenwood elves must have felt...here they were, feeling the brunt of Sauron's evil, and the others were always so slow to help, but here they had the rings...and the reason Sauron was so bent on destroying the elves...

Reviewed by: nerwen_calaelen -- Score: 4

A very interesting tale. I enjoyed the way you mix in information about the different cultures of the elves and rangers with the plot line. It is an interesting story which addresses the issue of Legolas' motivation very well and makes his dissision seem well thoght out and convincing. I look forward to having the chance to read more of your stories when I have time.

Reviewed by: Bodkin -- Score: 3

The relationship between Legolas and his group of elves and Aragorn and the Dunedain is beautifully established as they ride together - and you can see why Legolas would agree to leave Mirkwood in its need and join the quest. I like Beliond - and wouldn't want to have been in his shoes when he returned to Thranduil.