Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Reaping

Author: Dreamflower
Nominator: Bodkin
2006 Award Category: Races: Hobbits: Post-Sauron's Fall - First Place

Story Type: Other Fiction : Length: Short Story
Rating: R -- Reason for Rating: Graphic violence and minor character death
Summary: In which Ted Sandyman learns that one reaps what one sows.


Reviewed by: Bodkin -- Score: 10

I never thought I would end up feeling sorry for Ted Sandyman. He is a nasty piece of work – in hobbit terms – but even he did not really deserve what happened to him here! He doubtless thought he was so clever, pre-empting the banishment he knew was inevitable! But he was never very bright – a bully, who thought hanging onto the coattails of those who were bigger bullies would bring him some kind of power. He deserved his miserable flight from the Shire – but once he fell in the hands of the hands of Sharkey’s men, he found out more about evil than even he should. (Personally, I feel sorry for Clover. Ruffo and Mallo – and Ted – at least chose their own path. But still none of them deserved the fate they found. Frodo would have been absolutely horrified to discover what happened to those banished from the Shire.) And Ted’s fate – gruesome. I love the way that he dreams of sweet Folco offering sympathy to the tortured hobbit until finally the orcs and orcish men finish him off – and then Folco comes to lead him home, while his body is dumped in a shallow grave and abandoned. Poor Ted. Nasty, but naive. He didn't really have much of a grasp of what the world was like outside the Shire. But his learning curve was steep and he suffered a far worse punishment than any hobbit would have chosen to inflict on him. I think he learned that there are worse things than the pity of a noble heart. To paraphrase the words of a certain Gondorian. This is quite unlike most of your writing, but I found it made a great impact on me. Good story.

Reviewed by: pippinfan88 -- Score: 9

This story must have been extremely difficult for her to write. It was very difficult to read both times, but it was a most excellent read. I tip my hat to Dreamflower and how she poured her heart and soul into this sad tale of Ted Sandyman. She hinted about his demise in The Road to Edoras, and I have to admit that I became curious. Here, the author takes us from Ted's flight from Hobbiton, how he survived the trip down to the Ford, and then through the horrifying recompense that was his due. Many times we skip over the "ugly" bits because we simply don't have the nerve to write about the violence that existed during this War. Even the good Professor left much of it unsaid while the four Travellers returned to the Shire and found it in ruin and her people suffering from hunger and torment. Even when Merry and Pippin are rescuing the poor hobbits that had been locked up in the lockholes in Michel Delving, much of the battering and torture had been stealthily left out, though we could pretty much guess at it. Dreamflower courageously makes us see the bad, the ugly...and the tragedy of it all. This story took guts to write, and Dreamflower was the one to do it and do it well.

Reviewed by: EdorasLass -- Score: 8

Ok, first - WOW. Just...WOW. I've never seen anything quite like this before, and it's wonderful! Wonderful in a brutal, frightening way, of course. I LOVE the idea of following the fate of Ted Sandyman, after our four wanderers returned and kicked all the rubbish to the curb. This is such a stark depiction of what might have happened to him - indeed, a portrait of what might happen to any person who decided to align with the enemy rather than fight. The shunning of Sandyman by the other hobbits, his smirking arrogance that everything will be fine once he's found Men, the desperation of his flight from Hobbiton - all come across very realistic. His over-inflated sense of self-importance is very in character to me, and this: [Sharkey’s orders was to let some of you *think* you was in charge] was just chilling in its glee. The torture, while horrifying, seemed very logical, if that makes sense. I like very much that Sandyman didn't repent or feel regret for his actions, and that he couldn't understand why Frodo would feel pity for him. Truly excellent characterization of one of Tolkien's minor villians.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 7

I thought I had already reviewed this story, but evidently I hadn't... Anyway, this is a hobbit tragedy, a story as old as time, the fate of the collaborator, who, betraying his own people to puff himself up, eventually reaps what he has sown. Only here, the hobbit Ted Sandyman reaps a terrible harvest for his seeds of petty evil. Ted is characterised wonderfully here. He doesn't think that he is evil, unlike Melkor or Sauron, he never made a clear choice, he just went the easiest way and indulged his own meanness; and paid off some old scores, never realizing that he had taken the path to darkness just as certainly as if he had followed a road with a neon sign flashing 'EVIL'. Frodo, Merry and Sam are also well-written, even through the tainted glass of Ted's memory. This is not easy or comfortable reading. But it is worthwhile, an excellent look at the taint that Saruman and Grima and Lotho brought to the Shire.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland -- Score: 5

This was a truly chilling and bloodcurdling story about the fate of Ted Sandyman. It shows Frodo's character that he is the only one to treat this villian with kindness.I heartily dislike the character in the book but his fate here makes me pity him. Fleeing from his own kind, Ted is found by some of the ruffians who formerly terrorised the Shire before Frodo,Sam, Merry and Pippin returned. These ruffians think it great fun to torture poor Ted until he dies. I cannot say I liked this story as such but is is compelling,well written and deals well with the serious subject matter. Ted's fate reminded me of what I have read about collaborrators in real lufe wars.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 4

Ted Sandyman was never a pleasant fellow; and during the Time of Troubles he certainly did his best to earn further enmity from his neighbors by collaborating with Lotho and his Big Men. But now that the ruffians have been thrown out of the Shire Ted decides to flee, also, making the mistake of believing that he will retain the authority he thought he exercised over the Big Men when he was merely Lotho's stooge. However, he now learns better, most bitterly. A most intense writing, and superbly done.

Reviewed by: GamgeeFest -- Score: 4

I didn't think I could ever feel sorry for Ted Sandyman, but this story proved me wrong. Ted's dealings with the ruffians during the occupation of the Shire comes back to him, ten fold. The descriptions of his torment are cringe-worthy and his dreams of Folco, who he had wronged terribly, leading the Folco's death, are enough to make you weep. The ending, as Ted realizes fully what he had done and seeks forgiveness from the one he wronged, leaves you with the hope that perhaps he was redeemed in the end after all.

Reviewed by: Nienor Niniel -- Score: 4

This is quite a sad story. It shows well how people can be drawn into crime while deceiving themselves that they do not really cause harm, and how they can be harmed by events they do not really understand. The fic makes the reader really pity the poor Miller, although usually we see him as one of the (smaller) villains of the book. I like the fact that in spite of the terror Ted experiences, there is some sort of reconciliation in the end. Well done! Nienor

Reviewed by: Marigold -- Score: 4

This excellent story is so much darker than usual for Dreamflower, and she has handled the subject matter so well. I liked Ted's incomprehension that he has done anything wrong at all; it is so realistic of how someone this warped would think. The actions of the Men are brutally realistic and the author holds nothing back, but tells the story as it should be told. Ted does reap what he sowed, and probably deservedly, but that he too has been forgiven and redeemed is shown when one of Ted's victims is the one to take him on his final journey.

Reviewed by: grey_wonderer -- Score: 3

This one completely surprised me! I am used to lighter subjects from this author but in this story she shows an amazing talent for tackling dark subject matter. This is a wonderful story and I found it very interesting and entertaining! Bravo!

Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 3

Very good interweaving of canon events and original extrapolation; believable characterisation through a strong, clear narrative voice. The tension rises steadily to a chilling, terrible climax, that seems nevertheless unavoidable. The ending gives a hopeful glimpse that is very welcoming.

Reviewed by: Marta -- Score: 3

This is such a sad interlude. I had never thought about what happened to Ted after the Scouring, and this is a fitting pay-back for him. But it's nice tht it also brought about a sense of redemption. Ted was a fool and a bit proud and not innocent, but he wasn't a monster either, and you captured that well.

Reviewed by: Lindelea -- Score: 3

This is a chilling story, not the author's usual fare and not what I usually read, but so gripping that once started, I could not stop until I finished. What a sad fate for Ted Sandyman, worse than he deserved, I'd say, and yet it seems he found his forgiveness and peace in the end.

Reviewed by: Jenn_Calaelen -- Score: 2

An interesting and sad tale. You made me fell sympathy for Sandyman and turned him into an interesting and believable character. The way you blend canon into the story is well done.

Reviewed by: Llinos -- Score: 2

Very dark! A gruesome death even for Sandyman, but the hope at the end was just the right finish.