Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Dragons In The Trollshaws

Author: Bodkin
Nominator: Jay of Lasgalen
2008 Award Category: Genres: Adventure - Second Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: Harmless. Apart from a bit of dragon-slaying.
Summary: A peril awakes that demands all Elladan and Elrohir's attention - and requires more than skill to defeat.


Reviewed by: Jay of Lasgalen -- Score: 10

*Happy sigh* Thank you, Bodkin! I saw this first thing this morning, but didn't get the opportunity to read it properly, or leave a review. I like this story on so many levels - the simple banter and teasing between the twins, their realisation of how utterly foolish and reckless they have been, and the gradual acceptance that their behaviour towards Elrond and Glorfindel is unacceptable. The memories of their childhood are good too - the happy recall of bedtime stories about Smudge: [‘I remember,’ his brother said wistfully, ‘how we would bounce with excitement when Naneth told us those stories – and then sit up half the night debating how we could seek out a dragon like Smudge to come and live with us in Imladris and be our companion.’] The comment about Elladan jumping off the stable roof was interesting too - there's another untold tale there which I'd love to hear one day. Despite their reckless behaviour, they know when they are outmatched, and I was very glad to see them wait for reinforcements from Imladris - and Elrond's greeting. It's an important sign that they are able to see past that recklessness and acknowledge their shortcomings - finally, they are beginning to heal. The dragon hunt itself was tense and exciting - if gross in places - and I think the best part was Glorfindel nearly getting crisped :>) I don't think the twins (or Elrond) will let him forget that moment of misjudgement in a hurry! Thank you for this wonderful story - I love it! Jay

Reviewed by: Keiliss -- Score: 10

Right, where to start? This was an immensely satisfying story on several levels. I loved the interaction between the twins, so many little throw away comments that were exactly right for siblings, and their personal honestly with one another. Really loved the thought of them hearing the story of the little dragon who grew up to be (no doubt) the Best Friend of some young elf – put me in mind of telling bedtime stories to my own young ones back when they were very young. The difficulties of coming to term with their mother’s departure and how being at home made things harder was handled really well and resonated for me. When Elrohir declared enough was enough I felt like cheering. Pain, sorrow, guilt at what happened to their mother was expected and acceptable, but this never gets maudlin, these two are intelligent, well-raised and really feel like the sons of Elrond, grandsons of the lord and lady of the Golden Wood, not the brattish misfits too many writers resort to portraying. Then of course there was the friendship between Elrond and Glorfindel, which is something I always love reading about. And on top of it all, there were dragons!! The dragon fight was one of the best things I’ve read in a while, really well done, and the whole atmosphere was compelling and alive – I felt like I could see and hear them. Felt the quiet into which the smaller dragon crept after the fight was over, shared the twins’ revulsion as it started to feed…. Loved the hunt, was fascinated by the idea of using ‘dragon spare parts’ to forge appropriate weapons, that was a really brilliant touch. The entire action thread of the story in fact had me enthralled and really believing right from the start. And [‘I think that should do,’ he said with satisfaction.] fits perfectly into my personal picture of Glorfindel. Loved Elrond telling him off, and giggled to discover what had happened to his hair. I also really enjoyed his relationship with the twins. Really great story!

Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 7

I loved the lively dialogue in this story, the banter between the twins, the recollections of exploits in the past, with subtle undercurrents of more serious feelings, like the the still sore wound of Celebrían's loss. It's fascinating how much of the plot is revealed through the dialogue. The story is structured engagingly, the back and forth between the two parties provide variation in perspective that increases the focus of the story; often, they complement and/or provide new insight into each other. It's entertaining to witness the twins' knowledge and speculations about dragons, be they fact or fable. It brings them fully into the world and history of the Third Age of Middle-earth, so to speak, and acts also to remind us of some facts about Tolkien's "known" dragons like Glaurung or Smaug. It was fantastic when the dragons were finally on the scene, vividly described for all senses: their appearance and movements, the sounds and smells, how the fight and feast, etc.

Reviewed by: Fiondil -- Score: 6

Dragons have been reported in the Trollshaws and against the advice of Glorfindel and Elrond, Elrohir and Elladan go forth to do battle with the fell beasts, though perhaps they have bitten off more than they can chew. Set some time after the sailing of Celebrian to Valinor, the story examines the way in which Elladan and Elrohir have been coping with their loss, slowly coming to realize that perhaps their impetuosity has landed them in far deeper trouble than they original thought, for dragons are dangerous creatures and two dragons more so. Glorfindel and Elrond are very good here and one can sense the love and respect these two ancient elven warriors have for one another. I liked the interaction of the twins in the beginning as they begin to realize certain truths. A very nice story with an interesting twist in the end concerning Glorfindel that had me snickering.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 6

Ah, I finally got this one read, and what a delight! The conversations between the twins is, as usual, brilliant, particularly as the two of them agree that perhaps they've been particularly more reckless than is perhaps wise. As for the reactions of their father and their mentor--absolutely perfect! And then the actual strategies used to kill the two remaining dragons that had managed to survive of all the original clutch--that the two of them managed to realize the perfect material from which to derive the points to be used on the surviving young dragons--it was again brilliant! A perfect balance between Bodkin's usual delightful dialogue and action. As for Elrond--why his hair remains dark with these two as sons.... Mine would be totally white by this time!

Reviewed by: Elena Tiriel -- Score: 5

Bodkin's story is about the sons of Elrond on a mission to find a nest of dragons living near Rivendell and posing a danger to the populace. The brothers are capable warriors, but their grief at Celebrian's departure makes them reckless. Glorfindel finds out about their quest and commands a troop of warriors to find them and deal with the problem properly. The action is interesting, and seems well-thought-out. I enjoy the bantering between the brothers, who are serious underneath all the light-hearted jesting. The interactions between characters is loving... except for the dragons! Well done!

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 4

Dragons can be such pesky creatures! But they make for great excitement. I love the descriptions of these winged beasts. They are truly formidable. But even more than that, I love the interactions of the Rivendell characters. There is humor aplenty, but there are also darker touches and a feeling of desperation over the loss of Celebrian. One thing I especially liked were the differences between Elladan and Elrohir. They are definitely twins, but they are not interchangeable. Great work, all around.

Reviewed by: elliska -- Score: 4

Wow! Somehow I never read this before. It is awesome. I absolutely love Elladan and Elrohir in this story. The banter between them is perfectly done and hilarious. So are the childhood references like Smudge and the leap off the stable roof. I also love your take on dragons in this story. And of course the action in this is incredible, as is them working out how to handle the situation. Very tense. I absolutely loved this story, Bodkin! I'm so glad the MEFAs led me to finally see it.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 3

This is such a fun story-- a bit adventurous and suspenseful, but what drives it is the witty dialogue that Bodkin excels in. Her Elladan and Elrohir especially, have a talent for sharp banter that never slips over the top. I really enjoy this story--it's a very good read!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 3

An excellent story pitting Elrohir and Elladan and (eventually) Glorfindel against a long-hidden nest of dragons. The descriptions of the dragons, and extrapolations of their behavior, are very credible. And the characterisation of the twins, their father, and Glorfindel, is quite good, as one would expect from this very skilled writer.

Reviewed by: nancylea -- Score: 1

when does glorfy learn not to play with fire?