Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Misericordia

Author: Dwimordene
Nominator: Elleth
2010 Award Category: Genres: Character Study: Drabble Series - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Drabble : Length: True Drabble Series
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: n/a
Summary: An exploration of Nienna's labors, in 100 word increments. "For she maketh men to have faces..." Nienna's labors, in drabble-length tales.


Reviewed by: Elleth -- Score: 10

[She who weeps], Nienna, is the object of Dwimordene's fascinating drabble series [Misericordia]. While grief is often considered a highly homogenous emotion, and thus by implication the Lady of Grief might not be as variable as some of the other Valar and Valier, the drabble-length stories about Feanor, Luthien and Beren, The House of Hurin, Amandil and finally the least expected, Melkor, prove that this is not the case in Dwimordene's hands. Each drabble is very individual, each a character portrait that [maketh men to have faces] and gives fascinating, poetic and philosophical insights into the many forms and fragments Nienna's labours take, and while not all may adhere to conventional forms of mercy and loving-kindness, the characterizations are spot-on and the outcome often original and unexpected. It is hard to decide for a favourite here, but I particularly loved her relationship with Feanor as well as the Numenorean drabble. Nienna taking action when other Valarin help was denied to Amandil, and the image of Elendil's ships on a [floodcrest of tears] was at once a stunning revelation of Nienna's works and obvious in retrospect. Paired with Dwimordene's obvious skill with words and the ability to create a concise and tightly-woven prose picture, this drabble-series becomes a definite must-read of this year's awards and Silmarillion fanfiction in general.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 10

I think it was last year that I was blown away by one of Dwimordene's stories called ["She Who Weeps"]. Dwim's unique understanding of Nienna's role in Arda never fails to amaze. I can feel hours of philosophy studies welling up behind this story, but it is also uniquely Middle-earth and uniquely Dwimordene. She takes us to the extremes of human emotion, from rebels to Faithful and from molten rage to patience, and she couches it in the context of Middle-earth's tragedies (of which there are plenty to choose). In each, Nienna comes weeping, and I absolutely love this line: [Nienna's gifts come strangely guised to Children.] It seems to encapsulate the elusive nature of Nienna's gift-giving. All of the drabbles were captivating and thought-provoking, but my favorite drabbles were the first and the last. The first took me by surprise, because although Nienna's gifts might be difficult to understand, I wasn't expecting to find them feeding Feanor's maddened rage. The insight in that first drabble took my breath. The last drabble, though, was epic. Rather than boiling down to an individual or an event, Dwimordene took this drabble wide, and it seems to cast itself upon all of time and all of creation. The counterpoint between Nienna and Melkor surprised me, and I love the idea that they temper each other. Beautiful and stunning. Of course, from Dwimordene, that's to be expected.

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale -- Score: 7

This is a lovely drabble series about Nienna, in which we find her weeping for Fëanor, Lúthien and Beren, the House of Húrin, Amandil and his fellow ban-breakers, and finally, Melkor. [Rebels are her ministry], and it may be for that reason that the first and last of her trials, Fëanor and Melkor, should be the most fascinating to read about. Well! They are works in progress, after all, what with Fëanor trapped in the Halls of Mandos and Melkor in the Void until the Dagor Dagorath. And there is a particular depth of feeling in the drabble for Melkor, Nienna's brother from before time’s beginning, that speaks to their special relationship as fellow Valar. Interesting as the idea behind this series is, it’s those beautiful poetic devices that Dwimordene employs – the alliterative, agglutinative construction of her sentences – that enhances the power implicit in the premise. [Patience. He is her torment, her trial, her temperer – tempter-teacher, crying: O thou inconsolate, grieve me no more!] I am curious about the notion of Melkor tempting Nienna and what it might be that he uses to tempt her. This is a fascinating, moving depiction of their relationship.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 4

In this series we see Nienna seeking to intervene in the lives of those who suffered most throughout the Silmarillion--the craftsman whose pride led to rebellion and kinslaying as he seeks vengeance and the return of his treasures through the one perhaps intended to be her lover and mate, but through whose betrayals lost the fellowship of the rest of the Valar. A fascinating series, filled with Dwim's fascinating use of language to emphasize the situations and emotions of the characters portrayed.

Reviewed by: Beruthiel's Cat -- Score: 3

Hauntingly poetic fusion cleverly presented in drabble form, calling forth wrenching visceral reaction from the first word to the last with not a word wasted between. Excellently done!