Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Horse Sense

Author: Branwyn (Lady Branwyn)
Nominator: Raksha the Demon
2008 Award Category: Genres: Humor: Elven Lands - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story : Length: Other Ficlet
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: As the Fellowship prepares to leave Rivendell, Bill the Pony turns a wary eye on one of his new travelling companions.


Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 8

A delightful vignette with a perspective on the Fellowship's leavetaking from Rivendell that we don't often see in fanfiction - that of Bill the Pony. Bill's point of view is very credibly written, and his body language seems quite horsy. It is his interaction with another member of the Fellowship that truly shines here, a trans-species bond that forms despite the savvy horse's initial distrust. The writer puts her knowledge of horses to excellent use here. As usual, this talented writer produces beautiful, understated description that adds to the story without distracting from it. I have long admired her ability to blend the earthy and the lofty, without short-changing either aspect; and she does it again here, expanding the commonplace (the horse's role in the Fellowship) and incorporating its details, and adding a touch of the sublime in Gimli's appreciation of Bill, and Bill's recognition of the Dwarf's essential goodness. Absolutely a must-read for fans of the Fellowship and good horses everywhere!

Reviewed by: annmarwalk -- Score: 6

*claps hands with glee* I'm not generally a big fan of anthropomor_fic, and much of what I've read purporting to be Bill the Pony's take on the Fellowship has been somewhat heavy-handed and selfconscious. This tale is a refreshing change! This Bill the Pony couldn't be anything but a pony, and his thoughts are ponyish concerns - a full belly, a scratched back, apples and raisins, but also history and legends whispered late at night in the barn. There certainly are similarities between Bill and Gimli: each are proud, suspicious, conscious of their stature as compared to their elegant, taller companions - but they are also tirelessly, ceaselessly loyal and committed to the tasks at hand. It's endearing to see them beginning to sense those qualities in each other. A very unusual, well-written tale!

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 4

I love stories about Bill, our tenth walker (and a nudge here to Lindelea, whose story I'm still waiting to see finished!), and this is no exception. He has reason to be concerned about one of the company's comments--or maybe not. Delightful tale, and Bill's reaction to the new additions is well rendered. And the conversation in question is marvelous! Yes, delightful!

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 4

There is something wonderfully endearing about this little story. To begin with, it makes use of some tragically underused characters (namely Gimli and Bill). And then it begins to hint at cultures and perspectives that are coming into direct clash as the Fellowship prepares to depart. I have no doubt but what Gimli believes in his people's treatment of ponies, but in this instance, I have to sympathize with Bill. I'd much rather roll around on my back in the grass than go off with this group.

Reviewed by: Marta -- Score: 4

A nice interlude with Bill the Pony. I love the fact that Bill is given a choice, a will as it were, and that he has likes and dislikes just like any other characters. I also have to say, this ficlet shows that the authors knows her horses! I'm no expert, by a far stretch, but this piece felt "right", like someone who knew to watch out for a horse's kick and also the things that would soothe them. I quite liked that.

Reviewed by: grey_wonderer -- Score: 4

This was delightful. I enjoyed this look at the Fellowship through the eyes of one who traveled with them for a time, Bill the pony. I liked his reaction to Gimli and his concerns over the type of treatment that he might expect to receive from the members of the Fellowship that he had not yet become aquianted with. The title of this one is well chosen because Bill makes so very valid points. This is lots of fun and very inventive.

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 3

A delightful little vignette capturing the moment of departure from Rivendell through the eyes of Bill the pony. I like the pony-ish thoughts running through his head combined with the comments of his new companions.

Reviewed by: crowdaughter -- Score: 3

This is a short, but lovely vignette, that still manages to say more about horses and Dwarves, as well as about Gimli and Bill the Pony's getting along in the Fellowship, than could be said in a longer tale. And it puts a different touch on Gimli, as well, who is all too often portrayed as a horse-hater. Lovely little piece! I like!

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 3

An unusual 'cross-cultural' interaction: it appears that ponies at least are within the scope of Gimli's affections and trust! Bill's reactions to his new companions are amusing and horsey, and his eye-roll is perfectly timed to get a laugh from the reader. Well done!

Reviewed by: viv -- Score: 3

A fair and gentle portrayal of Gimli (and indeed all dwarves, vis a vis their care of animals). How nice it is to imagine that Bill the Pony and Gimli were able to hit it off. (Also, since I'm not a horse person, I can only imagine that all those horsey terms were used properly. Regardless, they impressed me! hee.)

Reviewed by: nancylea -- Score: 1

just plain hobbity thinking... see he's been converted already.