Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Time is Always Time and Place is Always and Only Place

Author: Wormwood
Nominator: Azalais
2011 Award Category: Drabble: General - Second Place

Story Type: Drabble : Length: True Drabble
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Drabble, 1 x 100 words Aragorn has a dream as the end approaches.


Reviewed by: Elleth -- Score: 10

Wormwood once more convinces thoroughly. I have reviewed several of the author's drabbles for this year's awards already, and was looking forward to more of the lyrical style the author is, frankly, fantastic at - and this drabble is startling in its clarity of connecting theme, symbolism and imagery by placing them into the one environment where they can unleash their full potential, more so than in the waking world: The frozen world Aragorn enters in his dream after memories prompt him that way is not only a familiar image for the end of life - with the canonical symbols of the White Tree, the Pelennor and Anduin frozen over to anchor it to the aging king - but also allow the mind to wander and recall an echo of Arwen's end and the fading trees of Lothlorien. The drabble becomes doubly fitting, even if the connection is not made explicit in the story (in fact Arwen is never mentioned) - it fits right into canon and Middle-earth all the same. Wonderfully done. This drabble, as well as the consequences and foreknowledge that are implied by Aragorn's somewhat-prophetic dream, are gut-wrenching in very few words, and feature quite an astounding way of writing that doesn't fail to impress and be very memorable indeed.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 8

I'm a sucker for Aragorn and moodiness, so this is right up my alley. The relationship between memory and dreams, memory and prophecy is interesting: I like the inversion that Aragorn experiences, and which the reader then feels with him. Of course, this particular dream does not seem to be of any particular time - it is not a memory, but an image of a place. But the place, though familiar, is not, I think, 'only place': it's a sign, it's a symbol, it's the future or the present that warns of it, and it is beautifully written. In terms of connection to the title, though, it's unclear to me whether the empty, wintry landscape signifies that Aragorn is ready to leave, that there is no more for him in Gondor, or whether Gondor is failing and he needs to let someone else have a try at dealing with it. I like, too, that this makes the end less easy in a way for Aragorn, that maybe he and Arwen both have to come to terms with death, and that it isn't easy for one, hard for the other. An unsettling, foreboding drabble: well-crafted mood, and very appropriate.

Reviewed by: Azalais -- Score: 5

This is such an evocative, atmospheric piece; Aragorn, nearing the end of his life, reflects, remembers... and dreams. The central paragraph in particular is incredibly vivid, so that this reader experienced it almost like lucid dreaming, right there in the experience with Aragorn; it's surreal [Frozen puddles break under his bare feet], yet there's a very strong sense of physical presence, with the [frost-covered courtyard... the Tree encrusted in salt-like rime]. The last line both anchors the drabble very clearly in time and anchors us in Aragorn's viewpoint; clear-eyed about his forthcoming death. Like so many of Wormwood's drabbles this has the rhythm and beauty of a poem, every word perfectly in its place, and it's poignant and lovely.

Reviewed by: Darkover -- Score: 3

Aragorn finds his dreams become more, not less, vivid with age. This dream, with its brilliant winter imagery, foretells his death. Astonishingly impressive for a drabble. Very well written.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel -- Score: 3

Gorgeous, absolutely beautiful. I really loved this glimpse at Aragorn, as the weight of destiny begins to press upon him. The dream is vivid and moving, and the drabble's overall effect is splendid.

Reviewed by: Altariel -- Score: 3

Frost, ice, frozen puddles, and the fountain - the last of the Sea-kings in the winter of his life. Your writing is so careful, so your images so beautifully assembled and deployed. Another wonderful drabble.

Reviewed by: cairistiona -- Score: 3

This is a gorgeous if haunting drabble. The imagery of ice and cold and winter are fitting for this dream Aragorn has at the closing of his life. He is in the winter of his years, after all. And the phrase [poking him through thinning walls] is so evocative of how life feels as one ages. Simply beautiful, all of this.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland -- Score: 2

A powerful mysterious drabble, brilliant!I love the symbolism of the frozen land and the river. I can well imagine Aragorn being prompted by dreams as his time approaches.

Reviewed by: Striderette -- Score: 2

Beautifully written with stark imagery, this drabble evokes the power of dreams to both remind the dreamer of the past and prepare him for what is yet to come.