Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Darkness

Author: Claudia
Nominator: SurgicalSteel
2009 Award Category: Times: Ring War: Quest of the Ring - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story : Length: Long Drabble Series
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Series of Drabbles A series of drabbles about Frodo before, during and after the quest with darkness as the common theme.


Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 8

This was a fantastic drabble series. I love the progressing darkness throughout the drabbles. The first few drabbles, in particular, felt like they were spiralling forever into darkness with no sign of any daylight. And while Frodo certainly had the lion's share of these drabbles, he was not alone in experiencing the coming darkness. I loved the glimpses we had of others who also began to fear what they could not see. Then the drabbles began to shift, and a few stars appeared. Sometimes there was a ray of hope or a remembered light. Sometimes the darkness returned and no hope could be found, but more often than not, light was still lingering somewhere. These drabbles expanded to include Merry, Pippin, Sam, Gandalf, and others, and darkness took on many forms. But so did light. The conclusion of these drabbles held the bittersweetness that I so love about Tolkien. In a sense, it was still dark, but Sam reminded me in the end that light follows the darkness, and the story ended with the hope that made it all possible in the first place. Beautifully written and perfectly paced. Well done!

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 6

I wanted to nominate this remarkable drabble series myself, but someone else beat me to it. Arranged in chronological order, we find ourselves sharing a moment of darkness with many characters-- from Bilbo among the spiders in Mirkwood, to Frodo at the brink of Doom, with many a moment in between. Some are filled with the bittersweetness of foreshadowing, such as Primula, easing little Frodo's night-terrors. In others we find ourselves sharing a moment of danger or despair-- or even triumph. The closer to the end of the story, the more intense each one becomes. Through it all the emotion of the author herself is palpable. Each one is a wonderful piece on its own, but taken together they build into a cohesive thematic whole. These are well worth reading.

Reviewed by: WendWriter -- Score: 5

This is beautiful, evocative work. The piece about Bilbo finding his courage is inspiring, the prose working well to build a terrifying image of the dangers he faced. The parts about Frodo illustrate his childhood and eventual transformation from a carefree Hobbit to a brave adventurer succinctly, showing the tender aspects of his character as well as his serious side. Aragorn and Arwen are well-rendered, and you write Sauron and Gollum so well I actually felt a bit sorry for them. I can't think of any way to improve this because it's so well written. Good luck in the awards.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 5

A masterful drabble series, focussing mainly on the fear of, and battles against, Darkness. Claudia shows different characters - including Bilbo, Frodo, Merry, Pippin, Sam, Arwen, Eowyn and Aragorn - grappling with normal and not-so-normal terrors associated with darkness. Fear of darkness is a primal fear; and when it is coupled with the sound of the river that claimed the lives of young Frodo's parents, or the screams of Ringwraiths, or the bespelled gloom of Meduseld under Grima's sway, the characters struggle to reject or at least control their fears. Smoothly and effectively written.

Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel -- Score: 4

This is an absolutely phenomenal series of drabbles by a wonderfully talented author. The common theme linking all the drabbles is also the title of the series - darkness. Claudia explores in deftly chosen words how darkness affects many of the characters in Tolkien's stories: from Bilbo in Mirkwood to a very young pre-Quest Frodo to Nob (of Bree's Prancing Pony) - to just about every member of the Fellowship, and Arwen, and Eowyn. Really wonderfully done, and almost poetic.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 4

A long series of drabbles that capture the darkness--and promise of light--experienced by various individuals whose lives were caught up in the history of the Ring, from Bilbo to Sam. Beautiful, evocative ficlets each of which captures a moment, a particular experience, associated with the influence of that darkness and the hope of returning light. Claudia's work here is beautiful.

Reviewed by: Antane -- Score: 3

Well done series of drabbles. Love the second, eighth (esp. the mention of the light in Frodo's eyes and his trust of Aragorn), twelve (Gandalf hearing the song of Frodo's heart) and the last one the most. Other favorites were six (poor Nob), nine (for the comfort Pippin gives Boromir), the ends of ten, fifteen, sixteen, eighteen and the whole of seventeen.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland -- Score: 3

A very atmospheric series of drabbles which I greatly enjoyed reading. I especially enjoyed the scenes for Aragorn and Frodo and Boromir's reaction to Moria.A great idea to use darkness as a linking theme in this series.