Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Olorin I was in my Youth In the West that is Forgotten

Author: Azalais
Nominator: Dwimordene
2005 Award Category: Books/Time: The Lord of The Rings: Drabble - Second Place

Story Type: Drabble : Length: N/A
Rating: G -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Drabble. Gandalf remembers a lost youth without drizzle, aching joints or grumpy Hobbits.


Reviewed by: Elena Tiriel -- Score: 10

Azalais, I adore drabbles, and this is truly one of my all-time favorites. When the MEFA nomination season started, I searched hard for this one, vaguely remembering the content but not who wrote it or when... and was happy to see that Dwimordene had already nominated it. For forgetful me to remember the beauty of something I read so many months after seeing it, is a tribute to how much my heart was touched by your words. Your descriptions are extraordinary, precise yet concise ("Peregrin's plaintive tones"). I can *feel* Gandalf's aching and fatigue, the pall of ageing on him, and sympathize with the misery shared by the others in the Fellowship. Yet it is the memories of Valinor that soar to extraordinary heights... your description is breathtaking; you actually made me sad that I cannot be a Vala, "alive in endless Music"! And your "not bound in weary bone" is a wonderful phrase, so clearly showing the extremeness of the contrast between Gandalf's reality in his free-floating Maiar form and his Middle-earthbound one... Also, your indications that the memory, though bright, was very brief and soon forgotten struck me as terribly sad... You made me empathize with Gandalf even more than I had before reading your drabble... it moved me that much. And the ending is perfect: Gandalf, losing the comfort of his memory, has to comfort himself as best he can in a miserable setting in Middle-earth, by lighting up his mundane pipe, and placate na´ve Pippin. It is good that he has that comfort now, but the contrast with what he had in Aman is poignant. Extremely well done, Azalais! This drabble is an inspiration to me, as a writer as well as a reader. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 4

There are so few Gandalf stories that get inside his head, but in one hundred words, Azalais gives us a glimpse into the existence of a being whose embodiment is a real alienation, for whom forgetting is not natural, nor the aches and pains that even an immortal body inevitably comes with. The juxtaposition of that brief glimmer of remembrance, and the immense power that Gandalf's body is housing, with the indignities of age and Pippin's evaluation of him is very nicely done.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 4

Apparently Gandalf's youth in the West has not been forgotten by everyone. I liked the way this set up the surroundings before going into Gandalf's memories. It made the contrast bigger, and gave us a better sense of who and what Gandalf really is. And when working with something as short as a drabble, that kind of setup and timing is very important. Otherwise it all falls apart and goes nowhere. Good job.

Reviewed by: annmarwalk -- Score: 3

"once I was not bound in weary bone and chafed flesh, but made of fire and air" A lovely, fleeting glimpse of Gandalf remembering his youth. Or is that his true form, veiled to protect mortals from his searing beauty? Pippin's youthful innocence is the perfect counterpoint of this unusual vision.

Reviewed by: Marta -- Score: 3

Ooh, very interesting! It's always nice to see characters given a more fallible side, and grumpy Gandalf is a good way to portray him. It's nice to think that this brief memory gave him a little bit of comfort. It certainly gave me more insight to his character.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 2

An interesting drabble--the Istari remembering the days of being a Maia. It would be interesting to see this expanded upon, and hope that one day this might be done.

Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke -- Score: 2

Very nicely envisioned - both the unique perspective and the details. I found the words a little crammed, however, even for a drabble.

Reviewed by: Aliana -- Score: 2

A striking glimpse at the contrast between Gandalf's true "substance" and his physical form in Middle-earth. A nice "background" bit for a character who is sadly somewhat neglected in fanfic.

Reviewed by: Rabidsamfan -- Score: 2

This drabble provides a nice contrast between the limitations Gandalf has had to accept in his elderly body and the potential of his ture self. And it has a wonderful Pippin moment as sauce!

Reviewed by: nerwen_calaelen -- Score: 1

A nice scene contrasting Gandalf as he is seen by the Hobbits to how he has been.