Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Rekindling

Author: Dawn Felagund
Nominator: Oshun
2008 Award Category: Times: Fourth Age and Beyond - Third Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: Teen -- Reason for Rating: character death, violence, mature themes
Summary: FŽanor and Nerdanel meet again at the end of the world. A tale of loss and redemption.


Reviewed by: Oshun -- Score: 10

I highly recommend this story. It is beautifully constructed and written. Love the way she begins, with Nerdanel's growing sense that FŽanor, who she has tried to become accustomed to living without, is indeed alive. The end of the world/apocalypse is also awesomely described. The entire story is filled with wonderful action and visual sequences. I'm truly impressed with the author's skill. FŽanor, rightfully so, is still FŽanor, not a watered down, cleaned up version, still thinking, still complaining at the Valar. I absolutely adore him. He truly is the greatest of the Firstborn, with no close candidate for second place. On a good day, when he is in a benevolent mood, he might even be willing to admit that some of the Valar are nearly his peers. I love that about him. The scene with him and Nerdanel is probably one of the most moving love scenes I have ever read in fanfiction. (I said this before, and I will say it again, to be loved by FŽanor, would pricey, but definitely be worth the cost.) The quotation that upon which she bases this story (often called the Second Prophecy of Mandos), however, is sitting on my harddrive waiting for me to use it at some point near the end of my own epic of the Noldor so that I may write a similar, but totally different story. Given my own unquenchable optimism and believe in redemptive growth and change, I naturally read the prophecy as proof positive that Feanor and Nerdanel would at the end get their happy ending. I forgave Professor Tolkien a thousand sins when I read this piece. FŽanor, unlike the fallen angels of Milton's [Paradise lost], would finally be allowed to become part of the solution. He would realize that, in fact, the breaking of his Simarils under those conditions, would not after all break him and destroy him, but enhance him, give him the peace that was always beyond his reach. The writer killed me with her interpretation of it. This is part of the review where I get to shallowly complain that seeing so much beauty in pain and loss is the prerogative of the young. By the time one is my age, real life has given one enough hard knocks that the charm of it in fiction is greatly lessened. That said, I must admit I very much admire this wonderful story; it is completely coherent and believable in the way in which it is told it.

Reviewed by: Elleth -- Score: 10

I requested the end of the world and the meeting of Feanor and Nerdanel set among it - and while the story certainly did not turn out the way I had imagined it might, it could not have been done differently or more perfectly. There is so much I want to say to this, and all that comes out is 'wow' - in part, definitely vanity: 'Look, people, this absolutely brilliant story was written at MY request, and look how utterly gorgeous Dawn did it!' - and my other half? Close to bursting into tears like I did the first time reading it, and bawling like a baby. But enough of that. It's close to the end of the world, and Nerdanel is planting trees as she is whisked away for a final meeting with her husband, who has unexpectedly been returned to life. There is a battle, the sun and the moon collide, and eventually the survivors assemble for the breaking of the Silmarils, for Arda Remade - and for Nerdanel's ultimate loss: The Silmarils are broken, and he is slain, apparently beyond return. And why? He does it for Nerdanel. And that is the whole secret - from the mundane action of Nerdanel planting trees, to the great, and back to the mundane among it: It is the end of the world, the Dagor Dagorath has been fought, and all Feanor and Nerdanel know that moment are each other, and Feanor makes himself the ultimate sacrifice to save his wife from any greater grief - and is successful. The mixture is perfect, action and development and juxtapositions and symbolism, and an end that shows rather than tells how Arda is healed: Despite the ultimate loss, Nerdanel is not made to suffer in bitterness, terrible though her loss has been. And that is the end of it, and I am dissolving into tears yet again. (Reading stories for reviewing is making me cry quite a lot today, but if anything that is a nod to the respective authors; I am not usually that weepy.) Dawn, I cannot thank you enough for this story, and wish I could say more to give [Rekindling] a higher score than 10, but as that is not possible, I'll stop now - just let me repeat again how absolutely blown away I was by this piece of writing and how much I love the story. Thank you.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 8

Brilliant and imaginative use of canon to make for a very compelling story! The plot drew me in, and strange as it may sound, I enjoyed watching the end of the world. But as compelling as the plot was, it was the characters that made the story for me. For starters, I thoroughly enjoyed Feanor's characterization. He was as clever, proud, and bold as he was in the Silmarillion, and the lack of fear (well, the lack of all except one fear) seemed a subtle addition at first but quickly proved to be one of the main pivot points for the end of the world. I was also very fond of Namo's characterization. I can only imagine the head-butting that went on between him and Feanor. But the one who really caught my interest was Nerdanel. I've seen her in a variety of characterizations, but this may be my favorite. She's a willful and independent character, but she's also willing to give way before another authority. She's strong in her own right, but her strength doesn't necessarily have to clash with Feanor's, which makes for a unique and nuanced woman. She's definitely someone I could see Feanor falling for.

Reviewed by: whitewave -- Score: 6

The fate of Feanor after his death and after the main events of the Silmarillion have come to pass is always very interesting, intriguing, even. The passage where it says that Feanor will still make an appearance in the Final battle was heartening, after all someone as illustrious and blessed by Illuvatar by so prodigous a talent deserves more than being just part of the "prologue". To his credit, even if he could be rash and too emotional at times, he was able to resist Melkor--the very same fallen Valar who was able to convince the other Valar to release him into the company of the very creatures he used to torture and mutilate. This story is a good read in that it reinforces that particular opinion of mine that even if Arda and those who inhabit it are marred, there is always hope for everyone.

Reviewed by: Isabeau of Greenlea -- Score: 5

It's been a while since I read the Silm, but Dawn's Feanor is certainly his old intransigent self, not fearing to tell even the Valar where to go. After countless centuries, it seems he will be released from Mandos' halls at last...while in the intervening time his wife Nerdanel has done her best to forget he has ever existed... Tolkien describes Elven marriage as a union of two souls and that is what is depicted here. Despite all that stands between them, in the end Nerdanel and Feanor truly love each other. I found the end a bit dismaying, for I had taken comfort in their reunion.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 3

Feanor and the Trees rekindled--Feanor made perfect and consummated in the rekindling. A great and blessed and terrible moment, all at the same time. As for Nerdanel-- Slightly overpowering, and yet uplifting as well. Excellent interpretation of the Master's thoughts on the subject.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 3

An intriguing look at a possible reunion of Feanor and Nerdanel Ages after their separation. The passion and renewed love is effectively counterpointed by the tragic circumstances that have allowed it to happen. Excellent characterisation of Nerdanel in particular.

Reviewed by: NeumeIndil -- Score: 1

I have very little to say except simply wow.