Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

When the King Comes Back (the Great Smials)

Author: Dreamflower
Nominator: Cathleen
2007 Award Category: Genres: Drama: The Shire - Third Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Medium Length
Rating: Teen -- Reason for Rating: Rated for brief descriptions of canonical violence.
Summary: This is my very first fanfic. It was inspired by a story by Lulleny, "The Prodigal Took". She was kind enough to beta it for me, and gave me permission to use one of her original characters, Tanto Hornblower. Pippin returns home to the Great Smials after the Ruffians are routed, and must adjust to life at home once more.


Reviewed by: Cathleen -- Score: 10

When I read this story for the first time I found it very difficult to believe it was the author's first fanfic! Dreamflower is obviously an accomplished writer previous to entering the world of fanfiction. We who enjoy reading LOTR inspired fanfiction are doubly blessed that she chose to enter this arena and create such wonderful tales of hobbity adventure for us! I adore this story from start to finish. Her vivid descriptions and attention to detail are second to none. The author brings the characters to life with a special, and extremely skilled touch that is quite obviously a labor of love. In this particular story, Pippin is shown returning from the Great Ring War and faces his parents for the first time since he left the Shire so secretly with his cousins an entire year before. His father, unable to bear the heartache of not knowing what has happened to his son, has given him up for dead. Paladin has even made it so final as to set a "Remembrance Stone", much to his wife's and family's dismay. When Pippin returns, the pair face their own uncertainties and some rough adjustments. Father and son each have a long road ahead towards their ultimate reconcilation. One of my favorite parts of this tale centers around the author's descriptions of the special gifts Pippin shopped for prior to his return. The presents the young hobbit chooses demonstrates his keen awareness of each recipient's personality. Indeed, each and every gift he presents is exquisitely perfect for the person it is intended for. Pippin's shyness after giving his family the gifts is endearing, while Paladin's inner thoughts and reactions are heartwrenching for this reader. I truly felt like shaking Paladin at one point. Which is, of course, a tribute to the author and her ability to evoke such depth of emotion in her readers!The writer makes it plain that each member of the Took family has suffered in the extreme during the past year. The ending, in which Pippin and his father are able to talk at last is well worth waiting for. Paladin is at last aware of just how much his son has suffered, while Pippin is at last able to feel that he has finally made it all the way home. Ah, what a tender story, it really touched my heart, and it will always remain a fast favorite of mine.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 6

Intriguing and sensitively written account of the changes in the relationship of Pippin and his father, Merry and his family, after the end of ROTK, and the hobbits who stayed in the Shire's receiving official notice of the King's Return. I liked the characterisation of Paladin; a tough older hobbit who has not always had patience with his rather scapegrace heir, and now has to face that not only has the kid grown up fast, but he suffered along the way. I loved Paladin's insistence that his son was going to be kept busy with his duties so he could not get into any more trouble - at that point, Paladin really had very little comprehension of how Pippin had matured, not to mention traveling through so much danger. There's an interesting parallel of Paladin/Pippin to Denethor/Faramir; though it is made clear that Paladin is a better father and dearly loves all his children.

Reviewed by: Bodkin -- Score: 6

It must have been so hard - for Pippin, particularly - to go back to the Shire and back to being sons and subordinates. Especially as Paladin is remarkably reluctant to acknowledge what went on in the world outside. I tend to feel that the Shire is a very parochial, enclosed environment - and hobbits are rather reluctant to make a nod to the outside world. Not that it's unusual to feel that local tremors are rather more important than distant earthquakes. I'm glad Paladin came round - and that Pippin was able to speak to him. Paladin and Saradoc might well be able to relieve their sons of some of the pain of their experiences. Shame Frodo doesn't have the same resources. He needs someone to confide in! The King's heartfelt commendations of the travellers was good to read. (And the stipends won't hurt the travellers' positions, either!)

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 5

In this story Pippin comes home after the war to a father who has already given up hope of seeing his son again and is not especially happy about this stranger who shows up on his doorstep. Pippin has grown up and doesn't fit the old categories anymore. Father and son have a hard time adjusting to each other again. The characters come to life in this tale. I especially like the portrayal of his father. He is a proud hobbit, very set in his ways and likes to have everything the way it should be I think like a typical hobbit. I found the final reconciliation very touching.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 4

Four disappeared into the wild, and too many thought them dead, including Paladin Took. To learn that his son is alive and apparently well--well, perhaps not as well as he'd first thought.... This is a thoughtful, thought-provoking look at the return of the four Travellers and their welcome home, and the amazement and confusion and relief attendant on learning the new state of affairs. Well written and delightful.

Reviewed by: grey_wonderer -- Score: 2

This is a wonderful story from beginning to end by an author who obviously loves hobbits! Great story.