Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Stewardship

Author: Dwimordene
Nominator: Dwimordene
2011 Award Category: Drabble: Post-Ring War - First Place

Story Type: Drabble : Length: True Drabble
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: 100 words. Dol Guldur lies in ruins, and the forest of Mirkwood lies waiting for release...


Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 10

I'm kicking myself for not realizing this drabble had yet to be nominated for the MEFAs. For some reason, I was certain that it had been. If I'd known, I would have nominated it in a heartbeat. This drabble touches upon one of my favorite, under-utilized characters in one of my favorite, often-utilized settings. Let's talk setting first, because in that setting is some powerful tone work that makes the drabble have a feel of myths and legends. As though it occurs just out of the corner of the eye, but when you turn to look, nothing's there. Dwimordene writes of moonlight descending on Mirkwood, and as readers, we follow it down through the trees and the ruins and the stones. We see the big things. The things Mirkwood is known for. But then we come to the earth, and we find it seems to have been as forgotten as the character who passes over it. Enter Radagast. Tolkien mentioned elsewhere that Radagast, though never a betrayer, lost the course of his intended path. I'm something of a Radagast defender, though, and I like to think of him as finding a different path. An unknown path that tends to the small and the overlooked. And that's exactly what we find him doing here. While Gandalf deals with kingdoms and thrones, Radagast looks to the grass and the earth. It's a different stewardship than the stewardship Gandalf follows and Saruman abandons, but in its way, it's just as necessary. And in my mind, it's as true to Yavanna as Radagast could ever be.

Reviewed by: Virtuella -- Score: 8

Dear Dwimordene, this is a most delightful drabble indeed. First of all, it is delightful to see Radagast, of whom, sadly, we hear so little, and to see him perform an act of power which is entirely in keeping with his character. He is one who listens carefully, who stoops to the earth and gently breathes new life into that which seems dead. The symbolism of grass over stone is well established and you have used it to good effect in this drabble. The title Stewardship lends a further dimension to Radagast's role in the greater scheme of things. Even more impressive, though, was the evocative quality of the very poetic prose. It was a pleasure to read and I actually read it out loud to savour it teh better. The rhythm of the sentences is beautifully balanced and the alliterations fit very naturally and enhance the overall sound structure. I particularly enjoyed the image of the moonlight that is trying to cool the ashes. The whole piece is very beautifully written and an utter delight to the ear and to the imagination. Very well done indeed.

Reviewed by: Clodia -- Score: 7

This drabble captures the passing of shadow from a shadowed forest, and so, perhaps not necessarily but certainly very appropriately, its imagery is light-filled: moonlight is shown touching the trees, pooling on the ground and turning smoke silver - through which wanders that most easily underestimated wizard, Radagast the Brown, a shadow drawing back the shadow still hanging over a ruined tower, the legacy of its former occupant. From moonlight to sunlight; the contrast between the two types of light is not spelled out, but the new grass appearing [next morn] makes me think of green shoots bright in the dawn. So the night passes and day floods back into Dol Guldur. I love Dwimordene's delicate touch; her drabbles and stories are always exquisite, evocative pieces and I am always glad to see them nominated when MEFA time comes round! This drabble is certainly no exception. Thank you, Dwimordene!

Reviewed by: Azalais -- Score: 5

Oh, I do like this. I have had bunnies about the fall of Dol Guldur nibbling at my heels for years, and have drabbled aspects of it here and there, but it's always good to see other thoughts about it. This is an aspect I hadn't really considered; Galadriel may have thrown down the walls, but who gave the soil permission to flourish again? I like the idea that Radagast might have come to breathe new life into the earth - and the title is perfect to show why; Gandalf is not the only Istari Steward of Middle-earth. The vision of Mirkwood gently touched by moonlight is lovely.

Reviewed by: Malinornë -- Score: 5

Hmmm... I find it difficult to review stories in a lenghy way, and particularly something short like this. I enjoyed it, I think it added something to my experience of Middle-earth even in this short form. I enjoyed Mirkwood being the subject matter and location for the drabble, and I very much liked seeing a glimpse of the evasive Radagast, so seldom featured in the stories I have read. The drabble creates an image of the forest as beautiful and silent, but harbouring chaos and darkness in its midst. But now, new hope is sprouting. I like that.

Reviewed by: Levade -- Score: 5

This drabble brought to mind Mount Saint Helens and the area surrounding the volcano. Such a gorgeous wilderness was absolutely obliterated and naturalists thought it would be hundreds of years before anything could thrive there again, but even now the lake has fish in it, birds sing in the trees, deer wander the woods and everywhere the ash is being overtaken by life again. I love the image of Radagast walking the woods, lending a touch of power here and there to encourage life to return. Thirty, even forty years is nothing to an Elf or Istar, and if life here in our world could return in that space of time, it definitely could in Middle-earth!

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel -- Score: 4

This presentation of Radagast was extremely well done. The general impression of Radagast's character and personality is one of the more controversial, and I liked how Dwimordene presented this particular wizard here. And the piece as a whole is written and presented in a lovely way—the imagery of the prose was spot-on, and the overall tone and lingering aftertaste were perfect. I very much enjoyed this drabble.

Reviewed by: Elleth -- Score: 4

Lovely, evocative description of Mirkwood at night after the battle for Dol Guldur, and an unexpected revelation. It does make sense to have someone very much written as a spirit of nature (and dwelling in the area) to release the forest with the Noldor (or, rather, Galadriel) concerned about the conquest itself. An interesting look at cultural differences; the premise reminded me of the lament of the stones of Eregion.

Reviewed by: Altariel -- Score: 3

A feast of words and images this one. I love all the alliteration, the way that the words tumble against each other. The world seems to exhale, as it did when Saruman passed. But Radagast's touch here is a blessing, a healing; the breath of life. Mirkwood is on its way to becoming Greenwood the Great again. Lovely, Dwim.

Reviewed by: Starlight -- Score: 3

I loved this one! Drabbles are tough to write-- to capture that special, lasting something in 100 words is not easy, but in this Drabble every word means something and is there for a purpose. I loved the title and all that it implies, and I love that it was Radagast there. Well done!

Reviewed by: Darkover -- Score: 2

This tale is lovely with vivid imagery. It is a reminder that the earth remembers, and so does Radagast. Nicely written!

Reviewed by: agape4gondor -- Score: 2

A beautiful and poignant look at Mirkwood and a wizard who does good. Heart-wrenchingly lovely.

Reviewed by: Himring -- Score: 1

I like this--both the role it assigns to Radagast and the description of the scene.