Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Wanderlust

Author: Clodia
Nominator: Virtuella
2009 Award Category: Times: First Age and Prior - Third Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Medium Length
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: A history for Erestor, stretching from the ages of the stars to the foundation of Imladris.


Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 9

Of all the stories I have read featuring the pre-LOTR existence of Erestor, this is one of the most interesting. Erestor is one of Tolkien's characters who comes close to being a blank slate for fanfic writers; he has a few at the Council of Elrond, but his background is never described in either LOTR or the Silmarillion. Clodia remedies the latter omission, by crafting a delightful origin for Erestor, as a lively and curiour Avari who leaves parental restraint, with his sweetheart, the spirited Melinna; and embarks on a life of hunting and exploring and hanging out with some of the most famous Elves of the First Age. I particularly enjoyed the ending, with Erestor's introduction to the still-relatively-young Elrond, who is not initially amused by Erestor and Melinna's offers to help with the building, organization, and defense of Imladris. It is telling that Melinna, who has never sat still long enough to learn some of the domestic arts, considers learning to weave - the author is showing, rather than telling, the reader that Erestor and his wife are ready to settle down again, long after the destruction of their beloved Doriath.

Reviewed by: Virtuella -- Score: 8

I enjoyed the calm and measured narrative of this story. The language is very beautiful in many parts, and on the whole you have picked up and developed the style of the Silmarillion very serviceably. One could quarrel with the generalizing way in which much of the plot is presented and the sketchiness of the characters, and it makes for slightly confusing and laborious reading in the middle section of the story, but again, that is the way of the Silmarillion. Unlike the original, though, you have woven in some exquisite moments of humour, which I very much appreciated, especially when you mentioned that they were increasing their knowledge about Life, the Universe and Everything. I liked Melinna’s political correctness towards the dwarves. And her proto-feminist theories… A lovely little stab at Tolkien’s lack of female characters. ;-) The passage about their visit to Gondolin I found particularly strong and the questions you raise in that context are very valid. I think many people tend to romanticize on this issue, but you didn't.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 6

What a marvelous look at the history of Arda, from starlight to the end of the Second Age, through the eyes of such travelers and wanderers, all the while giving Erestor a history and wife and relationships of their own. I found I very much liked Melinna and her influence on her husband, and their joint influence on the world in which they found themselves. Definitely a tale to read to begin to appreciate the richness of the Silmarillion and to give the tales therein a context of continuity in which to place those tales. I definitely recommend this to all who find the Silmarillion daunting! And it is so wonderful to see Erestor depicted as a husband to such a wife, and to see the experience for which Elrond would come to respect him. And Melinna is herself such a strong character! Thank you, Clodia, for such a wonderful survey of history and for giving Erestor a face I can appreciate!

Reviewed by: curiouswombat -- Score: 6

Another previously read story I almost missed reviewing! I love the way that Clodia gives Erestor such a long history, and such a wonderful wife. Along the way she helped me to get a new grasp of the Time of Starlight and the Second Age as I must admit to being someone who has tried to go back and reread the Silmarillion a few times, but have not succeeded in the past twenty years... but this story had me taking it down from the bookshelf again! I like this Erestor, not a lifelong 'civil servant', nor Glorfindel's slightly overshadowed lover, but an adventurer in his own right, an elf who has a mind of his own - as has the beautifully drawn Melinna - one of my very favourite original female characters in the Tolkien fandom. Certainly a story worth returning to more than once.

Reviewed by: Robinka -- Score: 5

I discovered Clodia's stories not so long ago, only a few months, but since then I have been enamored of her storytelling. Here, we have a take on Erestor's origin -- imaginative, fresh and original. In this story, Erestor, one of the most popular characters in fan fiction, is a curious wanderer, a sort of a 'chronicler' that sees and remembers the history of Beleriand and onward. A most fascinating and enjoyable read, beautifully written, with an interesting, refreshing look at the character that sometimes seems as common as dirt in the world of fan fiction. Great job!

Reviewed by: crowdaughter -- Score: 4

I love the dry humor of this tale, and the unusual view at the ways of living of the Elves in the early times of the First Age, before Morgoth returned to Ennor. Melinna and Erestor make a delightful pair to follow the development of that age through their eyes. I also love the predictable and very down-to-earth way their families are acting. The language is lovely, too, and so are the images. Very well written, and a very unusual approach. I like!