Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Healing

Author: Bodkin
Nominator: Imhiriel
2008 Award Category: Races: Elves - First Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: During the early days of Celeborn's eventual arrival in the Blessed Realm, he and Galadriel talk of his final years in Middle Earth.


Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 10

An intimate conversation between Celeborn and Galadriel, yet at the same time a sobering look at Middle-earth after it became the dominion of Men. Intriguingly, much of it consists of dialogue, with little descripition initially. At first, I thought it a pity, because I always enjoy Bodkin's lyrical descriptions, but I do think it serves a purpose here. You're right in the story from the very start, curious what these two people have to talk about. Furthermore, it illustrates a theme of the story: the importance of nature for Elves, and in this case especially for Celeborn. The descriptions that are then strewn in are all the more powerful. As ever, Bodkin manages to convey the connection between Elves and trees, how they react and interact with each other. And all the more clear just how much an impact it must have had on Celeborn when they slowly faded. I like the flashbacks to his time in M-e, not just to see what we was up to before he finally took ship (*g*), but but because the way his relationships with other people are portrayed is a wonderful example of "show - don't tell". The brief glimpses of the relationship between Celeborn and Galadriel show the deep love between them, despite (or because of) both being very strong-minded and independent people.

Reviewed by: Isabeau of Greenlea -- Score: 10

This is a truly beautiful, if depressing, story about why it was Celeborn stayed behind when his wife went to Valinor and what it was that moved him to finally rejoin her. Reunited with Galadriel, he recounts the events while resting beneath trees that do not die. Celeborn has always been one of my favorite characters-the quiet, seemingly innocuous Elf who is married to the formidable Galadriel, surnamed the Wise-and apparently, the one person who can actually turn her from a chosen course (or so it always seemed to me!). His strength is of a different sort than hers, but no less strong. Here, however, he is drained and in need of solace. And Bodkin depicts that and his ages-old love for his wife wonderfully well. In this story, the Elves of the Fourth Age do linger for a time, trying to heal the land of what Sauron had done to it. Celeborn tells of Arwen's death, and of Elladan's and Elrohir's unwillingness to flee Arda until she is gone. Thranduil and Glorfindel make brief appearances, and Glorfindel in particular is simply marvelous! What eventually forces Celeborn to flee or face fading is something I had never considered before, but it makes such a great deal of sense that I wondered why it had never occcured to me. A lovely, lovely tale, Bodkin!

Reviewed by: nancylea -- Score: 10

how many thousands of people can relate to the basics of this story. he loves his wife and child, he really really does. but this is his world, here not over there and he wants to help to reclaim all that can be salvaged from the wreckage....but time and reality settle in. he must choose to go or risk losing them forever. you tell us the tale of how he strove and what he thinks he accomplished, you let him express things that are hard to explain and harder to live. you paint a pitcure of the difference between a physical relationship and an intimate one. by staying when she left, you give this ancient married couple a chance to rekindle and re-explore the glory of their lives, both together and apart and give them the oppurtunity to restart a possible dormaint relationship (seems to me there sould {now was the thought should or could, think i'll leave it up to you} be siblings in celebrains future.) you write of moments of recovery and moments of loss irretrieviable, you don't try to sugar coat or white wash the aftereffects that he saw.you write with a light feather touch that keeps the story on track and lets the wheels roll and the best possible speed for the track conditions. this was a pleasure to read and i hope to read much more of yours in the future. he could not cure middle earth but he definitely left it a better place then it was. thank you.

Reviewed by: Keiliss -- Score: 7

It’s so seldom that anyone takes a clear-eyed look at the world after the War and its effect on the elves who remained behind for a season. The reasons given here for their choice make absolute sense, as does the final retreat into the West. I have always wondered at Arwen’s decision to travel to Lorien after Aragorn passed, and the explanation here makes a good deal of sense. It certainly answers my own questions on that score. I loved Glorfindel’s part in this, his voice was very true, his love of life and sense of responsibility shine clearly. The sense of the few remaining elves being almost under siege by a silent world that no longer has a connection to them is well-captured and achingly sad. I liked the final brief conversation between Elladan and Elrohir, I think it might well have happened like this in the end. And Galadriel was right; Celeborn needed to know how it would be, he needed to have no doubts or longing to return to cloud their reunion. Lovely, lovely work.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 6

I never thought of myself particularly as one who loved Elves, but Bodkin has the capacity to bring them alive as almost no one else can or does. I have so come to love Elladan, Elrohir, Legolas, and their families as she depicts them--their wit, their foibles, their greatness. And this story in which Celeborn, finally reunited with he beloved wife, describes what was experienced in the Mortal Lands and specifically how those Elves who remained faded--it is poignant and beautiful. A land gone deaf and dumb; Elves who cannot remain fully without the relationship they've ever known to land and trees--no wonder they were drawn and weak when at last they arrived within Aman! Beautiful and grievous at one and the same time.

Reviewed by: elliska -- Score: 6

Oh my gosh I think this is another I hadn't read! This is awesome. Celeborn and Thranduil's decision to stay has never been anything that made me wonder--it seems obvious to me that they would, because they are so connected to the land. It was always their decision to leave and go to Valinor that was something I never really had a good explanation for in my mind. What would make them really decide to leave? This explanation is perfect. I can totally believe it. And this is so 'elfy.' I love the setting too--Celeborn telling Galadriel what happened. It lends opportunity for some really interesting interchanges and for some comments on some events, like Arwen's passing, that are really interesting. This is a really great story. Made me cry.

Reviewed by: Elena Tiriel -- Score: 5

Bodkin's short story, "Healing", is about Celeborn after he finally arrived in the Undying Lands. He is struggling to explain to Galadriel why his sojourn in Middle-earth was so draining. The writing is poignant and beautiful, but the story of the decline of the land under the dominion of Men, and their utter disregard, is heart-wrenching. But the love between Celeborn and Galadriel is strong, and their relationship is one of strength and respect, nuanced and three-dimensional. One ends up with the quiet certainty that Celeborn will be able to heal, with the help of his beloved wife. A beautifully wrought, somewhat melancholy but also hopeful story!

Reviewed by: mbumpus_99 -- Score: 4

Very believable and poignant portrayal of what it must have been like to watch the Age of Men overtake and eventually drown out the Age of the Elves. Told from Celeborn's perspective, this fic brings us into the mind of a very private character that Tolkien never really defined well and watches him watch the world change around him in ways that he cannot prevent or slow. Beautifully drawn and emotionally charged, this is brilliant writing. Well done!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 4

A compassionate and credible portrait of the last years of the Elves in Middle-earth, which answers the question of why Celeborn waited to leave it. Actually, Bodkin's explanation makes a lot of sense; and the reader's sorrow at the seemingly inevitable loss of the magical Song in the life of Middle-earth can be tempered by the Elves' final journey to a place where they will always be able to hear it.

Reviewed by: agape4gondor -- Score: 4

This is a gloriously sad look at the reunion between Galadriel and Celeborn. I had not thought too much of the time that Celeborn spent without his spouse in Arda - not till I started writing a little thing myself - but this is truly well-written and well thought out. Not only do we see Celeborn - but we see Thranduil, Glorfindel and the Twins.... nothing more spectacular than these Elves - and nothing sadder than the leave-taking of these glorious creatures. Well written.

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 3

This is a beautiful piece and to me captures the slow, long sundering of the elves from Middle-earth. The language of the story has a poetic feel to it. The passing of Arwen was heartbreaking and fit into the general mood.

Reviewed by: Virtuella -- Score: 3

This is an enchanting and beautifully written story. Your sensitive characterization of the elves does you credit. I've often found Tolkien's representation of them fairly bland, and you have given them depth and definition.