Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

The Making of Werewolves

Author: Ignoble Bard
Nominator: Oshun
2008 Award Category: Races: Villains - Third Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Other Ficlet
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: talk of wolves eating people mentioned in passing; also, torture of animals (nothing too graphic)
Summary: Sauron creates werewolves on the Isle of Tol Sirion.

Reviewed by: Oshun -- Score: 10

The tone and language and atmosphere of this are perfect. I expect to see a number of reviews on this story, which say that it reads “just like Tolkien.” Normally, that would not necessarily be a good thing in my opinion. (Hey, you’ve read my rant on this one hundred times, but maybe you won’t mind it again, since you will be getting paid for it this time--in points on the story.) This piece does read like Tolkien and to great effect. It is a gap-filler of a very particular kind, the success of which depends upon setting the mood and drawing the reader into believing that this is really the way it happened. (My complaint about imitations of Tolkien style in general are 1) they usually don’t succeed, and 2) when they explore elements, as mine often do (in-depth characterization of a particular sort, for example), that Tolkien chose to leave in the shadows, the use of an imitation of his style can jar instead of please.) In this case, you are slipping into canon, delicately and making it fit, an explanation that is entirely plausible and fits with the original. I always say I don't like horror fics in general. This of is Utterly and perfectly creepy. I like the use of the singing and how Sauron appreciates their malice, the way they attack the orcs, but ["fawned like cubs"] over him. Eww: this is just so perfectly nasty. And their development for the taste of elves and men--chilling. Great job. No more complaining about reading werewolf fics from me.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 7

What a deliciously horrific tale of the creation of werewolves! IgnobleBard always is able to bring such a wonderful atmosphere to stories - this one, though conveyed sparely and starkly, nevertheless feels heavy and unrestful, quite appropriately given the event described. The language throughout evokes the style of the Silm, and suggests an isolated portion of an epic tale (the repeated sending out of hunters particularly made me think this, though it also made me laugh and so worked well as black comedy in the middle of a story quietly but clearly filled with pains). The metallic flavor that those opening lines brings in also seems to me perfectly suited to the story, suggesting the mechanical, forced nature of this 'birthing.' As opposed to creation, this is a shaping and a transformation that operates by invasion and by deformation. This is villainy bald-facedly at work. Very well done!

Reviewed by: Rhapsody -- Score: 5

This just reads as a tale on might tell children around a campfire. As short as it might be, it has an epic feel to me with a fierce pacing that leaves just nothing to your imagination. The answer on how Sauron went about creating them can be found here, true to his master with brutal force and cunning insight. At one sight one might perceive those werewolves as cutesy puppies, but a moment later they might just bite your heads off. This story feels like a gapfiller of his own kind, taken from the works of the professor himself. Wonderfully done!

Reviewed by: pandemonium_213 -- Score: 5

With the opening sentence of this delectably dark confection -- [The song was magnetic, with intricate shadings of meaning, and the singer imbued each word with the power of his malevolent heart] -- and the touch of alchemy [brazier of selenium and tin], I could no more resist devouring this story than [those corrupted sleepless souls] could resist Sauron's summoning. Using an elegant archaic cadence (but never forced or self-conscious), Ignoble Bard crafts a stygian "just-so" fable of how Sauron created the werewolves. I especially liked IgnobleBard's vision that the werewolves' genesis was not achieved by clichéd lycanthropic transformation but was instead derived by grafting human sentience (corrupt spirits/souls/fëar) onto the lupine form. This is a toothsome fic, IgnobleBard. Very toothsome.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 4

This is a tale that could easily be found in the Silmarillion itself - a sinister and riveting account of Sauron's transformation of wolves into werewolves, the first of their darkly enchanted kind. Sauron's evil, cruelty and urge to corruption is brought out in the actions he takes to effect the change, and the use he makes of his creatures. A chilling story; with a nigh-Tolkienesque tone.

Reviewed by: Súlriel -- Score: 4

As I have said elsewhere, I think you have outdone yourself with this one. You have the style and tone down, but more than that, the heart of it all. The mingling of 'self' that binds and strengthens at the same time is a lot of the heart of the story of the Silmarillion and all the Histories and you have captured the essence of that with this short story amazingly well. – you grok.

Reviewed by: Dawn Felagund -- Score: 4

This piece is dark and chilling, perfectly suited to its rather archaic style. We never get a glimpse of the werewolves' origins in the canon, yet IgnobleBard's version is entirely plausible, piecing together what we do know in perfectly logical ways, and the offhand mentions of violence work very effectively to show the malice behind the creation of these awful creatures.

Reviewed by: crowdaughter -- Score: 4

As I have said elsewhere, already, I love the powerful language of this short vignette, and also the deeper view it gives us at a part of the backstory of the Silmarillion that is mentioned there with only a few words. The style is very much like the Sil itself, more history recounting than direct tale, but the tale is still very compelling. Enhancing indeed! I like, and very much so! Thank you for writing and sharing. :)

Reviewed by: Keiliss -- Score: 4

For me, this is the perfect gapfiller, because not only does it flesh out the details of Sauron’s rule on the Isle of Werewolves and explain how his servants were created, but it does so in a way that fits seamlessly into canon, adding an extra dimension to an already dark story. The language feels Silm-accurate, and the concepts seem absolutely authentic. The atmosphere of casual cruelty paints a wonderful picture, and tells us more about Sauron himself than the title would suggest. .

Reviewed by: Robinka -- Score: 3

A very atmospheric and chilling take on the genesis of werewolves, utterly creepy and fascinating at the same time. The style of this short fiction is by all means captivating to someone as much in love with the Silmarillion as myself -- it perfectly reflects the tone of the book without being overdone. Amazingly well written!

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 3

Ah, a shuddersome tale indeed, as we see Sauron working his evil magic, using his own ability in singing to do what he will. All fits from the elements of his brazier to the torturing of his slaves and creations. Very well done.