Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

...To the Edge of Night: Seven Tells of a Moment

Author: Elen Kortirion
Nominator: Elen Kortirion
2007 Award Category: Races: Men: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Fixed-Length Ficlet : Length: Fixed-Length Ficlet Series
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: series of 7 drabbles A set of seven drabbles, perceptions of the same moments in time. Return of the King movieverse


Reviewed by: annmarwalk -- Score: 10

The storyteller answers the question, “What happens next?” In this somberly lovely drabble series, Kortirion has peered into the hearts of seven witnesses to the fateful scene in which Denethor orders his son, and many others, to their deaths. The main participants – Denethor, Faramir, Pippin – are marvelously drawn. We easily share and empathize wth Pippin's nervousness in his position as cup-bearer, his loneliness for the Shire, his concern for his companions, his utter shock at what he has seen and heard. Faramir's resignation to, and acceptance of, the command which will bring him and his men to their doom is heartbreaking, even as he calls out psychically to the brother he adored and expects to meet again soon. Even Denethor is compassionately drawn, acknowledging responsibility for this most horrific of commands as a means to attempt to delay the inevitable. He does not see any hope of his city, but (at this point, if not later) he will not let it go without a fight. The other four witnesses – courtier, guard, ostler, and cook – have their own part to play, and for each one of them, Kortirion has drawn some tiny, memorable element that allows them to retain their pride in themselves and their City before all is lost. It's a hallmark of Kortirion's rich writing that, immediately upon meeting them, we can feel that we know these minor characters almost as well as we know the major ones. She has gifted each with their own unique voice and history, providing us with fleeting, ephemeral portraits that just leave us longing for more.

Reviewed by: stefaniab -- Score: 6

What stunning set of drabbles this is. Each features the viewpoint of seven characters involved in the pivotal moment in film "Return of the King" where Denethor sends Faramir on the hopeless mission to retake Osgiliath, now occupied by a huge legion of Orcs. Elen Kortirion deftly encapsulates not only the feelings of the major participants--Denethor, Faramir, and Pippin--but also the points of view of other people. Her portrayal of her original characters is, for me, the most moving, especially the viewpoint of the cook. I also like her brief moment with Faramir. The portrayal of Faramir and Denethor in the LOTR films still remains controversial for some. No matter which side of this issue you stand on, I recommend "To the Edge of Night." The set reveals Elen Kortirion's skill in evoking pathos, tragedy, and steadfast loyalty all within 100 words or less.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 5

A beautiful set of drabbles focussing on the heart-wrenching scenes between Faramir and Denethor and Pippin in movie-ROTK, when Denethor sends his son to certain death. Here, not only are these moments viewed and interpreted by the father and son and reluctant witness, but by others of the Citadel such as a courtier and a cook. All the drabbles resonate with incredible pathos; but is the Ostler's piece that strikes me the hardest - the ostler chastises a stable-boy for using a second-best blanket for one of the horses who will bear the doomed knights; and berates him for the idea of allowing one of their soldiers to go to his death in less than the best of accoutrements - this, to me, seems very Gondorian.

Reviewed by: EdorasLass -- Score: 5

These are just *painful*, one and all. I love the structure, seven different points of view of one moment, and as it turns out, six of those perspectives are not all that different - all are varying degrees of shocked and-or horrified by what Denethor has demanded of his remaining son, and not a one of them even considers for a moment that Faramir and his men will emerge from the battle alive. Denethor's piece is no less painful, but more for his lack of emotion than anything else: [ Death waits for all; yet in this game, to hold, the pawn must be sacrificed when the knight is taken.] In these words,one can see that the Steward of Gondor also already convinced that there will be no victory, but that he apparently doesn't truly care, which is very consistent with movieverse. Very nicely done.

Reviewed by: Marta -- Score: 4

This is a very poignant series of drabbles, with lots of detail in each one. The individual scenes feel complete in themselves, but they also connect nicely into a story arc. I personally disagree with the way Denethor's relationship with his sons was portrayed, but this is movieverse so I could accept it for the duration of the series, and there was so much other good material I could sink my teeth into. Fans of drabbles and Gondor won't want to miss this one.

Reviewed by: Linda hoyland -- Score: 3

A deeply moving and beautifully written series of drabbles concerning Denethor's decision to send Faramir to Osgiliath. I loved the way the writer explores the situation from the different viewpoints of the people who were there and brilliantly conveys their sadness and despair.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 3

Even though it is not in canon, this is one incredibly powerful and moving moment in movie-verse, and the author, in a very effective series of drabbles, makes us relive it in all its beautiful and inexorable sorrow.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 2

The feelings of seven who experienced Denethor sending his younger son to retake Osgiliath in that movie moment. Each of the seven drabbles is a gem in its own right.