Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

The Groomsman

Author: Elen Kortirion
Nominator: annmarwalk
2006 Award Category: Races: Dwarves: Fixed-Length Ficlet - First Place

Story Type: Fixed-Length Ficlet : Length: True Drabble
Rating: G -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Gimli takes charge of some necessary arrangements.

Reviewed by: Branwyn -- Score: 9

The title, as intended, was misleading; and I caught my breath at the final line. This piece is tricky to review since I don't want to ruin the surprise at the end. Kortirion disarms the reader with Gimli's seemingly casual monologue and then with the homely details of his work (I love that he literally uses spit and polish to shine the buckles!). Gimli as the champion of propriety is very believable; exiled peoples, like the dwarves, often value the old customs as a reminder of their identity as a people. That Gimli would observe his people's customs for a person of another race is proof that he loves and honors Boromir. Until I read this piece, I had never considered their relationship (certainly, I do think that Boromir and Gimli would have understood each other better than Boromir and Legolas). The others have only seen Gimli's skill with an axe; that he has an artist's eye and the careful touch of a craftsman must come as a revelation to them. It is very characteristic of Gimli that his act of devotion speaks more loudly than his brusque words about Aragorn and Legolas. A thought provoking and beautifully written ficlet!

Reviewed by: annmarwalk -- Score: 5

What a gem, and a perfect illustration of the drabbler’s art: A complete story, told in exactly one hundred words, with a twist at the end. The characterizations are spot-on: the almost-fussy, detail-oriented Gimli, recognizing that he is the only one with the proper respect and appreciation for the ritual; “the elf”, totally useless; unfamiliar with the customs appropriate for such an occasion; and Aragorn, distraught, overcome with emotion. The tiny, telling detail – Gimli breathing on a buckle, and polishing it on his own clothes - is so perfectly real. And what a killer of a final line - absolutely unexpected, absolutely heartbreaking.

Reviewed by: EdorasLass -- Score: 4

Somehow I feel certain that the Dwarves had very elaborate burial rituals, and it is a wonderful sign of Gimli's respect for Boromir that he takes over the preparations. This is a lovely image of Gimli, making certain that Boromir gets treated with the proper dignity, seeing that every detail is right, so that the Man of Gondor will embark on his last journey looking his best. And the equating of Boromir with a bridesgroom is simply heartbreaking. Lovely.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 4

A gem of a drabble, one of the best movieverse true drabbles I've seen. Gimli's seriousness, his attention to detail when the somewhat nervous and clumsy Aragorn cannot quite manage, is described perfectly. And then the reason for Aragorn's nervousness becomes clear - the ceremony for which they are preparing Boromir is the funeral rite, which is unexpected but makes perfect sense in the context of the ficlet. The last line is particularly beautiful.

Reviewed by: Tanaqui -- Score: 4

This is a beautiful drabble in which Elen Kortirion makes us feel both Gimli's appreciation of craftsmanship and his own skill and care. It also involves some good subtle misdirection that gives the final line added intensity and poignancy, and makes us re-evaluate Gimli's irritation at the start. The language is vivid, and provides wonderful echoes of the passage in the book. Excellent work!

Reviewed by: Rhapsody -- Score: 3

I find this drabble, for some reason, incredibly fitting for Gimli. The practical Dwarf who wants to make sure that Boromir will look good on his final journey. I love the way in which the author touches upon the grief of Legolas and Aragorn who mourn for their fallen comrade after going through so much. Finely drabbled and incredibly enjoyable!

Reviewed by: Marta -- Score: 3

Aww, this was certainly sad, and unexpected. I thought it was Aragorn getting ready for his coronation or something. It's really nice to see Gimli preparing Boromir this way, and the comparison to a bridegroom just about broke my heart. So much lost potential there.

Reviewed by: Marigold -- Score: 3

This caught me completely by surprise. Just stunning! Gimli is in wonderful character here, and the emotion behind his gruff facade and the way that he shows how much he truly cares in his meticulous care for his fallen comrade is touching.

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 2

Who would have thought. Gimli doesn't loose his head and knows what to do. I like it that he does Boromir the honor of readying him for his last voyage.

Reviewed by: Súlriel -- Score: 2

I find this to be a lovely view of Gimli and quite in character in showing the strength of Dwarves, strong and steady as Arda itself - in all things..

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 2

An intriguing drabble with a twist at the end. I particularly love this use of Gimli, and the comparison being made...

Reviewed by: Lindelea -- Score: 2

This was a complete and total surprise. The author led me to expect one thing, leaving me with a punched-in-the-gut feeling at the end. Well-written and convincingly done.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 2

Ok, nice play on the *groom* in groomsman--it had all the hallmarks of an entirely other fanfic convention, so I wasn't expecting this, so it made for a twist at the end. Very clever!

Reviewed by: Gandalfs apprentice -- Score: 2

I was completely mistaken as to the ceremony involved until the end, and the twist from comedy to sorrow. Very well done!

Reviewed by: Bodkin -- Score: 2

That is so touching! Gimli seems so gruff, yet he has such a gentle soul. (Unless you're an orc, of course. Or a troll.) I'm glad he prepared Boromir properly for his last journey.

Reviewed by: Jenn_Calaelen -- Score: 1

An interesting drabble, answering a question that the film leaves unanswered.

Reviewed by: Llinos -- Score: 1

Lovely twist at the end and very unexpected. A very skilful drabble.