Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Three Cups of Kindness

Author: Elen Kortirion
Nominator: Elen Kortirion
2007 Award Category: Times: Multi-Age: Fixed-Length Ficlet - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Fixed-Length Ficlet : Length: Fixed-Length Ficlet Series
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: three true drabbles Three moments in the life of Estel/Aragorn/Elessar

Reviewed by: annmarwalk -- Score: 10

A very moving three-drabble series, in which Estel/Aragorn/Elessar, at various stages of his life,is offered a cup to ease shock or pain. The first drabble, which focuses on young Estel's first blooding, is particularly vivid. Somehow we've glossed over the nuts-and-bolts of what rangers do kill to protect the innocent and so a description of the result of a fight, butchery and [bloody horror of hacked flesh ] is shocking, just as the experience itself has left Estel sickened. The empathy of an older, more experienced ranger does not comfort him, though; he is still young enough to imagine that he should be above such weakness if he is to be a leader. I'm sure the lesson, that every battle can be as frightening as the first, was hard-learned. In the second drabble, Legolas offers an elven-draught to strengthen Aragorn in the immediate aftermath of Boromir's death. There is no time for mourning; grief and regret must be set aside for more leisurely times, and Kortirion has well expressed the pain of that moment of decision. The final drabble brings us to Elessar's last hours, where the rich, heady vintage brings not only comforting warmth but also memories of those loved ones who have gone before. Through Kortirion's graceful words we share the hope and joy of his final moments, as he envisions the long-awaited reunion with his most beloved companion.

Reviewed by: agape4gondor -- Score: 6

I hope to never really know what it means to kill another... even a terrible one, or one such as an Orc. Estel definitely wishes now that he had not had to do the act... though necessary. And I loved the play on words of the last line of the first drabble... Bitter indeed. Oh good grief. You undue me with the second one. Again, war causes such pain. To know he cannot save everyone. As King, he should be able to. Bitter indeed! And then the last one - unkind is death for mere mortals. It took me a moment or two to realize the who, why, what and where of this... but after I re-read it and realized it was Aragorn's own impending death that he drank to... beautiful and bitter indeed for the both of them. The use of the same two words at the beginning of each drabble is perfect... sets a mood and a profoundness. And that the word 'bitter' returns again and again... very nice.

Reviewed by: Marta -- Score: 5

This drabble series does a really good job at getting across the differences in the way that Aragorn grew over the years. The similarities work well to call the reader's attention to the differences in Aragorn's character as he matured. I think my favorite drabble was the first one; the author really gets across the physical sensation of shock. The only criticism I had was that it took me a second to see where one drabble began and the other ended. It would have been easier to see the distinction if (for example) you had a row of asterisks between the drabbles. But that's a minor criticism. This was a lovely drabble, making good use of the different ways that bitter taste could be used, and I loved it.

Reviewed by: Marigold -- Score: 3

Very nice progression. I especially liked the vividness of the final drabble. The first two were grim (as they should be) but the last was bittersweet and it was clear that he had known years of happiness before this moment and anticipated more to come in the afterlife, making his impending death easier to bear.

Reviewed by: Elena Tiriel -- Score: 3

(Possible spoilers within:) This drabble trio is poignant and bittersweet. Each vignette centers on a bitter event in Aragorn's life, but in which a friend offers him a drink to help stave off distress. The language is beautifully evocative, and taken together, they convey so much more than each alone. Very nicely done!

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 2

This is a beautifully written set of drabbles. Each time someone hands Aragorn a drink to help him in a situation and it is touching to see how the situations change.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 2

Three instances in the life of Aragorn son of Arathorn when an offered drink helped him deal with the realities of death.

Reviewed by: Bodkin -- Score: 2

Three incidents showing care - vastly different times, but all offering a degree of warmth to help a man deal with death. Very touching.

Reviewed by: Llinos -- Score: 1

A very thoughtful drabble set - the last is particularly moving.