Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Promises to Keep

Author: Nessime

Nominator: unknown

2004 Award Category: Races: Rohan - First Place

Story Type: Other Fiction : Length: unknown
Rating: G -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: The Third Marshal of the Riddermark and the Ranger who would be King meet for the first time on the plains of Rohan. Told from a slightly different viewpoint.


Review scores are not available for 2004.

Reviewed by: Marta -- Score: N/A

The author says, in her notes, that she could not improve on the Master's dialog in this scene. That may very well be true, but the same can't be said for the scene as a whole. As much as I love the scene in Tolkien's original, seeing it retold from Hasufel's perspective *does* improve it. In Rohan culture (at least as portrayed in this story) everyone has a place and a job to do - and this includes the horses. They are living, thinking parts of the world, with doubts and fears all their own. Hasufel's grief at losing Garulf is very real: "Could I have saved him? To know the answer to that question is something I both long for and fear." These are not the thoughts of a dumb brute! This unique perspective, a glimpse of the depth of even the horses, breathed new breath into a scene I've read a dozen times.

Reviewed by: Larian Elensar -- Score: N/A

Nice picture. You kept Hasufel's point of view consistent throughout, not everyone is able to do that with pieces like this, especially in first person. Well done.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: N/A

The disguised point of view is always fun to write; my only quibble would be that because it's a disguise that must cover a definite difference in, um, 'kind', as it were, the characterization was not as convincing to me in the end as it might have been. Nevertheless, well-written. I particularly liked the account of the battle of Fangorn, and the fact that Éothain has a brief appearance as something other than a doubting and impatient Thomas.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: N/A

One of my favorite animal stories in the LotR fandom. I guessed it was one of the horses when the story began, and mention of a fiery companion led me to believe it was Hasufel, but the fact that Nessime never specifically mentioned it was still a powerful device. These are not ordinary horses but steeds of the Rohirrim, and that is driven home both in the way Hasufel thinks and in the way that the riders treat him. It's not a matter of master and horse but rather of lord and loyal servant. Great peak into the minds of Rohan's horses.

Reviewed by: Viv -- Score: N/A

"Battle hardened warriors they had seemed," ... This sort of inverted sentence structure is so Rohirric, the way Tolkien might have written it. You plucked JRR's narrative voice right out of those Rohan chapters and recreated it here in your own story. Very impressive. Now, I won't ruin the POV twist for those who don't want to know, but it was charming. And believable.

Reviewed by: Ellbee -- Score: N/A

Oooh, very cool and original take on this scene. Excellent job.

Reviewed by: Alexcat -- Score: N/A

Bravo! Well met! This is a very well done story. As important as the horses were to the Rohirrim, why wouldn't a horse know his mission? I was actually very glad that he saw the honor in Aragorn and that he was happy to carry him. I also liked the way Eomer talked to him as if he understood.

Reviewed by: Anna/Andreth -- Score: N/A

The title of this piece was what first drew me to it, my being a great fan of Robert Frost and of that poem in particular, but the writing was what kept me reading. A short piece, but wonderful insight from an unexpected viewpoint, bringing to mind another line from Frost, 'the tale of earth's unhonored things'. I always enjoy seeing a well-known passage related from the viewpoint of a little-known character, giving a nod to the lesser players in the story. I found it as enjoyable as the larger story it stems from. Good work.

Reviewed by: Ainaechoiriel -- Score: N/A

Thoughtfully written perspective of a usually overlooked character: Hasufel! I enjoyed this and really liked his loyalty and understanding of all that was going on in Rohan and the battle.

Reviewed by: Llinos -- Score: N/A

Intriguing to hear the famous Rohan meeting from this point of view. Nicely done.