Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Punchline

Author: Clodia
Nominator: Elleth
2011 Award Category: Crossover: General - First Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Ficlet
Rating: Teen -- Reason for Rating: Mature Language/Themes
Summary: So an elf, a set of enchanted jewels and the anthropomorphic personification of War walk into a bar... A Silmarillion/Good Omens crossover written for Wormwood, because she imagines such beautiful things and also because she suggested it, and for Thranduil Oropherion Redux, who wanted Maedhros and Fingon chasing tail, popping brewskis and belching. And farting. Don't blame me!


Reviewed by: Virtuella -- Score: 10

Dear Clodia, I loved this ficlet – very uncharacteristic for you, and yet in its polished, its radiating sleekness it is unmistakably “a Clodia.” The moment one considers the idea of War making an appearance among Feanor and his clan, one begins to think that she cannot possibly not have been there. Indeed, it is only with her there that things begin to make sense. And she is in fine form here, playing them all like a harp, oh, the irony of it! I love the understated tone of the piece, for example how the bar brawl is only reported in terms of the broken items they have on their tab. The setting is so convincing, so life-like that it doesn’t really matter whether this happened millions of years ago or last week – this scene is timeless. The touches of humour are an additional appeal. I particularly chuckled at Maedhros remembering the way his mother sometimes wields a breadknife. That is a due reminder that the power of wrath isn’t reserved for the male of the species. Altogether, this is a smashing story which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I trust the intended recipient also liked it, for all that the crossover reference must have been lost on him!

Reviewed by: Werdrachin -- Score: 10

Writing a crossover is always a balancing act: a character (or a group of characters) from one universe is transferred into another universe, where it has to interact with a character (or a group of characters) at home in this second fictional world, and the author has to take care that neither the characters involved, nor the host universe are bent beyond recognition. In Clodia´s "Punchline" Terry Pratchett´s anthropomorphic personification of war from "Good Omens" visits Belleriand in the Years of the Trees, meeting Fëanor, his son Maedros and his nephew Fingon in a most particular place and under quite unique circumstances. Certainly it is no coincidence War happens to show up when the Simarils are just created, whose theft will bring about so much violence, suffering and death. While Tolkien drafted most of his characters vaguely enough to leave lots of freedom for interpretations, Pratchett´s War was painted very distinctively. Clodia´s version of War is perfect, almost better than the original, from her perfume (that isn´t floral) to her scarlet fingernails, who let the light of the Silmarils ["shine bloodied through"]. The story is amusing, eloquently put into words, decorated with glittering little gems of details. I don´t know if Tolkien would have approved of this priceless crossover, but I think Terry Pratchett would!

-- Dear Werdrachin, thank you so much once again for a lovely review! I have so much fun writing War and really enjoyed dropping her into the Silmarillion like this - it's wonderful, as always, to know you enjoyed reading it. And thank you for taking so much time to write at such length!

Reviewed by: Elleth -- Score: 10

If I had to pick a thousand words that I enjoyed most from a story among this year's eclectic MEFA listing, it would be a hard choice, but Clodia's [Punchline] would definitely be among the contenders. An unlikely crossover, fairly irreverent, and funny to the nth degree, it features the personified apocalyptic harbinger War (the lady in red) of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's [Good Omens] fame, meeting Maedhros, Fingon and Feanor (not to forget the newly-forged Silmarils) in a bar. The lady is, it seems, quite enticed by the jewels, and the story contains (pun may or may not be intended) such gems as a dangerously sultry Scarlett, a drunk Fingon, a speechless Feanor and (no doubt thanks to the influence of a certain person in the bar) a belligerent Maedhros. The matter-of-fact tone (not to mention the in-story explanation for Gil-galad necessarily being Orodreth's son) and the brilliant descriptions -[Scarlett leans back against the bar and smiles like a cat who’s learned hypnosis.] (a scary simile!) - do the rest to make the story shine like a - very funny - Silmaril. There are some parallels to canon material (like Feanor's early exit) but it won't do to overanalyze. War's presence would certainly explain why the Noldor of the Blessed Realm began acting like loons. Is it too much to ask for a continuation?

-- Thanks so much again, for the nomination and for such a generous review! I always have a great deal of fun writing War, anywhere and anytime, and it's great that you enjoyed it. (I did consider a continuation, but realised it would probably boil down to 'War watches various First Age battles, smirks', and while that has its own sort of fun, it would get pretty repetitive pretty fast. But maybe I'll feel inspired one day.)

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 8

Who was it that said somewhere that [Good Omens] is the little black dress of crossovers - goes with anything, anywhere, anytime? Well, I'm not completely sure that's true, but War definitely belongs in Tírion upno Túna, and Clodia writes her as she deserves. This ficlet packs an excellent ironic punch that is sure to leave readers laughing, but also shaking their heads over the train wreck they know will emerge from this night's work. As usual, Clodia chooses her words with care, and this story moves quickly, lightly, and with innuendo such as [“That Furing– Thuringwethil –” he’s saying, “’m gonna see if she’ll pluck my harp tonight –”]. Which is about what you'd expect, if you think about it, from this crowd. Nerdanel also crops up quietly as potentially a lot tougher and more deadly with semi-sharp implements than anyone has ever given her credit for, to my knowledge. It's the little side-notes that add so much, and that stretch out a joke or hurry one along - Clodia's timing is fantastic. So when you need a laugh to deal with the deepening winter in many places across the globe, check out this story!

-- Thank you so much once again! Good Omens is my second fandom, as far as writing goes; I feel much more comfortable scribbling snippets at midnight and throwing them out there to see what 'takes' than I would for Tolkien. This one wasn't quite scribbled, but War's definitely my favourite GO character to write and I enjoyed applying a GO tone to terribly serious Silmarillion material, for once. Again, I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 4

A lovely crossover which unites three elves from the Silmarillion with one very deadly lady from [Good Omens] who's even older than they are. Anyone who reduces Feanor to a mumbling idiot, not to mention Maedhros and Fingon, gets my serious respect; and Clodia writes her brilliantly. Excellent idea for a crossover, especially in a bar. Now I wonder if the same lady visited Gondor and kick-started the Kin-Strife...

-- Thank you so much for this lovely review, Raksha! I had fun writing this piece and I'm very glad you enjoyed it. (I think War had a *great* time in ME. At one time or another, she must have been all over the place...) Clodia

Reviewed by: curiouswombat -- Score: 4

What a combination - the guys night out, alone, might have been well worth the read - but throw War into the mix and it's suddenly - well you could say it's suddenly a whole new ball game... Clodia writes War so well - and throwing her into a bar with Maedhros, Fingon, and Fëanor to work her particular type of magic is inspired. Now we know who to blame for, well, everything that goes wrong for this family from here on in, really! Wonderfully, wittily, written and well worth a visit.

-- Thank you, Wombat! Really, most of the Silmarillion is the tale of War's love affair with the Feanorions...

Reviewed by: Wormwood -- Score: 4

I was honoured that this delicious story was written in response to a suggestion from me. Crossovers need a healthy level of malleable disrespect if they are going to work, and this one most certainly does. I love stories of slightly- less- than- perfect elves, and this bunch from the Silmarillion fall totally under the spell of the yellow-eyed, copper-haired War from Good Omens. The story is full of witty one-liners and is extremely elegantly written overall, like all of Clodia's stories. Great work!

-- Thank you so much! both for such a generous review and the initial suggestion. I did have a great deal of fun with this. And it's always good to know you like something I've written!

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 3

And what happens when a female anthropomorphic construct enters a bar and play with Feanor's--stones? A hilarious answer to that question! And I LOVE the thoughts on what Nerdanel would be glad not to know, and under what terms! A wonderful bit of crack fic!

-- Thank you for such a kind review! I had fun writing this and it's great to hear you had fun reading it!

Reviewed by: Oshun -- Score: 3

I like the language and the humor very much. I like the characterization also. I am afraid that I missed at least half of it or more because I have not read the crossover reference (hiding in shame at my lack of literacy in the genre of fantasy). Someday. Enjoyed it very much. There were a lot of tiny details that made it fun to read.

-- Thank you so much for reviewing, especially since you haven't read Good Omens! It's really great to hear you enjoyed the fic anyway.

Reviewed by: Liadan -- Score: 2

This is a wonderful story. It is a humorous and insightful look into the more public persona of certain Elves.

-- Thank you for reviewing! I had great fun writing this; I'm very glad you liked it!