Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

U elyë, Ar-Pharazôn

Author: Elitihien
Nominator: Imhiriel
2008 Award Category: Times: Second and Early Third Age

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Tar-Miriel's thoughts towards her husband Ar-Pharazon before the sinking of Numenor.

Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 10

An exciting, gripping story which really evokes the narrator's passion and the passion of what she describes. The structure of the narration - the use of direct address towards Ar-Pharazn, the use of imperative as the story unfolds - hightens the feeling of personal involvement of the readers, as it gives a feeling as if they, too, were being addressed by the narrator. This is all the more strengthened because of the emphasis on the senses: ["Hear...", "Feel...", "See..."] and the direct questions. The violent upsurge of the elements, of the sea and the very earth is evoked amazingly well, it really makes your heart pound. The Downfall, seen here, seems both so agonisingly slow that you can watch and experience every detail, and so rapid and inevitable that absolutely no action is possible - no attempt at flight, no attempt at finding something to hold onto, not even time to cry to the heavens. The story points out the utter failure and the utter vanity of Ar-Pharazn's endeavour: by trying to reach for immortality, everything connected with him comes to utter ruin and destruction beyond recall. There is a sense of mixed emotions in the narrator's voice at witnessing all this: mockery of and contempt for Ar-Pharazn (["a fool you are..."]), but also despair, perhaps even a little of a feeling of surrendering to fate, and a hope for death as the gift of Men.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 5

Powerful little piece! The despair and condemnation ring out as Tar-Miriel watches Numenor sink. There are quite a few pieces that depict these last moments as Elendil escapes and the Queen sinks beneath the waves, but this is one of the most compelling I've ever seen. She faces her death and regards it as both a gift and a doom, but she never seems to shrink from it. And there she passes her husband (and most of the rest of Numennor) in accepting what she is and what her fate will be. The narrative details depicting the sea are excellent, and it isn't hard to get a mental picture of what is happening. Beautiful story!

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 3

Miriel has every reason to curse the thought of her husband as she struggles up the sides of Meneltarma as Numenor founders. Some problems with language usage, but the feelings of frustration and righteous anger and regret are fully conveyed.

Reviewed by: Elleth -- Score: 3

Well-written, engaging and brutal (as befitting the occasion of the Downfall of Numenor), and I loved the connection to Tolkien's 'The Last Ship' via the Quenya quote at the end. That poem never seemed to have a connection to Numenor to me, but you tied it in convincingly, and in quite an innovative way. Very powerful writing.

Reviewed by: crowdaughter -- Score: 2

Powerful and rich images, and a thoughtful end. The doom of Ar-Pharazon has rarely been told more compelling, and more breathtaking. Thank you for writing and sharing!