Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Aragorn's Moment

Author: docmon
Nominator: dkpalaska
2007 Award Category: Races: Men: Eriador or Rivendell - Second Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Other Ficlet
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: In FotR, we read: “Their farewells had been said in the great hall by the fire, and they were only waiting now for Gandalf, ... Aragorn sat with his head bowed to his knees; only Elrond knew fully what this hour meant to him.” I have always wondered what Tolkien meant by that line: what did that hour, that moment mean to Aragorn? What was going through his head? What did Elrond know that no other did? This vignette is my interpretation of the moment.


Reviewed by: dkpalaska -- Score: 10

I love fanfic not just for its ability to speculate on the large spaces in time or between events that populate Tolkien's vision, but for these more subtle gapfillers, where an author sometimes takes but a single line - often one that I have unthinkingly breezed over a dozen times in my reading - and expands it such that the potential import of the words comes thundering down on me. Docmon has done that here, in a vignette both beautiful and heartbreaking. She has turned her personal vision into an excellent exploration of Aragorn's thoughts in that moment just before the Quest sets out. The full weight and burden of his doom is laid out convincingly, plainly and painfully, but this is not an Aragorn that I feel pity for. He is much too strong, too noble for simple sentiment. When he stands up at the end, ready to accept whatever the results of the Quest may be, prepared to walk this horrible road not for any gain to himself but for the good of Arda, my chest does ache with sorrow for him. But more, it burns with pride and triumph, for it is this commitment to individual self-sacrifice and the determination to do one's best which has always conquered evil. Wonderful writing, believable speculation, and the Aragorn I love and admire! Thank you for giving me such a vision to hold, docmon, during every future reading of that FotR passage.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 10

Ah, I remember this story! Glad to have found it again. Being the sad, sad Aragorn fanatic that I am, I love it when I find a story that handles the interplay between duty and desire well. For whatever reason, this seems to be a difficult task often times. It's in part because Aragorn simply isn't made of stone - he has his own agenda, one that fits with the society he exists in. That agenda includes becoming king; it includes marrying Arwen; it includes taking up a place in a history that frankly none of us would touch with a ten foot pole if it were offered us, and not just because we'd all like to survive quietly. It's just a foreign way of understanding ourselves. On the other hand, Aragorn also does not primarily act out of sympathy - he does sometimes, and we saw how well that worked on Parth Galen. He does what is necessary, and here I truly appreciate docmon's read of Aragorn's mindset in this moment. Necessity is what he's striving to accommodate himself to - it doesn't mean no longer caring about the rest or being disinterested in the sense of disinvested, but it sets what he stands to gain by success to one side. At the end of the day, he acts for others and because it is the task to which he is called. That's it. The rest has to be kept at a certain distance - not denied, but not allowed to drive him either. A much appreciated fic, docmon!

Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 7

A close look, extraordinary careful, insightful and moving, into what might have gone on and through Aragorn's head at the moment in the trilogy just before the Fellowship sets out from Rivendell. This moment, ["Aragorn's Moment"] of solitary introspection has always intrigued me, and you have given me a thoroughly believable answer to my wonderings. The ficlet is structured well: with each little movement of his preparation it is laid out how *others* have helped raise and shape him as the man he is now, but that now is his up to *him* to prove ready and worthy for the task. Regardless of many decades gaining wide-spread experience, this quest to destroy the Ring will truly bring his long endeavours to a head, can only lead to victory or doom. Should they fail, there is no more hiding in anonymity or the wilds of Middle-earth. I especially love his calm surrender to do his duty to the best of his ability, with his acceptance of it as being beyond any expectation of personal gain.

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 3

This is a beautiful explanation of what might have gone through Aragorn's mind in that moment. That point of no return. I like the way that Aragorn set aside his personal future for the path he is about to follow to the end.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 3

The thoughts of Aragorn as he prepares for the departure from Rivendell with the Fellowship. He does this not for Arwen, although she is there on his mind. A wonderful depiction of Aragorn's choices and perceptions and loyalties.

Reviewed by: Firya -- Score: 3

This is a quite believable gap-filler. Though this is more book-version, but it also resonates well with the revealing of Anduril scene in RotK. I like this sentence [For the moment, he knew only that he would not walk this way again.] For me, it sounds definitely like what a warrior would think before charge.

Reviewed by: Linda hoyland -- Score: 3

[spoilers] This outstanding ficlet offers a revealing glimpse into Aragorn's state of mind as he sets out upon the quest ,which will either make or destroy him. What a dreadful burden for one man to carry with not only his future but that of the whole world at stake ! This,however is what Aragorn has been born for and he will conquer his own fears and give his all.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 3

These are indeed, just the sorts of thoughts that *could* and *should* have been going through Aragorn's mind. Yes, I can just see him taking that metaphorical deep breath, and giving the future over to whatever might come--still, he would do what was right. Beautiful!

Reviewed by: Marta -- Score: 3

This is a nice glimpse at Aragorn on the eve of the Fellowship departing Rivendell. All of Aragorn's thoughts seemed genuine. It's a well-executed and convincing gapfiller - good work.

Reviewed by: Súlriel -- Score: 3

I especially like Aragorn's silent strength in the face of what must be done, that he does willing take the weight of all the world on his shoulders, what he risks and yet what he stands for. Very insightful and well done.