Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

When the King Came Back

Author: Cathleen
Nominator: Pearl Took
2008 Award Category: Times: Fourth Age and Beyond

Story Type: Story : Length: Medium Length
Rating: Teen -- Reason for Rating: Some mild descriptions of remembered violence.
Summary: The reconciliation between Pippin and Paladin after the War is sometimes rocky, but father and son gain peace at last.


Reviewed by: Pearl Took -- Score: 6

A very realistic and moving story. Pippin has come home from the War and soon had his family, especially his father, to deal with. Paladin has a good deal of anger built up inside himself and he can't help but let it come out. As happy as he is that Pippin is home, it doesn't seem to make up for how much he hurt his family by leaving so abruptly without word those thirteen months before. Pippin, meanwhile is trying to figure out where he will fit in. He is a different person than the Peregrin Took who left The Shire with his cousins. He is stronger and more mature, certainly, but he is also wounded in body and spirit, haunted by dreams and day-visions of all he had to endure. Can he tell his family what he has gone through? Father and son need to work things out between them and that is what this story describes so wonderfully.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 6

Homecomings are definitely not easy. That's partially why I love the fact that Tolkien didn't just end with the destruction of the Ring. That's only part of the tale. The rest of the tale is getting the heroes back where they belong, and Cathleen tackles this beautifully by expanding Pippin's homecoming. I love the characterization of Paladin, who is portrayed as a good father with a fierce love for his son. That just makes the homecoming more complicated, because his fear for his son transformed into anger along the way, and getting past that anger is difficult for Pippin, especially when he first arrives and is only prepared to meet his father's anger with the loss of his own temper. Excellent family dynamics and wonderful little story woven neatly around and after the scouring of the Shire.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 5

During his first prolonged stay in the Great Smials after his return from Gondor, Peregrin Took finds himself frustrated, as is true of his parents, for the relationship they had cannot properly be renewed as it was. In trying to find peace with themselves and one another, he and his father find themselves going back to Pippin's beginnings in order to help find the proper path to take now. There, in the fields of his childhood, the two begin looking at one another as fellow adults. A thoughtful story, and a worthy one, one that captures the rural nature of the Shire well, and our Pippin at his confused best, and that shows how worthy in the end Paladin was to serve as the Thain.

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 4

This is a great gapfiller for the time when the hobbits, and here mostly Pippin, come back home. I like the portrayal of his parents, especially his father. The festering anger about his son just sneaking off without a word to anyone and how this fit the Pippin of a year ago, and then this new Pippin all grown up and kind of a stranger. I like it that his father has some difficulty reconciling the son he knew with the son coming home from a war. The reconciliation scene was touching and held just the right amount of emotion.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 4

I was very flattered and honored when Cathleen chose the very first story I ever wrote for a remix challenge! She used only some of it for a jumping off point to create a story all her own--there is a very different dynamic between her Paladin and her Pippin, and mine, and it was fascinating to see how she could use the same elements to create a completely different story. I especially love the interactions between Paladin and Eglantine. They are a strong couple, and very loving parents.

Reviewed by: Lindelea -- Score: 4

I find myself without time to properly review this, having only hastily skimmed the story. But do know that I was intrigued by the portrayal of the relationships--the understanding mother, the friction between a father and son who are (if I read correctly) too much alike to get on perfectly, yet not recognizing this stumbling block to their relationship. I haven't even reached the ending of the story, but the MEFAs have reached their end, and so I must read later to find whatever resolution there may be here. Nice bit of writing. Thanks!

Reviewed by: Golden -- Score: 3

This story gives a good look into how it might have been for Pippin when coming back. I love the scene with Pip sitting at his place in the end and then Paladin finding him. A warm and nontheless somehow heartbreaking scene.

Reviewed by: nancylea -- Score: 1

so perfect...again. thank you for sharing these gems.