Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Frodo's Crosswise Verse

Author: Elanor Gardner
Nominator: Antane
2008 Award Category: Genres: Drama: Featuring Frodo or Sam

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: Although the reader COULD read a slash relationship into this story, it is not overtly slash and it can be read either way.
Summary: A childhood promise and the rhyme it creates have an impact on the lives of Frodo and Sam. After the quest, Frodo is confronted with appalling choices, but a promise is remembered. (This story is best read AFTER reading Sam's Crosswise Verse.)

Reviewed by: Inkling -- Score: 8

This story is one of my touchstones for quintessential Frodo-angst, and I suspect it is for many other readers and writers of the genre as well. But even those who don't usually consider such fare to be their cup of tea should find this well worth the read...not only for the quality of the writing (Elanor Gardner's impressive fanfic debut), but for its emotional power, beautifully drawn characterizations and brilliant use of a phobia that--literally as well as figuratively--nearly sends Frodo over the edge. In a skillful blend of book and movie verse, the author presents an excruciating portrait of the torment Frodo felt, and still feels, in the grasp of the Ring. Early in the story he tells a sleeping Sam, ["I have seen how you keep Sting close to hand, as if there were something real and menacing to battle without, instead of this battle you can't see, within."] The heartbreak of the climax is precisely this: that Sam indeed cannot slay Frodo's inner demons, much as he desperately wishes to, and must make do instead with battling [the tiny enemy that lurked in the shadows above]. In the end, Frodo's choice echoes his movie-verse choice at the Cracks of Doom...only a temporary victory, we know, but for the moment we are consoled.

Reviewed by: Antane -- Score: 5

The true power of a tale is shown when it can be read and re-read and still can move the reader. This is such a one as is "Sam's Crosswise Verse". A heartaching/breaking tale of Frodo thoughts after the Quest about the terrible rape of his soul by the Ring, his continuing lust for it and the horrific damage done to him because of it, talking out loud to Sam, who is sleeping. Very powerfully written! And of course, he thinks of Sam's love and how it saved him and continues to do so. ["You wonder why I wake you out of sleep, out of blessed sleep and dreams you so desperately need. You wonder why I ask nonsensical questions in the cold hours of the night." "To hear your voice. I will listen to you recite that horrible poetry they are singing in the streets about us, just to hear your voice."] Love the ending! Both this and Sam's are wonderful tributes to the power of love neverending. *True* love - I wouldn't have nominated this if I thought slash was involved. Namarie, God bless, Antane :)

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 4

Grief, despair, self-hatred, loss--Frodo feels all of these as he speaks, he thinks, to a sleeping Sam and a small spider weaving her web. And slowly he states his case, remembering the vow not to keep his feelings trapped inside him, even as he seeks to do this, hating what the Ring has made of him. Sad, poignant, moving--and in the end hopeful. A worthy sequel to Sam's memory of the day they met with the tinker.

Reviewed by: nancylea -- Score: 2

a little too dark maybe but soul searching tends to that. thought provoking and rewarding. thank you.