Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Son of Durin

Author: Elena Tiriel
Nominator: Tanaqui
2009 Award Category: Times: Pre-Ring War: Drabbles - Second Place

Story Type: Drabble : Length: True Drabble
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: for the Alphabet Challenge, September 2008 A very young Dwarf tries his father's patience.


Reviewed by: Tanaqui -- Score: 10

How does Elena Tiriel do it? How does she manage to pack thousands of years of Dwarven culture and history into a mere hundred words -- and provide us with a laugh-out-loud entertaining portrait of the frustrations of being a parent.This drabble is made all the more brilliant by fulfilling a challenge to write a drabble starting and ending with the same letter -- especially when the letter in this case is Z! Dwarven culture is threaded throughout the drabble, from the subject of the reading matter to the fact it is written in runes and on to the passing reference to the Vala who means most to the dwarves. At the same time, Elena Tiriel captures the frustration of any student faced with acquiring learning for which he or she can, at that point, see no value. Especially when there are much more interesting subjects on which time could be spent. Meanwhile, we also emphathise with the teacher (and parent) dealing with a deliberately obtuse and unco-ooperative child. That the parent explains that the value of learning one's letters is to avoid being cheated by [corrupt Men] or [greedy Elves] becomes all the more entertaining when one realizes the reluctant student is Gimli. A perfect little gem of which any dwarven artisan would be proud – bravo!

Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 7

This is cute - in a dwarfish way, of course. And despite the charm of the drabble, it conveys in just 100 words so much culture and history and background if one looks beyond the surface, as the gratifyingly extensive author's notes show. All the points iterated there are conveyed in the text of the drabble and the subtext in very subtle, natural ways that bring those points across without it feeling like a lecture or shoe-horned into the scene. Making it about those specific Dwarves is just the icing on the cake, as we know that some of the aspects of the drabble will play an actual role in their lives. I particularly loved the fact that this drabble offers a wonderfully creative way to explain just why Gimli went on and on at length about all the many names of the mountains - really, as if he was reciting something he had learned and just couldn't help reciting the whole of it instead of limiting himself to the aspect that was most important for the moment.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 4

A great little drabble that shows how young Dwarves are not so different from young humans when it comes to the study of things in which they lack interest. And the surprise toward the end, that the young Dwarf is Gimli works well; especially since that explains Gimli's father's distrust of Elves and emphasizes the irony, since the reader knows that Gimli will become an Elf-friend. Nicely done; and an excellent answer to a challenge prompt.

Reviewed by: Elleth -- Score: 4

This drabble is oddly adorable, considering the cantankerous nature of the dwarves that you brought across so well in both Gimli and Gloin. Maybe it is the notion of a young dwarf (whom I've so far never encountered in fanfic before), or because I have a soft spot in my heart for these two in particular, but yes -- adorable seems like quite an appropriate description. And heh, [greedy Elves] - if only Gloin knew... thank you for sharing this.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 4

Oh dear! I know this conversation, though I don't have the easy justification that Gloin can give his impetuous son. Gimli's youthful desire to follow in his father's footsteps, but skip all the training that he can't see as directly related to becoming a metalsmith, reads very true of young boys of a certain age. As a bonus, I think this may be the first time I've seen anyone try to write Gimli's childhood - thanks for this glimpse, E.T.!

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 4

A fantastic little glimpse into the life of a young Gimli. It seems that the youth never tire of trying the patience of their elders. Learning something that doesn't hold your interest can be difficult, and Gimli's frustration is captured nicely here. Gloin's reasoning, though, is just as good, and it gives us a hint of the pride and expectation associated with Durin's line. Gimli isn't just any dwarf, and he can't forgo these lessons because of who he is and what he was born to be.

Reviewed by: elliska -- Score: 4

Elena Tiriel is one of the few writers I always read whenever I see something new from her and I am never disappointed. One of the things that amazes me about her writing is how well she captures such a wide range of characters. And this drabble is a great example of this. Not a lot of Gloin fanfic out there. But this is so perfect. Especially the exclamation about elves. I laughed out loud when I got to that. Wonderful characterization, especially when you consider she captures it within the confines of a drabble. Loved it!

Reviewed by: SĂșlriel -- Score: 3

How delightful to see little Gimli struggling so, yet he continues on as he ever does later in life. as an aside, I'm always tickled to see your author's notes are ten times longer than the fic itself. I'll hug you for it should we ever sit down together for a second breakfast.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 3

Ah! It appears that teaching a reluctant young Dwarf to read can be as difficult as teaching any other reluctant youngster! Certainly Gimli is proving a trial to his father! What a wonderful response to the challenge! Delightful!

Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke -- Score: 2

Interesting view into a young dwarf's home life, where parents are not only professional mentors but educators as well.

Reviewed by: Virtuella -- Score: 2

As someone whose job it is to teach people (sometimes very reluctant people) to read, I can sympathise with this!

Reviewed by: lainien -- Score: 2

Outstanding! Corrupt men and greedy elves indeed! I can so see this lesson taking place. This is a great little scene. I love drabbles that capture little moments like this.