Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Size Isn't Everything

Author: Bodkin
Nominator: Marta
2010 Award Category: Races: Cross-Cultural: Friendship - Second Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: As the Fellowship go south, it becomes apparent that being small doesn't make you helpless.


Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 8

While I certainly appreciate the ideas about short vs tall and experience, training, and friendship winning through in the end, I think what I like most about this story is its tone. From start to finish, this is thoroughly a hobbit tale. The disgruntled yet resigned acceptance of Strider's order to ["stay here"] and ["keep out of sight"] suggested a dreary routine with understanding but indignant hobbist. The fact that their means of rebelling was to search for truffle had me in stitches, and I love the way both Merry and Pippin were characterized. Merry always struck me as the hobbit who would most readily adapt to life in the wilds while Pippin always struck me as the hobbit who would most readily accept life in the wilds. This leads to Merry on look-out and Pippin on truffle duty, a very hobbity solution. The appearance of the boar, while certainly a danger, was handled with a hobbit touch. Their explanation to Gandalf at the end of the story has the light-hearted feel that one might expect from hobbits. A story very true to its characters in its tone and its themes. Well done!

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 7

When Bodkin occasionally turns her attention to hobbits, I am always utterly delighted. She knows what makes them tick-- and what ticks them off. In this particular case what irks our four small heroes are the assumptions by the bigger members of the Company that they are somehow incapable of taking care of themselves, poor helpless little things. They certainly manage to prove them wrong, while remaining completely in hobbity character. Merry and Pippin are completely perfect in this, Merry practical and determined and observant, Pippin focussed on the task at hand. It also has one of my favorite hobbit activities: foraging! I've always been of the opinion that would be a skill taught to all young hobbits, along with how to cook and how to move quietly. But what I really loved was the ending, as Gandalf enjoys the befuddlement of all those "big, strong warriors"! LOL! Yes, indeed! ["Size isn't everything"]--and what hobbits lack in stature, they more than make up in determination and sheer cheek!

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 6

Merry and Pippin are usually the inseparable pair in fanfic, and often a bit given to mischief. However, it was Merry who started up the very serious conspiracy; he and Pippin can do more than pull pranks. Bodkin takes advantage of this fact and uses them to deliver an object lesson: size doesn't matter *nearly* as much as might be assumed in certain matters. After all, hobbits don't have recourse to the Big Folk in the Shire - they take care of things themselves. And in this story, they do it with a certain amount of witty, hobbit-light banter that, in fine tradition, reminds us of that hobbit lightness that would easily let one over look the fact that, say, two hobbits had just been orc-napped and dragged across Rohan to end in a forest with nothing to eat and no idea of where they are. Just for example, that is. A well-told tale, and for a worthy cause!

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 5

Oh, I so miss the day when Bodkin's writing was more prolific and her postings frequent! This is a delight, as the Hobbits, after bewailing the belittlement shown them by the taller members of the Fellowship, are able to turn the tables, finding two excellent, exceedingly tasty foods to prepare for all ere Men, Elf, and Dwarf return from their examination of the area and a fruitless hunt for a meal. It's always a pleasure to see the Hobbits portrayed as competent and capable; Bodkin has succeeded so well in meeting this criteria! This is filled with excellent characterization, and just enough detail to make us feel as if we were there! Definitely a gem of a story!

Reviewed by: Fiondil -- Score: 5

I’ve always enjoyed Bodkin’s stories and this one is no exception. In this little tale of the Fellowship, we see the Hobbits Merry and Pippin showing the Warriors in their group that just because they are small in stature it does not mean that their worth should be dismissed. Bodkin gives us a glimpse of the courage of these two cousins, a courage that is hidden beneath smart mouths and a devil-may-care outlook on life, a courage that will become more and more evident as the Fellowship continues towards its destiny. A nice little gap-filler for those who like to read about the Fellowship’s adventures on their journey through Eregion.

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale -- Score: 4

This was a nice story: funny, engaging dialogue with an underlying earnestness. The larger members of the Fellowship treat the hobbits as though they were children - "Incompetent children at that" - and Merry and Pippin determine to prove them wrong. Sometimes heavy on adverbs, and the last line is rather hectoring (the moral of the story is already clear), but on the whole I thought this was entertaining and in character.

Reviewed by: Kara's Aunty -- Score: 4

Wonderful little story! Loved both the theme and the way Bodkin portrayed the hobbits. Great dialogue, too. I'd love to have seen the Big Folk's faces when they came back empty-handed and found the smallest members of the Fellowship had done a better job at procuring their next meal than they did themselves. Being rather petite myself, it gave me a very satisfying feeling of ... vindication! Hahaha! Well done ;)

Reviewed by: Antane -- Score: 4

This is a big thing for them all to realize - that the hobbits are not children who need minding but adults who can take care of themselves and pull their own weight in helping out the whole Company. Love the whole bit with the truffle and hoping the boar didn't trample it in its fall. Such hobbity nonchalance in what could have been a terrible disaster had they been hurt or killed is something we all need to cultivate.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 4

Bodkin writes a lively tale of the four hobbits of the Fellowship demonstrating hobbit fortitude to their over-protective taller comrades. The writing is sprightly and credible, the story is well-paced. I especially enjoyed the ending; with the hunters returning empty-handed to find that their smaller charges have killed a boar and cooked up a very tasty meal - a tribute to hobbit resourcefulness and determination. Nicely done!

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 3

Leave it to the Hobbits to provide a decent feast under the circumstances. I can picture the faces of the great hunters and protectors of the small, innocent ones when they came back empty-handed only to discover that the little ones can provide for themselves, thank you very much. Although, not every ingredient was planned, they seized the moment.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland -- Score: 2

A truly delightful! story. Tolkien shows us that small people can make a differece! The Hobbits richly deserved their nice supper.