Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Fireflies

Author: Calenlass Greenleaf
Nominator: Silivren Tinu
2009 Award Category: Genres: Character Study: Elrond and Family - Third Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: What do little glowing insects and a six-year-old boy have in common? Inspired by OAA Prompt #162—Innocent, but went over the 500word limit. Elladan’s POV.


Reviewed by: Jedi Sapphire -- Score: 10

The first line of this story [It is a pity that there is only one child in Rivendell.] gave the perfect tone to the setting, bringing to mind the fact that the dusk of the Elves in Middle-earth, no matter how distant by Mortal standards, has already begun. The true tragedy of Estel's childhood, as Calenlass so beautifully illustrates, is not the death of his father but the fact that as a consequence he had to live away from his own race, possibly never experiencing many of the joys of a 'normal' Dunadan childhood. Estel's question about whether fireflies go to the Halls of Mandos was very appropriate, being precisely the kind of thing that a child would ask, and the twins' response was typical of adults of any race. The end, with the twins taking their young foster-brother to bed, rounds off the story very nicely. While Estel may have lost many of the joys of childhood companionship that other children take for granted, and while he is being compelled to spend his youth among people of a different race, it is clear that he does not lack for love, warmth and care in his adopted family. The fact that it went with a slight foreshadowing of the future and the quest to come, and the twins' own desire to see Estel enjoy his childhood as long as he could, only heightened the sense of affection between the small Dunadan and the Elves of Rivendell. This is a very well-thought-out young Estel story, light, cheerful and happy, but not forgetting what is to come in the future.

Reviewed by: Silivren Tinu -- Score: 9

A beautiful little Estel story with a touch of fairy-tale atmosphere and magic. There is something bittersweet and nostalgic about this story, but also a special childlike innocence. I liked the contrast between Elladan's slightly wistful thoughts about things gone by and changes to come and Estel's simple carefree happiness. The imagery in this story is beautiful - I loved the description of the fireflies, Estel running around trying to catch them, and Elladan sitting there playing on a flute. It's so peaceful, just a perfect moment in time. What I loved most was the idea that Elladan and Elrohir were able to 'call' the fireflies - that scene was just amazing. I enjoyed many details about this story, like Estel wanting to know where fireflies go after they die, Elrohir throwing that apple down at his brother and the entire way their relationship is described here, and the fact that Elladan and Elrohir had 'called' the fireflies for Arwen years ago. All characters are described in a very lovable, sensitive way. I found this to be a delightful story the images of which will stay with me for a long time to come.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 6

I really like the parallel drawn between Estel's childhood and the fireflies. Both are so fleeting and yet both glow so brightly. The sheer innocence of childhood is wonderfully depicted. I could easily imagine a young Estel saying the things he did and being concerned about the firefly that didn't fly again. And it seems that Elladan and Elrohir, despite their wistful nostalgia, were also caught up in Estel's childhood. They are no longer innocent, but they can still enjoy another's innocence, which says quite a bit about their personalities. And it's easy to see the lengths they're willing to go to in order to keep Estel childlike and innocent for just a little longer. Very touching and warm little story. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Reviewed by: Elleth -- Score: 5

Many lovely images here, from little Aragorn's childhood innocence to the twins bantering - and fireflies quite imply some sort of magic, to couple that with ephemeral human qualities is a nice touch, considering two of the protagonists are half-elven and will naturally would feel strongly about this matter. I liked the idea of animals understanding Quenya - it goes well with the theme of words possessing a certain power, and last but not least I really enjoyed the foreshadowing with the memory of Arwen's fireflies, both for her connection to Aragorn and her eventual choice of mortality, hearkening back to the Japanese symbolism you built this on in the first place. Well done.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 4

In this small jewel of a story we watch small Estel, age six, discovering the wonder of fireflies, and his Elven brothers grieving his innocence must be so fleeting. But such is the way it is with childhood--so swiftly away. The chosen symbolism is well chosen and described, as are the feelings we see in Estel's brothers and the memories his actions recall. And the idea that the use of Quenya aided communication with other creatures is wonderful. Well written indeed.

Reviewed by: Cairistiona -- Score: 4

I love the gentleness of this fic... the care and love of Elladan and Elrohir for their little foster brother. The fireflies become symbolic on many levels--they symbolize the light that Aragorn will bring to Middle-earth; the fleeting life of any Secondborn, even one as mighty as Aragorn; the fleeting innocence of childhood. Elladan's thoughts as he tucks Estel in for the night are both beautiful and wistful. Would that childhood could have lasted a bit longer!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 4

A light, gentle vignette that is a bit deeper under the surface. Calenlass twists the bittersweet differences between the Heirs of Isildur and the Peredhil into a warm tale of childhood joy and innocence, ever so delicately touched by Aragorn's destiny and his foster-brother's wistfully happy perspective on the boy's life in Rivendell. Good bits about Quenya, too. A lovely read for fans of Estel-in-Rivendell stories and Elf/Mortal interaction in general.

Reviewed by: Ellynn -- Score: 2

Oh, it's such a sweet little story about little boy. I love your description of little Aragorn - innocent, happy, playful - just as any child should always be. Lovely story!