Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Turnabout

Author: Ariel
Nominator: SilverMoonLady
2005 Award Category: Races/Places: Hobbits: Post-Ring War - First Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: PG -- Reason for Rating: Danger & pain.
Summary: A tragic accident in Minas Tirith leaves Frodo comforting a wounded Merry while the rest of the fellowship struggle to free them both from a deadly trap.


Reviewed by: SilverMoonLady -- Score: 7

Beautifully written, as I've come to expect from this author, with neither the oversweet sap that chokes, nor the overwrought wretchedness that makes one giggle or click off! All of the emotions and actions of the characters are given their just measure and consequence; the worry and fear are palpable, but countered with realistic calm and care; the love and sadness that envelop each relevant beat are beyond doubt genuine and given the proper expression for each, and take graceful account of the time and place, as well as the changing personalities and ties of those involved; the soft comfort, the glowing hope offered to the characters, and to the reader, by this story and its conclusion, is a delicate and beautiful gift, and a hallmark of this author's works. Altogether lovely!

Reviewed by: Inkling -- Score: 7

“Turnabout” almost seems like two stories—the early chapters present a fairly straightforward, though very absorbing and well-done adventure/suspense plot. More interesting to me were the later chapters, in which the story takes a more mysterious and contemplative turn. Frodo’s dreams and visions are such an intriguing element of LOTR and it’s nice to see Ariel exploring them here, and suggesting that Bilbo had a similar gift. I like fan fiction that makes you think, as does this passage describing Frodo as “unyielding as the roots of a mountain and yet mortal, fallible and somehow even more incredible because of it.” This is exactly how I see him… just as the sadness and sense of loss at the end of LOTR are what make it greater and more memorable than a simple happy ending would have been, so too Frodo’s mortal fallibility makes him a more complex and memorable character than if he had simply thrown the Ring into the Cracks of Doom.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 4

Although the author says this is pure hurt/comfort, for it's own sake, this story is more about the love and loyalty between Merry and Frodo. The two are trapped in an accident in Minas Tirith after the Quest, and Merry is injured. The rest of the story is an exploration of how Frodo tends Merry, and why Merry was the one injured. There is a beautiful bit of foreshadowing at the end.

Reviewed by: Cuthalion -- Score: 4

This is a wonderful, thrilling story and a fine characterization of both, Frodo Baggins and Merry Brandybuck. After an accident both are trapped in a broken down chimney, and it is Frodo who gives strength to his cousin, not the other way round (which is a pleasant change to a gazillion of "Frodo in Minas Tirith"-h/c's). Frodo's farewell is already foreshadowing, and some of his thoughts and reasons are so exquisitely described that they last in the memory for days and weeks.

Reviewed by: Bodkin -- Score: 2

I loved reading about Frodo supporting Merry through this ordeal - and the efforts of the others in the Fellowship to retrieve them safely.

Reviewed by: Rabidsamfan -- Score: 2

A very satisfying hurt/comfort story, in post-Quest Minas Tirith, with a nice use of Gimli and Legolas in the rescue as well as the hobbits, and with delightful glints of humor shot throughout.