Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Of Old It Was Not Darksome

Author: EdorasLass
Nominator: annmarwalk
2008 Award Category: Races: Dwarves - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Gimli and other dwarves return to Moria to honour their dead. Bookverse with a sprinkling of movie.

Reviewed by: annmarwalk -- Score: 6

The author once described this story as "dwarven angst", but it isn't really; it's pride, tradition, and devotion to ritual and detail, all hallmarks of the Dwarven culture. I particularly like the way the somber scene is set, the hints of logistics and record-keeping so necessary to provide documentation, and closure, to the families who have lost [son or husband or father]. The imagery of the [low, mournful song ] and [whispered words of blessing] is stunning. And yet amidst all the grieving for his own people, Gimli must suffer one more blow, a bitter reminder of his own grief and loss of the one who stood by his side in this very chamber, sharing his pain, honoring his dead. The final lines, though painful to read, are perfectly in character for book!Gimli. A very lovely glimpse, and a very fitting tribute, to a sorely-underappreciated character.

Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 6

A wonderful gapfiller and expansion of both book- and movie-verse. The language and the mood it evokes is elegiac and reverent. I admit I was really curious about what could this bundle of cloth could be, having never before noticed that apparently Boromir lost his cloak in Moria. I remember some stories exploring the idea of Faramir having made Boromir's magnificent cloak, which here adds sad poignancy when the theme of the story is remembrance and the ties of kinship. How appropriate and moving that on the day the Dwarves mourn their fallen, Boromir, another hero, but from a different race, is honoured likewise. And in this room, where - according to what we could see on the screen - he in turn had comforted Gimli on the last foray into Moria during the Quest.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 6

EdorasLass gives an interesting juxtaposition of the title, which points towards a more hopeful and glorious past, and the present, when Gimli and his people must mourn the loss of so many to the untimely attempt to retake Khazad-dum. One wonders whether the suggestion is that the light of that ancient Dwarven kingdom must remain forever in the past, or whether the burial and mourning of the dead are but a first step to relighting it. Nice touch at the end, bringing Gimli's memory of the Fellowship's journey into line with the honoring of the dead - an honoring that might've been very exclusively Dwarven, were it not for a chance discovery of a departed friend's cloak. That at least will see the light and perhaps return a little part of Boromir's story to his surviving family. Well done!

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 4

Perhaps in past times it was not particularly darksome, but now it has become a focus for the grief of Dwarves in general, as Gimli brings a number of his folk to Moria to lay their fallen comrades properly to rest. But one alien element has been found, one that has a more direct meaning to the Lord of Aglarond. And he will take it and see it properly bestowed, with the honor due the one who left it.... The solemnity of the telling well fits the subject matter. I am glad it was written.

Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke -- Score: 3

What I enjoyed about this story was not only the tale it tells of rebuilding, reclimation, and remembrance, but also how it casts ripples toward the aftermath of any war or tragedy, when compassion, mourning and life go hand and hand with death and sweeping away.

Reviewed by: nau_tika -- Score: 3

I've never seen this written and I welcomed the topic. The author took care to reassure us that everyone was identified, properly cared for and blessed. The discovery of Boromir's cloak and how Gimli reacted to it was a lovely and touching surprise. Well done.

Reviewed by: Marta -- Score: 3

In retrospect it seems perfectly obvious that this moment would have occurred, though I don't think I'd imagined it before. I particularly liked the touches of realism (like that Balin's tomb wasn't big enough), and the hint of deep friendship between Boromir and Gimli. A very original and moving piece.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 3

A fine Gimli vignette, exploring a sad but necessary task awaiting him after the Ring War. Excellent texture to the story, Gimli's dignity and honor and essential decency shine, and there's a bittersweet twist at the end.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 3

Sometimes you read a ficlet, and find yourself saying *Yes!" Yes, because this is how it could be, should be. Yes, Gimli *would* go to do such a task, and yes, he would react that way if they found such a memento.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 2

Brilliant little snapshot of scene! The appearance of Boromir's cloak was a welcome touch, and I like the way Gimli's memories of it were handled. Very moving story.

Reviewed by: nancylea -- Score: 1

a duty done with love and compassion is rewarded with a surprise rememberance. beautiful