Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

In the Van

Author: Branwyn (Lady Branwyn)
Nominator: annmarwalk
2008 Award Category: Genres: Humor - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story : Length: Other Ficlet
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: An alternate-universe version of the journey of the Armies of the West to the Black Gate, in which Legolas whines and Aragorn asks "Are we there yet?"


Reviewed by: nancylea -- Score: 10

Lady Branwyn, i understand and i forgive you this one time, if you let me get all my male bashing out and over with. yes that sentence definitely needed referred to. and i know that you don't as a rule try to make to many trips this close to reality. and when you do you are so smack down drop dead on target that we might let you aim the howiser next. you might suggest to gandalf individual viewing screens. they now come one per seating unit in the back seats i think the most i saw was ten in a stretch limo. there are some cute possibilities in the masterpiece for this kind of kinky connections. but i think that i will always end up comparing them to this. of course if you have rear seat entertainment, shouldn't you have sprung for gps tracking and satellite navigations. or was this one of those cases of i'm a man i don't need to get directions i will find it on my own. interesting that the two who are reading the map are two who should have some first hand information of the area, both of them could easily have reconintered the area in person or on maps in the war room at some point in their military careers with gondor. i think you are pandering to the obvious making the dwarf want world wrestling while the elf wants emeril, elf-fruity-food show; dwarf-mindless male warrior-mindless wargames.and of course your going to let boromir-warrior join him in the back seat as soon as possible.

Reviewed by: rosethorn59 -- Score: 8

Hey! This is a really funny story!I I can just see everyone in the fellowship fighting and bickering in the van. Ok, there are seven of them, so it could have been a mini-van; they would all have fit, do you not think? So, they are on their way to the Black Gate, getting lost even with a map. Well, Aragorn is more of an ear to the ground sort of guy. Most guys do not seem to like maps, anyway. At least in my world. They have a television to amuse themselves on the way there. What fun! And it is not surprising that Gimli is interested in the World Wrestling Federation, no surprise at all. How about the dead guy, Boromir? Him too? And they are on on their way to the enemy fortress with road signs leading the way. I am surprised they are not permanently lost! That makes me think of a manipulation photograph that I have seen on another site. It is a picture of a highway with a sign at the side of the road. It shows Gandalf stating You Shall Not Pass at a no-passing zone. I thought it was hilarious. So is this story of yours It is very, very good, Branwyn

Reviewed by: annmarwalk -- Score: 5

*chortles* A witty and imaginative writer has taken an archaic expression, given it a twenty-first-century spin, and reimagined familiar characters and events to match. The updated characterization - and the imagery it produces - just about makes my head explode with glee. Thank you so much for writing this! It may be crack!fic, but sometimes that's just what we need: something zesty and unexpected, like a handful of wasabi coated peanuts or chocolate expresso beans. It still makes me laugh out loud, wiping my tears, every single time I read it.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 5

Imagine a road trip. Imagine a road trip with half the Fellowship - Boromir, Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, and Gandalf - in a modern minivan, on the way to the Black Gate in ROTK. A line in ROTK about certain characters going [in the van] evidently inspired Branwyn's considerable sense of humor, and wackiness ensued. Definitely not fully Tolkien's M-e, but a rousing 'other' type of snippet. The interplay and dialogue is marvelous, and somehow very characteristic. Aragorn is quiet; Gimli and Legolas squabble about their television viewing preferences, Boromir is boastful; and Gandalf bossy in a fatherly sort of way. I saw; I read; I laughed!

Reviewed by: stefaniab -- Score: 5

Goodness, but this little ficlet is so clever. Branwyn removes Tolkien's archaic military phrase "in the van" from its Battle of the Black Gate context and plops it right into a twenty first century vehicle. Suddenly, Legolas, Gimli, Gandalf, and Boromir's ghost, yet, are riding in the van that, naturally, is being driven by Aragorn. Predictably enough, everyone must have his say about the meaning of road signs and how to follow the map. So I am going to stop here before I divulge more and violate my personal no spoiler policy. "In the Van' is a clever, humorous fic well worth your attention.

Reviewed by: Linaewen -- Score: 4

Oh, this is a glorious tale! I can hardly type this review for laughing! This was such fun, partly because it so very much like a typical car trip with children, and partly because it is our favorite characters who are the ones bickering and fighting. I'm particularly fond of Boromir's insistence that he is highly trained in orienteering, hehe! Thanks so much for this fun look at what it might have been like to travel with these guys!

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 4

Ah, yes--let's all crawl into Gandalf's van and head for the Morannen! Heh! A wonderful read as we compare who can best read maps with the one who refuses to ask for directions. Not that he needs it, being [trained in orienteering], not that such skills appear to have helped him much in the past! As filled with giggles as a good chocolate chip cookie is of walnut pieces and chunks of mint chocolate!

Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 3

Oh, what fun! Branwyn takes a perfectly innocuous military expression of Tolkien and spins a hilarious story out of the word's meaning in another context. The dialogue is wonderful - funny, snappy, and in-character (despite sounding like that of bickering children, a not inconsiderable feat). I loved Gandalf's quip about Boromir's (lack of) skills in ["orienteering"].

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 3

Oh dear! I can see it all too well. Whoever the nameless source of inspiration is, she or he has my thanks for spurring this entertaining little ficlet. The exchange between Gandalf and Boromir over courtesies and privileges due the dead was probably my favorite part. Bonus points for bringing Boromir into it without requiring an AU to the AU.

Reviewed by: Anoriath -- Score: 3

*sporfle* Yes, I must confess that I had the same image in interpretation of the word "van" when I first read that passage myself. Love your riff on the misadventure, Branwyn. And extra points for including a reference that only a Tolkien geek would get: Boromir's torturous 120 days to Rivendell when much less would have sufficed.

Reviewed by: crowdaughter -- Score: 2

Very funny and completely silly little AU, but hilarious and to the point in the characterization. This reminds me of Bagenders. I like!

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 2

This extended pun made me giggle excessively. It's quite funny; dare I say, that JRRT with his love for word play might even have gotten a smile from it.