Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Brotherhood

Author: Bodkin
Nominator: Dreamflower
2007 Award Category: Genres: Drama: Incomplete - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Incomplete : Length: Medium Length
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Imladris. Late Third Age. A boy, his mother, two elves and their father. And various supporting elves of the Last Homely House.


Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 10

As anyone who knows me well can say, my main interest in LotR fanfic is hobbits. So it takes an extraordinary writer to lure me into reading stories in which hobbits do not play a part. Bodkin is one of a handful of Elf writers in whom I place full trust to hold and keep my interest, in spite of the absence of my favorite characters. This story is just lovely. In it she explores the delicate relationship between Gilraen and little Estel, mortals, and their guardians in Rivendell, the Elves. Most especially, the relationships they develop with Elrond and his sons. Bodkin shows us not only how Elladan and Elrohir became staunch protectors and defenders of one whom they began to think of as a "little brother", but how his presence also brightened their own lives, which had been blighted by their own mother's ordeal at the hands of Orcs. We also see how little Estel gradually comes to think of Elrond as his "Ada"--and how this affects Gilraen. There are difficulties ahead--how is she to teach her son what it means to be mortal, when his only role models and friends are immortal? But there are also moments of humor, love and tenderness. I look forward to seeing more chapters of this lovely tale. And it wouldn't hurt my feelings any if it continued long enough to at least cover the visit of a certain Baggins to the Last Homely House…

Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 9

This is a moving, by turns tender, amusing or thought-provoking look at how Gilraen and Estel acclimatise into Rivendell, to slowly become part of the family. The different registers of mood are balanced very well. The main focus are the characters, and all of them, their interaction among each other, as well as the growing relationship, are captured marvellously, in a nuanced and believable way. I especially liked the characterisations of Gilraen and Elrond, and their developing bond. The differences between Men and Elves are brought out in precise, insightful comparison, and often described in very vivid and resonating imagery. The problems of Estel as the only child of Men in Imladris, and of having to raise him in secrecy both towards others and towards himself while simultanenously preparing him for his future role as the leader of his people are expressed very incisively, and I appreciate it that you forego facile answers or solution. Although the story focusses mostly on the characters, the environments become nevertheless real through succinct, evocative descriptions, highlighting just the right details to paint a complete picture of the scenery.

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 5

This is a delightful, heartwarming story about Estel and Gilraen coming to live in Imladris and how they become part of the family. Usually, stories in that setting concentrate on little Estel and his adventures. This story is more from the point of view of the adults. They have to find a way to find solutions to the difficulties of raising a mortal child among immortal elves. Who is going to be his playmate? Who can teach him what it means to be mortal? The interaction between the characters is believable and I love it that Gilraen takes an active role in Estel's parenting and that she is not relegated to the sidelines or outright killed off as in so many other stories.

Reviewed by: Linda hoyland -- Score: 5

I don't usually like little Estel stories as the future KIng is so often portrayed as unbelievably cute and his poor mother relegated to the background or killed off while her perfect son is raised almost exclusively by Elves. This delightful and heartwarming story emphasies Aragorn's humanity and his mother's bond with her son. Gilraen frets that young Estel has no playmates and the twins volunteer, an arrangement which benefits all parties,though Gilraen has to contend with motherly anxieties. Beautifully written and very readable.

Reviewed by: Jay of Lasgalen -- Score: 4

I've always enjoyed this series of tales, and the exploration of the developing relationship between Elladan, Elrohir and Estel. It seems typical of Estel in the last tale to apologise for spoiling the day. I liked Elladan's comment: ['Adar never let Naneth come back in until after he had finished the splint.’] The 'never' speaks volumes for the amount of practise Elrond has had! His later comments about watching and loving over and over are desperately sad. How many chldren like Estel have they watched grow - and then seen them die like Arathorn? Jay

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 4

As always, a wonderful, clever glimpse into the lives of the sons of Elrond and their father and the rest of the inhabitants of Imladris as they find their hope and interest in life restored by the coming of a small child of Men and his bereft mother to join the household of the Last Homely House. A marvelous, thoughtful tale that I pray will be continued soon. Don't keep us waiting too long, Bodkin.