Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Elanor of Westmarch: The Return

Author: Baranduin
Nominator: SurgicalSteel
2008 Award Category: Races: Hobbits: Family - First Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: Teen -- Reason for Rating: While there is no vulgar language or sexual content in this story, its main theme is death. In this case a joyful death.
Summary: Elanor is very old. One very early morning she goes to the Towers to see what she can see.


Reviewed by: pippinfan88 -- Score: 6

This is one of the best Elanor-stories I've read. I thought it was lovely how the author gave the reader a glimpse into the mind of the elderly; Ellie's body may grow feable, or even break and die, but not her mind! I liked that! I should think it very difficult to be the last of one's generation. As I read, I felt a certain loneliness that Ellie must have experienced, which prepared the reader to know that she was ready to join those who had gone on before her. The yearning to once again see those she most dearly loved must have been a constant ache in Ellie's heart. A kudo to the author! The author's portrayal of the Fairbairns' eccentricity is excellent, the story well written, and in keeping with the spirit of the Professor's epic. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this wonderful, captivating tale.

Reviewed by: Virtuella -- Score: 6

I very much enjoyed this story. It is beautifully written with every word just so. The sentiments are gentle and believable and the hint of humour makes the story all the more touching. There were some very sweet moments, like the idea that the tower had it's own life and wanted Elanor to look west. The appearance of Sam and Frodo is so skillfully handled that it seems completely natural and that the reader isn't bothered with undue questions. They come, because that's just the right thing to happen here. I was reminded of my husband's grandad Charlie, who even in his eighties would escape his wife and go off into the hills for a little walk. I guess to keep a bit of independence is very precious to older people. Thank you for this delightful portrayal of old age and memories and above all of family love.

Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel -- Score: 5

This is a beautiful look at an older Elanor, after her father's already passed over the sea. A conversation in spirit or in dream occurs between Elanor and Frodo and Sam. The author captures the voice of an older lady who's a bit surprised by who and what she sees and by the nature of that conversation very well. I enjoyed Elanor's pride in 'beating' Bilbo,' whis is a nice hearkening-back to Bilbo's pride at 'beating the Old Took.' This also has a lovely, although sad, twist to the end of it in the form of gentle character death. Beautifully told.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 4

Such an evocative story of the aging Elanor--it is quite clear that she is the daughter of the dauntless Samwise. I love her determination and her insistence on going her own way, just as I love the obvious care and concern of her assorted children and grand-children. Her encounter, as she sat, was left ambiguous, which lent the whole thing a rather dreamlike air. Yet to my mind, it was, in fact a real encounter, and very appropriate as well.

Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 4

A wonderfully sensitive and engaging take on Elanor as an old woman; very nuanced and sympathetic. I had to grin at her crabbiness and was moved by her holding on to the memories of the past. I loved her odd "relationship" with the Elvish tower, the powerful symbolism of it paired with self-awareness and whimsy. It was a nice touch to blend in various quotes from LotR into the narrative, both directly and indirectly; especially the last one.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 3

Quite a lovely account of Elanor's last day; a subject not covered in most fanfiction. The depiction of her character seems both true and very hobbity. I loved the bit with Sam and Frodo, and the legacy of the hat. Sad, but not sentimental, a compelling read.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 3

She'd always hoped she would see them again, and when she did it was at the beginning of her own great adventure. A very sweet, poignant tale of seeking and finding the way at last, and finding that memories can be sustaining.

Reviewed by: NeumeIndil -- Score: 2

Aw. What a peaceful end, bittersweet though it is. I like her spunk even in her old age, and the desire to ruffle a few feathers even at the end.

Reviewed by: Antane -- Score: 2

[she who had had so many conversations in her heart and mind with both Frodo and Sam. As she grew older, sometimes she thought she lived more with them in her head than she did with her family] - Ah, a lass after my own heart! I loved that part because it's so me. I talk to Frodo a lot myself, sometimes out loud.

Reviewed by: nancylea -- Score: 2

the idea of sam dying with frodo a year after lossing rosie has been well engrained in first place. but if it wasn't so this how it should be. good work.