Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Behold your King

Author: Cairistiona
Nominator: Linda Hoyland
2009 Award Category: Genres: Ficlets: General Fixed-Length Ficlets - Second Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Ficlet
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Double drabble Halbarad's first impression of the new Chieftain of the Dunedain.


Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 7

I love the underlying themes in this double drabble. The first is obvious: appearances can be deceiving, especially on first impressions. But the others are not as obvious and yet are integral to the way the Rangers live their lives. The ability to see deeper than the surface and to be stirred by those sights is something that I think has kept hope alive for these people. And Cairistiona clearly demonstrates that as Halbarard realizes that this is indeed hope. And the ability to put faith and trust into that which can only be felt and not seen is another trait that has enabled the Rangers to not just endure but to live. And I love the character touches Cairistiona brings to Halbarad. I enjoyed watching him try to figure exactly what he had expected. In the end, even he can't say, but he knows it's not what stands before him. It's a very humanizing touch that helps readers relate to Halbarad before the stirring return of hope brings him to his knees.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland -- Score: 5

This double drabble was just beautiful. I love the glimpse of foresight and the words Aragorn would later use to Frodo. Chieftains had come and gone for generations and still Aragorn's people had languished. Then one day the twins bring Aragorn and he hears them speaking of their father's foresight that this young man is the future King! I loved it that Halbarad did not believe at once, but one look into Aragorn's eyes and he knew, just as Faramir knew many years later.A truly feel good and beautifully written ficlet to read again many times.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 5

This is a delightful ficlet about Halbarad's first meeting with the Heir of Isildur. Halbarad is not, upon first laying eyes on the son of Arathorn, impressed; he sees a leggy, awkward, shaggy-haired boy, not a great warrior-king. But in a turn of phrase worthy of Tolkien, Halbarad sees the quiet young man's quality in his eyes, and pledges his fealty. It is a leap of faith that perhaps only one touched by Elves, or with the faint strain of Elven blood born by the Dunedain, can make; and Cairistiona makes it work. A good look at one of those many moments that Tolkien did not have time or space to write.

Reviewed by: Marethiel -- Score: 5

I have learned to watch for the work of this writer, as it never has failed to satisfy. This one has much in it to strengthen my belief. I love the character of Halbarad as so many of my fellow writers have created him. Cairistiona's interpretation of the character is one of my favorites, such as in her other stories that are absolute favorites of mine. In her work, Halbarad possesses a totally human touch, as in this wonderful section: ["Halbarad looked into the large grey eyes and something deep within him stirred, something so long unfelt that at first he could not place it. When he finally did, joy filled his heart. Hope had returned."] There is something wonderfully fey about this author's Halbarad, and I appreciate her work so much. Just lovely.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 4

The first glance may not have been particularly promising, but Halbarad swiftly senses that in this young Man that inspires hope to bloom in his heart. Definitely Elrond chose the proper child's name for this one to bear as he grew up! Imagery is excellent, and the reaction of Halbarad as well as young Aragorn's own behavior simply feels right. A worthy double drabble.

Reviewed by: Inzilbeth -- Score: 4

I really had to laugh at Halbarad's initial reaction here. Obviously that aura of kingship that becomes apparent to members of the Fellowship at various moments throughout the quest, isn't exactly coming to the fore here, at least not to Halbarad's eyes! He makes up for it though once he has got over the initial shock by swearing his fealty quite superbly. This double drabble is a suberb glimpse of the start of a great friendship. And beautifully written, as always.

Reviewed by: Silivren Tinu -- Score: 3

I enjoyed how completely Halbarad's perception and assessment of Aragorn changed during the course of this short double drabble. I like the idea that Halbarad's unshakeable loyalty and love for his chieftain were kindled the moment he first saw him.

Reviewed by: Elleth -- Score: 3

This is a beautiful double drabble. Halbarad's returned hope being based on a feeling and against all obvious judgement when meeting young Aragorn for the first time gives Cairistiona's ficlet just the right 'something' to convey the mythical grace also inherent in Tolkien's stories. Lovely.

Reviewed by: White Wolf -- Score: 3

I can well imagine the shock Halbarad experienced when he first saw the young Aragorn. But the eyes being the window to the soul, he was able to look deep inside and behold the king that had been so long in coming and was now right in front of him. I loved his homage to that future king. Nicely done.

Reviewed by: crowdaughter -- Score: 3

Nice turn on the first meeting of Halbarad with his future leader. To me, his sudden change from skepticism to hope comes a little quick, here, but I like the idea of a young Aragorn who is yet still awkward with his new-learned fate and name. Thank you for writing and sharing!

Reviewed by: Ellynn -- Score: 3

Lovely little stories about Aragorn. My personal favourite is chapter one and first meeting of Halbarad and Aragonr. I like how Halbarad's perception of the boy changes, all in those few seconds, from insecurity to hope. Well described!

Reviewed by: Elena Tiriel -- Score: 3

Cairistonia's "Behold your King" is a wee vignette about the first meeting of Aragorn and Halbarad. Halbarad is not impressed by the youth at first, but then suddenly perceives his true nobility, and offers his loyalty. Very realistic and nicely done!

Reviewed by: Virtuella -- Score: 2

This is a poignant scene, and I particularly liked that expression how the name seemes still so new on his tongue.

Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke -- Score: 2

This is nice, and quite unexpected. I wasn't sure, halfway through, which way it was going to go, but I was right there with you all the way. A very nice fresh perspective.

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 2

This is a lovely double-drabble. It touched something in me just like Halbarad. In a few well-chosen word you paint the picture of Aragorn as a young man not quite come into his own.