Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

The Fortunate Few

Author: elea24
Nominator: Súlriel
2009 Award Category: Genres: Ficlets: Gondor or Rohan - Third Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Ficlet
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Eomer finds Eowyn on the Pelennor Fields and believes her dead. Scene from movie-verse portrayed from an alternate viewpoint.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 10

There's a wealth of emotion in this piece, but there's an understated quality to it that gives it dignity and power. I think a good deal of what makes this ficlet so outstanding is that we're never told outright what the unnamed captain is doing. He's calmly looking out over the fields, but until he spots one of the objects of his search, we don't know what he's looking for or what is of such importance to him. Then the count begins, and for me, that was the most powerful element of the story. Again, nothing is stated outright. We know only that this is the captain's middle son and that he has been numbered as "[one]." But that single number tells readers exactly what is happening, and it's almost a waiting game to see if other numbers will follow. As readers, we take a breath of relief when the number "[two]" comes up, and the wait for the third and final number is painful and agonizing. By the end of the ficlet, we are completely drawn into this captain's silent search. And when "[three]" is found, it doesn't seem to matter that there's still carnage and bodies strewn across the Pelennor. A victory within a victory is achieved. Tacking Eomer's grief onto the end of this story was a nice touch, especially since, like the captain and his sons, Eomer also goes unnamed. We all know who it is and we know what grief racks his heart, but there's still hope because of the unnamed captain who still has all his children.

Reviewed by: Súlriel -- Score: 6

This is so very emotional, I don't guess it matters how many time I re-read it, I still cry. It's a wonderful little bit of a story, however short it is, a wrenching view of an interminable instant in the aftermath, but it's more than that. It's about family, past, present and future. It's about sons we have raised, brothers, sisters, daughters and fathers. It's about life and death, that some live and some die. It's about pain and grief and the unspeakable joy of seeing those that still live. You've packed an amazing amount of emotional punch in these few words. It seems, this year, that I'm seeing a quality of work - there has always been, but it seems that across the board the fandom as a whole has in many ways matured and deepened, and this work is a good example of that.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 6

What a powerful piece! An unnamed captain is intensely searching the battlefield of the Pelennor, seeking to assure himself each of his three sons who'd fought amongst the host is yet alive and safe. The description of his shaking hands so perfectly captures his relief once he has managed to identify where each takes part in the labors to see the field dealt with once all is finished. Then he hears a cry of anguish such as he's not heard before, and looks afar to see a distant Rider from Rohan mourning the apparent loss of what must be a most beloved kinsman (or, in this particular case, the recognition of his sister amongst the fallen). The guilt felt by the captain that his own live while others must mourn their dead is so palpable and realistically depicted! Now, this has managed so perfectly to capture that EE movie-verse moment! Definitely one of the most powerful stories I've yet seen!

Reviewed by: Nieriel Raina -- Score: 5

Elea has vividly portrayed the heart of a father in the midst of a battle, searching out and finding his sons. The reader can feel his pride and relief as he counts them off, and also his realization that he has been spared a great grief as he witnesses another soldier who clasps a fallen comrade to them in great remorse and grief. Beautifully written and well portrayed. I'd like to think this Captain is Imrahil, and that he was moved by what he saw and this later might play into allowing his daughter to marry that grieving soldier he saw on the battlefield that day. I love it when stories get me thinking like this. Short, but definitely worth the read.

Reviewed by: Elena Tiriel -- Score: 4

Elea's vivid vignette, "The Fortunate Few", contrasts the fear of a father (who could be Imrahil) at the end of a horrendous Battle of the Pelennor as he scans the battlefield for his three sons. His heart pounds until he sees all three, alive and taking care of their men. But then he hears and sees a Rohir (who could be Eomer) screaming his grief over a fallen soldier (Eowyn?), and counts his blessings. This is heartwrenching! And so beautifully and evocatively written....

Reviewed by: White Wolf -- Score: 4

I love the way you describe the captains search for his sons, keeping us in suspense until each one is found, whole and healthy. I sighed and smiled in relief. Though the captain was indeed one of the fortunate few, it is so sad to think, as he did, that there were so many who paid the ultimate price to secure a victory in that cruel war, which resulted in countless fallen sons and grieving fathers.

Reviewed by: Ellynn -- Score: 4

When I first saw this scene in EE version, I started to cry: Karl Urban performed it so convincingly and perfectly that it really shook me. Your writing is excellent and convincing as well: I can feel the fear of the father looking for his sons, and later his relief when he found them. The description of the movie scene through his eyes is also great, especially the sentence [The sound was unmistakable, the cry of a man whose heart had been torn from his body by grief.]. Yes, this is how it felt. Excellent story!

Reviewed by: Robinka -- Score: 3

This is a story that adds another emotional layer to an already intense moment, and with it a different perspective, in a most convincing way. The writing is beautiful, the scene -- vivid. Excellent read and a great addition to the challenge, for which it was submitted. Thank you!

Reviewed by: Lady Bluejay -- Score: 3

Whether your character is Imrahil or not, I have always liked this piece. The battle over the captain in now the father, and we see the desperate search for his sons. His relief is palatable. This must have gone on and on after the battle I used Duinhir doing the same. But unfortunately he did not find his. A good read, well done. LBJ