Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Moon Friend: Tales of Isildur

Author: Elena Tiriel
Nominator: Tanaqui
2006 Award Category: Races: Men: Other Fixed-Length Ficlets - Third Place

Story Type: Fixed-Length Ficlet : Length: Fixed-Length Ficlet Series
Rating: G -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: A series of drabbles about Isildur, highlighting events from his life, death... and beyond!

Reviewed by: Tanaqui -- Score: 10

In this series of drabbles, Elena Tiriel explores various moments in Isildur's life, and cleverly relates them to both the meaning of his name and the qualities associated with the moon. As with all of Elena Tiriel's writing's, she wields both vocabulary and the rhythms and structure of her sentences to deliver prose poems of immense subtlety and power. The first drabble cleverly uses the blood-drenched appearance of a moon in eclipse to hint at Isildur's secret and nearly fatal errand to rescue a fruit of Nimloth, while the obscuring cloud cover mirrors the passive resistance of the populace of Numenor, resentful of Sauron's presence. In another drabble, Elena Tiriel provides a heartbreaking foreshadowing of Isildur's fall to the ring through his oath made to his patron: the inconstant moon. The series also includes two drabbles characteristic of Elena Tiriel, who has a scary connection to Dark Creatures: the perspective of an orc who encounters the terror of Isildur, fleeing from the Disaster of the Gladden Fields, wearing the Ring; and the ghostly Isildur learn the eventual fate of his bones in a chilling encounter with Saruman and his orc minions. Overall, this is a powerful, beautifully expressed and moving portrait of one of Tolkien's true tragic heroes: a noble and courageous man brought low by the malign influence of Sauron.

Reviewed by: elliska -- Score: 4

I think this is an incredibly poetically written and powerful drabble series. The imagery throughout this is wonderfully done--I especially love the way you wove the image of the moon through the series. And the picture this paints of Isildur is great. He was really such a noble person, as you showed, who had done do many great deeds. And the end you depicted for him--waiting for someone to lay his bones to rest only to have them plundered and then burned by orcs! What an end. Very powerful!

Reviewed by: Marta -- Score: 4

Isildur is one of those characters that I love -- he is complex that he seems to just beg to be explored through fic. Each of these drabbles takes on just such a complicated moment in his life. What makes these special is that they focus on his relationship with the moon implied in his name, which makes for both a novel and surprisingly effective way of approaching his character. Well done, E.T.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 3

A nifty drabble series focussing on the first mortal Ring-bearer, the mighty Numenorean, Isildur. My favorites are the first chapter, where Isildur steals the fruit of the doomed White Tree, and the chapter where he recalls his love for his dead brother. The moon-motif is wonderfully handled. Well-written and unusual drabble series.

Reviewed by: SĂșlriel -- Score: 3

As always, you have such a talent with drabbles, and it shines through here in extraordinary fashion. It always amazes me, the specific, pointed intensity, how you manage to convey so much emotion, such a full picture with so few words. I especially like this drabble of such an important time in history.

Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke -- Score: 3

Much of this I found very illuminating, not knowing all of Isildur's story, and the first four drabbles very well done. When the focus shifted from Isildur, I felt the series stopped telling his story.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 3

Isildur's life in drabbles, from the rescue of Nimloth's seedling in Armenelos to his remains' end in an Isengard bonfire. Nice use of Shakespeare to remind us of the inconstancy of the moon, and the dangers of becoming its devotee.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 3

An excellently crafted drabble-set exploring the life of Isildur, beginning with his theft of the fruit from Nimloth, and ending in Saruman' scorn for his body, years after his betrayal by the Ring. Very well done!

Reviewed by: dkpalaska -- Score: 3

Clever, descriptive set of drabbles. I loved how you linked Isildur and the moon throughout the series. Isildur's voice was portrayed clearly and is very well-developed in such a short space; his ongoing internal dialogues were great. Excellent tie-ins with canon references (and some non-canon).

Reviewed by: Bodkin -- Score: 2

Poor Isildur - remembered only for his foolhardiness in retaining the ring, when there is so much more to him. But history is like that! The later episodes are very haunting.