Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Duet

Author: Aratlithiel
Nominator: Cuthalion
2005 Award Category: Books/Time: Post-Ring War: Gap-Filler

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: PG -- Reason for Rating: strong angst
Summary: Merry and Pippin remember Frodo


Reviewed by: Cuthalion -- Score: 5

This is probably one of the tales that influenced me most concerning my view on Merry and Pippin. Where Tolkien writes them (mostly) as relatively carefree, happy characters, Aratlithiel gives them depth and bone-deep feelings, and their bitter, angry sorrow at the loss of Frodo Baggins is palpable enough to hurt. She also manages to portray them as very different persons - different in their very unique way to handle their grief and their unanswered questions. Masterly thought out and written, and absolutely worth every single re-read.

Reviewed by: Ariel -- Score: 4

Probably one of her best stories but often underrated, this heartbreaking look at the ways that both Merry and Pippin dealt with Frodo's leaving will cut your heart in two. I love the way these two tales intertwine one another and fill in the spaces left in the other's interpretation. It is a skillful technique and a lovely story that I can heartily recommend to anyone.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 4

This was the first piece I ever read that truly moved me to tears; it still does. The grief expressed by the two cousins is so deep, and so rich and so filled with the love they still have for the absent Frodo. To know how bereft they now are without him in their lives is so beautifully painful. These two vignettes are a powerful and emotional experience. I have seldom seen grief so well expressed.

Reviewed by: Lindelea -- Score: 4

Elegantly crafted, flowing like poetry, like other works I've read by this author, and here reflecting musical moods. Merry's pain and Pippin's anger are so deep, and clearly etched, that I hope this is set within the first year or two of Frodo's sailing. (Yet Sam's going on with his life tells me, sadly, it probably is not). I hate to think of my favourite hobbits living in such despair for the rest of their lives. Still, beautifully written.