Award Winning Drabbles


Disclaimer These characters all belong to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien. This story was written for pleasure and not for financial gain
Wth thanks to Raksha

The days were shortening, the leaves slowly turning red and gold.

He used to dread these days, heralding the hardship of a long northern winter.

No longer did his spirits fall with the tumbling leaves. Cold nights could be spent by a warm fire with his wife and children and the cheerful company of good friends.

Sometimes on summer days, he lamented his loss of freedom to wander in the wilds, feeling sun upon his skin and the  wind in his hair.

Curled on cold nights in his wife's warm embrace, Aragorn Elessar counted the advantages of hearth and home.

icon by annwyn55

river-1.jpg picture by lindahoyland

 No Regrets

“Do you ever regret?” Aragorn asked Faramir as the two men rode abreast through Faramir’s lands.

“Regret what?” The younger man looked puzzled.

“That you are not Ruling Steward,” said the King.

Faramir laughed aloud. ”How could I, when I have all this?” He gestured around him. Fields once battlegrounds were now covered by waving corn and scarlet poppies. Honeysuckle and wild roses bedecked the hedgerows. Butterflies and bees flitted from flower to flower, blackbirds and thrushes sang sweetly in the treetops.

“I have the fairest garden in Gondor to share with my Éowyn. What more could any man want?” 

No Common Soldier

With thanks to Raksha

Thorongil sang softly as he polished his gear, a rapt expression on his face.

“I am surprised that you know this song.”

Denethor’s words startled him out of his reverie.

”I have known it since childhood,” Thorongil said simply.

“The words are remembered only by scholars and those of high lineage here in Gondor,” Denethor said coldly. “What common soldier would know “The Lay of Lúthien?”

“It is different in the North."

“It surprises me that those living in such a desolate land would study lore,” said Denethor.

“Much about the North would surprise you,” said Thorongil, resuming his song.

Written for the "Song" challenge on "Tolkien Weekly."


The Shadow

With grateful thanks to Raksha

My shadow haunts me still: in dreams, in the looking- glass. 

I loathed him, yet I loved him too. For were we not akin? He understood the Ring's power, its consuming grasp, like no other. 

My friends say they understand, but they are mistaken. Even Sam. Especially Sam. His honest, kindly soul could never comprehend what bound me to Sméagol and binds me still.

 Did I lose my finger or my shadow on the mountain?

All unwilling, he destroyed the Ring when I could not. Can a shadow cross the Sundering Sea? 

I hope not, or my journey is vain. 


Bridal Bouquet

Rosemary to remember days past, and her mother far away; red roses for the love she shares with the man she weds this day. A few sprigs of orange blossom to ensure Yavanna grants her children. Then laurel, to remind her that she marries a hero, victorious in battle.


She would have chosen elanor and niphredil, but none grew in this City of Men. Instead, she chooses bitter rue for Arwen's forsaken immortality.

Galadriel tied the bouquet with  blue ribbon to honour the steadfastness of the one she knew would make Arwen happy. Smiling, she led her to her bridegroom.

Home is where the Heart is

The dancers swirled around the room, resembling colourful blossoms swaying in the wind. There were few flowers, though, in the City. It felt like a barren desert of stone.

Her heart ached for the flowery meadows of her homeland with the feel of soft grass beneath her bare feet.

Then she saw him. Smiling, he took her hand, leading her in the dance.

He held her tightly, guiding her footsteps, his breath warm against her skin, his heart beating against her own.

Arwen’s sorrow melted like frost before the sun. Here was her true home, safe in her husband’s arms. 


Empty Handed


Halbarad emerged from amongst the trees, shaking his head. “Not so much as a rabbit,” he said grimly.

“I had no better luck.” Aragorn pulled his cloak more closely around his shoulders and stamped his feet to keep warm. ”I fear for the children. They suffer most at times of famine.”

“Even the weather is against us!” exclaimed Halbarad when the leaden skies opened. At first odd snowflakes drifted down, but soon they fell in flurries. There would be no further hunting today.

“We shall have to seek food from Master Elrond,” said Aragorn. ”I cannot let my people starve.”

A/N. written for the Tolkien Weekly Prompt “Famine.”

CrownofThornscopy.jpg picture by lindahoyland

 Crown of Thorns

The roses bloomed early in Gondor, a profusion of blossoms in pink and white, and released a headier perfume than those in the North. Or did he just fancy it so, now that he could gather them freely for his beloved?

Ignoring the gardeners’ scandalised expressions, Aragorn carefully selected the finest blooms for his Queen. It was the least he could do for the one who had given him her all.

A sharp pain pierced his finger. He glanced down and saw the droplet of crimson blood. The roses were fair indeed, but each stem bore cruel thorns in plenty.

A/N .This was written for the "Roses" Prompt on "Tolkien Weekly".

thinlovewitharwen.png image by lindahoyland

Chibi by Whitewave

 LHoyland__Feast_of_Lemons__Arwen__J.jpg picture by lindahoyland

A Feast of Lemons

All the guests of the King and Queen of Gondor were enjoying a sumptuous feast; all that is; save the Variag envoy, who appeared most ill at ease.

The lords and ladies tittered behind their hands as he visibly struggled to select the proper cutlery.

Then came the fish course; Anduin trout garnished with thin pieces of lemon. Unsure how to proceed, the envoy ate the sour slices of fruit, much to the mirth of his dining companions.

Aragorn Elessar glared. He put a slice of lemon into his own mouth, as did Arwen Undómiel. Embarrassed, the guests fell silent.

A/N. This was written for the prompt “Embarrassment” at “Tolkien Weekly.”


Darkening Days

With thanks to Raksha

One by one, death claimed our friends. First, Éomer and the Hobbits, now Faramir.

Each death seemed to diminish Estel a little, especially Faramir’s.

They were so alike, kindred souls, the last of Númenor.

I saw our Steward, once so vigorous and hearty, slowly fading, until the Doom of Men overcame him.

“I hope I shall depart with the same accepting grace,” my husband tells me, weeping anguished tears. “I too, am growing old.”

Foreboding fills my heart, knowing that Estel must one day follow him. I shall taste the bitterness of mortality with him. Slowly, the days grow darker.


Faramir died in year 82 of the Fourth Age. Aragorn lived for another 38 years.

 Tree of Life and Death


Faramir never passed the old yew tree without pausing. No man could recall how long the ancient twisted trunk had stood.


“Did you know that this is the oldest tree in Gondor?”


Faramir turned to see Mithrandir standing beside him.


“Older than the White Tree? Surely not!”


“This tree was mature when the White Tree was still a fruit. Deadly though it is, the Wise call yew the tree of life. It outlasts both Man and beast.”


The longbow in Faramir’s hand seemed to grow heavier. He had dealt death to many with this branch torn from the living yew.



Ranger's Respite

Mighty oaks and graceful birches mingled with verdant lime and willow. A thrush sang sweetly as he sought his mate. Lush ferns grew beneath the trees; shelter for many a small creature.

Dappled sunlight pierced the leafy canopy, scattering shafts of golden light.

Small fish darted in the clear stream, snatching at midges hovering above the water’s surface.

Aragorn sighed blissfully as he cast himself down upon a mossy bank. He drank deeply from the stream, easing his aching feet in the cool water. The woodland was a peaceful haven, offering respite from the summer heat to the weary Ranger.




Following the Star


With thanks to Raksha

Even a Ranger alone in the wilderness can sometimes lose his way. Sometimes the path is hard to find, or the ground too treacherous for even the surest footed.

Then there are times when loneliness, dread, or loss of hope can lose a man’s direction. As if in a fog, he stumbles confused when darkness threatens to enshroud him.

Then Aragorn remembers Elrond’s counsel and looks upwards, keen grey eyes searching the night sky until he see it: the Star of Eärendil, beacon of Hope when all other light fails.

With such a pathfinder Aragorn is never truly lost.



The Long and Winding Road


It had been a long road strewn with sharp stones and rocky boulders. Each step was fraught with peril. He had kept resolutely to his path, knowing all would be lost if he stumbled.

Today a few slow steps sufficed to claim his inheritance. He seized neither rod nor crown. In Faramir he recognised a fellow traveller over rough terrain. Aragorn knelt in humility to receive the crown of his forefathers. 

Aragorn was King. His heart, though, still wandered along stony highways seeking his treasure. Not until Arwen were his Queen would the stones beneath his feet become green pastures.




Mightier than the sword

Tree and Flower Awards, Drabble, Honorable Mention

Tree and Flower Awards Nominee


With grateful thanks to Raksha 

A loud scream emanated from the King’s private apartments. The guards drew their swords and raced to the rescue. Whatever could be wrong? Had an intruder assaulted their lord? 

Aragorn stood in the centre of his chamber, clad only in breeches, boots, a half finished shirt, and a deep scowl. 

“Do stand still, Estel!” chided the Queen, brandishing a pincushion. 

“You might stick another pin in me!” growled Aragorn. To think that the Haradrim had bested him, not with the sword, but with indigo silk! 

Seeing their lord's fierce look, the guards hastily left the room, suppressing their laughter. 


Only Sleeping


“Are you hurt, Eldarion?” Aragorn anxiously enquired of his four-year-old son, who ran inside from the garden, crying.


“The trees are dying, ada!” Eldarion sobbed. “All of their leaves are falling off!”


Aragorn smiled. ”No, ion nîn, they are just preparing to rest for the winter, like you undress before going to bed.




When spring came, Aragorn took Eldarion outside and showed him the buds adorning the stark branches. “Look!” he said. “The trees have their new raiment for spring. Is it not fairer than ever?”


Eldarion gazed in wonder at one new leaf, freshly emerged to greet the sun.



Time's Out of Joint



The woodcutter could not recall a time when the old King was not on the throne, nor could his father, or even his grandsire.


No doubt, Lord Eldarion, now King Eldarion, would rule well enough, but things felt different somehow, as if the world were turning upside down.


The woodcutter shook himself; he had work to do. The forest remained unchanged while Men came and went. The great oaks outlasted the foresters by centuries; their branches budding anew through countless springtimes.


In the forest's heart, the woodcutter observed that the mightiest oak had fallen, cleft asunder by a lightning bolt. 

Wrought with Love 

May the stars light his path! 

Arwen carefully selected more gems to adorn her work.

May Elbereth protect him!

She skilfully stitched the emblems of Elendil.

May the Valar keep him from harm!

Her love would carry this banner into his greatest battle soon, and with every stitch she embroidered was a prayer for his victory and a blessing to protect him. For long years Arwen had waited and wrought this banner. If hopes and prayers and dreams were warriors, Aragorn  would surely have an army vaster than grains of sand upon the shore. By love’s power he would triumph.

 Towards Númenor that was

Aragorn had heard tales of the sea, but could never have imagined its size!  Blue waters stretched out until they seemed to touch the sky.  The waves broke frothy crests upon the sand, tireless steeds of Ulmo.

He gazed at that distant horizon. Somewhere out there, far to the West, his ancestors' land had fallen beneath those blue waters.  And still farther westward lay the forbidden shores of Valinor. 

For a moment he stood lost in wistful thought, wondering what might have been.  

Aragorn grasped a pebble and cast it into the waves. Then he walked away without looking back.


Unshed Tears

In Memory of Joshua

“Help us, please! They say you are a great healer!” The woman thrust the tiny bundle in her arms towards the dusty traveller. He took it, examined it carefully and shook his head sadly.

“I am sorry, the babe emerged from the womb too soon to live.”

“We are young, we shall have more children.” The young man sought to console his wife.

“I want my son! Why must the Higher Powers steal my beautiful baby?”

Thorongil blinked back tears. His healing arts had saved many, but it was the ones he was powerless to help who haunted his dreams.

 Cloaked with Love

Arwen regarded the cloak her small son was wearing with dismay. The garment was finely woven, but well worn. “Why is Eldarion wearing this old cloak?” she asked his nanny.

“The King desired that he should wear it,” the woman replied.

Later that day Arwen said to Aragorn. “Our son has fairer cloaks by far. It surprises me that you chose such a shabby one for him to wear.”

“I spent many a happy childhood hour playing out of doors in that cloak,” said Aragorn. “I recall my mother weaving it for me.”

Tears pricked Arwen's eyes. She said no more.

Untangled Desires 

Faramir thinks that plaits look delightful on his daughter, or the King’s little girl, or even adorning the head of a kitchen maid, or the tavern wench who usually serves his ale.

With his wife, though, it is a different matter.

He yearns to run his hands though her golden tresses and feel her silky locks tickling his bare skin.
He pleads with her to loose her hair at bedtime.

Éowyn frowns. “It will tangle and take too long to comb on the morrow,” she says.

Faramir heartily dislikes plaits. He buys pretty combs for Éowyn and lives in hope.

Vengeance is Mine

 The Southron raised his scimitar and struck the standard bearer down. He laughed gleefully as the stricken man fell. 

Aragorn tried to aid his kinsman but came too late. He could only cradle Halbarad in his arms as he breathed his last.

Red mist swam before Aragorn’s eyes. Wielding Andúril he plunged into the fray, the flashing blade reflecting the fire that burned in his eyes. The Southron would laugh no more. Wrath drove Aragorn onward, giving him the strength of ten, so great was the fury kindled in his heart. Blood cried out for blood. Halbarad would be avenged.

Star Daughter 

With thanks to Raksha.

Dedicated to Inzilbeth for her birthday.

The stars twinkled against a cloudless blue-black sky. 

Singing Elbereth’s praises, Arwen danced, her head thrown back in ecstasy, intoxicated by the sheer beauty of the spring night. Gems glistened in her unbound hair, while her unshod feet seemed barely to touch the ground.

Hardly of Arda she seemed, too ethereal to be a creature of flesh and blood, but rather that she were made of stardust, her song sweeter than the nightingale’s.

Aragorn watched entranced. His heart soared at such beauty and grace, but how could he ever hope to win this star daughter?

Overhead, Gil-Estel seemed to smile

 The Stuff of Nightmares

Eldarion watched intently while his father polished Andúril. He reached a tentative finger towards the bright steel.

“Be careful,” Aragorn cautioned. “The blade is very sharp. It could hurt you.”

“Have you cut enemies heads off with it?” Eldarion asked eagerly.

“I have indeed,” Aragorn replied. ”This blade has been stained scarlet with their blood! Andúril has triumphed in many a battle.”

“Estel!” Arwen chided. “You will frighten the child with such gory tales. He will have nightmares.”

“I want to hear more,” begged Eldarion. “I won't have bad dreams.”

“But I will, ion nîn” Aragorn said gravely, sheathing the blade.

A Woman's Touch

 Dedicated to Nath with grateful thanks for the idea

Thanks to Raksha for editorial assistance.

The three Rangers sat round the fire scowling over their task.

“I miss my mother,” said Halbarad.

“So do I,” said Aragorn.

“I mean to get married soon,” said the youngest.

“As chieftain I will be happy to perform the ceremony,” said Aragorn. “I did not know you had a sweetheart, though. You are very young yet to wed, Gilavir.”

“Who is the fortunate maiden?” asked Halbarad.

“I’ve no idea,” said the lad, frowning as he dropped a stitch. "She can be young or old, fair or homely. All that matters to me is that she can knit socks!”


Title: Into the West
Author(s): Linda Hoyland
Rating: PG
Fandom: LOTR
Character(s): Arwen, Aragorn
Summary: Arwen senses a final parting
Warnings: none

Winner Great Tales 102 Challenge.

She had believed her Elven senses fading. Her choice had been made long ago. How could she regret the noble husband at her side or the babe at her breast?

Yet one autumn night, she awakes sobbing, feeling as if her very soul has been torn asunder.

Estel holds her close, grey eyes filled with loving concern. “What ails you, beloved?” he asks.

“My father’s ship has passed into the West,” Arwen replies.

Aragorn kisses her tenderly, knowing that no words can ever ease such sorrow. He can only love her and strive every day to make her sacrifice worthwhile.
Tree and Flower Awards, Theoden, First Place

Thengling Mighty

 Thanks to Raksha for editorial assistance. 

Darkness enshrouded him. Deep darkness. He knew not for how long. Day followed day, month followed month, and year followed year.

The children of his House tried in vain to lift his spirits. The darkness though was stronger.  

Wormtongue's words seemed wisdom, lulling him back to lethargy when inklings of awareness dawned. Dark were his days and darker his disgrace.

Then hope entered the hall. The wizard once grey garbed, now gleamed white. Stretching forth his staff, he kindled anew the King's fading flame.

Darkness dissipated.

Théoden rode forth fighting. Never shone his sun more brightly than at its setting.

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