March is the most eventful month in Middle-earth. Aragorn’s birthday, the battles of the Hornburg and the Pelennor fields, the journey through the Paths of the Dead, the deaths of both King Théoden and Denethor, Aragorn healing Faramir, and, of course, the fall of Sauron all take place in March. This year we celebrate this with a theme of ”Anniversaries”.
Anniversaries are rituals to commemorate meaningful events in our lives or in history. They can be happy occasions, like birthdays, wedding anniversaries, or the marking of a victory. They can be somber and contemplative, like memorial days or the marking of a tragic defeat. How do the people of Gondor celebrate the date their king has returned? Do the long-lived elves still commemorate events of time beyond Man's recall? How are Boromir and Denethor remembered year after year? Is there a yearly ceremony to mark the finding of the new White Tree?
Anniversaries can also be private rituals. Does Aragorn carry out some special tradition every year on the day he'd first seen Arwen? Does Legolas commemorate the tainting of Greenwood the Great? What would our favorite heroes be doing a year after the Battle of the Morannon? Ten years after?
While anniversaries revolve around a past event, their real focus is the believes and feelings of the people now marking them. How are Aragorn and Legolas affected by their history? Do the memories weight them down or give them strength to look to the future? Do they linger on sadness or hope? This is your chance to explore how history and ritual join to shape the hearts of people in the present, for better or worse.
The following stories were submitted for this challenge:
A Time to Mourn
by Rebecca Wilkin 2nd place
Because It Is Bitter
by Adonnen Estenniel 3rd place
Gifts Solid and Ethereal
by Archeress of Silverbow 2nd place
The Price of Sacrifice
by Linda Hoyland 1st place
by Abject Tears
Marethiel, nautika, StarLight, and Valante