The Shire, where the ceremony is being held, buzzes with more bustle and activity than even on the memorable occasion of Bilbo’s eleventy-first birthday. Which is quite the statement considering the hobbit inclination to #partyhard.
Folk of all races and sizes, from east and west, north and south across the many worlds of fantasy have gathered. Voices call back and forth as the eager attendees make their way toward the ceremony.
Pippin and Merry ride along the packed roads, alternating their attention between directing people to the center of Hobbiton and puffing on their pipes.
“This is a scene, eh, Pip?” Merry asks. “The Green Dragon will be flooded tonight. Better grab our pints early.”
“They’d better not drink the town dry,” Pippin replies.
They continue on and soon arrive at the heart of the Shire, where the various lanes converge amid hobbit-sized homes and shops. The setting sun casts a mellow golden glow upon the rolling green hills, and long shadows stretch eastward.
Just outside the town square stands a dais, tucked against the foot of a sweeping hill that’s already crowded with seated guests. Surrounding the other three sides of the dais, rows of chairs are quickly filling.
The clamor of talk dies as a short, sturdy figure climbs the stairs onto the dais. A wave of applause breaks out as he steps up to the podium.
“Good evening,” Sam says. “I’m supposed to give a big long speech about why you’re all here and why I’m up here instead of sitting with my Rosie and our children. But I was never one for smart words.”
Laughter ripples through the audience.
“They asked me—and don’t ask who “they” are—to introduce the presenter for this year’s Most Faithful Friend Silmaril. I figured Gandalf would turn me into a potato or something else unnatural if I said no. So here I am.”
Sam’s face goes crimson. “Anyway, we’re not here to talk about me. Leastways if I have any say. We’re here to recognize the winner of this honorable award. And to do that, I need some help.”
Sam gestures, and a large mouse bounds onto the dais. “Introducing Reepicheep, last year’s winner.”
Reepicheep jumps on the podium and gives a flourishing bow. “Dear friends, thank you for gathering here today. It is truly an honor to stand here before you. Thank you, Master Samwise, for such a wonderful introduction.
“I could say many things about the nature of this award,” Reepicheep continues. “The loyalty of a dear friend is a precious gift. As such, the winner deserves the highest of esteem. And now, the moment you’ve been awaiting.”
Two hobbit children rush up to Sam and hand him an intricately carved box, which Sam passes along to Reepicheep.
Holding the box between his paws, Reepicheep stands tall, tail twitching. He raises his voice and says, “The finalists are Inigo Montoya, Rose Red, Gurgi, Imraldera, and Iko.”
Reepicheep nods at the five finalists, seated in the front row. “This year, the winner of the Most Faithful Friend Silmaril is…
Thunderous cheering erupts as a swashbuckling fellow with long, curly hair makes his way onto the dais.
“Thank you, my friend, thank you,” Inigo says as the applause silences. “It is an honor to win this acclaimed award. If only my poor father could have been here to see this.”
Reepicheep nods. “He would have been proud of you, Inigo. Your dedication to preserving his honor and avenging his death is admirable. For that, and many other deeds of loyalty, I present you this Silmaril.”
Reepicheep opens the box, revealing a gold medallion inset with an emerald. As Reepicheep lifts it out, the Silmaril catches the sun’s dying rays and glitters with pristine beauty.
Inigo’s eyes widen as he takes the Silmaril. “For me? Truly, this is a gift, and I am honored to have been chosen.” He turns to the crowd. “Thank you all, and thank you to everyone who thought me fitting for such an award.”
“You deserve it, my friend,” Reepicheep says.
“My father—he would be glad for me. I claim this jewel not in honor of myself, but in memory of him!” Inigo lifts the Silmaril above his head.
Cheering bursts from the audience and continues as Inigo bows several times before making his way offstage.
Sam returns to the podium. “That concludes this year’s presentation of the Most Faithful Friend Silmaril. Thank you all for coming.”
For those interested, here’s a breakdown of the voting:
- Inigo from Princess Bride—46%
- Iko from the Lunar Chronicles—19%
- Rose Red from Tales of Goldstone Wood—16%
- Gurgi from the Chronicles of Prydain—12%
- Imraldera from Tales of Goldstone Wood—8%
That wraps up this year’s Silmarillion Awards here on my blog. Check out Jenelle’s site tomorrow to find out who has the infamous pleasure of being named Most Nefarious Villain. And in case you missed them, the other awards:
- Wisest Counselor
- Least Competent Henchman
- Silver Tongue
- Most Epic Hero
- Strangest Character
- Most Epic Heroine
- Most Mischievous Imp
- Most Magnificent Dragon
Thank you for participating in the 2017 Silmarillion Awards! I hope you enjoyed it as much as we (aka the Bloggers of Awesomeness) did. 😉
P.S. This Saturday marks the 63rd anniversary of Lord of the Rings being published *confetti and Gandalfian fireworks*. Some of the crew will be doing fantasy-themed posts to celebrate, so be sure to check those out!
P.P.S. If I do anything along those lines, it will be on Monday. Because busy weekend.
P.P.P.S. I feel like Gandalf writing to Barliman Butterbur right now.
P.P.P.P.S. If you don’t know Butterbur is, read the book. 😉