Everyone has an opinion on fanfiction. I personally believe that good fanfiction should be a new developing story within an established work. Popular “new” stories aim to save characters from an established death in a heroic fashion that exposes mary-sue characteristics. Popular characters (aka damsels in distress) for fanfic writers include Severus Snape and the Marauders (Harry Potter series), Rue and Prim (the Hunger Games series), and the Durins (The Hobbit). So this week I decided to review a fanfiction that saves three popular characters and demonstrates not all fanfiction heroines are mary-sues.
Among my favorite fanfiction endings is The Mediator by Mynuet, in which The Hobbit is retold with Bilbo becoming Billa Baggins, a strong authentic female protagonist if I ever read one. I won’t spoil it for future readers, but I will share my delight that Billa’s character has her own set of obstacles that aren’t attached to her gender. Another aspect to enjoy is that while there are some romantic turns to the tale it doesn’t saturate the story or become Billa’s every other motivational thought. Instead the lady hobbit develops as a character during the journey, growing from her friendships with 13 dwarves and experiencing adventure outside the Shire.
Mynuet’s realism is combined with an unexpected sense of humor, emphasizing characters only briefly mentioned in Tolkien’s original The Hobbit.
Coarc rustled his feathers and said, “On behalf of her serene highness, the empress War Song, I would like to remind those assembled that they have not personally pecked a dragon in the eyeball, and so any groundlings that have something to say about who is and isn’t a warrior entitled to own and name their own things can shut his bloody cakehole. Lit’rally, if necessary.”
Needless to say, Mynuet’s reworking of these characters is an enjoyable breath of fresh air. The story is fantastically witty and an enjoyable read for 40 chapters, remaining true to all the characters Tolkien wrote of but adding to them. The story is written in third person with genuine feelings and reactions of different characters, although Mynuet focuses on Billa the most.
Naturally the Durins survive the battle, but it isn’t through direct interference of a female Bilbo like most fanfiction works. Instead Mynuet’s clever outcome is realistically different due to Billa’s natural reactions and choices; she herself doesn’t become a cringe worthy mary-sue that forces readers to exit the fanfic early. Don’t worry about slow chapters or long passages either. Rather than winding down once our favorite dwarves and hobbit reach Erebor, prepare to be swept away by an ending that even Tolkien wouldn’t have dreamed of!
Featured Image is The Mediator inspired fan art by feignedsobriquet