Closed Challenges

A Tale within a Tale

Challenge Details

It's a common literary device to have a tale told within your main story. Tolkien himself has many examples of this in LotR, the most compelling being perhaps the tale of Luthien at Weathertop.

The device could be used in many effective ways:

  • a tale-teller relating a story for entertainment, as Strider does;
  • a mother telling a child a story; someone relating a tale of the past;
  • a herald passing on information.

It could be a character telling a story about himself, or retelling an old legend for any number of reasons. The tale could be an essential part of the story, or a side story to the main plot.

You could retell a story that Tolkien already wrote; take tales from, say, the Grimm Brothers and recast them in ME; or make up a new one that would fill a gap in Tolkien's mythology. It could be a poem or a story--or even a play! Traveling minstrels in Gondor or Rohan, perhaps (which reminds me that Shakespeare uses this device to good effect in "Hamlet"!).

Entries with Stories

The following authors have entered a story in the Challenge.

arelenriel - Questions
General Audience
Last Updated: 26 Feb 07
Legolas and his siblings have questions about how Thranduil and Lothwen met.
DrummerWench - Green Flash, The
General Audience
Last Updated: 13 Jun 08
A gapfiller set at the end of ROTK, between Frodo's leavetaking and the return of Sam, Merry and Pippin to the Shire. Slightly AU for the disposition of Narya. Companion piece to "The Tower Hills" and "The Boatbuilder".
DrummerWench - The Tower Hills
General Audience
Last Updated: 09 Jun 08
A gap-filler set at the very end of ROTK, as Frodo, Sam and the Elves travel toward the Havens. A companion piece to "The Green Flash" and "The Boatbuilder".
Gandalfs apprentice - The Blue Book of Bilbo Baggins, or, Tales of the Forbidden Silmarillion
Adult Audience
Last Updated: 02 Jan 08
As readers know from Tyellas's Lost in the Translation, Bilbo made another book--one with a blue cover. This story tells of its fate and, even better, has extracts from the know you want to read it. Illustrated by Greywing

MEFA 2007, Second Place, Alternative Universe

Thanks to Tyellas for allowing me to borrow the idea of the Blue Book from her superb story and to oshun for her thoughtful criticism and for being a good friend. Special thanks to Maeve Riannon and to greywing for their unique contributions, and to all the writers at the Garden of Ithilien.
Jay of Lasgalen - To Tell A Tale: A Narrow Escape
General Audience
Last Updated: 20 Oct 06
After the battle of Pelennor Fields, Pippin is confined to bed. Elladan and Elrohir share a story to cheer him up.
Larner - Thinning
General Audience
Last Updated: 03 May 08
Frodo considers doing some thinning in Bag End.
Larner - Of Courtship Rituals and Wizards
General Audience
Last Updated: 06 Apr 08
Frodo, who's been rooming with the Whitfoots during the days he serves as Mayor, discusses his experiences outside the Shire with the Mayor's granddaughter.
Werecat - Old Wives' Tales
General Audience
Last Updated: 30 Dec 06
A very pregnant and rather emotional Eowyn goes in search of a childhood relic and finds something unexpected. Through the words of a tale, the Shieldmaiden meets a Queen of old.

Mithrils 2005: Runner-up, Concerning Men


The following authors have entered a placeholder in the Challenge.

Entry Date: 09 Aug 06
Entry Date: 19 Mar 07
Tárion Anaróre
Entry Date: 15 Sep 06
Entry Date: 01 Jan 07

In Challenges

Challenge Info

Open Date: July 17, 2006

Closed: April 30, 2007

Challenge Topic: Storytelling/Writing

Entries: 12

Originator: Gandalfs apprentice

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