Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Echoes Inhabit the Garden

Author: Wormwood
Nominator: Altariel
2011 Award Category: Men: Boromir - Second Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Boromir and Faramir, a garden, and memories real and imagined.


Reviewed by: Altariel -- Score: 10

Wormwood is a extremely talented writer. This is an exceptionally beautiful story about two boys, grief, and memory. In the first vignette, Boromir attempts to keep the memory of their mother alive for his younger brother through visits to the apple garden that once belonged her. Sometimes in his stories about Finduilas, Boromir ["walks paths he never saw, or opens gates that never existed"], but there is truth to the tales nonetheless, not least because both boys understand that it is the story-telling itself that counts, the mutual sharing and sustenance that they both derive from it. Wormwood sensitively depicts the effects of childhood bereavement - Boromir's fear of losing Faramir and his anger; Faramir's disturbing silent soliloquies. It's rare to see such difficult emotions depicted, so tenderly and so honestly. The second vignette shows us the two brothers at the point in their lives when must have been most different - Boromir aged sixteen, Faramir only eleven - Faramir sufficiently small that ["Boromir felt like a giant, an intruder in his own story"]. This sudden dislocation from the garden makes Boromir recall a childhood moment when he realises that his mother is ill, and he is overcome with grief. Yet the brothers still share ["symmetry"]. These are two lives so tightly woven together that even at these ages they are mirror images of each other. Faramir comforts his older brother, and Boromir sees in him ["the man Faramir was still to become"]. This is an exceptionally beautiful and sensitive piece. Wormwood is gifted and clever as a writer, and know that these two beautiful vignettes, and the title, will set off the echoes allowing her reader to imagine the necessary endpoint of this story, when Faramir, surely, visits the garden and remembers all his dead. It would be too much to see that scene, an intrusion on private grief. Human kind cannot bear very much reality.

Reviewed by: Darkover -- Score: 7

This is a very well-written story about grief, its affects, and the uses of memory. The story is mostly about Boromir, as it explores his POV, although Faramir is part of the tale as well. The idea that the brothers became so close not just because of the premature death of their mother, but because they are the only ones who habitually remember her, is an interesting one. So is the author's statement that Boromir became protective of Faramir primarily because their mother's demise made him fearful of losing Faramir seems quite tenable. It is as if Boromir became protective of his younger brother less for the sake of Faramir than for the sake of Boromir himself, as there is a moment in the story that implies a realization on Boromir's part that Faramir is, or soon will be, his equal, and thus does not really need protection. This tale is an interesting character study, and an examination of memory and of grief.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel -- Score: 5

Wormwood presents a touching scene between the motherless brothers, Boromir and Faramir. The relationship between them is wonderful in its simplicity and honesty; it is very evident that the affection the two share runs deep and will stand the test of time—that is a thing hard to achieve via the written word. In addition, the author’s style of writing is elegant and mobile, achieving a complex scene through beautiful images and unique comparisons. Symbolism and word choice are all spot on, and those things only add this piece’s strong overall impression.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 5

Wormwood pens a lovely piece here; intertwining the themes of childhood, memory, and the passage of time through Boromir's memories of a garden in Minas Tirith he used to visit with his mother. Boromir is sixteen; the strength of approaching manhood rising in him along with a wistful longing for the days and the mother he has left behind, and a perennial care for his younger brother. I like the notion of Boromir riding the river of time; for eventually, a river will take him into eternity. Very nicely done, smoothly and eloquently written...

Reviewed by: Antane -- Score: 3

A sweet story of two brothers that loved each other very much. Love Boromir recognized Faramir's differentness and wanted to protect him. Love most that Faramir wished to comfort Boromir as well and the sweetness of their symmetry. Thank you for this glimpse in both their lives.

Reviewed by: Liadan -- Score: 2

There are a few places where the past seem to be more real than the world we inhabit now. For Boromir, it is an apple orchard.