Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Death by Water

Author: Altariel

Nominator: unknown

2004 Award Category: Races: Men: Gondor - First Place

Story Type: Other Fiction : Length: unknown
Rating: G -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: A gapfiller set shortly before the events of TTT. Faramir and Denethor await news of Boromir, and Faramir dreams of water.


Review scores are not available for 2004.

Reviewed by: Larian Elensar -- Score: N/A

Great visual, the tidal wave demolishing Numenor, and tying that to Boromir's death and seeing him in the boat. Denethor really is one of my least favorite characters, I always think the absolute worst of him, I'm glad you could find some humanity left in him, and show how well Faramir understood him, and respected him, and even loved him. Kind of takes the edge off of my dislike.

Reviewed by: Ainaechoiriel -- Score: N/A

I believe that, in a way, Alteriel does hear Faramir telling her a story. And since I've already written her author comment, I have to say that here. Many first person stories feel a little odd at first when you realize they are in first person and you are used to third. With this one, I think I was halfway through it before I realized it was first person. So perfectly did it flow. Alteriel can write Faramir like no one else I know. And this shows it.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: N/A

My knowledge of T.S. Eliot's poetry is almost wholly a consequence of this story and its companions. This was the first fic by Altariel that I read, and I do recall being somewhat late back to my workshift because of it. This is a story that will leave you feeling raw-it hurts, but we likes how it hurts, precious.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: N/A

Water is a favorite time-honored symbolic device, and Altariel makes good use of it in this story. Wonderful glimpse into Faramir and Denethor as they receive news of Boromir's passing in their own ways. Faramir's confusion and dreams of drowning could have been overplayed, but Altariel uses a very deft, delicate touch with these scenes, and the symbolism of the churning water lurks just below the surface, never overpowering the story but never allowing its presence to be forgotten.

Reviewed by: Elanor -- Score: N/A

Chapter One: Rendered in Faramir's own words we hear here the eloquent man of LotR speaking many well formed sentences. Quite believable for me. I have not found another Tolkien-fanfiction author who speaks as well to my mind as Altariel. "and so pressing did it seem to me that the call be answered, that I bore no ill will and felt only relief that the matter was in hand" is for me good Tolkien-style and expresses my view that for Faramir it was more important that someone went to Rivendell to solve the dream's riddle than that he went himself. Also very well done is the scene were Faramir tunes his father to listen and recognize Boromir's horn. Chapter Two: The story chapters stand for themselves but are linked together by the dream of the large wave smothering all beneath. Beautiful done is also the Akallabeth as a vision of Faramir. And the downfall of Numenor is used as a powerful introduction to Faramir's vision of the dead Boromir which itself is covered only by a few words. But by rendering the Denethor-Faramir relationship as one between a stern father and a resigned but nevertheless tirelessly trying son one understands Faramir's leaving of his post to tell his father of Boromir's death. If Denethor were such an ogre as he is often portrayed one could not understand that Faramir leaves his men and his duty riding ventre-a-terre to his father Chapter Three: and see Denethor berates Faramir for having left his duty. This for me is not so much a cold father but ere a stern commander. But now comes a sequence that is too sentimental for a captain-commander relationship. Nevertheless it is written very well and renders views generally held in fanfiction: Denethor strikes Faramir. And Faramir weeps tears streaming. For my dark mind that is unbelievable. It agrees not with my view of Faramir as a serene leader of men. Chapter Four: Faramir and Boromir chatting after Boromir's death. Nicely done. And very well done is the parting scene between Denethor and Faramir followed by Faramir's insight in his father mind.

Reviewed by: Avonaus -- Score: N/A

Another satisfying read. I love both your dialogue and your light but sure hand with characters.

Reviewed by: BelegCuthalion -- Score: N/A

This is part 1 of an astonishing trilogy, describing Faramir's experiences during the Ring War. Told with an elegant use of words, this tale (and the following two) helped me to understand the Captain of Gondor, his relationship to his brother and to the frightening figure of his father. It is (and will always be) one of the best Faramir-tales I've ever seen.

Reviewed by: Fourth Moon -- Score: N/A

I love the very powerful, wonderfully invocative descriptions of Numenor's end - the beginning of the story throws me right into the situation of Numenor sinking under and imitates what it must be like to dream of it. Faramir's relation to his brother and father and the course of his life are woven into descriptions of the dream. The Denethor's reactions are described fits in beautifully with Faramir's character: accepting and without resent, but not without pain and sometimes pity. The "I am yours to command" is both sad and sweet, and so are the short periods of understanding between Denethor and Faramir. The end is perfect, with the mention of the light flickering at the top of the tower hinting at troubles to come.