Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Five things that never happened to the Steward and his sons

Author: Starlight
Nominator: Dwimordene
2011 Award Category: Drabble Series: Men

Story Type: Drabble : Length: Drabble Series
Rating: Teen -- Reason for Rating: Mature Language/Themes
Summary: 5x100 A Drabble series that explores how the future could have turned out differently for Denethor and his family had Finduilas lived.


Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 10

The 'Five Things' trope is the gift to fandoms everywhere that just keeps on giving. I love the collages they allow, sometimes ordered and forming a coherent whole, other times working out variations on a theme, sometimes letting one take on all sorts of possibilities that aren't necessarily related to each other. Starlight gives us a motley set of possibilities, here: from the joyful first one to the grim and ironic repetition of history in the final one, each drabble implies different possibilities for the Steward and his family. Sometimes, they influence each other (as Finduilas's continued presence in two of the drabbles long past her canonical death attest); other times, they seem more independent. Sometimes, the consequences seem very clear and immediate (as in the fourth and fifth drabbles). In others, as in the corps-choosing for Faramir, the consequences are more distant consequences (but imagine what would happen without him in Ithilien...). Among my favorite moments are the little parenthetical asides in the first drabble that allow Boromir's perspective to leak into the drabble, and which give us a different Boromir, perhaps, from what we might have imagined; and the possibility of his own responsibility in the outcome of the final drabble if he had thrown in with the Eagle returned. Good work, Starlight! Fans of the Steward's family should enjoy these!

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 6

I love that these drabbles don't focus on Finduilas. She lives, but after the first two drabbles, she doesn't get a direct mention. Indirectly, though, her influence is clear. It works perfectly: These drabbles are about the differences between AU and canon; Finduilas wasn't in the latter and so has only an indirect contrast with the former. Speaking of which, I love that Faramir's Corp-choosing had elements of control. His making a play for the Stewardship isn't an in issue in the books, but here, there is concern. Boromir coming back to Minas Tirith after Imladris was a welcome surprise, and it was telling that he refused to enter the City. Denethor seems to undergo the fewest changes, and that's telling, too. The formative influence Finduilas has on her sons doesn't extend to her iron-willed husband. A fascinating look into the world of might-have-beens.

Reviewed by: Darkover -- Score: 3

These drabbles offer interesting AU perspectives. I am not clear as to whether they were meant to be linked together, or separate possibilities, but the author has done a most intriguing job of answering the question: "What if?"

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel -- Score: 3

This is a wonderful and interesting exploration of what might have been, had things been different. By choosing short scenes, the author gave the reader on the smallest snapshots of life with Finduilas, and I think that worked very well.

Reviewed by: Azalais -- Score: 3

Ooh! Wonderful, thought-provoking AU drabbles. I love LoTR AUs - but it's fascinating how often making a small change leads to things turning out Very Badly Indeed. Happy endings for Denethor in particular seem to be, thanks to the character as JRRT created him, more or less impossible to write. These are full of layers and really quite chilling.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland -- Score: 3

Many Tolkien fans feel that had only Finduilas lived, Denethor's fate might have been different. These thought provoking drabbles suggest that only some things would have changed, but Denethor would still have preferred death to serving Thorongil.