Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Ten Thousand Years Will Not Suffice

Author: agape4gondor
Nominator: Linaewen
2010 Award Category: Genres: Longer Works

Story Type: Story : Length: Novel
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: A Definitive History of the Life and Times of Denethor, Twenty-sixth Ruling Steward of Gondor (from birth onward... How he became Steward and through to his untimely death (NOT movie based).)


Reviewed by: Russandol -- Score: 10

I so much hated the Denethor of Peter Jackson's movies that I was glad to find, several years ago now, a work in progress dealing with his whole life. It has been a long journey, and I am so glad to see this tale completed at last. What agape4gondor has created is a moving, believable background story, a past life for someone who, despite great courage and commitment, decides to end his life when the darkness of Sauron seems impossible to vanquish. We get to understand the demands placed on Denethor, from his early childhood, as heir to the White Rod, the sacrifices he has to make to perform his duty, the friendships he loses to war, the love for his wife and his sons, and his overriding passion for his land that he is duty-bound to protect. You could say that this tale is a gapfiller, but one of extraordinary proportions, a character study that takes us through the life of a misunderstood, even maligned, character of Lord of the Rings. Most critically, he is not portrayed as a deluded leader or a cruel father that sends his only surviving son to death without blinking an eye. Painstakingly, this story reconstructs the months and the days in the life of a brave man, leading to the siege of Minas Tirith and to the choices that send Faramir into battle. If Gondor is a setting you enjoy, I can certainly recommend this story!

Reviewed by: Linaewen -- Score: 10

I really don't know where to begin in talking about this glorious tale. Every time I read it I am astounded at the depth and the emotion that is gathered here in one story. It is a long one, to be sure, but necessarily so, because it deals with the life of Denethor, and that is a subject not easily understood without an indepth look at all that made him who he was. This tale is a gap filler in the fullest sense of the word, because it fills in so many missing pieces in our understanding of Denethor and his complexities. We have missing gaps filled as well in the story of Denethor's sons, Boromir and Faramir, and we learn much about them and all that went into forming them as children, young men and adults. This is as much a tale of their growing up and friendship as brothers as it is a story of their father and his journey into Gondor's stewardship. This is most definitely an awesome and astounding tale, and as far as I'm concerned, it must hold an honored place alongside Tolkien's canon. I have rarely seen any better treatment of Denethor in fiction, and I appreciate that so very much. Thanks to the author, Agape4gondor, for persevering over the many years it took to write this tale, and to keep it always fresh and consistent in spite of the vast territory and number of characters it covered!!

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 10

I started reading this at the time Agape began posting it, but did not follow through as I perhaps ought to have done. It is a remarkably detailed biography of that most controversial of characters from within "The Lord of the Rings"--Denethor son of Ecthelion, the last Ruling Steward of Gondor. From his childhood spent adoring his increasingly impotent grandfather and being hardened unnecessarily by his driven father, through his young manhood as a warrior of Gondor given nowhere the recognition and acceptance he deserves from his father; through the friendship with the mercenary captain his father seemed to love better than himself, a friendship that turned to bitterness and suspicion as he came to believe--with reason--that his father and Mithrandir between them intended to supplant him with Thorongil; through his marriage to his beloved but weakening Finduilas; through the machinations of lords of the realm and the growing appreciation by the Enemy that Denethor was growing increasinly dependant for information upon the Palantir of Minas Anor; and finally into the dread years as he saw the final conflict apparently certain to destroy all he had ever loved--we see it all. Characters come and go, familiar names are given a full context; walls are built not only intended to keep out the Enemy but also between himself and all who loved him. One of the most fascinating portions of the work is the reason he decides to send Boromir rather than Faramir to follow that troublesome dream, a reason with which Faramir in the end concurs. I don't agree with every appointment Agape has made--for one, I do not see Beregond as having ever been more than a simple man-at-arms in the Guard of the Citadel--but I must honor her thoroughness in appointing a place for each one, for taking mere names and brief character sketches and turning them into more three-dimensional characters. A work of love, and definitely a work to be honored here in the MEFAs. I thoroughly recommend it.

Reviewed by: Erfan Starled -- Score: 4

A brave story, done well, long and coherent, true to its background. I say brave, because it is uncompromising about Denethor, and his was not a sympathetic tale at the end. It is a long piece of work, and I thought it a solid achievement of the writer to complete the detailed unfolding of Denethorís life. The good standard of writing makes the long story easy to read, though it is very much a historical piece, just as it promises to deliver.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 3

An ambitious project that is also, in Agape's sensitive hands, a labor of love. She has poured a lot of effort and research into this story; which tells the entire tale of Denethor's life from birth until death. I am glad to finally see this complex story finished; and the ending did not disappoint.