Talking to a Dead Tree by Moonlight

Author: Wormwood

Nominator: Altariel

2011 Award Category: Men: Boromir - Third Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Boromir talks to the Dead Tree. A dark time, despite the moonlight.

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Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 9

Wormwood's gift with words is unparalleled. Everything this author writes is unique and has the beautiful mark of Wormwood's personal style imprinted on it. This piece, of course, is no different. From the very first line (which is rather sarcastic, truth be told), the piece shines. The premise in and of itself is truly unique. Most people talk to themselves, whether they are willing to admit it or not, so why should those who live in Middle-earth be no different. Talking to yourself is a way to vent emotion without fear of censure, something I feel sure that Boromir needed at this point. The fact that he wasn't, after all, talking to himself, but to a dead tree, only makes the situation all the more likely. For even though it's been dead for quite some time, the White Tree still has a powerful presence over the Gondorian people, and though it's an inanimate and non-participating object, the tree has a defining presence in this piece as well. Altogether, this is a wonderful bit of character examination. I loved Wormwood's interpretation of Boromir's character, and the insights it revealed about his personality. And of course, the prose was quite excellent!

Reviewed by: Altariel  ✧  Score: 6

What I love about Wormwood's writing - as well as the simple but intense beauty of the language - is the amount of meaning infused into every sentence. Here, Boromir, in his cups, sits alone by the Withered Tree, contemplating this symbol of the decline of both his realm and his father. He tells the tree that it would be improved by ["a good bonfire"]. And so the tone of this lovely short piece is set: a top layer of humour - even comedy - as Boromir tipsily regards the tree; but the deeper layers of sadness, loss, regret, and - when it comes to the pyre - horror. The moon flits in and out, bringing Ithilien (and Faramir) to mind, and delivering the beautiful image of ["moon-curve"] caught in Boromir's glass, ["floating on the liquid surface like a white flower"] (is that a foreshadow of Eown? Also ["moon-curve"] - that's so beautiful I could *eat* it...). Boromir sees a shimmer on moonlight infuse the tree with sad beauty, captures the light in his cup, and drinks it down. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 4

This story is very moving for such a brief tale. Boromir, morose, worried, and alcohol-sodden, confides his feelings to the dead tree in the courtyard at Minas Tirith. He is aware of the decline of the sanity of his father and liege-lord; he is aware of the decline of his city and his people, and he is close to despair. The dead tree is symbolic of the Gondorians' fading hopes, and Boromir is well aware of it. This story is powerfully written. While not a happy tale, it is well worth reading.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 4

This is a bittersweet and extremely effectively written vignette. We don't usually see Boromir so introspective, so cognizant of his father's decline and feeling so helpless to stop it. This line, where Boromir thinks of Denethor, is particularly haunting: [Sometimes, if I meet his eyes unawares, it is like looking into a long, dark room for a few seconds, before a door slams shut.] There's a lovely brooding atmosphere of decay and frustration. Boromir's longing for his brother is a nice touch; showing his view of Faramir less as a little brother to be protected and more of an equal and needed drinking partner. Nicely done!

Reviewed by: Nieriel Raina  ✧  Score: 3

Oh, this is a different look at Boromir. I like it. I can definitely see him doing this. The atmosphere and emotion are portrayed in a very believable manner; I felt I was watching from the shadows almost. Well done!

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 2

This is a very evocative piece. Boromir talking to the dead tree and his musings are really dark. I could see him in my mind morosely watching the tree and drinking.