The Kindness of Strangers

Author: Marta

Nominator: Linaewen

2011 Award Category: Men: Boromir - First Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Violence

Summary: Quite a lot can go wrong in 110 days. Boromir on the road to Rivendell.

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Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 8

A quiet and very credible look at Boromir's journey northward. Marta proposes that Boromir set outs with two other soldiers. This makes a lot of sense, considering that Denethor was sending the heir of the rule of Gondor northward into wild and dangerous lands with a dream as a guide. But what makes the story notable is the process whereby Boromir loses the insulation that he had enjoyed and deserved as Captain-General, insulation from the day-to-day tasks of survival, of hunting for food, looking for shelter, and having to watch a comrade die. Boromir transitions somewhat, from a commander of thousands and a prince, to a warrior making his way across far lands almost alone, and then definitely alone as the second companion must stop in Bree due to illness. The glimpses of Boromir trading simple labors for food and shelter as he continues his journey are a must for Boromir fans and fans of the Fellowship and Eriador in general. I loved the bits where Boromir, halted by an injured ankle, sharpens shearing knives for the shepherds who have taken him in, and learns how to darn his own socks...

Reviewed by: Linaewen  ✧  Score: 6

This is an excellent tale of Boromir during his travels to Rivendell. The story provides us with many details that feed the heart of a Boromir fan who is hungry for any kind of information on Boromir and his daily life in Gondor, his thoughts on his quest, his unexpected susceptibility to ordinary injuries like ankle sprains, or his care for the men who serve under him. I like the case Marta makes for Boromir having companions with him on his journey; somehow it seems more poignant that he has to deal with the loss of those companions along with everything else, instead of simply stoically bearing the rigors of a journey alone. Even though he is ever conscious of the unfulfilled quest before him, he is learning that simple tasks and finding time to contemplate the past, present and future is not wasted time!

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 5

A really lovely little tale of Boromir's journey to Rivendell, and the little things that occurred along the way. I love how the son of the Steward appreciates the people who do him small favors-- things done for a stranger passing through, with no notion of his identity or status. Often fanon depicts Boromir as arrogant and disdainful of those who are "common" people, and yet I can't see that-- he was easily swayed by the Ring, but he was also a brave and honorable man who would acknowledge the debt he owes to others for kindness no matter how small.

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 4

An intelligent and nicely descriptive stories about the problems--and the kindness--Boromir encountered on the way to Imladris. I liked the way Boromir found out that knowing how to do little tasks can be just as important in life as knowing how to do big ones. He is also humbled when he learns that not only can little things interfere with his goals as much as big ones, but there are many people in the world who can be very generous when appealed to for help. A most satisfying story.

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 4

Dear Marta, I have wondered, just like you, how Boromir could have taken so long to get to Imladris, and the chain of misfortunes you relate here accounts for this well. And yes, I believe he would have had an escort of sorts. Do you have any plans to let us know what happened to Carchil? I’s good to see Boromir in this situation, making experiences that broaden his horizon.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 3

I very much enjoyed this glimpse of Boromir recovering from a sprained ankle in a humble but hospitable home and thinking about what had gone wrong on his journey. I Know Tolkien says he travelled alone, but servants might well have not merited a mention. I enjoyed this more reflective side of Boromir.

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 2

Lovely little story about Boromir's journey to Rivendell and of the kindness of strangers he meets on the way - just as the title says.