Spring Planting

Author: Branwyn

Nominator: annmarwalk

2005 Award Category: Genres: Drama (includes Angst): Gondor - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Vignette  ✧  Length: N/A

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: n/a

Summary: What hidden things are unearthed when the fields are ploughed in the spring? A short tale of Lord Denethor and his young sons.

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Reviewed by: annmarwalk  ✧  Score: 6

Very seldom have I come across stories dealing with Denethor and his sons after the death of Finduilas. This lovely, yet somewhat somber vignette provides a bittersweet reminder of the fears all parents must face. When have we ever seen the Steward and his young sons on an outing? Both boys are drawn quite true to character – bored, restless Boromir, rewarded for his patience; quiet, curious Faramir, exploring on his own. When Faramir discovers a fascinating artifact, he runs to show his father; as Denethor realizes the danger to his young son, he must watch in horror (as parents often do) until the boy is safe. Denethor’s powerful, anguished thought - This dread will I know for each day until I die - is a timeless, universal cry, shared by parents in all Ages of the world.

Reviewed by: Bodkin  ✧  Score: 6

It must be hard on children to be the offspring of Those In Power and have to learn from their early years a self-control of which most adults are incapable. I love the hopeful look on Boromir's face after enduring a morning of tedium. And while Boromir knows to be there and be silent, little Faramir is young enough to be allowed to play in the dirt. Denethor is managing to be a very alert father as well as a lord here. Not only is he noticing Boromir, he is very aware of what Faramir is doing - and is ready to intervene. Both sons trust him too - shining eyes and hopeful looks and he clearly loves them. Great - and rare - look at a positive relationship.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 5

What treasures are found beneath the earth. And what sobering reminders! This was a quick but great examination of the burden Denethor must have felt as a father. I liked his amused indulgence of Boromir's desire to look at armor, and I loved his dread and fear upon discovering Faramir's arrowhead. The nature of his duties and what he would eventually have to ask of his sons hit very hard, and the final paragraph complete with Faramir's smudged face and excited gleam was very sobering. Great job.

Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke  ✧  Score: 3

This is what I wrote when I reviewed this story in 3/05: "Yowza! Such a gentle thing to come to such an abrupt and intense end! Amazing! Really great ..." It was nice to have an opportunity to reread; this story remains both startling and touching.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 2

A wonderful ficlet where Denethor first feels the sharp pang of parental terror for his younger son, along with the foreshadowing of later events, when Faramir's wounding by an arrow will be the catalyst for Denethor's madness and death.

Reviewed by: nerwen_calaelen  ✧  Score: 2

A clever scene. I like the way that you show the fact that Denethor does care for Faramir. Your characterisation are very clever.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 1

A nice reminder that the leavings of war are a hazard for generations to come.