Unmeant Bitterness

Author: Aramel

Nominator: Aramel

2006 Award Category: Times: The Great Years: Gondor

Story Type: Other Fiction  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Misinterpreted words have drastic consequences. Featuring Faramir and non-abusive Denethor.

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Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 10

This is a really poignant story that offers a more sympathetic interpretation of Denethor's comments in the council during the siege of Minas Tirith, that he wished Faramir's and Boromir's places had been exchanged: so that Boromir would have brought the Ring to Minas Tirith, most emphatically *not* so that Faramir would actually be the one dead. It's an explanation I've offered more than once in internet chatrooms and have actually written an essay arguing just this point. I think it's the one Tolkien intended, Jackson's wording notwithstanding. However, this piece goes beyond that. It explains why Denethor, usually so meticulous, would use such ambiguous wording at all, and looks at the emotional impact this misunderstanding would have on Faramir, and at how Denethor would react to the fact that his youngest son would think that of him. I'm sure it would sting, certainly. Combined with the way that Faramir kept looking at Mithrandir, I can very see how this scene very well could have arisen in the book-verse. The comment that always bothered me from the council scenes was not the one about the brothers 'mir having their places reversed is not the one that bothers me; as I said, it has always been so obvious to me just what Denethor meant. But the ["Think better of me, if I should return"] bit always sounded like the tantrum of a teenager not an adult captain, and the answer you provided was satisfying there too. I'll leave that as a surprise to the reader -- but clever job there! All in all a very nice read.

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 5

That is an interpretation I hadn't thought of when reading the passage in the book, and my opinion was reinforced through the movies. But in fleshing out Denethor's thougths and showing how through circumstance and Denethor's character(flaws) the fateful words fell that sent Faramir to Osgiliath, the author manages to slightly change the meaning behind the words and in a way this version is even more heartbreaking. Faramir still interprets his father's words and deeds the way I also saw them in the books, but now from Denethor's point of view the whole scene gets a second meaning. Well done.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 5

This is remarkable. It really is, to see such a perfectly canonical recounting of events, from a wholly different perspective than conventional interpretation conveys. It is in JRRT's own style, and most of the dialogue in his own words. Yet, by showing us the interior monologue of Denethor, the auther places a new emphasis on words, one I had never before considered. While it won't make me give up my own interpretation, it certainly gave food for thought. I am extremely impressed with this, and hope to perhaps see more of this author's work, as she is unfamiliar to me.

Reviewed by: Marigold  ✧  Score: 3

Oh, the sorrows that come from words badly spoken and misinterpreted. This is a thoughtful story, a very interesting premise. I liked the way that Faramir's leavetaking and his father's response was like a standing joke to them both.

Reviewed by: dkpalaska  ✧  Score: 3

This very nicely gives a kinder twist to the harsh words and actions of the book. Denethor's interior dialogue is well done and cleanly blended into the quoted material, and that was a clever take on their parting words. A good reminder that there are at least two sides to the story!

Reviewed by: Llinos  ✧  Score: 1

Very entertaining, filled with both humour and seriousness.