Multicultural Interactions

Author: annmarwalk

Nominator: Raksha the Demon

2007 Award Category: Races: Cross-Cultural: Gondor - First Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: An accidental encounter at midnight under the White Tree leads to friendship between Faramir's son and Sam's daughter.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 10

A great story about a meeting I've never seen chronicled before - that of Elanor Gamgee and Elboron of Ithilien, the children of Samwise and Faramir. Young Elanor and Elboron are both beautifully written - children of the peace of the Fourth Age, they have an appealing appreciation of beauty, the courtesy that marks their fathers, and a certain recklessness stemming from joyous spirits. The reader can see traces of their parents' influence, and the changes that the events chronicled in LORD OF THE RINGS have wrought - young people can enjoy their childhood even while paying attention to duty, and there is more communication and interaction between the different races of Middle-earth. Annmarwalk imbues Elanor and Elboron with appealing traces of their parents: Elanor has both the practicality and instinct to reach for greater things that makes Sam such an appealing and interesting fellow; while Elboron's musing on the significance of words during a mad dash from the library shows that he is indeed Faramir's son. Sam is also brought into the story, in perfect characterisation, via the advice he gave to Elanor and she quotes back to Elboron. The story promises that the legacies of such different, but powerful characters, as Samwise Gamgee and Faramir of Gondor, will be well cared-for by Sam's daughter and Faramir's son.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 7

In "Multicultural Interactions" Annmarwalk puts her gift for characterization to extremely good use as she has to deal with two minor characters who are barely names in the canon, and from very different cultures. Elanor could not be anything other than a hobbit, really, and the curiosity tempered with common sense that Ann infuses her with are just what you'd expect from Sam's and Rosie's daughter. Yet the character who really stole my heart in this tale is Elboron. He is a bit like Bergil in his way, and also has characteristics that remind you of any teenage boy: tripping over himself with excitement at the things happening around him. But there's also Gondorian pride and a touch of how Faramir treats the hobbits in Henneth Annûn. It's a lovely portrait of a boy growing up in a time of peace. Really, this pair of stories made my birthday week when she wrote it for me. Some of my favorite work by her; I doubt it will disappoint.

Reviewed by: Mechtild  ✧  Score: 7

What a charming tale! And what a pleasure to read this little vignette, with the way it imagines what the son of Faramir and Éowyn might be like, at least at this age, a character for whom there is no description in the canon text—who is not even named, if I recall. With virtually nothing to work with, you make this character very plausible—and likable. Your Elboron seems to have the fire and drive of his mother, but the reflective, probing intelligence of his father (not to mention an excellent vocabulary). I loved the little touch in which, dashing across the courtyard of the Tree, he is distracted by the sight of the moonlight dappling the stone. He crashes into Elanor not because he is distracted by the beauty of the scene, but by words and their usage. [“I was distracted a moment,”] he explains, [“thinking about the oddness of the word ‘dappled’ in terms of moonlight on stone, rather than sunlight on green leaves.”] That is so perfect for the son of Faramir. Get that boy a degree in linguistics! (I always thought Faramir and J.R.R.T. had more in common than the dream of the wave.) P.S. I love how you do so much with deceptively simple narrative ingredients. Brava!

Reviewed by: EdorasLass  ✧  Score: 7

Oh my gosh, Elboron and Elanor are honestly just too adorable together. I love harum-scarum Elboron, tearing around the Citadel, completely distracted by things like moonlight on cobblestone; Elanor, trying to remember everything of the White Tree so she can describe it to her siblings, and the both of them, being equally impressed with one another (or perhaps more accurately, one another's father's) right off the bat. The dynamic between these two is wonderful- they seem to hit it off right away, and I'm sure both fathers will be happy to know that their children are getting along so well! The way they're both trying to keep from laughing, although it's a very silly situation, how each holds their father in highest regard and how they miss their respective homes. Hopefully at the tea tomorrow, they'll stop worrying about formalities and just enjoy themselves. They're both so friendly, I can't imagine they won't.

Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 6

Excellent characterisation and an entertaining and evocative narrative style. I can clearly see the heritage of their parents in the children, as well as the cultural influence of their different races, and yet they are uniquely their own, individual persons. Elboron is so delightedly adolescent: uncoordinated, over-eager, oblivious to what's going on in front of his nose and yet curious about a great many things. His voice has this tone of one very much wanting to be grown up, but who has not left the last traces of childhood behind yet. He is his father's son in his courtesy and his interest in words, and in the elegant way he tells his story, and his mother's in forthrightness. And Elanor is a pure delight; so much a child of the Shire that Sam and Rosie exemplify so very much: down to earth, friendly and polite, and interested in nature; and her voice, too, sounds completely authentic.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 5

This is a sweet little double-sided vignette – the tale of an encounter, told from two sides. Elboron, the perpetually tardy, vaguely absent-minded, guard-in-training with an adolescent's speed and corresponding lack of agility; and Elanor, who seems to have become a self-possessed, down-to-earth young woman with a good sense of humor. They don't know each other, but they know each other's fathers, and unwittingly provide a measure for the truthfulness of the tales their fathers have told of each other. These matching vignettes each provide a nice glimpse into the world of Fourth Age Middle-earth, and we find that the next generation is growing very nicely into their more peaceful inheritance.

Reviewed by: phyloxena  ✧  Score: 4

A delightful tale. Elboron behaves like a Shepherd's puppy, and Elanor is full of simple and sturdy hobbit courtesy and intuition. On some level, it makes sense that Elboron's parents wouldn't take away his freedom until absolutely necessary, but I doubt the future Steward would be allowed to do what he pleases for so long. I loved the line about ["standing and waiting"] -- hobbit plain sense again.

Reviewed by: Bodkin  ✧  Score: 4

This is a delightful story. I love this young dizzy headstrong - yet polite and considerate Elboron. He and Elanor are both in a strange situation and they would make good friends for each other. Elanor is so clearly Sam's daughter, while I can see elements of Faramir in his son ... together with, maybe, some of his mother's less conventional nature. They lived at a remarkable time - the world has opened up before them, largely due to the efforts of their parents' generation, yet they are close enough to it all to appreciate what was done.

Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke  ✧  Score: 3

Very well done. Both these characters come leaping off the screen (as well as flying across the courtyard), full, unique, and charming, but it is there similarities which make the story work past its ending, and how it leads you to imagine the warmth of their next meeting.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

The first encounter between Elboron son of Faramir and Elanor Gardner was a bit--rough? But they found themselves remembering tales told by fathers of the other's father, and are now set for a marvelous friendship, I believe.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 3

A very sweet encounter between two characters who appear in canon, and yet about whose personality we know little. Annmarwalk makes it seem quite likely that these two would find friendship. And even though she indicates the story's complete, I'd love to see more of these two together.