Gaffers and Gardens

Author: Linaewen

Nominator: agape4gondor

2011 Award Category: Drama: Family - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: When the Fellowship camps along the Anduin, Sam and Boromir have opportunity to talk together about important matters.

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Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 10

Thanks to the movies, the relationship between Boromir and Merry and Pippin has gotten a lot of fanfic attention, and of course, Boromir-Frodo is a source of perennial fascination. Less well-explored is the relationship between Boromir and Sam, so Linaewen's fic is very welcome. This could have been very sentimental, but it didn't strike me that way. Boromir and Sam talk, but they aren't talky, if that distinction makes sense - they don't have to spell everything they're thinking or feeling out aloud to have a conversation. I also very much appreciated the fact that Linaewen makes this quietly about Boromir coming to take seriously hobbit culture. The fact that he can have this conversation with Sam and not have it stem from pity that puts him above Sam, is important. That he can now, after having come to know the hobbits of the Fellowship, talk seriously about getting advice from hobbits about Minas Tirith's gardens and not mean it as a jest or diversion, but as a real topic whose appeal and importance he has learned from them, is an unexpected opening up of this man and his horizons, and at a point in the story where we might be expecting them to narrow drastically. It suggests the limits of the Ring's hold on him - it can't stop him from growing into a wider world, only death can accomplish that. That makes Boromir a more appealing (as if he needed more appeal, but I digress...) character, so thank you, Linaewen!

Reviewed by: agape4gondor  ✧  Score: 10

I think this is one of my favorites of Lin's. Her voices always surprise me. I think she hits them head on. I can hear that it's Sam talking. There's no doubt about it. Now - she's always gotten Boromir right, IMHO, but getting Hobbits right is a bit more difficult. Yet - there he is, Samwise Gamgee, speaking right and proper. I love it. I think I would like to see her write a whole Hobbit story. no Men. I wonder.... As for the gist of the tale. It is sweet, considering it is on the last leg of the trip down the Anduin. The trip that finally marks Boromir's doom. But here we see two of the Fellowship enjoying each others company and learning about each other and their homes. Sam gives Boromir time to talk about what concerns him, and, likewise, Boroomir gives Sam the opportunity to share a bit of the Shire. We usually see Merry or Pippin's perspective. But here we see Sam. And it is a delight to behold. I like the fact that Boromir, at this stage of the journey, can still hope. It is a sad reminder of what happens just a bit further, as he bites his nails and worries Merry and Pippin. I shiver to think of it. Sam's promise to Boromir is heart-breaking. Hopefully, he remembers it and fulfills it with Faramir. I just love Sam to pieces, and therefore, really enjoyed this moment.

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 3

You have done a fine job of keeping Sam and Boromir in-character. "Seems like your people would be happier if they had some gardens to care for," is pure Sam, although I cannot imagine Boromir ever apologizing for doing too much talking and not enough listening. An enjoyable story about friendship.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 3

This is a wonderful cross-cultural piece! I think that Linaewen has perfectly captured Samwise's voice here—one of the best Hobbit interpretations I've read. And of course, her Boromir is excellent as well. A truly lovely tale.

Reviewed by: Antane  ✧  Score: 2

A sweet story of Man and Hobbit forming a connection through concern for their fathers. Love most Frodo's praise of his Sam at the end.