2006 Award Category: Genres: Romance: Rohan - First Place
Story Type: Other Fiction ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: PG-13 ✧ Reason for Rating: m/m sexual activity, non-graphic
Summary: Prince Theodred of Rohan prepares for the arrival of an eagerly-awaited guest.
Reviewed by: Mechtild ✧ Score: 10
Ann, this was just gorgeous. Smart and sensual and elegantly written, and so real; the style of the language suited to the story to a T, giving it a great canon feel, and you made the content itself utterly plausible. You seem to really know people and how they behave in both formal and more intimate interactions. I love the way you have portrayed these two men as two men, although they are lovers. They have hot, pleasurable sex, obviously, but its clear that the sex reinforces and celebrates the friendship, rather than the friendship making the sex possible. Perhaps I didnt say that effectively Its as though you have in this relationship depicted a manly friendship, but elevated, perhaps idealized, to a higher yet more profound level through the two mens sexual intimacy. Perhaps thats what the Greeks were after in their own ideal of manly love. Knowing how things end for these two, especially Boromirs, which is not just physically but spiritually tortured, I was filled with happiness to imagine them, through your story, having had the chance to enjoy such pleasure, such real friendship, and to have such confidantes in each other. Would that we all might be so blessed! One question: at the end, Theodred does not tell Eowyn that he has no future, that he and Boromir will die young. How does Theodred know this? This puzzled me. Is there more about Theodred having premonitions or some form of The Sight in some other story youve written? It added extra gravity to the ending, but I was just wondering.
Reviewed by: Branwyn ✧ Score: 10
I am not a fan of slash and tend to avoid it like the plague. With the exception of annmarwalk's stories. Her Boromir and Theodred are so well-written and likeable and the details of their relationship are so entertaining that I can put aside my fundamental disbelief in gay!Boromir. Neither man is forced into the stereotypical role of the self-abasing, simpering, feminine partner. Their relationship is based on respect and friendship (along with a healthy dose of lust). In this ficlet, Theodred believes that he and Boromir must enjoy the present moment because their lives will soon be ended in battle. I think that is a common attitude among soldiers who have lived in danger for a long time, and it gives this story an ominous feel since we know that these two are doomed. One reviewer asked if the writer was implying that Theodred had foresight; otherwise, why would he assume that he and Boromir were going to die young? Tolkien makes it clear that Gondor and her allies are losing; there is a manpower shortage, and their forces are being pushed back. Boromir admits as much at the Council of Elrond. In the ficlet, Boromir and his hosts discuss [reports of new terrors from East or South]; the tidings are getting darker. The situation is deteriorating, and unless help arrives from unexpected quarters, they are doomed to die in the defense of their lands. Wonderful details add realism and bring the characters to life--the [lumpy horsehair mattress] in Theodred's chamber, Boromir's "unsoldierly" love of creature comforts like a hot bath, Boromir's hair being washed by Theodred, the spiced hazelnuts that the old nurse brings especially for Boromir. Another lovingly-crafted ficlet from the pen of annmarwalk!
Reviewed by: EdorasLass ✧ Score: 7
Mmmm, this is so warm and sensual. It's also a lovely example of what you do best - wonderful detail that deftly evokes emotion and image in a handful of words. The images of Theodred and Boromir together are subtlely drawn, leaving much of the physicality to the imagination, but leaving no doubt as to what's happening. It's clear that Boromir is an old and welcome friend to Rohan; there is also no doubt that he and Theodred are truly attached to one another, rather than just keeping each other company. Theodred's nervousness at seeing Boromir approach; the scene in the bathhouse, with Theodred closely examining Boromir's body for new scars; Boromir's ease and obvious pleasure at being in Rohan with Theodred all speak of a great deal going on below what we are actually shown. The end is, of course, rather wrenching. Theodred's though of [He will not tell her what he knows: that there is no future for him or his lover; that death waits, catlike, watching their every breath] is painfully fatalistic, yet at the same time, wholly realistic. A wonderful portrayal of two like-minded warriors finding joy with one another.
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 6
Another in the series of Annmarwalk's Boromir/Théodred stories, this is aptly titled. Present tense, foreshortened future that looks no further, really, than the night, dismissing the concerns of diplomacy for tomorrow. Diplomacy can afford tomorrows, is all about there being a tomorrow, but as the final paragraph chillingly shows, there is no future for these two lovers. Théodred knows it--it seems this one glimpse of foresight among Rohirrim shows the dead end awaiting both himself and Boromir, which makes today the only day that matters for their love. Tragic in the end, the unfolding is nevertheless warmly written and angst-free. Recommended for slashers who like a little angst sprinkled in with their fun.
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 5
And the relationship continues, beautifully told as always. What I like most about this piece is the way that you play with the notion of past and future. On the one hand Theodred is anticipating eagerly the immediate future. But compare that with the more distant? Eowyn's questions and his thoughts in reply hint at a telling divide that informs all of Boromir's and Theodred's relationship. They have to take what happiness they can when they can. Yet I see in his refusal to tell Eowyn what he foresees a hope for *her* future if not his own, which takes off the edge of the bitterness of his vision of his early death.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 4
Spoiler ahead: What I find most notable here is the last paragraph, the terrible but also joyous recognition by Theodred that he and his lover have no need to father heirs, that death is lying in wait for them and will take them in their prime, and that their fate will be to live on in glorious legend. It's very Rohirric. The sense of moments of romantic and sensual joy seized and treasured when they come is also conveyed quite well.
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 1
Theodred/Boromir slash. I kind of skipped a lot, but I did like the last line.