Son of His Father

Author: Darkover

Nominator: Linda Hoyland

2011 Award Category: Character Study: Aragorn

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: A young Aragorn re-evaluates who he is, with a little help from Halbarad. Bookverse, one shot.

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Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 7

I often wonder what it must have been like when Aragorn returned to his people.What did it feel like for a boy brought up by Elves to return to the Rangers where he was born? Had he become too accustomed to the luxery of Rivendell? At least the Elves and Rangers share similiar values but it still must have been very hard for him. It must also have been difficult to accept an unknown boy as their Chieftain. I often wonder just who knew that Arathorn's son was still alive despite rumours to the contrary. I loved this glimpse of young Aragorn struggling to find his identity as he gazes at his reflection. Halbarad's reaction is just perfect too.It must have been so hard for Aragorn to live up to the expectations people had of him especially when he heard stories about how brave a warrior his father was and how mighty Arathorn's deeds in battle were. How much better Aragorn must feel when Halbarad explains to him that he knew who he was because Aragorn looked so like Arathorn his father!

Author response: Dear Linda: Thank you again for your interesting, perceptive comments, and for taking the time to read and review my stories. I'm so glad you believe that I did an appropriate job of characterizing both a young Aragorn and his kinsman Halbarad. Thank you so very much!

Reviewed by: Kara's Aunty  ✧  Score: 6

Darkover depicts Aragorn's sense of confusion and displacement very well in this ficlet, where we see the man himself return to his mother's people a mere week after learning of his true heritage. It must have been a daunting task, to return to a people he had little knowledge of for the greater part of his life and expect them to wordlessly accept him as their leader - but to have to contend with his own identity issues as well ... But how wonderful to see Halbarad there! And he was just the right man to reassert the young chieftain's sense of identity and tell him sonething of the father he never really knew. The beginning of a great friendship, well portrayed by the author. Indeed the entire fic, short as it is, is beautifully written and purposeful. Very nicely done!

Author response: Dear Kara's Aunty: I'm very pleased by your thoughtful, kind, and discerning comments on this story. I'm so glad that you both enjoyed the story, and saw clearly what I was trying to do. Thank you so much for making the time and effort to tell me so.

Reviewed by: cairistiona  ✧  Score: 5

This is a delightful little glimpse of what Aragorn may have been thinking and feeling as he takes his place among the Dunedain at long last. Without adding spoilers, suffice to say that the characters ring true, and seem to step from the page into fully-formed life in this short vignette. Emotions are shown with restraint and elegance as Darkover deftly proves that she knows the concept of "show, don't tell" when it comes to fiction writing. Very much a must-read for any fans of stories about Aragorn's first days as Chieftain of the Dunedain.

Author response: Dear Cairistiona: Again, thank you. I am relieved that you think I did an appropriate job of portraying both emotion and characterization. I am touched and grateful for your praise. Thank you for all the wonderful reviews.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 4

Interesting look at the contradictions surrounding Aragorn's paternal influences. I like the way Darkover juxtaposes the time of Aragorn's mysterious youth as Estel coming to an end with the beginning of his life as a Man among Men and the recognition that he is his human father's son as well as the foster-son of Elrond. Lovely use of Halbarad, who assumes a semi-oracular role in the story.

Author response: Dear Raksha: Thank you. I'm glad you found the story interesting, and that you took note of all the paternal and familial influences, as well as difficulties, that young Aragorn was subject to. Thank you so much for the fine review!

Reviewed by: curiouswombat  ✧  Score: 3

What an insightful ficlet. Aragorn pondering at the way that ["A man was ever defined by who his father was"] - and wondering just how could being the son of Arathorn, rather than Elrond, define him when he knew so little of the former. Halbarad's words help him to reach an answer to his question in this well written little piece.

Author response: Dear curiouswombat: With your comments about how "insightful" the story was, I know I have hit the mark. I'm very glad you believe this tale was well written, and that you were generous enough to say as much. Thank you!

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 2

Wonderful ficlet about how Aragorn felt when he joined the Dunedain. I like this moment between Aragorn and Halbarad, as well as Halbarad's warm and wise words.

Author response: Dear Ellyn: I appreciate your praise, and that you took the time to read and review. Thank you!

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 2

In this piece Darkover offers readers a gap-filling scene, describing Aragorn's thoughts concerning his heritage and his relationship with Halbarad. Very nice.