A Meal Fit for a King

Author: Aranel Took

Nominator: Aranel Took

2010 Award Category: Genres: Character Study: Gapfiller - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Éowyn surprises her husband. Written for the There and Back Again Romantic Dinner Challenge. Movie-verse.

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Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 8

This is a fantastic "fix" for the Lady of Rohan, and I love the way the respective cultures of Gondor and Rohan are each given their due. They're balanced very nicely against one another, with neither culture being made villain, oppressor, or simpleton. It's just the way things are, though in a clash of cultures like this, I can imagine that rumors will fly far and fast courtesy of the cook. But back to the story proper, I must praise Aranel Took for painting not only a brilliant characterization of Eowyn and Faramir (both are in fine form) but for also characterizing Gimli and Aragorn, who don't even appear in the story. Gimli's workmanship does, and the imagery associated with his wedding gift to Eowyn says much of the dwarf's regard for the lady and his skill in metal crafting. And I find it endlessly hilarious that Aragorn somehow found time to warn Faramir about his wife's cooking. One wonders how the subject came up. However it was achieved, this story's look of anticipatory horror from Faramir had me in stitches.

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale  ✧  Score: 7

I never liked that scene in the movies, when Eowyn brings Aragorn soup during the journey from Helm's Deep. I wasn't annoyed at Aragorn so much (the food did look terrible, and he was trying to be polite while also avoiding death by suspicious soup) but it seemed like a cheap shot on Peter Jackson's part. This story looks that episode in retrospect as Faramir, terrified by Aragorn's story of Eowyn's cooking, faces a meal prepared by his wife. Eowyn's reaction when she discovers the source of Faramir's dismay, her explanation and her own feelings on the subject are perfect - and, frankly, quite reasonable: [“Honestly, judging a woman's cooking by one bowl of soup in the middle of the wilderness...”] Thanks, Aranel Took. Your story has made that scene palatable to me! This is a recipefic and the dishes Eowyn prepares sound perfectly tantalizing. I like the fact that they come from a book on Anglo-Saxon cookery, and that the names of the dishes are provided in both Old English and in English. I also liked Gimli's wedding gift and the part it plays by inspiring Eowyn.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 5

OK. This is one of my absolute favorite sorts of fics. A recipe fic. And also another sort of favorite type of fic-- a movie fix. Of course Eowyn could cook. Good heavens, that bit of movie-verse was annoying! (Not the most annoying, but it's nice to see someone tackle it in a logical manner.) I love that she's cooking a romantic dinner for her husband. I love the idea of Gimli's gift. I love the recipes, too, by the way, and plan to bookmark this for future use! I really love that the recipes are modern redactions of authentic Anglo-Saxon dishes as well. I definitely want to try the pork dish! Sounds yummy! And yes, I'd love to see Aragorn's face when he does finally partake of her cooking. Thank you very much, Aranel Took!

Reviewed by: curiouswombat  ✧  Score: 5

I did enjoy this short story - and the accompanying recipes as well. (Especially the one for the spiced pears - my pear tree grows just the right sort of small, hard, pears!) I think the writer is absolutely correct in the assumption that Éowyn's background might suggest that she should have been able to cook - and the way the movie-verse soup/stew is included and explained away in this context is masterful! I also appreciated the description of Gimli's thoughtful and practical wedding gift, and agree that Éowyn would not want to simply hand it over to the kitchen staff. A short tale that is, certainly, well worth the reading.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 5

Ah--how wonderful to learn that Eowyn is NOT the pathetic cook she appears in the EE version of the PJ TTT movie! It appears that not only can she cook, but she can and does cook well indeed, as evidenced by the meal she prepares for her husband, who admits he'd been told of the awful mess she'd offered him during the trip from Edoras to Helm's Deep. A wonderful tonic to offer against that movie-verse scene! And it's an authentic recipe-fic as well! Definitely a fic to bookmark so as to try the recipes for some special occasion! I do recommend this one!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 4

Aranel Took serves up a quite appetizing gapfiller that both qualifies Eowyn as a capable cook and explains the movieverse incident with Eowyn's stew. I love the details about the recipes and the cooking; and the characterization of Eowyn as a strong woman who knows how to run a household and do hands-on cooking. Nice under-current of gentle humor adds to the story's appeal.

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 3

I really love how Aranel "fixes" this little detail from the movies. The explanation of Eowyn's bad soup cooked during a break on the way to Helm's Deep is absolutely logical - there is hardly a way to cook something good in that situation. I like Aranel's portrait of Eowyn.

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 3

Now you have me wondering - what DO Elves inscribe on a dinner plate? "An Apple a Day Keeps the Healer Away?" "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme?" The gift from Gimli is delightful, and the story altogether charming.