Author: Acacea

Nominator: Marta

2005 Award Category: Books/Time: Post-Ring War: Gondor

Story Type: Vignette  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: PG  ✧  Reason for Rating: adult themes

Summary: Post ROTK -- Faramir's reflections before a battle, on the retreat across the Pelennor, and on Éowyn.

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Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 10

"In his own mind, he was there to acquit himself of sins he himself was not sure of. But sins there must be, his weary mind had told him. Sins committed long before unknowingly, sins committed recently, knowingly, and worst of all the sin of dreaming a dream that brought nothing but sorrow in its wake." This has to be one of the best lines I've read in the stories nominated this year (to date, at least). It is entirely true: when something goes wrong, it is human nature to look for something that *we* did wrong, because then if we change that thing we do, bad stuff will stop happening to us. Of course it just does not work that way, but it is the most natural thing in the world to think that way. Personally, I belong to the school of thought that Denethor really loved Faramir. He did not do such a good job of showing it to him at least in the course of the books. With everything else that was going on (the death of Boromir, Denethor's mental decline due to his use of the palantír, et cetera), not to say anything about the stress of being the two most powerful men in a country on the horizon of a war, where that country's very survival is at stakes. Anyway, it is so sad that Faramir needed Éowyn to make him want to return from war. Understandable, though. At the end, even if Denethor loved him, I do not think that Faramir necessarily realized it. They were both screwed up by that point. You did a fine job of getting all of this across, in so few words and in an entertaining fashion.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 6

This is definitely one of the better ways to handle a Faramir introspection piece. I love the way his retreat across the Pelennor is contrasted to the battle he’s currently fighting and how Eowyn can make such a difference. Her presence highlights just how dark his world became during the War of the Ring, and his frame of mind has changed so much it’s almost as though he’s a different person. The despair in his heart the first time around was painful, and I love the section on his guilt and how his mind insisted there must be sins because there was no other explanation for his father’s actions. Wonderful story that completely and utterly avoids the trap of turning into a Faramir pity wallow. The contrasts and the hope at the end make all the difference.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 3

A brief, in-fic analysis of Faramir's state of mind when he accepted his father's last command, and the difference it makes to know he has someone to return to who clearly and unambiguously loves him. It's a thin line between Pelennor fields and any other battle, it seems, and one that Éowyn maintains for him.

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 3

I never really thought about Faramir's mood when he rode to his last battle to retake Osgliath. That maybe his father's parting words may have contributed to him nearly not coming back. Having Eowyn now makes all the different for his will to survive a battle. Good insight into Faramir's psyche.