A Brother's Vision

Author: Darkover

Nominator: cairistiona

2011 Award Category: Drama: Family - First Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Violence

Summary: A story of how Faramir's visions affected his relationships with Boromir and Denethor, and how Boromir protected Faramir. Bookverse, h/c.

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Reviewed by: cairistiona  ✧  Score: 10

This is, in my estimation, one of the best stories I've read about relationship between Boromir, Faramir, and Denethor. It doesn't fall prey to the usual idea that Denethor was a beastly father who scorned, ridiculed, beat and abused a weak, ineffective Faramir. Instead, it paints a portrait of a family headed by a man who was imperfect, and like the books indicate, fell under the influence of Sauron thanks to his use of the Palantir. Boromir and Faramir are written skillfully as brothers who are extremely close, and Boromir's protectiveness is touching. The theme that drives the plot is that of foresight... Faramir's and then eventually Boromir's, and Denethor's seeming dismissal of their dreams and visions. Denethor's reactions are written with skillful nuance--you find yourself realizing that he understands the significance of his sons' identical dreams of the sword that was broken, a point of canon that is skillfully veiled. We're given a peek at it but it's something that triggers a sense of intrigue and mystery that's often tricky to accomplish with major bits of canon. I think upon reading this story, a reader who perhaps wasn't all that familiar with The Lord of the Rings would find themselves hurrying to read the book to find out more about the original story and the role these three men play, and that's the sign of an excellent fanfic.

Author response: Dear Cairistiona: You have made me blush with happiness! I'm so very glad and flattered that you think so highly of this story, and that you appreciate what I was trying to do. I'm equally glad you believe I got the characterizations and plot nuances done properly. I'm very flattered that so many good, insightful fan authors, like you, have taken the time to read and review my stories. Thank you very much.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 7

I just loved this story and how well you used what canon hints we have to show the bond between the brothers. I especially enjoyed the final chapter and Beregond's appearance when Boromir entrusts Faramir to the guard..The story shows in three chapters how Faramir's visions continued throughout his life. I felt very sorry for little Faramir seeing his mother's death I really felt for the poor child, neglected by his nurse.I loved Boromir's attempts to comfort his brother while overcoming his fears that his brother has fits. The second chapter is maybe even darker as Faramir has visions of his father using the palantir which will come to destroy him and Denethor's anger. The final chapter deals with the vision that called Boromir to Rivendell, which many readers wonder might have been a mission meant for Boromir.Denethor's lack of trust in his younger son costs him his beloved Boromir. A very well written story which should appeal to any Tolkien fan who cares about the House of Hurin.

Author response: Dear Linda: I am deeply flattered that you loved this story, and that you believe I did a good job of using canon. I tried to keep the brothers' relationship close to how Tolkien portrayed them and their relationship. You have given a wealth of detail about what you liked about the story, and you even recommend it to others. Thank you very much! Sincerely, Darkover

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 5

This is an interesting trio of vision-centered stories. I like the quick turns at the end, that encapsulate the changes the visions have wrought in the family in the first two ficlets, and am particularly attracted by the scenario played out in chapter two. That Faramir should foresee his father's corruption and its source, without knowing what it is, exactly, is a poignant notion, and it really amplifies the tension in that father-son relationship. The chilling effect that the fulfillment of that vision has on Faramir's family support in the face of such visions was well-played. Good work, Darkover!

Author response: Dear Dwimordene: Thank you for your thoughtful comments, as well as your very kind words at the end. I'm glad you enjoyed this story, and that you took the trouble to tell me what you liked about it. Thank you for reading and reviewing!

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale  ✧  Score: 5

Tolkien's Faramir is a man notable for his dreams of past and future. It can't have been easy growing up with visions that frequently depicted devastation and disaster, and Darkover shows what it might have been like for Boromir, standing on the edges of his little brother's unhappiness and doing his best to protect and comfort him. Though Denethor is not devoid of love or feeling for his younger son, he makes that task harder: in one scene Faramir is met with harsh consequences when, not fully knowing of what he speaks, he warns Denethor against his use of the palantir. You have to wonder how things might have turned out differently had Denethor listened to Faramir as a boy, and not underestimated him as an adult.

Author response: Dear The Lauderdale: Thank you! Your review is quite insightful, which indicates I must have accomplished what I set out to do to at least some extent. I'm so glad you apparently believe I did a good job of characterization of all involved. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and extensive review.

Reviewed by: Wtiger  ✧  Score: 4

One of the things that I enjoyed about this story is the interaction between the brothers. Tolkien makes it clear that they shared a deep love and strong bond despite the obvious favoritism from Denethor. Boromir is always concerned for his brother's safety and well being. I also like the way that he entrusts his brother's care to Beregond. A trust that is later repaid in a commanding manner. Well written

Author response: Dear Wtiger: I am grateful and pleased that you consider this story to be well written. I very much appreciate not only the positive review, but that you have told me specifically what you liked about the story. Thank you very much!

Reviewed by: agape4gondor  ✧  Score: 3

A nicely written piece. The love of the brothers is clear. The beginning, middle, and ending of the family dynamics are well thought out. Nicely concluded. As another reviewer said, the vision of Finduilas' death is quite potent.

Author response: Dear agape4gondor: I'm very pleased that you believe this story was well written, and that you consider that I did an appropriate job of portraying both the love of the brothers for each other, and the dynamics of their family. Thank you for your thoughtful review!

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 2

A very nice tale of brotherly love, centered on two of the most popular brothers in fandom. Effective and charming.

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 2

What I love most about this touching story is the love between the two brothers, Boromir and Faramir. Beautifully done.

Author response: Dear Ellyn: Thank you so much. I tried to do a good and canonical job of writing the relationship and family dynamics of Boromir and Faramir, and if you enjoyed the love between them, I must have done it right. Thank you so much for reviewing and letting me know!