The Promise

Author: agape4gondor

Nominator: Linaewen

2011 Award Category: Character Study: Gondorians

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Holding Gondor dear requires sacrifice beyond all telling. But she is worth it.(500 words per MS Word)

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Reviewed by: Linaewen  ✧  Score: 10

This is a beautiful tribute to Denethor, Steward of Gondor, as well as to the people of Gondor who willingly give up sons to fight for the cause of freedom. Denethor's love and devotion to his people and the land of Gondor is second to none, and he is willing to what it takes to achieve it -- even giving up his own son to go on a quest for aid. The description of the land and provinces of Gondor is beautiful and reveals in just a few words how precious it all is to Denethor and to each and every one of the people he serves as Steward. Gondor is worth saving and holding, for as long as it is possible to hold it safe and free. The Steward is proud, yet he knows when it is time to bend his pride, to seek help in keeping Gondor intact; he is willing to do it because it is for the purpose of keeping freedom hallowed. I see this piece as a vital gap filler for that period of time when the battle for the bridge of Osgiliath is over and Boromir and Faramir are sent their prophetic dreams to seek for the Sword that Was Broken. Denethor sees those dreams as offering hope to his people, yet it would seem that the burden of having to carry the fight for freedom on his shoulders becomes so great that his vision of that hope becomes clouded. Nevertheless, his commitment to Gondor and her people is not diminished, and with his loss of hope comes an even greater commitment to seeing freedom pursued, no matter what it takes. This tale is a fitting tribute to our own sons and daughters, fathers and mothers who give their best for freedom.

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 5

An interesting and not improbable view of Denethor's thoughts about his country and his Stewardship. Readers do not normally think of Denethor as being an emotional man, but there is no reason to believe that his responsibilities were not keenly felt. Gondor was ready for the arrival of the king in no small part because Denethor worked so hard for so long to preserve it. This story also reminds us that letting Boromir journey to Rivendell on Gondor's behalf was a considerable sacrifice for Denethor; he expected as much from his own sons as he did from the people of Gondor. As such, the dedication for this tale--to U.S. soldiers on Veterans' Day--is also appropriate. Well done.

Author response: Thank you. I am honored it was so well received.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 5

For Denethor, the determination to send his elder son in search of answers to the riddling dream that had haunted so many of their line was a serious one. But how else was he to see to it that the land entrusted to his protection, with all its far-flung and varied regions, should endure in the face of the impending darkness. This paean to the glory of Gondor is poetic in the greatest sense of the word. One can taste the great love Denethor holds for his country, and his concern for every man, woman, and child that dwells within its borders. Not to be missed.

Author response: Bless you! I couldn't ask for a better review!

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 3

This is a wonderful insight into Denethor's personality. I especially enjoyed the favorable light the author cast him in, as so often it seems not to be the case. Beyond that, everything in this piece seems realistic; that is, it's easy to imagine this Man would be thinking/feeling these things at the time. A very nice story altogether.

Author response: Bless you. Writing evil Denethor is just too easy. I loved the challenge the character gives us.

Reviewed by: Fiondil  ✧  Score: 3

Many of us have a distorted view of Denethor, the last Ruling Steward of Gondor, thanks to the movies and in some ways, Tolkien’s own depiction of him. Here we see Denethor in a vulnerable moment. Agape’s sympathetic characterization of this man is a welcome relief from the more negative depictions found elsewhere in fanfiction.

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 2

This is a beautiful piece. It explains so much about Denethor and his stubborn will to keep Gondor at all cost. And the cost is high.

Author response: The cost was unendurable. Thank you.