Pure Morning

Author: curiouswombat

Nominator: annmarwalk

2010 Award Category: Genres: Romance: Dunedain - First Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: Mature  ✧  Reason for Rating: Rated for sexual activity - some involving more than two people, and for mention of a sexual encounter involving less than two sexes...

Summary: It is the year 3016 of the 3rd Age and, despite understanding why both he and her cousin remain unwed, Éowyn accepts a proposal of marriage to Boromir for reasons of her own...

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Reviewed by: annmarwalk  ✧  Score: 10

I'm quite touched and pleased that Curiouswombat took an offhand comment of mine to a drabble of hers and created something so lovely and unique and moving out of it. That's the great joy of fanfiction for me, the transformative nature, that we give and take, riffing off of each other so freely and delightedly. The tale is a somewhat brooding character study, and I find all the characterization here to be spot-on (once one takes the leap toward accepting Gay!Boromir and Gay!Théodred). Opening the story with Théoden considering his son and his lover, their past and future (and how their relationship affects Rohan and Gondor's future) sets the tone for the story, I think - it's ultimately a tale of love and generosity which I didn't really find too dark at all. Pragmatic Eowyn - I think this is what sparked all this. My comment was that she would understand and accept her value as a playing piece in [The Game of Thrones]. Which she most certainly does here, as well as the personal implications - to accept a purely political marriage to a man she knows and likes, a man whose needs and desires she fully understands and accepts, a man she knows won't be too bothersome in the bed ["he would make few demands in the marriage bed, from what her cousin had told her; better than a man she did not love who wished to service her regularly"]; a man who will remove her from proximity to the detestable Grima. But how my heart ached for her at the moment of her painful realization that her husband could be most easily aroused when she was ["hot and sticky; hair, britches, shirt, all clinging to her damply… like a warrior"]. And Boromir, especially WeddingNight Boromir! [“There should be blood”, she said. “Within the Mark many girls break their maidenhead when riding – but blood is expected in Gondor, I am told. If we do not… do that… there will be no blood and my reputation may be questioned.” “There will be blood,” he said, and pierced his own skin with his dagger.] What a hero, totally committed to supporting her in her role as Lady of Gondor. *hearts him more than ever* The scene with the three of them together was absolutely delicious, particularly when he makes the stunning realization that actively providing her with pleasure, and seeing her to climax, is going to make everything much, much better for the three of them. ["The kisses and caresses between her husband and her cousin did not shock or upset Éowyn – they ensured that Boromir was hard and able to successfully couple with her. Under these circumstances she was also receiving pleasure from the act and began to feel almost as if she had two husbands – the one she had formally wed, and the one she had dreamed of as a girl."] This also reminded me very strongly of [Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Mists of Avalon"], where Arthur invites Lancelot to share Guinivere's bed with him, in hopes of Lance's siring a child that Arthur could happily and proudly claim as his own. I would dearly love to see this story continued, but I know how quickly these things can turn into complete canon rewrite, which can be quite daunting *grin* In any case, I'll be very pleased to read whatever, whenever is written to continue this.

Reviewed by: Oshun  ✧  Score: 10

This story could be a dark one, because it is not a flight of romantic fantasy or how true love conquers all, which so many Éowyn stories are. But in so many ways it is more satisfying and lovely for its sense of acceptance which is not at all passive of the vicissitudes of fate and life, compromise when faced with those, and making the best of less than perfect circumstances. The sense of mutual respect and self-respect on the part of all the parties involved despite the fact that none of them are able to choose their ideal life is life-affirming and positive. I am completely besotted with each of the three main protagonists for totally different reasons. I love the honorable, loyal and faithful, if somewhat clueless at times Boromir, who manages to show his own quality and wisdom before the end of the story. In many ways, Theodred is the alpha male of the threesome for me. Not as innocent as Boromir, more worldly and closer to his roots in many ways, and in a position to make things happen in way that Éowyn is not within their world. Éowyn is nothing short of magnificent and even regal in her way; a woman of impressive stature in this world which views her first and foremost as the bearer of heirs. She is best described in Theodred's words, [‘Béma, we breed them strong in the Mark’]. I could quote you line after line and concept after concept that I admired. I am working a similar storyline into one of my own novels at the moment, the main outlines of which I had been worked out a couple of years before reading this one, about a marriage for dynastic reasons, which is in some ways similar to this one. I almost wish I hadn't read this excellent story when I did, because it cannot help but influence mine. I surely could do worse I think, so I probably ought to just get over myself and be grateful. I heartily recommend this one. It's human, it's warm, even romantic, and as I said before thoroughly satisfying.

Reviewed by: Kara's Aunty  ✧  Score: 10

An interesting premise to this story: Eowyn being used as a brood mare/decoy in the machinations of men of power, and choosing to marry Boromir in order to escape the sinister and unwelcome attentions of Grima Wormtongue. It was a fascinating look at what may have happened, had she chosen the elder son of the Steward over the younger. Interesting also to see how she was regarded, not only by the chauvinistic Denethor, but by the people of Gondor themselves. How they expected her to behave, to look, to speak, etc. She was certainly perceptive in regards to her cousin's and Boromir's relationship, and also in engaging her husband to fulfil his marital duties, though for me she lacked just a bit of the fiery tempestuousness of the Eowyn I read in the books. Perhaps it was because she was a bit too willing to accept her fate as no more than a glorified baby machine - though in in all fairrness to the author, he/she did admirably pay respect to Eowyn's skill with the sword, even if it was mainly as a means to seduce Boromir. I must admit, if I had know the fic contained slashy (or multiple partner) elements, I would probably have avoided it. Slash (et al) is fine, when it's canon but I can't read it when it's not. Still, my preferences are not those of everyone else, and I absolutely respect the author's right to write what he/she enjoys, and what her fans appreciate. And I'm certain that curiouswombat has very many fans. Because - despite my discomfort at the (for me) graphic sex scenes - this is a beautifully penned tale. It is insightful, thought-provoking and, apart from some rather contemporary (and graphic) vocabulary, it contains some of the most beautiful dialogue and descriptions that I have ever read. Whether slash is my cup of tea or not, I certainly do not regret the time I spent reading this intriguing fic. Congratulations, curiouswombat.

Reviewed by: Erulisse  ✧  Score: 10

This is a tale bringing together three people from canon – two from Rohan, one from Gondor. The pairing of the males, Boromir and Theodred, is not an uncommon pairing. In many tales the two are found to be suited towards each other. The addition of Eowyn in this duo, making it a triad, broadens the scope and makes it interesting. When the union is first broached by Denethor, it makes political sense. And Eowyn is not averse to the suggestion. But it is pointed out to her that the desire for a match and a child may not be matched by the physical ability or desire to make it happen. Her physique is in her favor – she is thin, small breasted, and in many ways acts more like a young man than a woman of Gondor. But the marriage between Eowyn and Boromir is in trouble before her cousin Theodred comes to visit Minas Tirith. In that visit, the love between Boromir and Theodred is once again solidified by physical joining. But, unexpectedly, Eowyn joins them one night, and then each night. Through this she learns how best to please her husband, and he learns new respect for her. The author presented the duo and then the triad of lovers with respect and honesty. The loves scenes are not forced and flow naturally, even the planned interruptions. I recommend this story, it is a delightful short story in Tolkien’s universe that is only slightly AU.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 8

As one who is not an admirer of slash writing, I tend to read such stories mostly only at MEFA time, and mostly out of a sense of duty to see as many stories read and reviewed as possible. To find that this one was not merely another almost obligatory Boromir/Theodred romance was a great relief in a way I'd not thought to find. The reasons for the AU marriage are compelling, and the understanding of Eowyn for the relationship between her beloved cousin and the one who would become her husband is well developed and considered. And the manner in which she comes to have her marriage consummated is plausible and not written merely for the sake of titillation. I am pleased to recommend this to those who appreciate such stories, for although I doubt I shall read it again, it was nice to find this a story I can truly respect. Well written and plausibly constructed. And to consider marrying Boromir, even knowing he is primarily Theodred's lover, originally to escape the plottings of Grima is so very, very compelling a reason. Well done!

Reviewed by: Isabeau of Greenlea  ✧  Score: 6

Boromir and Theodred are a very plausible M/M pairing, given their matched ages, interests and social positions. I almost always enjoy stories about a romance between them. But I had never read one where Eowyn played a part! curiouswombat gives very plausible reasons for Eowyn agreeing to wed Boromir even while knowing that he and her cousin are lovers. She is depicted as a royal woman with no illusions and no starry-eyed ideas about romance and true love. She makes lemonade out of lemons and uses her knowledge of her husband's nature to help him consummate the marriage as he must. Her reward is to be able to share in the passion that flares between the two men. the scenes between the three of them are very well written and I like this AU Eowyn very much.

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 4

What an interesting AU this is! I've never thought about it before, but now I've read this, yes, a politically motivated union between Boromir and Eowyn makes so much sense that it seems almost an oversight of Tolkien not to provide a reason why it didn't happen in canon. The twist you give to that scenario is intriguing. I'm not usually a connoisseur of sex scenes, but here they are really pertinent to the story and I didn't find them embarrassing to read.

Reviewed by: foxrafer (csevans8)  ✧  Score: 4

Curiouswombat imagines an arranged marriage between Boromir and Eowyn, while he is not so secretly involved with her cousin Theodred. I enjoyed the examination of each character's emotions and motivations and liked this Eowyn a lot. At the end of the story, the author leaves it up to us to decide whether canon events unfold as we know them as Boromir rides for Rivendell. It's completely impossible for me to let that happen. I always prefer miraculously!undead Boromir and now I have even more reason to pull for that option.

Reviewed by: Jael  ✧  Score: 3

My goodness, I had this on my wish list and began reading with no idea what I was getting into. I enjoyed myself a lot. The writing was good, never purple, and the sex scenes were what I would call understated yet effective. The premise was totally AU but you pulled it off believably. A great job in all