2011 Award Category: Men: Faramir - Honorable Mention
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: Teen ✧ Reason for Rating: Disturbing Imagery/Themes
Summary: "Now being healed he took upon him his authority and the Stewardship." - The Return of the King, LoTR, Book 6, Chapter 5, The Steward and the King. Faramir learns some unpalatable truths on his first day as Steward.
Reviewed by: Darkover ✧ Score: 9
I loved this--that was my immediate reaction upon finishing this story, because it strikes me as so *realistic,* as well as being in-character for how Tolkien wished Faramir to be portrayed. In this brilliantly-written story, Faramir learns what happened on the day his father died. He learns how Denethor died, and why, and not least of all, that his own father meant to burn him alive, and Faramir gets angry! All too frequently, Faramir is portrayed in fan fiction as some kind of plaster saint, and usually totally lacking in confidence and self-esteem as well. That is not the case in this insightful and emotional tale. While it is not impossible that Faramir may forgive his father in time, both for what Denethor tried to do to Faramir and for Denethor's betrayal of both their country and his oath as Steward, it seems clear that it will be quite awhile before such forgiveness comes to pass. In the meantime, Faramir is furious and hurt, and he richly deserves to feel that way. Faramir is shocked and angry, and yet, unlike his father, he does not let his feelings and personal wishes interfere with his duty. This is a great story. Read it, and be glad!
Reviewed by: The Lauderdale ✧ Score: 8
This story tackles one of those "between the scenes" moments that most of us have probably wondered about: that moment when Faramir finds out about Denethor's final madness, and the pyre. There were two things I found especially striking about this story, and about this depiction of Faramir. One is his confidence. The Faramir I often see in fanfiction is one who feels guilty and unloved, wracked with self-doubt and quick to accept blame, whether it is deserved or not. But this Faramir does not doubt his father's love, and he is bemused that others should take it upon themselves to remind him of it. The second is his anger, for Faramir, while a capable soldier, is also characterized by gentleness and a certain scholarly reserve. But this Faramir is angry, and he expresses that anger: at HÃºrin who has misled him, and at Denethor, who betrayed his city, his son, and his oath. It is an uncomfortable, punch-in-the-gut moment, powerfully and simply rendered by Tanaqui, instantly recognizable for anyone who has ever known someone that [would not wait].
Reviewed by: Altariel ✧ Score: 7
There are surely as many versions of the story of how Faramir learned about the pyre as there are Faramir fanfiction writers (and perhaps some of us have several versions tucked up our sleeves), but this strikes me as a particularly careful and well-thought-through version. The choice of HÃºrin as witness and point of view character is clever, providing someone who has known Faramir as both commander and as boy, and is therefore someone who will allow Faramir to grieve and to be angry, and then give him space to regain his composure and his dignity. The brief moment of incomprehension on Faramir's part as to why his fall in particular should have caused Denethor to believe the City would fall, and HÃºrin's gentle admonishment (["You were also his son, Faramir," he chided gently]) speaks volumes about the relationships between all three men. The end of the story - a quiet, sombre moment after cataclysmic events and great sorrow, called to mind the end of "Hamlet": ["Take up the bodies. Such a sight as this Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss. Go, bid the soldiers shoot."] Lovely piece, Tanaqui.
Reviewed by: Antane ✧ Score: 4
An interesting, thoughful, quietly powerful exploration of what Faramir may have felt after he learns of the manner of his father's death and what that meant - loss of hope and desire to fight against the Shadow which everyone else did even without hope. Love Hurin's silent prayer that Faramir was strong enough to handle it. This would be something big for him to work through in the coming days.
Reviewed by: obsidianj ✧ Score: 3
Ouch! That was some unpalatable truth. I love the way Hurin observes Faramir and sees all the different roles Faramir wears until at last he is The Steward. I wouldn't want to have Hurin's task.
Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland ✧ Score: 3
A powerful depiction of a moment we all wonder about, how did Faramir learn of what happened to his father and almost happened to him? This is a story of contrasts from Faramir accepting of his father before he knew the truth and angry Faramir when he learns exactly what happened. A powerful and well written story.
Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel ✧ Score: 3
A very personal glimpse of what was no doubt one of the most difficult days in Faramir's life--to date. The author handled this very well, I found. The depiction of Faramir is refreshing and strong: a joy to read.