On the Edge

Author: Raksha the Demon

Nominator: Linda Hoyland

2011 Award Category: Fixed-Length Ficlets: General - First Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: On the night before Aragorn's coronation, Faramir prepares to end his brief reign as Ruling Steward and welcome his King.(500 words)

Read the Story  ✧  Backup Story Link

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 10

I loved this story on several levels. Firstly it is vivid portrayal of Faramir's last night as ruling Steward, secondly it is a situation with which I think most of us can identify with on some level, such as the last night before some great change in our lives such as before going to college, getting married, moving house ,or becoming a parent, and thirdly it is the dawn of a new age seen through one man's eyes with a mixture of joy and sadness. Who could embody joy and sadness better than Faramir? He has suffered a great deal during the war, losing his brother, being wounded and almost being burned alive by his father who then took his own life instead of dying a warrior's death. Faramir has gains as well as losses, though. Aragorn saved his life after Pippin and Gandalf saved him from the fire, he has become engaged to Eowyn and lived to see Sauron defeated. I like it that in this story Faramir is filled with good will towards the new King and hoping he is getting a good rest, something that shows his goodness when his own future is as yet uncertain.I like it that Faramir had rejoice in handing over his charge to Aragorn, something that i doubt either his father or brother would have done. The image of Faramir standing on the walls looking out over the City is a vivid one which will linger in my mind for a long time.

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 9

Dear Raksha, this is a fitting and well-crafted portrayal of a crucial moment in time, a moment on the edge, as the title so appropriately says. You capture well the atmosphere of Faramir looking both back and forward, and as a reader it feels as if the world is holding its breath for a moment. Initially, Faramir is reflecting only of his recent labours, the practical arrangements he has made for the following day as his last duty in his current role. His future is as yet uncertain, but he looks forward in faith nonetheless. Then he considers the symbols of the Stewards’ reign, banner and rod, and it is inevitable that there will be pangs of regret and feelings of loss, however fruitful the King’s new reign is promising to be. The personal costs of the war have been great for Faramir, a man who stands alone now having lost all his closest of kin. It is a sign of his strength of character and pureness of heart that he can ultimately look on the coming change not with bitterness, but with the satisfaction of a noble tasks faithfully fulfilled. This is a beautiful vignette that fits perfectly into the Tolkien canon.

Reviewed by: Russandol  ✧  Score: 5

I enjoyed getting into Faramir's mind in this life-changing moment for him and for Gondor. When I first read The Lord of the Rings, at the age of 16 or so, I was so excited about Aragorn becoming king at last that I only spared a moment of gladness for Faramir keeping the White Rod. It was only later I appreciated how he had held in his hands the success or failure of Aragorn's future as King. In this scene he reflects on his labours, and on the soon-to-be king. A new day will come with Aragorn, full of hope. What I liked most was the ending lines. Faramir's job is done and he's proud to step back having fulfilled his task at the end of a very long line of ancestors who also did their duty. A very nice bit of introspection.

Author response: Thanks for the review, Russandol! I think that the transfer of power from the Stewards' line to the returned King must have been at least a little bittersweet to Faramir, though he had played a definitive role in bringing it about; but thankfully he is enough of a student of history to appreciate the changes in store for himself, Gondor and Aragorn. I enjoyed writing this particular moment between scenes in ROTK; and I'm glad you liked the piece.

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 4

This piece has a reflective feel to it. No wonder, since Faramir watches his city on the eve of the coronation. His thoughts about what Aragorn might do at this hour have something whimsical. He has a lot to learn about his new lord. I like the pictures this scene brings to my mind. Faramir standing on the wall looking out over the city and watching the banner of the Stewards. Very evokative

Reviewed by: Altariel  ✧  Score: 4

On the night before the Coronation, Faramir stands in the Citadel of Minas Tirith reflecting on the past and anticipating the future. Raksha's story cleverly captures both the peacefulness of the moment and Faramir's quiet excitement over what is to come. As well as the mood, I particularly want to praise the well-judged detail that gives a sense of atmosphere, such as the ["familiar sound of wind-snapped cloth"] that draws Faramir from his reverie. A reflective piece that is nonetheless brimful of promise.

Author response: Thanks much for reviewing this one, Altariel. I was especially pleased that you liked it, since the ficlet was inspired by your wonderful story A Kind of Valediction (which I just reread again, it's one of my favorites of your stories)...That time of transition must have been wondrous but a bit melancholy for Faramir; but it's fascinating to write and read about.

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 4

This is a *noble* tale, for not only is it being told from the POV of a noble, strong, dedicated, and honest man, it is a story of change and the inevitability of it. Faramir reflects on how some aspects of life are ending, while others are just beginning; he quietly and reverently recalls the former, and optimistically welcomes the latter. The author does an excellent job of doing this in very few words. Well written!

Author response: Thank you for this and your other reviews, Darkover; I really appreciate them. Change and how we, and Faramir, deal with it, is a theme that I have written about more than once. And of course, Faramir was a key player, not just an eyewitness, to change; and I think he would also bring a historian's perspective as well. I'm glad you enjoyed the piece.

Reviewed by: Antane  ✧  Score: 4

A lovely little story showing another reason I love Faramir. He is so ready and willing to welcome his king and loves him from the very first moment he sees him when Aragorn brought him back from the shadows. Here he is ready to hand over power to him, the very opposite of what his father was like. Thank you for this glimpse into a gentle man and a gentleman and one who will receive his reward.

Author response: Thanks for this review, Antane. I love Faramir too! I think, while he has a formidable intellect, like Denethor, he might be more willing to take a leap of faith in certain circumstances, i.e. letting Frodo and Sam procede with the Enemy's Ring into Mordor with Gollum as their guide, or naming the scruffy Ranger captain as his king. And Faramir was enough of a student of history to appreciate the significance of the return of the king.

Reviewed by: Levade  ✧  Score: 3

It's not every day that you stand at the cusp of an historical event (and are aware of it), and wonder at the change about to come. It seems very true to the character for Faramir to do so, and to look forward to the king who will come again, as well as saluting those behind who have faithfully served as stewards. Lovely piece, Raksha.

Author response: Thanks much for the review, Levade. I thought Faramir, who is a history buff, would make use of some time to reflect on the changes, especially if most of the work involved was done, and the preparations made for the big coronation event on the following day. And he would not be Faramir if he had not remembered the Stewards and all they had done....

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 3

A wonderful glimpse into Faramir's mindset during a particularly emotional time. It all seemed quite realistic and in-character, and I enjoyed seeing this expansion on a much-beloved character.

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 2

This is a wonderful portrait of Faramir and his thoughts on the eve of the coronation. I love how Raksha describes Faramir - a good, honorable man.

Author response: Thanks for reading and reviewing this one, Ellynn. It had to have been an interesting, bittersweet time for Faramir.

Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel  ✧  Score: 2

A really fascinating look inside what might have been going through Faramir's head as he prepared to turn over the rule of Gondor to Aragorn, and a good read.