Lingering Shadows

Author: Linda Hoyland

Nominator: rosethorn59

2011 Award Category: Character Study: Aragorn

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Faramir fears that shadows of the past might threaten his baby son and seeks the King's help.

Read the Story  ✧  Backup Story Link

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 8

Dear Linda, I really like how you have brushed the conventions of the ghost story against the grain here. Where usually, the appearance of the ghost induces fear and is the result of some gruesome event, here the ghost is drawn to the baby’s crib by love and seems to be a comfort to the infant. The warm, calm atmosphere of the piece reflects this benign nature of the ghost. There is a painful prospect opening up for a moment that Faramir might feel excluded from the attentions of his grandfather as he had felt excluded from the love of his father, but the conversation between him and Aragorn resolves this issue in a satisfactory way, as Aragorn explains to Faramir how much he resembles his grandsire. They have, as Faramir eventually understands, indeed [come full circle] and Aragorn in his role as an adoptive father to Faramir now provides the link between the generations which was broken, in a way, by Denethor. This is a heart-warming glimpse of a world in which broken relationships are at last restored. I enjoyed it very much.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 4

An interesting variation on traditional ghost stories, where the ghost is either a dangerous spirit or associated with sorrow or violence. In this gentler ghost story, Aragorn and Faramir encounter a ghost from Aragorn's past and Faramir's own family tree, Ecthelion. It's a nifty literary trick that only Aragorn, and Faramir's infant son Elboron, can see the twenty-fifth Steward of Gondor; but

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 4

To call this a ghost story is a bit like calling "A Christmas Carol" a ghost story. Certainly the supernatural seems to be at work here, but there are many other elements to the tale. The story also is about the friendship between Aragorn and Faramir--and few fan authors write that as well as Linda Hoyland does. It is also about fathers and sons, and how things can come full circle. The reader's interest will be piqued, and the well-written dialogue and characterization carry the story along. The ending is quite satisfying.

Reviewed by: Antane  ✧  Score: 3

I too have heard of children being able, for example their guardian angel, being more open to such things. I love Faramir's remark that his grandfather came for Aragorn as well. Certainly he did. That was the best part of the story.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 2

This is a very sweet "ghost story," if that's the right term. A beautiful look at life in Gondor during the fourth age.

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 1

This is a very good and plausible "ghost story", with a nice ending.