Five Things That Never Happened to Faramir & Eowyn

Author: Altariel

Nominator: Dwimordene

2005 Award Category: Books/Time: The Lord of The Rings: Drabble - Third Place

Story Type: Drabble  ✧  Length: N/A

Rating: PG  ✧  Reason for Rating: Generally dark atmosphere

Summary: Five things that never happened to Faramir & Eowyn; a series of drabbles.

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Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 8

Well, these five hundred words have permanently cured me of any desire to write an AU to Faramir and Éowyn's romance, which is perhaps unfortunate since I'm kind of committed by a prior fic... The basic possibilities are all gracefully covered: that Éowyn didn't ride as Dernhelm, that Faramir went to Imladris instead of Boromir, that Éowyn married Aragorn, and two scenarios in which the war is lost but in one way or another, the relationship between them is won. There are a few other options, but they strike me as less interesting. Powerful in their brevity, these five drabbles cut right to the heart of the matter every time, and feel remarkably complete considering how short they are. Hope and despair each have their moments, but more times than not, true to Tolkienish form, hope prevails, even in the darkest of circumstances. I think the last one moved me most: what do you do when you live to regret the victory of your enemy, and the utter destruction of the society you knew? Toil, age, and most importantly love, because that in the end is what keeps hope alive. An absolutely gorgeous little set—bravo, Altariel!

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 7

As a rule, Altariel is brilliant, and that brilliance lends itself to absolutely fascinating drabbles. The AU scene is an interesting one, but what makes it so interesting is watching character traits emerge that were present in canon but are now being put to other purposes. In five short drabbles, Altariel is able to do the same things that the epic AUs do, which is nothing short of amazing. You can see Faramir's character and his refusal to give up. To fight to the end no matter what and to spare a brief moment to reflect on that. In Eowyn comes her stubbornness and her pride, but we also see her ability to love and to give. I love the different avenues that this drabbles explore. I think my favorite one was the drabble in which they shared a last kiss before turning to face the darkness together, but I was also fond of Faramir dying as the last of the stewards. Both of those strike me as very likely scenarios had things gone differently. Excellent job!

Reviewed by: Aliana  ✧  Score: 5

"She comes to him and claims the kiss; the last breath before night takes it all. Their lips part, never to meet again in this life." An extremely deft and chilling drabble sequence. Unlike many AUs, the five scenarios have not only a "What if...?" effect, but they also serve to set the canon text into sharp relief, making the reader realize how fortunate it was that things happened the way they "really" did. The progression of the drabbles, and how the action of each takes place at a more or less later date than the previous one, was also very well done.

Reviewed by: Elana  ✧  Score: 5

This is a wonderful concept, and a brilliant execution. Each of the five alternate universes is bleak in its own way. Even the third, which on the surface seems happy, is hauntingly desolate. In a way, the fifth, most terrible for the inhabitants of Middle-earth, is in a way the most hopeful, for they have each other, and so Faramir cannot despair. Reading these makes me very happy Tolkien chose to write the ending he did, and unite the two of them. This has haunted me since I first saw it posted to HASA, and I'm glad to see it competing here.

Reviewed by: nerwen_calaelen  ✧  Score: 4

These alternatives are so dark and by that reiforce how lucky and unlikely it was that Eowyn and Faramir survived to marry and live happily. I like the way that you have found five distinct possibilities without streatching too far from canon. I especially like the first one as it echos how Eowyn doing what would appear to be the correct thing destroys the chances of her happiness and the downfall of Sauron.

Reviewed by: EdorasLass  ✧  Score: 2

Oh, I *love* these. These are gorgeous snapshots - all heartbreaking to one extent or another, number three particularly - and they tend to linger in my head, making me glad (at very odd moments) that none of these things *did* happen. Perfect.

Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke  ✧  Score: 2

Interesting ... a very provocative perspective. I loved the curt but descriptive style except for the opening line of several - too much like reporting.