In the Waiting

Author: Altariel

Nominator: Altariel

2007 Award Category: Races: Men: Gondor - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Other Ficlet

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: As Frodo and Sam sleep, Faramir contemplates the Ring.

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Reviewed by: dkpalaska  ✧  Score: 10

Such a splendid, seamless gap-filler following a very pivotal event. It is always a distinct pleasure to sink into the mind and thoughts of Altariel's Faramir - his nobility, his strength and his beauty of soul are so uplifting, and they are shown all the more clearly here where his behavior is presented against the awful weight of the Ring. There are many threads drawn from both book canon and the author's own, all magnificently woven in together with her usual beautiful, precise and poetic prose. For example, I still shiver at the connection between Denethor's spy Angrim (one of Altariel's personal inventions) with ["I saw his eyes glitter in the dark"], and the far-seeing palantir's ["glitter upon its heights"]. It also calls to mind a link between these "eyes" of Denethor and the Eye of Sauron, whose actions and influences Faramir has just been contemplating. Denethor and Sauron's methods are similar, even if their purposes are at odds; and the fact that Denethor ends his life in furious despair offers a moral commentary about the ends justifying the means. The tension of the vignette is eased a bit by Faramir finding some relief through the lingering, determined beauty of Ithilien. In fact, the description of the herb reminded me very much of athelas - another foreshadowing of events to come? Either way, the rest is well-earned, for Faramir does indeed resolutely ["stand between the darkness and that which we loved; as Ranger, between Dark Tower and White, and as son, between my father and himself."] Wonderful stuff.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 8

Altariel is one of my favorite writers of my favorite Tolkien human, Faramir of Gondor. Here is a fine vignette from her virtual pen; and, as is often the case, it resonates with fine characterisation and elegant prose. In this tale, Faramir is still the bleak Captain we saw in The Two Towers; holding out even when there is little hope. But he has crossed a sort of mental rubicon, in succoring rather than slaying or imprisoning the hobbits and, above all, allowing them to convey the Ring to Mordor instead of seizing it and taking it to Minas Tirith. Faramir knows that his father will not be pleased at the course he has taken; and though he knows that Denethor will verbally rake him over the coals for his choice, Faramir does not regret that choice and knows he did his best, for Gondor and even for Denethor. The story shows Faramir becoming even more mature than we might have realized; he takes the responsibility not only of judging his father, but of possibly saving his father from himself. The last line is rather appropriately chilling.

Reviewed by: Ignoble Bard  ✧  Score: 6

Another excellent piece from Altariel of Faramir's musings after letting Frodo and Sam continue their journey to Mordor..This is an amazing little vignette featuring Faramir. Faramir is a difficult character to write well, at least in my opinion, because he has such emotional depth, and no one brings that out like Altariel. She is a consummate observer of the human condition and her stories are always a treat to read. Faramir's moment of introspection is both a great character piece and an insightful look into the family dynamic that makes the ring leave him cold where his brother was driven to desperation. The final lines are chilling and gave me a whole new appreciation of the risks Faramir took by following the path he chose.

Reviewed by: Isabeau of Greenlea  ✧  Score: 5

Brrrrrrr. A chilling reflection from Faramir as he contemplates the consequences of letting the Ring go rather than returning it to his father, and its effects upon his house, from Boromir to himself. There are those who don't agree with Altariel's depiction of the relationship between Denethor and Faramir, but it is always consistent. Ithilien itself seems to be trying to convey its approval of Faramir's actions with its sweet scents and beauty, but the vignette ends with that cold glint from Mindoullin that can only be Denethor using the palantir, a foreboding of the disaster to come.

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 3

In this story Faramir muses about the effect the ring has on him and on the people around him, notably his father and brother. Even if the ring itself does nothing for him, because of Sauron's designs he is still affected. This is book!Faramir as I love him best. And I like the language in this vignette which I think is very Tolkienesque.

Reviewed by: phyloxena  ✧  Score: 3

It's my favorite Faramir moment, and this short ficlet is practically a poem. I'm not sure I agree with the notion that Faramir would think mostly of his father; but then again, in the ruling family it's not just family matter.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

No allure could the Ring waken in Faramir; but he senses that the Enemy shall still use his dismissal of It and release of Its bearer as a means of trying him. Wonderful thoughts of Faramir's on the Ring's effects on his family and people, and particularly on the continuing degredation of relationship with his father. Excellent presentation of mood.

Reviewed by: Bodkin  ✧  Score: 2

Poor Faramir - but when your place is always in the wrong, I suppose you can allow yourself the liberty of making up your own mind. Such a good thing that he let the hobbits go.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 2

Nice gapfiller - I could really see this being Faramir, both the introspection and the twinge of need of approval. And the first person gave it a nice sense of immediacy. Well done.