How Many Years?

Author: Marta

Nominator: unknown

2004 Award Category: Races: Men: Gondor

Story Type: Other Fiction  ✧  Length: unknown

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: The road to the hallows above Minas Tirith is travelled only once a generation, on the coming-of-age of the current steward's oldest son. Denethor leads Boromir down that scarce-walked path, and Denethor finally gives Boromir an honest answer to a question he asked as a child.

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Review scores are not available for 2004.

Reviewed by: Ainaechoiriel  ✧  Score: N/A

A nice story full of nuance. I liked the tradition and the hallowed area where Elendil was laid. Also I liked Denethor's answer, whether or not he meant it (based on your notes). I oculdn't help thinking, however, of Faramir. No one took him up that road on his 20th birthday, and yet, in the end, he would be the Steward's heir, and in irony of sorts, the one to welcome home the king.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: N/A

Ah, context for that notoriously difficult to handle quote: "How many hundreds of years needs it to make a steward a king, if the king returns not?" I like the notion of the Steward's Heir swearing his oath of allegiance over Elendil's hallow, and also I'm intrigued by the idea of a question that is in itself wise, but which cannot be asked. I start splitting hairs between prudent and wise-the question, Boromir, is a prudent one, but silence is the wise course. I think he always had difficulty with that distinction, and I don't doubt it runs in the family: already, we see Denethor beginning to suffer under the burden of enhanced foresight. Nicely done.

Reviewed by: Elanor  ✧  Score: N/A

I still doubt that Denethor gives Boromir an honest answer to a question he asked as a child, but I enjoyed the story. It is well written, has a believable plot, and feels like cannon. Minor quibbles: Denethor feels too serene IMO, he seems not to be the political plotter Tolkien envisioned. For me he feels and thinks more like an apolitical mother than a ruling father, who drives himself and others ruthlessly. But these objections are minor points. The story itself is still beautiful.