The Company of Heroes

Author: annmarwalk

Nominator: Branwyn

2007 Award Category: Races: Hobbits: Children - First Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Other Ficlet

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: A chance comment by one of his children makes Sam reexamine his thoughts about a member of the Fellowship.

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Reviewed by: Mechtild  ✧  Score: 9

[May contain spoilers] There, now you’ve gone and made me cry. Simply, with un-mushy tenderness, you showed Sam, his children, and the readers coming to a deep insight into Boromir’s role in the Great Tale, and the bringing of the Quest to fulfilment. Stylistically, I admired the way you let the phrase, [“it worked out fair”] sound three times, each time striking a different note, emotionally and in terms of sense. The way the three phrases were used, even the word [“fair”] was heard in a richer, more complex way. I heard ["fair"] in the sense of *just* (i.e. Boromir paid his dues, righting his unworthy actions with noble ones), and I heard ["fair"] in the sense of *high* or *worthy* or even *beautiful*. For Boromir’s part in the Quest did have its own beauty and value. Even his fault, grave as it was, in the end seemed like a dark but strong, necessary thread woven into the larger narrative tapestry, without which would have come apart—or never been woven at all. As for your portrayal of the children, I was especially tickled by the image of little Ruby waving a *stuffed oliphaunt* by the leg, and the way you had here verbalize Boromir’s name, [“Bo’mir! Bo’mir the Tall!”] This was very well-conceived and crafted, Ann. Thank you.

Reviewed by: EdorasLass  ✧  Score: 8

This is a lovely, somewhat bittersweet glimpse at Sam's perception of Boromir. It seems very real to me that it would take innocent questioning from one of his own children to make Sam stop and consider why he doesn't talk much about Boromir, and why he's carried anger towards Boromir for so long. I think it makes sense, that Sam of all people would be resentful toward Boromir, for as Sam's only focus on that journey was Frodo, the act of Boromir trying to take the Ring would seem *personal* to Sam, rather than just the Ring working its wiles. While Sam's anger doesn't seem to have communicated itself to his children, they do all notice that their da doesn't speak much of him, and that in itself is telling. This doesn't seem to have lessened Hamfast's admiration of Boromir, however, and it makes me wonder what he's heard of Boromir from Pippin and Merry. I like that, in the end, Sam does seem to decide that it's time to stop holding the grudge against Boromir, and just accepts the events of the quest as fate, something that may not have been pleasant, but that *had* to happen.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 5

I love the way Annmarwalk captures the dynamic of the Gamgee children - happy, busy, and fanatics for stories, like their father. Stories where the true events of chronicled in LOTR are translated into children's tales and legends for others fascinate me; and this is a fine example; especially since Sam is present. I disagree with Sam's conclusion that he and Boromir [were all like mummers in a play], their parts chosen before they ever were born - I have seen this before in various other LOTR fanfics; perhaps because so many love Boromir, whose courage and heroic death is undeniable, as a character. However, it makes sense that Sam might come to this conclusion; and the story works very well.

Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 5

A wonderful family portrait. All characters are distinct, each with their own personality, and the mannerisms of little children are very spot-on. Sam's ambiguousness towards Boromir even after all these years, his reluctance to even think about him or re-evaluate his opinion strikes me as very in character for Sam, as does the fact that he would seriously think about it when the question is directly put to him by one he cherishes. His final assessment may still be a little luke-warm, but it is honest, and understandable considering his fierce loyalty towards Frodo.

Reviewed by: Aranel Took  ✧  Score: 4

A moving story of Sam coming to terms with Boromir's part in everything that happened through the innocent conversation of his children. It makes sense that Sam would compare Boromir to Gollum in order to reconcile himself to the idea that, like Gollum, Boromir's actions while under the influence of the ring may have been necessary to the success of the quest.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 4

Little Bilbo Gamgee-Gardner could name eight of the Nine Walkers. Why is it so difficult to remember Boromir? Sam confronts his own reluctance to think about the tall Gondorian, and accepts that in the end he played a crucial part in the quest in spite of his fall. It is wonderful when Ann turns her creativity to Hobbits after so much time spent in Gondor and Rohan, and this story is most thoughtfully done.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 4

This was sad, but I could completely see it. Sam has a passionate side and if his relationship to Gollum is any indication he can carry a grudge. And he really did wrong Frodo, even if it was under the influence of the Ring. So while I like to think of Boromir remembered kindly for his noble sacrifice and his honorable past, I can see Sam not wanting to talk to him that often. P.S. - I had a real chuckle when the first "ninth walker" people thought of was Haldir. ROFLOL!

Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke  ✧  Score: 3

It's one thing to want to explore how Sam might have come to grips with lingering ill-feelings toward Boromir, and another to bring about his resolution through his children, in effect, his own voice. Well done.

Reviewed by: Linda hoyland  ✧  Score: 3

A delightful ficlet concerning Sam and his children as he talks about the Fellowship to them and Boromir's place in it. For many years,Sam has resented Boromir because of his attempt to take the Ring from FRodo, but now after the years have passed, Sam sees how a greater plan was behind it all and everything turned out just as it ought to have done.

Reviewed by: White Wolf  ✧  Score: 2

Interesting observations by Sam about why he never talked about Boromir to his family. It was nice to see him come to an understanding about it.