The Burial of the Dead

Author: Altariel

Nominator: unknown

2004 Award Category: Races: Men: Gondor

Story Type: Other Fiction  ✧  Length: unknown

Rating: PG-13  ✧  Reason for Rating: violent implications

Summary: Denethor remembers the dead and the dying - Boromir, Faramir, Finduilas.

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Review scores are not available for 2004.

Reviewed by: Ainaechoiriel  ✧  Score: N/A

Beautiful writing, superb job. It galls me that a man could hate his child like that. But written with realism and skill. Very evocative.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: N/A

Another bleak, tightly-woven story, where Owen, Tolkien and Eliot supply lines and image and atmosphere. With Gondor the never-thriving backdrop, we watch as Denethor falls from hope to fury to that fearful contemplative state that marks a soul on the edge of some very dangerous and final decision. I've always thought Denethor was tied to Gondor, and we see the barrenness of his existence in the land, which seemed poisoned somehow even when Finduilas still lived. It'll take the coming of the king to heal it, but it will be too late for Denethor. Unflinching and sympathetic at once, and well worth the read.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: N/A

Very unnerving look at a rapidly cracking Denethor. The fact that it is so unnerving means it gets its message across quite well. I almost felt as thought I was also going crazy. This story is told from Denethor's perspective, and it uses quotes from the books as well as flashbacks to take us on a strange and bizarre journey through Denethor's mind. The way in which he remembers things and the order in which these things are remembered is telling. The final part in which Denethor contemplates that Finduilas speaks more as one dead than she ever did as one living gave me chills and says quite a bit about his relationship with her. Very good story that gives us a glimpse into the mind and heart of one of LotR's most complex characters.

Reviewed by: Elanor  ✧  Score: N/A

This piece where Denethor remembers his nearest family, all dead or dying is the most poetical work in this category. And since poetry for me has my highest esteem, this is the story I acclaim the most. The second paragraph from "It was not hard to love him" over "but the unfaithful air meant you heard it first" until "I would trade the earth to fill the land again with hope." is so haunting and so understandable of the grieving Denethor that I only can bow to Altariel's capability to pour the thoughts of fallible men into beautiful poetical words. The part where Denethor weighs Faramir and finds him deficient. Haunting and believable. How Denethor sees the relationship of Boromir to Faramir with respect to himself is masterly captured in words: "Lies, I fear, might flow from him like liquid - on the other's account" How Denethor sees the pyre as a means to save himself and Faramir from the dark fire of the Enemy through the purifying end in the self-willed pyre. How in the end forces he himself to admit that he should have tried even harder to cure Faramir from his admiration of the wizard. Could anybody write it clearer and more sympathetic ? And last comes Finduilas the ever present ghost of his life's love. She accuses him for squandering her sons, her only legacy: "Sons spent in sacrifice, surrendered up to steel." And then in the end of this piece the dejected words of a man who spent his life to preserve Gondor sacrificing all to his duty: "All comes to naught. All is consumed by fire." Nay, I do not remember a fanfiction-story which gives deeper insight into men's fault to view all around him only with respect to his own self while nevertheless presenting us the believable picture of a great man.