Author: A L Milton
2004 Award Category: Times: The Lord of the Rings: Gondor - First Place
Story Type: Other Fiction ✧ Length: unknown
Rating: PG ✧ Reason for Rating: adult implications
Summary: Faramir and Arwen play a game of chess in the summer of 3019 TA. Politics, the Alekhine Defence by any other name and Faramir taking his clothes off - a description that is as accurate as it is misleading.
Review scores are not available for 2004.
Reviewed by: Elanor ✧ Score: N/A
An accomplished story. Though due to the rather cool and lacquered surface I have more the feeling of an Japanese Middle-Ages story than of a Middle-Earth story. One could ascribe this to Arwen's Elfishness. Yet I miss the emotional background produced by Tolkien's words. Nevertheless well written with a good story line.
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: N/A
Very intense portrait of Arwen and Faramir's embryonic relationship, and a lovely sense of being in Faramir's head, of having everything fade away save that chess board and the person pushing the pieces. Interesting that so ruthless a game would be the point of contact between these two, and Arwen's willingness to forfeit a clean win in favor of a stalemate was a rather oblique manner of opening the game outside the board up, at once a test of Faramir's perception and a the only possible move she could have made that might have worked. I suppose this would be the chance she takes on her "opponent", and it seems she is at the least as good in her risks as Faramir generally is. Loved this! (And I'm tickled you liked the substitution of "captain" for "bishop".)
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: N/A
Arwen is absolutely fascinating in this story. Faramir's characterization is equally well done, but Arwen is well, fascinating. Faramir's scrutiny of his opponent reveals almost as many questions as it does answers, though considering Arwen's background, that should not be surprising. Her initial bearing is one of almost disinterest, but it is clear from the game and Faramir's perception of her strategies that she is very aware of what is going on and enjoying herself. The predatory smiles that begin to come later as the game moves on are as revealing as they are illusive, and Arwen remains a curious paradox throughout the story. I find I like this version of her very much. As for Faramir, his own strategies and thoughts reveal his keen mind and his love of intellectual thinking even in regards to battles. I also enjoy how he caught Arwen's offering and seemed to challenge her on it at the end. Excellent meeting of two similar and yet very different minds.