2008 Award Category: Genres: Drama: Featuring Aragorn - First Place
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: It is natural for parents to want their children to lead safer, happier lives than they did just as it is natural for them to complain about the inadequacies of the next generation. While trying to live up to a father who is an epic hero brings difficulties of its own ...
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 10
Often, fanfiction writers depict Eldarion Elessarion as the parfit gentil knight, or at least a cute and well-mannered young man. Bodkin presents a delightful story that is a bit more realistic, wherein Eldarion is much more spoiled than his father ever was, and, on a visit to the North, turns his nose up at the the comparative roughness of the Northern Dunedain lifestyle. Bodkin is too good a writer to make Eldarion a totally spoiled and obnoxious brat. She writes him as a boy who feels over-burdened by the legacy of a heroic, legendary father, and also one who has been pampered during his upbringing in Gondor. Of course, the Northern Dunedain, young and old, are definitely not pampered. Eldarion gets some verbal comeuppance; and, as befits his heredity, takes it and quickly learns from it. There is a thread of ironic humor running through the tale - Eldarion cannot understand what he sees as his father's love affair with dirt and mud and his father's conviction that Eldarion will find his inner Ranger self by giving up luxuries. Aragorn cannot understand what he did wrong in raising a boy who does not seem anything like him, when of course they were reared in totally different times with different expectations. A wonderful portrait of the contrasts between cultures and Ages and of the tribulations of adolescence.
Reviewed by: elliska ✧ Score: 8
Wow! Here is another one that I had not read before the MEFAs. I just haven't been keeping up with my reading well enough, so thank heavens for ths MEFAs to help me catch up! This is a really interesting view of Eldarion and Aragorn. I have not seen anyone portray Eldarion with this personality in a believable way before, but you have done a great job here. I can totally see, given the comparative ease of his life to Aragorn's, how he would need a little reality check. I think his even worse 'lap dog' makes a great contrast to him though--things could be much worse. (Absolutely hilarious choice for companions during this reality check--I'd like to see him learn a thing or two the hard way). And I particularly love that Aragorn is reminded that he was not exactly what the Rangers were expecting when he came out of Imladris all proper and spiffy. The girl at the end is great too. Exactly what you would expect from the Ranger's women. I love the comment about Aragorn's line ending. It would be funny if at least the lap dog's line did. I'd love to see a continuation of this one. These are some great characters.
Reviewed by: Imhiriel ✧ Score: 7
This story puts to good use many different juxtapositions: young Eldarion and his older father, Gondor and Arnor, luxury and frugality, wartime generation and generation born after Sauron's downfall... There are carefully-chosen details of description to highlight those differences, like the two youths primped up while Aragorn comfortably slouches and smokes. The subject matter of the gap existing between Eldarion and his father is explored thoughtfully and sensitively, and it can be tied easily to real-world situations. What I liked best was the nuanced characterisation of Eldarion: although he is spoiled, supercilious and fastidiously disdainful towards the rougher Northern environs/people, he is aware that this is a flaw on his part, and he not really contemptuous or malicious - which gives great hope he will mend his ways with time and experience (and lots of dirt and mud *g*). Beyond that, it is clear that despite their differences, he and his father have a close and loving relationship.
Reviewed by: annmarwalk ✧ Score: 6
What a delightful story! I haven't read many Eldarion stories, and the ones I have encountered seemed to have focused more on his Elvishness, the ethereal heritage of his mother. This story has none of that; but the Prince of Gondor and Arnor pictured here is not one to be expected as a scion of Elessar, either. This Eldarion is a bit of a dandy, spoiled and overprotected; but the most endearing element of his personality is his recognition of these flaws in himself. He imagines himself a disappointment to his parents (and he could be right), he's intimidated by the weight of both the future and the past, and he feels powerless to change. How surprised Eldarion would be the discover that his father shares many of his fears, for this is all new territory to him, as well. A heartwarming tale and one with which any parent can empathize.
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: 6
Maybe I just haven't explored this part of the genre thorougly enough, but the vast majority of Eldarion fics seem to idealize the prince. To their credit, most do it very well, but in this story, we get a slightly different view of a royal heir who didn't have to grow up in the mud. Bodkin is brilliant with characterization. Aragorn is masterfully painted, clearly at ease amongst the Rangers, and Eldarion is every inch his son. The seeds of the greatness are all there, but they're all buried beneath an upbringing that is significantly easier than what his father endured. And that upbringing (along with his courtier) provides a stunning contrast to the surrounding Rangers. In my opinion, this is a much more plausible characterization than many others I have seen.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 6
Such a wonderful look at the difficulties known so often between fathers and their adolescent sons! The conversation between Eldarion and his companion on the shortcomings of their current situation is revealing, as is the parallel one between Aragorn and his cousin Baras. Ceniril is an advantage-seeking fop out for a good time in all ways, yet he manages to give his friend at least one gem of good advice--to try actually speaking with his father; and Aragorn finds himself anticipating the days of the parents' revenge, watching his son dealing with his own child's adolescence. Quite a different life father and son have known from one another; but we do see the seeds of his father's breeding in the son as the evening progresses. As usual, the conversations are a particular joy to follow, as is usual with Bodkin's work.
Reviewed by: obsidianj ✧ Score: 5
This is a lovely, insightful story about parents dealing with teenagers and teenagers dealing with parents. Aragorn's woes are spot on and Eldarion and his friend also are typical for teenagers. I loved Eldarion's disgusted comment that [his father seemed to expect him to like dirt]. I had to giggle at that, especially since it contrasted sharply with the description of Eldarion's outfit, which seemed totally out of place in this town of the northern Dunedain. The conversation between the two pairs, Aragorn and his companion Baras and Eldarion and his friend Ceniril, are highlighting all the reader ever wanted to know about the darker aspects of the teenage years from both sides. Very enjoyable!
Reviewed by: Gandalfs apprentice ✧ Score: 4
This story popped up as "why not review now?" and it sounded quite interesting, so I clicked. So glad I did! The story glitters with Bodkin's easy way with dialogue, capturing the characters through speech and gesture. Eldarion and Aragorn, like fathers and sons everywhere, are having some trouble understanding each other. I particularly liked the image of the King of Gondor sprawled in his chair, smoking a pipe, and looking much more at home than he did on his throne. Very Aragorn-like!
Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland ✧ Score: 4
I just loved this story which gives a somewhat different version of Eldarion than we are accustomed to. Aragorn feels his son is far too pampered and needs a spell with the Northern Rangers to learn their ways.It is obvious that Aragorn still feels most at home in the North and is puzzled by his son's emphasis on cleanliness! I liked the way that Eldarion thought Faramir understood him and that he is better mannered than his friend. A very well written and enjoyable story well worth reading.
Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke ✧ Score: 3
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. With seeming effortlessness it combines Tolkien's seriousness of tone with an ordinary and universal situation told with keen human observation. Well done.
Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel ✧ Score: 3
This was an entertaining look at Eldarion struggling with the fact that he's not quite what his father wants him to be - and Aragorn struggling with the fact that his son needs something he can't give him: the equivalent of boot camp or military school. An enjoyable premise and well-executed!
Reviewed by: crowdaughter ✧ Score: 3
A very interesting view at Eldarion, and the problems it brings to have Aragorn Elessar as a father, especially when still being a teenager. And of not sharing his kind of interests. Among other things. ;) Lovely tale, and very well executed. Thank you for writing and sharing!
Reviewed by: nancylea ✧ Score: 2
so glad you found this delightfulf wise soul to help ground aragorn. he needed that. lovely plot.