Faithful Friend

Author: Linda Hoyland

Nominator: juliaaurelia

2011 Award Category: Drama: General

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Faramir has found all his heart desires. But when he risks losing much of what he had gained, help arrives from an unexpected source. Written for the Teitho - "Finders Keepers" Challenge

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Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 10

An interesting story that I would enjoy even if were not written for my birthday; combining inter-personal relations, politics, and a touch of supernatural/magic. Here, Linda presents Faramir working as 'Arandur', the word that means both 'King's Servant' and 'Steward'. He is concluding a delicate trade negotiation with a long-awaited letter from the Lord of Khand, when the letter, which bears essentials instructions and permissions, vanishes just as Faramir tries to give it to his friend and king. I like how Linda does not immediately smooth over the huge problem of what seems to be Faramir's carelessness. Faramir and Aragorn are close friends and share a quasi-familial bond in her stories, but they are also Steward and King, with mutual respect and obligations. Linda focusses on Faramir's embarrassment and Aragorn's stern disapproval to good effect, given that the mistakes made by a King or a Steward can affect the entire Reunited Kingdom as well as their own friendship. Luckily, Faramir has a dream with a very unusual messenger from, presumably the Valar; which reveals the location of the missing letter. By then, Aragorn has repaired the breach in their friendship; and the temporary loss of the letter is exposed as an accident of nature rather than a Steward's carelessness. But the story is a sobering reminder of the boundaries between friendship and politics; lightened with a touch of whimsy in the form of a certain famous hound serving as the Valar's dream-messenger.

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 7

Dear Linda, I found myself nodding at the beginning of the story, because while parents might well groan at the early morning disturbances by children, they are bound to miss them when separated from them. It is details like these that lend the charm to your stories. Here we see Faramir faced with trouble of a kind familiar to most people. He has lost an important document, and worse, it was not his own but one he was supposed to deliver to his king. This is enough to make anyone sweat, and we can well imagine the hot and cold shivers that shake him. The solution of this story, while perhaps a little far fetched, fits in with the general gist of Tolkien’s work – dreams are important, the past is important and relationships down generations, such as represented here in the pup from Huan’s line which provides a connection for Faramir. Besides, if you’ve lost something, the most sensible thing to do is probably to use a sniffer dog!

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 4

Sometimes when help is asked for, help is given, as is demonstrated in this tale. This author does her usual excellent job of characterization, not only in touching on the friendship between the Steward and his King, but by bringing in another intriguing character as well. This character is also brilliantly written, and the plot is one we can all empathize with. A delightful and enjoyable story!

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 3

When Faramir looses an important paper, he gets some help from an unexpected source. I like the use of one of Farmir's dreams here. For once the dream doesn't give Faramir nightmares.

Reviewed by: Antane  ✧  Score: 3

I'm glad this turned out so well! Faramir is indeed a lucky man and so are we for knowing him. It was a shock to hear Aragorn's anger but how nice that the Steward's prayer was answered and all is well now between him and the king. That's a relief!