Bitter Sweet

Author: annmarwalk

Nominator: annmarwalk

2008 Award Category: Genres: Alternate Universe: Steward's Family

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Other Ficlet

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: m/m romance implied, not explicit

Summary: Brief AU in which both Boromir and Theodred survive the Ring War, living long and (mostly) happy lives well into the first century of the Fourth Age.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 6

Bittersweet, indeed! In Ann's universe, Boromir and Théodred go together like the back and front of one's own hand - they just belong together as the quintessentially star-crossed and doomed lovers. Not by any social stigma, at least not in Rohan - there's no one there breathing down their necks, threatening disclosure. But death looms in the background and imbues the whole relationship with the tragedy of untimely and permanent partings. It seems that if the two are to live into the Fourth Age, the price must be borne by another, also wholly unwitting - poor Lothíriel! At least it wasn't a tragic triangle - I liked that Théodred's vows [were never bent nor broken], and that Boromir spared his lover [the sorest test] by absenting himself, and it seems that the two were more than just well-reconciled to the marriage. Still... bitter sweet from beginning to end, as promised!

Reviewed by: Elen Kortirion  ✧  Score: 5

Ah yes, bitter-sweet indeed. The possible non-canon but fannishly desirable relationship between two heroes that Professor Tolkien decided to dispense with - having done their service to the main tale - has long been a source of stories that the author and several others have mulled over. To the point where a plethora of undeed! Boromir and undead!Theodred stories are extant in the particular corner of fandom that I know the author occupies with grace, talent, and a writerly eye for a good tale as yet untold. This is a lovely, gentle tale of honourable men and what might have happened had neither been killed within days of each other in canon - personnaly - I far prefer this version of events!

Reviewed by: Oshun  ✧  Score: 4

Oh, you wicked, wicked girl. What a lovely AU story. I've always had a certan fondness for that pairing (yours and those of a couple of others) and it works very well here. I like the way that you divide the account of their attachment to one another into the two individual characters' points of view. Well, I would think after all of that self-denial and self-sacrifice for the sake of politics that they would deserve a happy ending. You also manage to say a lot in very few words.

Reviewed by: Isabeau of Greenlea  ✧  Score: 4

Sniff! Sniff! A very touching AU, in which Theodred lives but makes a sacrifice of another sort and turns away from his true love to marry for policy, as rulers often find necessary for the sake of their realms. For many years he is both loving and faithful in this marriage and though he suffers yet another sad loss, his constancy and faith is ultimately rewarded in the end.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 4

Indeed a perfectly named tale, as we see two lovers parted over the matter of a marriage, until at last death does part husband and wife, at which time one lover at last returns to the comfort of the other. A nice might-have-been that follow's Ann's preferred Boromir/Theodred arc. I find myself wondering what happened with Eomer in this possible future, of course. Very thoughtfully and tastefully presented as well as enacted by the two main protagonists.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 3

I can only imagine the confusion of emotions this situation must have created! And for as short as it is, this fic manages to get a feel for all of them while keeping the characters true to both their duty and their hearts.

Reviewed by: Anoriath  ✧  Score: 3

Bittersweet, indeed, is this alternative ending for Boromir and Theodred. Given the compelling relationship between the two that the author and her fanfic partner have created, it would be difficult to tolerate their canonical end without the possibility of relief, that maybe, just maybe, they were together at the end.

Reviewed by: crowdaughter  ✧  Score: 2

A very interesting AU, and the way it brings over the differences and their impact with so little effort is greatly done, indeed. Lovely work!

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 2

The last sentence sums it all up. They are finally where they belong. I like the symmetry of the piece.

Reviewed by: nancylea  ✧  Score: 1

this makes me warm and fuzzy and i hope to find a universe of this one day.