Finrod's Oath

Author: JMac

Nominator: unknown

2004 Award Category: Times: The Silmarillion: First Age - First Place

Story Type: Other Fiction  ✧  Length: unknown

Rating: PG  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: A short fic about the last hours of Finrod's life as he sits within the dungeons of Tol-in-Gaurhoth with Beren.

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Review scores are not available for 2004.

Reviewed by: Larian Elensar  ✧  Score: N/A

I'm not that familiar with Finrod, but through your eyes I saw his desperation and regrets, I guess, the way I picture so many of the Noldor from the First Age. Well done.

Reviewed by: Viv  ✧  Score: N/A

The beauty of this piece is its subtlety, for there is more than one oath of Finrod: his oath to Feanor, of course, but also his promises to Amarie, Barahir, Andreth. This story is his contemplation of all those oaths, of the devotion he gave so generously and of how that giving spirit has brought him to this end, full of regret. It seems that now, at last, he realizes that seeking happiness is not entirely selfish: "Despite my best efforts all my good intentions have come for naught and every decision I ever made appears to have been wrong... In my long and weary life, I could not save any of those I wished." What a tragedy that this realization should come too late. However, noble to the end, Finrod does not accept his failures resignedly. He fights. The ending of this fic is so appropriate. This may be the most solidly put together interior monologue piece in ficdom.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: N/A

Finrod is another of my favorite characters, and I like how Jmac brings out the irony of Finrod being imprisoned in a fortress of his own making. It's such a great introduction to this fic, in which Finrod basically goes over all the things he couldn't save. Minas Tirith was just the start, and even then, it was the beginning because there's that little matter of an elven maid waiting for him back in Aman. He lost his brothers, he could not save Beren, he's a prisoner in a fortress he could not keep, and Jmac builds wonderfully to the climax in which Finrod tries to do something good despite the doom of Mandos. The final lines really got to me, and then the fic cuts out with the words, "so it begins." Terrific closing line, and I imagine that Finrod tried to make a new beginning even as he met his end.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: N/A

Beautifully written commentary on love and regret. Beren, Finrod, and Aegnor form the points of the constellation that sketches out the combinations of love, commitment, and remorse: Aegnor forecloses on love, and realizes only too late his mistake; Finrod postpones it in favor of either another love (familial love, a love that remains, if you will, grounded in childhood rather than an adult love that can speak truth to family in actions); Beren alone pursues the possibility of love to its end, yet even he knows anxiety-the grief of knowing that his own life is too short for Luthien's; yet he is honest enough to admit it and admit equally that he has no real choice in the matter. Love binds if one allows it in fully. Finrod at least has a chance to repay Beren and his father; he may also, though he doesn't realize it in the story, have a chance to repay Amarie's faith in him, for in sacrificing himself for Beren, he throws his lot in at last with those who will have no more of regrets about love, but act to further it at every opportunity, and whatever the consequences. Wonderfully drawn, Jmac!

Reviewed by: Ainaechoiriel  ✧  Score: N/A

Wow. That gave me shivers. And brought me closer to Finrod's character, what he must have felt. And it comes round ot the Curse, doesn't it? All they would do would fail. And so it did. Even to the good among them, who still chose wrongly. Beautiful, sad, moving story.

Reviewed by: Christine  ✧  Score: N/A

Oh my goodness! This story captured my attention and I was enthralled. I felt like I was sitting there in that dungeon. I could see him pulling against his bonds, and I could feel his pain both emotionally and physically. I wanted to tell him his choice to fulfill his oath worked. I wanted to say "it will work out, Beren may lose a hand eventually, but it will work out". I wanted to say to him that "his ring will be worn by many more and that finally evil will be overcome." But I was a silent witness to his angst. Wow, I will be looking out for more writing from this author. Impressive.

Reviewed by: ElenaTiriel  ✧  Score: N/A

Wow, this is breathtaking, Jmac! You turned this First Age hero -- whom I never had feelings for before -- into a living, breathing, regretting being for whom I hold much respect and empathy and sympathy. "My fault of character is so great that I find myself wishing the exquisite loneliness upon her that I have felt these long years." How unfathomably sad! Yet his very introspection says much about his honorable character; as does his honorable behavior at the end. Very nice story!