Five Things That Never Happened to Theodred and Boromir
2007 Award Category: Genres: Alternate Universe - Honorable Mention
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: Mature ✧ Reason for Rating: Dark themes, character death, possibly disturbing images
Summary: Five snippets of "what if"s for Theodred/Boromir
Reviewed by: annmarwalk ✧ Score: 10
One of the greatest delights I've found in fanfiction is how a skilled writer can take a minor canon character and breath such life into him that, in retrospect, it's difficult to imagine Tolkien's world without him. Such is the case with Théodred, son of Théoden: when we first hear of him in The Two Towers he is already dead; in Unfinished Tales he did manage to live for three pages. In the films he was robbed of twenty years of his life even before he died (for he was of an age with Boromir, not younger and prettier than Éomer and Éowyn). Yet in the hands of writers like Kortirion, Scribendi, and EdorasLass, Théodred lives life to the full, with loyal and devoted companions at arms, an affectionate family, a steadfast lover. Despite the Shadow that, to some extent, oppresses all of Middle-Earth, Théodred's life is rich and full of joy. Well, mostly. In this chilling series, EdorasLass kills Théodred three times, breaks his heart once, and forces him to live to a ripe old age before he is able to snatch any happiness at all. (Thank heaven for small mercies.) In the course of wreaking such havoc she also instigates war between Gondor and Rohan, slaughtering the leaders and ruling families of each nation and clearing the way for the triumph of the Dark Lord. Alternately, she adds a Tenth Walker who must watch with growing fear the changes in his beloved before dying valorously at his side. * Happy sigh * Of course it's all angsty, and heartbreaking, and relentlessly wibble-inducing. But it's also a marvelously satisfying read, especially to those who know that this AU is AU to her standard AU, where Boromir and Théodred and Théodred's children and Théodred's cat all live in blissful ignorance of the future that canon holds for them.
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 10
If I needed any convincing after Love Me and Despair that EdorasLass is the master of the short-form alternate universe piece, this Five Things list would have cinched it for me. True, the genre isnt exactly brimming with competition, but regardless EL always does such a good job of creating a completely different world in a very few words. She really gets how one little change would affect so much. Here she gives us five scenarios, some happy and others blood-chillingly horrifying, but all comment as much on what was as what could have been. The vignettes give both Bormir and Théodred, and their fanon relationship, a wonderful depth. This is one of those stories that have made it nearly impossible for me to see these two characters as anything but lovers; it feels so real. And this series of what-if scenarios hilights how the author can succeed with so many different styles of writing. #4 has the level of high tragedy I remember from Love Me and Despair, and it left me with that same feeling of success being so tenuous during the Ring War. #5 develops one of the saddest things about their relationship (that they died so close n time, but apart), while #3s happy ending makes their canonical early deaths so much more tragic. #3 also shows ELs gift with writing erotica, and her inability to forget that these characters are warriors and mens men. Their passion even as old men is obvious. And then theres #1. So sad! And #2, so sad but in a different way. Both could have happened all too easily. *dabs at eyes* Beautifully told, EL! A wonderful job as always.
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 9
EdorasLass has given us some great Alternate Universe fics in the past, and here are five short gems to add to the lot. Boromir and Theodred, of course, and EdorasLass ranges freely over the possibilities: we see how easily things could have ended before ever they began, and how well they might have ended if only fortune had been kinder. But I think the two that hit hardest were the ones dealing with Boromir's journey north to Imladris, and his stop in at Edoras. One of these drabbles is absolutely chilling - understated power politics that are entirely, *entirely* too plausible, all wrapped up in just a hundred or so words. It is simply too easy to imagine now that she's put the possibility in front of us. And angstbunny that I am, if EdorasLass were to pursue such a dark AU, I'd probably be there drooling all the way. *ahem* The other, while less likely, I think, nevertheless has such a beautiful, tragic end to it that it is hard to resist the idea. In the line of tenth walkers, this would be a very interesting tale as well, though I still wonder about the command situation. Ah well. It's suggestive and, as noted, beautiful - well done! Those who love Boromir and Theodred should enjoy these drabbles!
Reviewed by: Imhiriel ✧ Score: 4
A very broad range of "what if's?", spanning truly dreadful alternatives to rather hopeful ones, from the first, which is appropriately short as *any* possibility for the life of Théodred and a future with Boromir is nipped in the bud, to the image of them in living to an old age, married but still together. My absolute favourite is the fourth one - it had me flinching and exlaiming out loud at the horror of the pictures it conjured. And the idea that Wormtongue might have done something like that is eerily possible...
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 4
Sad, sympathetic, sensitively written, sorrowful, shamelessly angsty - those are five things I could say about these elegant What-If's; and still not come anywhere near to conveying their high quality. I was especially glad that the fourth possibility didn't come to pass - that was so horribly plausible that I would bet that Wormtongue thought of it in the 'real' Middle-earth but never had the opportunity (or the guts) to have it done.