2006 Award Category: Races: Men: Gondor - Honorable Mention
Story Type: Other Fiction ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: G ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Faramir learns a new skill
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 8
This was a lovely depiction of a young Faramir with Mithrandir. Both characters are well-portrayed: Faramir sounds like a young child, though an intelligent one for his years, set apart by temperament as well as rank. Mithrandir sounds and looks as he ought to: old, but vigorous, kindly, perceptive, and just a little weary the wary frustration that others, both stewards and hobbits, treat a wandering wizard with. The wizard's willingness to step away from matters of high statecraft or learning in order to teach a mystified boy how to produce various bird calls--more and better than his brother--reminds us again of Mithrandir's fundamental focus on the need of the person who comes before us, rather than subordinating others to some overarching project and dismissing them if they do not clearly touch upon his own work. His foreshadowing of Faramir's eventual career in the Rangers and the summation of the well-mannered and kindly boy he's met with the line that he is also superbly loyal makes for a good laugh at the end. Nicely done!
Reviewed by: annmarwalk ✧ Score: 5
I really enjoy stories highlighting the affection between Faramir and Gandalf, and this is one of the best Ive found. Youve wonderfully depicted gangly young Faramir, caught between boyish high spirits and his responsibility as a representative of his father. His excitement and exuberance at the idea of learning about oliphaunts, or all the wonders Gandalf has seen, is both realistic and endearing. Your portrayal of Gandalf, too, as finding Faramir a more satisfying friend (and audience) than even the hobbits of the Shire is a delight as well. I also enjoyed your depiction of Faramirs loyalty to Boromir, and Gandalfs sly recognition that Faramir would never speak ill of his brother, no matter what.
Reviewed by: EdorasLass ✧ Score: 5
This is a peaceful snapshot of a very young Faramir and Gandalf. I love how patient Gandalf is with Faramir, and how willing he is to teach him something as simple as bird calls. And Faramir is perfectly charming, in his eagerness to learn, in his shy worry that he might be imposing on Gandalf, and in his hesitancy to disturb Boromir with such an unimportant matter. It must be new for him, to not be able to run to Boromir with any question on his mind. A lovely dynamic between these two characters - I do wish that Gandalf and Faramir had gotten more scenes together in the books, to explore their friendship a little more in depth.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 4
A lovely story of the start of the friendship between Gandalf and Faramir. The child Faramir is well-written; somewhat shy but more intrigued than intimidated by the old wizard, especially when Gandalf mentions oliphaunts, which of course draws Faramir's excited curiosity. They connect easily and naturally. The story's only flaw is its format; the print is rather small and light and I had to strain to read it on the light background of the LJ.
Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland ✧ Score: 4
A very sweet and sharming ficlet about Faramir and Gandalf.One often wonders what their early encounters would have been like and this provides a valid answer to the question. I like the way that Faramir is eager to be musical and imitate the birds and so proud and loyal to his elder brother.I like the image of Boromir charming birds too,as it is not what one usually thinks about Boromir.
Reviewed by: obsidianj ✧ Score: 3
I didn't expect this kind of music lesson ;-). But that was a lesson Faramir really needed later. I love the interaction between Gandalf and Faramir and the depiction of Faramir as a little boy. Shy, but ready to take any opportunity to learn and very loyal to his brother.
Reviewed by: Imhiriel ✧ Score: 3
Lovely story, with wonderful characterisations, and a believable, nicely-handled first meeting between the Wizard and his "pupil". I like the quiet humour that pervades the story. And I like the beginning: it's as if the reader's mind is slowly drawn into the scene, being given the time to appreciate the idyllic setting.
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 3
This little fic of a first encounter between a young Faramir and Mithrandir is just lovely. Gandalf is so patient and kind and indulgent to a shy young boy, and Faramir's mixture of enthusiasm and politeness is just perfect.
Reviewed by: Bodkin ✧ Score: 3
And that, Denethor son of Ecthelion, is how you win the devotion of a young lad without even trying. I love Faramir here - and concur with Mithrandir's assessment of his character. Even to the loyalty that credits Boromir with musical skill!
Reviewed by: Marigold ✧ Score: 3
A very nice first meeting between Mithrandir and Faramir! Faramir was captured so wonderfully here, with his childish curiosity and loyalty to his brother's awful music making ability. I loved Mithrandir here too, and that he was the one who started Faramir in his training to become a Ranger, no matter in a roundabout way!
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 2
So many neat glimpses here! I like the way Faramir is shy but his curiosity wins out. I think both of them will benefit from this friendship, in the long run.