The First Meal

Author: Linda Hoyland

Nominator: Branwyn (Lady Branwyn)

2011 Award Category: Drabble: General

Story Type: Drabble  ✧  Length: True Drabble

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Breakfast had never tasted so good to Faramir as it did today.(Written for the Tolkien Weekly "Breakfast" Challenge. 100 words as counted in MS Word)

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Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 10

In LOTR and [The Hobbit], food assumes a particular importance in the lives and habits of the hobbit characters. They live provincial lives and food production and consumption plays a huge part in those lives and their culture. But for the humans of Middle-earth, food is usually treated more like fuel, fodder to keep them going on quests and during war. Tolkien usually focuses on food through hobbits' eyes. So it was with great pleasure that I read this drabble by Linda Hoyland. Here, she uses Faramir's condition as a survivor of the horrendous misson to the Outwalls to emphasize the importance of food as a sign of life and hope. Faramir's weariness of the previous night is mentioned, his severance from the normal, life-seeking sensation of hunger for food. But in the morning, Tolkien's favorite time for surprises and an end to darkness, Faramir embraces life again by devouring a simple but very filling breakfast that satisfies the hunger that in itself is a sign of his recovery. The last paragraph brings an intriguing contrast between physical and spiritual sustenance. The breakfast of bread, butter and cheese sustains Faramir's body; while the hands of the King had sustained Faramir's spirit and delivered him from the edge of death. It takes a man of Faramir's wisdom to understand that both are necessary.

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 5

Dear Linda, what I like best about this drabble is the simplicity of its language and structure, which on the one hand mirrors the simplicity of the food and in a wider sense the joy derived from simple things, and on the other hand contrasts with the depth and profoundness of the experience Faramir has gone through. His hunger can be seen as so much more than a physical hunger, a hunger for life, for peace, for an abundance that he might not have thought possible, but which the arrival of the king has suddenly placed within reach. This is a beautifully positive and life-embracing drabble which I really enjoyed.

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 3

This is a delightful, vividly-written drabble that celebrates the joy of being alive. In just one hundred words, the author portrays the pleasure of eating food to feed the body, while the hope brought by the newly-returned king feeds the soul. The reader will be smiling as he or she reads the final line. Well done.

Reviewed by: Wtiger  ✧  Score: 3

I really like the perspective on this. It's the promise of healing and hope. I wish Tolkien had given more insight into Faramir's thoughts when he was in the Houses of Healing but since he didn't I guess we'll have to rely on the creative license of fellow writers. After having been sick for so long, Faramir must have truly enjoyed that first morning.

Reviewed by: cairistiona  ✧  Score: 3

There's nothing like having tasted the nearness of death to make the first meal after coming back from the brink taste like manna itself. Faramir no doubt enjoyed that first breakfast very much indeed, as this drabble very ably shows. It left me hungry for good break with butter!

Reviewed by: Inzilbeth  ✧  Score: 3

With so much else going on with the War of the Ring, it's easy to be dismissive of the scale of importance attached to the return of the king by the people of Gondor. Yes, to them it was nothing short of a miracle and Linda has, in very few words, demonstrated that beautifully here. Well done.

Reviewed by: Antane  ✧  Score: 2

A sweet little tale! A treat for him to taste and a treat for us as well from this gentleman and gentle man.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 2

A very nice look at a healing Faramir. His thoughts upon waking are only too believable, and I like the way Linda has provided this glimpse into his personality.

Reviewed by: Tanaqui  ✧  Score: 2

A charming look at Faramir's early days of recovery in the Houses of Healing and how the simple pleasures of life have been restored to him. A delightful scene.