2006 Award Category: Genres: Romance: Gondor
Story Type: Other Fiction ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: G ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Denethor finds a forgotten relic from the past
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 6
How wonderful! This story is so well-told. When I read "Legacy" this was the one part that I had a hard time accepting: that Faramir and Boromir could get away with something. Denethor seems all-seeing at times, and even in his grief I don't think his sons could outmanoeuvre him on something this important. But the fact that he might have known about it and chosen to ignore it. Again, the ending is what really won me over to this story. Without giving something away to future readers, it is not at all what you would expect. And that surprise just drives home the utter truth of the author's characterization of Denethor. He is kindler and gentler but loses none of his cunning nor of his complete control over himself -- even at this desperate pass. Well worth the read.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 5
Quietly beautiful story, where Denethor remembers his meeting with, courtship of, and married life with Finduilas, when he happens upon the starry mantle he gave her. The description of their relationship is excellent, shown, not told, in an understated way that I would think could be typical of Denethor remembering a better time in his life. The last two paragraphs absolutely floor me; as the writer brings the reader from Denethor's memory of a better time to the realization of the time in which he now lives, and of all he has lost and not regained, and what lies ahead of him. Very well done.
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 5
Poignant depiction of the courtship and life of Denethor and Finduilas. The calmness of a political match is interrupted by the occasional pulse of something deeper than that, though it's a quiet thing, love, for both of them. The constrained affection Denethor evinces, the sense of so much bottled inside that even he forgets how much and then can weep for the loss of that knowledge strikes me as right for his personality. Particularly in this time frame, when he is losing Faramir, too, or so he thinks, that sense of failure to face what was before him comes back to haunt him. Unfortunately, he draws the wrong lesson from it in his grief and despair. Well done!
Reviewed by: Marigold ✧ Score: 5
I thought that the author depicted Denethor so well here. His politically motivated courtship of Finduilas was well written, as was the knowledge that he actually did like her as a person. As we see, that did change to love of a sort, the kind of love that one would expect of Denethor. It was lovely to learn the story behind the mantle that Faramir would ultimately gift to Eowyn. The ending caught me completely off guard and I was almost sorry for him; wife and elder son dead, younger son dying. While he had been emotional just moments before over his lost love, his lack of emotion at the end spoke volumes of the madness that had taken him.
Reviewed by: dkpalaska ✧ Score: 5
Poignant and powerful story of a political match that became more, but went unrealized at the time it happened. Very good characterizations. Denethor's hindsight is heart-wrenching, as I too thought of what might have been different in their union - if only he had paid attention, known how to open up to her, listened to his instincts. His reflective PoV was really well-handled, of a man working long and hard hours during a difficult time leading to war and subsequently neglecting his wife and perhaps family. Quite a moral for families today, actually... The twist at the end, placing Denethor's musing in a specific and horrific time, shook me and made the entire piece even more striking.
Reviewed by: Bodkin ✧ Score: 4
Poor Denethor. He's just not really very good with people. OK at statecraft, but lacking in an instinct for getting below the surface. He is remarkably awkward with Finduilas - but I think she rather appreciated that. And thereafter everything is just buried beneath the surface. Now - he isn't going to walk away, but he is just about to make bad worse. You have to pity him.
Reviewed by: elliska ✧ Score: 3
Oh this is a delightful moment! I so enjoyed seeing Denethor and the glimpse he had of his future wife in his memory. And I was really moved by Denethor's reaction to seeing his gift again. Really well done!
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 2
I found this story very, very moving. A hard man, but one with memories of love lost, who hides from his grief but finds a moment of brief comfort.
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 2
Denethor remembers Finduilas, and we learn the origin of the blue mantle that Faramir bestows upon Eowyn.