History Becomes Legend
Nominator: Raksha the Demon
2006 Award Category: Races: Men: Steward's Sons Fixed-Length Ficlets - First Place
Story Type: Fixed-Length Ficlet ✧ Length: True Drabble
Rating: G ✧ Reason for Rating: n/a
Summary: Faramir is surprised and touched to discover that his brother has been remembered in song as a hero of the Rohirrim.
Reviewed by: Branwyn ✧ Score: 8
I love the scene in this drabble--after the end of the War, a tavern in Gondor falls silent as a group of Riders sings a tribute to Boromir. Even those who do not understand the Rohirric words are moved by the music. The reflective mood of the writing is perfect for the subject. The young Rohir's halting command of the Common Speech is a nice touch. Westron would be a second language for the Riders, and those who had little contact with outsiders (people who lived away from large towns, the borders, or roads) would have little reason to learn or use it. In the Appendices, Tolkien says, [They still spoke their ancestral tongue...But the lords of that people used the Common Speech freely.] The implication is that the majority of the Rohirrim were not fluent in Westron. It is very fitting that the Rohirrim compose a song to immortalize Boromir--Tolkien makes their admiration for Denethor's heir very clear, and in their society, fame is how a warrior lives on. A sad reminder for Faramir, but certainly Boromir, with his love of honor and thirst for glory, would have appreciated this tribute from their allies. Very well done!
Reviewed by: Mechtild ✧ Score: 7
I read this story in the light of your body of Boromir/Theodred stories, for a lively connection between Rohan and Gondor is implied by the young Rider coming to sing this elegy for Boromir, obviously an intimate friend the beloved companion to their Prince, the Rider said. I had assumed the Rohirric lad had found Faramir in the noisy tavern, drowning his sorrows, but perhaps Faramir is only learning of his brothers death hearing the boys song? Because you have not given a precise time reference, it is up to the reader to decide, which makes the drabble all the more thought-provoking. I liked, too, the way you reminded the reader that folk in the Mark spoke a different language from the men of Gondor. I rarely remember it when I am reading the canon text. And you brought in the notion of how stirring and moving the singing of the horse people was famed to be. What a lot you have packed in a little drabble!
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 5
[The words themselves were understood by only a few] And you know, I think that's enough. Ann, I am so glad that I read this after some of your other stories that were nominated this year, especially "Diplomatic Relations". You only hint here (because what more can you do in a hundred words?) at the depth of their love here. That's what struck me here for some reason. That in your stories, their love is pure and committed and it's a big part of what carries them through the years. It's extra-canonical, of course, but it definitely fits with how I see their relationship, either as friends or lovers. It really touched me that at least some would remember.
Reviewed by: EdorasLass ✧ Score: 5
Remembering heroes in powerful, moving song seems a distinctly Rohirric tradition to me, though I'm sure other lands did the same thing. This is particularly touching in that the song in question is about Boromir, and that Faramir is probably quite startled to hear such a thing. I'm sure he had an inkling of in what high regard the Rohirrim held his brother, but to know that such a song was written about Boromir *before* his death must be very affecting. I like the young Rider, too - he seems very earnest and is probably a bit in awe at meeting Boromir's brother. It's very compassionate of him to want to share this with Faramir.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 4
Boromir was just the sort of man to inspire legends, wasn't he! And the similarity between him and the Rohirrim was noted by Tolkien (through Eomer, I think), so this drabble works perfectly, as some anonymous Riders honor the man they viewed as a brother warrior and possibly a soulmate. The difficulty of communication between the Rohir boy and Faramir gives way to the universal power of song, a beautiful and well-expressed idea.
Reviewed by: Nesta ✧ Score: 3
I'm a bit puzzled by this. None of the Rohirrim would have a problem speaking Westron, it's just the Common Speech. If this takes place some years after the War, I fancy that Faramir would have learned a fair amount of Rohirric from Eowyn, so the Rider wouldn't need to use another language anyway. Apart from that, nice idea.
Reviewed by: Elen Kortirion ✧ Score: 3
One can see the logic and the very 'rightness' of this idea, that in a culture based on the Anglo-Saxons, that the emphasis would be on the aural tradition of heroes being commemorated in stories and songs. And to hear his brother's name coupled with the valour of the Rohirrim, I am sure, would have delighted Faramir.
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 3
We know that Boromir was known and admired among the Rohirrim. It was only fitting that they have a song of his valor, and that they would bring it to the attention of Faramir. Nicely done.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 3
Again--so much said in so few words. Faramir is honored to hear the Rohirric tale of the love of Boromir known by those of the Rohirrim who remembered his visits and the affection known between the older son of Denethor and the son of Theoden.
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 2
Poignant that the Rohirrim should make a song just for Boromir. Faramir must have been deeply touched.
Reviewed by: Jenn_Calaelen ✧ Score: 2
A lovely drabble. I like the premise and the way that you show in it in the story. I like the way that you enphasise the differnce in languages spoken in Gondor and Rohan.
Reviewed by: Bodkin ✧ Score: 2
What a moving tribute to Boromir from the Rohirrim. It's not surprising that they ended up welcoming Faramir to the family!