Pride Before The Fall

Author: AmandaK

Nominator: AmandaK

2006 Award Category: Genres: Alternate Universe - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Other Fiction  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: PG-13  ✧  Reason for Rating: Violence

Summary: Boromir's desire was simple: to protect his people and safeguard his country.

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Reviewed by: Rhapsody  ✧  Score: 10

Knowing how fond Amanda is of Boromir, it is quite a challenge to write a beloved character so dark as she did with Boromir here. And it all feels so logical, almost equal to how Smeagol fell for the temptation of the ring. First there is amazement and wonder: what can I do with the Ring, then the first glimpses of Boromir’s character surfaces and from there it is a deep fall. The Ring isolates Boromir from the rest of the world (grandly illustrated at the moment the mare gives out and collapses), but what I found the most stunning bit was Boromir who argues with his father. During his final moment, Denethor shows regret and Amanda’s words simply blew me away: ["Forgive me, my son..." Denethor gasped before he continued, "for I have wronged you terribly."] Denethor, whom often is pictured as evil is written with great realism and fatherly love. I do have to admit that I felt relieved that Faramir was not near; I don’t think he would have survived Boromir’s possessed state of mind. The epilogue drabble feels as the perfect conclusion of this story and shows me as a reader the final result what would happen if Boromir got his hands on the Ring. This is a strongly written short work and Amada does a superb job in using the building tension as a pacing mechanism. I admire how she crept into Boromir’s mind and let it slip into a scary madness, which jumps of the paper/screen here.

Reviewed by: EdorasLass  ✧  Score: 8

Oh, all kinds of evil. Boromir is perfectly terrifying here, striking down Frodo and running for Minas Tirith, spurred on the Ring. The scene where he snarls at the bobcat and steals its meal is particularly disturbing: he really does come across as utterly wild and savage. The creeping madness, his disregard for his horse, the way he treats the guards at the City gates - all of these things build up the tension quite effectively. When he kills the young Guard, that's where it becomes crystal-clear that we've well and truly lost the Boromir we know so well. And I love, LOVE that Denethor not only refuses the Ring, but tries to explain to Boromir why it's nothing but evil and dangerous. Of course it doesn't work, and though I would have thought it impossible, Boromir becomes even more frightening at this point! I don't think I saw that ending coming at all, frankly. The epilogue is chilling. I really like that the Ring was taken from Boromir, and that now he is crushed by the memories of all the unspeakable things he did while under its control. A wonderfully vicious AU.

Reviewed by: annmarwalk  ✧  Score: 6

What a terrifying vision of the proud captain-general’s descent into madness as he takes the Ring for his own. In his passion to return to the city and lead his armies to victory, he does not realize how the Ring has quickly claimed him. His intended end, the command of the City’s defenses, justifies (in his mind) the means: killing a horse, a young guardsman, his own father. The epilogue is enormously powerful in its simplicity: Boromir helpless before the maker of the ring, denied the mercy of death. I still can’t get over the horrifying image of Boromir frightening a wild animal away from its kill, and eating the filthy remains of the grouse even as he ran to seize command of Gondor’s defense. In his pride he has no self-realization of how the ring has already begun his destruction.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 6

I think what I like most about this story is the way that the violence and the perverseness of Boromir's thoughts evolves throughout the story. First he takes the Ring from Frodo, an action which is just one step removed from self-defence: defence of his community. It's not excusable, but it's certainly understandable. Killing his horse in his urge to get home -- well, that's just an animal. On through the frightening of the guards, the killing of the doorwarden, up to the very graphic murder of his family? It was all so disturbing, but no one step seems that much worse than anything else. That makes me wonder about Boromir's last act, whether seizing the crown is the worst of all. That's what really got me about this story, the fact that the plot seemed so natural. Thanks, Amanda!

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 6

Sic transit Boromir. And Denethor. And the entire course of the war. If Boromir had claimed the Ring (successfully claimed it, that is), it might have gone something like this. The desire to protect may move him initially, but how quickly it becomes something terribly, horribly other! After so long alone with the Ring, invisible to all other eyes and so in a sense unassailable because unable to get outside himself and realize there are others to whom he is responsible, Boromir returns home a twisted creature. He is most definitely not himself, transformed by the power of the Ring into a delusional, impulsively violent tyrant, capable of the most casual sort of slaughter. Not that it helps in the end, as the epilogue shows. A very dark tale, Amanda, but one all too plausible!

Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 3

The progression of Boromir's slide into madness and evil is very subtly and therefore very effectively depicted. It begins so harmless, like a mere retelling of film!canon events, to inexorably increase in tension, severity and horror.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 3

Very effective AU story that builds up the Ring's possession of Boromir bit by bit, each deed more sinister than the last, from the initial theft and the sly prank he plays on Legolas and Gimli to the murder of his own kin, until both Boromir and the realm he stole the Ring to save are utterly ruined. I get shivers reading it.

Reviewed by: juno_magic  ✧  Score: 3

This dark AU story explores one of the classical "what if" story lines in LOTR. Strongly in character, brutal in its consequences it shows how things could have turned out if only one small scene had ended differently. Chilling, well-paced, well written.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 2

Dark, plausible, and very realistic look at what could have happened if Boromir had actually succeeded in gaining the Ring. Very well done!