Cold Memories

Author: AmandaK

Nominator: Marta

2005 Award Category: Races/Places: Gondor: Vignette - Second Place

Story Type: Vignette  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Young Boromir and Faramir build a snowman, and the steward bonds with his son.

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Reviewed by: Tanaqui  ✧  Score: 7

This piece is a charming portrait of Gondor’s first family, yet one which never descends to mawkishness or becomes sickly, thanks to AmandaK’s skilled handling of the material. Faramir’s wonder at the strangeness of snow and his distraction by small details are well drawn, while Boromir displays the right mix of teasing and concern for his younger brother. What I like most in her characterisation is the way AmandaK gives both brothers a mischievous -- but not malicious -- nature: she does not slip into the common fanfic conventions of making young Faramir too serious or Boromir too boyish. And I, too, held my breath when the snowball hit Denethor… and was delighted when AmandaK pulled off the rare trick of showing us Denethor as a loving and considerate father without downplaying his stern nature, grief or dedication to duty. I am not surprised this memory kept a special place in Faramir’s heart in years to come.

Reviewed by: annmarwalk  ✧  Score: 6

I always enjoy stories about Boromir and Faramir as children, and happy interactions with their father – I refuse to believe he could always be grim! This is a light-hearted tale, enfolding some tender memories of Finduilas, but using the unusual element of a rare snowfall in Minas Tirith to allow Boromir and Denethor to share a special memory with Faramir. The descriptive elements of the snow-covered courtyard and the White Tree, and footsteps, are quite well done, and the dialogue is realistic and natural. A happy scene which I’m sure provided refreshing memories in the summer heat of the White City.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: 4

I would have paid money to see Faramir hit Denethor with a snowball. I loved the Steward's reaction to that little incident, too. And the idea of Denethor helping Faramir and Boromir build a snowman was brilliant. Definitely light-hearted, but the idea of Faramir keeping this cold-yet-warm memory close to his heart gives it a depth it might not otherwise have had. Good story!

Reviewed by: Bodkin  ✧  Score: 4

I love big brother Boromir. Faramir's admiration must have been so good for him, not to mention developing his huge sense of responsibility. And it is so good to see Denethor acting as a father - even if a slightly scary, we-do-have-to-be-careful-what-we-say father. A jewel of a memory for Faramir - sparkling, clean and pure, like the sun on the snow. Very effective.

Reviewed by: Cheryl  ✧  Score: 3

How wonderful! A side of Denethor that we rarely get to see! And yet, with the limited source material available on this side of Denethor, the person painted in this story is completely in character. That is no small feat when writing the Steward. Well done!

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 2

This is a cute moment, but unlike many young-Boromir-and-Faramir stories, you can see hints of the men these two children will become. And it was very refreshing to see post-Finduilas Denethor as something other than an abusive father.

Reviewed by: nerwen_calaelen  ✧  Score: 2

A lvoely view of the interactions between this family. It is really nice to see a positive scene between Faramir and Denethor. I really like the way you show all of the characters in this story.

Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke  ✧  Score: 1

Very sweet, tried and true characterizations.