Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

The Promise in her Eyes

Author: EdorasLass
Nominator: Bodkin
2007 Award Category: Genres: Humor: Gondor or Rohan - Third Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: Teen -- Reason for Rating: Minor romantic kissing; off-screen light violence
Summary: A travelling minstrel recalls a memorable kiss in Edoras.

Reviewed by: Bodkin -- Score: 10

I did enjoy the adventures of the poor nameless musician! His encounter with the future White Lady and Wraithslayer ... and her big brother, the fearsome future King of Rohan ... were definitely instructive. And I am sure that in later years, when he looked back at the incident, he felt that he had got off very lightly. Eomer's reaction to the kiss was predictable - in the big-brotherly 'do as I say, not as I do' sort of way! (I certainly cannot imagine Eomer going out of his way to avoid a certain amount of lip contact with the willing damsels of Rohan!) Nevertheless, simply to satisfy himself with one blow and the suggestion that the minstrel should remove himself from Edoras was remarkably reasonable. It's good to think of a bright and experimental Eowyn, cheerfully investigating the joys of flirtation while kissing an unsuitable young man in the days before the shadows bore down on them all and her life became a cage. And a minstrel probably isn't a bad choice of partner - at least he is definitely not expecting to use her as a stepping stone to influence and power! Whilst having enough political sense not to take more advantage than he can get away with. Eomer must have been tearing his hair out as he tried to keep one step ahead of his little sister. I found this a most entertaining story.

Reviewed by: annmarwalk -- Score: 10

I remember this as one of the first stories of yours, EL, that I ever read, and as such it's fun to go back and note the very beginnings of characteristics of your writings that we know and love so much now. First off, of course, is the attention to detail and description: the embroidery trim on Eowyn's dress, the swirling of her skirt and the reckless flash of her ankles, the fact that the young hero is a bodhran player – a bodhran player! You've put all that time spent at Renfaires to joyful use, which is what great writers do, of course – store up every experience until the story that will require it is ready to be told. The second engaging characteristic is the vividness of your OC. Your original characters are always extraordinary – it's like they've always existed somewhere, with rich and full and rambunctious and playful lives of their own; you merely whisper you magic over them to bring them to life for us. I don't know that you've ever written your bodhran player again, and I wish you would: perhaps a bit older and wiser – he couldn't be a carefree musician forever – but yet, not beaten down by what he's seen and experienced since his meeting with Eowyn. I'd love to see him at the festivities surrounding Eowyn's wedding or Elfwine's birth or the harvest festival in Ithilien. The third characteristic is the sense of absolute joie-de-vivre you bring to all your writings. Even the sad or somber or creepy or goofy ones convey the total delight you take in creating these worlds and people and places and sharing them with us. You are a creator-goddess, and you bless us with your gifts.

Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 7

Marvellous use of point-of-view and language. The voice of the minstrel was so very vivid and immediate, it drew me right into the story. The way he starts and stops sentences, as if he is addressing a real audience, the way one can almost see his gestures and facial expressions, or hear how his voice varies depending on which moment he is describing. The way he slowly constructs his story, increasing the tension and building up the surprising twists and revelations; I had the feeling I was wincing and laughing right along with his other listeners. I loved the great amount of detail that is shown through his eyes: the faire and its visitors, Éowyn's doings, the music and dancing. I especially liked how the mere sight of her ["shapely ankles"] affects him so much - details like this really bring the culture to life. Somehow the fact that Éomer - to the evident surprise of the minstrel - was relatively "mild" in retaliation tells me that Éowyn might have done similar things before...

Reviewed by: dkpalaska -- Score: 6

A very sweet, extremely entertaining snapshot of young Eowyn through the eyes of a ["grubby, rootless, traveling musician"]. The tone and voice of the story are really wonderful, perfectly colloquial, and the honest, "Hey, I didn't know!" protest of the would-be lover is delightfully guileless. (Although, we of course know not to trust him completely...) All the lovely story-telling aside, my favorite part of this piece is seeing a beautiful, young, carefree and flirtatious Eowyn, before her uncle slipped under the Worm's control and Rohan fell under heavy shadow. One can imagine how Faramir might have seen into her heart and unearthed some of this much later on. That we also get to imagine glowering, magnificent, protective Eomer is a total bonus. *g*

Reviewed by: NeumeIndil -- Score: 5

I found myself smiling as I read this, though I also don't trust the speaker explicitly. He seems too much of a braggart, but I may just have known too many similarly-motivated musicians in my life. I enjoyed the character of Eomer being the tough, but in my mind fair guardian, of his baby sister. You wrote some very good images of Eowyn as a happy young girl as well. I found the language a bit contemporary-sounding at times. ["I swear I didn't know who she was..."] ["All right, yes, she was wearing..."] ["So you can see how I thought she was only some minor noble’s daughter, can’t you? You wouldn’t expect the Lady Éowyn to flirt so boldly, would you?"] Perhaps its the word order, or the use of filler words like "all right" that lend it a modern tone that I wasn't expecting. Whatever it is, it was mildly distracting but by the time the scene is fully laid it is no longer an issue to me. A very nice slice-of-life in Rohan story.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 4

When an itinerant musician sees a lovely young girl in Edoras, he found his eyes and heart engaged indeed. But this time he's been attracted to the wrong young lady, and her brother has a thing to day about matters--part of it with his fist--before the musician left the King's city rather precipitously. Lovely tale from the musician's point of view, and perfect tale of a young Eowyn just opening to life.

Reviewed by: Marta -- Score: 4

[minor spoilers] This is an enchanting story of a young Eowyn fooling around with a stranger passing through Edoras. I like the fact that we see this first kiss of a female when there are so many stories about romantic firsts for male characters, and even though it is Eowyn's first kiss she is very much in charge of it. I also liked the slow way Eowyn's identity is revealed; the details EdorasLass uses to tell this story establish a teenage Eowyn who I can easily see growing into the shieldmaiden. Highly enjoyable all around.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 3

Oh my! It's lovely to see a fic about a young and untroubled Eowyn, who is trying out her flirting skills. I do feel for the young minstrel though--I do hope he's learned from now on to keep an eye open for protective brothers!

Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke -- Score: 2

This is delightful. Again, your measured unfolding of the story is what makes it. You keep your pace, and give us tidbit by tidbit, which strings the reader along happily.