Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Truth

Author: Starlight
Nominator: Larner
2011 Award Category: Drama: General - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Faramir learns the manner of his Father's death from Mithrandir.


Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 10

The Faramir-Denethor relationship is so fraught, it has been a source of endless fascination and not a few fanfics that take up a number of questions associated with the father-son relationship revealed by the pyre. How Faramir finally discovered everything about Denethor's death and the pyre is one of those questions. Starlight goes the hard route and decides to have the whole sad, sorry episode explained by Gandalf, which immediately adds another fraught relationship to the mix. Faramir in a sense is a man who has two fathers, who, it so happens, do not get along and at a certain point, politically, *cannot* be allies. That's a terrible position to be in, and that combative history between Denethor and Gandalf lurks in the background of this story for me, though Starlight treads lightly here and manages to keep it from overwhelming the story. Still, there's an interesting mirroring in Gandalf of the truth-avoidance that he diagnoses in Faramir's efforts to date to learn what happened to his father and why. That lets a little of that background friction creep in quietly, and it makes Faramir and Gandalf brothers, as it were, in the same vice, and - as it happens, in a very neat solution - the means to overcome it all at once. Nicely played, Starlight! Fans of Faramir should enjoy this, and kudos for taking on this difficult interview from Gandalf's position - which is even more of a challenge!

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 10

“And what is truth?” Pilate is reported as saying. So we find ourselves pondering the question as we read this offering from Starlight. I love the setting of Faramir sorting out what was his father’s library/office and is now his own. Here Gandalf finds him as Faramir sorts through his father’s notes and correspondence, searching for clues as to what specifically happened when his father died, trying to appreciate just what led to the situation and what his own role was in the tragedy of the suicide of the last Ruling Steward of Gondor. The conversation is thoughtful and careful as Faramir questions and the Wizard answers, and as each small detail is carefully placed in the puzzle until the full picture can be seen and appreciated. Starlight has managed to fill this gap most successfully as she explores just how Faramir might have learned the full details of what happened in the Silent Street, and we grieve with both the new Steward and the Wizard over the madness that took Denethor as well as the love that filled him for his son at the end, as twisted as it had become through Sauron’s machinations. I know that I felt I was standing within Gandalf’s body, my shoulder against the cold stone as I listened to the sounds of grief emanating from the room we’d just quitted. It certainly drew me right into the action!

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 8

This is such a difficult subject that I think a lot of writers avoid exploring how and from whom Faramir learned the full truth about his father's death. Fortunately, there are writers brave enough to try, and Starlight handles it well. Mithrandir as messenger is the only logical choice. He was there as an eye-witness, and he has known Faramir for many years. If Faramir has to learn a hard truth, it's best he learn it from a mentor and friend. He and Mithrandir probably discussed many hard truths over the years, and their friendship is evident from their banter and their speech. I also love that Faramir has not been lax in exploring this secret, but I love even more Gandalf's observation that searching for answers where none can be found is just another way of avoiding those answers. But Faramir was made for hard times, and in the end, he does learn the truth. His first assumption is akin to his assumption in leaving to defend the Rammas Echor: his father had no love for him. Gandalf's wisdom on this was sorely needed and appreciated. An insightful and delicately handled story.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 5

How Faramir learned the truth of his father's death is a question Tolkien never answered, probably because it was less crucial to the last leg of ROTK than the milestones of Aragorn's first few months as King of Gondor. Tolkien understood that Faramir was strong enough to bear the truth and move on, no matter how he learned it. Still, I enjoy fanfiction treats that untold story with intelligence; as this piece of fanfiction most certainly does. I love the relationship between Gandalf and Faramir here; the mutual respect and trust and an affection which approaches that of father and son.

Reviewed by: Darkover -- Score: 4

This is a very intense and emotional story. For different reasons, both the new Steward and the wizard dread the task before them: the explanation as to how, exactly, Denethor died, and why. The strength of this story lies in the dialogue and the characterization, both of which are brilliantly written. Faramir dreads the truth nearly as much as Mithrandir dreads telling it, but in the end, both of them realize that truth is better than ignorance or delusion. A strongly-written tale, well worth reading.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 3

I've read a number of fanfics in which Faramir finally learns the truth of his father's death. This one, in which Gandalf is the one to break the news to him, seems one of the most plausible. I love Faramir's earnestness, and Gandalf's realization that Faramir both wants to know the truth, and wants to avoid it at the same time.

Reviewed by: Ellynn -- Score: 2

A touching story about how Faramir finds out more about his father. I like the tones of hope in the very end.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel -- Score: 2

Truth is an emotional story, depicting a tense and difficult time in Faramir's life. Throughout the piece, emotion was well-handled and believable. Well done!

Reviewed by: Altariel -- Score: 2

A sensitive and well-observed account of How Faramir Found Out. I'm glad that it was Gandalf who was the one to tell him.