Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Men of the Twilight

Author: Elena Tiriel
Nominator: Tanaqui
2008 Award Category: Genres: Romance: Drabbles - Second Place

Story Type: Fixed-Length Ficlet : Length: True Drabble
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: 100 words Faramir first glimpses Éowyn in the gardens of the Houses of Healing.

Reviewed by: Tanaqui -- Score: 10

I'll declare a vested interest in praising this drabble, as it was written for my birthday. I am truly fortunate to have a friend who is a drabblist of Elena Tiriel's quality to provide me with such delightful birthday gifts. While any of her scrumptious drabbles would be even more welcome than a pound-box of Ghirardelli chocolates, I am particularly thrilled that this piece is about some of my favourite Middle-earth characters: Faramir, Eowyn and Eomer. I love the way Elena Tiriel shows Faramir's journey of discovery during the course of this drabble. He starts encumbered by the prejudices and accepted wisdom of his upbringing but brings to bear the formidable intelligence and observational skills with which he was endowed by Tolkien on order to make his own judgments and draw his own conclusions. One suspects he also has sufficient self-awareness to understand the many ways in which this fair-haired lady has touched his emotions! The interplay of light and dark, shadow and sun, in the drabble is also strongly and effectively shown. Although never explicitly stated, I see Faramir watching from some dim, creeper-shrouded nook, while Eowyn sits in the full spring sunlight that offers her no warmth. The deft touches of description are constrained by the brevity of the form but still conspire to paint a clear and jewel-bright image of the scene in my mind. All in all, a simply beautiful, tender and hope-filled piece.

Reviewed by: dkpalaska -- Score: 10

["Men of the Twilight"] is a beautifully crafted drabble with exquisite imagery, thanks to the carefully-chosen descriptions woven throughout. The entire theme of light vs. shadow/twilight is played on both in the surface story and in the deeper cultural exploration, meshing into a truly lovely commentary on contrasts between peoples and one-day lovers. PoV character's observances of Eowyn and Eomer serves as a lens through which to view the whole Men of the Twilight discussion that Faramir has with Frodo. The Rohirrim have indeed grown more similar to the "High" peoples, perhaps to a greater degree than Faramir ever realized. Although there's so much to like about this, I think one of my favorite aspects is how (to me) the roles almost seem reversed, or at least equalized: One of the highest of the Numenoreans has had to forfeit part of his soul to war, in service to protecting what he really holds dear; as a result he himself seems shadowed in twilight, whereas the object of his attention is brilliantly sunlit - a promise of the path that will lead him back to the light in time. (Erm, if all that makes sense! I know what I mean, even if I'm not getting it across well!) This is definitely one of those works that leaves me pondering over the various implications long after I've finished reading.

Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 6

A wonderful, multi-layered play with the meaning of the title and its ramifications. Elena Tiriel weaves the drabble on the straight plot level as well as the metaphorical one around the theme of light, shadow, twilight, and so achieves a very tight cohesiveness between narrative and meta-level. What also struck me was the fact that Faramir here knows neither Éomer nor Éowyn, and I found his therefore unbiased observations and deductions particularly interesting. And despite his ignorance, he is a shrewd enough judge of character that he can recognise Éowyn's detachment and despondence without interacting with her. Faramir's pronouncement of the Rohirrim as ["Men of the Twilight"] seemed to me more an academic categorisation than a personal judgement, and I appreciated that this idea found expression in the drabble.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 6

One of the things that I found amazing about LOTR was that we get so little of Eomer and Eowyn after she is healed by Aragorn. Given that Eomer nearly lost all his remaining close family in the space of a week or so, I've always imagined him as sneaking away at every moment to check in on Eowyn. I love the way that Elena Tiriel writes that brother-sister relationship into deserved prominence in order to highlight the shift in Faramir's perspective: from "Twilight" being a predicate of an entire people that renders them lower than the Numenoreans to being a personal darkness of Éowyn that he wishes to lift. Even those accounted wise have something to learn - or maybe especially the wise have something to learn, or else they don't deserve to be called wise! Well done, E.T.!

Reviewed by: Marta -- Score: 5

What a delightfully original twist on Faramir's description of the Rohirrim as Men of the Twilight! I had always thought of it as a derogatory term, suggesting that Rohirrim were not as "high" as the Dunedain (and still suspect it can be read this way), but it also fits with their warrior's stoicism that light would have a hard time reaching them. Sort of similar to a mountain valley with steep walls on either side, so the sun only shines in a few hours a day. Really, this is a very nice view of the beginning of this courtship, and speaks of a promising beginning for both Faramir and Eowyn.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 3

I've always thought it interesting that Faramir goes from having a tolerant but slightly elitist (to our modern eyes) perspective toward the Rohirrim to being besotted by a Rohir princess. This drabble skillfully illustrates a part of the transition in Faramir's thinking - the reader can almost feel the slight shift. And the last line is lovely.

Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke -- Score: 3

It's always nice to see a character change perspective as Faramir does here, and his quiet revelation and resolve are woven with perfect pacing into the drabble so that nothing feels rushed or given short shrift.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 3

This glimpse of Faramir first seeing Eowyn with her brother in the gardens of the Houses is moving, particularly as he considers the apparently inappropriate name by which those of Rohan have ever been known in Gondor. A lovely slice of awareness told most succinctly.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 3

I really like this use of the phrase that Faramir had used in regards to the Rohirrim--and his reevaluation of it in light of what he witnesses. I can imagine his relief, as well, to hear one of the two he observes use a certain word. Very nice!

Reviewed by: Lindelea -- Score: 3

Whew. This can hardly be a drabble. Surely it is twice as many words, or five times, or a hundred times, even. There is so much in this, so much description that one can clearly see the scene. This is beautifully done--so intricately crafted that it certainly belies the fixed length required by the form.

Reviewed by: Súlriel -- Score: 1

Indeed. well done, as usual, beautiful and insightful.

Reviewed by: nancylea -- Score: 1

pretty posey