Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Advice

Author: Dwimordene
Nominator: Raksha the Demon
2009 Award Category: Genres: Character Study: Steward's Family - Third Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Ficlet
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: n/a
Summary: Just shy of a double drabble. One is always old enough to learn wisdom. Faramir, Gandalf, and some good advice.


Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 10

I'm always intrigued by fanfic writers' presentation of the friendship between the young Faramir and Mithrandir during the latter's visits to Gondor. Dwimordene does not disappoint in this wonderful ficlet. Her narrative flow is natural and appealing; and there is a lovely contrast/connection between a small boy and an aged wizard, who have more in common than might be thought. I loved Mithrandir's observation that Faramir's shoulders will one day be weighed down; it is a poignant and yet accurate reminder that this is no ordinary child, he will have to shoulder great burdens, and he is already being shaped to bear them. The phrase [head full of stories and heart full of cares] is a great description of Faramir, even as a child. Mithrandir wisely sees the child as well as the man that Faramir must become; and chooses to encourage him to cherish joy and courage in his heart. The three pieces of advice that Faramir has received are very appropriate; Boromir's seems typical of the character as an older boy or a very young man, and Finduilas' words seem to have been very well suited for Faramir's character. But it is Denethor's advice that is unknowingly prophetic and powerful, and, as the reader knows, will be heeded by his wiser son; as will the advice of the wizard. It's another excellent piece by a highly skilled and seasoned fanfic writer.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger -- Score: 10

And thus the wizard's pupil is born. This story boasts some fascinating contrasts. Denethor, Finduilas, and Boromir all have warnings to give with their advice: Do this, because this bad thing is about to happen or is already happening. Gandalf, on the other hand, gives his advice with a positive incentive: you'll laugh more. It's a rather profound contrast, especially if one stops to consider the grim and somber steward family and then stops to consider the gray pilgrim who walked with a twinkle in his eye and found himself drawn to hobbits. And in the parallels that Dwimordene draws between Gandalf and Faramir (the heart and head filled with stories and cares, the burdens upon shoulders, the forced battles), it's easy to see why Faramir would find himself drawn to Gandalf's advice. I'm reminded of when Beregond told Pippin that Faramir was more bold than most people thought. There's an element of fearlessness in what he does, from sending the Ring-bearer on to Mordor to obeying his father's command and heading out to defend the river crossings. And on an entirely different note, I loved the little character stroke for Boromir that implies he always feels old enough to counsel his brother.

Reviewed by: Starlight -- Score: 8

I loved this story from the moment I first read it, and there are many reasons why. The portrayal of a whole family in just a few words is done masterfully, and in just that sketch one can already see what some of the cares Faramir faces are. The portrait of the young boy is also very vivid and sharp--a glimpse of who he will one day become. Gandalf is great, as always. He can see to the heart of it and put advice into perspective (and the fact that he cares so much about this boy, to help and shape him, says a lot). The straightforward way of delivery enhances the appeal of this story. Having tried to write this same prompt, I know how hard it is to try to write advice that does not "get" too sentimental or preachy, and Dwim does a superb job of writing just that kind of helpful counsel that one wants to listen to. But, in the end, it is probably the advice itself at the heart of the tale that makes it so powerful. There is so much in life that can weigh us down, even good things, and with only 24 hours each day, it's hard to choose what to do and when. [See to] your heart first, Gandalf would say. And, it seems sound advice. Thanks, Dwim!

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 5

Dwimordene's spare style and use of language is perfect in conveying this look at a young Faramir who already at age seven finds himself swimming in a sea of heaving and at times contradictory advice. I love how it is that it is with Gandalf we see not the words echoing about within his skull, but instead the confusion of his face as the wizard helps put it all in perspective, helping him identify priorities in preparing for his future. The receptacle for all this advice is now an individual and a child, not the warrior or victim in the making his family apparently sees him as. Thought-provoking, as is so often true of Dwim's work!

Reviewed by: Elleth -- Score: 4

Masterful as always, Dwimordene paints a picture of young Faramir and his family. Even the pieces of advice they give are telling as each of them has - or will - succumb to their own wise words. Gandalf stands out, taking the time to convey not just wisdom but a lesson for life (much like the one he gave Bilbo at the end of [The Hobbit], but fitted to the circumstances of a war situation) and it is easy to see how he became such an influential mentor to Faramir later in life. Wonderfully done!

Reviewed by: Virtuella -- Score: 3

I found this ficlet absolutely delightful. The simplicity of it is charming, and the wisdom compelling. The language fits very well. I like the way you show how Faramir became who he is through the people who shaped him.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland -- Score: 3

Poor Faramir,bombarded with advice from every quarter, something every young person is likely to identify with! I liked Gandalf's advice,which it seems that the young man remembered and put to good use.

Reviewed by: Ignoble Bard -- Score: 3

Of all the advice Faramir got, from pretty much everyone, it looks as though Gandalf's was the most useful, and that which he took most to heart in the end. I like that Gandalf saw his seriousness and his cares, even at such a young age, and urged him to lighten up. That's advice we can all use at sometime in our lives. I enjoyed this little ficlet.

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 3

So much advice. How is a little boy to decide what to heed? The way this is written conveys to me how confusing all this advice must have been for little Faramir. But I think Faramir did choose the right advice later on.

Reviewed by: White Wolf -- Score: 2

I can just picture the scene. Gandalf was a very wise wizard, and when the Enemy didnít burden him, I imagine he laughed a lot, and so he gave the boy sage advice.