Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

The Brain Has Corridors

Author: Wormwood
Nominator: curiouswombat
2011 Award Category: Men: Faramir

Story Type: Story : Length: Ficlet
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Faramir wakes up from a dream about the flooding of Numenor.


Reviewed by: Altariel -- Score: 10

This short piece packs such a punch, describing the effect of the wave dream upon Faramir as a kind of psychic tsunami that has left deep scars in his mind, and the mind of all who escaped it: ["the force of accumulated terror embedded itself forever in the dreams of those who escaped and their descendants"]. I find the idea that Faramir would ["rather accept an absence of design than stories of higher powers letting the many suffer for the evil of the few"] tremendously interesting and quietly, brilliantly revisionist. As the character that Tolkien seemed to think was the closest to him, it would be an easy move to give Faramir his author's religious belief. But how can one see the destruction of Numenor - the death of all those tired mothers, weary couples, sleeping lovers - as just punishment? Was Ar-Pharazon's "treason" really the treason of all the inhabitants of the island? Did that child upon its mother's hip deserve to die? No wonder these images echo again and again around the corridors of Faramir's mind. As well as the dream, part of Faramir's dubious inheritance is the longevity which he is certain will leave him a widower: ["He knew he would likely outlive her. The people who died so long ago had passed on some of their longevity as well as their terror."] One day Eowyn will be one of the ghosts that Faramir is so used to living with and without: his mother, his father, his brother, his ancestors. So much is touched upon in such a short piece. Wormwood shows remarkable skill in drawing together all these different facets of a single person's life. Also, her quality of language and her use of imagery are superb. Brava.

Reviewed by: curiouswombat -- Score: 7

Wormwood's command of language is always masterfully evocative, to the extent that I have read this ficlet a number of times now, and it never ceases to move me. The idea of Faramir haunted by a collective memory of the great tsunami that hit Numenor, seems so very right to me that I cannot think of him now without knowing that he has these terrible dreams, I feel as though they are a part of his very being. Faramir has always struck me, and I am sure others, as a man who will work himself almost to a standstill - a man determined to do every scrap of anything that could possibly be seen to be his duty. And it is both reasonable and satisfying to think of him bringing that devotion also to his marriage - as he does here, always with the sense of impending sorrow that this Numenorean blood is also likely to leave him facing years as a widower. A lovely piece of writing that I will come back to again and again I think.

Reviewed by: Darkover -- Score: 5

This is a fascinating story with many layers and levels. At first it seems to have a simple plot: Faramir has a bad dream. But the story also finds the Steward, and through him, the reader, pondering the idea of collective nightmares through collective trauma, Numenor, life in general, his life, his marriage to Eowyn and his love for her, and hers for him. Very impressive, especially for a story that is so comparatively brief. It is also skillfully written, so that the reader is aware of the appearance of the bedroom and of Faramir's every feeling. This tale should probably be read more than once for the full effect. Either way, do not miss it.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel -- Score: 4

Like all of Wormwood's prose, The Brain Has Corridors is simply beautiful. Stunning in its vivid wordchoice and haunting in its imagery, this is the sort of piece that sticks with one for quite some time. I loved this glimpse into Faramir's dreams of foresight. Based on what we know of him (and of his other, quite fateful dream), this particular scenario seems all too likely.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland -- Score: 3

I loved this,brilliantly haunting and unsettling tale!It must be tough to be haunted by an ancestral memory.We know that Faramir dreams of a great wave, but Wormwood's story shows how vivid a nightmare this must be especially when Faramir is tired or troubled.

Reviewed by: Antane -- Score: 3

I like the description of the dream and the effect it had on Faramir as he wakes from it and that he had the longer lifespan as well as the terror of those last moments. I hadn't thought before of him outliving Eowyn, indeed he must have for a long bit but they would still know each other for a long while.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 3

The dream of the crushing wave has come yet again, and leaves Faramir shaking in its wake. For this is now late in his life, and he knows the griefs that are part and parcel of experiencing the Dunedain lifespan, including the grief of having lost the one woman he ever fully loved to age. A wonderful ficlet, written to evoke specific sensual images. Well done!