Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Once

Author: Noldo
Nominator: Darkover
2011 Award Category: Men: Faramir - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story : Length: Ficlet
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: On Faramir, and his mother, and on wanting to be Turin.


Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel -- Score: 10

This piece was just breathtaking. I had never before made the connection between Faramir and Túrin, so the author's premise, in and of itself, had my attention straight away. But once I began to read, started actually reading, I was completely (and pleasantly) awestruck. Yes, the premise is excellent, the story superb. But the writing! Oh, the writing! Repetition was a constant literary device in this ficlet, but it was never direct. There were repeated ideas, but the phrase was always changed a bit. The repetition created such a wonderful flow, a continuity from scene to scene, where the ideas and emotions were different, but the underlying theme--that Faramir would rather have been born Túrin--stayed the same. So perfect. As the ideas were expressed in a stream-of-consciousness sort of style, they by necessity were not bound to be written in the same format as another story. And I think here the author managed to capture a lovely lyrical style, omitting commas and linking together clauses into a long, lilting sort of rhythm. Beyond all that, the author's beautiful prose only served to highlight beautiful ideas. All these instances in Faramir's life were presented to the reader, and Faramir's response to each was the same: he wished to be Túrin, because he had a Finduilas/had died/&c. As I said before, the connection between these two characters never occurred to me, so I found the whole piece to be beautiful and novel, with the wonderfully added bonus of pristine and alluring prose.

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale -- Score: 8

Who could EVER want to be Turin, tormented and unhappy as he was? And of those masochistic enough to envy him, who less likely than Faramir, wise and well-read, who knows the old lore inside and out, has a talent for reading the hearts of others and even turns down that ultimate temptation, the One Ring? How could he look to such a flawed figure for a positive example? But Noldo finds the hook and hangs this garland of a story upon it: [He wanted a mother. He wanted a Finduilas. He wanted a mother who was a Finduilas. He wanted *his* mother, because she was his Finduilas. He wanted to be Túrin.] This yearning and this sense of loss are present in Faramir from an early age, as he looks to his brother and his father for memories of the mother he cannot remember. Growing older, he finds more reasons to empathize with Turin, who loved, however unwisely, and was loved, however unhappily, and who finally died, most (un)fortunate of men. It is only when a joy unexpected comes into Faramir's life that he finally questions his old connection to the brooding figure of his secret fantasies. The four-word final sentence is perfect: simple, and impossibly exultant. The entire piece is eloquently written, with heartbreaking and ultimately heartening conviction.

Reviewed by: Altariel -- Score: 6

What a clever connection to make, between Finduilas the love of Turin, and Finduilas the mother of Faramir. And from this connection, rich associations emerge, as the little boy Faramir wishes for his mother and so identifies with Turin. Too far, eventually, as Faramir sits in the Houses of Healing and, stricken with survivor guilt, reflects on his father's awful death (["He wanted to be Túrin, because Túrin had died"]) and the terrible power that the narratives playing out around us can exert on us (["Túrin had killed himself"]). But Faramir has his own story, a story in which Finduilas plays a symbolic part: ["Túrin had never had Éowyn, lovely golden-haired fierce injured Éowyn in blue with silver stars on top of the City"]. But the story has now been changed from tragedy into joy. Why would he want to be Turin any more? A deft, clever, richly evocative story that gave me a great deal of pleasure. Thank you very much for a lovely, emotionally satisfying read!

Reviewed by: Darkover -- Score: 5

The very first time I read this story, I immediately made it one of my "Favorites." That was how much it impressed me. This is a heartrending tale that, unlike most such stories, has a happy but still realistic ending. It is a well-written depiction of Faramir's innermost feelings and thoughts, from boyhood until he at last finds love--and himself--with Eowyn. The author does a good job of writing and also keeps the younger son of the Steward in-character at all times. It is beautifully written and makes you feel better for having read it.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 4

Absolutely poignant and thoughtful. These are the sorts of thoughts a person like Faramir could have, first as a small child, not truly understanding the tragedy of the one he envies, and then as an older child, begins to understand but still not enough. And then as a man, comes true understanding and he can put aside childish things. A very nice and hopeful ending for a very sad beginning.

Reviewed by: Wtiger -- Score: 3

This is a simple story that shows an insight into Faramir's thoughts both as a child and as an adult. I can certainly understand how a young boy would look up to Turin but I also liked the evolution once he met Eowyn.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland -- Score: 3

This was a haunting and beautifully written story which perfectly captures Faramir's grief for his mother. It seems very like Faramir to think in the terms of heroes of old. At least Faramir's story, unlike Turin's had a happy ending.

Reviewed by: Antane -- Score: 3

I love the ending of this and the realization that he does not have it so bad himself, that he has better than Turin did and there are things Turin did not know or feel that he does. I like reading how he comes to know this.