Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Moon Over Water

Author: Avon
Nominator: Elen Kortirion
2008 Award Category: Genres: Drama: Final Partings - First Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: On a cold moonlit night Faramir watches the river. He watches for a memory, for a vision, for a dream... he watches for a vigil once kept with his brother.


Reviewed by: nancylea -- Score: 10

the author of this story, has build a legend within a legend and makes use of the grand tapestry of many cultures, to bring us a small measure of comfort that started for faramir when he was first bereaved and then sheltered him through the changes that are part of the culture of growing up, fortunately our author lets faramir keep his faith and he is eventually rewarded by the one thing that may let him release the greif and guilt of his brothers death. many of the stories in this nature leave me feeling, no, faramir wouldnot buy into that so easily; he's going to hold on to the guilt even after this. this story without giving us one on one interaction between boromir and faramir leaves me with the feeling that he might be able to see the release in boromirs spirit and let himself understand that what was was and that now we need to move on to what can and will be.it is mildly amusing to see the different ways people have managed to work boats floating down a river into a tribute to the dead especially on an assigned day or seasonal event. it plays into something i am coming to appreciate more and more as i delve deeper into fandom and tolkienism. there is a lot of redundancy in the works we get to see. some of it is oh so redundant and some of it is the repeating of something to good to let go of. you get to be in the too good to let go of class. thank you for sending this out to the world.

Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 7

Dreamlike, quiet language and beautiful descriptions perfectly evoke the atmosphere of the surroundings and Faramir's mood. The use of present tense gives the piece an immediacy which draws the readers directly into this mood - I actually felt soothed when reading. The characterisations are very good, especially the shift in portrayal between the young Faramir and the adult one. The deep love between the brothers is elicited very well: Boromir as the protector and big brother who shows his little brother the wonders of the world, Faramir touchingly trusting. There are so many lovely lines, but for some reason, the following quote struck a chord with me: ["It had been strange to see Boromir, the practical one, the warrior, so entranced by something so mystical. Indeed, by the next day Boromir had shrugged off his attempts to talk about it and had instead vanished for a day’s hunting in the woods with his new bow."] Boromir the pragmatic who still longs and hopes for something beyond the mundane and went to search for it by following a riddle out of a dream. I couldn't help remembering another occasion when Faramir saw watching a boat glide down the Anduin, and reading the final scene Avon describes with this in mind added a particular poignancy.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland -- Score: 6

Very well written! I have read many stories concerning Faramir remembering his brother on the banks of the Anduin,but this one is quite unique, in that long before Boromir's death, ghosts could be seen on the river once a year and Boromir would take his little brother to see them.It seems whether the ghosts appear is linked to Gondor's fortunes. I almost felt I was at the river with Faramir and sharing the wonderous vision, which should comfort him through all the years ahead. I think many have gained comfort through dreams of dreams of deceased loved ones with all age,sorrow and sickness gone from them and this story will strike a chord in anyone who has lost a loved one,as,alas have most of us. This story is just breathtaking! It is so mysterious,haunting and beautiful.Very well written!

Reviewed by: Elena Tiriel -- Score: 6

Avon's short story, "Moon over Water", is about a tradition that Boromir shared with Faramir when they were young, and that Faramir is continuing... but he thinks it will be the last time. It involves going to the Anduin and watching the dead float by on ghostly boats on a particular full moon during the year. Boromir had lost his taste for watching the procession after his first blooding as a soldier, but Faramir continued to make the pilgrimage. What I like about this story is the lyrical language that so vividly describes the scene. Also, there is a melancholy sense that the procession is becoming smaller each year, either through Gondor's fading, or perhaps because the magic is dissipating from the increasingly grim lives of those surviving under the shadow of Mordor. But the story ends on a pleasingly hopeful note. I really enjoyed reading this. Very well done!

Reviewed by: annmarwalk -- Score: 5

[It had been strange to see Boromir, the practical one, the warrior, so entranced by something so mystical. Indeed, by the next day Boromir had shrugged off his attempts to talk about it and had instead vanished for a day’s hunting in the woods with his new bow.] Oh, I love this - that in his grief practical Boromir was reaching out toward ancient legend, almost using Faramir (the dreamy one) as a cloak so that, in his own mind, he could say "I did it for Faramir's sake!" and therefore save face for himself. And Faramir - as he grows up, and continues the ritual, sensing the decline in the fortunes and strenght of his people: [ The boats were different from those he remembered – flatter bottomed and less ornamented. The faces that looked out were subtly different too. They bore more signs of age and while there was strength in them, it was a worn and finely edged strength. Their clothes were made of as fine and costly material but seemed darker and sterner.] Your final image of Boromir is heartbreaking and beautiful: [ a soldier at guard… rich velvet cloak …raven haired…fair of face….standing in watchful pose as Faramir has seen him do a hundred times as a Guard of the Tower. His horn hangs once more from his baldric, restored and whole] Very fitting, I think, that Faramir would remember him in his beauty and dignity, while treasuring to himself the laughing memories of their boyhood. Very beautifully done! I'm so glad to have you writing with us again.

Reviewed by: Isabeau of Greenlea -- Score: 5

An intriguing story, where the usually practical to a fault Boromir starts a tradition for his dreamer brother, telling him of a night when Gondor's fallen greatest sail once more upon the Anduin. The folktale/tradition is a plausible one and the depictions of this mystical event are well done, seeming as they do to reflect Gondor's deepening peril. Faramir is faithful in his watch, but his final vision is a disturbing one. Boromir is true to character in this brief vignette, his devotion to his younger brother and his innate pragmatism are well drawn.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 5

I think what I like most about this story is that it doesn't attempt to explain everything. Avon presents a magical, mystical scene - one that fits beautifully with Middle-earth - and then simply lets it go. What is occurring and why is never explained, nor is Boromir's behavior. The ending therefore comes as a surprise and a kind of reward for Faramir, who seems to hold onto his sense of the reality and perhaps the importance of the Night of the Gallants long after Boromir relinquished both. The writing is, as ever, beautiful. Thanks, Avon!

Reviewed by: Elen Kortirion -- Score: 5

This story is utterly enchanting - there is no other word to describe it. The tradition of a special event that can only take place on one night in the year, the wonderfully described ethereal procession, and the way Faramir's view point changes as he matures is beautifully rendered. And the last mystical image of Boromir, taken to the West by a queen... is both fabulous as an image from Middle-earth, and as an extrapolation of Tolkien's drawing on the old legends that constructed his legendarium... and wonderfully Arthurian in its own right. The tale is lyrical, mystical and flows with all the fluid grace of that moonlit river.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 4

It was Boromir who introduced his younger brother to the practice of watching the river on the first full moon after yaviere to see the gallants sail down the river. It's been some years since Faramir has seen a ship on the river on this night; will he be granted such a vision this year, and will he bring his son here some day, perhaps? And whose forms are they that are seen? A mystical telling of a mystical tale. Etherial.

Reviewed by: pipkinsweetgrass -- Score: 4

Tis is an absolutely beautifully crafted story written with as much love of the craft as of the source material and characters. Moreover, is is written with respect, a thing rare and delightful to find in fan fiction, and I cannot praise this work or the author enough for it. It is almost mythopoetical form, use of language and imagery and is an altogether good read.

Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke -- Score: 3

This was lovely, beautifully written and sweet, but in no way overdone. I liked how the writer turned the familiar scene of Faramir seeing the death boat of Boromir, into something with history, weight, and peace. Nicely done.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 3

A lovely, haunting tale about the power of magic, night, the moon on the water, and the greatness of Gondor's past. Beautiful language, and elegant transitions between past and present. And the ending is beautiful.

Reviewed by: Marta -- Score: 2

This is a lovely, very atmospheric piece showing how hope and "magic" transcends the generations before and after the Ring War. Nice work, Avon.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 2

Such a lovely and melancholy vignette; I love Faramir's memories of this, and his conclusion at the end.