Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Getting Away from it All

Author: Bodkin
Nominator: Linda hoyland
2007 Award Category: Times: Fourth Age and Beyond: Gondor or Rohan - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: The King Returned, his Queen, the Steward and the Steward's Lady take a day in fair Ithilien to spend it away from the pressures of ruling, but they cannot escape who they are.


Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 8

A wonderful pastoral setting for this story. There is a golden glow and feeling of relaxation to the scene that is really appealing. Yet this doesn't get in the way of the more serious layers underneath: the wistfulness that such truly restful and informal moments can only rarely be snatched from duties and the formalities of the court, which must be especially difficult for those four characters. Smooth switches in mood. Lovely character interaction and dialogue, the readers can truly sense the ease and friendship between these four, as well as the love of the couples. I especially liked how you described the gestures and expressions. There was also a wonderful sense of the personal history of each character woven into the narrative. The talk about politics and plotting nobles was intriguing and has me fervently hoping you will some day write a sequel to this story! Excellent strategical thinking of the four protagonists; I think they have the situation well in hand. Erm, and I completely agree with Éowyn's disapproval at Faramir's reluctance ["to strip off at the least provocation"] *g*!

Reviewed by: Linda hoyland -- Score: 5

This is a truly delightful story which sees Aragorn and Faramir and their wives enjoying a rare day of relaxation at Faramir's home in Ithilien. I especially enjoyed the two former Rangers futile attempts at fishing and the way the writer depicts what is obviously a warm and close bond between the four characters. The story also has darker undertones as King and Steward desire time away from the court to discuss difficulties with the Council. I also feel sorry for the trapped life these former free spirits are forced to live. Their freedom is but an illusion with ever present Guards in the background. I would love to read a sequel and learn what happens next !

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 5

Such a nice little light-hearted vignette of Gondor's two premier couples, spending a lazy afternoon ["getting away from it all"] in the wilds of Ithilien, with nothing to worry them save dalliance and light banter, and whether or not to indulge in a swim. [spoiler follows] Or is there? The talk also turns to intrigue, at which Bodkin has a very deft touch, and we learn that there are those who are not entirely happy with the return of the King. The reader is left longing to know more of these plots and counter-plots, and I am fervently hoping Bodkin will one day see fit to follow-up on this!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 4

A charming story that presents plots within plots. A lazy day for the King of Arnor and Gondor and his Steward and their ladies in the woods of Ithilien is actually both holiday and strategy session. We are reminded of the price they have paid for peace, the loss of privacy that comes with the assumption of rank, especially that of an unanticipated Northern Ranger claiming the kingship. And of course I loved the image of Faramir and Aragorn getting wet as they fished in the stream...

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 4

A beautiful afternoon in Ithilien for Aragorn, Faramir and their ladies. It seems like an innocent day off until the idle talk switches to serious talk of treason and rebellion by nobles who are less than happy about the new upstart king. The characters come to life in this tale. In a few words the relationship between the four characters is drawn. I love the banter between them, especially the scene between Arwen and Eowyn while the men are trying to catch fish.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene -- Score: 4

Everyone has to take a little time off, even if that time is in between allowing the plots of courtly enemies to ripen to the point where they become vulnerable to one's own counterplotting. I like the lazy, bantering tone of this, although there is one point where the swing to the serious seems to come out of nowhere. Otherwise, however, an enjoyable day off for the king and queen, prince and princess!

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 4

A wonderful moment of relaxation by four of the most responsible individuals within Gondor, enjoying rare moments of peace within Ithilien while ever aware their lives have changed now. They take their ease in a circle of guards, and their discussion touches on the machinations of the courtiers and lords of the kingdom. But they are confident and competent--surely they will prevail as they work together to forge a new future of Gondor in a time of peace. As always, a most worthwhile read by this most superb of writers.

Reviewed by: dkpalaska -- Score: 3

This peaceful scene, so gentle and bucolic, conceals quite the seething mass of intrigue! The switch from lazing around to intense political discussion was well-handled, and the quick but thorough characterizations were excellent - I especially loved how you painted both Arwen and Faramir.

Reviewed by: Ellie -- Score: 3

What a delightful little tale! It was enjoyable and yet full of intrigue and fun. Well done! It was great getting to see some insight into the way the Aragron and Arwen and the Prince and Princess of Ithilien get to spend a holiday now that they are "important" people and no longer rangers and ladies. I always enjoy your writing and you never disappoint!

Reviewed by: Marta -- Score: 3

This was a fun read; I thoroughly enjoyed seeing our four favorite Gondorian nobles let their hair down. Arwen's and Eowyn's interchanges were particularly fun. They had a vulnerability between them that was really revealing about their characters.