Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Emmaus

Author: Dwimordene
Nominator: dkpalaska
2007 Award Category: Genres: Drama: Vignette - Third Place

Story Type: Story : Length: Short Story
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Faramir has a journey to make. For the Faramir Creation Day challenge.


Reviewed by: dkpalaska -- Score: 10

The imagery in ["Emmaus"] is breathtaking and surreal. I can completely immerse myself into the scenery - sight, scent, sound, sensation - and feel to my bones the peace and contentment that it must have meant to Faramir, even without the links to love and joy that his mother's family offered him. This is a place where he has been unconditionally happy, and the memories that show us this are touching and very well incorporated into the "dream". In fact, Faramir's overall dreaming capacity is managed very plausibly: his obvious comfort with them and the way he knows what to expect; how he can leave them or refuse them, and knows the difference between dream and vision; that they all ["end in water, well up as waves to engulf the mind."] The last reminds me of his Numenor dreams, and I considered how they might lead to Faramir feeling more keenly than perhaps even his father or Boromir how he is destined to defend Numenor's remnants from another obliteration. Dwimordene makes stunning use of the fossil to represent this last vestige of past greatness; how it turns to sand running through Faramir's fingers left me feeling more of the potential horror of the situation than more graphic methods could have done. I thought there could even be resonances with Aragorn's, ["You are the very rock of this land"] - how Faramir goes, so goes Gondor. The brief intrusions of reality lead me increasingly to Faramir's encounter with Aragorn, waiting to lead him back to life. It is painful to watch as the memories worsen, as the hill becomes his toiling to leave this dream world, until Faramir is given the terrible choice - again: to refuse or obey. The compare and contrast of his King's call to duty against that recently made by his Steward is just... wow. Brilliant, and heart-breaking. Faramir's response, his bravery and self-sacrifice, are as beautiful and powerful as in any scene in the books This is such a unique, insightful take on Faramir's spiritual battle when under the Black Breath, and Aragorn's call to bring him home. What would be harder to fight against, I wonder? Alluring contentment, or torment? Knowing Sauron's often seductive methods, I can see this version being all too realistic... Finally, the title and its inference resonated with me on many levels, from Aragorn's kingly revelation on the road to Tolkien's deeper thematic religious parallels. An excellent and thoughtful work!

Reviewed by: Imhiriel -- Score: 7

A fascinating, fresh way to interpret the "place" from which Aragorn had to call Faramir back. The scenery is rendered in vibrant details, evoking the warmth of the sun on waves and sand, the smell of the sea, the crying of the gulls. The beauty of it makes the intruding flashes of reality all the more cutting, even as Faramir gradually loses himself in his wanderings. Faramir living the reality of the dream and simultaneously being aware (at least in the beginning) that it *is* a dream, this "double-vision" is captured very realistically, and I enjoyed the way you used the specific theme of Faramir the Dreamer. The encounter with Aragorn was deeply moving, the instant conviction that he knows this stranger, Aragorn's gentleness as guide, drawing him on by stimulating his curiosity and his sense of duty. The way Faramir slowly found his way back to reality and integrated his recent memories, was atmospheric and resonating.

Reviewed by: Marta -- Score: 5

It seems that every one who writes Gondor (except possibly me -- knock on wood) has written their version of Faramir being called back from the Black Breath. Which makes it a tough spot to write, if you want to seem like you're saying something new. But Dwim does that here, making his wanderings seem almost peaceful at first, then mixing just enough dark dreams in to accentuate how much he had to lose. The stone with the seashell fossil was a touch of genius in particular, and a great way to touch on how much the world had changed since Numenor's destruction.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 5

A singular, unusual version of Faramir's personal experience in the "dark vale" from which Aragorn called him in ROTK. Here, Faramir casts himself away from the horrors of combined memory and Shadow influence, into a more gentle dreamscape; until Aragorn appears and gives him a fateful choice. I really liked Aragorn's words to and about Faramir. The appellation of [Pilgrim] has a spiritual quality to it. And Aragorn's calling Faramir [the very rock of this land] reminded me eerily of Peter being called the rock upon whom the Christian church would be built. A lovely vignette from this outstanding author.

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 4

[Spoiler] This story sheds a fresh light on the place where Faramir dwells in his dreams before Aragorn calls him back. It is a beautiful, serene landscape and I think it is typical Faramir. I can understand that he doesn't want to leave, but little by little reality intrudes although in the beginning it is barely noticeable. I love the shifting dreamscapes and Faramir's unwillingness to deal with anything which intrudes on his peace until he can't deny the pull of the stranger anymore. Even if at first it seems to lead into darkness.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 4

A very different idea of the wanderings of Faramir's spirit before Aragorn called him back to life within the Houses of Healing, in which he is tempted to hide in his memories of the Sea and Dol Amroth as he remembers it from his youth. A most visually compelling work, one that would do well, I think, as a short filmed vignette. And to be called back to life from that, to think he must go forth and face death and lead others to death upon the fields of battle again and again, only to waken to the King Returned.... Very good.

Reviewed by: phyloxena -- Score: 4

Unlike other Houses of Healing stories have read, in ["Emmaus"], the "dark vale" there Faramir wandered before Aragorn called him back appears peaceful and comfortable, at least superficially. The nightmare that trickles in is a private one -- just a little stone, trivial loss, and Faramir doesn't struggle to escape dream or nightmare. Instead, he chooses to awake and to fight once again, leaving the comfort behind.

Reviewed by: Gandalfs apprentice -- Score: 4

Dwimordene writes her tale of Aragorn's healing of Faramir, and as is her wont, it is a fresh and new perspective. Here death is shown as full of light and warmth, and Faramir must choose to go back to the pain of life--as he rightly does. I didn't know the reason for the title until I googled it and discovered it to be a Christian road to renewal. Well, the Christian part is apt for Tolkien, the renewal part for the tale. I only wish there were a bit more of Aragorn in the tale--but then, I'm kind of obsessed with him.

Reviewed by: Linda hoyland -- Score: 3

[spoilers] A new and original take on the ever popular HOuses of Healing theme, my favourite part of the book. This story is unusual in that Faramir's dream world is not unpleasant. I loved the way Aragorn appears to him. The title is very apt too. A most enjoyable story.