Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Fair, Strong and Cold

Author: Ellethill
Nominator: Raksha the Demon
2006 Award Category: Genres: Romance: Gondor

Story Type: Other Fiction : Length: Novel
Rating: PG -- Reason for Rating: some implied adult/disturbing elements
Summary: Though they still meet in the Houses of Healing under the same circumstances, Eowyn and Faramir do not take an immediate liking to each other; they are, however, bound to marry due to interests of state - and it all goes on from there; a slightly AU tale

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 7

Faramir and Eowyn's fabled romance takes an AU turn here: they do not fall in love in the Houses of Healing; but rather are brought together in an arranged marriage. The writer shows the gradual thawing of the Steward and the White Lady, from their meeting, haunted by tragedy, in the Houses, to their eventual awakening to liking, friendship and finally, love. In lesser hands, the story would have taken a leap into action, with some great danger to force the couple's feelings to ignite. But the writer's path, where the changes in Faramir and Eowyn's hearts are visible but subtle, and happen in increments rather than all at once, is true and makes the final payoff all the more convincing and joyful. The author makes a worthy effort to write in a style reminiscent of Tolkien's, which enhances the story and is all the more remarkable considering that English is not the writer's native language. Fans of Faramir and Eowyn, and of Romance in Middle-earth, should enjoy this story.

Reviewed by: Nienor Niniel -- Score: 6

This is a very interesting AU premise, and well executed. Often fics in which the characters are forced to marry for political reasons don't manage to set the situation up believably, but here the reasoning behind it is actually believable, without the people who arrange the marriage coming over as heartless, OOC manipulators, as in the more naive pieces of the genre. The softening up of the two characters for each other takes a long time, but this makes the story even more realistic as we don't see a cliché conflict-angst-and-solution build-up. The language of this story flows very well. It is not trying to copy Tolkien's lnaguage, yet it conveys a certain "ancientness". Many of the scenes are gripping; my personal favourite being the one in which Faramir teaches Éowyn some of his ranger skills. All in all, I enjoyed reading this.

Reviewed by: obsidianj -- Score: 5

This is a slightly AU story of Faramir and Eowyn’s first year of marriage with the premise that this would be a marriage of convenience. I love the slow way of their blossoming love. It just flows naturally, and the author restrains from any spectacular events to bring the love out into the open, which makes the final outcome even more touching. The tone of this piece is melancholy in wide stretches which brings their fears, doubts, hope, and longing into stark relief with the contentment and joy they find at the end. The Tolkienesque style brings a dreamlike quality with it, which serves this story well.

Reviewed by: Bodkin -- Score: 4

I am glad that Eowyn and Faramir learned to love each other - they were set a hard path, but one that was not at all unlikely! (And, actually, even had they loved each other from the beginning, the adjustment they had to make couldn't have been easy.) Although, when Eomer is congratulating himself on his sister's happiness, I do feel a tiny impulse to punch him on the nose - what would he do if he found she was thoroughly miserable? I enjoyed this story.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 3

While I have to say, the premise of Aragorn and Eomer pushing Faramir/Eowyn into a marriage of state is not one I could normally find plausible, this author makes an excellent case for it. Moreover, she treats the whole subject well, with dignity, successfully capturing the high and noble tone of "The Steward and the King" chapter.