Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

One Summer's Day

Author: Bodkin
Nominator: Madeleine
2006 Award Category: Races: Men - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Other Fiction : Length: Short Story
Rating: G -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Young Eowyn is devastated by the loss of her parents. Eomer and Theodred help her begin to adjust.


Reviewed by: Madeleine -- Score: 10

I am a sucker for childhood stories of Éomer and his sister and I think I can call this one - without exaggerating - my absolute favourite. I feel for Éowyn, but I do not feel sorry for her. If I feel sorry for somebody it is for Éomer, who has to deal not only with his own grief at losing his parents but also with his little sister’s overwhelming pain and her inability to find a constructive outlet. Although he gets even more hurt by her behaviour and is to young himself to find a solution, he doesn’t give up on her. I think Théoden’s is very realistically depicted. He is the certainly well-meaning uncle, who feels an obligation to take care of his late sister’s children, but he is also the king who doesn't have the time to look after the siblings personally and had to give them into the care of others. And it makes also sense that Théodred, after all thirteen resp. seventeen years older than his cousins and with plenty of responsibilities towards the Mark, hasn’t paid too much attention to the children until this particular summer's day. But as soon as he finally understands the whole extent of Éowyn’s despair and how badly it effects Éomer - that the young boy has too much to shoulder entirely on his own - he quickly comes to the conclusion that he can’t wait for somebody else to hopefully find one day access to the little girl. It speaks for him that he is willing to take on the responsibility and that he knows how to approach his cousin, treating her like an equal and making certain that she feels secure. In doing so, he takes at the same time a great burden off Éomer. Having read this story, I can imagine Théodred having played an even greater role in the lives of Éomer and Éowyn than Théoden had.

Reviewed by: Marigold -- Score: 10

This is a terrific story! Éowyn is so well portrayed, a very realistic depiction of a child that has suffered such terrible losses at such a young age. The descriptions of her violent outbursts and silent rocking are so vivid and well written! The characterisation of Éomer, who steadfastly sticks to her and tries to be her support, is equally well done. It can’t have been easy for him, just a child himself, to bear such a responsibility, but he does an admirable job and we can clearly see in this boy what a great King that the adult Éomer will become. It seemed perfectly plausible to me that the main thing to get Éowyn’s attention at last was finally understanding just a little of what she was doing to her beloved older brother. I doubt that anyone had pointed that out to her before, instead simply being relieved that the brother at least had some little control over his sister. Never mind what that burden was doing to him. Théodred is a good-hearted elder cousin, and wise too, to see that Éowyn needed a constructive outlet for her great anger. Obviously she excelled at her training, and I wish that Théodred had been alive to learn of her great deeds and to finally see her happy with Faramir. I wonder if grownup Éowyn ever mused upon just how much her cousin did for her that day, and through her, for Middle-earth. It’s a lovely example of how all things are connected, how one event can affect things for good or ill even many years in the future. If Théodred had simply fetched them both back to the city what might have befallen in later years? I am normally a reader of just hobbity fics, and yet this story has really struck a chord with me. I would really like to read more fics like this by this author!

Reviewed by: Rhapsody -- Score: 7

This short story is such a beautiful gem I discovered this year. Bodkin's writing moves me deeply with her straightforward storytelling, showing us exactly what Éowyn, Éomer, and Théodred are going through. In this story every character has their own distinctive voice and personal growth. It feels very balanced is told with a graceful pacing and gentleness which shows in the words without pulling the punches, which hits the reader directly. [‘If that is what you want, little cousin,’ Theodred vowed steadily, quailing inside as he acknowledged to himself that skill at arms was no guarantee of safety, ‘then that is what I will do. But,’ he added, ‘you will have to make me a promise, too. You will have to swear to me that you will never give up – that you will fight always to be the person I know you can be. Through fire and water, in darkness and despair, you will hold on, for the sake of those who love you and whom you love. For Roan.’] This is such a beautiful fragment, which shows so much and left me wondering how Éowyn will react to Théodred's death later on. This piece surely gives me as reader an insight how cold and withdrawn she appeared to be during the Two Towers after Théodred died and she nearly looses Théoden as well, but with this precious gapfiller you give it so much depth and it serves as a brilliant backstory at the same time. This closing lines wrap up the story excellently and it really feels to me that everyone will be able to move on, not only Éowyn: [‘Come on, Eowyn,’ Theodred told her. ‘It’s time for you to let everyone know that you are back.’] This story is simply a masterpiece.

Reviewed by: elliska -- Score: 5

Wow, somehow I had missed this one, I think. I'm sure I don't remember reading it before. This was great, Bodkin. Eowyn has always seemed a complete mystery to me. I never understood her character at all in the books. But this really helps. I think it really captures how a little girl who had endured as much as she had would feel very realistically and explains some aspects of her adult personality that seemed out of place to me until I thought about this. And Eomer was very dear in it as well. And the importance of Theodred here seems so sad to me since we know his fate. Very well done. I'm glad I found it here.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland -- Score: 5

There are many stories written about young Boromir and Faramir losing their mother but surprisingly few about the orphaned Eomer and Eowyn.This is an excellent tale which helps to compensate for the overall lack. Poor Eowyn is a very disturbed child whom her brother tries to care for with great difficulty.One day she runs away and cousin Theodred comes to the rescue and has some idea how to help the unhappy litle girl. I can see here the woman that Eowyn will be become and the honourable warrior King who is her brother. A well written and very moving story.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 4

A thoughtful, insightful vignette forging a warm relationship between Theodred and his orphaned young cousins, the saddened Eomer and the angry, out-of-control Eowyn. Eowyn is particularly well written here; her anger and confusion are palpable, as is her unanswered need for something to do to on her own rather than needlework or resting. The resolution is heart-warming, but flows very naturally from the themes and ideas woven into the rest of the tale.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower -- Score: 4

The first time I read this I was very surprised to note the name of the author! I am so used to her as being primarily an Elf-writer that it was a revelation to me how well she could write of Rohan! I was very impressed by the deep family feeling between Theodred and his young cousins, and by young Eomer's worries and fears for his little sister. A lovely tale, and a good exploration of the aftermath of grief.

Reviewed by: annmarwalk -- Score: 4

What a great story! I really like how you’ve portrayed Eowyn’s fury and despair at the loss of her parents and the life she was accustomed to. Her responses are so realistic: anger, rebelliousness, withdrawl, violence. How fortunate for her that she has a loving brother, who senses what she needs to heal, and a wise and compassionate cousin, a skilled leader who knows how to handle wayward young troops.

Reviewed by: EdorasLass -- Score: 4

This is a lovely portrait of Eomer and Eowyn in their new home at Edoras. Eomer's worry and frustration with Eowyn is touching, and Eowyn's sullen temper is very realistic for a child who's been through what she has. I like how Theodred feels the need to help, and that he's the one who comes up with the idea of training Eowyn as a Shieldmaiden. A nice dynamic between the cousins; it's easy to see how they would become so close in later years.

Reviewed by: Llinos -- Score: 4

This wonderful glimpse of newly bereaved Éowyn as a child is a haunting one. Her fear and actions are understandable. I felt so very sorry for Éomer; he is but a child himself, yet he is the one upon which the burden of Éowyn's grief-stricken behaviour has been placed. Fortunately Theodred comes to the rescue of both. I can see in these depictions of the two as children how they grew into the adults they did.