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Praiseworthy  by Thundera Tiger 12 Review(s)
Raksha The DemonReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/19/2010
Can't believe I've never reviewed this story here. Anyway, I'm glad to have rediscovered or discovered it via the 2010 MEFAs - wonderful vignette! Dialogue never comes easily to me; but you made it flow very easily and naturally between Sam and Faramir. And I really see it as a Faramir story disguised as a Sam story, but however the tale is perceived, it's much fun to read. I think you've characterized the lads very well, not easy; and I love the similarities in the journeys they've taken. Both Faramir and Sam had to make fateful decisions, and took the road less easy and less traveled by, and that made all the difference, to paraphrase Frost.

And thanks for having Faramir be the one to debate the issue with Sam; Faramir is a master of drawing people out through verbal mastery - it's like he spins a tale that's almost like a maze and sends the other person where the person needs to go - a skill that can be used therapeutically or for less benign intent - it's almost an elven quality, and you've shown Faramir's quality yet again, not to mention Sam's....

Author Reply: Hello! Many thanks for your review both here and over at the MEFAs! I have to say that I'm enjoying your own pieces, too, but with regards to this one, I'm completely flattered! I respect you as one of the best when it comes to Faramir, and to hear that you enjoyed my take on him is praise beyond praise. Thank you so much! And many thanks for the compliments on dialogue. I enjoy writing dialogue a little too much, so I'm always nervous that I've included too much or focused on it to the exclusion of all else. I tend to be a bit of an audio learner, so "hearing" a story is much easier for me than "seeing" it. Hence the over-abundance of dialogue. :) Anyway, many thanks again, and my apologies for the belatedness in replying to your review. I really do appreciate it!

PeriantariReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/13/2005
I knew that this would be a good story when i first read the preview.
One of the most wonderful things to me about the book is Sam's loyalty to Frodo and I"m glad that Faramir gave reassurance to Sam, telling him that he did the right thing.
I love so much of this story, and again, your knowledge and skillful writing managed a wonderful and canonic dialogue which is very believable and real.

Soooo many great parts: :D
Includes a great ending:
"He still believed that heroes weren't for the likes of simple hobbits, but Sam could see that fate had done something remarkable in choosing Frodo's friends and companions. And whatever his feelings on his own contribution, it was probably all right for the people to sing about that."
aww~! fate had indeed chosen Frodo loyal and determined companions~

"Your first loyalty was and still is to Frodo."
--which really struck me very hardly and made me love Sam all the more. I really like the line that you had before the story. "Not without Mr. Frodo" could Sam go on and i feel that even though Sam was very much indecisive at Cirith Ungol and knew that he had to go on, he really went on the Quest for Frodo, so therefore it would make sense for him to rescue him ... even though the Quest is more important for the whole of MIddle Earth.

I love this comparison between Faramir and Sam's loyalty:
"My loyalty and your loyalty were both needed: one to keep the Ring from Gondor and speed you on your way, and the other to keep the Ring from Mordor and save the life of he whom fate had chosen."

Such a wonderful comparison and makes so much sense since both had to deal with tough decisions.

Heh, I would have to quote the whole story, but just want to say that you've delivered again and have proven that you can even write hobbits well (along with everything else that you write)~! i really enjoyed this.,.. thanks for sharing. :)

Author Reply: The idea of loyalty is one of my favorite things about LotR, so Sam's single-minded devotion to Frodo comes in high on my list of things I love about the books. I'm very glad you liked it, and I'm glad you thought the dialogue sounded believable. I had quite a few issues with both Sam and Faramir. Neither was very cooperative, and it didn't help that I was absolutely terrified at the idea of writing the entire thing from Sam's POV. I don't think I'll ever get used to writing hobbits. I second-guess myself far too often.

But many thanks for the compliments and for the assurances. The review appeared in my mail box on a day when I was in need of encouragement, so THANK YOU for that. It helped immensely.

Estel_Mi_OlorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/6/2005
That was touching! Thank you, Thundera. I suppose you don't usually write stories about Sam, but this one was worth it. Tolkien really incorporated fate and loyalty/friendship into his books, and you have done a wonderful job of providing a moment of explanation. Faramir and Sam are not the heroes, yet they are still heroic. You have answered why. It is so much more interesting to look past the Frodos and Aragorns and see the backstage crew, if you will. Keep writing!

Author Reply: As a general rule, Sam scares me. I'm terrified that I'll mess him up somehow, either by doing too much or too little. I have similar problems with Faramir, actually, and I was incredibly nervous about this story. I'm VERY relieved that you enjoyed it. And I like the backstage crew, too. Without them, the heroes wouldn't have gone very far. Thanks for the review!

LOTR loverReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/2/2005
A meaty conversation! Sam's a hero and no mistake, and so is Faramir. And how clever of Gandalf to give them both the chance to work things out. "A wizard is never late," indeed.

I love your characterizations, Thundera. They're always spot on.

Author Reply: Thank you so much! It was a tricky conversation to write, and I tried not to pitch it TOO seriously, because this is a nice day in the garden and one of the characters is a down-to-earth hobbit who probably doesn't spent a lot of time on abstract musings. Not like Faramir would, for instance. But I felt that some things needed to be said, regardless of how "meaty" it might be. I'm very glad it worked, and I'm very glad you liked the characterizations. I'm always nervous when writing hobbits, and Faramir decided to be difficult this time around, too. I'm glad it turned out that way it needed to!

DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/2/2005
This is so sweet. I love the way Faramir sets Sam's mind at rest. It's nice to read a fic with some Faramir and Sam interaction, which is very rare, and usually hostile when it occurs, for some reason.
And *was* Gandalf in on the little conversation? Hmmm...
And I also liked the little tribute to the movie-verse, with Gandalf's misplace line. That tickled me. I like occasional movie-verse references in book-verse fics.

Author Reply: Well, if you're going by the movies, I'd say Sam and Frodo both have good reason to distrust Faramir. Hostile interactions are completely justified, in my mind. But if you're going by the books, that's another matter altogether. As for whether or not Gandalf was behind the conversation, Faramir seems to think so and I have to agree with him. Gandalf's timing was a bit too convenient for me.

EruvywethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/2/2005
(Makes a startled noise of satisfaction.) That was brilliant! I don't think you usually write Sam-fics, but this was splendid! I've ventured into Sam a few times before, and always come out feeling happy and planned for a purpose. Samwise is a character who inspires belief in predestination! Wondrous work you've created here, Thundera. I am once more bound to you by the loyalty of an admiring fellow author. Well done!

Author Reply: No, I don't usually write Sam. There's a reason for that: he scares me. I'm terrified that I'll either go over-the-top or not far enough with him. He seems to be getting a good response this go around, so maybe I'll have to take him out for a test drive again. Thank you VERY much for the kind words, and you're right. Sam does make you feel as though things have a purpose.

ElvenesseReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/2/2005
I love Boromir, so maybe this comparison isn't really fair. I think Boromir saw Gondor in a more abstract sense - not that he loved it any less than Faramir, but he first and foremost saw the city, whereas Faramir saw both the city and it's people. If either of them had taken the Ring, then the city may have been safe in the short term, but I'm not so sure about its people even then. And in the long term both Gondor and its people would have been doomed. I like that you show Faramir as knowing this: My loyalty and your loyalty were both needed: one to keep the Ring from Gondor and speed you on your way, and the other to keep the Ring from Mordor and save the life of he whom fate had chosen.

I love the way you've written Faramir: wise, but still human. And I'm still happy every time someone writes him with no desire whatsoever for the Ring (so there! PJ), as the last sentence of the quote at the beginning so obviously demonstrates.

Author Reply: I can see that about Boromir. In terms of their characters, I think Faramir was more given to abstract musings while Boromir was more concerned with practical matters, but because of Faramir's philosophical leanings, he was able to see both country, people, and everything in between. He could see how the abstract met the practical. Boromir, on the other hand, wasn't as able to bridge the gap, and it's easier to see the symbol than it is to see the teeming masses behind that symbol. So in an odd way, Faramir's abstract mind gave him a better grip on practical things. In certain areas, at least. I suspect that Boromir might have been a bit quicker when the need to be bold and decisive came around, though Faramir was more than capable in this area, too.

And as for that Ring temptation...argh! I was so upset when that happened in the movies. That's what I loved best about Faramir: he refused the Ring outright. Didn't really think twice about it. And they completely maligned him in the movies!

TithenFeredirReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/2/2005
This seems to me a good argument that everything is directed by some higher force, (fate?), and that the wisest course is to follow one's heart or conscience. Your Sam rings very true, and I like the flashes of "elven intensity" in Faramir's gaze. His nobility shines through. ~TF

Author Reply: I'm VERY relieved that Sam came off the way he did. I'm forever nervous when writing hobbits. As for Faramir, I was desperately hoping that he would come off as noble and kind but also somewhat distant and removed. Basically, I was going for Denethor's statement about Faramir wishing to appear lordly and generous as a king of old. It seemed a good time for it.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/2/2005
This is interesting. Unless they're folks who are deliberately seeking "celebrity," I think that people who get strongly praised might often have this feeling that they don't quite recognize the person everyone is talking about. And Sam is honest, so he's particularly apt to find the praise misplaced.

But Faramir is wise, as one might expect. I do love him. What a pity PJ made such a hash of the Steward's family.

Author Reply: Sam's down-to-earth honesty and practicality are the things I love best about him. He has absolutely no idea just how great an individual he is because he can't see how unique his devotion is. It's just a part of him, and he's accepted it at that. At least, that's how I see it. As for Faramir...I was up in arms over his portayal in TTT. I almost understand why they did it, but they sure slimed an impressive character in order to build dramatic tension. The fact that Faramir refuses the Ring outright was something I loved about him, and when they twisted that in the movies...grrr. Yeah, I'll stop here before I start ranting.

shireboundReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/2/2005
What a lovely conversation!

"My loyalty and your loyalty were both needed: one to keep the Ring from Gondor and speed you on your way, and the other to keep the Ring from Mordor and save the life of he whom fate had chosen."

I can see a much more confident Samwise Gamgee returning to the Shire.

And I have no doubt Gandalf arrived exactly when he meant to! That sly wizard.

Author Reply: Yes, never underestimate the wizard. Though his addition to the story was entirely unexpected. That wasn't my idea at all, but when he popped in at the end, Faramir kept insisting that it all looked a little too innocent. Suspicious politician. :) But yes, I'd hoped to instill a bit of confidence into Samwise. He did so many great things, and I've never been convinced that he understood just how great his contribution was.

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