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For the King Who Has Everything  by Raksha The Demon 17 Review(s)
CairistionaReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 1/15/2009
Wonderful story, Raksha. Their discussion of what to give the King is priceless--poor Faramir, all his ideas have already been taken by a very large number of people! I can see why he leaves the gift-giving to Eowyn. I like the idea of Faramir giving Aragorn a personal gift, from a friend to a friend--I think that's very much in keeping with their relationship, and Faramir's compassionate thoughts toward Aragorn, having lost two fathers, was a wonderfully poignant finishing touch.

Author Reply: Thanks for reading and reviewing, Cairistiona. Yes, there would be a difficulty finding a worthy gift that hadn't already been given to the King. But the private gift of a scholar and friend could bear Faramir's unique stamp as scholar and friend.

I'm glad you enjoyed the interaction between Faramir and Eowyn - I had fun writing it.

NathReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 12/28/2008
Indeed, a familiar conundrum, and approached with much humour - a heartwarming tale for Yule, especially with its linguistically inspired conclusion *g*

Author Reply: Thanx for reading and reviewing the story, Nath! I think that Faramir had a lot in common with his creator in terms of an interest in languages; and with peace and prosperity more the norm than war and impending doom, he could indulge that interest more, and share it.

KhorazîrReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 12/21/2008
As the other commenters before me have mentioned already, a delightful story, Raksha, with great insight into both Faramir's and Èowyn's relationship, and the friendship of King and Steward as well. It would indeed be great to have a sequel, and learn about Aragorn's reaction to the gift(s). I liked the idea of the game, and for some reason the mention of the woodwright struck me as very fitting, too, as it reminded me of the walking-sticks Faramir gave to Frodo and Sam. Wood seems a far warmer material to have gifts fashioned from than any precious metals, especially for the lord of a fief of such natural beauty.

Author Reply: I hadn't thought about the woodwright and the usage of wood being fitting for Faramir in his aspect as warden, and Prince, of Ithilien - but you're right!

Sequel? Maybe. I think the story is best self-contained, but if something occurs to me that I can write a good vignette around, I'll go for it.

We forget, in this modern age where computers and fast-paced pastimes are all the rage, the millenia in which slower and perhaps more social games were used to pass leisure time. I would imagine that Eowyn would enjoy a variety of games; and it's become an agreeable fanon that Faramir is an outstanding chess player.

Thanx for reading and reviewing, Khorazir!

Independence1776Reviewed Chapter: Prologue on 12/20/2008
What a wonderful story!

"Taking the letter out of the jar and casing that had shielded it gave Faramir a sense of the missive’s great age and a new respect for the strength of Elven-kind.  For the one who had written the letter three thousand years ago was alive and hale, or had been but a handful of years ago, when Faramir had last spoken to him on the journey to Rohan." Yes, that is something that is awe inspiring, and yet something that has been lost (or will be with the final Elf leaving) in the Fourth Age.

"For the son who has lost two fathers, Faramir mused; for the daughter who misses her father, and the unborn child who will never know its grandsire, a new piece of the history of the line that Elrond Peredhil preserved for us all." It truly is the best gift of all for them.

Again, wonderful story.

~ Indy

Author Reply: Thanx much for your review, Indy. If I'd been Steward of Gondor after the Ring War and the last of the Noldor arrived with the Queen-to-be, I'd have commissioned portraits of as many Elves as possible, providing they were willing to sit for them, and have scribes and historians interviewing the Elves to get all that valuable info before the High Elves vanished Into The West...Of course, if I'd written LOTR (LOL), the Elves never would have left!

inzilbethReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 12/20/2008
Oh this story is an absolute delight. I love the humour that you [seemingly] so effortlessly throw into Faramir and Eowyn's relationship and, oh, wouldn't we all love to get our hands on that original parchment. Great choice on Faramir's part.

Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 12/20/2008
'I had never thought it possible to have too many swords and blades' - You had me rolling on the floor laughing with this one, Raksha! I can just imagine Eowyn's surprise!

'He was not unskilled in diplomacy himself' - You're way with phrases make reading such fun!

another lady who had come to Minas Tirith from afar, flittered unpleasantly - I was surprised by your use of 'unpleasantly' - I almost choked at the thought of Finduilas myself... I thought something with a little more angst would have been used - but you do 'know' Faramir...

'he had not only had to see to his own clothing, but assure that his men were properly garbed as well' - made me laugh, but it seems our dear Ranger is a wee bit smug!

'Steward’s archives that had been unsealed to him' - interesting thought....

'For the son who has lost two fathers, Faramir mused; for the daughter who misses her father, and the unborn child who will never know its grandsire, a new piece of the history of the line that Elrond Peredhil preserved for us all.'

Bravo! Excellent ending too.

Author Reply: Yes, as far as Eowyn's concerned, you can never have too many blades in the armory! Her idea of a lovely gift for another lady would be a pretty little dagger or a bow and arrow. But by now, I imagine that Aragorn's got too many swords and blades, etc. than even he knows what to do with, thanks to the more peaceful times.

As far as my use of "unpleasantly", I stand by it. You and I might choke at the thought of Finduilas; but Faramir barely knew her, and the grief he felt at her passing, while significant to his life, is far in the past. At the point in the conversation where he used the word, the thought of Finduilas and the potential comparison was just a thought, a long way from certainty, a faint chill from an old grief, not a full recurrence of the grief itself. If Faramir had been thinking about his mother for several minutes or hours at the time Eowyn mentioned implied that Arwen was feeling poorly, or if Arwen truly had had a serious illness, I think Faramir's sorrow over his mother's illness and death would have re-surfaced with more than a flittering thought.

The mantle was wrought for his mother, Finduilas of Amroth, who died untimely, and was to him but a memory of loveliness in far days and of his first grief
From The Return of the King, as I'm sure you know.

To me, the quote implies that Faramir does not have many memories of his mother, and those that he does have are not hurtful in his later life. I would think Faramir would have been shielded from much of the pain and stress of Finduilas' illness, though I'm sure the very young Faramir did mourn his mother, and the much older Faramir would have always regretted that Finduilas hadn't lived. Boromir would have been affected to a greater degree by their mother's loss; simply because he was older and understood more, and would have had clearer memories of Finduilas - I saw this with my own cousins who lost their mother far too early.

I imagine that the Stewards might have kept valuable books of lore and other artifacts secreted away in more than one archive; and it might have been a few years before Faramir was given all Denethor's (and the earlier Stewards')stuff.

I'm so glad you liked the ending; the original ending didn't seem right to me, so I extended and polished some more.

Thanx for a thoughtful review, Agape.

utfrogReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 12/20/2008
This is lovely. It well captures the difficulty of deciding on the perfect gift. It provides a nice look at family life for Faramir and Eowyn. Please give us the sequel of the presentation.

Thank you for a lovely present to all readers.

Author Reply: And thank you for a lovely review, utfrog! Yes, what does one get the High King of the West; I've been in that situation many times, though not with a King. I think Faramir and Eowyn would have a very happy family life, possibly even happier than Aragorn's, because they wouldn't have the additional pressures of kingship (though as Steward of the realm and Prince of Ithilien, Faramir would be extremely busy).

The presentation? Well, I hadn't thought the story needed a sequel,but if the Muse obliges, I'll come up with something.

whitewaveReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 12/20/2008
I enjoyed all the details you lavished us with and the theme of the story is also so fitting for the season. The way you fleshed out Eowyn and Faramir in domestic bliss was also very sweet. Thanks for sharing.

Author Reply: Thanx for the review, whitewave - I certainly enjoyed working on those details. I think that Eowyn and Faramir's marriage would have been a good one, they were well-matched; and they wouldn't get bored with each other.

eilujReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 12/19/2008
I enjoyed all the aspects of the difficulty of gifting royalty. Éowyn and Faramir's final choices were well thought out, and certainly the question of the evolution of Quenya in the Third Age is something Tolkien himself would have appreciated.

Please humor me while I quibble a bit about canon.

"The first child born to a ruling King of Gondor since Earnur was born to King Earnil II in 1928" --

Of course you're absolutely right to have Faramir so casually throw out this fact and date without even needing to think about it -- let alone look it up. Quintessential Faramir! But unfortunately Eärnur wasn't born to a *ruling* king: his father Eärnil II was a cousin to Ondoher -- second cousin once removed? -- and Ondoher ruled until 1944. Eärnil II took the throne a year later, after Ondoher and his sons died. So Eärnur was born during Ondoher's father's reign -- when no one expected him ever to have the chance to take the throne -- and was already a teen when his father became king.

Ondoher's three children were born well before he came to the throne in 1936. [Fíriel was born in 1896, and apparently we don't have birth dates for her brothers. Artamir was the eldest; I don't know if it's ever said whether Faramir was the middle child or the youngest, but since he was old enough to sneak into the army, he'd certainly been born long before his father took the throne.]

The E of A has a good list of the kings (and partial family tree) at
I don't know if birth-dates exist in HoME for Ondoher or any of the last few kings who preceded him.

The most likely candidates for the last child born to a ruling king would seem to have been:

= Ondoher: probably only a small chance, as his father took the throne a mere 40 years before Ondoher's daughter Fíriel was born. Since Fíriel herself didn't marry till she was 44, it might not be too likely Ondoher had married and had two or three children by the age of 40.

= Telumehtar Umbardacil (Ondoher's great-grandfather): I think he's the most likely, since his father, Tarondor, became king quite young, and ruled 162 years.

= or for all we know, the last child born to a ruling king could well have been a daughter or younger son Tolkien didn't record. Whoever this might be, he or she didn't have any surviving heirs who were considered eligible to have succeeded Ondoher or Eärnur.

Author Reply: Good catch, eiluj! Actually, after some research, I can't find anyone among the last several Kings in Gondor who sired an heir after becoming King. I kept Earnur, since he was, as far as I can tell, the last son of a crowned king of Gondor to be born before Eldarion, though not born while Earnil was king. Ondoher's son Artamir's birth predates both Ondoher's kingship and the birth of Earnur...So I changed the wording very slightly, hopefully to avoid the error.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!

DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 12/19/2008
Oh, I love the idea of Faramir making copies of that letter for the couple! What a very wonderful gift that will be!

And the game sounds fascinating as well!

Author Reply: Having copies made of the letter, as well as doing one himself, for Aragorn and Arwen; seemed a very Faramir thing to do.

Unfortunately, I'm not very familiar with board games; but I think the two families would both enjoy the game; people in M-e would enjoy board games and other such pastimes.

Thanx for reading and reviewing, Dreamflower!

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