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The Deserter's Just Deserts  by Branwyn 7 Review(s)
Raksha The DemonReviewed Chapter: 2 on 1/29/2011
Smoothly written story. I really enjoyed how you compared the differences (cultural) and similarities (compassion and the ability to think outside the box) in Faramir and Eowyn's characters. Though I hope that Eowyn learns she can always trust Faramir...

Author Reply: Thanks for saying this was smoothly written because I struggled with having to write so much dialogue! It wasn't that she didn't trust Faramir to do what he said he would do. She knew his word was good. She just didn't trust other people to be as merciful as he was. Tolkien says that his influence changed her, and she probably saw her own people through new eyes--that although they were good at heart, they perhaps lacked in discernment.
Thanks for commenting. :)

DarkoverReviewed Chapter: 2 on 1/23/2011
Dear Branwyn: This was terrific! Everyone was completely in-character. My only criticism, a very mild one, is that I'm not sure societies like those of Rohan and of Gondor would have bounty hunters, but that is just my doubt. This story is great, and since it needed a bounty hunter for the sake of the plot, put in a bounty hunter! Now, as for the moral dilemma of this story; if I were one of the soldiers at the Hornburg, or if I was someone who had lost a loved one there, I'm not sure I would be so forgiving towards Wulf as Eowyn was. But then, I don't see Eowyn as a deserter, while she still feels guilt about that. It could be argued that however horrible his posting at the Hornburg was for Wulf, there were other men of Rohan there who still managed to do their duty. That said, I'm still glad the story ended the way it did. Eowyn would indeed make a good lawyer, and she and Faramir between them have decided that if they have erred, it is better to err on the side of mercy. I'm also glad the story ended with Faramir appreciating his wife's unique qualities. Thanks so much for writing and posting this story. Sincerely, Darkover

Author Reply: Thanks for the lovely review! And I welcome your criticism because it is a valid one and gives me a chance to explain that aspect of the story. Tolkien modeled the Rohirrim on the Germanic peoples of Europe, and among some of those peoples, an offender could be declared an "outlaw" who was outside the bounds of the law and could be killed on sight. Sometimes a reward was offered for the killing. In societies where settlements were widely scattered and there was no police force or standing army (as in medieval Iceland), outlawry and the paying of bounties offered a way to enforce the law. And there is bounty-hunting in English literature--the Sheriff of Nottingham putting a price on Robin Hood's life comes to mind and there are probably other examples. So the practice of bounty hunting has historical precedent in other "northern" societies and would make sense in such a sparsely populated country as Rohan. Gondor, on the other hand, is a society on the Roman model with good control over its borders and a large standing army. It would not need to resort to bounty-hunting, and in my story, Faramir does think it is a barbaric practice, lol.
You are so right that some of the Riders will not be very forgiving toward the deserter, which is why Eowyn has decided that a commutation of the death sentence is not sufficient--the man needs to disappear.
Faramir and Eowyn are such an intriguing couple. He had probably been raised with the expectation that he would some day marry some nice Gondorian lady, and then he ended up with this Valkyrie! Can you imagine what Denethor would have thought of her? She must have kept Faramir's life interesting.
I am glad that you enjoyed the story, and thanks again for reviewing. :)

annmarwalkReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/23/2011
A very thought-provoking story. It would be interesting to read an alternate version with a more outraged Faramir - she did second-guess and deceive him, after all. He's still fascinated and besotted with Eowyn. I wonder how many more times she could get away with something like this *grin*

Author Reply: She didn't think the Rohirrim would be as merciful as he was assuming they would be, and she would know more about that than he would. She's probably right to second guess him in this case, but that doesn't mean she would usually act so independently. This situation struck a nerve, so she reacted very strongly.
It would be difficult to indulge in outrage in such a public marriage. If he threw things and shouted, it would be talked about all over Ithilien. And look who he's dealing with. It isn't as if she's about to be intimidated by him or anyone else.
Thanks for reviewing!

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 2 on 1/23/2011
I do hope they allow Eomer to know what really became of Wulf one day. Quite the sacrifice for Eowyn, but an understandable one. And she was the one to note how similar the color of the hair of both was.

Author Reply: I suspect that Faramir would insist that Eowyn tell her brother the truth. After he got over being angry about it, Eomer might even think it's funny that his sister got the better of Faramir. :D

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/23/2011
And his best will be worthy indeed.

Author Reply: From a state policy standpoint, he is doing the right thing--respecting the rights of his ally and trying to work within its system of laws.

shireboundReviewed Chapter: 2 on 1/22/2011
The proof he needed to collect his fee was in the box in the satchel—plaits cut from the deserter’s head.

Oh my goodness, what an interesting and mesmerizing story. This is well written and very thought provoking. I hope this very fortunate man finds a new life he can be proud to live.

Author Reply: Thanks for your kind review! I am sure that Faramir found someplace where the deserter could live in peace.

RadbooksReviewed Chapter: 2 on 1/21/2011
Oh, very well done, I really enjoyed this! Although, I'm thinking Faramir is going to be more diligent in learning the language of Rohan after this. :)

Author Reply: Thanks so much for commenting! I did consider whether or not Faramir would have learned Rohirric as a child. Tolkien gives the impression that although the Riders have a strong tradition of oral story-telling, they are not a highly literate people and would not have produced a large body of written works. The library in Minas Tirith would not have a big section of Rohirric literature which makes it unlikely that Faramir would have learned much of their language before he married Eowyn. Unless Denethor engaged one of the Rohirrim to tutor his sons in the language or someone from Gondor had written a Rohirric grammar, which is possible (and blows up the premise of my story, lol).

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