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Places in the Heart  by Raksha The Demon 13 Review(s)
LevadeReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 5/18/2014
I would see markets, embassies, colleges built within her walls, where once battles were so bitterly waged. I would see the Elves and Dwarves teach their lore before they sail West or fade. I would see the sons of the men who died in Osgiliath come there to learn alongside the sons of the Southrons and Easterlings who slew them. I would see Osgiliath become a beacon to all kingdoms, a place of light and beauty, a citadel of peace. Let the Citadel of the Stars rise again alongside the City of Elendil in the North…”

So often I finish reading RotK and I wish there was more. More of what happened and the adventures they had, and what you show here, the rebuilding. Faramir is one of my favorites. He's learned to balance the need to fight with the desire to rebuild. Love that you used a map to show this. I could so see it! Great job, Raksha!

Author Reply: Thanks much for reviewing this story, Levade. As a Ranger who was also the son of the Lord of Gondor, I think Faramir would have had a keen interest in all kinds of maps, for travel, military use, trade. And now that he is Steward of the land and Prince of Ithilien, it must be amazing for him to see many lost and fragmented roads open again or for the first time.

I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

MonikaReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 10/2/2011
This story is truly beautiful. I can imagine their excitement about restoring the places they cherished, how thrilling must be the idea that now they can make dreams come true. Your interpretation of Faramir - very respectful toward the king, considerate but also a dreamer who can forget himself in his visions (when given oportunity) is true to Tolkien, I deem.

But as for Aragorn, I couldn't help but inwardly yell at him. Why is he just smiling at Faramir and agreeing insted of giving him a long and important lesson about the Arnor? With all due respect Annuminas definitly should be rebuild BEFORE Osgiliath. Gondor at the moment has its capital, Minas Tirith (which was first to repair after the war as I must recall to Faramir), has other prospering towns like Dol Amroth or Pelargir while Arnor has nothing but ruins. I know, I know, Aragorn was soft with Faramir because he is so charming when excited and Aragorn didn't want to put him on earth, especially that he too wanted to rebuild Osgiliath. But hey, as the Steward the man needs to learn!

I was quite angry at the word "justice" in Faramir's mouth. I understand that to Faramir Arnor means (almost) nothing but Gondor at this moment needs only to repair what was destroyed during last war. For Arnor it is essential to rebuild city that would become its capital: Annuminas or Fornost. Of course I'm sure that Aragorn, Faramir and all of us want to restore all fallen cities and towers in the Reunited Kingdoms but they must be realists: first things go first and in this matter Annuminas (or Fornost) go first. If there will be no capital in the North, it will have very difficult time to restore, there will be no trade and sharing knowledge with the South and as result Gondor will have to contribute its wealth to poor North for a long time. Surely Faramir wouldn't want that?

For me his demand that "What is given and done to the North-kingdom should also be given and done to the South-kingdom" is childish (like: he got candy so give me too!). Maybe that is because he doesn't know the dire situation in which Arnor is (that's why I was angry at Aragorn for not explaining it to him) and I know that most of people of Gondor will think like Faramir what shows how difficult task is placed before Aragorn.

Well, I didn't intend on writing that much but I'm like Foromir when somenthing comes into his mind ;) In summary: restoring Annuminas is important for economical reasons while restoring Osgiliath is only renovation of old glory. That is why Annuminas must be restored not alongside Osgiliath but before it, as soon as possible. And Faramir have to learn to be patient with waiting for his dreams to come true.

This said I once more assure that I am very impressed :) Thank you for such a stirring story!

PS. Sorry for errors, as surely they can be found. English is not my native language and I'm not writing or talking in it lately.

Author Reply: Sorry for the delay in replying to this most thorough review.

With all respect; I disagree that Annuminas has to be rebuilt before Osgiliath. An effective rebuilding job will take at least several years; and the Dunadan of the North would surely make a temporary capital before then, if only as a matter of convenience. Also, the northern roads would need some restoring before the reconstruction of Annuminas begins; and that would take at least a year, I would think, possibly more; so that proper materials, and workers, could come in force to the site.

Politically, Aragorn is a known and loved figure in the North; the undisputed Chieftain and leader of Rangers of the Northern Dunadan. He is liked and respected in Gondor, but he is only loved by those who remember Thorongil, and that was as a battle-captain, not a ruler. If Aragorn makes Annuminas the first major rebuilding job of his reign, the Gondorians, thousands of whom died very recently in Osgiliath, could be offended. Aragorn has to tread a fine line, and try to be balanced in his actions, to give to the South and the North; that was what Faramir was telling him; not to neglect one for the other. Annuminas had not been fought over and died for by Dunadan in hundreds of years, while Osgiliath was a painful and new battleground for Gondorian soldiers.

Faramir was not saying that Aragorn should neglect Annuminas for Osgiliath; but that he should rebuild both cities, preferably starting on them both around the same time, and not show preference for one project over the other. I really don't see Faramir as being childish here; but advocating Gondor's rights and needs (which, as Steward of Gondor, is his duty) as well as reminding Faramir that he must think of both halves of the Reunited Kingdom.

Your English is quite good, by the way!

EstelcontarReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 6/22/2011
You gave us a very thoughtful glimpse of the excitement and exhilaration that both Aragorn and Faramir must have felt during those first years of the 4th age, when they felt they could now make their long cherished dreams come true. You gave us a most perceptive portrait of their wisdom and generosity here.

Author Reply: Sorry this reply is late, Estelcontar. Thank you for reading and reviewing! I bet that first year of Aragorn's year was especially exciting, and busy, full of new things to ponder and old dreams to be reborn. It would have been a wonderful time to begin again; and men of Aragorn and Faramir's mettle would have ushered in the 4th Age with great hope. I'm pleased you liked my portrayal of the characters....

pandemonium_213Reviewed Chapter: Prologue on 6/22/2011
From that fantastic first sentence and on, I was drawn right into this short story, Raksha. Very appropriate that Faramir would cast his thoughts to Osgiliath, and his vision for it is marvelous. Very nicely done.

Author Reply: Belated Thanks for the review, Pandemonium! I think Faramir would have very strong feelings about Osgiliath, he fought hard and watched many men die for the ancient city; in both 3018 and 3019. And Tolkien wrote him as a man of vision as well as an outstanding Ranger and war-commander. I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

rsReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 6/21/2011
Aragorn's enthusiasm is really contagious. But Faramir's heartfelt response was....don't know how to explain it...but it got me right here *thumps heart*.

This is awesome. I truly enjoyed this.

Author Reply: I let Faramir speak from his heart, he really let loose too; but I think he's a natural orator as well as a leader who is on the way to becoming a great statesman.

I'm delighted that you enjoyed the story, RS; especially since Faramir is my favorite human LOTR character and I want to do him justice. Thank you for reading and reviewing!

LarnerReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 6/21/2011
Oh, Raksha--this is so very likely a happening between the new King and his new Steward as they begin the planning for a future they may have hoped for, but could not have been certain would truly come. And I hope to see more from you, showing both King and Prince indeed teaching people from all of Middle Earth, now freed from Sauron's threat, about the world of both past and future!

Author Reply: I'm glad you liked the story, Larner; the idea bubbled in my brain for awhile before I finally set it down. I can only imagine the excitement and joy that a map without Sauron's realm and Sauron's forces on it must have triggered. I think Aragorn and Faramir, and many other lords and officials, would have had great joy in thinking of the roads, the communication networks, the intermingling of trade and culture and knowledge that could now begin to open up...I think it will be awhile before Faramir and Aragorn have leisure enough to teach; they have a lot to do, and, sadly there will be more wars to fight, though not as terrible as the Ring War, hopefully...But it's a brand new day and Gondor, once so isolated and beset, can reach out into a larger world again - I'm sure Faramir is thrilled about this...

CairistionaReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 6/20/2011
This is excellent. There's always such an allure to maps, and I can well imagine Aragorn's excitement at seeing the first map of his realms, and of all of Middle-earth now that Sauron was gone. And the tension between the two men, each eager to restore the lands they call their homes--Aragorn's heart is still with the North as his homeland, after all--is well written here. It makes sense that Faramir would want Osgiliath raised to its former glory, as it makes sense that Aragorn's heart would first go toward raising Annuminas. The wisdom and generosity of both men ensure that both cities will be rebuilt in time. Very nicely done.

Author Reply: Neither Faramir (I believe) nor I could conceive of restoring Annuminas without restoring Osgiliath. And the idea of both great and ancient cities being reborn in the Fourth Age was too good not to explore, through a new map for this very exciting new world. It must have been a very exciting time, at least after remaining orc enclaves had been cleared out, for everyone in the eventually-Reunited Kingdom, walls, cities, roads being built, new houses, new routes, new alliances, new trade, etc.

Thanks for reading and reviewing, Cairistiona!

nancylea57Reviewed Chapter: Prologue on 6/19/2011
with so many speaking of faramir's sight, you make it a small bud that explodes into a full and glorious blossom; swear i could see the walls being washed bare with the sweat and rain of many seasons but growing and growing and one day being tall and strong and ready for what the ages would demand of them, but which city is it one or both? tis only fair.

Author Reply: Thanks much for this lovely review, Nancy! I have always had the feeling that Faramir is a visionary, not only possessing some Numenorean farsight, but having the imagination to conceive great things, as well as think outside the box.

I'm glad you liked the way I handled Faramir's vision of the restoration of Osgiliath...

VirtuellaReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 6/19/2011
Dear Raksha,
this is a great story. I, too, take delight in maps and I can see these two men poring over a new map that truly represents a new order of things. And yes, you are right, Osgiliath needs to be rebuilt.

Author Reply: Aren't maps great? And this map would be also be a map of possibilities, all the things that Aragorn and Faramir could only have dreamt of in earlier years can now move into the physical world of consideration and planning and working. The world is opening up and the changes will be tremendous.

And Osgiliath must definitely be rebuilt, as far as Faramir and I are concerned!

Thank you for reading and reviewing, Virtuella!

eilujReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 6/19/2011
What a wonderful story. And a unique idea for fanfic (not so easy to do, these days).

Author Reply: This particular plotbunny has been nibbling my ankles for several months, until I finally set it down in March, then polished it up for public posting. I remembered the mention of Annuminas' rebuilding in the Appendices to LOTR, and thought that surely Osgiliath must have also been rebuilt, and which was started first. I wondered what would Faramir, who had captained that force of men who fought so hard in Osgiliath against an overwhelming force, have thought if Aragorn happily announced to him that he planned to rebuild Annuminas, but did not mention Osgiliath...Which all tied in with Faramir's vision of Gondor's future, what he wanted the realm to become, as he told Frodo in Ithilien in The Two Towers. And of course, there is the political reality that Aragorn is not just King of Gondor, or King of Arnor, there are two, long-sundered realms that are a long way from being Reunited...

Thanks for reviewing, Eiluj; I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

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