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Getting Away From it All  by Bodkin 24 Review(s)
lwarrenReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/17/2007
Sounds like the royalty of Gondor knows how to get away from it all! LOL I loved the idea of them laying out in the warm sun, discussing their jobs and the intrigues of the court, and spies, while Arwen puts grass in Aragorn's hair *g* and Eowyn pokes Faramir in the ribs *vbg*. Just a lazy day away from the responsibilities of the throne...yep, sounds good! :-) The banter between friends was so funny and enjoyable, as was the fishing for dinner (or not!). But I especially enjoyed Arwen and Eowyn's talk while their husbands were out doing manly things to provide dinner for the womenfolk. It really showed that these two very different females were on the way to forging a friendship. Had to laugh at Eowyn's observation that only a half-elf could sniff so elegantly! And a baby! All of which cause Arwen's insecurities to make themselves known quiet clearly. Methinks the Queen could use a confidant and friend, especially a strong, no-nonsense gal like the Shieldmaiden!

A very relaxing time for these four - and hey, frivolous is not always a bad thing, Bodkin! Not if it turns out an interlude like this one! :-)

Linda (and Glorfindel had best watch his back!)

Author Reply: They must have been so relieved to get out of that Stone City and be in the middle of a bit of green. Their situation is such that they would have been friends, I think. Despite their differences and age gaps and vastly different experience. Arwen and Eowyn are both outsiders. Aristocratic outsiders who doubtless know how to command difficult households, true - but they are natural allies in the war against lip-curling ladies. (A war neither Aragorn nor Faramir is equipped to fight.)

I hope they spend many restful days in Ithilien. And Legolas can join the party, if he wants!

Thank you, Linda. Glad you enjoyed the frivolity.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/7/2007
Good that they still have Ithilien to run away to and try to find themselves! Despite the apparent lightness there is so much going on there, for these four people who have just seen their lives change so dramatically...and are lucky enough to be comofortable together. A wonderful look at GOndor´s rulers at their ease. I particularly loved the moment between the two ladies!

Author Reply: I reckon Ithilien must have been a haven for Aragorn and Arwen. Somewhere they could drop the formality and wallow in a bit of being themselves. Under guard, certainly, but not under constant critical watch.

I enjoyed writing a bit of Eowyn and Arwen. So very different in many ways - yet both outsiders and thrown together in circumstances that doubtless made them staunch allies.

Thank you, perelleth.

harrowcatReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/19/2007
I wouldn't call this very silly or frivolous it is shaping up nicely. And I think that you pinned the character of Faramir perfectly with this.....

The look pinning Faramir was decidedly less co-operative and contained a definite challenge, but Gondor’s Steward refused to wither beneath it. The King suppressed a laugh. He had, at first, rather feared that Faramir, who was such a good-natured man, would be putty in the hands of the strong-willed Shieldmaiden, but he had discovered that Faramir’s calm concealed a remarkable power to absorb and deflect far more ferocious opposition than that aimed at him by the White Lady of Rohan. The Steward, he had noticed, tended – very quietly and unobtrusively – to get his way with more than just his wife.


Author Reply: Thank you, harrowcat! Faramir was my favourite character when I first read LotR. He has such sterling qualities - it's good to see him once recognition sets in! I suspect he will have managed a willing Shieldmaiden quite competently. Possibly, too, a not-always-aware-of-it king. I can see him working in tandem with Arwen to get Aragorn some time away from his desk to let him play.

Raksha The DemonReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/15/2007
A lovely vignette - the image of King and Steward splashing about in the lake is wonderful, even juxtaposed with the more sober spectre of political threat.

I like Aragorn's thought that he finds Faramir delightfully precocious - a reminder that Aragorn is old enough to be Faramir's grandsire and was in fact his father's contemporary. (having Faramir become his Steward must have been a change from expectations of keeping Denethor on as non-ruling Steward, that is, if Denethor would have consented...)

Author Reply: They would have to seize every available moment for being themselves - because I think their state personae would weigh them down. And they are too duty driven to escape their fate, even here! I'm sure there would be plots, too - until people got used to the change and realised that the new regime was unified and determined.

Faramir is young compared to Aragorn ... who was around in Gondor at the time of baby Boromir - but he is, well, the M-e equivalent of the Renaissance man. One who would be able to be friends with a 90-year old elf-reared Ranger.

I don't think Denethor would have accepted Aragorn willingly. If at all. The change in government required Denethor's death. Shame in a way, because he had all the struggle to keep Gondor going and all the unpopular stuff - like taxes and army levies and so on - to sort out ... all so that the king could return in a blaze of gallant, battle-inspired glory. Still Aragorn is no Richard the Lionheart - dim-witted Hollywood king par excellence, gaining his reputation mainly by buzzing off and leaving the work to others.

RSReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/14/2007
More please!.. I enjoyed this so much that I read it twice! Probably will come back to it again. Hope your brilliant mind can come up with something, so many things to write about that you've mentioned in this gem. I would especially like to see the four make a trip to the "sea".

I love the little gestures that each couple give each other' it's so natural. I also like the "public display of affection" between the king and queen ..(I'm sure the the soft-bellied Gondorions have been quick to comment on this also!)

This was so mind can see it! I was right there watching everything...even feeling the sun! Truly wonderful!

Two wet rangers???!!!! Whew!! Be still my heart!

Author Reply: I'm glad you liked it! I haven't really thought in too much depth about the conspiracy - I'm just sure there would have been several before certain people became accustomed to the new regime!

It would be rather good to see the four of them at Dol Amroth, wouldn't it ... no promises, though.

I'm not sure whether the displays of affection would be quite so public in front of the disapproving Lords of Gondor and their even more disapproving Ladies. These four are quite self-disciplined (Eowyn perhaps less ... she's younger and more obviously emotional) and they could certainly control themselves in public. But I suspect the warmth of their feelings for each other would show even during the most formal of occasions.

Two wet rangers - in those white shirts that cling and become see-through when wet ... tight breeches ... Nice images, huh! Good thing the sun was nice and warm to dry them off.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/13/2007
I cannot imagine how huge a change this was for Aragorn, for all of them really in different ways, right down to being newly weds. They surely sometimes felt like strangers to themselves.

Author Reply: A huge change - and much that went with it wouldn't, I would have thought, been much to most of their liking. Must have taken a decade, at least, before all the round pegs began to feel at home in their square holes and they began to feel at home.

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/13/2007
You really had my hopes up there for a minute. I thought they really were going to give the guards an eyeful. This little mini-break getaway really made me laugh - and think about what an interesting composition there is for the two First Families of Gondor - with only one of the quartet really at home there. Certainly the chattering classes have been given plenty to chatter about - though I imagine even the regular folks must find their new leadership fascinating to watch (I'd love to see a sequel from the point of view of one fo the guards watching them lounge lazily in the grass!) This was delightful, Bodkin - I'd have been more than flattered with it as a birthday story, but of course I wouldn't be so foolish as to dissuade you from writing another one :-)

Author Reply: You know how, sometimes, someone makes a comment and that little floodgate in the brain opens and lets free a gush of words? Well ... An over-abundance of meckinock-inspired stories for 2007, it would seem.

I would love to have the King and Queen of Gondor and the Prince and Princess of Ithilien go skinny-dipping together ... but there's just this little brake that keeps telling me that they just wouldn't. Not if they were surrounded by watching guards. Not if they might suddenly need to fight off attackers. They're too self-disciplined and too aware of how people would react. But, get them on that private cove below the castle at Dol Amroth and you wouldn't be able to stop them.

It is fascinating that only one of them is truly at home there - and has been raised to rule Gondor (if only as the spare) - although the other three have qualities that make up for the lack.

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/13/2007
Goodness, this was entertaining! From beginning to end, each little set piece and gliding transition created by your talented phrasing and description! The deepening trust and friendship of the characters you convey! By including the heartfreezing as well as the heartwarming things that bond them! Geez, I would be quoting the entire story if I tried to point out everything I liked about it. But, I have to say that the inter-playing conversations you are so good at really stood out here.

Your ability to describe the nature of elves enhanced Arwen's character so much more than one would expect. Her mysteries were not kept remote in order to be mysterious. But, brought in close and dealt with just like Eowyn's differences. Their relationship is obviously coming along as nicely as their spouses. All four need to be friends and are gratefully learning they can be true friends. They all are "... alarmingly intrepid" and come from a long line of such people! It does not hurt to keep pointing that out!

I really like how the mood drastically changed tone when they thought it safe to conduct some dire business they sorta came out there for. Then, slipped back again by mutual agreement. They can work together in harmony to everyone's benefit.

Both, older and younger couples - knowing that nothing should be taken for granted - have so much in common in their marital situations! But, let us hope for Arwen to catch up to Eowyn in her personal condition soon. I did like the wise Queen's chosen example for the White Lady of Rohan to consider emulating. Arwen and Faramir apparantly recognize one another's gifts for people management.

You are an insightful author, Bodkin, besides talented. You accomplish what many can only hope to achieve. You make a remote tale tangibly real, while keeping that sense of high fantasy. No matter who or what you write about.

Nor how long or how short...

Author Reply: They had to trust each other, these four - although I suspect it was a while before Eowyn began to relax in Arwen's company. In fact, pregnancy might well be the thing that would bond the two of them. And I daresay it won't take Arwen too long to start a family. I'm sure she and Aragorn are working on it.

They are in a remarkable situation, really. Three outsiders and a second son, and together they are putting in place the system that will establish a new age. And they won't have been liked. Once the glory passed - and that doesn't take long - all the niggling resentments would have swirled round them like autumn leaves, gathering in little heaps of rotting leaf litter and fermenting like compost. There are bound to have been conspiracies! Of course, Aragorn was king for a long time - after a few decades he will have become the status quo and the up and coming lordlings will have forgotten there was ever a world without him.

Thank you, Redheredh. This was a very pleasant piece to write - and I'm glad you liked it.

FiondilReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/13/2007
I see I'm not the only one to think there's more to this story than what's written here. I hope your muse will eventually let you write about how these four flush out the conspiracy. They obviously have something planned. And I, for one, would love to see the trial that follows.

An excellent character piece, Bodkin. You draw all four of them very well and give them believeable personalities, with quirky senses of humor and easy camaraderie between them. I really enjoyed this and really hope you continue the story.

Author Reply: The story could grow, I suspect. It doesn't show signs of wanting to at the moment, but that's nothing to go by! But envisaging a trial ... Oh dear, that would involve really working on getting a much better grasp of the unseen side of Gondorian law and politics.

Thank you, Fiondil. It was fun to write this - I do feel that the ... peculiarities of their situation would have made them much closer allies than would usually be the case for people in their positions. Three outsiders and a second son. Three warriors and an elf. Three well-educated people and the White Lady. Three accustomed to managing courts and a king used to being alone. Lots of generalisations. Their bonds are strong enough, I think, to make them easy in each other's company.

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/13/2007
Lots of food for thought here (if not necessarily food for the royal couples). Even when they're "getting away from it all," they never really do. There's always guards present, just out of sight, and their own thoughts also keep straying back to their real lives and their duties. But they make a good team, all four of them, with sharp eyes and sharper minds, and one has no doubt that they will smack down any opposing forces by combining their formidable strengths.

Author Reply: No, they can never get away from it - never be free. I think Eowyn's dread of a cage must be echoed by Aragorn's. His cage is bigger - but the bars are thicker. Guards and courtiers and place-seeker - and virtually no-one left to whom they are just themselves. They would have mattered very much to each other, I think, because they share something that is beyond the handcuffs of position.

And they would make a great team. Anyone who tries to stand against them is a fool. Unfortunately, there are likely to be a good few fools in the years between the end of the glory-days and the beginning of the establishment of Elessar's customs.

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