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Getting Away From it All  by Bodkin 24 Review(s)
Lady BluejayReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/13/2007
A lovely piece, Bodkin. Just right to read on a rainy Sunday morning.

Loved the bit below - glad you managed to include my favorite man! LBJ

Undoubtedly,’ Faramir agreed easily. ‘My brother-by-marriage took me to one side before consigning his closest kin to my care and assured me, that although he had the deepest respect for you and was prepared to tolerate my presence in his life, any distress caused to his sister would be paid for in blood. Mine, preferably, but he was willing to compromise on that if the need arose.’

Author Reply: Than you, LBJ! There's not a lot of Eomer, but somehow I could just see him saying this! And I can just see Faramir's response, too. Anyone who survived Denethor and had Boromir as his big brother is not going to be easily intimidated. Not even by the King of the Mark. I suspect Faramir is only too aware, too - if too polite ever to mention it - that Eomer has a soft heart, especially where his little sister is concerned.

Not to mention that if he isn't yet married to Faramir's cousin, he soon will be.

I'm glad you enjoyed the story, LBJ. I could almost feel myself basking in the sun!

Linda HoylandReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/12/2007
This story is pure joy for anyone who loves these characters,thank you for a treat!I love the way the men try fishing and how Arwen knows about the baby.Is there more or isit a one off?

Author Reply: Thank you, Linda. There isn't any more planned at present - but I find that sometimes a one-off story will start a whole train of thought that leads to more. So maybe. Men ... and competition! They couldn't resist the opportunity to compare their rangering skills. But I don't think they really wanted the bother of catching anything. Not this day.

And Arwen - if elves know the begetting day of their offspring, I think she would be aware of pregnancy in others. Perhaps before they could be sure themselves. And that she would be uncertain about her own ability to conceive and raise children. After all, as Eowyn mused when I was last thinking about them ... 'Maybe looking perfect did not mean that you felt perfect.'

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/12/2007
Ah--now our favorite lads among Men get out with their lady wives, enjoying a day off and discussing how politics can get in the way of just being an effective King and his Steward and their wives. So, we have the prejudice about diluting blood starting all over again, do we? How petty! Ah, poor Faramir; and of course, in the coming of a new order there are always those who will try to take advantage of the situation.

I love them all here, King, Queen, Steward, Shieldmaiden. And love the understanding all have of sentient nature!

This is just right, Bodkin, although I think I'd end up with all of them bathing, and to the dickens with the guards and their sensibilities! Heh!

Author Reply: Once the initial glory wore off - which probably didn't take long - there will have been a lot of people in Gondorian society deciding that they weren't keen on this influx of people from outside sitting at the very top of the social and political pile. The country people - farmers and peasants - probably will have remained more in love with the new regime ... as long as taxes didn't go up and the levy of soldiers for the army reduced ... because the land was safer from invasion. The merchant classes - travel was easier and the markets increased. More money around. They would mostly have been quite happy. But those who had ruled. Those with privileges. Now that's a different matter!

Both Arwen and Eowyn are diluting the bloodlines of Numenor - in a way. Speaking of which ... I do witter on in replies at times ... I was wondering the other day about just how many people of pure Numenorean blood made it back to Middle-earth when Numenor foundered, and how many were already there. I can't imagine the seven ships managed to squeeze in more than a thousand each (probably far fewer) ... then we have something like 39 generations to produce Aragorn, who is supposed to be pure-blooded. And various Gondorian families who are close to pure-blooded. They must have been so interbred! Virtually every Northern Dunedan must have been able to trace his bloodlines back to Elendil.

All four are very happy to be outside - away from the city and its inhabitants. But they know their duty! I think both Faramir and Aragorn could have coped with them all in the water - I don't know about the guards, though. And peace is too recent to have the guards too far away.

ellieReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/12/2007
What a delightful little tale! It was enjoyable and yet full of intrigue and fun. Well done!

Author Reply: Thank you, ellie. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was fun to write - and I could almost feel the warmth of the sun. These four need each other I think. Arwen and Eowyn as much as Aragorn and Faramir. Faramir is the only real insider in Gondor - and I can just imagine how delighted the ladies of Gondor were to lose two matrimonial prizes to outsiders!

LindeleaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/12/2007
I keep running into choice phrases. I wanted to read all the way to the end and *then* review, but...

I love the characterisations and the conversation, the assumptions that colour the scene. I'd go back, but I want to keep reading on, and so I'll start where I interrupted myself.

Three pairs of accusing eyes...

emulating older brothers, a dangerous occupation

alarmingly intrepid!

Oooo, plots!

I love it when the Steward says things dryly.

Eowyn? Perfect lady?

Eomer, willing to compromise. Very wise king.

scratch their ...

Ooo, an heir!

twice as devious! and far more mischief!

owls or some such dangers

O now, don't stop there! I want to read more about foiling the plot of the soft Gondorian lords. And Faramir finding out about the tenacious spirit.

Author Reply: Eowyn knows how to be a perfect lady ... in Rohirric terms. She just doesn't like snobbish, patronising, soft, vicious-tongued harpies who look on her inferior blood as a disgraceful diminution of the house of the Stewards. She hasn't given a single one of them a black eye ... yet.

I'm glad you liked it, Lindelea! I think these four make good allies - they are all intelligent and strong - and, perhaps most importantly, work for the greater good. I particularly enjoy fleshing out Arwen and Eowyn, really - because they are under-exposed characters.

I haven't, at the moment, any plans for taking the story further - but it might well happen. Sometimes, I find, a story will take on a life of its own and demand more screen time.

I hope you're feeling better.

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/12/2007
This is great! I particularly like the interaction between Arwen and Eowyn and their perceptions of one another. I think there is a lot more in this than a simple one shot chapter. Can you be tempted to go further with it? I love your intrigues and you write court atmosphere incredibly well. I'd love to see you write a bit of Gondor's court.

Author Reply: Thank you, elliska! I reckon Arwen and Eowyn are two greatly underused characters (because they're not male, mainly) and I am tempted to write more of them.

I haven't at the moment got any more on the boil with this - but it doesn't mean that I won't. Sometimes I find stories just ferment for a while and then decide to fountain up into something much bigger.

I do think Aragorn establishing himself as the ruler of Gondor - not just being crowned as king ... that was the easy bit - would have been difficult and filled with all sorts of traps along the way. Lots of people wouldn't have been keen - dreading change or wanting change that favoured them over everyone else ... You know the sort of thing! Political intrigue and complex courts are definitely among your specialities - you write them brilliantly. The common people probably would have appreciated him more - as long as taxes didn't go up - because Aragorn and the absence of war in Gondor came together. Of course there would still have been farmboys needed for the army to fight off the hungry nations beyond the borders. The merchants ... improved trading opportunities. But the Lords ... and Ladies of Gondor. It would have taken a while to win them. Although Aragorn lived long enough to see the current crop buried and have their grandsons and great-grandsons grow up under his regime. Sometimes, the best way to establish a new government is to outlive all your opponents - and Aragorn certainly managed that.

Beruthiels CatReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/12/2007
Bodkin, you've done it again! We're just not going to let you get away with one chapter. :) Frivolous? Not hardly! A well-deserved day off for them, and they probably come few and far between...


Author Reply: I think Arwen would have done her best to get Aragorn out of the city as often as she could. A Ranger imprisoned in embroidered velvet and sat on a throne wouldn't be a happy Ranger. (Even if he knew it was his duty!) But those days won't have come anywhere near often enough for the pair of them.

I haven't got any more planned at the moment - although that doesn't mean more won't appear. When it's good and ready!

I'm glad you liked it, BC.

DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/12/2007
Bodkin, this was utterly delightful--but also terribly intriguing! It just screams out to be continued! I want to know more about the bigoted nobles and snooty ladies who think they can take on the King who defeated Sauron's army!

And you have such a deft way with political intrigue; it's never dry or boring when you are doing it. I mean, you hooked *me*--a hobbit girl--on your Elves in Valinor and their political machinations! I'd love to see you turn your talents to the early Fourth Age, and Elessar's attempts to unify Gondor--and this is such a *lovely* beginning!

Author Reply: There isn't currently a plan to go further - but that doesn't mean there won't be more. Once the voices start talking, they often insist on imparting rather more than I thought they were going to! I do think the exhilaration that greeted the King's return wouldn't have lasted indefinitely. Marrying an elf wouldn't have helped ... in some ways - although marrying into any of the dynasties of the Lords of Gondor would also have caused problems by aligning him to one house or other. But there would have been a lot of people resisting any effort at change and others agitating for more - and a lot of greedy people watching carefully to exploit all and sundry. Poor Aragorn! His childhood in Imladris might have helped, and his experience as Thorongil will have enhanced his spidey-senses of distrust, but he could well have ended up out of his depth here. But Arwen is subtle, and Faramir is intelligent and knows Gondor, while Eowyn is honest and straightforward. Imrahil, too, is - to my mind - wily and experienced. Aragorn has good allies. But it wouldn't have been easy. By the time Faramir died, Aragorn WAS the status quo - and I daresay Eldarion inherited a stable Gondor, even if he still had trouble with the neighbours.

Political machinations are fun, really. And all the peoples of Gondor are people. I like my hobbits intelligent and adult and dealing with Big People on equal terms! One day, I'm going to have to give into temptation to find out more about dwarven society and write more Dwarf.

NessaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/12/2007
My dear Bodkin;

Your stories are well written and presented. I always enjoy reading them, especially because you are extremely literate and raise the bar above the norm.
I have collected all you have posted on Stories of Arda for my own library. Your stories will not be forgotten by many generations...all of which will be directly instructed NOT to sell, or in any way profit from them. I will not share them unless I know I can trust them to follow my instructions. Good literature is hard to come by, escpecially in Fanfic.


Author Reply: Thank you, Nessa! I am flattered and so pleased that you like my stories enough to save them. I love writing in Tolkien's world because it is such a complex place with so much potential and so many stories that were hinted at, but never written. Moreover, every time you step sideways and look at events through another pair of eyes, you see a different picture - and that makes it so exciting to play here. Complex characters, complex motivations - but, over all of them, a sense of honour and morality and a deep respect for the rights of others.

utfrog98Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/12/2007
Any Bodkin story is a delight, but I am especially interested in stories about the early days of Aragorn's reign. I loved this story and so appreciate the author's skills.

Author Reply: Thank you! Aragorn's reign began in triumph - but it doesn't take long for people to start finding fault. Things changed - things not changed - people in power and those who want to be. I suspect he - and Faramir - might have found it more difficult to manage Gondor than Harad ... at least until people began to have a vested interest in maintaining the kingdom as the status quo.

Glad you liked it!

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