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No Better Name  by Cairistiona 14 Review(s)
LisaGReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/28/2011
I love the character of Bowen...a true friend and good Samaritan!

Author Reply: Thank you... wouldn't it be great to meet a Bowen in real life!

Lily BagginsReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/27/2011
So much to love about this chapter! The fact that Aragorn is feeling sicker (poor thing), and not quite himself; and of course the fact that Bowen thinks he's got an old pot in his backpack!

(If he tasted Aragorn's cooking, he'd know that wasn't true, wouldn't he?)

I'm really enjoying all the little surprises about Aragorn that Bowen's discovering, such as Aragorn's fine white shirt and the fact that he has a horse. That made me laugh--he must really think Aragorn is down and out, lol!

Aragorn MUST be feeling lowly to go home with Bowen, but then, I'd want to do the same if I had a nasty sore throat and just wanted to rest and be taken care of.

Lovely chapter!

Author Reply: Thanks, Lily! Hee hee... I hadn't thought of that but yes, a cookpot is likely the LAST thing Aragorn would haul around. *g* But he just wants to curl up and go to sleep until he's better, so cooking's the last thing on his mind anyway. And he probably would have figured out a way to avoid a ride to Bowen's farm if he'd felt better, but that just shows how miserable he was, poor fellow.

Glad you enjoyed this chapter. :)

NathReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/24/2011
"Feral" is the perfect choice to describe Strider here; I also quite like the eagle comparison (and I'm sure Thorongil would get a chuckle out of it). The way Bowen kept making all these right guesses amidst the babbling on and on had me smiling quite a lot.

Author Reply: Thanks, Nath... glad you liked that, and I've wondered ever since I wrote about the eagle bit what Strider would think about that! I think you're right--he'd get a chuckle out of it. And yes, Bowen's tripping all over the truth, isn't he!

LayneReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/22/2011
I've a feeling that maaaaybe Bowen will get something from Strider as a token for his kindness, maybe the pin? ( though probably that's too much lol ) And I can't wait to see how Denlad and the Elf Maiden would take to Bowen ( and vice versa ) :)

Author Reply: Ooh, yeah... I think giving away his pin would be a bit too large a gift, but I bet Strider will think of something! And it won't be too much longer before Halbarad, Denlad et al meet Bowen. Poor Bowen... he has no idea about the invasion heading his way. *g*

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/22/2011
More likely what he heard clunk was Strider's ancestor's ancient sword's shards, but Bowen doesn't have to know that! Heh! Love the description of the shirt he wore for the night--sounds as if Arwen did him proud. A lovely thing for the King-to-be.

Author Reply: Thanks, Larner! I'm glad you enjoyed the bit about the shirt. It can be hard to work Arwen into stories during this period of Aragorn's life, so you have to rely on little things like that. And yes, you pegged it! That was the shards of Narsil clanking around in the bottom of Strider's pack. :)

DarkoverReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/22/2011
Dear Cairistiona: This chapter is my favorite so far! Poor Strider has lost his voice, but I loved the mimicry he had to resort to, especially when he vigorously crossed his heart as he promised not to kiss Bowen Rushlight! I loved Bowen's chatter, and his generous spirit. He reminds me a bit of Barliman Butterbur, only more observant and perceptive. Was that intentional on your part, as both Rushlight and Butterbur are Breelanders? I suspect that the item Strider was looking for in his pack was the Elfstone. He had already determined the whereabouts of his star pin, and I imagine he is wearing the ring of Barahir, so he wouldn't have too many treasures left. Things should get even more interesting when Bowen shows up at home with a sick Ranger in tow--his wife will definitely be surprised, I am sure! This story continues to life up to its original promise. I'm eagerly awaiting the next chapter. Thanks for writing and posting this story! Sincerely, Darkover

Author Reply: Thank you, Darkover! So glad this chapter has ended up at the top of the 'favorite' list! It's one of my own favorites as well, because of the literally unspoken humor Strider gets to show. We... and more importantly Bowen... finally get a glimpse of the "real" person behind Feral Strider. I think even in his best disguises, when Aragorn had a chance to express humor, that was his chance to express the real "him" without fear of exposing his true identity and I imagine it probably felt very good to be able to do that now and then.

As for the similarities between Bowen and Barliman... yes, in most ways it is deliberate for the very reason you give: they're both Men of Bree, so they'll have similar mindsets (even about the Rangers) and use similar colloquialisms, all those things that make a regional people similar. That said, there are ways in which Bowen is quite different than Barliman, but I won't go into them here as hopefully the story will show that as it unfolds. But I think I can say without spoiling future chapters that the two men are good friends and so there'll be shared characteristics in order for them to have made that connection with one another, mostly in the area of having a hospitable and generous spirit, which I believe Barliman had or he would have straight out banned all Rangers from the premises. Barliman is an interesting character in that there's a conflict within him between prejudice against Rangers and his warmhearted nature as an innkeeper and even that sort of idea that he's malleable as far as his views go, in order to fit in with whoever it is he's talking to at the moment (which could be viewed as a strength if done with more care, as innkeepers do have to "be all things to all people" in order to keep the customers coming to the door. He's not a bad sort at all, really, just a bit... well, flaky). I think with Bowen I'm exploring a little bit of the same conflict, hopefully minus the flaky, and exploring what changes might occur when all those prejudices are challenged by a living, breathing person come to stay under his roof, although to be honest, I didn't really think it all through that logically as I wrote this! It just sort of happened as I started telling the tale! Funny how stories do that.

SuzelleReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/22/2011
Let me tell you, I spent all of last night coughing and sneezing and generally feeling sorry for myself...aaaaaand then I read this and realized I wasn't nearly half as sick as poor Strider! At least I can talk, even if my voice sounds a bit like a Nazgul's, LOL.

And it should come as no surprise to hear that I loved this, of course! It's funny to see Bowen taking charge and bossing Strider. Oh poor Strider. And the bit at the end was quite touching. Fabulously done!

Author Reply: Aww, I'm sorry you're so miserable! You need a Bowen to come take care of you! But at least you can sit and commiserate with poor Strider. I'm glad you liked that little bit at the end... pure sentimental stuff but I kinda liked it myself. *g*

Thanks for reading this and reviewing between hacking and sneezing--feel better!!

VilwarinReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/21/2011
Now *that's* what happened to Gilraen's old pot! I was already wondering what had become of it. ;)

It's interesting to see poor Aragorn being condemned to silence - not that he ever was a chetterbox. But it makes for a very different reading and for me intensifies the feeling that Bowen is in charge here.
Bowen. That brave man who has a heart of gold himself probably is the only one in all of Bree-land to ever get the opportunity to get a look at the man behind Strider (which will most likely go down into family history).

Author Reply: Yes, mystery solved about Gilraen's missing soup kettle! *g*

Bowen is definitely in charge now, which makes for an interesting way to write Aragorn, as he's usually the one calling the shots. But with no voice and almost no energy, he's at Bowen's mercy. And you make an excellent point about Bowen likely being the only Breelander to really get a good look at Strider the Man. Butterbur can claim to be acquainted with him but I think his own prejudices against Rangers likely keep him from ever seeing Strider for who he really is (and I imagine Strider didn't do anything to change that, to be honest, as it worked for him as far as keeping away from Sauron's notice). It's just good for Strider that Bowen does have that heart of gold!

Thanks for the review!

MirachReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/21/2011
Great chapter! It looks like a challenge, to write Aragorn losing his voice, and a very interesting one - writing the inverbal communication. You managed to do it wonderfully, during the enire chapter I had the image of strider before my eyes, and saw every his nod and grimace. Even without words, he can be expressive =) I love when you make the characters stumble over the truth about Aragorn by pure chance, and dismiss it like a fancy. The references about roots, king and eagle were very nice! And Narsil as a soup pot, lol!

Author Reply: Thanks, Mirach! It was a bit of a challenge to write Strider engaging in dialogue without his actually speaking a word. I think in my case, it helped that I've done a lot of study of how to write dialogue and how important silence actually is in writing believable dialogue, which is something I read in one of my writing how-to books. In this case, it definitely helped to know how to express emotion through... or despite... silence! And yes, Narsil disguised as a soup pot! Perish the thought! LOL Glad you enjoyed the chapter.

curiouswombatReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/20/2011
Feral is a good word for the way the Rangers must have been perceived by the Breelanders.

And I love the idea of Aragorn playing charades, even though I sympathise with him for the sore throat.

Author Reply: Thanks, curiouswombat... I've had to do that charade game because of a sore throat myself and it's never very fun, is it!

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