Reviews for The King is Dead
ValiantArcher chapter 1 . 3/13/2017
This was nicely done, very well-written and thought out. Things I particularly liked, which I suppose should go in a list (!): Denethor's desperation resulting in the gift of a chess set, Denethor trying to get his son to think in the mindset he would need to lead men, Boromir fleeing back to Osgiliath for some peace from chess, Denethor combining a lesson with not getting beaten by his eleven-year-old son, "He looks as if he was wondering whether I have at last entered my dotage", Faramir's dismay at losing ("as if his dreams had been reduced to ashes"), and Faramir's realization of Denethor's purposeful distraction and it not being fair (and Denethor's concurrence). I quite enjoyed this story. :)
Magdalenara chapter 1 . 10/20/2015
Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed this piece of writing, though short it might have been. I must confess when I read the summary I expected something slightly different but I'm not disappointed.
Just one thing: I felt the affectionate play between father and son to be slightly out of character from what I remember from the movies, from the books and the appendices, but other than that marvelous writing.

Keep up the good work!
Love, Mag
creativesm75 chapter 1 . 8/25/2014
WhyMustIWrite chapter 1 . 1/1/2014
This was a wonderful portrayal of Denethor and Faramir. I loved the characterization, and being able to see this story, and Denethor's behavior and motives, from Denethor's own point of view. His relationship with his son is not without love, though Denethor is stern, and he is mindful of the needs of the times in which they live. I also enjoyed seeing Faramir take to chess so eagerly, and seeing his intellect, along with his love for peace.
Blackgenius chapter 1 . 10/31/2013
I liked this story; it's good to see a moment where Denethor and Faramir find common ground. I very much enjoyed Denethor's perspective. A bit of constructive criticism for you:
Faramir doesn't really sound like an 11 year old, and that limited the believability of the story a little. I'm not saying an 11 year old can't be intelligent, but there are certain aspects of wit they just haven't got their head around yet.
And this didn't really matter, but ti would have been nice if you'd tweaked the game and the pieces slightly to suit Tolkien's world a little more (I can't see bishops or rooks existing in a middle earth version of chess).
Frodo's sister chapter 1 . 12/31/2012
Interesting story.
Quihi chapter 1 . 11/10/2012
This is really, really good. It was great how you showed Denethor before he went mad, because they say in the books that he didn't straight-out hate Faramir when he was a child. I liked the idea that they're playing chess and discussing why the game existed.
time2read chapter 1 . 6/30/2012
Great Story keep up the great work!
Nimloth9 chapter 1 . 8/30/2011
You are an awesome writer! no more to say.
BaneofOrcs chapter 1 . 12/21/2010
Good job! I like it!
Rian Steelsheen chapter 1 . 11/2/2010
Well, I've read this too! Thank you for recommending it, I like it very much!

Faramir doesn't seem to take any particular pleasure in war, does he? Though he's definitively not soft either, and not immune to battle rage and desire for vengeance. I just can't do anything but smile at him (affectionately of course) in that scene in TTT when he began spouting an history lesson to Frodo :) I think I can see him at four tripping because he was to engrossed in a book to see where he was putting his feet.

I like the idea of the two of them playing chess very, very much. Denethor is certainly an intellectual (I like that scene when he interrupts Pippin during an official ceremony to marvel at his sword, an ancient heirloom of times past and a kingdom now destroyed. I would smile at him too if he wasn't so intimidating), and from what Faramir said he sometimes took the time to teach his sons himself. I can just imagine such scenes as the one you wrote taking place between father and son. When I see them both at each other throat in RotK, with such a high level of intensity in their discussion, I just have to wonder what would a nicer intellectual fight between them would look like. So thanks for writing it!

This seems to be what a normal interaction between the two would be, without Denethor being neither too nice or sentimental nor too cold (like everyone seems to enjoy portraying him).

And of course Denethor wouldn't let Faramir win (first because the guy has his own ego to take care of ;)) but would force the boy to surpass himself in trying to do so. Seeing him outmaneuvers his son is fascinating, you really wrote it well. I can also see him wanting to prove to Faramir that they shared the desire to win.

Oh and the lesson: 'Who should watch not just the game, but also their opponent'

Sauron? Palantir?

I like how they both acknowledge the other's strength at the end. In the books, in all their words together, Denethor never seemed to doubt Faramir's aptitudes, only his loyalty (He clearly expressed disapproval for his behavior and independent mind, that is certain).

So all this to say I really loved this. It is not only very skillfully written (you have an amazing gift for writing), but also very in-character, IMHO.

A note: Wasn't Sindarin the first language in Gondor? I've always thought it was, with the common speech as second language and Quenya something every noble had to learn. It is said somewhere that there were more men speaking Quenya than elves in the Third Age, and those would have to be the Gondorrim, since there is so few surviving Dunedains of the North.

Hmm, I've done a lot of rambling! Sorry! I hope you don't mind very much -'! I'm also sorry for any English mistake, as you have maybe noticed it isn't my first language, and it's sometimes hard to express my ideas in it (I'm French).
Darkover chapter 1 . 9/14/2010
I don't believe anyone writes Faramir-related stories better than you. I'm starting to get jealous! Both Faramir and Denethor seem perfectly in character here-Faramir liking the game because it is more sensible than bloodshed, the Steward not giving an inch, never letting the boy win, using even a game between them as part of Faramir's training to be a future warrior and leader. That is so typically Denethor. At the same time, he *does* love his younger son. Most Denethor-related fan fics have the Steward detesting, even hating, his younger son, sometimes to the point of being abusive, and I don't believe it was that way at all-at least, not until after Boromir's death. And Denethor was half-mad by then, because of his continual exposure to the palantir. I could read your LotR fan fics over and over. Thanks again for writing yet another good one! Sincerely, Darkover
LadyoftheShield chapter 1 . 7/20/2010
Whoa, I faved without reviewing... bad me.

I love the way you detailed this- the way he distracted Faramir with conversation was just like him. Little Faramir was so intelligent and I can see Denethor as he should have been- noble, kind, and caring. Wonderful job with this!
ImaPseudonym chapter 1 . 3/10/2010
That was simply amazing! And so very well written, too. I was so used to Evil!Denethor stories, that this was all the more refreshing. Just-

Well done. Very, very well done. :)
Syntyche chapter 1 . 2/21/2010
I usually don't like fics about the main characters when they're younger, but I've liked your other work that I've read thus far so I thought I would give this short a try - I'm quite glad that I did. It's an excellent, non-angsty snapshot of Denethor and Faramir that showcases them both in an intellectual light and I was quite amused by Denethor's scheming to win by distracting Faramir with history. Nice work. Thank you for posting this.
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