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Sundry Scrolls IV  by Raksha The Demon 10 Review(s)
No hope but no despairReviewed Chapter: 3 on 5/17/2010
I was always intrigued by this space that JRRT seems to find between not having hope and not despairing. It may depend on how you define hope, i.e. hope of ultimate victory in the War (which is the context in which F. answers Frodo's question about what hope he has), or hope that something will survive. We know how JRRT defines despair - seeing the end beyond all doubt. Denethor despaired because he thought he saw the end beyond all doubt. Sam kept hope because he saw the stars, which Sauron can never reach.

Even if you do see the end beyond all doubt, you obviously aren't supposed to commit suicide, or just sit on your hands. It's worth going on fighting even if you are certain to be annihilated.

Behind this I think there must be (a) an echo of the darkest hours of World War II and (b)a profoundly religious impulse. Anyway, whatever it is you've caught it very vividly here.

Author Reply: Faramir's ability to perservere even in the darkest hour is one of his most profoundly attractive qualities, at least to me. I found his admission that he's been fighting a war that he knows to be without hope very moving. Faramir is one of those who will keep on fighting even in the face of annhiliation; a quality shared by many of Tolkien's greatest heroes. I think Tolkien's own memories of WWI, as well as the great rising horror of WWII, could well have influenced his writing of Faramir.

Plus, I think Faramir's imagination helped him see and remember beauty even in dark hours.

Thanx for the review!

AntaneReviewed Chapter: 3 on 4/4/2010
One of the reasons Faramir is so admirable is his hope. I love him for it. He is akin to Sam in that respect and Aragorn. Thanks for giving another glimpse of that.

Namarie, God bless, Antane :)

Author Reply: I'm not sure that Faramir is as hopeful as Sam, but he does seem to understand that the hobbits present a possibility of hope for both Gondor and the rest of the West.

Thanx for reading and reviewing, Antane!

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 3 on 4/3/2010
I love the realization of how dangerous despair can be. Yes--this is our wise Faramir!

Author Reply: Faramir seems a fairly self-aware fellow as well as someone who is acutely aware of other people's thoughts and feelings. As a leader of men, he has to set the example for his Rangers and the people of Gondor; so he'd have additional motive to resist the temptation to yield to despair.

I definitely agree that Faramir is wise!

Thanx for reading and reviewing, Larner!

pandemonium_213Reviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/28/2010

"So he hoards scraps of beauty and light in his heart"

...resonates with me in a big way. How many times have I done the same in times of sorrow and stress? It's no secret that I love your rendition of Faramir, but with that quoted bit of poetry, I can now empathize with him.

Author Reply: I'm delighted that you enjoy my interpretation of Faramir; since I try hard to bring him to life as I see the character created by Tolkien. We know that Faramir appreciates beauty, even during moments of tension; such as his pointing out the sight of the moon shining over Henneth-Annun to Frodo. I think Faramir used his imagination very effectively, both as a strategist and as a man facing eventual doom.

Thanx for the review, Pande!

Linda HoylandReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/27/2010
This is what I like about Faramir, he keeps on trying and hoping despite all the odds against hope prevailing.I especially liked the glimpse of the star.

Author Reply: Thanx, Linda; I think different people cope with the horror of fatal odds in different ways; and Faramir would fight to retain his essential self for as long as possible rather than yielding to bitterness or despair.

VirtuellaReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/25/2010
"So he hoards scraps of beauty and light in his heart"


Author Reply: Thanx, Virtuella - I enjoyed writing this double-drabble; and I'm glad that you liked it.

DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/25/2010
And yet, and yet…One cannot live out every day in dread. Despair is as vicious a foe as any Orc. Faramir knows he may one day die beneath an onslaught of foes too great to repel or outwit. But he will not yield to despair. So he hoards scraps of beauty and light in his heart, savoring their memory, delighting in new appearances.

How very like Faramir, to hoard beauty and hope as a weapon against despair!

Author Reply: Thanks for reviewing, Dreamflower!

I do think that Faramir is a man of great internal resources; and, while not superstitious, treasures such moments of joy when and where he can find them; especially since he knows the weight of the odds against him and his people...

InzilbethReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/25/2010
You've really done justice to Faramir here and this reminds me of how much he and his new king have in common.

Author Reply: It's part of my mission as a Tolkien fanfic writer to do justice to Faramir; so I'm delighted when readers tell me I've done so; thanx much!

I do think that rough living and privation is one experience Faramir and Aragorn share - they both have been reared in comfort, but then went out and put themselves not only in harm's way but into a life with long months spent in the wilderness for the sake of others. It had to be a sobering and humbling experience; and one that I think Tolkien deemed a good training for rulers...

shireboundReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/25/2010
Now Faramir raises his head, to seize with hungry eyes, the gleam of Eärendil’s bright star in the grey-streaked heavens.

How difficult it must be to find a scrap of hope in such a dark time. Once again Earendil inspires those "with eyes to see".

Author Reply: I think anyone in Faramir's position had to find a way to keep up his spiritual strength as well as his physical strength, given that he was a commander of beleaguered men. And I believe that Faramir was used to making do with less emotional sustenance rather than more, compared to Boromir. Earendil's star is an intense symbol for all Dunedain; I think Faramir would have taken occasional comfort from seeing it.

harrowcatReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/25/2010
Despair is truly a vicious foe - in any age!

Author Reply: Despair is a terrible, insidious foe; faced by all the heroes in Tolkien's stories. The people of Gondor, especially those of Minas Tirith, had a close and long dose of it, living in such proximity to an unrelenting and supernaturally powerful Enemy. Faramir tells Frodo that he and his people have not had hope for awhile; yet Faramir (and many other Gondorians) have not succumbed; and Faramir seems to have been especially good at inspiring others - I figured that his considerable imagination and appreciation of beauty would have helped him seek and hold some kind of spiritual consolation and inspiration from parts of the world untouched by evil...

Thanx for the review, harrowcat!

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