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A Wizard´s Pupil (G)

By Raven22372; with Gandalf

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There is a moment in The Two Towers when Faramir tells Frodo and Sam about how he met Mithrandir when he was a child. This one was dwelling on my LJ for a while until I thought it could be worth some attention. ;)

“He got leave of Denethor, how I do not know, to look at the secrets of our treasury, and I learned a little of him, when he would teach (and that was seldom).”

There is a moment in The Two Towers when Faramir tells Frodo and Sam about how he met Mithrandir when he was a child. When I figure young Faramir I see an intelligent and sensitive child, lonely but enchanting in his own way. Strolling solely through the dark hallways of his father´s stronghold he must have met the wizard when Gandalf was searching old scrolls of parchment and century-old books close to fall apart. Of course at first he would be all grumpy old man, like “This is no place for children. is there no one to play with you?” When the boy answers “No. my Lord” (or whatever´s the polite way to address a wizard) it takes him a moment to realize that it is the plain truth. So he takes the kid in and teaches him what he knows about ancient languages and long lost kingdoms. Not long and he enjoys the company of the mindful child as much as Faramir enjoys his lessons. Later the young captain of Gondor will bethink of the candlelit hours he spent with the old wizard as some of the most precious remembrances of his childhood…

*Sniff* All those tiny stories within a great one… Could anybody please make a movie of this? However, I tried my very best for myself. Oh, and yes, I know you could mistake kiddie Faramir for Pippin. I wish there was more than only one haircut in all Middle Earth… >.<

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Posted May 21, 2011

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10 Comment(s)

Beautiful subject… and I love Gandalf!

Thanks for this lovely picture!

Nerey Camille    23 May 2011, 00:10    #

Hehe, so do I… I wonder how he would interact with a kid; whether he´d rather play good grandad with sweets in every pocket or pretend to be Mr. Grumpy. ;)

Thanks for the nice comment! Feedback is the unexpected piece of chocolate in my weekday lembas bread! :)

raven22372    23 May 2011, 17:12    #

Very nice indeed. I did mistake Faramir for Pippin. But that is also good.

Alcardilmë    1 June 2011, 03:42    #

Thank you so much! :D And yes, I guess you´re right. While drawing it I suddenly realized that automatically every child-sized person in this surrounding must be taken for a hobbit – especially Pippin since he´s clad in a Gondorian armour. Tricky thing, actually I was a bit angry with myself because it didn´t came to me before but I´m glad it still works!

raven22372    2 June 2011, 17:06    #

Oh, my gosh! Raven22372, I saw this beautiful drawing of yours once before, somewhere else—I can’t remember for sure, but I think it was at deviantart. Anyway, I saw this picture, and it burned itself into my mind. It spoke to me, and I knew instantly the first time I saw it that it was Gandalf and child-Faramir—I never for an instant thought it was Pippin, or anyone else, I just knew. (Were the Valar at work here?) Looking at this wonderful picture for the first time, I had the very same impressions you describe when writing about the inspiration you had in creating the artwork—Gandalf being all grumpy toward the little boy at first, before realizing that, son of the Steward or not, Faramir is to some extent a neglected child. This artwork of yours is so wonderful, and made such a great impression upon me, that it inspired me to write a story about it. “Finding a Jewel,” the story of how Gandalf and Faramir met for the first time. It is posted at fanfiction.net, and in the AN at the end of the story, I gave your picture credit for providing the inspiration for the tale. I could not recall where I had seen it, or even your entire “name,” although I did recall that “Raven” was a part of it, and I mentioned that. If you want to read the story your artwork inspired, I would be honored, and I hope you would like it. Even if you don’t, thank you so much for this lovely, touching, brilliant picture. Sincerely, Darkover

— Darkover    14 November 2011, 07:14    #

Dude! Such a long and wonderful comment! It deserves to be woven into a tapestry and outlast the ages in the Great Hall of a royal court! I´m flattered, delighted and speechless at the same time! To learn that you… you found yourself inspired by ME? Now I DO believe in fairies/the Valar/ The Great God Om! This is… it gave me such a rush of pride and happiness I spent the day running around with a huge silly ear-to-ear grin.

Why yes, of course I read your fic! Such an honour, how could I not? And I must say I found myself in, well, maybe not a deja-vu but definitely a fantastic coincidence. When Gandalf goes “Don´t call me my lord!” I had to check the intro I´ve written back then because IT WAS EXACTLY THE WAY I FIGURED IT! And not only that. Your fic gave me the rare experience of walking through my own picture. Little Faramir being all shy and hesitating yet already revealing a certain dignity I can see in the grown-up version. I mean, he admonishes Gandalf – Gandalf! – because of the candles! His love for books and his remarks about librarians – I couldn´t help thinking of the Discworld librarian here. :) The slightly playful and yet very Tolkien-like style reminding me of the scenes between Bilbo and Gandalf in The Hobbit – Great Elephants – haha! :D – that ´s priceless! And all the time I COULD HEAR THEIR VOICES. I heard them both speaking and it sounded as it was meant to be, as if that was exactly how it was

I still can´t believe this has happened – and have I mentioned you are such a skillful writer with a great sense for undertones? Thinking that perhaps I´d never known about it – bless me, it MUST have been the Valar who guided you. Thank you, thank you so much!

— raven22372    16 November 2011, 21:41    #

Haha, definitely not Pippin, don’t worry. Much as I love the imp, can’t imagine him in a library with candles and full of ancient tomes and scrolls without setting everything on fire (even if entirely by accident). No, this young gentleman looks by far more mature and responsible than our dear Pips.

To me this picture is very sad. The way Faramir is leaning at Gandalf speaks of a trust and need for affection greater than that of a friendship – this child looks at once so loveable and so underloved…

On the subject of hair – tough, indeed. I never saw any mention of what they did to children’s hair – we may allow that for boys of a certain age (typically 7, I believe) it was cut short like in our world’s Middle-ages. But then again, who knows? And personally, I thouth Pippin’s hair in the film was too long, I always had the impression Boromir’s shoulder-length cut had seemed unusual to the Hobbits at Rivendell…

December    19 November 2011, 06:57    #

Oh Lord, yes, Pippin and an accident waiting to happen… When the library of Alexandria burnt down there must have been a Took around! XD

I say, you described this lonely child much better that I could ever do. :) I imagined him kinda enveloped by an aura of profound sadness, even if I don´t think he would complain much. It´s terrifying to see how much children are willing to accept if they don´t get a chance for comparison and grow up believing this is just the way it has to be.

Ah, Watson, that´s an interesting point regarding the hair! Indeed, now you´ve mentioned it I think that Frodo and Sam have a rather modern haircut (I´m not sure about it yet I got the feeling that if a movie is set in a medieval/historical surrounding they try to subtly adapt the leading character´s look to modern taste. For better identification, I presume). And Boromir… why yes, his hairdo must have looked unusual for the Hobbits! I´m not sure whether it is the length or maybe the fact that his hair is straight whereas Tolkien described Hobbit hair as rather wooly. And what you said about the hairdo of children in the Middle Ages brought back something else: Once I read that in earlier times it was customary to dress up little boys the same way as the girls until they had reach a certain age (which was, I believe, 6 or 7). Apparently this convention lasted a very long time; I remember a few weeks ago I´ve seen a photograph of some famous male person who was born in the 19. or maybe late 18. century (I just can´t for life remember who it was). The picture showed a littly boy with short hair wearing a dress. So maybe this was a practical solution for Middle Earth as well..? ;)

I cannot help noticing your comments are dangerous… they click all my buttons and make me happily ramble along. I beg your pardon for this and say thank you for the great feedback! :)

— raven22372    19 November 2011, 14:31    #

I think it’s fairly safe to picture children’s hair whichever way one likes, since at least I personally don’t remember any specific references regarding this point. Personally, I most concur with K Schmiel’s depiction of everyone’s hair (and she also has the sexiest picture of naked Boromir ever, which is entirely beside the point of course) – but again, it’s entirely up to the artist :)

Indeed, I would also expect boys and girls to be dressed alike until a certian age for the simple reason of convenience. As someone responsible for a small child’s wardrobe, I can swear they grow like they’ve got a secret Ent stashed somewhere giving them the growing potion from time to time. YOu wake up one morning, and suddenly nothing fits. And back in the Middle-ages, when everything was custom-made by hand, and there were no Zara or Mexx to make reasonably good-quality clothes reasonably affordable, it would be too expensive and time-consuming to keep a full set of adultlike clothes for a child. How much the faster to just make a big loose frock-dress-shirt sort of thing and put it on over their head. As they grow it turns into a tunic that can be worn with breeches, then just into a short-sleeved shirt. Handy, eh? :)
BTW, Amir has an absolutely adorable picture of baby Faramir in just such an outfit, you must check it out if you haven’t seen it :)

Are you planning to have more pics of Faramir’s childhood, maybe with family members…?

Also, I’m trying hard to think who your Gandalf reminds me of… Were you using someone as a prototype?

December    20 November 2011, 08:05    #

More Faramir kids? Uh-uh, now you give me a push into a certain direction… though I could easily give the same one back to you! A shy but charming black-haired boy – whereas I could care for the ginger/blond variation. ;)

Hmm… I think I know what you mean about Gandalf. The other day I had the same experience when I looked at him and thought, “My, who is it you remind me of?” Actually I had no special model, only a vague kind of “wise old man” prototype. I think there are some characters, like Gandalf or Frodo or Gollum, whose faces don´t have to be very accurate because they are in large part defined by a number of props. You know, small male figure with bare hairy feet, hood and cloak, ring on a necklace – hey, must be Frodo! Pointed hat, staff, long beard and long grey gown – no doubt, it´s Gandalf! You don´t even need to add the features of Sir Ian McKellen; everybody would just recognize Gandalf. Whereas Faramir, for example, is more difficult, especially because they book and the movie version differ so much.

Unfortunately I wasn´t able to find the baby Faramir picture by Amir – but yes, I know that marvellous picture of Boromir in the nude! :D Oh, and there are also some Boro/Faramir comics drawn by Karina Chmiel in which little Faramir is clothed in exactly that kind of all-purpose garment we discussed. And Theodred is wearing a literal dress – what Boromir, the nasty brat, is making fun about. Dude, those lady is such a genius!
(I assume you already know these works. Meanwhile I have become very careful in regard of sending people links. Mostly I´m the last one to detect something and when I´m running around the village banging my drum the common reaction is a mild “Come ooooon, we know that. Everybody´s known that for years!”)

Are you sure there IS no Ent hiding in the kid´s wardrobe? After all it´s New Zealand, right? And which place on Earth would be more likey (well, maybe except of Tasmania)? Have you ever checked your little one´s drawings for some suspicious “secret friends” grown-ups are not able to see? Just asking… ;)

— raven22372    21 November 2011, 22:51    #

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Raven22372

For Raven22372’s stories, see her author’s page, and for more of her work, visit her LiveJournal.

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