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A Hard Choice (NC-17) Print

Written by Nerey Camille

17 December 2011 | 13421 words

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Summary: Faramir finds himself in a very, very complicated dilemma, one that neither his heart nor his ethics can find a clear solution for.
Pairings: Aragorn, Arwen.
Rating: NC-17 for graphic sex.
Warnings: AU (Éowyn doesn’t appear), sexual content, some angst, some immorality (such as blackmail and adultery), some violence (implied).
Disclaimer: The characters are Tolkien’s. No profit is being made.

Notes: As always, feedback is very much appreciated. Thanks to Jade for the inspiring request! I hope the result is to your liking, now that the story is – at last! – complete. Thanks Bartemia for your enduring interest and long comments, that really kept me going! This story is based on the book The Lord of the Rings. Regarding characterization, I drew inspiration for the story from my joint work with December on a (yet unfinished) plot based on her challenge Loyalty. My deeply felt thanks go to her for granting permission to reuse that work, but most of all for the magnificent experience. I wonder if you’ll recognize elements from our discussions in the story…

Written for the 2011 Midsummer Retakes.

Request by Jade: I’d like to see Faramir face a tough choice of having to choose between a man he’s always admired and secretly desires or an elf who desires him. Who he chooses is up to you but it must not be an easy choice for him to make. Though I’d like a rating of R or NC-17 any rating will be fine and it can be any man and any elf.

Chapter 1. Where the Steward and the King first meet, under rather unusual circumstances

Faramir stirred, opened his eyes, and looked at the man who bent over him. By the wisdom and majesty on his brow he knew it was the King, returned to Gondor against all hope. By his kind, gentle features he recognized the saviour of his dream, the fearless lord who had gone into the shadows to find him and bring him back.

A light of knowledge and love was kindled in Faramir’s eyes, and he spoke softly. “My lord, you called me. I come. What does the king command?”

The older man’s words were music in Faramir’s ears. “Walk no more in the shadows, but awake! You are weary. Rest a while, and take food, and be ready when I return.”

Faramir smiled inwardly, moved to the core. So fitting for a King to bring healing to the soul as well as the limbs, to transmit with his first words both his care for a subject’s well-being and his appreciation of that subject’s value as a helper. His father would have done neither… but Denethor’s days, the days of sadness, were over now and joy was at hand.

“I will, lord,” he replied. “For who would lie idle when the king has returned?”

NB: Please do not distribute (by any means, including email) or repost this story (including translations) without the author's prior permission. [ more ]

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28 Comment(s)

You know, when I first saw you taking up this request and setting such pairings for it, it immediately made me think back on our story: the parallel need not be pointed out, I guess :) And now I read indeed it is so.
Well, in so far I of course cannot see many parts that correlate to our plot – that must be still to come. And I have to wonder as to the reason why Arwen is about to do what she’s said to be about to do by the request. Unless some other Elf suddenly comes up, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. What, is Faramir, along with his habitual role of facing tough decisions, going to have to deal with another habitual task of having to tend to women whom Aragorn’s can’t make happy? Because if that is not the reason and Arwen is fully happy with Aragorn, then why would she…?
And what is the reason of Aragorn’s behaviour? To bring another man, even if a friend, to your new wife’s personal chamber and leave them alone ‘to talk’ seems strange, to say the least. Naturally, he trusts them both endlessly, but still, it’s kind of awkward and, I mean, why? Does he feel like his presence would encumber their conversation? But as ‘freinds’ certainly they wouldn’t be talking of anything that is not for his ears? And why in such private settings, why couldn’t they have talked in a garden or on some terrace? It’s almost as though he’d brought Faramir there for Arwen to tell him something the two of them had decided on ahead of time…

Anyway, all that I’ll have to wait for you to tell us. Now, I especially loved this: It took him some time to realize that his happiness was of a sort that could lead him to trouble. And in line with it I really liked the scene with the bath, the juxtaposition of Aragorn’s unsupecting happiness, so simple and self-focused as such happiness tends to be, and the complexity of Faramir’s emotion. Of course there’s a special note of bitter irony to Faramir, just when he imagines himself in that bath with Aragorn, being presented with the mental image of the King ‘swimming’ there with some lady – to coming to learn of the marriage in such intimate settings, where the intimacy itself seems to exclude the possibility of actual sensual intimacy, seeing as Aragorn is so comfortable and unwary it seems he doesn’t consider Faramir in the sexual sense. And Faramir is such a good man, feeling as little jealousy as possible in such situation, whereas a more ‘human’ kind of man, even like his own brother, I am sure would have been beside himself with humiliation and the desire to burn the lady-rival to ashes, a good match for Aragorn or not.And now, if this ‘good match’ is going to start doing some inappropriate things that would show her as not such a good match after all, will Faramir feel offended on behalf of his beloved King whom he wishes so much happiness? Or will he rather actually be tempted by her? Hm, the multitude of the possibilities is so sweet – not to mention it can all go in a totally unexpected direction, too :)

And, as for the “nothing really AU” – where’s Eowyn? ;) She makes no appearance this far – I understand by the plot she ought to still be in Rohan at this point, but still, if she were his much beloved bride, probably she’d come up in Faramir’s thoughts at least once… Or is he smitten so badly by Aragorn that he just forgot about her? xD

December    Thursday 23 June 2011, 11:25    #

Hi December!

Thanks for your long, lovely comment! Well, of course I can’t answer some things without going into what’ll happen later, but… yes, you’ll see the parallel more clearly later, the plot isn’t fully ripe yet. As for Aragorn leaving them alone, he does it with no second thoughts at all. Of course it doesn’t enter his head for a moment that the situation could be ambiguous in any way. It just would seem overprotective of him to be with his wife all the time, like she’s too shy to be left on her own or something. Also, he knows that before the royal couple the Steward would remain quite formal, while if he leaves them both alone he trusts Arwen to find the way to make him at ease. As a high-born Elf, she’s got enough dignity to hold anyone in awe should the need arise, and also enough charm to make anyone feel comfortable if she wishes to. I can also hint that Aragorn has lived alone for very many years and has acquired habits of great independence. He doesn’t need to be with her all day, indeed he would quickly find that stifling. And we can also suppose that on the morning in question he has other matters to attend to.
As for the settings, I don’t think the encounter is really intimate; the Queen must have a place in her own quarters to receive visitors outside the formal audiences of the throne room, and that’s where she speaks with Faramir. It’s definitely not like inviting him into her bedroom or her bathroom, as Aragorn has done (which means that so far Aragorn has been far less formal to Faramir than Arwen). I should say that a meeting on a terrace or a garden should be far more romantic and ambiguous. Here in the room you can imagine there are maids around, though I haven’t talked of them.

I’d say more about all this, but I must keep my secrets… Still, I’m glad you think Faramir generous, I thought maybe I had made him a bit too jealous, but apparently not :). Yes, the bath scene was funny because of the two of them being so out of tune with one another… As for what will happen later, argh, I’ll say like you, I can’t go into it yet… how frustrating… but then I’m so happy to know you’re wondering, it’ll spur me to write on…

Now about AU, you do have a point. I for one had completely forgotten Éowyn. You know, I kept having this impression that there was something AU I couldn’t quite remember… that’s it, and I’ll have to modify the notes. Well, Éowyn’s fate doesn’t really matter in this story. She probably died after waking up and remembering that Aragorn didn’t love her. Aragorn said in the book that this could happen, unless somebody brought her healing that he could not. Faramir, being smitten by Aragorn (however unconsciously), wasn’t there to save her; he probably never even got to see her, for she died without leaving her bed again.

Hope I’ve answered some of your questions… the others will be answered soon enough, I hope :)

Nerey Camille    Thursday 23 June 2011, 12:28    #

Ok, this comment’s been long overdue :D

So far my fave is chapter 4, I think. I love it that, again, Faramir is so out-of-tune with his vis-a-vis – only now the other way around. He’s very perceptive, but in the other hand he has too much decency and honour to suspect a lady such as the Queen of having the sort of intentions she does. In a way it’s really funny – that he can be so blind to the way his own actions, what with the poems and gentle friendship and all, may be interpreted…

I must say I very much enjoyed his reaction to her advances, how he’s respectful, but firm in his rejection. I think that’s very in-character for him – and also exactly the thing that would get a woman to blow her top. That he can keep his senses and deal with the situation calmly, as though her proposition does not even tempt him – that’s just bound to infuriate her, especially after all the talk of how beautiful and special she is.

I must confess, for some reason it makes me quite gleeful to see Arwen land herself in such an embarrassing situation. I mean, I do of course sympathise with the frustration of her marriage, especially since she’s given up so much for it – and yet some part of me is like, yey, in your face, honey! Maybe it’s that I can’t view her separately from Aragorn, and of course I wouldn’t want him to suffer the pain of her betrayal, even if somehow he is the cause of her unhappiness – especially since so far it looks like he is simply unaware something is wrong. And quite unfair to Faramir, too – it appears she’s only thinking of her own benefit when she asks for his services, not of what a predicament she puts him in.

The latest chapter… I don’t know whether it was your intention, but the notion of Faramir going to his mother for advice made me really, really sad. I mean, of course it must be comforting to know that he can always turn to her for support – but come on, the only person the poor man can take his sorrows to is a dead woman – how much loneliness does that speak…? Obviously, his situation is not something one discusses over a cuppa with one’s pals – but still, ot feels like he literally has no one to turn to…

Needless to say, much looking forward to how this develops. And just for reference, I believe you could make it plausible either way, whether he chooses to accomodate or resist her.

December    Monday 12 September 2011, 9:05    #

Oh, and another thing. Chapter 4 really reminds me of the song “Morgause” by Lesiem – have a listen :)

December    Monday 12 September 2011, 9:07    #

Hi December!
May I say I was secretly hoping for this feedback (but I knew you were really busy, so I didn’t ask)? Thanks, thank you!
So far my favourite is chapter 4 as well, I think. Arwen’s situation also makes me quite gleeful.
As for the last chapter, my intention was absolutely not to convey that Faramir is very lonely and sad, only that he doesn’t know what to do and the dialogue with his mother is just his particular way of talking to his own heart to try to find the right thing to do. And of course he can’t turn to anybody, because the Queen’s secret is not his own. To me it would be out of the question for Faramir to speak of it to anyone. Even if it was someone trustworthy like Gandalf, that’s not the point. The secret is not his. Aside from that, who could he turn to? The obvious option if he had a problem would be Aragorn, but here it is impossible. Gandalf is far away, Boromir is dead, who else is there with enough wisdom and honour to be trusted with such a secret? Don’t forget he only has a day to decide.
But I never saw that situation as showing a lonely Faramir, to me he deals with it alone because it’s the right thing to do and because he is strong enough to. He’s not panicking or having a nervous breakdown or anything, he’s just in a big dilemma, as he’s been before (with Frodo and the Ring, particularly). If anything, I’d say that to me his not talking to anyone of his love for Aragorn would speak more of his solitude.
That’s not to say I disqualify your point of view or anything, on the contrary, it’s always refreshing to have differents views on a given scene.
Thanks for the song, it’s beautiful though I couldn’t find the lyrics…
And thanks for the compliment, one of the goals of chapter 5 was to show how difficult Faramir’s dilemma was and that he could make any decision from there…

Nerey Camille    Monday 12 September 2011, 10:20    #

Dear Nerey Camille, I hope You’ll understand what I meant – my English is’nt perfect. I think Arwen was’nt fair in her demand and I think Faramir should’nt do it what he did.
I know it was’nt his fault and even, maybe, her fault, but… they really should’nt.
I hope the end will be not catastrophic! Poor Aragorn and Faramir. Please, write next chapter quickly!
/huggs from Poland/

— Bartemia    Tuesday 4 October 2011, 22:26    #

Hi Bartemia,

Your English is good! Do you want to elaborate? Why do you think they shouldn’t be doing what they are doing?
On the one hand, her demand certainly wasn’t fair, and Faramir knew it. On the other, Arwen wasn’t happy and neither was Faramir and now they both seem happier – isn’t that good? Even Aragorn is glad that Arwen looks more cheerful of late. Now, what happens once their secret is discovered is another matter… I do not want to go into what will happen later, but I will say that this is the central chapter of the story, so the next ones will take it toward its conclusion… whichever that may be.

Anyway, thank you so much for your comment and your interest, I didn’t know you were reading this story!

Nerey Camille    Wednesday 5 October 2011, 11:20    #

I do want elaborate, but I don’t know is my English good for that.
Faramir loves them equally then – Arwen and Aragorn, am I right? Or am I wrong? He made love with Arwen and dreamt about Aragorn or… I don’t know.
These dangers – he was thinking about them when he talked with himself under the tree – I don’t believe he really supposed “nothing will happen if I’ll begin make love with my Queen on her unfair order – my King will be happy, my Queen will be happy, everyone will be deaf and blind and completely stupid.”
“If I will not begin this, everyone will be unhappy? Hmm. I love my King. Yes. And what? I do nothing wrong. I do nothing – wrong or right with my love. I want to be his loyal man, his Steward, nothing more. I have my honor and principles, will he really condemn me for nothing, exile me, behead me, dishonor me – I don’t think so. But if I will begin this, I will lose my honor, break King’s heart, I will be look in his eyes and I will lie, lie, lie. No etc. etc. etc.”
I don’t believe Aragorn does’nt love Arwen too. And Arwen. She choose her fate. When Aragorn gave her back her necklace, asked her “go to Valinor, be happy”, she gave it him again and repeated her “vow”. Is she tausends years old or only sixteen and she did’nt know what she does?
And Faramir – is this person Faramir? I don’t know.
I don’t mean this story is bad or something similar but I think: this Arwen is strange, Faramir is strange and unloving Aragorn is strange too.He was faithful for her so many lonely years! Strange.
I hope I was’nt babbling. I hope You are’nt insulted by my meaning of Your story…
I am very curious what will happen next!

— Bartemia    Wednesday 5 October 2011, 15:37    #

Hi again Bartemia!

Thank you so much for taking the time to explain how you feel about the story, even in a language that’s not your primary tongue. I’m going to try to answer your questions :).

There are many things in this story that are left to the interpretation of each reader, especially concerning feelings. So all I can do is give you my own vision, but then each reader may perceive things in her/his own way. So.

Faramir loves Arwen, and he loves Aragorn, but that doesn’t mean that he loves both of them equally or in the same way. I personally think he is in love with Aragorn and not with Arwen, though he loves her in a tender, caring sort of way. Her feelings are also left ambiguous. Is she just grateful for what Faramir gives her, or is she in love with him? I personally think she isn’t. Her love is rather born of gratitude and happiness.

Aragorn loves Arwen very deeply, and she knows it, but he can’t make her happy. The reasons are only hinted: he’s very independent and she needs much more affection and attention than he can give her. To make matters worse, he isn’t really aware of her frustration. What isn’t mentioned, but I think is a great part of the problem, is that Aragorn doesn’t satisfy Arwen sexually. So she loves him and gives everything for him, and then it turns out life with him is not what she expected.

Think that people and especially women were supposed to be virgins when they married, so she had no knowledge of Aragorn’s talent in bed or lack thereof. He could be a man easily satisfied and who’s not aware of what his wife needs. Also, I think his is a very pure kind of love, and sex is only necessary to produce an heir, but Arwen is a person quite drawn to the carnal aspects of life. In fact she might have fallen in love with a mortal precisely because of this, because unconsciously she would be drawn to his condition much more material and less ethereal than that of Elves. I mean, I don’t think Elves made love that often, given the very few children they had… and the fact that they loved things like poetry and songs and dreaming much more than, for instance, food…

So I think Arwen was mostly extremely frustrated sexually and Faramir is very good at curing that.

And as for Arwen behaving as if she was sixteen: yes, I think that’s exactly what she does! Even Faramir hints that he thinks so, too. But I always was of the opinion that she wasn’t very intelligent, nor very consistent with her own choices. After all, when Aragorn grew old, she regretted forsaking her immortality. How mature is that? On the other hand, how many people, when they make a mistake as big as the one she makes in this story through choosing Aragorn, would be ready to live with the consequences? The story hints she was raised up like a pampered child and she’s not used to get frustrated. Don’t forget, also, that this story is bookverse and in the book Aragorn never tells her to go to Valinor, he doesn’t try to talk her out of her choice so I don’t think she ever takes much time to think about it.

As for Faramir thinking that nobody will know if he becomes Arwen’s lover, well, he’s lived under both Mordor and Denethor’s vigilance for so long, so I expect he knows everything about how to keep a secret, especially since Aragorn is not nearly as distrustful as Denethor was. You know the saying, “the wronged spouse is always the last to know”. I think he believes, with some reason, that they will be able to keep it a secret. And in fact, they only get caught because, first, Arwen is careless (she goes to his chambers without warning him or arranging a meeting) and then they have the incredible bad luck of an orc attack in time of peace.

And about his decision… well, of course you can see things differently, but I think the reasons why he takes this course are pretty clear in chapter 5: he pities Arwen, and he fears leaving her alone and what she might do, and he fears to cause the King pain. Because, even if Aragorn didn’t blame Faramir for his being in love with the King, still if that were to be known it would be a scandal, public dishonour for Faramir, so Aragorn would have to get rid of the Steward (otherwise people might think that they’re lovers…) and so on. This story is set in a Gondor where homosexuality is just not accepted by society at large. And especially in leaders. You might imagine there are particularly conservative sectors who would use that to gain power, or people who would use this information about Faramir to crush his political career and weaken the King’s power.

I also think there’s some unconscious part of Faramir that just isn’t ready to face the King and discover that Elessar doesn’t love him or is disgusted by him. In a way, sleeping with the Queen is the surest way of dispelling suspicions about his love for the King. But these thoughts Faramir would never admit to himself :).

Well, I hope this may help you to better understand some aspects of the story. Still, there’s no accounting for opinions, so maybe the characters’ behaviour in this fic just doesn’t work for you.

In any event, don’t hesitate to comment and don’t worry about my feeling insulted :), it’s always interesting to get different views about the story. So thanks again for sharing your thoughts on it!

Nerey Camille    Wednesday 5 October 2011, 16:52    #

Just one little secret about Faramir’s decision. He was unable to choose a course of action before the sunset, and so went to meet Arwen without any clear plan, and then, when he stood facing her, he just decided on the spot, following his instinct, or his heart, or whatever one may call it. That, at least, is how I imagine his decision. Does that help?

Nerey Camille    Wednesday 5 October 2011, 17:11    #

I understood… but in the same moment I did’nt. It’s complicated: feelings, lack of feelings, sexual frustration etc.
Seven Hells, I began babbling…
I promise: I’ll end these comments, but I have one more question: if Faramir was so worried Aragorn’s happines, why does he choose constant “spatting in his face” and lies? I know, Aragorn know nothing – yet, but Faramir knows about his own doings and he looks in his eyes and he become traitor more and more. He is traitor of their friendship. Aragorn saved his life, gave it to him again.
But all situation is complicated and it – it is good. Faramir should choose simple answer for his dillemma, but – Faramir could’nt feel not pity and compassion for unhappy Arwen. This story – reader must think about many possibilities, sometimes reader would be mad for one of two’s behaviour, be very curious etc.
I am curious what will happen next with all of them. Poor Aragorn and Faramir.
I promise it was my last comment. I am afraid if I begin babbling and annoying… /huggs/

— Bartemia    Thursday 6 October 2011, 0:07    #

Hi again! Don’t worry about being annoying, it’s true your last comment was more difficult to understand than the previous ones, but I suppose it’s because it was late or something :). I’m very glad to see you’re so interested in the story and so curious about what will happen next.

I think most people, in Faramir’s place, would take the easy course: to have nothing to do with adultery, or treason, or lies, and to let the King and the Queen sort out their problems on their own. But Faramir, in my opinion, would think such an attitude cowardly. He wants to do what he thinks is better, even if it is against the law, against his vows, even if it means lying. Don’t forget he allowed Frodo to take the Ring to Mordor, against his father’s will and his orders as a soldier. When something matters to him, he commits himself. And if he chooses to satisfy Arwen, it’s because he thinks it’s the best thing to do, even if it’s dangerous or morally questionable. And to choose the other way just because it’s moral would seem an act of cowardice, like the nazi officers who committed atrocities not because they agreed with it but because “we had orders”.
So I think he can meet his own eyes in the mirror because he thinks he’s chosen what seemed the less of two evils, even if there’s no right path here.

And once he chooses to become Arwen’s lover, he carries out the job thouroughly. It would be hypocritical to agree to satisfy her and then be distant or reluctant or whatever. In his mind, he mustn’t do it – or else he must do it well.

Don’t hesitate to keep commenting! I’d particularly love to know how you imagine the story to evolve in the next chapter… What do you think will happen?

Nerey Camille    Thursday 6 October 2011, 14:53    #

Hmmmm… Hurin is shocked… Question: will he immediately go to King and say him everything? He could do that, but – the circumstances = orcs and the King needs a advice of his Steward. Maybe he… (lack of words – I mean no physical force, I mean, I mean – making confession duty)“forced” Faramir by word of honor to confession? Later. After orcs and visit of Legolas.
It is small possibility Hurin will be silent and say nothing, but I don’t believe in it.
I think if Hurin will be silent, he must say Faramir “tell the King by yourself”… but You are authoress and I don’t know what will happen.
Aragorn has orcs on his head and visit of Legolas – everything must wait. I think.

— Bartemia    Thursday 6 October 2011, 19:14    #

Mmmm… interesting, though of course I can’t say if you’re right or not without uncovering the plot. Anyway I hope you will soon know what happens, next chapter is almost finished.

Still, there’s one fact to take into account: Húrin doesn’t necessarily know about the Orc invasion and Legolas’ visit (as a matter of fact, he doesn’t know). He’s only been ordered to look for the Steward urgently.

Also, I think your guesses about Húrin would be quite in character for him, but on the other hand, he’s been Faramir’s friend for so long. How could that affect his reaction?

And another interesting question: how will Faramir and Arwen react to this exceedingly dangerous situation, and to Húrin’s possible threat?

Nerey Camille    Thursday 6 October 2011, 19:35    #

Seven Hells. In this case it must end very badly. Dissapointed, hurted in his – his trust and faith in Faramir Hurin will go straight to King… or… maybe… he will be demand answers for very difficult questions, questions without answers “how could you, Faramir etc”. It will be catastrophe!
I swear I don’t know. Arwen’s reaction is a riddle for me. Faramir’s? I don’t know, but maybe… he will be pleased. A little. Maybe he will be happy from end of lies. Maybe, I don’t know. I am stupid… It is complicated story.

— Bartemia    Thursday 6 October 2011, 20:14    #

Wow, it’s so very interesting to have your point of view on all this! And you’re not stupid, so don’t say that! It’s very difficult to guess how characters will react in a story written by someone else, especially if so far you find their reactions strange already…

Aaaargh, I can’t say if you’re right or not… I really must finish that chapter!

As for Faramir, I think if he really wanted the lies to end, he would have stopped things long ago. I really can’t imagine him being pleased, though maybe relieved in some small measure. But I really think that for him and Arwen, getting caught is first and foremost a dangerous and complicated situation. Having to face Aragorn about the affair with Arwen would be painful for Faramir in any case, for he doesn’t want the King to suffer. As for Arwen’s reaction, you’re right to think that it is the most unpredictable of all… at least for me :).

Well, with all the interest you have shown in this story I really think I ought to stop commenting and go back to work on the next chapter. But of course if you still have questions, I’ll be only too happy to answer them. And I am really most grateful for your comments, this chapter took a lot of work and I didn’t intend to continue with the story for some time, but now you’re making me feel like it was really worth the effort and I should keep working on it! So thanks a lot!

By the way, if you have time and you feel like it, I’d love to have your feedback on the sexual part of the chapter (it’s the first time I publish a scene with graphic sex). But don’t feel obliged, it’s really only if you have time and you’d like to give your opinion on it. There’s the option of sending a private message through the admins if you don’t like to publish it here.

Anyway, thanks a lot for your detailed analysis of the characters and the situation!

Nerey Camille    Thursday 6 October 2011, 20:37    #

Hallo, Nerey Camille,
I reread this scene between Arwen and Faramir and: I don’t know it will be good “feedback” (I don’t understand fully what it mean).
First I must confess I understood these words,“pommergranate seed” after two or five minuts (shamed by myself :-)
They were tender for each other, they… enjoyed their company, she was satisfied, he, I suppose, was too. When she said it about her undergarments, she wears them not when she go meet Faramir, it was nasty in some way. I don’t like Faramir with red, wet face, but it is my fault, because I like him and a little idealize him.
I don’t understand their love (my fault and idealising again) but Your description made my disunderstanding smaller. And this remembering/shadow of Aragorn – maybe I should throw it from my head off, but how?

— Bartemia    Friday 7 October 2011, 15:44    #

Hi Bartemia,

Feedback is giving your opinion on the positive and/or negative points of something. But I suppose I didn’t know myself what kind of information I was expecting when I asked you about this scene, so it’s normal you shouldn’t know exactly what to say. I’ve thought a bit about it and I think what I wanted to know is whether the scene looks realistic, both in the sexual sense (rythm and everything) and in the human sense (if the characters are credible). And I’d also be interested to know what effect it produces, if the reader finds their lovemaking beautiful, or scandalising, or very hot, or romantic, or whatever. If I understand you correctly, there’s a bit of everything?

On the other hand, when you don’t ask specific questions you have a better chance of getting original and unexpected feedback, which is great :).

You said that you didn’t understand their love, but my description made it easier. What is it that you don’t understand? Is it the fact that Faramir accepts to become her lover, the fact that he truly desires her, or the fact they love each other in some way? And the description – do you mean the sexual scene or the explanations I gave you in the comments above?

And what do you mean by “maybe I should throw this remembering/shadow of Aragorn out of my head, but how?” That intrigued me so much :).

As I said before, don’t worry about your feedback being “convenient” or good, all sorts of feedback are interesting and I’m so happy to discuss the story with you! So once again, great thanks!

Nerey Camille    Sunday 9 October 2011, 12:05    #

Please note that according to our house rules, only positive feedback is allowed in comments. ‘If you don’t like something, move on,’ is our site policy.
So if you want to go into a full beta-reader style review, please conduct this conversation via email instead.



Archivist    Sunday 9 October 2011, 14:56    #

Hi Nerey Camille,
You must’nt thank me. It was pleasure comment Your fic and “talk” in English : – )
Answers for Your questions, for example about Aragorn. I meant… I was thinking about Aragorn’s feelings (if he could know about all affair) more than the pair’s feelings, I don’t know why. I am usually Aragorn and Faramir’s fan in the same sympathy, equally. It must to be quality of Your story, if it wake these thinks in me…Of course I like them both very much.
I hope You understood my babbling and my explaining explained something.
“Is it the fact that Faramir accepts to become her lover, the fact that he truly desires her”. These two facts.
“And the description – do you mean the sexual scene”
Yes.In the first part of scene is tenderness and care, I like it…

— Bartemia    Sunday 9 October 2011, 21:04    #

Hi again!

Thanks for explaining! Yes, it’s clearer to me now. I’m glad that you like the tenderness between them and that it helps you understand why they have feelings for each other. I mean, Faramir would have feelings for just about anyone, he always sees the good side of people and grieves for their sorrows… And he’s so good at comforting and understanding that it’s only normal Arwen should have feelings for him.
As for desire, well… after all Arwen is the most beautiful creature ever since Lúthien :) and once Faramir’s heart is touched, how can his body remain indifferent?
And as for your feelings for Aragorn… strangely, the fic doesn’t have that effect on me. I don’t really think about Aragorn because he is not aware of the situation; if he was, things would change of course… Also, I don’t like Aragorn quite as much as Faramir.
Though I don’t like Arwen either and I must say, it’s a pleasure to work with her on this fic :).

I hope to get next chapter ready soon, it’s taking more work than I thought so it may be delayed a little.

Nerey Camille    Tuesday 11 October 2011, 16:23    #

Hallo, Nerey Camille!
Wow… What can I say? Wow. Situation is bad. Very bad.Poor Aragorn. He is very unhappy and he does’nt know what he should do with his traitorous wife and Steward.
/sigh/You know, when Faramir told Aragorn “everything what I did I did from love for you”… I think it was very nice excuse. He was blind for Arwen’s beauty, he loved make love with her, he lie in some way, most to himself then. I believe he believes in his own words, but… It’s very sad.
I hope You’ll update soon and next part will be wonderful like all of them. A choice for them… please, don’t make it too quick and shallow.
Greetings! Bartemia.

— Bartemia    Saturday 19 November 2011, 18:41    #

Hi Bartemia, nice to hear from you again!
“A very nice excuse”, do you think then it was not true? What do you mean when you said he lied to himself? What’s sad?
Please, please elaborate :).
As for updates, I am already working on the following chapter, but it is proving particularly tricky. I’m afraid it is already planned, but still I’d like to know exactly what you are asking for. What kind of choice? And what do you mean, too quick and shallow?

Anyway, I’m really happy that you are still interested in the story, grateful for your commenting, and very pleased with your compliments :). Thanks, thanks, thanks!

— Nerey Camille    Saturday 19 November 2011, 22:46    #

I meant, I meant… yyy…it was partially truth, I think. He WAS’NT blind for Arwen’s beauty (I don’t know how and what ate “’” and two letters, maybe hungry orc)
All situation is very sad. Faramir had feelings only for Aragorn, but I think he began adore Arwen too in some way and when she went for his decision he listened this call too, not the “first”.
Your questions… I meant Legolas gave Aragorn some advice in his ear, am I right? I hope he did’nt propose some relationship – triangle. I suffer for lack of words, I am sorry. I meant don’t make it quick. Whatever it will be.
I hope my English is’nt completely deteriorated and You could understand me a little.
I was thinking what I would do on Aragorn’s place, I really don’t know. Horrible difficulty!
I hope You understood my babbling – greetings – Barthemia

— Bartemia    Sunday 20 November 2011, 0:45    #

Hello there. Long time no see, heh.

I must confess, upon reading the chapter that uncovers Faramir’s decision, it’s been taking me a long while to decide whether I could be comfortable with a stiuation where Faramir makes such, hm, questionable choices. But then I figured, well, the whole inner debate is a bit hypocritical in the sense that when it comes to my own writing, making the reader ‘comfortable’ is never among my goals, so hardly would it be fair to ask that of others :D So here I am, for better or worse, lol.

What I must commend is that this whole story, while certainly quite polarising, is yet qrather ‘sticky’, too. What I mean is that I couldn’t just go, ‘I don’t like his actions, I’m not going to read this’ – I had all sorts of negative reactions both to Arwen’s and especially to Faramir’s conduct, and yet somethign kept me… I reckon the main reason is that much as I would love to say, ‘no, there’s no way Faramir would ever do that’ – I can’t, because you make it so damn believable. With any other woman, even Eowyn, I wouldn’t have bought it that he would effectively go behind Aragorn’s back – but Arwen… And here I must say I truly appreciate your characterisation of her. If anything, you give her more depth, realism and three-dimensionality than even the original character in the book seemed to me. Fair enough, her portrayal in the movie also did add her life, but I truly did not appreciate how PJ turned her into yet another rebellious warrior princess which she clearly wa snot. You, on the other hand, stay well in line with her original depiction while at the same time developing the hints one may read between Tolkien’s lines. We know she did come to regret her decision in the end – which goes to suggest she could well have, given according circumstances, come to regret it well before the end. And I like the aura of ‘elfness’ you give her. In this story more than anywhere else I’m reminded of her formidable lineage, specifically of Galadriel, the latter not coming across as all flowers and smiles, not at all. This Arwen is like a cat, sweet and demure until the moment her tail is stepped upon. She has her own interests at heart, she is not particularly interested in the common good of all humanity, she feels no need to tell everyone everything. This is no longer a classic princess in waiting for her prince on the white steed, but rather a capricious faerie queen, willful and demanding, not much eaten at by conscientous thoughts. Poor Faramir. Who, to think of it, could resist? If it were Eomer in his place, I would not have even wondered – even in the book Eomer expresses a great fascination with Arwen, to the point of willing to challenge Gimli to battle. And Faramir, “being a man whom pity deeply stirred” – how could he deny a damsel in distress, add to it the whole Elven glamour thing…? All this just underscores Arwen’s nearly supernatural female powers, that she could lure one like him off his path…

Here I confess I yet have to work up the courage to learn what happens as the news gets out – because, you know, poor Aragorn. But I must add it really cracked me up how absurd the discovery of their secret was. Ah, if it weren’t for the nosy arrogant fools who just must find out…

December    Wednesday 28 December 2011, 10:52    #

Hi December!

Well, I must say I didn’t understand all the nuances of your comment, which is frustrating because what you say is so interesting in many ways… What do you mean by “it cracked me up how absurd the discovery of their secret was” and “if it weren’t for the nosy arrogant fools who just must find out”?
Same about the “polarising” and “sticky” story, I’m not sure I understand exactly what you mean. I understand you wanted to give up the reading or tell yourself it wasn’t credible and yet something made you keep reading: is that correct?
If so, that’s a great compliment: being able to keep a reader reading against their will is a great feat :) and by the tone of your comment (kind of reluctant and not happy) it looks like I did exactly that. Well, it would be easy to gain readers by writing exactly what they want to read, but… not very interesting, right?
I’m impressed both by the fact that it took you so much time to work up the courage to keep reading, and by the fact you finally did (and will continue, I’m sure). That really shows how deeply this story got to you!
I love your comparison of Arwen to a cat, that really describes this Arwen in a nutshell. Still, I believe Faramir would never have given in solely to her charm or her willpower – I mean, if he can resist the ring… – it’s the good he sees in her and the pity he has for her and, don’t forget, the fact he has Aragorn’s and Gondor’s best interests at heart… I hope that is some consolation.
And maybe you’ll need to read the rest of the story, but at the end of it I realized that this wasn’t only about a hard choice for Faramir, but for all of them… and even if Arwen’s inner debate is not shown in the story, we should not underestimate it. She is quite selfish, but also quite sensitive, and loving, and she even has some conscience, I think…
On the other hand, Faramir, while quite noble at heart, is not really the “moral” sort of character that always follows the rules. He’s not at all afraid of going against the rules and when he decides to do something, he doesn’t care that much about what others might think…
Again, thanks for this very sincere comment: “the praise of the praiseworthy is above all rewards”, and in a way, it is even more flattering because it is not given gladly, but given all the same. “You make it so damn believable”, that compliment I will remember for quite some time, I think. It really means the world.
And now I must say I read your last chapter of Hungry Eyes and a Blade of Steel and I am looking forward to the next one :). In the meantime, have a very good end of year and start of new one!

— Nerey Camille    Thursday 29 December 2011, 18:36    #

Hi again!

No, no, the meaning of my comment was not as unkind as it looks you’ve taken it to be… Let me try to clarify that.

By my words about laughing at the circumstances of the discovery, I meant that it struck me as rather funny that they were caught not by Aragorn, or Gandlaf, or somebody equally important, but by some fundamentally nonessential guy who just happened to be there because he can’t stay out of other people’s business. To my mind, this does a good job of showing that Faramir and Arwen’s thing is not only a perilous affair (which in a way can be seen as romantic and exhilarating, as love against danger, etc) – but also holds the threats of embarrassment, awkwardness and laughability. I just imagined how, when they saw that he saw them, Arwen would probably start climbing off Faramir all in a panic, and likely she wouldn’t be particularly graceful about it, and that guy would see her wet c#nt, and – I mean, Arwen, look at your choices, girl! Is this the life you wanted for yourself?

You see what I mean? Lol

By polarising I mean that this is a plot-line that’s bound to leave some readers grumbly and unhappy, maybe even wishing to have the author’s head, lol. We are so used to seeing Faramir as a perfect man – but he is a man nonetheless, and certainly not one altogether without fault. Certainly he too can make poor choices. And frankly, I don’t really buy into his justification that he’s doing this for everyone else’s good. I think he’s more than anything just deluding himself… For one thing, he did this partly so that she wouldn’t rat on him to Aragorn – this is not a high motive, this is just him bbeing afraid for his dignity and good name – which is very understandable, but not in any way noble or altruistic. Besides, speaking of Gondor’s best interests, if she bore a son from Faramir and that son would become King, how right would that be…? And also, it’s quite a short-sighted decision – sure, he did keep her happy so long as no one knew, but now what? Could Aragorn ever get over something like this? But of course, like I acknowledged before, pity and compassion definitely did play a big part for Faramir, and maybe he thought of his mum who too had wilted in a likely unhappy marriage… Anyway, he’s done what he’s done, so there’s no point talking about whether it was ok or not.

And the difference from the situation with the Ring, I think, is that he never wanted the Ring in the first place.

Sticky was maybe a poor choice of word. I was looking for a word to convey that this story is impossible to shake off, that I couldn’t stop from returning to it in thought. It’s very disturbing – which I say not as criticism or as compliment, but just in the plain meaning of the word. Faramir sleeping with Arwen behind Aragorn’s back – to me that’s disturbing, lol. And that’s a not so frequent combination for me, a LOTR story that’s at the same time disturbing and believable. (Here I must make a note that all the Faramir/Boromir lovestories out there to me are not inherently disturbing, heh).

To me the number one reason for stopping to read a fanfic is when I perceive the behaviours/feelings depicted as out-of-character, most often gratuitous sex or servile/undignified kind of conduct. Also explicit gore, because that’s something I just really don’t like. But in your story, although the characters’ behaviour is not something likely to have come up in many of Tolkien’s imaginings, heh, I still can’t say that they’re being out of character… It’s a fine line to walk, to challenge the readers’ understanding of the characters, to make the readers debate the likelihood of such behaviour – because if the readers did not find it at least 50% possible, they would not be debating, they would simply stop reading ;)

I want to assure you that I in no way mean to discourage you with my comments. I see my words are not always understood the way I intend, so just know they are all well-intended.

Anyway, of course it’s quite silly to speak so much without having read the rest, but you know… It’s a long journey for me.

Thanks for your kind words re my own writing. If you have anything specific to say about the chapter of Hungry Eyes, I’d much appreciate a comment, but no pressure :) Hope your creative juices are flowing well!

December    Friday 30 December 2011, 7:10    #

Hi December!

Thanks for explaining your comment further (now it is clear to me what you meant) and no, I didn´t take it as unkind, only kind of unhappy, which as I said makes it even more interesting in a way. You don´t discourage me, I never expected all the readers to be happy with this story so if it is at least believable, that is the very best I could expect. Besides, I know you mean well :)
And yes, I had not thought about the awkwardness and laughability of the situation they land themselves in, but I see your point. On the other hand, if anyone thought Faramir was a poor lonely bachelor, it would kind of lift up his reputation, wouldn´t it? Anyway.
Your story. I have to admit that the last chapter kind of unsettled me, so I was waiting for the next one to comment. But now I guess your curiosity is aroused, so I´ll try to give you a full analysis as soon as I can (which might well be next year, alas!).
In the meanwhile, thanks again for your explanations and let me know as soon as you keep reading the story! Hugs,

— Nerey Camille    Saturday 31 December 2011, 18:35    #

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About the Author

Nerey Camille

Welcome everybody!

Two things. First, all I have published here is at your disposal to enjoy, share, copy or modify freely. Just make sure to state where you took it from, and let me know you’re using it, because I’ll be thrilled to learn my work was worth your attention. Should you ever want to use it commercially or in some way not stated here, you’ll need specific permission.

And secondly, I do not write solely about Faramir, so if you’d like to see something else you’re welcome to visit my blog. There you’ll find some short stories, poems and quite a few more things, some of them in English, some in French or Spanish.

I hope you enjoy yourself reading and, as always, comments are very much appreciated.