Forum: Prospective Challenges

Discussing: When the brother's 'Mir are not so close

When the brother's 'Mir are not so close

I'm the sort of person who reads a thousand fanfic stories, then finds one sentence in canon that seems to be constantly ignored/contradicted, and is then bitten by a very fierce nuzgul to write about it.

So this time I noticed that there are a thousand and one stories about how the brothers 'Mir of Gondor are close...very close...sometimes too close for canonical comfort. Wink It seems a given that they stick to each other through thick and thin, rarely have arguments, and are best friends and more to each other. My idea for a challenge, then, would be to write the brothers as not quite so close. Perhaps they argue every time they try to have a conversation, or they disagree on big political/philosophical issues, or are incredibly annoyed by each others' habits and so can't stand being around each other.

<>This could be very canonical, since we have no idea how Boromir and Faramir interacted with each other, other than Tolkien's vague hints in the appendices. I.e., he says there was much love between them, that Boromir was the protector of Faramir, and that Faramir thought no one could outmatch Boromir, but those last two might have only referred to them in their youth. Could it be that they just didn't get along too well, however much they loved each other?

This could also be very interesting AU, finding some way that might put a divide between the brothers and showing how that affects the story. (i.e., Boromir survives and becomes Steward and makes decisions Faramir disapproves of, Boromir spends too much time with Denethor and starts thinking of Faramir in the same way, Faramir becomes less co-dependant and withdraws himself from Boromir thus damaging their relationship, etc. For instance, I was inspired to start a story where Finduilas has another son before she dies, and Faramir attaches to his younger brother and not to Boromir, thus changing their story in many different ways.)

I personally think that having them always so in tune with each other is just unrealistic, and enjoy fics where they have arguments like normal siblings. However, I would be more interested in a portrayal of their relationship where they were never that close. there anyone else out there who has read one too many Loving!Gondor-brothers fics? Grin




Re: When the brother's 'Mir are not so close


This is a great idea. I do think that the brothers 'mir are written as a bit too lovey-dovey for my tastes at times, and I hope other people will jump on this bandwagon.

There seem to be other pairs of canonical relations that get written friendly when they might not have been. Merry and Pippin is another example that comes to mind - forget friendly, it's not at all obvious that a hobbit growing up in Tookland and one growing up in Buckland would have been that close as children, cousin or no. They just wouldn't spend a lot of time together.

Don't know if you want to open this up or keep it focused on B&F? It might be worth considering if a few days go by and not many other people are interested. If you do want to keep it strongly B&F, that's fine - if we don't get five people interested we could always put it in the nuzgul pen, which is a collection of story ideas without the deadline of a challenge.

Oh, and one last thing - I have written B&F as not always lovey-dovey - as a ficlet, Object Lessons, featuring a teenage Boromir and Faramir trying to teach his brother a lesson. If this would fit, you can count me in.




Re: When the brother's 'Mir are not so close

I'm in, MerryK!  Faramir's always been one of my favorites (I don't think I've written a fic without him yet).  Even sticking with the canon, there had to have been typical brother moments.  And some of the things Tolkien says can be taken two ways.  Faramir knew nobody could best Boromir.  Was that because he'd been trounced himself so many times?    This brother-thumping could also contribute to Boromir's "need" to protect Faramir, if a lot of the fight had been beaten out of his kid brother.

And as fo a divide between them... It's pretty obvious when Faramir and Frodo are talking in Henneth Annun that Faramir has no illusions about Boromir's pride.  He KNEW it had been too great a test for Boromir, even through Frodo never 'fessed up to what happened on Amon Hen.  How did he know?  I don't think you'd have to stray too far from the canon to answer that question. 

And there are all the AU options of course.

That's three.  Any other takers?



Re: When the brother's 'Mir are not so close

I great idea, MerryK. As ery sibling can confirm, there are a lot of moments when they are not so close. I remember how often my elder brother used to hit me. We quarreled almost every day. So it seems absolutely reasonable for them or other siblings (like the Peredhil twins or sons of Feanor) to act the way everyone would do.

I must say that I am not in, though.




Re: When the brother's 'Mir are not so close

Go ahead, Marta! I think it's a good idea to open it up to Merry/Pip and Elladan/Elrohir, though it would be more AU with those sets. Tolkien definitely had M/P close in LOTR IMHO, and as E/E are never apart from each other, it would appear to be so with them. I hooked on B/F, not only because they are favorites, but because there's lots of room for canonical pieces as we have almost no idea what their relationship was like. I like the argument fics, but was really interested in seeing a story where they are never best buddies, but have a cooler relationship overall. But it would also be interesting to see different takes on other brother relationsips.

I know what you mean, eowyn, as I have hard time leaving Faramir out of things. ;-) You have a good point about the "nobody could best Boromir" bit, though the way Tolkien phrased it, it seemed like Faramir looked on Boromir as perfect. I think, though, from what he says to Frodo, that he grew out of that. I would definitely be ready to see Faramir rebuking Boromir for pride, and Boromir's response...perhaps them not reconciling before Boro is called to Rivendell. Oh dear, though, that would be more Fara angst. Hasn't he had enough already? *MerryK thinks hard on the subject* Hmm....nah, there's always room for more. Wink

I'm working on the AU side right now, but I think I am going to be bitten at least twice by this nuzgul.



Re: When the brother's 'Mir are not so close

A tale showing Elladan and Elrohir, or other brothers/sisters/friends, as not getting along, or having a spot of trouble or a disagreement, wouldn't necessarily be AU: it could happen before or after the events of the book. Most relationships go through ups and downs, after all.

I wish I could say I would join this challenge, but I'm already committed to more than I can accomplish!

Hope it flies, though.




Re: When the brother's 'Mir are not so close

Good point, G.A., about the stories being before or after canon!

I was thinking about a long-term change in relationship, not just a "spot" of trouble, though. There are much more stories where there is a disagreement followed by a quick resolution, than stories which show a brotherly relationship that keeps a cool distance from each other for one reason or another for long periods of time. I would like to see a realistic portrayal of one of the brother relationships (preferably Faramir/Boromir) where they lead very separate lives, or if you can't stand thinking of them not close naturally, an AU examining what might drive them apart permanently.

For instance in my AU story, Faramir bonds to his baby brother and the family of his wet-nurse, instead of to Boromir like how I imagine he would in canon, so Boromir turns to Denethor and never really gets close to Faramir again.



Re: When the brother's 'Mir are not so close

While I doubt if I will ever get tired of Loving!Gondor-brothers fics, because I believe that's how it was for them, it might be good for me to write something where the two brothers don't get along.  I'm a died-in-the-wool Boromir fan, and write him best -- I wonder if it would be possible to write something from his POV, in a way that won't have all the Faramir fans turning on me?  Laugh out loud

I'm in for this one, and I'll see where the Muse takes me! 



Re: When the brother's 'Mir are not so close

Yay, Linaewen! I love how you portray the Gondor brothers, because at heart I love them being close as well, but I also like to see/write something different. And even though I am a Faramir fan, I promise I won't turn on you. Wink (I did become a Boromir fan as well after reading your fics, though.)

Counting Marta's ficlet (which fits in quite well, btw), we now have four. Just one more and we have a challenge! Smile




Re: When the brother's 'Mir are not so close

This is a good idea, especially if it's opened up to other pairs of siblings.  (I'd love to write/read about Elladan and Elrohir having a major argument!) 




Re: When the brother's 'Mir are not so close

It's open to Elladan and Elrohir, and Merry and Pippin, now, Jay. Does that mean you are in? Please pretty please? Wink




Re: When the brother's 'Mir are not so close

LOL  Tell you what, Linaewen.  I'll forgive you for making Faramir look bad if you'll forgive me for the character assassination I'm plotting against Boromir.   I KNOW Boromir fans are going to be unhappy about this one.    But everybody is gonna see a character they love "bashed" in this challenge, so I don't think anybody's gonna take it personally.  (In fact, I'm glad someone's writing from Boromir's perspective, since I'm taking Faramir's side.)  And as you said, it's the Muse's fault, not yours or mine. 



Re: When the brother's 'Mir are not so close

I count:

MerryK, Marta, eowyn77, Linaewen and Jay (if you are in)... which would make five! We'll have a challenge, then. MerryK, can you formulate the challenge text and tell me how long you would have it run? I will set it up.




Re: When the brother's 'Mir are not so close

Lovely! Smile Would nine months be long enough? Here is the challenge text:

When Brothers Are Not So Close

We all know that Boromir and Faramir were best friends as well as brothers, right? Or do we? What about Elladan and Elrohir? Merry and Pippin? The popular version of these pairs is that they were buddies, pals, comrades, anything and everything as long as they were close to each other. But in canon, very little is said about the personal lives of these people.

What if they were not so close? What if Boromir and Faramir couldn't talk without starting an argument? What if Merry was always giving Pippin unwanted advice? What if Elladan and Elrohir despised the fact that they were twins and were expected to be close?

So here are the four options for this challenge:

  • Write one of these brotherly pairs showing their relationship to be cool or distant, whether it is because of personality, principles, or outside forces that keep them from being what is commonly seen in fanfiction. Show how the vague comments in canon about their relationship could be seen in a different light.
  • Or, if you really can't see your favorite brothers being chilly with each other for all time, write about a major argument that keeps them separated for a while. Not just a little squabble, but something big enough to ruin the relationship if not resolved. Does it get resolved? And if so, is the relationship ever the same?
  • Another option, if you can't see a distant relationship as a possibility in canon, is to write an AU where some outside force drives the brothers apart, and how this might affect canon.
  •  And the other option is to explore the relationships outside of canon, either before or after it. If you think they were close in canon, were they always that way? Did they use to hate each other, and why did they stop? Did they love each other in canon, and something happened after?

Whatever your reason, let's see some discord!




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