Change One Thing, See What Happens

Steward and the King, The

32. Afterword (Plot Spoilers)


Way back in my college years, "what-if Faramir and Boromir traded places?" was an obvious question. I also observed that in the "Return of the King" Aragorn filled a power vacuum rather than there being a real transfer of power. I wanted to examine a pair of crucial decision points: when the Fellowship divided and the King's return. At these points in LotR the characters reacted to circumstances rather than making a considered choice.

In the first version of this story I thought I had found a clever way to get Faramir out of harm's way and back to Minas Tirith. Denethor died at the Gate and Boromir on the Pelennor soon after. When I picked up the story again ten years later I realized my cleverness wasn't. Faramir threw a fit saying he would do no such thing and insisted on staying with Frodo and Sam, so he died. He also rebelled that I would kill Boromir.

After that, Aragorn lectured me up, down, and sideways that I could think he would send Frodo and Sam to Mordor with only one helper, pointed to the relevant passage in "The Breaking of the Fellowship", and Gimli joined the party going East and also died.

It would have been unbalanced if only two of five non-hobbit Fellowship members survived, but all four hobbits did ... and Merry died. Sorry.

I thought to make one "small" change and come sideways to a near-familiar conclusion, with Legolas dead but Gimli continuing the Friendship. The characters had other ideas.

Thank you for reading.

--Julie (julifolo at yahoo dot com)

PS: To those of you who accumulate and craft AUs, I hope the speculations of this story are appreciated and useful. Any feedback and further speculation heartily accepted, as well as typo catches.

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.


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Story Information

Author: julifolo

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Rating: General

Last Updated: 12/29/14

Original Post: 06/26/02

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