Friday, December 21, 2007

It's all in the details ...

"… And that was what Aragorn had done. He had left the City like a thief in the night - only two people had seen him go - Boromir and Faramir of the Citadel. He had kissed them farewell, and, to his never-ending shock, Faramir, Faramir the shy, reserved, silent little boy kissed him on the cheek, and said softly, “I’ll miss you!”

He had never been able to forget that, nor Boromir's childish salute. That young man in Harad - he knew it was Faramir. Only once had he gotten cleanly away from the homestead, had he looked at the pendant. A swan for Dol Amroth, and a Tree for the Citadel, and his heart had frozen.

For there were only two children in all of Middle-Earth with that lineage - one was safely home, and the other thought dead."

-- From "I Vow to Thee, My Country"

Some LOTR fan fiction is incredible - other stuff you have to wonder how the author was able to string two sentences together. The quote above is from the former category. I had found this story on WarOfTheRing.Net and I was amazed at this AU ("alternate universe") story of Faramir, Boromir, Denethor and Aragorn. In this story, Denethor is not the unmitigated bastard he is in the movie adaptations nor in the Tolkien books.

I was fascinated by the description of the medallion. This was the type of thing that would really top off (in my estimation) my Faramir outfit, even if I was the only one who knew I was wearing it.

FYI - I wrote this post in April - the same time I received the medallions. Since I asked Russ to make two of them - one for me and one as a Christmas gift - I had to wait until December to actually post this so I wouldn't give the surprise away. How's that for patience?

I gave Russ a call. This man is AMAZING. He absolutely thrives on challenges. For those of you finding this blog for the first time, Russ Sharek made me a Kyle Rayner version of a Green Lantern Ring.

I found the images I wanted to use on the medallion and told him I needed the thing to look old. Really old. Third Age of Middle-Earth old.

I got the medallions today. I was speechless. I mean it. Seeing the designs as an illustration was one thing, seeing them in the actual medallion was another. Looking at it, feeling it, holding it, wearing it - I could actually imagine this was one of the only two medallions ever made as such in Middle Earth. The patina of age and the less than absolutely perfect-ness only solidified the suspension of disbelief when I put it on.

And wearing it every day under my regular shirt is a pleasure in itself. The leather cording has darkened a bit which only adds to the authenticity of the piece.

A very telling incident happened during June. I was wearing the medallion under my shirt (as usual) and it happened to slip out while I was over at a friend's house checking out his new gargantuan plasma TV. We were watching Return of the King on DVD (yes, my friend and his wife are Tolkien geeks also - and what better way to "break in" the set???) and I was treated to a rush of indrawn breath from my friend's wife and a "Holy crap!" from him. (This was also on top of the comments made regarding Halfdan's Ring of Barahir) They couldn't believe how incredibly made and how amazingly authentic the medallion was. Russ deserves heaps upon heaps of kudos for making this idea a reality.

What do you think?

Even more to the point, how do you think the person who is getting the Christmas gift is going to respond?

It really is better to give than receive!!!