Because I can't bear to write an entry without using an image, I decided to post this one I made to include in a comment for my recent "Sam/Frodo hug" screencap entry:
~ In which Rosie demonstrates why she wins fanfic's "good sport" award...
Rosie can afford to be gracious since she is permitted sixty-two years of "blissful" (if "simple and rustic" - Letters #131) married life with Sam, along with thirteen lovely children who will grow up to hand on Frodo’s version of the “Great Tale.”
Because I am an anal-retentive type I had to look for the "bliss" quote above, in order to cite it. I knew it was in the HoME, with the unpublished Epilogues. Dang! I didn't have that volume! Armed with a few keywords, I tried Googling up the quotation....
I didn't find what I was looking for, but I found something else. An essay. A really, really good essay. An essay on the character of Rosie:
Expecting You Since the Spring: Examining Rosie Cotton, by Mary Borsellino:
I recognized the name at once and started reading. She was "famous" in the world of Frodo fanfic, I knew. I first had heard of her when I was brand new to fanfics, looking for love stories starring Frodo. (I was only dimly aware of slash then; I meant, Frodo in love with women.) My beta recommended a few, including Ariel and Aratlithiel’s highly enjoyable Autumn’s Requiem. Although I could appreciate that it was very well-done, I hadn’t liked the idea of Frodo bedding Sam’s girl, as though Frodo were exercising a hobbitty droit du siegneur). I read it again recently and thought the authors made the encounter quite plausible. Ah, the difference a year of fanfic reading can make.
When my beta told me about Mary Borsellino’s story, Pretty Good Year, I said, “A post-Quest threesome? No way!" So, I went back to non-Rosie het fic, and slash that kept Sam and Frodo’s relationship out of the one Sam had with Rosie.
Since then, I've learned of more "threesome" stories, het and slash. I still have not read any of them. Before, I was unwilling; now, I haven't the time to read everything I'd like. Not all at once, anyway. There is a very well-known fic, for instance, very highly recommended, that people often categorize as a "threesome," although it sounds like regular slash to me. Frodo beds Rosie in it, but, from what I understand it is only to get Rosie with child, as a sort of gift to Sam, not out of any affection towards her. Frodo having sex with Rosie in this one sounds like a matter of 'desperate measures,' not an exercise in mutual pleasure or consolation. This all sounds like rather dismal behaviour of Rosie and Frodo’s part. When I do read this story, I hope it comes off differently. Another sort of fic billed as a "threesome" sounds more like S/R, F/R. Post-Quest Frodo trysts with Rosie, but unbeknownst to Sam. Again, this is a scenario I find compromising to the characters involved. I am such an old-fashioned romantic, it is difficult for me to take seriously the loves of characters who are willing to be unfaithful with a third party, no matter what the reasons. Not in Tolkien’s world, anyway. Even in ours it would be difficult.
Now, before anyone writes me a heated comment about that, please know that my feelings about reading fics have changed since then. I have ... “lightened up”. Not totally, but a lot. Whereas I used to bridle at any non-spoofy fic straying notably from canon (especially if its author insisted it didn't! *grrr*), these days I am willing to see such fics as creative and interesting. I now think that using Tolkien's subcreation to explore an author's own ideas and themes can be acceptable, even good. Why, recently I have recommended stories that would make Tolkien spew his Elevenses if he saw what they had done with his subcreation! But I have found these stories wonderfully creative, and surprisingly, satisfyingly steeped in Tolkien's world even as they use that world as a springboard to explore worlds of their own.
Back to Mary Borsellino, having read her excellent essay, I confess I am quite looking forward to reading her fic. I love informed, insightful, creative thinking, set forth in good writing. Her essay is all that. If she can write such an essay, how could her fic be anything but well-written?
I still may end up hating what she does to the characters, but I am guessing I will enjoy watching her do it. *big grin*