If you haven’t read it yet, do check out Aliana’s Bechdel fic “Archer’s Pardox.”
This is about one of the Northern Dunedain women and was written for Aliana’s recent challenge for an adventure story that satisfied the Bechdel test (essentially, having two female characters who interacted about something other than a man). This story has that, and though the women are all OFC’s, that’s not all that surprising given it’s Tolkien we’re talking about. And the Northern Dunedain; canon characters are hard to come by. These OCs are fully fleshed out and there isn’t a hint of Sueishness about them. In fact, the man OC, Thorondis, is a breath of fresh air for both her perseverance and her common-sense approach to the old stories. (I found myself laughing at her reaction to Aredhel’s white gowns!)
The action scene itself is also really well done with quick pacing and pertinent details without descending into gore for gore’s sake. Of course some people will have varying tolerances for this kind of thing, and there is a fair amount of grizzly details, both in the backstory and the action scene. (Actually, I was most affected by details from the clean-up work.) There’s also references to miscarriages. But those details are perfectly situated in a world that makes sense, and they contribute to the sense of a long, wearying struggle. I couldn’t help thinking of Aragorn’s comments to Boromir at the Council of Elrond, and thinking that these people fit right into that world.
Ultimately, there’s hope, though. You have to squint to see it and it’s not dwelt upon as fits these characters, but it’s definitely there. Nicely done, Ali!