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I originally included a brief version of these notes with Chapter One of this story; however, because this endeavor has been an intensely emotional process for me, I concluded that this work warrants a more comprehensive explanation of my motives for writing Gilraen as I did. I sincerely hope that readers will take the time to read these notes so that they may appreciate my rationale.
You will find that I write Gilraen and, to a lesser extent, Elladan differently from how we typically see them portrayed in fan fiction. Because we have so little canonical information on these characters' personalities, I don't think any of us can say with any certainty what they would have done in the circumstances in which I have placed them. My story presents merely one possible alternative.
But for my readers to understand my motives for presenting Gilraen, in particular, as I have, I must explain that Gilraen’s irrational and disturbing behavior is based on my own mother’s behavior after the death of my brother when I was one year older than Estel is in this story. Certain events are lifted directly from my own childhood, including, but not limited to, Gilraen’s look of disgust directed toward Estel and her “inappropriate” behavior toward the OC Lainon. Before my brother was killed, my mother was as doting a mother as there ever was. After her grief was less raw, she was again that doting mother (albeit an overly protective one. She had lost one child; she was not about to lose another). In fact, she told me years later that I was ultimately the reason she managed to live through her pain, even though by all appearances, she seemed to want to have nothing to do with me when her grief was raw. I have written Gilraen in the same vain; I envision her as a loving mother (you will note that in the first chapter I refer to her tenderness toward Estel before Arathorn’s death), who, through tragic circumstances, became temporarily crazed with grief. I imagine her as working through this grief and coming to a point where pain no longer so clouded her vision that she was blind to the blessings of motherhood in particular and life in general. So to those readers who find it difficult to imagine a mother behaving as Gilraen does in this story, all I can say is that I know from personal experience that Gilraen’s reactions in this story are plausible. Illogical, yes, but plausible. In fact, the illogical nature of Gilraen’s thoughts and actions is reflective of the entire point of the story: grief makes people behave in ways that they otherwise would not.
As for Elladan’s reactions, I ask you to suspend judgment during the first three chapters. All will become clear. You will find that his perspective on both Gilraen’s behavior and Celebrían’s departure is skewed. He, too, will need to work through unresolved grief that has resurfaced with Gilraen's presence in his home.
That, dear Readers, is all. Thank you for your indulgence.
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