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|Oak and Willow by Marnie||2 Review(s)|
|L*M||Reviewed Chapter: 12 on 12/3/2006|
|Okay, I've read the first twelve chapters and now I'm going to put down my thoughts so far. It may get long and a little disjointed.|
First off, as with your other work I've read, it was well-written and well-conceived. You create a vivid Doriath and make such characters as Galadriel, Daeron, Celeborn, and Thingol distinctive. Finrod, the All Around Nice Guy of the Noldor princes, is well-captured, with his generosity of mind and spirit.
I enjoyed the Sindar view of things. To name a few - the Sun and Moon. Okay, no big deal for the Noldor, maybe even a letdown after the Trees. But for the Sindar it was altogether new and terrifying. I had never thought anyone could consider the moon bright. No wonder the Elves had wonderful eyesight: They needed it, living in a world lit only by stars. (The comment that Celeborn's archers were training on the Noldor from 800 yards really struck me. 800 yards! Without scopes!) Also, writing. A small thing, but it was an interesting scene. And the Valar. It actually reminds me of a view Men would be more likely to take. The Feanorians could certainly hear criticism of the Valar, but considering how Finrod slapped down Andreth, I don't think he would have tolerated much from Celeborn.
One of the biggest things was the reaction to the Noldor. If Finwe hadn't died, it would have been much better for the Sindar and the Noldor. They should have been allies against Morgoth and to a degree they were, but the alliance was never easy. I enjoyed the little culture clash when Celeborn first met Angrod. They must have seemed very strange to each other, with much the other party didn't understand. On the Noldor's side, of course, was their lack of understanding and regard for the "primitive" Elves. Celeborn understands in a way they (initially, at least) don't. But it's curious that when Men - a race more unskilled and unwise - enter the scene, they meet hostility from the Sindar and Green-elves but friendship from the Noldor. Even Caranthir was quicker to see their value than Thingol.
I also found your take on Celeborn and Galadriel's romance well-done. Both Celeborn and Galadriel seem strong, fiery, sometimes foolishly so. Their marriage might not be the smoothest, but it could be strong. And I found the whole concept of the unshadowed Sindar protecting the cursed Noldor interesting. Didn't work for Finrod. "And so we are all ensnared." Thingol got sucked in, too clever by half with Beren and then becoming possessive of the Silmaril and not giving it to the Feanorians who, all sentiment aside, had the right of ownership. But maybe it worked for Celeborn and Galadriel. The saddest thing about the Doom of Mandos is the thousands of people who were, simply, collateral damage. Nothing personal, but that's the cost of casting your fortunes with people doomed by the Valar. But that's sometimes hard, especially with the Men who stumbled into the mess fleeing from Morgoth. Bereg and Amlach had a much better point than the Silmarillion seems to want to admit.
There were a few small things in the story I'd disagree with. One, that Nerdanel was "tamed" by Feanor. She stayed in Valinor and was one of the few people who kept her head and was not swept off by Feanor. It's probably one of the reasons Tolkien calls her, like Celeborn, "the wise". Two, the analogy between Galadriel and Maedhros at the end of Chapter 9. As unpleasant as Galadriel's situation was, it bears little resemblance to being tortured by Morgoth and then hung to a cliff by your wrist. Last, the line about "the twins" - I presume Amrod and Amras - "who preferred not to dine off silverware if they could get gold". Now, according to Tolkien, the woods of East Beleriand were wild but fair, and the Noldor went there only to hunt. But Amrod and Amras lived there and "came seldom North while the the Seige lasted". Turning amenities into luxuries seems incongruous with boycotting the great cities to live in a wild forest.
Well, I'll close now. I'm looking forward to finishing your story.
Author Reply: Thanks so much for a great review! I'm glad you've enjoyed the story so far, both on a romance level and on a canonical-speculation level :) I have to admit that I know very little about the Feanorians as I tend not to read about them in the Silm - it's a book where I only tend to re read the bits I liked. So I take your advice about the twins. Galadriel's using that metaphor is really more of a measure of her own tendancy to be melodramatic, rather than me thinking it was *really* equivalent :)
As for Nerdanel, she probably just grew up, but Galadriel saw it as her changing from this wide-travelling, adventurous woman to someone who was mainly taken up by trying to control her family - and she saw that as a diminishment, because she herself is still at the 'but I want to go everywhere and rule the world' stage.
I do think that Thingol's dream about Men is given too little weight in explaining the reaction of the elves of Doriath to Men. With the Green-elves it was clearly a competition for resources, which struck me as fair enough :)
Celeborn and Galadriel seem to fall foul of the Doom of Mandos on a lot of occasions, it's just that after everything has gone to pieces on them they keep trying again and again (and losing everything again and again), until finally Galadriel leaves. After which Celeborn only has to cope with the increasing humanization of the world :) He would have been wiser, perhaps, not to marry her at all!
|elliska||Reviewed Chapter: 12 on 10/10/2004|
|The angst in this chapter is incredible. Galadriel's reaction when Celeborn would not wipe away her tears or touch her so as not to push her right down to when she thought of how she was tainted and hesitated to to accept him...too perfect. This is so wonderfully done. I must rush to the next chapter.|