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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin 6 Review(s)
The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 57 on 4/1/2005
Again, I've fallen behind on reviewing. High school baseball season is in full swing, plus end of the year concerts, etc, and I'm changing my 'mama' hat every few minutes it seems.

Since I read this chapter, it's been on my mind. I reread it this morning, and I have to say that the peaceful, reflective quality of it was just what I needed.

The descriptions of how these three felt when they viewed the wide open plains of Rohan were just beautiful. I could feel the strangeness they felt with being in such open and then the awe they felt at the magnificent view. I loved the comparison of Estel and Eomer. Both men had such an appreciation of the land, but Eomer's came as naturally as breathing. Estel had to learn to see the world through the eyes of his people. Wonderful observation.

I loved Legolas's thoughts about the twins too. They're individuals, but are still united in a way unique unto them. Very nice.

The memories stirred in these three were so poignant. They had stood witness to the salvation of Middle-earth from Sauron and knew firsthand the cost of that victory.

I truly enjoyed this chapter. It was very well done!


Author Reply: Having caught up on the reading - (we went to Bruges for a few days. Very beautiful city. Lots of cobbles. Lots of walking. Buildings dating from the 11th century,) - I'm now catching up on replying!

It turned out different to what I intended, did this one. But I rather liked the direction it took, so allowed it to do what it wanted.

I think Imladris wasn't anywhere near as forest-ish as Lasgalen, but I couldn't imagine it being without trees - and the sheer openness of Rohan would be quite unnerving, I would think. I've only seen huge grassy plains courtesy of the television, but we visited Uluru (aka Ayer's Rock) last year and spent an evening out in the middle of this huge red emptiness with nothing but sky - it's impressive, and I'm no elf. Eomer is close to the land and the horses and people in a very instinctive way - and I think elves would respond to that. Whereas Estel, of course, has the discipline of long training - and they would understand that, too! Plus he has a natural touch of elvishness and the love of a good elleth.

The twins spent a long time in their own diamond chrysalis after Celebrian's ordeal and it possibly strengthened a bond already strong - but they are different and their families are allowing them to explore those differences in a way they never could in Middle Earth.

E2L will always be unlike the elves who were born in the Blessed Realm and know only its safety - and they are right that there should be some time each year when the community think about what could have been and what elves and others paid in order to defeat evil. And they are in a good position to see that it happens, too.

Thank you.

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 57 on 3/28/2005
This was touching - and very nice to think that the memory of Middle-earth and the bravery and courage of the mortal races will be told in elvenhome, for their lives were interwoven with those same mortals. And none more than the half-elven are aware of what price was paid. I hope they have a grand celebration.

Author Reply: Thank you. It didn't start off meaning to go quite so deeply into their memory of their friends, but they are quite right - the elves need to remember what the mortal races did and to understand that they are different but have an equally important part to play in Eru Iluvatar's plan. Elrond's whole family, up and down the generations has been paying since the sun first rose - and I think some of the smug elves patting themselves on the back for sitting at the feet of the Valar over time need to remember that, too.

E2L are in a pretty good position to establish a new tradition - they can start it in their own realms and then they have Galadriel Finarfiniel to exert her influence on the Noldor, Celeborn on the Sindar, Earwen for the Teleri, Thranduil (and Laerwen) to jig up the Silvan. Melian for the Maiar? There are advantages to having strong ties to all the kindreds. And then, of course, there's Olorin to guilt the Valar into joining in. It should end up quite a party. With major lays to ensure that everyone knows exactly why they are there.

lwarrenReviewed Chapter: 57 on 3/28/2005
This was such a fascinating little piece about how the song of the stars would affect an elf in a wide open space. If I take the meaning right (about making their bones ache), the uninterrupted (by trees and such) song was so strong as to be almost overwhelming (or am I completely off base here?). Then the remembrances of Rohan lead to the discussions of Eomer, and then of course to Aragorn and Arwen and Frodo and all those they have lost. I am so glad they see the importance of remembering what sacrifices those of mortal blood made that, in the end, affected the lives of the elves. And I am with E2L, they deserve to be remembered. Wonderful!!

Legolas' thoughts about the twins was great, too. They have grown up now and lead their own lives, but still...two halves of a whole no matter the time and lives they lead apart. Fascinating reminders of their very different read about it in the stories, but it was fun to hear Legolas think about each one of his friends.

Once again, lovely language pictures, Bodkin. I think once Elladan, Elrohir, and Legolas have recruited everyone to plan this celebration, it would make a terrific "news report" for us poor, earth-bound readers! HEADLINE NEWS: SONS OF ELROND AND THRANDUIL ESTABLISH NEW HOLIDAY! LOL :-) (ummm....hinthint). Thank you for another great addition to "Reflections..." .


Author Reply: No, that is exactly what I meant. I think the intensity of uninterrupted sky and exposure to the stars would be quite painful to elves, until they grew more accustomed to the experience. (I was just musing to daw that maybe that's one thing that ties elves to forests. And it has just occurred to me to wonder about the pain of the sea longing and wonder whether the vast expanse of open water and sky is linked in with why that is such an overwhelming experience to elves.)

It is quite interesting (to me anyway) that this went as intended until E2L got to talking about Rohan and then went off determinedly in its own direction. (I looked back and tried to put the name of Boromir in, too, as he ended up the only member of the Fellowship not mentioned, but I couldn't find a place where he fitted without disrupting the rest of the conversation.) They do deserve to be remembered in the Blessed Realm - and, between them, E2L, Galadriel and Mithrandir are in a pretty good position to push others - Finarfin, the Valar and so on - into making it so.

The twins are two halves at times - they could pull on their self-containment easily as elflings, but I think they honed it to adamant after Celebrian was tormented. They tend not to do it on purpose now, but it's there and any intrusion into painful matters brings down the shield. (It must frustrate their wives immensely.)

It'll take them a while to get the new tradition established - Elladan has a baby to get born yet, but you're right - they do need to report back on their progress. I wonder if it'll need opening out to more characters though.

Thank you for commenting. Best wishes to you and the killer squirrels.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 57 on 3/28/2005
A few years ago, I moved from a wooded part of the world to the prairie. Granted, I lived in a city before, but even there, trees sprang up without any encouragement in yards and even in unwanted places like gutters. You had to hack them down or they'd take over. And here, we've been nourishing two little maples in our front yard and I despair of them ever getting big enough to shade our house. The wind and the drier soil keep them from flourishing. And I feel completely unsheltered. So I know how the twins and Legolas felt.

Author Reply: We don't have wide prairies and deep forests - everything's been farmed for too many centuries. But this part of the country does go in for beech copses and oak woodland. And, come to that, stands of silver birch and Forestry Commission pines. A countryside without trees seems to me to be very - well, naked.

We were in Australia last year (cousin's wedding anniversary yesterday - congratulations M and N) and went on this evening thing at Uluru (the monument formerly known as Ayer's Rock) and there we were, sitting in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to be seen but a sky full of alien constellations. It is quite intimidating to be a small creature in the middle of so much space.

For elves, with their connection to growing things and the land, it must be somewhere between painful and euphoric as they are cut off from treesong and exposed to the older, deeper, relentless song of the making. (I wonder if they took to trees to shield themselves.)

Never been to the prairies (well - any part of America), but I would miss trees. I hope yours grow. (Perhaps you should sing to them.)

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 57 on 3/28/2005
What a very nice tribute to YestarŽ! I imagine that after Frodo, Sam and Gimli passed, it was very easy for the elves to forget (and even when they were there, they were likely dismissed by some). But they deeds were great and deserving of the Elves' rememberance. I really enjoy hearing these three remember their lost friends and plan how to honor them. That was really nice. Silly as it sound's, it made me a little teary. :)

Author Reply: Everthing to do with mortals must seem so ephemeral to immortals who didn't have them as such an important part of their lives. And they can truthfully say here 'my wife doesn't understand me'. Miriwen might have a bit more of a grasp - she did spend some time training in Imladris, but the other two can never have met one of the Secondborn (except possibly Tuor, who is hardly typical anyway.)

Setting up an elven tradition will give them something to take passionately over the next century or so - and none can be in a better position to start something like that than the sons of Thranduil and Elrond, or the (g-) grandsons of Galadriel/Celeborn and Finarfin/Earwen. The ellyn have CONNECTIONS.

This reflection didn't start out to mourn their mortal friends - or to celebrate the victory over Sauron, but hey, that's what they wanted to talk about.

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 57 on 3/28/2005
This was a lovely chapter. I loved E2L reminiscing about the sky and stars of Rohan - and especially Elrohir's comment about the 'star song'. It seemed so very elfy. I also liked Legolas's observation of the differences between the twins, yet how at times like this they still seem like 'two halves of the same shell. I always like to see the contrast between their differences and similarities, and their closeness.

I agree with E2L - celebrate the new year, so that all remember it!


Author Reply: Thank you. It didn't go where it was meant to at all - but that happens sometimes with these. E2L just spark off and head in their own direction. Fortunately, since there is absolutely no plot, they can pretty much take their heads.

The vastness of a sky over a huge treeless plain can seem a little overwhelming to poor humans - and who better to hear star song than the grandsons of Gil Estel.

I think the twins can still pull that shell round themselves at times, to hold off the rest of the world. It grew to be a defence after Celebrian was wounded - and it must frustrate their wives enormously when they shrug it on. Not that they need it much now.

By 'next year' they might have got something up and running - they will have to find another anniversary to go off and celebrate in private by talking over old times.

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