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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin 8 Review(s)
The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 63 on 5/27/2005
I'm sorry I've been so slow reviewing this chapter. And a delightful chapter it was.

Poor Elladan! His leg is simply taking too long to heal. Not to mention that his helpers are...less than helpful. Maybe they won't allow any physical harm to come to him, but they sure do sharpen their wits on him.

Interesting thoughts about Aragorn and Arwen and the differences of life span. I imagine that it was difficult to watch Aragorn age before their eyes. But I thought that Elrohir's observation that Aragorn even outlived many men was most interesting. The agelessness of the elves is a strange concept when you think about it in practical terms. Must have been tough at times. All this talk made me think of Gimli. Where is he anyway? Is this set long after his passing? Maybe you addressed this earlier and I've just forgotten it.

One of things I like about these chapters is that you let the guys rib one another, but they always end with unconditional love and support. I like that.

I'm ready for the next one!


Author Reply: Elladan's leg is taking a while. Well, Elrohir thought that it was not impossible that he would lose it, so it isn't going to mend quite as quickly as most of their injuries. And he will make his brother and friend pay.

The whole age and species thing is very hard - I'm surprised Aragorn grew up able to deal with mortality, really, since he must have felt more of an elf than a man. And then he was caught in between, living twice as long as most men (provided he survived the orc and balrogs of outrageous fortune), but still a mere moment of time to elves.

And on time . . . Legolas sailed with Gimli some century into the Fourth Age, but I then have the twins, Celeborn, Glorfindel, Thranduil and various unnamed others remaining for about another 400 years. Dealing at first with men, but later retreating, abandoning Imladris and spending their final years in Middle Earth in Lasgalen. So, by the time they sailed, Gimli had died. I haven't actually decided how long it took them to settle and court - decades, certainly.

These three share experiences that bond them together as certainly as they are joined with their wives - although, of course, in a purely brotherly way. They don't have to be polite to each other - and an insult is, in a way, only a sign of affection. They couldn't go saying they love each other, now could they? It'd be girlie!

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 63 on 5/26/2005
Gosh, this series is good.

What lovely sentiments about Estel and Arwen. I wonder about the precious creatures in our lives whose span in shorter than ours and how we may appear to them.

I really liked Legolas' slight misinterpretation of a second childhood. But, he got his point across about acting like a child and being treated like one.

Oh yes, "small and fiddly" buttons, of course. Every lady should have a basic, little button-up dress. Good for all occasions.

A very nice episode of sad sighs and happy smiles.

Author Reply: I'm glad you like it!

It's strange how everything shifts when you try looking from a different perspective. They sometimes try to show the world from an animal's viewpoint in wildlife programmes - it's strange.

It must have been hard on Arwen to know that Aragorn would be around for such a short time - and to have to wait patiently for getting on for half his adult life to have her few moments of happiness with him. And odd for him - brought up among elves as one who would die and then to live among men with life spans half his.

Small and fiddly buttons. Needing the long nimble fingers of an elf. I'm sure Legolas will be only too happy to help her!

Aragorn may only have been around for a short time in their immortal lives, but he was quite key. Even without having married Arwen. I think they would remember him often. Although, by now, with love more than sadness probably.

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 63 on 5/26/2005
I'm just staying so behind. Sorry.

Poor Elladan. I remember the physical therapy after the broken leg. It is sooo ugly. I think he deserves to take a good, satifying revenge for Legolas and Elrohir giving him a hard time. The nemesis of an army of orcs cowering in dread before the elegant form of a single slight elleth. Smart mouth! :-) That line cracked me up. And it just went down hill from there--the elflings' pool!

I like the thoughts of Estel that you throw in these every now and again, both the because it is noce to see them remembering him and because they usually entail an interesting discussion of the type I like. I think both Legolas and Elrohir are both likely right. Being a mortal amongst elves would be so strange, wouldn't it?

Great job. I bet you love writing these. They are so cool.

Author Reply: They can say anything to each other - and not mind. I think that's one of the nicest and most sustaining parts of their relationship. And I'm sure Elladan will get his own back.

And this is therapy, right? Elladan needs the warmer water. And it will be easier to get him to do the exercises properly if it's not too deep.

Being a mortal among elves must be very hard on both sides, I reckon. And then I got to thinking about Aragorn's life span being about double all other men's - and that must be hard, too. Neither one thing nor the other.

I do really enjoy writing these. And no answers are ever required to the questions they ask, so they can throw anything in! (The next one turned very philosophical. But then Elladan demanded that I put something else in next, so it's now next but one.)

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 63 on 5/26/2005
I must say that I know just how Elladan feels this morning...and am none the happier for it. Fortunately, my pets are unable to chastize me quite so well as Elrohir and Legolas.

Author Reply: You have my sympathy! Elladan sends his - and asks if you would like him to send round his helpers and give him a day off. He can't send the pool, but he says that Elrohir has got very good at massage and Legolas can pour a mean Dorwinion.

Still - resting gives you plenty of opportunity to work on your history. Good to hear from you! Thanks.

LindeleaReviewed Chapter: 63 on 5/25/2005
Ah, delightful!

Helpful Legolas!

Legolas imitating Elrond? Is nothing sacred?

Elladan entering his second childhood... well, sort of, if insults were to come to rest, that is.

But somehow you also hit me in the pit of the stomach. I was just reading of Elessar's parting from Arwen again last night, you see.

Wish we had a warm pool in our backyard. Or even a cool one.

Author Reply: Legolas can do a pretty good Thranduil impression, too. Although I seem to recall E2 comparing it to a fluffy chick imitating an eagle.

You wouldn't want to stop them having the fun of insulting each other, would you? They're like cheesecake (sort of) - fluffy on the surface, but with rich depths.

I think the juxtaposition of triumph and tragedy, love and loss, selfishness and sacrifice is what makes LOTR so interesting - and such fun to play with. Poor Arwen. Poor Elrond. Poor Elessar. No neat and tidy endings and promises of eternal happiness. It's like putting the Scouring of the Shire there at the end, just when you think you've got to the peaceful return home.

Up to yesterday a hot water bottle would have been better than a pool here. But apparently it's going to be warm for three whole days and then get colder over the three day weekend. Of course.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 63 on 5/25/2005
Those two are putting Elladan on about calling Miriwen. If she has any sense at all, she'll let them deal with him while he's being so difficult.

Interesting speculation about what Aragorn's aging process might have made him feel. Some odd moments must have happened when Elves, Dwarves, and Men lived alongside one another with such different life spans.

Author Reply: She might be quite kind to Elladan actually. She knows he's been suffering. But, on the other hand, she would not be pleased with Elrohir and Legolas! They'll have fun once they're in the water. They can dive for shiny things and splash all they want and Elladan's leg will benefit from the exercise.

Bad enough with the different species living alongside each other with hugely different life spans - but the differences among the men are fairly huge, too. Aragorn might not have noticed much before he became king - too much of a wanderer - but after that, all his closest friends among men would have aged and died while he was still hale. He must have turned to the elves with relief. (And gained a better understanding of how they felt in relation to mortals, perhaps.)

lwarrenReviewed Chapter: 63 on 5/25/2005
This must be the Reflection you were talking about, Bodkin. I agree with Elrohir that the elves in Aragorn's life would be a constant he could always rely on - unchanging (for the most part) and steadfast in their loyalty and love for him. When he (Aragorn) was destined to outlive the other adult males in his life (except for Gimli), that must have been a comfort to hold on to.

Once again, I love the interaction between E2L - poor Elladan is having a time reconciling his weak leg and recovery with what he wants to do. And to have to do his exercises in the elfling humbling is that for a proud son of Elrond! Of course, Elrohir and Legolas have little patience with his procrastinating - using the threat of Miriwen was priceless! LOL She certainly wouldn't want to leave Ellanthir to take care of another big baby, that's for sure! :-) A wonderful addition to the whole set of reflections you are so aptly penning!

(only one more day, Bodkin...I don't know...I heard where the Houston Zoo needs some new squirrels and I think mine just might fit right in! Thinking about giving them a call...) :-)

Author Reply: It was! It was! Aragorn might well not have noticed others among men growing old so quickly before he became king, because he was never in one place long enough for the passage of years to make a difference, but I'm sure he found the company of elves a relief as the years passed. And he might have gained a perception of what it was like for the elves, maybe.

I'm sure the proud son of Elrond (good phrase) will soon be joined in the water by the other proud son of Elrond and a rather proud prince. They might tease Elladan, but they wouldn't let anyone else do so. Elladan might even make sure that they join him with their clothes on, too! Miriwen is good at managing her husband - and he knows it. It would only take a look. (And he knows better than to bother her just now.)

(Freedom! Freedom looms! Days free from the incessant chittering of little squirrel voices. I think the killer squirrels would make an excellent zoo exhibit - after all, they're a very rare species.)

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 63 on 5/25/2005
Poor Elladan! My sympathies are mostly with him in this chapter - how annoying it must be to have Elrohir and Legolas telling him that 'it will take time'! Swimming is no doubt the best therapy for him at the moment - and in a adult pool, the others would be able to join him - far better than the elfling's pool.

The thoughts of Aragorn are sad, as usual - but I really liked Elrohir's observation: ' In many ways I think he found our changelessness to be a relief at least he had no fear that we would decay into old age and death and leave him bereft. I'd never thought of it like that before!

Author Reply: Nothing is more infuriating than a slow recovery from injury - except having people hover over you while you have a slow recovery from injury.

The adult pools are further away. And quite a lot colder. And I have no doubt at all that Elrohir and Legolas will be joining him in the elflings' pool. Possibly fully clothed, too!

It occurred to me that if you were a man who lived about twice as long as everyone around you, it must be rather distressing to have lose your friends while you were still hale. A bit like being an elf (although less long term). It must be a relief to look at your elven friends and know that, barring accidents, they will be there for you always.

I wonder if Aragorn gained a better understanding of the emotional difficulties of elf/mortal friendship once he was no longer a wanderer and he had to watch his friends age and die?

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