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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin 9 Review(s)
elliskaReviewed Chapter: 65 on 6/23/2005
Sorry. Buried at work again. I loved this discussion. You do have to wonder what Eru was thinking with Men and their differences from Elves. But these characters are particularly suited to have this conversation and you got all the angles on it. Great chapter.

Author Reply: Take a vacation. This is not a good time of year to be buried in anything except sand!

It is interesting to consider why Eru created both elves and men - and why he made them different. I wonder if some of the elves - in their long endurance of grief and loss - envied men the chance to separate themselves from Arda and move beyond it to the unknown? And whether some would have exchanged the Blessed Realm for the chance?

The safety of their children must have been a consolation to these three, who had all suffered loss - and probably made up for rather too many hot afternoons without that much to challenge them.

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 65 on 6/23/2005
This seems an extremely profound, philosophical conversation for a hot afternoon! Their musings on the differences and imperfections of the two kindreds are interesting - but I like Elladan's observation best: '‘Is it the part of our heritage that comes from men that makes us so irresistible?’ Well, I certainly fnd them irresistible!

He'd better be careful, too, on making blond jokes - I'd not realised just how much the twins were outnumbered there :)


Author Reply: I don't think they had enough energy to debate the topic with any seriousness! But it could be that element of Edain blood that adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the general elvish attractiveness of the twins! That or the devil-may-care glint in their eyes combined with their caring natures.

There are a lot of powerful blonds around them, aren't there, and you wouldn't want to cross any of them. Perhaps especially not Nimloth and Aewlin. Their revenge could be the most painful of them all! Though Celebrian's could be the wittiest.

LeawardReviewed Chapter: 65 on 6/22/2005
Bodkin, once again you have made me chuckle while still writing a lovely short story with depth!

The first paragraphs had me chuckling but the gem hidden amongst the lines was:

Do you think that the Firstborn might have been an experiment on Eru’s part and that he then took out the elements that displeased him when he made men?’

That is such a deep thought. It must have made the elves wonder why Eru felt it necessary to create a second people. And all the other elements, why couldn't they walk across the top of snow, and why were they're ears different? All genuinely good questions.

‘And yet,’ his brother said, ‘I do not miss losing them.’ And depth again! The joy of having known them, yet the despair of having to watch them age and die while you have barely changed.

Then lightness again with: "Even if they are among the most recent products of an early experiment"

Lovely! I don't know how you write so many layers with so many words!

Author Reply: Yes - and they have so long to think about such things! They must have wondered about the gift - do you think that sometimes they would have envied it? Immortality is all very well, but the years must have weighed very heavily on them at times. And in the - well - rather undemanding peace of the Blessed Realm, do you think the adventurous among the elves would rather have wished for the unknown? (That is, if the BR was peaceful. Somehow, if you picture elves like the sons of Feanor and the more snarky among the Noldor - together with some of the more strong-minded of the other houses - it's quite difficult to picture elves living in total peace and harmony until the end of days.)

And over time Elrond's house particularly were exposed to so many short-lived men - you would have thought they would keep their distance. Yet Arwen and Aragorn are the two who really bind this threesome together - more than anything else, the House of Telcontar is the link between them.

Looking at their children and knowing they are safe and will be for as long as Arda endures must be a huge consolation for them.

The thing with few words is that you can pose the questions, but you don't have to come up with any answers!

LiannaReviewed Chapter: 65 on 6/22/2005
Oh, dear. I'm afraid I was identifying with Eru when I read this one.

I'm a parent with two almost-grown children, and sometimes it seems to me that the first one was "for practice." I made so many more stupid mistakes raising him than I did with his younger sister. Sometimes, I'm amazed that he survived and has turned into a relatively normal college student.

Eru may not have meant the Elves as an experiment, but perhaps that is indeed the way it turned out.

Author Reply: How true! And by the second (and even more the third) you know that you really don't need to worry frantically because his friend is a bit further on in his reading, or can play chess. It all evens out in the end. I think kids are a lot more resistant than we often think. Otherwise they wouldn't be able to survive their siblings - no-one can put more stress on a kid than its sibling! But, on the other hand, kids with siblings have better rubbing-along-with-others skills.

Eru might have thought ahead and planned in all the differences between elves and men for a reason - but he doesn't see why he should explain what it is!

And these three have quite a lot of time on their hands in these post-orc-slaying days - philosophical questions are bound to occur to them at times. When they can't avoid it.

Nice to hear from you!

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 65 on 6/22/2005
What an interesting discussion. I suppose it's always hard to understand our lot in life at times. We question what in the world Eru was thinking when he created us and left us to our own devices. Man or elf...we have our moments.

A failed experiment? Possibly or possibly nothing more than the difference between a honey bee and a bumble bee. Both are bees, but both have different functions. Different songs to sing in the weaving in Arda's existence. Who knows, but you've got me waxing all philosophical this morning and I'm not hitting on all cylinders yet. I need a slug of that Dorwinion to get into the swing of things! :>)

I liked the end where the three not-so-very serious philosophers decide that having their children with them throughout the ages is enough. They certainly know what it's like to lose someone they love and for a parent, that would be the hardest loss of all. Poor Elrond. I'm feeling bad for him again.

Nice chapter and very interesting. I'll think about this question more when I've had another cup of coffee.


Author Reply: I'm sure Eru knew what he was doing - but it is interesting to speculate. And this lot have the rest of Arda on their hands - I'm sure all kinds of ideas pop into their heads on lazy summer afternoons or late in the dark nights of winter. I wonder if there are any Elven philosophers, whose works are studied by young elves?

Yes, these three have had more than enough of loss - and for all the boredom I suspect they suffer at times, they will only have to look at their children and know that they will not lose their mothers to enemy action or their beloved friends to old age to realise that there is something to be said for life in the Blessed Realm.

Coffee sounds good. But avoid too much speculation - it just makes the brain hurt.

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 65 on 6/22/2005
They really should have been drinking Dorwinion and in the late hours of the night to have this discussion! I do like that they really do not understand Men or how they are made or what happens beyond the circles of the world, though. All they can do is speculate and wonder, though obviously the peredhil had so much contact with them they did find much to admire, as well.

Author Reply: It is rather a late night, alcohol inspired conversation - but it's the next best opportunity - an airless, hot lazy summer afternoon, when even the bees are too weary to bother buzzing.

They can't know - and they will never find out - why Men have been created to be different. Perhaps, one day, beyond the end of days, they might find out, be reunited with their loved ones and then the elves will be the followers.

These elves are open enough that they can admire, even when they don't understand - but I suspect that Aman is full of those who see nothing at all to admire in Men. Although they would except any they knew personally - 'of course, Tuor, I don't mean you. You're different. You're OK - almost like one of us.'

And, by the way, Happy Birthday. What a lovely day to have a birthday - almost the longest day to enjoy it.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 65 on 6/22/2005
You do have to kind of wonder why Eru made the second born. I hadn't thought about that. And you don't give me an answer!

Author Reply: There are no answers! Only more questions.

Rose SaredReviewed Chapter: 65 on 6/22/2005
Oh Bodkin, very interesting. I suppose that at least the edain are represented in the bloodlines, so the Valar are being ambiguous at best. Fascinating.
Love these tales

Author Reply: The Valar are good at being ambiguous! They are even better than the elves at saying yea and nay in the same breath.

I've forgotten just how much edain there is in E2 - although it decreases in each succeeding generation - but there are also Earendil and Elwing and Tuor in Aman. And probably Dior, if he has been rehoused. And Elured and Elurin.

I love doing these - they are such a great chance to throw in a few stray thoughts and just let them float on the ether!

Thank you.

lwarrenReviewed Chapter: 65 on 6/22/2005
LOL Now I KNOW that these three have too much time on their hands...or *strokes chin thoughtfully* perhaps any and all beverages of the alchoholic variety should be locked up around them, as it seems they have waxed uncommonly philosophical! LOL (again!)

I tell you, Bodkin, these 3 either crack me up...or make me cry, and sometimes a little bit of both. Where in the world did this thought come from? An experiment of Eru's gone wrong? LOL Perhaps they should be informed that the Creator doesn't make mistakes, but considers variety the 'spice' of life! I loved this discussion - especially Legolas and his comment about him being an example of 'perfection'! That, of course, left him wide open to observations of blonde heads being full of dandelion fluff...which led to threats of telling all the other blondes in their lives (i.e. Celeborn, Celebrian, Galadriel, Thranduil, etc.) who, I'm sure would NOT be amused! :-)

And then they go on to those hilarious observations about the Secondborn (wallowing in mud because of heavy feet, round ears...I felt insulted on the behalf of all humans LOL). I suppose the comment that cut deepest for all was the fact that they would be missed, although their dying so swiftly would not. *sniff* Once again that little hint of grief and sadness that is so much a part of these three...

The end was funny, with the worry that Elrohir's daughters would give him fits for choosing the life of the elves for them and not giving them a choice! I can just hear those 2 bedeviling their ada about it!

Once more, a wonderful addition to the pearls of wisdom uttered during an E2L discussion! And there really were, under all the banter and laughing, some very serious thoughts. Great, Bodkin!


Author Reply: They do have a tendency to wax philosophical at times - and wind each other up! It is interesting, though, to ponder on the differences between men and elves - and why? I don't know that they're being that serious about it.

Yes, there are plenty of blond heads around the twins who had better not hear of the 'dandelion fluff' remark! They might take revenge. I somehow think that Celebrian might be the most dangerous. It could be beneath Galadriel's dignity to torment her grandsons - and Celeborn surely understand male bonding rituals and insults.

Elves (of Arda, at least) must have a broad sad streak - everything passes, except them. Even mountain ranges wear down to the sea and they are still there. For those who dealt with - and loved - the people who inhabited the land grief must have followed them everywhere they went. And for E2L it's more than just abstract sorrow - it's family.

Yes - Aewlin and Nimloth are likely to be indignant about having their choice taken from them - just on principle, but E2L are doubtless delighted to know that their offspring will be at their sides for ever. They, after all, understand the alternative.

Thank you - I'm glad you liked it!

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