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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin 12 Review(s)
elliskaReviewed Chapter: 76 on 11/16/2005
Hehehe! Great. They get silly in a boat and end up saving a family. Lucky for everyone involved indeed. This was really well written they way it dropped bit by bit. And although they do deserve some good luck every now and again, I liked this line: The look on Adar’s face suggests he knows that we are not quite the heroes of the hour we seem to be. *Snort* They will never get away completely with anything, will they? Loved it. :-)

Author Reply: Sons of Elrond and grandsons of Galadriel - I doubt they ever expect to get away with anything!! Even when no-one says anything, the lifted eyebrow or bland smile will announce - 'yeah, right!'

But Celebrian is fiercely supportive and their wives are loyal - selective vision rules. But they don't delude themselves, which is good.

They came out of this smelling of roses, but they know they were lucky - what they forget to notice is that, if they hadn't been quick and strong and skilled, even luck wouldn't have pulled this one out of the water!

Thank you.

EllieReviewed Chapter: 76 on 11/14/2005
Well, at least they were in the right place at the right time. These little anecdotes are too funny!

Author Reply: Thank you. I do find these fun - they're like a night out! And the cards have to fall right sometimes. Mind you - if they weren't skilled and quick and confident, their rescue mission might not have worked at well as it did! But they are also modest enough not to think of it that way.

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 76 on 11/13/2005
You know I love these little snippets of life in The Blesses Realm and enjoy them all. But as I was reading this one, I was struck with what a good job you did of hooking the reader. You dangled the first line, then the second and so forth, each line adding just a little more information to the story until I was about the burst to find out what had happened. When I got to the end and realized how you had sucked me in faster than a wind tunnel cranked up on high, first I was awed, then I laughed, then I returned to being awed. You really do this well and have throughout the series, but this time, I was putty in your hands.

The little tale was such fun. As always you had a point and made some wonderful observations about life in general. These two passages were great: ‘What counts,’ Elladan said seriously, ‘is trying. If you spend too much time worrying about how history will see you, you will never do anything. And it is always easy to look back and say how things could have been done better.’ And: ‘Good fortune,’ Legolas murmured, ‘is made up of a hundred hundred small sacrifices and choices, most of which pass unregarded.’ The look on his face told his friends immediately who was in his mind.

Absolutely delightful. I love to be swept away!


Author Reply: Thank you! Putty, huh? I enjoy these ones that are really completely unconnected to everything else that's going on in this world - but I do wonder if they come across. It would appear that you think they do! I'm delighted.

These three can't help coming out with some observations about life, the universe and everything. And the past. Well - elves have so much past. And Aragorn / Arwen and the War of the Ring make a pretty important chunk of it. And they have time to develop principles and understanding of morality - Elrond and Thranduil have made pretty good teachers and examples of how to live your life.

I'm glad you enjoyed the ride.

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 76 on 11/11/2005
Am so glad the Legolas remains conscious of the rest of the Fellowship even now. And love this Series of Fortunate Events, each just happening providentially....

Now, just what reward do these REALLY deserve?

And love the admonition to avoid bad poetical language.

Author Reply: They deserve a bit of luck every now and then! And, of course, were they not quick-thinking, skilled, generous-hearted elves, then all the good fortune in the world wouldn't allow them the happy outcome.

Legolas and the twins will never forget the rest of the Fellowship - and Arwen. To most of those in the Blessed Realm, they are no more than a story of heroism and sacrifice, but to these three, they are family. All of them - hobbits, dwarf, men and elf.

(Elladan gets a bit carried away from time to time - but Elrohir can't let him use purple prose. Even at a moment like this!)

Rose SaredReviewed Chapter: 76 on 11/11/2005
Oh what a lovely idea - a series of fortunate events!
Most enjoyable, well done.

Author Reply: Sometimes the dice fall right. Downward spirals of disaster must, on occasion, be countered by upward spirals. We just don't, as a rule, expect them. E2L didn't expect it! But it happened.

Thank you - I'm glad you liked it. How are your muses? Are you feeding them champagne and strawberries? Hot chocolate and marshmallows? First-born children? Or whatever they require before they will let you put fingers to keyboard?

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 76 on 11/11/2005
A lovely Reflection on a day of reflection about those who have served.

As usual, the light banter cloaks a heavy truth about the people who take up responsibilty for the well-being of others, facing danger in the way fate and opportunity presents it to them.

"What counts," Elladan said seriously, "is trying. If you spend too much time worrying about how history will see you, you will never do anything. And it is always easy to look back and say how things could have been done better."
The elf who would answer neither yes nor no, who does not dare to be 'more dangerous', accomplishes nothing and stops no one.

"They succeeded beyond all hope," Elladan said, grasping his friend's shoulder. "Then accepted the responsibility that came with it. And they received the reward they deserved. Of that I am certain."
A happy life depends very much on good luck and good will. However, the brave act under indeterminable circumstances with what wisdom and means they possess - when they can, not when it is easy, safe, or convenient. And passive resistance is bravery in the face of overwhelming odds; it has sometimes won the battle.

"It stands to reason," Elladan mused, "that, if bad things lead to worse, there should be good chances that lead to better."
Tolkien prefered history to allegory. I think he shows us very clearly that good things do come out of bad and vice-versa, despite any good or bad intentions. The course of events do so often come down to individual bravery. Alone or together with others. And sometimes in its rawest form, the spilling one's own blood. Sacrifice and redemption made with both love and reason.

Ai, you touched a chord in me, Bodkin. There have been many good soldiers in my family and not all of them have received what would be considered their deserved rewards. But when asked why someone would choose armed service, we have had always answered because they are brave. After that, it is just good fortune and good judgement. We need to honor such bravery - especially when it comes with good intentions.

Author Reply: Elladan and Elrohir have had long enough to evolve their own principles to build on those they were taught as elflings - even if they don't usually spend much time talking about them. And I reckon that doing what you can, regardless of its cost on yourself is something they would have learned from their earliest childhood. And they recognise it in others.

We tend to notice spirals of disastrous events more than good fortune - which we are more likely to take as our due - but things can spin both ways. Here they have been lucky - but they have also been quick-witted and brave. And skilled.

Doing what you must. When 'must' means self-discipline, honour and principle, rather than compulsion. And the desire for recognition doesn't even make the count.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 76 on 11/11/2005
Loved the fast pace of this one, and the funny, self deprecating approach the twins have to themselves and all their doings... it is as if they were always making a parody out of themselves, which is very amusing. But I believe that I laughed out the loudest at Elrohir's bold, cheeky, last remark about oropher,that was a parting shot indeed! I love how they manage to involve everybody into their own "cut to size" strategy!

Author Reply: The twins have learned that being self-deprecating defuses anyone else's mockery. They like to keep their serious - and their sweet - sides hidden. But they have them. In quantity. And they are right that chance events often lead to disaster - but there should be an opposite effect.

Poor Oropher - if his headstrong charge had worked, he would have been a hero. History is quite unforgiving. And written by those who were still standing at the end.

DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: 76 on 11/11/2005
What a nice conversation! I could just *see* all that happening with the oars and the boat and the after another, like dominoes tumbling.

But this I liked best: Good fortune,’ Legolas murmured, ‘is made up of a hundred hundred small sacrifices and choices, most of which pass unregarded.’ The look on his face told his friends immediately who was in his mind.

Yes, indeed. Legolas still and ever will miss his mortal friends, especially the smallest of them, and especially that one who sacrificed most.

I sometimes would like to see a story in which somehow Frodo and Sam had lasted until Legolas and Gimli arrived. But I suppose to have lost them again after that would have been even harder...

Author Reply: Dominoes tumbling! That was just the image I had. And, usually, such inevitability is disastrous - but sometimes it must just fall right! Of course, had they not been strong and skilled and experienced and quick-thinking, it could still have turned bad, but they probably wouldn't think of that. Their heads, both dark and fair, although pretty, are not overly swelled!

I do think Legolas is right - (I should since I put the words in his mouth) - and that the constant small decisions build up to more than one big showy display. They will all miss their mortal friends and kin - and live in hope that, one day, they will be reunited in the days beyond time.

It's over 120 years before Legolas and Gimli sail, isn't it? I suppose Frodo and Sam could have survived - time in the Blessed Realm works differently, I should think. Feels different, anyway. But it would be hard on Legolas to find and lose them again. Especially right on top of losing Aragorn and Arwen. And knowing that Gimli's time was likely to be short. Could be interesting though. You're right.

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 76 on 11/11/2005
Ooh, I missed Celumin (very nice reward indeed) and now we have the terrible trio actually falling into heroism and good fortune! Yeah for them.... and I am sure Elrond is thankful, despite knowing that they were merely in the right place at the right time, and likely the tree kept them from being in the wrong river at the wrong time....

The end though, is bittersweet.

Author Reply: They don't seem to be able to avoid the insertion of sad thoughts. But they wouldn't want NOT to keep the memory alive. It is important to them to keep these people close to their hearts.

But they deserve a bit of good fortune every now and then. Even if it does bewilder them rather! And this is rather too powerful a river to find yourself being swept away, so the elfing's good luck was theirs too.

Celumil is happy to settle for being well-fed and admired at the moment. She will save any more for later. But she thanks you for your good thoughts.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 76 on 11/11/2005
Really nice use of dialogue to tell us a funny story, Bodkin. These three were lucky and they know it!

Author Reply: They were lucky - but they deserve a bit of good fortune every now and then. Usually it's disaster upon disaster - but the Valar were smiling on them here. It's confused them. They're not used to it.

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