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Just In Case  by Marnie 15 Review(s)
whitewaveReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/28/2008
Very promising intro to an entertaining chapter. The intro seemed ominous at first, but it definitely drew me in! It's all so plausible and I think this is a great gap-filler.

I liked the flashback scene to Ost-in-Edhil and his encounter with Aulendil--it really underscores Celeborn's quiet/steady power and explains the reason/s why he is not insecure about Galadriel's more showy attributes. His parting line with the Maia defines his personality a lot: succinct yet strong a true tactician.

The part where he orders his guard to do whatever means necessary to protect the ring is so in-character for how you portray Celeborn. Under your hand, he comes through for me as being truly "wise".

Author Reply: Thank you, Whitewave! Hee! It was certainly my aim, when I started trying to write Celeborn, to take his nickname 'Celeborn the Wise' at face value and to try and examine the things Tolkien says about him and the things he does in the canon and figure out in what way he must have been wise. I'm very glad if you think I succeeded :) I do think that Galadriel herself was too strong and sensible a person to pick a man who couldn't have matched her in some ways at least.

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/9/2004
Bemused. After all - a paralysis that lasted centuries must have left him feeling pretty wierd. Though why she has sausages in her hair . . . . Perhaps that's what's causing the strange expression.

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/9/2004
Yes, but he could FEEL that he'd lost her at this point, without that actually being the case. They must both have been in rather a state - and possibly feeling rather jaded and cynical about the results of their several ages of effort. Once things had settled down he would have realised that, once healed, she would be the Galadriel he loved, only better and without the ring - and that her love, that had endured through everything they had put up with, would only be augmented as her pain eased.

(I really just want him to go, right! And their love to grow without the pressures of rings and dooms. And I think it would be really entertaining if they became parents again. Not very likely perhaps, but very entertaining. Imagine - Celeborn with baby puke in his long silver locks . . . Galadriel walking up and down night after night with a squealing infant on her shoulder and her silver-gilt hair unbrushed.)

Author Reply: LOL! Bejai's 'The End of Days' convinced me that it was too unbearably sad if he never sailed. I just put it off for several millenia longer than anyone else :) But I agree it would be nice for them to be parents again - though no child of theirs would *ever* throw up or squeal, of course!

I liked the Burne-Jones picture very much. Yes, I could see him as Thingol, though he doesn't look very happy at the sight of her.

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/9/2004
It's early for joined-up thinking, but . . .

his farewell to Aragorn; 'may your doom be other than mine, and your treasure remain with you to the end'

do you think it could be emotional, rather than physical? That he is hoping that mortality and the prospect of death do not break the love between Aragorn and Arwen, and that he could be talking of a shattering of the emotional bond between himself and Galadriel in the wake of the destruction of the ring and the fading of Nenya? Galadriel is in quite a fragile state - or I don't think she would have sailed. (I can't see her being desperately keen to return to a world where she is the daughter / subject / student of the Valar, for all her sea-longing and thoughts of home.) She's not physically frail as Celebrian seems to have been, but she is psychologically at the end of her tether and Celeborn could feel that he has lost her in ways other than the physical.

Author Reply: That's possible, but I would find that much, much more sad than the idea that their love remained but mere physical distance seperated them.

Part of the reason Galadriel gives for rejecting the Ring is the desire to 'remain Galadriel'. Given that the name 'Galadriel' is a sort of love-token given to her by Celeborn, to me the desire to remain Galadriel is a desire to keep love alive. She would lose that if she either took the ring, or lingered in ME to suffer more Sea longing.

Of course, if 'treasure' doesn't mean 'your wife' but instead means 'the land you love', this could refer to how painful Celeborn is going to find it to sail West. It could be interpreted as 'may you keep *both* your love and your newfound kingdom until the end.' In which case it would be an indication that he might intend to sail at some point, when he can bear it.

Typical elf - packs a great deal of ambiguity into a sentence that looks completely straightforward :)

LOTR loverReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/8/2004
Marnie, your Celeborn is indeed wise, and this story proves without a doubt that his marriage to Galadriel had to be Eru-inspired!

Your characterizations of Celeborn and Annatar are wonderful. I felt a thrill of Celeborn's own shock at his what-was-I-thinking? realization. "Annatar was right?...Sauron was right?"

And his command to shoot even himself or Galadriel if they tried to take something of Frodo's--perfect!

Wonderful story.

Author Reply: Thanks for the review, LotR Lover! I do think they managed to combine the best of both worlds - but then I am biased ;)

Annatar was rather fun to write, which is worrying. I should probably arrange to have myself shot before deciding to take him on as a resident muse :)

I'm very glad you liked it. Thanks again.

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/8/2004
Do you think he would have had 'no intention at all of ever going West' once Celebrian had been forced to sail? I see him as a very devoted father - and even though his and Galadriel's love was very profound and would draw him, in my head Celebrian's presence in Valinor would provide the extremely strong lure that would take him one day. Not soon - not even in the foreseeable future - but eventually, once he felt that he had done all he could.

Author Reply: I know I'm kind of in a minority, but to me his farewell to Aragorn; 'may your doom be other than mine, and your treasure remain with you to the end' sounds to me like the complaint of a man who believes that a final parting has come. Not 'I'm going to lose her until I decide to go after her,' (because after all, they've done temporary seperation before with no problems) but 'this is the end for us.' And that indicates to me that (at least at that point) he had no intention of ever leaving.

Why he would feel unable to leave the land of Middle-earth even to be with his wife and daughter remains a bit of a mystery. But that wish that Aragorn should be spared from his own terrible fate just makes no sense to me except in the belief that this was a final separation.

FantasyFanReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/8/2004
Wow, this adds some additional depth to the temptation of Galadriel. Should she have reached her hand a little further, would arrows have flown out of the trees above her? Could she have remained unaware of the threat within her own glade, or with the ring that close, did she feel invulnerable? Or worst of all, did she simply not care?

This is a great characterization of a very little-written character, Celeborn. I admit my ignorance, because I didn't know who Annatar was at first, though it became clear soon from your writing. When would a meeting between he and Celeborn have taken place, back when he could still assume fair form? (It reads like personal experience - could it have been only in imagination?)

A great story - I like the ones that raise as many questions as they answer.

Author Reply: Thanks for the review, FantasyFan! I suspect that Nethron and co would have waited until she'd actually taken the ring before doing anything. I also think that she might have known that Celeborn would have had a plan, but she would have been careful not to find out what it was, so that she would have less chance of thwarting it.

I'm sure she was certain she wouldn't fall to temptation, but she would rely on him to take precautions, because she knows that he knows her all too well :) Lots of self-doubt and second guessing going on.

According to the 'Unfinished Tales', Sauron (in fair form, called 'Annatar' - the Lord of Gifts) lived in the elven kingdom of Eregion for a while in the Second Age, learning from and teaching the Elven Smiths who eventually forged the Rings of Power - the chief of whom was Celebrimbor. Celeborn and Galadriel were, at that time, the rulers of Eregion. So they would both have known him personally. Probably even had to have dinner with him occasionally ;)

He then engineered a coup against them, resulting in Celebrimbor taking over the kingdom and C+G seperating and being apart for several centuries - but that's another story. In fact you can find a story called 'Deific Flame', by Bejai, on this site, which I highly recommend, which is based on these events. If you want to find out more :)

Anyway, many thanks again!

Marnie :-)

DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/7/2004
Oh my word! You take something that had never really occurred to me: Celeborn's being tempted by the Ring--and make it seem something that was obvious and inevitable! Poor Frodo, beset by more than he ever really imagined.
And I love Celeborn's practicality. I've never been one of those who always dismissed his wisdom. After all, it was he who came up with the idea of boats for the company to travel on from there. He really does seem the sort who would take precautions against any concievable eventuality.

Author Reply: Thanks, Dreamflower! Yes, in Galadriel's aura it's easy to forget there are two ancient and powerful elf-leaders in Lothlorien :) I was glad you thought this tied in with the gift of the boats - it was that solution to Aragorn's dilemma that made me think of Celeborn as such a pragmatic and practical chap. But then given that he was practical it seemed unlikely that he would do nothing at all about the threat of the Ring.

Glad you liked it :)

BejaiReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/7/2004
Oh, nice. I remember you mentioned to me in an email a year, year and a half ago that you were wondering if Celeborn was tempted by the ring at all. Glad you see you explore that.

-- Annatar's conversation with Celeborn sure seemed appropriately evil! Making pokes at all the places where he thinks Celeborn might be vulnerable. And not because he really thinks he needs Celeborn on his side, but because he likes to destroy things, just for fun. Good ol' Annatar. A fun muse. I enjoyed that Celeborn managed to impress him for a minute, though.

--"You may, after all, be interested in my work here." I must admit, my reaction to that statement was 'No sh--, Sauron.' It will hold Celeborn's interest for the next couple thousand years. But not quite how Annatar thinks ;)

--I love how the ring echos what Annatar said. And yet, this time, it seems to have more of an impact that even the presence of Sauron himself. It is hard to disbelieve something that seems so harmless, I suppose.

--"Why should not the last full-elven lord of Thingol's line take up Thingol's crown and restore that which had been unjustly ripped from his people - the rule of Ennor." Whoa. That rocked me. Dark side, coming through there.

--And justifying it as a moral duty! Wow. Glad he got a grip.

--Just in case. How very Celebornish to have such a plan. But poor Nethron, getting such an order!

--His rage, just after the thought "For here was an elf to whom Amroth was mere legend," was telling, particularly under the theory that Amroth was C's son. Couldn't protect Amroth either.

--As you say, if C was being tempted like this, what was Galadriel going through?

Enjoyed this very much. Was a delight to read, to cleanse the palate from a grueling exam.

Author Reply: Thanks! Yes, the more I thought about Celeborn's background - the fact that he has a legitimate claim to power in Middle-earth, and has spent a lifetime wielding it - the more surprising it seemed that no one seemed to think he would be tempted. But it wasn't really until now that I felt I had a firm enough understanding of his fault-lines, so to speak, to take a stab on how the Ring might attack him. Because all of this is despite the fact that he's not a person who wants power for its own sake.

I had thought that Annatar might want to see Celeborn to see if he could be made into a weapon Annatar could use against Galadriel - divide and conquer kind of thing. But also because ruining Galadriel's marriage would hurt her, and after having to be unfailingly polite to her, I bet he really wanted to hurt her.

I think the Ring takes a better stab at corrupting Celeborn than even Annatar does because the Ring works on a person's own desires, whereas Annatar, who seems to have concentrated on the Noldor (naturally, as the most powerful elves) would not know very much about what drove the Sindar. So arguing with the Ring would be more like arguing with yourself.

LOL! It's funny how the lack of world-conquering ambition among the Sindar Lords is just a given. They must make very comfortable neighbours ;)

I couldn't believe, really, that someone as no-nonsense and practical of Celeborn would not have a plan of some kind, to protect his wife from herself and his people from her. I've read one or two 'Galadriel takes the Ring' stories, where she takes it and then sets out to conquer the world, and usually Elrond and Gandalf set out to stop her. I always find myself thinking 'but where's Celeborn? Do they really think he would do *nothing*?' So I asked him what he would do, and this was what he came up with.

Yes, the rage and his foul temper are covering up absolute terror, I think - for everyone's sake :) His life has not really been a run of good luck, and as you said in DF, fearing the worst is a method of not letting himself get blindsided by it.

Hope the exam went well. Many more to go?

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/7/2004
There are just so many things I like about this! Celeborn is so practical - it may be that nothing will happen, but there is no harm in being a boy scout. And he is so sensible that he know that he, too, needs to be regarded at a risk. He is just - not a mushy romantic. He is able to love and respect - and still prepare for Galadriel's possible frailty.

Annatar just can't understand how he can accept a situation where many people see him as Galadriel's inferior. He couldn't do it himself, so he can't imagine that Celeborn can - and he just loves his sneaky 'better have her on my side' suggestion.

'The Lord of Eregion had never yet met anyone who was entirely perfect - no, not even those he most adored. .' Very clear-sighted. The images of his possible power fed to him by the ring just don't seem to find much to cling to. He's just too detached to accept them - and too fair-minded not to see the other side. (He and Galadriel are very good for each other, I think. She would be irredeemably Noldor if it weren't for a few ages of his company but she is good for him, too. It hasn't done him any harm to have her challenging him - he's right: Melian should have taken Elu to task a time or two. She probably had to tread really carefully, though, because she was Maiar and more powerful than him, so she couldn't demean him by contradicting him when he put his foot down.)

So Nenya is maintaining the Golden Wood not so much by making it something apart, but by keeping it alive beyond its true lifespan. Good thought - it would clearly decay quickly once the power of the ring was no longer preserving it.

'All other choices were worse.' As is so often the case - not the best choice, but the least evil.

'Why was he always condemned to live, when everything he loved was lost?' Poor Celeborn. But think your way round it - there are others who have had a pretty raw deal (Elrond) and an eventual removal to Valinor will reunite you with Galadriel and Celebrian (who are quite an important part of your life) and you can drag your grandsons along. It could be worse.

'And hope you are still of the same mind after, when my arrow stands out from your knee-cap.' Oh yes. I think Celeborn is right in thinking that just the knowledge that it will happen will be an adequate deterrent.

And I reckon that he is the reason she was able to resist the siren call of power and world domination and didn't take the ring.

Very disjointed witterings, I'm afraid. I loved this the first time I read it, and I've decided that I like it even better now.

Author Reply: LOL! Thanks, Bodkin! You have no idea how hard I found it not to use the phrase 'be prepared' :)

And no, whatever else he is, he's certainly not a mushy romantic! Though in my book, knowing that Galadriel has within her the ability to take the Ring and become a Dark Queen, and *still* loving her, beats mushy romanticism any day.

Yes, the Annatar thing came about from Gandalf's remark about 'he weighs everything to a nicety in the scales of his malice, but the only measure he has is desire - desire for power.' He can't get his head around why Celeborn - who might have a power base of his own if he only chose to - hasn't challenged Galadriel for supremacy, since that's what he would do.

I'm sure C+G were very good for each other. Without him she might well have followed her original plan of ruling the world, and without her he probably would have just founded a small, insular realm and left the world politics up to other people.

The 'why was he always condemned to live?' line was (a) because at this point he has no intention at all of ever going West, and (b) a nod to Tolkien's statement that the human-stories of the Elves would be full of the wish for an escape from deathlessness.

I enjoyed your witterings very much :) Feel free to witter as much as you like! Thanks!

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