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Moving Apart  by Marnie 18 Review(s)
ScarletReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/28/2013
It's been years since this was posted and reviewed, but I just found it, so hope you'll see this.
This is an excellent story. It puts a magnifying glass onto the conflicts, as they might have been, between the various clans of the Elves, elaborating the too few sentences of Tolkien.

You managed to show the events, eliciting the reader's emotions, to draw a clear picture of how the remnants of Doriath carried the trauma with them.

I believe this story will stay with me for a while.
Thank you.

Author Reply: Thank you so much for the review :) Yes, I've no idea why I suddenly decided to find the racial politics of the first and second age elves fascinating, but I guess there's no real choosing where the muse will strike. I'm glad it worked for you. Thank you :)

L*MReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/9/2005
Excellent story, Marnie. I had never considered Sindarin politics after the First Age, and never considered Avari politics, period. So "Moving Apart" was very interesting to me. It gave me a whole new perspective on Second Age history. As logical as it is, it had never occured to me that the Kinslayers would still be poisining Elven relations long after they were dead.

Though I can see some of Oropher's points, I mostly took Celeborn's side. And the nerve of Oropher, accusing Celeborn of plotting to take over Lorien! Does Oropher say very stupid things when he gets angry, or is he just paranoid? Because Oropher does strike me as paranoid, and not just in that instance. I'm no fan of Galadriel, but I think Oropher's too hard on her.

And--now we're back to Elven politics again--I read the other reviews and your replies. I imagine the Blessed Land as a very peaceful place; I never thought the Elves would depart Middle-earth to live in a place full of political divisions, squabbles, and people who don't get along. It makes me wonder what your characters, transplanted to Aman, would do if the Feanorians were rehoused. I often fantasize that they are--at least some of them, like Amrod, Amras, Caranthir and maybe Maedhros. Poor Nerdanel deserves it.

Again, it was an excellent story, very enjoyable and interesting in a broadening-of-the-horizons type of way.


Author Reply: Thanks for the review L*M :) Yes, the Second Age is a curiously underexplored bit of Arda history, isn't it? Combine that with three rather obscure characters and I don't know how I thought anyone would be interested. But I do like to concentrate on the obscure ;)

I think Oropher is a bit like Thingol, who has a tendancy to say hurtful things when he's angry whether or not he really believes it. And while he might - in cooler situations - agree that Celeborn wouldn't try to take over Lorien, Celeborn himself has to agree that some of the other people he's brought with him might have a go. On the other hand I do agree that he's too harsh with Galadriel, poor girl!

As for the Blessed Land - well, it seemed unreasonable to me to put all those normally quarrelsome elves, with their passionate characters and their long grievances *anywhere* without some tension between them. I just see Aman as a place where it will be easier to work those differences out than in Middle-earth. I could see the three Feanorians you mention being rehoused, and I think it would be tricky for everyone. You'd have to hope that they'd all matured enough for it to be handled with tact :)

Thanks again for the review!

merimas gamgeeReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/5/2005
Lo and behold, over a week later I come up with another comment. Ah well, take 'em as they come I suppose.

Not even a comment so much as a question really. While re-reading "Seeds of Old Trees" the other day, I noticed a few qualities in you portrayal of Amdir that seem to differ from how he is written in "Moving Apart".

"Did you know that Oropher is among us again, and has been embroiled in a three way feud with Amdir and Thranduil for a century, over some insult which no one else can now remember."

...."and he thought of Oropher suddenly, and Beleg, of Amdir and Saeros and Eol, none of whom were known for their tact."

"Amdir has many Avari in his following." Taking the cauldron, Elu ladled out a bowl of the soup for himself, stirring in extra cream, "and some ancestral bitterness remains there towards those who left them behind and long looked down on them." He snorted with amusement. "More resentment even than our own. Thus Amdir's thoughts on the Troubles represent an extreme."

In these parts, and to a lesser extent during his conversation with Celeborn about the Troubles, Amdir seems a more militant figure than the moderator between Celeborn and Oropher. The comment about his tact, in particular, seems to contradict his entire character in this story, where he really displays nothing but tact. An as amusing as it is to think of the three way feud, the Amdir of this story really doesn't seem like the type. My question then is this: do these bits represent an earlier conception of Amdir's character, or is he just being unusually patient and tactful in "Moving Apart, given the family circumstances"?

Either way, I'm very interested to know what kind of insult would not only turn Oropher and Thranduil against each other, but embroil Amdir as well. Maybe you could elaborate if you ever do the Celeborn-Oropher reunion?

Cheers
Merimas

Author Reply: I think it is a case of seeing him in different circumstances. My feeling is that he is a typical Sinda, in that he is inclined to be blunt in his speech (hence the remarks about 'the men of the Sindar are harsh' and Amdir not being known for tact). *However* he is more even tempered and tactful than Celeborn and Oropher. It's a matter of degrees.

In the matter of the three way feud between Amdir, Oropher and Thranduil, I was thinking that it was a bit like the situation with Oropher and Celeborn - originally Oropher and Thranduil were arguing, with Amdir in the middle trying to calm things down; then Oropher ended up being rude to Amdir because he was siding with Thranduil, and Thranduil insulted Amdir because he was siding with Oropher, whereupon Amdir felt aggrieved and hard done by and argued with them both.

Amdir's kingdom of Lorinand did contain a fair amount of Avari - which wasn't a problem in Lorinand, as that was their own land, where they felt they belonged. But those who went to Valinor (following their Eldar friends and relations) would have immediately come into contact with a Calaquendi society which thought of them as the lowest of the low. His people would therefore have a new militancy that he would have to deal with as their king. He himself is not more militant, but he is dealing with a new and less settled political situation.

Did that make sense? :)


merimas gamgeeReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/26/2005
Well, having read the other reviews of this story, I found that what I was going to say has already been said by those more eloquent than I. But seeing as how I had what I was going to say pretty much planned out I'll go ahead and say it. Call it renforcement rather than outright plajurism.

Firstly, I love how you finally fleshed out the Oropher/Celeborn dynamic that you'd alluded to in several of your stories. I was especially impressed at how, while keeping the conflict on a personal level, you were able to play it as a debate between more general Silvan, Sindar and Noldor stances. It gave greater resonance to what could otherwise be seen as a family squabble, even if it works on that level as well.

My other favorite part of this story is Celeborn's statement about the 'scions of Doriath'(I would be interested in Oropher's reaction if Amdir ever reiterated this comment to him...)and Amdir's subsequent vision. Supurb foreshadowing!

I'll add my voice to the clamour for a 'Seeds of Old Trees' tie in featuring Oropher and possibly Thranduil. But I'm not sure I'd find a full reconcilliation entirely satisfying, mostly because the sense I get from Oropher and Celeborn is that fighting is an essential componant of their relationship to each other, though obviously not on the level of the events in this story. It would seem too fairy tale to me if the magical land of Valinor simply inspired these two to get along like best friends. Though their quarrel obviously didn't go as deep as Celeborn and Celebrimbor's, those two didn't exactly kiss and make up, partly because their relationship was based mostly on mutual loathing.

Along the lines of possible 'Seeds' tie-ins, I'm fairly interested in how you would portray the relationship between Thranduil and Amroth. In this story, they don't really do much except come to the defense of their fathers. I imagine that, as the only two Sindar princes of their generation, their relationship must go beyond their father's enemnity. And veering even farther off topic, I'd love to see more of Elmo, either proir to his capture or after his rebirth. He's another character that, like Oropher before this story, you allude to enough that we get some sense of his relationship to Celeborn, but nothing very concrete.

Well there you go: what I loved about this story and a wishlist for more (I feel like I'm writing a Christmas list and should be asking you for a bike next). In all seriousness, I loved this story and look forward to whatever you write next.

Cheers!
Merimas

Author Reply: Wow! I should get more reviews from people with nothing to say, if they're like this :) Thank you!

Yes, I felt it was about time, after all the dropped allusions to how Celeborn and Oropher fought like cats and dogs, but still liked each other, that I tried putting them together in a fic. I soon discovered that if you put 3 Sindar into a clearing, with their sons, you get fifteen opinions and an almighty row :)

The 'scions of Doriath' line was a nod to my personal belief that - had Celeborn not fallen in love with a Noldo - he too would probably have been as wary of them as Oropher and Thingol himself was. But you can see why he's not famous for his ability to foresee the future ;)

It would seem too fairy tale to me if the magical land of Valinor simply inspired these two to get along like best friends.

I suspect it would be the kind of best-friendship that involved lots of war-stories, hunting trips, and the occasional punch-up which they would have to conceal from their longsuffering wives.

As far as Thranduil and Amroth go, I don't know. Legolas speaks of Amroth as though he was a figure in distant legend, which would indicate that Thranduil hasn't been reminiscing about good old times with him. On the other hand, Legolas speaks of Thranduil as 'my elven-King', so perhaps terminal reticence is standard among elves. I'll think about it.

Hm... how about a fluffy little tale of these three in their childhood being looked after by Elmo? Except that I can't do fluff...

Many thanks for a splendid review, and I'll think about the wish list :)

Marnie :-)

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/18/2005
'Maybe I'll have to write a 'Seeds' tie-in where Celeborn and Oropher finally settle their differences.'

Yes!!!!!! Excellent plan!!!!! Where they are several thousand years older and a bit better able to see each other's point - and know how their choices turned out.

And maybe, just maybe, where Oropher concedes that Galadriel might just possibly not be quite as bad as he thought!! (I was going to put that she might be human - then put elvish - but neither sounded right.)

Elena TirielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/17/2005
Ah, Marnie, this was just agonizing to read! And after the despair of seeing the two kinsmen, who have so much in common, irrevocably break from each other, the last vision of Amdir's was horrifying.

It's left me a bit breathless... Well done!

- Barbara

Author Reply: Thanks, Barbara! I hope it was agonizing in a good way :) Yes, as someone pointed out to me recently; the Lindar do have a tendancy to split apart into different factions. Maybe I'll have to write a 'Seeds' tie-in where Celeborn and Oropher finally settle their differences.

Anyway, thanks again!

Aislynn CrowdaughterReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/16/2005
Hi, Marnie!

WOW. I'm stunned! This is giving so much depth to the parting between Oropher and the Lorinand people, and it gives back a lot of sense to Orophers decision. It is thrilling to see how the anger, the grudge, the unforgivable words, the discord is slowly creeping out of the egg, and all the more eerily convincing because it is told out of Amdirs view as one who stand between the two arguments. And it is great to see how both Oropher and Celeborn both rethink their own arguments and give due to the acusations of the others -- *after it is too late to reconcile and not lose face!

Also I love the way Nimrodels view is woven into this, the way you take care of the Amroth problem (who's my daddy? aka Amdir versus Celeborn). Also it is breathtaking to see Celeborn (betlatedtly) admit that there is some point to Orophers argument of mistrusting the Noldor. I love the way Amdir and Celeborn think of those Gholodrim who are unable or unwilling to learn - walking around Lorinand already contemplating to change it into a second Eregion.

And then the end. The vision Amdir has of Orophers fate as well as his own. Grueling! Sadly, in retroperspective, we know of course that Oropher will be proven wrong, that e will meet the fate of Denethor, and that Thranduil will learn the hard way to arm the remaining third of Greenwoods warriors with longbows instead of slings and to follow the example of Menegroth and go underground to have a stronghold that is better defendable.

It is sad to know that Oropher will lose two thirds of his warriors, and himself, and Amdir half of *his*, and his own life, precisely *because* they are not as well armed as the Noldor *and* becuse both kings and their people are not willing to bow to Gil-Galad. And the Noldor later had only scorn for them!

Great piece that gives much depth to these few sentences Tolkien wrote that you quote at the start. WOW, again!!! I love it!
Please, please write more of Celeborn and the Sindar/ Silvain view of history, it is musch needed to have more stories about them!

Aislynn

Author Reply: Thanks for a brilliant review, Aislynn! I'm delighted that you think this makes sense of Oropher's behaviour (and Celeborn's too, for that matter). *I* think that he had perfectly good reasons for what he did. Whether they were right or not, I don't know, though I think it's notable that his kingdom is the only one to survive long past the Third Age 'untroubled'. He may have felt that that was a result of his policies.

Yes, it's a shame that Oropher and Celeborn can only seem to agree with each other when they're apart. My feeling is that they both respect each other a lot, but just rub each other up the wrong way when they're together.

It's funny, I know it's only my invention - that Amdir fostered Celeborn's son, and therefore Amroth was technically Amdir's son too - but it does seem to fit into the canon marvellously, given that long period when Celeborn was in Eregion and Amroth was with Amdir. I wish I could claim it was true! But I feel quite justified in making the suggestion ;)

Thranduil is clearly less of a hardliner in his policies than Oropher - I think he's probably more practical and less romantic than his father.

It is sad to think of Oropher and Amdir dying at the Last Alliance, and sadder still, to my mind, that Gil-galad gets enduring fame and a song about how valiant and fair he was, whereas they get only footnotes in a book that only geeks like me read. How fair is that? Another example of Noldor propaganda! ;)

Thanks ever so much! It always makes me completely over the moon to get a 'Wow'! And two? That's fabulous :)

adn_hemingReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/16/2005
*squeals*

Marnie, Marnie, you have given the Oropher fangirl in me much cause for rejoicing! I know he's not your favourite elf ;)---more power to you for giving him a fair hearing in his disagreements with Celeborn. Your portrait of him is *beautiful* and feels utterly real: his utter scorn for the Noldor, his pride in his culture, his grief at its decimination in the Noldor's hands, his love and respect for their Silvan kin.

May I quote: "But we cannot all be so oblivious, and I will not have my folk learn to think of themselves as savages, as servants born."

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. This needed to be said. I think this motive is the driving force behind Oropher, what defines him. More than that, it's *wrong* to construct the Silvans as as inferior, or placidly accepting of the Sindar's rule over them.

And it's not just Oropher---there's great stuff from *everyone*. Amdir, Amroth, Celeborn and Amdir---but I'm particularly enjoying the dynamics between the "three scions of Doriath." I, however don't envy Amdir, not in the least. And poor Thranduil and Amroth: of course they're going to side with their Dads.

I have read it over and over and over again. You have given me a whole afternoon of heaven. How tragic---that Celeborn hopes for a reconcilation between the three of them in Middle-Earth, and Oropher and Amdir end up *dying.*

I could go on and on and on. Perhaps shall do in email. ;)

Author Reply: LOL! Thanks! If there was anyone I was worrying about getting this past it was you :) There was a point in the beginning, where Celeborn was speaking about the need to arm the Silvan elves, when I thought 'oh no! Celeborn's so obviously right! I'm going to come down heavily on his side and people are going to think I'm a Mirkwood-basher, when I'm not!' But thankfully, the minute I let Oropher explain his position he was so reasonable and so eloquent that I got to the stage of thinking 'hold on! Celeborn's wrong about this. Oh no! I'm going to have to come down heavily on Oropher's side, and people are not going to know what to think!'

Whereupon they solved my dilemma by each conceding that the other was partially right. They just couldn't be brought to do it to each other ;)

Tolkien is very clear that Oropher's reason for merging with the Silvan elves was a basic respect for their way of life, and a belief that it was the way of life natural to all elves.

"Oropher had come among them with only a handful of Sindar, and they were soon merged with the Silvan Elves, adopting their language and taking names of Silvan form and style. This they did deliberately... They wished indeed to become Silvan folk and to return, as they said, to the simple life natural to the Elves before the invitation of the Valar had disturbed it."

So if anything he percieved the Silvan way as being superior to his own, in the sense of being more elf-like.

I've made Thranduil a little less committed to that (his Sindarin-like fashion of wearing gems) because when he is in charge various pro-Sindarin changes take place, such as the delving of a fortress like Menegroth, and the fact that Legolas speaks Sindarin. But I see that as a slight relaxing of the strict rigour of the programme, not abandoning it altogether.

Anyway, I'm so relieved that you liked my Oropher. It's always scary when you know you're writing someone's favourite character. I'd have hated to have got it wrong! I liked him too - I found him charismatic, persuasive and with a slightly poetic, romantic streak. Ah, those Sindar Lords! They are lovely!

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/16/2005
Such difficult anthropological questions! Can you preserve a race, like a fly in amber? Should you? Is not change a part of the passage of time, even among elves?

If the Silvan were desperate to remain Silvan, why did they welcome Sindar Lord? Was not that a realisation that they needed more - unity and strength to counter their foes? Is it not patronising to insist that a people should not change their ways?

A lot of Oropher's anger seems bound up in the person of Galadriel. She stole their 'brother', she turned him away from the Sindar, because of her he would not take on Elu's role as the father of his people. H'mm. Very venomous towards her. I wonder why.

Interesting to see racism among the elves. How much Noldor blood do you need to be condemned to an elven apartheid? More than half? 25%, like Galadriel? Any? Or are you contaminated purely by association, like Celeborn?

'Would you preserve your people unchanged, as though Greenwood were an outpost of Valinor?" He laughed, mockingly. "And you accuse me of Noldor vices!" ' Cutting, very cutting. And not untrue. Which would make the comment far more damaging.

What a debate. And they all have their points. I am deeply grateful not to have been Amdir in the middle of this. Seeing both sides so frequently gets the peacemaker on the wrong side of both.

Celeborn is better at seeing all round a problem - it is wise of him and Amdir to dump the problem elves - those 'tall Amanyar with their blazing eyes' - on Elrond. Poor Celeborn - he seems so poorly designed by nature to be a homeless wanderer, seeking refuge with a range of lords.

Scary bit of foresight at the end - and sad. For all the sadness involving the doom of the Noldor - 'To evil end shall all things come, which they begin' - there seems to be a doom affecting the scions of Doriath, too. One by one they fall - until the only ones left standing are Celeborn and Thranduil. And Galadriel.

Very powerful piece - it must have been hard to write. I had to wait until I could read it again before I could comment, and I'm sure that it will take several more readings for all the nuances to sink in.

Author Reply: Thanks for the review, Bodkin! Yes - the difficulty of the questions (not to mention figuring out who thought what and why) was partly to blame for why this took so long to write. I ended up thinking that they all had a point, and they were all right, to a certain extent; but they were all wrong too.

I've often wondered why the Silvan elves did welcome the Sindar *as their rulers* with (apparently) open arms. It can't have been a case of conquest - since Oropher arrived with only a handful of retainers. I can only assume that they were (mostly) accepted as kings by right. Perhaps it was their connection with Thingol, who would have been remembered as the true king of all the Lindar. Maybe it was as though their legendary king had come back just in time to save them from the new malice of Sauron - like King Arthur turning up in the time of Britain's greatest need?

That would explain why - judging from Nimrodel's lack of success, the Nationalist movement doesn't seem to have been much of an issue. And why, having got rid of Amdir and Amroth, the people of Lorien should have actually requested that Celeborn and Galadriel come and rule them.

Sorry - bit of a digression there while I thought out loud.

I think on the whole Celeborn's position is the right one - he is 'the Wise' after all. Once you've got Noldor in your country, you can't really pretend that you haven't, and things will never go back to the way they were. So you might as well adapt and adopt anything that helps you deal with them. But I hope that Oropher's position is understandable enough to be sympathized with. He's a bit of a romantic. Thranduil is a bit more practical, I think.

And yes, poor old Amdir. He did well, I think; the best that could have been hoped for,anyway ;)

Glad you enjoyed it! Many thanks for a fabulous review!

purrlinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/16/2005
Ah! The Valar work in mysterious ways!

Congratulations! This is one of the best political debates I've ever seen. If you read each sides arguments singularly they each seem persuasive and totally acceptable. I love that you have been able to have the debate without actually taking sides yourself. I love this time period! Great souls in impossible situations and you show them all so realistically.

So if Oropher hadn't moved North then Thranduil couldn't have fought his own battles with darkness and Legolas wouldn't have been able to be were he was needed when the fellowship was formed. If Celeborn hadn't travelled to Elrond then maybe Galadriel wouldn't have followed with her daughter and the life of Elrond would have been different. If Amroth hadn't been fostered as he was then Nimrodel wouldn't have been able to affect him the way she did. If the elves hadn't split their realms then Sauron would have been able to defeat them. Maybe breaking apart is what made them able to accept that the end was in sight and that it was Man who was destined to continue the fight.

Ah those Valar! sometimes, even after all the arguments, the only answer is that some things just have to happen. (It's nice to think that Thranduil and Celeborn do become closer and that perhaps Celeborn and Thranduil close out the time of elves on Middle-Earth!)

Your story was bright and exciting! well done and I hope we see more, your ability to paint relationships both peaceful and painful is wonderful.

Thanks you!

purrlin :)

Author Reply: Many thanks for your review, Purrlin :) I thought I was mad, trying to get people to read a political debate - I wrote it mostly because it interested me. So I'm delighted to know that it interested you too. Yes, I found the arguments so persuasive that I ended up agreeing with everyone; which is a bit of a problem. I still don't know who's more right!

I hadn't thought of it in terms of fate - that's very interesting! But I am amused to find that I now know why Tolkien called Legolas a 'strange' elf, and why Celeborn gave him a longbow as a gift to replace the short-bow of Mirkwood. I love it when things fit together!

Yes, I'm glad that Thranduil and Celeborn make it up in the end... or perhaps they don't. After all, Celeborn only spends a short time in East Lorien before *he* moves away to Imladris. I hope there wasn't a repeat performance!

Thanks again!

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