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Eärendil’s Tale  by Bodkin 72 Review(s)
Glory BeeReviewed Chapter: 12 on 2/6/2012
Stunningly beautiful and heartfelt Bodkin. You are such a brilliant writer.

anaReviewed Chapter: 12 on 3/8/2011
I love this. You write so well, with such great talent.
I've always been fascinated with Elrond and his life so full of tragedies, the poor guy never seemed to catch a break. I admit I was not very impressed when I read the first time (or indeed on subsequent readings) about Elwig abandoning the children for the Silmaril, but you managed to explain their point of view in a way that truly made me forgive her for the first time. So thank you, I really love Elrond and his children and I'm glad I don't have to be disappointed with his parents any more.
Another reviewer said how the Valar don't really appear all that sympathetically, and frankly I always believed so. All through the Silmarilion, all through the Lord of the Rings, I pretty much resented the Valar, and I never could understand how anybody is oh so very in awe of their "benevolence". And not just about elves, although at times they pretty much screwed them as well, but mostly about humans. Weren't the Valar supposed to have been sent by Eru Iluvatar to take care of his children? Aren't we, humans, his children as well? They only liked the elves cause they were pretty, but never ever bothered to look at their other charges. They completely abandoned humans, never taught them anything, never gifted them anything, practically they never gave a shit humans were in pain. They were fine and well, surrounded by the beautiful elves, whom they loved, in a remote and beautiful haven, and the hell with the younger children, let them rot and be devoured by evil and filth for ever, just because they're not pretty enough. I pretty much hate them, basically. They are like the worst kind of racist creeps, especially as they're supposedly godlike.
Sorry for ranting about it here, it's just that reading about Earendil's plea, and how cavalier they were about it, and even their most compassionate help only extended to their darling pretty elves, never to humans. I really love your story though.

LilandrielReviewed Chapter: 12 on 12/11/2008
*sighs* it doesn't matter how many times i read this, i still think ths story is truely awesome. xx

LilandrielReviewed Chapter: 10 on 1/3/2007
I just had to review. this chapter was so powerful, so totally awesome.

i cried. twice! at the end there when Earendil tells that Arwen now blows kises to the Star of High Hope with her son in her arms, as her father did with her an Age before, and to know that there would be no reunion... it was heartbreaking. And the two mothers sharing such a terrible grief.

you create such incredible, powerful images. not only have i cried, i've laughed, and at unexpected times too!

the halls of the Valar... how do you describe something that is beyond description? beyond the scope of mortal words and comprehension? you've done it beautifully

that Elwing and Earendil found peace and healing among Olwes' people, and then Celebrian countless years later- a testimony to not only the unchangingness of the Elves, but of the eternal compassion and kindness of the Teleri.

you know, you've written it in such a way that it makes me so angry with the Valar? it's not their intent, but they seem so cold and indifferent at times. that bit where Earendil contemplates that the Valar withheld their aid because they were waiting for an apology!? so many who have suffered and died beneath the shadow of a fallen Vala? (singular; Vala? not sure) grr! what a fantastic piece of emotive work.

there is so much i want to say. i don't have the words for it all. it's superb. utterly stunning. you don't write professionally, do you? if not, you should really consider taking it up.

all the way through, this story has been consistently brilliant. i don't want it to end!!


Author Reply: Thank you so much, Lilandriel! I am deeply flattered to have made such an impression on you - I shall certainly have to save your review so that I can reread it when I'm feeling inadequate.

The division between Arwen and Elrond is such a sad part of the story - even victory brings sacrifice and no happy ending is without tragedy. I like to think that reunion will come - finally, at Arda's ending - and that Elrond will be able to make up for lost time, but that's just because I can't bear to think of Arwen being separated for ever from her family.

I'm delighted that you enjoyed the parts with the Valar - it is hard enough to picture Aman, and the halls of the Valar and the Valar themselves - well. Probably only possible through the reaction of anyone confronting them. And I don't blame Earendil for being a little ... bitter. The Valar let Morgoth run free in Middle-earth and didn't seem too keen to take the responsibility. Probably more to it than that, I know, but when you are the half-elf torn from your family to provide the bridge, a little resentment is understandable!

I love writing - but I never did it for anybody's pleasure but my own until I discovered SoA and fanfiction. I really enjoy the personal contact with readers - it's a great community! Thank you again. I'm sorry the story has to finish!

ImhirielReviewed Chapter: 12 on 9/8/2006
This is a marvellous story! You have breathed life in the beautiful but somewhat spare account of Eärendil's life and adventures.
And your Eärendil is truly wonderful: his behaviour rings utterly true, his shyness and awkwardness in dealing with other people - not to speak of with his own son - seems so realistic. I love Elrond's insight that both his parents were so young when all those live-changing events (wedding, parenthood, Kinslaying, seeking for Aman) happened; scarcely older than him, and certainly incredibly young for Elves. And Elrond had all those 6000 years of experience of dealing with family and other people.
And Eärendil is so honest and... nice... and humble, not at all conceited or arrogant about his lineage or achievements. One can certainly understand why even the Valar thought he was someone special!
Which makes his and Elwing's sacrifices (and you make it very clear they were sacrifices) that much more heartbreaking.

Author Reply: I really enjoyed writing about Earendil. He - well, all Elrond's family, really - does seem to be a sacrifice for the benefit of the rest of Arda. Earendil is, even in the Blessed Realm, cut off by a fate that makes him, alone of all the inhabitants, a star - who will spend all of Arda sailing over lands that are beyond his reach. It sounds romantic - until you think about it. He ends up with more in common with Tilion and Arien than anyone else. I had to have him able to come home to Elwing and a relatively normal household where he can be himself.

And Elrond is better able than anyone to understand what his parents gave up - even if it was probably difficult to let go of the idea of them as parents who chose not to be with their young sons and think of them as working for the greater good. After all, he grew up abandoned by his parents - but he is now wise enough to see them as confronted by a choice that gave them little option.

Thank you - I'm glad you enjoyed this!

paranoidangelReviewed Chapter: 12 on 8/24/2005
I've only just got round to finishing this. I really enjoyed hearing about the lives of Earendil and Elwing. And it's so nice to see Elrond interacting with his family.

Author Reply: Thank you. I enjoyed writing this, too. And it was a pleasure to give Elrond the opportunity to spend some time with his parents - and get a better understanding of their decisions.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 12 on 6/15/2005
See, I had given up reading this because I tended to get lost in minor details that did not entirely fit in my own Universe and could not get a hold of the story, so I decided to save it up for when it was ended and read it as a whole.

It is an interesting challenge you undertook here, Bodkin, and IMHO you more than succeeded. There are many things that I like, how you woved in the Elessar, Tuor and Idril and the story of the sleeper in the tower, the story of the making of Vingilot, Eärendil's plea in front of the Valar...It is curious that Eärendil had been in Tolkien's mind from the very beginning and he never gor down to wholly flesh him out... I kind of felt like Elrond, Eärendil might be real yet distant. And at the end, he still is, but in a different way. I mean, there's no way to feel close to a person who becomes a star, but you can come to understand his life path better when it is recounted with such detail.

And the epilogue is masterfully done, in the way that it ties up everything beautifully and meaningfully. Elrond's words about his family and sacrifice made me think of a verse from an italian poet I very much like: "Ocorrono tante vite per farne una", which more or less means "So many lives are needed to make up another life.." in the sense that from Finwé's weakness, to Fingolfin's faithfulness to his own oath and his people, to Turgon's wisdom, to Idril's great heart, all of them were needed with their strengths and their failures to eventually come to Eärendil the blessed who would carry the plea that would be heeded.

So congratulations for a great story, and thanks for sharing. It was a very much needed attempt at recounting, and having Elrond enjoy these moments with his parents was the best way of doing it, I believe. I did have a great time!

Author Reply: Thank you. It is such a complicated universe - and rather different from every perspective. I'm glad you decided to come back and look at this story once it was complete.

There are a lot of elements, really, that Tolkien didn't flesh out completely, which is lucky for us, as it gives so many different personalities and plot elements that can be pursued. I hadn't thought that much about Earendil until I put him in an Elflings - but he and Elwing are very interesting characters with plenty of loose ends. I still feel rather sorry for them - their fate isolated them both, but I think Elrond can be justly proud of them.

I'm glad you like the epilogue - I wavered for a long time over it, but the sacrifice element seems such a big part of the fate of Earendil's line. And Elwing's, of course, as she brings in the Beren/Luthien, Elu/Melian part of the equation. And then there's Maglor - and Gil-Galad. I think they were important too in making Elros and Elrond who they were. And Earendil/Elwing are like the knot in the middle, gathering in the strength of their ancestors and giving it out again.

I'm so pleased you enjoyed the story. It was fun to write and I'm happy to know that you found it fun to read.

BejaiReviewed Chapter: 12 on 6/13/2005
Sorry it took me so long to review this. Had to fly away for a funeral this weekend, and although I read the chapter a few days ago, I didn't have it in me to review. And this chapter and story certainly deserve it!

What a wonderful story this has been! I love all your Valinor stories, and am delighted you worked Eärendil and Elwing into your version of it! Very much enjoyed your telling of their first age adventures and tragedies as well. How wonderful that Gil Estel brought E2 hope enough to make it home to their mom and dad!

Ah, poor Maglor. Of all the Feanorions, he's the only one I feel for. I think he could find forgiveness and healing, if he'd just let himself.

Loved the little elven get-together. And that Tuor and Idril were out wandering around. If you're taking requests, I wouldn't mind seeing a story of some sort from their POV. There just aren't enough Tuor and Idril stories in the world! (While I'm asking -- I'd also to see more of that C&G wandering around in the mountains story, and Oropher walking in on his son. I'm shameless, I know ;) )

Great story, Bodkin, and I eagerly look forward to more of your kind gifts to us, from your skilled pen.

Author Reply: Thank you - I am glad you have enjoyed it! It has been good fun to write - and I feel happier about Earendil and Elwing's fate now! Earendil's promise in the sky seemed to fit with E2's eventual trip west.

I feel for Maglor - he seemed to be bound up in his family's fate through loyalty and love, neither of which seem to have been major motivations for the rest of his family. And he seems stuck with the cruelest fate - although I was thinking that perhaps the purgatorial aspect of his fate is more likely eventually to bring him to forgiveness and healing in the west. (Although time in Namo's Halls is also - presumably - cleansing.) And I think he is possibly harder on himself than the Valar would be.

Tuor and Idril, huh? True, there are few of them around. It would be quite an interesting twist on Aragorn and Arwen, in a way. I'll put it on the list! C and G are about halfway through a chapter - perhaps now this is done, I'll be able to get them out of the rain! And Oropher has managed half a page so far, but that's not too bad, because now I've written something, I'm much more likely to get going on it. And then there's Arwen. . . Oh well, at least the Reflections don't take long to write - and I usually have a couple in hand.

Thank you - I am very flattered by your words! And look forward to hearing more from you. Please?

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 12 on 6/12/2005

A perfect ending - the family is together again :)

They did not go by sea?! I thought they had, but great that you put that in here. Now, I wonder at what kind of aircraft it was! It does add a lot to the thrill of their passage west. As do the related encounters with Maglor.

" their darkest hour..." "...It is a link..." "...Between what was and what will be. Just as we are." "We are a bridge across a ravine..." "...and it leads home." They were made to make a difference. They are bearers of splintered Light. An awesome thing to realize and to be.

"And, for now, this would be enough. He would continue to hold the that, one day...all reunions would be complete." I hope everyone has that faith. Thank you for telling a story that articulates hope, besides service and sacrifice, so beautifully.

This was a fantastic and evocative rendition of Earendil's adventurous voyages as well as being a soulful journey. The beautiful writing and expressive story-telling as wonderful to experience as the events themselves.

Thanks for writing and sharing this tale with us.

Just perfect.

Author Reply: Thank you. The family is as reunited as it can be before the end of days.

Sorry, but they did go by sea from Mithlond (they hadn't stayed long enough for technology to move as far as any kind of air travel - although Maglor could be retrieved by eagle, couldn't he?)- but if they could have travelled by river to the coast, they would have found it an easier journey. I picture the land as being like that silicon gel stuff that sucks the moisture out of packed goods - drawing the light from the elves. (I think any who still remain must be close to those semi-magical places like ley lines.)

I'm so glad that you enjoyed Earendil's adventures - and the urge I cannot resist to record them philosophising. Elrond needs to hold on to his faith for the future, I think, and Earendil's experience leads him to believe that such faith will be rewarded - in time.

I really enjoyed writing this - and I am so pleased that you enjoyed reading it. Now I just have to go and start thinking about a certain returned king!

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 12 on 6/12/2005
Oh I will definitely mourn this one now that it is finished but it was so wonderful.

I love finishing it with Elladan and Elrohir following Gil-Estel to Elvenhome to finally meet the daeradar they never met. And, as Elrond said, equally important was Eärendil's reunion with the twins that he had watched for so long. I like how you portrayed the twins here. I think they would be completely awestruck--how could they not. And it is dear to imagine that there is still something that will awe these accomplished, elf lords and warriors. And I liked this: Ulmo’s voice is strong in the waters of the world even now.’ Eärendil blinked. ‘Did you not realise?’ So characteristic an observation for the mariner to make and to me it tied everything back to the beginning of the story when Eärendil is still in Middle Earth and so drawn to Ulmo and his domain.

And I am glad you included Maglor here. Poor fellow. I'm glad here is in ME trying to redeem himself. I hope he will feel redemption eventually.

And the ending was perfect--a wonderful interpretation of the importance of Eärendil and Elrond's family and their role in Arda. Loved it!

This is simply a wonderful story. Now I shall go read it again in one piece.

Author Reply: I will mourn it too! But I am so glad you enjoyed it.

It seemed to round it off to bring it back to the reunion of Elrond and his sons - and the hope that their daeradar's star offered them. And Earendil seems to me to be still quite - modest, is the best word I can come up with. The quality in him that made it possible for him to hand over the Silmaril.

It must be amazing to turn up in the Blessed Realm - and have tea with Earendil and Elwing and meet Tuor and Idril and Finrod and all these legendary elves. Even growing up with Glorfindel won't have been quite enough to make it seem an every day experience.

And poor Maglor. I think it is his isolation - his endless grief and pain that make me feel so sorry for him. But I'm not sure whether he will ever feel he has done enough to be forgiven. He could overcome his guilt when it was a matter of supporting Maedhros, but now he is more relentlessly unforgiving of himself than (probably) anyone else would be.

Phew! I'm glad the ending worked for you! I pored over it for days trying to find exactly the right words, before giving up and deciding it would have to do.

Read it again! I'm flattered.

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