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Eärendil’s Tale  by Bodkin 5 Review(s)
lwarrenReviewed Chapter: 5 on 4/3/2005
I suppose this has to be my favorite chapter so far, what with the in-depth talk of the call of the sea and Earendil's experience with Ulmo and Osse (not so much as a confrontation as a lesson, I think). Earendil's and Elrond's little talk about how all babies look alike was so funny, especially in light of the comment on foals and seahorses. :-)

But always, it seems, there was the sea. You know my preoccupation with the sea right now and I absolutely love all the little jewels in this story, but my favorite has to be the wild trip of Voronwe and Earendil chasing after Earendil's parents and Ulmo's subsequent reaction to it. Some really good lines there, Bodkin...

"The wind changed. It seems a small thing, but on such things can rest the fate of men and elves. Ulmo commanded Osse to send us home - but Osse took it as his mission to punish us for arrogance..." (Reminds me of Boromir holding up the One Ring, looking at it with confusion and whispering about how such a little thing could cause so much fear and doubt...and the fate of the world did rest on that small circle of gold.)

"We are in Ulmo's hands, ellon, an he is not one to tolerate will bend to his will."

Voronwe was so funny, especially when Earendil made the comment about not knowing whether he was terrified or exhilirated while they were riding that wave, and Voronwe doesn't know whether to laugh or cry at that, so he settles for telling Earendil he'd better learn to be afraid when the situation warranted it...just his tone - so long-suffering. The entire storm was very well done, the becalmed ship the next day, and finally that last great wave(slap) of Ulmo/Osse's hand. So graphic, and Ulmo's warning in Earendil's mind there at the last was very powerful. I wouldn't be setting out to sea any time soon, with that ringing in my ears! LOL

This was so well done; I appreciate your talent and your willingness to share very much!


Author Reply: The sea tends to dominate much of the rest of Earendil's life - until he starts taking Vingilot across the sky, at any rate. I don't think I would willingly return to the ocean at this point, but Earendil has heard Ulmo's voice and has not been given any choice in the matter.

Poor Voronwe. Earendil is still such a kid - he's only in his twenties, which, to an elf, is barely dry at night. And his reaction makes me think of theme parks - and kids loving what makes adults feel nauseous. Although I suppose it's just as well that the Mariner doesn't get sea-sick, considering that I don't think Ulmo would let this son of elves and men decide to stay home with his wife. Which is a shame really - they could have done with a few years of peace, harmony and child-rearing.

I can't help but feel sorry for Elrond's whole family, really. Both ancestors and descendants - they may have had centuries of peace at times, but they were the chosen of the Valar in some ways and they weren't going to be left to live happily. And even their rewards don't always seem that great - I don't know that I would have wanted to be Elwing in her White Tower, or Earendil spending every night for two ages carrying out a task that isolated him from all other elves.

Thank you for reading and reviewing. Earendil will be back on the water soon - but first he needs to sort out a few things on land.

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 5 on 3/28/2005
Ulmo talking to Earendil, as he did to Earendil's grnadfather telling him to build Gondolin, was *very nice*. Though, I somehow think he didn't give poor Turgon the same latitude. And I ponder... Was it Ulmo's plan for Earendil to be born? Is that the real reason he sent Tuor? Or is he simply taking advantage of the resulting situation? Why not tell the young fellow that without Elwing and the Silmaril he will not succeed? That he has to pony up some ransom beides. Oh, I know the Valar really do not know how the story will go anymore than elves. But...

Still, first things first - get over it and get a decent ship built.

Beautiful writing as always. "A deep voice in his mind like the sound of the sea booming in cave." So simple. So clear. So elegant. *So jealous of your talent.*

Author Reply: Well, I got the feeling that Ulmo knew what game he was playing. But he didn't make it a command for Tuor and Idril to get together, so maybe he was just giving them a shove in the direction he wanted them to follow. But then - he wasn't really involved with the doings of Doriath (as far as I can recall). So maybe there was chance involved as well as fate and the machinations of this particular deus ex machina. And then, he has to send Earendil back, because it's pretty important to the fate of Middle Earth that he gets round to begetting Elros and Elrond.

Have you been reading the next chapter? (At the moment, all half a page of it.)

Thank you. I am deeply flattered. So flattered that I'll go and write some more.

KarriReviewed Chapter: 5 on 3/26/2005
I am delighted to see another chapter of this, and a wonderful chapter it is, too! I really enjoyed the touches of subtle humour. It is good to see that Elrond and Earendil are growing more comfortable with each other. :-)

Author Reply: Thank you. I'm glad you approve! I like touches of humour - they are needed to lighten the mix. Or it could all become rather depressing. Elrond and Earendil are moving towards each other cautiously. I don't think Earendil will ever become Elrond's father in the nurturing sense - he wasn't there at the key times and Elrond had other care providers, plus he is too old to need that kind of father - but they can be friends.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 5 on 3/26/2005
You do a lot of things nicely, Bodkin, but the thing that always impresses me most (because I can't do it) is the way you write images like this:

the sea had begun to stir like a bear wakening from sleep

I also liked the way Voronwe seems to know what Ulmo wants. The ending was touching as father and son acknowledge the honor they feel in being related to one another.

Author Reply: Thank you. I can get a bit heavy handed with images at times - though I did extend the bear one! The trouble is, they just don't like being left out.

Voronwe has had experience of Ulmo - and survived, so I think he knows to listen carefully and make sure to do as the Valar demands.

Earendil and Elrond are both slightly needy, I think, from the losses they have suffered - it's great to have an adar who is a star, but it's not quite the same as having him there to take you fishing. And it's good to know that your sons grew up to hold great positions - but there must be an element of grief in knowing that someone else was responsible for providing the love and guidance. But they are each proud of the other - and their relationship will grown. Just not, really, as father and son. Equals, I suppose.

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 5 on 3/26/2005
You know, I like each installment of this better than the next.

The conversation about males, babies and foals was great--being from Kentucky (where horses are super important) I can tell you I have heard this argument in real life. :)

He had sifted every mention of his adar and daeradar, every reference to his naneth, every piece of his family’s history from the legends of the First Age and the memories of his acquaintance, anxious for even this minimal contact with them.

Now that made me think--what a clever idea that Elrond was such a bookworm because he was looking to lore for any connection to his parents. That is about the saddest thing I've ever heard.

And I enjoyed the sea discussion too. Even when I lived in Kentucky and Madrid('bout as landlocked as you could get), I longed for the sea. Before I ever saw it, I did. It mystified me. I loved London when I lived there more than any other place I've lived. But it wasn't near the sea. Thus, Florida. The sea really can speak to some people. This conversation was spot on.

I prefer fast-flowing streams and wide rivers of sweet water as they wind between forests and fields. The sea is – too hungry.’ -- great line. Also, so true!

My naneth left the Elessar resting on her pillow and her letter told me it would be an heirloom for my house as long as her descendants remained in Arda.’ He stopped, picking up a small stone and throwing it with a vicious flick of his wrist. ‘But what cared I for that?’ he challenged. ‘A green jewel from the Blessed Realm in exchange for my parents?’ He snorted. ‘An heirloom for a shattered house.’

His son remained silent and left the Mariner to come to terms with his memory of grief.

A grief Elrond knew only too well. And I love these little histories you give to these incredibly important pieces of canon. Lying on her pillow--so simple and that makes them great.

We will lose more than time if we do not.’ Voronwë staggered as a wave broke over the side of the small ship and drained back into the surging sea. ‘We are in Ulmo’s hands, ellon, and he is not one to tolerate defiance. If you want to get back safely to your wife in Sirion, you will bend to his will.’

This part was great and it had to be hard to write unless you are knowledgeable about boats (which, no matter how much I like the sea, I am not--I leave the sailing up to people who know how to do it). I loved the characterization of Ulmo and the sea here, though.

And the debate between Eärendil and Voronwë (you must have gotten tired of typing their names--they are hard to spell and have the dots) about who caused the troubles in Arda and the Valar's intentions was really well done. (I went to quote the parts I liked best and found I had that whole section highlighted).

‘But we cannot see all that might transpire from our choices – all we can do is stand straight and follow our own path. And take joy in what we are offered along the way. Elwing chose to love me,’ he murmured, ‘and I fathered Elros Tar-Minyatur and Elrond Peredhil, Lord of Imladris – that is honour enough for any.’ Great line.

‘And, as Gil-Estel, you have offered hope to two ages of men and elves,’ he stated firmly. ‘Your path has been straight indeed and you have proved yourself worthy in every way. I have always been proud to have you as my adar – and I am glad that, at long last, I can tell you so.’ Wow! Even better!

I really like this story. No one writes about Eärendil and Elwing. This is great stuff.

Author Reply: I'm glad you liked it - it is definitely getting trickier to do as it moves more into Ulmo's realm. My knowledge of the briny is definitely, shall I say, limited - and mostly courtesy of Arthur Ransome and the odd movie. Also trickier to do as there seem to have been about ten different versions of the story, some of which are decidedly not going to make the cut. (Anything with the word 'faerie' in it is probably barred.)

Yes, they are stinky names to keep typing! I've got Earendil on auto correct - and put Voronwe with an accent into the dictionary, so I type it without the accent and then run through and correct it to the dictionary version. But I am wishing I hadn't decided to start adding the accents to words!

I think maybe Celebrian and Elwing need to appear in the next - it's interesting how suddenly you realise connections between people that are quite different from the usual ones - like Elwing's mother and Celebrian being first cousins. I wonder if Nimloth looked anything like Celebrian? And Cirdan must have known Earendil really quite well.

I'm glad you liked the Elrond the Lore-Master touch. I nearly added a bit more there, but didn't, because it spoiled the flow of the words. This is fun to write - but I've got about four other stories making demands at the moment and this needs more thought, so can get sidelined in a busy week. But I think I know where the next chapter is going, so it might not take as long to arrive as this one did. With luck.

Thank you for reviewing.

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