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Poison  by Marnie 12 Review(s)
whitewaveReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/17/2008
What a unique perspective! Eol is one of the most mysterious characters in the Silmarillion and reading the events from his POV is most entertaining--you're able to explain why he did what he did when he found his wife and son in Gondolin. I liked the subtle clues you leave for us: "sharp glance of the stars", and "It is not enough that they stole our sky, they stole our world. Now she wants to steal my flesh and blood, of all my works the one I love the most. She wants to take my child."

Author Reply: Many thanks for the review, Whitewave :) Yes, I'm doing my usual thing here of trying to see things from the other side. So many people seem to dismiss Eol as simply evil, but I think that's a bit too simplistic, poor guy!

RivergirlReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/5/2006
*picks self up off the floor*

Wow. Just wow. Marnie, I think that it the most wonderful and painful and bitter and hateful and glorious bit of Eol-fic I have ever seen. Wow. I've always felt like Eol was given short-shrift, and you have really remedied that.

I love and adore everything of yours that I've read, most especially your Celeborn, but I had not read this one before.

Just utterly breathtaking and beautiful and amazing. Your way with words is just incredible, and your empathy for the characters astounds me. Your descriptions are just heartbreakingly sharp and real.

I worship at your feet for these stories. I don't know if you still write in the fandom, but I am grateful that you share these wondrous works with us.


Author Reply: Yay! Thank you Rivergirl! I'm always delighted to get a 'wow' :)

Yes, I feel that Eol tends to be too simplified - it's all oh, Eol's just plain evil (whereas Maeglin kills people because he's a cool warrior.) To me it all ties in with the very definite Noldor bias of the fandom (and, to be fair, with the Noldor bias of the canon too - though reading 'Quendi and Eldar' really opens your eyes to the other possibilities.)

*g* I'm such a devil's advocate that I always seem to prefer to write the characters no one else is writing, but I'm delighted that you think I have some empathy with them - even slightly creepy elves like Eol deserve to be treated like people too :)

Thank you for your lovely comment! I'm not in the fandom any more, I'm afraid. I'm writing Pirates of the Caribbean (or actually - devil's advocate again - I'm writing the Royal Navy of the Caribbean ;) But you never know where inspiration will strike next :) Thank you again!

Marnie :-)

AramelReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/11/2006
Nice, twisted Eol you've got there. I can't say I entirely agree with you on some bits (or rather, most bits) because I like Aredhel and the Sons of Feanor.

No, really. I have a weakness for grey characters, people who can't simply be classified as "good" or "evil". The Feanorians fit in here, and each one (with the possiblity of Amrod & Amras) has a very distinctive personality. And I also fangirl Maedhros in especial: it seemed to me that he was incredibly brave, bearing the foremost brunt of Morgoth's attack even after he had been tormented so, and he reacted surprisingly well to Thingol's displeasure (which was more a matter of principle than anything else). And even the three C's, who are usually portrayed as the most "evil" of the seven, seem rather sympathetic to me, and are not without their reasons.

As for Aredhel, I see her as chafing under Turgon's restrictions. In my mind, she has the same sort of ambitious spirit as Galadriel, and many of the same qualities (if not more so) that later enabled Galadriel to rule her kingdom and work against Sauron. But while Galadriel gads about however she pleases and does what she wants (even if she ends up staying for 200+ years behind the safety of the Girdle of Melian making out with Celeborn), Aredhel is pulled along by control-freak Turgon. So she gets sick of it, and goes looking for her cousins, only to be turned away by control-freak Thingol and taken in and married (not unwillingly, but probably not entirely willingly either) by control-freak Eol. I can so see her banging her head against the wall in frustration at this point.

So yes, different interpretations. But still a good story.

Author Reply: Thanks for the review, Aramel! I'm glad you enjoyed it. But it was written pretty much in reaction against what seemed to me the fact that the entire fandom loves the Feanorians. Look at the amount of fic the sons of Feanor get written about them - the worship and love that Maedhros and Maglor recieve, and you'll see that hardly anyone seems to tell the other side of the story.

Who tells the stories of the Sindar? Of Thingol and his people, who were in the land for millenia before the Noldor came, and yet somehow get reduced to a footnote in the history of the world?

It seems unfair to me. So it isn't that I don't understand the rationalizations of the invaders and their actions. It's just that I wanted to tell the untold stories of the native peoples of Middle-earth, who don't tend to get a voice in the fandom.

Or at least, they didn't when I wrote this. For all I know the pendulum may have swung in the opposite direction by now, with everyone writing about Thingol, Oropher, Celeborn, Amdir, Mablung, Beleg, Denethor and Denweg etc. But when I wrote this, it was to tell the story from the other side - which naturally meant that I concentrated on Sindar Eol rather than Noldor Aredhel.

I'm glad you liked it despite our different sympathies! Thank you again for the comment.

svadilfariReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/30/2005
Brilliant as ever, Marnie!
Ok, so I've JUST found this site, and its absolutely wicked!
You know, that was the saddest bit abt Eol, is was his son she ran away with and turn against.
And I never would have thought of him thinking of the sun and moon as such, which actually, now that I come to think about makes perfect sense.
Interesting comparision to Celeborn (your characterisation) where he feels it a gift too, but not for them but rather the Noldor. So the resentment is there but for different reasons altogether.

Author Reply: It is a good site, isn't it? One of the best for the Tolkien fandom, IMO.

Thanks for the review! Yes, I can't help but feel that from Eol's POV the story of Aredhel looks quite different. It's so often told as a straightforward tale of beautiful maiden meets handsome psycho, but frankly Aredhel herself was a lot of the problem, and I do feel very sorry for Eol. And of course the Silmarillion puts Aredhel and Maeglin's problems down to the curse of the Noldor, so they *are* bad news, even if Eol is also an elf of evil temprament.

Glad you liked it!

EllieReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/16/2005
Wow! Very powerful! Very dark. Very...Eol. Nicely done. Captures his mood and feelings beautifully. Wow.

Author Reply: Thankyou! Glad you liked it :)

L*MReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/26/2005
Yes, I think we do have different sympathies. :) The Noldor as invaders isn't a view of the matter I've taken, or even heard; it's a new perspective to me. There seems to have been plenty of room for the Noldor in Beleriand, and none of it claimed by any king or nation.

But I see why Eol would have resented the Noldor's presence. He liked to wander alone in huge forests, and all of the sudden here are lots of people, all different than he, settling in and near the huge forests. But if I can sympathize with Eol's resentment, I can't agree with his view of the Noldor as invaders. To me, that's like settlers in America's west considering the greenhorns who came streaming in later invaders. You may like the land wild and mostly empty, but the easterners aren't taking anything that's yours when they settle down and start taming the land. They can't take your house, and they can't take your farmland, but the rest of the land is open for anyone to claim or use.

Yes, the Kinslayings were far worse than Eol's murder and attempted murder. But all things taken together, I find Maeglin and Eol creepier than the Sons of Feanor. It's a matter of opinion.

And - this is kind of random - an interesting thing about Celegorm and Curufin forcing Luthien is that they weren't doing it directly. Their real strategy was to get Thingol to "give" Celegorm Luthien, and thus force her into a marriage she didn't want. It wasn't a smart move. I was amused by Thingol's reaction, which was: To war! Literally. And later he sent messages to Maedhros demanding his help, because Maedhros' little brother hadn't kept Luthien safe or sent her back. I can just see Maedhros smacking his forehead at getting that letter.

Sorry for going on. It's an interesting topic.

Author Reply: There seems to have been plenty of room for the Noldor in Beleriand, and none of it claimed by any king or nation.

Actually in the Silm it was all acknowledged to belong to Thingol, before the Noldor arrived.

"Now as has been told the power of Elw and Melian increased in Middle-earth, and all the Elves of Beleriand, from the mariners of Cirdan to the wandering hunters of the Blue Mountains beyond the River Gelion, owned Elw as their lord"

In other words the country of Beleriand was occupied by Sindar and ruled, however lightly, by Thingol.

I can't agree with his view of the Noldor as invaders. To me, that's like settlers in America's west considering the greenhorns who came streaming in later invaders.

To me it's more like the Native American tribes considering the White Men invaders - they weren't the same race, they didn't have the same customs or language, they certainly weren't invited, and they took the land which had been customarily used by the native peoples for centuries and suddenly started calling it theirs, meanwhile looking down on the people who had been there before.

Maedhros offers, as his justification for this, the sentence 'a king is he who can hold his own'. In other words 'if we can take it, it belongs to us.' Which ties in neatly with C+C feeling they were entitled to Luthien, whether by forcing her consent or her father's. They all have the ethics that the Noldor are entitled to take whatever they want; be it ships or jewels or countries, and that anyone who stands in their way can happily be slaughtered because they don't matter.

So it is surprising that Thingol considered Maedhros capable of ethical conduct at that point, but I find it rather forgiving and hopeful of him. After all, Maedhros was responsible for his brothers and might not have wanted to be complicit in the forced marriage/rape of the princess of a previously neutral country.

I can see Eol as more 'creepy' though. The sons of Feanor need another word. War criminals maybe? Something worse than merely creepy.

Ms. WhatsitReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/24/2005
Oh, Marnie, I'd been hoping you'd right something about Eol, lovely twisted psychopath that he is. I find the Eol/Aredhel story incredibly disturbing, not just for the obvious reasons but for the cultural context. It seems exactly like the "Those evil dark people will rape our pure fair women!" propaganda stories that are used by a dominant group to make its members scared of the people within a subordinate group, like African-Americans in the US. I can imagine nice Noldor girls being told the story of Eol and Aredhel in hushed whispers: "See, this is why you shouldn't go wandering around the woods at night! This is why you have to avoid those nasty Sindarin boys!"

I like your take on the story--Eol's self-justification and resentment and paranoia and possessiveness are so well described. He's a fascinating character.

Author Reply: Very good points! Yes, I was thinking about this last night; that even if Eol was the most blameless of husbands, the minute Aredhel went back to her own people they would almost be bound to say either 'he forced her' or 'he seduced her with strange arts', because the alternative - that she might have at one time been in love with this inferior creature - would have been so unpalatable. Easier to blame the Dark elf for the whole thing and say she was 'escaping'.

But I also think that seeing your once great nation reduced to unimportance, knowing that you're being seen as inferior etc could well build up such a resentment that you might feel you're owed something in return, and you won't necessarily be the most even tempered or reasonable of husbands.

It's an interesting riff on the subject of interracial marriage in the same way as Celeborn and Galadriel are; what could have happened if they had been less willing to adapt to each other's ways. And even they seem to have moved East and stayed away from everyone for a long time, in order to make it work.

LamielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/24/2005
Ooh, I always suspected that Eol had more to say than Tolkien had time to give us. This is a wonderful look into the Dark Elf's mind - and what a brilliant reminder that for some the dark is no bad thing. I particularly liked the way he saw the Noldor taking the sky away from them, giving them sun and moon whether they wished it or not. Very nicely done.

Author Reply: Thanks for the review, Lamiel! I do think that we mostly tend to see Eol from Aredhel's POV and that it's interesting to wonder what he felt like now and again. He's creepy and twisted, but I quite like him :)

L*MReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/24/2005
Eol is psychotic. He didn't seem to love Aredhel. He married her because he thought he had a right to her, as if she were recompense for past (imagined) wrongs, and then he turns around and accuses her of using him. His attitude toward his son - the possessiveness, to the point of killing him as a last resort - is very creepy too.

His hatred of the Noldor is unreasonable - or all the reasons Tolkien (and you) give for it are. First off, he blames them for Morgoth's return. Well, Morgoth would have been camped out in Angband Noldor or no Noldor. The Noldor followed Morgoth, Morgoth didn't follow the Noldor. Maedhros was right when he said that the Sindar were better off with "the sons of Finwe" as their neighbors than the Orcs. When Melkor did break through the Seige, it all fell on the Noldor - and their Mannish allies. When Eol blames the Noldor for "bringing the light", he careens out of prejudice and ignorance into all-out idiocy. The Noldor wish they had the power to create the sun and moon.

I have always thought that Maglin and Eol were the only Elves creepier than Feanor and his sons. The Feanorians' sins were more large-scale, but they were less perverted and less voluntary. The Feanorians didn't get wives in Eol's devious way, they didn't lust after close relatives, they didn't kill their sons, and it's never recorded that they did anything similar to Maeglin's attempted murder of Earendil - and just to torture Idril, no less. Also, while the Feanorians and Maeglin both betrayed their kindred, the Feanorians didn't sell them out to Morgoth. They took the ships. They never expected or intended the suffering on the Grinding Ice. Also, there was the Oath driving the Sons of Feanor. You get the idea that if they hadn't sworn the Oath, they wouldn't have done much of what they did.

I will admit that some of what Eol says about Aredhel, Maeglin and the Noldor is true, but it's offset by his paranoia and twisted love. Eol is a psycho and an absolute creep.

I really enjoyed this story. It's wonderfully written and a brilliant insight into the character of Eol. His love for Maeglin would be sweet, if it wasn't poisoned (pardon the pun) by possessiveness.

Author Reply: LOL! Poor Eol! We have very different sympathies here. For a start, if you take a large army into someone else's country in order to 'liberate' them, that only becomes an altruistic act if you go away again afterwards and give it back. If you stay and take it for yourself then you are every bit as much of an invader as the first lot. So in my book Eol has every right to resent the Noldor presence, and in particular the Noldor insistance that he ought to be *grateful* that they took his country.

I cannot help feeling that one crime of passion is less severe than a history of genocide. Celegorm and Curufin *tried* to force Luthien to marry one of them, in an act that left no doubt that she was unwilling - since she had to escape from them. They also murdered little children and shot Beren in the back. Maeglin's lusting after Idril is attributed in the text to the Doom of the Noldor - in other words it was *Aredhel's* curse that caused him to turn out the way he did.

Having said that, I think you're right that Eol is twisted. I'm not denying that. But for creepiness and lack of morals you still can't beat the Sons of Feanor.

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/24/2005
It's not really very reasonable to blame the Noldor for the Sun and the Moon, is it? I thought that Fingolfin's Noldor arrived in Arda at the moment when the Moon first rose. It's like those stories of tribes looking on explorers as gods because they happened along at the same time as an eclipse.

Now, taking over and looking down on the natives, yes. There he has a point.

And his relationship with Aredhel definitely sounds as if it is verging on the abusive. 'She was not unwilling' does not make it sound as if she leapt into his arms. It doesn't mean willing any more than 'ohne Ungeduld' - without impatience - means patient.

'Did I forbid her to go to Doriath?' No, Eol. I don't think you needed to, since Thingol wouldn't let in any Noldor except the scions of Finarfin.

But then, Eol doesn't really sound very reasonable. Unbalanced, possessive, achingly lonely - but not reasonable.

Author Reply: It's not really very reasonable to blame the Noldor for the Sun and the Moon, is it?.

Well, I don't know. If Feanor had agreed to give up his Silmarils the Valar might have healed the Two Trees and not needed to create the Sun and Moon. (I know - pointless conjecture, but I can see Eol thinking it.)

To me 'not unwilling' indicates something less than total commitment, but I think Aredhel's character needs to be taken into account too. She strikes me as someone who wants adventure and is not capable of settling down. She got bored of living in Gondolin, so she left. She got bored of living with Eol, so she left, taking his only child with her. I can see how that might have weighed on his mind.

I assumed that she would be allowed in Doriath - because as Eol's wife she would have been kin, just as the children of Finarfin were allowed in because they were kin (though Noldor). But perhaps I should have put 'to Cirdan' instead.

But having said all that, no, I agree he wasn't reasonable. So few of those Silm elves were!

Thanks for the review!

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