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A New Year  by Bodkin 18 Review(s)
DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/15/2014
I've been re-reading "Reflections" on my Nook, and felt a hankering for this story. It's just as satisfying now as it was a few years ago! Thank you again for showing the respect that those who knew held for the ones who were responsible for the end of the Third Age.

DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/7/2011
I just finished re-reading "Reflections", which I uploaded on my Nook, and felt the need to seek out this particular gapfiller, probably one of my two favorite stories of yours (the other being "On Being the Youngest").

It still affected me deeply, seeing the love and honor still paid to Frodo and the others by those who knew them once.

I wonder, would it make Legolas feel better or worse to know that once Sam, Merry and Pippin had left the Shire, that Frodo's contributions to his own homeland were either forgotten or passed into legends of ridicule? While it might help him to know that complacency and ignorance are not totally the purview of Elves in Valinor, I think it would have made him unutterably sad to realize Frodo wasn't even honored in his own homeland.

But I do see E2L persisting in their efforts over the millenia, and with Gandalf's help, and Galadriel's and Elrond's, they might actually accomplish more than they expect.

Thank you so much! I miss having new stories from you from time to time, but I love re-reading the others, a wonderful gift to us all.

shireboundReviewed Chapter: 1 on 8/17/2007
‘We have time,’ Legolas said as he shifted his grip on his daughter. ‘It is one thing that we have in plenty. It may be that it is our task to make sure that over the yeni to come, we make sure that the elves of Aman understand that the world is made up of all its parts – and that they owe a debt to those whom they have left behind them.’

What a wonderful story. Dreamflower recommended this to me, and I'm glad she did. It's lovely to believe that Legolas and the others would undertake such a daunting task, and insist that the hobbits' shining lights and deeds -- and those of all races in Arda -- should be considered and respected.

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 4/2/2006
Catching up on reading today and this was wonderful! I love the idea of a Wood Elf style feast in Tirion and Legolas and the twins were their usual witty selves when discussing the preparations for it. I particularly like the reason for it--remembering the deeds of the Ringbearers and teaching the elves that had long lived in Aman to appreciate them is certainly a worthy inspiration for a festival. I also particularly loved Gandalf's appearance and contribution--I expected fireworks, but the form of the fireworks really surprised me. What a great idea. If it did not impress Taryatur (not too surprising that), it did seem to make an impression on the elflings, and that is a good thing. And of course I must comment how much I loved Thranduil here--he has learned restraint in Aman if he bothered to censor himself. It must be the good influence of his wife, even if she was not present. Great story!

Author Reply: Legolas and the twins are determined to make an impact here - and I suppose being rather unlike the usual Tirion celebration will make this stand out. And then, of course, Gandalf can do fireworks like no-one else. (I wonder how much he cheated and used his extra abilities to make his fireworks so much more impressive than anyone else could!) A fiery eye seemed to be a simple job for him - and would have impact.

Taryatur would respond to such an event with aggression, I think - and denial. It's very in character that he would not wish to concede to being impressed in any way. It might, in fact, be counter-productive and stiffen his neck. But younger elves, who had no experience of war or danger might be more open to the message - and there might have been a few complaints about younger elves having bad dreams.

Thranduil has had to learn to be rather more restrained. He is in Tirion! And surrounded by Noldor he cannot blame for the ills of Middle Earth. He is definitely fair-minded enough to realise that his long-held prejudices need some amendment - at least for public consumption. And That Word could have caused a lot of trouble and diluted the message that the actions of those east of the sea were important and worthy of honour.

Thank you. Glad you liked it!

HalethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/29/2006
This story is quite poignant, not only because the deeds of the characters we love seem minimalized by those in so called 'high elven society', but also, sadly, because the attitude is evident in our own society.

Gandalf says it best.

‘I have argued ever since I returned that an understanding of the trials of Arda should be drummed in the ears of these elves of Aman until they know enough to be grateful to those who suffered while they lived at their ease. But it is not a comfortable tale – and, on the whole, those here would rather believe that the troubles east of the sea are purely the fault of those who live there.'

If Sauron had regained the Ring, it seems unlikely he would be content to stay in Middle-earth. His Eye would have turned to Aman for such is the nature of totalitarian strongmen. The problems of the 'deserving' rebels would have become their problems in very short order.

It's good to be reminded of the sacrifices made by those struggling to gain and maintain their freedom.

Author Reply: I do feel that the Blessed Realm is so detached from the experience of those east of the sea that those who have never seen anything else would have great difficulty understanding what it is like to live life on the edge. It has been over two long ages since any of those who call Aman home have been away from its shores - and the experience of those who fought in the War of Wrath is unlikely to have engendered much affection in them for the land where the elves awoke. To them, Ennor would have been a place of danger, darkness and death - and the return to Aman would have been about safety and light and purity.

I don't reckon it will do anything much to do as Gandalf says - those who have not experienced it have no terms of reference. At best it would be like watching a movie, at worst it could just make those who hear the stories feel superior to those who were there.

Those who do understand know that Aman would not have endured unscathed had Sauron succeeded - but they don't need the lesson. I don't know that there's much you can do apart from ensure that the stories are told - no-one wants their children to learn these kinds of lesson from experience, but without experience the learning is inevitably superficial.

Not that it will stop Elladan, Elrohir and Legolas trying to spread the word!

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/26/2006
'They do not generally hold uninhibited outdoor festivals of eating and drinking and dancing,' Elrohir said. 'Not to mention...' He grinned. LOL! Are we talking about fireworks? 'That is why we should have held it in...' Oh yeah sure, that's exactly what we're talking about. ;)

Loved this whole story! Very nice example of why oral tradition must be nurtured as much as written history. One without the other and much is lost. Even with both, much is forgotten. Interesting you had the music down low. Besides the elves' more sensitive hearing, too many modern festivals crank up the amps, which drives the audience into traffic - both totally ruining any stolling conversation.

The family interactions were very entertaining! Soot!! Woot! Woot! Elrond and the Coeur de la Mer! - a romantic, indeed! Legolas putting his jacket and tie back on to greet his in-laws! I do so admire Eleniel, Elerinna and Linevende! Finarfin had "taken an immediate liking to the elf"! Thraduil holding his peace! Brave, brave Elrin! Elladan's worry at the crowd's silence! ...refused to let that change the way they lived. The evocative Fireworks!!

Gandalf! Now, he was absolutely marvelous! I really admire how you wrote him. And so now we know why his *special* fireworks were so appreciated in the Shire. They were not just flash and bang!

Good story, great message about honor and remembrance - made all the better for being allowed to participate in it along with our favorite elves.

Thanks for posting it!

Author Reply: I wonder if it was much work to convince Gandalf to come and perform? Somehow I suspect that he won't let them get away with not repeating the experience! He enjoyed this tremendously.

With elves, you hope that their long lives and good memories would help them maintain traditions with true understanding - but too many of the elves of Aman have never experienced anything beyond their own safe boundaries. Imagining anything more is almost impossible - and can never be more than empathy. (Others, of course, who have experienced war, probably still have difficulty with the memories.)

Quiet music seemed much more effective - apart from anything else, I thought that if the elves had to make an effort to listen to the words, they would have more impact.

I love this extended family! With every additional story, they grow on me more. I feel for Linevende and Elerrina - and Eleniel has now been drawn into the family occupation of keeping Adar and Andatar from each other's throats.

I can just picture Finarfin, too, resenting Celeborn over centuries - only to find they had an instant understanding based on millennia of dealing with Galadriel.

Good thing Thranduil managed to catch the 'N' word before it slipped past him. Could have caused a nasty incident.

And Gandalf had a really enjoyable time - he is most certainly going to ensure that this New Year celebration becomes a regular tradition. And, I suspect, will be working all year to outdo his last display!

Thank you - I'm glad you enjoyed it!

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/25/2006
Remembering Frodobaggion? Okay----

Yes, bringing the world of Ennor into Aman and reminding it that it too is part still of Arda would be difficult, and am so glad these tried.

And so glad one of the Noldor did visit Frodo and Sam. That is right and proper.

And of course I love the image of the last firework, of Frodo's Light ascending in that way and then exploding into glory.

Thank you, my friend.

Author Reply: Frodobaggion... Well, things change over the years. Were they not elves and therefore immortal and with excellent memories, I doubt it would take many generations for the whole idea of hobbits to fade into - well, small elves. Of those born and living always in the Blessed Realm, only the elves of Tol Eressea have any personal experience of Frodo, Sam, Bilbo and Gimli.

Ignorance is a terribly difficult thing to fight. Suffocating - and it seems to absorb all efforts made to let in the light. But the twins and Legolas are very determined. This is about more than history to them - this is how their friends and family sacrificed themselves for the good of Arda.

I expect Galadriel took others of the Noldor to visit Frodo and Sam. In fact, I'm sure she took Finrod. He's just the sort of person who would have wanted to meet them and been fascinated by their story.

Mithrandir knew what he was doing with the fireworks - and what point he wanted to make.

Thank you. I'm glad you liked it.

DotReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/25/2006
This is wonderful, Bodkin. Very interesting to see their thoughts about why it should be held in Tirion, rather than somewhere where people know the importance of this day because the majority experienced the events. It’s hard to believe, isn’t it, that there are so many who cannot comprehend – and don’t particularly want to – the events across the sea and how different even their lives might be now. But as much as Mithrandir’s point that there are those who think that the troubles east of the sea are purely the fault of those who live there seems harsh, I think he’s probably right and it’s understandable to a certain extent – they just need to be enlightened a little!! And no better people to give it a go than this lot.

I do love the idea that it’s going to be a wood-elf style celebration, though :-D

Elrin is adorable and a lot of his attitude towards this is typical of his age – but he really is proof that the events that ended the Third Age will be no more than stories to future generations. And it’s particularly sad to see it in someone who is so closely related to many who took part, and when is adar apparently took pains to explain it to him.

Thranduil is, to me, actually one of the most interesting characters here. I’m glad, of course, to see that he has found happiness but what interested me was his thought that he finds himself more comfortable with those who experienced the end of the Third Age, no matter what he might have felt about them before coming to the Blessed Realm. What a shock it must have been, really, for many of them – coming after their whole world had changed, coming with experiences and prejudices and memory and weariness and arriving here to try and find a place for themselves. And… can he be actually learning patience?! LOL. It kind of makes me wonder what he would have been like all those centuries had his wife been around!

And Linevendë. Oh, my heart went out to her when she spotted that the light in their faces died away. How awful for her. And it’s so clear that she longs for everything to be well between them all. But what a pain Taryatur is!

Loved the scene between Mithrandir, Elladan and Elrohir. I get the impression that they are all a little on edge, each needing this to go well. But it’s good too to see Mithrandir still treating them as though they were errant elflings!

Finarfin smugly thinking about his outfit had me in stitches! But his discussion with Eärwen gave some insight into his character, although it still leaves me with questions about him. He’s an elf who intrigues me.

I thought it was the perfect touch to have the song that Elrin sings be a non-elvish one – and its strangeness alone would attract people’s attention and make them listen. I wonder, though, with it have more affect sung by someone like Legolas. Hard to know, really.

The fireworks! Wow. Surely people will realise that if they felt shock and horror and fear in those moments, it is merely a taster of what those they are here to honour went through. The fireworks really do sound amazing. Whoever thought of a visual display was very clever.

The toasts brought tears to my eyes, especially Legolas’ words – he’s not just honouring heroes, but friends. And, on a personal note, March 25th is the anniversary of someone I loved and miss so it made me extra teary. But truly, it was a lovely moment, and I like the quiet support offered to Legolas by his wife.

Oh, Legolas should have punched Taryatur! Good for Thranduil for stepping in – although I did gasp at what he nearly said! LOL. But no matter how many people offer their views, I don’t think Taryatur is going to be convinced. *sigh*

And I fear Elladan may be right about this festival becoming merely tradition. Look at all the things we celebrate today that we have no real idea about their origins. Then again, perhaps some will eventually listen and learn. For now, I suppose, all that matters for these three is that they tried – and they remember the events and honour those who made the sacrifice for all the people of Arda.

Thank you for sharing this, Bodkin! It was most enjoyable and very thought-provoking :-)

Author Reply: Thank you, Dot! The Blessed Realm is such a very sheltered environment - and most of those who live there have never suffered privation or fear; have never endured the loss of those they love. Yes, there are those who fought in the War of Wrath - but I tend to think they (like Taryatur) went home and drew up the drawbridge, and convinced themselves that bad things couldn't happen in Aman any more. And, of course, two ages-worth of elves have grown up with no personal experience of the dangers that E2L lived with - and no acquaintance with anyone who is not tall, willowy, glow-in-the-dark gorgeous with beautiful hair. Their feelings about non-elves are likely to be, at best, patronising. (The hobbits and Gimli never went further than Tol Eressea, so the elves of the mainland won't have met them, either.)

Yes, Elrin is an indication that you can't really convey experience through words. And I expect, in some ways, for all their stories, E2L are probably determined not to expose their children to the horrors they have seen - the stories of war veterans are usually about comradeship and humour and make a point of avoiding the bad. He is quite young, though. Might have a better grasp when he is a bit older.

I think it is interesting when you watch programmes about war veterans - they often seem to have an understanding with others who have fought, on whichever side, that they lack with those who were not there - and I think Thranduil would find that he had a bond with those who shared his experience that perhaps was not there with those who sailed an age before. I reckon it might have taken him a while to come to terms with the idea that he and Galadriel had anything in common, though!

Legolas and Taryatur definitely need to get their relationship sorted out. It's not fair on Linevende or Elerrina - and when you have Eleniel intervening between them to try to smooth things over, it's definitely time to take off the gloves and sort them! Mind you, Taryatur definitely suffers from foot-in-mouth disease. He should count himself lucky he was still walking at the end of the night.

Mithrandir had a tremendous time. Even if E2L wanted to give up on this celebration, I don't think he would let them! An excuse for a regular fireworks display - Gandalf is in his element. He rather likes the opportunity to play grouchy, too, I think.

To Legolas - and the twins - this is personal. It is about friends and family who served and saved the world and were lost. People with whom they will not be reunited until the end of days. Very poignant for them - and Elrond. But they want to know that others at least pay lip-service to what was achieved. And they are persistent. They will not let this rest.

I'm glad you liked it, Dot. Thank youl

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/25/2006
I enjoyed this, Bodkin. It sounds like a good party. Fireworks as visual aids is novel concept!

Author Reply: Mithrandir has particular talent along those lines! I doubt whether a human firework display could be quite as instructive. And the elves of Tirion left talking about it all - which was a start. Thank you.

EllieReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/25/2006
I enjoyed this very much! This is a lot of assumed knowledge on your part, like that the reader has read your other works. I fit nicely into that category, BTW.

THat being said, I enjoyed this very much. The characterizations are wonderful and the fact that the festival was celebrated Wood Elf style was great. I loved the fireworks and the reactions to them. Thranduil was wonderful with his comment and cathing himself so he didn't say "noldor" (too funny). This was wonderful and Leggy's dad-in-law is such a huge curmudgeon. I feel sorry for his mother-in-law.

Well done! This was great!


Author Reply: You're quite right! I tend to forget that not everyone knows who all the OCs are - it's been a long journey and they've accumulated along the way. I'm glad you knew who they were.

I'm very glad Thranduil managed to prevent himself from saying the 'N' word. It would have caused a bit of an incident. He was very controlled. And Legolas managed to keep his temper - probably because Elerrina was there. He wouldn't want to hurt her father. Well. He would want to, but he wouldn't do it. I feel sorry for Linevende, Elerrina and Eleniel - they all do their best to keep the peace. Perhaps they should shut the pair of them in a small room and leave them there until they have managed to find common ground.

Mithrandir was very happy to be asked to provide fireworks. He tried to hide it, but he will certainly insist that the twins and Legolas will continue with this feast.

Thank you. I'm glad you liked it.

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