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A Darkness Lies behind Us  by Bodkin 8 Review(s)
Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: 2 on 6/18/2007
This is a truly beautiful story, Bodkin, and I am enjoying it immeasurably.

Author Reply: Thank you Agape4Gondor! It's moving rather slowly, I'm afraid, but hearing that you are enjoying it encourages me to go and write some more.

ImhirielReviewed Chapter: 2 on 1/12/2007
As ever, your prose is exquisite and your characterisations and their interactions so very moving.

What a fascinating idea to use the rebirth of Finrod to explore how the Valar and the Elves of Aman learned how to deal with others that should follow! The idea of some system or other being in place for this issue is something found frequently in fanfiction, but I don't think I have ever read the beginning, or how the Valar themselves might be challenged to come up with the right way.

That Finrod would be the first strikes me as so very fitting for his exploring, curious mind; and having Indis in charge of developing a procedure seems like a good idea. I admit, at first I thought like she did that it was merely to give her something to do, but Estė's arguments convinced me that it was more than that, that it might indeed be good for her, and "having a purpose" is indeed something more positive than just "having something to while away the time".

I loved the discussion about Celeborn - it meshed so well with my own thoughts of how Finarfin (and Finrod) would see him, I had to chuckle...

Author Reply: Thank you. I've kind of stalled on this, sadly, as I'm enjoying reading, but don't want to be too influenced by, Fiondil's Elf Interrupted! But I know more or less how I want the rebirth side of it all to go and have written chunks of another couple of chapters - but it's just taking me a while to get further.

I think the Valar might have imagined that recovering a body would be quite straightforward - until they tried it on a few elves and discovered that although shrugging a hroa on and off was quite natural to them, it was all rather more traumatic for elves. As for who returned first - as far as I know the Silmarillion talks of Finrod's and doesn't specify anybody else! In some ways I relate return to trauma and guilt and responsibility - and, to a degree, an elf's view of guilt rather than culpability. Finrod just seems an ideal candidate - open, curious, generous - one who was killed for another.

I love Celeborn - a very brave elf! - who married into a very ... powerful family. (Came from one, too ... which is, I imagine how he managed to cope with it with such grace!)

The story is building. Slowly, but it is continuing to grow!

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/5/2006
The first to return, the first to test the boundaries of his renewed body and understanding of what he'd been through before.

The mist-grey robes were a wonder and delight to me, seeing I also imagine the healing Frodo to wear such things. Both had to relearn how to live, and how to express their love once more.

Yes, the purity of his returned spirit would shine out, I'm certain.

So glad you have at last updated.

Author Reply: I think it would be difficult to put fea and hroa back together - and the sensation of the body must be almost incapacitating at first. Especially when combined with the presence of the one he loves!

So many shades of grey - and textures - (all very multi-sensory really). I wouldn't be surprised to find that they were chosen because greys are gentle and calming to those who are very aware of colour ...

This story isn't progressing terribly fast, I'm afraid. But it is progressing!

Thank you - I'm glad you liked it.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/5/2006
Yay! for Estė! I loved that detail, weaving threads together! ;-)

It seems that time for meditation suited Finrod well, he's almost himself, and now he's for a long walk under the trees, some male bonding with his father, surely they have several things thuy need to settle betwen them.

I liked very much that detail of poor Amįriė breaking down in the end at seeing him walk away again. It rang very true. It is good to have this tale back! ;-)

Author Reply: I enjoyed the thought of Este weaving the threads together. (Someone has to know what's going on ... in a way ...) Finrod has moments, I think, of drifting beyond the world round him. He loves the world too much to be content in endless meditation, though - and the stirrings of his feelings for Amarie are bound to anchor him in something rather more earthy.

I suspect - well, I know - that Finarfin and Finrod are going to be talking about rather a lot of uncomfortable First Age topics. They haven't had a chance to reconcile after their last parting - and it's bound to come up - and then Finrod of Nargothrond isn't exactly the son who left to follow his uncle across the Helcaraxe.

But I think it must hurt Amarie terribly to see Finrod walk away. At least until it has happened often enough for her to know that he will come back.

Hopefully the next chapter will proceed a little more swiftly. But no guarantees, I'm afraid!

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/4/2006
Of course, you know that the thing I must remark upon first is Este's annunciation of Indis' mission. Very nice marking a starting place for the future care of all those - with family and without - waiting in Mandos. The thought that the Valar cannot quite understand enough to handle it themselves sounds so reasonable the way you explain it. And you show why, not only with Finrod but with Finarfin etc, time is needed to come back to life. The way an elf must reintegrate both hroa and fea and face the past before going on to his future.

Cool using the greatly deserving Finrod as the first returnee. Although, you have waited until after the War where I loose the first returnee before that. Who could be a better example and promise for other eldar hoping to see their loved ones again? Or reconciling to that unlikely-hood, considering past acts.

Ah, romance! I am so grateful you convince us to enjoy seeing Amarie and Finrod together rather than get all angsty over their reunion.

And you still take time for a gratuitous reference to Celeborn! :) It is my opinion that Finarfin tried his absolute darnest to get Galadriel to sail home. Perhaps, even indulging in a little deception to accomplish that. I like the ambiguity you lend to her staying behind until her role was played out. Just like Tolkien.

Lastly, the need for forgiveness and penance for one's mistakes. I really like your examination of that in regards to Finrod's personality. He is a good and responsible prince; someone who would want to set things right between himself and those who trusted his decisions.

A creative and educative chapter. And if this is to help set up what comes next, your readers are ready for it. So, please bring it!

Author Reply: Indis seemed just such a good person to take up this kind of mission (quest ... thingy) - since Finwe will doubtless remain with Feanor until the end of time. (Pointlessly, too. I don't think Feanor has any idea how disruptive he is to the rest of his family. Even in death. And then there's Miriel ... Poor Indis.) I do think returning to life must be harder than first thought would have it.

Logic suggests that the first returnees must have predated Finrod - elves were being lost right from the start - but Finrod's return is sort of stressed. And it is convenient! Then there's why some come back and others don't and what holds some back ... Finrod's sacrifice - in the interests of the Big Plan for Beren and Luthien - might well make him a good candidate. But it will be hard beyond the shelter of the Gardens. Not everybody will be glad to see the return of an Exile - one associated with the Kinslayers, if not one himself.

Finarfin would have wanted his daughter to come home. His last living child - how could he not? But I think he would have recognised the bond between her and Celeborn ... and accepted the inevitable rather than parting from her in anger.

H'mm - the next chapter. This is, I am afraid, moving rather slowly. Too much work at the moment and the story isn't being that demanding. Anything to stir the desire to write on welcomed!

InglorReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/4/2006

One (amoung many) thing that I enjoy about this is your description of Finrod's reactions. ("Bathing in her laughter" is a line I hope you don't mind if I use one day). Your descriptions are so precise, I feel them myself.

And all the subtle and not so subtle hints about what is to come.

Sometimes I forget this is fanfic.

Wow. That sums it up nicely.

Author Reply: Thank you so much - sorry to be so long in responding! I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter and I'm very flattered that you sometimes forget it's fanfic. But I might need to go back and check what I've been hinting - I've had so much on the last few weeks that I've sort of lost track!

Feel free to use whatever you want! It's one of the joys of playing in the same world.

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/3/2006
I like the idea that everyone is making it up as they go along. If Finrod has to learn how to deal with sensation in an adult body with an adult consciousness for the first time, no one else seems to have much more of a clue. Even the Valar, which is the most interesting part of all. I've always suspected that the Valar lacked a certain creativity that would allow them to deal with the situations that Men and Elves came up with, which makes for a wild and occasionally frightening ride when you realize that, occasionlly, no one is really in charge in Arda.

Author Reply: The Valar are good at the big picture ... maybe ... but I think they might find it much harder to deal with smaller things - like individuals, and emotions, and ... and things they can't control. Bemused, perhaps. Well-meaning, though. A bit like parents suddenly presented with gigatuplets.

It does sound as if Finrod might have been their first cautious attempt to reunite fea and hroa - and I suspect they would have been learning as they go. And probably making up the rules according to his response - which would, of course, have created amazing difficulties when their next trial proved to be entirely different. I think Finrod might have vacillated a bit between mature responses and occasional reversion to extreme youth.

He might well find that getting away from too much careful inspection will do him a power of good. I hope so, anyway!

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/3/2006
Adjusting to a body, learning what he missed, all kinds of things to do. I was interested in his satisfaction in being with his father, a masculine presence, which seems necessary to bring him to manhood again. Lovely details, as always, Bodkin. They ground even the most abstract discussions.

Author Reply: It must be tough to return to life - you must be part-way between being a child in a world that's slightly beyond your grasp and an adult trying to keep your head above rising water. Finrod needs his father, I think. And Finarfin needs Finrod. I think between them they might hammer out some solutions - in a very masculine, grunted, non-verbal kind of way. It's surprising - to me! - how they start by admiring the light on the leaves and end up by talking about Alqualonde. Or feeling somewhat sensual and conversing about why some return and others choose not to. The whole story got somewhat sidetracked by the desire to write about Boromir. And then Isildur. But Finrod is patient - and he was in Amarie's arms at the time, so he didn't object to the delay!

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