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Beneath a Gibbous Moon  by Bodkin 11 Review(s)
The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/26/2007
Wow. As always, the imagery is breathtaking. I could smell the salt and marsh, the horrible tang of death and destruction. You also did a marvelous job of capturing Oropher's shifting feelings from anger and despair to glimmers of hope and the possibilities that come with change.

I loved Elros. He was mature for a young fellow, but then, as Oropher noted, he had lived through and had lost much more than most had at this age. Elros had his head screwed on straight. And just as Oropher was willing to take a risk to find his place in Middle-earth, so was Elros. Perhaps they were more alike than either realized at the point, but I think Oropher recognized a bit of kinship even if he saw it as still being loyal to his former king's house. And in the end, Oropher couldn't help but admire the youngster's bravery to face the unknown.

This is gorgeous, just gorgeous. I've got to find some new adjectives, but they're so appropriate.

Thank you, Bodkin.

Author Reply: It must have been such a horrible time - in some ways the aftermath is worse than the ... math itself! For the battles and the emptying of Angband, they must have been so keyed up - and now they're all milling around, not sure what they should do or where they should go, just knowing that nothing will ever be the same again.

And, I reckon, a big part of why Oropher managed to maintain his feeling of offence and indignation for so long! Elros (and Elrond) have learned so much in so short a time that age doesn't really come into it with them - like those child soldiers they sometimes show on television, who have packed a full lifetime of experience into no more than a decade. Childhood and games and all those things that we fight to preserve for our children are long gone. I think Oropher did feel that - didn't want to, maybe, but knew it. He is, though prickly, a very honest elf. Here, at the end of the world they had known - and at the beginning of another - they could recognise that and acknowledge it.

Thank you, Karen! I'm glad you liked it! I had no intention of making it more than one chapter at first - and then it became obvious it was one part of three. It just took a while to get around to writing them.

MithLuinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/24/2007
Oh, well done! I like how you capture their hopes, the reasons they are making their choices, their regrets....and how it ties into the original story, even if it is very different.

Author Reply: Thank you, MithLuin. I'm glad you like it. It must have been a moment of hope - a beginning - but one scarred terribly by the losses that had got them all to that point. And there is an inevitability to their choices - something that led them all to the end we know. I thought about setting this before the battles - but, somehow, this seemed such a turning point. And sometimes you just need to write what comes out!

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/24/2007
You pack so much into these. So much meaning that we, who know the future, recognize. I love that. And I love how in talking, these characters learn so much about themselves. And others--it must have been a bit chilling for Oropher to see glimpses of so many people in Elros.

I think you capture very well why Oropher was as he was--it is impossible to imagine so thorough a loss in such a horrible series of losses. And I think he had many motivations to go east, some, that his wife hit close to, that he might have been less willing admit.

But I love the ending, both for its meaning to these characters and for the allusion it makes to Elros's line. Wonderful!

Author Reply: Isn't it interesting how things spring out of others? It never occurred to me when I started this with the Second Age story that there were First and Third Age parallels - and then, once it did ... In some ways, the First and Second Ages were easier - there is so much more you actually have to take into account with the Third - and the characters are more clearly defined, as is the background, the phase of the moon, the state of the sky, etc, etc. Would you believe there is a website that details the phases of the moon throughout the whole book? (I'm grateful to it, actually, but still ...)

And, as soon as you focus on two individuals and put them together - well, there is so much. And Elros is so young, compared to Oropher, and descended from so many people who were important to him - and when you think that they are Elu, the Maia Melian and the half-Maia Luthien - well, it's hardly surprising they have left a mark on their descendant.

All we really know about Oropher, I think, is that he was headstrong and prickly - and didn't like being told what to do by the Noldor, even when it would have been far more sensible to listen - but he was still there at Dagorlad, part of an army of elves and men. And that he was a Sinda prince. And with those details - well, I think his losses and experiences with the Exiles - and the Host - have to be a big part of why he turned out as he did. And he is a complex character. (Interesting, really. More interesting that some who appear purely to be NOBLE.)

I'm afraid the 'hope' line was just too irresistible! And it does link all three episodes.

Thank you, elliska. I'm glad you liked it.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/15/2007
LOL! thankfully you explained what it was all about, for I was at a loss seeing again chapter one!

I loved the paralell between the two tales, and Oropher mourning the land under a gibbous moon. Elros comforting and counselling the elf sounded very fitting and the landscape as usual almost took over the scene. I really loved it.

Author Reply: H'mm. Sorry. It just seemed better to put them up chronologically. But it is confusing!

There are remarkably interesting parallels between the three pairs of elves that I never even thought of until after I had written the Second Age section - a bond between two families that makes the Aragorn/Legolas relationship inevitable - and, quite possibly, might help reconcile Thranduil to his son's disappearance to Ithilien. Or at least help him understand it.

The land definitely took on its own personality in the First Age. Such destruction. The courage of those who survived these cataclysmic times to fight on is so impressive.

Thank you, perelleth. Third Age coming soon.

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/13/2007
I'd been meaning to review this, but end-of-quarter got in the way.

After I figured out that you'd put it before your other chapter instead of after, things were great (I can be a little slow that way). Elros and Oropher make an interesting pair. They both seem to have been terribly scarred during the war and are dealing with it in similar ways, but they have such different personalities. It's neat to see the points where they connect and the points where they don't.

Author Reply: Well - chronology! (Sorry - I didn't even think to point out the reversed order until much later!) Fortunately the Third Age will come last, so I won't muddle anyone there!

I think Oropher was scarred - by more than the war. Maybe dating all the way back to the earlier battles and Denethor's death. And he has the kind of personality that hugs hurt to himself and takes it personally - while also being much kinder and more generous than he wants anyone to know. While Elros - how can he and Elrond not have been scarred by their childhoods? In some ways, it is amazingly courageous of Elros to be prepared to abandon all he knows to start again - but it is a way of dealing with the past by excision ... while Elrond prefers the poultice.

Oropher would have found it hard to deal with Elros and Elrond - they are, in two people, the sum of so many houses and hopes. How can he reject Elu's descendants - Luthien's great-grandsons? But, on the other hand, they are also heirs of the Men Elu tried to keep out of Doriath and - even worse - share the blood of Exiles with the Kinslayers. But with Elros going West and Oropher East, he probably managed to come up with some mental compromise that let him deal with it. For now, anyway!

Author Reply: And at least they didn't have any Dwarf blood ...

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/10/2007
Loved this! Oropher is so perfect in it. I really think you capture the way he would have felt immediately after the loss of Doriath so well here. And I love this conversation paired with the one in the next chapter. Wonderful!

Author Reply: I can't help but feel that Oropher was quite an angry elf - at times, anyway - but who can blame him? By this point he has lost almost everything, except his wife and son, and is being forced to confront a world that has changed. It would, I think, make him very protective of what he had left. And yet - Elros and Elrond are the only grandsons of Elu's grandson. Old loyalties would war with old resentments - because they are also the grandsons of Fingolfin's granddaughter. And part-reared by Feanor's sons. While to elven eyes they are still little more than children - younger than Thranduil.

I'm glad you like the pairing of two families meeting at the end of the Ages.

And the Third Age will be along soon ...

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/7/2007
Well, you already know how I love Oropher in general, and your version of him remains very appealing. His inner thoughts of turning eastward were well phrased and believably weighed out from his own pov. On the other hand, a youthful Elros, which is a good depiction of him at this time, is way too casual with his elder, if afar, kinsman, imho. Although, in the most likable way imaginable. Yes, perhaps already practicing the privileges of his kingship. ;) Especially, there at the end!

I loved the atmosphere you painted here! The stunningly horrendous and spoiled landscape, yet clearly the processes of cleansing is occurring just as the Valar intended. Earendil's light was wonderfully described. An elf would perceive it so bright and present, more so than a mortal.

...eventual reconciliation... sooo neatly said!

... a light to keep burning in dark places... light imperishable... Frodo will come to that appreciation one day too!

Great episode! So, the Third Age is next?

Author Reply: Well. Elros is rather more irreverent than his brother, I think! And there are times when all barriers come down and the mere fact of being there, in the same place at the same time, overrides differences and allows people to say things they would normally keep to themselves.

It must have been an absolutely horrific time - one of those moments when everything pauses before heading off in a different direction. With all sorts of people brought together and enduring on top of each other, before trying to get back to interrupted lives. And, in some cases, pretend that nothing had happened.

Glad you liked it, Redheredh. And yes, the Third Age is simmering away. (It's much more difficult, in some ways. You wouldn't believe the amount of stuff about the moon and stars and where they are in the sky at what times of year!)

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/7/2007
Oh, such a wonderful look at Elros before he left Ennor, a youth new-come to his choice....

Wonderful, to think of finding that hope that sustains and is, all to often, all that sustains yet is enough.

Lovely, Bodkin.

Author Reply: Elros had to have hope, I think, to do what he did. It was almost a choice in reflection of his father's, really - to sail away at the behest of the Valar and begin again, apart from everyone he knew and loved.

And something similar, maybe, pushed Oropher towards the east, where he could take up his own battle.

Thank you, Larner.

Raksha The DemonReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/7/2007
Ooh, what a lovely vignette. I don't think I've ever seen a conversation between these two before; and it's written beautifully. Though young, Elros shows the insight that will help make him founder and first king of Numenor; as well as a certain vulnerability. The bit about Elros and Elrond only being able to connect to their family through the sight of their long-gone father's star is wonderful and sad.

There really should be a third chapter, with Legolas and Aragorn the night before the battle of the Black Gate or something.

Author Reply: Thank you. Elros is young, but he is still the product of a lot of powerful lines coming together - and the progenitor of kings. His experience must, I think, have given him extra resilience in some areas, but also left him vulnerable - especially where relationships are concerned. It is a shame that Elros and Elrond were separated - and it must have been harder on Elrond who was left behind - since about the only family they had left was represented by Earendil's star.

The third chapter is pretty much done. It just needs to rest awhile.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/6/2007
I know I'm supposed to see the Valar's curse as justified, and the Sons of Feanor did some terrible things, but when you see how other suffered for it, I have trouble seeing the justice. It seems right that Oropher mourns for the land as well as the people.

Elros's youth is interesting to me here. I don't usually think of him as that way when he went to Numenor, but it's obviously entirely possible.

Author Reply: Yes. It's such a sweeping thing - and includes so many who never did anything wrong. And so irrevocable, too. The destruction of Doriath and the drowning of Beleriand would, I'm sure, have made Oropher very angry and resentful (- it doesn't take much, I feel. He is ... mercurial.)

Elros is young. He's about 60, I think. Which in elven terms is nothing. Barely adult. And he lives another 400 years or so (dredging faint memory here). He has, of course, been through a lot - but he's had quite a fractured youth. I think he would be - old in the way of war, but young in other ways. Probably family-related. The choice he made, too, seems to me to have something of the optimism of youth. And he hasn't actually gone to Numenor yet - there's a fair period of preparation, as I recall. (Goodness, but I'm being incoherent! I'll stop now...)

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