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The Dwellings of the Dead  by Nilmandra 57 Review(s)
DJXtwj2cReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/2/2015
You get a lot of respect from me for writing these helpful areitlcs.

paranoidangelReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/3/2008
I did enjoy this. I love Glorfindel glowing and driving off the evil spirit. It was so sad all those people dying, and especially Toman and Elrohir not being able to do anything about it.

Author Reply: Thanks, Nic. You know me ... I love glowing Glorfindel and sensitive Elrohir. :D I am glad you enjoyed the story.

The Lady of LightReviewed Chapter: 3 on 7/12/2007
I did very much enjoy this. Very few authors that I have read have taken this tack to exploring this phantasmagoric aspect of Tolkien's works. It's wonderfully refreshing, fascinating and creepy to read.

Best,

~The Lady of Light~

Author Reply: I am glad you enjoyed this. There are many creepy and terrifying things in Tolkien's world to write about, yet I love how the side of good ultimately wins, no matter how many bruises and setbacks it receives.

MeljeReviewed Chapter: 3 on 5/21/2007
Wow, I get back to reading fan fiction after a looong period with limited computer time, and I find whole new stories Ė and complete, too! Ė from you! Reading them all will take some time, I see thereís a whole new installment of History Lessons, but Iím up to the challenge Ė quite looking forward to it, actually.

And this one is about the Twins, oh joy!

The opening scenes are very powerful, and they reminded me of a French novel, The Horseman on the Roof. Itís about a lone man wandering in the sun-scorched Provence during a cholera epidemics, have you read it? Thereís a movie, too, and a good one at that, but the book is better, as usual ;o)

Yet, as far as I recall, the horseman didnít care overly much for the victims of the epidemics, or at least he doesnít feel responsible for them, while of course Elrohir would. Itís really moving to see how he tries at least to ease the passing of the old man.

I just LOVED the dreamy atmosphere of the scene with the tree, how it starts to wind its tendrils around Elrohirís neck, and he just stands there, frozen, fascinated, and doesnít try to pull away.

And I hated both Elrohir and Glorfindel right after, Elrohir for not telling and setting off on his own, and Glorfindel for not pursuing the matter and letting him go, even though he had before him a clearly shaken and bedraggled... elfling. What were they thinking??
And then again, while he is caring for the boy, Elrohir doesnít tell Glorfindel, not even when the elf hints at the fact that the spirit might be pursuing another strategy. Grrrr...

It was very decent of Mandos recognising that Elrohir had been deceived, and giving him a second chance. I hope this teaches him not to make hasty choices in the future. I canít believe how much looking after Elrohir needs; if I were his brother, I would be really annoyed.

AAARGH! What do Erestor and Glorfindel mean, when they say that theyíd expect Elladan and not Elrohir to choose the fate of Men? Do they know something I donít? Have you explored the idea in one of the stories I have yet to read?
Youíre not having the Twins make the same choice as Arwen, are you. Or even worse, choose separate fates! May I remind you that Elrond will be waiting for them in Valinor, and when he realises one or both are not coming, he will go after you?



Author Reply: LOL, no never read that book. I can hardly imagine what it would be like to come across barren lands, where disease and war have killed nearly all the population. It has to be haunting.. and how clever of Tolkien to use the time of the plague for the evil spirits to be around.

Elrond has already informed me of the twin's fate, and Glorfindel has sternly reminded me not to upset him. ;)

TolkienFanaticReviewed Chapter: 3 on 1/24/2007
This story is great, like all your others. I'm glad Elrohir was alright in the end. I liked the bible references in this fic. BTW, I have a challenge for you. I loved the History Lessons series, and I want you to write some first age stories, from before Elrond was born.

Author Reply: Thanks, TolkienFanatic. I have only done a short little Galadriel-Celeborn story in the first age, but I am contemplating a little Glorfindel flashback to Gondolin. We'll see!

DotReviewed Chapter: 3 on 1/20/2007
Catching up now that Iíve satisfied my little Legles craving. Temporarily :-)

This was a wonderfully written, thought-provoking ending, Nilmandra. That child just about broke my heart. I thought it was so touching how Elrohir coaxes that lost little boy out of hiding and into his arms. Once Elrohir spotted the black marks it was clear that the child would probably die so I was glad he had someone to offer him love and comfort in this world before he found it in the next. In a way I think I felt more for Elrohir in his sorrow because the best thing for the child at this stage, after all heís suffered, probably was to follow his family.

The return of the spirit was very frightening. The atmosphere in this story has really been ranging from spooky to downright terrifying! His body will die and his spirit will flee, but it will not find peace. I thought that was very chilling. A personís spirit is of such importance to elves that the idea of it being lost to torment forever must be the worst possible fate that Elrohir could imagine. I like how you show Glorfindel always in the background and we know that he doesnít have it easy here Ė heís providing strength and support to both Elrohir and Toman and he also has the horrible practicalities of burying the childís family.

What was very interesting was how everything the spirit said made sense in a way, which made it so much harder to dismiss Ė whether itís about alliances with Men or Elrohir having the choice to follow the boyís spirit. I was worried when Elrohir reached out to calm Toman and drew nearer to his spirit. I really wondered route he would take but knew that he wouldnít be able to bear the thought that Tomanís spirit would stray and be taken by evil if there was any chance at all that he could guide it along the right path.

The moment when Toman died and Glorfindel appears to ward off the evil spirits was amazing. Donít you love Glorfindel? Well, ok, we all know you do ;-) But I gasped aloud when Elrohir chose at that moment to follow the boy. The joy that filled Toman as he was welcomed and taken home was such a relief, but I also felt sort ofÖ sad for Elrohir in that moment that he hadnít trusted enough that Toman would be looked after. Still, in his sorrowing, exhausted state, plagued by this evil spirit, he reacted to what made sense to him at the time and made a brave choice.

It sounds like an odd thing to say, but I like the depiction of Mandos! Heís such a mixture of love and strength. The way he chastises Elrohir is gentle but at the same time thereís no questioning his power. And Elladan! Boy was I glad to see him there. He fought a hard battle and must have been petrified but it was a wonderful reminder of the nobility and power that make him who he is. I was glad to glimpse this side of him Ė such a mixed heritage gives him a tie to more than elves and if this makes him of interest to those with evil intent, itís also from where he can draw this awe-inspiring strength. I thought it was very moving that this really showed that Elladan and Elrohir are two different people Ė neither less than the other, just each possessing different gifts. But together they make in incredible team.

I loved the closing conversation between Erestor and Glorfindel. Those two are by Elladanís and Elrohirís side through so much and they must have been both terrified and impressed by what they just witnessed. And, of course, Glorfindel has the wisdom to know that even he cannot understand their fate and to recognise that Elrohir has not only learned something today but has drawn a little closer to Men in gaining knowledge of their fate. If thatís frightening for those who love Elrohir, itís still a gift granted to him to prepare him for when he must make his choice. And itís a very moving glimpse of Elrondís courage and strength too that he can act on the knowledge that his sons must be able to choose freely, even if it means that they might choose a fate different than he did.

Oops, Iíve gone on too long. Well, I enjoyed this story very much, Nilmandra! It was insightful, scary, moving and ultimately very comforting. Iím looking forward to whatever you write next :-)


Author Reply: Thanks, Dot. I am glad you liked this. It gets into the whole idea of the spiritual realm existing all around us, of the things we can see and the things most cannot. Tolkien gave us a lot to work with. Elrohir was a prime target - this is the same one who jumped off a bridge to save his sister; was lured by the ring to put it on, and shouted to Glorfindel to duck and took a few arrows himself. He is curious and generous to a fault, and it puts his life at risk.. and may lead him down paths that would otherwise remain untrodden.

So now I'm mulling over a few story ideas! I need to grow up little Legles and I do have a spider story in mind for him. And it has Lathron :>) But then there is a Celebrian in Valinor story and a Glorfondel from Elrond sails until he once again stands before Turgon story, and now there is another Elohir story floating around too. Too bad we have to work and do other stuff than write stories!

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 3 on 1/20/2007
The poor child. And he offered a perfect way for the spirit to seduce Elrohir into listening to him. But how could Elrohir have ignored the threat to the child and still remained Elrohir? He would have been devastated if it had proved that the child's spirit could be trapped in eternal torment when he could have prevented it.

Hugely courageous of him to face death to protect the child - although, I suppose, in some ways that's what he does as a warrior every day. And a great relief that he was able to be drawn back. There's more to these Peredhel than might appear - not just the tie to the Edain, but also the link to spirits that existed before Arda - and will continue to exist after the world ends. They may choose to live as elves (they'd better!) but they are - well - a unique family. Although - when you look at the Elros part of the family - extensive.

Perhaps Elrohir would have been wiser to tell Glorfindel what the spirit was saying to him, though. Although Elladan turned up in the nick of time and saved the day!

Author Reply: Since the fea or spirit is such an integral concept to Tolkien's works, it was an interesting challenge to think of how the embodied and the un-embodied might interact. The Eldar, Maiar and Valar all exist as spirit in our world, embodied or not, but humans must have the body and spirit together. Then their are the spirit who exist out of our world, those who did not enter Ea at the beginning. So does like recognize like? If so, then what of these hybrids - chimeras - who are human, elf and maia? It just makes the peredhil all the more interesting to me.

Elladan helped save the day, but it was the spirits of Iluvatar and Mandos who sealed the deal. The strain of the ainur that has entered mankind through Melian though - who knows what fate that portended?

InarielReviewed Chapter: 3 on 1/17/2007
Just to let you know that I am still reading and enjoying what you write. Thanks again for keeping the list, and for the joy I get of your work.

Author Reply: Thanks, Inariel. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

SezReviewed Chapter: 3 on 1/16/2007
This is the first time I have done this. However, I wanted to let you know that I love your stories, that I have come across recently. I especially love the interplay between the Rivendell and Mirkwood elves and would love to see that explored - you hint that Elladan and Legolas are squaring for a contest after the Council, and would love to read about that - not least as I think the twins must be very ambigous about the fact that their father has chosen Legolas to go with Estel, not them. I can imagine they have a few issues to sort out but would realise his worth after a fairly severe testing.

Author Reply: Thanks, Sez. I am glad you have enjoyed. I need to grow up my Legolas into the Legolas of the Quest, and then it will be fun to write that scene of which you speak!

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 3 on 1/16/2007
Ah, Providence...and wonderful birthday gifts. You hit on a pet peeve of mine.

Have you ever noticed in tales of spooks, vampires--whatever--the hero is going it alone or with a ragtag band of marginally socially acceptable, heavily-armed misfits, fighting evil single-handed? The bad guys are vile and disgusting, thumping their nose at a Higher Power. Priests, nuns, and innocent people are their favorite targets. I'm not Catholic and that always ticks me off. In these tales, evil has backup from Big Evil. The poor parish priest is fodder. Where's the Good Higher Power? Where's the archangel with his flaming sword? Would God just ignore the plight of His people and let supernatural creatures destroy His own? I hate that! I want Gabriel to blow that blasted horn and a host of heavenly avengers descend on the creeps like Raid on roaches. Go Illuvatur! Go Manwe!

Glorfindel glows! That works. Elrohir is willing to assume the role of protector and escort! That works too. Go Good!

Elrohir was brave, putting the needs of the little boy above his own. He was willing to risk his own destiny to see the child safe. I love that he found there are 'greater powers' at work in the world than Melkor or Sauron or some unnamed houseless ones bent on taking advantage of the innocent. I love his willingness to sacrifice himself if necessary to save a child. Free will. We all have the free will to choose. Elrohir chose to do the right thing even if it was at his own expense. But the best part, of course, was we find out it wasn't necessary; Illuvator looks after His own. Elrohir learned a good lesson, but his heart was certainly in the right place.

Go Good!

Thank you so much for this beautiful tale. It was properly spooky, but held a greater meaning than just things that go bump in the night. It's reassurance that we have 'backup' even if it seems at times we are alone, or at best, have only a ragtag group of friends to support us. I'm grateful for my not-so-ragtag group of friends, and for the Big Backup. Sometimes, we all need to hear we're surrounded by love. We just have to accept it. This story has been a wonderful gift.

Thanks again. I have the best friends!

Karen

Author Reply: I am glad you liked this Karen. To make a realistic ghost story, it had to make sent to me in Tolkien's world. And the forces of good are present, even when we think they're not. We don't know all the evil that never happens.. we just complain when something does. And of course, there are many who suffer, and many who die.. and some are innocent, and some die for their faith. But there is Providence and greater good is being wrought, whether we can see it or not.

But souls... those are eternal and no harm may befall them. All those crazy stories showing Evil standing unopposed need to open their eyes!

Happy Birthday, again. Tell Alan he can share this gift with you. :>)

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