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Brotherhood  by Bodkin 14 Review(s)
elliskaReviewed Chapter: 8 on 3/10/2007
Gilrean is great in this. I have no children but I can imagine how hard it must be to see them grow away and into their own little person and that is all the more difficult because that is what mothers want for their children to do (at the same time they don't want it) captured that so well here.

Author Reply: Gilraen is even more alone than Estel - who doesn't really know, at this point, that he is a fish out of water. She needs to develop her own network of support in Imladris - where there must, after all, have been plenty of female elves. She has to be strong and let her son grow to follow a destiny that will take him away from her - and knows it. I think she's a real hidden heroine of the whole trilogy, actually.

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 8 on 12/31/2006
Letting your child slowly pull away from you must always be difficult, but for Gilraen, with her background and history and likely premonitions of her son's perilous future, it must be especially agonizing; more so because he's been living in this lovely little insulated bubble of unreality. But she's a Dunadan and knows what has to be done.

Author Reply: Gilraen's whole purpose for existence now is Estel - and her duty is to raise him to be an independent strong man and then push him out of the door. She must have felt tempted from time to time to cosset him. Especially, perhaps, among elves, to whom childhood is at least twice as long as it is among men. I'm sure most of the elves wouldn't even have questioned keeping Estel a child for an extra few years. But Gilraen knows what she has to do - I'm not surprised that she let the forebodings and loneliness get to her in the end. Once she had done her duty.

DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: 8 on 12/29/2006
Poor Gilraen! But, really, she *should* take advantage of Elrond's advice--relaxation time is rare when one has a boy-child! But I am glad she had the feminine understanding of Mothwen, too.

Author Reply: I expect Gilraen will come to appreciate time when she knows where Estel is and that he is in someone else's care. But just now ... I reckon she needs a role beyond caring for her son or she is going to be wandering round Imladris not knowing what to do with herself. Mothwen will be good for her - they share a lot of experience, even if Mothwen has taken a good few millennia longer to live through it.

Linda HoylandReviewed Chapter: 8 on 12/28/2006
Poor Gilraen, like motheres throughout history,she can only wait and hope.
It always saddens me,she never lived to see Aragorn King.

Author Reply: Gilraen's job was completed when her son grew up. It's a very traditional one - sacrifice, devotion - in some ways, I am surprised she was allowed to linger so long once Aragorn had found Arwen. I would have liked to see her devotion rewarded - but then, I'd have liked to see Elrond linger a few more decades and know his grandchildren.

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 8 on 12/28/2006
It's kind of too bad that, while the twins were eager to adopt Estel as a brother, no one seems to have given any thought to Gilraen until now. Gilraen was so young when she married, and then to become a mother and a widow in such short succession. . . she really needs a friend, and perhaps someone to be a surrogate mother or sister. Mothwen is a good person to have around, in a way that the menfolk just can't be.

Author Reply: Gilraen has been totally wrapped up in Estel until now, I think. She has dealt with others as Estel's mother rather than as Gilraen. She does need female company and the presence of those who have shared similar experiences. They are there in Imladris - but just not generally seen much! (That is to say: you have to invent them!) Gilraen needs a role, I think, that extends beyond her relationship to Estel. Hopefully, Elrond's insight is deep enough to see and provide this.

Selene AduialReviewed Chapter: 8 on 12/28/2006
Eventhough I have no childeren myself I can understand Gilrean's reaction. This is really the beginning of her letting him go and that's difficult for any parent.
Mothwen is probalby right in saying Estel will come home in rags and completely spend. the twins maybe good to and for him, but something tells me they might still have to learn about a young human's limits.

Author Reply: Letting Estel grow up and leave is not going to be easy for Gilraen. He is her lifeline - and without him, she will be wondering about her purpose. She knows, too, what a dangerous world she is preparing him to live in - and how likely it is that he will die before he reaches old age.

Estel will need his mother for a good while yet - which will be a comfort to her - but she will probably have to push to have him be allowed to grow up at the pace suitable for a human child, as elven childhood is so much longer.

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 8 on 12/28/2006
Very touching. Especially the two women, elder and younger, together facing one of the more difficult realities of life.

And, it is not as if this were Gilrean's domain, with her kin taking the boy away with them or her people providing distraction for their queen to other mundane responsibilities. I really wonder if the poor lady knows how to be appreciate an idle moment. No wonder her dilemma strikes so deeply.

Author Reply: Up to this point, everything Gilraen has done in Imladris has been focused around Estel. He won't be gone long - a day at most - but she is not responsible for him. A frightening milestone - because it leaves her wondering what is the point of her life without him. A good moment to find another woman who understands. I think Mothwen will draw Gilraen into the female side of life in Imladris - help her get to know other mothers and widows - people with whom she share experiences that transcend species.

Elrond and his sons do their best - and Elrond, I reckon, understands a great deal more than you would expect - but they are male. Gilraen needs people of her own gender right now.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 8 on 12/28/2006
A fledgling trying his new wings...A rite of passage for the boy, but for the mother as well. Hard as it must have been, it also granted her a moment of interspecies female bonding that was surely welcome.

Author Reply: Tough. And the first time of many - as Gilraen knows only too well. She knows Estel is safe with the twins - he'll get dirty and tired and have a great time - but it's the beginning of their separation. She needs other females who've endured the same thing - and Mothwen is a good example. I hope Gilraen begins to find a role for herself in Imladris, or she is going to be very lonely over the next couple of decades.

ArmarielReviewed Chapter: 8 on 12/27/2006
Gilraen is a good mother. She has deep feelings but is almost stoical in facing what she must. Which makes it easy to emphasize with her even for a reader without any children of her own! (and must be all the more so for those who do have them!)

Author Reply: She is determined to do what is best for her son. If that means living among Elves, fine. If it means letting him become independent from her, fine. Her role - her sacrifice - is to give up being Gilraen in favour of being Aragorn's mother. Still tough, though. She knows better than most what being Aragorn will demand of her son. But he has to be ready - and good - if he is not to end up failing his people.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 8 on 12/27/2006
I feel Gilraen's pain. I never expected to have to let my kid go off to save the world, but I did have to leave him at kindergarden and college, and even that was hard.

Author Reply: It's tough, wherever and whenever you have to leave them. Mothers really would fight dragons for their kids, given half a chance.

In some ways, I reckon Gilraen might have to push a bit to give Estel the chance to do things, too - which would make it worse. Elven childhood is so much longer, that I doubt whether the elves would have been the ones to suggest that he should move on to the next stages.

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