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Of shapes and changes of hue  by Nesta 9 Review(s)
Lady BluejayReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/6/2007
There is nothing more tenacious than life - but nice to see you linking re-colonisation with our friend Radagast. Good touch about Faramir and Eowyn not conceiving very easily. Excellent little fic.LBJ


phyloxenaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/5/2007
Such a treat. I like all of the story, I don't know there to begin. First, the idea itself, Radagast still there, at least for a while, to care about small things. He is unassuming and unsentimental, and commanding without humiliation or pretense, a true authority.
Dry and angst-free Eowyn with the work of her own. Faramir, talking to small brown birds, of course.

Author Reply: Thanks, Phyloxena! Three cheers for old Radagast!

Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/5/2007
This was excellent. And I agree - Radagast was a Maia - I see no reason that he could not have changed his shape.

As for Mordor, it seems perfectly plausible that at some point, life would come back to it. I liked that it needed a little help from both Maia and Man.

Faramir is a delight. Very real!

Author Reply: It's interesting to suspect what Maiar, when incarnated as Istari, could and couldn't do. One gathers that they aren't omniscient or invulnerable or invincible; they can't fly; they can't magic away their enemies with a word; in fact they can't do anything that would make the struggle against the Enemy easy. How many of these limitations was imposed on them by the One, or the Valar, before they embarked on their mission in ME, I don't think we were ever told, except that they were forbidden to intimidate elves or men 'by force or fear' - something Saruman evidently forgot.

After he 'passes away' and is 'sent back', Gandalf seems to have been freed from some of these limitations - he says that none of the Company has any weapon that could hurt him, for example - but he certainly isn't omnipotent. And all the Istari seem to have been affected by the ordinary temptations of human ambition; even Gandalf feels the pull of the Ring, for example. And he is quite emotional, as well.

They also seem to be specialists. Saruman specialises in Ring-lore (and military technology?), Gandalf in hobbit-lore and fireworks, Radagast in animal lore and, apparently, shape-shifting. As a 'good' wizard I'm sure he wouldn't use this power to frighten or kill people - on the right side, anyway - but I can see him using it in a mildly mischieveous way, as in this story.



Author Reply: It's interesting to suspect what Maiar, when incarnated as Istari, could and couldn't do. One gathers that they aren't omniscient or invulnerable or invincible; they can't fly; they can't magic away their enemies with a word; in fact they can't do anything that would make the struggle against the Enemy easy. How many of these limitations were imposed on them by the One, or the Valar, before they embarked on their mission in ME, I don't think we were ever told, except that they were forbidden to intimidate elves or men 'by force or fear' - something Saruman evidently forgot.

After he 'passes away' and is 'sent back', Gandalf seems to have been freed from some of these limitations - he says that none of the Company has any weapon that could hurt him, for example - but he certainly isn't omnipotent. And all the Istari seem to have been affected by the ordinary temptations of human ambition; even Gandalf feels the pull of the Ring, for example. And he is quite emotional, as well.

They also seem to be specialists. Saruman specialises in Ring-lore (and military technology?), Gandalf in hobbit-lore and fireworks, Radagast in animal lore and, apparently, shape-shifting. As a 'good' wizard I'm sure he wouldn't use this power to frighten or kill people - on the right side, anyway - but I can see him using it in a mildly mischieveous way, as in this story.


EdlynReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/4/2007
Oh, this is an absolutely exquisite story. Touching and wonderful. I truly love the way you have depicted Faramir, Eowyn and Radagast in this. I am definitely going to tell all my friends to read it. And it has been bookmarked so I may easily find it to read again and again.

Dancingkatz

Author Reply: So glad you enjoyed the story! And I'm delighted you're going to tell your friends about it.

Linda HoylandReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/4/2007
I loved this story,it has a beautiful haunting quality and is quite unique.
My only minor quibble is that I don't think Faramir would feel bitterness about there being a King.He did tell Frodo that he would like to see the crown restored,after all.

I loved the idea of the talking animals and poor Faramir's puzzlement.You created a real mystery with a plausible resolution and allowed the reader to feel along with Faramir.

An outstanding story.

Author Reply: I don't think Faramir feels any conscious bitterness about the king. Normally he wouldn't even think about it. But he's a proud man, and I think Radagast - who is a wizard after all - may have tapped a small hidden well of resentment at being displaced. After this, I don't think it would have troubled Faramir ever again.

Raksha The DemonReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/4/2007
This is a lovely story, Nesta; one of your best. It is reasonable that two people so heavily wounded by Sauron's agents might suffer some damage of the reproductive organs. Eowyn was wounded in her arm; Faramir seems to have been saturated with the Black Breath, so it could be that he suffered some kind of sterility.

I love the meeting of Radagast and Faramir, with Radagast appointing Faramir as an agent of growth and healing in the "Desolation". I don't remember, was the Desolation a region of Mordor or nearer to Minas Morgul, the latter being specifically placed under Faramir's charge by Elessar.

I did not quite understand why Faramir would feel even a hint of bitterness about the rule of the Stewards returning to the King, especially when he himself was the first to recognize that King. And I didn't understand why he felt he was under-employed - as Prince of Ithilien, Steward of Gondor, and a sort of march-warden on the Minas Ithil side, Faramir would have been extremely busy with important work.

Nice to see Radagast's recognition of Faramir through the connection to Mithrandir.

Author Reply: The Desolati0no was outside the gates of Mordor. It borders on Ithilien: you remember Frodo and Sam in TT turned away from the Gates and found themselves in Ithilien almost immediately, so I think it's legitimate to put it under Faramir's charge. I did think of setting the story in Morgul Vale, but I could imagine the Desolation more vividly from Tolkien's description, as being rather like the volcanic wildernesses I saw in Iceland.

The sterility question is an interesting one; I didn't think of it as being connected with the Black Breath, but it does make sense. JRRT says that the rulers of Gondor married late, and their children were few. Faramir doesn't marry late, for a Gondorian, but he might run to type in other ways. Anyway, we do know that he had at least one child, not to mention all the non-canonical ones that we have presented him with!

As I said to Linda, I don't think Faramir felt any bitterness consciously, but I think one would have to be superhuman not to feel even the slightest trace of resentment at being superseded, even by a person one recognises as superior, or having a better right. Faramir would certainly be busy, but not perhaps with the greatest things. However, I can see why people would disagree on this point!

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/4/2007
Many of us have seen Radagast's true mission beginning after Sauron's destruction, as he begins and aids the healing that must follow.

I have Aragorn and Arwen, using the power of the Elessar, coming before the Black gate a year after the victory to bless it and begin the healing process, and Jodancingtree has Radagast, in at least on version aided by Frodo as part of his own healing.

And now the Desolation loses that identity, as the Creator's Light begins to shine here and small things come back.

Love this vision, Nesta. Thank you.

Author Reply: I always had rather a soft spot for Radagast. Not all wizards have to be just like Gandalf, after all, and Radagast certainly didn't go to the bad like Saruman. As for his preferring animals, I'm rather of that way of thinking myself.

It's a lovely idea to have Aragorn and Arwen blessing the Desolation. It would be awful to think of such a horrible place just squatting for ever on the borders of Gondor.

shireboundReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/4/2007
many small things, taken together, may become great ones. Thatís how I work: with small things, for the good of small creatures, and in the end, I think, for great ones.

Oh my, this is just beautiful. It's wonderful that Radagast recognizes what 'could' be, both in the land and in its newest Guardian. This is a lovely encounter, and a very hopeful tale.

Author Reply: Thanks very much! Radagast is a wizard, after all, and so must be a Maia, and would have superhuman powers of discernment. There has to be a lot more to him than being a 'bird-tamer', as Saruman scornfully says - and I'm sure that Radagast, like Tom Bombadil, had a lot of depth under the rather jokey exterior.

LauraReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/4/2007
Great piece. Lovely message. I was moved.

Author Reply: Thanks, Laura! What a wonderful world Tolkien left us to explore.

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