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History Lessons  by Nilmandra 19 Review(s)
CalnaurienReviewed Chapter: 24 on 8/19/2017
Nilmandra, "History Lessons" was an utter delight to read. Thank you. It is a big relief to see that there are other authors of Fiondil's caliber on this site, and more stories of the Elder Days to keep me happy! Grace and peace, Calnaurien

VanadesseReviewed Chapter: 24 on 4/29/2009
This is beautiful. You made me cry. I have a twin and to be separated one day is my worst nightmare. I often wondered how Elros and Elrond could have made their choice and I discovered and like it your way : it was not a choice, but a confirmation. Poor Elrond. But life made if the incredible healer he is.

BronwynferchdaiReviewed Chapter: 24 on 3/15/2009
Criminy. Made me cry and cry and cry. I mean, I sniffled when I read the Silmarillion, but I've been crying for the last two chapters.

Just gorgeously done.

And now I must convince myself that it's too late to read the others tonight.

Veritas and AequitasReviewed Chapter: 24 on 9/19/2005
I've been reading through your story for some time now, and, seeing as I've reached the end, I think it's more than time for a review.

To put it quite simply - I find The Silmirillion to be the best of Tolkein's works and your telling enhances it beyond what Tolkein could have imagined. The Third Age characterization, as well, was beautiful; and this I do not say lightly as I cannot stomach most "elfling" stories.

The research that you've obvioulsy done is astounding. The notes at the end of the chapters explaining your sources and assumptions was golden when it came to the authenticity of your tale.

I cannot agree with all your assumptions personally, but no one ever can. I always imagined the Peredhil in the care of Maedhros and Malgor until they were grown (though, I did really enjoy the scene where Celeborn points them out at the end of the war), and, frankly, I cannot imagine Elros not seeing his brother again after departing for Numeneor. Also, creating a whole backstory for Celeborn as some distant uncle was a bit vexing, though I can see why it would be important in a story where characters are telling of happenings of which they would need to have been present for.

The second last chapter, where Elrond and Elros make their final choices was one of the most moving passages I have ever read.

Elrond takes a lot of flak, but I've always liked him. 'Shaped by grief' is a wonderful way to phrase it. I truely appreciate the characterization and explanations in part as to what made him what he is.

Your story was wonderful. And should you decide to tackle the Second and Third Ages, I would be delighted to partake in your writings.

Author Reply: Thank your for your kind words and thoughts. I truly appreciate them. This was an interesting story to write, as I tried to tie little bits and pieces together from what Tolkien wrote. The passage that inspired the whole story was of Elros and Elrond being found in a cave behind a waterfall as young children, left by Maglor. I went with it, but certainly they may have stayed with the Feanorians until the War of Wrath, although that has its own set of complications - how did that type of life shape them? Elrond saw at mimimum the banner of the great hosts in the War of Wrath, as ne noted in the Council of Elrond - what role did the Feanorians and any of those remaining have in it? How did he come to see it and why did he stay with Gil-galad? I considered those things and tried going in that direction, but frankly dealing with the heavy and darkness of the curse was not where I wanted to go. :/ The Celeborn thing comes from a family tree that Tolkien did, showing Celeborn as Nimloth's uncle...but there was so little time to explore that relationship much or this whole story would have been longer than Tolkien's trilogy! Nonetheless, I enjoyed writing this and working out some of these details to make the story work. Sometimes that meant giving up going in a certain direction, or having to choose one version of Tolkien's work over another to fit the pieces together. Yet, that is the joy of writing in his world - he leaves enough big gaps to allow someone to fill them, and enough detail to understand the framework of the world. Thanks for reading. :>)

EldanarReviewed Chapter: 24 on 3/14/2005
well.. what can i say?..

i sat down to read this having been recommended to by Narvi.. who you know better as OD..and Ada 'Brim..aka Celebrimbor..

despite having read it almost a year ago i still sat spellbound as the story unfolded in front of me in a way that i could almost visualise..

i have both laughed and reached for the tissue box..

thank you for writing such a wonderful story..

in the words of Ada Brims elfling.. ..”tis more better ‘an that ol’ borin’’ it does got nana in too!”

Author Reply: Thank you, Eldanar! I am glad you enjoyed the story and that it could even be reread with some pleasure. And 'Nana' was indeed in it! Good thing he had no idea he would be called that when he was just a little 'un himself.

I have read of Eldanar in some of Master Erestor's tales, and found him quite adorable, but I stopped over there today and read your stories as well. You really do capture the voice of a child well - he is so consistently in character for the character you have given him, and I swear I could hear him speaking aloud. You clearly know children well.

Thank you for your kind words.

KathleenReviewed Chapter: 24 on 6/18/2004
I wanted to express my appreciation for the History Lesson Stories. I am in awe of your writing, the story you wrote was a wonderful companion for Professor Tolkein's works. I felt like an elfling learning wonderful lessons.

Author Reply: Thank you so much, Kathleen! I am glad you liked the story and really glad you let me know so. I appreciate it :D

mistry89Reviewed Chapter: 24 on 4/24/2004
Thank you.

Seems a bit inadequate ... but :)

Author Reply: You are welcome - any comment letting me know you read to the end is a great response :-)

xsilicaxReviewed Chapter: 24 on 1/6/2004
Yes, I finally got to finish it! This was one of the few stories that I sincerely missed during my four months absence.

It completely exceeded my expectations!

Your descriptions of The Choice, and the actual physical pain it caused Elrond simply tore at one. When I think of him yet having a hollow space within him I cannot help but get emotional. Thankfully he has a loving family around him to fill it, but he is going to lose even that soon enough!

I loved the interractions between Celeborn and Glorfindel, those two kids are worse than the twins at times, and yet they are so good for everyone's soul.

I honestly hope that there is a next part well on it's way that I shall stumble across soon, and in the meantime I will reread this for a third time to sate my need.


Author Reply: Thanks for your nice words, Cathy. This was a joy to write, and the Second Age is in progress :D I don't know where you were for four months, but I am glad you are back and look forward to anything you might write, too.

Banba McCuillReviewed Chapter: 24 on 11/27/2003
Well, let's just try this again without crazy fingers!

Lengthy, hope you are ready.

You will see some notations as I skip through chapters I had no comments for or that I was so anxious to read onward that I omitted.

This was a wonderful, fabulously written tale. You are an expert weaver of stories, mellon nin. *Jaw drops in awe as heavenly light shines down.* :-D

This will be a bit long, as I wanted to read this within a week away from the computer. In doing so, I take you with me, the reader, on my journey of first impressions and reactions.

Chapter One: Adorable little twins. What good boys.

Chapter Three: I wonder where, exactly, Ossë is during all this and what he is doing…no mention of him thus far…

Poor, spirited Elladan. Good Glorfindel with “No mudding your mother.” Good elf…yet next we have the naughty seneschal with Erestor’s cloak. So irresistibly naughty, indeed!

The mud and flowers lesson was a wonderful stroke of genius! Kudos!

Chapter Five: Very good examples of lesson application.

Chapter Six: I daresay Istuion is letting loose his “uptight” demeanor.

For some reason, it is hard to imagine Elrond as a child.

Lessons and questions that can hold contrary answers often follow. Trixie, trixie as Gollum might say. However, I say, well done Glorfindel!

I cannot imagine the pain Elrond felt as he pondered the last question about the twins verses a jewel. How horrible for his heart. Would that all us parents, or any adult for that matter, have the ability to command time enough to stop and weigh every variable for ages before answering such a delicate question.

Chapter Eight: Finally! I am caught up from where I began months ago…

Glorfindel and Erestor’s games will surely prove entertaining.

What a good explanation of the human emotion of spirit and passion and the power and wisdom a half-elf would have to use to wield it - the restraint too! Fabulous!

Alas, I read this until my eyelids drooped and force me to unwillingly retire for the evening!

Chapter Nine: Dear, sweet, misunderstood (though he may be more understood than he knows) Istuion, blushing under Lady Celebrían’s smile. What an interesting twist of heritage Celeborn’s connection adds to this tale.

Chapter Ten: Oh! The Good Lord Celeborn has a well kept sense of humor to have Glorfindel on his guard. I enjoyed him having to catch his balance in the stables immensely!

“Pretentious Vanyar elf!” Lovely! *Claps hands in appreciation.*

I grow suspicious that perhaps Elrond has joined in Erestor and Glorfindel’s foolishness, but that is way too obvious…or perhaps so obvious it’s not obvious…oh…I’m just not sure if it could be as it seems…no…it could not be…I know you are more clever than that…but, WHO then????

Chapter Eleven: Disturbing behavior even from Maedhros, but I guess anyone capable of slaying their kin for a material object. It is disappointing and heart-wrentching, none the less. I wait anxiously for the twins to be safe and well.

Chapter Twelve: The Lady Galadriel shall hold her ground, make no mistake. Nor would she misuse her power. I am in agreement with your perception of the Lady of the Golden Wood for she is wise and fair.

Hmmmm…what do you mean Galadriel smiled wickedly…could she know of Glorfindel and Erestor’s game? I wonder…You are certainly skillful at keeping me guessing!

Chapter Thirteen: Maglor does right and saves the day! Glory be!

Chapter Fourteen: Celebrían’s expression to Elrond about the desire to produce new life was well written and very natural.

It seems you have a gift. What a clever and natural transition in the interaction and “history” of men in the healing house where the twins visits the injured man from the rockslide. It gives the twins such a hands-on learning experience and connection with their heritage.

LOL! Gil-Galad. “Does he not realize I am his king?” (As he chases Elros down the hall). *Howls with laughter!* Círdan to Gil: “A fine example you are to them,” as Gil-Galad is busted for his unorthodox approach to laying down the law! Hah!

This story is coming along very nicely…or should I say, series of stories combined into this one “History Lesson.” To have so many storylines going confounds my weary brain tissue! You are weaving these well.

Chapter Fifteen: Celebrían the Prankster? Hmmmm…the plot thickens…could it be she who is the instigator of the follies that Glorfindel and Ereion blame on one another.

Those poor little elves. Nonconcious means the same thing as unconscious. Poor darlin’s.

Chapter Seventeen: Ah! So, it is Celebrian! Good girl, though I am shocked, even if I did already slightly suspected her. I am amused to see the Golden Adonis of Elf-Lords scrambling! Yes!

Chapter Eighteen: Yes, fainting can be completely embarrassing! Poor Elrond!

Chapter Nineteen: I’m wondering if it is a matter of average elf strength or if Glorfindel is really just a stud among elves. Perhaps it was all that time spent with the Valar. ;-) What a charming ham he is!

Chapter Twenty-One: Ahhhh! Yes! *Claps hands and howls again with uncontrollable laughter.* Celeborn the Wise, indeed! He who knows not to speak on behalf of the Lady with the capable tongue. None other than a match of strength and wisdom would we see for Galadriel and Celeborn!

Celeborn begins to have the muted shine of his own regal strength now as the depth of is character is shown. No offense intended to the other Kindreds, but I wish to serve with Celeborn and see him victorious against those who slew his king and his king’s heir. May he have vengeance, it that be his wish.

And Elros. “These are my men and my people.” *Raises brows.* Who could not see that statement as one of destiny for a later event.

*Weeps and clutches heart.* Those sweet distant uncles presenting “adult” Elrond to the people. *Sniffs again.* That was done with such simplicity that it kept the purity of the moment powerful, as it should be. Outstanding work, Nilmandra.

Oh no! Was ist das??? *Weep, weep.* “Leave it my child. It is your heritage…” I love those cuddly old anonymous elves with profound words to speak at the right time. ;-) Do not misunderstand. This takes absolutely nothing away from the moment, but adds such enrichment regarding the support and the loving community of family shared by these elves who have watch Elrond grow from a small half-elf lacking confidence to a leader with potential and a great destiny laid before him.

Chapter Twenty-Two: Those little twins are a hoot! “Nana would have made Glorfindel sit on a bench until they could talk nicely to one another…” I’d almost consider paying to see that.

“Even driving the Valar back…” *Yikes! Looks around with a worried expression. Haldir, does this worry you? No, you have heard the story many times from Celeborn? Okay. Good enough for me. *

Here! Here! Elf of Gondolin! That is the spirit! “We have killed balrogs; we will kill these dragons.” Damn right. Do not let the other Firstborn give up when you have come so very far! Cheers to you, dear elf! *Jumps up and down excitedly.*

Ah! The great Eagles! They always seem to have to step in and save the day towards the end, do they not? Gandalf, dwarves and hobbits in trees below a toasty fire…the Battle of Five Armies. However, I must admit to being thoroughly surprised if my good friend Beorn showed up in this battle though because he is quite secretive about his history and how long his line goes back. *Growls at the Bear (for ‘tis the only language he can comprehend right now as I am miffed at him - can you believe he has the gall to be amused?)*

Chapter Twenty-Three: Oh! Oh! Tell me, what will the camp of the Valar look like - I must know! I must know! What will happen, but more importantly how? Must read on…must read on…

*Begins weeping (again).* No, not a choice…sad, sad, sad. Oh, no. Not a sundered bond…this is really too much to take. *Sniff. Give me those Kleenex you old Bear! At least Haldir has the good grace to cry with me!*

Chapter Twenty-Three: “Your time this night is already claimed.” *Well…cha, cha, cha, my fine elves!* ;-)

LOL! The golden one, eh? LOL! Ha!

Chapter Twenty-Four: …and even after all the loss and grief, he remains kind-hearted.

Absolutely amazing work, Nilmandra. I enjoyed this immensely and at times it evoked such powerful emotion, I could not grasp the words I needed to convey my response.

It was certainly more enjoyable to read this knowing a little background through our conversations and the reading I had done on my own (per your references - thank goodness) before coming back to finish reading this - I’m so happy I did and I am so happy you did! LOL!

There are a few things I’m wondering and will read and research to find my own perspective on them, but one thing has me pondering.

Is there any record of where Sauron is in all this. It is said he was one of the greatest servants of Morgoth. I wonder if he, like Galadriel (powerful and wise in her own right) went to Ossiriand (Middle-earth during the time of the Hobbit and LOR where the Green-elves already held realms due to their falling away during the Great Journey?) as well to search out a new land…but how would he know the Valar were coming and how would he make his way there even if he was present for a time while the War of Wrath waged. How could he possible slip out beneath the Valar’s noses? It doesn’t seem possible. I can’t help wondering why Morgoth would not keep him near. If the elves and men were holding the lines while the Valar waged their major battle…well…it is probably possible. I’m missing a big chunk of information, aren’t I? I’m afraid my reading and studies haven’t taken me to that level just yet. :-0

Reviewed Chapter: 24 on 11/27/2003

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