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A Perilous Journey to Lorien  by LadyJaina 37 Review(s)
mystarlightReviewed Chapter: 1 on 9/4/2022
Awesome story.

periannoreReviewed Chapter: 2 on 5/31/2022
This chapter begins with your apt characterization of Legolas acting his elvish age, being impulsive like Pippin. What would thranduil say about his son deliberately making himself a target with 5 enemies and three arrows?
Later you refer to the uninjured Legolas's merriment. Tolkien established the elves Merriment early on. I was sorry he didn't work it more into the dialogue as the trilogy continued instead of leaving most of the levity to the hobbits. When I have these thoughts I feel even more compassion for Tolkien who wished he could have made the trilogy way, way, longer.
You use Tolkien's setting as you quoted it as a springboard and augmented it with phrases like: Young birches grew sparsely and Legolas used them like great walking staffs, letting them brace him as he made his way down., which allow us to visualize the setting in more detail. Nice writing.
Legolas's world of hurt is just beginning. In this chapter it's reassuring that Gimli, Aragorn and Boromir show such sincere concern for him.
You are so patient to research your story so thoroughly.

periannoreReviewed Chapter: 14 on 5/31/2022
No matter how absorbed you must be in bringing your own story to life you continually link it to its source, to Tolkien. It may seem obvious but it still pleased me so much when you wrote: a scout of galadhrim creeping up on the perimeter, silent and deadly. Their gray cloaks made them almost invisible in the darkness and rain. Those cloaks would be like the ones the fellowship was given before setting out from Lorien and the near invisibility they provided would be a little like the invisibility from using the ring but without the dangers it imposed on the user.
I could feel Aragorn's dread when he spotted Merry's knife/sword: The blade was covered in black blood. It was Merry's—he would recognize it anywhere. He swallowed bile, almost afraid to look... and it did not bode well that Merry's only weapon was no longer on his person. You sound so Tolkienish with words like it did not bode well that Merry's only weapon was not on his person. Your writing is so well thought out that there's more than one thing to say about a single sentence.
The little exchange: "I think he's still in a bit of shock," Gimli rumbled quietly.
"He can hear you," Merry retorted testily, was a nice touch of Gimli, Aragorn and Merry being the characters we feel so fannishly attached to, a welcome break from the ravages of the battle.
The way your characters cooperate without bickering is a beautiful thing making them seem like beings you'd want to know. Not for them the "Not my job." heard in many of our work places. For example the elves came to the fireside and some lit torches and so many more helped lift the warg that they removed it in one go. To be fair they've had centuries to practice assessing what needs to be done and smoothly pitching in. On the other hand, Aragorn, having had only one lifetime to practice pre, during and post battle organization is barking orders, not in a mean way, just worried and overwhelmed, when: he unclenched hands he hadn't realized had been fisted and looked over at Foendil. "He is not the first ailing elf we've tended, Estel…we will take care of him now. Go see to your friends." It was a nice way of telling Aragorn the situation was well in hand.
In common with Tolkien your writing makes me think, Not a fantasy. This is history, they were all real and all of it really happened that way."

periannoreReviewed Chapter: 15 on 5/29/2022
You described washing off in the cold river so well I had to go get a sweater.
I'm so impressed with your description of Gimli's fair mindedness regarding the elves. Among dwarves it would be easy to take the general dislike of elves for granted, but having to spend time with elves Gimli is having difficulty maintaining the traditional low opinion of them: Gimli found himself begrudgingly admiring elven efficiency, so tired that he couldn't come up with a single critique.
The group is preparing to travel again and I feel particularly sorry for Merry who is realizing that overcoming the enemy in the last battle in which his part was so urgent and dangerous might have only gained them a day's respite before they could be threatened with an even larger attack. Poor, battle weary Merry. I'm not sure he can still think of himself in "an adventure". The injuries, wet, cold, worry and danger are so much to bear! He was so determined to have kept up for that long day's march.
If I were to name this chapter I'd call it, the slog. The subtitle would be, Elves Behaving Badly! The elves who want to be rid of Gimli haven't had as much exposure to dwarves as Gimli has had with elves so I guess they can't be expected to change a prejudice of centuries so quickly. This vacillation between acceptance and rejection has to be emotionally draining for Gimli. I'm so glad he has Aragorn and Merry for moral support and that he sees that some elves champion his nobility.
I can't wait to read where they'll go from here and Legolas is rattling. Do something!

demeter dReviewed Chapter: 15 on 5/19/2022
Someone speculated as to why there are not more reviewers here. Waning interest may be a factor. For myself, tho. When I first found SOA in 2005, I did not read very many long, many chapter stories, in an attempt to not spend too much time on the internet. I have as busy a life now as then, but I do allow myself more time here, now. Well, then. The chapter starts with a general observation, then narrows to how far the water comes up on Gimli. Then comments about how it is for Merry and Aragorn remind us of their relative sizes. Orophin's willing treatment of Gimli's hand, and stout defense of Gimli's worthiness to enter their land reminded me of yet another older story thread. In author Sheraiah's 2006 story "Babe in the Woods", Gimli and Legolas find a newborn human child in the woods near Lothlorien during one of their after Ring War journeys. They join with a family attempting to escape from the clutches of the tyrannical village headman who caused the baby to be abandoned. On the way they are followed and attacked by the evil man's henchmen. After a fight, they are rescued by forces from both Lorien and the Greenwood led by Haldir. At one point during the patching up, one of the elven healers tells Haldir he deserves a reward for stitching Gimli's head. Haldir tells him neh, it is your job, and THAT DWARF CARRIES THE LADY'S FAVOR!" It is nice that some begin to see Gimli's value. Now. In the book, the borders of Lorien were attacked even after the Fellowship entered the wood. We have only been watching this group for a time. Besides Pippin's unplanned dunk in the river, we have no idea what other perils you may have written for the other parties in the tale. There may be good reason why they have been too busy to help just yet!

JanvpalsReviewed Chapter: 11 on 5/17/2022
loved the geography discussion at the end. so grateful to you for putting in the geographical thinking work! also this is constantly keeping me on the edge. so fun to read!

Author Reply: Thank you for reviewing again! Tolkien geography is sooo rich and fun!

JanvpalsReviewed Chapter: 10 on 5/17/2022
I'm going to list out the things I loved from this chapter.
1) Aragorn swearing. I just loved it for some reason, though I think he would not swear out of anything save desperation (and you did just that!).
2) Merry standing up for himself and for Gimli. Like the fellowship has become so close now! I love reading about how the fellowship has become like a family.
3) Healer!Aragorn. Please. Please this is SO CUTE OMG im cryinggg
4) Aragorn crying while healing Legolas. Like OH MY GODS the feels. The sheer FEELS.
5) Your names of the elves! I loved them too aha. I just love all the elvish names. And your incorporation of sindarin again!

Author Reply: I should preface this reply by saying that chapter 10 is my absolute favorite! I wrote the entire story with it in mind.

1) Yesssss. The swearing! I don’t generally see Aragorn as a swearer, but it just fit! I literally couldn’t think of anything else he’d realistically say!

2) I love Merry. He’s so fun to write!

3) See original reply lol.

4) YES! So glad I captured some feels.

5) I did do a smidge of research into Elven names. I don’t remember if I included it, but Foendil means “long sighted one” and Turon “master or victory”. Ain, who isn’t named until later is “same or identical” with the thought that she might have been an unexpected twin.

JanvpalsReviewed Chapter: 8 on 5/17/2022
I love the sindarin parts! I really admire the way yall learn sindarin and add it to your fics. it's so fun to read!
also including the lines merry said at the beginning of fotr here was so apt aha, i loved itt
and the gollum twist was THE best!!!
i'm enjoying this fic so much <3

Author Reply: I’m so glad all that hard work researching Sindarin paid off and that you’re enjoying it! The minute I reread those lines of hobbity scheming at the beginning of FOTR, I knew they belonged here! And Gollum! I was like, hmmmmm, what might he have done if Frodo hadn’t been surrounded by the others and the galadhrim as in the original book!

JanvpalsReviewed Chapter: 6 on 5/17/2022
first of all, PLEASE don't kill Legolas. (ik you've written further chapters, i'm hoping Legolas stays alive during ALL of them. please.) I loooove healer!Aragorn, and I love the way you've integrated the lines from the book into your fic. Going to read the next chapter rn!

Author Reply: So glad you’re enjoying! The very first LOTR fic I remember reading was Healer!Aragorn, and I was instantly hooked. (Avalanche by Shirebound).

periannoreReviewed Chapter: 7 on 5/13/2022
By the too low number of reviews for this story I've concluded that A Perilous Journey to Lorien is one of the most overlooked treasures in LOTR fandom. Since Starting your story yesterday I've been single-mindedly rereading the chapters and thinking about them. I'm through chapter nine and holding while I try to do chapter seven some justice with this review.
Shows how much I don't know: the messengers of Elrond passed by Lórien on their way home up the Dimrill Stair. Great Tolkien research by you and now I have to get busy and track down the stairs I forgot were in LOTR.
As I'm Frodocentric I appreciate that in the midst of what seems to be a hopeless battle you managed to insert a glowing tribute to Frodo: Typical Frodo, loyal and far too humble to realize his own importance, of course he and Merry couldn't hide. It was a thing of honor—and Frodo was the reason they were all here. We can see Pippin's idealism, one of the admirable qualities of youth.
Where weaker characters would accept as fate that because of their size they couldn't make a difference in this battle, Merry and Pippin, so close they can finish each other's sentences, hatch a plan with few words and Merry says, "We can't win. Not here, but we're not going to stand here and wait for them to cut us down."
As we know from the orc encounter on the anduin Merry and Pippin are willing to risk their lives to deflect the enemy's attention from Frodo by making targets of themselves. To give himself a shot of courage Pippin thinks: abandoning one's defenders wasn't the Took way. What a positive thought.
Does Merry convincing Pippin to go through the tunnel gate to the old forest refer to one of your stories or is it a random, pertinent recollection you invented for this saga?
Without belaboring many points of combat that would send the squeamish among us searching for a different story, you inform us about how soldiers fight with succinct statements like: His chance lay in avoidance and careful jabs. Who knew? I skim over fight scenes only caring about who survives at the end. I even do it with Tolkien's but I'm not doing it with yours.
Your wonderfully long chapters deserve more reviewing but I've already gone on too long.
I'm neglecting my volunteer work and Evan's gone to bed without me. Can't help it. That's what happens when we find a long, suspenseful, story full of Middle Earth presence and Fellowship goodness.


Author Reply: Wow, wow, wow! What a lovely review! Thank you for all your kind words. At times, I, too, have been perplexed by the lack of reviews (the story has been crossposted on FF.net and AO3). I'd assumed the LOTR fanfic heyday had passed and that there just weren't as many people interested. I'd also wondered if there was something wrong with my summary--those that have left comments and reviews seemed to have really enjoyed the story, though, and I truly love hearing everyone's thoughts!

It's been a while since I researched for this chapter, but I believe the Dimrill Stair is the way you would take the pass of Caradharas if you were going over the mountains.

Regarding the tunnel gate into the old forest, I'd say it is an embellishment of the actual event. In the Fellowship of the Ring, that is the path the hobbit's take the night they finally leave the Shire. Tolkien doesn't specifically say that Merry talked him into it, but I like to imagine they had many a discussion as they planned their route--Pippin seemed pretty scared of the forest.

Fight scenes are soooo hard to write. I'm not a fan of gore, so it's tricky to paint a vivid picture without saying too much. For me, the angst and inner thoughts surrounding the fight tend to be my focus, otherwise I feel like I'm choreographing a video game LOL.

Thank you so much for reading, and for stopping to share your thoughts! I hope you enjoy the upcoming chapters, too, lots of hobbit-y bravery.

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