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History Lessons: The Second Age  by Nilmandra 397 Review(s)
KarriReviewed Chapter: Epilogue 2 on 12/23/2004
A splendid finale, Nilm. I really enjoyed Elladan and Elrond's brief encounter over a sleeping Elrohir, as well as Elrond's effort at thorn removal. It is a melancholy chapter, but very entertaining. :-)

Author Reply: Thanks, Karri - Elrond enjoyed the thorn removal and what came afterward too! I really did not plan to write it that way..but there Elrond was, experienceing Vilya...and Celebrian showed up. Who knew?

robnrunReviewed Chapter: Epilogue 2 on 12/23/2004
I didn't want to see this end; but I really liked the tone and your ability to compress all those years while still making it flow. I really like your characterization of Glorfindel, especially in regards to Vilya.
Looking forward to your next work!

Author Reply: Thanks, robnrun - I was hoping this approach would work, or that at least most people would like it! I love Glorfindel too - I am looking forward to giving him a large role in HLIII. But, now off to write a little 'little Legles' who is now a big elfling of 12 :-)

perellethReviewed Chapter: Epilogue 2 on 12/23/2004
"Thanks to all who have been following this story, and an extra special thanks to those who have left reviews or sent emails.."

Why! thanks to you! such a careful and beautiful work!
I liked this Epilogue very much. Elrond's pov. was very useful, it provided the right tone -Elrond's- for this long end of the Age.. you managed to hint at everything that happened in that long span, and the final years and the war were sad enough but contained. All in all, as usual, you've managed to convey that sense of calmness and thoughtfulness and sweet melancholy that seem to be your wonderful Elrond's trademarks, or at least how I perceive him.
And GG being one of my favourite elves, I must admit you've done such a great job in giving him a most noble death scene. (Sighs!)
Thanks again, it's been a nice Christmas present, I'm relieved to read you're already planning more stories, so...I can only greedily wait for more. It's been such a treat for me to discover fan fiction world and specially this wonderful site. Congratulations!

Author Reply: Thanks, perelleth. I had a hard time writing GG - I've actually been wary of letting him too far into my heart, knowing he died!

I am glad you like your Christmas present. I already have itchy fingers to start writing the next story! Merry Christmas!

BodkinReviewed Chapter: Epilogue 2 on 12/23/2004
Oh, beautiful, just beautiful. And sad. Poor Gil-galad. To know you were going to challenge Sauron and that it would be in vain. And loving. Such patience: to wait 1000 years plus preparing yourself for your love. And happiness. And anxiety. Poor Glorfindel, preparing to protect Elrond from himself.

I loved Arwen - and Elrohir sleeping in relief of stress, and Elladan sketching worrying pictures. He was so appreciative of his adar's words. I loved the way Elrond pointed out that everyone was reacting in their own way - sleeping, or gardening, or fretting over everyone.

So skilled, the way you switched from broad sweeps of history, to detail, to personal response.

Overall - just a great story, told so well. Loved it. Looking forward to whatever comes next.

Author Reply: Thanks, Bodkin. Glad you liked the story...and glad those sweeping arcs of history that kept narrowing back to the present made sense. I always wonder if others will be able to follow it!

ElenluinReviewed Chapter: Epilogue 2 on 12/23/2004
*snif it's over... another wonderful part Nilmandra! From you I'll even read a legolas story ;)

Author Reply: Glad you liked it....and I have several little Legolas stories - you may have to read them to understand my arc, though I know people that have read one alone or read them out of order! *grin*

paranoidangelReviewed Chapter: Epilogue 2 on 12/23/2004
It's so sad HLII is really over, but I'm looking forward to reading HLIII and more of Elrond and Celebrian as well. I did like seeing how Vilya affected Elrond and Gil-galad foreseeing his own death.

I noticed at one point you had Anor instead of Arnor though.

Author Reply: Thanks, fixed that. Writing Gil-galad's death was very sad...and I couldn't dwell on it any more than this. The Third Age will be fun to write though, and I look forward to writing Estel. Have a happy holiday!

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: Epilogue 2 on 12/23/2004
I liked this as an epilogue, Nilmandra. It covered a lot of history but stayed focused on Elrond, which I think is the right thing to do. He's the center of your history, the anchor that holds it all in place.

That's an exciting moment when he puts on the ring. I suppose he'd seen Galadriel wield hers without harm but still, he really couldn't know what he was letting himself in for, particularly given that he knew what had happened to the men who wore the Nine. I know these rings were different, but still.

And how fitting that this HL also ends with Elrond and Celebrian together, making love, while Glorfindel watches over them.

Author Reply: I am glad you liked it....this was rather sweeping, following Elrond's thoughts as they moved from present to past to present and so on. I am glad it could be followed...and glad you liked the ending. Who knew the ring could have that effect? :-)

BodkinReviewed Chapter: Epilogue 2 on 12/23/2004
Nilmandra, I love you! Now I'll read it.

Author Reply: LOL! I finished writing it here in warm San Francisco, which is delightful. Hope you are having a good holiday as well!

soulinlondonReviewed Chapter: 26 on 12/19/2004
Hi there, I have finally gotten up the nerve to actually leave you a review, of course having a computer at last helps alot. I just want to say that I really enjoyed all of your stories, History Lessons I and II and I eagerly look forward to the next installment. It can not be easy to tell two stories in one and at the same time to try to be as accurate as possible in regards to Tolkiens work. You do a great job and I hope you intend to make writing a career. Finally I would like to make a request if it would not be too much of a bother. My only regret concerning the films was that Glorfindel was not in the first one, Arwen did a great job, but for some reason that part of the book has always been my favorite, so naturally more Glorfindel please, and if you could tell how the " follies" or teasing between Glor and Erestor first started, I would be grateful. I realize that you can not keep everyone happy when writing and I know that whenever and however you continue the History Lessons , I will love it. Thanks and Happy Holidays

Author Reply: Hello soulinlondon - thank you for stopping by! Leaving reviews is hard at first - my hands shook hoping I said something right! All feedback is appreciated - its wonderful to know people are reading.

I too love Glorfindel, and hope to get out of him and Erestor the story of their 'follies' Perhaps young Arwen can accomplish that! I am probably going to write a little Legolas story that has been running around in my head, and then I will continue on with HLIII.

Thanks for the review, and I hope you have a happy holiday too. :)

DotReviewed Chapter: 26 on 12/18/2004
Alrighty, you can feel free to think as many bad things about me as you like. I’m disgracefully late with this. I actually did handwrite most of a review at work not long after you posted this chapter but then I couldn’t find it and have the horrible feeling that it fell out of my back pocket on the bus… And I couldn’t remember anything I’d said, which annoyed me for about a week! Anyway, I’m really very sorry.

So, you old softie! Almost a whole chapter of Elrond in love! And what a wonderful chapter it is too.

Well, I loved the opening. There was such a lovely sense of everything coming together and of the peace and beauty of Imladris soothing away the pain and grief of the years of war. It feels very magical.

What an amazing image of the men’s camps stretching out even beyond elven sight. It really shows just how much of a mixture of races there are and it’s just astonishing to think that they’re all managing to not only survive together but have turned this place into a home. With such sharing of grief and love and friendship in its origins, Imladris could never be anything other than special.

I’m glad for Tollyn. I think these people really need some normality and stability in their lives and she’s being offered that. It’s interesting to watch Elrond ponder the needs of humans. Again, it drives home the differences between Elves and Men when at the end of the chapter we see how long he and Celebrían are prepared to wait.

I really like your Gil-galad. He’s so full of life and has an easy charm about him that reminds me a lot of Glorfindel. I can see why so many would be drawn to him.

I love this sentence about Galadriel: “He had no doubt that all the elves of Lorinand now loved her, for that happened wherever she went, and if she had demurred to Amdir to his satisfaction, he likely would have let her run his kingdom in return.” It really gives a sense of her power and wiliness but also suggests a more tender and sympathetic side to her. I’d never thought about whether her people actually loved her.

I can’t tell you how much I loved the reunion between Celeborn and his daughter when they have eyes only for each other. The depth of their love for each other was beautiful to witness.

LOL at Elrond and his “mortal blood”!!! Aldric was in severe danger of getting squished there for a minute.

I cringed when Celebrían thought the child was his. Elrond handled it very well, though. And Galadriel seems to approve. I imagine he made a rather attractive picture too standing there cradling the child, but I bet Celebrían felt some sense of relief when she discovered Aldric didn’t belong to him! You write love at first sight so well! I was glad Galadriel allowed her daughter to go and spend some time with Elrond. It shows that she has a lot of respect for him. Galadriel and Celeborn as amused parents are very funny to see too!

I liked the scene where they vote for Elrond to lead Imladris. It hadn’t registered with me that a lot of those staying in Imladris had been led by Galadriel and Celeborn. You think of everything! So it’s great to see the faith they place in him. Although, I think Gil-galad was fairly determined to get his own way on that one! There’s something quite inspiring too about the way Galadriel accepts what she has foreseen and won’t question the path that life must take. Elrond’s loyalty to Gil-galad is just amazing. He doesn’t mention that he also foreseen that he should lead Imladris until they have agreed that he’ll stay there. I get the impression that if Gil-galad asked him to leave he’d do it, no matter how hard for him.

Gil-galad and Glorfindel can be so funny. Elrond’s determination to take things slowly seems to frustrate them no end! But it’s so touching that what it boils down to is that all they want is for him to find genuine happiness. He really does need the love and comfort that she offers.

The conversation between Galadriel and Celebrían was so well done. Just a mother and daughter talking. Galadriel sums up Elrond quite perfectly. ‘Steadfast’ is a very good word for him. Celebrían really does seem to understand ‘duty’ and seems willing to accept Elrond’s duty and her own place in that. He couldn’t find a partner more suited to him. Her parents should be very proud of her too. Not many would display such courage and acceptance.

“What Elrond needs is for his wife to love him. He has suffered many losses in his life, a life still young by the reckoning of the Eldar, and I foresee more losses to come in his future.” Oh, that brought tears to my eyes! I wonder how much Galadriel does foresee. She seems to have some sense of her daughter’s future. How hard it must be for her to allow events to happen as they apparently must. And how difficult for Celeborn when something happens his own daughter and his wife may have known. But then, there’s a sense that maybe she has more of a feeling or awareness of some grief rather than really knowing anything else.

Glorfindel was wonderful in the scene in the garden. He is clearly already very fond of Celebrían and I love that he is able to reassure her a little but what I liked most was his genuine joy at the prospect of Elrond’s happiness and to see how very grateful he is for that. Elrond is lucky indeed to have Glorfindel as a friend. But I think he knows that.

I was sad to see Celeborn go! Your Celeborn is so amazing. And that he gave so much of himself, yet still let Elrond lead must be very gratifying to Elrond. “Elrond could only wish he would someday have that grace and dignity to let go of something he had poured himself into.” Beautifully phrased. I don’t know, though, whether I should feel sad or just nod wisely! He’ll have to let go of so much in time. His wife, his daughter, his home… God, you have my heart broken for him!

The parting between Elrond and Celebrían was beautiful. They already seem to know each other’s thoughts and it’s so good to see that they’ve both achieved a sense of acceptance that they have to wait and knowledge that they will reunite again.

“I am glad to know how Imladris came to be,” said Elrohir slowly. “I knew that it was founded in war, but it is different to know how much sacrifice was made to create it, how long you survived not knowing when the wrath of Sauron would come upon you, and how you kept on going, even when you thought all hope was gone.” Hear, hear! That’s exactly how I feel. And for Elrond’s children, of course, it’s important to know how their home came to be. I laughed when I saw the part about the stars being brighter over Imladris. I actually read about that recently and wondered how I’d missed it before and then it appeared in your story! To have Celeborn acknowledge it was a lovely touch too. Imladris apparently has a special place in his heart for more reasons than his daughter and grandchildren living there.

The ending was wonderful. I’m glad they finally made it home. I’m still smiling at Elrond and Celebrían still so completely in love!

I can’t believe this story is drawing to a close. I’m really looking forward to the epilogue(s). I can’t think of anything else I’d like to see apart from what you mentioned. Except… maybe a little bit more about Erestor?? Just to know that he was o.k. You’ve really got me so attached to him now! And yay, little Legolas! It sounds like there’ll be plenty more goodies from you in 2005!

Sorry again about this being late and then having to rush through it. My bed is beckoning! Take care. :-)

Author Reply: Dot, I would never think bad of you! I am equally late in answering, we won't even get into how bad the work week was.

I like your perception about Galadriel. I am always reminded that she is the one who dressed Aragorn like a prince, gave him the Elfstone and then sent him to Cerin Amroth, where she knew Arwen was. It was like she saw destiny, and not even her own pain, or that of her family, would she allow to interfere with that - duty and responsiblity always came first. Celeborn has always struck me as a 'servant' leader - he seems to be many places and he is called wise, yet we don't usually hear of great deeds. That seems to me be a prime identification of a servant leader.

I am almost done with the epilogue, and I admit I am glad to close the story. I am ready to move on to the next story, probably little Legolas, so I don't lose their voices.

Thanks for the review, and I hope you have a a very happy Holiday. :)

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