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Oak and Willow  by Marnie 20 Review(s)
elliskaReviewed Chapter: 16 on 10/10/2004
I have always thought the edict of Elu Thingol was very powerful symbolically. Language is a very intimate thing and being forced to abandon your own language is a very intense loss of identity. I love the way you have used this here.

I see this is the last chapter posted at the moment. I will be waiting for more. This was spectacular!

SphinxReviewed Chapter: 16 on 5/4/2004
You know, there are a couple of things that come to my mind whenever I read anything of yours, this story in particular. These are –

a)You know canon very well.
b) You know canon VERY well.

So well that you’re able to make your characters seem believable in situations that are not described fully in the book. *bows* Marnie, you rule.

And I loved Nerwen here. I did. A definite transition to Galadriel, along with the involuntary humility – it made her seem so real. Definitely not fairy godmother!

Curufin was as I expected. *g* And the Rilmiriel scene was a classic. It had everything, from high drama to quiet acceptance, from gnashing teeth to Celeborn’s icy patience. Wow.

And Celeborn….

I should stop now, and just fall at your feet. Yessssss, we should.


Author Reply: LOL, Sphinx! Thanks very much, but I don't think I deserve it - I'm always coming across annoying bits of canon which just get in my way and spoil things, because I ought to have thought of them earlier.

Curufin was a fun sort of chap to have around, in a 'love to hate him' sort of way :) Rilmiriel insisted on having her part enlarged - it wouldn't surprise me if she starts nagging me for her own series (without result, of course.) And even I found Galadriel quite nice in this chapter - I guess it was the contrast with her other relatives ;)

Prodding will get you no where I'm afraid. This week will be taken up beta-reading other people's stories, and next week I've promised to do a chapter of 'Unforsaken.' Maybe the week after :)

Thanks again,

Marnie :-)

BejaiReviewed Chapter: 16 on 5/3/2004
Hi Marnie!

Sorry I'm late with the review. Had a final this morning (so was up studying very, very A.M.,) then went home and died for the afternoon. I read this great chapter after the test, but was too fuzzy to say anything coherent about it. So I thought I'd give it a try now.

You say you had troubles with this chapter? Certainly doesn't show. Loved the description of Celeborn. Melted right into a puddle, I did. And looking like a Teleri! I loved how there was this undercurrent in the Noldor of ... almost blame for the fact that he looks like them. Their guilt talking, there.

And I was floored at how you did the Quenya/Sindar scene. Jaw-dropping stuff there. The tension! I loved how you made a minor character the focus of that attention. Seemed perfect! Because they are the people who are going to make this work. I can't help but think that if she hadn't stood up and taken the heat, Elu's edict would have failed. Wow. Just a crackling scene.

And Fingolfin was very reasonable, I thought. Especially compared to Curufin. I didn't expect to like Fingolfin. I'm not sure I "liked" him, but I do respect him. A multilayered and fair look at an interesting character, despite your preferences :)

The reunion was great! One of the toughest things to do with these two is figure out what the heck they say to one another after they get back from one of their many partings -- that was my trouble in DF. But you did it wonderfully. And this was the first parting, wasn't it? Kinda sets up the precedent. Badness ensues, Galadriel leaves, time passes, they manage to find their way back together. And there is always forgiveness and acceptance. That right there is how they manage to make this thing work. They are powerful, willful people; if they decided to hold a grudge, I think it would destroy them both.

Loved Fingon erupting out of his chair when Galadriel mentioned the "B" word. And circling like wolves! Apt.

Celeborn really doesn't fit into that controlled little world. You wrote one throw-away line, about Celeborn frowning at the sound of the metalic harp, that was just perfect. But Galadriel is realizing that she doesn't belong in this world either. And she has this "crazy little idea" and she doesn't deserve him. A little editorializing, there ;)

And now I'm rambling. Coherence apparently wasn't something I could get a hold of this evening after all. Suffice it so say that this was a wonderful chapter, and a welcome respite from the Real Life blather that preceeded it.

Author Reply: Thanks for such a great review Bejai! Particularly if you're sparing mental effort in the middle of Finals - I'm flattered :) Yes, this chapter was pure and simple work with no inspiration, but every time I think 'I hate this story, I think I'll give it up' I get a review like this which makes me think it's worthwhile after all.

I agree that the whole language ban would have failed totally if the ordinary Sindar in the Noldor realms hadn't been willing to put it into practice. Rilmiriel was there to demonstrate the kind of heroism of that. Canonically, of course, there's no mention of Celeborn having anything to do with it, so I wanted to show that it would have happened without him - it was a grassroots thing.

I'm glad you liked Fingolfin, or at least found him kingly. I may not like the Noldor, but I wouldn't like that to lead me down the road of 'Noldor=evil' and 'Sindar=good' Feel free to prod me if it looks like I'm doing that :)

Funny, isn't it, that C+G's relationship does look like a series of ruins followed by rebuilding. You could say 'well, that's inevitable in a 7000 year marriage' or you could say 'that's the effect of the Doom of Mandos' and maybe you'd be right either way. But this certainly won't be the last crisis, even in *this* fic ;)

The unworthiness thing was me throwing a bit of my own experience in there - I feel very unworthy of my husband, but then he feels very unworthy of me, with the result that we're both constantly marvelling at our good luck. It just seemed like a good modle to me (as well as being the only one I know.)

Anyway, that was probably too much information! Thanks again, and hope the Finals go well, and are soon over.

Marnie :-)

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 16 on 5/3/2004
Gandalf! Absolutely no way! It takes a person with enormous strength and flexibility to deal with being seen as second fiddle to someone like Galadriel - and they both know that, whatever anyone else might think, they are equally important to their relationship. Otherwise there would have been no possibility of them surviving their partnership for x thousand years. And can you imagine pairing her with Oropher or any of the others! They'd make mincemeat of each other.

(Not that I'm obsessive.)

Author Reply: LOL! Hm, but are you obsessive enough to write a 30 chapter epic to prove it ;) ?

If so... can I read it?

Marnie :-)

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 16 on 5/3/2004
I just loved this - your Galadriel and Celeborn are just made for each other. He is the only person who could cope with her - and from whom she could accept the care. The characterisation is great all round, plus humour and telling observations and . . .

Please keep yourself firmly nailed to the computer - I want to know what comes next!

Author Reply: Thanks, Bodkin! If I've made it seem convincing that they were made for each other, then I've done what I set out to do, which was to answer the question (which I've seen so often in the fandom) 'What does she see in *him*?' 'How come Galadriel is married to such a loser?' 'She should have someone better, like Gandalf...' (EW!)

I think it must take a pretty special bloke to put up with her! And if you think I've shown that, then I'm made up :) Thanks!

Marnie :-)

PS, what comes next is something completely different...

CorielReviewed Chapter: 16 on 5/2/2004
Whee!! I love this!
So much good and thick tension in this chapter, and a big round of applause for Celeborn and his incredible stand in the face of the whole Noldorin court! Now you’ve officially done it; I think I like him just as much as I do Thranduil. :)
"Elu's kindred all bore a striking family resemblance . . . with the honed, bladelike beauty of his house . . ." I’m sure glad they’re all related!

"You do not understand Quenya? . . . None of them can, you know. . . ."
Ooo! As it happens I was considering a scene of this type for good ol’ Oropherion on Balar, but knowing him you can guess he handled it with twice the venom. Celeborn’s sheer self-control is impressive enough as it is. And what a couple of clods those Fëanorionath are.
Three cheers for Rilmiriel! A hairy moment, but she did Sindarindom proud. "Please have someone bring the Lord Curufin a drink, 'ere the world ends." I can almost hear that little underlying twinge of exasperated sarcasm there! Let’s see, what was it they said in that movie Life Is Beautiful . . . "Silence is the most powerful cry."
Well, in certain situations, anyway.

"With all the Lords of Arda at your feet you choose this arrogant, illiterate moriquende?" *Ack!* "You do know they are baying for his blood out there?" Oh, let them! They’ll bark, but I’ll bet they don’t dare bite him. "There are those saying Thingol should be taught a lesson, this dark elf of yours should be taught who the true rulers of Ennor are."
*!!ACK!!* . . . [too incensed to make suitable comment] . . .

"Celeborn turned, the laughter still in his eyes. "Come home," he said."
Aw, how sweet! Here she expects to get the "see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya," and he turns around and says something so casually cute as that, almost like talking to a truant teenager. I just love his forwardness. He says what he means and means what he says.

"I do not wonder you wanted to leave! Here, we would build it anew - but stronger. If there exists the will to try again, even ruin does not have to be the end. It can precede a new beginning."
Ah, the contrasts you draw between Aman and Ennor are so TRUE! Something I’ve always known, but never quite put my finger on.
"they would say 'we shall never make its like again!' And the river would be left bridgeless so that all could remember what had been lost."
Although, I’ve felt that way before when the depths of cyberspace choose to swallow a whole half-chapter without a trace. . . . ^_^

Good stuff, good stuff. THIS is the kind of thing I write, and so is also what I relate to and would most like to read. Lots of depth and introspection, new and interesting facets of the situation revealed at every corner. Mae carnen, mae pennen!

Author Reply: Thanks for another fabulous review, Coriel! And I'm positively over the moon that Celeborn has joined Thranduil on your 'top elf' list. As you know, Thranduil is my second favourite, for much the same reason - he can be bolshy, he doesn't take any nonsense, and he's as Sindar as they come ;) I would love to see the scene where Thranduil lets rip on Balar. Celeborn was somewhat constrained at this point, and would probably have preferred to be slightly more proactive, but he had to set an example.

I'm glad you thought his straightforward talk was cute; I like him very much because he's the one elflord in LotR who very obviously says what he thinks. Even if it's ugly, at least you know you're getting something honest, and with all the politics in her own family, I'm sure that's one of the things Galadriel values about him. And the whole business of the curse, and everything she begins ending in ruin... he *had* to have given that some serious thought before marrying her, and it seemed to me that he might have come up with the idea that it wasn't a curse at all; the Valar had just been explaining to the Noldor what it was like in Ennor. They just *thought* it was a curse...

You're right, of course, we all write what we want to read, and it's a joy to find it in others (partially because it spares us the work of doing it ourselves.) That's why I am very relaxed about having to do justice to Thranduil - I know that I can rely on you to do that.

Thanks again!

Marnie :-)

Morwen TindomerelReviewed Chapter: 16 on 5/2/2004
Yeah! You go, Celeborn!! Curufin is waaaaay out of his class - this is an Elf accustomed to fighting nasty creatures, *he* won't be cowed!!! :D

Glads is *not* good enough for him, happily she seems to have some inkling of this.

Love that comment about the Amanyar, if something's broken they stand around and wail that they'll never make the like again - so true! We should start the Noldor un-fanclub for Sinda and Dunedain lovers who are sick of watching the haughty Amanyar look down their noses at mere moriquendi and and even merer 'aftercomers' while leading them to disaster.

Interesting about C's other names, where'd you find that information?

Author Reply: LOL! What you don't see is Curufin following Celeborn around afterwards, making insulting remarks about his mother in Quenya with the knowledge that he can't do anything about it :D Somehow that particular SoF seems just petty enough to do that kind of thing.

I would definately join an un-fanclub for the Noldor. We could burn Feanor in effigy on Bonfire Night!

Celeborn's other names were in 'The Treason of Isengard' - which is the volume of HoME with the draft versions of the Fellowship of the Ring. They're about as canonical as 'Inglor' as an alternative name for Finrod, but what the heck, I just liked the idea.

Thanks for the review!

Marnie :-)

LadybirdReviewed Chapter: 16 on 5/2/2004
Yes, Loved it, loved it, loved it!!!

It was a great reconciliation between the two of them and an even better meeting of the two cultures. It sent shivers up my spine when you discribed Celeborn looking like a Teler- I knew what was coming then.
I can see Fingolfin's view though, but I didn't realise about all the Sindar servants before i simply assumed they all came over from Valinor, but your idea makes a lot of sense to me.

I especially loved the discussion between Galadriel and Fingon-very poigant to my mind and really brought the difficulties of their relationship home from a Nolor point of view, having concentrated on the Sindar side of things.
I think in the end he and Finrod could come like each other very much dispite all their differences and would probably enjoy arguing semantics with each other.

Another highlight was the practicalness of his proposal so Celeborn- he doesn't have the time or inclanation for flowery proposals and really sets himself apart in her mind from her other admirers and this was my favorite quote

"Long I have been Galadriel in my heart. I am glad that now the whole world will call me by your name." It says a lot about her change in attitude and hoew she much rather prefers Doriath now.

Author Reply: Thanks so much, Ladybird! Glad you liked it so much :) I hadn't thought either that the Noldor had lots of Sindar servants until I re read the bit in the Silmarillion about the language ban, and realized that it could only work if the majority of people in those kingdoms were Sindar - with a ruling class of Noldor. If there were only Noldor, then Quenya would have survived as an every-day language, not just a 'learned' scholar's language. It starts to look a bit like England after the Norman Conquest - the ruling class are speaking one language, and the great majority are speaking their own, different one. Thingol's edict just makes sure that the rulers speak the same language as those they rule, which is a good thing, I think ;)

Celeborn just didn't seem the type to bother with flowery speeches, particularly as he's pretty certain she's going to say yes :) I'm relieved you found it endearing and not annoying of him

Marnie :-)

Ms. WhatsitReviewed Chapter: 16 on 5/2/2004
Another amazing chapter. My favorite part was Rilmiriel, I think. It's great how you created such a minor character, whose role is really just to show the extent of Sindar pride, and made her come alive. I also like the way you brought back the light/dark imagery when you described her caught between the Noldor and the Sindar.

And so Nerwen becomes Galadriel. This is going to cause trouble, I bet. Now that she's started to come to terms with what she did in Aman and so is Celeborn, I guess the next hurdle is the matter of what everyone else will think. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Author Reply: Thanks, Ms Whatsit! Rilmiriel did seem to rather take over didn't she? ;) It wasn't planned that way, she just insisted that she was on the spot so she might as well do it.

As for public opinion re Celeborn and Galadriel, well, they've decided that they'll just wait until it goes away. So I hope you won't be terribly disappointed that next chapter is going to be something completely different ;) (If I can work it out).

I'm saying no more . Thanks again!

Marnie :-)

KarriReviewed Chapter: 16 on 5/2/2004
Nice tension and beautiful romance. I've always rather thought that the Noldorin Princes such as Fingolfin and Turgon accepted (at least after the initial shock of the decree had passed) Sindarin as the language of their realms. (But then, I also like to think that Sindarin is the language of Rivendell as children of mixed cultures tend to learn first the language of their mothers – which for Elrond was Sindarin, and because I always picture Gil-Galad speaking Sindarin since he was raised in a Sindarin community –- so what do I know.)
It seems to me that though they departed Valinor with the Feanorians, they had no great love for them by the time they reached Middle-earth and would almost have used the language of their Sindarin subjects to spite the sons of Feanor – but that could just be because I like Fingon, Fingolfin, and Turgon somewhat better than the Feanorians.

Anyway, with that digression, I will now return to the chapter. ;-)
I think this is my favorite bit: "In Aman they would," she said, looking down on the rough structure with a swell of sudden, strange affection, "they would say 'we shall never make its like again!' And the river would be left bridgeless so that all could remember what had been lost."

It made him laugh, delighted. "I do not wonder you wanted to leave! Here, we would build it anew - but stronger. If there exists the will to try again, even ruin does not have to be the end. It can precede a new beginning."

It really exemplifies the difference between the kindreds. The Noldor cling to the old and memories of what has been lost, whereas the Sindarin remember what was lost but move on and build anew.

Author Reply: Many thanks for the review, Karri! I did try to show Fingolfin and Fingon as being less virulent than the sons of Feanor - I can certainly see their point of view. Whoever you are, being told that you can't speak your own mothertongue any more must be something of a blow, but I agree that Turgon in particular seems to have taken to it without difficulty. Gil-galad had a Sindarin mother too, if you go with the Orodreth version of his parentage, and with them being born quite a long time after the ban, I'm sure Sindarin was their first language.

I'm very glad you liked the bridge bit - that was one of my favourites too ;)

Thanks again!

Marnie :-)

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