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The Wisdom of Isildur  by Marnie 12 Review(s)
Starlight and MoonlightReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/15/2018
This has so much emotion in it! Great job!

EllieReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/6/2004

Wow! I LOVE the way you depict Celeborn. I love your love for the Sindar! What an incredible little fic! How did I miss reading this one before? Too cool. Please keep up the excellent Celeborn work. You are my favorite Celeborn writer.


Author Reply: Thanks so much Ellie! Both Celeborn and his people still suffer from too much fandom neglect, IMO, so I'm very glad you enjoyed this :) Thanks!

SphinxReviewed Chapter: 1 on 4/30/2004

I had to think about this fic. I really did. First, I wrote a nice long review, and chewed it. *sigh*

It was interesting to see Elrond. Especially what you make of him, which is quite, quite different from the idea that I have in my head. I never believed that Elrond would ever press for High Kingship, like Celebornís renunciation of his claim over Thingolís throne Ė they were both glad to see their kings as the last kings. Iíve always felt that to be common in the two of them.

But regardless of what I make of Elrond, and what disagreements I might make over the over Noldor-ization of his character, this supremely intriguing read. You bring out stuff in this that is quite story-worthy, and I would love to see this be expanded, if youíre thinking of it.

This was the most direct of your Noldor Vs Sindar stories, I think. The Gil-galad one came close, but wasnít as hard-hitting as this. Both bring out valid points, argue them realistically, emotionally Ė and that is where this story is so good.

ĒThis time the Sindar will not suffer for Noldor jewels. We have learned our lesson.Ē

That. THAT is why the chap is so endearing. Excellently done dialogue, by the way. My favourite in all your vignettes so far.

I love the title. :P

Author Reply: Thanks for the review, Sphinx! I wasn't sure what people would make of my Elrond ;) I suppose that just as I can't go for fairy-godmother!Galadriel, I can't go for the overly perfect Elrond of a lot of fic. I don't really think he particularly *wanted* to go for the High Kingship, but I do think that he must have considered it. He had the opportunity, as surely no one else in history had, of uniting both Noldor and Sindar under a legitimate heir of their own kings. It must have seemed like a good and worthwhile thing to do. And it's not as though the Noldor don't have a tradition of accepting new kings - they do, they've lost and replaced a hell of a lot of them. So I feel Elrond would think it was more respectful to Gil-galad's memory *not* to let the High-Kingship die, unless there seemed no other option.

I don't personally see his relationship with Gil-galad as being quite as close as most people do, because I go with the canon where he was raised entirely by Maglor and only came into Ereinion's service after the WoW when Maglor finally flipped.
And, being raised by Maglor, he *must* have been raised as a Noldor of a particularly pure type, because Maglor is not likely to have seen much value in the traditions of a people he had twice tried to wipe out.

Elrond strikes me as a tolerant and open hearted person coming from a Noldor background, who is - at this stage - probably trying to learn about his mother's heritage, but is having to learn about it, not coming to it naturally.

No, I'm not going to expand it ;) Or I'll never get O+W finished! Any ideas it might inspire you're quite welcome to!

I'm glad you liked it, even if you didn't like my Elrond ;)

Marnie :-)

LayangabiReviewed Chapter: 1 on 4/25/2004
Hello Marnie. =)

Two updates from you within the space of ...a week or so? :D *Cheers* Manna from heaven, friend. ;)

May I say this again, that I love your Celeborn? :) Galadriel had it down when she said that he was generous enough to take love in so many facets: He can care for Ereinion and Elrond as friends, whatever his anger at their prejudice against his own. And for all his enmity with Oropher, there's still love and regard for him as *kin.*

At the same time, he's unbearably harsh when he has to be.

There's so many complex things going on in this piece, from the personal to the political, and you handle all of them so *deftly.* I like Elrond, but hardly did it occur to me that he might have his own prejudices, and against the *Lindar.* And this doesn't even seem to occur to him! Amdir's and Oropher's death, and the horrible losses taken by the Silvans don't matter to him at all. Yet he's upset when Celeborn (understably) rages against the Noldor's indifference. And he naively belives he can assume leadership over all the elven factions, that Celeborn could use his influence with Amroth and Thranduil to get them to follow him. *snorts* I can just hear Celeborn thinking, "That's what *you* think..."

It's sad that the strongest testament of Elrond's and Ereinion's frienship with him seems to be that they forget, every now and then, that he's actually *Sindar.*

Favourite lines:
"The Noldor could not bring themselves to trust us, so they wasted our strength, and now they blame us for it."
Ouch. So painful and so apt.

"...though he and his kinsman had argued vehemently at every opportunity, their enmity was a family affair into which strangers interfered at their own peril, and more often than not, only to find them perplexingly united."
I had to grin at this one. Interesting take on Celeborn and Oropher's relationship...

Author Reply: Thanks, Layangabi! It's not as impressive as it might seem, as I'd had this one lying around half finished for quite a while and had begun to despair of ever finishing it ;)

You certainly may say that you love Celeborn - he deserves it! And his harshness is part of what I like about him. As for Elrond, I know everyone writes him as a saint, but then everyone writes Galadriel as a cross between the Virgin Mary and a fairy Godmother, and I can't cope with either of them like that. He *was* raised by Maglor, after all - it stands to reason that he's going to have a rabidly Noldorin perspective on the world, whatever his bloodline.

I admit that I see Celeborn's position in High Elven society as that of an English-educated Indian prince during the British Raj period - he's *almost* 'one of us' but nothing will ever make him *completely* accepted as such. And of course - to his own people - he's regarded in deep suspicion as a collaborator. Which, IMO, is probably one of the things that lies at the root of his disagreements with Oropher. Sadly the people who say 'listen, why can't we all just get along, there's merit in both cultures' tend to be ignored by both ;)

But whereas a lot of people tend to write him as having gone over to the Noldor side (so to speak) in marrying Galadriel, I tend to think he's true to his roots - the fact that he makes a point of greeting Legolas as his kinsman, lives in a tree, sails a swan boat and stays on Middle-earth when the Noldor leave make me think his loyalty is ultimately to the Lindar.

Anyway, I'm sure you didn't really want a lecture! Sorry :) Many thanks for a great review!

Marnie :-)

CorielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 4/24/2004
Again, simply amazing. Incredible. I loved it!
Just as Elrond thought, those little character idiosyncrasies can really flesh out a story, and you handle them wonderfully well, especially the subtle and perhaps not-so-subtle Noldo-Sinda contrasts. In the interests of continuing my education in fanfic depth, please continue writing! But fanfic aside, in the course of my book-loving life I can honestly say I have seldom read prose as clear and beautiful as yours, published or otherwise. Maybe in ten years Iíll be able to write like that. :D

And in that vein, your conversations between characters always seem natural, a crucial point which can make or break a story, and one I consider myself especially sensitive toward. It comes across as unplanned and spontaneous, not as obedient muses following the set notes or guidelines of the author (even if that is what they *are* doing!), or as an arranged stage play (which I have noticed in some otherwise good books). A good author learns to cover his or her tracks in the finished product. Almost never have I been jarred out of your settings by a misplaced word or phrase, and I just love the way you successfully blend archaic tone with a casual and almost "slangy" air, if such a word would do it justice. Surely elvish had its own idioms and day-to-day candidness. It sounds REAL, and not affected.

Likewise, your detail really brings the story to life, from Elrondís enjoying decent food again to the bee that came bumbling into the room during a dull moment. That would never have occurred to me, and probably would have been an outtake had this been a movie; but in those little sidetracks, the fact that life is not always picture-perfect only adds to the realism. Reminded me of the wasps in the barn loft that always provided a buzzing background for my otherwise-quiet archery practice - very nostalgic.

I especially admire Celebornís benign scorn for the Elven Ring. Elrond canít wait to have it, but Celeborn would sooner clean the latrine than touch it again. And his likening of it to those "dead bogs" was so gently caustic. It leaves us no doubt of his position. I believe he was also right to oppose the idea of trying to unite the Noldor and the Sindar under one king; it didnít seem to work even under Gil-galad, and if they tried again they would end up with something akin to the United Nations, which isnít very united, and has itís own festering problems. Oropher would not answer to Gil-galad; I cannot see Thranduil answering to Elrond. Then you have factions, and insubordination, and who-knows-what-all. No - bad idea.

I could go on all night like this, but I must also say I enjoyed the poignant references to Oropher and Amdir. Those poor guys, lost in Gil-galadís shadow, though they suffered the same fate. Since I intend to someday write Oropherís and Thranduilís side of the story, this was an enlightening perspective. As always. :)

*Summa cum laude!*

Author Reply: Wow, Coriel! What can I say except thanks :) *blushes madly* I'm sure I don't deserve this kind of praise!

I know what you mean about scenes where you can tell that the author is getting the character to jump through the hoops and making sure the character says everything the author wants them to say, when he wants them to say it. Thankfully none of my characters will put up with that kind of treatment. Celeborn's always turning round to me and saying 'listen - you're *my* bard, you write what *I* want to say, not the other way round.' :) I just sigh and do what he wants - it's easier!

Celeborn's total lack of interest in the One Ring makes me think that he probably would not have accepted one of the Three even had he been offered one - but the wish to keep everything timeless seems to be a legacy of Aman, so again, it's a kind of Sindar thing. I'm surprised Cirdan accepted one, but at least he gave it away again afterwards ;)

And after the disaster of Oropher's death, I can't see Thranduil answering to Elrond either! You know, the blasted movie tie-in books actually go so far as to say that there were no Sindar at the Last Alliance - that it was an entirely Noldor force. Sheesh! Talk about your Sindar invisibility! How fair is that? It's enough to make me feel angry, let alone someone who doubtless knew them both fairly well in better days.

Must stop waffling now. Thank you ever so much!

Marnie :-)

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 1 on 4/23/2004
Marnie, again your writing and perspective leaves me nearly speechless (or typeless, as the case may be :/ ). Celeborn is very wise in the ways of people and in what he values and considers important - something the kinslayers and other Noldor often forgot as they came seeking lands and power. In my imaginings of Elrond, I had pondered what he wished for in terms of power, and your view is compelling.

Well done and I can't wait to see where you take this.

Author Reply: Thanks for the review, Nilmandra! I think you're right that Celeborn is wise, but it's a wisdom which doesn't always accord with the wisdom of the Noldor - and therefore he often gets ignored/sidelined etc. He could probably be criticised for going along with a course he doesn't agree with - but while he continues to be married to Galadriel there's not a lot he can do about it ;)

As for Elrond, I think he didn't really *want* to be High King, so much as felt that it was his duty to try, and really he's much more happy being one of the Wise than being a King.

I won't be taking it anywhere I'm afraid - the 'in progress' status was just the result of me forgetting that bit ;) Sorry!

Thanks again,

Marnie :-)

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 1 on 4/23/2004

I am always just rapt by your stories. Your imagery is never there for its own sake, beautiful as it is. It always carries emotional impact. And your elves are so elven, strange, fey, other. This was an unexpected picture of Elrond at a moment I had never considered. Wonderful, just wonderful.

Author Reply: Thanks, Daw! You really know how to make me feel good about a story. I'm really glad Celeborn and Elrond still come across as elven even when talking politics. Particularly as Elrond is a character who still doesn't speak to me. (And I doubt he's likely to start after this ;) ) Glad you liked it!

Marnie :-)

Ms. WhatsitReviewed Chapter: 1 on 4/23/2004
This was certainly interesting. "I had forgotten you would care," indeed! So few authors show a dislikable side to Elrond--and this is a very plausible one. He is very much a Noldo. The discussion of Oropher and why his talents weren't put to better use was also interesting and very canonical. I've always been vaguely sympathetic to Oropher--why *should* he have trusted Noldor orders after all?

Celeborn's description of what Vilya reminded him of was eerily lovely. It sounded so very Celeborn and it was also a perfect description of how Lorien (and to a lesser extent Rivendell) struck me when I first read FotR.

I also liked how Celeborn advised against keeping Vilya and Elrond brushed it aside as silly Sindarin suspicion of too much power...a pretty healthy suspicion to have, as things turned out! For some reason it reminded me of how, in FotR, Celeborn told Boromir not to dismiss old wives' tales--he seems to be a voice of wisdom.

Author Reply: Many thanks for the review, Ms.Whatsit :) Yes, I was rather worried that I would have lots of indignant protests from Elrond fans to deal with after this one. But he can't have been *completely* perfect, can he, and the fact that Tolkien said about the elves 'they did not find the strength to destroy the rings' rather implies to me that they should have done.

I'm really pleased you liked the description of Vilya and what the rings do - I was thinking of mummification, and I suppose I could have used the picture of the mummified Kings of Gondor, but bog-bodies was what occurred to me first.

And I love that bit in FotR when Celeborn tells Boromir off for bad-mouthing the old wives - that was one of the things which made me fall in love with the character. If he comes across as a voice of wisdom that's fabulous, because he's called 'the Wise' but so many people seem to think that he's a bit thick. My thoughts are that he just doesn't have the PR skills of people like Elrond and Galadriel ;)

Sorry! I've been waffling, haven't I? You're going to wish you'd never bothered reviewing, but I'm very glad you did. Thanks!

Marnie :-)

BejaiReviewed Chapter: 1 on 4/23/2004
Me again. You know what just occured to me? This story says "In Progress." Not a one-shot after all, then? And now I'm even more excited, and, as ever, in awe of your ability to do nine hundred things at the same time :)

Author Reply: Alas! Sorry, that was just me being technically inept and unable to find the option to say that it was complete. Only a vignette, I'm afraid :) I can't possibly start another long one until either O+W, Unforsaken or Seeds is finished.

Weekend mayhem happening here. Will reply to your larger review later, but only on the vein of 'wow, what a review! Thanks!' :-)

mistry89Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 4/23/2004
This is excellent!
Celeborn and Thranduil are often somewhat side-lined in fanfiction - to the point where bad!Thranduil and househusband!Celeborn seem to be all there is :)

It is fabulous to see that Celeborn speaks clearly for the Sindar, and that Elrond acknowledges his points (and he didn't even need to mention that "other" point ... that messy mortal blod!)

Thank you.

Author Reply: Thank *you* :)

I quite agree; Thranduil deserves better than being either abusive-father! or even sappy-father!Thranduil. I personally find him a very interesting character in his own right apart from his more-famous son. And Celeborn suffers from the same problem; the fact that he's associated with someone more famous than him, so no one ever looks at him for himself. I'm delighted to meet someone else who feels that's a bad thing :)

Thanks again,

Marnie :-)

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