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Curious Mind, Noble Heart  by Nilmandra 18 Review(s)
elliskaReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 4/27/2005
Oh this was really sweet (after, of course, you get past the terrifying part with poor little Estel testing whether elves can have heart attacks by shouting that he killed Elrohir!). Little Estel was too well done--so cute trying to remember what his naneth had asked him and why his answer didn't fit the question. I can just see a good little child trying to figure that out. I loved the whole part when Estel, Elrond and Gilraen are talking. And I loved him giving Elrohir the broach after he had been mourning Arador the day before. That was very touching. Well done! I really liked it.

Author Reply: I am glad you liked that last scene - I was trying to show the longevity of the elves, how they must see Arador and Arathorn in Aragorn, and how the lives of the mortals comes full circle before the elves, who know them from birth to death. I think Elrohir did feel much better after that.

And Elrond cannot be stopped from taking advantage of a teachable moment!

Thank you for the review.

Iawen LondeaReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 4/27/2005
Great story!! So cute. I loved it. Strangely, I like fics where Elrohir gets hurt. LOL. *hides in shame* I really like this idea, where curiosity hurts more than the cat. LOL. Poor Estel, thinking he killed Elrohir! Imagine being Elrond hearing your youngest son screaming that he killed another of your sons. EEP! Well, I shall not continue rambling, lol. I enjoyed this very much!

Author Reply: Poor Elrohir! He gets beaten up in every story I write , Ithink. Imladris is an experienced house I think - lots of boys have come and gone, and they must all just laugh as the next one comes along and must be mentored and raised all over again.

Thanks for the review!

DotReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 4/27/2005
I forgot to say that I love the title!

Author Reply: Karri gets credit for this one! We were going back and forth with curiosity quotes and she came up with this one, which seemed to fit little Estel quite well. Glad you liked it. :D

DotReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 4/27/2005
What an exciting place Imladris is when there are little boys around!

This was excellent. I particularly loved the opening, when Estel can’t decide whether to keep reading the fascinating book or to go and follow the twins. I think we all know that feeling! I’d have done exactly what he did and skip to the end to reassure myself before closing the book…

I was so surprised to see what they were all looking at. A pop-gun. Amazing indeed. Even before I knew why Elrohir was in such an odd mood, I thought it was good to see the different opinions about the gun. It’s rather amusing to see it dismissed as not being as effective as a bow, spear or sword. LOL at Estel glaring at Elrohir “on principle.”

I thought Glorfindel had a very valid point about Estel needing to learn discipline, no matter how amusing the twins might find him. But I can see how difficult it would be for them to treat him as an ordinary child when there is so much secrecy involved.

See, I kind of can’t blame Estel for listening at the door. If you heard someone mention trolls (and a two-headed one!), wouldn’t you stop and listen too?!

“If I were to practice with that pop-gun, I bet I could hurt a troll, if I pumped enough air into it,” he thought aloud. “I still would not shoot as hard as Elrohir, but I would shoot hard enough that the troll would feel it. Then I could help fight, and the more people helping the better.” Uh-huh. A child’s logic can be very hard to argue! I had to laugh at him being completely disobedient and sneaky and “remembering all he had learned about moving along stealthily” to do it!

“I killed Elrohir! I killed Elrohir,” he screamed.” Holy crap. He’s not only frightened the life out of himself but probably the whole of Imladris too. And me. I just love the fact that it’s Glorfindel who picks him up and comforts him.

Poor Elrond must have been totally confused as to what was happening. I admit I couldn’t help chuckling a little at his introduction to ‘Pop’, though. Thank heavens Elrohir was alright, and was even able to throw some humour into the mix. He was very good with Estel, easily offering forgiveness. But my heart went out to him when he and Elrond speak of what was troubling him. I suppose I never really thought of elves marking anniversaries as such. I’m glad too that Arador’s sword was returned to his people. Elrohir may try to brush it off but these “things” can be very important and Arador’s sword would have been so much a part of him and the life he led. I really enjoyed seeing Elrohir being slightly obnoxious but it’s good to see that your sensitive and gentle Elrohir is still there too!

I absolutely loved the scene with Elrond, Gilraen and Estel. Loved it. It’s great to see Gilraen playing a big role in his life and she did very well at distancing herself and allowing Estel to learn his lesson. The best part was Elrond, though, and the sense that Estel was not going to leave until he fully understood what he’d done wrong and why! He’s so good with Estel in the way he questions him and makes him think. I’m still laughing at Estel thinking that Elrond must not have punished very many boys before! He obviously can’t see that it’s looong experience talking here!!

The moment between Gilraen and Estel when he wants to give the brooch to Elrohir was lovely too. I was glad she allowed him to do it. Without realising it, it was exactly what Elrohir needed. And it’s a wonderful idea to give it back to him when he comes of age.

This was so great, Nilmandra! I really enjoyed it :-)

Author Reply: Thanks, Dot. I am in the middle of writing HLIII, so these characters were already on my mind - it was fun to write them in this type of situation vs some of the angst they were going through in the other story.

I admit I enjoyed showing Elrohir a bit ornery, but it turned out he had good reason. Can you imagine seeing generation after generation come and go...and some perhaps they look at Estel and they see Arathorn and Arador in him - and they can't even tell him. I am looking forward to writing a bit about Gilraen - trying to imagine this mortal woman who married very young and bore a child young, and now is away from family and friends and living with elves. How odd this must be for her too.

Elrond is very good, isn't he? My Elrond muse does just steal scenes - decides Estel will learn - and how much he learns determines his punishment. How naievely cute Estel is in thinking Elrond is inexperienced in such matters! The egoenctricity of youth is endearing :D

Thanks for the review - it is very encouraging, esp as I work on this next epic.

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 4/27/2005
Oh poor, Estel. Curiosity did get him into quite a mess. Little boys are attracted to pop-guns like bees are to flowers. This story reminded me of 'The Andy Griffith Show'. In a very good way. Opie was a good kid, but always managed to find a little trouble. There was an episode were Opie accidentally shot a mother bird with his bb gun and subsequently had to raise her babies. Well...Elrohir didn't die and didn't have any babies for Estel to raise, but Andy and Elrond were both wise father in doling out punishments.

“I am quite torn as to what to teach him,” announced Elladan. “As my little brother, I should teach him all the tricks to avoid getting caught. He has you and Adar and his mother to teach him proper behavior.”

I loved this line! What good is a big brother if he doesn't know the ropes and teach them to his younger brother? Sharing such knowledge is in the 'Big Brother's Rule Book'....somewhere.

And then...a cracked door is nearly as inviting as a pop-gun. That's hard to resist when you just know something is going on and no one will tell you what it is. Trolls! That's the stuff of nightmares and intrigue for little boys. Hard to resist.

The only thing worse than being caught out of the house at night when you're supposed to be tucked in bed is to accidentally shoot someone! Poor Estel... What a horrible shock to think that you've killed someone, especially someone you love. I loved that he simply ran to get help without worrying about himself at all. The makings of a young fellow who is learning responsibility. I also melted when Glorfindel picked Estel up and held him. I agree that Glorfindel's shoulder would be a good one to sob into.

Elrohir grinned. “Should I play dead?”

LOL! Even wounded, Elrohir couldn't help the workings of a big brother's humorous retribution. I'm sure Elrond was mortified, but not surprised. Still, Elrohir knew that Estel would feel so bad about what happened that was punishment in itself. I liked how he, as an adult, thought of the ramifications for the child above whatever harm he had suffered. Good big brother.

The scene with Elrond and Gilrean was nicely done. Parents often have a hard time separating the emotions of the moment when something potentially very dangerous happens and both of Estel's 'parent' figures did well. I'm sure they had had time to talk and think about what had happened, but it's still tough to stay calm and reasonable when things go to pot. Elrond and Gilrean did well.

Estel giving the brooch to Elrohir was a sweet touch. Estel knew the brooch was valuable even if he didn't know exactly why, and it was such a nice gesture for him to want Elrohir to have it. Estel valued Elrohir far above any 'thing'. This tied nicely into the 'thing' Elrohir had talked about earlier when he told Elrond about Arador's sword.

I can imagine the laugh Elrond and the twins got over Estel's idea of appropriate punishments for bad little boys. I think Elrond's punishment was far better than anything that the books Estel had been reading suggested.

Lovely story, Nilmandra.


Author Reply: I have to say that one of the aspects I enjoyed writing most about this little story was Elrohir being a bit obnoxious. I don't know that he has had the opportunity before. And being in Estel's head is fun, to try to think like a little boy - very curious and the little voice of reason in the head just cannot be heard for some reason!

This was also good to write as I consider how the house of Elrond ran with Estel in their midst - identity concealed and all - and how others interacted with him. I have been working on a scene with him as an adult in Rivendell, a few years before the Quest and as a child newly arrived in haste. This just helps to flesh out his life there a little more.

I can just see all the adults sitting around discussing punishments - Estel does seem to provide endless amusement!

Thank you for reviewing - it means a lot!

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 4/27/2005
I know just how Estel feel about having his "library privileges" revoked. One of the things that makes me feel sorry for dogs is that they can't read. Of course, Estel seems to be better than I am at thinking up other things to do. I like the way he carries apples for the horses, just in case.

I suppose that if any Elven realm was going to try to make an air gun, Imladris would be the one because of the presence of some of the Noldor. They're such clever makers, and heaven only knows, they've made dangerous things before!

One of the things I like about your Imladris is that Glorfindel trains the young. That's somehow very appealing. He has the right personality for it -- ready to laugh but also experienced enough to be firm. And after all, he killed a Balrog! That has to impress them enough to make them listen. And lucky Estel. He also has the twins to be impressed by. His efforts to be like them are endearing. What a heart-stopping moment for him when he thinks he killed Elrohir.

The dangers of Estel eavesdropping were much greater than I had realized at first. You're right that he lives with a secret all around him. Uncovering it too early would be dangerous.

Elrond is clever to lead Estel through those questions so that he reasons things out for himself.

Author Reply: The challenge of this story really was figuring out how the household of Elrond ran with this hidden child in their presence - how careful they had to be of what they said to him and to others. Also, what roles they all played in his life - it would be easy for all of these adults to all be 'parents' and then he ends up with no playmates or friends.

And one cannot stop Elrond when he is on a teachable moment - he steals the scene and won't give it back until the person has learned what he intends. He tells the rest of us to be patient.

Thanks for the review.

KarriReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 4/27/2005
Oh! This is just fantastic, Nilm. Thank you! I can most definitely empathize with Estel dilemna at the start -- many a time I have been torn between finish a story and doing something else I really want to do. Most of the time, the story wins. Estel is just adorable throughout. It is so noble of him to want to protect his home and family, even if he went about things the wrong way. He was very brave to disobey Glorfindel; I do not think there are many creature young or old, man or elf, that are brave enough to do that. ;-) I loved, though, that it was Glorfindel who lifted him into his arms as Elrohir and Elladan ran to find Elrohir, and that Estel accepted his comfort so readily. Oi! A wonderful job of depicting Estel's panic when he thought he had killed Elrohir -- the poor little blighter, he had to have been terrified out of his wits. But Elorhir - tsk! -- wondering if he should play dead -- very naughty! And then we find out why he is so ornery. It must be very difficult for the two to ride with the Rangers and see so many good friends come and go throughout the years. I am glad that Estel's gift at the end managed to lift his spirits some.

Author Reply: That was a great challenge idea, Karri. And thank you for the brooch idea too - that was perfect for the ending. Poor Elrohir, too! The poor peredhil never gets a break!

It was strange to think of how old all of these people are compared to both Estel and Gilraen....Estel has no one to compare himself too in terms of how he is doing. The twins may need to tell him more stories :D

BodkinReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 4/26/2005
What a gorgeous story. I love thinking about the relationship between the twins and Estel. I can see how he thought of them as grown up brothers (with a youthful streak), but from their point of view it must have been - well - different. However much they came to love him, he was round (and young) for such a short period of years - and they had been there before, in a way, with his fathers and his fathers' fathers.

But a child this endearing (if trouble) - how could they resist him?

And he never means to get into trouble! He just wants to know - and to be as good as his brothers. And, after all, they are elves. They should hear him coming.

Estel's terror when he shot Elrohir was very well done - and his courage. And the secret dread that Elrond might invoke some dreadful orcish punishment. Although I think he will find the one he has drawn to be rather more of a penalty than it seems in the first flush of guilt.

And Glorfindel is great, too. The difference between him and the twins is still so clear - he is so much older and wiser and more experienced - and they are still more light-hearted, despite their couple of millennia and their experience of grief and battle. And it's good to see Gilraen taking some part in her son's upbringing (and to see that he is as nervous of angering his mother as he is of upsetting Elrond). Who is such a good adar. And, contrary to youthful belief, thoroughly experienced in disciplining the recalcitrant young!

This was a great way to start the day.

Author Reply: I am glad you enjoyed it! I love it when a challenge sparks a story where there had not been one in my mind before.

I was trying to imagine Estel growing up in this house of elves, who had seen many generations of his ancestors be born and die, and in addition to that he is probably the only child around the place. That would make him more adult acting in some ways, but in others, like comparing his behavior to another for purposes of knowing a suitable punishment - well, there is no one to compare himself too!

And trust Elrond to turn every moment into a teachable one. He cannot help himself. When I told him that scene was getting a bit long he just brushed me aside and said 'he almost has it.'

Thanks for the review.

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