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History Lessons: The Third Age  by Nilmandra 376 Review(s)
The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/4/2005
I've finally had time to sit down and read this and I did, savoring every word. Yes, perhaps it was a little melancholic, but I was struck more by the beauty of the love and devotion of everyone involved. Even in their sorrow, the Dunadain and the Elves came together to see to the care of a young mother and her child. All children are too precious to waste, but this little fellow had the whole world sitting on his shoulders and everyone pitched in to lighten that load until he was old enough to carry it.

Though grieved, Elrond was calm and deliberate in his decisions about how to ease Gilrean and Aragorn into his household. He was careful as he slowly went about teaching Aragorn to respond to a new name. He made this change feel very natural and unthreatening to Aragorn. And while he was changing things...he got reintroduced to the concept of 'changing' babies. If he had taken a moment to think about it, he would have remember that males usually potty train a tad slower than females. Two? Nah. Accidents were bound to happen. But you know, that was a real bonding moment between Elrond and his foster-son. :>)

This almost entirely male household did well with the little guy. I really like that Elrohir is so good with Aragorn. He had a good role model. Still, seeing Glorfindel, the claimed prize, and Erestor, the avoider of thumb-suckers, so lovingly accept the new little member of the household was quite heart warming.

I especially like your portrayal of Gilrean. She was young and her entire world had been destroyed with one arrow. I have always seen her as a good mother. She gave up so much to see her son safe, but she also sacrificed for something bigger than just her own child's safety. Knowing she was doing the right thing didn't make it any easier, I'm sure, but I think there's satisfaction in knowing you've chosen to put the greater good before your own desires. Then this overall good does become your heart's desire. I like to think that even though she was most likely lonely for her own folk and she missed her family, that she was content knowing that she had a hand in giving all mankind a chance to overcome the despair of lurking evil. Indeed, she gave them hope. She was a strong and admirable woman.

I'm so pleased to see the beginnings of this story posted. This first chapter was absolutely wonderful. I can't wait to read the remainder!


Author Reply: Thanks, Karen. It is so nice to read such lovely comments after such a tiring day! I would like to write more of Gilraen, as I think she gets a bad rap in a lot of fanfiction. I do think she was very strong and brave, and the sacrifices she made were great. Hopefully we'll see her a few more times. I also wonder how she felt about co-parenting with Elrond - she must seem a child to him too, after all. I am sure he helped her to be an even better mother.

Elrohir was good with Aragorn, wasn't he? Maybe Elrohir needs to marry in Valinor and have elflings. I think he'd be a wonderful ada himself.

Thanks for reading.

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/4/2005
The holiday has got me jumpy so I guess Iíll just jump right past the preliminaries and say one thing that really stands out for me about this perfect chapter is Halbarad. You have given him a proper role to play for a change instead of that of some companionable cousin. Then you do the same for Gilraen! You honor her heroism - the sort that is so often epitomized, but rarely felt or understood. In fact, you honored the sacrifice of her entire family and that was so very pleasing.

Of course, Elrond and his family are incredible too. It's good the bitterness has passed for him and the twins before Aragorn arrival. Elrondís compassion seems to come out even more than when Celebrian was with him. The simplicity of little Estel himself surrounded by such complex emotions was splendid. And you never forget the ironic and humorous side of life. I love the small details you tell of so aptly and how they convey the larger setting.

BTW, that throwaway line with Gandalf comparing the details of Bilboís and Gollumís account about the Ring was a great *snicker*. ;)

I am happily looking forward to reading your admirable writing and experiencing a wonderful story.

Author Reply: Thanks, Redheredh - I am glad you think the chapter was good! I have seen Halbarad given many roles, but it seemed to me that he held one of some importance to the Dunedain. I liked the idea of him being in a role of leadership and having some say of Aragorn's future. He will show up again in future chapters. And thank you for recognizing Gilraen's heroism! It is oft the part of women to show strength and courage that has nothing to do with wielding a sword. Gilraen and her family all sacrificed, and how can we imagine a twenty year exile when we are so young? Arwen's incredible faith in Aragorn is also extremely valuable and important.

Glad you liked that little note about Bilbo and Gollum!

perelllethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/4/2005
Well, good news indeed!:-) I'm so glad to see this at last!

Well chosen moment for the beginning, I believe, when everything starts to get in motion, the moment for Aragorn to rise above all his fathers or fall into the deepest darkness.

The tale of Aragon and Arwen is such a beautiful piece in istelf, so much hope and sacrifice condensed in that few pages, that I'm glad you chose to extend it in your story. I believe that Gilraen's role shall be very important in Estel's well being, and she, as well as Elrond, shall be brave enough to be there for him when he needs her, and then let go of her child in the end for a greater good and a higher destiny...and that is painful but also enlightening.

Those two bereft but loving parents are so great in their own, personal sacrifice, entangled and at times almost missed in the midst of the greater events!

I'm sure I'm going to enjoy this way too much, thanks! :-)

Author Reply: Thanks, Perelleth! I agree about the Tale of Aragorn and is beautiful and I hope to stay true to that. Gilraen was courageous to go into exile and leave her family and friends to see Aragorn kept safe - and Elrond is courageous to let his daughter go with grace. I agree - both very good but heartbroken parents.

KarriReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/4/2005
This is off to a beautiful start, Nilmandra. All the Gilraen is going through made me all sniffly and teary and little Estel is adorable. I like how you've depicted him -- more curious than upset, as I think a child his age would be, he does not really understand what has been lost and mama is close at hand. Excellent writing!

Author Reply: Thanks for your help with the story thus far - I appreciate it. I do have a new perspective on Gilraen after writing this - she really did go through a lot and it must have been very hard.

paranoidangelReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/4/2005
Yay, HLIII! I loved seeing Elrond with Aragorn, he's such a sweetie really. I liked that Elrond didn't feel entirely sad about Celebrian's leaving, he had hope too.

Author Reply: Elrond always seemed to have hope, didn't he? Celebrian will be in this story and I had to write enough good memories to balance out the terrible events. I am looking forward to writing Arwen and Elrond too.

EllieReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/4/2005
Yay! I'm so thrilled to see another History Lessons. Ch 1 is very good. I like the way you depict Elrond supporting Arwen in her choice of Aragorn as a mate and the way Elrond is so fatherly toward Aragorn. I also loved the twins practically purring and falling asleep with the neck rubs.

Can't wait for more!

Author Reply: Thanks, Ellie - I admit I am looking forward to writing more of Arwen and Elrond, and I hope to do Arwen justice.

Its hard for me to imagine Elrond ceasing to love Aragorn because of Arwen - I can see him feeling torn, but he raised this child as his son and I think that love would remain always. Thank you for reading!

BejaiReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/4/2005
Yay! HLIII! *leaps for joy* I hope you know what a thrill it was to mosey over to SoA today, and see this waiting here for me. And everybody else, I suppose ;) Some thoughts that came as I read:

- I love the place where you started this. Right near the end of things. There will be a lot to look back on, and it will be interesting to see Elrond's point of view on current events.

- Exhausted Aragorn, and Elrond, who loves him. I am so glad you made it a loving relationship, despite the fact that Elrond knows he could lose his daughter to this mortal man. Anything less than such love would have been out of character, I think.

- Little Aragorn, er, Estel, who seems such a bright, delightful child. I loved the way he took instantly to Ada Elrond. And wetting the bed. Hee ;) Well, it has been a while since Elrond had to contend with little children.

- Loved to the way Elrond's extended "family" is already accepting Estel. Erestor, even if he prefers older children, and wonderful Glorfindel. I really enjoy the way to portray both of those characters.

- Missing Celebrian. Oh, it hurts that she isn't here! I so loved the way you wrote the relationship between them in your earlier stories. I miss her fire, her teasing ways. I hope she appears in some of the flashbacks. Are you going to write the bad one -- the Redhorn pass one?

- I'm always in awe of the seamless way you write flashbacks.

I'm just thrilled to see this, and looking forward to the journey.

Author Reply: Ack, all the Redhorn stuff is written. Talk about pain and suffering....I knew I couldn't start posting until that was written, as it took forever and I had to leave it numerous times and write other happy memories. Oh, and the ending - I had to write the ending to remind myself that it could be a happy one for Elrond, at least as far as Celebrian is concerned.

Writing young Estel is fun. I won't do a lot more of it, as I've written some vignettes to show him growing up and I may do more of those as they tend to be lighthearted.

Thanks for reading!

RadbooksReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/4/2005
A wonderful start to your new story, which I have been eagerly anticipating. To see the love and concern that Elrond has for Aragorn - which the book clearly states, instead of the anger/hatred of the movies - is so refreshing. Of course there is sorrow with the knowledge that he might lose his daughter - how could there not be? But he truly loves his son. The flashback was wonderful and it was interesting getting to see Aragorn's and Gilraen's arrival at Imladris and how wise Elrond was at just making him a part of the family and just starting in immediately with the name. Well, YOU did a wonderful job of writing and describing that for us! :) Loved seeing Glorfindel and Erestor again. Loved Erestor's and Elladan's bet and the bed wetting! I enjoy your sense of humor that you put in your stories. Well done chapter and I look forward to more.

Author Reply: Thanks, Radbooks! I am a book fan first, and nothing in the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen ever suggested to me that despite the pain of losing his daugther, Elrond withdrew his love from his foster son or vice versa. Elrond, perhaps more than anyone as they were his visions of foresight, knew the hope that Aragorn was. Thank you for reading!

ElenluinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/4/2005
Wonderful! a new story! :-) I can't wait to read your point of view on these events, the first chapter is already great and I don't mind if the story becomes melancholic, it's a hard time to live in...

Author Reply: Thank you, Elenluin - it is melancholic and I am glad you see the times that way too. The elves, if the quest succeeds, must go with grace and dignity, their power diminished and themselves fading. I have made myself sad writing about it. :/

AmleeReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/4/2005
*Does Happy Dance* It's finally here!! Do I need to say it? More! More! More!

Author Reply: Thank you, Amlee. I asked for encouragement and that is!

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