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First Impressions  by Bodkin 16 Review(s)
mearasriderReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/5/2006
good job!!

Author Reply: Thank you. Glad you liked it!

docmonReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/11/2006
great story, bodkin! i really enjoyed seeing aragorn's transition. your descriptions really brought the place to life. I felt cold and bothered with aragorn. it seems this is just how aragorn might have felt upon first stepping out into the world of Men.

Well done!

Author Reply: Thank you. Poor Aragorn - this must have been such a tough time in his life. And he's so young. He feels unable to go to the place he thinks of as home, he's in love, he's had the weight of history dumped on him - and he has to go off and become the leader of a people he scarcely knows. I should think, in many ways, he's really envying Halbarad at the moment! Halbarad is so comfortable in his own skin - but he'll look after Aragorn until he's had a chance to mature a bit!

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/7/2006
This is great. Poor Aragorn. but he glanced at the broad-shouldered young man he was fairly certain that he would not be obeyed Hehehe! Yup, probably not. And I imagine Aragorn did have his doubts about how he'd fit into such a different lifestyle. I like the way both he and especially Halbarad come off in this. Great job, Bodkin!

Author Reply: Thank you - it was fun writing a different set of people. And Halbarad is just great: he's so comfortable being himself. Whereas poor Aragorn - apart from the cold - is dangling between two worlds with the 'Hope of Men' tag hanging over him like a sword of Damocles. The world of the Dunedain must seem very shabby compared to Imladris - and the reality of being heirs of Numenor cannot compare to all those stories he's absorbed. It'll get better, of course. Before long, the halls of his kin will seem like luxury in comparison to the hedges and overhangs of Eriador!

GrumpyReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/3/2006
I loved this story. You have written a great Halbarad, at home in his ranger's life, and poor Aragorn missing his home. I like at the end, that Aragorn started to see things in a new light. Also loved, Halbarad telling him to eat up, because of the girl.

Author Reply: Thank you - I'm glad you liked it. Halbarad is very comfortable with the person he is, but Aragorn is a way from recognising the person he is becoming. He will adjust in time - but at the moment he is a stranger in a strange land.

Halbarad won't stand any nonsense though ... not when he's been invited to get to know a certain girl a little better!

perellethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/3/2006
Wow! I'm always speechless before your descriptions, Bodkin. Halbarad's home seems so real *and* cold, damp and "unhomely house" through the eyes of the poor chieftain!

Poor Estel, like first day at boarding school or at summer camp, missing home and Dad and brothers and Glorfindel, and shadowed by Halbadrad, nonetheless!

Amusing, despite all, the contrast between the disoriented newcomer and the well at ease, and clearly focused on "other" matters Ranger. Nice beginning for a long friendship... ;-)

Author Reply: I don't imagine that the homes of the Dunedain were that bad - I picture Bree as being decidedly less comfortable. But it's not Imladris. Just as the not-unattractive Dunedain girls are simply not elf-maidens.

You made me think of that old 'Hallo mudder, hallo farder, here am I at Camp Granada' song. I think Aragorn, too, will feel better when the sun comes out and he's off playing rangers with the boys.

Halbarad is a great character. Really comfortably in his own skin. But then he only has to be himself. He'll be a great support for an Aragorn who barely answers to his own name yet.

ArmarielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/3/2006
Oh, he'll do, indeed! (He'll do ME just fine, heheh;);)) Beautifully evocative rendering of a time and place. Yeah, the transition from Rivendell to his rather, um, rugged surroundings is bound to be a bit rocky. Frumpy mortal girls instead of gorgeous elf-princesses! Plain cooking! No indoor toilets either, I bet;) But, the better to teach him what being a real leader is all about, instead of a cushy life in dreamland!

Author Reply: Thank you. Bit of a big transition. Even without Vilya making Imladris seems even more balmy and pleasant. And the Dunedain girls are tall and grey-eyed and pretty - but they don't compare with Arwen Undomiel, I'm afraid. And the only indoor toilets are also known as chamber pots!

It'll take a while to get used to it, I'm afraid.

Linda HoylandReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/2/2006
Just delightful, I loved this.It seemed exactly how Aragorn would feel when he first joined his own people.I loved Halbarad with his common sense and sound advice.You write Aragorn brilliantly and I hope he will feature in more future stories of yours.

Author Reply: Thank you. Aragorn would have found it tough at first, I have no doubt. Imladris must have been such a contrast to the world outside. Halbarad will make a good and loyal friend over the years - and Aragorn will become accustomed to being a variety of people in one skin. In time!

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/1/2006
Pulled out of his comfortable, happy life, and drawn to this.

Poor Aragorn; and yet Halbarad is right--this is his future; and what he will one day make viable and rich again for those who live the life of the northern Dunedain.

Author Reply: Aragorn must have found this a dreadfully difficult time. He was so young to have to come to terms with all the changes in his life at this time - and I suspect he never really felt at home anywhere after he left Imladris. Yet it won't be long before he comes to appreciate the honesty and devotion to duty of the Dunedain. Certainly not as long as the 70 years it takes him to ascend the throne!

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/1/2006
I'm so glad you posted this here! Thank you again. This was such a wonderful surprise. I'd be happy to schedule monthly birthdays if it would get me more weeks like this one has been.

He was whole in a way that Aragorn wasn't - the poor kid was too many things to too many people and it's not easy to start your adult life as a legend.

I've been reading your reviews and this reply struck me because it's the essence of how I see Halbarad in comparison to Aragorn. I think I enjoy Halbarad so much because he is whole; he is free to be the person he is, not constrained by others' hopes and expectations. And he does feel perfectly at home in this stuffy-but-cold hovel; whereas I agree with you that Aragorn would have trouble feeling completely at home anywhere. I also love Aragorn's very insightful realization that he will someday look back on these days with the same wistfulness that he now looks back on his childhood in Imladris. His understanding of the need for change and adaptation, and his ready acceptance of it, even when he's so utterly miserable (and he is SO miserable, poor boy!) just shows that he is more than just the sum of his DNA, after all.

Your descriptions of the Dunedain and their accodomations are just goose-flesh inducing. They really bring home how utterly foreign this place would be to a young man raised in Imladris, where even hunting trips had a warm bath and a fine dinner on china tableware on the other side. The poor Dunedain girls! Of course they're not really as homely as he imagines, but how could they compare to the females he's been looking at all this life (and Mom doesn't count, of course.) Loved the little glimpse of Halbarad's love interest, too. I hope he didn't keep her waiting too long.

This was wonderful, Bodkin.

Author Reply: Thank you, Meckinock! I very much enjoyed playing with Halbarad - he had such a straightforward way of looking at things. Duty, responsibility, loyalty - all those things are so much part of him, and he knows exactly who he is. While poor Aragorn is suspended between too many expectations and hasn't yet had the experience to decide who he is at all! He would like to be a hero, but is miserably aware, just now, that he simply doesn't fit it anywhere.

The Dunedain girls are actually very pretty! (Most of them.) They're just not Elves. More particularly, they're not Arwen. And, if the only times Aragorn has left Imladris up to now are on hunting expeditions and carefully supervised judged first campaigns, he has probably only rarely encountered old people - or people who are not physically perfect. To sit here, in this draughty, smoky, probably rather dark and cluttered house ... well. It will take him some time - and some very cold, muddy, hungry patrols through wretched lands to make him see this as comfortable. Unfortunately(?) it won't be long before the Shangri-la of Imladris becomes a distant dream and a few nights in a bed and staying among friends will be something to appreciate.

Halbarad knows better than to keep the girl waiting. If she's looking in his direction, he'll be there! (And there's another simple pleasure Aragorn could never enjoy!)

I'm glad you liked it! It was great fun to play with the Dunedain. They're a great people.

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/1/2006
*Sigh* I really haven't been quite with it for reviewing and replying this week. First I missed your last update, and then I was *sure* I'd replied to this on LJ - but I didn't. Sorry :(

I really liked this. Poor Aragorn, finding that his new heritage and kin weren't as glorious as he'd been led to believe! Leaky huts, grotty food, girls who are nothing like the beautiful elf maiden he's just fallen in love with, and a cold on top of all that - you have to feel sorry for him. His sense of isolation is very strong too - 'I think in Sindarin' says so much about his mindset.


Author Reply: Thank you. I can just see bright-eyed young Estel in his school room, learning about the Kings of Numenor and the Faithful, the Seven Ships and the White Tree - it would have seemed glorious and exciting and a la King Arthur ... and then he encounters the Dunedain and the Angle and the hard life of farmers coupled with the weight of duty. He would learn to honour them, I think. He is clear-sighted - if painfully young - and would see that they were fulfilling a role of defending the weak and upholding the honour of Isildur's heirs in the way that justifies his own claim to kingship. But just at the moment, while he can still smell Imladris on his clothes, the whole Dunedain lifestyle seems ... ragged.

I wonder if he always thought in Sindarin. Or whether the years as Thorongil might have changed that. I think he would always have felt isolated - he never really led a normal Dunedain life for any length of time ... and then he was a hidden outsider disguised as a captain of Gondor ... and chasing around on his own searching for Gollum and so on. I reckon he would have had a major crisis some decade or so into being king, when he wondered if he would be able to cope.

Halbarad, on the other hand, knew exactly who he was - and has a deceptively simple way of looking at life. Aragorn must have found him a tremendous reassurance.

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