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First Impressions  by Bodkin 16 Review(s)
RSReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/1/2006
What a rude awakening for the young Aragorn. "These were not the glorious heirs of Numenor...". One can't help but feel that way after living in comfort in Rivendell and finding yourself in what feels like a shack.

I'm glad Halbarad set him straight. I love his humour and his patience with Aragorn. So easy going.

This is a wonderful piece. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Halbarad's description of life of the Dunedain was so heartfelt that one appreciates their struggle and makes Aragorn's grievances insignificant (Halbarad deserves his fun in the barn!). Aragorn's mood was contagious---from disappoint, displeasure, to understanding and acceptance.

Author Reply: All those history lessons must have made it rather like dreaming of King Arthur - and then finding yourself in the real Middle Ages. Poor Aragorn needs to get beneath the glamour to the gritty reality ... because they are the glorious heirs of Numenor. Their hard lives are part of that - they serve; their chieftain, the people of the northlands, their history, destiny. Aragorn will grow to understanding - and respect - but, just at the moment, he wants to go home.

Halbarad is whole and one in the way that Aragorn probably never was. The unfortunate heir of Isildur is suspended between so many worlds - and, from the moment his destiny landed on him (and his love of Arwen), he was never really at home anywhere - at least, not until after the coronation. And after getting on for 70 years as the Wanderer-King-in-exile, settling in the stone prison of Minas Tirith must have been hard.

MaidenofValinorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/1/2006
*sigh* I love your writing style. You use such vivid details, and your dialogue is brilliant. I like this one, a lot.

Author Reply: Thank you! I loved Meckinock's Halbarad - and this is a nod in his direction. He is confident in who he is in a way that Aragorn could probably never be. The poor kid had just been landed with far too many expectations - and probably never really managed to decided where home was!

shireboundReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/1/2006
That's very realistically written. Can you imagine going from Imladris to the Wild? What a transition, especially if you're still unsure of your identity, and your place in the world.

Author Reply: It must have been such a culture shock for poor Aragorn - and he was only 20! Barely adult, and, however carefully raised for the future that would be his, cosseted and unaware of how life was outside Imladris. He must have needed counselling - and instead got orcs and solitude and mud. It's a wonder he turned out as well as he did!

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/1/2006
I loved this on LJ and am happy to see it here. Aragorn is starting his long journey toward being the man for whom many places are home. He has a lot to learn, which isn't always such a fun state to be in.

Author Reply: Poor kid. Wherever he lays his hat is his home. And, at the same time, nowhere is. I sometimes wonder how he coped with the big stone prison of Minas Tirith - and whether he ended up thinking it was all worthwhile. I expect he did - but he had a long time to work for his rewards, and how much really turns out to be as good as we imagine it will? Thank you, daw.

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/1/2006
I'm so glad to see this here. There's so much to like. You always amaze me with your ease of description.

And I love your Halbarad. He's pragmatic, but humorous. I agree with Aragorn that Halbarad would have force fed him the stew. There was a lovely lass waiting for Halbarad in the barn and no sprout of a chieftain was going to mess up that opportunity. :>)

From a writing perspective, I love the easy voice you gave Halbarad too. He's so comfortable in his own skin, even though he must be close in age to Aragorn. But then, at the moment, Aragorn is a fish out of water. The change from Imladris to the Angle must have been quite a culture shock (and Aragorn was grumpy with a cold--another excellent use of voice) but I very much liked that Aragorn realized that one day he would look back on that night and have the same sort of sentimental feelings about it as he had for Imladris.

I just love this story, Bodkin. The ranger birthday bash has been more fun than Christmas.

Author Reply: Thank you. I have to fight the demon of description. Halbarad's great - he's had some terrific outings over the last week! (I love fighting the grumpy Dad Halbarad!) I'm only surprised that Halbarad hung around long enough to get the stew into Aragorn before heading off to the barn. Maybe he was a little more concerned than he let on.

Meckinock's Halbarad gives the impression of being very sure of who he is - and I reckon it must have started young ... 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. Aragorn must have ended up looking wistfully back to quite a lot of places and people - and never quite belonging to any of them. I even have my doubts about the King in his high white tower.

This has been a fun birthday bash! Now, I wonder who's next?

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/1/2006
I can only imagine being sick on top of meeting all these people for the first time, and in comparison to what has been 'home', this had to be quite disillusioning. I love Halbarad's cheerfulness and advice. Now its the rangers' turn to teach their young chieftain a thing or too. He'll do. :D

Author Reply: Poor Aragorn is so young at this time - and so much has been piled on top of him. I'm only surprised he coped with it all as well as he did! He must feel exiled - a feeling I suspect returned on several occasions. Halbarad is home - as Aragorn won't be again. Not until Minas Tirith - and possibly not then. Mind you, it'll get better and he'll soon learn a few things about being a Dunedain that don't make it into the Elven histories!

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