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Brotherhood  by Bodkin 18 Review(s)
elliskaReviewed Chapter: 5 on 3/10/2007
This one is my favorite, I think, because I used to play exactly this game with my father in his office. I absolutely loved this.

Author Reply: I loved the way Elrond softened to the child - I think Estel's extreme youth made it easier for Elrond to open up to him. And the relationship that is building between them here delights me. For both their sakes.

DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: 5 on 12/29/2006
And here we see why Elrond is as "kind as summer". He's so perceptive of others, and he's honest with himself--and he knows how to open himself up again, and to admit that he needs to do so. I can imagine how hard it must be for any of the inhabitants of Rivendell, knowing that this one endearing child that they are allowing themselves to love is oh, so mortal. Yet, still they do allow it, and do not seem to count the cost to themselves--and it is because of Elrond's example.

Author Reply: Elrond is able to give of himself - even knowing that pain will come as part of it. And Estel is so young and so open that he would be hard to resist. I somehow think the other Dunedain fosterling were older - adolescents - and that, although the inhabitants of Imladris were fond of them, it was a far less intimate relationship. They were visitors - Estel is family.

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 5 on 12/29/2006
I love the idea that Elrond, too, has now been re-infected with that particular joy and love of life that only a small child can generate. He can hardly be blamed for stagnating, so to speak, but it's good to see him, too, re-learning how to play.

Author Reply: Elrond could, I should think, have been a bit distant from those who came to dwell in Imladris. Busy, you know, and kept away from importunities. But it's very hard to avoid a small child - especially one that is being encouraged by your own children. And he is one who would embrace pain, knowing that the love it brought was more important. He needs to love Estel, I think, to be able to release Arwen. Probably all fated!

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 5 on 12/26/2006
He could not recall when they had grown too big for the ritual – he just knew that he had missed it when it was no longer part of his life.

That is a nice way of saying that. Many things we don't realize how much we enjoyed until they're gone.

Elrond looked at the smear of black round the child’s mouth and splashed on his tunic. ‘I shall not worry,’ he said brazenly. ‘I am sure Gilraen will know who to blame for his appearance – and, rest assured, it will not be me.’

Another advantage to having E2 so involved - someone to blame!

Author Reply: If only you knew things were happening for the last time, you would cherish them so much more - but you don't, and then you just know it has passed and you will never have it back. Anything to do with kids tends to do that to you! (Of course, when it is something like helping with physics homework, that is a good thing...)

I am sure E2 are more likely to get the blame for anything - after all, would you, in Gilraen's position, have the nerve to accuse Elrond of not supervising Estel properly? No, E2 are there to be the fall guys! (But they have broad shoulders. They'll cope.)

Linda HoylandReviewed Chapter: 5 on 12/25/2006
A moving glimpse into a side of Elrond we don't usually see.It seems ARAgorn is already perfecting his ranger skills !

Author Reply: Elrond would have been a splendid father, I think. Maybe a little too concerned to make all experiences educational, but he would have learned from Celebrian the importance of fun. Estel is reminding him that there is life beyond grief - and he will take delight in having a child looking to him for parenting.

He has a way to go yet, though, before he can successfully sneak his way through Moria.

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 5 on 12/23/2006
Joyful interruption. So glad that the twins decided to teach Estel this so much needed skill, and that all three Elves are finding themselves eased and refreshed by the child's presence.

Author Reply: Oh yes! The twins are playing with Estel and teaching him at the same time - and of course Elrond should get to join in! Others at Imladris might decide that Elrond was too important to play with a child - but who better than the twins to know how much he enjoyed doing just that.

Estel is living up to his name, I think. And acting as a catalyst for change.

Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: 5 on 12/23/2006
Had he stagnated? Flattered himself that he was offering a refuge, but sealed the valley away so that none could approach it – so that none could approach him? Was his sons’ abandonment of their home – his daughter’s absence in the Golden Wood – more due to his paralysis than their restlessness?

Incredible questions and quite valid. I'm glad Elrond has such wisdom to look at his actions and wonder. Very appropriate for this story too!

I giggled during most of this - a pleasant diversion from the hardships of Middle-earth.

And I loved the last part about who was going to be blamed! Delightful chapter!

Author Reply: The twins responded to Celebrian's wounding with relentless orc slaying - Arwen seems to have been unable to bear being at home. Elrond must have reacted in some way - and a desperate attempt to preserve Imladris as it had been when she was still with him seems quite a likely response. But Estel changes things. Quite inadvertantly he brings a fresh challenge to the elves of Imladris.

And Elrond needs to have some fun! And learn to play again. I can just picture Gilraen's reproachful look at the twins, too. Because of course it is their fault!

ArmarielReviewed Chapter: 5 on 12/23/2006
Oh gracious...I want to adopt Estel now...well, I might return him after about 10 minutes, but then again maybe not! I can see it's doing a great deal of good to have some fresh blood about the place. Critters, cookies, ink blots, the whole works....

Author Reply: Fresh blood - yes, that's it! Imladris needs Estel, I think, at this point. Just as much as the child needs the safety and security that Imladris provides.

They should have an exciting few years ahead of them!

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 5 on 12/22/2006
The last two chapter were very sweet and heart-warming. And you write so beautifully besides! You have such talent... Each of these marvelous little episodes are certainly about the people around Estel and how he affects them more than their effect upon him.

However, this chapter was just overwhelming. Had he stagnated? That entire paragraph - whew! I love this one for the so many reasons, but mostly for Elrond acknowledging that change does not mean more loss than gain. Yes, he preferred a feather quill and some long-past days. That did not mean he could never find another use for the nub or renewal in another mother and child's future.

His automatic correction of Estel's bad grammar was a perfect note. That is what others hear - his confidence, not his worries. There are always so many nice subtle touches like that in all your stories.

The budding Ranger is indeed lucky to have the benefit of teachings that took so many "years of practice to acquire". However, there is cunning there too!

Wonderful series so far!

Author Reply: Estel is just ... there. Small children are very egocentric - I suspect they are of the opinion that the world ends just where they can't see it any more. And the adults musings are far more fascinating, really. So many elements mixed together.

And poor Elrond is left brooding whether he is to blame for the change in his children. But they are ready for change, I think. Even if it comes at a price. (And he just would correct Estel's speech. And make sure he held the pen correctly.)

Practice - and experience, I think. As well as a certain amount of cunning.

I'm glad you're enjoying it.

LindeleaReviewed Chapter: 5 on 12/22/2006
Awww. They *do* grow up so fast... I miss those days of delight.

Author Reply: Children are enchanting at the age when everything is new and exciting. Tiring, too. But it does pass far too quickly.

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