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Brotherhood  by Bodkin 20 Review(s)
Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: 12 on 4/2/2007
I can't believe I did not leave a comment about this chapter when first I read it - I re-read preparing for the next - and again, was awed by the beauty of Gilraen's arguments and the wisdom that she had.

Incredible discourse!

Author Reply: Thank you! I do think that it must have been hard for Estel to see himself as a man - and that the adjustment was probably very hard for him. Gilraen was his only contact with a world he didn't know - and then she couldn't talk about most of it! Hers is a very womanly, maternal (and unfashionable) role - and yet absolutely critical in making Aragorn the man he was.

sammijoyReviewed Chapter: 12 on 3/12/2007
This is a very good story. I am liking reading about Estel and his childhood. Awesome!


Author Reply: Thank you, Sammi! I'm glad you're enjoying these. There is only one more of them written at the moment - about 200 years in the future - but I'm hoping more inspiration will strike soon!

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 12 on 3/10/2007
Again, something that would have to happen, Estel seeing the differences between himself and the elves in Imladris. Poor Gilrean. That would be difficult to watch. I love these from her perspective. I don't think I have ever read about Estel in Imladris throught her eyes. Love it!

Author Reply: It wouldn't matter at first - he was only two when he arrived. He wouldn't even notice that he was different for some time. He was just small and everyone else was big. But there would have come a time - and Gilraen longs to protect him from the buffets of life, yet knows she can't. And it is important to them all that Estel should grow up to be a whole person with a good understanding of the world and his place in it. He needs other children round him, I think. But I doubt he's going to get them.

Gilraen is so often forgotten - she's primarily a mother, and that's not very romantic or amusing. But it is critical in turning her son out as the man he became - and she made it her life's work. She was going to do it properly - and suffer for not being able to tell him about his father and his family.

Thank you! I'm glad you like these. They were, at first, going to be more 3E-based - but Gilraen and, to a lesser degree, Elrond, seem to put their stamp on them and altered the viewpoint a bit.

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 12 on 3/3/2007
I sometimes think poor Estel must have felt like this - caught between two worlds, and not wholly belonging to either one. If only a few Dúnedain children could have been brought to Imladris for him to play with!


Author Reply: I wonder if that's why he loved Arwen - as a peredhel, she, too, was slightly between worlds. And Aragorn was, in some ways that he ruthlessly suppressed in later years, quite elf-like in the way he saw the world and his duty and destiny and such - it's not surprising that his idea of the perfect woman should be three-quarters (+) elf. And then, in the days of the king, they had each other - neither quite at home in the world of men - to support each other and share a past (even if long years apart) of growing up among the elves of Imladris.

I think Estel needed other children more, probably, than other adult Dunedain - at least at this stage. He has no equals, even if the twins are determinedly being his brothers. But Dunedain children - really they are the very ones who would be kept away. How could you be sure that children wouldn't speak of the boy who lived with the elves? And elflings? I don't think there are any. Not any more. I'm hoping that, between them, Gilraen and Elrond - perhaps with some help from the twins and Glorfindel - manage to come up with some solution. But I don't know what it could be!

harrowcatReviewed Chapter: 12 on 3/3/2007
This is a wow of a chapter Bodkin and really leaves me thinking hard which I love. I have enjoyed all the insightful reviews and replies as well.

Author Reply: Thank you, harrowcat! This is one of those times when you start writing something you think will be simple and frivolous and then get involved in thinking all about more complex issues - like grief and age and cross-species adoption! But with the advantage of knowing that, among them all, they did it well - because they raised a man of whom they could be justly proud.

elanor winterflowersReviewed Chapter: 12 on 3/2/2007
Gosh, I like this so much! I've just finished reading through all the existing chapters here, and I just find it transporting. It sounds and feels exactly like Rivendell should, and all the characters are beautifully drawn. I especially admire the way Estel is presented and defined through Gilraen's observations and concerns—that's really a cool device and you do it very well. I love the twins, and Elrond's pleasure at having a little one around again—the chapter in which Estel captured the feather pen was darling. And I really liked Gilraen's response to the broken bowl: "It has been given to me twice, and is doubly precious for that." There's a lady of substance: no wonder her son turned out so well!

Author Reply: I suspect that originally I was going to make this more about the twins and Estel - hence the title! - but it's turned more into looking at how Gilraen coped with raising the Dunadan among the elves of Imladris! She is a very strong woman - which is just as well, because her son needed all the pride in his people that his mother could teach him if he was to be able to live as a man rather than an elf-wannabe.

I must admit to enjoying writing about very small Estel - at the age when it didn't matter where he was - but there's something very interesting in thinking about him when he was a bit older and trying to decide who he was. The only other chapter I have written at the moment takes place about 200 years after this - so I don't know when that'll get posted!

Thank you, Elanor!

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 12 on 3/2/2007
Interesting dilemma for Estel's parents... Who can be his male role model? Someone he can not only emulate but identify with?

After they have had time to think about what they have debated, I am sure these two wonderful people will come to a wise - and perhaps daring - compromise. They certainly can find a loyal man willing to reside at Imladris and be an uncle to the boy. There's got to be some loyal mortal out there ready to join their silent conspiracy. Perhaps a man who has lost his own family or a disabled veteran.

I simply cannot see Gilraen and Elrond not attempting some solution, though. She has love and common sense. He has compassion and wisdom. Both have foresight enough to know Estel's difference demands more than either of they can provide alone or together.

A great, insightful chapter.

Author Reply: In many ways, I think Estel did grow up to be really quite elf-like - for all Gilraen's struggles to familiarise him with his heritage! After all, even if occasional Dunedain visitors arrived, there were very few who would have been permitted to know of Estel's presence. And then, when the young adult went out into the world, he was probably disconcertingly elf-like to his people - and it was left to Halbarad and the like to wear off the more finicky edges and reveal the strengths of men. He did grow up alone - and he lived alone, even in crowds. Set apart by rearing, heritage, destiny - it's no wonder, in a way, that he set his heart on Arwen. I doubt he would have been able to deal well with a less perfect bride. And he needed courtly devotion - a lady fair, whom he could hold above all others, to fortify him against the long years apart. (Possibly only Finduilas could have come close - had he not already been devoted to Arwen ... That could have been interesting!)

A male role model is important - but I think that what Estel needs more than anything is other children. He has no experience of interacting with anyone as an equal - and that is very important in growing up well-balanced. But no child of the Dunedain can be brought in as a playmate - and I doubt there are any elflings. Gilraen and Elrond would search out solutions - Estel's rearing is of vital importance to both of them - but what those solutions will be, I don't know!

Thank you, Redheredh.

EllieReviewed Chapter: 12 on 3/2/2007
She has a valid argument, but Elrond has foresight and experience. What an interesting exchange between the two on this matter. Poor Estel! But he did exceed all expectations for him in the end.

Nicely written!

Author Reply: Estel became all they hoped for - but he was alone. Not only in childhood, but for so long. I'm not surprised that Gilraen found it impossible to stay round long enough to see the end - the prospects were not good.

As a little child, I doubt Estel even noticed the differences - but there would have come a time when he began to question his abilities and his place in the world. And, without a great deal of care, his conclusions about himself would be unlikely to be very positive. Fortunately, between them, Gilraen and Elrond provided him with very good parents - and he seems to have come out the other side quite well!

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 12 on 3/2/2007
This is really rather heartbreaking, for they see into the future when they say is one will always be alone. Aragorn became one who fit anywhere and nowhere, at least until his destiny was fulfilled. But the pain of the 'parents' who knew they could not change this situations was bitter.

Author Reply: It is sad - Estel is set apart. And even when his destiny is fulfilled - there are few people more set apart from others than kings. But at least then he had Arwen and they shared a background that probably brought them even closer together. There is little that either Elrond or Gilraen can do - the child needs to be hidden, which, by definition, means that he cannot know his own past, cannot spend time with his kin, cannot be introduced to gaggles of children. And he is different. He cannot be an elf - or a half-elf - either physically or behaviourally. His destiny pushes him down a completely different path.

But they all do the best they can - and have to hope that it's good enough. (I think it was, in the end!)

Peredhil loverReviewed Chapter: 12 on 3/2/2007
I really enjoyed this, Bodikin. These are issues that I have been thinking about a lot lately—how Aragorn’s childhood amongst the elves affected his perspective on the world and helped form the man he was to become and what influence his mother had in his upbringing.

I have always been fascinated by Gilraen and I am currently trying to write a fic about her and her relationships with Elrond, the twins and Aragorn myself and I love how you portray her. The interaction and the tension between Elrond and Gilraen was fabulous.

This chapter has provided me with a lot more to think on, which is what I most appreciate in a well-written piece of fan fiction. Thank-you.

peredhil lover

Author Reply: Thank you Peredhil lover. I do like Gilraen - she must have been such a strong character (and I do find it exasperating that she is often written out of Estel's life). She focused her attention on raising Arathorn's son to fill the role that was his, but to do that, she had to carve a position for them both in Imladris. And she is the hands-on, here-and-now part of the parenting team - I can picture Elrond being kind, but rather remote - at least until Estel managed to win his affection - and, perhaps, rather more concerned with the long-term. Which is easy enough when you're 6000+.

I think Aragorn might have always hidden, deep inside himself, the feeling that he was half-elven - in a nearly-all human body, perhaps, but feeling more Elrond's son than Arathorn's. And it would account for his love for Arwen - and hers for him. They recognised something in each other - and held out for it.

When Estel was really small, I reckon, the differences didn't matter - but he was bound to reach a time when he began to resent being a human child among elves and ask about where he came from. And, of course, he wouldn't have received much in the way of answers to satisfy him.

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