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Grace and Memory  by Larner 24 Review(s)
FiondilReviewed Chapter: 5 on 7/5/2010
I decided to wait until you had finished this, Larner, before commenting. An interesting set of vignette spanning two whole ages from Elros to Faramir. I liked how you have one person in each declare, “After all, it is only a tree when all is said and done.” In my Akallabeth story about Tar-Palantir's coronation, "To Stand Fast Against the Night", I have his brother, Gimilkhâd, say the same thing. Interesting how some people can only see a tree while others see a promise, a symbol of something greater than themselves. Tolkien saw trees for what they truly are: beings of great majesty and full of the deep wisdom of the Earth. After reading his stories and the central part that trees tend to play in them, it is hard to look at any tree and say 'it's only a tree when all is said and done.' Well done!

Author Reply: I need to reread "To Stand Fast Against the Night," I think. But faithfulness, courage, and grace are all themes Tolkien has written into every story he wrote. As for the unifying comment of "But it's only a tree, after all"--that was the specific prompt I was given to work into the story I was to write. That it would spark five vignettes was not something I'd anticipated when I began writing this, believe me!

The last one came first, and the others sprang from it.

UTfrogReviewed Chapter: 5 on 7/5/2010
Gorgeous set of stories - thank you for each of them.

Author Reply: You are most welcome, UTfrog! Thank you for the feedback! I rejoice that I got the prompt I did to go along with the general theme, inspiring not a single vignette but five!

EllynnReviewed Chapter: 4 on 7/2/2010
I like the way Isildur speaks about the Tree: calmly and wisely. I think it is a pity that most fans remember Isildur only after his mistake - I mean, the fact that he didn't destroy the ring when he had had the chance. Even I was among them, after reading LotR and Silm. It is somehow easy to forget (or neglect) the good deed that he did, and remember only his failure with the ring.
But when I read the Unfinished Tales, I got the wider picture, so to say, and I get to know him better. In that book we see that he perceived his mistake and wanted to correct things, we see that he is a good man. And this is exactly the thing that you managed to show with this story: to portray him as a wise man, who hasn't forgotten the sacrifice of his brother (and at the same time, he does not praise his own deed), who hasn't forgotten what is really important in their world - honour and loyalty to the Valar. Well done!

Author Reply: I admit I was heavily influenced here by the section within Unfinished Tales. We know that Isildur planted the first White Tree within Minas Anor after the defeat of Sauron at the feet of Mount Doom, and that he planted it in memory of his brother. I wanted to examine how he would have explained this to Anarion's own son, the new King of Gondor, who after Isildur's own death refused to bow to his (apparently) younger cousin Valandil as High King. Apparently the lesson didn't take.

Thanks so!

CairistionaReviewed Chapter: 4 on 7/2/2010
I'm so enjoying these White Tree ficlets... I'm hardly well-versed in Gondor's history and each story is bringing to life segments of it with which I'm not familiar, and making me dig for answers.

Author Reply: Much of the personality of Isildur is based on what is presented within the story of the final battle at the Gladden Fields. I have thoughts to write more, perhaps, on his oldest son Elendur. Tolkien tells us Elendur much resembles Elrond's brother Elros, and when Aragorn comes to Rivendell to live as Estel, Elrond sees much of both his brother and Elendur in the youth as he grows.

Ah--I see it is time for me to go! Durn! But thank you so, Cairistiona.

UTfrogReviewed Chapter: 4 on 7/2/2010
Just wanted to say that I am truly enjoying this story. Each chapter is vivid.
Thank you.

Author Reply: Thank you so, UTfrog! Sometimes vignettes such as this are the most vivid of all! I am honored you find it so!

EllynnReviewed Chapter: 3 on 6/28/2010
I suppose that the only ocasion in which a faithful Numenorean would call Nimloth "only a tree" is when his/her child's life is in danger. Therefore, I guess that we can understand Elendil's reaction, which is different than Isildur's words. Well done. :)

Author Reply: The thought of how close they came to losing Isildur must have been very painful for Elendil and his father; I do suspect ONLY that could cause him to speak as he did. But to have lost the chance to see a new White Tree take the place of the old one must have been terrible to all of the Faithful.

Thank you so, Ellynn.

EdlynReviewed Chapter: 3 on 6/28/2010
Thre words: Gorgeous, powerful, heartrending.

Author Reply: Thank you so very much. I am honored.

CairistionaReviewed Chapter: 3 on 6/28/2010
Ah, brave Isildur! His passion for the Tree comes through perfectly, dimmed not a bit by his wounds. I found myself wishing this were a much longer story!

Author Reply: There are two more vignettes, so it's not over yet. But I love the thought that both brothers helped to see the fruit rescued and then prepared to take with them when the Faithful fled the island. Thanks so, Cairistiona.

TariReviewed Chapter: 2 on 6/28/2010
Perhaps the mortal has an inkling as to what lies ahead when the tree is burned.

Author Reply: That he might! Thanks so, Tari!

CairistionaReviewed Chapter: 2 on 6/25/2010
Very chilling... and very reminiscent of Satan's voice in the Garden. *shiver*

Author Reply: Oh, indeed, Cairistiona. But then his own master was the equivalent to our Devil.

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