You make a very good point. If I remember right, there are at least a few Elves that went to the undying lands and returned.
Author's Response: Thanks for taking an interest in this essay, Lisse. I'm not the first author here to experiment with the idea that were still some forms of communication between Middle Earth and Undying Lands during the 4th Age up to the time when Valinor finally disappeared into another dimension. The most popular of these ideas I've seen here, thus far, is Frodo and Sam sending each other mail up to the time of the latter's departure into the West.
I never thought of that aspect of Middle Earth ship building before - in fact I never really thought about ship building at all, to be honest - but now that you've pointed it out, I agree that it does make sense. A logical explanation for one of the Professor's loose ends that opens up some great plot opportunities.
It bugs me when purists start harping on about violations of canon. This is fan fiction, for crying out loud, people! We are free to do what we will with our versions of Middle Earth. My philosophy is just don't read it if you don't like it; it seems unfair to leave a review just to tell an author that they haven't followed canon to the letter.
End of rant.
Author's Response: Most of my stories take place in the Fourth Age, so I think I'm justified in introducing technical innovations which I believe are within the abilities of Gondorian engineers. I think it likely that Tolkien would have done the same if he wrote later sequels to "Lord of the Rings".
I confess that I've occasionally pointed out minor canon violations to new authors, but I've also advised them, if they haven't already done so, to give their story an AU warning if they wish to change Middle Earth history. I'm certainly not a purist and never tell anyone in my reviews that they can't write a story exactly the way they want it to be.
Oooh, you are a morning person eh? I am your oppsite then, I love writing late at night, which I suppose could also be considered early morning depending how you see things, lol. My muse has never dragged me out of bed to write, though in fairness she has never tried, I guess she knows that even while she is very strong willed and persistant I can be far more stubborn!
I wasn't aware there was a longest running story list actually, you really do learn something new everyday! How does one find it?
I feel your pain about forking out the extra cash to buy the LOTR movies and then they dropped...drastically. When the extended editions came out on DVD I rushed out to buy them and spent about $50 candian each with taxes and now I grate my teeth when I am at HMV and see them for $19.99, It does not matter, I couldn't have waited this long to get my hands on them anyways.
This was an amusing piece, thank you for sharing it with us.
Author's Response: I'm not really inclined to get up at those early hours. It's part of the price (?) I pay for being retired and not getting up to an alarm clock each morning. I usually get up when I wake up. Sometimes it's during the wee hours. Sometimes it's well after sunup. I tend to go to bed at varied hours too, so that's a factor. It's impossible for me to lie abed once I wake up. My mind starts to work immediately. On the morning in question, Arwen started bugging me to work on my stories.
You can find the longest running stories by clicking on "Top Tens".
The fact that the LotR videos dropped in price worked to my advantage. I bought three sets for friends of mine when Astro Video closed their warehouse. I bought two sets new for about $15 each and one set used but in "like new" condition for $6. Last year I noticed that Target was selling the theatrical releases on DVD for $6 each.
Thanks for your review and comments.
This was quite a funny piece, it really made me smile. Your muse sure seems to be intrusive sometimes. I, for my part, still wait to meet my muse, either she doesn't exist or she's so shy she just sends me those ideas without making an appearance.
Author's Response: Buy the Liv Tyler/Arwen poster and your muse will appear. Well, providing that Arwen is your muse too.
I sort of dreamed up that whole story while I was semi-awake yesterday morning. My Evenstar poster is near my bed, so one glance at her was all I needed to start hearing her voice in my ear.
Thanks for keeping in touch.
There is a lot I do for Vanimórë , but getting up at 3.30 is not one of them. XD Muses don't need sleep, I do. I do get up at 5.45 seven days a week however, that is early enough. I prefer the mornings to write.
On the subject of cocoa: Númenor apparently had well-nigh everything. Plants and animals were also brought there from Tol Eressëa by the Elves, ( And Valinor did possess every plant or animal which exists on Earth ) and the Númenoreans were great voyagers. I think that the plants Tolkien mentions like potatoes and coffee ( in the Hobbit ) were brought by Númenoreans to the shores of Middle-earth and grown there. Athelas was one example, as Aragorn said in LOTR ( the book ) it was found only in places where the Men of Westernessë had lived or camped of old. I would imagine Pipe-weed had similar origins.
Take care, Karl
Author's Response: Hi, Siân! Nice to hear from you again.
You’re probably right about the availability of cocoa in Middle Earth, although I can’t seem to imagine Men or Elves drinking it. It seems to me that it would have more appeal to Hobbits and that cocoa powder would be a common item in their pantries.
I included a scene or two in “Arwen’s Journey” where coffee was served, but I referred to it as Black Tea made from roasted beans. None of my readers commented on it, however. It’s been 30+ years since I read “The Hobbit” so I can’t remember the reference to coffee. I’ll have to investigate it soon.
Thanks for your letter/review. I’m working on another humorous tale which I hope to post in a day or two.
I think that is a very good point. I like the reasoning behind it too. Good job defending yourself.
Namarie-Lady of the Lake
I think this makes a lot of sense as long as there are still a few random Elves lingering in Middle-earth. Once all of them have departed, I imagine they'd take their ships back to Valinor and that would be the end of any traffic. While it's easy to take a more emotional view of the Tolkienverse, as writers of fanfic it's good for us to remember that Tolkien wrote these stories as a history, and that in the matter of history practicalities still apply. Elves strive to live in harmony with the natural world---that they would denude the forests in order to avoid reusing ships is antithetical to what we know of their race. Their reverence for forests is a defining characteristic. That alone supports the idea that they would keep the shipping lines open, so to speak. As long as the shipping lines are open, what is it to carry a little mail now and then?
Author's Response: I believe that there would still be a substantial number of Elves remaining in Middle Earth during the early decades of the Fourth Age. At this time, Thranduil's kingdom is still flourishing in the north and Celeborn is founding East Lorien. I'm certain that a small number of diehard Elves would still be living in Lothlorien for a few decades after Galadriel sailed to the West. And Legolas must have had a substantial community of followers if they were to beautify and manage Greenwood in Ithilien after the War of the Ring. I'm basing most of these ideas from what I've read in "The Atlas of Middle Earth" and "The Complete Guide to Middle Earth".
Besides mail, I don't think it would be unreasonable to assume that a limited amount of trade goods and/or gifts would also be carried. In the above mentioned chapter of "Arwen's Journey", Aragorn alludes to a small cask of fine pipeweed which Evenstar had previously sent to our Hobbit hero.
My profuse thanks for your thoughtful and insightful review.
This is a very intresting theory and I certainly bow to your knowledge of foresty as that is something that I lack completely and also your knowledge of ships but from my perspective, and I admit that often my perspective is shaded by emotion more than fact I do not think I can buy into the belief that mail was sent back and fourt on any kind of a regular basis from the Undying Land's that the Undying Land's has often carried a strong resemblance to heaven and that it is a place of beauty and peace and that those who choose to go there never returned and went to heal and possibly even forgot much of their former life. So while it is a nice thought that Sam and Frodo exchanged letter's and so on it is not something I can really accept as I feel it takes something away from the end of the story as of course Sam was heartbroken he still returned to his wife and children and lived a full life in the Shire, the thought of him having a penpal in Frodo while Frodo was in the Undying Lands healing, To me it takes away alot of that bitter sweet ending. Though again, I truely do admire the pratical knowledge you put behind this theory and it is definately something I will be giving more thought to.
Author's Response: Actually, my idea of Frodo and Sam communicating between Valinor and Middle Earth was probably more of an emotional one at first, rather than factual. I've been separated from close chums many times in my life and always stayed in touch through correspondence whenever possible. It seemed likely to me that Frodo and Sam would do something similar. It was only after I started researching Middle Earth history and geography for "Arwen's Journey" that the idea actually began to look practical.
Thanks for your input and review.