Ah, finally, the moment I've been waiting for. Nolwi is finally standing up to her ghosts. I can see her freedom just around the corner. A very good chapter indeed. It is so true to life, too. Silence is a killer, esp. between couples. I can see how deeply these two love each other. I want them to be free, to be happy. They are on the right path to recovery, and then hopefully they can live together in peace with themselves and in love with each other.
Very good dream-like chapter. I like your take on Mandos and the webs of time that are constantly weaving. I liked the mirrors that reflected their state of mind too. I feel the couples despair and I feel for them, hoping that they will resolve things soon. Great job.
First of all, the beginning of this chapter was great. I love seeing Arqueno and Lainanu bonding, bringing together two different races of elves and diminishing the prejudices. There was one sentence that stuck out at me and shows how talented you are. "Sometimes it is best not to think and dwell, but simply to react." I loved that line and I love Lainanu. His story is heartbreaking, but it does not seem to consume him. He is strong and I think Arqueno needs a friend like that right now. I also like the little smile Nolwi and Arqueno shared and the kisses he gave to wake her. It shows that there are still true feelings of love and hope for them. Now, my other fav of this chapter is your description of Mandos and Namo and Vaire. Wow, you did a wonderful job with that. Everything is so clear from the description of the hall to the Valar themselves. Love the description of her weaving Time. I could go on and on, but let me stop. I just can't believe how much your writing has changed since I first started reading your work. You are really taking off and it is so fun to see it happen. I know you are looking for a beta, but honestly, I don't see where you need one. Everything is so well thought out and there are little if no mistakes. Just keep doing what you're doing El P. This is your best work yet.
Author's Response: Thank you so much! I can't emphasize enough how much I appreciate your reviews and your support. This chapter has a personal meaning to me on many levels, and so I tried to emphasize the necessary points. Lainanu is indeed exactly what Arqueno needs now. The Laiquendu survived his terrible ordeal, proof that Arqueno can do the same. Nolwi and Arqueno are still very much in love, but unless their secrets are not revealed they will lose each other. As for Mandos and the Valar, that was the most difficult but rather satisfying part of this chapter. Death is often perceived as a horrible state, but there are lessons to be gleaned. Not that I'm saying death is a rainbow, but there are aspects of it that are not as harsh. And for the Elves, death is an altogether different avenue. I've not read any fanfictions where Mandos was described in any detail, so I had nothing to go by, only the few things Tolkien said about Mandos and the Valar I borrowed. I am really happy that my descriptions came to life. I can only hope my writing gets better with such a wonderful reader as you to support me. :)
I must admit, Lainanu has my full attention. I don't know how far you will take him into your story, but I really like his character. He has all those charming wood elf qualities that I just love. He is very perceptive too as he tries to make Nolwi and Arqueno see their differences. I can tell that these two love each other, but they are seperated by secrets and faults. I am already silently cheering for them to overcome this and just be with each other and have no more worries. Lainanu's story was heartwrenching, but he seemes to have come through it. This shows his ability to survive such tragedy instead of dwell on it. I have to tell you, your writing just keeps getting better. Your attention to detail has improved throughout this entire chapter and I cannot wait for more.
Author's Response: Lainanu just materialized out of nowhere. And I am in love with this Laiquendi as you are. If the Muses want, you can borrow him. He doesn't mind. Yes, he is quite perceptive. He sees what people hide, but he can't foretell or see some of the future as Galadriel does. His past was not a good one, but he had the courage to rise above the pain and do what he had to. Nolwi and Arqueno are fortunate that they have him. Their journey to light is about to begin. I hope I continue improving in my writing. Thanks for reading and reviewing.
I love your description of Olwe's palace. It's very clear and gave me a great vision of how it looked. I also loved the symbolism here when Nolwi gives Vanime's diary to Olwe. She is leaving her home. Her marriage is questionable right now, and the diary is the last thing she has. Now even that is no longer available to her. And the fact that she gave it to Olwe shows her willingness to step out of her comfort zone. I can already tell that this journey is going to change Nolwi and she might find that she is not the person she thinks she is.
Author's Response: Thanks, describing people, places, and things is not my strong point, so I am glad it was clear to you. There isn't much to go by in terms of architect, and knowing that the Teleri love everything Sea and swan related I tried to incorporate those elements. Yes the symbolism is very much like before; here Nolwi again must choose between staying as she is, or becoming stronger. Her marriage once more is very delicate. And she just gave up her daughter to an unknown fate. This journey is not going to be easy for everyone. More surprises ahead; thanks for your continued support :)
This is a side of your writing I have not seen before and I was pleasantly surprised. I liked the part where you said he needed to control her. That shows he is a strong lover. Beautiful love scene, but not just for the graphics (which were hot by the way), but for the emotions that went along with it. I feel for these two. I can see that they love each other, but their secrets are keeping them from being complete with one another. They need to go on this journey. They both need to deal with their pasts in order to move on. You've set things up nicely and now I can't wait to find out what happens when they get to Mandos' Hall.
Author's Response: Thanks. Nolwi and Arqueno refused me to write them in any other way; so I let my Muses have at it. I am glad you caught onto what I was trying to convey--their emotional needs. Arqueno's frustration made him do what he did, and Nolwi's resentment at her complete submission hurts her, but they are both realizing their need to be totally truthful with each other. Vanimė's death will be their key, the journey to Mandos their salvation. Yes, it is sex, but it was more than that. It is two wounded individuals trying to express themselves, but still holding back. Many surprises still along the way.
Oh how exciting. So many new routes have opened up in this chapter; Olwen's guilt over Vanime and her fear of traveling to Manwe. Is Vanime in Manwe. And Arqueno's painful realization of the sacrifice he made to have Olwen as his wife. This felt like settling down in my favorite big comfy chair and getting ready for another twisting adventure. Anxiously awaiting more. ; - )
Author's Response: Thank you, Moe. Again I let my Muses guide me; I am having fun with this style. I wanted to explore the effects of the Kin-slaying in Valinor, particularly how it pertains to Olwen and Arqueno. And it's Mandos that they are going to. Arqueno petitioned Manwė to get Olwen since the Telerin King Ingwė lived with that Vala. I am glad you are enjoying it already, and hope I won't disappoint. Again thanks for your warm review :)
It is so sad that Thranduil finally opens up when it is the end of her life. It is quite a life lesson though isn't it? You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone. His grief will be great, maybe even more so than his anger that he held for so long. I just wanted to tell you your very last line here was absolutely beautiful and just summed it all up. I started reading your story only because of Thranduil, but I've been pleasantly surprised with everything. Wonderful job. Wonderful story. I can't say enough good things about your writing and look forward to the continuation.
Author's Response: It is exactly as you said, you don't know what you've got until it's gone. Thranduil has realized this not just in terms of Vanimė, but also about his own son, Innas, Aranel, and finally Galadriel. His grief will be very great, and it could surpass his anger, yes. Not only does he grieve the things he lost in terms of relationships, but also the decline of the Elves. I am very flattered you remained steadfast through all this. I hope this story has not failed in your eyes because it was not the typical Thrandumance (how's that for a new word!); perhaps that's not what "sells" but that is not my point. I wanted to explore deeper, darker issues, the real story-in-a-story, if you will. But it seems you were pleased, and I appreciate your warm reviews and thoughtful insight. I just pray the continuation will delight you as much as this first installment did. The first chapter is now up. :)
Victory at last, but what a price. Beautiful, moving story Well done!
Author's Response: Yes at long last Mirkwood has been cleansed, though the damage will take time to be repaired. The burning of the forest by the Orcs is most grievous, as is the lives lost. Thranduil must now face the apparent loss of his Vanimė. Only now at the very end does he value her. I want to extend my sincerest regards and appreciation for your lovely support in your reviews. I hope the next installation is as good, if not better.
I think you did very well with both the battle depiction and the emotions of the two warriors. No worries there. :) Now let us hope the entwives awaken soon!
Author's Response: Thank you Mel! I am more about emotions and exploring thought processes than writing out battle/action scenes. I have just uploaded the next chapter; hope you like it :)
You did an awesome job with the battle scene. It seemed very true to life. I loved Thranduil's speech before engaging in battle. How kingly he must look going off into the fight. Innas' thoughts and feelings all came through wonderfully, especially when he was faced with one last decision to fight with or against the King. I could feel the pull at his heart, thinking of protecting the very person that brought such desolation to his love and unborn child. Again, the battle was great. It showed the gruesomeness of war. And the scene of Thranduil seeing twin brothers die together must have really brought it all crashing down. Thranduil's reaction was very real. As mighty as he may seem, he is not too much so that such horror would not affect him. Great job on the whole chapter.
Author's Response: Thank you, Moe! I must confess my hesitation at writing any sort of battle scene, and it's not long, but I felt I had to put some action. Thranduil wanted the men to know that he fights as one of them, not as a figurehead disconnected from everything as he previously was. His past haunts him, and he is seeking redemption. He is reminded of the Last Alliance, when the world then was at a close, and he feels all the losses he has endured because of this Evil. His lone charge is the proverbial taking the bull by the horns. He also wanted to instill pride in his men, show them that he will not cower. Both Innas and Thranduil are still trying to deal with their own emotions regarding each other. It is so easy to give into vice, so hard to hold onto virtue. And yes, war is gruesome. Sometimes with the modernity of things people forget that real lives are lost. It's why I interjected the twin brothers, and the Elves dying from being burnt even as they jumped. They were doomed either way. And yes, Thranduil's queasiness is from seeing the wholesale slaughter of his people, as well as the fact that as Innas pointed out he has been in the palace for some time, away from all these scenes. I'm happy you liked this chapter :)
I was so glad to see you posted. I loved the story telling of this chapter. Very exciting and great descriptions of the girls in Amorith's room as they look over her bookshelf. I can't wait to see what happens and just where they will find this secret place. You have quite a knack for fantacy writing. Great job again.
Author's Response: Thank you; I apologize for the lengthy time it took me to post. Things have been busy for me, and my creativity has been coming in spurts. Again I appreciate your kind words and your review. This chapter took a slightly different turn than what I had in mind, but I think it will work. Always randomness when I write :) I think this story still has a few more chapters before it is finished, but I am enjoying it and hope you are too. Soon things will be revealed, and others will remain mysteries ;)
What an absolutely wonderful and mysterious twist here with the Entwives. Your portrayal of Galadriel, Vanie and the mirror are so vivid and very true to the attitude of the Noldo, almost insulting at one point. This is understandable though, which I am learning as I read Silm. Just when I thought this tale was told, you manage to take us in a new direction. Excellent and still enjoying this very much.
Author's Response: This chapter was difficult to write; took me quite awhile. And again the twist with the Entwives was such a surprise even for me. I'm glad you liked my portrayal of the Noldo women; Galadriel is such a challenge to write. She's so multi-faceted as well, a very ambitious woman. I meant to put that insult there---as the fierce and defiant lady she is Galadriel is having a hard time restraining herself and not directing things in Mirkwood as she wishes. To quote Tolkien from Unfinished Tales "Galadriel saw that Lórien would be a stronghold and point of power to prevent the Shadow from crossing the Anduin ... but that it needed a rule of greater strength and wisdom than the Silvan folk possessed." That's the point I was trying to get across. Glad you are reading The Silmarillion; it is a bit diffcult to digest at times but it's really rewarding. Once more, I am happy you are enjoying my drabbles :)
Nice flashback and such a sad one too. It is interesting to see a glimpse of the sisters' childhood, no matter how unfortunate it is. Now, the ending has me thrown a little. Is Vanime really gone? Is this her ghost? An out of body experience? Another dream? And even with all these questions, I'm glad to see Celemire again. I have been wondering how she was and what happened to her. Can't wait for more.
Author's Response: A quote from the movie "Mr and Mrs Smith" will be borrowed to reply to your first statements: "I guess when you're at the end you start thinking about the beginning". With her head trauma and the massive bleeding she began to think of the reason she came to this point. Again, I cannot say anything more regarding Vanimė other than that keep reading :) I have even surprised myself with this one. We will see where my creativity (or lack thereof!) takes me. And yes, Celemirė has returned. She will play a rather important role. I think this story might have a few more chapters before it officially ends. Thanks again for your support and hope you enjoy the rest to come.
Well that's a relief to know she's okay. :) There's still a lot of work to be done to save the kingdom though.
Author's Response: I will start off by saying that not everything is at seems...And yes, the kingdom of Eryn Galen needs some quick thinking to save it or all the work of rekindling King Thranduil's spirit will be lost forever. Hope you like the next few chapter(s).
Oh dear, it's almost as if she is possessed and not just having two warring personalities here.
On to the next part. . .
Author's Response: Yes exactly, she was possessed by the Darkness of Sauron. She already had a dark foreboding outlook about her meeting with Thranduil, and now that she knows the outcome she's increasingly become wrapped up in her hurt and fears. There is nothing now left for her anymore she feels, and she is frightened. However, some of the things that have risen to the surface needed to be exposed.
Great self-doubt and conflict in this chapter. And I love how you brought back Haldir's words. I remember reading that earlier. I didn't know then what a significant part it played later on. With all the wonderful characters in this story, I never pictured it being Haldir that would give her the one thing that would bring her back from the edge of despair. Very well done. I'm hanging on the edge again. Who will find her and help her? Can't wait for more!
Author's Response: Thank you. Vanimė has reached the point of no return now. All her inner fears/doubts have risen into this new form to confront her. She had hidden many things away even from herself, but she can no longer hold them back anymore. Depression, self-denial, and repression are never good things. Haldir is her rock now; he was from the beginning. He knew how to handle her angry outbursts and short bursts of temper; he knows the true lady inside is wanting to be saved. Vanimė is realizing he is the one person who can love her now; he is free from other entanglements, unlike Thranduil. And it was the fact that she unconsiouscly connected with Haldir rather than Thranduil that surprised her as well. But as Galadriel warned, "Not all is well between Sindar and Silvan...". At any rate, the ride is almost over! Keep hanging on a bit more, and then we fold this first installment and begin the second. Thanks for your continued support, Moe! :)