I'd like to mention also that Keiliss has some marvelous Erestor characterizations. She's written him differently in different stories but all are wonderfully written. She's on this archive and more of her fics on Of Elves and Men and other places.
I just discovered that you mentioned my fic Elegy for Numenor, which was very kind of you. I actually have a lot of LOTR stories on this archive, including a number of twincest stories featuring Elladan and Elrohir. Like you, I was intrigued by Tyellas' twins way back when I started writing fanfic 9 years ago and found the problem of their transgressive relationship compelling. You also mention a number of my favorite fanfic writers. And I just started reading Another Man's Cage, which is indeed marvelous. The Erestor/Glorfindel pairing became popular after Helmboy (aka AC who you mention)wrote a story called Gavotte with Erestor as the uptight,fusty librarian type, which has been widely imitated since and folks have branched out to characterize him in a rainbow of incarnations. I think it's because he's such a canon unknown that people can put any kind of character on him.
I think it's great that you are reccing other authors and discussing trends in the fandom, and I appreciate the mention. Cheers!
Hello Undomiel. Between RL crashes and the rest of this curious world, I have been notoriously behind on things.
It is a pleasure, as always, to see what a long time presence in this community has to say about trends and themes. I have always found that a great amount of research goes into these essays than you admit to.
1) Erestor - A wonderfully unexplored character with great potential. When I first came across stereotyped Erestor stories on LoM, I knew I would never give him the same role in any story I wrote. I am glad that you think my version achieves the destereotyping to some extent. I haven't read many other versions. I have a strictly limited set of authors I read, because my tastes are rather esoteric. But I agree with you on Glorfindel's Stray.
2) Incest : I loathe incest in stories. But once I like the plot then it draws me in. It is not about slash or het or gen for me. I write in every genre, including crackfics, and I know that each genre has its own pros and cons.
The Journal of Maglor remains a project close to my heart. I don't support incest nor do I go against it. It is all about people, politics and psychology. I don't believe in just classifying someone as passionate and someone as not so. It is all about circumstances. I know my views are not shared by most of the readers/writers. But I remain committed to what I think is something waiting to be explored. I don't read much in these genres though.
Language - My blushes, Undomiel! That's one of the highest compliments I have received about my Journal arc.
Sauron - I did never understand the appeal of this genre. Sauron raping people makes me queasy.
Political plots - What would be there in Sunset without politics: just sunsets. I am glad that you think it works out as the plot develops.
(Was it Endor you meant? Just curiosity.)
Thank you for sharing these recommendations. I look forward to reading them soon.
Author's Response: It's a great thing to see you here! I hope that the lack of feedback here isn't putting you off from posting. I like your stories. Many others do too. Just because they don't tell you that they like it don't mean that they don't like it. I know that writing a story like The Journal of Maglor and the rest of The Song of Sunset isn't easy. The Journal of Maglor is one of the best works I read in this fandom. It puts you on the same scale as any O-fic writer. Keep writing, Jdav.
You are a poet at heart. Your works reflect that. So whatever people say, you gotta keep writing. Incest wasn't something more than a sex scene in all the stories I read. But in your story it is perfect. Choreography of words!
Sauron raping Maglor and Legolas for fun and mpreg into the bargain. Want the link?
The Song of Sunset is a panorama of politics. Galadriel, Maedhros, Oropher, Celeborn, Ereinion and dear Finrod! Fingolfin, Curufin. You have a load of politicians from the republicans to the democrats! Endor! Thanks, Jdav! Thank you for bringing some spirit back into this fandom!
Popping in again here on the LOTRFF site to compliment you on this engaging essay. Your keen ability to hone in on key examples of themes of Tolkienian fan fiction is so impressive! Great examples for these five themes, too! I've read a fair sampling of them and was nodding vigorously in agreement with you as I read along.
In your essay Fanfiction, a long road to the Grail, you noted that you were nervous about posting. Don't be. Your insight into the milieu of Tolkienian fan fic is great, and your writing style is engaging, intelligent and infused with humor. You give me a good reason to haul my lazy self out of my web on the SWG and check out the LotRFF site more often. So be bold and keep 'em coming!
I thought this was fascinating and thought-provoking, however, I would propose a sixth theme: the nature of time? A recurring theme in many of the stories you list is the difference between the ways elves and men experience and perceive time, given their very different lifespans. Our human memories and metaphysics are those of a mayfly, in comparison with those of someone more or less "immortal," so that allows writers to explore and exploit time in a way that is unlikely (though not, of course, impossible) in contemporary "realistic" fiction, while still grounding their world in what eventually becomes our reality (according to Tolkien!)
As for slash, I read it avidly, but have no simple, single explanation as to why I enjoy it. Probably to experience emotions that aren't available to me in real life? Hmmmm....
Author's Response: Our human memories and metaphysics are those of a mayfly, in comparison with those of someone more or less "immortal," so that allows writers to explore and exploit time in a way that is unlikely (though not, of course, impossible) in contemporary "realistic" fiction, while still grounding their world in what eventually becomes our reality (according to Tolkien!) That's so right! Have you read Forbearance by Jdav? It exploits this difference very nicely. Another story that just got this right is Murder the Dawn by Crowdaughter. I am not good with essays or writing in general. I lurk for the most of the time. I read slash too much. It's something I got into during my university days and never recovered. I still don't have an explanation ;)
When I saw how popular Erestor was I wondered why; as he made no impression on me in the books (which have far more impact than the films for me.) If I had read of him in the Silmarillion, I might have been able to mentally imbue him with the tragic glamor of, for instance, Glorfindel, but when it comes to *bit parts* I much prefer Gildor Inglorion, who is rarely written of and even has a fascinating name.
I am almost embarrassed to think how young I was when I ran the Fëanor/Fingolfin theme through my mind; but it was Tolkien who lit the fuse. Finwë's immense love for Fëanor, Fëanor's intense love for his father, his passion, his charisma which was so strong that his sons took this Oath without hesitation, Fingolfin's loyalty toward him, even when Fëanor had drawn steel on him, and the fact that he too followed his half-brother. The Finwion's seemed to literally bleed a sinful passion, one that saw few boundaries, and in my AU Fëanor is Fëanor before he is anything, father, brother etc. The fact that Fingolfin and Maglor do feel guilt only adds to the thrill for him. Along with the terrible sorrow of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad and the tragedy of Túrin, it was the tangible passion of the House of Finwë that burned itself into my impressionable young mind when I read the Silmarillion. And I absolutely do believe in what I write, even after 20 plus years of canon. I wouldn't write it if I did not feel more strongly about it than *written canon*.
Vanimórë and Sauron is much more to do with control and degradation, of course. There is a genuine love between Fëanor and Fingolfin in my AU, under the lust, between Van and Sauron, I think there is respect, but no familial affection.
I have still read very little incest (I don't consider Maedhros and Fingon incest because in the UK first cousins can lawfully marry)
I have read one Elured/Elurin and one Elladan/Elrohir on this archive and only within the last 5-6 months. Orolime is writing an Arwen/Elladan/Elrohir at the moment. Then there is Ignoble Bard's King's Ransom which is Fingolfin/Maedhros. I've never read another Fëanor/Fingolfin, but then I never search for pairings, I just read a summary and if I am interested, I read.
Incest is my favorite theme to write of, because it throws up all these emotions of taboo desire, guilt, shame and secrecy. I find complicated/forbidden relationships far more interesting to write and read than ones that contain no conflict - conflict hooks me every time. In fact I am more into 'lust stories' than 'love stories.' with the exception of Esteliel's series, since her Legolas completely deserves love! :)
3) Gorgeous language.
Kenaz uses superbly crafted and gorgeous language which wholly and completely fits the Elves; their dialogue and speech patterns also show it, which is incredibly rare; her writing completely immerses the reader into an Elvish world. And
is just an astonishing writer of both description and dialogue. Reading both of those authors is like having a free lesson in the use of language. They write better than most published authors; there is nothing amateur about them. I have found myself more critical of once-loved published books since reading fanfiction, because now many of them seem shallow and poorly written. I always look for a mature author's voice in a story and elegance in the writing.
4) Sauron the evil seducer or rapist.
Lol, yes, evil people have a head-start. We expect them to behave badly, so we do not have to explain why they do, though some authors do tackle that difficult subject incredibly well.
I would still like to read Morgoth/Sauron.
5) Political plots.
It was a summary on
Anestel which drew me into her work. I am still wholly hooked. (And her MPREG is the most believable ever written) I had spent years on role-play sites where Imladris, Lothlórien and Mirkwood were all portrayed as the cuddle-buddies; to see a story where Imladris and Mirkwood hated one another was a fascinating concept. It also gave the Elves back a little of that rather pagan savagery of the Silmarillion which I loved!
Apart from the twincest themes, I had no idea that any of the other incest/kincest pairings were popular at all. A reborn Elros? Wow, that is something I would not have come up with! O_O
I feel like I have read very little fanfic, as I have only read a couple of the authors you mention; I will have to make a note and search them out.
Author's Response: 1)Some authors just give life to characters. Erfan Starled (Glorfindel's Stray), Jdav (The Song of Sunset) and Darth Fingon(To Sing Of) have all proved how powerful Erestor can be when written by a talented person. I don't recommend every story that has Erestor. But some of them are really, really good. 2) Maybe you can read Tyellas. Her lust stories are wonderful. She had some essays also that talked about sexuality in Tolkien. I like some reason to be there behind the lust. Erfan Starled is good at giving those reasons in a powerful manner. Ditto for Jdav and Ford of Bruinen. Feanor/Fingolfin is a very common pairing on the old archives. It was a rage before the movies came out. After the movies, Aragorn slash and Legolas slash became the 'in' things. 3)Pink Siamese is a wonderful writer. I like the sex scenes she comes up with. I have read Kenaz's works on SWG or some other site(OEAM). She writes well. I like authors who can build grand plots and complete them. All the writers I recommended have proven that they have it in them to complete the story. When you have been around for a long time you don't have patience to read stalled works when you can easily find very good stories by talented writers on some other archive. Tyellas was very good in completing stories. Erfan Starled archives only completed stories. Ford of Bruinen had this great phase when she wrote so fast and so nicely. Jdav does not make people wait for updates. You are pretty fast yourself. 4)Dark Judgment had Morgoth/Sauron! I like Pandemonium's Sauron. It's not like anything else I have come across in a long time. Tyellas's Sauron was an opportunist. That worked very cool too. 5)I have read Anestel or some part of it when it came on Library of Moria a long time ago. But the genre is really not my type. Lothlorien, Imladris and Mirkwood as cuddle-buddies. I haven't read many fics like that. Most of the stories I have read in the last two decades are about rivalries between Mirkwood and Imladris. It is one of those common plots and doesn't really get my interest anymore. It's just like how every 3rd story has a Celebrian rape scene and twins killing orcs. Thranduil as evil father affected by Oropher's actions in the last alliance and not having relations with the Noldor is one of the most recurring themes. Thranduil giving Legolas hell was one of Library of Moria's most exploited plot themes. That is why Sunset caught my fancy from the very beginning. The author's take on Oropher and Thranduil is fresh and unique. Incest is a very popular theme. Elrond/Elros, Feanor/Fingolfin, Boromir/Faramir, Eomer/Eowyn/Aragorn(after the movies were out this was a craze) etc are common. Thank you!
I've been a member on this site for a year now and been reading fanfic on and off before that. But there are a couple concepts whose popularity I do not understand.
1. It seems that slash is an extremely popular concept. Now I'm a proud gay rights supporter so it isn't the slash that baffles me but the fact that it seems all the slash fic I see is written by women and I guess it would make more sense in my mind for gay men to write it... I'm not sure but where does the appeal come from?
2. On the topic of incest, those are stories I certainly don't get... Not only is it amoral but from a canon perspective I definitely don't see the elves getting down and dirty like that. Is it just the excitement of the taboo that makes people write incest stories?
Although I admit I haven't even purposely read many incest fics. Recently I've become a big fan of Olorime and her story Broken. When she posted the chapters of her latest fic that is an incest fic between Arwen/Elladan/Elrohir I did start reading it and thus far like it because I love her writing style. As for the central theme of the story I guess I'm just not thinking about it morally at the moment and going wherever the story leads
Anyways, my comments are not meant to offend. I really have just been curious as to why those themes are as popular as they are. I would appreciate any light that could be shed on it. Thanks ;)