Reviews by Spiced Wine
Summary: In the near future, as the Age of Men begins to crumble, the truth is revealed about a long-vanished world that no one, except perhaps a few, even knows existed. MEFA 2008 third-place winner, incomplete AU category.
Categories: Book-verse Characters: Elladan, Elrohir, Gandalf / Olorin, Maglor, Original Character
Genres: Drama, Mystery
Warnings: AU (alternate universe)
Series: None
Chapters: 30 Table of Contents
Completed: Yes Word count: 52101 Read Count: 38870
Published: Nov 19 2006 Updated: Aug 06 2008 [Report This]
Title: Chapter 5: The Guitarist Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
Oh lord, is it Maglor? If it is I am going to cry more buckets than I currently am anyway, by just reading this. I know I need to read on, and I will after walking B in the morning. Gods, I am so impatient! That's so sad .
Date: Dec 10 2007
Title: Chapter 8: The Cowardly Fool Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
This is so good, why the hell is it not up in the top tens? I would LOVE to see a film of this, and it just sounds - so authentic. I love the way you have out so much thought into this, the geography, how old tales distort distances, where Mordor was located, and the huge difficulties of researching anthing which is as old as - well almost - the first city-culture levels. Marvellous, but it ought to be well up in the most read, sheesh! It's so well written and original and I'm just reading it and nodding; '' Yep, yep, aww! yep '' I should be in bed and am I? d;-)

Author's Response: Thank you! Man, your compliments are making me so happy I can\'t concentrate on anything else--and it\'s exam week at school. As soon as the semester ends, I\'ll get going on chapter 17. I will actually be making some adjustments to chapter 10 as well, but it\'s only a question of some characters being overhauled whom I could not fit into the story, no matter how hard I tried.
Date: Dec 10 2007
Title: Chapter 1: Madness Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
I just put this on ff.net, but I really don't like that site from the brief looks I have had, and why not put it here too?
So engrossing! I've been oo-ing and sqee-ing over ir ( and I'm far too old for that ) . I can't bear Middle-earth meets modern day, I can't stand it. It almost makes me want to stab some-one, I don't know why, but that is always the '' girl falls into Middle-earth '' plotline. Makes me twitch, so it's put me off. But this story - you know it reminds me of the Dark is Rising series, which are some of my favorite books even though they were aimed at older teenagers. No your writing does not sound '' teenage '' and nor does Susan Cooper's, it's just a very rare atmosphere and not many people can blend '' myth and magic '' with modern day. It's apparently quite hard to make such a thing work. And with Tolkien, I would imagine even harder. But this does, and going by what I have read on the other site, you've really spent some time considering this. I'm going to continue reading tomorrow, as I am thoroughly hooked. It's different, and intelligent and very well written, and it's one of those stories that grabbed me by the collar and dragged me in. It's a first, first story that has '' now '' and '' Middle-earth '' and that I like. The first story with young people, i.e. teens in it, that dosn't make me cringe. I like these characters a lot! It's wonderful. Oh Gods, shall I go mad and start typing !!!1111? I hope you post the '' re-done '' one on here, as ff.net gives me the creeps, but this version is great.

Author's Response: The Lord of the Rings fandom on ff.net is a complete mess. You literally have to dig through piles and piles of garbage to find something decent. Every single summary is a variation of \"Mary Sue, lost elf princess of watchamacallit, goes to Middle-earth to fulfill her destiny. Will she find love along the way? 10th walker, LegolasOC\". Did you know that I\'ve memorized every word of dialogue from the movie version of the Council of Elrond, not because I\'ve watched the movie so many times, but because EVERY single Suethor in the fandom copies it.\r\n \r\nDon\'t worry; I\'ll be updating on here before I update on ff.net. I just put my stories back on ff.net because I remember that a lot of people on that site liked them. Anyway, your reviews mean a lot to me, just so you know.
Date: Dec 10 2007
Title: Chapter 10: Little Bones Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
I can almost imagine going to somewhere that smells '' clean ''. That's a lovely, subtle bit to put in. Few people would realize that. In developed countries we mostly don't notice pollution unless it's intense, but if I go say from this town to relations in North Wales, the difference is marked and to breath truly clean air...that would be remarkable. The mass grave gave me a chill, :(. Excellent, let me read on.
Date: Dec 11 2007
Title: Chapter 15: The Elf's Tale Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
Dear, dear Maglor, I always tear up thinking of him.
The things we say when we've had a few, Alex, lol, whoo dear. And as for Tilton, ditch the missus and the selfish daughter, mate, some things are more important. ( lol, you can tell I'm so into stories when I start advising the character's d;-) )
Date: Dec 11 2007
Title: Chapter 16: The Betrayal Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
Ooh, woman, I would tear the face of you for that! Even if it was a vagrant - which she knew damned well it was not. Pity Alex is a good mannered young man and not me, as Adele would have got such a smacking!
Date: Dec 11 2007
Title: Chapter 17: The Dirty, Crumpled Plane Ticket Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
Well, Molly went up in my estimation, she's growing up a little. Poor Maglor, probably the character which touches me most in all of Tolkien's works, I am so glad you put him in this story. A lot of people focus so much on LOTR alone, and do not read any further and miss so much! It did just occur to me this must be a busy time for you, just before Christmas, but I hope you have time to continue with this because it's just a hell of a tale, each chapter pulls me on, and I am feeling the emotions of the characters, frustration, excitement, sorrow, anger, the lot. Brilliant. I have no stories on my favorites , so this is going to be the first one. I have not the faintest idea why it's not more read as it hands down beats any story that combines Middle-earth (in any way ) with the modern day, and comes at it from such an intriguiging and in-depth angle. How many of us would not be thrilled ( and stunned ) at finding the '' history '' of Middle-earth was real and be involved in looking for it? Wouldn't we be completely driven almost mental by not having the resources, by the fact that there are so few records, ( and some probably hidden by the archeaological community, b*stard's always brush under the carpet things which don't fit, it's a monolithic institution! ). There are records from 4,000 years ago + of course, but things take years to be properly researched and a lot of the time it is '' lucky '' finds like the Rosetta Stone, or Schleimann believing in the literal existance of Troy when the establishment thought it was myth, which brings things to light. I was considering the task which any-one would have in finding traces of people from that long ago, and it's daunting. Even if you had the backing of every archaeological institution in the world, and access to museums, the Bodleian Library in Oxford ( where it's said Tolkien discovered ancient writings ) and also access to places in the Middle east which are in turmoil and often travel is * inadvisable *. All these things have come across in this story, but , Eru knows how, you have blended * now * perfectly with the mysticism and beauty of Tolkien. Gandalf, Maglor, Elladan and Elrohir stand out as who they are, they are not awkwardly inserted, they do not sound like modern era people, even though they are not using '' antique '' speech modes. You get a sense of who they are, the age behind them, the history, which contrasts wonderfully with the young people like Alex and Katie. It's also incredibly realistic in the tensions that it evokes, especially among the Tilton family, and this is so true, and so authentic, it would happen. People go through self doubt, despair, depression, elation, anger, bitterness, uncertainty, and they would, yes. ( I'd still give that Adele a good ding around the ear, several times! Po-faced, pinch mouthed academic twonk. ) You have completely avoided the '' Indiana Jones '' trap where things go far too smoothly and launch almost at once into SFX drama. I don't know how you do it, but you definitely have a '' story-tellers '' talent, and as they say, a lot of people can write, but being a story-teller is on a different level entirely. Tolkien was one, and it's much rarer than being a good writer. One of my English teachers told me that you can teach any-one to '' technically '' write well, but you can never teach talent, it exists or not. I so hope you have the time to carry on with this! How this story got '' lost '' I will never know ( although I did think you only did the MS parodies until very recently .If ever there was a hidden gem it's this. Perhaps since it's not a romance, or set at the time of the LOTR, people bypass it, which is damned shameful imo. Well done! I realy look forward to more, when you have the time!

Author's Response: The MS parodies are much easier than this. Most of the time, when I\'m writing a parody, it\'s not very hard. The reason this one gets updated so slowly is that I always am very nit-picky about my chapters.
Date: Dec 11 2007
Title: Chapter 11: The Last Words of the Little Folk Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
I was trying to work out who these men were, they sound a little like the '' Beaker People '' who came to England in about 2500 BC, and were the builders of the barrows which dot the landscape here in Wiltshire. I remember doing this in history. They became rulers over the original inhabitants, and they worked in bronze for weapons such as bows and spears. They came in from the continent, although there have been many such influxes throughout history. Which I am now going to read about. [ When you've got me digging into my history books, you've thoroughly hooked me d;-) ] At any rate, I love the fact that this story does blend Tolkien history with our own '' known '' history.
I am aching to know how Minas Tirith was destroyed, '' swallowed by darkness ''.
Date: Dec 11 2007
Title: Chapter 15: The Elf's Tale Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
It reduces me to tears to think of Maglor like this, having to beg and survive and just dwindling, and so alone :( With such a past, a heritage, so tragic and so wondrous, to come to this - I can quite imagine it too. I don't like to, but reading this, I can, with great clarity. So well written. I wanted to take him home, give him my home made chicken soup, run out for a couple of good bottles of wine and tuck him up in the spare room. I can imagine my partner. Me: '' He's Maglor so of FŽanor and he's staying here for a bit. '' Kev: '' Oh, right. 70 quid a week rent. '' Me: '' I'll give you such a kicking in a minute, I'll pay his bleeding rent, tightar*se! '' Kev : '' Ok. You think he'd like to play LOTRO? '' Me: O.o [ That would all be true ] I so hope Maglor goes home. His lonliness and displacement comes across so poignantly, you have captured it so incredibly well.
Date: Dec 11 2007
Title: Chapter 7: Peredhil Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
I love the way Elladan and Elrohir are portrayed in this story ( and they have not even been in it much ) I feel it slanders them horribly to have them written of as : '' Oh, we are jolly japesters, let's pour honey down Estel's breeches, hur, hur, hur, and now let's fart to the tune of the Lay of Leithien. '' Argh! I also love the idea they stayed behind, since I can find no real evidence that they did not, or any that they chose to be counted among men and die as Arwen did - though people have different opinions. They seem just as I always envisaged them. ( You don't have to respond to all my reviews, it must be a pain in the bum! )

Author's Response: Quick comments: Elladan and Elrohir being portrayed as the Weasely twins of Middle-earth pisses me off too.\r\nAnd I have a weird sense of humor, but I\'d love to hear somebody fart to the tune of the Lay of Leithian.
Date: Dec 11 2007
Title: Chapter 18: The Wraiths in the Rock Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
Aww, poor things! :( And I was wondering where they would go. Tom Bombadil's, of course.
The north/north west coast of Scotland is ideal, some of it is incredibly wild and not accessible by road even now, and the very north is the domain of the serious hikers and walkers, so it would be a good '' last place '', to go, even now it's very, very lonely - but cold and bleak. They're going to need a lot of care and good food. I'm really glad you have updated this, I've been waiting in anticipation! Wonderful and engrossing!

Author's Response: Thanks. Anything I got wrong in writing about the north coast of Scotland, though?
Date: Dec 24 2007
Title: Chapter 18: The Wraiths in the Rock Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
Re: You asked about the North Coast of Scotland. If you google image North West Scotland, there are plenty of pics showing how lonely it is. [ There are actually lovely beaches but the water is always darn cold even in summer ] and lots of different coast, from 400 foot cliffs to sand beaches, rocky shorelines as you spoke of, so no, there's any sort of beach there and I could really see the hobbit's being there.

Author's Response: Okay; thanks.
Date: Dec 26 2007
Title: Chapter 1: Madness Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
I am determined to put this review somewhere but when I tried for your Hogwarts MST it kept getting eaten, so I am trying it here, since it also fits as a review for this, in a way.
Your MST was terrific, as always. No, the story was bleedin' awful except for your part at the end, with your OC's and canons in it. Brilliant.
Although this is parodying something, when you write, I get the taste of your ' serious ' writing. [ Although I think this MST stuff must be harder than any other kind of writing, actually ] .
Best way I can put it is that It reminds me of the first time I read the Hobbit, which is for children, but there were glimpses in it of what Tolkien actually could do. When I read; '' They were come to the Desolation of the Dragon, and they were come at the waning of the year. '' .
I felt that was not a sentence written for children, a child's author would probably have worded it something like : '' When they to the Desolation of the Dragon,autumn had come. '' etc.
From there on, to the Battle of Five Armies, I felt I had seen something between the pages which was immense and mythic and beautiful. I felt Tolkien was a stupendous author *pretending* to be a child's author for the duration of '' The Hobbit '' .
I get that feeling reading your MST's, certain sentences written by you give a hint of just how brilliantly you can unfold '' The Search for Middle-earth. '' I felt that with your '' epilogue '' on The Hogwarts/Fellowship MST. I don't feel you're * pretending * to be a '' children's author '' or satirist, you certainly can write humor and satire, but it's the same glimpse into some-one's potential: This is wonderful, and there's more , is how I feel, I think.
Sazza's story was just pants, frankly. I feel a bit mean saying that since I don't know HP, but a good story would have made me want to go and read the original, I think, not start twitching.

Author's Response: Thanks. You were right at the end. She pretty much raped Harry Potter--which WAS actually a children\'s book written by a children\'s author--as well as Tolkien.
Date: Feb 10 2008
Title: Chapter 18: The Wraiths in the Rock Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
Did I mention how much I love this story, by the way? I'm still re-reading it d:-)

Author's Response: You did, many times. :) I\'ll be updating as soon as I can.
Date: Jan 10 2008
Title: Chapter 19: Storm and Shooting Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
This is such an enthralling story, I was so thrilled to see you'd updated so I could read it first thing! So what is in the Zagros Mountains? O.o. Excellent!

Author's Response: You\'ll find out.
Date: Jan 19 2008
Title: Chapter 20: Faris Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
I was looking at an Atlas and wondered if the Zagros were the Ephel Duath and the mountain range north of Tehran, the Elburz Mnts, were remnants of the Ered Lithui and the Caspian Sea was the Sea of Rhun [ or the Black Sea, depending on how much the geography was changed ]. An orc skull? It would make sense if that region had been Mordor or close to it . There's also a Salt Desert north and the Barren Desert further south, which made me think of Lithlad and Gorgoroth. Yes, you've got me looking at Atlas' now, and it was 6.30 a.m.! You are wonderful at just '' teasing '' the reader with hints and winding the tension up and keeping us gagging for more! Thanks for that update - with bells on!

Author's Response: I\'ll have to look at this atlas, but I did have the idea that Mordor was in this area. I\'m so glad you\'re still following this story; your reviews mean a lot to me.
Date: Jan 28 2008
Title: Chapter 20: Faris Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
Wow, yes am I following it! It's enthralling and so original. I don't like '' girl-from-modern-era-falls-into-Middle-earth '' stories, but having Middle-earth as a '' lost history '' and setting the story now is completely different.
There's a dormant volcano in the Elburz Mountains north of Tehran and the area is subject to many earthquakes. Although to compare a Middle-earth map with an atlas Mount Demarvend is not in the correct place to be Orodruin, it's still very interesting. The long mountain wall of the Zagros [ about 1500 kilometers north to south ] and the Elburz to the north and east do make me think of the Ephel Duath and the Ered Lithui.

On a map, it is one of the closest '' matches '' to that region of Middle-earth, if you were working on the premise that the maps Tolkien drew were either deliberately or genuinely mis-drawn. I am sure there are other places , but with those two great Sea's , the Black and Caspian also being close and possibly one being the Sea of Rhun, it * fits * well.

I just love the ancient threads from that time stretching to this Age and how it meshes so well. It's really hard to combine '' modern and Middle-earth '' without it sounding '' clunky '', but this is flawless. There's so many mysteries; I keep asking myself how did Minas Tiriith vanish, where are the Dwarves? What did Faris see? I'm just reading it all again actually, lol. And the looming '' apocalyptic '' feel of this world just increases the tension.

Author's Response: Oh, my God, that\'s interesting! I\'m really going to have to find an atlas now.
Date: Jan 28 2008
Title: Chapter 19: Storm and Shooting Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
“How many Men are left?” I don't know why that just jumped out at me, as I don't know why Maglor said it. But my theory has always been that orcs interbred with Men - or rather women , [ who might be able to survive it whereas Elves would die ] . Frodo mentioned a '' Squint eyed southerner '' in Bree, who looked '' more than half like a Goblin '' and Treebeard suggested Saruman had been mingling the races of Orcs and Men and called it a '' black evil ''. So that was my theory from 20 years ago; orcs bred with men and there you have it, instant orc blood; people who like destroying things, violence, vandalism for no reason, brutality, anything loud, bloody and senselessly violent.

And if Mordor was located in the Middle east that also may explain why people have been warring there for thousands of years and still are. [ No, the oil is just a coincidence! >.< ] It's the bad vibes!

Author's Response: Nice theory there. I\'ll have to see if I can take it anywhere, but I like it. You should turn that idea into a story.
Date: Jan 28 2008
Title: Chapter 21: The Excited Media Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
Oh * insert swearwords *, I am just this minute going to bed, I am going to read this as soon as I get on tomorrow and review properly. I swear I just felt as astounded as Alex, the way you wrote of him seeing the ancient city on the tv! Brilliant!

Author's Response: Sounds good. I\'ll wait for your review tomorrow.
Date: Feb 05 2008
Title: Chapter 21: The Excited Media Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
Wow, amazing chapter; and I love the different viewpoints here. I would be rather like Katie, I would somehow think it was incredibly disrespectful, although that would depend on whether I knew it was Minas Tirith or not. If not, it would be an incredible find I would want to know more about. Yes, I think souvenir shops etc are tawdry, but I imagine - in a tasteful way - you even get them at Auschwitz.
This is so incredibly exciting, you know just when to turn up the action, and I am longing to know how [ and who ] attacked Minas Tirith.
Date: Feb 06 2008
Title: Chapter 22: Self-Destruction Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
That's brilliant! And I love the connection with the rise of the ancient civilizations and the way Gondor turned within, it all rings so true. Superb and great food for thought, as always, although I am baffled as to Katie's depression and malaise. As ever, you tell just enough and not too much!

Author's Response: Well, you\'ll find out more as it progresses. Glad it seemed believable; I was a bit worried that it wouldn\'t.
Date: Feb 17 2008
Title: Chapter 23: Joining Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
Intriguing" And these days it is; an old fashioned courtship. Still, it's the quiet ones you have to watch, as my Nan always said d;-) I', always so glad to see an update, specially when it's the first thing in my inbox when I switch on the pc!
Date: Mar 03 2008
Title: Chapter 23: Joining Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
I still feel there is something * off * with Adele. I never liked her or the way she practically bullied her husband - although he should have had more backbone. The fact that he seemed to lose interest in all this just seems odd.

Molly is not a favorite of mine either, perhaps because I have more sympathy with Katie and want to know why she is suffering such melancholia lately .

Because I like such things I would almost imagine Adele was something to do with Sauron/Morgoth from the past, or was being influenced by them and manipulated Alex into marrying Molly to grab the last scion of the line of Aragorn. >.< Lol!

I know their courtship seems to be very sweet and old-fashioned, perhaps mirroring Aragorn and Arwen's, but so little passion...hmmm. Well, perhaps they will get over that, but Adele is always going to be one I would watch, and Molly is fairly shallow compared to Katie. That is not an indictment on your writing, by the way, rather a tribute to it. But I am almost disappointed with Alex for marrying some-one who seems rather one dimensional. Not that I think he should end up with Katie, there is something different about her, and much more fascinating, to me.

Poor Katie, ye Gods I hate those affairs too, marriages are almost as bad as funerals.

Perhaps the reason Gandalf did not come is true, and it does make sense or perhaps there is another reason he did not show? I love the way that when you write, you will give a very plausible reason for something, but also leave room for people to wonder.
It's a bit like watching an Agatha Christie play. People can do things perfectly innocently, but there might be another reason behind their actions. I can never see it, myself, so I always get a shock.

Author's Response: It was originally my plan to have Alex marry someone much shallower and more down-to-earth than Katie. Alex, despite the work he has done with Gandalf and the others, is still a normal guy, who\'s got a relatively normal place in society. Katie is not only too fascinating and what Sue authors would call \"speshul,\" but is pretty much unfit for marriage. She\'s devoted herself to Gandalf and to the mission, she\'s isolated herself from the world, and she is still a loner. Is she a bit mad? You be the judge.\r\n\r\nIt\'s true that Robert doesn\'t have much backbone. Almost without my control, he\'s become a contrast to Faris. Robert is one of those people who become overly excited about an issue and throw themselves heart and soul into it--hence his obsessive passion for Gandalf\'s project at the beginning, and his thoughtlessness concerning his family. However, the demands of real life and the bullying of his wife have cooled his enthusiasm.\r\n\r\nI am thinking that once this story is finished, I will write an expanded version of it, or else companions to it, explaining the background in more detail: Maglor\'s friendship with the Tilton ancestor and his subsequent disastrous life in America, the marriage of Robert and Adele, Gandalf\'s life on Middle-earth in the centuries before the story begins, etc. I don\'t know if this will improve the fic or ruin it, though, so I\'ve got to think about it for a while.\r\n\r\nI must thank you for your long, expanded reviews. Of the reviews I receive on this story--here and ff.net--yours are both the most cheering and the most helpful. You\'ve gotten into this story, and I like that. A typical reviewer at ff.net will gush about one chapter and leave me alone, or else send something incoherent (I\'ve been having some trouble with spam recently). So I\'m glad for your reviews and enthusiasm on this site.\r\n\r\nP.S. The next chapter, starring Katie and Gandalf, will be up sooner than usual. It was originally going to be part of the wedding chapter, but the chapter was becoming so long that I was losing my train of thought on it.
Date: Mar 04 2008
Title: Chapter 23: Joining Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
You could definitely write an expanded story or a prequel, I think that would be fascinating!
I started off writing one of mine at the time of the War of the Ring and then realized there was so much which happened before it which was not explained. It cleared things up for me, more than anything, when I wrote it, as it was long before I joined a fanfic site. It was just me wanting to know, and refer to.
I would love to read it certainly. The thing I really love about it, is that it does come across as a spotlight shone upon one part of what is a huge tapestry, with everything else in shadow; Faris' life, Maglor's, Elladan and Elrohir, Gandalf's, Tilton's.
Also the Mortal characters do come across as realistic, and because of that you do want to give them a shake, telling Tilton to stop being so henpecked, and Alex not to be such a boring conformist as getting married and Adele to stop being a controlling, selfish cow.
I don't actually feel that about Katie. She is not a Sue, there is something more mystical about her, which is very hard to describe; I would frankly have felt it a shame if it had been she who married Alex.
She does come across as obsessed, but I would be too, that's probably the easiest thing to understand about her from my point of view and a relationship would have to be along the lines of; '' I can fit you in Tuesday and Sunday afternoon. '' d;-) if it were me in that situation.

It also seems as if she * feels * things more deeply than any of the other Mortal character's and it's causing her to suffer. She may have, in a sense, discovered all she was so fascinated in is true, but it does not seem to give her a great deal of joy.

Author's Response: All right; after this is done, I\'ll be expanding the tale. I never planned to do it when I started this fic, but it seems like the characters, having been made, just won\'t leave me alone! And that\'s not a bad thing. It kind of reminds me of Aule and the dwarves.\r\n
\r\nI try to make my mortal characters realistic, with flaws as well as good points. The fact that at times you want to smack some of them for their stupidity is a positive sign, because it means that they\'re not boring, Sueish characters (because let\'s face it: you wan to smack Sues for a different reason). However, you don\'t want to pull a Robert Jordan with your characters, particularly your female characters. This author gave his characters plenty of faults, but made them extremely annoying and horrible, and his portrayal of women is one of the most offensive I have ever read in a fantasy book.
Date: Mar 04 2008
Title: Chapter 23: Joining Reviewer: xFanarix Signed
And the Muse takes over and you can't call your life your own, because it's theirs. [ Anwyn, who is on here, has this when she is in an operating room, lol and she get's furious and frustrated as she really cannot do anything, and has to be alert and on her toes. ]

My reaction to your O/C's, shows, I think that they are realistic, as they are normal reactions I would have with real people; they make you annoyed, irritated, impatient, sympathetic etc. You don't get the urge to impale them and toast them in front of a Balrog, which is usually the case with MS's, and yes, some character's in published books too. [ And Adele, because of Maglor; burn, woman! I don't care about your issues. d;-) ]

Did Robert Jordan wite The Wheel Of Time books? I've never read any of his work, but I have read some dreadful depictions of women characters in some fantasy works.

I think the real talent lies in taking quite ordinary people and making them interesting. What most of us do, - me included - is realize our OC's are going to be boring as mud if they're normal and so we start adding * speshulness * to them .
It's really something which is done when we either know we can't create an interesting character, or are too young to realize ordinary people can be just as fascinating as characters with powers.

Tolkien really played down what Gandalf actually was, and even when you have read all of LOTR it's not that clear. Yes, he defeated a Balrog, but unless you read earlier works it's not entirely clear what a Balrog is or why it was such a battle. To really understand you have to read the Silmarillion and UT about the Ainur, the Istari and Morgoth etc.
We know who Aragorn is, but again he is downplayed ( except at times, until the end ) and the Hobbit's don't need to be downplayed at all.

Of course Tolkien can create incredible and larger-than-life characters like FŽanor too, but he left them with that rather untouchable mystique and didn't unfold them for us.
He didn't have to use special powers or skills to hook a reader, and the best writers don't. He gave some glimpses and then moved the story on leaving us tantalized.
I think that is one of the reasons why I love this story. The OC's are people we all know, in different ways, so we can connect at once to them and they are in a story * now * which makes us feel we could be there, or it could be happening around us. And then it's placed in the grandeur of Tolkien's world - only later in the timeline, so to speak - so it presses all the right buttons.
I have to say I also love the portrayal of the canon characters, all of them, it's not even as if they hog the story, or take it over, only Gandalf is the real * constant *, but it's like one of those pen drawing's, where a few stroke is an exact portrait.

Author's Response: Thank you. Yes; Robert Jordan wrote \"The Wheel of Time\".
Date: Mar 04 2008