After this some awkward decisions made by Peter Jackson seem to be flashes of genius. This is very funny, though it's even too accurate. It is sure as an amen in a church that Disney version would have been like this, or even worse. The crowning of Frodo was a complete surprise (shouldn't have been, obviously it is too long a time since I last saw a Disney movie). And to think that I loved Disney films as a child... Well, at least I have always hated the songs. Excellent parody, this one.
Author's Response: Thank you. I\'m just happy Disney didn\'t get a hold of Lord of the Rings; I\'m not sure if it would have been like this, but it sure as hell would have been nightmarish.
This is touching. It was a good choice to write this in first person, that makes it even more real to the reader. The only thing I would want to comment on is that Rohan isn't to the west from the Shire but actually to the south and a bit east.
Author's Response: Aww! Thanks so much! And, yeah. *cough* I realize that. I think at the TIME I had forgotten that... And was mostly going for poetic effect, the West symbolizing death in my mind. But... yes! Thank you so much, I\'m glad you liked it! :D
Thank you for including my dream. This is a very interesting collection of dreams, I wonder what a psychoanalyst would ake of these. To Karlmir: The Black Watches are expensive here too, though very good.
Author's Response: Probably the psychoanalyst would say we were reading too much Tolkien. They\'re fun to read, though.
I was quite moved by this story. Merry and especially Pippin are my favourite Hobbit charactes and the tale of their last years is a bit short in the Appendices. This story portrays their last days excellently. The way you describe their departure is not overdone or cliché. Thank you for writing this.
Author's Response: Thank-you! I am glad you enjoyed it!
Your story has an exciting plot, certainly. I enjoyed reading this very much. The characterization is also very good, I especially liked the villains, for some reason. Only I don't like your depiction of Faramir. He was such a paragon of virtue in LotR that maybe he needed a little more realistic treatment, but I just can't picture him to be adulterous and violent. It just does not suit at all to Faramir (at least as I have used to see him). But otherwise you have done excellent job. I look forward to reading the rest of the story.
Author's Response: Thank you, Formegil. I'm glad you're enjoying the story, so far. Summer is a rather busy time for me, but I hope to have another chapter posted before the middle of July.
You are quite correct about Faramir. Normally, he would be virtuous and faithful toward Eowyn. However, if you read Arwen's furtive conversation with Lothiriel as she departs Meduseld (Ch. 32), you will get a clue as to why Faramir has taken the intriguing Gwynneth as his mistress. Linner Wormwood is not the only one practicing the Black Arts in this story.
Eowyn's dilemma is only one of the subplots in the book which will be developed and resolved as the tale goes on. I know I probably should have saved it for a separate short story, but sometimes my characters seem to take over the plot all by themselves. An author sometimes has to write as his muse whispers to him.
Very dramatic, this chapter. Somehow hunting dangerous beasts fits very well to the Witch-King (quite logical that he would enjoy the feeling of danger and power). I will look forward to the next part. I hope it will come soon.
Author's Response: The King of Angmar would have been an impressive ruler, always hungry for power, and perhaps enjoying staying on the edge of danger. He would be the sort of man whom his subjects would want to follow, and one whom the kings of Cardolan, Arthedain and Rhudaur would fear. He has always been a character whom I have enjoyed roleplaying or writing about. Thank you, Formegil, for reviewing. - Angmar.
I liked this as much as the first part. You guys are very talented writers. My favourite characters are Hurgon, Eryndil and for some reason Algeirr (maybe because he's such a down-to-earth type). The Witch-King is nothing like in appearance I have imagined him to be before, but he's very realistic (in the world of Tolkien, that is). I look forward to next chapters. The only thing that bothers me is Odare fighting the bear. I mean, almost the only women in Tolkien's legends to engage in physical battles were Haleth and Eowyn. But that is only a small matter in an excellent story.
Author's Response: Thank you very much Formegil - both for reading and for commenting. My main username is Valandil, and I write Eryndil, among a few other characters. I was glad to hear he has a fan out there somewhere. :) We are a collaborative effort, so we write in many different styles. For the most part, we try to seriously write material that \'feels like it fits\' in Tolkien\'s Middle Earth. Sometimes we break loose with a bit of whimsy and fancy though. We will take your comments to heart though. Thanks again!
This was a very good story, it was very authentic also. The rangers in your story resemble ther Reconnaissance platoon in my company, those were very stealthy boys. I like that you put Faramir in this, he's one of my favourite characters. As for the war souvenirs, it seems that almost anything goes. I have a box of my grandgrandfathers war trophies from 1941-44. There are even a Red Army commissar's sleeve star (a real rarity), but also some worn mantel buttons! As a last note, your description of forest guerrilla warfare is excellent. It is just like this, small patrols and ambushes. After this, I will definitely read your other stories as well.
Author's Response: Thanks very much. It takes a fellow soldier to fully understand the significance of war souvenirs picked up on the battlefield. I\'m sure that most of Pocosin\'s comrades would have coveted Captain Faramir\'s lucky arrow through the Orc quiver. I served with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam as an infantryman and was quite familiar with the ranger companies. I imagined Faramir\'s ranger companies adopting similar guerrilla tactics and camouflage techniques, even though their fighting equipment was vastly different. Thanks again for your review.
I enjoyed this one. Your characters are well done, especially Pocosin. This story captures the ruthless atmosphere which is to be found in Tolkien's descriptions of encounters with Orcs. The attitude "I want my mark on my first kill" reminded me of some gung-ho guys in the army, who even in peacetime bragged along the lines "Let'em come, I'll kill'em all!" Pocosin's feelings after the accident were admirably drawn, without too many words. I also like the way you describe Orcs. They have something of a personality in this story and are not just faceless cannon-fodder. Very good.
Author's Response: This particular story wasn\'t entirely fictional, as I hinted in my reply to xFanarix\'s review. I thought that the story, in order to appear more realistic, shouldn\'t depersonalize the Orcs. I\'m glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading and reviewing.
I liked this very much. It is like a beginning of some lay of the last Elves in Middle-Earth. This is quite an atmospheric poem.
Author's Response: Thank you. It was written on the way back from visiting relatives: We were flying over some beautiful mountains into the sunset, and were low enough to see campgrounds and the such. While it doesn\'t sound very inspiring, something about that image gave off a little spark. NZ
I like your poem very much. The desperation and pride of Fingolfin's host is very well drawn. Especially for a first poem this is excellent.
This is a very beautiful story. You have managed to portrait the young hobbits very well. This is a likely account of how Frodo's friendship with Sam began. I may add this to my favourites.
Well, this was very good chapter, though it could have been longer. I like the way you depict the dark rituals and beliefs. It's not cheesy or unbelievable as in some stories. And as usual, your characterization is brilliant, I liked the episode between Caelen and Callon. I hope you'll update soon. Will Eryndil (and Algeirr with his friends) be featured soon again?
By the way, may I use the place names mentioned in this story (such as Cameth Brin and Penmorva River) in one of my stories? It would save me some work, since I intend to set only a few chapters in Rhudaur.
Author's Response: Thank you, Formegil! We promise more about Algeirr quite soon. Eryndil and Caelen will figure more prominently in the next part. The current one is about those who went journeying. Sure, you may use the place names mentioned in this story, but most of them, like Cameth Brin and Penmorva are not our inventions, but are taken from the maps made for ICE-MERP game modules. I believe you should acknowledge them. I am looking forward to your story set in Rhudaur! -Gordis
A good start for this part, so far. It was amusing to read Hurgon becoming the first abstract artist. In all, I think you use the comic potential of some characters and moments to full extent. They are a good lightening of an otherwise serious story.
While reading the first parts, I thought for some reason that only the Witch-King could change his appearance, but obviously the other Nazgūl can do it, too. It is a bit confusing, even if the plot twist of Agannalo appearing as Glorfindel is very intriguing (by the way, will the real Glorfindel be featured at some point?). I mean, in the LotR the Nazgūl are invisible if they are not wearing clothes. Did they lose the shape-changing ability by some disaster (as Sauron in the Fall of Numenor) or is it only the influence of the Nine Rings over time? Why does not anybody sense that everything is not allright with 'Glorfindel'? In the LotR the presence of the Nazgūl was felt by all because of the terror they spread. I am only curious, not criticizing. I look forward to the next chapter.
Author's Response: Thank you for your sympathetic words, Formegil. We hope to have real Glorfindel in the story at some point - those in Rivendell won't get the news of the imposter straight away, but they will - eventually. And then Glorfindel is likely to set off on a nazgul-hunt. In LOTR the nazgul are invisible at all times, but their robes are visible - because they have no Rings. Sauron took the Nine from the nazgul at some point, to better control them (see Unfinished Tales). We suppose that in 1347 the nazgul still wore their Rings, but Sauron was already actively seeking to get the Nine rings back from the Ringwraiths. As for nazgul having the ability to appear visible - it is a grey area, and we are exploring this possibility. Tolkien never really explained what a nazgul could do when in possession of their Rings. The way the Nazgul Lord duped everyone for a very long time (see LOTR App. A), appearing a mortal king is indication that he could conceal his invisibility. Also note that there are practically no reports of nazgul activities in the Second age and in the first half of the Third Age. Perhaps they simply blended with the Mankind It was not shape-shifting, of course, it was only using the Rings as a key between words. We hypothesize that a Ring of Power can make physical things invisible (canon) and invisible things visible (hypothesis). But when Sauron took their rings later in the Third Age, they became as we see them in LOTR. About the terror issue: even in LOTR it is clear that the nazgul did have an ability to "tone down" their terror. Khamul the nazgul spoke with the Gaffer and then with Maggot. The hobbits were nervous and freaked, but they stood their ground and didn't run away. Two Nazgul rode through Bree asking questions - again, there was no panic. Yet, a single nazgul could send a whole troop of men cowering even at a distance - if he so whished. We hypothesize that with Rings this ability to tone down their terror had been greater. I hope that makes the issues clearer. Again, thank you for your interest! - Gordis
Thanks for an exhaustive response and clearing things. When I read the Chapter 2 for the first time and left the review I was too hasty. At the second reading I realized that it was not shape-changing after all, since the Nazgūl had elven-like appearance on his own. At first I had been under impression that he had changed his form to the likeness of Glorfindel, but now I see it was not so. Sorry, my mistake.
Author's Response: Yes, you are right. Silmatan was a Second Age Numenorean from the house of Hador, thus blue-eyed and golden haired. High Numenoreans were not unlike Elves in appearance: "[The Nśmenóreans] grew wise and glorious, and in all things more like to the Firstborn than any other of the kindreds of Men; and they were tall, taller than the tallest of the sons of Middle-earth; and the light of their eyes was like the bright stars. - Akallabeth". Add to this some sorcerer's glamour - and Agannalo had easily managed to dupe a simple inn-maid.
I really am enjoying your story, this far. I still like your characterization and the characters are very interesting for the most part and you have managed to get at least me to take an interest on them (for example, I somehow feel bad for Algeirr, a villain or not). The love-stricken Orc especially was an ingenious invention, it was so completely surprising. I wonder what you have in store for the future, with new characters and all.
To comment upon a little detail, Gere wouldn't have needed a false beard unless she was very young. Tolkien wrote that dwarf-women had beards and voices similar to the men (HoME, War of the Jewels). But well, it's not in the least way preventing me enjoying your story, and I don't think even the worst purist could reproach you.
Author's Response: Thank you, Formegil. I also felt sad killing off Algeirr - he was an attractive chap, despite his roughness and roguishness. The lovesick orc is a cutie, indeed, he is one of Angmar's unforgettable characters. Perhaps it was one of the orcs who had a corner in his soul where some traces of initial elvishness of his race yet remained... As for dwarf-women beards, your info is new to us. Thank you for it. I thought it was a grey area. Anyway, Gere is very young still - so she may grow a fine beard of her own later.
This is a very amusing piece and a very interesting idea. After reading this I will never again leave my characters in a tight spot for long. Poor Elves!
Author's Response: Thank you very much for your review. I also try to finish my chapters now that I have pictured out how it could be, simply leaving my characters in midst an awkward situation or place. LOL There are so many things one could imagine the characters are doing, while the author takes a break, it would simply be too boring to assume that with putting down pen and paper it ends.
Overall, a nice start for your story, even though there could have been a bit more details about the Battle of Morannon, for instance.
There are a few issues with your story, though. First of all, you write about Orcs as if they were independent creatures like Men or Elves. That is not quite so, since they were created to be Morgoth's slaves and even if they were not mere puppets, their wills had been tied to that of Morgoth, and later Sauron. As the slaves of evil, they hated everything and everyone, including each other and their masters. So, it is a bit strange that Orgulak "harboured no hatred".
Another thing is that no Orc would have felt a duty to preserve a leader's memory, since they were tied to them only by fear of punishment. Orcs did avenge their fallen leaders sometimes (as far as I have read), but it stemmed more from their bloodlust than any respect towards the fallen.
As for the occupations of Orgulak's parents, I am afraid they are not very credible. The food needed in Mordor was grown in Nurn, by thousands of slaves from Khand and Rhūn. The sole occupation of Orcs was to be Sauron's soldiers and workforce in mines, roadbuilding etc.
One thing that is good in your story is the portrayal of Sauron. He indeed used the Orcs mercilessly and they died like flies. I also like the idea, an Orc renouncing evil (if that is what you have in mind). There are in any case few (at least few good)stories that have Orcs as main heroes. Your start is promising, if you write with a bit more detail in future.
I hope you won't take my review as a flame or nitpicking, I just wanted to give some advice.
Author's Response: Thank you for your insight. If Orcs were a pak of wild animals, than how could they maintain discipline in rank and command other creatures like Warg's, who coincidentally have a rudimentary form of communication? A pack of beasts that want only for bloodlust would have to be unleashed in battle, and would probably gorge anything in it's path, friend or foe. I submit that not enough research and fast has been written about Orcs, in general to qualify your facts and I propose that additional data should be devoted to the study of Orcs.
This was a very good chapter, I must say. Orgulak is reasoning very well and Orc-like, I mean the idea of a surprise attack and revenge. He definitely is getting to be an interesting character. As for my previous review, I would have been less nit-picky if I had noticed there was an AU warning, since that makes the so-called "canon issues" largely to disappear. I look forward to the next chapter.
I agree with Karlmir as for the date and the details. I like the diary format, it makes the story, how could i say it, more personal. I llok froward to reading the rest.
Author's Response: thanks! i will think about adding some dates etc soon, but right now i just want to get it all written! XD