Sooorrry I did't get the chance to read anything for a long long time due to my crazy work schedule and things happening in life..and now I am out of a job, I am all caught up on these wonderful updates. Just want to do a quick catchall list of my thoughts.
First is my reaction to the new Maeglin's story. Urghhh could Gondolin be any worse. The oppression and cruelty just so much worse and unimaginable than your first version - in fact is Gondolin any different from Angband at this point? and Turgon, he sunk further and became a worse person in this version. Maeglin is even more tragic in this story, since he truly wants to come back to Eol. on Maeglin/Eol I still prefer your original version because the intensity, misunderstanding and heartbreaks between Maeglin and Eol, just even more tragic, and his conflict of caught between 2 cultures when he's growing up even more vivid ...I dunno, I guess I just like Eol suffering more :P I also feel Aredhel has less presence in this version. But I did enjoy reading the new version while appalled by how corrupted Gondolin is.
Sauron/Celebrimbor - don't even get me started...we all know it's a train wreck and the whole ride starts from bad to hell. And Celebrimbor remembering Formenos event, and Curufin had to make the hard choice of saving his son or breaking his dad's trust (so he thought) I think Feanor prob will collapse and die on the spot if he saw both Finwe and Curufin lying dead...everything is just so tragic and heart wrenching.....
I love love your descriptions of the Three, so amazing, so powerful. And Galadriel...at this point she is prob the 2nd worse female character, the worse being Irime of course. All that fake righteousness back stabbing and power grabbing, and stealing Maglor's ring. Has she no Fiwion pride? She truly lost herself when she stole Maglor's ring and not giving it back to Gil-galad. Urgh can't stand her.
But you made Celebrian my fav canon Elf female in this series! She's just so strong, slowly becoming her own person despite her parents' influence, and setting her own path and owning her choice. What a contrast between mother and daughter. The suppose strong one is actually the weak one. and the quiet unassuming one is the stronger one. Celebrian is just so lovely.
Now I am really curious about Miriel, like what has she been doing all these ages besides weaving next to Vaire. I mean she's Feanor's mom, so I just don't see her quietly sit in the background and fading, and not helping Feanor a bit, especially she had thought going to Valinor was a bad idea. Hoping you would have the chance to write more about Miriel.
Thanks for continuing to write these wonderful, gut wrenching stories. I think these are what I could think for now, after rereading the new updates I missed 3 times. Not that Gildor, Glorfindel, Gil galad & Elrond are not great, but I am having some Feanor & sons withdrawal...when will we get some more on Feanor & his sons :)
I think these Elves will drive me up the wall one day.
Cause a part of me is screaming that this should not be a race of "who gets to sacrifice himself", but history kind of taught the Noldor that this is something to strive for. Besides, surviving is harding than dying. I want to give Gil-galad a good slap on the back of his head (and Gildor too), because it's Elrond who is going to pick up the mess in the end.
but other than this ... damned stupidity, I love the wreck the Alliance is in general. It's war, there ARE no good decisions and Gil-galad IS the Highking. He does get to decide who lives and who dies, but he's too much like his grandfather like this. I wonder how much of his self-sacrifice is prompted by Fingolfin's legacy? If I were Fingolfin & watching, I'd feel guilty.
On the other hand, what are they supposed to do? The stage is set that someone is going to die and it's kind of hilarious (and sad) that Gildor, Gil-galad and Glorfindel belong to the House of Feanor, Fingolfin and Finarfin respectively. Ohh, what a mess and I absolutely love it. Because from this day on Gil-galad will remain an unresolved issue between Glorfindel and Gildor. Glorfindel will be angry that he wasn't allowed to ... well, die ... and Gildor, depending on how it's going to play out, will insist that he had to make a choice. Who could they afford to loose? Who is the better fighter? Who is more likely to shoulder the weight of responsibility in the next age?
Though I wonder who decided that Glorfindel had to die? Who send Gil-galad these visions, because it certainly feels like it. Foresight is, at least in my opinion, either about the innermost nature of a person or about reading subtle clues or cold calculation. At this point it wouldn't surprise me if Sauron sends Gil-galad these visions of Glorfindel dying, making sure that the three G's aren't banding up on him ... or just planting the idea in Gil's head that Glorfindel CAN'T win. For this is, at least theoretically, a possibility.
But that's another lesson they'll have to learn.
Awesome chapter, like always. I'm curious if we get some Gil-galad POV, some explanation why he's so nasty to Glorfindel. Though I LOVE the train-wreck that is their relationship. It feels REAL, because two people hooking up with each other in a bad moment is utterly believable.
Author's Response:"Cause a part of me is screaming that this should not be a race of "who gets to sacrifice himself", but history kind of taught the Noldor that this is something to strive for."Well, maybe not strive for, but something that is almost inevitable. They keep dying, so it must seem like someone in their family is bound to die again, just looking at their history. The price of peace is blood. Coupled with that is Gil-galad's own personal struggle against despair (and Gildor is not immune to this either, they've been fighting this war for a decade and buried a LOT of soldiers).I absolutely love the idea of Sauron being the one who sent Gil-galad that vision! When I was writing the chapter, I knew there were pieces of the puzzle I didn't know yet (as there always are , but it felt right that Gil-galad had this vision of Glorfindel dying, and that it was tormenting him, but Gil-galad does not have a history of foresight, so I didn't know why he'd started having the dreams now, only that he'd had one. But it makes so much sense if he really did not have a moment of foresight, but that Suaron is behind it! It makes me think of Morgoth messing around in Feanor's head when he was vulnerable. Gil-galad has been made vulnerable too because of the drain of the Ring; it's hard for him to think clearly, and he's making poor choices because of it. He's been ground down into the dust not only in spirit but in body, and it's starting to show.I am not entirely sure what real foresight is either, but I do think that some people, like Elrond, truly posses it and have visions of possible futures. I tend to think foresight is possible because of the Elves' strong connection to the Song. But I suppose that could be them collecting all the clues around them and then using their own fears or hopes to create a vision of something that is entirely made up in their head. That is definitely an interesting possibility, and I'd love to read a story where every time an Elf thought they'd had a moment of foresight, their minds had only been playing tricks on them. It makes me think of Gondolin and Finrod's stories specifically which seem to have been so negatively influenced by Finrod and Idril believing they had had visions.Thinking about foresight and whether or not it is real, gets me thinking about Curufin. In this story, I wrote him having a powerful gift of foresight...but I could totally see him as a character whose internal fears preyed upon his mind to such an extent he'd have vivid dreams he mistook for visions of the future. This would put what happened in Doriath in an entirely new light. In the story, Curufin has a dream of foresight before the battle about Celegorm dying, and goes to Caranthir to get him to help keep an eye on Celegorm during the battle. I haven't written the moment of Celegorm and Curufin's deaths, only the aftermaths, but I know what happened now: Curufin saw Celegorm dueling with Dior, and because he believes he saw Celegorm die in a vision of the future, he throws away all caution for personal safety, and exposes himself dangerously to try and reach Celegorm. Celegorm sees Curufin in danger, maybe sees the first arrow take him, and Celegorm is distracted in his duel with worry for Curufin, thus giving Dior an opening to kill him. Celegorm dies because he was worried for Curufin who died because he was terrified Celegorm would died. If it was true foresight, it was like a self-furfilling prophecy. Celegorm wouldn't have died if Curufin had not been sure he would die (there is no way in my opinion that Dior was the better swords man. Dior had not even a 10th of Ceelgorm's experience). I cannot believe I just made Curufin and Celegorm's deaths even MORE tragic lol"The stage is set that someone is going to die and it's kind of hilarious (and sad) that Gildor, Gil-galad and Glorfindel belong to the House of Feanor, Fingolfin and Finarfin respectively."I hadn't thought about how they were all descendants of Feanor, Fingolfin, and Finarfin!!!
"Awesome chapter, like always. I'm curious if we get some Gil-galad POV, some explanation why he's so nasty to Glorfindel. Though I LOVE the train-wreck that is their relationship. It feels REAL, because two people hooking up with each other in a bad moment is utterly believable."I am so happy that it feels real! That is the best complement To me, it makes sense that they would make a mess of a relationship started under these conditions, it is just horrendous timing, and yet completely natural that they would seek that human connection in a time of death and war.There won't be any chapters from Gil-galad's POV. Originally, I was going to write everything from Glorfindel's, but then Gildor snuck in there. But I wanted to leave us wondering what exactly Gil-galad is feeling/thinking so we have some things to explore once he gets reborn Gil-galad is actually turning out to be a character that has a lot of stuff to work through once he gets reborn. He has surprised me with some of his character developments that I didn't fully know about until I started writing this mess of a relationship with Glorfindel. He had been hiding it lol!Thank you so so much for the review, and taking the time to stick with the story; I cannot tell you how much it means to me every time I receive one of your reviews and know that you are still enjoying the story :)
Thanks for the chapter! The atmosphere of despair and hopelessness continues to grow stronger – Gil-galad’s death is coming and it’s going to be heart-breaking when it finally happens (though I don’t think you will be able to top Celebrimbor’s death).
I like how Sauron had to give up a part of himself to become more powerful. There shouldn’t be a shortcut to gaining power – you cannot get something for nothing. In a broader sense this means that the Ainur can choose to change, which makes them more human in a way, and opens up so many new possibilities. Maybe they can change not only for the worse, but also for the better? I’ve always assumed that since the Ainur are so ancient, their characters are pretty much set in stone. It’s fun to have a preconceived notion about cannon challenged – now I really want a redemption arc for at least one of the Valar… Of course, Sauron was acting alone and he didn’t have anything holding him back from doing whatever he wanted, while the Valar are loyal to Manwe. For them, siding with the rebels would be equivalent to betraying Manwe, which is unlikely to happen after everything they have been through together.
About you reply to my last review – don’t worry, it was perfectly clear from the story that Eol knew that Aredhel was Finwe’s granddaughter. What I meant to say is that she wasn’t the only descendent of Finwe in Beleriand, nor was she the best person through which Eol could have reconnected to Finwe (she had too many of her own issues). I don’t think the relationship with Aredhel was very healthy for Eol (or vice versa, for that matter). There were many other Finweions who were much better adjusted than Aredhel – I was specifically thinking that Finrod, for example, probably would have been very welcoming/good for Eol. And, of course, the Feanorions lived very close to Nan Elmoth and they were also Miriel’s descendants in addition to Finwe’s. It’s heart-breaking that there was so much dislike between them and Eol.
Thanks again! Seeing this story updated never fails to make my day better!
Author's Response:"Gil-galad’s death is coming and it’s going to be heart-breaking when it finally happens (though I don’t think you will be able to top Celebrimbor’s death)."
Yeah, Celebrimbor's death killed me. Everything seemed to come together in that scene. We had the despair and the horror of it, but also the revelation of how much he'd forgotten/misunderstood about his father. It really broke my heart! I want Curufin and Celebrimbor to meet in rebirth again so bad!
"I like how Sauron had to give up a part of himself to become more powerful. There shouldn’t be a shortcut to gaining power – you cannot get something for nothing."I am glad you liked that part!! The Suaron of the Third Age is so different from who he had once been, and while some of it could be losing his body multiple times, it seemed to me that there was more to it. The Suaron of the 3rd Age just seems a lot less cunning, and more bent on destruction and having a world of slaves. While Sauron has always liked controlling others, and defiantly wanted the Elves under his power, I don't think Annatar envisioned a world like Mordor. He liked beauty too much to want to inhabit a dead world. So I think something essential much have changed about his nature."now I really want a redemption arc for at least one of the Valar…"I don't know if any of the Valar will entirely throw their lot in with the Elves, but I do think that there will be times some Vala's interests ally with the Elves,' and they will aid them. Once we get back to Valinor, I'd like to show that not all the Valar are one entirety. While I think they can defiantly work together like a hive-mind, and they share a lot in common, each one has their own motivations and interests. Some won't care about the Elves one way or another and want nothing to do with another war; Manwe will not be able to give up the allure of power and control; but other Vala will have reasons or their own behind their actions, and the Elves might be able to give them something they want in exchange for their help.
"There were many other Finweions who were much better adjusted than Aredhel – I was specifically thinking that Finrod, for example, probably would have been very welcoming/good for Eol. And, of course, the Feanorions lived very close to Nan Elmoth and they were also Miriel’s descendants in addition to Finwe’s. It’s heart-breaking that there was so much dislike between them and Eol."It is sad that Eol was never able to get over his prejudice against the Noldor and see that they were not all the same. I wish he could have met the Feanorions specifically because they could have had such a partnership in the forge! And I think he would have gotten on with Fingolfin and Fingon too. And gods, Maeglin's life would have been so different. I think it's one of the greatest tragedies of the 1st Age that those that should have been allies and friends were never able to overcome their prejudices or hatred.
"Seeing this story updated never fails to make my day better!"Well, hearing this makes my day!! Thank you so much for the comments, and the continued support, it means the world to me :hugs:
This was magnificently written, so beautiful and left me with a horror, because we all know Glorfindel isn’t going to die, and whatever he said, Gil-galad is going to somehow swap himself and die instead. ;__;
He said he would not throw his life away but he would not see it like that, to save Glorfindel.
It’s all coming now, this battle, which has been one of such courage and sacrifice and blood, and the definitively written Last Alliance as fart and I am concerned. The last great battle against Sauron, and then — only hope to sustain them
Author's Response:"This was magnificently written, so beautiful and left me with a horror, because we all know Glorfindel isn’t going to die, and whatever he said, Gil-galad is going to somehow swap himself and die instead. ;__;"Thank you!! Yes, knowing what's coming makes it all the more brutal. I think at this point, Gil-galad is convinced he will die too (this is the main reason he keeps pushing Glorfindel away...only he keeps reaching out to because he can't help himself). He's had this bit of foresight long enough he's gone through the stage where he believed they would all get out of this OK, and has entered into grime cynicism in which he can't see a way for this to end without death. The war, but most specifically, the way the Ring has drained him has worn him down."The last great battle against Sauron, and then — only hope to sustain them"Yes, this exactly. Hope, and a stubborn belief that they will somehow, someway, get their loved ones back. The 3rd Age much have been one of the hardest, for all the long stretches of peace, because every day must have been a battle to not give in to despair....but, then, again, every Age had its immense struggles, they just took a different shape each time.Thank you so much for the comment, and support!!! I hope this finds you doing well :hugs:
As for Sauron ... I think it really depends if his "survival" is made public. No matter what state he's in, too many people would call for his execution or a permanent solution, if they knew Sauron is still around. Which I can understand. But even IF Vala & Maia can be killed, which bears an interesting question in and itself, it'd just prove Sauron right. It's what HE would've done. What SHOULD happen is that he's forced to do what he was too afraid to the last time. Face is mistakes. Cause he won't find rest until the day he does. It must burn in the back of Sauron's mind ... the person he was under Morgoth vs the person ... he could've been? The person he once was?
It's not like he can run from that, which makes me wonder what kind of mess is head is in. Is "Sauron" a construct? Something he kept alive after discovering what he became? Perhaps I'm just too much in love with the multiple personalities, but with beings that live that long it's kind of a given. They MUST deal with the longlivety somehow. They don't experience the years any differently than humans. (well, maia perhaps?)
Which brings me back to the point of Maia/Vala can be killed. Not physically perhaps, but their identity?
What does Feanor DO if he realizes that he CANT get rid of the Vala? Turn them into people like them? "Kill" the previous incarnations, raise the new powers as "Children of the Vala" and hope they will be better? It could be like one big time loop, figuring out what to do with the gods. Cause maybe the Elves manage to lock the Valar away and wake up one day in the 7th Age to be faced with multiple Morgoth'ses ... cause the Vala all went mad?
Personally I like the idea of the Valar needing human/elvish vessels of some kind on Arda anyway. Cause the idea that they can just wipe up a temporary body is just wrong in my eyes.
Author's Response:"As for Sauron ... I think it really depends if his "survival" is made public. No matter what state he's in, too many people would call for his execution or a permanent solution, if they knew Sauron is still around."This is true...he is going to have to give them a reason to keep him alive, since I too want to see him deal with facing what he ran from before. Tho, he might be such a mess trying to grapple with the guilt and self-hate that he thinks they should kill him (another out for him). So maybe it will have to be someone -like Feanor or even Celebrimbor-- who makes the argument of how he can help them. I imagine Celebrimbor visiting him in the cell they are holding him in, and listening to Sauron's apologies and arguments to be killed without an ounce of mercy, then telling him to stop trying to run away, and if he was REALLY sorry, he should DO something to help them rather than just bemoan his fall.
"Which brings me back to the point of Maia/Vala can be killed. Not physically perhaps, but their identity?
What does Feanor DO if he realizes that he CANT get rid of the Vala? Turn them into people like them? "Kill" the previous incarnations, raise the new powers as "Children of the Vala" and hope they will be better? It could be like one big time loop, figuring out what to do with the gods. Cause maybe the Elves manage to lock the Valar away and wake up one day in the 7th Age to be faced with multiple Morgoth'ses ... cause the Vala all went mad?"
Now this is really fascinating! I agree that the Valar can never be fully wiped from existence. They are not people really, rather a concept/ thought made flesh. Some part of themselves will always linger on. I wonder about this idea of their identity being destroyed....tho if their minds don't work like human minds, are they really what they perceived themselves to be, or are their natures as unchangeable as the wind/fire/ whatever thought they were formed from? Is it inevitably that even 'reborn' with a new identity, they will always fall down the same path? They lack human empathy (in my verse), and without that to balance them, will they always crave to control the world and the Children within it?
This has really got me thinking! I appreciate the discussion so much :hugs:
"Lothlorien is pretty much the garden's of Lorien 2.0, Thranduil's halls are often compared to Menegroth 2."
Yes, exactly. It irritates me to no end that the Elves never spread out more? Arda is certainly bigger than the maps we're shown. My headcanon is that Maglor said 'Fuck it' after the War of Wrath and just explored Middle Earth, feeling that he owed it to his family. Cause they wanted to leave Valinor long before Melkor came around. So my guess it that the Feanorians would've left Aman sooner or later. They'd have built cities, met people and moved on again because Celegorm heard of an animal with a re~ally long neck or because Ambarussa wants to ride Elephants.
(Just to think they have been ROBBED this ... in more than one way, because that kind of heritage of Feanor DOESN'T live on.)
"The idea of Maedhros trying to find allies in even the Orcs is fascinating. "
Maedhros would probably know the differences between Orcs. I bet there're groups, like the Elves have Teleri/Vanya/Noldor etc. He learned their language, can spot which ones are tribes and which ones are throughly under Morgoth and/or Sauron's thumb. Which ones are ruled by Queens and which are just groups of bullies... side note: why are there no female orcs??? perhaps because they're still a franction elvish and females don't live long enough? perhaps orc women are either little more than animals, given birth to entire litters or they're almost elf-women ... just very different and corrupt and stay beneath the earth, because they're too precious/valuable to be bother themselves with the sun? ...
Galadriel ... well, she's someone who lived long enough to make mistakes. I doubt someone like Finrod would've fared better. In fact, I always entertained the idea that Galadriel was the last one standing, because she was the slowest to corrupt. Not exactly what you would call a good person, but too stubborn to succumb to Melkor&Sauron (canon wise). Even if her motive is just ambition, but if you live long enough you either end up feeling nothing or you have to give your sympathy to someone. I mean, Oropher and Amdir died in the Last Alliance. Amroth dies as well, after the Balrog takes over KhazadDum and I always wondered about that.
If that was some kind of turning point to her. Cause Amroth ran away with Nimrodel and left his people. Cause the way I understand it he was still King of Lothlorien until that point.
" So Gil-galad spends years wandering around with no memory of who he is. "
DON'T PUT IDEAS INTO MY HEAD! *points at the small draft and the tons of ideas collected over the last days*
but it does make sense, in a way. we have the dead marches and it's up to debate if the Elves there are truly "dead" ... or trapped in a state somewhere in between. but the idea is awesome, i knew the version/last line existed, but i kind of forgot what it implies. but i've an idea how to use this ... one day, when my insane!Maglor verse reaches the 3rd age.
but I like any version of the dead coming back to live that doesn't involve people walking out of Mandos. Elves are bound to Arda, there must be other ways ... cause I can't believe that Eru intended Elves depending on the Valar for that part forever. Unless you go by the version, where Elves are the "First Draft" and Men the Second, because Eru realizes that Elves as a race won't work out in the long run?
"So my guess it that the Feanorians would've left Aman sooner or later. They'd have built cities, met people and moved on again because Celegorm heard of an animal with a re~ally long neck or because Ambarussa wants to ride Elephants."Hahaha I really like this idea! Yeah, I can totally see them as explorers, always hunger to see what's over the next mountain range. But also experimenting with city building and ruling when they come to a place they like. It is terrible to think about how their lives were shadowed by war, stunted even because so much of who they were was consumed by the war and the Oath.
"Maedhros would probably know the differences between Orcs. I bet there're groups, like the Elves have Teleri/Vanya/Noldor etc. He learned their language, can spot which ones are tribes and which ones are throughly under Morgoth and/or Sauron's thumb. Which ones are ruled by Queens and which are just groups of bullies... side note: why are there no female orcs??? perhaps because they're still a franction elvish and females don't live long enough? perhaps orc women are either little more than animals, given birth to entire litters or they're almost elf-women ... just very different and corrupt and stay beneath the earth, because they're too precious/valuable to be bother themselves with the sun? ..."I had never given much thought to different factions of Orcs before, but the idea of different tribes of Orcs is really fascinating! They has to have been a lot of internal conflicts going on. I wonder if they had grudges that lasted centuries and passed down from one generation to the next....or did they have a concept of generations if they never had anything like a family unit? Maybe they never had tribes at all if they were all out for themselves? But in lotr when Merry and Pippin were captured, we saw that the Orcs were at least divided on the lines of where they were posted and who they served.
"Galadriel ... well, she's someone who lived long enough to make mistakes. I doubt someone like Finrod would've fared better."Finrod and Galadreil seem to have had similar aspiration's when they left Valinor. They both wanted to explore and to rule. Finrod was able to see his wish fulfilled in the 1st Age, where Galadreil was not. And he learned the bitter taste of being betrayed by his own people, as well as learning that he could not be both king and explorer. We don't know much about the opinions of the native Endor Elves who lived in his lands before he set up his kingdom. Were they happy to welcome the Noldor, or did they resent them? But then, we don't know how the native pops in Fingolfin or the Feanorion's lands felt either. I lean towards them being overall welcoming because they were being preyed upon by Morgoth before the Noldor's coming. Thingol wasn't doing anything to protect the lands and people he claimed were his. I wonder if they were resentful of that, and of the way Thingol just handed their lands over to the Nodlor (without consulting them?). If the Noldor 'stole' the land in these Elves' opinions, it was as much Thingol's fault for giving it to them as the Noldor's for accepting the land and the terms of alliance without consulting the Elves already living there either. But then, the Noldor had arrived in a foreign land whose politics they did not fully understand. If they assumed Thingol had the right to give the land but he didn't because the Elves living there no longer considered Thingol their king, then that would have been a poorly researched decision but not one made out of malice or a sense of superiority. However, I can see how the Noldor's actions might have fed the fire of the native populace's feelings that the Noldor thought themselves superior (no doubt many Noldor did, which did not help relations).As for Galadriel, sometimes I feel like she didn't learn any of the lessons the other Noldor did in the First Age because she lived in Doriath. She was safe within the Girdle, but it is like her character didn't grown while she was sequestered there. So she come into the 2nd Age with a lot of the ideas the Noldor had once held in the beginning of the first, with her thirst for rule unsaited. So, while I think Finrod would have long learned better than to go into a foreign land (Lorien) and try to take over the culture/ 'teach' the native Elves, Galadreil was still stuck in the mind-set that had led to a lot of the Noldor's mistakes in the 1st Age.
"but I like any version of the dead coming back to live that doesn't involve people walking out of Mandos. Elves are bound to Arda, there must be other ways ... cause I can't believe that Eru intended Elves depending on the Valar for that part forever."I agree. I'm planning on writing this into the story when we start getting to re-brith, but yeah, I definitely think Elves have the ability to create their own bodies independent of the Valar. It is a corruption of the Song that Mandos has a pull/compultion on Elven souls, trying to lure them into his halls. I think for some reason (haven't figured out why) for the Elves who lived in Valinor fighting the call to Mandos is extremely hard. A lot of the Exiles know the Valar are not benevolent, and yet they end up in the Halls anyway. Some of that is also because they don't fight the call as hard as they could when they hope they will find their dead loved ones waiting for them. Like Celebrimbor, he didn't fight at all. He wanted to end up in Mandos and be reunited with the dead.Thank you so much for the continued discussion! I needed it; it keeps me focused on the writing Thank you!
Now, I need to get this off my chest or else I'll go crazy if I have to wait until Sunday to write this down. While I read and acknowledged the part of Sauron's freedom before, it just hit me like a brick. He straight walked by his own redemption! I can understand why he didn't but that's exactly the reason why there's hope for him.
In a way. He'll always be accountable for his crimes and the Eldar will always see him as an enemy, but given the possibility that Sauron doesn't "die" after the second Ring War ... what happens then? Letting him remain evil is exactly what he doesn't deserve. He SHOULD face his own consciousness kicking and screaming if it's needed. he fucking deserves to be plagued by his own guilt.
The question is also ... do the Eldar NEED a Sauron to go against the Valar? It could be the Enemy of my Enemy thing, ... and I do expect that the War against the False Gods will take AT LEAST another age. Or three.
I'm currently imaging a Sauron without memories, after the ring got destroyed. Clueless, helpless (regarding emotions etc.) and he's confronted by ... don't know ... spirit Celebrimbor? Maglor & Glorfindel, who intended to finish him off but realize that they could use this opportunity?
The Eldar struggle with the concept of appropriate punishment and Sauron is a case, where they could grow to be better than the Valar. Cause the whole mess started with locking Melkor into solitary confinement, turning into this mad, irredeemable god who yet should be more pitied than hated. but that's my opinion, the Valar are like children. DO they understand they own crimes or are they cruel because they're ignorant?
I NEVER wanted to write Sauron before, but now ... ARGH! I've always seen him as the person who CHOSE evil more or less turning from being the embodiment of Awe (Mairon) to shock&terror (Sauron). But as immortal people the Eldar have a different concept of punishment. How do they respond to those who steal, rape and murder? If they're punished / exiled / branded ... is it everlasting?
... god, let me tell you I MISSED YOU. I've been sitting over the next chapter for "World breaks Everyone" for weeks and then you come and my muse is back with a vengeance.
*digs up story ideas*
by the way ... do have a clue which chapter(s) deal with Maeglin&Tuor in Book I? I'm afraid that'll get sucked into re-reading BOTH books if I start searching on my own. Cause there's a story coming up that's heavily inspired a specific scene and the dynamic between them in general.
I seriously like this idea for Sauron!!! I hadn't thought to bring him back after his destruction in the 3rd Age, but I love love love the thought of him having to deal with everything he did with his empathy returned!!! I even think he should have all his memories so that he KNOWS exactly what he did, and he knows that he could have stopped himself when he came into contact with the Silmaril, but he was too weak to face what he had done. I just love this idea!!! I have missed our discussions soooo much too! You have such wonderful ideas! Thank you :hugs:Elven punishments is something I've wondered about a lot myself. I have them mostly punishing by ostentation /Shaming/outcast from people. But I do think that they leave room for redemption, like with what happened during the Price of Duty, one of the OC characters was outcast, but was able to return to society after he helped save Erestor's life, though I imagine his crime always hung over him in the eyes of most people. I have always been thinking about this in regards to the Reborn. Some people are going to want to demand punishment for past crimes, some other people might think death was punishment enough, but what if death changed nothing/they learned nothing from death? (thinking of Noldor from Gondolin here, or other Elves who committed atrocities...also, a lot of people like the Teleri are not going to be OK with the Feanorions and their follows receiving no punishment -or they don't think death is punishment enough).
"I NEVER wanted to write Sauron before, but now ... ARGH! I've always seen him as the person who CHOSE evil more or less turning from being the embodiment of Awe (Mairon) to shock&terror (Sauron)."I was actually a bit hesitant about taking away some of Sauron's choice in becoming what he became because of the collars. It feels like giving him an out. I usually see him like you do, someone who knowingly choose to follow Morgoth, maybe not for love, maybe he even knew what he was doing was wrong, but something motivated him to choose Morgoth anyway. That is why I liked the idea of him having that moment with the Silmairl so much. He has already done a ton of terrible things at that point, but some of his worst deeds were yet to come. He had the choice then to change himself, to step off of the path he was on. But he didn't. He knowingly choose to continue being what he was because it was too hard/horrifying for him to face what he had became. And that is on him. That was wholly his own choice that he cannot blame on anyone but himself.It is so so wonderful to hear you have been inspired to write because of this story!! I am happy for you :) Happy writing!!
"by the way ... do have a clue which chapter(s) deal with Maeglin&Tuor in Book I? I'm afraid that'll get sucked into re-reading BOTH books if I start searching on my own. Cause there's a story coming up that's heavily inspired a specific scene and the dynamic between them in general."I should let you know that when I re-wrote Maeglin's story I cut a few of his scenes with Tuor. He only interacts with Tuor in chapter 43 (Tuor has a POV part in I Remember Everything). If what you are looking for is not there, let me know and I will dig around and see if I saved the writing I cut anywhere. I have a tendency to save things, as it's really hard to just delete writing. So I probably have it hanging around in some word doc.Thank you so so much for the continued discussion!!! I love the idea of Suaron turning up again, thank you for sharing it with me :hugs:
I love your points about the 2nd age and how it differs from the 3rd and the Ring War. But that just reinforces my opinion that Feanor needs to be the Highking. Or a Feanorian in general. Less because he's Finwe's oldest son, but because he's creative. The Feanorians can look at a situation and look past the usual solutions, redefine reality by questioning boundaries. Feanor is the type to invent planes in order to fight dragons. His sons also might look at Orcs / Dwarves / Humans and see potential allies, instead of just enemies.
Cause I bet that Maedhros especially wondered if it's possible to save the Orcs. As a race, even if they have to start with a fraction and raise them themselves. Not much at first, but it would make a huge difference in the long run. With Arda, every evil thing comes back to Melkor one way or another. Thus the question how the world would've looked like, had he not existed.
and as creators the Feanorians strife to be better, reach for the impossible instead remaining content with what they have.
Feanor/Curufin&Celebrimbor are the type of explorers who can get excited over a bunch of rocks / minerals. Who invent something outragous, because their either a) need it or b) they were bored.
It's something the Sindar never managed, thanks to Melians&Thingol "it's good as it is" mentality. Ambition among the Sindar is probably still seen as dangerous, which makes me wonder how Galadriel fares. I imagine she's pretty isolated. She's not the type to have close friends and without Celeborn ... well. I hope we get glimpses from their life, if not a full redemption arc. Though I still think that Galadriel at least deserves a chance to ... be better.
But I admit that I've been influenced early on through this picture ... it doesn't matter that it's cate blanchett dressed as galadriel, I love the exhaustion in the pose. Worn. Not quite hopeless but realitic pessimistic. (as far as I remember it's from The Hobbit set). As for her faults ... I don't think that Morgoth took a special interest in her, aside from the three hairs issue, but she fell for the false ideologies he spread? Perhaps it stings as well that Morgoth DIDN'T take interest in her and Galadriel realizes that her faults are entirely her own?
But Elves don't know how to react to such events properly. In a way, they're still a young race and the mortal children are far wiser than they're. They ARE living without ever dying and thus they're robbed of the knowledge that it will be too late one day. If you tell a human that he has only three months left to live, he'll most likely do all the stuff he always put aside for later.
Elves on the other hand could drown in a puddle from complacency.
Hence how everyone around Elrond and Galadriel keeps falling, crumbling (especially at the end of the 3rd age). Even if they realize the value of true teamwork, the fellowship is better than any of them by default. Though I believe that Elrohir and Elladan set an example in Imladris, by bascially stating (not swearing!) the fact that they'd stay together NO MATTER what happens. But this perhaps just by opinion on the possebility of one twin chosing immortality and one becoming human ... which ... nope. Not for those two.
As opposite I always imagine that Oropher&Gil-galad stuck around as ghosts and got to watch their grandchildren (more or less in G.'s case) fight together at the gates of Mordor and only THEN they realize that innocent people suffer from their mistakes and still stand up to make the world a better place.
... I hope you don't mind my headcanoning. It's been a while and I missed our discussions!
Author's Response:I missed our discussions too! And I always enjoy hearing your headcannons, they never fail to be fascinating :)
I totally agree with you that the Feanorions are, in a lot of ways, a different breed of Elf. They have the vision and passion for innovation that we don't see in many other Elves. Especially when thinking about Elves of the 3rd Age who seem to be stuck on re-building what came before (Lothlorien is pretty much the garden's of Lorien 2.0, Thranduil's halls are often compared to Menegroth 2.0, and I always get the feeling that Imladris is heavily caught in dwelling in the past). Of course, we see this in the 1st Age too in Gondolin who tried to build a second Tirion rather than aim for something new. I often wonder what Feanor's sons all caught have brought into the world if most of their lives had not been consumed by the war and Oath. Especially Curufin. We know next to nothing about what his artistic or technological achievements were, but surely he came close to Feanor and Celebrimbor, and yet all his potential was sucked up into the war and the Oath.
The idea of Maedhros trying to find allies in even the Orcs is fascinating. I think either he was the one who could see that their was still a glimmer of hope for saving Orcs, or he was the one who hated them the most and knew they would never be anything but monsters. It all depends on what he witnessed in Angband. Also, it would depend on how much the Orcs participated in his torture. It would be incredibly hard to overcome what they did to him even to see that they were not wholly evil if he had been made their plaything.
I totally agree that the Sindarian society does not have a positive view of ambition. They strike me as a people who cultivate the idea of being satisfied with what you have. I, personally, headcannon that Doriath was a strict, class society. with little upward mobility I think the higher classes impressed upon the lower classes that they needed to be content with their lot in life and not strive for anything better. It kept the ruling class in power.
Galadriel - I can totally see her as worn down, quite possibly changed, by the end of the Third Age. It will be interesting to see how her character changed when she renters the story in Valinor. Will she be ready to give up the Ring? Or will she cling to it all the harder because she feels so worn down, and she feels like she needs it to be Galadreil? We will see!
Yeah, I am leaning towards Morgoth not paying her special attention in Valinor either. He was caught up in Feanor, and in fracturing the House of Finwe, and I don't see Finarfin's children as high on his radar since Finarfin was never the key to fracturing the Noldor Feanor and Fingolfin were. I remember it does say in cannon that she was caught up in the idea of ruling the lands of Endor, which I think is born from a seed of Morgoth's lies. He was going around stirring the Noldor up with the idea that Endor was their inheritance and Men were going to 'steal' it from them. I think we can see this idea of her feeling like ruling is her right when she comes to Lothlorien. She and Celeborn pretty much turn the native Silvan populace into second class citizens. They come in there with their Sindar like they are superior to these lowly Wood-Elves who are so in need of their guidance.' It reeks of colonialism. And it reminds me of the Noldor's attitudes when they first came to Beleriand, that idea that they were coming to return to Endor and find it empty and ripe for their rule. I think most of the Noldor got this misconception knocked out of their head pretty quickly, but not all did. But I wonder if Galadriel finally looked back on her actions and saw that had made wrong choices by the end of the 3rd Age. She defiantly comes across as having grown weary; let us hope she learned something of wisdom as well!Yes, Elrohir and Ellanad strike me as a throw back to the 1st Age Elves. They still burn, even in a fading world.
"As opposite I always imagine that Oropher&Gil-galad stuck around as ghosts and got to watch their grandchildren (more or less in G.'s case) fight together at the gates of Mordor and only THEN they realize that innocent people suffer from their mistakes and still stand up to make the world a better place."
This reminds me of a story I wish I had the time to write in which Gil-galad never actually died, but lost his memories. I got the idea from the last line of the song about his fall. It was a bit vague about what actually happened to him. It got me thinking that maybe no one actually saw Sauron kill him, maybe Sauron cloaked them in darkness or something, and when the darkness parted, Gil-galad had disappeared and everyone assumed he was dead, but in reality Sauron had thought to keep him alive to play with, but then lost the Ring before he could fulfill his plans. So Gil-galad spends years wandering around with no memory of who he is. Gods, I really want to read a fic like this!Thank you so much for the great discussion! It gets me thinking more deeply about the story and the characters, and that is a priceless gift :hugs:
I've just read through the entire update and holy crap. I don't know if my heart can't take more pain. I'll have to go back and re-read the entire book in peace in order to truly appreciate it. Everything up to Celebrimbor's death is just ... no, I can't even think about it. The part between Telpe and Curufin, MY HEART.
and now this mess with Glorfindel and Gil-galad. To think that the worst is yet to come ... If Gil's death truly the worst. I wonder ... cause I don't know if we've reached rock bottom already. Truly there can be more? But how often do you can beat someone down until he loses all hope? From canon perspective I get why Estel and the Fellowship had to defeat Sauron, because the elders didn't have any strength anymore. But I can ALSO see why Estel and the others succeeded where this generation didn't.
It sounds like a clichee, but there's no true teamwork among the Last Alliance. Seen in the way Thranduil and Oropher behave and even how Gil-galad tells Glorfindel that it was alright to place his own people's lives above those of Thranduil. Personally I think that Legolas for instance learned a lot through the power elimination ... like the sum of his fathers mistakes and flaws is probably everything he shouldn't think or do. Of course it doesn't happen over night. It's a painful progress.
I like how our dear characters are a lot like Legolas was in The Hobbit. Not quite the same wise Elf he was in the Fellowship. We're still missing some growth. Or rather ... a lot of it. They still think they can affort to make mistakes and it will cost them dearly.
But ... if this point is the lowest where they can sink to ... repeating the mistakes of their ancestors, failing to protect what they died for, than I can tell myself it has to go UP at some point. Even if it's just sacrificing themselves for each other instead of dying out of strange, wounded pride and enmassed denial.
... is it wrong that I kind of want to kick Celebrimbor? I can understand his pain, but damnit couldn't he have taken Sauron down with him? What is this lowly maia against the mighty power of an enraged Feanorian? But ... I concede ... the Feanorians are broken. Way worse than the House of Fingolfin. At least Gil-galad is still ... whole. In a way. While Galadriel has managed to twist herself into something that I find regretful. I can't even hate her, it's just that she could be so much better? Of course one could argue that she doesn't deserve forgiveness, but ... does anyone?
If Morgoth sowed lies back in Valinor, if he messed up the original ... isn't a lot of history just a subsequent fault? An error in the way of thinking the new generations simply inherited? People like Glorfindel were able to start over, Elrond grew out of it, because his fathers learned through trail and error, but Galadriel is a good example of how Morgoth work, his lies and the damage the doom it are still there. Still very alive in the head of the people and the Eldar can only blame themselves. They carry the taint with them, infecting others like a disease ... even though they may think of it as tradition or worthy cause.
People like Galadriel should look into the mirror and go back to the point, where things last made sense. But admitting that is going to be the hardest step. But that path has to be walked, because if a united House of Finwe is what Morgoth worked so hard to prevent (and it's STILL working) that this exactly what they should to ... even if it's just to spite him.
GREAT WORK. Like always. I'm so glad that you're back.
Author's Response:"I've just read through the entire update and holy crap. I don't know if my heart can't take more pain. I'll have to go back and re-read the entire book in peace in order to truly appreciate it. Everything up to Celebrimbor's death is just ... no, I can't even think about it. The part between Telpe and Curufin, MY HEART."
Thank you!!! It's good to here from you, and thank you so much for taking the time to read and review Gods, I cried while writing the Celebrimbor and Curufin scene! I didn't know all that had happened or that Celebrimbor had suppressed the memories until we came to the end of his life. It was as much a revelation for me as your guys. Celebrimbor was really holding out on us lol
"and now this mess with Glorfindel and Gil-galad. To think that the worst is yet to come ... If Gil's death truly the worst. I wonder ... cause I don't know if we've reached rock bottom already. Truly there can be more? But how often do you can beat someone down until he loses all hope? From canon perspective I get why Estel and the Fellowship had to defeat Sauron, because the elders didn't have any strength anymore. But I can ALSO see why Estel and the others succeeded where this generation didn't."
Oh that's interesting! I hadn't looked at it before from the perceptive of how much hope the Fellowship really did posses. Merry and Pippin, Legolas, Gimil, all of them had a lot of hope still. Some of it from ignorance like Merry and Pippen, but still, they didn't have the Long Defeat hanging over them.
I wanted to explore the despair that I feel infected the end of the 2nd Age, so I am really glad to hear it came through in the story! The beginning of the 2nd Age must have been this time of new hope (and a lot of healing work to do!), but then another Dark Lord rises, and the killing starts again, and Numinor falls, and, for this story, the Elves had only their own tenacious estel to hold on to that the dead would ever be reborn. Even optimistic Gildor would have struggled to hold that hope alive.
"It sounds like a clichee, but there's no true teamwork among the Last Alliance. Seen in the way Thranduil and Oropher behave and even how Gil-galad tells Glorfindel that it was alright to place his own people's lives above those of Thranduil."
This is so true. The teamwork just isn't there, alliances are hanging by a thread. It's a miracle they were all able to come together long enough to hold the siege and bring Sauron down. In the first Age, even facing Morgoth, the different kingdoms couldn't put aside their differences even long enough to march to war together. I think in cannon tho, something like this must have happened that caused the Wood-elf massacre and killed Oropher and Amdir.
"But ... if this point is the lowest where they can sink to ... repeating the mistakes of their ancestors, failing to protect what they died for, than I can tell myself it has to go UP at some point. Even if it's just sacrificing themselves for each other instead of dying out of strange, wounded pride and enmassed denial."
They may not not be as ready to die for other peoples as they are for their own, but they have come a long way from the 1st Age, I think, where not only did kingdoms choose their own people first, they actively left others that should have been their allies to die (I am thinking of Doriath's closed boarders, and Gondolin's refusal to come to war for the Battle of Sudden Flames). The old hatreds run deep, but at least no one is activating killing each other lol
"... is it wrong that I kind of want to kick Celebrimbor? I can understand his pain, but damnit couldn't he have taken Sauron down with him? What is this lowly maia against the mighty power of an enraged Feanorian?"
I think that right there is a major piece of the despair they are all struggling with: if they can't kill Sauron who is but ONE Maia, how on earth are they going to defeat the Valar?
"While Galadriel has managed to twist herself into something that I find regretful. I can't even hate her, it's just that she could be so much better? Of course one could argue that she doesn't deserve forgiveness, but ... does anyone?"
Yeah, no one really deserves forgiveness. Forgiveness wouldn't be the small miracle it is if what was done was forgivable. Galadreil might get a redemption arc, it will all depend on her choices. I don't think she's gone beyond return. She's not, say, a Sauron, and horrible as her actions have been, others in the story have done just as bad. The problem is, she is refusing to acknowledge her mistakes, which is the first thing she needs to do in order to try and really, honestly, change. It is regretful that she has become this person when she did indeed have the potential to be more. She still might grown into that person she could have always been, but it will be up to her, and facing her own mistakes will not be easy (especially because her mistakes have directly lead to people she cares for being hurt).
"If Morgoth sowed lies back in Valinor, if he messed up the original ... isn't a lot of history just a subsequent fault? An error in the way of thinking the new generations simply inherited?"
This is an interesting idea. Even after it was revealed that Morgoth was the spider behind the division between Feanor and Fingolfin, the suspicions did not die with this reveal. Also, Morgoth spread a lot of lies about Men that probably were still in the back of the Noldor's heads when Men came out of the East. I wonder if Morgoth said anything about the Elves that never came to Valinor, and how his lies influenced how the Noldor saw the Sindar and Wood-elves? Wouldn't it be sad if the Noldor weren't able to see beyond the prejudices Morgoth had secretly been building the foundations to? It's like Morgoth's lies were still bearing fruit centuries after the telling.
This gets me wondering if Morgoth put any special care into influencing Galadreil in Valinor. I wonder if something he said was the seed for what went wrong in her? Tho, I don't want to shave down every character and say they never would have been this way but for Morgoth. I can see Morgoth taking an interest in her and trying to cultivate her as he did other members of Finwe's House...tho maybe she wasn't in Tirion enough to be thrown into his path much. She could have spent more time with her mother's people....but no, her character is too Noldorin to be satisfied long among the Teleri.
Thank you so so much for taking the time to review, and read!! I love hearing your thoughts, they always leave me taking a second look at things and sparking new ideas I hope this finds you doing well :hugs:
You’re spoiling me with all these updates! I can barely keep up!
Regarding your reply to my last review, I’m not really surprised that Maglor didn’t tell Elrond much about Feanor. It must have been too painful – it’s the same with Glorfindel trying to talk to Gil-galad about Fingolfin. This lack of communication – whether due to painful memories or mistrust – is literally everywhere. One of the most agonizing things about the Maeglin chapters in P of V I was that Eol lived side-by-side with pieces of Finwe and Miriel for centuries and never even knew. It shows how little actual interaction there was between Aredhel and Eol considering that the Feanorions’ ancestry had never been brought up as casual dinner-time conversation. It’s so frustrating – why do all these people fail at basic communication? So many problems could have been avoided if only everyone was honest and open with everyone else.
Gil-galad’s conversation with Thranduil is a perfect illustration of why the Sindar annoy me so much. I acknowledge that they experienced a crippling loss – the kind of loss that was very commonplace for the Noldor in the First Age, incidentally. Unfortunately, instead of learning from their mistakes or using the experience to build closer bonds with their allies, they fall into misplaced hate. What did they expect would happen if they charged into battle without a plan and without alerting their allies? Did they really think a Maia would be so easy to defeat – you know, just run toward him, shoot some arrows in his general direction and hope for the best? The Noldor have a lot more experience fighting Orcs and Dark Lords than anyone else, so, yes, if they say a direct assault is a bad idea, they are probably right, and this has nothing to do with Noldor superiority. It’s exasperating that Thranduil dishes out blame and uses the situation to validate his own hate. And it’s depressing to think that this is just a taste of the kind of blind hatred the Noldor will have to deal with after rebirth. Hopefully Thranduil will remain in Middle Earth, but even without him there are plenty of Elves in Valinor who can and will make a lot of trouble for the Exiles.
As for Glorfindel and Gil-galad – what a trainwreck… Again, this is exactly the sort of thing that happens when there is a breakdown in communication. The Elves are their own worst enemies.
I’ve just now realized that according to the description the second story will end with the Last Alliance. Does this mean that we are down to the last few chapters in this fic? If so, I’m really excited for the final story!
Thank you so much for your hard work, the chapters were absolutely brilliant, and I enjoyed them, even if they did leave me feeling very irritated with all these thick-skulled Elves!
Author's Response:"One of the most agonizing things about the Maeglin chapters in P of V I was that Eol lived side-by-side with pieces of Finwe and Miriel for centuries and never even knew. It shows how little actual interaction there was between Aredhel and Eol considering that the Feanorions’ ancestry had never been brought up as casual dinner-time conversation."Aredhel and Eol definitely had communication problems, and didn't talk about Aredhel's heritage after that first meeting between them, but Eol did know she was Finwe's granddaughter. I must not have been very clear in the story, sorry! Eol made Maeglin that doll/toy of Finwe, and told him about him knowing Maeglin was Finwe's descendant. But yeah, Eol probably never had another conversation with Aredhel again about Finwe."I’m not really surprised that Maglor didn’t tell Elrond much about Feanor. It must have been too painful – it’s the same with Glorfindel trying to talk to Gil-galad about Fingolfin. This lack of communication – whether due to painful memories or mistrust – is literally everywhere... It’s so frustrating – why do all these people fail at basic communication? So many problems could have been avoided if only everyone was honest and open with everyone else."So true! But then, if everyone had ideal communication, there wouldn't be much of a story You got me thinking about this, about why exactly the communication is so bad, and I concluded that even though the Elves had plenty of time to talk and get everything out in the open, the fact that time really doesn't heal their tramas/greifs, makes it even more difficult for them than humans who have experienced trauma to talk about. Their memories never fade with time, so they just have to learn how to live with grief that feels constantly fresh. Glorfindel, for instance, has learned how to move on from what Irime did to him, but at the same time, he can close his eyes and feel every word sharp as the first time she said it. I think it is incredibly difficult for the Noldor to talk about the dead since not only do they feel that grief so fresh and sharp, they are also struggling against despair every time they think about the dead because deep in their hearts they all have doubts about weather they will ever really be able to defeat the Valar and free the dead.Then we've got Elves who are just bad at communication on top of that (looking at you Gil-galad). Gil-galad's lack of communication and Glorifndel's past trauma = trainwreck. You summed that disaster up nicely lol"Gil-galad’s conversation with Thranduil is a perfect illustration of why the Sindar annoy me so much. I acknowledge that they experienced a crippling loss – the kind of loss that was very commonplace for the Noldor in the First Age, incidentally. Unfortunately, instead of learning from their mistakes or using the experience to build closer bonds with their allies, they fall into misplaced hate...It’s exasperating that Thranduil dishes out blame and uses the situation to validate his own hate."Yes, I think you pin-point what annoys me about the Sindar too! (at least the Sindar we have seen in the story so far, there have got to be some who don't cling to hate...somewhere...) When the Sindar experience a tragedy, they start looking for a culprits to pin the blame on and that usually ends up being the Noldor. They don't examine how their own choices played into the tragedy. While Thranduil is in a bad place right now, he is making the choice to sink into the blind hatred that he admits he didn't agree with. The moment he was the one experiencing loss, he picked up hate, and didn't try to be reasonable about this at all. (Tho I will say in his defense, that I imagine Celebron and other of his advisers took advantage of his grief to stoke the fires of hate, passing it on to the next generation. But, still, unlike with Glorinfdel who eventually overcame his hatred of Irime, we know Thranduil never really does. He still deeply mistrust the Noldor an Age later.)
"I’ve just now realized that according to the description the second story will end with the Last Alliance. Does this mean that we are down to the last few chapters in this fic? If so, I’m really excited for the final story!"
Only 2 more!!!! I have started writing the final story, and it feels unbelievable that we have finally, finally, gotten there! Whew!
"Thank you so much for your hard work, the chapters were absolutely brilliant, and I enjoyed them, even if they did leave me feeling very irritated with all these thick-skulled Elves!":snorts: Yep, that's Elves for you :grins: Thank you so much for the continued support, and taking the time to leave the amazing reviews you do. They keep me going :hugs:
Oh, yes, I remember Maglor and the Osanwë and Gil-galad speaking of his teachers in it. I always thought losing his father so young would have been an awful blow in a lot of ways, and been (in a way) crippling, especially with his heritage and being moulded into being the ‘perfect’ king. And he was a great king. Sauron got worried because his kingdom was even growing close to Sauron’s own dominions, so it must have been the largest Elven kingdom ever in Middle-earth.
There is going to be so much to be picked through, talked over, argued over, when they are all reunited. So many cut threads that cannot be joined together until then! ;__; And yes, you are right; how did the Noldor even manage to maintain even a modicum of hope?
Oh, dear that ended spectacularly badly, and with so little time left :( Glorfindel was such a pillar of strength, a light, an energy even when he was so tired, and wanting to help Gil-galad so badly — and how did it go so wrong. What is so twisted up in Gil-galad, and knotted and hurting that he had to try and throw that hurt onto Glorfindel. I’m extremely glad Glorfindel was angry rather than ashamed, except for a time just prior to the actual sex — there is a lot in there that can still rise up and taunt and haunt him — but instead of reverting back into that, he feel rage instead, which is much healthier. He’s not ashamed of being with Maglor, and why should he be, Maglor healed him. I doubt many people could understand that, but a few.
Gil-galad has kept too much inside, too much for too long, and I don;t know if it will have to wait until the rebirth for him to find his true self :(
And still, it’s so very sad. Absolutely wonderful, Encairion, as it ever is.
Author's Response:"I’m extremely glad Glorfindel was angry rather than ashamed, except for a time just prior to the actual sex — there is a lot in there that can still rise up and taunt and haunt him — but instead of reverting back into that, he feel rage instead, which is much healthier. He’s not ashamed of being with Maglor, and why should he be, Maglor healed him. I doubt many people could understand that, but a few."Yes, I am glad he responded with anger too! He is not going to let anyone make him feel like this again. He is not ashamed, and that is such a huge, huge improvement for him from where he once was! Of course, his getting angry didn't help the massive miscomunication problems of that scene, but while he was deeply hurt by Gil-galad's words (more so because Maglor is a VERY touchy subject for Glorfindel given that his father has been comotose for almost 2000 years!), Glorfindel did not come out of it regressed into a person who was ashamed of who he was.
""— and how did it go so wrong. What is so twisted up in Gil-galad, and knotted and hurting that he had to try and throw that hurt onto Glorfindel"Gil-galad, yeah, he has got some issues! I think, first, the war: he's in a really bad place right now with the massive pressure he's under as pretty much the glue holding the alliance together, if he falters, either in his battles with Suaron or in leadership, everything is over. He's fea is also being attacked and drained over and over and over again, so he's spiritual and physically running on dregs. I think he desperately needed one good thing in his life right now, but then everything with Glorfindel spiraled into a mess because Fingon. He is not going to start feelings bitter or jealous over his father's place in Glorfidnel's heart, he loves Fingon too much, but it seemed to him that Glorfidnel wasn't even WITH him, but imagining he was Fingon. But of course, he didn't communicate that well because he has major problems talking about things of the heart. It's kind of a big thing he even acknowledged to himself that he is in love with Glorfindel, because I think he was at least a little bit in love with Celebrimabor, if not more, but he never actually confronted that even in his own head. If Celebrinmor had stayed in Lindon, then so much would have been different, but he left, so he and Gil-galad never moved out of the beginning stages.
"Gil-galad has kept too much inside, too much for too long, and I don;t know if it will have to wait until the rebirth for him to find his true self "Yep, I agree with this 100%. I think Gil-galad needs to be freed from the kingship, as well as get back all the loved one's who he is still grieving (they are all still in like a constant state of grieving, by this point. They have all lost so many people! I have no idea how they find such hope sometimes!). Something that I think will be explored when Fingon is reborn, is Gil-galad's childhood, especially after his mother died when he was about 10. After that point he was raised by advisers, and, while this has only been hinted at in the story so far, I know that the way they raised him was abusive. I don't think they meant to be abusive, but I think the pressure they felt under due to the war, transferred over into them trying to mold Gil-galad into what they thought was the perfect king. It was pounded into his head that he couldn't ever, ever, afford to be weak, either in his decisions or in his behavior. They raised him on the cup of self-mastery which we know from Valinor is super unnatural for the Noldor. To Gil-galad, showing strong emotions = weakness. And if he is weak, then he is failing as a king/failing his people.Thank you so much for the review! I cannot put into words how much it means to me that you are always there letting me know you are reading the chapters! When I post a chapter, I have this intensely comforting feeling of knowing that you are out there interested in what comes next ::hugs::
These were magnificent chapters, Encairion, absolutely stupendous. The horror and mud and despair of war, the slog of it, the weariness.
I am so glad to see Glorfindel and Gil-galad closer, although it’s too late ;__; . And the Battle of the Rings were just incredibly written, high epic storytelling at its finest! If that didn’t happen, it should have!
I am so ugh! furious at Thranduil, although I can understand why he is like it - grief can do this. But it’s still wrong and Glorfindel was right in what he said. Gil-galad’s force is the strongest, the most important, in this war, and Gil-galad did not spare himself in the slightest; he allowed himself to be drained almost to death. All that power — that clash, was superbly written. And what makes it so deep, so believable, is while I read, I think of the characters behind that power, poor Celebrimbor who fashioned the Three, Sauron, Gil-galad, Gildor, Glorfindel. You have such a skilled way of making them real not just figures of myth and legend, but deeply real, whether they are heroes or villains.
I was also so interested to see, on your last review, about how there will be a massive culture clash in Valinor. How could it be any other way, indeed? I am still hanging on for the reunion even though it will be fraught ;__; because this is now racing on to Gil-galad’s doom *sobs*
“These were magnificent chapters, Encairion, absolutely stupendous. The horror and mud and despair of war, the slog of it, the weariness.”
Thank you!! I am so happy to hear the feeling of the war really came through. When I think about a 10 year long siege, I can only think it must have been miserable.
“I am so glad to see Glorfindel and Gil-galad closer, although it’s too late ;__; . And the Battle of the Rings were just incredibly written, high epic storytelling at its finest! If that didn’t happen, it should have!”
Yes! I wish we could have had some mention of Gil-galad using the Ring in cannon. I don’t recall anything about Sauron using the One during the war, and why wouldn’t he have? There must have been some kind of Ring actions, and I wish we knew more about what that looked like!
Thranduil- yes, he is frustrating here. I think I find it the most frustrating that before he let his greif and anger rule he, he was not in Celeborn’s mold. It makes me think about the wonderful opportunity lost because he is drowning in grief. I wonder if he’d just had some people around him who he trusted who were not 100% anti-Noldor, thinks might have turned out differently. But I can just see Celeborn egging him on in the background, and who knows how many of his advisors whose hate was solidified in the 1st Age and carried it all the way through the 2nd.
“I think of the characters behind that power, poor Celebrimbor who fashioned the Three, Sauron, Gil-galad, Gildor, Glorfindel. You have such a skilled way of making them real not just figures of myth and legend, but deeply real, whether they are heroes or villains.”
Thank you!! Hearing that I was able to bring to characters a little bit more to life for you, is the best complement! Characters are the heart of any story, and can be the most tricky, stubborn Elves :)
Valinor –yes, I cannot see how it could go any other way but culture clashes with how different the cultures in the Elven kingdoms ended up being. Can you imagine how terrible it must have been on Tol Eressea? They’ve got Elves from the 1st Age (Gondolindrim ugh), Nargothrond, ect, and then Elves sailing from Lindon, probably some Teleri in there. I am surprised they didn’t end up in a war all jammed on one island together!
Thank you so much for the review :hugs:
Thank you for this excellent update! After the previous one I thought you might do a timeskip, but I didn’t expect such a substantial one (almost two millennia!). Of course the flashbacks gave us a pretty good idea of the events taking place during the missing time, so I’m not complaining!
The way Imladris is set up seems to mirror Feanor’s original settlement outside of Tirion. I specifically remember that Feanor and the other craftsmen, regardless of social class, all had their meals together – it’s really similar to the gatherings in the Hall of Fire. I wonder if this was a conscious decision by Elrond, or if he and Feanor independently arrived at the conclusion that a less formal, more meritocratic society is preferable to the rigid hierarchy of Tirion or Gondolin. The changing attitudes toward the traditional social structure emphasize the fact that thousands of years have passed since the Exile. I love how these little details show that the characters don’t exist in a vacuum. Of course, some things haven’t changed at all – the Sindar and Silvan Elves still hold a grudge after 3500 years (!). I’m somewhat sympathetic to the Silvan, but the Sindar just irritate me. Valinor is probably a lot more backward than Middle-Earth in terms of social classes (and just about everything else), and I wonder how the Middle-Earth/Valinor culture clash will affect the coming rebellion. I hope these issues can be dealt with quickly, but (knowing you) that’s unlikely.
I’m so happy Glorfindel has finally become the person he was always meant to be. I expect he will encounter Irime at some point, and since he has now broken free of her influence, she won’t be able to hurt him ever again. Now, he just needs to recover the Silmaril and heal Maglor. Also, the Elves’ reactions to Glorfindel’s little performance were hilarious. It’s lucky none of the Men saw him – they probably would have dropped dead on the spot from his magnificence.
Gil-galad is turning out to be a more complicated character than he appeared at first glance. In the earlier chapters, he was really open with Celebrimbor and his advisors in Lindon, so I assumed that he was… if not outgoing, than at least personable and approachable. But in this chapter, while he was friendly when addressing his troops, it appeared to be just an act. He also seemed distant with Elrond, Glorfindel, and Gildor. It’s like there is both affection and some unsurmountable wall between them. Gil-galad appears to be hiding his true self beneath a mask. Reminds me of Fingolfin in Beleriand, actually.
Thanks again and keep up the good work!
I am so thrilled to hear you enjoyed the chapters!
Imladris- I don’t think Elrond knew that much –if anything—about Feanor and his followers lives in Valinor. But I think that he picked up on the way Maedhros and Maglor treated their followers, which they learned from their father. I love that you mentioned this, it reminds me how much of a Feanorion Elrond is!
“I’m somewhat sympathetic to the Silvan, but the Sindar just irritate me.”
Ugh, those Sindar. Doriath and Gondolin are about neck-in-neck in a race for which kingdom I dislike more. It gets me angry when I think about how glorified the in universe writer of the Silmarillion (what’s-his-name from Gondolin) portrayed Gondolin and Doriath when they did next to nothing in the war against Morgoth, you know, that guy who was trying to destroy the world? Lol Both society strike me as very insular, given their isolation, and judgy placed I sure wouldn’t have wanted to live in!
“Valinor is probably a lot more backward than Middle-Earth in terms of social classes (and just about everything else), and I wonder how the Middle-Earth/Valinor culture clash will affect the coming rebellion. I hope these issues can be dealt with quickly, but (knowing you) that’s unlikely.”
OMG I got so excited when I read this!!! I have been working on the plot-line for the final story of late, and culture clash is creeping up as a major problem (how could it not?). Not only have we got the Elves who sailed from Middle-earth and the ones who stayed in Valinor, there are also all the dead Elves who died in the First Age and are still stuck, culturally as well as, of course, emotionally, in the time of their deaths. It is going to be SUCH a mess. I can’t wait lol
“It’s lucky none of the Men saw him – they probably would have dropped dead on the spot from his magnificence.”
Hahaha I love this imagine. And damn, yes, he was rocking it!
Gil-galad- he’s one of those characters who I had to get to know as I write more of them (actually…I think that’s every character :snorts:). I think the difference between what we saw of him before, and what we see now, is that we were inside his head before, and now we are seeing him from the perspective of someone who is not a close friend, even if Glorfindel would like to be. In Lindon, we saw Gil-galad mostly interacting with people he’d known for years who had worked their way into his trust.
Gil-galad can be friendly and charming, as we saw with the troops or when he needs to charm his people, and I wouldn’t say it’s exactly a mask, because it’s not entirely an act, he does enjoy interacting with people; he’s not secretly hating them all behind his smile, but he is intensely private when it comes to personal things. He became king at a young age, and living under that kind of pressure with all those eyes on him, and being surrounded by people who were pushing and pulling at him to be or do something, had long-lasting effects on him. He doesn’t trust his inner-most thoughts with a lot of people. The problem is that he spends so long keeping his thoughts close to his chest, that when he finally gets to spend time with people he trusts, he doesn’t know how to let go easily and let them in. He needs more practice lol
Thank you ever so much for the lovely review :hugs:
I have so loved seeing, in these two chapters, even as the march begins to war, that Glorfindel has fully, proudly become the man he should always have been, a superlative warrior and captain of men, at ease with himself and who he is. Confident and beautiful. Being in Imladris has helped, but he now has the confidence to fully live as himself beyond Imladris. I smiled at him dressing ‘pretty as a rose’ to meet his new warriors, and how he has confronted the bias and is stamping it down. No, this is nothing, nothing like he was in his first life, which is gut-wrenching to remember. He is a magnificent warrior and leader whatever his preferences.
The great sadness is Maglor, and what is to come. I hope that Glorfindel will bring the Silmaril back, I am beginning to wonder what will wake Maglor from his long coma. It is heartbreaking to see him like this. ;__;
So Gil-galad...he is definitely interested, and more, I think, it is just a shame he is so reserved, in that he is only thinking now that after the war he could be a king recognised and accepted for loving another man. Except we know he will not come back, and that is awful, devastating, the last of the High Elven Kings and just as doomed as all of them.
Wonderful, Encairion:) I am so happy you’ve posted giving me a terrific read before I get ready for bed.
I loved getting to write Glorfindel like this!!! He is finally reached a place of healing that he can be himself as he was always meant to be. That’s not to say he still doesn’t have things to work through, but he has confidence now, and has been freed from feeling shame for his desires.
“I hope that Glorfindel will bring the Silmaril back, I am beginning to wonder what will wake Maglor from his long coma.”
Glorfindel is clinging to this hope too. I cannot imagine how awful it would be for him if he cannot find the Silmaril, or if the Silmaril fails to wake Maglor :( Even after Maglor wakes, it will be a long recovery, and he’ll have missed so much. How will he handle a Glorfindel who no longer ‘needs’ him in the same way he once did? Of course Glorfindel’s love is unshakable, but Maglor was already having trouble dealing with the idea that Glorfindel was ‘out growing’ him.
Gil-galad is very reserved, you are so right. It is a result of coming into the kingship so young. And he has never stopped being king since, so after 3,000 + years, holding his emotions close to his chest will be second nature to him. When I think of Gil-galad, I think isolation. Even though he has his cousins, and a few friends in Lindon, there is a certain barrier between him and most everyone, the barrier of the crown, and also the sense of strength he exudes. The people around him rely on him, which then creates a cycle of him believing he has to forever be strong because people are relying on him. And he has it in his head (on account of his messed-up childhood) that strength= absolute control over his emotions. He gets upset at himself when he loses control and lets his passions manifest when he’s not with the handful of people he trusts. But then there are so few people he trusts, so he ends up going through his life trying to keep himself controlled and locked up tight, so that by the time he gets alone with people he trusts, he no longer knows how to go about lowering his walls, because they had become second nature.
I am so glad to hear you liked the chapters!!! I feel like we entered this next stage in of the story in a happy, relatively healthy place for most of the characters, and things are about to go downhill from here lol How can they not? Thanks so much for the review!!!
It’s so exciting to see this wonderful story updated! I’m still really invested in this fic, and, once again, you didn’t disappoint.
I love the way you created an atmosphere of despair in these chapters, especially in the parts that focused on Celebrimbor and, to a lesser extent, Glorfindel. This is such a stark contrast to the earlier parts of P of V II, which were infused with a promise of healing and hope for something better. But we all knew what was coming. I comfort myself by thinking that with every chapter we get closer to the rebirth of all my favourite elves. Then again, there is still so much more agony to get through. And I cannot believe that Gil-galad will live for almost two thousand years without his Celebrimbor.
Celebrimbor’s downward spiral was so tragic, but I think it was the attack on Maglor that upset me the most (even though it wasn’t completely unexpected). I am so mad at Galadriel, I cannot even think straight. I have issues with canon Galadriel, mainly related to her habit of reading people’s thoughts without asking permission first. Mind reading in general just terrifies me – it’s so invasive. The thing that makes canon Galadriel somewhat palatable is that she’s clearly meant to be one of the good guys. That is not the case in this story – this Galadriel has a history of deliberately causing harm for personal gain. She doesn’t learn from past mistakes and blames others rather than evaluating her own actions. She really is the new Irime. I felt rather bad for Irime in the end, and I wonder if you will manage to redeem Galadriel. If you do, I suppose Gil-galad’s death will probably be the catalyst for her transformation. Regardless, at this point of the story I really dislike her.
In addition to hurting Maglor and, through him, Glorfindel, Galadriel’s attack and the subsequent loss of Nenya and the Silmaril extinguished the last flicker of hope in Celebrimbor. I’m unsure of the exact timeframe of the story, but based on the year Glorfindel was enslaved Celebrimbor’s suffering stretched over several decades at least, and possibly lasted as long as a century. It really was a slow, drawn-out death. Narratively speaking these developments were necessary, of course. The elves wouldn’t have waited for thousands of years to rebel against the Valar if their weapons were ready and all the pieces were in place. Something had to have gone wrong for the rebellion to be postponed. And in an ironic twist it was Galadriel’s spitefulness that destroyed (or delayed) their best chance of freeing their people (including her own beloved brothers) from the Halls. She keeps shooting herself in the foot, doesn’t she? I cannot wait for someone to tell her the real reason why Celebrimbor made the Three, she will need to perform some truly amazing mental gymnastics to absolve herself from blame for this. It will be very entertaining.
Himrandir’s death was a harsh blow for me as well. He is my favourite minor character in this AU. At least he experienced some peace and hopefully happiness in Eregion before death.
You depiction of Sauron is excellent. His internal monologue is almost comical in a completely terrifying sense – he lacks any empathy whatsoever. I liked his backstory as well. It’s interesting that he wasn’t able to deal with his own fall and ultimately rejected the possibility of coming to terms with what he had done. Another thing I liked is that the Valar were the ones who set him on this destructive path by chaining him (not that it removes his own culpability in any way), so the Valar’s paranoia affected not only the Maiar themselves, but also Arda as a whole. That has all sorts of implications.
I still owe you a review of the rewritten Maeglin chapters. I will write one, I promise! Thanks again for this wonderful gift and have a great holiday!
“It’s so exciting to see this wonderful story updated! I’m still really invested in this fic, and, once again, you didn’t disappoint. “
Thank you! I thought you might have moved on (it has been months since I posted), so it means a lot to know you are still here and interested in the story :hugs:
“I love the way you created an atmosphere of despair in these chapters, especially in the parts that focused on Celebrimbor and, to a lesser extent, Glorfindel. This is such a stark contrast to the earlier parts of P of V II, which were infused with a promise of healing and hope for something better.”
I love that you pointed this out! It was something I noticed myself when editing, and have been thinking over a lot: this contrast between hope and despair, and how the hell are some of these characters still clinging onto hope? Lol And will anyone else fall into despair as the years lengthen.
“I comfort myself by thinking that with every chapter we get closer to the rebirth of all my favourite elves.”
This is pretty much the only way I am able to write all this tragedy!
“And I cannot believe that Gil-galad will live for almost two thousand years without his Celebrimbor. “
Yeah, that was a hard death for Gil-galad. Celebrimbor was the person who really saved him from himself and put light back into his world after what Galadriel did. I don’t think, even with Gildor and Elrond, he would have been able to make it without Celebrimbor. Even tho they didn’t see each other for years at a time, they had a deep connection to the point that just knowing each other were still alive was enough.
“ I have issues with canon Galadriel, mainly related to her habit of reading people’s thoughts without asking permission first. Mind reading in general just terrifies me – it’s so invasive. The thing that makes canon Galadriel somewhat palatable is that she’s clearly meant to be one of the good guys. “
I feel you. The mind-reading is such a violation. And then there’s her treatment of the Silvan in Lorian, straight up racist. She’s certainly not the only one (especially in my stories!) but it bothers me how often her attitude of superiority is ignored.
To be honest tho, one of the things I DON’T like about her in cannon is that she is so obviously supposed to be someone we like. I don’t like the feel of it, the way she’s presented as an almost goddess-like figure in the lotr. It makes me want to pull a Feanor and rebel lol
“She doesn’t learn from past mistakes and blames others rather than evaluating her own actions. “
Spot on. She is constantly in denial, and blaming other people. She won’t admit, even to herself, that she was in the wrong with what she did to Fingon. And even tho she knows what she did to Maglor was wrong, she does not do what she needs to to try and make amends ie giving back the Ring and trying to get Maglor help! Instead she hides her crimes and denies.
“I felt rather bad for Irime in the end, and I wonder if you will manage to redeem Galadriel. If you do, I suppose Gil-galad’s death will probably be the catalyst for her transformation. Regardless, at this point of the story I really dislike her.”
I have been thinking about what is Galadriel’s ‘breaking point.’ What is it that really changes her as a character? Or does she even have one? We have seen some SMALL baby steps towards change throughout the 2nd Age from where she was at the start of it, but it is so far from enough. It’s kind of like where Irime was after the Helcaraxë. She thought she was changing, becoming a better person, but then we see that she is still thinking only about her own desires, only what SHE wants.
I think that moment between Galadriel and Gil-galad where he flat-out tells her she’s only thinking about what she wants, and then she actually pauses to ask what he wants and then listens to him and leaves, is an important moment for her character development. But then she goes and lies about stealing the Ring a moment later :sighs: She’s gotten herself in a pickle, and it’s of her own making. She’s afraid to confess what she did to Maglor, which means she cannot give back the Ring. But would she even if she could without consequences?
I have thought about if Gil-galad’s death will be her moment of true change, but I think not. If she does begin to change significantly in the TA, then it would be because of Celebrian. She loves Gil-galad, but it is also more the idea of him that she loves. Where with Celebrian, neglectful mother as Galadriel was, she has an actual connection to/memories of being her mother. I am not yet sure how it’s all going to work out, but she still has the Ring at the end of the TA, so she cannot have changed THAT much. Maybe she doesn’t really begin to redeem herself until Finrod is reborn? Or maybe she never redeems herself. We shall see!
“And in an ironic twist it was Galadriel’s spitefulness that destroyed (or delayed) their best chance of freeing their people (including her own beloved brothers) from the Halls. She keeps shooting herself in the foot, doesn’t she? I cannot wait for someone to tell her the real reason why Celebrimbor made the Three, she will need to perform some truly amazing mental gymnastics to absolve herself from blame for this. It will be very entertaining. “
So true! And it is also her own actions (attacking Maglor, stealing the Ring and Celebrimbor’s last hope with it) that ultimately lose her any connection she might have had with Gil-galad. I think Gil-galad might have actually given her the slightest way into his heart if she had shown true remorse for what she did to Fingon, but what she did to Celebrimbor through her attack on Maglor lost her Gil-galad entirely. Gil-galad is a pretty forgiving guy after all these years working with his people to heal the wounds of the First Age, but there is a limit to his second chance philosophy. The person has to exhibit remorse and a will to change. Galadriel did not do that.
“Himrandir’s death was a harsh blow for me as well. He is my favourite minor character in this AU.”
I did not know that! Oh, that makes me happy! Poor guy doesn’t get much attention :)
“I liked his backstory as well. It’s interesting that he wasn’t able to deal with his own fall and ultimately rejected the possibility of coming to terms with what he had done. “
Yeah. He had that one moment to change, but he didn’t have the strength to face what he had become, and instead of making the right choice, he chose the easy one. Any argument that can be made for him not entirely being to blame for his actions before this falls apart after this. Everything he does from here on out is entirely on him. He made the choice not to change but continue on this path of destruction. So, yeah, there won’t be any redemption arc for Mairon! If only he’s made the right choice tho, I keep on thinking about what could have been.
“I still owe you a review of the rewritten Maeglin chapters. I will write one, I promise! Thanks again for this wonderful gift and have a great holiday!”
It’s me who own you for continuing to support me even after the long delay! (unfortunately you will find going dark is a pattern for me when I drop into an unhealthy place. I cannot even promise an updating coming soon as the writing progress right now is…snail-crawl). I hope you had a fantastic holidays, and thank YOU for the lovely gift of your review :hugs:
Another wonderful chapter Encairion.
Great chapter- really can imagine that horrible fight with the orcs. I'm concerned now!
I always feel like my fight scenes are a weakness, so it’s great to hear this one turned out well! And you should totally be concerned!
Oh, Celebrimbor, and Curufin. As if Fëanor would not have forgiven him for saving Celebrimbor. An poor Caranthir, twisted up with love and hate and lashing out.
That scene with Celebrimbor and Cuerufin made me cry, and now one can see why Celebrimbor always, always blames himself.
Love he could never fall out of coiled like armor around his chest. A hand, the match of his, wrapped around the back of his own. Together they hefted the star-bright sword for one last swing.
. They threw all their love-unending and defiance-of-the-dawn and you-will-never-have-me into the blow. The sword slashed through the coffin’s lid, shredding the chains of Darkness. A soul of fire burst into freedom.
Celebrimbor sighed, a soft sound of release. His fëa unraveled from his bones, leaving behind a slumped body in a throne, and a monster’s rage.
Over a millennium, the stone had cradled within the hollow of his breastbone. Its rhythm beat against his chest with the naturalness of his own heartbeat, like two saplings planted side-by-side that grew entwined towards the sun. The stone beat, beat, beat…
It felt like his arm had been chopped off. He dug the necklace’s chain from under his tunic and pulled the stone out. It lay dead in his hand. Silenced.
Gil-galad closed his eyes, a lump stuck in his throat. It was over, at last. He never would have believed he’d be glad for this moment, but that was before he saw Celebrimbor’s corpse hoisted like a bloody banner across a battlefield while Celebrimbor’s heart beat nest to his and the sickening realized pushed him down a slope slicked with bile: that was no corpse. Celebrimbor wasn’t dead.
Gil-galad ordered for a bow to be brought. He would not burden the heart of a young soldier with a mercy killing. He slotted the arrow and aimed (mourning would come after; Celebrimbor needs you to be strong, aim true, send him home). He fired. The arrow flew over the field, and struck true, taking out Celebrimbor’s eye as it sunk into his brain. Only…sinking down his throat, into his belly with a path of slim, was the cold knot of knowledge that the gem still pulsed a heartbeat.
Gil-galad dropped the bow; his knees hit the grass as a cry of despair yanked itself from his mouth. Oh Celebrimbor. Sauron had woven some evil enchantment over him and chained him to this existence of torment. He was trapped there, inside that corpse that was not a corpse, in agony, and Gil-galad could not save him, could not even grant him the mercy of death.
Gil-galad did not have the luxury of despair or mourning, not here, before his soldiers, on a battlefield. He stood, arranged his face into one of cool confidence, shouted out some speech of encouragement and vengeance that lifted the hearts of his men, and vowed to himself he would see that creature of evil dead, and Celebrimbor’s spirit freed, even if he had to crawl back from death’s door to see it done!
He had failed that day, but at last Celebrimbor’s torment was over. Celebrimbor was free now –or as free as any soul of the Exiles were when Mandos loomed like a judge’s gavial, waiting to sentence with no release. At least Celebrimbor was home, in the arms of his family once more (Gil-galad had to believe that. Whatever else Mandos was, let it not be an eternity of isolation, let there be this last kernel of mercy in the world, please).
Gil-galad’s fingers closed over the stone. He brought them up to his lips, a kiss good-bye. Farwell my brother, may you be reunited with them at last.
This was a magnificent tear-jerker of an ending, filled with terrible triumph and, in the end with love.
Managed to copy something by copying everything lol, then putting it in my Notes and cutting it
“Oh, Celebrimbor, and Curufin. As if Fëanor would not have forgiven him for saving Celebrimbor.”
I know. It’s pretty heartbreaking to think that Curufin could still doubt Feanor’s love so much. But then I think about how that conversation took place post-Oath, and compare it to Curufin’s reaction at the time of Finwe’s death. At the time of Finwe’s death, Curufin does not give off the vibe that Feanor will find his actions unforgivable. Curufin knows Feanor will be hurt by Finwe’s death, but I think he’s still confident enough in Feanor’s love that he believes Feanor will understand his choice. It’s not until after he witnesses Feanor’s madness (not understand that its root source is not Finwe’s death –and nothing to do with Curufin’s choices—but Feanor’s fear of losing his sons) that Curufin begins to really doubt Feanor’s love and forgiveness. And, of course, because I am evil lol, I never gave Curufin and Feanor a moment before Feanor’s death in which they talked and had a moment of connection and forgiveness like Feanor had with Maedhors. I think it was integral to Curufin’s later disintegration that he never did have that last assurance of love and forgiveness.
“That scene with Celebrimbor and Cuerufin made me cry, and now one can see why Celebrimbor always, always blames himself. “
Gods, I cried so much writing that chapter! It feels so good to know I am not alone!
Thank you so much for these wonderful reviews! They keep me going :hugs:
I'm only using an iPad and keyboard and an't seem to copy anything properly, but this A banner flown high on the battlements, and carrying the star of Fëanor, snapped and strained against its tether, a wild, hungry thing. Let them come! Now came the last stand of the House of Fëanor and all the preludes it is just magnificent, it sent a frisson all through me; it is so tragic, so magnificent.
I think Celebrimbor and Mairon is a most traumatic chapter, it's so beautifully written, but whatever Mairon thinks, it is really Celebrimbor who emerges the stronger. Mairon is truly the one who teeters on the edge of madness and obsession here, not Celebrimbor. I almost feel that Celebrimbor could have drawn something good out of Mairon. Whatever Mairon feels, I think there was some love along with the lust. In the end, it is Celebrimbor who comes through this'd untarnished, while Mairon descends into a pit of his own making
“but this A banner flown high on the battlements, and carrying the star of Fëanor, snapped and strained against its tether, a wild, hungry thing. Let them come! Now came the last stand of the House of Fëanor and all the preludes it is just magnificent, it sent a frisson all through me; it is so tragic, so magnificent. “
“it is really Celebrimbor who emerges the stronger. “
Yes! I am glad this came through in the writing! Celebrimbor is there, a prisoner, and yet he shows himself to be the stronger. In fact, I think that is one of his finest moments. He is already half-dead in spirit when he’s dragged in in chains, and yet he does not break in the way Sauron wants, but is defiant until the end.
“I think there was some love along with the lust.”
I think Mairion loved him as best as he is able to love anyone at this point, which is very little and twisted its obsession and the need to control and possess, but yeah, he loved Celebrimbor as best as he is able to love anyone. I think about that vision of himself Mairon had when the Silmaril forced him to look at what he’d become. There was just the smallest sliver of his heart that was uncorrupted. That is the part he loved Celebrimbor with. But of course, the rest of him is corrupted, so any scrap of love was twisted as well. After all, people aren’t supposed to kill the child of their loved one lol but I think it’s interesting even there, that while he’d plotted Elmirion’s death, when it came down to it and he had Elmirion in his power in the forge, he couldn’t bring himself to actually kill him. He killed Elmirion in a fit of rage, rather than a cold, calculated plot.
Gods, Mairion is messed up lol!
Again, Galadriel refuses to see she has done anything wrong, even when meeting her son, only whines about the fact Gil-galad loved his father and the Fëanorions. Although I'll never hate anyone as much as Irimë, she's coming close.
It's heartbreaking to see Glorfindel conflating her and Irimë; although not surprising, since both of them seem to lean toward destruction, unfortunately not self destruction, which would have been less damaging. Both of them want to wreck lives without admitting that they did so. Without Maglor he (Glorfindel) is still prey to the guilt and shame of his first life. I wouldn't have blamed him at all if he had killed her, but he seems to have far more conscience and compunction than she does, so no doubt it would only have haunted him.
“Although I'll never hate anyone as much as Irimë, she's coming close. “
Lol But yeah, Irime is worse. Even tho Galadriel’s a rapist and a terrible mother, she would never have done to one of her children what Irime did to Glorfindel. That was just sick. But there are a lot of similarities between them, even in appearance, so it’s not so suppressing that Glorfindel picked up on their similarities even when he did not know Galadriel well.
“Without Maglor he (Glorfindel) is still prey to the guilt and shame of his first life.”
Yes, I thought he must be. As much as Maglor has helped him, it really has only like less than a year that they had known each other. Glorfindel spent centuries hating himself. And know Maglor is gone, who was his number one support. He had to learn to stand on his own, but it didn’t come aromatically, not when he had centuries of ingrained behavior and thought patterns to unlearn.
Oh wow- Gil is just FABULOUS! I am silly with lust now:)
And that beautiful scene with Fingon. Just lovely.
Thank you, Ziggy!!!! It’s great to hear from you! And yeah, Gil-galad is gorgeous there, isn’t he? :grins: I am glad to hear you are still enjoy the story, despite (yet another!) long delay on my part :hugs:
Celebrimbor is far too hard on himself; this seems to be a trait of the Fëanorions. He has allowed his guilt to twist into madness, terrible visions and waking dreams. I pity him, I do, but it's not his fault; there has been a lot of discussion and a theme of choices, and Mairon made the choice to torment the child, not Celebrimbor.
And now he believes he's failed at everything, giving away the last two Rings as he knows the end is coming. It's so sad, so dolorous.
Yeah, it wasn’t his fault, but Celebrimbor has always been too hard on himself :( I think most people would have blamed themselves tho. He couldn’t have known, and yet he cannot stop running over every interaction between Sauron and him and telling himself that he should have known. After all, Gil-galad and Elrond and Gildor and pretty much everyone told him not to trust. But he ignored their warnings. How could he not blame himself after? It seems inevitable.
I'm incredibly sorry for Mairon here, reading of how the Valar collared him and leashed him until he lost all that he could have been. Yes, some of it remained his ambition and brilliance, but twisted. The Valar have a lot to answer for, and I hope they do!
And his obsession with Celebrimbor, maybe Mairon does not even realise it as obsession, but it is, and one can see why. It showed itself in cruelty toward his poor son, which was unforgivable, and I'd he knew the Fëanorions better he would know Celebrimbor would never forgive him for that. But there is a kind of poignancy to Mairon nonetheless.
I am glad that I was able to make you feel some sympathy for Mairon in the writing! I felt it too. He is so damaged, and it was the Valar who did it too him. But then, it was himself who choose not to turn from the path of destruction he walked. I think about what might have happened if he had accepted the healing of the Silmaril. At that point he’d already killed Elmirion and thousands of others, but…what if he’d tried to help the Elves in their war with the Valar? Of course, they wouldn’t have wanted any help from him, at first, and it would have taken years and years to gain even a flimsy amount of trust, if he ever earned anything. It would have been a very hard and lonely road for him, but if only…if only he’d had the strength to make the right choice in that moment.
But he didn’t. He chose the easier path.
My god, Galadriel. I don't even know where to begin. She is not the victim, and she always thinks she is. Her desire to save Fingon was unselfish, but she should own she was in the wrong.
Everything with her is about self-aggrandisement, and when her plans go awry it's never her fault. She wants to be Queen, but she can't be and she's bitter. But I don't think even as a man she could have been as she has no charisma, and above and beyond all her grand dreams is she herself; she would never have been a ruler like Fingolfin, like Fingon, or Gil-galad as her selfishness would always have come first. Despite her brilliance she has no vision that does not place herself at the very center.
And to do this to Maglor is unforgivable, after all he has endured. She's even cocked-up Celebrimbor s hope that the Three might break Mandos' spells.
I hope she gets her comeuppance although I don't see how, since we know she survives. She'll lose Gil-galad and somehow I suspect she will again be the victim, not him, in her own mind.
I am crying for Maglor ;__;
“She is not the victim, and she always thinks she is…. and when her plans go awry it's never her fault.”
This. So much. You have her character down. She thinks she is forever in the right, forever the ‘good guy.’ Even after what she did to Maglor, which even SHE knows was wrong, she is still trying to justify how he deserved it. Now, I think she didn’t mean to destroy his mind, and that she acted out of panic mostly, but I could have sympathized with her in the aftermath of her assault on her mind if she was surely remorseful, if she did everything she could to make amends and not just trying to cover up what she did! There are so many things about her story that COULD have my sympathy and understanding, but she blows it every time with her self-righteous personality, her inability to admit a mistake and try to do better.
“But I don't think even as a man she could have been as she has no charisma, and above and beyond all her grand dreams is she herself; she would never have been a ruler like Fingolfin, like Fingon, or Gil-galad as her selfishness would always have come first. Despite her brilliance she has no vision that does not place herself at the very center. “
This is a great point! She loves ruling because she wants to be in control, and she thinks she knows best, but she is not a very good leader. A leader has to be able to admit they made mistakes and are not perfect (like Gil-galad knew himself to have made mistakes and to be no more than a man), but she is constantly in denial about her mistakes, trying to cast the blame on someone else, not taking responsibility for her own actions.
“She's even cocked-up Celebrimbor s hope that the Three might break Mandos' spells. “
Yep. And it is because of this, more than anything else, that she will never get what she wants from Gil-galad. Celebrimbor was the person he loved most after his parents’ deaths, the one he sees as saving him from himself. And Galadriel’s actions, her refusal to give back the Ring, and her taking Maglor from Celebrimbor, directly contributed to Celebrimbor’s mind’s disintegration.
“She'll lose Gil-galad and somehow I suspect she will again be the victim, not him, in her own mind. “
Yeah, I see her doing this too. She will mourn that she never got her chance to really be anything like a mother to him, and go back to blaming Fingon and Maedhros for it. I feel like she has only made baby steps towards positive character grow for an entire Age. She is more centered on her children then her vengeance, which was where we saw her in the start of the 2nd Age, but she is still consumed with her grudges and her own desires, still in denial about her own crimes.