Yay, Friday! Now I can go through and leave you a decent comment :D
‘Vanimórë does not want Eru’s palace, and it is a beautiful enough place, but if we are to dwell there we should set our own stamp on it, should we not? Go, and then tell me thine own thoughts. Explore the Timeless Halls, create what thou wouldst wish.’ He had cupped Finarfin’s beautiful face in his hands and kissed his brow. ‘This is freedom, brother. At last.’
I love this. I am so happy that Finarfin and Fëanor are reconciled, and I can't wait to see what role you have in store for Finarfin in the climactic battles.
(I need to go back and do a re-read...has Orodreth been reborn in your 'verse? I know he was a traitor in the earlier Magnificat books.)
Lovely interaction between Fëanor and Celebrimbor, too. I am thinking more and more about Celebrimbor these days, and I really like your version of him. Steely, but vulnerable.
(Another question, sorry...remind me how Galadriel ended up with Nenya in your 'verse? Did Celebrimbor give it to her, even though he doesn't think much of her?)
And Coldagnir and Mairon...this gets better and better :D
‘I certainly learned nothing of it in Utumno or Angband!’ A snap that carried Ages of slavery and horror. ‘Very well then, desire, respect, need, lust, even affection. Do not pretend thou didst not feel all of those for Celebrimbor.’
Celebrimbor had been different, and Melkor had not been breathing down his neck as when Maedhros Fëanorion was a prisoner in Angband. Mairon had been quite sincere in his desire to rule the world with the Elves as his allies, but had reckoned without their stubborn adherence to old wounds. They could not look past his ‘crimes’, would never understand that he had to follow Melkor, who claimed lordship over the whole world, Marion’s world.
This is fascinating and sad. You articulate that mess of emotions between Annatar and Celebrimbor so well, and it's almost tragic that he genuinely did want the Elves as his allies - and that it was his world, and Melkor took it from him.
Middle-earth was exceptionally lucky that all the Elves did not become Other, like Edenel and his Ithiledhil.’ His eyes hooded. ‘They were precisely what Melkor desired, and was he not delighted with them? He did not create them, but he believed he did. And was he not enraged when he could create no more?’
‘Yes,’ Coldagnir said curtly. ‘Then where did they come from? And why so few?’
‘Oh, come. Vanimórë knew of them, and so they came into being with this universe.’ He sent Coldagnir a mocking smile. ‘Well, what does Eru want with me?’
I love this - paradoxes inside paradoxes. I honestly never thought about why Melkor was unable to replicate Edenel and his kin.
(I am still desperately hoping for an Edenel/Coldagnir encounter at some point, I might have to write one...)
‘Mairon,’ Eru said, and his voice filled the chamber like wind. ‘It is time we spoke again, thou and I.’
Ooooh. OOOOH :D I can't wait to see what they have to say to each other...
And I can't get enough of Elgalad and Van like this, teasing and flirting as equals - although it does break my heart that Van (inevitably) no longer truly trusts him.
In the darkest moments, when we scream and scream for help and no-one answers, all we have is ourselves.
Fabulous (and bleak) last line, with the weight of a prophecy about it. Why do I get the feeling I'll be remembering that line before this is all over...?
Thank you, Narya :)
Oh, Orodreth was reborn along with everyone else, but Dana took him away after he turned traitor, which Van was fine with as was everyone else, until it became clear what she was, when Glorfindel went and got him. He definitely was punished, but not killed, so he didn’t need to be reborn.
Poor Celebrimbor; looks as if his revenge is cancelled just for the moment, but I am glad you like him.
Galadriel, I suppose he gave her the Nenya as there was no-one else he could think of, or there may be a story there — I’ll have to think about it, flesh that period out more with a gap filler. He didn’t like her, but didn’t doubt her strength of will to wield it.
I imagine with Edenel, and the Ithiledhil, (if we discount paradoxes) that Melkor was able to create them in some way, allied to their own strength of will, but they were the only ones he could design to his will, the rest were orcs. Which wasn’t what he wanted. But with the paradox they are there because Vanimórë saw them. ;)
And yes, Edenel and Coldagnir should meet — I’d love it if you wrote them :)
I imagine the Mairon and Eru conversation might be worth hearing!
I don’t think Vanimórë trusts anyone, sadly, but it’s even sadder that he does not think there’s any reason he woouldn’t be betrayed. His father betrayed him when he was young, and that has forever marked him, I’m afraid.
Thank you so much and I’m so glad you liked it :) Although yes, that last statement of Van’s might be memorable :(
Fabulous chapter! On the train & using my phone so will comment properly later, but couldn't resist reading on my way home. So many wonderful character interactions here! And such a sense of beautiful inevitability about all of it. Wonderful.
Author's Response: Thank you. I hope you’re feeling better! You’re off on holiday Saturday, aren’t you? Hope it’s wonderful!
Turgon, my god! How could he have said all that filth to Fingolfin? Fingolfin, asking himself where he went wrong, shutting down his mind after he left Turgon, cuts to the quick. That must have been devastating. He’d known Turgon was spying on them and was stuck in the Valar’s black and white world, but to learn your own son hated you so much he’d rejoiced at your death and pissed on your grave? Gods. WHY? Why does Turgon hate Fingolfin this much? Just because of Feanor? Turgon blaming the Feanorions from his wife’s death on the ice is easy to see, and blaming Fingolfin and Fingon as well for loving the Feanorions, but I am still shocked over the amount of hate festering in him (not that I didn’t buy it! Turgon resenting his family enough not to even come during the Battle of Sudden Flame is a good explanation for his absence).
I am wondering, like Fingolfin, why Turgon seems so obsessed over male-male sex. Is he repressing his own sexuality? Or some other non-vanilla sexual desire that he’s in denial over because it didn’t fit with the Valar’s teachings?
Man, tho, Turgon is a piece of work. But you have me really curious to see how he turns out after rebirth! Will he loose his memories of her first life?
I am supper nervous after that conversation between Sauron and Elgalad! Elgalad shouldn’t work with Sauron on anyway, doesn’t he know that?!?! Or maybe Sauron can actually be trusted in this? It just seems too much to believe, considering it’s Sauron. And I am worried about Elgalad agreeing to anything that he would keep from Van. Not after his past betrayal. Van doesn’t seem to hold it against Elgalad, but this is Van we are talking about. And, while Elgalad was convinced he had to die by Eru, he still chose to go along with it even knowing how it would destroy Van to lose him. But maybe Van does forgive him…Van has such a low opinion of himself that being fashioned like a weapon is all he thinks he deserved and as long as it turned out ‘ok’ in the end than Elgalad was right? I really wish we could hear Van’s honest opinion about it, but if he felt betrayed, then he’s probably seriously suppressed those feelings. (Or maybe I am forgetting that you already wrote this scene? I am sorry if I have!)
I think with Turgon, well...it’s in a later chapter, but it was Anairë who moulded him into hating the Fëanorions, because she was a strong Varda-worshipper, and Varda told her that Fingolfin loved Fëanor even though at that time they weren’t lovers. Not entirely her fault, as she was brainwashed. But Turgon was very, very young at the time. And then he grew up hating the fact Fingon was obviously clearly obsessed with Maedhros and Aredhel was a ‘good time girl’ so to speak and not family-oriented, so no doubt he felt isolated, felt that all his family save his mother were being stolen by the Fëanorions.
In fact Lómion saw Turgon desecrate Fingolfin’s grave, as I write later, but no-one would have believed him, of course.
Turgon wasn't actually pro-Valar, he wanted those laws thought, for different reasons, but to implement them himself. As it was, he found he couldn’t. In some cases, anyhow, so just ‘disapproved’.
Turgon wouldn’t lose his memories, Fëanor didn’t when he was reborn as a child, he just to gradually remember them.
I think re: Elgalad ans Sauron, in this case Sauron is sincere, although for his own reasons, of course.
I think you’re right that Van would think, why wouldn’t Elgalad betray him,, but he needed that nadir to reach ‘Outside’, to go beyond himself. That does not mean he liked it, but why would he expect anything different? I don’t think he has really spoken about it, no except to kind of brush it off, but that’s typical! He would say he has more important things to deal with.
Thank you, Encairion :)
“'Was it a good ride?' Fëanor asked.”
Ha! Feanor, you tease! I love that they are not denying themselves completely, even if they can only meet in the dark –damn you Turgon! Seriously, spying on them like this? I can totally understand Fingon when he said it felt like they had come back to the start. Only it will all end differently this time, thank god!
“'Thou didst both make me what I am, and so did many others,' Vanimórë interpolated. 'Elgalad, I no longer care what he did to me.'
Elgalad's shining face, emotion moulding the beautiful bones hard as ice, swung to him.
'Perhaps it is something to do with seeing the birth of the Universe, knowing what everything is, how it is, existence, life, so magnificent, so impossible.' He lifted his wide shoulders. 'After that...my dear,' he touched Elgalad's cheek, the small gesture so redolent of love, of gentleness, Mairon found himself gritting his teeth. 'I am not the same person I was.'
Liar, Mairon thought, dourly admiring. But a convincing one. Elgalad cannot see into you, either. He walked away, smiling, then whipped round in a shimmer of robes. 'Really, my dear. The orcs, the wolves...do you really no longer care?'
'And thou.' Elgalad's voice vibrated with a god's hate eternal hate. 'Raping him as a Fell-wolf.' The same horror he had placed into Elgalad's mind, long ago.
'But he liked that, or he did in the end,' Mairon replied gently. 'Anything was better than nothing, was it not, my son?'
Vanimórë's hand shot out to grasp Elgalad's wrist. 'As thou sayest, father. Anything was better than nothing. And that does not matter either. Sex, what one enjoys, or will accept. It is truly is nothing, less than nothing, social and moral constructs devised by minds who deem what is acceptable and what is not. I have touched the heart of ancient stars, looks into the eye of black holes. Why would such pettiness concern me? Only force is abominable. Yes, and I have used it also, with Maglor, I do not forget it.'”
Oh, gods, Elgalad don’t believe him! I hope he didn’t! Man, Van can be so convincing when he wants to deflected others from seeing too deeply inside him. But I don’t believe for a moment that he is no longer affected by what Sauron did to him. Of course he wishes that it no longer had the power to wound him –don’t we all?—but it is not that easy. It’s like Frodo said: some hurts take a hold of you and refuse to let go.
Van and Sauron have as complicated a relationship as ever. You write it so incredibly! As impossible as it seems to the outsider looking in, I think a part of Van loves his father….or just wants Sauron to love him? And Sauron knows it, the smug bastard!
Exquisite writing, as your work ever is. Each sentence beauty, so much sensuality! It feels like I am at a feast table and your work the banquet!
Thank you so much. Well, eventually it will be different — I hope!
No, I don’t think Van is unaffected at all, but as you say, he deflects people; he cannot bear pity. And somewhere inside him is the boy who wanted his father to love him. :/
This was well worth the wait to see where Fëanor got pulled off to, my mind is jsut spinning with so many "what ifs?" I can see the dangerous potential of trying to "fix" these alternate realities, Van must think about it a lot, and have to use that carefully cultivated self-control to keep from changing things. Just thinking about the infinite possibilities and having the power to alter the course of history for a whole reality would be hugely tempting.
I thought it was interesting how you made it a different reality, and yet, there was something in that Fëanor that recognized Vanimorë. You do such a good job of connecting everything and tying it all back together. I love that even through he didn't know him, the other Fëanor is pulled toward Van, as if it is inevitable wherever they are.
Oh Fëanor and Fingolfin, I understand both of their feelings on the matter; Fingolfin is right, Fëanor would do the same thing for his sons. I know that Fëanor is famous for saying things out of passion, but his comment about how if it were him he wouldn't have to do this was a bit harsh. The implicit statement there, which I am sure Fëanor didn't mean, is that "I'm better than you, I was a better parent" They are both so glorious directing all their passion at each-other, I hope they can find a way to unlock that in the future without being at each-other's throats.
I can't wait to see what you do next, in the meantime, I will ponder all the possibilities of the alternate worlds. Thank you for writing!
Author's Response: Thank you Poppy Marie :) Yes awfully tempting to want to change realities, isn't it? And Fëanor has changed one, we'll see how tat goes ;) Vanimórë exists in every reality, I said that back in book III, I think, and so does Fëanor, so yes, they would know each other, even if Fëanor would not know *how* he knew him.
I a sure Feanor didn't mean to imply he was a better parents, I think he cannot imagine his sons not loving him, but he does know that there must be a reality where they did not. Thank you for commenting, and have a lovely week :)
Hmm. If Maedhros did, for some reason get captured....Vanimórë isn’t born yet....even...Sauron?
I love either of those scenarios :D I could so imagine Sauron in a double agent role, playing both sides...
And yes of course I will let you know when it's on AO3 x
Author's Response: Thank you, Narya :) Well, at least I have many ideas for when I finish this series :)
Are you posting it here, after?
I will do, probably on Sunday night or early next week, after reveals on AO3 :) it's not long but has given me an idea for more stories with those characters. (In the last year or so I've become nearly incapable of writing standalones...)
Oh yes, a friend for Coldagnir in Angband...I wonder who that could be...?!
Author's Response: Let me know when it’s up on AO3 please?
Hmm. If Maedhros did, for some reason get captured....Vanimórë isn’t born yet....even...Sauron?
Actuyally I did dream once that I got up and found all my fic was gone. It was awful!
Oh my god, I'd have woken up sobbing o_O
And I hope you have a relaxing weekend. Almost time for SiS, too!
Thanks, you too. I am excited for reveals although I am worried about my fic...my recipient requested M, and I never know if I've I've gone too near the edge and written NC-17...
I am somewhat in love with the idea of Coldagnir as a spy in Angband :D
Author's Response: I did sob, it seemed such a waste of all those years!
M - NC17 is always such a close thing. But I am sure they will love it. Are you posting it here, after?
Hmm Coldagnir would need a friend in Angband...
Also, I just saw this in your response to ziggy:
Ah, well, Eru dreams, maybe this whole story is a dream and it’l be gone from the internet tomorrow ;)
Don't you dare!!!! ;)
Author's Response: Lol., Actuyally I did dream once that I got up and found all my fic was gone. It was awful!
Phew, working day over, I can give this the love and attention it deserves :) I couldn't resist reading last night though, I'm sorry I didn't leave a decent comment but I was just shattered.
He wrestled with that kin-mind, with that Fëanor, as one would with a beloved brother who has fallen into hysteria and self-inflicted violence. Firm, but gentle, gentle
Oh god, the description of Fëanor in his own mind is wonderful, and I love that you tease out the differences between the two Fëanors.
His breath plumed in the bitter air, sour with more than the dust-and-metal scent of snow; the steam and smokes of Angband’s subterranean workings fed upward through the hollow pinnacles of Thangorodrim and even the wind could not disperse the taint. Fëanáro smelt sewage and liquid metal, poison and acid.
Ugh, this is brilliantly, grimly immersive. And I love the beautiful details of the weaponry and armour, this is fabulous:
Not so now. This was a clean, high rage that set the sword humming, set Fëanáro’s veins alight. As he looked at the Balrog, he knew he was smiling, that his eyes were blazing and, in the back of his mind he thanked Eru that when he and his artisans had conceived body-armour they had vowed not to compromise the wearer’s freedom of movement. Fëanáro had conceived and fashioned Ithilnaur, superbly strong yet with enough flexibility that a blow would contract its countless tiny scales. He had taken Eönwë’s armour as a model for the rest: thin flexible strips banded diagonally atop the mail.
And then this, oh my heart:
I wonder if meeting Fëanáro in this world will change him, set him on his course to redemption sooner?
The man broke the kiss, drew back, smiling. ‘Enough. Dost thou always greet strangers thus?’ Teasingly.
*Snorts* oh, Van.
And just like that you have opened up yet another world for my imagination to play in :D ohh, an AU where he isn't killed, without the kinslayings...but goodness, what else might they get up to, what else might go wrong...what would Fingolfin say if he got to confront his brother...how would Maedhros be different if he was never chained to Thangorodrim...heck, might there even be a chance for Turgon in this setup? So many what ifs!!!!
‘This reality is not the only one that needs thee.’
‘Or thee,’ Vanimórë replied, ‘or Fingolfin, or Galadriel or Maedhros or — it could be any-one, Fëanor, anyone who can change or shape a world.’
So interesting to see Galadriel in there, given what she is in this particular universe - but I suppose, as they keep saying, things may well be different elsewhere.
And I knew Fëanor would not be happy with Fingolfin :( and just when Finarfin has come back into the fold, too. Gutting.
I am so enjoying where you have taken this, Spiced, it's phenomenal. Love love love it.
Author's Response: Thank you so muhc, Narya :) I am setting up for more AU’s, because yes, anything can happen. This is just one possibility; he could go back to anywhere, any-when.
As for Coldagnir, yes, perhaps this will hasten his redemption, Vanimórë said he would still be hidden from Melkor, so a spy in Angband’s ranks, maybe...? I do love what-if’s...?
You are so very kind, thank you again :) And I hope you have a relaxing weekend. Almost time for SiS, too!
Reading in bed on my phone. I will come back and review properly tomorrow when I'm not super tired and can say sensible things, but I just wanted to let you know I loved this - and oh, I want to see more of that AU you tease us with at the start!!
Author's Response: Hope you enjoy, Narya :)
Oh my, Lómion's reunion with Eol is not something that I knew I needed, but I really did! It felt like such a healing moment for him, and something that he never really allowed himslef to think about, but it was so good to see him have a least some resolution to that part of his past.
I loved all of the content with Fëanor and Van, when the two of them are interacting, its always such a fantastic, tension filled dynamic. It makes so much sense that what beauty Melkor had came from Vanimorë in the first place, and even though Van seems disturbed by this, Fëanor does not. I think that its good for them to spend time together, almost healing for Vanimorë in a way. Clearly, Fëanor has no problem accepting him for who he is, and I think Van needs that. Even with all the power in the universe, he has never felt like he was accepted anywhere, and now things have changed so drastically, but I still think he needs to confront that.
I so wanted a continuation of their scene together, but I'm very intrigued to see what kind of realtiy Fëanor got sucked into!
Thank you for writing!!
Author's Response: Aww, thank you, Poppy Marie. I always felt that Lómion must have an unresolved issue, whether he thinks himself Noldo or not, he is not, wholly.
Lol, yes, Fëanor is totally unfazed, and you’re right it is good for Van to be around someone who is not afraid, not overawed, not hateful, and sees him as he is. And is fine with it. I am not sure Van ever will accept himself, or feel he’s accepted, but we’ll see.
Thank you, we’ll see where Fëanor has got to next chapter :)
Feanor Nooooo!!! He needs to come back...his mom still needs him to help her recover. And I almost forgot about Moriel. Will she ever wake up and get to know her father? It's sad that Feanor never knew his daughter.
I admit I don't really care for Eol, but I like how he's not an one dimensional evil being. Him reconnecting with Maeglin is so beautiful...
Author's Response: Vanimórë said to Fëanor that he would never forget who he was in these ‘other’ realities, so yes, he can come back. This will just show him what he can do. Thank you, Kasura, for commenting :)
It is very beautiful that Maeglin feels the pain of the spear as the unfelt grief- and Eol hugs him. I really wanted that to happen. Thank you- it felt deeply cathartic at a very priamry level for some reason I can't articulate. Fills a longing I suppose that we all have to have our parents back and all they represent perhaps?
Elgalad’s unfathomable eyes searched his face. ‘Eru dreams,’ he said.
Vanimórë stopped. ‘What does he dream?’
‘This, perhaps. Thou.’
A gauntlet of iron fear gripped Vanimórë’s throat. He thought of his own ‘awakenings’ in Angband, in Barad-dûr, broken, mad, dying slowly. What if they were not dreams? What if this was? What if my father is right?
ooh- that brought me up short- as it did Vanimore. Where is THIS going?? Eru not gone, dreaming dreams- universes infinite. Not good. QUestions the whole idea of reality but then, that is what this whole fic has been doing.
I LOVE you for restoring Aragorn:)Does that mean Gimli and the Hobbits too? I really want a Fellowship reunion please. Pllleeeaaassseeee. I won't be the only one.
Ok- the last scene is really challenging me I have to admit. So Morgoth has a bit of Vanimore in him? AndVan pushes Feanor through the portal- so does he fall into another world? That is unfortunate -what will happen now???! Is Feanor gone? Can he just slip back or is he lost?
Author's Response: I have always been deeply sorry that Maeglin/Lómion was parted from his father in such a way, and felt he couldn’t ever show how muhc it grieved him.
Ah, well, Eru dreams, maybe this whole story is a dream and it’l be gone from the internet tomorrow ;)
Eventually, I’m sure Gimli and the Hobbits will come, but I just can’t write them, I have no interest I’m afraid, although I will probably mention it when it happens.
During Van’s fight with Eru at the beginning, Melkor was formed, and yes, a little bit of Van went into Melkor, his rage and hate, probably, or a bit of it.
Van told Fëanor he could basically change these other realities if he wanted too, and so he’ll change *something*, yes, but he can always return, or Van might fish him out lol, (this first time) and show him how to come back. (It just gives me more story-threads, really) ;) Thank you, Ziggy :)
Lómion could feel his father, a finger upon his heart.
Oof. I *felt* that!
Beleg had offered to come with him, having known Eöl long ago, but Lómion refused.
‘It is something I must do alone.’ And Beleg nodded, understanding as he ever did.
Oh, I adore your Beleg. He is so kind, so centred - he just *gets* people and understands where they're hurting. And of course he's an utterly magnificent being anyway ;)
I do enjoy seeing Van and Elgalad interacting as equals - and Van's disdain for Eru made me chuckle. And still the fear and vulnerability:
A gauntlet of iron fear gripped Vanimórë’s throat. He thought of his own ‘awakenings’ in Angband, in Barad-dûr, broken, mad, dying slowly. What if they were not dreams? What if this was? What if my father is right?
Fëanor, there are endless possibilities, endless realities; I cannot, and will not, lock them into one. That is stagnation, entropy.
Ahh, like we were talking about when we were discussing Summerland. Poor Fëanor, though - and Miriel's fate is heartbreaking.
In the garden was what looked at first like an immense sheet of black glass. Then one saw the ripples that moved outward from the centre, the sparks of electricity that flashed and flickered across it. Its edges frayed into nothingness. It smelt of salt and and ice and metal. Around it stretched quiet green lawns and, far above, soared the impossible heights of Eru’s palace.
‘The Portal,’ Vanimórë said. ‘Every world, every possible reality. But let us concentrate on Arda.’
OOOOOOOHHHHH!!! Oh, my mind has just gone wild with the possibilities...
Fascinating exchange between Van and Fëanor - gorgeous, shifting dynamics between them, and this:
The part of Melkor that was beautiful and charismatic, that was clever, came from thee.’
That makes so much sense!!!! How long have you been planning that one? :D
*picks self up off floor*
Oh, hells, my heart stopped at the end, though. I was enjoying their play-fighting, settling down for them to resolve their distances as those two best know how ;) but then:
Vanimórë, shaken, laughed his astonishment, flinging Fëanor back with an unfair burst of power. Fëanor, startled, was still returning the laughter when Vanimórë’s stopped utterly, caught in a chokehold of shock. His power had thrown Fëanor directly at the Portal, which Fëanor must have realised as great wings exploded like diamond flames to brake him—
— a heartbeat too late.
Just...gawping at the screen o_O you are the queen of cliffhangers, but that's mean even for you! Fëanor!!! Van will never forgive himself if he can't sort this one out.
I can't wait to see how this develops - fascinating, beautiful stuff.
Author's Response: Poor Lómion, but I think he did love his father, and had to resolve this long, long separation and awful death.
Beleg is lovely, I think, and I wonder if it comes of the grief of loving a doomed Man? I also think there is something else, something he’s hiding...
I think Van can easily disdain Eru; he;s not much for not getting involved, although that could turn out badly, and he might come to realise that...
The part about Van/Melkor — really when I wrote his battle with Eru, although only that something of Van might have gone into Melkor. Van can be pretty merciless and cruel, but it seems it’s balanced by compassion which, with his upbringing, seems strange. Although Vanya had a lot to do with that too, as he had someone to love. But Sauron must have been thinking about that while up on Taniquetil, and came to the conclusion sooner than anyone.
Yes, the Portal, well, I had to add some more story possibilities for when this one ends ;) And they are infinite, lol.
Don’t worry too much about Fëanor. He wants to change the realities he would hatre, well, he may get to, although this would be hopefully quite a brief interlude, just to show him it can be done.
Thank you so much :) I’m so glad you liked it.
I'm sorry I'm so late! Ridiculous few days at work, have only just had chance to sit down and read - and I completely confused myself because somehow I missed the last chapter, so I had to go back and work out how we'd got to the starting point here.
I hope Vanya can help Galadriel - especially now that Finarfin is back in the fold ;) I just adored this moment:
Fëanor caught him then, into an embrace so strong, so forgiving that Finarfin felt as if the sun encircled him, pouring through skin and bone, healing and intoxicating. It was followed by a kiss that (he knew) claimed him, because Fëanor claimed, if he wanted enough, and now, now, Finarfin knew fully, finally, what that meant and why Fingolfin had never been able to look aside, why he had hammered his betrayal in Araman into pure, steely resolve and lead his host across the Helcaraxë. Following his half-brother. Knew why the seven sons had sworn the Oath with him, knew why, when Fëanor’s fire touched the heart, it bound forever.
Beyond beautiful - I sobbed. How long have you been wanting to write that?! :')
Interesting dynamic between Fingolfin and Anairë - not quite antagonistic, but so fraught with past misery. I wonder if she will come around eventually, and let him be with his brothers?
The ending, with Fëanor going for Miriel, was achingly sad - so bleak, and I could feel the cold and taste the dust.
Epic, lush, beautiful, emotional, complex, layered - everything I love about your fics in one gorgeous chapter.
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Narya — yes, this chapter would be confusing without the prior one!
I am not sure when Fëanor decided to ‘claim’ Finarfin, but back in Magnificat III, somewhere, but this was one of those ‘comes out of nowhere’ bits, as I didn’t know ‘how’ it would happen.
I am sure Vanya will talk to Galadriel, and she’s fine, as not much could harm her. And she has time, after all.
I am not sure about Finglofin and Anairë — he’s fundementally decent, so wants to give her her son back, but she’s not sure what she wants, apart from that, and how could she after thousands of years of imprisonment and brainwashing. And he’s not offering himself, just a time to help bring up Turgon. Fëanor will hit the roof of course. Schisms coming up!
Yes, poor Miriel, just an awful, pointless and cruel fate, I had these visions of her just left abandoned in endless, cold, dusty halls, hardly remembering why she was there.
What an awesome chapter. Sauron's entry doesn't disappoint :) It's worth waiting for. His life is so tangled with Feanorions & Finwians. It's so wicked to flash the rings before Celebrimbor & that air kiss...omg so Sauron.
Feanor again is magnificent! :)
I am heartbroken about Miriel. Namo is extremely cruel to punish a woman suffering from mental illness to break her further. Hope Feanor can cure her & bring her mental faculty back fully...
PS I do like how Galadriel is forced to vanish from Valinor :D...I never really care for her despite all the praises and raves she got in the books.
Author's Response: Sauron has style whatever one may think of him ;)
Poor Miriel, I could never understand why she was set to do what she did after her death it seems impossibly cruel, but at least she is out now, and her healing can begin.
As for Galadriel, from when I first read LOTR back in the 80’s and then the SIlm, I just could not understand the reverence accorded to her. She didn’t do much, and all of it defensive, but when I came into the online fandom she was treated paractically like a Virgin Mary character, and it made me roll my eyes. I wish, rather than her, Tolkien would have written one of Finarfin’s sons as surviving, not because they are men, but because they were far more magnificent, and actually did battle against Morgoth and Sauron, rather than hide away in Doriath, leave Ost-in-Edhil in a dudgeon and end up lurking in Lothlórien. It’s not exactly glorious, is it? Thank you so much for your comments :)
Your ability to write in a way that paints vivid imagery has always been amazing, but this story in particular has really been full of such fantastical, breathtaking moments. When Fëanor reunited with the Silmarlis, it was such a long awaited moment, and you executed it beautifully! I got chills!
I would have loved to see what would have gone down between Celebrimbor and Mairon had they not been interrupted, but clearly Mairon will not be going anywhere, so I'm looking forward to what comes next for him.
Miriel's fate was so terrible, I do hope that Fëanor will be abel to help her. I thought that their reunion might be coming up soon, but I didn't expect this.
I am also trying to think if there is anyway this situation with Fingolfin and Anairë will end well, I could almost feel the tension and anxiety from Fingolfin at the thought of having to step back into a role where he feel trapped once again. Also, if I had to hazard a guess, I don't think their plan will go over terribly well with Fëanor.
So excited to see what comes next, thank you for putting so much time and work into this story!
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Poppy are, I am so glad you liked it.
In fact there was so much going on in this chapter, that I didn’t feel I could compress Mairon and Celebrimbor into it, and maybe Celebrimbor wants to prolong the ‘revenge’ he has in mind ;) And poor Miriel, yes, it was time for her to be rescued, although her healing will be slow, I think. Yes, this isn’t a good situation for Fingolfin, but Fëanor would do the same, and regardless he is going to hit the roof!
Thought I should review here as well since I have read it again:)
In a fury of light and fire they passed through the doors. Vanimórë looked around, saw Olórin and his father facing one another, Mairon changed into the form of a giant Fell-wolf, his preferred shape for battle. Striding between them, he caught the great scruff in one hand, the neck of Olórin’s robe in the other. ‘And the both of thee, get in there.’
Wonderful image! Made me laugh as well.
Another spectacular, epic chapter that defies the genre and takes it completely elsewhere. Fab writing. Densely packed images, each one a delight.
The last scene is beautiful:
There was no time here, so he could not tell how long it was until he found her, discarded like a bundle of old rags left in a corner, curled in upon herself. All he could see was the gleam of silvery hair that fell and spread like spiderwebs about her.
Going down on one knee, he reached out a hand, touched her. A frail, thread of sound reached his ears. She was humming. With a wince, he recognised the Noldolantë.
‘Miriel,’ he said gently and, with difficulty, ‘Mother?’
Her head rose, so very slowly, as if she had forgotten how to move. Her face was wasted, drawn taught over the immutable, beautiful bones. Her eyes were black as night as if they had stared into too many horrors and absorbed them all. Her wrist, when he caught it, was thin as a starved child’s.
‘Colour of garnets, their blood,
Gorged by the earth like wine,
All life leaving, and leaving us beseeching,
‘Miriel, he repeated.
Very moving. Sublime images.
Author's Response: Aww, thank you for posting this here as well as AO3 :) I am so glad you liked it.
Sorry I have been an invisible avid reader of your amazing series, should commented sooner instead of sitting on the sideline...but I just want to shout out that this chapter is Awesome.
I love how Feanor and all became gods and overthrown the oppressors - so waiting for this. And Finarfin gets his fire back. It's perfect Manwe and his cohorts now stuck in seeing elves living the life they want (orgies) :) a good justice.
And looking forward to Sauron's confrontation with Feanorians. He has been messing with their lives...and now it's time for his reckoning
Author's Response: Aww, thank you very much, Kasura, it is so nice to know you’ve been reading and enjoying. I loved writing this, as it’s been many yers in the making, and finally, the Elves are where they should be.
But Sauron, yes, he has a lot to answer for!
Oh it was so sweet to finally see the Valar torn down! It has been so long in coming and it was such a feeling of triumph for the Elves, they have suffered so much because of them and I think that Fëanor's judement for them was perfect; now they have to watch those the caused pain live free with no one to hold them back, I love it!
This explained so much about why Finarfin acted how he did, I feel for him now much more than I did before. He was pulled back into the Valar's grip out of fear for his family, and they still made him suffer even after obeying them. I really can't wait to see what he will evolve into now that we can be himself, he impressed me in this chapter and I'm excited to see more of him!
I also cannot wait to see what is going to go down in the next chapter, there are so many complex layers between Sauron and many of the Fëanorians, he finally has to answer for all the pain he has put them through. I really want to see how his next encounter with Celebrimbor goes, and Fëanor, or any of them really, he finally has to face them on a level playing field, and I can't wait to see how it all plays out! The way he made is entrance was very in character for him, a bit of a flair for the dramatic, though he propbably also enjoyed watching the Valar thrown down.
I loved this chapter! Thank you for making this story so incredible!
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Poppy Marie, it felt so good to write this, although the Elves are not finsihed with those Valar, just there are more important things to be done first.
I ended up feeling very sorry for Finarfin, but now he’s free.
Ah yes, Sauron and Celebrimbor...that has been coming for a long, long time!
I so loved Gil-Galad and Tindómion’s moment here! They can finally be themselves with nothing to hide, and it was so beautifully written!
The march on Taniquetil was so fantastic! Finally they get to tear down the Valar once and for all! You way with words conjured such epic images, the scene with the Fos Almir in particular was breathtaking. It seems right, fitting for the elves now, I was not expecting that but we’ll done! Fëanor’s power to free the maiar, and Coldagnir’s return were such great moments!
I am so excited to see the next part of this fight! Amazing work! Thank you!
Author's Response: Oh, thank you so much, Poppy Marie, I am so glad that you liked it as much as I enjoyed writing it all!
There’ll be plenty to write when this is over I hope
Oh, I hope so too! I just know that this is a key point in the story that you've been building towards for a long time. It's exciting to see it finally play out - it must feel amazing for you as a writer, to have got your characters to this point. I am in awe!
I love this description of Gil and Tindomion's relationship:
There should be another word, he thought, than simply love; what he felt matched none of the descriptions of it. He did not feel protective or tender toward Tindómion, who would not have wanted such emotions and had always been able to protect himself. Neither did he feel as if Tindómion were his other half. It was more as if he and Tindómion wanted each to be the other, and hungered for that part of them they saw reflected. It was a furious need, a radiant white-burning lust underlined with deep respect. Gil-galad could not have loved anyone that did not match him and meet him, fire-to-fire. And Tindómion had been the first he had met as a man, bringing with him memories of Maedhros and Maglor and Caranthir, and days filled with light and love and hope.
They have always been one of my favourite pairings in your work (although of course it's so hard to choose!).
Reading of the rebirth of the Elves through Fos Almir gave me goosebumps - especially Galadriel's war cry. And then this:
A red meteor split the sky with a double boom of tortured air, slammed into Eonwë. The resultant fireball tore across the sky.
Vanimórë watched, smiling. Beside him, Elgalad suddenly laughed out.
I was laughing with Elgalad when I realised who it was!
Fabulous to read this wonderful saga coming to its climax :) congratulations on making it to this point; I can't wait for the final battle!
Author's Response: Aww, thank you, Narya, I am so glad you liked that description, love is too uncomplicated a word for them, although as I remember there are a lot of words in Quenet but none of them really fitted either.
I’m also glad you liked Coldagnir’s return :)
There’ll be plenty to write when this is over I hope.
I’m so sorry I’m this late reviewing, it kept getting pushed back on my to do list.
This chapter was really interesting, I’m glad to see that Van and Elgalad’s relationship is mending ever so slightly. I hope to see more of the “real” Elgalad, because I always loved him as a character, and now I feel like he has gained some more fire and passion, which a new interest to him.
I really don’t know what to feel about Finwë, he had clearly has some feelings towards his brother that have not been addressed in far to long, and there is a lot of pain there. But I feel like his is being hypocritical and angry for no reason, yes he has been through pain, but so has Edenel; he needs someone to tell him to get his head out of his ass, he is only making things more painful for everyone...
thank you so much for writing, keep up the amazing work!!!
Author's Response: No probs, Poppy Marie, thank you for commenting, and I agree with you about Finwë, he’s almost cornered himself in a morass of hate and love and confusion :( I’m sure we’ll see more of the new Elgalad in the future. Thank you again, and have a lovely Sunday :)