He picked it up and held his light stone closer for a better look. His breath caught in his throat, a gasping sob escaped him. It was a picture of Fingon he had drawn many years ago during one of their visits to Alqualondë. Fingon standing on a pier with the ships and sea behind him, his stance rakish, his dark hair pulled back and plaited with gold. His young eyes held merriment and mischief in equal measure. The parchment was yellowed and dog-eared with age but the long forgotten memory was, suddenly to Maedhros, as fresh and immediate as the day they had lived it.
Overcome, he sat heavily on the ground, the weight of years and regret crushing the breath from him. Two young scholars turned revolutionaries, turned reluctant warriors, turned commanders, turned Kings, turned. . . what? Nothing. Youthful ideals skewered on the sword of harsh reality.
Oh, Marius, how very poignant. Wonderfully written,
Author's Response: Thanks so much, SW. I'm glad you liked this one. I don't write the Feanorians, not really, so it's gratifying to know this works so well. I really appreciate your comments.
One of the details that always devastated me (among many) was the fact that by losing their fortresses in this defeat they had lost so much of their past--personal effects, letters, portraits, the small things that can be taken for granted but when the other is lost become a repository for the emotions and tangible reminders of their loss and a small comfort. They had none of those so this story is brilliant at giving us that. The risk he takes to salvage these remnants of Fingon's past is immense but I can see Maedhros, who has withstood worse, take it on.
The line about "two young scholars, turned revolutionaries, turned reluctant warriors . . ." was so poignant.
I loved the addition of the portrait--such a lovely image of young Fingon but the way you ended it, with Maedhros remembering not only who he had once been but also who he was when he died was perfect. I've always thought he kept on going in part because if he fulfilled the Oath then perhaps they would see each other again.
Author's Response: Thanks so much for your review, NF. I agree that the Elves lost so much in their battles, emotionally and physically. I'm glad you like Maedhros taking the risk to retrieve Fingon's personal papers, I could see him doing something like that as well. So nice of you to mention the juxtaposition of the two pictures, that's just what I was going for and I'm so happy it came off well. I've always thought that, at the end Maedhros was just going through the motions of trying to get the Silmarils and that by that time he was completely broke, but that at this point in time he still had hope of fulfilling the oath and thus making everything right. I really appreciate your thoughtful comments.
You paint a picture with words and do it very well. I particularly like this line Overcome, he sat heavily on the ground, the weight of years and regret crushing the breath from him it would be exactly like that.
You owe me a cheese sandwich!!! LOL
Author's Response: Thank you for your comments, Glorfindel. I liked that line too, and I appreciate that feeling now that I'm older. And yes, I owe you a cheese sandwich! I sent you a nice hunk of limburger on rye. The postal service said it should be there within a month. lol
As always, your writing is so thoughtful and so beautifully precise, building image after image, leading me from one scene carefully to another, each with enough detail to create a full visual experience. I admire your writing hugely. And there is a sense of nostalgia and loss without being overwhleming, the practicality of MAedhros almost at odds with this incredible risk (although it doesn't seem a risk because of the dismal scenario of Morgoth's complete victory, they are complacent, careless).
Author's Response: What a lovely review, Ziggy. Thank you so much! It means a lot to me that you enjoy my writing since you are such a good writer. I really appreciate that you enjoyed the story and the balance I tried to strike with the nostalgic, but not maudlin, emotions. I really wanted it to read that way. This is such a nice review, I'm on cloud nine. Thanks again.