I was so excited by this update, but how could you leave us with such a cliffhanger!?!
It was interesting to hear what Glorfidel thinks of Legolas now, he seems a bit conflicted, and surprised by how Legolas acts, I can't wait for them to have another confrontation. I have spent much of this story with a lot of animosity towards Glorfidel, but that little bit where he remembered Ecthelion reminded me of the person he used to be, and just how far he has fallen from that. I do feel like he is realizing this as well, which I hope will help him in some way.
I kind of love how impressed everyone is with Sud Sicanna, the descriptions are marvelous, something about the desert oasis city concept has always I've liked.
Dana has really gone off the deep end here, what is she thinking? Does she have any idea what she is dealing with? Each time she makes an appearance she gets more infuriating, I can't wait to see her get taken down a few pegs. I am worried about what her plans could be for Gíl though, but I doubt she will get anywhere near him.
Beautiful chapter, thank you very mcuh!
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Poppy. Yes, re: Glorfindel - he was very different once and wants in his heart to return to that person. I don't think he will ever love anyone as he did Ecthelion. ;__;
Sud Sicanna is huge and ancient and a trade hub, not what some of them were expecting :)
I believe Dana wants to attract Melkor's presence, since she undoubtedly knows what happened in Tashon Narr when Sauron got too close. Now Melkor is aware -- it's like being on the other side of a wall from a monster who knows you are there but can't get to you -- nevertheless it's unnerving, and maybe she thinks Sauron won't come to a place where Melkor is 'close'. Thank you so much for reviewing :)
Vanimórë is right to be mad at the elves for their stupid feud. They behave like spoiled children.
It seems Dana finally shows her true face. What is she up to? Very ceepy, what's happened in the temple. Especially the last part.
Author's Response: Thank you for commenting, Starfox -- I will copy what I said about Dana -- I believe Dana wants to attract Melkor's presence, since she undoubtedly knows what happened in Tashon Narr when Sauron got too close. Now Melkor is aware -- it's like being on the other side of a wall from a monster who knows you are there but can't get to you -- nevertheless it's unnerving, and maybe she thinks Sauron won't come to a place where Melkor is 'close'. Thank you so much for reviewing :)
Yes! Finally Van and Maglor get their night together! That was so beautifully written, the passion and fire is just so fantastic, I love it! It also shows the kind of trust Vanimórë has for Maglor, to willingly abdicate control is no small thing for him. I can't wait to see more of them as Maglor seems to want to ignore it again, I'm sure there is more amazing tension ahead for them!
I do hope we get some flashbacks to Legolas's night, or maybe some reflection on it from his or Glorfindel's perspective, I'm interested to see how they view one another at this stage. I love that Legolas is becoming more assertive and getting what he wants, I really do enjoy him as a character because I see the potential he has to become one of your fantastic, predatory wood elves, I'm excited to see what the future holds.
Little Gíl is rather intimidating, I have guesses about him, but I really want to know what he is! He seems to love Legolas, but there is something strangely adult in him, the fact that he understands so much is a touch unnerving.
Fantastic as always, thanks so much!
Author's Response: Tank yo so much, Popy :) I am so glad you enjoyed this -- and yes, Van really must trust Maglor almost implicitly to allow him to take control this night :) I am sure we shall have flashbacks of Legolas' night :)
Beuatifully written. Finally Vanimórë can relax for at least one night.
You make me really curious what Gilrion is in reality. He is a mystery I would like to see solved.
I would have loved to see more of the encounter between Legolas and the other elves, especially Glorfindel. It would have been interesting to "hear" his thoughts and see them interacting. Any chance of that, maybe in a flashback?
Author's Response: Oh, we shall definitely learn more of Gil :) And yes, I am sure that we will see some of Legolas' night in flashbacks! Thank you so much for commenting, Starfox :)
Yay, an update! ::does happy dance:: I just love this So Much! :)
Author's Response: Aww thank you so much, Alquien :)
This was a very vulnerable chapter for Vanimórë, I can think of maybe one or two times where he voluntarily let someone into his mind, but I can't think of anyone better than Maglor, despite what's between them. I think in this verse', Maglor may have an even better understanding of Vanimórë than in Magnificat, even though they have known eachother longer in those stories, here Maglor has truly seen from Vanimórë's point of view. There is obviously much he does not know about Van, but I hope that what he did see can help him stop resenting Vanimórë's actions as much as he has. There will always be some kind of tension between them, it's just built into their dynamic at this point, their relationship wouldn't be the same without it, but I hope they come to a slightly more stable place.
There is a clear sense of foreboding here, Sauron's silence is actually more unnerving than any sort of reaction would be. Now they not only have him to worry about but Dana and her desire to have Gíl, I just despise her so much, and I can't wait to see her taken down at some point.
It is also clear to me how little Vanimórë thinks of himself here, he has this great fear of the man Legolas will turn into under Sauron, but he himself has become a great man. Even though he does not see it in himself, Legolas sees it, the men in his army see it, Maglor has seen it, Glorfidel during the last alliance. They see the goodness he still posses even after living his whole life under evil, I think with Vanimórë to look too, Legolas would turn out alright. It would not be the ideal life for him or his son by any stretch of the imagination, but clearly Vanimórë doesn't give his influence enough credit.
Great chapter! Thank you!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for reviewing, Poppy Marie :)
Yes, I think there is a great deal of vulnerability in Van in this chapter, and I do think Maglor understood more than he showed or let himself say. I think he went away to 'digest' what they had shared.
Yes, Sauron's silence says more than any lashing out of anger would, but I also think he does know Legolas won't go home, so he is still on a leash, as is Vanimórë. But then there is Dana. I don't think Sauron wants to weaken Van with Dana waiting in Sud Sicanna. He may even want to see what Vanimórë does when they inevitably clash.
It is also clear to me how little Vanimórë thinks of himself here, he has this great fear of the man Legolas will turn into under Sauron, but he himself has become a great man. Even though he does not see it in himself, Legolas sees it, the men in his army see it, Maglor has seen it, Glorfindel during the last alliance. They see the goodness he still posses even after living his whole life under evil, I think with Vanimórë to look too, Legolas would turn out alright. It would not be the ideal life for him or his son by any stretch of the imagination, but clearly Vanimórë doesn't give his influence enough credit.
This is a very good point actually; I think Legolas would grow into a great man and leader under Van's aegis, but Vanimórë of course, cannot see that at all.
I suspect that, out of courtesy, Maglor "looked" only at the bare minimum of Van's memories that he needed to enable Osanwë, but if he had looked back much, much further than this episode, he would perhaps have seen Valóron, and how a very young Van tried desperately to save him from Morgoth, and all the other valiant attempts that followed in which Van tried so hard to save others. That's what this memory brought to my mind: as I think that its power also draws from Van's own very early hopes of rescue from what he believed to be his and his twin sister's "real" Elven kin, and how, instead of rescue, he witnessed so many of their deaths and became convinced that he was Sauron's son and slave, and far beyond any rescue except by his own exertions. As Van knows, there is an "immanence" of memories there that is almost insurmountable, except by an extraordinary act of will, as Edenel knows. And Van can't ever even find forgetfulness, as his father is always a potential and deadly presence in his mind,and never with Maglor's gentleness here. This was yet another riveting chapter!
Author's Response: Yes, Ebbingnight, I think Maglor did not plumb deeper into Van's memories, and probably yes, out of courtesy, but as a result, you're right, he didn't see everything. I think he should understand Van, but Van is not the kind to talk about it. He's had to do everything alone, when he realised that no-one was going to rescue him, or any-one else who fell into Morgoth or Sauron's hands, (except Fingon rescuing Maedhros which was before his birth). Sharing his pain would not occur to him. Maglor didn't go far enough to comprehend him, but perhaps he did get something from it; he was hiding a great deal under his brief question.
Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Ebbingnight. I am so glad that you enjoyed the chapter :)
I do feel the absolute sense of forboding and dread in this chapter. Sauron is almost standing with his back turned and slowly, slowly turning to notice- and not doing anyhting YET. Of course he know Vanimore is right- but its the sense of dread beneath the action. And that punishment will follow.
I love the scene with Maglor but I also want to smack him on the nose and say Look! Vanimore saved you you ungrateful wretch! And let you go and was punished for it. Beautiful writing. So sensuous, tactile and textured- I love that about your writing.
Author's Response: I love the way you describe Sauron beginning to notice!
I said to Ebbingnight, I think Maglor was hiding a great deal under a brief question! Thank you so much, Ziggy!
I really love Vanimórë. I hope, some time in the future he has the chance to be happy. He is just adorable. As damaged as he is, he still is his own person and fights for what he thinks is right.
I liked the way Legolas treated Glorfindel here. They have to come to some arrangement, with Gil being both their son. I'm looking forward to a serious conservation between these two.
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Starfox; Van was born a fighter -- not likely to give him an easy life, but he does try to do what is right for others, if not himself.
Outside, the Death Wind raped the night.
Once again, brilliant work!
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Alquien :)
(...) He knew after, that he slept. It was the music that drew him down, a song he pursued through the doorways of his mind, opening one after another, drawn to the singer who eluded him, was always one step ahead.
Maglor! he called, angry, frustrated, running, until he found himself abruptly awake, the name on his tongue, and the prick of a sword at his throat.(...)
To me, this scene so 'delicately and at the same time brutally' captures the frustration and helplessness Van must so often feel, but does not allow himself to show.
I just imagine the beauty and tragic, if he should ever be able to let himself go and truly share his pain with Maglor.
(...) He gathered his hair, started to braid it. To his astonishment, Maglor stepped up, drew it from his hands and took over the task. Heat prickled through his scalp.(...)
Ah, the intimacy in such a small gesture... And Van's astonishment at it. It says so much!
I love these kind of scenes in your writing where you pick a single moment and so skillfully paint the scenery of all that is unsaid with just a few words.
... and why do I have this foreboding feeling that Sauron is not at all oblivious about what's going on around him? ;)
I hope, I will have more time to review over the weekend! There is so much to say and to discover!
Happy Friday, Spiced!
Author's Response: To me, this scene so 'delicately and at the same time brutally' captures the frustration and helplessness Van must so often feel, but does not allow himself to show. I just imagine the beauty and tragic, if he should ever be able to let himself go and truly share his pain with Maglor.
That's very thought provoking, and something I didn't consciously think of when I was writing it, Yseult, but you're very right, it's a good analogy for his buried feelings of helplessness.
And ooh, because I am writing something you might find interesting with regards to his sharing his pain.
Ah, the intimacy in such a small gesture... And Van's astonishment at it. It says so much! I love these kind of scenes in your writing where you pick a single moment and so skillfully paint the scenery of all that is unsaid with just a few words.
He is so rarely touched with any care at all, that this, especially from Maglor, really did startle him., especially as he knows how conflicted Maglor is about him.
Aww, thank you. So kind :) I am so glad you're still enjoying the writing :) And happy Friday to you. Hope you have a lovely weekend.
Legolas finally got to tell Glorfindel exactly what he deserved to hear! And Gíl greeting him in the black speech? That was probably a smack in the face! It's going to be a rocky road from here though, because they are both connected to Gíl and will probably be forced to confront one another again. I was glad to see Legolas so dismissive of Glorfindel, it's just what he deserves. I do hope that Bainalph will be able to help Legolas in some way, just having someone who understands his desires and knows how it feels might be good for him.
There were so many interactions here, all brilliant, especially Maglor's greeting to Van! His refusal to leave him behind, and his almost protective thoughts when Glorfindel took a shot at Van, I love it! I can't wait to see what else will happen now that they will be traveling together.
I'm excited to see how their plan unfolds, and what Sauron's reaction will be to Van's note! I was hysterically giggling as I thought about it!
Great chapter, thank you so much!
Author's Response: I think it did Legolas a great deal of good to be able to stand there and give Glorfindel that straight to his face, because it took a lot of guts. But he's proved he's got them and he can di it. That, after Gìl's Black Speech greeting, must have been a well-deserved shock for Glorfindel.
I think it will be a very good thing for Bainalph to talk to Legolas, and become friends with him as they journey. Not that this is a pleasure trip, but there will be opportunities, There were so many interactions here, all brilliant, especially Maglor's greeting to Van! His refusal to leave him behind, and his almost protective thoughts when Glorfindel took a shot at Van, I love it! I can't wait to see what else will happen now that they will be traveling together.
Oh Thank you, I am so glad you enjoyed the interactions, and this one :) Maglor is terribly screwed up by Van, but he cannot help his protectiveness, knowing what he knows.
It wont make for a comfortable journey, but the Elves will have to go disguised at least, or else the whole plan will go down the toilet.
Lol, the note. That's so trite. Some-one leaving, and not wanting to talk to the person they're leaving so they leave a note. But Van cannot talk to Sauron anyhow, not about this, and thus...the note :)
Thank you so much for commenting, Poppy Marie :)
Yes!!!! Go Legolas!!!! I sooooo enjoy this Glorfindel bashing.
Author's Response: It seems a lot of people liked hearing Legolas give Glorfindel what for! :) Thankyou Anamia :)
It was brilliant hearing what Legolas said to Glorfindel here, and how unafraid he is now, even of Glorfindel's temper, after all he has been through. He is right, too, about what this foolish war has cost the Elven realms, when they should be allied.
But if anything could possibly convey to Glorfindel what his appallingly selfish, heartless actions have led to, it's not anything that Legolas or Van could say: it's simply being greeted by his little son in Black-speech. Like a knife to the heart, I hope.
Author's Response: It was brilliant hearing what Legolas said to Glorfindel here, and how unafraid he is now, even of Glorfindel's temper, after all he has been through. He is right, too, about what this foolish war has cost the Elven realms, when they should be allied.
Legolas has been very quiet, but within that quiet, he has been absorbing, growing and learning, and he has seen things that will mark him forever. I don't think he believes Glorfindel is any less dangerous, just that he is now in a position to handle it better. And it takes a lot of guts for him to have admitted that he can't go home.
And I think Gì's words in Black Speech really would have been like a knife to the heart, yes. I think Gìl knew that it would too. He can speak Sindarin perfectly well, after all.
Thank you very much, Ebbingnight :)
It looks like things are getting interesting now, Sauron won't like that at all. It's a sad state of affairs that Legolas is right and he can't go home at the moment.
I really loved him telling Glorfindel off. Glorfindel so deserved it as well as his helpless rage that he can't do anything to get Gil.
I really loved Legolas here, he has indeed grown up, which makes his charakter very interesting.
Gil is still a mystery, I'm curious when we will learn why he is how he is.
Author's Response: Hello, Starfox :) Thank you for commenting :)
Yes, it is indeed unfortunate that Legolas cannot go home (yet) and knows it, but he's right that Gìl would just become a locus, wanted by both Imladris and the Wood, claimed by them both.
Legolas has been growing, quietly, ever since he ran away from the Wood, but now he's seen things that have forced him into growing up very fast. Too fast, Van thinks. But it could hardly have been otherwise.
As for Gìl, well he is an enigma, but more will be revealed in time.
Just to add to my comment about "painful to read": I meant it in the best possible way, as we care so much about the character, and the revelations here are something that we would never ordinarily see, given Van's strict self-control, learned in such a hard school. (We remember that he was nursed by orcs, and that was probably the easier part of his childhood, before he became of real interest to his father (and to Melkor).
But I laughed at your comment that Maglor was "irked" by his flawless facade: only a Fëanorian would dare think that. The rest of us would simply be mesmerized, as we've seen the effect he has on ordinary people. (Or terrified, depending on the circumstances!)
I meant it in the best possible way, as we care so much about the character, and the revelations here are something that we would never ordinarily see, given Van's strict self-control, learned in such a hard school.
Aww, thank you – I never know and tend to assume the worse.
There is more Van/Sauron interaction in this story than in any other, so more revelations seemed to make sense.
But I laughed at your comment that Maglor was "irked" by his flawless facade: only a Fëanorian would dare think that. The rest of us would simply be mesmerized, as we've seen the effect he has on ordinary people. (Or terrified, depending on the circumstances!)
Lol, you're right, it would take a Fëanorion to be annoyed by the facade. Their sublime arrogance! And also I think it is something, the call of their shared blood which makes Maglor certain this kind of walling-off is unnecessary, wrong even. But Vanimórë's very upbringing was as far from Maglor's as can be imagined, and as you say, his school the hardest of all. He's never had any-one to share with since his sister died, and he would have kept much from her to protect her anyhow, and since his pride is compounded by a deep shame, opening his heart, or rather allowing himself to spill his wealth of shame and pain is not something he's ever done. He's had no-one, ever to confide in, save perhaps Dana, and she was not interested in his pain, only in what he could do for her.
Some of those repeated clicks are mine, because there is so much here to take in, in juxtaposition with the last chapter. I keep posting and deleting the review because I don't know what to say about this. Despite the fact that this is not DP 'verse, strictly speaking, it is close enough and true enough so that I feel that we are seeing things about Van that we haven't seen elsewhere (and which, elsewhere, will have even more meaning.) We remember that, in his youth, Melkor taunted Van with a threat to geld him, and Sauron somehow dissuaded him... and now we know that Sauron has deliberately tempered him to be a weapon to be wielded against Melkor. But he is clearly of a different mettle than Sauron ever intended. He loves Legolas and Gil, and would do anything to protect them, but they can't stay with him, and he knows it. So Mordor is almost an idyll... and one that we know must end badly for Van if it is to end well for Legolas and the others. But there is so much pain in this chapter that it is difficult to read, which is what makes it so brilliant.
I was intrigued, having thought earlier as you know that the mental connection was deliberate on Maglor's part, that Maglor too felt, at least for a moment, through the shared bond of blood and the power of the place in which they are forced to stay, the abyss in which Van somehow continues to live and even to love. I wonder what, if anything, he will do with this knowledge, which we know that Van will never reveal to anyone, heartbreakingly, not even to his best beloved... who, despite this, will know--- though no more able to help than Maglor here can.
Author's Response: Hello Ebbingnight, and thank you so much for reviewing
Despite the fact that this is not DP 'verse, strictly speaking, it is close enough and true enough so that I feel that we are seeing things about Van that we haven't seen elsewhere (and which, elsewhere, will have even more meaning.) We remember that, in his youth, Melkor taunted Van with a threat to geld him, and Sauron somehow dissuaded him... and now we know that Sauron has deliberately tempered him to be a weapon to be wielded against Melkor. But he is clearly of a different mettle than Sauron ever intended.
Yes. Basically everything about Vanimórë is the same for both 'verses, even though the events here are different, but he's the same person with the same history. Anything I write here would apply to him in Magnificat. Sauron thought he was just malleable enough as he was, and if he were gelded, would just be a frustrated monster, which was not what he wanted at all.
It was his sister really; although he only had her for a short time, he adored her, and it gave him something Sauron did not intend, so he can hate, with all his soul, but Pink Siamese wrote it best about him in A Memory of Heat Here there was anger so old that it was woven into the songs of cells and fibers and veins, and brokenness, and a great measure of wrought-iron compassion,
He will drink in, absorb anything he loves, and that is so little, really, at least he does not have a chance to love very much, but if he loves, even the smallest measure of time is precious for him. Yet he knows it cannot last, and it would be a tragedy if it did.
But there is so much pain in this chapter that it is difficult to read, which is what makes it so brilliant.
Well, I am sad it is difficult to read, although thank you :) but everything about Van is pretty sad, really. I sometimes think I know all there is to know about him, but there is always more.
that Maglor too felt, at least for a moment, through the shared bond of blood and the power of the place in which they are forced to stay, the abyss in which Van somehow continues to live and even to love. I wonder what, if anything, he will do with this knowledge, which we know that Van will never reveal to anyone,
Maglor does know, or is beginning to realise; he's felt enough pain from Vanimórë to comprehend what he goes through. But he is not accustomed to people closing him off. Although I've never really written it, it's in my head that Maedhros did close everyone off for a time after he was brought from Angband. (Encairion writes of how Maglor felt about this really well) and I think it's natural. But apart from that he and his family were so close, they didn't hide their loves, hurts, etc from each other. They were so close, so open. But Maedhros did look broken when he was rescued, Fëanor obviously was, and died. Vanimórë looks unbroken; he looks in control. Seeing him just interacting with Sauron on a 'normal' basis must be incredibly confusing, because in a most peculiar way they do 'get along'; they work together. If Maglor could see Vanimórë hurt and broken, it would almost reassure him, oddly, it would feel real. He could then pour out his compassion; all he gets with Vanimórë is this utterly unconcerned facade, competence, no visible scars, no sign of pain, this glossy, superb self-confidence, a complete wall-up, and it is almost...irksome to Maglor.
But he does know, he does guess; he knows enough from Maedhros and from his own experience, and yet Vanimórë will share nothing with him.
Thank you so much for your insightful comments, Ebbingnight. I do appreciate it!
This was a really interesting chapter, I liked getting some Glorfindel POV, at last he is admitting what he did, and now he has to watch the consequences from a place where he can do nothing. I still feel like he hasn't really paid for his actions, but he can't ever really do that, and now he is going through forms of psychological pain, which can be just as bad, as we see with Van. :( As Glorfindel was watching Legolas, it got me thinking, what will happen to Legolas when he finds out? He is growing and changing so much, and I think at this point he would be able to handle it pretty well, even though he would probably be shocked, angry and scared. I was also thinking about how Glorfindel still desires Legolas, and his jealousy and wish that Legolas would look at him the same, but at this point in time, I don't see how that could ever be possible. Legolas is obviously still afraid of him on some level, and it would be nigh impossible to overcome those feelings and memories. However, both of them are connected to Gíl, and through him to each-other. Neither of them is willing to give up being close to Gíl either, which complicates matters even more. It's a very tangled and messy relationship, but I'm excited to see how you have it play out.
I love Van dearly for his desire to help those around him, he is truly so good, and sees none of it. :( I liked that we got a little background for Enet, I was wondering where he came from when I read that chapter in Magnificat, (different universe I know, but I can imagine it went much the same). I'm saddened that even when Vanimórë feels something glorious like what he had with Maglor, it is tainted by the things Sauron has done to him. It made me wonder how many times those memories must have plagued him before, when he was intimate with others, it gives a sense on how deep his enslavement goes, he can never forget it, and he won't let anyone help. :(
As each chapter goes by, I feel like Van is getting closer and closer to really seeing through Maglor's disguise. I want it to happen but I don't, I know it would spell doom for Legolas and the rest of them. I just hope that when all of this is over, Maglor finally gets the night Vanimórë promised him, the tension there is going to kill me!
Beautiful chapter, thank you!!! :)
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Poppy Marie :)
Yes, with Glorfindel and Legolas, well, it's difficult, not a simple solution there at all. I'd like for him to meet Glorfindel when he's on a much firmer footing, but we'll see what happens. I mean, Glorfindel remembers Legolas looking at him as if he was a sunrise in the forest, a Vala, and now all he is, is a very ordinary 'man', watching impotently. But you're right, neither of them will give up their son. It's a mess.
It made me wonder how many times those memories must have plagued him before, when he was intimate with others, it gives a sense on how deep his enslavement goes, he can never forget it, and he won't let anyone help.
A great deal of the time, they plague him, I am sure. Not even when he's in a sexual situation, either. :(
As I mentioned to Ebbingnight, this is a place of great power, and I am hoping that some-one (Maglor or one of the others) realises how dangerous it is, how 'thin' the veils here.
It's good to get another glimpse into Glorfindel's mind and to see how he thinks now about the whole thing.
How will Legolas feel when he discovers that Glorfindel was with him the whole time without his knowledge? He didn't want to see him and now Glorfindel is disguised and Legolas doesn't know he's there. Wouldn't he feel betrayed when he discovers the truth? Even worse so when there really would be intimacy between him and Glorfindel in his disguise as Man?
I'm looking forward to see where you are taking their relationship. Glorfindel would deserve it if Legolas doesn't forgive him and he can't win him.
Author's Response: Legolas' feelings for Glorfindel...I think he tries to forget, to be honest, and almost his whole attention is on Gìl. If he did know Glorfindel were here the whole time, I think he would feel completely confused. But he's not the same Legolas now that would have done anything for a kind word and a bit of attention. I don't know that Glorfindel does deserve him to be honest, and this was never supposed to be a Legolas/Glorfindel story anyhow, it was a 'what if Legolas didn't end up with Glorfindel?' So it depends on many things. I'm not sure if, at the end of the day, they'd even want each other. Attraction, yes; Glorfindel likes a certain type of lover, and as he was Legolas ticked all the boxes, but as an Elf shaped by Sauron, would he? Maybe casually, but not seriously. And while Legolas will always like being dominated, would he ever be able to let Glorfindel do that to him without being hurled straight back to the time when he was raped? I mean...maybe... perhaps deep down he will always want that. Maybe there could be something, but we're going to have to see :)
Thank you again, for the comments, Starfox :)
You killed Seran (sniffles). I really liked that horse.
Very disconcerting images you are painting here with the horse. Poor Legolas, killing these beings must have been hard.
It's interesting to see what powers Vanimórë possesses. I'm curious to see where that will lead.
Author's Response: Seran was modeled on a horse I had years ago, who was just such a bad-tempered black brute, but wow, he was magnificent, and would have made a brilliant horse to ride in battle. I was sad to lose Seran, but Van loses everything he loves in the end, and this is war :( I think Legolas would have found it horrific, but he did what was necessary.
Well, Van cannot access his powers, there is too great a mental block, but his father can use him like an augmentation if he wants. Of course I know what's going to happen, but I have to write it yet :)
Thank you so much for the review, Starfox :) I appreciate it!
Ah, it's even more complicated than I thought! (Probably I should have considered the chapter's title here, since it describes my initial reaction as well.) Thank you for helping me better understand this emotionally exhausting chapter!!!
Author's Response: I'm so sorry it was emotionally exhausting! (It was to write it, as well). But yes, there are a lot of factors at work here, and I think that both parties had very little control over what happened. Up to that point, it was quite a peaceful evening for Van. Odd to say, considering where they are, but also considering what he has seen and suffered in Barad-dûr before its destruction, this actually was pretty peaceful for him.
I suppose it's a question of perspective, until he got hit with that and his mind unearthed all that to hurl at him. (as if, as you mentioned, he felt he deserved no better, and had to somehow pay for the pleasure of that memory of Maglor with one that tears him to shreds).
Now, you may expect Maglor-Arem to shortly find some way to come asking if anything is wrong and for Vanimórë to respond with the 'No, no problem,' card. (Only a small spoiler which you'd probably expect anyhow!)
Thank you for being so interested, Ebbingnight :) It makes my day when people are interested. :)
Indeed I didn't think that Maglor intended for Van to be devastated by his own memories (and you've made it clear that Van is feeling what he is because of those memories, not because of Maglor's advances) but he hasn't been particularly cautious, either, as we've seen in the past few chapters. I'm sure that he believes Van is indeed as strong as he seems.
But since the chapter opened with Glorfindel's reflections on his earlier actions, it seems fair to wonder whether Maglor too should simply assume that it's okay to deceive Van (which he is obviously doing) and mentally ambush him as well. What if Van had been with Gil or, even worse, with Sauron when Maglor chose to do this? Or am I misreading this, and Maglor has no real control over these emotional/mental contacts either? (In which case, it's worrisome for other reasons!) I forgot to say, earlier, that the gift of the orange tree broke my heart: imagine such a thing growing in Gorgoroth!!
Author's Response: I think Maglor can't actually control what Vanimórë feels from him; to a lesser degree (and by dint of their shared heritage, which in this story is the same although neither of them know anything about that) his feelings are going to 'find' a Fëanorion. Tindómion can feel the same things now that he's close to his father, (and could even before, as we know) but also Maglor wants him (Van) to. I think with Vanimórë, Maglor's feelings are...confused. There's a huge attraction, and yet that's struggling with and against (and through) his anger. If he were entirely under control...even then, I'm not sure he could exclude Van except with the full force of his will, just as Van locks Maglor out, Maglor could do the same. Not answering Van at times is not blocking him, it's simply a refusal to answer.
Ultimately, I think his subconscious is reaching out for Vanimórë, and he does not have control over that, very few people would. There's also the factor that Van does mentally try to reach out to Maglor too, thinks about him, misses him; it's like the pull of a tide, and of course Fëanorion-to-Fëanorion.
Now. Sauron does know about this bond, he undoubtedly saw it all those years ago when Van came to Númenor without Maglor, and that it took on a deeper dimension during their journey. It wouldn't seen suspicious or odd, since both of them care for Legolas, that Maglor would 'keep in touch' so to speak. What can he (Maglor) do, after all? What can anyone do?
Also, this is a place that stinks of ancient power. It's dark, but it's ambiguous, not intelligent, like Sauron, but a residue of his tenure here; it would focus and amplify any kind of power, would be receptive to thoughts, and both Maglor and Van do have power running in their blood. This is probably why Van 'imagined' he saw Maglor and the others, although he thinks it a 'daydream', and could hear music.
So, long answer (sorry) to your question :) But I don't think Maglor has any firm control over what Van 'receives' from him, (and perhaps does not want to consciously enforce that control) feelings, images, impressions if Van is open to them, and there was no real reason he shouldn't have been just then. It was quiet, he was alone (well, Gìl was sleeping peacefully and Enet in another chamber) Sauron is self-absorbed in his own plans. Van had been thinking of Maglor, who is very close by, and no doubt Maglor was not 'shielded' either... so...
I am glad you liked the orange trees. :) Van does try to mitigate the awfulness, insofar as he can, for Legolas.
Oh, so painful. I don't think Maglor intended rape and revenge on Van at all, but, to me, that's what he's done, whether he ever discovers it or not. Unexpected, unwanted mental contact is a rape that Van expects from his father, but not from anyone else... and not from someone he views as a friend. Now he knows he's somehow made himself vulnerable to that from an outside source as well, because of his own emotional needs, which are starved beyond belief. At least Maglor has his son and his hope to see his father and brothers someday... Van has nothing and no one. In my eyes, what Maglor has just done is somewhere along the continuum of what Glorfindel did to Legolas... and what The Mouth does to those who fall into his hands. Van already has incredible remorse as to what he did to save Maglor's life... to have the memory of that earlier rape used to rape him as well is, alas, probably what he feels he deserves.
Author's Response: There, I knew I should have carried on with this chapter to explain it more, but I decided in my non-wisdom to leave it until the next chapter.
Vanimórë clearly felt Maglor with some-one, which took his mind back to the weeks after Maglor was 'recovering' in Barad-dûr, when they both wanted one another so fiercely, so desperately, but Van is also now in the very shadow of Barad-dûr and Sauron, and that, and his own sense of guilt at initially forcing himself on Maglor rose up with those memories.
Maglor would not, I honestly believe, be so cruel as to make Van think of Sauron. He didn't have any control over what Van felt and saw. They are definitely bound in a very deep way and always will be, so Van feels Maglor, especially in extremes of emotion, and especially now, after they spent time together journeying. And, oh, Van loved that, being close to a Maglor who was unaware of whom he was, what lay between them, and misses him.
Maglor does not, anyhow, truly know except in a general way, what Sauron does to Van, how he humiliates him, the things he has made him do or say, even come to want and expect. But Van does know that and so his mind would not let him simply enjoy a memory of those days and nights with Maglor, (because there's still guilt at the root) it pulled in Sauron. Because he is back now, currently to being a slave. Sauron's not, like Van, an eroticist, or even particularly sexual, but he does desire his so and knows quite well how to tie him into knots of shame and pain. Van's mind was showing him memories that would break him and yes, as you say, make him think he deserves nothing more. Deep within, his own emotions and desires are so conflicted and confused and expertly twisted, that he's no longer sure what he even wants. Only what he expects and no doubt deserves.
That was why Maglor was concerned. He 'felt' Van's response, but knew there was something wrong, and so Van shut him out.
Thank you Ebbingnight. I hope I will make it plainer in the next chapter. :)
Author's Response: Thank you, Alquien ;)
I so wanted to review this the day it was posted, but this past week was finals, so that never happend. :/ But now I'm all through with that, so here is a review a bit late.
It was interesting to think about Sauron using Vanimórë's energy to create the fire, it didn't even occur to me until Maglor was reflecting on it, but who did the fire come from. Could that be the influence of Van's Fëanorian blood? Does Sauron even know he is Fëanorian in this story? This chapter also got me wondering how much little Gíl knows? He is supernaturally aware of things it seems, I'm interested to see where that leads, especially in his relationship with Glorfindel.
I can't believe Maglor risked speaking with Vanimórë so close, I know he could feel Sauron's mind was turned away, but what if Van suspected something? He is playing a dangerous game there, but I cannot wait until all this tension between them brakes, I just love the two of them!
Great chapter! Sorry it took me so long to review, it's been a week from hell, but I'm back! Thank you for giving me something to brighten my day! :)
Author's Response: I'm so glad you get to have a rest now after your finals, Poppy Marie. Thank you so much for coming back to this and leaving a review :)
Van's heritage in this story (or any story) is exactly the same, so Sauron would know it, yes, and I have no doubt he is accessing that preternatural Fëanorion fire that Van knows nothing of. Anger, fire, loosing that has rarely done Van any good, when pitted against powers greater than he, so it's not ever really released; he holds it and it burns inside him. When allied to that Maia blood through Sauron, it makes him very powerful indeed, but he's always turned away from his Maia heritage and does not know his Noldor side, save that it is Noldo, so he does not know how to use it.
And as for little Gìl – he knows a great deal, and also knows to hide things. Well, he is a unique child in this story being Legolas', but what else that may nean we don't know yet...
Maglor was impulsive, yes. But I don't think he considered that Van might suspect anything, as he's hiding in such plain sight! (Of course, part of him wants Van to know him, but he does know that would be a disaster for all of them).