I was rereading this story recently as it’s one of my favorite of yours. I wonder if part of the reason Maglor is so angry at Vanimorë is not only that he kept him alive when he wanted to die, but that Van left him. Fëanor showed Maglor desire in Valinor…and then left him to deal with the resulting feelings, un-acted upon, only to die and leave him with them unresolved. In Barad Dur Vanimorë reignited this desire…and then pushed Maglor out the door (not that he could do anything else but still). Now Maglor is once again left alone to deal with his very conflicted feelings, and more importantly, is being left to live alone in bleakness after having shown all that life could be. I think it’s still present in later stories in the fact Maglor might flounce out of a room in anger but to my knowledge, he is never the one that leaves Vanimorë (contrary to let’s say, Tindomion leaving Gil behind for Imladris). He hovers around in Tanith (in Dark Blood) when he could leave, but never does. I think also that since he is always the one that prevaricates and fight against desire, that he unwittingly ends up stuck in the role of hating Vanimorë past the point where he would choose to himself. I think it’s in Dark Gods that Vanimorë tells him not to stop hating him as he loves the spice. At that point, Maglor still resents how easily Vanimorë can play him but he does not bring up hating him unless Vanimorë brings it up. So basically, he painted himself in a corner. Anyway, I have high hopes for their meeting in Anvil! Thank you for writing such a fascinating story.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for this most insightful review :) Sometimes it takes readers to see patterns that the writer never really sees :)
Oddly enough I am writing these two at the moment, and some of this does come up. Vanimórë would not have sent Maglor away from Mordor if there were any other way, and I think that angered him (Van) a great deal, bit as you say, what else could he do? And under his resentment and knee-jerk reactions to Vanimórë Maglor knows there is a bond, and alway will be. yes, he did rather paint himself into a corner, but so much has changed now, we’ll have to see what comes of it :) Thank you very much!
Oh! This is really NOT the Valar's day, is it! :)
Having Feanor reborn was a bit of a slap in the face, but with the rest of the Noldor following suit, well, I'd say the Valar's days are numbered.
Poor Maglor just couldn't believe it! His father, his brother's, all those he had known and loved materializing on the beach, its any wonder he wept. He had longed for this reunion for many an age.
If ever there was a time and place for father and son to meet, this would have been it. And wow! Could not have picked a better moment, surrounded by luminaries of legend.
I am so glad Elgalad was brought back. Who knows what Vanimore would have done if he had to live the rest of his life without him. He is probably right. He would have become something like his father without Elgalad's love. That's a heartbreaking and frightening thought.
Great chapter to end the Dark Prince with, Spiced! :)
Should I move onto Starfall or continue with Dark Lands?
Author's Response: Yes, the Valar’s days are numbered. They do retain some power, but it’s fading, as is shown in later stories, but their hate is as strong as ever!
Yes, it was lovely to write them all returning, ever since I first read the Silm in the 80’s I wanted to do that :)
If you wanted to read more, it’s really up to you. I think, to properly understand the rest of the stories, ‘Starfall’ is the best one to read, really. It is from the time Fingolfin comes to Endor, to the Last Alliance. Thank you so much, Gabriel :)
This chapter was such an emotional ride, Spiced!
And I did not realize Vanimore could shape shift! Such a surprise! He's been keeping that one under wraps. But at the same time I can understand why he would want to. He loathes himself enough for being Sauron's son.
I think there is such a sense of poetic justice in Vanimore and Glorfindel becoming powers. Giving the Valar the proverbial finger, so to speak. I mean the Valar have only ever shown contempt and hubris toward the Noldor, leaving them to their fate as if in punishment for daring to leave the protection and sovereignty of Aman.
But this was the part of the chapter that brought tears to my eyes. I know it sounds silly.
*There was green, gold. There was light, after so long, when all he had been was a houseless flame which refused to go out, to be eaten by the Night.
The spirit was aware of weight, of flesh, of solidity forming around the soul. He felt air rush into lungs which began to inflate and deflate, felt his heart begin to beat. He staggered, regained his balance. Long hair fell like water against his back.
He went down on his knees again, just breathing, seeing each mote of sand below him, feeling its granular texture. The wild scent of brine was in the air. With a powerful surge and bunch of sinew, he forced this new body to its feet. For a moment the weight disoriented him, and then his soul forged with it as hand into glove.
Feanor raised his head.*
It still brings a tear just writing it. I really loved this!
Oh! And love the artwork!
Author's Response: Vanim?r? had never shape shifted before. He deliberately tried to do nothing that Sauron could do, although the gift was always inherent in him.
Now the Valar will begin to lose power, as they should, the useless bastards lol.
But oh, I am glad you loved F?anor?s return. I had to write this (and all the other Dark Prince stories) and then all of Magnificat Book I before I could continue from this part. I was determined to bring back the Noldor who had died. So thank you, Gabriel!
Oh! I love Maglor and Vanimore in these chapters.
I love their love hate relationship. Maglor infuriated by Vanimore's control over him and Vanimore fueling the fire by goading him, baiting him. :)
Although in saying that I do feel for Maglor as he is a little tortured by the whole situation. By what happened to him in Mordor. Loathes it but needs it.
I love the battle scenes in this chapter. I'm a bit of a sucker for battle scenes. Loved how surprised Elgalad was that Maglor was the one rescuing him and Maglor shoving the hilt of a dagger into Elgalad's palm, turns and is back in the action. Maglor is just gorgeous!
But what Vanimore does to Hagard! *shudders* I know Hagard had done some pretty foul things in his past and was planning to rape and kill Elgalad, but I can't help but be a bit squeamish reading it. It just reminds me of poor Celebrimbor. Not that I'm the least bit sad for Hagard, but, Vanimore in this, is truly his father's son.
I'm bursting at the seams for Maglor and Tindomion's meeting. Can't wait for that!
Super enjoyable chapter! Spiced Wine!
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Gabriel :) Yes, I love Vanimórë and Maglor; there will always be some sort of thread, some burning connection between them, forged out of need and hate and pain.
Maglor is just gorgeous, yes, my favourite of the sons :)
And speaking of sons, and Vanimórë’s cruelty, yes he is is father’s son, and he knows it and hates it, and tries to fight it, but he is, and he can be completely without pity.
Thank you so much for commenting :)
Wow! That Malthador really has become a nasty piece of work. Making Elgalad pay for rebuffing him then throw in antipathy for the Noldor-kinslayers knowing full well Elgalad's Lord is one-you've got one messed up Elf who believes his treatment of Elgalad is just and for the betterment amd protection of the realm. :/
I'm so relieved he's been dealt with.
I love how Tindomion, Glorfindel and Legolas are extremely protective of Elgalad and Tindomion's words to him when he apologised for setting foot in the santuary where Gil galad was buried.
*"He would not mind, Elgalad, he would welcome thee. Thou doth know how to love."*
It brought tears to my eyes. The High King sent into the everlasting dark for that very thing.
Then there's Vanimore who's this steely-eyed veteran warrior who you'd think would easily best the Mouth in anything, which he does to perfection, only to have his father humiliate him, demean him by giving him as some sort of consolation prize to the Mouth. His life is so full of horror of the highest order. I just cringed when he was chained and left for that abhorrent excuse of a Man to do with as he pleased. Poor Vanimore, its any wonder he's sane at all. Being used and abused like that. *Shivers*
Loved this chapter, though Spiced Wine! :)
Author's Response: Yes, Malthador was embittered and hated Elgalad, poor thing. But at least it’s been found out now and taken in hand.
Ah yes, the Mouth, he appears much later too. A ghastly individual. Sauron knows the Mouth could never been Vanimórë, but sometimes he ‘gives’ Vanimórë to the Mouth to keep Vanimórë reminded of who holds the real power :(
Thank you so much, Gabriel. I appreciate it :)
This chapter was both beautiful with the promise of everything Elgalad wanted and the most heartwrenching.
With Vanimore's continuing campaign to force Elgalad to hate him purely for his own safety. Well, I mean there really is no other way for Vanimore to keep him out of Sauron's reach. Elgalad will not listen to reason, so what else can he do but sever ties, no matter how harsh.
A very bittersweet reunion. :/
I liked the use of the Lay of Leithien, in part, and how the verses seem to pertain to Vanimore and Elgalad. Really lovely, Spiced. :)
Author's Response: Thank you, Gabriel. It’s an impossible situation, really, Vanimórë loves Elgalad but he cannot have him (and does not think he deserves him, either) so there is little he can do but drive him away. Physically and emotionally. Ahhh! So long ago I wrote this and with what is happening now, and recently in the story, I am just shaking my head at how much has changed :)
So sorry Spiced Wine for taking so long to review this week. :/
Such a sad story. Amroth and Nimrodel.
Ah! Vanimore! Ever the protector and such a kind soul, a gentlemen, always thinking of everyone else. No matter his feelings for Nimrodel.
I guess that comes from the love he had for his sister. A chance to show that quality again, this time to a stranger.
Ever wanting to love someone of his own or be loved himself. But is always thwarted, either by his father's desires and actions or by life itself.
I love how you have it that Nimrodel is with child when Vanimore finds her and passes away quietly upon the babes birth. Gone to finally join her beloved. Quite a fitting explanation and end to her life, I think.
This was lovely. :)
Author's Response: No worries, Gabriel. I am very grateful you take time to comment at all :)
I always found the story of Amroth and Nimrodel very sad when Legolas sang the song on Lothlórien.
Of course Vanimórë would have treated Nimrodel with kindness and compassion, poor woman, and yes, he stilll sees his sister in all women so he would be nothing but kind. He wouldn’t have wanted her to die, and maybe had she lived he might have been able to persuade her to go back to Lórien with her child, but as that was not to be...Elgalad. A child he had always wanted and could never have himself, and knows he will not be able to keep. But still loves...
Thank you so much for commenting.
As soon as I began reading these last few chapters and my eyes lit upon Gil galad I couldn't leave the story alone. :)
Gil is one of my favorites. I lap up anything and everything written about him.
Your OMC Tindomion, magnificent a character and he and Gil are just magic together. You can feel the love between them, in the little touches, the looks. I couldn't get enough of them. You have me hooked on these two, no question. They are like Feanor and Fingolfin together. Beautiful!
Then there's Tindomion's mad and desperate scrabble to reach Gil's side.
"Gil..." His voice was constricted; a blade wedged itself into his heart, taking his breath.
Gil galad's eyes opened, still fiercely bright against the white pallor of his face, the red and black of blood.
"Istelion...he is gone?"
"Yes, hush. Rest, I will get help..."
His mind, vibrating with pain, hurled a furious, mental cry for aid, but it was already there, light feet speeding toward them, halting.
"Istelion." The star-blue eyes fixed on Tindomion's and clung.
"Gil... do... not!"
The pain spasmed through Gil galad's body. Blood burst in a plume from his lips. Tindomion leaned over him, tear tracks washing a path through the spatters of blood and ash on his face. Gil galad wanted to reach out a hand to that anguished face and offer comfort.
So my father died, so did Morgoth break Fingolfin's body...
This brought tears to my eyes. So heartbreaking.
Then Gil is taken by memory; A time when he was a child horse riding with his father and meeting Maedhros and his brother's for the first time. This must have been the pinnacle of joy in his childhood. And the first time he set eyes on Tindomion was another.
"Gil...please..." Tindomion's mind was a firesong of anguish.
No. Please. Oh, Eru, please.
Narya, Gil galad thought lovingly.
Oh my gosh! I really felt the loss. Poor Tindomion :( So beautifully written. :)
Author's Response: Oh, I love Gil-galas too, Gabriel. In fact there is much more about him and Tindómion in Magnificat of the Damned Book I - Starfall, the start of their relationship and the end. There is a ‘bit’ in this story, but Magnificat 1 mainly follows the Noldor from when they set foot on Endor to the Last Alliance.
I think Gil-galad lost his father so young and he loved Maedhros, too, and Tindómion coming into his life was like someone out of the past.
Aww, thank you for the comments, Gabriel, I really appreciate it. As I say, if you want to read any more about Gil-galad and Tindómion you might want to read Magnificat book 1 after this.
I still feel a bit strange Spiced Wine, reading many chapters and only reviewing one out of the many. But it makes sense, considering how long your series is and it has taken a bit of pressure off. :)
Your descriptions of Numenor's nobility and their immense wealth is so vivid and vibrant.
*Great houses lay behind marble walls, where birds sang and fountains played. Statues reared against the sky, and roofs were overlaid with gold and silver. Enormous litters carried by a score of burly slaves carried bejeweled noblewomen. The men rode fine horses and dressed as brilliantly as peacocks.*
Their wealth seemed almost sickening. And as you mentioned they became arrogant in their dealings with the Men of Middle earth and jaded and greedy with their wealth. No surprises there.
Everything about Numenor seemed corrupt except Tar-Miriel, Who I felt so much empathy for, kept a prisoner in her own palace with a man who favoured things a bit on the dark side.
It was only a matter of time before Numenor fell. All supposedly great empires do when they start down the road of amoral and as you said Sauron wanted Numenor to pay for coming to the aid of Gil galad and driving him back from his goal. Its just sad that the Numenorean people had to suffer for their Kings desires and actions. :(
Author's Response: Well, I’m glad you feel less pressure, Gabriel. I know when I’ve discovered long fics or series I just read like I am devouring it and don’t think to review every chapter, I just read too fast. :/
Númenor...it started off well, but in time it rotted from the core outward. They enslaved other nations, cut down most of the trees in Enedwaith for their huge fleets, and in the end grew jealous of the Elves where once they had been their allies. Not all, of course, those like Elendil and his people were different and spared in the end, but it must have been fairly easy for Sauron to corrupt the king and those who were ambitious. But as you say, I pity the ‘ordinary’ folk too. If Númenor wer truly so dreadful that nothing less than its destrcution was possible, then it was certainly worse than I’ve depicted it here.! Thank you so much for the comment :)
It is so very easy to forget that Vanimore has never seen beyond Angband and the northern lands that surround it.
To have him in awe of the patterns of frost on grass blades, sunsets cinder red and ice yellow and the dance of yellowing Silver Birches. These are miracles in nature that most people take for granted, but from someone who has seen, smelt and tasted only darkness and the vileness of it, it is a wonder beyond imagining. He is so like a child in this respect. :)
It was just wonderful to see him discovering things for the first time and realizing there is beauty in the world. Beyond all the pain and horror he has endured.
This last part, the light show Vanimore's people woke to watch. Spiced Wine! It's got to be the Valar-the War of the Wrath, right? I love Vanimore's desperate hope that the Valar have come to save them all. Its a little sad. :/
Lovely chapter! Spiced Wine!
Author's Response: Yes, it was sad and amazing to write him seeing the beauty of the world (and ever after it was something that he deeply appreciated, acting like a balm on his soul).
And yes, that was the War of Wrath he saw, from a far distance. It was why Sauron sent Vanimórë away, not believing he would survive it or., if he did, would be taken by the Valar. Sauron had more foresight than Melkor.
At this stage, yes, Vanimórë is still hopeful, it took him a long time to lose hope that one day he might be rescued by the Valar. :(
I’m very grateful for your reviews, Gabriel, but you don’t have to review every chapter, which must be quite a boring task for you! If you see anything you like, I always love a comment, but please don’t feel you have to review every chapter :)
I loved the beginning as Sauron enters the camp.
*Silence descended upon the encampment. Through it, Vanimore heard the thin wails of children hastily hushed by their elders. He did not move, waiting until the tent flaps were drawn aside by the petrified guards, and Sauron entered. Only then, almost negligently, did he come to his feet and bow.*
What Sauron did to the child Vanimore cared for. Horrible! Crushing him!
But I loved Vanimore's response. *Blood...it hazed Vanimore's vision and pounded in his brain. He moved, one hand drawing the dagger at his belt. He felt it meet something which deflected it, heard the scrape of steel on steel, then a force flung him back as if he were struck in the midriff by a mace. It smashed the air from his lungs, the table splintered as his body impacted against it. A booted foot pressed against his throat.
'Slaves own nothing' Sauron chided.*
I know I've got a lot to read. But I can't wait to see where this goes. :)
Author's Response: Thank you, Gabriel. Yes, Sauron wanted to control Vanimórë in all the days he could; he knew Vanimórë caring for a child was both simply how he was (he had wanted to care for his sister too, and did so as well as he could) and an act of defiance. He did not think of the child at all except something in his long game of ‘forging’ his son.
Great chapter! Getting to see Vanimore outside of Angband and in his role as Captain/warrior :)
Reading about all the time that had passed since Vanya's death and Morgoth's rape. Nargothrond's downfall and then Gondolin's With Glorfindel's heroic end, only serves to remind me how tragic a people the Noldor were. Constantly battling against their ultimate doom. :(
And Earendil! Good to see Melkor worried about that. So he should be. :)
So Vanimore has not completely hardened himself against caring for anyone, as we see in the way he fed and clothed the child he found.
I think he just guards his heart vehemently, afraid of what his father and Morgoth would do to him or others if he showed that vulnerability.
He has told himself he does not care but I cannot imagine Vanimore ever being a cold calculating person. As a warrior, yes! But not the real Vanimore. It is something he uses to deal with the violations, which I can fully understand. :/
Author's Response: I remember how free it felt, to write Vanimórë feeling somewhat free for the first time, seeing part of the world. :)
There will always be a great tenderness in Vanimórë that nothing can really ever quash, which is a good thing, as he could have been something rather dreadful ! Thank you very much for your comments, Gabriel :)
Oh my god! Spiced Wine.
Morgoth is abhorrent. I doubt Vanya would have survived the first rape let alone any after that. Unless Morgoth did the same to her as he did to her mother-kept her trapped in her own body alive, through his power. :(
And now Vanimore must deal with this on his own. So sad. How lonely is he.
Author's Response: Thank you, Gabriel. It was upsetting writing this, and it’s the one reason, and the biggest reason, why Vanimórë (later) defies his father as much as he can. He begged Sauron to help him, and Sauron didn’t. The betrayal is almost the worse thing.
Not that I suppose Sauron could actually have done anything, really.
And he was forging a weapon, which, as he says long after, requires heat and hammer blows, not gentleness :/
I love Vanimore's steel, now that he is more learned in the art of combat. He is going to need it, I fear.
What did they do to Valoron! Its almost as if they are giving Vanimore harsh lessons in hardening his heart and teaching him that he has no control over anything. I guess that's to condition him as Sauron's slave perhaps or maybe its just the way of things in that place.
If that's not enough for one so young to endure, now he has had no choice but to kill his sister, simply to save her from Morgoth's clutches. That is so heartbreaking! Poor Vanimore. Things just keep going from bad to worse, for him. To have to end the life of the very person you love above all else. The only light, the only beauty in that hellish place, that kept him going.
In a sense he is being initiated, by the very fire, the very darkness of Angband.
I'm really enjoying this, Spiced Wine. Sad and harsh, as it is, I find myself looking forward to the next chapter. I can see why people rave about it. :)
Author's Response: Thank you, Gabriel :) Vanimórë...well, it is in his blood to be a warrior (on his mother’s side anyhow) and he never consciously uses his Ainu powers, because they are Sauron’s he rejects them and instead they show in his warrior skills.
After he killed his sister, he determined nothing and no-one would break him and determined to become virtually unkillable. And Sauron suspected he would, Sauron was playing a very delicate game with his son, and for a long, long time.
Vanimórë never forgave himself for his sister, although he would not have forgiven himself if she had been killed by Melkor, so he has to live with that all his life. It made him very kind, very tender towards women, which, later, is actually to his detriment, since not all are worth it.
I’m glad you’re liking it. Very early days yet. I started writing this in 2006 and still remember it well :)
Poor Moriel! Forced to watch her husband die and then left alone in a place of darkness where there are the worst kind of monsters that haunt the shadows.
I would think that there would not be many women as slaves in Angband and so when one is captured she is considered a prize above others. Especially since Sauron loves experimenting.
I would have begged for death, but I think Moriel probably would have tried that already, somewhere along the line. So horrible!
The only thing worse than Moriel's experience, would be for children to be taken and enslaved or as in Vanimore's and Vanya's case born into the dark Lord's realm.
And Vanimore is so sweet and still so very innocent. He seems quite protective of his sister and tries to be her pillar of strength even when he doesn't feel it himself.
Sauron is his usual self. No surprises there. I'm almost afraid to think what their lives will be like as they grow. I have already read of Sauron's fatherly affection towards them. :(
A real heartwrenching chapter, Spiced! :)
Author's Response: Thank you, Gabriel.
Móriel was mad by the end, and yes, she would have begged for death, but Sauron (And Morgoth kept her alive).
This wasn't, as we'll come to see, the first time Sauron had attempted this, but the other 'experiments' were failures.
Vanimórë adored his sister, which ended up being incredibly important. If he had not loved her, he would have grown into a very different person.
His relationship with Sauron is...complicated. Not now, of course, but when he becomes older. Sauron really never ceased (until much later) to mould his son, to 'test' him, working toward his own goal. Morgoth thought Vanimórë was being trained to be the ultimate warrior and commander, to lead Angband's legions - Sauron, however, had rather different plans....
Thank you again, and I hope you have a good weekend. :)
I finally managed to read the last chapters of this, it was almost too exciting to read, like a tv series with just a few episodes left and you want to know what will happen and yet you dont because you fear it will be something bad. But it was magnificent as always. I really loved the way you portrayed the transformation of Vanimore into a power and i like the way you describe the valar too. They do somehow remind me of medieval church leaders, completely absorbed by their own righteousness and completely unable to see things from other angles than their own, and terribly achingly afraid of loosing power or face. I will keep reading your work, i use it as a reward to myself, today i managed to finish 12 pages of my current novel, so i deserve it :) Your stories are among the best i have ever read, thanks for posting them !
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Nuredhel! I am so thrilled to know that you enjoyed the last chapters :) I love it when any-one reads and comments on my older works, as they're all tied in
This is addictive, i started reading and i didnt stop for over sixty chapters and was like "I have work tomorrow, got to go to bed, just one more chapter...." This is amazing, the dept of the emotions, the very layout of the story, the way it drags the reader in. Just stunning! You are able to create characters that has so many layers, that are beliveable and multi dimensional, that is quite rare. I have an idea for some fan art for this if it is okay, it has inspired me. I am going to read more tomorrow, so expect more reviews. I just hope i will be able to do some other stuff too beside reading your great story!
Author's Response: Oh, how very kind, Nuredhel :) I am so glad that you have found this interesting :) Thank you so much for letting me know; it made my day!
The King smiled and lifted a hand to the alabaster face gilded by morning light.
"Go well, then, with my love. And be careful."
I do enjoy your Thranduil. He is so warm and gentle with his son, and with Elgalad...so very unlike PJ's Thranduil in the Hobbit films :/ and of course there's all the wonderful, complex, angsty stuff with Bainalph still to be covered *sighs*
The palm of his hand was burned white, the facets of the jewels traced on it in silvery lines, flames danced over the patterns, white as ice.
Interesting that it burns Van and not Glorfindel; I never noticed that before.
Author's Response: I have always rather liked Thranduil, although I don't mind at all how he is portrayed, as long as the stories are good :) And PJ's Thranduil was certainly a stunner, of which I approve (there could be a whole film just about him really). But I do think he would have loved and been proud of his son. I know my 'other' Thranduil in the other series is different, but I like writing that too, as I can imagine him as being a basketful of angst, to be honest! Well, he is in this series, a bit, but not with legolas!
Yes, the Silmaril burns Van, but in fact, it's from where the Silmarils were 'hallowed' by Yavannah, and a'No mortal flesh, nor hands unclean, nor anything of evil will might touch them but it was scorched and withered.' This (in this AU) is why they burned Maglor and Maedhros. But as for Glorfindel, he'd already worn them - F
''For some reason I do believe that thou hast some sense of honor, Gorthaurion. Much as I wish there was no binding between us, there is. I will know how to find thee.'' He bowed formally. "And then it ends."
The uneasy partnership of Van and Maglor working together makes for a fascinating dynamic. I also really liked Elgalad's little moment of jealousy, when he goes barging into Maglor's room unannounced. I wonder what he'd have done if he *had* found Van there!?
Author's Response: I do love Van and Maglor together, I have to say. They probably comprehend one another in a way that Elgalad can't (or cannot yet at this age). Yes, I wonder what he would have done, too!
A fitting but brutal punishment. I guess that's Van all over.
His little wink at Maglor is a great touch...I do feel sorry for Maglor, though!
Author's Response: Van can be very brutal - at times he can be very like Sauron, though he would probably not admit that.
I spend my whole life feeling sorry for Maglor :(
Ah, the game's afoot ;-) I forgot Maglor gains a canine friend! Love it.
Author's Response: Aww, I put the dog in because it would remind him of Huan :)
I enjoy reading Van giddy with freedom, although the contrast with the brutality of his time in Angband is stark and upsetting. And Maglor... *shakes head* will he never learn?!
Author's Response: And Maglor... *shakes head* will he never learn?!
Lol, dear Maglot - entrenched stubbornness.
I think Van was really a bit off the rails for a while, although he tried to keep himself under control. He wasn't being entirely logical going north, that is for sure, although he *had* to, so he was meant to, but if he had really had his head on straight he would have gone back to Mordor regardless.
You describe the mixture of sorrow and joy in Sauron's defeat beautifully - and Elgalad's despair when he thinks Van is dead is gut wrenching. I'm glad you don't let him think that for too long ;-)
Author's Response: When I was writing this it had to feel - to every-one, I think - that Sauron was *really* gone forever, even though we know he's not.
No I couldn't let Elgalad feel that for ages; I thought it would be like when we see a bright flash that drowns out everything, and only after do we start to get our sight back. Initially it would have been like that to Elgalad - before he could sense Vanim