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Reviews For Doom, Gloom and Maedhros
I think you balance the pro/anti-Elwing sides quite believably. She has a truth to herself, surely, but it's not the entire truth. As a fellow sinner when it comes to Feanorean greywash, I deeply enjoyed reading this from Maedhros's perspective. I especially liked how his thoughts wandered on and off the actual situation, how his mind brought wild and irrealistic (or sometimes outstanding) visions in his head, just as comparing Elwing to a kitten. (And remembering that he used to be someone who rescued kittens).
I loved (I mean, really hated, but when it comes to evaluating your work, 100% LOVED) how the image of Amrod's and Amras's death recurred at certain moments. I also loved how Maedhros intended to help, right until the last moment, despite knowing that no one would believe his good intentions. It was also a good idea to show a few moments from Elwing's perspective... well, I admit I would really enjoy reading this scene from the other way around (perhaps as a chapter 2).. all along from Elwing's eyes. It could be a great emphasis on this scene, because even if Maedhros cherishes benevolent thoughts, he must look horrid to the eyes of the outsider. I think. (I'm not saying that your work misses this perspective, only that I'd have enjoyed more of it).
I also really enjoyed your style: you seem to place the exactly sufficient number of words and level of detailing everywhere, the text flaws beautifully and it's dynamic. And I liked that line about Eonwe being punched in the face! I actually laughed out loud, it seemed so out of place - but it worked.
All in all, I'm really glad I stumbled upon this fic!
One last thing: I've had a look on your review-list (the one you posted on your profile) and I guess I'll check some of these authors out when I have the time! :) I think this is very important to mention because reviewers - in general - are underrated. Kudos to you for doing this!
Have a great day/evening/anything else,
Thank you very much!
I'm really glad that the way I chose to handle Amrod and Amras's deaths worked for you. It seemed to me that those deaths would have affected Maedhros profoundly, but at the same time he didn't really have time to think about them, at that stage.
Maedhros--that is, my take on Maedhros--is not entirely sane anymore, after all he's been through (but I don't at all mean to imply he's completely insane, either), as well as deeply disturbed by the situation. So his thoughts are spinning and a little out of control. I'm glad you like his perspective! Canon does say that the letters the Sons of Feanor wrote to Elwing were friendly (or at least intended to be so), so I feel his reactions are not entirely uncanonical.
I have to confess that that short switch to Elwing's perspective was all I could cope with! If someone else wants to write a remix of this scene from Elwing's perspective they'd be welcome to, of course. Fics describing the encounter between the Sons of Feanor and Elwing from Elwing's perspective do exist.
Good to hear the bit about Eonwe worked, too, as I had intended!
And I'm delighted that my review list is going to be of use. This is an older rec list. Quite a lot of different rec lists for various types of fan works were posted to this year's B2MeM on livejournal, by various participants, so that might be worth investigating as well, if you're interested: http://b2mem.livejournal.com/tag/format%3Arec%20list
I really liked this. I think you portrayed the irrational fear that came over Elwing during this particular event quite well. The debate rages about her but we can't know what any of us would do in that circumstance. Maedhros memory of the kitten in Tirion was so poignant and I love how you juxtaposed his smile with how Elwing saw it. Perception is everything.
Thank you very much!
Yes, perception is everything--or at least counts for a lot. I'm glad that Elwing's reaction seemed convincing to you!
It is difficult to know what anyone else would have done in those circumstances, yes. Also, we don't even have all the details and different fan writers do interpret what canon gives us quite differently.
really well written
i confess i'm uncomfortable about the 'cousins' thing tho
Thank you very much for the comment about my writing!
As for the other comment, I'm not sure whether you mean shipping Maedhros/Fingon generally or Maedhros's thoughts about cousins as they feature in this story.
I realize that relationships among first cousins are a real taboo for some Tolkien fans (although I actually did not realize this until I encountered the first warnings on fic for cousin incest). It's not part of my personal cultural background--according to the standards I was brought up in, incest is just between siblings and between child and parent and for first cousins it's merely genetically a bit more risky to have children. I'm aware that historically past societies have both been more lenient about this (for example, ancient Egypt, where even marriages between siblings were encouraged) and a lot more stringent (for example, in the later Middle Ages in western Europe, more distant degrees of consanguinity were forbidden than first cousins). I realize that globally standards still differ today.
My protagonists have come from a society where such relationships were forbidden (Valinor) and now find themselves in a situation where many rules that they used to live by have to be renegotiated. Maedhros is actually finding this quite difficult. So his flight of fancy about cousins in fact arises partly out of that and is meant to be just that, a moment of fancy. It does not imply that there are lots of cousins who are lovers about (not even Aredhel and Celegorm, although they have a complicated history).
Sorry, if I've over-explained this. It's sometimes hard to know where are my readers are coming from.
I love this so much. Tyelcormo is (at this moment, in any case) my favourite Son and thereby my favourite Silm character. Your portrayal of him really speaks to me, and I loved the idea with the bird and the hairs. Just beautiful :)
Thank you very much! Really glad this story spoke to you--and that my take on Tyelcormo did!
Now you've gone and made me feel sorry for Uldor! As an outsider to both his people and (of course) the Eldar, it would make sense that he wouldn't be able to make a firm stand once his brothers had gained leverage on him. As I only read this after reading "Left Behind", I knew that something good would come out of this for Ulrica, at least, but that didn't make Uldor's story any less sad. When realisation dawns on him just before his death, that was a really heart-breaking moment.
Thank you very much, Lyra! I'm glad I convinced you and succeeded in making you feel for Uldor!
(I've been having a bit of a tough week and your commenting on this pair of stories really made my day!)
As I said before at AO3, it's amazing how you're able to communicate so many things with so few words.
I love how Maedhros looks strong and vulnerable at the same time, and how he holds on to his love for Fingon.
And I love how steadfast, loving and generous Fingon is.
Thank you very much!
I really appreciate your taking the trouble to comment both here and over there!
And I'm so glad my words convey all this to you!
I really enjoyed reading this. Maedhros self reflection and inner talk is fascinating and gives such insight as to who he is right now.
poor Orodreth--it's hard being in Finrod's shadow and maintaining a bold front--but I think it is more that.
The line about the function of ink in general was brilliant.
I always enjoy how you write Maedhros and Fingon--together and separately. There is a tenderness to their tentativeness around their physical proximity that breaks my heart. The flashback at the end was lovely--hard to think they don't have that now.
Thank you very much! So glad you enjoyed the characterisation!
And good to hear that that line about the ink worked for you.
I don't think I fully explained Orodreth here, but I think he must have been in a difficult position and a conflicted state of mind.
The bit at the end is intended as a flashforward, not a flashback-- that may not have been very clear, sorry.
By that time, some of the bad things Orodreth feared have happened, but Maedhros and Fingon understand each other better.
Lovely chapter. Fingon's realizations about himself and Maedhros are so well done, even though I want to shake them both and just tell them to talk to each other!
Yes, they both could do with a bit of prodding or shaking, couldn't they?
But I added the flash-forward to remind the reader that they will eventually talk it over.
Glad that Fingon's thoughts are convincing!
this chapter was so powerful. Lalwen taking her fate into her own hands. The comment about the heroines of the Ice going back into their cages was brilliant. I love this version of the origin of Gil-Galad!
So glad that chapter worked for you! I felt I was taking quite a risk here, but it does seem to have paid off! Thank you!
I never considered it, but a dog's life would be wrenchingly short to an elf, wouldn't it? I love Gil-Galad's response to the ambassador's assumption. This is a bittersweet and striking vignette.
I'm glad you like Gil-galad's response!
Even humans find their pets' lives wrenchingly short, although they are themselves brief as a candle flame to elves (or whatever that comparison in the Athrabeth was).
Tolkien has neatly dodged this issue, for the most part, for the horses he names: Shadowfax, Asfaloth, etc.
Thank you for reading and commenting!
Little Ereinion is lovely... and this ficlet melts my heart.
Renowned war-leaders of the House of Finwe sitting, one to the left, one to the right, on the edge of the bed of a child, telling bedtime stories...
I love this image.
Thank you very much!
Glad you enjoyed that image!
I have lost count of how often I have read this- but it never fails to move me, make me reflect and empathise with the enormous patience and fortitude of Maedhros- you write him better than anyone.
Thank you very much, Ziggy!
I'm so glad this story works so well for you!
I think this is my favourite- right up to the little twist that she is a woman - and I ,as I was supposed to I assume, had thought her a man. I enjoyed the metatext and shared writer's anxiety that no one will read it, who cares and why bother!! But you find your reader as Maedhros has found his is a wonderful idea.
But of course you draw him so delicately and beautifully as well- even if he seems to the porters at first a gangly shadow and the hair is not as bright as she expects - but Maedhros is just Maedhros. And Fingon is Fingon and the two are part of the whole. Gorgeously written as always.
I'm glad that my story has found such a great reader in you!
Thank you so much for this series of reviews, Ziggy! Really, really appreciated!
I am sure I have read these, or some of them before- but the last one made me so sad. I love horses and am glad he died knowing he had saved Whitemane- but he had survived so much and been such a good person in fact, his loyalty and dedication is a virtue. Maedhros' end is too tragic, and Celvandil's end sort of mirrors the ultimate futility of the Noldors' quest/flight from Valinor. You have such a deft touch with your characters - frugal and succinct but conveying such a depth and quality in them.
Celvandil's death saddened me as well, although I wrote it myself. I started these drabbles working out the background to a WIP (most of which isn't written yet) and the plot outline of that seemed to imply that Celvandil hadn't survived until the founding of Rivendell.
I'm glad you like Celvandil! If I manage to finish that other story, you will see a bit more of him and the period just after the founding of Himring.
This is very lovely as a piece- that moment Fingon realises Maglor is singing softly under his breath is a complete moment for me-
'He looked up. When had Maglor started singing? Singing so quietly that Fingon had not even noticed, so focussed had he been on his letter, and nobody would have been able to hear even a couple of paces away? But even as Fingon looked up, Maglor fell silent and sang no more.'
I could see him looking up, see the stone of the room they are in, see Maglor turning his head slightly and stopping. I can see the window he was looking out of, away towards Himring.
And that later scene where he has realised what Maglor knew and did not speak until he was ready...perfect.
I'm thrilled that that you were able to envisage that moment so vividly and that you liked the later scene so much as well!
Thank you very much!
Great photo-and great chapter. I agree too that the Noldor were so inventive that they would have seen Middle Earth as a challenge. I love this idea that Curufin almost snatches the drawings and goes off muttering- you wrote Maedhros in a beautiful manner- very lightly almost inperceptibly leading people to where he wants them.
Maedhros has a lot of experience with Curufin, especially! But I do, like you, feel that it applies to Maedhros's style of leading people more generally and that the Noldor in general were inventive enough to view Middle Earth as a challenge!
Then Elrond had noticed, once, Maedhros silencing Fingon just by laying a pair of fingers lightly across his wrist. And Fingon, who had been in mid flow, had stopped immediately at that gentle touch, the expression on his face hopeful and attentive...
Thank you very much, Ziggy!
I'm glad you like that observed moment between the two of them!
I've read this several times but never actually commented before, but now I'm sitting here in the dark rereading it on mobile and crying a little bit, so I think it' sa out time I told you how wonderful this is.
Thank you very much, GG!
I wrote this one quite early on, but it is still very important to me, So it's good to hear that it's still getting a response from readers like you!
"He had seen the Great Sea as something that separated them completely, before, but tonight the thought that he and Maglor might both be listening to the sound of the waves together at the same time, although continents apart, seemed to bring a kind of comfort..."
See, now you've got me imagining that Maglor starts playing his harp across the water and he an Madhros go in for a rousing rendition of "Somewhere out there" XD
I confess I had to look for the song on YouTube--but yes! Except--are you sure Maglor isn't playing electric guitar? *g*
*extremely short review*
I absolutely love this. The dynamic between Maedhros and Fingon (and Maedhros' dependence on Fingon especially) and Maedhros' characterization are both lovely. The last line about Maglor's wife is especially touching, and the connection between him and Maglor is beautifully written. I want to point out specific lines I love, but I've got to go study, so I'll just say that this is a very beautiful story and (I know I said this before but) I love this!
What a lovely review! Thank you!
I'm glad this story worked so well for you!
Good luck with your studies!
As always, I have been totally absorbed reading this- as absorbed as Meadhros, almost moving weith him, nodding ehre and there as he got it roght. I loved the note he made of the sea linking him and Maglor, and that his listening is what got it right. And he was not humiliated.
The final scene is very very lovely.
Thank you so much, Ziggy! I'm glad you found this so absorbing that you were following Maedhros's thoughts as he was working things out!
Also, that that bit about the sea and Maglor made sense to you!
No, he was not humiliated--that he was willing to risk humiliation, in the end, proved enough.
This is the very best of its kind- you are Queen of Maedhros fics!!
Thank you very much, Ziggy!
You've been re-reading the story? I'm glad it seems to stand up to repeated reading!
‘Perhaps he couldn’t get a word in edgewise?’
Hi, Himring! Reading this chapter for the fourth or fifth time (but for the first time in quite a while), I finally figured out what Maedhros means here, or at least one meaning that would explain the young Noldo's thoughts later that night. Very, very clever indeed! And poor Maedhros, to have to live (much less lead the Noldor) with that particular curse. Very well done, as always!
I have to confess that at the back of my brain I know what Maedhros means, but my brain refuses to think about it in any other way than this.
So this is a case where Maedhros is more clever or less cowardly than his author--it's something that occasionally occurs!
There are some things that I seem only to be able to approach obliquely, as a story-teller.
So you may well have figured it out, but I wouldn't be able to confirm or deny it.
I found I had stopped weeping at the sight of butterflies.
How much emotion, which development you expressed with this few words...
And then the subtle hint, Fingon just has to show Finrod some more rooms to make absolutely clear, whom it is, he had built this house for.
Sorry, I have to find another way posting this comments, if I want to put copied quotes in it, it won't work properly.
I could write a review, longer than the original, and would'nt be ready with all those subtle hints, all those mighty impressions behind some simple sentences.
Maybe I will do it, if you don't mind...
I just reread your whole Maedhros- FiI found I had stopped weeping at the sight of butterflies.
gon cycle at archieve of our own, not, because I mislike this side, but because it's easier to make sure, you didn't left out a single piece: every story, you forgot, will be left in red letters,
f you stay logged in...
For some of your stuff it is the third, fourth or more time, I read it.
And I made up my mind eventuall, yes, this story and the West Wind Quartet are my favourites, though it is hard to judge, because most of your stuff is excellent.
Tolkien was great in inventing languages, archieving great amounts of history and heritages, annals and heroic adventures, but writers like you make his creatures being living and breathing persons, you somehow seem to know intimly.
And now this jewel!
It is really art, in the sence of Michelangelo, painting every single detail, and I don't want to be flattering, I really feel so! Every sentence seem to be well composed and considered to every shade of it's implication on the reader.
When you wrote this little sentence...
I'm happy that this story strikes such a chord with you!
And also that you like the West Wind Quartet!