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I loved this piece -- it's so beautiful and sad that it gave me the shivers. I love the combination of dire circumstances with a fragile thread of hope, represented by the daisies.
Ooh, thank you, especially for such wonderful insight! Even Míriel needs that hope, I think, even if it comes in innocuous symbols like Nénumë's daisies here.
Sapphic stanzas indeed! You challenge me with these! But I am not a poet and they are difficult. Anyway, you did a lovely job. Not only is the language nice to read, but the mood is so very sexy. You inspire me to try to relax a little and try to write a few short things for this week! (Fell at a terrible time for me this year.)
I'd hesitate for a very long time before I'd call myself a poet (even though I do write poetry sometimes; I usually keep it private for a reason), and I found these difficult, too, especially seeing how I am not used to working with a strict meter or form, usually. It's one of those things I want to practice, and then opt for free verse again after all - so this was a welcome challenge, if not an easy one! So I'm doubly glad you enjoyed this, and if it inspired you to take a crack at a bingo card or other, that would be most excellent indeed! :) I hope your time stops being terrible soon, but I'd love to see something from you regardless of when it comes! :)
So terrible and lovely. Nice work!
What a good summary of this little moment! Thank you! ^^
I love it when you write prehistoric elves or even refer to that pre-history like in this one. Beautiful use of the prompts.
Thank you, Oshun! Of course you know it's a part of canon that's near and dear to my heart, but I'm glad the prehistoric "vibe" came through. Without telling too much, I can't wait until I get to elaborate on the Amanyavari in Our Share of Night to Bear more fully! :D
A beautiful scene and good to get at least a glimpse of Kalre again, in the meantime.
I'm glad that those two meet again--so long after--although it seems almost dreamlike!
Thnnk you so much! This drabble was a pretty spontaneous decision (it was eant to be Míriel/Indis, originally) in terms of Kalrê claiming it for herself. It's not a dream, though - this is happening, if a long, long time down the line, probably set in the vicinity of the ending of Our Share of Night to Bear which happens in the same 'verse as The Beautiful Ones. (This also goes to show that I should really write up a continuity of stories and which stories belong where, and which are standalones. Projects, projects...)
I love this, Elleth.
Seeing Nenume again and the encouragement she offers and that last line!
And again, thank you! :D Nénumë is going to be a far more significant presence in Míriel's life than either of them initially expected, I think, and while I'm not entirely sure yet how the rest of it is going to shape up (something that needs to be written up to figure out), I have a feeling this isn't the last of her that we've seen. :)
I like this a lot, Elleth!
Poor litte Luthien, she seems to have been started on this awfully young, but she's certainly an achiever.
And the description how her mother's language feels to her is very vivid.
She definitely is an achiever! Lúthien wouldn't be herself if she didn't try and struggle against adversity. It's one of the most striking characteristics of her to me (she falls in love with a mortal, defies her father, breaks out of captivity twice, faces Sauron, tracks down her runaway boyfriend, defies Morgoth and Mandos...) so it doesn't make sense to me to have her not try her utmost even at such a young age. And of course Melian (so I like to think, even if it didn't come up explicitly here) would be aware of something momentuous in her daughter's future, so making this power accessible to her makes good sense. :)
Thank you so much for reviewing!
Really enjoyed this ficlet, Elleth! Your prose, as always, is evocative, and I love how you've described Valarin and Lúthien's struggles to learn the language, e.g.,
First it was language - a tongue that hurt to listen to, the quick merciless slices of a bright sword glittering in starlight given shape and sound.
She had learned, by then, how to wrap her tongue around the sharp, intricate sounds of her mother's language and to speak them without cutting her lips bloody.
Oooooh, that last part! All of this really resonates (heh...so to speak) with me (the Pandë!verse, too!). You've written a neat treatment of the Language/Songs of Power.
Thanks for reviewing! I love the tidbit of Valarin being unpleasant to Elvish ears, and it was fun taking it a step further to see how a half-Elf-half-Maia might react to a language whose power she can access but not (yet) adequately control, and I'm so glad it resonates (heh) with you. And I'm always happy to hear the praise about my prose, of course. ;) Thank you so much, Pandë!
Oh, this is wonderful. It's sad and bittersweet and underneath it all is hopeful. They do have one another.
The title is from Emily Dickinson ... and I am out with lanterns, looking for myself.
I love the title it really, really works.
Thanks so much, Oshun, that's very lovely of you to say! :) They do have each other, much like your Nerdanel and Indis do.
"With a crack and a splash and a scream barely perceived" is especially alarming--although Elenwe isn't named here or perhaps because she isn't-- it makes you wonder whether the bystanders might have been too depressed and out of it to help her effectively.
That motion of looking heavenward, as one, caught me up, too...
I think they were probably too naive too. Having a Ski Patroler as a husband, what he calls "tactical rescues" from icy water are hard to manage. I'd imagine they simply lacked the resources or the knowledge to be as effective as they probably could have been, with experience in those sorts of environments.
You are right that Elenwe does linger on the edges of one's thoughts in reading this piece. I don't recall if I intended it or not, but rereading it, I definitely experienced it as well.
Thank you for all of your reviews! :) When I saw this collection among those you could choose from for the newly assigned challenge, I thought, "Well, that'll be an easy one, to choose one ficlet to review." And then you commented on them all! :) Thank you.
This is very lyrical! It reads partly like a variation of the Endymion story, with reversed roles, almost, very suitable for Irmo as the Vala of Dreams, you would say, but there seems to be more to it than that. I can't quite pin down what it evokes--the contrast between the garden and the Outer Lands, the theme of embodiment...
Namo's eyes--"sharp and green like a beast's"--in particular have stayed with me somehow since the first time I read this one, I'm not sure why.
I wasn't familiar with the story of Endymion (at least, not that I can recollect), but that's an interesting connection. I think there is definitely a tension between the disembodied and corporeal forms of the Ainur, also represented as Middle-earth versus Valinor. I suspect there would have been, as noncorporeal beings who chose and knew what it was to have a body. I think Irmo here is definitely preferring his embodied form. :)
Namo's green eyes have stuck with me as well! I manage to mention it in just about everything I write about him! :D It's mentioned, too, even just in the brief little bit I've written of the AMC prequel!
The pines thrashing and falling--isn't there a bit like that in the Lord of the Rings? The visions in Galadriel's Mirror, maybe? Which would be very fitting, for a vison of Finrod's. Although of course these must be the pines of Dorthonion, caught in the firestorm from Angband maybe.
It is good to know that they laughed together, in Dorthonion--that there was not just the respectful distance between them, although the adventurousness of little Aegnor is poignant, too.
And even though the laughter turns to screams...
You are right! There is a scene like that in "Galadriel's Mirror," in FotR:
As if a dark veil had been withdrawn, the Mirror grew grey, and then clear. There was sun shining, and the branches of trees were waving and tossing in the wind. But before Sam could make up his mind what it was that he saw, the light faded; and now he thought he saw Frodo with a pale face lying fast asleep under a great dark cliff. Then he seemed to see himself going along a dim passage, and climbing an endless winding stair. It came to him suddenly that he was looking urgently for something, but what it was he did not know. Like a dream the vision shifted and went back, and he saw the trees again. But this time they were not so close, and he could see what was going on: they were not waving in the wind, they were falling, crashing to the ground.
I didn't intend a parallel here, and having only read LotR once at this point, I don't think it was unconscious either, just using a similar image by coincidence. :) The pines, as you note, came from Dorthonion.
The challenge did take you into new territory here, didn't it? I don't think you've dealt with Turin a lot. But he is very believable here. That bit about "do I list when I walk" (with the weight of Gurthang) really gets to me.
I guess you associate mercy with Orodreth here because he let Celegorm and Curufin go? Do you think Orodreth actually lacks the courage to speak to Turin or is this just Turin's view of him?
It's honestly hard to say what I was thinking, since I wrote these seven years ago now! :) And as you note, this isn't an area of the canon where I've done a lot of work, so I don't have particularly strong opinions.
Then, I probably would have said that Orodreth lacked courage. Now, I would have a more nuanced view of his character.
I suspect that Orodreth's treatment of C&C contributed to my impression of him here, but I've also felt that he is the most like Finarfin of all of Finarfin's children, and I see Finarfin as a very gentle and merciful character. So there's a good bit of Felakverse in there too!
An interesting alternative--a real new start rather than that choice between her father and Indis...
Thank you! In my personal 'verse this happens at some point after Nerdanel's stays with Indis and Mahtan (and I really need to work out a proper timeline for my fics), so it negates neither, but you're very right in recognizing that she'd want a new start.
Nice to see her aging but still rebellious and confident!
Thank you! At some point I think that became ingrained behaviour, but especially so when she grew older. Haleth strikes me as someone who would be very aware of possible constraints, so any version of hers where she'd be willing to admit weakness (real or perceived) would need a very convincing writer...
Of course, it's going to sound slightly less heroic if Ecthelion and his Balrog drown in a fishpond, so they had better go on calling it a fountain...
Hahaha, I hadn't even considered it that way - of course a fountain would be more heroically sound... as, I suppose, would be the Lord of the House of the Fountain rather than the Lord of the House of the Fishpond. :P (*Idril voice: It will be both! There is no reason to mock dear Ecthelion!*) Either way, thank you! :D
Aerin was actually planning it from the beginning and Brodda was part of the plot? That's an interesting idea!
Possibly! I think she did understand the potential of going along with the Easterling rule - whether she had /planned/ to strike against him from the beginning I'm not sure, but I do think she remembered her words and took her chance when events turned that way.
Fantastic, Elleth! I made my enthusiam for these known elsewhere, and I'm thrilled that you collected the ficlets into a cohesive whole, here now posted on a more *ahem* stable archive than the emphemeral T-place.
This is so darkly power and beautiful, and although you might call it an AU, I'd call it an AH...that is, an alternative history, as this flows into Tolkien's legendarium perfectly, i.e., it fits in the same universe. I cannot help but compare Lúthien's magnificence and power you've shown here to the (now paler) shadow of Galadriel's temptation by the One Ring.
So many wonderful turns of phrase here, e.g., she needs no rock-studded crown to bow her neck, but this last...
And should they try besiege her - she rained sleep upon the greatest of the Ainur. An army is no hardship, especially not since there is one to give her wings.
Wow! That is oe helluza realization for the Noldor.
All in all, you have the foundation for a fantastic story arc here with the dyad of Lúthien and her "chief lieutenant," Thuringwethil (a fabulous contrast to Melkor and Sauron). I dearly hope you continue this.
Finally, Dark Muse Approved™? Nope. Istyanis Approved™? Yes!
I like the idea of considering this particular 'verse alternative history than an alternative universe -- and the idea that it fits into Tolkien's legendarium this easily is a huge compliment, so thank you for that! And you're right - Galadriel pales by comparison, doesn't she? One phrase that I had running through my mind while writing this was "I didn't fall to temptation - I rose to it", from Diane Lockward's Eve Argues Against Perfection, and that may be a main difference between these two ladies, quite apart from Lúthien being more powerful due to her heritage.
I don't know if it will turn into a story arc, but the 'verse is too intriguing to abandon, so there will in all likelihood be more, DM's disapproval notwithstanding. ;) Thank you so much for such a glowing review!
Ooh, it's here!
I saw the second two on Tumblr, and have already mentioned how I love the concept of the "weight of light." Also:
- Thuringwethil literally putting her form back on like a garment.
- The diplomatic yet menacing way they deal with the Noldor.
It's here, and thank you so much for commenting again! :) I'm glad you've found more to enjoy - in particular Lúthien dealing with the Noldor was very fun to write, but then I have a thing for women rulers anyway.
Oh, dear, how sad...
First of all, thank you so, so, so much for leaving so many reviews. I didn't quite trust my eyes when I checked my emails and found all the notifs, but it made my day nonetheless! :D I loved seeing all your individual responses to the ficlets, and am thrilled you enjoyed them so much! Many of them are quite old by now, and it's great to know that they passed the test of time. I noticed that you uploaded several stories of your own, and I'll be certain to read and reciprocate, but for now - thank you so much, again! :D
*laughing* Very funny!
I like how you write Fingon here.
Well, I love Caranthir, and this reminds me of how it feels when your parents argue.
This is chilling...