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Reviews For A Length Of Ribbon
OK- ready to write more coherently now. I am very moved by this and genuinely felt I needed to tell you that but how? The layers and layers you build into this are exquisite and poignant - and then turn tragic. You never show us Fingon's body and its as much by omission that you make this such a tender piece. That link with the combs which are jewelled and signify merely a political alliance contrast so beautifully with the ribbon -not even a hiar ribbon but simply a bit of ribbon around a candlestick for decoration. And that is what Fingon holds onto- even at his death. That it is mere Orc salvage emphasises the pathos actually- it has no idea of the significance. (I actually felt some empathy for Scum)
There are those very subtle touches,
‘Curvo’, says Maedhros to his brother, a little distantly, a little too politely,
that speak volumes for their subtlety rather than the hyperbolic shouting and breast beating that other characters might go in for and the secrect nature of their relationship makes it all the more tragic.
The simplicity too of the previous chapter, focuses on intimacy not epic romance. I love that domesticity, the closeness - brushing hair, holding up a ribbon (and cannot tie it ofcourse!) and Fingon having his amr across Maedhros' waist- that detail is lovely.
As always, you write sublimely.
Thank you so much!
No, poor Scum, there is no way he could have any idea of the significance of the ribbon--in his universe, love doesn't even exist.
I'm glad you picked up on all those details and that you let me know that they succeed in conveying what I meant them to say!
Himring- you just knocked me out with this. It's too sad. Bad enough the tale of Maedhors as Tolkien tells it, in its starkness alone, but to give it all the love, affection and tenderness you give them in the first chapter, and then ..No. I cant write any sort of review right now. You made me cry.
I've enjoyed many things about this fic, which I only found today.
First of all, the ribbon, the focus of the story. How something worthless becomes a treasure because of its meaning to two people, and once his bearer is dead, it reverts back to its former sparkling insignificance. The disappointment of the Orc when he could find nothing better and his sense of having been cheated were almost pathetic, when you consider the value of the ribbon as a symbol between the lovers. I liked the introduction of the hair combs to provide the contrast against the ribbon. They may be high in material value but not really wanted by Maedhros, except as the means to dazzle his allies and potentially, to provide money to supply to his people.
Linked to the combs, I loved the realistic portrayal of routine, of forging alliances, of projecting an expected image before allies, of carrying on with life as a leader after all the heroic deeds have been done.
But most of all I admired the sense of intimacy built between Maedhros and Fingon, and how they appreciate that what they’ve gone through and what they are must set them apart from the “normality” they might have once enjoyed. Angband and the war has made normality impossible, and still they find a balance, contentment and love, at least for a while. And yes, the love scene between them, without being explicit, was lovely, too!
What a lovely review! You have picked up so much of what I was trying to convey. Thank you very much! I'm so glad you enjoyed this piece.
In fact, Fingon practically commanded him to leave the door open for him. Arguably, he is demonstrating Feanorian loyalty to the High King by acceding to his wishes. He briefly imagines trying to use that argument to defend his actions before the late High King Fingolfin and pulls a wry face—definitely the sort of discussion one would wish only to have if one had managed to arrange a secure exit beforehand.
::lol:: I don’t know what I like better: that Fingon commanded him to leave the door open, or the look on Fingolfin’s face if Maedhros told him that.
Blue and silver—Fingon’s colours—the idea appeals to him that he could be wearing them, just this evening, privately.
<3 He could keep a ribbon with Fingon’s colours hidden, just like Fingon kept his strand of hair… but even that Maedhros would consider too great a risk. Also, they may not be a normal couple, but Maedhros worrying about how he looked was an incredibly normal moment.
an involuntary prayer to an unknown god to permit Fingon to go on being Fingon,
That was beautiful, and sad, knowing that Fingon will go on being Fingon… once he’s released from Mandos.
‘You see’, he explains now, twirling the loop of silver around once in his fingers, ‘I can carry it openly and no one will ever know.’
That’s the closest to a wedding ring they could get. I’m happy Fingon died wearing it… and that just shows what a tragic couple they are.
Lovely story. I’m even feeling sorry for the orc, because even if someone explained to it why that ribbon was so valuable, it wouldn’t understand.
No, poor orc, it wouldn't have a chance of understanding the value of that ribbon!
I'm glad that you like that bit about Fingolfin, considering the conversation we just had about him. Because, you know, it's not really meant to be unfair to Fingolfin, not on my part and not on Maedhros's either.
And I'm happy that the other lines you quote came across so well! Thank you for telling me so!
This was a fantastic read. I loved your take on Maedhros and Fingon's relationship faced with the physical and mental consequences of Thangorodrim, and the unassuming resolution of it. And that's apart from the brilliant choice of focus, the writing, and the tone of the whole piece. If only MEFA nominations were open now... you even made me feel sorry for the orc.
What a wonderful thing to say! Or rather, so many wonderful things! Thank you! I'm so glad this piece worked for you and especially the take on Maedhros and Fingon's relationship. Sometimes I'm afraid I'm being rather self-indulgent when I write yet another piece about the two of them together...
This is chilling...
Defeat in battle is never pretty or romantic--and even less so, when it is a defeat inflicted by such as Morgoth!
And the life of a lowly orc in Angband must have been very bleak, I think.
I love your Maedhros. He is so intent on going on even though he is also damaged. I love your Fingon too. :)
Thank you very much!
Yes, Maedhros does try to carry on as best he can.
This is beautiful. You killed me with the love-making which is not described at all. Less was certainly more in this case.
Also loved this:
Thank you very much for this again!
Although, as I told you, I know Eilian's picture on DeviantArt, I think the passage you quote actually owes a little to a story of Cirdan's (in quite a different context, though) and also probably to a non-Tolkien story, except I can't reconstruct which it might have been; perhaps it was by Robin McKinley.
I do hope and believe I've made it all my own, though!