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Comments For Journeys of VŠsa
Oh I squeed when I saw that Pengholod is in this vignette, but oh Dawn, you just weave in so much in this story: the background of Finweän's politics, the love the brothers have for another despite all odds, the mingle of an amount of bitterness or perhaps disdain on what the kinslayer's did.
The meeting was arranged by Findekáno, who seeks ever to assuage his brother Turukáno as a convoluted means (I suspect) of earning forgiveness for Nelyafinwë.
To me even Fingolfin has dark and good thoughts about his eldest brother's and his children, and thusly this pattens you weave shine so beautifully here. I have to be careful not to repeat myself to much, but its a delight to discover this, to look back at the previous pieces in this story to see how well you used light vs dark in this great manner!
And yes, bureaucracy as a tool to give people to hold onto. It's routine, task assigned to so many, the underlying team effort and that by working together we can bring also something good to Endor. I love this series and I hope that sometime soon you have the time to do an update :)
I read this vignette a while ago, loving your Mahtan in his sadness and utter rational mind so much. I love the beautiful parallels between light & dark, the shadows, winning and loosing innocence, hope vs despair... This is such a rich vignette where everytime I read it, something else touches me deeply.
As for the third chapter, I've never been fond of Fingolfin and have always preferred his "bad boy" brother to him but it made me laugh when I read the line you wrote for him: "bureaucracy". I think that was the word I was looking for in describing him: bureaucratic but practical as a Noldo would have been, in my mind at least. I also liked his line when he compares him and his three brothers to items and what purpose they serve to his father. I enjoyed the interaction between Pengolodh and Fingolfin and the possible reasons why he was chosen above all the others.
My favorite line for this chapter is "a candle in the window". I think it summarizes the hope that is still in the hearts of the Elves that there will be redemption someday even for those who chose exile rather than stay in Aman. It is also heartening to note that despite some of their more questionable decisions, the Valar did not utterly forsake the Children of Eru. Pengolodh's last line was priceless: ["...Imagine the bureaucracy it must have taken to accomplish that!"] Very nice touch--in my humble, not-formally-trained-in-writing opinion, I think it ties the chapter together and gives it a sort of "unity".
Mahtan is a very interesting character and it would be great to read more about him. The detail you placed about his father remaining in the Wildlands holds much promise for me, having read (and obsessed) about "Another Man's Cage".
I hope that we'll be reading more about the sundering from you in your future work. Thanks for writing more about Mahtan and what he thinks about his son-in-law. He must have been a strong character too to have been able to train Feanor and others, raise Nerdanel (who must have been as strong-willed as her husband) and subsequently become the father-in-law of the "greatest" of the Eldar. The second chapter gives a good glimpse of what the elves who remained in Aman might have felt at the rising of the sun and moon upon Arda. I re-read the passage about Nerdanel and could not help but think that could she somehow feel the pain that her eldest son is currently experiencing, or about the death of her husband? I think this is my favorite chapter so far.
The tragic triangle between Arien, Melkor and Tilion reminded me of a book I've read once about how angels or spiritual beings fought--not with spears nor with blows but rather a battle of wills which is much stronger and is much more intense than anything physical. Very much like mental scars are deeper and takes longer to heal than broken bones or scars. This is also one of the concepts that I've been entertaining on how Melkor corrupted the elves into orcs. I felt that it must have taken more than physical strength to turn something beautiful into something very ugly. Thanks for sharing this story.
Ha! Wonderful! I think this is by far my favorite part. The tale of the crossing, even though told in a seemingly impassive tone, is chilling. And I can so imagine the young loremaster listening with his mouth open. :)
I kind of think that to see the first sunrise must have been an experience similar to seeing the ancient Greek temples in the time of their full splendor. We're used to seeing them now, and they surely can amaze us, but we can only imagine what they looked like. Sadly, there are no immortal beings here to tell us about it.
Thank you for sharing :)
This piece is splendidly done. It got me thinking that once beauty and magnificence are marred and innocence -- lost, nothing can really change that and there's hardly anything one can do to restore them regardless of their efforts or the passing of time. Maybe it seems a more general reflection, but your ficlet certainly is very thought-provoking and I thank you for sharing it. Wonderfully written :)
Oh Tillion, he is such a magnificent character and this vignette placed him in a light in such a way that I feel for him. It was not only Arien who was marred, but him as well on that day. Innocence lost, you pictured his drive to make amends forever to her in such a moving and understandable way, as if he seeks to her healing forever. With this eclipse, it just feels that he wants to show her that she is worthy of true love, but he understands her all to well. This piece has so many levels, it’s beautiful, a tale that if you would replace the words of these two Maiar with different ones, it could be told to children or friends around a campfire. I do wonder however what it is with Melkor wanting to espouse strong women: first Varda, now Vána: he has something with space, that’s for sure. Perhaps because it is the only place where he can truly be his full self? This is a great vignette Dawn, now onto the next one!
My favorite of these fascinating chapters is the third, of course. I am such a groupie of those Finweans (Fingolfin included). Love the references to Nelyo and Findekáno, also, of course. But the nods to your characterization in your own canon of Fëanáro and Arafinwë are equally appreciated. Always good at “bureaucratic tedium”—poor Nolofinwë is shown to be as modest as he is competent here. (I believe this is one more place where either our minds run very much in the same channels, or more likely, I have stolen again from your characterization, because this very well fits the Nolofinwë I am trying to write in “A New Day.”). The Helcaraxë descriptions made me think when I lived in Chicago. If I ever write it I will plum that experience.
Dawn, these are wonderful, terrible and delightful. I especially love the thought of Bureaucracy being the thing that managed to get them across the ice. You have a wonderful way with words and expression and I truely enjoy your stories, especially your characterizations. I've sadly been a lurker of your works for far too long and I know this one short review can't make up for the lack. Hopefully, I'll be able to do better in the futures.
Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. I'm flattered that you've read (and liked!) others of my stories ... and please don't worry about lurking. I'd sooner people read and enjoy and lurk than drive themselves nuts trying to review or comment (or worse, skip reading because of the pressure to comment). So yes, this "short review" is more than enough. Thank you! :)