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Comments For Character of the Month Biographies
Don't worry about me making me wait for a response! I enjoyed the story and wanted to let you know ASAP. I know how day-to-day life and moods can affect one's ability to respond to a comment.
I'm glad you kept it in one part--it made a better read that way. The times I have divided one of mine into two parts was often with long ones, but the reason was not much the content organization or even the length itself, but because I simply ran out of time! Thanks to you and others, I don't have to do that often anymore.
There is so much to love about this biography! I’d forgotten all about “and in his wrath he smote Orgof with a cup.” There is nothing not to love about a knock-down-drag-them-out-fight-in-the-mead-hall, in the great northern tradition of story telling (Tolkien is showing his roots here)! There is so much to glean out of those early versions (and sadly I find them dense and turgid reading—I should have read them first and then the rest would have seemed easier rather than these seeming difficult). Anyway, I love it so much when you delve deeply into them and break them down for me into the relevant details.
I loved this comment!! “Saeros might have feared that Túrin would become the real star of Thingol’s court, and he himself – like Antonio Salieri in Miloš Forman’s Amadeus – would be forced to accept his being the second best.” Alas, however, to anyone who runs afoul of Turin or those who stay on his good side as well, I suppose. I have to agree with you that he was a bully and had it coming! But somehow still think he got caught in the wake of Turin cursed existence.
This is an impressively documented biography—you’re making me feel lazy. I need to up my game, I think. I particularly loved the table of comparing the three most basic sources. Very useful in this case (as such method might be in many of the more complicated and convoluted variations of character development over time we encounter in Tolkien’s body of work).
Thanks so much for another stellar contribution.
Author's Response: Thank you, Oshun, so much for your lovely comment and your kind words about my work :) I have to admit that Saeros surprised me and his bio kept on growing and Dawn and I even discussed whether I should cut it in half. I'm really happy that I kept it in one piece. And I'm beyond happy to hear that it's interesing. I wasn't sure whether or not to include all those early versions in the beginning, so it's truly great that my idea worked. Thank you so much again! And sorry for having you wait so long for my response. (((hugs)))
Great bio, Binka!
I find I had forgotten quite a number of those details, including the friendship with Daeron, although, come to think of it, I believe it features in one of your fics?
A very problematic character, Saeros, but interesting! And the implications about Thingol's court are interesting, too.
Author's Response: Yes, Saeros and Daeron both appear in my "Once Upon a Springtime in Doriath"! :) Thank you so, so much for reading and taking the time to comment on this bio. I'm really happy to hear that you find it interesting.
One ought not ignore The Muse! It might make the Valar the gods angry.
Author's Response: Oh no, I wouldn't like to cross them ;)
I love what Himring said! "It's always seemed to me that if there were more fans writing action/adventure on SWG, someone would already have written the epic story of that trek out of Dorthonion." What a great epic adventure that would make. I have too many unfinished novels myself, but maybe someone else could be convinced to tackle that story! It would make an amazing film also.
Author's Response: If I told you and Himring that you are a bad influence, I'm sure you'd grin :D I now have Emeldir pace my study back and forth and insist: "You must write!"
I love to read about strong and independent women characters in Tolkien's works. It seems to me there are too few characters like this, so I'm always happy to find another remarkable woman.
I was immediately attached to Éowyn from the first time I read LOTR, so I enjoyed the comparison between her and Emeldir.
And yes, it's interesting how Tolkien always seems to find something "masculine" in independent women (Nerwen, Nerdanel, Haleth...). It gives me something to think about.
Thank you for writing this bio.
Author's Response: And I thank you for reading and taking the time to leave me a lovely review :) It was fun to write this bio. I'm really happy to see people like it. Thank you!
Very nicely done! Another great woman character to admire!
I like this conclusion:
However, it was thanks to her courage and talents that the two famous families of the Edain, Húrin's and Huor's, came into being, because she saved the lives of Morwen and Rían, the wives of Húrin and Huor respectively, and from Huor's and Rían's blood came generations of rulers of Men in Middle-earth.
I really enjoyed reading it and it is an important addition to our biography set! thanks for sharing.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for reviewing! I'm really happy about the feedback I got. And Emeldir is such an interesting, great character that she deserves more attention, that's for sure :) Thank you!
Well done, Binka, and I'm glad Emeldir got a bio!
It's always seemed to me that if there were more fans writing action/adventure on SWG, someone would already have written the epic story of that trek out of Dorthonion.
Yes, the name is a bit like Nerwen, isn't it?
The comparison to Eowyn is striking--although the parallel is even closer in the movie, I suppose.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review! Yes, I agree, the story of Emeldir and what she did begs for a piece of action/adventure fanfic :) When I was writing this bio, I thought about that scene in TTT and it struck me how similar Emeldir's story might have been in such a moment. And if I can make a joke, I think that Tolkien used those 'man-names' for strong, independent women to indicate that they had the balls to be independent. ;)
I just loved this, Binka! It is short but, oh, did it ever get my wheels turning! I had never thought about the connection between Emeldir and Eowyn, which makes me want to dig deeper into the texts to see who likely inspired whom.
It's interesting too that this is another noble, valiant woman whose name is a mix of the masculine and the feminine, similar to Nerdanel and Nerwen. I wonder what is the reason behind this naming trend (conscious or not). It seems to me that women with a degree of independence were hard for Tolkien to identify full as women; he needed to assign them a masculine element in order to make sense of this.
Again, well done and thank you so much for writing this and the long wait you had to see it in print! :)
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the lovely review! I admit, I wondered, "Wth am I to write about her?" LOL! Since she is mentioned in so few words. So, I'm really glad that the bio came out just as it should be. And yes, it seems that Tolkien couldn't just name a famous, tough and independent woman with a womanish name only -- there is also Haleth, and that name can be given to a woman or a man alike. Thank you once more for your kind words and your work on this.
Ooooh! Great choice of a character and terrific essay! Love the references. It's a great contribution to the character bio and example of how Tolkien could pick pieces out of Norse mythology and incorporate them into his own legendarium.
Author's Response: What a nice surprise! Thank you so much for your lovely review. I appreciate that you've taken the time to leave it. Thanks!
Love this bio! I suppose Huor is treated as a textual tool by most--just like how so many ladies in Tolkien's legendarium are defined as the mothers or wives or sisters of males characters, he is "just" Tuor's dad.
But then again, there aren't many stories about Tuor and Earendil, either, or even Hurin--which is too bad, because I love all of these characters. *g* (I have a definite fondness for the House of Hador. Their last stand is right up there with Tolkien's greatest battle moments.)
(Random thought I had while reading your bio--I wonder if Huor & Hurin spending time with Turgon also reinforced their loyalty to Fingon?)
I did notice the parallels between Arathorn's death and Huor's, but didn't realise other parts of their lives overlapped so much. Certainly seems fitting.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for taking the time to read the bio and for your lovely review. I'm always thrilled to see that people like what I've written, especially that I'm new to writing character bios here :) Yes, Huor seems this valiant hero whom not only fanfic authors neglect, but so did the Professor. I mean, come on, such a strong, solid personality and only one role in life? To be Tuor's father...? And yes, I think the time spent in Gondolin must have influenced the brothers to become Fingon's such loyal allies. Thank you!
A good bio!
The parallel with Arathorn is interesting and had not occurred to me.
(Your quotation about Rian inspired me to post a B2MeM prompt about her.)
Author's Response: Thank you for reading :D I'm very happy to see that my bio inspired your prompt!
I was late reading this and worried about adding encouragement in the form of a comment. Hey, I do these all the time and I know how much a few comments mean, because although I know these bios are useful and used, there are not often a swarm of initial comments, often none at all or only one. So, I was so happy to find comments here, even before I read it.
This is just a very satisfying bio to read. Well done and with the canon references one needs. I loved the mention of your ring tone! I love wolves too. I love the sound of a howl and I do love the image of a wolf raising and tilting his head in a good howl. I need an icon like that!
I was thrilled that you mentioned Fenrir. I was awaiting the bio eagerly since Dawn told me what you were writing. I knew you would do a great job, but I had one wish--that you would include Fenrir and his role in Norse mythology. I firmly believe that the way to be a good writer is to read a lot. Well, Tolkien had already done that before he began his tales. I love it when he includes parts of the great older tales and molds them to fit into his own mythology. Thrilled and happy to see the connection made here and described in detail.
Two thumbs up on this one, my friend!
Author's Response: Thank you so much, so very much, Oshun, for leaving a wonderful review :) It's awesome, really. I kind of still can't wrap my mind about the fact that I have received so many generous reviews on this essay. I'm so happy that my idea for this bio worked. Until writing it, I hadn't really written non-fiction in English, so I'm very glad I can still find my way around this kind of thing, even though it's been umpteenth years since I graduated, and back then I had written essays in Polish ;) Thank you once again. I do appreciate your kind words :)
See I am not the only one who has issues with how Children of Húrin leaves out great parts for the sake of the narrative! I always loved - well it probably sounds so wrong - that last valiant stand of the two brothers side by side during the Nirnaeth. Especially given the betrayal of Uldor's kind, those two and their men really showed how committed the Edain were to the cause. And what a star was born from Huor's line :)
What a great Bio Binks!
Author's Response: I'm very glad that we agree on this particular topic :) Thank you so much for reading and your comment!
Binka, this is superb character biography: masterfully written, eminently readable, and chock full of engaging analyses of Tolkien's texts on the iconic character of Carcharoth. Your exploration not only of the connections of Carcharoth to our primary world mythologies (Fenrir – oh, yes, I thoroughly agree that Tolkien took inspiration from the Northern legends — and the Calydonian Boar) but also of the evolution of Carcharoth is fascinating, e.g., Tolkien's development of the great wolf's names, and his referencing the creature's grisly diet. I also really appreciated your analysis of Carcharoth as Melkor's sub-creation, where again we see Tolkien's penchant for Lamarckism as he transforms the whelp into some monstrous. As you aptly note, it's like the great wolf becomes a mammalian sleepless, ever-watchful cyborg.
Back to the Calydonian Boar - how cool is it that we see in Tolkien's text another hunt by heroic hunters of a super-beast that ravages the countryside, such an archetypal theme? You've nicely illuminated Tolkien's own myth-making process here!
And I love the fact that you have wolf's howl on your phone! :^D
Again, very well done! Thank you so much for this fantastic addition to the SWG bio collection.
Author's Response: OMG, have I done all this? :D I'm totally speechless. Well, maybe not so totally, so I can reply to your review. Boy, I didn't expect that the bio would be so greatly received. I had a lot of fun researching and thinking it out, but so many reviews? Thank you, thank you so much for reading and such kind words. You will have to forgive me because I don't know what to say more. I will send you an email with a proper thanks, but now I'm just too... I don't know... everything ;)
Binka, as I noted in my email to you, you have done an excellent job with this. I love the tie-ins to myth that are sprinkled throughout: both the Norse myths (among my favorites) but also contemporary pop culture and urban legend (like your wolf ringtone and the urban myth about the rat). I think this really highlights how the story of Carcharoth "hits" on many levels psychologically: the terror of the night and things that hunt in the night; the sounds of those beasts as they range, able to see us while we can't see them; and the primeval fear of being eaten. Bobby and I were on vacation in the wilderness in Western Maryland one summer, and as we lay outside and looked at the stars, we could hear coyotes howling in the distance. Definitely not as scary as wolves ... but there is something about hearing that sound in the perfect dark of night that makes you realize, as a mere human, how truly vulnerable you are.
I agree with you that JRRT probably left the ... um ... diet of Carcharoth at least a little to the imagination. One thing I like about JRRT is that his stories are filled with horror elements (which, as a fan of horror, I love) but he is not gratuitous; so much is left to our imaginations as readers, which is ultimately the scariest place to be. I think I probably first read the line about eyes kindling in the dark and a wolf devouring one of the companions twelve years ago now, but it stays with me as one of the scariest images of anything I've ever read.
Of course, the idea of Carcharoth as a perverted form of subcreation appeals to me as someone who has written on subcreation. :) This is an idea I may do more with sometime, with credit, of course! :)
Anyway, I want to once again congratulate you on a job well done and thank you for adding such a great piece to our bio collection! This one really got the wheels in my mind turning, which is the highest compliment I can pay. :)
Author's Response: OMG, Dawn! I don't even know where to begin... Thank you so much for: accepting my idea of this bio. It was fun to research and write, not to mention that it was a great opportunity to come back to the fandom; thank you for discussing the bio back and forth with me and for the beta plus your suggestions; thank you also for your patience (I know how busy you are!). As for the bio itself, I thought I would try to show this character in a broader context, besides there was this wolf vs. werewolf thing to think about, and I'm very, very happy that my idea worked. Thank you so much for such a wonderful review as well. I'm thrilled and touched. Thanks!
Enjoyed your essay, Robinka. So many of Tolkien's stories in the Silm were influenced by Norse epics and I appreciated your detailed discussion including your comparison of Carcharoth and Fenrir, and your thought that Carcharoth’s ravaging flight across Beleriand calls to mind the berserkers in their wolfskins. Really liked your opening when you talk about the wolf howl on your cell phone and how that sound seems imprinted in the human psyche – as one of terror and bad omens. The thought that Morgoth fed Carcharoth on the living flesh of men and elves is suitably horrific and interesting that there is, once again, Tolkien seems ambivalent about that detail. Well done.
Author's Response: Thank you, Elfscribe, thank you so much for taking the time to read and for leaving a wonderful review. I'm happy that you liked my essay, that you found it interesting and that my ideas worked for you. It was fun to research and write, and I appreciate your kind words. Thank you very much!
This is excellent. Beautifully done. I love the discussion of werewolf vs. wolf. I also really love the look you give us at wolves in myths and legend. In addition to being thoroughly entertained, I am quite sure that I will be revisiting it for research purposes as well.
It also makes me want to revisit your fiction, which I intend to do over the next few days. Thanks so much for sharing this!
Author's Response: OMG! Thank you, Oshun, so, so very much for reading and for your comment. I'm swelling with pride to have received such a nice review from the writer who has done so many wonderful bios. I was (okay, still am) nervous about this bio... You have no idea. I'm happy to hear I suceeded in presenting Carcharoth in a broaded context. And if you think his bio is worth coming back for reaserch purposes, it's a huge reward itself. Thank you :D and also thanks in advance for revisiting my stuff!