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Reviews For Aftermath
That's a good new start, despite everything that went before.
(So even Namo was deceived?)
Author's Response: As hopeful as they come, I guess! :) (Námo had no reason to investigate. No doubt he would have realised the truth once he'd given the matter his full attention, but it wasn't his case, so to say. I'm assuming that the Valar are happy to take things at face value unless they're specifically called upon to look deeper. And at this time, what with the Hiding of Valinor and the decisions to be made about the future, Nerdanel's transgression (or lack thereof) really wasn't a top priority.)
I loved this. It's so nice to see Nerdanel not left entirely alone to deal with the wreckage Fëanor left in his wake, and even getting to move on with her life without him. Is there any chance you'll write more about Nerdanel and Náriel? (Or have you already and I just haven't stumbled across it yet?)
Author's Response: Thank you very much! To be honest, I don't have any specific future plans for Náriel, but who knows? I might feel inclined to write more about her if the occasion presents itself. Never say never! (No, I haven't - sorry! The name itself is a leftover from an old RPG, but that was a completely different setting and timeline, so it bears no relevance on this Náriel's story.)
Oh, I like the idea that Nerdanel had a hand in crafting Tilion's vessel! Is that your idea or was it mentioned by Tolkien? And I do love little Nariel. I hope she continues to grow up knowing she is well loved.
Author's Response: It's my interpretation of Tolkien's words -- in The Peoples of Middle-earth we are told that Nerdanel stays in Valinor because of her kin's devotion to Aulë, and in the Silmarillion we are told that "Aulë and his people made vessels to hold [the flower of Telperion and the fruit of Laurelin] and preserve their radiance". It is feasible that Nerdanel would have been among Aulë's people, although she is not mentioned by name. (Of course, Aulë's actual people might mean only the Maiar in his service, but it isn't made clear anywhere.)
Glad you like Náriel! I think things are going to be alright for her. The people are going to get to grips with who her father is, and her actual family is bound to adore her, if only because all the other kids are away in Middle-earth. Finarfin is already starting to spoil her! ;)
Oh, poor Nerdanel and her daughter - at least Umbarto lives. *shivers* Yes, Feanaro's death would no doubt have been felt.
Author's Response: Yes, it's not a nice situation for them to be in. Fortunately, the little one is too young to really understand what's going on.
I'm convinced the Elves would feel that. I'm not sure they'd generally feel the death of a family member (although I suppose it is feasible with their penchants for foresight and thought-speech), but due to the soul-bond quality of their love, I expect that a spouse would feel the death of the other...
Well, this story caught me up and held me from the beginning - I've only been able to pause here and take a breath. A daughter for Nerdanel at last, and Feanaro will never know. What a heartbreaking thought. I do hope Nerdanel keeps her, and that this child won't be cursed for what her father and brothers have done.
I love your descriptions of Nerdanel's solitude and heartbreak, and the return of Arafinwe. I'm so glad he would have been welcomed by Nerdanel if it had been necessary. Perhaps he and Earwen can do something to help the little one?
Author's Response: Who knows, maybe Námo will tell him - not that it'd make the whole thing any less heartbreaking, of course.
For what it's worth, I don't think she'll be cursed outright, but I do expect that whenever she shows behaviour that reminds anyone of Fëanor - even if it's just normal childish stubbornness or a smart reply - she's probably going to hear something along the lines of "You'll come to the same sticky end as your father, young miss!" People tend to be mean like that. :/
I am not sure about the relationship between Eärwen and the Noldor (including Finarfin) at this point, I have to admit! Which is why I left her out of the story after sending her off to Alqualondë. It's a terribly complicated situation for her as well, but the focus of this story was on Nerdanel. Maybe I'll tackle Eärwen some other time. :) I'm very glad you find Nerdanel's sitution convincing, at any rate!
I really like this story! You write Nerdanel very well, and you've pulled all the prompts together really nicely.
Author's Response: Thank you for your kind words! I'm so glad you enjoyed this weird little thing. :)
"Aman should be no place for cairns"?
But I supppose she might well feel that, trying to live in Formenos...
Author's Response: Well, the ideal and the real don't always overlap. ;)
TBH, at that point, Formenos is probably no worse than Tirion. More animals but fewer grudging neighbours, and it's always been a bit darker than the bright centre of the universe!
Quite a scene!
The idea that anyone has to do anything with Finwe's body is not one I've seen addressed often, if at all, I think. In most takes I've seen, none of those who remain even think of going to Formenos.
Of course, it would depend on how far you think it is, how safe and how urgent the business is at home. And also how much people blame Finwe for what happened. And how much of Finwe was left, too...
Author's Response: I have never thought about it until... the day before yesterday? (Like, in the BoLT there's a bit about Fëanor moping beside his father's grave, but he isn't even distantly related to the Noldorin king at that point, so how relevant this is for later depictions of Finwë is anybody's guess.) I initially thought that maybe Fëanor & Sons might have dropped the corpse off at the palace before going on to swear their Oath - it would have given Fëanor a useful excuse to enter Tirion in spite of the ban - but I had the impression that he wouldn't have been level-headed enough to even think of something like that at that point. So I've left the dealing with the corpse in the capable hands (while he still has both of them, haha) of Maitimo. Since I'm going with the general fanon of him being a bit of a loremaster, he might have read about corpse disposal in Cuiviénen. I guess he was glad to have something useful to do while his father was busy crying and throwing things at the walls or whatever he was doing at the time. (Trying and failing to make new Silmarils, according to the BoLT, but again, the relevance of that is questionable.)
But, yeah, of course it's just as likely that they would have brought the dead body to Tirion or to the Valar. Or that Mandos discretely dispatched some Maiar to remove it. Or whatever. The business at home is (in this version) non-existent, or rather, Indis considers the need for closure a top priority, so there we go!
I suppose everyone who would realize who the father really is likely to be has left with Feanor.
But the fact that Indis doesn't seem to understand, even when Nerdanel tells her, sort of suggests to me that although she is sympathetic and although they are certainly allies, they are not really all that close.
Author's Response: At this point, that's precisely the problem! :)
I think Indis is very much caught in her own head here. For one, it can't be easy to keep that mess of a people together, especially when you're basically a foreigner with no actual claim to the throne except marriage/motherhood; and for two, Indis naturally knows about moving on the fringes of the Laws and Customs, so the assumption makes sense for her. And Nerdanel, with her complicated mix of denial and emotions, isn't exactly going out of her way to clarify things. :/
Oh, dear, this was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. I so wanted her to go with him after their lovemaking! I even started to wonder what would have happened if she had (g). Lovely story!
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm always in two hearts about that, too. From a storytelling perspective, Middle-earth needs all that drama! But from a point of view of empathy, so many things could have been mitigated if Nerdanel had gone along. (Then again, maybe not. Feanor doesn't seem to be all that open to reason at that point. :/)
Never thought it was likely that they left one another without that compulsive and impulsive "one last time" bout of love making. The relationship, quite obviously was intended to be written as a passionate one in all aspects. Tolkien would not have thought it needed to be stated that sex happens here, unless there was a specific outcome from it like a reconciliation or a pregnancy.
Well done--I completely believe in the intensity and the heartbreak you show here.
Author's Response: Holy cow, that must have been the fastest review I've ever gotten. I only just started posting!
Thank you for your speed-reading - and for the vote of confidence! TBH, I doubt Tolkien would've mentioned the sex even if something came out of it. He never mentions the other times these two had sex, and they must have done it at least six times... ;)
I'm very glad that you find the emotions and the intensity believable. Again, thank you!