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Reviews For Before The Dawn
I enjoyed this a lot! Maeglin is not normally a character I care about, but here, I liked him quite a bit. In the first chapter, the details Idril picked up about him - his unease about romantic advances, his rebellion against becoming entirely Noldorin, his potential for self-neglect when he has more important things on his mind - provided some foreshadowing, while his almost fraternal friendship with Idril was quite heartwarming. It was also quite entertaining to see Idril so sceptical of the newcomers, and Maeglin initially far more open. Finally, the discussion about the fate of Hurin and Huor, and Idril's subsequent feelings of being trapped and her talk with Maeglin about secrets and a way out, again provided satisfying foreshadowing as well as depth to these characters. Thank you!
Thank you! I'm always pleased when anyone says they liked a character they don't normally care for. I feel like Maeglin's fall is so much worse if he and Idril were actually close and she is the wedge that Morgoth/Sauron use to break him in Angband. (I couldn't resist throwing in the 'we'll probably never see them again' about Hurin and Huor, because Maeglin will encounter them again at the Nirnaeth.)
This was a very entertaining story and a unique interpretation of the characters of Idril and Maeglin, which makes perfect sense within the canon. It makes his attachment to her, which later becomes obsessive, believable. If they had not been close at one point, it is harder to sell that he allows himself to believe that he ever had a chance of winning her. I also like the description of how whole-heartedly Turgon accepts Maeglin into his family circle--which supports Idril's idea that he feels more brother than cousin to her and, therefore, the concept of his later interest to feel incestuous to her. (Unlike what some of the Tolkien fandom seems to assume in a very large part of the world, past and present, cousin marriage has been accepted.) Like the foreshadowing also "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin." Totally held my attention beginning to end.
Thank you! I've thought for some time that Turgon treated Maeglin almost as a son rather than a nephew, so it would make sense for Idril to look at him in that way also. And I have to think that for them to have maintained a tense relationship for decades would have been difficult. Turgon would want them to get along, even if they weren't really inclined to of their own volition. I'm going to be doing more in this vein soon, I think...