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Reviews For The Longest Day
Oh, ouch! I don't know who to feel worse for - Anairë or Nerdanel. I wonder why Namo waits so long to notify the next of kin?
Author's Response: It's a combination of several things (in my headcanon, obviously!). For one, I don't think that one second you see that Balrog charging you and the next second you look into Námo's face; even if the call to Mandos comes instantaneously after death and the spirit follows it at once, I expect that some confusion and disorientation will be involved. Thus, it takes some time for the spirit to "settle" and be ready to face Námo (or even just a friendly Maiarin secretary) and be identified beyond doubt. Then, Námo's priority is judgement and counselling, not PR, so notifying the next of kin is something that's done when there's nothing more important going on. He doesn't technically have to inform anyone - next of kin living in Middle-earth receive no Valarin message at all - so this is one of these things that get perpetually postponed. (To be more charitable towards Námo, I think the emotions of the living are complex and uncomfortable for him, so it takes him a while to prepare a message and he never likes sending them.) Or perhaps these messengers are being sent out like four times per year, so if someone dies at the beginning of the trimester, that's just tough luck? But more likely, there's actually no proper code and it all happens rather haphazardly. I haven't given much thought to the proceedings at Mandos so far! Looks like a corporate crackfic waiting to happen!
Anyway, thank you for your thought-provoking comment!
Oh this is heartbreaking. You've given us that deep sense of unknown dread. I've always been of the opinion that Nerdanel, Anaire, Finarfin and Earwen would know somehow that their loved ones had died--a visceral sensation as you've described.
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm actually sceptical about the level of mind-reading or long-distance psychic communication among the Elves, but at the same time I'm convinced that something as drastic as the sundering of their love-bond or the death of a child would be something they notice, even those who have no talent for osanwe-kenta. Glad to see I'm not alone :)
So sad. Beautiful and heartbreaking.
Author's Response: Thank you. It must have been heartbreaking indeed, for all the ones left behind.
One really feels Anaire's dread and grief here, so vividly described and such a poignant contrast with her surroundings. The dialogue between Anaire and Nerdanel is well handled, the mutual support as well as the points of friction.
Author's Response: Oh, I'm glad you enjoyed the dialogue as well as the contrast between Anaire's inner and outer perception here! Thank you!
I like the idea of Nerdanel being able to describe exactly what the feeling was like and to seek out Anaire to comfort her. (Perhaps a little, unconsciously, to confirm whether it was his death or that of Fingon.)
It's such a sad story! I enjoyed the use of scents and color and memories and also found the physical/psychic response to a distant event totally plausible and likely in a people who can connect mind to mind a great distances.
I'm working on a story for this same challenge that deals with that last aspect also. In my case the death of Finwe. Thank god I have that part written, because I would feel funny writing it immediately after reading yours. Mine is similar but different.
Author's Response: Oh, I'm glad yours is going to be similar but different! When I read that you were writing a pivotal event from Eärwen's perspective I was a bit worried that you might have the Nirnaeth in mind too. Looking forward to reading it! I'm glad you liked the use of sensory input here. I was trying to pay more attention than usual to more than sight, so it's good to know that it worked for you. Also glad you find the physical/pyschic response convincing!