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Comments For Blood and Fire
An excellent story which tackles a dark subject head-on. Dior and Nimloth are such shadowy characters it's good to see them brought to life here. Good handling of Oropher too.
Author's Response: I'm so glad you enjoyed the story! Thanks for reading, and even more for commenting so kindly. It's really good to hear!
What a wonderful story! I think that one of the indicators of great storytelling is that although you know how the story will end (Dior dies, C-C-C die, Elwing takes the Silmaril), you can't stop reading and you forget what the original actually says to see how the author tells it. All the action sequences have a pace that never flags (I choose the fight between Dior and Celegorm) You can almost breathe the smoke and feel the claustrophobia of the people that run in the dark underground trap of Menegroth. You managed to find a very original twist to get the Silmaril out, plus the cultural differences between the Sindar and the Silvan elves - not to consider the Noldor as seen from their point of view. A truly great story! Congratulations
Hi Angelica, and thank you so much for such an amazingly kind and thoughtful review! The relatively straightforward nature of this story as an elaboration of canon did make me a little nervous before I first started posting, so it's wonderful to hear that it works and that there are some surprises despite the overall predictability. Likewise, since one of my reasons for writing this was to get some practice dealing with action sequences, your comments there are immensely reassuring! And the cultural differences, well, cultural clashes are always fun, although since the stress here was more on the action, it was a more subdued theme than in some of my other pieces.
Anyway, I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. Thank you for reading!
This chapter left me chilling.
It feels so hopless, the way Oropher's feeling are described. As if there's no tomorrow.
I guess in a way, there was no tomorrow for the survivors, at least in the sense of how their lives used to be.
Do I understand from this abrupt ending, that the search for the twins is planned for another story?
I loved reading this stor, even if the word "enjoyed" is not the one can use on such story.
And there's something that's been on my mind sinse first I read about Erestor and Melina.
Is this Erestor suppose to be the same as Elrond's chief counslor from LOTR?
Thank you for reading, and for your kind words! I'm glad you -- well, if 'enjoyed' is the wrong word (I do understand what you mean there; someone elsewhere has said precisely the same thing), at least that you were moved by it. That chilly hopelessness was precisely one of the things I wanted to convey, so it's wonderful to hear that came through. Erestor is indeed meant to be the same Erestor who became Elrond's chief counsellor and his life is the overarching theme in all my stories. He appears so little in canon that the scope for invention is practically limitless, so I'm making the most of it!
I had not planned to write about the search for the twins. Canonically, of course, Maedhros went looking (probably too late) and never found them, so whether anyone wants to think that they survived is up to them. Since I tend to be pessimistic about their fate, such a story probably would not end well, and this one has been depressing enough for me to spend a while writing about flowers and kittens and rainbows -- well, not quite, but you get my drift. :) In any case, the abrupt ending had more to do with the fairly jerky, fragmentary nature of this story, along with the fact that one of my other stories, Wanderlust, touched a little on the flight and the camp at the mouths of Sirion. I may come back to the twins and the immediate fall-out from this episode again someday, although if so probably as a short story or two in a collection that's currently only posted at FFN and on my LJ.
Anyway, thank you so much for reviewing! It's always wonderful to hear what people think. :)
I find it tragically ironic that the Silmaril slipped out of the Feanorians' grasp the way it did -- a child, a most innocent creature "stole" it. This chapter underlines that very well.
A great, excellently done tale of the fall of Doriath, Clodia. It was a fantastic read! Thank you so much for writing and sharing it with us.
All the best,
"I find it tragically ironic that the Silmaril slipped out of the Feanorians' grasp the way it did -- a child, a most innocent creature "stole" it."
I do agree, and I'm very glad that comes through here. Once again, thank you so much for reading and for all your amazingly kind comments! It's been wonderful to hear your thoughts as the story progressed. I'm so glad you've enjoyed it!
I can understand why Melinna felt hopeless and wanted to stay -- the tragedy was unbearable, so one more death seemed unimportant. A great, captivating chapter!
Author's Response: I'm glad you enjoyed it! As ever, thank you so much for reading and reviewing. It's always good to hear your thoughts!
I think this is one of the most powerful and convincing portrayals of Galadriel I have ever read. Well done!
Author's Response: I'm very glad you liked it! Galadriel deserved her moment of glory as much as any of those fighting. As ever, thanks so much for reading! :)
The heartbreaking leavings of war; terror and bloodshed, and those who call themselves warriors making war on terrified children.
I love the characterisation of Galadriel here; desperate with fear for her husband, thrust into the unfamiliar role of mother-surrogate to Elwing and with other children and women to protect when she would prefer to be fighting on the front lines. And of course, she carries it off brilliantly; although she cannot save Dior's sons, Galadriel saves Elwing through her own ingenuity and force of command.
I like the way you show the dichotomies between the Feanorians; the soldier who had served Finwe would naturally have gone into service with Finwe's heir, and then Maedhros; but his remembrance of Galadriel and her ties to the house he serves makes sense. And then there's Celegorm's man, who is aflame with battle-fury and determined to make Dior's little boys suffer for the Silmaril's loss. I hope Maedhros executes the jerk.
The Silmaril is definitely in the safest place in Doriath right now, if I remember the story right, and read the clues, Galadriel's in for a surprise.
Raksha, you leave me such wonderful reviews, would you like my non-existent firstborn? <3
Seriously, though, you read everything so closely and sum up everything I wanted to say so well! I'm intensely glad you liked this, and Galadriel. Tolkien has so few women that I do think we should make the most of all of them -- especially the really powerful, interesting ones. She deserved her moment in the spotlight. And I'm so glad the way it all played out makes sense. So as ever, thank you so very much for reading and reviewing!
This chapter is heart-breaking, tragic, almost too painful for words. You've captured the frenzy of battle, the hazy state of Oropher's mind and his afterward amnesia excellently.
Author's Response: It was painful to write. I'm so glad you think it works, and were affected by it! As ever, thank you so much for reading and for your kind review. :)
"My basic reasoning is that the Sindar have a massive advantage when it comes to labyrinth-fighting (that they know their way around) and a massive disadvantage when it comes to the more traditional fighting en mass (...)"
I absolutely agree with you. I do think that the Sindar were deadly in the woods, and could set any kind of ambush there; also deadly -- and you did show that particularly well -- in the corridors of Menegroth. But they would lose in an open field, I suppose, in combat faced with vast troops.
It's just like I had Thingol say once: cavalry is useless in massed wood. Yeah. :)
You're most welcome for the review. Looking forward to reading more.
"I do think that the Sindar were deadly in the woods, and could set any kind of ambush there; also deadly -- and you did show that particularly well -- in the corridors of Menegroth. But they would lose in an open field, I suppose, in combat faced with vast troops."
Precisely. You also have to take into account the fact that for the most part, the Sindar have spent the last three thousand odd years more or less unthreatened. OK there was the first battle of Beleriand, which they more or less won, but before that I think there would have been maybe minor scrapes and skirmishes, and after that most of them remained safe behind Melian's Girdle until the first sack of Doriath (which of course they lost). Dior's had maybe three years to make sure everyone who survived that has some sort of training, but that's really not going to produce the sort of hardened force you need to withstand a straightforward massed-ranks attack from a gang of hardened veterans in equal or greater numbers. Hence the importance of Oropher's Green-elves - but once the line is broken...
I'm not spelling this out here, but those Sindar who went with Erestor and Melinna (incidentally not precisely Sindar, but that's another matter) into the labyrinth would have to be the ones who've had more experience out in the world than the average inhabitant of girdled Doriath. (And Sindar rather than Nandor because of the need to really know one's way around Menegroth in the dark.) Anyway, I agree entirely with Thingol about cavalry and woods. :D
OME! I don't know where to begin... May I mention that I forgot about my work and got pulled in to the story?
This is masterfully done. The smoke that stings the eyes, the noise that becomes a whisper, the light and darkness -- everything blends perfectly. I'm in awe at the imagery.
The action is wonderfully executed too: the duel -- loved the sarcastic and offending Celegorm and the calm Dior; the fight below, in the labyrinth. Yes, it was so easy to kill them ruthless, overconfident (that's the word!) Noldor. So, how did it happen that the Sindar lost?
Your review makes me too happy to show with mere emoticons. *g* I'm so very glad this chapter works, I had a moment of concern that it was too fragmented, but it was the way the story wanted to be written, so here we are. I know, it does look a bit like I'm setting myself up with a how-did-they-lose problem, but my basic reasoning is that the Sindar have a massive advantage when it comes to labyrinth-fighting (that they know their way around) and a massive disadvantage when it comes to the more traditional fighting en mass (that most of them are not particularly experienced at it, contra the Noldor). So temporary victories and ultimately defeat. Canon is so depressing sometimes. :'(
Anyway, as ever, thank you so much for reading and reviewing!
This is so sad. We all know what the result of the duel will be. A tense and violent chapter, with more blood to come. If only Celegorm had the sense to leave with his brothers; but challenging Dior was a very Feanorian, and Noldor, thing to do...
Looking forward to seeing how you handle the inevitable conclusion.
I'm so glad you think the challenge was a Feanorian/Noldorin thing to do, I do agree (cf Fingolfin, naturally) but was slightly afraid it might come across as melodramatic. Which it is, of course, a bit - but I hope justifiably so. People do melodramatic things in circumstances like these.
As ever, thanks so much for reading and reviewing! And now I'm ever so slightly nervous about the next chapter... *g*
I should feel sorry for Curufin, but in all honesty I don't (*ducks away from the Feanorians fans*). I feel sorry for the Sindar now that they are trapped (yeah, entombed already... Curse that damned trinket!). And among blood and gore, there's still a moment of peace.
Excellently balanced chapter.
Thanks for updating. I'm hooked.
No, thank you so much for reviewing! Curufin, well... if you live by the sword, as they say... (But then, I'm not much of a Feanorian fan either.) Anyway, I'm very glad you're enjoying it. :)
Oh, my word! I tore through this. Really a superlative action sequence! The pacing is impeccable, the descriptions full of motion and the senses of smell and sound, oh, man, all are just fabulous! My hat's off to you.
The economical exchange of words between Erestor and Oropher ring true.
Now to get my adrenaline under control.
Author's Response: *g* Thank you! I don't normally write a great deal of violence, or not directly anyway, so it's amazingly reassuring to hear that I'm doing it right. And again, thank you so much for so many wonderful reviews! It was lovely to wake up to them all! :D
And the tension is racheted up a few more orders of magnitude! You really set the tone well here -- the Sindar and their allies waiting to spring the trap on the invading Noldor.
Again the descriptions of the halls are lovely. I was an architecture major for a while during my checkered undergrad studies, so I eat the visuals you are providing of Menegroth right up!
Again, I'm glad the descriptions work! I'm an ancient history student, so I have a tendency to wander around ruins muttering "How the mighty have fallen!" and feeling vaguely superior, but it does make you very keenly aware of the beautiful buildings that have been lost to time or to natural disasters or just to violence. I did want to bring some of that here.
Oropher's pragmatism comes through loud and clear here as does his loyalty to Lúthien and her memory. You've created tension and foreboding very well in this chapter, and the underlying greed for the Silmaril is the elephant in the room, which Oropher seems to see more clearly than others.
Author's Response: I'm so glad Oropher's characterisation works! This story is rather unusual for me in that it's more about action than characters, and I was slightly afraid that the characterisation might get a little lost along the way. Oropher's perspective as something of an outsider allows him a different view on events than those who identify most closely with Doriath can have, I think; this is one of the reasons why I made him a Nando, despite a couple of bits and pieces that testify to him as a Sinda. Also the Second Age developments that I don't plan to deal with make more sense to me that way, but that's another matter. Thank you!
Absolutely gorgeous description of the halls of Menegroth, Clodia, in the "silver reign" of Dior. You capture the sense of Faerie so well, but it is a Faerie that has been sullied, tainted, and the way I read it, this extends toward its people, too. The contrast between Dior and Oropher is very well done!
Author's Response: Well, to begin, thanks so much for all your kind comments! I'm glad the descriptions work; I really did want to get across that something amazing had been lost, even if it wasn't quite as amazing as it had been under a previous management. And I'm glad the contrasting characters work; I probably rely too heavily on that sort of trick, but that's because it's fun to pull off when it does work.
The cruelty of poor judgment abounds here - the Feanorians thinking they can waltz into Doriath unresisted and just take the Silmaril that poor young Dior undoubtedly left for them - no need for a bloodbath, indeed - and Dior thinking that his defenses will suffice against the strength of the invading Noldor...A brilliant account of the battle, though; which is not an easy thing to write.
Author's Response: I think Doriath's sack is the result of a whole lot of mistakes and cruel misjudgements on everyone's part. I'm glad that comes through; it was depressing to write. I don't think Dior thinks his defenses will hold, more that (like Oropher) he has to do something and they might as well go down fighting. I'm so glad the battle account worked; this whole piece is a bit of an experiment for me in writing relatively explicit violence, so I've been a bit nervous about it. Again, thank you!
There are very few stories of the son of Luthien in Tolkien fanfiction - the weight of his parents' legend must have sometimes felt like a burden. Here, it nets him allies, including the practical and tough Oropher.
Another good chapter.
Author's Response: Yes, Dior does get so little attention, and most of it from the other side of the final sack of Doriath -- rather sad, considering that even Elwing gets more attention and Dior must get at least as many words in the Silmarillion itself. I wanted to give him a voice and a presence as a rational, intelligent person with reasons for what he did and the potential to bear up beneath his parents' legend. Again, thank you!
Poor Dior; I think he had a good claim on the Silmaril; but he under-estimated the strength of the Feanorians' resolve and the lengths to which they would go to reclaim the Jewel.
Lovely descriptions of Doriath entering Dior's brief Silver Age.
Author's Response: Well, to begin, thank you so much for all your kind comments! You've summed up what I wanted to say very well here: poor Dior, who doesn't understand his enemy. I hope to clarify why he doesn't later on. I'm very glad you like the descriptions; I wanted to stress what was being lost with the fall of Doriath. Thank you!
A terrible chapter (in the best possible way, of course). You capture the pain of battle very well here.
Author's Response: I'm very glad you think so. "Terrible" is such a delightfully ambiguous word, I always find myself wanting to use it this way and then needing to caveat it myself. As ever, thank you so much for reading and reviewing!
Vivid. And heart-breaking. You write action immensely well.
*blink* That was fast! Again, thanks for reading -- and thank you so much for the reassurance: I normally managed to avoid writing violence directly, so one of my reasons for writing this story has been to get some practice at dealing with action. I'm glad it works!
You're really ratcheting up the tension in this chapter! I am NOT looking forward to the upcoming confrontation (although I know you're going to write it beautifully - at least as beautifully as such a terrible event can be portrayed).
Author's Response: Your faith in me makes me terribly nervous... but thank you so much for the reassurance! And (always) thank you for reading. :)
Oh no, it can't end there! :D Well, you have one person very eagerly waiting for the next chapter! I don't know if you're on the SWG discussion list, but we recently did a thread for story recs, and yours was recommended by a few people. I can see why; this is an excellent piece: gorgeous imagery with palpable tension and a most intriguing look at Sindarin culture (and hubris) from the Nandorin perspective. I look forward to reading on! :)
Thank you so much, and I'm so glad you're enjoying the story! The story's certainly not ending here; that would be far too kind to all characters concerned. :S I think it's going to get rather less fragmentary from now on, though. I find the whole episode intensely depressing and rather difficult to write, so it's very reassuring to hear that the result is worthwhile.
I am not on the SWG discussion list (I'm still finding my way around, really) and I'm a bit stunned about being recommended. :) Again, thanks for reading and reviewing! I hope the rest lives up to its beginning.
This is an extremely interesting take on the fall of Doriath. I swallowed the three chapters and I enjoyed them immensely. First of all, because your style of storytelling is very engaging and the tale flows wonderfully. Secondly, because my personal vision of Doriath and its duration -- the only place I could move in in ME if by any weird occurence I'd been droppped there ;) -- somehow doesn't extend beyond Mablung's death. To me, it is really fascinating to see a story focused on Dior and the dusk of the mighty kingdom of the Sindar.
I'll be watching this, for sure. Great stuff!
I'm very glad you're enjoying the story! What you say about your personal vision of Doriath is very interesting, since I have a similar sort of thing about Doriath in its heyday: even though Doriath and its golden age are significant for all of my serious stories, my vision tends to be that of an outsider glancing in, rather than as an actual resident. I don't know, does that make sense? Anyway, I do agree it would be the best place to visit, if that were possible!
Thanks so much for reviewing and I hope the rest of this rather depressing tale lives up to its beginning. :)
Oh, this chapter is painful. Clearly Dior is succumbing to the possessiveness the Silmaril seems to evoke sooner or later in everyone who comes to hold it - and he seesm to have no understanding of the Feanorians' Oath. Why, oh why doesn't Galadriel stress the unbreakability of that Oath when she is talking to Dior and Nimloth? (Although I suspect it woul dhave made no difference, as dior clearly doesn't want to hear the truth.)
It's interesting that Luthien managed to inspire so much loyalty in Oropher and the nandor that they're willing to stand beside her son even they (unlike Dior) clearly see what's about to happen.
As you say, the Silmarils seem to possess the property of evoking desire; in fact, I think this is stated explicitly in regard to Thingol just before Nirnaeth Arnoediad. Still, in fairness to Dior, I hope it's clear that he (and others) treasures this one principally as a memento of his parents. I have to confess that I'm temperamentally with Dior here, but I do agree that it's a bit of a pity he didn't turn the sparkly thing over to the equally possessive Feanorions and watch it burn their hands off. Unfortunately Dior is being rather too rational about the situation for his own good.
It seemed to me that Luthien's importance to Doriath was such that it wasn't too much of stretch to assume that the Nandor would already have caught some of it when Thingol and Melian's power was spreading during the peaceful ages of the stars. At any rate, she certainly seemed to inspire loyalty/desire in a way not entirely unlike the Silmarils, so it seemed reasonable to assume that this would rub off on her son.
Again, thanks so much for reading and even more for reviewing! The next bits are not likely to be much less painful, unhappily. Canon is canon. :S