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Celuwen's Begetting Day  by daw the minstrel 20 Review(s)
JebbReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/2/2004
I so much enjoyed this story and the affection between the trio was lovely
it seems Eilian started on his hopeless ampaign of thinking he could fool his father early in life and never learned any better!
It was interesting to see Celuwyn on the cusp of womanhood with a foot in both camps so to speak
thank you

Author Reply: Thank you, Jebb. It was interesting to write about Celuwen and try to respect both her budding femininity and her desire to wade in the river and throw knives. I didn't see why she should have to repudiate one or the others. On the other hand, this is probably the last year these three will play together like this. The boys are getting taller and Celuwen is getting more girly. It will be years before Celuwen is ready for Eilian again.

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/1/2004
What a nice little slice of Mirkwood life. This age is such an interesting one, but also one that can be quite distressing. Celuwen is suddenly moving toward feminine likes, but isn't ready to give up the tomboy life yet either. I hope she never does give up it up completely. It'll come in handy...since I just happen to know her future. Eilian was always quite a rascal. He'd better hope no one misses those knives. He's going to be in enough trouble since we know the masters have alerted the palace to his absence from training. Even understanding naneths have their limits. He might not want to depend on her to bail him out of hot water everytime he takes off on one of his adventures. This little slice does give us a little more sympathy for Solith, however. He was young once, too, ya know. :>) A fun read, daw and as always, so well done! Karen

Author Reply: You are right, as always. Celuwen is at that in between age. You are also right that she is going to need all the resources at her disposal to cope with her husband. I expect Eilian likes pretty chemises too, if they're on her! But he has probably also noticed that he can't push her around, and that's a good thing.

I expect that Naneth might have felt obligated to share the news of this little episode with Adar. You can't win them all!

LeraReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/29/2004
That was fun. I enjoyed seeing Celuwen and Isiwen joking around with Solith. Thus far we had only been irritated by his interferance in our favorite romance!

Eilien, Eilien. You know I reread The Novice, so I was thinking about Turgon and I realized he and Eilien are really quite alike. If Eilien didn't have the parents he did, he might have been as uncontrollable as Turgon. But they're both friendly, likeable, loyal, adventurous, don't think about consequences. All I can say is thank God for Thranduil. We love Eilien far too much for him to have as sad a fate as Turgon did.

I thought it was really sweet that he gave her a gift. I guess I can understand fathers wishing their daughters wouldn't spend as much time with boys, but really boys can make the best friends(and Eilien and Celuwen really are friends right now I think).

It is always interesting to see what led up to events and made people what they are.

And it's always good to see Gelmir. I like him very much.

Author Reply: You are so right about Thranduil! Eilian was lucky to have both him and his mother too. He wanted to please her, and he felt she understood him, so that must have helped too. But without them, you can see how he might never have developed into the person he became.

I think the kids are friends right now too. Eilian doesn't let go of people easily once he's taken to them and it was almost inevitable that his friendship with Celuwen would ripen into love.

DotReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/29/2004
What a lovely surprise it was to find this in my inbox today. And it’s a great pressie for Nilmandra, even if you did make her work as well;)

I have to say, it was a bit strange reading about a little elleth – I think I’m too used to the more masculine outlook we normally see in your stories! It sounds like it’s not the first time Celuwen’s parents wished she behaved more like a lady. Sólith is quite funny. He *really* doesn’t like Eilian, does he? Still, at this stage I suppose he’s like any father whose daughter is growing up and who feels she’s spending far too much time with the local boys. I might have asked before, but how old is Sólith? I’m just beginning to think that he has a problem with Thranduil even more so than Eilian. I did enjoy seeing him with his family, though – they seem quite close-knit and he even lets them joke with him! I suppose the stress of settlement problems were far off in the future. But I did think it was a bit mean giving the poor girl porridge on her begetting day!

I loved seeing the three young elves together. They’re still at an age where they can be completely carefree. Eilian is a right little trouble-maker! I thought it was quite amusing that unlike Legolas, Eilian doesn’t have a friend who leads him astray, but rather he is the one who leads others astray. He seems well used to slipping things out of the palace and doesn’t seem at all fazed by the thought that he could be caught – probably because Nana is at home to protect him… I admit I had to laugh at the part where Celuwen thinks about how she likes elaborate games. Doesn’t that just sum up almost her *entire* future??! I’m glad Celuwen won the game against Eilian. I cheered her on a little when she stepped forward. And Eilian made me smile when he congratulated her, even though he must have been a little embarrassed or at least disappointed. “We are well matched,” Eilian said. Hmmn, I’m not even going to comment on that one…!

“My adar is coming.” Yeah, I knew those two had skipped training. Still, I’d like to think that it really was because Eilian wanted to give her some fun on this day rather than just being bored with training. I thought it was hilarious when Gelmir’s mother berates him for allowing himself to be talked into these things – there must be quite a long list of parents who think Eilian is a bad influence!

How lovely that he gave her a gift. It says a lot that he knew she’d like it and so went to all the trouble of polishing it to make it look pretty. I thought it was a perfect gift for their age group too – not real ‘adult’ jewellery but still grown-up enough for her and special because so much thought obviously went into it. I liked the little comment about it not going with her “delicate looking dress” – it’s not part of the “young lady” but rather belongs to the carefree maiden who climbs trees, throws knives and wades through rivers with Eilian.

I thought this was a great insight into the time just before they leave childhood behind. Celwen is clearly becoming more aware of herself and of her friends. I thought it was really interesting that she realises she can’t really protect Eilian but decides that she’ll still be his friend, even if it’s difficult to watch him learn his lessons the hard way. I like too the way she seems to separate her life, and won’t allow the different parts to overlap. She seems to feel that sometimes she really does need the company of females but at the same time is irresistibly drawn towards Eilian and already allows him occupy a space that no-one else does.

This was a lovely character study, daw. I know it was for Nilmandra, so thank you for sharing it with the rest of us too:)


Author Reply: Thank you, Dot.

I have never even thought about how old Solith might be, but your speculation about him and Thranduil strikes me as interesting. I'm going to have to think about that.

Celuwen is a strong person, even at this age, and that's a good thing, given what she takes on as an adult. Eilian is Gelmir's Turgon! Of course, his parents are much more attentive than Turgon's were, which is lucky for him. He might very well need naneth's protection when Thranduil hears that he skipped out of training. And I too think he did it because his friend Celuwen was having her begetting day.

And right now, I think she's mostly his friend. But he's one of those who gives his heart and his loyalty and then never lets go, so I think it's not surprising that their friendship ripens into love. None of those other maidens ever had a chance; Celuwen was in his heart already, waiting for him to realize it.

Hisie LomeReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/29/2004
Happy Birthday Nilmandra!

Daw, you did it again....
Nice take on the end of childhood.

Comfy clothes and getting dressed up. Don't all females think like that? I generally do not wear flowing gowns when I am hiking...

I loved how much respect Solith showed towards the royal and a future warrior of the realm...two wild fools! LOL! Was this elf just born bitter and judgemental?

Think like a fish and brains, well of course!

Let's count all the things that these "elflings" could possibly be in trouble for today: skipping classes, wasting the weapons' masters time,dishonesty, wet clothes,taking knives,getting pitch on knives,putting an ellyth in danger, hiding in a tree- when you knew better!, general poor judgement ....

Does it seem that it is not the "elfings" but Eilian that will be getting the brunt of this lecture? And thinking that he could possible get his Naneth to cover for him? Perhaps she would understand and could soften the king. (But then again, evil parental units tend to stick together on these sorts of things)
Once the elder begins to fume, we may as well throw in trashed bedroom and not learning from the last 3 times we have had this same conversation.

I liked that Celuwen and Eilian are true friends, and he is willing to get into deep water to have fun with her on this day. Just a little glimse into the future.

How sweet that he gave her a gift even if it is unconventional in their society. Polishing a stone could not be that easy, this shows commitment and a willingness to make her happy. Nice qualities indeed.
Yep, Eilian really will do things his own way.

The last bit was nice...Pushing away her childish hair ornaments and laying aside her new necklace...not wearing it just yet. There would be time later.

Again thanks for all of your hard work,
Minna Sedh, Hisie Lome

Author Reply: "Let's count all the things that these "elflings" could possibly be in trouble for today: skipping classes, wasting the weapons' masters time,dishonesty, wet clothes,taking knives,getting pitch on knives,putting an ellyth in danger, hiding in a tree- when you knew better!, general poor judgement ...." -- When you put it that way, Hisie Lome, it sounds so bad!!! I suspect that Eilian did, indeed, find his evil parental units sticking together. And he's lucky they did. If he hadn't had the parents he did, he might have turned into Turgon.

You are so sharp about the ending! Yes, she pushes away the childish things, but she's not ready for Eilian yet, at least not as anything other than the friend who just got himself in big trouble to be with her on her begetting day.

DuchessReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/29/2004
A wonderful vignette! I love seeing Eilian's childhood misadventures, so this was a darling one, considering it included Celuwen. *vbg* I wonder what Eilian's punishment was for that bit of mischief... LOL

As always, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful imagination with us. *vbg*

Author Reply: Thank you, Duchess. I imagine Eilian had his parents tearing their hair out on a regular basis. But he couldn't leave his friend alone on her begetting day!

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/29/2004
What a lovely story. These are not OCs; they are the family Tolkien just never got round to writing about - (probably just as well - you do them better).

You can't say Celuwen didn't know what she was letting herself in for when she married Eilian - even in adolescence she seems to have a pretty good understanding of his character.

'We are well matched,' Eilian said. Lovely bit of dramatic irony, there.

I feel for Gelmir - always loyally following Eilian into trouble. Does he have an adar? I only recall mention of a mother.

Glad to see Solith being consistent - although a lot of fathers of 'teenage' girls would prefer them to stop playing with boys - (after all, who better than a father to understand what goes on in the mind of an adolescent boy!)



Author Reply: It is thundering and lightning here right now, and I think it's because of that parenthesis in your first paragraph.

I think that Celuwen knows Eilian pretty well. Their long history together is one of the things that draws Eilian too. He's very loyal and he got attached to her when he was young. Glad you liked the "well matched" thing.

Gelmir does have a father but I haven't ever shown him now that I think of it. He's a warrior.

Good observation about Solith. And let's try to picture Eilian as the father of a pretty girl! He might get some sympathy for Solith.

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/28/2004
Ahh, what a delightful thing to sit down to after a frenzied evening of cooking. Three hundred people are coming to town to sing tomorrow, and they'll all want to be fed, and I am Doing My Bit. But the salads have been made, the bread is defrosting, and the pie is in the oven, and I have time to read a charming story.

It sounds like these kids are about one begetting day away from figuring out that they're male and female. Celuwen is starting to think about lacy underwear and putting her hair up, and the boys are growing taller. This is probably the last year that they'll play together like "just pals," which gives this story that little extra Tolkien-ish touch of wistfulness. Props to you, by the way, for showing Celuwen growing up and being intrigued by the idea of ladyhood, rather than ranting and railing against it, as so many other authors have their young adolescent female characters do.

Eilian is so funny. I'll bet that, had he and Gelmir asked to have the day off to celebrate Celuwen's begetting day, they would have had permission, no problemo. But no, not our Eilian. He has to play hooky and nick Ada's knives and get himself into deep doo-doo. I'm sure it's more fun that way. Stolen fruit tastes sweetest and all that.

Where do the Wood Elves get their books? Do they have binderies right there in Mirkwood, or are they trade goods from Lake Town? It strikes me that a real bound book might be a valuable gift, quite appropriate for Sólith to give to the daughter he clearly dotes on.

Lace doilies and finger cakes? Whose idea was that? The finger cakes sound okay, but lace doilies? Oh well. They're young, and they'll grow out of that soon enough.

Author Reply: Holy cow! Cooking for 300. I can't imagine it. I hope the singing is nice. That's a very elven way to spend a day!

I love your characterization of the kids. I think the next year even the word "playing" will be foreign to them. And you are so right about Eilian. He *likes* excitement! He just doesn't like the aftermath. And like most of us, what Celuwen wants is everything. She wants to dress in silk sometimes and wade in the river and throw knives too. And why not? All of that is good.

I expect that books were expensive. The elves could probably make them. They liked stories and they were good at making things and they had time. I'm not actually sure how books would have been produced in general in ME. Was the Red Book produced by hand? It was written by hand, of course, but was it produced that way, like a manuscript?

Ms. WhatsitReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/28/2004
Yay, new story!

I really, really like the way you've written Celuwen. She's friends with boys and still likes to be ladylike and have tea parties, but only when it suits her, because she has to be able to go throw knives when she feels like it! I also like Solith complaining that his daughter insists on playing with that Eilian boy rather than finding some nice harmless ellyth (if only he knew that his worst fears would come to pass...) :D

I love all the banter between Eilian, Gelmir and Celuwen, esp. the making fun of the tea party and poor Toviel. And I like Eilian's reaction to Celuwen beating him--he's a bit disgruntled at first, but Eilian really wouldn't hold a grudge for something like that. I also think it's very sweet that Eilian and Gelmir cut class for Celuwen's b-day. When Eilian said it was "fortunate" that he had a day off so conveniently, I was all "uh-oh..." I think I say that a lot while reading your stories! Luckily Lorellin's still around and can possibly cover for him. I also like the present he gave Celuwen.

And I guess the next chapter will be about the tea-party. Frankly, Celuwen and doilies and ladylike ellyth sound like a disaster waiting to happen, so I bet it will be interesting.


Author Reply: This is a single chapter story, Ms. Whatsit, but a longer one is coming soon. I just did this as a birthday fic for Nilmandra.

I am very grateful that you like Celuwen. It's hard to write female OCs and have them fit into Tolkien's world. I am trying to make her as uncliched as possible, and I like her a lot so I'd feel bad if readers didn't.

Eilian and Gelmir are very fond of Celuwen. I like these three friends.

And actually writing about the tea party would be fun!

Estel_Mi_OlorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/28/2004
Congratulations, Daw, on another great fic. How do you manage to write them so quickly? And your OC's were very well done, and fit in completely with the original characters. I have become so involved in your writing that I am beginning to see Eilian and Ithilden as original Tolkien characters! I loved the setting of this fic, the unsettling years after childhood and before adulthood, adolescence. Good grief look at me, I sound like some politcally correct health teacher-they are big bad teenagers! I also liked Eilian's gift to Celuwen. Let me see if I got the symbolism straight: the new chemise represents a delicate maiden, which Celuwen will grow into be. The stone necklace represents the child Celuwen, who played with Eilian and Gelmir more often that with other ellyth. Since Celuwen put the necklace in the back of her drawer with other childish baubles, she has chosen to grow up and be a maiden. There, was that semi-correct? I love looking for hidden meaning, but sometimes, I rather overdo it. Let me know. Thanks again for this fic, and I eagerly await a new one from you. (Probably in record time, too).

Author Reply: I think your analysis is pretty good, Estel! The only thing I would say is that the necklace isn't exactly childish, even though she puts it away for now. It's sort of in between childhood and adulthood, just as Celuwen is. It's a decorative thing and sort of girly, but it's also masculine in its use of leather and stone. It's Eilian. It's what he can give her now and the promise of the future. But it's not what she needs now.

And maybe now I'm the one overdoing it!

Thank you for the review.

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