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Ripe for Change  by Bodkin 13 Review(s)
LarnerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/15/2006
Oh, my, praising the works of Eru and the Valar in the altogether and realizing that they are perhaps not quite as alone and isolated at they'd thought? Could become very interesting....

Author Reply: I do like Celeborn and Galadriel - their relationship must have been so strong. And they would never have lasted the ages without a powerful understanding of each other... which includes being able to play!

DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/9/2005
Hmm...no hobbitses.
No Legolas...
But I think I'm liking it anyway...

Author Reply: Sorry. It's a bit hard to put hobbitses in the Blessed Realm! (Well, by this point.) And Legolas is too busy looking after Thranduil to play today.

But I'm glad you're liking it anyway.


Elena TirielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 4/6/2005
What a lovely, lyrical beginning, Bodkin! I look forward to seeing where you go with this...

- Barbara

Author Reply: Thank you! I'm not sure how long it will be - but felt that C and G needed a bit of time in the woods to - h'mm - rebuild their relationship. And for C to settle and find a purpose for himself in the Blessed Realm.

(And that, as I seem to like revisiting the time period, it would be better to put it in one story - I've already got about four single chapter reunion tales.)

DotReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/28/2005
Believe it or not, I’ve trying to get a review written for this chapter since you posted it. I’m disgracefully behind with reviewing at the moment. I’ve been apologising to everyone and I must apologise now to you too!

I love all your stories but my favourites are definitely your Galadriel/Celeborn ones. So I was thrilled to see this! The opening was so beautiful. You completely transported me away from a wet and windy night! I adore the way these two tease one another. I can just see Celeborn regretting ever saying anything while she recited the list of things to be done. And I think the line ‘Sewing enables me to look industrious while I scheme’ is one of the best in fanfiction!

It must be rather disappointing to learn that life is still full of mundane details even in this supposedly wondrous place. Even Galadriel, for all her desire to see her home again, must have been at a loss sometimes. Running away for a while is a wonderful idea! It’s clearly what Celeborn needs until he is sufficiently recovered to take on new projects. I love that she knows this and wants to give it to him. But there seems to be a suggestion too that she needs her husband to herself, away from anyone else.

I love the glimpse of their time in Doriath! There’s something oddly appealing about the idea of Galadriel and Luthien conspiring against Celeborn!!

I had to laugh at everyone’s reactions to the Lady of the Golden Wood trekking off into the forest to spend some time in the wild. Personally, I think she’ll be fine. She may have spent a long time floating around Lothlorien in white dresses but to be fair, she’s known a lot of hardship too and proved herself very capable. It would seem that elves aren’t any different, though, when it comes to adult children thinking their parents need to be looked after. Celebrían seems rather less than pleased with her parents’ plan. Of course, she’s seen how much her mother suffered while waiting for Celeborn to arrive so I guess I can’t blame her for feeling protective towards her.

The line “His patience had worn at her restlessness, his straightforwardness had confounded her guile, his obstinacy had taught her to bend – on occasion – and his enduring love had made it possible for her to bear burdens that could have broken her” brought tears to my eyes. That’s so beautiful. There’s something very humble about Galadriel in that moment and her love for him just shines through.

Celeborn does seem more alive out in the forest. Apart from being reunited with his wife and daughter, he can’t have found it easy being here. At least for now he can let the trees and the earth soothe and revive him in a way that nothing else could.

These two seem to understand each other as no-one else can and I love the comfortable conversation and light teasing in which they indulge, but I also really like the way you write their physical closeness. There’s something very tender about it. There was something quite poignant too in the way Celeborn suddenly realises his wife might know that feeling of being a stranger in a strange land more than he had thought.

Celeborn just needs to find his place in all this. It might take him some time, but at least he has plenty of that. I look forward to seeing what you do with him! The ending of this chapter was lovely too. As long as the owners of the "silvery voices" are far enough away from these two naked, content elves! You write description so easily and fluidly.

Anyway, sorry again this took me so long. I really did love it :-)



Author Reply: Sometimes it's really hard to find time to review - especially for a reviewer as comprehensive as you! I'm just pleased to hear from you at all!

They are my favourite pair - (and, actually, get more so as I write them) - and I love how they have grown to match each other over so many years.

And that's the trouble with paradise really - someone still has to do the laundry. And even elves aren't going to give up eating entirely. In some ways, I think Celeborn would almost find the existence of everyday responsibilities to be some kind of reassurance - the Blessed Realm is really not all that different from Arda. (But that doesn't necessarily mean he wants to get involved in them!) I wonder about Galadriel and her desire to see home again - and wonder if it would be like a long-term emigrant coming home from America or Australia to see the romanticised home of their youth - only to realise why it is they left in the first place.

They do need time - time to heal and recreate their union and just settle into a new world. I feel that she has been stuck marking time until Celeborn arrived - and that she has healing to do as well and that they can only do together.

(When I started doing this, I could never have dropped in references to Doriath and Esgalduin and Luthien and so on. I have picked up a LOT of background over the last year or so. It makes it all much more fun.)

Do kids ever think their parents can do things? And Galadriel has spent a lot of time perfecting her shiny white mystic image - I imagine it's a while since Celebrian has seen her covered in mud and she's probably never seen her fending for herself. I have no doubt that she can do it - and will - and that she will enjoy herself enormously.

They have both taken a lot of stick over a lot of years because of their love for each other - and I think they both know that what they have become is directly related to their relationship.

Celeborn was very worn when he arrived, but he needs space and natural forest to help him heal - and Galadriel will see he gets it. They will support each other - and eventually they might even agree to get their clothes back on!

Thank you for commenting.

lwarrenReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/24/2005
I just love the way you portray Galadriel and Celeborn! The first story I ever read by you was the "Letters from Home" I think it's called...the one where Celeborn sends letters to Galadriel in the Undying Lands while he is still in Middle Earth. Now he has recovered enough to feel the need to find some purpose for his life...not an easy task, I would imagine. He may have been an elf lord of great power and position on M-E, but in Valinor, he's a newcomer, and a Sinda at that.

Galadriel and her sewing was perfect - look all innocent and industrious, while plotting and planning! LOL She is great!

Had to laugh at Celebrian's doubts about her naneth being able to "rough it" in the forest. I mean, Galadriel wasn't always the Lady of the Wood...she always struck me as strong and capable and very well able to take care of herself, no matter the conditions. But, that's a grown daughter for you (my own is kinda doing that to me right now :-) - it's a very interesting position to be in!)

As usual your descriptive talents turn me pea-green with envy...I won't list my favorite lines...I'd be rewriting the bulk of the chapter. Let's just say the woods were lovely, lovely, lovely....

However, my favorite part of all is the relationship between Celeborn and Galadriel. Honestly, those two...they have me fanning myself most of the time...and giggling at their banter with each other. Anyway, this is great...I was so glad to see that it would continue beyond one chapter. Your Paradise... vignettes are like appetizers...they leave me starving for more. Thanks for the feast, Bodkin!!!! :-)

linda

Author Reply: Thank you! 'Letters from Home' was the first story I ever risked posting - together with the first 'Reflection' and 'And in the Morning'. (It was partly written in a hotel room in Sydney, when we went to my cousin's wedding. Random useless information.)

I'm really not at all sure that the Blessed Realm would be all that much of a paradise to the elves of Arda once they had overcome their exhaustion and healed. I think even Galadriel (or possibly, even, especially Galadriel) would have found herself at a loose end in someone else's land. She may have yearned for Aman, but she had been gone a long, long time. And Celeborn is not one to sit around doing nothing - and, despite being married to Galadriel, not one to sit around 'yes-man'ning the decisions of others. If ever anyone needed his own lands to guide, it is the Lord of Lothlorien.

Galadriel is brilliant at looking the lady - but underneath she has the soul of a pioneer. Whatever Celebrian might think, Galadriel will be fine under the most difficult of conditions! (Grown children all seem to think their parents need looking after - I don't expect elves are any different.)

And yes - there's a lot going on under the surface between C and G. Yet they are able to share it without scaring the horses and embarrassing the neighbours! Subtle, they are.

I hope I'm not piling in too much description - it can get tedious. But, at times, combinations of words just ask to be written. And who am I to refuse them!

Nice to hear from you. Best wishes.

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/19/2005
Oh my goodness, Bodkin. This is just beautiful, gliding along like the song the elves were singing as the sun set. Your descriptions were rich and vibrant; your characters were just as full and alive.

The way you described Celeborn's weariness and tenuous steps toward blending into this strange place was such a wonderful understanding of what it must have been like to have to adjust to being a care-worn stranger in a strange land. Galadriel's willingness to give whatever was needed to see him hear the song of the native trees and find his place was so nicely done.

Of course, Celebrian wasn't quite as sold on this adventure as her parents were. I'm not sure what sort of danger lurks in Valinor other than those found in nature, but Celebrian didn't seem to think her parents were up to this. Her mother, especially, wasn't used to such hardships as not having scented baths and a kitchen crew. I think she underestimates her mother. Galadriel might have been The Lady of the Golden Wood, but she was not a wilting violet. She had many struggles in her time in ME, and I don't think there is much that she couldn't master.

I'm truly looking forward to seeing what happens on this trip into the wild. I hope the wildest thing that happens is between the two of them!

This is just wonderful!

Karen

Author Reply: Thank you.

Celeborn was reluctant to sail, I feel, not just because he didn't want to leave his homeland, but because he was worried about what he could possibly do in Valinor. I would imagine, actually, that Galadriel found it just as difficult to settle - it may have been where she was born and where her parents still lived, but going home to your parents after three ages of being your own boss can't be the easiest situation. I think she has long had in mind that it would be necessary to take her husband off to the forests for a long period of renewal.

No, Celebrian wasn't too keen on her parents becoming grown-up gappies, going off to find themselves in the forest! Of course, Galadriel had been in a bit of a state, because she didn't think Celeborn was going to sail, and Celeborn is only just recovering from the exhaustion of those last years in Arda - she's only wanting to look after them! (The moment, my mother says, when you no longer carry the shopping - your children pick it up and carry it for you.) Galadriel can, of course, cope perfectly well without the niceties of life. She's done it before - more than once - and can do it again. And, in fact, she will enjoy a challenge.

I think there's plenty happening between the two of them! Why do you think they were so relaxed?

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/18/2005
Just plain, flat-out, deeply, incredibly, wonderfully, perfectly, gorgeous. As are all your stories about these lovers.

Author Reply: Glad you like it. I am enjoying the range of adjectives!

They have chosen each other - and they have grown together in a relationship that does not hide behind illusion and has dealt with about every experience and emotion possible.


KarriReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/18/2005
This is a lovely look at Celeborn and Galadriel. I like your characterizations of them very much. :-)

Author Reply: Thank you. I'm fond of them as a couple - I think they can manage each other with extraordinary skill. And they are comfortable in each other's company, in a way that you would be, I suppose, if you have had several thousand years of marriage and are able to visit each other's mind.

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/18/2005
I need to admit something here: I have no problem at all seeing Galadriel at ease with Celeborn among the trees with little comforts! I may be the only one, but I consider that she picked up and left Valinor, crossed the grinding ice of the Helcaraxe, made her way to Menegroth, and eventually crossed the Blue mountains. She faced the unknown without fear. She undoubtedly could defend herself. She saw herself as powerful, and became lady of the Galadhrim a wood people. I can easily see this vision you show - I think she is very adaptable and that this trip for them will be pleasant and yet eye opening.

And now I hope they make long passionate love in the long grass beneath the stars :D

Author Reply: No, I quite agree. Galadriel will cope in the forest with considerable grace and panache. But those who are accustomed to seeing the soft-focus Lady, clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful - oh wait, that's the Lady of the Lake - have probably taken on the PR image of her as being delicate and extraordinary.

And (a la Letters from Home) she found it difficult to deal with Celeborn's long delay in arriving, so that Celebrian was quite worried about her. She actually needs to spend time in the forest being an elf, just as much as Celeborn does.

They enjoyed themselves earlier in the afternoon as they played in and by the water - and will doubtless continue to . . . take pleasure in each other's presence as the stars sing!

BejaiReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/18/2005
Yay, a new 'Celeborn and Galadriel in Valinor' story from Bodkin! I simply adore these stories. In fact, I was rereading your stuff last night, rather wistfully wishing that you'd write some more. And here it is! Some of my favorite bits:

- Loved Galadriel scheming as she stiched. And men! They knew do know what goes into running a house, do they? Not necessarily interesting things, but necessary.

- You've hit on one of the things I've wondered about Valinor: what would the great elves DO there? Could they really be happy without challenges to face? But I suppose they do face challenges, just of a different sort.

- Elrond and Celebrian, both having difficulty picturing Galadriel wandering around in the wild.

- Here's something I don't think I've mentioned to you before, but is one of my favorite things across your stories: I love the gentle physicality between them. Glorious.

- You had me grinning several times with their dry humor, teasing each other. Things like this: 'I am in terror, my lord,’ Galadriel remarked tranquilly' Just cracks me up.

- The description of the forest, and the elvish ability to feel and hear things in it that we mere mortals are only dimly aware of. I've been in forests where I just KNOW that the trees are talking to one another just beyond my hearing.

- ‘After all those decades of patient waiting, too,’ she said ruefully. ‘What we did was not wise.’ Heh. But Galadriel is right. They never would have been able to get approval from everyone. Better just to present people with the facts later ;) Love your conception of this, and explanation of where they were when Elu and Dior died.

Great story, as ever. Will there be more?

Author Reply: I have a slight feeling of going to Valinor being a bit like emigrating to the New World in the days when there was no going back, (well, not unless you found gold or something) because it was too far and too expensive - and there was no communication with home because both you and they were illiterate. You're there - it's supposed to be great - but now what?

And for the Lords of Arda - well, they're exiled monarchs. Titled, yes, but titles that no longer mean anything. Respected - nominally. But living in another's realm, by another's rules - and rich enough to have nothing to do. Can't take up Real Work because it's beneath your dignity. Elves could spend millennia trying to find a role - with idleness making them become less than themselves.

Elrond and Celebrian know in their heads that Galadriel has done a lot of things more physically challenging than camping in the woods - but they just find it hard to imagine her getting her hands dirty. (They'd be surprised just what she'd do if she felt it was necessary.)

I like suggesting a (h'mm) physicality between them that is implicit rather than explicit. (It's much more fun to let the imagination run!) And they are equals - they are so at ease with each other that they can do and say and be without worrying about what the reaction will be.

No, there never would have been a right moment for Celeborn and Galadriel. They showed their mettle in deciding not to let politics and other people's demands divide them - and it does explain why they weren't around! Now, as for how Galadriel managed to (sort of) avoid the fate that polished off the rest of the leaders of the Noldor . . .

There will be more. Probably not a lot more, but I'm trying to get them to put some clothes on at the moment!

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